Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Beginning a New Book Series

As a long-time, avid reader,  I have always enjoyed reading many different book series and I often specifically seek out authors who offer multiple-books set either in a certain place, time or offer character I enjoy getting to know. While a series can captivate readers though characters, they can also draw in new fans through either occupations or the setting or time period. Today's guest in My Writing Corner brings us a series that sounds like it will soon be attracting readers waiting for the next installment. 

My guest today is Dr. Randy Overbeck. He is an award-winning educator, author and speaker. As an educator, he served children for more than three decades and has turned that experience into captivating fiction, authoring the bestselling series, the Haunted Shores Mysteries, winner of nine national awards. This fall, the Wild Rose Press will release his newest work, an atmospheric amateur sleuth mystery, Cruel Lessons, the first installment in a new series set in schools, called “Lessons in Peril.” He is the host of the popular podcast, “Great Stories about Great Storytellers,” which reveals the unusual and sometimes strange backstories of famous authors, directors and poets. 

He is also a speaker in much demand, sharing his multi-media presentations, “Things Still Go Bump in the Night,” “A Few Favorite Haunts,” and “Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing” with audiences all over the USA. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop.

What is your book that you will feature today and how did you come up with the idea to

write it?

Cruel Lessons is an atmospheric, amateur sleuth mystery about a rogue hallucinogenic

drug being pushed in a middle school and, after it results in the death of four students, the rush to

stop the drug pusher before more children die. This novel is very dear to my heart. As a long-

time educator, I saw the ravages of student drug abuse and addition up close. Over more than

three decades as a teacher and school leader, I witnessed lives shattered and kids dying from their

abuse of drugs, both legal and illegal. I crafted this story—while completely fictional and about

an imaginary drug—as an homage to those educators who battle this very real problem everyday

in our schools, doing everything they can to save children from this plague. Though set in the

recent past (1994), the scourge of student drug abuse today is frighteningly similar to my tale,

only with a new generation and new drugs. This book is hardly didactic. According to an early

review, Cruel Lessons is “Brilliant from start to finish…Impressive storytelling left me with a

racing heart and shivers. One of the best thrillers I’ve ever read.” ★★★★★+++—N.N. Light’s

Bookheaven. Still, I hope the message about saving children will come through loud and clear.

Let's get a blurb:

On a school camping trip, fifth graders experiment with a dangerous new hallucinogen and die in a horrific accident, their deaths shattering the quiet town. Assistant Superintendent Ken Parks, hoping to redeem a fatal mistake from his past, grasps the opportunity to conduct the district investigation of how students are getting the drugs. Almost before he begins, the cops make a stunning arrest. But Parks battles on, convinced the real pusher is still out there, poisoning more kids until he receives an anonymous threat: if he continues, those close to him will pay. Is Parks willing to risk those he loves for a chance at redemption?

How about an excerpt:

    From the bend, the road descended quickly and Amanda felt the car picking up speed as gravity and its powerful engine propelled it downhill. As she approached the next turn, she realized she was coming in a little too fast. She slid her foot to the brake. Her concentration on steering the twisting road ahead, at first it didn’t register. She dared to take her gaze off the road and look down at her feet before she understood. When her right foot depressed the brake, the pedal glided all the way to the floor. No friction. She pulled her foot back and slammed on the brake again. The pedal slid all the way down. Unbelieving, she pumped it, again and again.  

    There was nothing there.

    She jerked her eyes back. The hairpin turn hurtled at her. On instinct, she kept jamming on the pedal. It was supposed to work. She turned the wheel wildly. The big car shuddered as it tried to negotiate the turn. The two rear wheels slipped off the pavement, spinning in space. With the front wheel drive, the front two tires managed enough traction to catch. The car veered around the curve and headed down the next straight incline. The heavy vehicle rolled faster again as gravity pulled it down the hill. 

    Amanda’s mind reeled. What was she supposed to do? 

    Struggling desperately to force her mind to think, Amanda tried to consider her options. It was all happening too quickly. The next treacherous turn came at her fast. She had no way to slow down. White knuckles gripped the steering wheel.

    The bend ahead showed a hard curve to the right, not quite as tight as the last one, but steeper. And she felt the car accelerating, though she hadn’t touched the gas pedal. Right before the car hit the curve, Amanda spun the steering wheel. The car lurched around the bend. The driver side of the car lifted up. Halfway through the long bend, Amanda watched the hood tilt in the turn until it was almost vertical. No seat belt on, she was catapulted down the leather seat, crashing into the passenger door.  

    “Hell!” she cried, reaching to grab her bruised shoulder. 

    She froze as the two wheels still on the ground shuddered in the gravel, sliding off the small road. Slammed against the side door, she heard the tall weeds and low branches whip against the body. But the car didn’t slow. Blood streamed from a gash on her forehead. For an instant she lay there stretched across the passenger door, holding her breath.

    Then she sensed the car teetering. The front tire bumped something hard. Amanda stared, unbelieving, as the car began to flip. As the Regal made the first revolution, she screamed.

Want to read more? You'll have to get the book! Here are the Buy Links



If you would like to know more about Dr. Overbeck, here is his Social Media Contact information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorrandyoverbeck

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OverbeckRandy/media

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorrandyoverbeck/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/randy-overbeck

Web site:  www.authorrandyoverbeck.com .

Podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1924616/10983135

Email:  randyoverbeck@authorrandyoverbeck.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Randy-Overbeck/e/B07QQHW7DM?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1658371317&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4825632.Randy_Overbeck

Thank you, Dr. Overbeck, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  Any questions or comments for our guest?

1 comment:

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