About the Book:
We live in such a digital age. Our lives are recorded on everything from social media to store surveillance cameras. Where would a highly trained assassin and the head of a criminal organization hide in plain sight? The answer is rather unconventional and obscure. They would hide within the confines of the adult industry. Fans of adult industry performers are more concerned and focused on their industry personas. Never venturing into the reality of who they really are. These performers could easily conduct business as usual with absolutely no interference or prying eyes into their personal affairs. Well, that was true until now.
The murder of a new and upcoming Miami DJ known as DJ Ice. He was murdered one evening after a concert with his family only a few feet away. DJ Ice is a man that is known as a loving husband, beloved friend, and aspiring musician with a revolutionary vision. Who would want him dead? This is what Sgt. James Travers of the Metro-Dade Homicide Unit is going to find out. Yet, this case is not like any case that he has ever investigated before. The case is entwined with his past as a Navy Seal Sniper and a challenging past with adult performer Samantha Jamison. As the case progresses, Sgt. Travers begins to realize that nothing is as it seems. The truths that are uncovered in this case. They challenge him to the very core of his moral being. As the body count begins to rise, the lies being told, and the discovery of a new unstoppable bio-weapon raises the stakes. Sgt. Travers finds himself bound by a promise to protect someone that he loves dearly at all costs. What does Sgt. Travers do when the promise conflicts with his mission to serve justice?
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Tell us more about your book “The Deceitful Heart” What is it about?
The Deceitful Heart is more than just a compelling and suspenseful murder mystery. The story opens with the murder of an up and coming Miami DJ. As the case is being investigated, we begin to see how much the case is entwined with Sgt. Travers’s past as a Navy Seal and adult industry performer Samantha Jamison. You also learn that all of the possible suspects and the murder victim himself are linked to Sgt. Travers. In “The Deceitful Heart”, we see Sgt. Travers as more than just a homicide investigator. You see him as a compelling individual with much admirable strength. Yet, there are those weaknesses that provide a level of personal challenges to solve this murder case. Sgt. Travers made a promise to protect someone at all costs many years ago. Yet, what does Sgt. Travers do when that vey promise conflicts with his mission to serve justice? The Deceitful Heart examines the principle of how well do you really know someone, i.e. a teammate, lover, close friend. We all have secrets that we guard with our very lives, but are they enough to commit murder. The Deceitful Heart explores that very question.
Following the murder of an upcoming Miami DJ, Sgt. James Travers takes the case. It doesn’t seem to be a normal homicide, are there elements in “The Deceitful Heart” that lend to a Spy-Thriller?
Yes, there are elements that lend to a Spy-Thriller. In most mysteries, there is a crime and the main characters solve the case rather easily. The Deceitful Heart goes much deeper than that style of writing. I wanted to expand the story and add elements of intrigue to the story. We learn early on that Sgt. Travers has a very unique past with Samantha Jamison, an adult film star and murder suspect. In the chapter titled “London.” Sgt. Travers rushes to rescue her from harm’s way with the help of an old childhood friend that is part of the Japanese Intelligence Service. She is assigned to assist MI-5 with counter-terrorism operations as a joint task force. We also learn very quickly that there is more to the story than one imagined. In the chapter titled “Thailand”, Sgt. Travers rushes again to save Samantha Jamison from certain death with the help of an old friend who commands a Russian Spetznaz unit. We are led to believe that she was kidnapped by a rebel terror group, but again there is more to the story than one could ever imagine. Sgt. Travers is able to accomplish the impossible with Samantha’s rescue, because of his past as an elite Navy Seal Sniper. Sgt. Travers’s partner tasked to help him solve the murder of the Miami DJ. She is a former officer with Naval Intelligence that specializes in psychological warfare. There are the suspicions that elite Navy Seals maybe behind the murders in “The Deceitful Heart”, but you won’t know till the very end who is responsible for all of the events that had transpired. The answer is going to be shocking, and introduce to the reader the element of a new unstoppable bio-weapon with no cure.
From reading the blurb there seems to be a lot going on and seems Sgt Travers will become involved in something much greater than a murder investigation. Where there any scenes that you found enjoyable to write, that you were excited as you wrote added plot twists?
I would say that writing the last half of the book was the most enjoyable for me. In the first half, I spent a good amount of time establishing backgrounds and challenges of investigating the case. As I wrote the last half, the plot twists just began to form themselves. I wanted a story that kept the reader guessing as to the ending. Yet, I would say the most exciting chapter for me was the chapter titled “Day of Reckoning.” This is where story begins the climatic ending, and the reader will think they have all the answers. I can honestly say that the chapter is only a small fraction of the explosive ending. The last chapter titled “The Devil’s Truth” will have the reader feeling a sense of bitter sweet emotions concerning Sgt. Travers. While the last half of the chapter will answer many lingering questions, and may give the reader a sense of shocking anger.
Who would you suggest would enjoy reading “The Deceitful Heart” is it targeted at any specific readers?
My targeted audience of the “The Deceitful Heart” are those that enjoy a good mystery, thriller, and suspenseful story. These are the readers that read the first portion of the book and say, “I know who did it!” In “The Deceitful Heart”, you are not going to know who and why the murder took place till the very end. I promise the explosive ending will have readers on the edge of their seats. I have been told by readers that “The Deceitful Heart” is a real page turner.
Will we ever encounter Sgt James Travers in any prequels or sequels? Does he have a future?
Absolutely, we will be seeing a lot of Sgt. James Travers in the future. I am currently working on the next instalment titled, “The Devil Comes to Collect.” I know readers will have unanswered questions from the ending of “The Deceitful Heart.” The next instalment will answer all of these questions with a vengeance. There will be an epic global battle between Sgt. Travers and another character in “The Devil Comes to Collect.” In this book, you are going to see a more intense Sgt. Travers come to life. The project that is scheduled to follow “The Devil Comes to Collect” is going to be titled “Rockstar Crush.” In this story, Sgt. Travers is asked by an old friend in the music industry to protect a colleague from a vicious stalker. I can promise that this stalker is going to be like nothing ever seen before. The stalker’s background, motivations, and methodologies are going to be very unique. I am probably going to scare a lot people with this one. There is going to be an element of horror writing added to the mix. One of the twists of this story, the stalker is part of Sgt. Travers childhood that he tries to bury from the light of day. The Sgt. James Travers series is something that I am really excited to continue with even more stories to follow after these are completed.
So James, you say that you have an interesting life that lends a lot to the personality of Sgt. James Travers. Can you tell us more about you? What have you done or currently do when not writing?
Sgt. Travers is a man who has dedicated his life to one of service. He wants to give back in any way that he can. I myself have done the very same thing. Since a young boy, I have been very active in the martial arts. I hold advanced black belts and instructor status with such martial arts as Aikido, American Kenpo, and Ninjustu. I stated teaching in my mid teen years. Long before I myself became a law enforcement officer, I was teaching law enforcement and tactical personnel advanced martial combat tactics. When I am not writing or working on various graphic design or website projects. You can find me doing something fun and adventurous. I have spent a lot of time skydiving and scuba diving. Scuba diving is one of my greatest passions in life. The one place I feel at home is forty feet under the ocean surface on a reef somewhere. I do spend a lot of time at the range too. Most of the time at the gun range, I am practicing for the next defensive pistol shooting competition. Yet, whenever I get the chance to bring out the Barrett M107 .50 caliber rifle is a fun day. Sgt. Travers is a confident, complex, and loveable sarcastic smartass. He is the type of person who will stand behind you no matter what, but at the same time be able to peer into a person’s soul to see the real person. This is the part of me that I gave Sgt. Travers to bring him to life.
What was your inspiration to start writing fiction? Do you have any role models in the literary world, or favourite books?
I was always fascinated by authors Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. The entire horror genre inspired me to read at a young age. What truly fascinated me about this genre and these authors is how you were immersed into the story. You just could not put them down. Two other authors that I really like are Dan Brown and Ann Rule. Dan Brown books are a blend of intelligent intrigue and action packed. Ann Rule brings such a tender humanistic touch to her true crime novels.
What really inspired me to write in the mystery, thriller, suspense genre is that some of the books that I have recently read in this genre. The authors presented a crime and the crime was solved rather easily/effortlessly. The character development was seriously lacking. The plots were dry and well rather predictable. Then you had authors that were more interested in trying to make the story so interesting with non-stop action that made no sense. I wanted to do something different. I wanted believable characters that evolved with the story. The reviews that have come back concerning “The Deceitful Heart” have shown that I did my job rather well. Reviewers have also stated that the story presented was creative, unique, and innovative.
Will you be writing any more books? Do you have plans for anything in a different genre?
What many do not know about my writing career. I first started in the horror and paranormal genre with short stories. I am definitely going to continue writing. Writing is a passion that I have kept hidden for far too long, and now ready to share my vision/stories with the world. I have a book titled “The Darkness Revealed” in the finishing stages. The book is part of the horror/paranormal genre. The story follows a man named “Tommy.” The book is about his experiences with the paranormal. What makes this book so interesting and terrifying. The tales that he tells about his experiences are all very true. I investigated all of his claims and interviewed witnesses. I will never forget the look of pure terror on these individual’s faces and the uncontrollable trembling recounting their experience. The book will demonstrate that the paranormal is more normal than you can imagine. The book will also challenge the reader to reconsider what they call mere flights of fantasy and true reality.
If you could offer any advice to someone who was starting off on their writing career, what would you suggest?
The main advice that I would give is to write your story. Never worry about competition, or will anyone ever read your book. You will be rejected at some point in your writing career, but do not let that discourage you. Self-publishing has come a long way from the traditional publisher route. If you are writing your first book, I strongly recommend self-publishing. This way it is your story, your vision, and your art work. These are the quintessential tips to remember. You have to proofread, proofread, and proofread again. This will save you a lot of migraine headaches in the process. Most important, develop your characters into something that the readers will connect with in the end. If you fail to do so, no one will ever finish your book and you risk bad reviews.
How can our readers find out more about you and your work, I notice that you are a graphic and web-designer (these are always highly sought after skills in the writing industry) Can you tell us more about this and where to find out more?
Graphic design and website development have always been a passion of mine. Currently, my projects have been more freelancing in nature. My graphic design expertise is creating book/ep covers, banners, catalogs, and promotional campaigns. My specialty in website development is creating custom HTML/CSS websites and custom WordPress websites. I enjoy creating unique promotional campaigns and websites that make a client have that wow factor. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I am helping someone else achieve their dreams. Everything that I do is completely unique. You will never see something I designed mirror another project. I love helping other authors with designing their covers and author websites. Being an author myself, I know the challenges and the requirements to create eye catching designs that will entice a reader to learn more and effective marketing. I recently created a Facebook account. Readers and other authors are more than welcome to reach out to me there: https://www.facebook.com/james.godfrey.54772728.
I noticed that you self-published through Amazon Createspace. Can you tell us about this experience? I am sure there are a lot of budding writers out there how are nervous about the self-publishing idea.
The process of self-publishing with Amazon Createspace was incredibly easy. The advice that I would give to those that would like to try utilizing Createspace. First decide the size of your book. Then format your manuscript as to the size, line space, and paragraph indents to write your story. Once you have completed your book manuscript. There are templates you can use to copy and paste the manuscript in place. Once you have completed that step, you are ready to upload your manuscript for printing review, usually takes 24 hours. Be sure to order a printed proof copy to review. This allows you to see what the book will look like in your reader’s hands. Once you upload your manuscript, Createspace provides a kindle ready version to submit. I highly recommend this. After all of this is done, you should then work on your Amazon Author Central profile. The best part of utilizing Createspace as a publishing option is that you are in complete control.
Can you tell us more about your previous roles in law enforcement? I am sure these were very exciting, emotional, and probably alarming times. Are there any situations that you could share with us?
My experience as a law enforcement officer was a very interesting time in my life. This opened the door to other amazing training and professional positions. I set out on a path to a law enforcement career to give back to my community and make it a safer place. Growing up, I lived in some rough neighbourhoods that law enforcement were rarely ever seen to provide assistance. This was unacceptable to me. I wanted to do my part to make others feel safe. As a law enforcement officer, I wore many hats in performing my duties like peace keeper, mediator, psychologist, and social worker to name a few. I can honestly say that there were many rewarding moments in my law enforcement career. Yet, I had still been yearning to do more for the community.
This experience opened the door to becoming a private investigator and executive protection specialist. The training opened me up to new concepts of espionage/counter-espionage and intelligence gathering to name a few. I found that I excelled with these new skill sets, and proved to serve me well in becoming a specialist handling stalking cases. Time permitting; I try to teach as many seminars as I can to help others not become a victim or statistic to stalking.
If you couldn’t be an author, but wanted to express yourself creatively, what do you think you would try to do?
I would absolutely be a musician. When I was a young man, I learned how to play the guitar. My instructor thought I had a lot of promise and a future in the music industry. There was a time when I had my own heavy metal rock band, and had dreams of stardom in my eyes. Yet, I felt that this was not my calling. Do I regret my decision not to pursue becoming a famous rockstar? Absolutely not, I would not change anything about the journey my life has taken.
What do you think is the most important aspect in promoting your own book? I fear there are many authors out there who write a book and think that is the end of their journey, that they do not need to put any more effort in. What is your opinion?
This question parallels what I tell my website development clients. They think that once you have a website live on the internet. All they have to do is sit back and watch the money roll into their bank accounts. I wish that were the case, but in reality this is when the real work begins. Just like owning a website, you have to let people know that you are open for business. The task of promoting a book is best done by the author. Who else is going to know the story better? Who else can speak about the book with such passion to interest readers? Social media is one of the greatest tools out there for authors. I strongly recommend authors concentrate marketing efforts with Facebook, and this is an opportunity to be social with potential readers of your book, and this gives readers an opportunity to learn more about you personally. The reason being is that more readers will be found on Facebook than anywhere else. Goodreads.com is another excellent resource to promote your book. You are right where the readers are, and be sure to set yourself apart from the other authors. There are so many ways to promote your new book. This is just another step on the journey to becoming a successful author.