June 13, 2015

Dying for the Past by TJ O'Connor - Review/Guest Post/Giveaway

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Dying for the Past by TJ O'Connor
Gumshoe Ghost Mystery #2
ISBN: 9780738742069
Paperback - 408 pages

Dying is not for the faint of heart . . . . . . Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters.

At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time--until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.

Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read "the book"--deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese's journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.

As Tuck learns the book's secrets, he begins to unravel his own family's wayward past, leading to the question--is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living . . . but not one of them.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I can’t wait to now go back and get the first book in this series. I would suggest that you start with book one when reading this series even though you can read it as a stand alone. I like the ghost aspect of this mystery. I enjoyed his writing style as the book just seemed to flow. Another thing I liked about this book was that it was fast paced which made reading it very easy. The author kept me guessing until the end of the book which makes a great mystery. The characters were well developed and the scenes were well described. I would love to visit the historic Vincent House. I thought it was interesting how Tuck was trying to solve the murder from the after-life. He could only be seen by his wife, his dog and his former detective partner. I am looking forward to the next book by this author.     

About the author:
Tj O’CONNOR IS THE 2015 GOLD MEDAL WINNER OF THE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS BOOK AWARDS FOR MYSTERIES and the author of Dying to Know and Dying for the Past, available in books stores and e-books from Midnight Ink. His third paranormal mystery, DYING TO TELL, will be released January 2016. He is currently working on a traditional mystery and a new thriller. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York's Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Lab companions in Virginia where they raised five children. Dying to Know is also a Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award finalist.

 Learn about Tj’s world at:

Web Site:  www.tjoconnor.com

Guest Post:
Dying For All The Right Reasons

 What got me into writing? 
Invariably, that is the question most of my interviews and author panels have in common. What brought me from chasing bad guys to writing mysteries and thrillers? If you’d asked me when I was ten or twelve and first began writing short stories and plays for my friends and school, I dare say I wanted to be Franklin W. Dixon (The Hardy Boys), Barbee Oliver Carleton (Mystery of the Witches’ Bridge), or Gordon D. Shirreffs (Mystery of the Haunted Mine). In high school, I’d matured just a tad and it was James Grady and Alistair MacLean whom I admired. By then, I had visions of travelling the world to seek out new plots and characters and spending my days banging away on a little typewriter in some faraway town I couldn’t yet name. It would be all daydream and sultry nights, drinks at a local bar telling my stories to the locals … Sure, I’ll sign a book for you

Boy, what a dreamer! And what a terrible sense of reality!

I quickly learned as I headed toward high school graduation that there were two things in the way of my fantasy life. First, I didn’t know how to write and had no experiences to write about. And second—and here’s the big one—most authors can’t make a living writing.

I needed a job. I needed a life. I needed to experience something to write about and learn how to put it on paper.

So, being a commonsense kinda guy, I joined the military to see some of the world and get an education—check. Became a government agent chasing bad guys and terrorists that would one day make good stories—check. I woke up and realized that to become an author, I actually had to be a writer first—check, double-check.

Robert Frost once wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

For me it was, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—confused and unaware—tried to go both ways. I got lost for twenty years …”

Life happened. I tried to write and have a career and family with all the trimmings. I wrote a book in my early 20s that was, to say the least, drivel—the story of an intelligence operative blamed for the murder of his team. Original, right? Bluck. But I continued on. I charged along on my career and dabbled with stories and start-up novels. Twenty years later, I realized I was no further along than just out of high school.

It was time to get serious. It was time to write something worthwhile for publication. It was time to write so someone other than my dog could read and enjoy it. And sitting night after night banging away on the keyboard writing my first serious novel—The Whisper Covenant (it never came to be)—I realized why I was writing at all. I wanted to tell the world—be it a large or small one—my stories. I wanted people to watch my characters blunder and swashbuckle through their lives taming bad guys and catching killers. I wanted people to laugh at their jokes and cry at their heartaches just like I did when I wrote them. I truly wanted to be heard.

And then, an amazing thing struck me. Well, three amazing things, actually. I finished two more novels and, damn, they weren’t bad! Then a third—Dying to Know, a novel written for my daughter—landed me my agent, the amazing Kimberley Cameron. And lo and behold—next came my first book contract … Midnight Ink bought three novels!

Was it true? Could it be real after all these years? Had I … I shudder to think … become an author? 
The adventures of Oliver Tucker began—Dying to Know, Dying for the Past, and the upcoming, Dying to Tell. Tuck and I formed a bond that has lasted three novels. The series—dubbed The Gumshoe Ghost by Midnight Ink—are the case files of Oliver “Tuck” Tucker and his wife, Angel, who learn early on that dying is overrated and murder is not. Tuck is a dead detective—yes, a dead one—who seeks overdue justice for victims in his day and from the past. He loves to tell his stories. He mixes a historical subplot with a modern murder and weaves all the truths and lies together. Tuck and I have a blast. He even lets me have the byline. He doesn’t like it, mind you, but what’s he gonna do, haunt me?

So, what have we gained from this partnership, he and I? 
We’ve found a few fans and made some amazing friendships of fellow authors—most of whom we admire very much. And we’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting some famous, amazing, and truly admirable people whom we never would have met if not for this small, unique club called authors.

And Tuck lets me do all the talking in public. Well, most of it, anyway.

So, why do I write? 
Because I have to. My characters have a mind of their own—especially Tuck—and they all want to tell their stories. They want readers to hear them. They want readers to be angry over the murder and help chase the killer. They want justice and sometimes revenge. But, above all, they want to make me happy—and I am when I’m telling their stories.

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  1. thanx for the intro, as this is a new-to-me author/series........

  2. I have never encountered a ghost. Thanks for this intriguing giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Yes, years and years ago when our family was having a hard time, we all saw my father outside the window and felt he was protecting us.

  4. Yes, my first encounter with a ghost was when I was a child. I opened the door to my bedroom and a ghost was standing next to my chalkboard. He was wearing a Civil War uniform. I did not feel scared and he just vanished.

  5. Thank you for the giveaway. This sounds like a great series.

  6. Yes, I have had an encounter.

  7. Thanks all for visiting this site and your comments. I hope you enjoy the books and when you read, send me an email via the email address on my web site! I hope you enjoy and I hope to hear from you! Tj

  8. New author to me, and sounds really good.

  9. And I have never had a ghostly encounter

  10. 5 years ago my husband passed away. 3 months later I found him at his computer one night. He visits from time to time.

  11. No I haven't but other members of my family have.

  12. No, and I hope never to have an encounter with a ghost.