An Interview with Juan Grande

Interview with Juan Grande

Jim: Today, I’m interviewing Juan Grande. He lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and as I understand it, he was a big help to Crystal Moore in A Silver Medallion. How are you today, Mr. Grande?Cover - A Silver Medallion

Juan: I am fine, gracias. I not know where “Grande” come from. Please call me Juan.

Jim: Okay, Juan. Of course, Juan Grande translates to Big John. You must admit, you are a stout person.

Juan: Please forgive my English. I not know “stout.” My wife call me solid.

Jim: Okay. That works for me. How did you get to know Crystal?

Juan: My amigo Bull O’Malley call me . Ask I look after her. Help her if possible.

Jim:   Did he tell you what help she might need?

Juan: He say she want rescue two niñas, ah, girls, from bad man in San Sebastian.

Jim: Just how bad was this man in San Sebastian?

Juan: Muy bad. Kill people. Steal. Lie. I think drugs.

Jim: Kills people? Who is this man? What is his name?

Juan: He is called Josè Rodriquez de Allende.

Jim: Can’t the police arrest him, lock him up?

Juan: He is rich, powerful. Many men work for him. Maybe police also. He own police. We no get help from police.

Jim: That’s sounds like a big order. How did you go about it? And were you successful?

Juan: I no can tell you. Author tell me no give away plot.

Jim: It sounds dangerous. Did Crystal work with you? Did she help any, or did she just come down and ask you and your men to do it?

Juan: I ask her stay in Puerto Vallarta. Me and my men rescue girls. But she say no. She must help. She no can ask me do it and not help. I beg her stay in Puerto Vallarta. But she no let us go and not she go.

Jim: Did she actually do anything to help?

Juan: Si. Yes. She muy importante. She take girls away.

Jim: Took them away? How did she do that?

Juan: I no can tell you. Author tell me no give away plot.

Jim: Juan, your English is pretty good. Where did you learn it?

Juan: Mi esposa, ah, wife, take university in Texas. She speak good English. I learn some.

Jim: How do you know Mark?

Juan: Bull have home in Vallarta. I meet him long time back. He ride the bulls. He ride one time here. We have much memories.

Jim: Juan, it has been a pleasure talking with you. And I’m anxious to find out if you got the young girls free, and how you – and Crystal – accomplished it if you did. Thank you for your time, and stay safe from Josè Rodriquez de Allende.

Readers, as I understand it, Juan Grande was instrumental in the rescue of the girls. And while he wouldn’t say if they succeeded of not, I believe they were successful. Otherwise, Juan Grande might not be here today. But, I’m getting on the Internet right now to get a copy of A Silver Medallion.   Would you like to join me?

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

90 secondTrailer:   https://animoto.com/play/key7NqR0qbmN1JVWrCe8RA#

 

 

The Reluctant Heroine

There’s been many pieces written on the amateur sleuth. Quite often, the amateur is pulled into the case and reluctantly takes it on. In my Crystal Moore Suspense Series, Crystal admits the most dangerous thing she ever did was say “no” to a man who never heard the word. And in that incident, she was pulled into the situation against her will. But, she had the will to extract herself, even if at a great cost. However, this is not the main thrust of the book. In fact, this is revealed only when she tells her sidekick about the incident two years later.

As unadventurous as Crystal sees herself, in both of the first two books it is Crystal who pushes herself into harm’s way. a-ton-of-gold-cover-9-1-16

For the main plot line of A Ton of Gold, Crystal jumps into the fray. She gets in the middle of things when she believes someone is trying to kill her grandmother, her only remaining family and the woman who raised her.

My latest book is A Silver Medallion, June 2016. Here, Crystal decides to undertake a dangerous mission to rescue two young girls from a drug lord in the jungles of Mexico. Everyone tries to talk her out of it. Her grandmother, Eula, “who is tough enough to charge hell with a bucket of water”(description of Eula courtesy of a Caleb Pirtle review) tells her it’s a bad idea. Brandi, Crystal’s street-wise sidekick, says she can tell a dumb idea when she smells one. And Crystal’s boss, a former bull rider, tells her it is too dangerous. Lucita, the mother of the two girls is not certain she wants Crystal to go, afraid a mistake might mean harm for the children.

Even Crystal is reluctant. Several times, she convinces herself not to go. But her conscience keeps pulling her back. She is plagues with nightmares about the two young girls and their mother, slaves for the rest of their lives. She tries to think of some other approach. But the circumstances eliminate all of them. Finally, she is convinced if she ever wants to sleep again, or have a normal life, she must go and at least try.

Fortunately, she gets hooked up with mysterious Juan Grande. But if she is successful, she will have two ruthless and powerful men, one in Texas and one in Mexico, who now want her dead.

In A Silver Medallion, as with A Ton of Gold, Crystal enters into the dangerous situations willingly, yet fearfully. She has the unusual combination of reluctance and eagerness. It makes for an interesting and engaging character. She is the kind of character that adds to the joy of writing.

For less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or a Blizzard at the Dairy Queen, you can get a digital copy of A Silver Medallion. And as one reviewer on Amazon said, “Once I began reading it, putting it down became the challenge.”

Or from the BookLife Prize in Fiction, Critic’s Report: “reads like a gold-medal thriller from page one.”

A Silver Medallion on Kindle at: http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

A Silver Medallion in paperback at: http://amzn.to/28LIdWs

Cover - A Silver MedallionETWG Contest Award -ASM

Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder

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We pleased to have Kelly Irvin blogging for us today. Kelly has been a non-fiction writer for thirty years. But, she also has three Amish series. The first book in the Amish of Bee County series (Zondervan/HarperCollins ), The Beekeeper’s … Continue reading

Now Here’s a Sidekick

Today, I am interviewing Brandie Brewer, the sidekick for Crystal Moore in the newly released suspense A Silver Medallion. And if you like Brandi, see the special offer at the end of this interview.

Jim: Hi Brandi, I understand you’re Crystal’s roommate.

Brandi: Actually, it’s house mate. We share a two bedroom house kinda close to downtown Dallas.

Cover - A Silver MedallionJim: How did you meet Crystal?

Brandi: She was looking for someone to share the house with her. A friend of a friend of a friend told me about it and I called her. We met at a coffee shop and visited for awhile and then struck a deal. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I mean, she was pretty business like, sort of straight-laced, you know? But it was a nice house, two good sized bedrooms. ‘Course, only had one bath. But great location and not too pricey. So, you pays your money and takes your chances. I said cool.

Jim: And how long have you two shared the house?

Brandi: Gotta be over three years now, closer to four.

Jim: How’s is working out?

Brandi: What do you think, Jim? It’s been nearly four years and we’re still friends.

Jim: Well, I mean you got stabbed and nearly died because of Crystal.

Brandi: Hold it right there. If you want to continue this interview, back off on that. It was not because of Crystal. Some dumb dud comes in, gets information he asks for, well sort of, and then decides to break my foot, slash my arm and stab me in the chest. He’s to blame, not Crystal. You got that? Otherwise, we’re through.

Jim: I’ve got it. Very clear. You’re dating a detective, right? How’s that going?

Brandi: Fantantalastic. Tom Terrific is the greatest. That’s not really his name, but he is. I went with a lot of scum before I met Tom. I thought all men were that way. Then along came Tom, a tough cop – actually a detective, a gentleman through and through. I love the guy.

Jim: But you’re still rooming with Crystal.

Brandi: See. I told you Tom was a gentleman. He’s ready for us to move in together. But I’ve seen too many of my friends rush into things and then regret it. I said I wanted to take it slow. He’s okay with that. Lot of guys wouldn’t stand for that.

Jim: I heard you weren’t always Brandi. You had your name legally changed.

Brandi: Yeah. Never liked Bertha. Would you? Decided, why should I keep the name of one of Dad’s old girlfriends? I didn’t like it. And I’m sure Mom didn’t either. So, poof, it was gone. Took off twenty pounds, changed the hair. I had mousey brown from Mom. No more. I got washed-out blue eyes from Dad. Accuvue gave me these aqua beauties. Decided the nose was fine. Wore braces for two years.

Jim: You just decided to . . .

Brandi: Look the way I wanted to. Oh, and I took a course in make-up. Best money I ever spent. Even the contacts didn’t do as much for my eyes as knowing how to put on eye shadow, and eyeliner, and eyebrow pencil. ‘Course now, I just have my brows and lashes dyed.

Jim: You and Crystal seem … different. How do you get along?

Brandi: Maybe it’s that opposites attract thing. She’s got natural beauty; I had to recreate mine. She’s got lots of book learning, but doesn’t have street smarts, like I do. I think we’re a good match. So does Crystal.

Jim: From what I see, Crystal’s lucky to have you around.

Brandi: Now you’re getting it. Hey, gotta run. I’m on the late shift today.

Jim: Brandi and Crystal were a good fit in A Ton of Gold and now they are even better in A Silver Medallion. Check it out at:   http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

ETWG Contest Award -ASM

 Click here to see A Silver Medallion on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format

“A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine …” New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

Special Offer.  If you’d like to read the first six chapters of A Silver Medallion, send an e-mail to:   asm6@callansite.com  and just put  “6 chapters” in the subject line and your name in the body of the e-mail. OR you can request the chapters in a comment. Just make sure you have registered with a good e-mail address so you will receive the chapters. Either way,  I’ll send you the chapters right away.

A Silver Medallion is the second in the Crystal Moore Suspense series, following A Ton of Gold.

Thanks for stopping by The Author’s Blog.

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Slaves in the U.S. – Today

The story behind the story – A Silver Medallion 

Cover - A Silver Medallion

(See the Special Offer below.)

Several years ago, I read a short article in the L.A. Times about a woman who was held a virtual slave by threats to harm family members left behind in Viet Nam. I was amazed that such could happen here in the United States, so I did a little research.

What I found astounded me. One government report stated there were more slaves in the U.S. today than in 1860. Today’s slaves are held not by chains, but by threats to harm family members, usually left behind in a foreign country.

This information rattled around in my head for months. I knew I would write about it. But what? How? One writer friend said it needed to be a non-fiction book. Another suggested a story based on an actual instance, interviewing someone at ICE and perhaps even a victim.

Finally, I decided it would be a fictional account. The actual truth was too heavy. Either of the approaches above would haunt me and I suspected such a book would never be finished. So I created a completely fictional story, but one I believe, based on my research, was close to the truth.

Crystal Moore discovers a young Mexican woman , Rosa, who has been held a virtual slave because her husband in Mexico would be killed if she escaped. But many months later, Rosa learns from another woman smuggled into Texas, her husband has died. With that threat gone, Rosa manages to escape from her captor, Hunter Blackwood.

Crystal’s grandmother takes Rosa in and gives her a job.

When Crystal and her Nana are visiting with Rosa, they find out about Lucita who is also a virtual slave to Blackwood. Lucita had a husband and two small girls in Mexico. But when her husband died, she could not provide the bare necessities for her children. Jose Rodriquez offered her the opportunity to make “big Yankee Dollars.” Jose would arrange for a job in Texas and pay for her transportation. In addition, he would take care of the children until Lucita could save the $1,500 to pay for the girls travel to Texas. Surely, that could be done in a few months.

ETWG Contest Award -ASMBut once in Texas, Lucita is given a different story. She will work for Blackwood and should she leave or even tell anybody of her predicament, her children will be killed. She must stay at his massive house and is paid only a few dollars per month. She will never be able to accumulate the money to bring her girls to Texas. And other Mexican women tell her that Jose Rodriquez is indeed capable of carrying out the threat.

This revelation stuns Crystal. She is haunted by the plight of this young mother and her children. Crystal’s parents were killed in an auto accident when she was seven. Nothing could be done; they were dead. But Lucita is not dead.

Crystal manages to see Lucita and it becomes clear Lucita will do nothing that might cause harm to her young girls.

Crystal tries to put it out of her mind, to forget about it. But her conscience will not let her. Nightmares plague her. She often wakes, thinking she can hear Lucita’s two young girls crying. After considering various approaches, she comes to the realization that Lucita will never be free unless her girls are rescued from Jose first. Naive and driven, Crystal travels to Mexico in an attempt to rescue the two children.

If she succeeds, Lucita and her two girls will be free and reunited.

And Crystal will have two powerful and ruthless men, one in Texas and one in Mexico, who want her dead.

See the offer below.

Click on the cover of the book above to see it’s listing and reviews on Amazon.  Thanks.

“A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine …”

 New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

If you’d like to read the first six chapters of A Silver Medallion, send an e-mail to:   asm6@callansite.com  and just put  “6 chapters” in the subject line and your name in the body of the e-mail. OR you can request the chapters in a comment. Just make sure you have registered with a good e-mail address so you will receive the chapters. Either way,  I’ll send you the chapters right away.

A Silver Medallion is the second in the Crystal Moore Suspense series, following A Ton of Gold.

Thanks for stopping by The Author’s Blog.

Should She Risk All?

An Interview with Crystal Moore, the heroine in A Silver Medallion

JIM: Well, let’s just jump right into it. Why on earth did you decide to go to Mexico when you knew how ruthless Jose Rodriquez de Allende was? First, are you an adventurer, a thrill seeker?

CRYSTAL: You didn’t waste any time getting to that. To answer your question, no I am not a thrill seeker, or an adventurer. The most dangerous thing I’ve ever done was say “No” to a man who had never heard that word. As to why I went, that’s a question I’ve heard a lot- sometimes even from myself. Do you want the long answer or the short answer?

JIM: Let’s start with the short.Cover - A Silver Medallion

CRYSTAL: Because of the threat to kill her two little girls if she tried to escape, or even told anybody of her situation, Lucita would never escape. She would spend her entire life a slave. But, if I could rescue her two children from Jose, she would be happy to try to escape.

JIM: But Jose was a powerful and vengeful man.

CRYSTAL: Now we’re into the long answer. First, I was naive. I wasn’t prepared for just how evil the man was. And living in a society where one can depend on the police to help, I naturally thought I’d have some good local or state police help. That turned out to be foolish on my part.

JIM: Okay. I understand part of it. But this was such a risky business, I know you had other reasons. Come on, tell us.

CRYSTAL: I guess the biggest one came from my own life. My parents were killed in a car accident when I was seven. It was such a difficult time for me, for a long time. But, nothing could be done about that. They were gone, dead. No one could help me. Of course, I had loving grandparents who took me in and gave me a secure, loving home. Still, it was very difficult. Twenty years later, I could still feel the pain. Now, I’m not saying anything against my grandparents. They were the best. Grand Dad has passed, but Nana and I are still really close. She’s my best friend. I love her a lot, and she thinks I’m pretty special.

But these two little girls didn’t have grandparents. They were virtual slaves themselves, living under a brutal man. They had no one to look after them, to try to give them a happy childhood. Yet, there was something that could be done to help them. Rescue them from Jose.

Of course, there was another powerful reason. Once I talked with the mother, had pictures of the girls, I couldn’t sleep. I would have nightmares about their treatment. I became a prisoner of their large brown eyes. I swear, I would wake up thinking I heard them crying. If I wanted to have a normal life again, I had to, at least, try to rescue them.

JIM: I’m beginning to understand why you went. But did you really think you would succeed? I mean, this was a powerful man, with many henchmen, in a foreign country.

iguana 5SCRYSTAL: You understand the dangers. Well, actually, I didn’t until I met Juan Grande. He made the dangers quite clear to me. But, you fix your mind on what you want to achieve. You don’t think about failure. You say, whatever the worse case is, I will figure out a way to make it through.

JIM: Okay. You’ve convinced me. You should have gone. But one last question. Did anyone else think you should go? Maybe Lucita.

CRYSTAL: No. No one. Nana, who can face down the devil, said I shouldn’t go. Brandi, as brash as they come, said it was a dumb idea. And Mark, a former bull rider, didn’t want me to go. Even Lucita had her doubts. She feared if I tried and failed, her children might suffer the consequences. Her fears almost stopped me.

JIM: That’s all we have time for today, I’m afraid. Another time, I want to know how your boyfriend took the news you were off to fight the devil himself. But we’ll need more time for that. Thanks for being so open and honest in your answers. I look forward to reading the full account in A Silver Medallion.

Readers, what do you think?  Should she have gone into Mexico?  Leave a comment and tell us whether you think she should have gone.  Thanks.  You can get all the details in A Silver Medallion, on Amazon at:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

Paperback:     http://amzn.to/28LIdWs

A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine …

 New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

 

James Callan’s A Silver Medallion is a fine blend of colorful characters, action, suspense, and serious.  Crystal Moore and her grandmother, Eula, are a great team as they take on modern-day slavery and academic fraud in this nonstop novel.  Check it out!

 Bill Crider, best-selling author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series

 This book by Mr. Callan kept me hooked from the very beginning. Drawing a plot that seemed to leap from the headlines, he writes with a page turning intensity that will leave the reader satisfied. Crystal Moore is a heroine you can fall in love with. A woman willing to stand by her convictions of right and wrong, even if it means putting herself in danger, to accomplish her goal of righting the wrongs in the world.

Amazon Customer – Abookanight

Once I began reading it, putting it down became the challenge.

Amazon Review – Mary Turner

It’s a Party !

The Book Launch Party for A Silver Medallion was a smashing success.

But First —

Next Sunday afternoon, June 26, from 1 – 3,  I am participating in an “Oldie Authors Book Selling & Autographing Event,” or some such name, in Dallas, at the huge Half-Priced Book Store near the corner of Northwest Highway (Loop 12) and Greenville Avenue.  If you are in – or even near – Dallas next Sunday, please stop by and say hello.  No need to buy anything, just have a visit.  Of course, I will have books to sell – just in case.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming – last Saturday’s book launch party. It was my first such event, even though it is my eleventh book to be published.  We, my wife Earlene and I, had no idea what to expect. But with the help of the Pittsburg Texas Pizza Inn owner Bob Sehon, we got it set up before the first person arrived.  Perhaps the biggest help came from Galand Nuchols, an author of middle grade and YA books.  She helped in many ways, not the least of which was to handle all the sales, while all I had to do was visit with people and autograph  books.

ASMlaunch-2

Two people arrived about five minutes before the advertised start time, and then people came in steadily after that.  Some stayed a short time, got books and left. Others stayed for most of the party.

Midway through, I read the first chapter of A Silver Medallion.  Then, Bob Hibbard, a professional actor and expert on all things Tarzan, read a short scene from the period when Crystal is in Mexico. Fortunately, I read first, or they would have thrown rocks at me.  Bob’s read was amazing.

We had a large glass jar filled with pieces of candy. People could write their name and a guess as to how many pieces were in the jar.  Shortly before the end of the party, we opened the jar, revealing the actual number of pieces, and then checked all the entries for the one closest.  Writer Linda Hobbs made an amazing guess of 108.  The actual number was 107.  Lori McAdoo was second with a guess of 110.  Linda won a pair of books.

All in all, it was a rewarding experience, with an excellent crowd, plenty of book sales (including some of my other fiction and non-fiction), and good refreshments  Best of all, everybody seemed to enjoy themselves with a lot of visiting between writers and readers.

“A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine…”
New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

“James Callan’s A Silver Medallion is a fine blend of colorful characters, action, suspense, and serious.  Crystal Moore and her grandmother, Eula, are a great team as they take on modern-day slavery and academic fraud in this nonstop novel.  Check it out!”
 Bill Crider, bestselling author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series

A Silver Medallion is a Crystal Moore Suspense. It follows Cover - A Silver Medallion A Ton of Gold, the first Crystal Moore Suspense. In A Silver Medallion, Crystal meets a woman, Lucita, held slave in today’s Dallas, Texas. The woman is held, not by chains, but by threats to harm her two young daughters she has left behind in Mexico.

Lucita’s husband died and she found it impossible to support her family in her small town in Mexico. A man offers to get her a job in Texas where she will make a lot of money. He will pay her transportation and he will take care of Lucita’s two small girls until she can save the money to pay for their transportation to Dallas. She is told she will make very good money and can save enough to bring her daughters up in a few months.

But once in Dallas and at the home of Hunter Blackwood, it’s a different story. She is paid nothing and told that if she leaves, or even tells anybody of her situation, her girls will be killed. She quickly learns Blackwood is a ruthless man and will carry out his threat. Out of fear for her children, she says nothing and will not consider escaping.

Crystal would like to forget she ever found out about Lucita. But her conscience won’t let her. She finds she cannot sleep without nightmares about Lucita and her two young girls. Crystal’s only hope to return to a normal life is to free Lucita and her daughters. That means rescuing the girls first, for only then will Lucita consider escape.

And that means going into the Mexican jungle and challenging a merciless drug lord.

A Silver Medallion is in print and Kindle editions. Click on the cover to visit the book’s site on Amazon.   Or, better yet, stop by the big Half-Priced Book Store in Dallas Sunday, June 26 between 1 and 3 and visit. I hope I see you there.

Insight into Sight

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Today’s guest blogger is Mary L. Hamilton.  She claims she grew up at a youth camp in Wisconsin, so when she writes her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series, she knows what she is talking about.  Thus far, there are three … Continue reading

Come Join this Murder

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I didn’t want to get involved in murder. But she made it sound like an exciting thing.  It was going to be big.  There were some names behind it; names I would know. It would be noticed.  The press would notice.  … Continue reading

Cats Give Way to WWII

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Today’s guest is Elaine Faber, the California writer who generally has a cat as the chief sleuth.  She departs from that to bring us a story centered around World War II in her latest novel, Mrs. Odboddy – Hometown Patriot. (Of … Continue reading