Category Archives: Sniper

BLOOD RISE (Book 6: London Carter Mysteries) out now!

BLOOD RISE, which is the sixth and final book in the London Carter mystery series, is now available. Here’s the description:

In the final book in this series, London Carter has planned the perfect surprise vacation for Dawn Luke. They’re heading to the Smoky Mountains National Park, where he’ll drop down to one knee in front of Abrams Falls and propose to her. However, when a grisly discovery is made in a small community within Magnolia Parish, they’re forced to return home to investigate.

They soon learn that the victim, Kathleen Bertrand, has been killed in the most heinous manner imaginable, and they delve into her past looking for anything that might help explain what happened. They locate some skeletons in her closet and, while one of them might be motive enough for murder, the brutal nature of the crime doesn’t seem to fit.

As Dawn and London drive to the Gulf Coast town of Dark Sands, Mississippi to follow-up on a piece of evidence they discovered in Kathleen’s car, Deputy Abraham Wilson is called to investigate the disappearance of another Plymouth East woman. Fearing the cases are connected and the second victim might suffer the same fate as the first, they work nearly nonstop to bring the killer to justice.

No one knows if they’ll locate the victim in time to save her, but it’s clear London won’t be dropping down to one knee anytime soon–unless it’s to take a shot.

(Click on book cover to buy or read free on Kindle Unlimited.)

Blood-Rise_ebook

What’s next for me? Book Four in the Clint Wolf mystery series. While that series began as a trilogy, due to popular demand I’ve decided to extend it. I’m currently working on BUT NOT FOREVER and I plan to write six to nine more in the series. If it continues selling well, I might continue beyond that number. At some point, I want to start a series that features Abraham Wilson as the main character. It will be a spin-off of the London Carter series and will feature London and Dawn from time to time.

As always, many thanks to all of you for your support!

bjb

Out now: Book 4 in the London Carter Mystery Series

I’m happy to announce the release of my latest novel, BULLET DROP, which is the 4th book in the London Carter Mystery Series. While I usually have a “no write” policy on vacations, my wife allowed me to get a little writing done on our anniversary cruise and it enabled me to finish sooner than expected. So, thanks to her for putting up with a few hours of writing, as well as for reading the first draft and pointing out things that needed to be fleshed out or omitted. She is extremely supportive of my writing and I would not be able to accomplish as much as I do without her. I also want to thank Shelly Ourso for reading (or, rather, devouring) the first draft and offering her feedback. She is always such a big help. And I can’t say enough about Christine Savoie and how much I love the covers she creates for my books. I’m so glad she found me!

Well folks, here’s the description of BULLET DROP, along with the cover art and a link to the eBook on Amazon (it will be on sale for $2.99 right out the gate and will remain there for several weeks):

While Dawn Luke travels to her hometown of Arkansas to tend to her sick mother, London Carter is called upon to investigate the murder of a young teenager whose body is found stuffed under the exit ramp of an overpass. It was apparent to London that the murderer wanted to make sure the kid was dead, but the motive for the killing was far from obvious.

Summoning the assistance of Detective Rachael Bowler, the two are finally able to locate the actual crime scene and that leads them to the identity of their young victim. But instead of providing answers, the identification leads to more questions. Could a secret involving the young man lead them to the killer, or will it only muddy the waters and interfere with their investigation?

Whatever the case, this is one killer no one should take for granted–not even a cop as skilled and gritty as London Carter.

Bullet Drop Cover

So, what’s next for me? After I finish this blog post, I’ll get “write” to work on the opening chapter of the 5th London Carter Novel, which is titled ELEVATION, with the hopes of finishing it by September/October. I’ll be taking two breaks during the writing of this novel, but will be “writing faster” when not on the breaks, as a few of you have advised me to start doing. :-)

For those interested, the first break will be from July 5 through July 10, when we’ll be bringing my daughter to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for a weekend-long biology class. The second will be from July 28 through August 6, which will be our family vacation in the Smoky Mountains. We’ll be renting a cabin through Mountain Laurel Chalets (as we always do) and will be staying on Ski Mountain Road in Gatlinburg. If any of you will be in that area during the same time frame, give me a holler and I’ll keep an eye out for you. It would be nice to meet and personally thank those of you who read my books and follow my writing career.

Before signing off, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to all of the people who lost loved ones, or were injured, or had property destroyed during the wildfires in the Smoky Mountains late last year. I go there every year and, while I was saddened to learn that four of the chalets I’ve rented over the years were lost in the fire, it was downright heartbreaking to hear of all the lives lost and the injuries sustained. My best to the people of that area as they rebuild and try to move past the pain and loss.

bjb

A Boxed Set, Covers Revealed, and Upcoming Sales

Hello to everyone reading this, but especially to all of you who’ve subscribed to my blog posts–y’all are the best! Before getting into what I’ve been up to lately, I want to announce the release of a London Carter boxed set that includes the first three books in the series (JAMES 516, PROVING GROUNDS, and SILENT TRIGGER). It’s priced at $7.98, so you get three books for the price of two. Of course, if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you read for free. Here’s the cover/link to the book on Amazon:

London-Carter_Boxed-Set-02So, after finishing SILENT TRIGGER, I went on a week-long road trip with my daughter for her senior trip. I’m honored that she wanted me along and proud that she chose nature as a place to spend her trip. We rented a cabin in the Red River Gorge and, in addition to hiking and climbing in the mountains of Kentucky, we visited the cities of Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY, toured the Squire Boone Caverns, and did some bouldering in Chattanooga, TN. (I actually published SILENT TRIGGER from a mountaintop in Kentucky using one of the few wi-fi spots in the area, Miguels Pizza. The atmosphere in this place was amazing and filled with rock climbers–my daughter loved it!)

Here’s a picture of us on the Natural Bridge Trail in Kentucky:

BJ GraceOkay, now that I’m back home, I’ve been writing again and I’m hoping to have the fourth London Carter book, which is titled BULLET DROP, out before the projected release period of June/July 2017, and the fifth one, ELEVATION, out before September/October 2017. The covers are done (thank you, Christine Savoie of Bayou Cover Designs!) and I’ll reveal those now:

Bullet Drop Cover  Elevation Cover

Alas, I want to alert you awesome followers to two upcoming sales. Firstly, the eBook edition of JAMES 516 will be FREE via Amazon from May 8, 2017 through May 12, 2017. Second, PROVING GROUNDS will be almost half off of its regular price of $3.99, and on sale for $1.99 from May 8, 2017 through May 15, 2017. So, if you haven’t read those yet, that will be a good time to grab a copy.

As always, thanks to all of you who follow my blog post and who read my books. Y’all are the BEST!

bjb

PROVING GROUNDS: A London Carter Mystery (Book 2)

At long last, PROVING GROUNDS: A London Carter Mystery (Book 2) is now available!

London Carter will join forces with Dawn Luke, whom you might remember from the Magnolia Parish Mystery series, to investigate the sniper-style murder of an alligator poacher. While investigators are unsure of the killer’s motive, members of the victim’s family believe a rival clan is responsible for the murder, and the two sides prepare for battle. Will London and Dawn find the murderous sniper and stop the war, or will the swamps of Louisiana run red with the blood of dozens of innocent people?

Click on book cover to purchase your copy from Amazon or to read free on Kindle Unlimited:

Proving-Grounds_ebook

For those interested in my future plans, I will get right to work on the next London Carter book, with an eye toward writing two or three more in that series. Afterward, I’d like to either write the third book in the Magnolia Parish series or write a spin-off of the Clint Wolf series. I’d also like to write a sequel to THE SEVENTH TAKING someday, because I love me some mountains!

In closing, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my books. I am flattered and honored beyond belief that so many of you continue to follow my work. As I often say, writers are nothing without readers, and I’d be nothing without all of you.

My best to all!

bjb

2016 EPIC eBook Awards Winner in Mystery!

I learned yesterday that my debut novel, JAMES 516, was named the 2016 EPIC eBook Awards Winner in the category of Mystery. I can’t express enough how excited and honored I am to receive this award, which has been handed out for nearly two decades, and I’m grateful to all the folks who made it possible.

James516

When I wrote JAMES 516, I wrote what I wanted to read: a mystery novel pitting a police sniper against an evil sniper that involved a deep, dark secret, keen investigative work, and a surprise ending. To date, it was probably the most fun I’ve had writing a book, and it was in large part due to the fact that sniping is one of the activities about which I’m truly passionate–I even have the tattoo to prove it.

Blurb: The Magnolia Parish Sheriff’s Office is on high alert after a deadly sniper begins executing high-ranking cops. Sheriff Burke puts his best sniper, London Carter, and his internal affairs officer, Bethany Riggs, on the case. Pressure mounts and panic sets in as the body count rises and the killer becomes more embolden. London and Bethany find themselves sifting through evidence, lies, and feelings for each other in their quest to stop the deadly attacks. A mysterious note at the crime scenes might offer a clue to the killer’s motive, but will they decipher it before the sheriff’s entire staff is wiped out?

A little history about JAMES 516: I began writing it on August 16, 2010 under the working title, MISTAKE OF FACT, and I wrote 174 words that first day. I completed the first draft, which weighed in at 84,186 words, on November 2, 2010. I worked on the book for a total of sixty days, averaging a little over 1400 words per day. I shopped it to dozens of agents and one publisher until I finally landed a contract with Amber Quill Press, LLC, which was a publisher listed on Mystery Writers of America’s Approved Publisher List. JAMES 516 was originally published on December 7, 2014, but went out of print through AQP on March 30, 2016 when the publisher folded. As soon as the rights reverted to me on March 31, 2016, I re-released JAMES 516 in print and e-book with a new cover and at a much lower price.

Cover for James 516 eBook

An interesting fact about JAMES 516: Several years after I wrote it, a horrible incident occurred in law enforcement that was eerily similar to an event that takes place in JAMES 516. The incident made national news and the freakish similarities between the incident and my book were pretty amazing. I can’t provide any details surrounding the incident, because that would reveal a major plot twist in the book. However, if you read the book and think you’ve figured it out, email me at bjbourg[at]bjbourg[dot]com and share your thoughts. If you’ve read it and didn’t figure it out, email me and I’ll point it out.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

No Father, No Problem

I was three or four when my mom left my biological father. My memories of those early years were surprisingly vivid. I remember my father arguing with my mom and hitting her on a regular basis. I remember throwing marbles and green army men at his back in a feeble attempt to intervene. I remember when he caught me urinating in the neighbor’s garden and slapped me full-force across the face, nearly knocking me off my little feet and leaving my left ear ringing like a gun had exploded near my head.

Me at about 2

Although we were still very poor, things improved when my mom left him. She got a job as a secretary at the elementary school I attended and we lived in a trailer on my grandparents’ property. Food was scarce, new clothes even scarcer, and luxuries such as toys, treats and sodas almost nonexistent.

My mom joined this church that attempted to control every aspect of our lives. We couldn’t go to doctors, or associate with people of other religions, or watch television, etc. When I was in second grade, the preacher started his own school and we all had to enroll. My mom left her job and began working as a monitor for the church’s school, which believed in corporal punishment. When we’d do something wrong, the principal would make us bend over and grab our ankles while he hit us with a large wooden paddle. I often let go of my ankles and grabbed the floor to keep from falling over—that’s how hard he hit us.

My mom made me stay with the principal several times while she attended religious retreats. On one occasion, he made me wash his van, and then beat me because I left streaks. Well, the first three strikes were for leaving the streaks—the next nine strikes were because I refused to cry. And there was the time he and another member of the church tied me up and dunked my head in his toilet repeatedly, because I didn’t use the “correct” language when asking for rolls at dinner, and then I doggedly refused to apologize.

Private School Banquet (Literature Award)

The abuse at the hand of this principal lasted two years. I had just finished fourth grade when the preacher shut down the school and told the parents they had to teach their children at home. My mom got a job as the church’s secretary—the pay was meager—and this allowed her to work from home while “teaching” us.

When I was around twelve, I convinced my mom to let me go to work on a full-time basis, promising to do schoolwork at night. I worked as a carpenter’s helper for a man from her church, and it allowed me to help her pay bills and put food on the table. I didn’t do much schoolwork after that, but I did start reading…a lot. I eventually discovered an author who would change the course of my life forever.

Thirty-one years later, I found myself happily divorced, the father of two amazing children, and in a new relationship with Amanda, a single mom and a psychologist. As Amanda and I got to know each other, we exchanged stories about our lives. She looked at me one day and said, “I’m surprised you’re not messed up.” I laughed it off, but she went on to explain how lots of children would have been scarred from some of my experiences. She said she was surprised I’d been so successful, considering the scant opportunities I’d been afforded and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles I’d faced.

I’d never reflected poorly on my childhood. It hadn’t mattered that the principal beat me, or that we were poor, or that I didn’t have a dad. I’d rolled with those punches and remained a happy kid, growing stronger with each challenge I faced. However, Amanda’s words prompted me to consider my past. Statistically speaking, I’d been destined to fail. My brother, who grew up right beside me, was scarred by our past and had turned to alcohol and drugs to cope, essentially ruining his life. So, then, how was it that I was able to work my way from police cadet to chief investigator? Or develop and command a successful police sniper team? Or become a traditionally published novelist? Or achieve my dream of being a professional boxer? Or publish my own magazine?

Me as Sniper Leader, Pro Boxer, Published Author

As I pondered this, I suddenly realized all of my successes could be directly attributed to one activity: READING. Every time I’d wanted to learn a skill or embark upon a new endeavor, I turned to books to be my guide along the path of knowledge. While I owe a debt of gratitude to the authors of the many instructional books I’ve studied over the years, the one author who has influenced me the most is Louis L’Amour.

My Current Louis L’Amour Collection

I tell everyone who’ll listen that Louis L’Amour raised me. During those impressionable years of my youth, I learned more about real life from his fiction than from anywhere else. I learned how to treat a woman with respect, to persevere even in the bleakest of circumstances, and to be courageous in the face of grave danger. I learned to be loyal to my family and friends, and to “ride for the brand”. I even learned to stand on my own and achieve my goals through hard work and dedication, and to never give up on my dreams.

Later, as a father, I would always encourage my children, Brandon and Grace, to read…a lot. At worst, I knew they might discover an alternative means of entertainment. At best, I knew they might partake in an activity that would enrich their lives and change them for the better (I’ve witnessed the latter). One thing is certain; had I not started reading as a young boy, I would’ve been a statistic—the one that suggests fatherless, uneducated boys who come from poor households almost never succeed in life.

The Five of Us

BJ Bourg is the author of JAMES 516 (Amber Quill Press, 2014), THE SEVENTH TAKING (Amber Quill Press, 2015), BUT NOT FORGOTTEN (Amber Quill Press, 2015), and HOLLOW CRIB (Five Star-Gale-Cengage, 2016).
© 2015 BJ Bourg

Back from “Cops and Authors” Mystery Writers Conference

Amanda and I recently returned from the “Cops and Authors” Mystery Writers Conference that took place at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, LA. I presented “Inside the Mind of a Police Sniper” and Amanda presented “Trauma and PTSD Symptoms”, both designed to assist writers in developing realistic and believable characters in their fiction.

Chris Smith, adult programming manager at the Jefferson Parish Library, invited us to speak at the event. We first met Chris at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, LA back in April, and we were honored to accept his invitation. Chris is a gracious host, and we appreciate him giving us the opportunity to be a part of his conference.

Cops and AuthorsAs for Amanda and me, it was our first time presenting together and we both had tons of fun. We met some great people (most of them writers) and had a wonderful time visiting with them. I’m eternally grateful to everyone who purchased copies of my books. I’m a writer at heart, not a salesperson, and I’m humbled each time someone decides to purchase something I created.

As we often do with writing events for me or running events for Amanda, we made a “staycation” out of the conference. We ordered take-out from P.F. Chang’s and had a picnic in our hotel room. It was nice to have some alone time and get some rest from our grueling home workouts. We even got to sleep in the next morning, waking up at about 7:30 AM.

Thanks to Chris’ invitation, we had a rewarding and fun weekend, and I even got to finally meet O’Neil De Noux, a writer I e-met a hundred years ago (or so it seems) on Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Now, it’s back to work editing BUT NOT FORGOTTEN, which will be published through Amber Quill Press within the next several months. This is the first in a new mystery series for me, where I will introduce tortured lawman Clint Wolf, who has gone from big city homicide detective to small-town police chief after enduring some personal tragedies. I had fun writing this book and I look forward to some feedback. If anyone would like a complimentary copy in exchange for their honest review, please send me a personal message at bjbourg[@]bjbourg.com.

Thanks for visiting and reading!

“Cops and Authors” Mystery Writer’s Conference in Metairie, LA

Cops and Authors!

East Bank Regional Library Hosts Its First Ever Mystery Writing Conference

METAIRIE, LA – “Cops and Authors,” a small mystery writer’s conference featuring three police officers/authors, will occur at 10 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

The meeting is free of charge and is open to the public. Books will be available for sale to those who would like to purchase them.

“Cops and Authors” is designed to provide hands-on, practical information to local mystery and crime writers, but it is also open to anyone who wants to understand more fully the concepts of police procedure.

10 a.m. – “New Orleans as a Partner in Crime”

O’Neil De Noux, Southeastern Louisiana University Police Department Detective, Hammond

Crime writer and crime fighter O’Neil De Noux will open the conference with a presentation titled “New Orleans as a Partner in Crime” that focuses on the mysteries that have occurred in the city, but also explores the city as a character in its own right.

Much of De Noux’s writing is character-driven crime fiction, although he has written in many disciplines including historical fiction, children’s fiction, mainstream fiction, science-fiction, suspense, fantasy, horror, western, literary, religious, romance, humor and erotica.

At the World Mystery Convention in 2007, the Private Eye Writers of America awarded its Shamus Award to De Noux for Best Short Story to “The Heart Has Reasons.” The story features De Noux’s private eye Lucien Caye. De Noux was also the 2009 Derringer Award winner for Best Novella for “Too Wise” – another Lucien Caye private eye mystery. Another De Noux story, “The Bonnie and Clyde Caper” featuring New Orleans Police Homicide Detective John Raven Beau was runner up in the Derringer Award Best Long Story category.

In March 2011, the novel John Raven Beau was published by Big Kiss Productions, which was named 2011 Police Book of the Year by Police-Writers.com, a group of more than 1100 state and local law enforcement officials from state and local law enforcement agencies who have written more than 2500 police books. In January 2012, after six months of intensive research and 18 months of non-stop writing, De Noux published Battle Kiss, a 320,000 word epic of love and war set against the panorama of the Battle of New Orleans.

In 2012, O’Neil De Noux was elected Vice-President of the Private Eye Writers of America.

11:15 a.m., “Cop Culture”

Robert S. Hecker, Police Chief, Harbor Police Department, Deputy Director of Operations, Port of New Orleans

Chief Robert Hecker is on the verge of submitting his debut crime novel to agents. Titled The Accidental Vigilante, the mystery focuses on a young cop who secretly takes the law into his own hands in the hopes of helping keep New Orleans safe. But when his good intentions result in several homicides, he becomes a person of interest to NOPD and a vicious crime ring that wants him and his family dead.

Chief Hecker began his police career in law enforcement with the New Orleans Police Department. During his 28-year career with NOPD, Chief Hecker was awarded three Keys to the City, three Medals of Merit, 14 Letters of Commendation and Supervisor of the Year Award. Chief Hecker rose to the rank of Captain and served as District Commander before retiring in 1995.

Chief Hecker was appointed Police Chief for the Harbor Police Department-Port of New Orleans in October 1995. Under his command is a Uniformed Patrol Force, Marine Division, Police Academy, Detective Division with representatives on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the BEST Task Force. All police officers with the department are fully trained and POST-certified. Chief Hecker also manages the Port’s Emergency Response Firetug Vessel, “The Gen. Roy S. Kelley,” and the team of firefighters who staff the vessel.

12:30 p.m. – “Inside the Mind of a Police Sniper” and “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”

1-2Byear-2BblogB.J. Bourg, patrol cop, detective and SWAT officer
Amanda Bourg, PhD, psychologist

B.J. Bourg will discuss the facts and myths surrounding sniper work, focusing on the type of training necessary to enable a sniper to take a life. Bourg and his wife Amanda, will talk about post-traumatic stress disorder and how to develop believable characters with P.T.S.D.

Bourg is a 25-year veteran of law enforcement and has worked as a patrol cop, detective, police academy instructor, SWAT officer, sniper leader, and chief investigator for a district attorney’s office. He is a former professional boxer and a lifelong martial artist.

More than 185 of his short stories and articles have appeared in magazines such as Woman’s World, Boys’ Life, Tactical Response, and LAW and ORDER. He is also the author of three mystery novels: Hollow Crib, (2016), The Seventh Taking (2015), and James 516 (2014).

Amanda Bourg, PhD, is a psychologist at a rural outpatient clinic for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Louisiana. She received her doctorate degree in counseling psychology from Oklahoma State University and a post-doctorate master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology from Alliant International University. Dr. Bourg has extensive experience treating people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, and one of her research articles was published in the 2006 Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, manager of adult programming for the library, at (504) 889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.

In accordance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Jefferson Parish shall not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities. Library patrons that require auxiliary aids or devices or other reasonable accommodation under the ADA should submit requests to the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours in advance or as soon as possible. A 72-hour notice is needed to request Certified ASL interpreters. ADA Coordinator / Office of Citizens with Disabilities, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 210 Jefferson, LA 70123; (504) 736-6086; ADA@jeffparish.net

The Jefferson Parish Library system consists of 16 locations that stretch from the Lakeshore Branch on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain to the Grand Isle Branch just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. The library system consists of two large regional libraries and seven branches on each side of the Mississippi River. The East Bank Regional Library (4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie) serves as library headquarters. For more information, contact the library at (504) 838-1100.

American Canine Sniper

While the rest of the world’s population is training their dogs to sit and fetch, I’m teaching mine to be a sniper like his daddy. In order to be effective as a sniper and to stay safe, you have to remain unseen. Thus, the first thing I’m teaching my American Canine Sniper is to be invisible. See for yourself:

Next, I’ll teach him how to shoot my sniper rifle…

Thanks for reading!

BJ Bourg is the author of JAMES 516 (Amber Quill Press, 2014), THE SEVENTH TAKING (Amber Quill Press, 2015), and HOLLOW CRIB (Five Star-Gale-Cengage, 2016).
 
© 2015 BJ Bourg