Friday, March 27, 2020

Blog Tour: Venom! by Thomas A. Burns, Jr. #blogtour #mystery #interview #giveaway #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @3Mdetective

Publisher: Tekrighter, LLC
Date Published: 1 March, 2020

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A spooky mansion in the Georgia mountains with an outrageous cast of characters. Spiders, snakes, meth-heads and serial killers, oh my! Venom! ain’t your average gothic mystery, folks.

But who would expect it to be when Natalie McMasters is involved? She’s fallen madly in love with two people—her wife, Lupe, and Danny, her partner at the 3M Detective Agency. Rather than choose one of them as her life partner, she’s decided to have them both, and roped them into a relationship retreat in rural Georgia to learn how to live as a polyamorous family.

But Nattie finds more than she bargained for in the sleepy town of Greypeak. A methamphetamine operation. A snake-handling preacher. A retired FBI agent hunting a serial killer. And a charismatic psychologist who just might have his own agenda for his clients.

Nattie ultimately finds herself in the most dangerous situation she’s ever faced, which may well solve her relationship problems by costing her life. Is this really the last book in the Natalie McMasters series?


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

The underlying message in Venom! is that Love is Love. It doesn’t come in different flavors. No one has the right to judge another in regard to whom they love, or how they choose to express that love. Love is simply the most important facet of human life.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 I like complex, interwoven plots, and it’s very challenging to weave all of the threads together into a coherent whole. I also love plot twists, but they must be logical—I don’t want the reader to see the twist coming, but after it happens, I do want the reader to agree that the outcome was logical. That means that I must create multiple resolutions for all of my subplots, pick the one I find most appealing, then review everything that’s gone before to ensure that the narrative supports that conclusion.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I have written five books, published four, and am working on a sixth. Of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, my favorite is Trafficked!, because it is set in New York City. I went to high school in Manhattan and grew to love the city. Writing Trafficked! was a virtual vacation in New York City for me, where Nattie go to do many things that I wish I had done while I was there.

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I’d have to choose Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper in the CW’s hit show Riverdale. Lili looks a lot like Nattie and is about the right age. The way she plays Betty in Riverdale reminds me of Nattie—she’s inquisitive, feisty and doesn’t always make the best choices, but she lives with the choices she makes and doesn’t try to blame others when things don’t work out so well. She’s also courageous and intensely loyal to her friends—courage and loyalty are perhaps Nattie’s most outstanding character traits. Lili, if you’re reading this, how about it?

When did you begin writing?

I began writing as a kid, probably at seven or eight years old. I tried to create stories about my fave characters from books and TV. I wrote a couple novella length Man From U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copy books and a story about a hero who was a combination of Doc Savage and Jonny Quest.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

I wrote the first Natalie McMasters short story, Stakeout!, in about a week. I tried to sell it to the mystery mags, but it was probably too sexy and too violent for them, I wrote another short story, Stripper!, chronicling events that occurred shortly after Stakeout! took another couple of weeks, and guess what?—it didn’t sell, either. So I turned it into the novel, novel, Stripper! in about six months. I spent a year chasing agents before I realized that my work was just too far out there for mainstream publishing to take a gamble, so I decided to independently publish Stripper! with KDP. That was the best decision of my writing life. I haven’t looked back since.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

As a kid, I read all of the great storytellers—Edgar Rice Burroughs, Louis L’Amour, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lester Dent and Harold L. Goodwin. It was these guys who instilled a love of writing in me.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?


Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Outrageous, spooky, terrifying, romantic.

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

Venom! is the culmination of a story that’s been building since Stripper! It’s about Nattie’s discovery and acceptance of her sexuality, and her decision not to live by other people’s rules. Of course, my primary objective in any Natalie McMasters book is to provide my reader with an intriguing, thrilling and sexy mystery, and I’m sure you’ll find that Venom! delivers that in spades. I’ve also incorporated some horror elements into the story, which is in keeping with the dark, spooky atmosphere.

About the Author

Thomas A. Burns, Jr. is the author of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. He currently resides in Wendell, North Carolina. As a kid, Tom started reading mysteries with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, and graduated to the classic stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, starting with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Now that he's truly on his own as a novelist, he's excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as to contribute stories about his second most favorite detective to the MX anthology of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.

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Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting!

James Robert said...

Your book sounds great and I'm glad I got to learn about it. Thank you!

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