Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Jean Henry Mead


Jean Henry Mead writes mystery/suspense and historical novels. She’s also an award-winning photojournalist, former news reporter and editor. Her first book was published in 1982, and she now has 14 published, both novels and nonfiction. She writes two mystery series, the Logan & Cafferty mystery novels, and the Hamilton Kids’ mysteries. Her new releases are Murder on the Interstate, which features senior sleuths, and Mystery of Spider Mountain, an autobiographical children’s story.

Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty are feisty 60-year-olds, a mystery novel buff and private investigator’s widow, who sell their homes in a San Joaquin Valley retirement village to travel the country in a motorhome. Along the way they manage to stumble over dead bodies. In their latest adventure, they discover a beautiful young woman shot to death in her Mercedes convertible. When the killer returns to disable their RV, a woman trucker comes to their rescue. They chase after the killer in the produce truck to get his license number and later discover that the killer is stalking them. 

While investigating the young woman’s death they encounter sulfuric acid spills as well as other terrorist activities. Dana Logan then calls in her journalist daughter to help in the investigation. When they compare notes they discover that Kerrie is also investigating the case for a story she’s writing for her news magazine in Denver. Kerrie later meets a handsome FBI agent who’s on the case and falls in love not long before the three women are kidnapped by terrorists.

Mead did considerable research about homegrown terrorists and those sneaking across the border with Mexican nationals. She also researched chemical spills that take place south of Phoenix, the kidnap capital of the nation where an average five murders are committed every week. She came up with the idea for the novel while driving her 36-foot motorhome along mountainous 1-40 in northern Arizona, the setting of the first murder. Along the way she listened to truckers on their CV radios, so the dialogue is both authentic and humorous.

At the other end of the literary spectrum, her first children’s book, Mystery of Spider Mountain, is autobiographical in that it takes place in Los Angeles, where the author grew up at the foot of a huge hill  she and her four brothers called Spider Mountain. It was inhabited by trapdoor spiders and tarantulas that arrived from Central America on banana boats. At the top of the hill was a mysterious house with four vicious dogs. When the Hamilton kids climbed “Spider Mountain” to investigate, It changed their lives forever. The second novel in the series is the Ghost of Crimson Dawn, which will be released later this year.

About the author ~  

Jean Henry Mead is a mystery/suspense and western historical novelist. She’s also an award-winning photojournalist. One of her fortes is interviewing writers, actors, politicians, artists and ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things. She began her writing career as a California news reporter/editor/photographer, first in Central California and later in San Diego. Mead then transferred to Casper, Wyoming, to serve as a staff writer for the statewide newspaper. While there she served as editor of In Wyoming Magazine and two small presses. She also freelanced for other magazines, both domestically and abroad, among them the Denver Post’s Empire Magazine. Her first book was published in 1981. She’s since published thirteen novels and nonfiction books.

She currently writes the Hamilton Kids children’s mystery series as well as the Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series. Her latest release in the Logan & Cafferty series is Murder on the Interstate.

Visit Jean at her website

And her blog sites:

Her latest book ~ 

Murder on the Interstate ~ A Logan & Cafferty Mystery

While traveling a northern Arizona highway, Senior Sleuths Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty watch in horror as a pick up truck chases a Mercedes convertible past their motorhome, ultimately forcing the car off the roadway and into a ravine. Dana applies the brakes and pulls over to offer aid. She discovers the body of a beautiful young woman in the Mercedes when gunshots ring out. Stunned, she and Sarah realize they're the targets! The bullets disable their motorhome and a long-haul driver comes to their rescue, giving them a lift into Flagstaff, where they can arrange for repairs to their RV. The idea of resuming their trip home is back-burnered, however, when the first person they spot at the truckstop is their shooter. Coincidence? Dana thinks not. Quickly, the women scheme to turn the tables on the woman's killer, and the chase is on... Sometimes hunters, sometimes the hunted, Dana and Sarah delve into the shooter s identity and activities. They find more than a few surprises, and soon realize they have stumbled into a plot that not only endangers them, but puts national security in the crosshairs. 

Read an excerpt ~ 
Lulled by a lack of traffic and the steady beat of rain, Dana was in danger of nodding off when a convertible roared past, followed by a late model pickup. The heavy downpour obscured her view, but they appeared to be coupled like boxcars. Why were they driving that dangerously close, and why so fast in the rain?
An I-40 highway sign signaled an approaching curve so she clicked off the cruise control and slowed to forty-five. Taillights had vanished and she glanced in both side mirrors. The earlier truck traffic had also disappeared and no headlights were visible in either direction. Darkness was closing in on her.
Sarah groaned from the passenger seat, apparently still asleep. Must be the anchovies. Her friend had insisted on stopping for pizza at a Kingman roadside cafe. Dana groped for the Tums. As she rounded the curve, she noticed two sets of brake lights not far ahead. The motorhome swayed as she stepped into her own brakes and skidded on the pavement. Road signs had warned of animal crossings. The convertible might have swerved to avoid hitting a deer and gone off the mountain road. Dana pulled onto the shoulder as the pickup following the convertible screeched back on the pavement. Why hadn’t the driver stopped to help?
Bolting upright in the passenger seat, Sarah said, “What’s happening?” Her voice was thick with sleep.
“We’re about to find out.”
Headlights angled upward from somewhere off the road, illuminating a huge digger pine. It had to be the convertible. Dana opened her door and climbed down. The steps were slick with rain and she nearly lost her balance. She heard the passenger door slam as she started down the embankment. Chilled and miserably wet, she slipped and landed in a bed of pine needles. Why hadn’t she grabbed the flashlight? Dana glanced up at her friend, who stood shivering on the shoulder. “Sarah,” she yelled, “Call 911 and hurry.”
The smell of gasoline was strong, despite the heavy rain. The convertible had missed several pine trees but a boulder had stopped its forward motion. Both doors were locked. Peering through the driver’s window, she could see nothing more than shattered glass, a dime-sized hole centering the web design. She then heard several backfires and a ping of metal as though the convertible had been struck by a rock. Realizing it was a gunshot, she dropped to her knees in the mud.
Slipping and clawing her way up the slope, she crawled onto the shoulder. A pickup was parked behind the RV. The driver had a nervous foot. A moment later another set of headlights emerged from the curve down the road. Tires squealed as the pickup roared off. As it passed, the RV’s headlights caught a dark red truck, which appeared to be a newer model. When Dana glanced in the passenger window, Sarah was crouched between the seats, the cell phone clutched in her hand. She took her time unlocking the passenger door.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m not sure.” Sarah patted her chest, breathing heavily.
“What happened?”
“He shot up the motorhome.”
“Did he shoot at you?”
“I don’t think he saw me. He only seemed interested in wounding Matilda.”
Dana hated the name Sarah had christened the RV, but that was the least of her worries. Grabbing a flashlight, she climbed back down the steps. A quick inspection revealed inside tires still inflated but the outer ones in the back were flat. She heard an engine shift down and was caught in the glare of headlights. Signaling with her flashlight, she was relieved when the big truck slowed and pulled in behind the motorhome. The driver seemed to be endlessly checking gauges before descending from the cab. Once on the ground, a warm, plump hand gripped hers in greeting.
“The name’s McCurdy,” the husky voice said. ”Everybody calls me Big Ruby.”
At nearly six feet, she was Dana’s height although nearly twice her girth.

Check out Jean on the rest of her tour ~ 

May 23rd
Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Guest blogging at Straight from Hel
Book reviewed and guest blogging at Sheila Deeth’s Visit My Refracted Muse
May 24th
Book reviewed at MysteriesEtc
Book reviewed at Another Draught
May 25th
Book reviewed at Marilyn’s Musings
Guest blogging at Acme Authors Link
May 26th
Book reviewed at Reviews by Molly
Book reviewed by June Shaw at Pump Up Your Book!
May 27th
Guest blogging at Murder By 4
Book reviewed by Earl Staggs at Pump Up Your Book!
Guest blogging at Monoblog
Guest blogging at Dog Blog