Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zavo Gives the Inside Scoop on Detective Derrick Steele #GBT

Debbie: Good Afternoon, all! Today we are in Los Angeles at Duggan’s, a local bar, meeting with ZAVO, author of The Case of the Rising Star: A Derrick Steele Mystery.

LJ: Well, here we are!

Debbie: Ummm…yes, we certainly are here. Wanna tell me why we are the only two women and the guys don’t even seem to notice us?

LJ: Hey, I showered. Used deodorant, even. (sniffs armpits) Nope, it’s not me. Must be you!

Debbie: Me? Ummm, I don’t think so, missy!

LJ: Then why are we being ignor— Oh, wait. Okay, I get it.

Debbie: Mmm, mmm, mmm. I know you haven’t led a sheltered life.

LJ: Look. Zavo just came in the bar.

DEBBIE: Oh, hey, Zavo. Great to finally meet you!

LJ: Yes, great to meet with you. Tell us a little about The Case of the Rising Star: A Derrick Steele Mystery. The premise sounds really interesting.

ZAVO: Derrick Steele is a hard-drinking, lusty private detective working in his family’s business, Steele Investigations. He is still dealing with the trauma of his last case — a kidnapping that almost ended his life — in addition to his numerous other personal demons. However, things quickly begin to further unravel when he meets handsome movie star Gordon Maxwell. Gordon is receiving death threats because of his current role. Soon after taking on Gordon’s case, a secret from family patriarch Trenton Steele’s past threatens the entire family. At the same time Derrick’s relationship with Daniel McAllister begins to unravel as pieces of Daniel’s past begin to surface, things Danielle has kept well hidden. As the attempts on Gordon’s life escalate, Derrick finds himself further drawn to the charismatic young actor. Can Derrick solve the Case of the Rising Star before Gordon becomes the final victim?

DEBBIE: Sounds juicy!!

LJ: Yes it does. Tell us more! Describe Derrick Steele in three words.

ZAVO: Horny bourbon drinker

LJ: Well, there ya go. Three very descriptive words that paint a clear picture.

DEBBIE: LMFAO!!!!! That they do!

LJ: So, knowing Derrick is a horny bourbon drinker, what would you say is his greatest weakness?

ZAVO: This would be a tie between bourbon and male hustlers.

LJ: LOL Guess “horny” and “bourbon” kinda gave that away!

DEBBIE: You walked right into that one, LJ!

LJ: Pft. (elbows Deb) Okay, then. Let’s try to dig a little deeper. How did Derrick become a detective?

ZAVO: Derrick had been expelled from numerous colleges. After his last one, his parents refused to pay for any further educational endeavors. Derrick’s father, Trenton, told him that he needed to work in one of the family businesses and get his act together. Having already successfully worked part-time for Steele Investigations between colleges, it seemed the logical choice for Derrick as a potential career. Although still considered a “wild child,” Derrick quickly proved to have a “nose for the detective business.”

DEBBIE: Ouch! Cut off from all those cute college, um, studs. LOL

LJ: I know! Gives new meaning to study session.

DEBBIE: Poor guy. Although sounds like college was more of a vacation than studying.

LJ: If Derrick could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would he go and why?

ZAVO: Las Vegas, baby. Where else but Sin City for our hard-drinking party boy?

LJ: Yes! And what goes on in Vegas….

DEBBIE: I went to Vegas once. Unfortunately, I, being the responsible one, didn’t get the full effect of the city, lol.

LJ: You, responsible? HAHAHAAAA

DEBBIE: I’ll have you know I am very responsible when I have to be!

LJ: Riiiiight.

DEBBIE: Hmph. Zavo, what is Derrick’s favorite color and why?

ZAVO: Green. It’s the color of reefer and money, two of Derrick’s favorite guilty pleasures.

DEBBIE: Gosh, Derrick is turning out to be quite the bad boy!

LJ: Yes he is! Okay, so we’ve learned a bit about Derrick and his naughty ways. Let’s move on to the dashing movie star, Gordon Maxwell. Describe him in three words.

ZAVO: Young. Handsome. Charismatic.

DEBBIE: LOL, well there’s a step-up from horny bourbon drinker!

LJ: Well, I’m sure he has some, um…short comings. J

DEBBIE: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Tell that to him and see what you get for a response. So tell us, where did Gordon grow up?

ZAVO: Sawyer, Louisiana

LJ: Nice.

DEBBIE: I love Louisiana! New Orleans in particular!!

LJ: And I’m sure you were the responsible one there, too….

DEBBIE: I said when I had to be.

LJ: And I’m wondering how often that happens. So, Zavo. I’m curious. Gordon grew up in Louisiana, so it’s not like there are directors or film crews on every corner. How did he become a movie star?

The Hollywood Sign as it appeared in 2009
ZAVO: He packed a suitcase with a few belongings and bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. Once there, he haunted the major movie studios till a, shall we say, sympathetic director took him under his wing and gave him a job as his assistant. Like many other Hollywood hopefuls, Gordon was willing to do what was necessary to get his first big break. The assistant position led to small roles and ultimately his big break in The Lawless Trail.

LJ: Starry-eyed kid hits it big time! Which fits right in with all the other hopefuls who have traveled to L.A., hoping for a break. Nice!

DEBBIE: Hmm, LJ? Don’t you know a little bit about starry-eyed hopefuls?

LJ: A little. Though I never made it to L.A. L But I do think all that experience helps with our stories. Especially that paranormal one we’ve got out—

DEBBIE: (smacks LJ upside the head) Shh! Not yet.

LJ: Okay, okay! Sheesh! You didn’t have to smack me. You’re messing up my hair.

DEBBIE: (rolls eyes) Yeah, okay….

LJ: Hey, look. I think that guy over there is crushing on your blouse.

DEBBIE: Thrift store special! It does look good on me though, doesn’t it?

LJ: Really? I never would’ve guessed. See, you can find some really great bargains if you just shop around. You’ll have to take me with you next time!

DEBBIE: Sure! So, Zavo, what is Gordon’s favorite movie ever that he starred in? What role did he play?

ZAVO: The Lawless Trail. It was his first major role, for which he won a Best Actor Oscar. It also launched his career. His role in that movie is not described in the novel.

DEBBIE: Secrets, secrets, secrets!

LJ: Secrets are goooood. Keeps the reader turning pages.

DEBBIE: My God! What is that noise?

LJ: I’m hungry. My stomach’s growling.

DEBBIE: OMG! I thought we were having an earthquake!

LJ: Hey, I didn’t get any breakfast because I wanted to fit into my skinny jeans. (looks around) Not that it matters. How about pancakes after the interview?

DEBBIE: We are in L.A., LJ. There must be some kind of local special. Besides, Kevin makes me pancakes, and his are the best!

LJ: Really? (nods) So you’re hogging ‘em all to yourself.

DEBBIE: I don’t share!

LJ: So, Zavo, what is Gordon’s favorite meal and why?

ZAVO: Jambalaya. It reminds him of home.

LJ: I’ve actually never had that, but it looks tempting.

DEBBIE: I’ve had it in New Orleans. Yummy. Plus my son-in-law makes a yummy gumbo. Hmmm, I’m getting a tad hungry myself!

LJ: How ‘bout a huge stack of butter and syrup laden flapjacks?

DEBBIE: Hmmm, I want a big, thick, juicy hamburger! With garlic, cheesy fries please.

LJ: Mmm…OMG! Yes! Yes! (slaps table, throws head back) Yes! OH, YES!

DEBBIE: (slinks down in chair) Uh, LJ??? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING???? That was a pretty bad Harry Met Sally imitation. You were faking, right? Please tell me you were faking.

LJ: Hey, I’ve never had any complaints. Like you could do better? Ahem. Spill, Zavo. What is your favorite thing about being an Author?

ZAVO: I love to create compelling characters and share their stories as they encounter love, loss, and all the other struggles life throws at us. I get to watch them grow into whatever person I wish them to be.

DEBBIE: I find that more often than not, it’s the characters telling me what they will become.

LJ: Yeah. And sometimes they aren’t anything like you thought they’d be. Like your fav guy Elliot from Sins of the Mind. Has he called you lately?

DEBBIE: (slaps LJ’s hand) What are you doing?

LJ: Just having a snack to tide me over.

DEBBIE: Don’t eat that. You have no idea where those nuts have been!

LJ: But I’m hungry.

DEBBIE: Fine. But I’m not taking you to the ER when you need your stomach pumped.

LJ: Stomach pumped? (sets hands in lap) So, you never answered. Has Elliot called?

DEBBIE: NO, Elliot hasn’t called me. He’s a character formed in your warped imagination, and if you don’t behave he won’t be in the next Red River book! Now, we do have a guest here.

LJ: Oh, he’ll be in there all right. (grins mischievously) Zavo, your Bio states you live in Washington State. I’ve never been there, but always wanted to go. What are the three best things about Washington?
The Adirondacks

1. I am two hours from the beach and the mountains.
2. It only snows one or twice a year.
3. It reminds me of home.

LJ: Yeah, I really want to go. Hey, Deb, maybe we can schedule an interview up that way sometime?? 
The Adirondacks
DEBBIE: What way?

LJ: Washington State. (elbows Deb) And stop eyeing that guy’s belt. It so clashes with what you’ve got going on.

DEBBIE: I wasn’t eyeing his belt.

LJ: What? (twists around in chair) OMG

DEBBIE: Zavo, how does it compare to the Adirondacks where you grew up?

ZAVO: Like the Adirondacks, it’s heavily wooded, and there are numerous opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with hiking, camping and fishing. I live in a small town that houses a large paper mill, similar to the textile mills and quarries where I grew up. One major difference is that I live in the vicinity of two volcanoes, Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood. Thankfully, both are dormant at the moment.

LJ: Okay, I’m totally sold. And now I want to visit the Adirondacks, too.

DEBBIE: The Adirondacks are awesome!!

LJ: Most authors have a hard time with promotion. Does your marketing and library background help you in writing and promotion of your books?

ZAVO: Working at the library helps keep my creative juices flowing as I see the number of new books being released, and many different subject matters. My marketing background has enabled me to promote my books via the unlimited social media tools available today. What helped me most with my writing career was my position at a local public relations firm. There I worked with a group of copy-editors (each with external artistic endeavors) where I absorbed their knowledge of copyediting, grammar and good old-fashioned storytelling.

LJ: Very cool. You can’t pay for that kind of one-on-one experience.

DEBBIE: Well, ya could.

LJ: Well yes, you could. But why would he when he could get it for free? (sigh) Never mind. (turns to Zavo) Any works in progress?

ZAVO: The long-awaited sequel to Hot on His Trail, and an as-yet-unnamed Pirate Story

LJ: Ooo, Pirates! Too fun!

DEBBIE: We should do a Pirate story too. Ahoy matey and all that, lol.

LJ: YES! Argggh! Ye’ll be walkin’ the plank and sinking to the stony lonesome.

Boxers or briefs: Briefs
Beach or mountains: Beach
Steak and lobster or burgers and fries: Burgers and fries
Beer or wine: Beer
Soft serve or hard pack: Hard pack
Cat or dog: Cat
A day at the lake or a day in the city: A day at the lake
Favorite dessert: Strawberry rhubarb pie
Favorite color: Green
Last book you read: On Writing by Stephen King
Last thing you ate: Turkey and cheddar sandwich with avocado


You’re hiking through the mountains of Peru, searching for the much sought after golden monkey eyetooth. You come to the clearing where you believe the ancient Moon Monkey Monks used to live. But you find another team has already beaten you there. A randy band of scavengers all stare up at what the leader holds in his hands. The golden tooth glints in the sunlight. Drat, he’s found your prize! The leader has a .9mm pistol tucked in his waistband. His two cohorts hold machetes. You dig in your backpack and come up with a ball of twine, a tube of sunscreen, a towel, and a well-used toothbrush. What do you do?

ZAVO: Run like hell and live to fight another day!

DEBBIE: HAHAHAHA. Could work, maybe.

LJ: Welp, guess that means you survived. LOL

DEBBIE: Thanks for telling us all about The Case of the Rising Star: A Derrick Steele Mystery.

LJ: Yes, thanks so much for speaking with us, Zavo. Hope you have tons of sales!

Debbie: Let’s ride!

LJ: I’m still hungry.

Debbie: I’m afraid to take you for a burger after that show you just put on in there. And by the way, I don’t HAVE to fake it!

LJ: Faking? Who said anything about faking? LOL

Debbie: Can you behave?

LJ: Maybe. No promises. Tell me meat and buns don’t get you going, and I’ll buy lunch.

Debbie: I have all the meat and buns I can handle at home, thank you!

LJ: I hear ya! I love a good burger hot of the grill. Wait. What are you talking about?

Debbie: (Blinks innocently) Hamburgers.

LJ: Guess that means you’re buying, then.

Debbie: Now, stay on task here and lets go find some food with a local flare.

LJ: Sounds good.

Debbie: (Puts arm out) Holy crap! Get back inside the bar!

LJ: What?

Debbie: I just spotted the hooded dude! Do you have a tracking device on you or something?

LJ: Nope. Just my cell phone.

Debbie: How the heck does he always find us?

LJ: Well, he did call that one time to apologize. Said we should sit down and discuss things over coffee.

Debbie: (smacks forehead) Are you kidding me? (smacks LJ’s head) Get back in here, you and I seriously need to talk about creepy, stalker, death guy etiquette!

LJ: What? It was just coffee!

Debbie: Grrrr…..
The Case of the Rising Star

A Derrick Steele Mystery

By: Zavo

A young and famous movie star is receiving death threats, and Derrick is on the case. Without warning, Warren O’Malley, Derrick’s long-forgotten half-brother, arrives in Los Angeles, bringing with him his two formidable younger brothers. The trio is determined to claim their rightful place in the Steele family, or destroy them in the process. With Warren’s arrival comes a dark secret from Daniel McAllister’s past, one that Daniel is unwilling to reveal. As the tension between Derrick and Daniel begins to unravel their relationship, it also begins to threaten the detective agency itself. When Derrick realizes he is falling in love with the young movie star, he faces a heartbreaking decision. Will Derrick be able to save the young star in time? Can the Steeles pull together as a family to stave off this new series of threats? Will this be the end of the famous Steele Detective Agency?

Genre: GBT, Crime/Mystery
Page count – 216
Published By: Bold Strokes Books


....I had just stepped out of the office and was turning to lock the door when I saw the flash of a person out of the corner of my eye. I started turning in that direction, reaching for my Walther at the same time, when I felt a blinding pain behind my left ear. Several smells assaulted me at once when I came to: fish, salt, my own sweat, and the unmistakable odor of blood. I was guessing it was my own. At first I thought I was in a dark room, but as my senses struggled to return to normal, I realized I was blinded by some soft, silky material, most likely a scarf. I was also naked and sitting in a chair, my arms bound securely behind me. I could feel the coolness of the wooden seat against my balls. Starting with my head, I began moving my body to determine the extent of my injuries. My examination revealed the expected tenderness behind my left ear, and the fact my legs were bound as well. I ceased my struggles and listened intently, straining to pick up any telltale sounds that could help identify my location. Complete silence engulfed me, as if I was in an underground tomb. My heart began racing in my chest. Had I been left here to starve to death or, worse, perhaps eaten alive by rats? A sudden, slight noise took my mind away from such dire thoughts. It was the creak from an unoiled door being opened. A wisp of air passed over me, seeming to confirm my theory. The sound of footsteps drew near and I caught the faint scent of a man’s cologne, one that seemed oddly familiar. He stopped directly in front of me. He didn’t speak, but I could hear him breathing.
....“Hello, Derrick Steele.”


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