Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Savage Payback, Book 3 in the Jack Calder Crime Series,” by Author, @Seumas Gallacher

…when a generous review comes at yeez out of the blue, covering one of yer own wee crime thriller babies, SAVAGE PAYBACK , it makes yer whole day as a writer… many thanks to m’Lady, Colleen Chesebro for the attached…

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

  • Title:  SAVAGE PAYBACK (Jack Calder Crime Series #3)
  • Author: Seumas Gallacher a GoodReads Author
  • File Size: 803 KB
  • Print Length: 300 Pages
  • Publisher: SGC PUBLISHING
  • Publication Date: October 18, 2013
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G00GZEO
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Crime Fiction, Murder, Heist


“A series of coordinated lethal bomb attacks on a dozen jewelry stores in London’s West End drag former SAS officer, Jack Calder and his specialist security firm, International Security Partners, into a deadly mesh of murder and international drug running.

A black ops explosives expert, an ex-colleague turned renegade mercenary with a twisted lust for revenge, emerges from the past to join forces with a powerful and dangerous drug baron from Eastern Europe.

A major cocaine trafficker from South America compounds the threats as competitive turf issues straddle international territories.


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…Author pal, Don Massenzio shows how fact and fiction so often intertwine…

…here’s a superb insight to the kinda thinking and research that goes into the backstory of many great authors’ books… my pal, Author Don Massenzio traces it for yeez in this excellent Guest Post… enjoy..

On July 2nd of 1918, tragedy struck the hamlet of Split Rock, New York. This site was established as a limestone quarry in 1834. In 1880, quarry operations were expanded to deliver limestone used for the processing by way of a remarkable elevated conveyor about two miles long to the industrial plant at Solvay, New York. The quarry was abandoned about 1912. In 1915, during World War I, Split Rock became the site of a munitions factory.

Photo Credit

The plant employed about 2500 people when it exploded on July 2, 1918, killing 65 and injuring 75 more. The explosion occurred when a mixing motor in the main TNT building overheated. The fire rapidly spread through the wooden structure of the main factory. Firefighting efforts were hampered by a loss of water pressure, and the factory eventually exploded. Approximately 1-3 tons of TNT were involved in the blast, which leveled the structure.

Photo Credit:

I used this story and expanded on it for my book, Blood Orange. I wanted to write a terrorism thriller based on an actual historical event that occurred near the city where I grew up.

The 1918 explosion was devastating to the spirit of the city for some time to come.

My book, Blood Orange, takes this true event and enhances it placing a fictional secret military facility under the munitions plant where very early nuclear and radioactivity research was being conducted. Rather than rescue the scientists that were present in the underground facility, the government at the time chose to deny the existence of such a facility and leave the men and women working there to perish. The radioactive material is later discovered and ends up in the hands of the book’s antagonist and his evil organization.

What I set out to do was draw a parallel between the devastating effect of the Split Rock explosion on the city with a modern-day terrorist attack on a soft target, The Carrier Dome. The Dome is a venerable landmark in Syracuse and is a Mecca of college basketball often setting records for attendance.

Carrier Dome Roof Exterior Summer

Photo Credit:

It was both enjoyable and challenging to write a book with roots in a historical event. It required a good deal of research. I kept waiting for black helicopters to descend on my house as I researched radioactive materials and explosives concepts.

In Blood Orange, I introduce a protagonist, Commander Brad Rafferty of the U.S. Navy, who is involved in nuclear inspections in the Middle East. He and his team are called in to investigate a devastating explosion and radioactive contamination of the structure that takes place during the national championship college basketball game with over 50,000 fans in attendance.

This book was about taking an event that took the breath out of a city and connecting it to a modern day event that had the same effect. Just like in 1918, there are significant casualties and, while the original event was tied to an accident, the mourning and aftermath of each event are similar as I describe them.

If you’re interested in reading Blood Orange, you can click on this LINK,

A Delay in the Release:

One interesting note about this book is that it was originally set to launch on November 13, 2015. You might recall that this was the day of the Paris terrorist attacks. I remember sitting at dinner and my editor texted me and said, “Have you seen the news? You might want to delay the release of Blood Orange.”

Sure enough, the commonalities between the book and the actual event were too close for comfort. I stopped the publication of the book and did not release it until January, 2016. I wrote a long and painful blog about my decision and, in the end, this book ended up being my best selling effort to date.

A Sequel:

I’m currently finishing up a sequel to Blood Orange, with the working title of Blood Match. Again, there is a terrorist element, but the plot is quite different and I’m very excited about how it’s shaping up.

A Bit About Me:

I was born in Syracuse, New York to first generation Italian American parents. I’m an avid reader. Some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, John Grisham, and Hugh Howey. My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.

I started writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate life. I use writing as a therapeutic outlet to combat my homesickness.

I moved to Jacksonville, Florida 22 years ago where I currently live with my wife, daughter, and three dogs.

My Other Books:

Frankly Speaking – Purchase LINK

Let Me Be Frank – Purchase LINK

Frank Incensed – Purchase LINK

Frankly My Dear – Purchase LINK

Frank Immersed – Purchase LINK

Random Tales – Purchase LINK

Connect with Me:

Amazon Author Page: (Universal Amazon Link)

Facebook Author Page:


My Web Site:

My Youtube Channel (Book Trailers):

…many thanks, that man, Don… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…ssshhhh… the NON-secret of Author online self-promotion…

…as much as we storytellers dabble in fiction, fantasy and folklore, finding the elusive silver bullet that drives our masterpieces to the top of the bestseller lists is unlikely to be appear under our pillow like some equivalent of the tooth fairy’s offerings… for almost a decade now (my, how time flies when ye’re enjoying yerself, eh, Mabel?), I’ve derived more pleasure than ever I could have imagined by becoming a writer… Lady Luck has bestowed her blessings liberally in the sales/downloads column, aggregating more than 100,ooo copies across all my Jack Calder crime thriller titles, and my wee guide to using the SOSYAL NETWORKS as a scribbler, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES

…I’m often asked what’s the secret to the marketing and promotion WURK that goes into being a modern scribe… okay, I’ll spill the beans… ssshhhh… there is NO secret... but for what it’s worth, here are a few pointers that have helped this ol’ Scots Jurassic along the way…

  1. DON’T SPAM...
  2. Communicate regularly with the WURLD at large… that’s where yer readers and supporters abide…
  3. Select a few channels to touch base with yer readers (and only a few, coz yeez only have one brain and one pair of hands with limited hours in the day)… for me they include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Pocket
  4. Link these to a REGULAR blog… choose the frequency of writing yer blog that yer time permits sensibly (what, me, sensibly!??… heaven forfend!)
  5. DON’T SPAM…
  6. Host Guest Posts and provide Guest Posts on other outlets, writers or not…
  7. Help other authors… people were so generous to me when I started out, without which help I doubt if I would have seen a fraction of the success…
  8. By all means show yer books in posts and reader groups, but be sure to reciprocate by hosting others…
  9. If yeez use Auntie Amazon, indulge the free promo mechanisms… the books downloaded that way cost yeez NUTHIN in real terms, but generally become catalysts for cash sales, especially if there’s a back list available of yer tomes…
  10. DON’T SPAM

…and it’s perfectly in order to present yer books as part of yer blogs, but remember to attach buying links for good folks who may be interested, to allow them easy access to yer titles, thus:








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TWIST – Horrific History of Scottish Witch-hunts in Paint and Verse

…another excellent fusion of the art of Pauline McGee and the poetry of my pal, Mac Logan… enjoy! 🙂


Mac Logan

TWIST – horror of historic Scottish witch-hunts

Those convicted were almost always strangled at the stake and then their dead body was burned. We have records of 141 sentences specifying an execution method; 120 were for strangling and burning. Of the 17 sentenced simply to burning, many may have been strangled first—though a very small number are known to have been burned alive. In the sentences of beheading (3) and hanging (1), crimes other than witchcraft were also involved.Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, School of History and Classics, Edinburgh University

Twist by Pauline McGee

© Pauline McGee

Pauline and I share a distinctive collaboration. The painting portrays victims of the Scottish witch-finding times and the abuse of the accused. A poet absorbs the image and reacts. The big word is Ekphrasis, we call it #fuse-the-muse.

If you want to hear the poem, read by Mac Logan, you’ll find a link below.

Comments most welcome.


Slim hands…

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…whatever yeez do, yeez mess with these ladies at yer peril!

…I’m wearing a huge smile this week after receiving the contents of the marvellous Guest Blog post below… my web pal, the redoubtable m’Lady, Joy Lennick, and her partner in literary confluence, the equally formidable, m’Lady, Jean Wilson, have concocted a terrific anthology of short stories, more than well worth the read… here’s what arrived – it needs no editing by me… enjoy…


The joint ages of friends Jean Wilson and Joy Lennick may add up to one hundred and seventy one years, but there’s nothing “old lace” about these two women writers; while the “arsenic” connection is questionable…

Both adept at delving into the messy, murky world of murder, it is enlightening, and sometimes, a relief… to discover their added light, humorous touch. This makes for a diverse selection of highly entertaining short stories to tickle the fancy of readers of a variety of genres.

Jean Wilson (pictured her on the left) worked as a Queen’s Nurse in the 1950s, and soon earned the affectionate nickname ‘The Angel of Aldgate’ for her cheerful, hard work among the sick of the East End of London, and later  became a Psychologist, working with handicapped children.

Joy Lennick (on the right, in sunny Spain) wore a few hats: secretarial, shopkeeper and hotelier before working with children, coaching their reading fluency and poetry. She became an author in 1984; adding many writing projects to her long list, including five books.

I’m delighted that these two, able ladies have collaborated and look forward to reading their joint venture. Here are a few, brief excerpts from some of their true (one!) and imaginative tales.


“Harold was a person one endeavoured to avoid if at all possible. He was an intense, blustery man of somewhat large stature, which of itself failed to hide his poorly controlled thinking ability; rather like a failed computer made in a third world country, which hadn’t yet got its act together.  He was certainly low in gigabytes and wanting in RAM. One couldn’t be certain that the keys struck would register as expected and a whole load of input seemed to have no relation to its later output. Harold’s idea of taking a short-cut was to fall down the stairs; and his confidence in himself took no account of the extent of his limitations. Any unfortunate encounter with him left many people feeling immense hopelessness in the integrity of the workings of Nature. Here was a man who told everyone he was a born-again Xtian. It didn’t occur to him that he hadn’t been one in the first place…..” etc.,


“It was 1952/3 when our last, very bad smog descended on London. It was fog, it was sulphurous, it was lethal!  Many people died that year (several thousand), and it brought home to the Government the problems associated with burning coal and open fires and the choking smoke from the factories. There were no buses and trains, and our world came to a halt. There were no people about except a stupid Queen’s nurse on a bicycle, trying to get oxygen to the asthmatics.  I didn’t realize I had been given the nickname until an urgent message was placed on the radio station for the Queen’s nurse called ‘The Angel of Aldgate.“

(From “DONKI OTI 1”)

“And so, for a few weeks at least, the inhabitants and visitors of Donki Oti 1 woke up most mornings after a reasonable night’s sleep, until, that is, an eccentric Dutch couple moved into number 14. Rumour had it that an odd aroma was detected drifting from the open window of their villa, and when Muriel stopped to chat too long to a neighbour outside their gate, she returned home giggling, with a silly smile on her face. But that’s another story…”


“ Before the guy was zipped into the body bag, Maurice took another look at his face, noticing  his mouth was slightly lopsided. Spotting the rope in the clue bag which was used to hang the victim  – curled up like a dead, evil snake which had done its worst – he unconsciously touched his own throat and rubbed his nose.

‘Surely, he was what Dickens called ‘part of the dispossessed, eh Chuck?’ he said with a shake of his head.

‘Whatever you say, M.’

Maurice silently wondered what kind of life the unfortunate guy had had before becoming a  vagrant…After all, he thought, none of us are born vagrants.

‘A dime for them, boss?’

‘Just wondering about the poor devil, Chuck.’

‘Oh, come on, he’s just another weak bum who fell by the wayside! The world’s full of ‘em.’

‘You don’t spend much time wondering about human nature, do you, Chuck?’

‘Don’t you go all religious and preachy on me, M…’

‘You know very well I’m an atheist, but I do care about humanity!’

‘Yeah, well…’ For once, Chuck was lost for words, and looked – to his credit – embarrassed.”

If your curiosity is titillated, “Where Angels and Devils Tread” is available from CreateSpace/ Amazon and Kindle. (Contains sixteen short varied stories covering romance, love, life and murder most foul from the vivid imaginations of writers Jean Wilson and Joy Lennick.) Published by Janette Davies of QGS Publishing.

“Donki Oti 1” was first published in Writers’ Ink anthology “Des Res” published by QGS Publishing and “The O’Reilly Case” was first published in “Precinct Murder” by WordPlay Publishing.

Book cover by Jason Lennick.

…thanks very much, m’Ladies… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…when minor characters loom large in an Author’s narratives…

…there’s no doubt major characters in a novel carry the storyline to the reader-at-large… the confluence of their highs and lows (in the scribblers’ jargon – ‘the crisis – the solution – the next crisis – the subsequent solution, ad inforeverum’) are the meat and drink of most dramas… but, right here, I must ‘fess up… the delight in having lesser lights intrude is important to this ol’ Jurassic writer… it’s more than just the scrivener’s equivalent of wallpaper music in the  elevator, or the colour of the restaurant’s backdrop… the insertion of wee players at pivotal points in my books relieves the main characters from having do everything themselves to move the chapters along… more often as not, they can also provide much needed humorous interludes in an otherwise heavy-duty regimen… Master Billy Shakespeare was an expert in doing so… tragi-comedies are built on such techniques… but I digress… to be credible, the minor players, in my not-so-‘umble opinion, require every bit of fleshing out, and paradoxically, possibly even more so than major characters, because frequently they are in the plot for a specific purpose(s), and their actions must relate to the personality background I create for them… in two of my Jack Calder crime thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and DEADLY IMPASSE, I feature Rico Sanchez, a Mexican undercover operative in South America… although a supposedly minor name in the novels, he has significant impact on the outcome in each of these stories… the danger with minor characters is at least two-fold… first of all, to avoid typecasting… and more importantly p’raps for an author, not falling in LUV with having them in the story… at some stage, I had to devise means of extracting him from the books… not an easy task, I assure yeez… Rico is only one example of many who pop their heads in occasionally, and I generally greet them like friends who only visit at intervals… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!





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…the magical mystery tour of an Author’s writing geography…

…I promised a few days ago to share with yeez why certain locales appear in my Jack Calder crime thriller series… the scope of the stories themselves begs the need for international settings… my characters roam the globe protecting their International Security Partners’ high value clients and their goods… in an effort to avoid ‘formulaic’ writing when producing what became a series, for this ol’ scribbler it’s essential to try to make each book ‘fresh’… properly presented, the geography itself becomes as much a player in the narrative as do the other characters… Hong Kong features strongly in the initial book, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, and it set the tone by providing a colourful backdrop, not only in the ‘mental visuals’, but also with the other senses – smells, taste, and sounds, particularly language…

…I lived and WURKED in the former British colony for more than ten years, and it’s easy for me to ‘re-engage’ many of my experiences there… transforming those into credible fiction became an enjoyable indulgence… one of my favourite passages in that first book is the chapter where the main female character, May-Ling, takes Jack and Malky to an old fortune teller’s divan… the mood in the room as the old man touches an emotional nerve for Jack took me back to a similar visit I made over 30 years ago… quite extraordinary… even now as I write this, I can feel the hairs on my arms and neck rise… the continent of Asia, particularly the South-East, doubled as my business tramping ground for 25 years…

…this gave me even more diversity in picturing, for example, different airports and hotels, large and tiny… I think many people visualize Asia as ‘one’ place, when in fact it is many, disparate locations, each infused with its own identity… more treasure troves for ‘backdropping’… in the same manner, Europe is prob’ly more identifiable as a patchwork of separate, distinctly recognisable countries, p’raps mistakenly as archetypical models… but further fodder for descriptive licence… so there yeez have it… the magical mystery tour  of an Author’s writing geography… I’d be interested to learn how other writers approach their settings… next up, in a few days or so, I’ll tell yeez a bit about some of the minor characters in the books… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!









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