Charles Breakfield and Roxanne Burkey have co-authored white papers and fiction for many years. As professionals in the Internet technology field, many might consider them to be straight-laced “nerds”. Nothing could be further from the truth. After a day of pounding out technical documents and putting out complex IT fires, the two slip out of their Clark Kent personas and step into the world of high-tech thrillers. They found their passion for fiction about ten years ago, and have amassed an impressive list of successful books including their well-known Enigma series. To date, they have written twelve Enigma Series novels and one prequel to the series called Out of Poland. They’ve penned a script and are shopping the screenplay to interested parties. Who knows? Breakfield and Burkey might become part of the Hollywood screenwriter’s set!
The two have a unique collaboration process. They call it Literary Badminton. Charles says, “Rox will write something then bat it over to me. I’ll chew on it, make changes and then return it. It works in both directions as we work through a story. This process allows us to smooth the characters and the story into a single voice. We typically trace out a few chapters at a time. We get together in person or via conference to discuss the progress of the project and our next steps. It works well for us.”
Their most recent project includes a novella called The Flower Enigma, book five of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles. This is a unique collaboration of nine authors from around the country and Canada writing about Magnolia Bluff, a small town in the picturesque Texas hill country. The town folk has to be frightened because murder and mayhem are exploding everywhere.
I just finished reading The Flower Enigma, Let me share my thoughts with you.
Globe-trotting lovers JJ and Jo find themselves in the sleepy, southern town of Magnolia Bluff, Texas. The two just want to be left alone to explore each other and enjoy a respite from their busy, glamorous work lives. Well, that was the plan anyway. But when a group of women in the small town is stymied from doing a podcast about a pressing local issue, the couple is drawn into their drama. Someone with malicious intentions is sabotaging the podcast and threatening the ladies. But it’s not just the podcast. Under the surface lurks a darker, more evil secret. The Flower Enigma is engaging, charming and a terrific read. If you’d like a copy, here’s where to find it.
Successful mystery writer James Callan decided early on that writing was not going to feed his family. I think most writers ultimately come to that conclusion sooner or later. Personally, I am still juggling a full-time job with the government and writing murder mysteries when I can wedge time in my busy schedule. After getting a degree in English, Callan went back to graduate school and got a degree in mathematics and taught math and computer science for thirty years. Perhaps, it was divine intervention when someone put a book by mistake in Callan’s car. His interest piqued, Jim dove into the book and didn’t put it down until he finished it at two am. That unique event and the fact that his children were now grown and well-established on their own helped Callan make the decision to shake off academia and return to his first love-writing.
To date, James Callan has written seven novels, and four non-fiction books. He admits that he felt like a novice as a fictional writer after years of technical writing in the math and science arena. But James Callan has succeeded wonderfully in his new career with several awards including the one he is most proud of, the Reader's Favorite Award. He spends considerable time thinking about a book before he sits down to write. Jim writes daily, but admits life sometimes intrudes and he has to adjust his schedule. A recent illness stalled his writing momentum. He spent months in the hospital and further recovery required bedrest for yet another month after three surgeries. Now fully recovered he's back on track. For more information, check out Jim's website:
Callan’s most recent mystery venture has been the Father Frank Mystery series. His stories are very unique to the genre because the chief protagonist is a priest. Father Frank is a cleric at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Pine Tree, Texas. His astute understanding of human behavior and common sense has been able to help local law enforcement catch the bad guy. But in A Plot For Murder, the case takes a personal turn when Father Frank’s sister Maggie becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a well-known author who was the chief speaker at the Pine Woods Writers Conference. Determined to keep his innocent sister out of jail, Father Frank works with the Texas Rangers to find the real villain. https://www.amazon.com/Plot-Murder-Father-Frank-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08T8QVXV8
I’ve never met the man, but he’s become a good friend and I would like to introduce my friends to him. He has a distinguished name, one you won’t easily forget. Caleb Pirtle III was once a newspaperman, winning both the Texas Associated Press and Headliner’s Awards. Caleb also served as editorial director for Dockery House Publishing in Dallas, Texas for twenty-five years where he developed and produced magazines and books for the corporate and retail marketplace.
Caleb wrote three teleplays: Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, a mini-series for CBS, Wildcat: The Story of Sarah Delaney and the Doodlebug Man, a CBS made-for-television movie, and The Texas Rangers, a TV movie for TNT television. As if that weren’t enough, he has also penned over seventy-five books. I stand in awe. I’ve poured sweat and tears into five novels. I can’t imagine seventy-five books! I’d like to share one of my favorite Caleb Pirtle novels with you.