Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blog Tour: Laurel Dewey, author of Promissory Payback and Unrevealed

PUBLISHED BY: The Story Plant

ISBN-13: 9781611880076 ISBN: 1611880076
Genre: Suspense

Synopsis from publisher:

Laurel Dewey’s Detective Jane Perry is quickly becoming one of the most distinctive, dynamic, and unforgettable characters in suspense fiction today. She’s rock hard, but capable of extraordinary tenderness. She’s a brilliant cop, but she’s capable of making life-altering mistakes. She’s uncannily talented, and she’s heartbreakingly human.

In PROMISSORY PAYBACK Jane is called in to investigate the gruesome murder of a woman who profited greatly from the misfortunes of others. The case leaves Jane with little question about motive...and with a seemingly endless number of suspects.

PUBLISHED BY: The Story Plant

Unrevealed ISBN-13: 9781611880236 ISBN: 1611880238
 Genre: Suspense

In UNREVEALED, Dewey gives us four indelible portraits of Jane Perry:

ANONYMOUS: One of Jane's first AA meetings leads her to an encounter with a woman in need of her detection skills...and a secret she never expected to uncover.

YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: Forced by her boss to speak at a high school career day, Jane meets a troubled boy and finds that his story is only the beginning of a much more revealing tale.

YOU'RE ONLY AS SICK AS YOUR SECRETS: An early-morning homicide call introduces Jane to a mystery as layered as it is unsuspected.

THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM: Jane finds herself sharing a 2:00 am conversation at a downtown bar with an old acquaintance. Will the bloody night that proceeded this moment complicate Jane's intentions?

My Thoughts:  Frankly, I had never heard of Laurel Dewey before this but I am so glad I agreed to the tour because I was intrigued by this character. By her own words she is somewhat flawed; a recovering alcoholic who is not really a touchy-feely kind of person yet she is extremely interested in human nature. She does not embrace the sponsorship aspect of the AA program. She just prefers to recover alone.

In all these stories, Jane Perry presents a kick-ass character who is not afraid of detecting by her instinct and intuitions or as she calls it, her "gut". She is a keen observer of other people and quite introspective. Each story lets the reader know of her struggles with alcohol. In a couple of stories were references to childhood abuse and a father who never let her think she was "good enough".

"My dad, Dale Perry, taught me all about body language, and he was damn good at it. That is about the only good thing I can say about him because he also taught me how to be a great drunk, how to fear, how to hurt, how to hate, how to see life as continual struggle and how to never feel that I’m good enough. Jesus, now I sound like a damn victim and that’s the last thing I want to be. I despise victims. Not victims of crimes…victims of life. People who can’t build a bridge and get over their inner turmoil. I’m actually particularly drawn to people who’ve had to walk the harder path and come out better or worse on the other end.  Survivors. Yeah, that’s who I champion. Maybe that’s because I see myself in them. I have great empathy for the survivors of this world because I know what it takes to climb out of severe trauma and reach deep within your heart and soul and resurrect yourself into a new reality."
Quote taken from You Can't Judge a Book by it's Cover pg 23/24.

Well, to my mind, she proved him wrong time and time again solving cases that were very difficult while still managing to be a survivor. She could have grown up bitter, cynical and feeling like a victim not doing much with her life but she did become a successful detective in Denver Homicide and later a PI. Even though it might seem she has built a shell around herself, I think a lot of it was a self defense mechanism but  when compassion was needed for a suspect, Jane showed the softer side of her character. I liked her a lot!

Some of the language was a little rough but it seemed to fit with the character. Normally I'm not a fan of short stories but Dewey managed to give me vivid images of Jane's character in each story.  I felt like I knew her very well. In 25 pages or so Dewey can give a reader more insight into her characters than some authors can do in a full length novel. Now, that's definitely talented. Just when you think you know where the author is going, there's a little twist that keeps the reader on his/her toes; no where is this more evident than in the short story Anonymous in the novelette, Unrevealed. This won't be the last Laurel Dewey work for me. 4****

About the Author:  Laurel Dewey was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the author of two nonfiction books on plant medicine, a Silver Spur-nominated Western novella, hundreds of articles, the Jane Perry novels, PROTECTOR, REDEMPTION, and REVELATIONS, and the Jane Perry novelette, AN UNFINISHED DEATH. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, where she is currently working on a standalone novel. Laurel can be found here:


For your reading pleasure, here is an  excerpt from PROMISSORY PAYBACK:
Detective Jane Perry took another hard drag on her cigarette. She knew she needed to quiet her nerves for what she was about to see.

Another victim. Another senseless, gruesome murder that she would add to the board at Denver Headquarters. When Sergeant Weyler called her half an hour ago, she hadn’t even finished her third cup of coffee. “This one is odd, Jane,” he told her with that characteristic tone in his voice that also suggested an evil tinge behind the slaying du jour. “Be prepared,” he said before hanging up. It was a helluva way to start a Monday morning.

As Jane drove her ’66 Mustang toward the crime scene in the toney section of Denver known as Cherry Creek, she tried to look on the bright side. If she’d still been a drinker, she’d be battling an epic hangover at that moment and doing her best to hide it from Weyler. But since becoming a friend of Bill W., her addictions involved healthier options such as jogging, buying way too many pounds of expensive coffee and even briefly joining a yoga group. She stopped attending the class only because the pansy-ass male instructor wasn’t comfortable with her setting her Glock in the holster to the side of her mat during class. Since she was usually headed to work after the 7 AM stretch session, Jane was obviously carrying her service weapon. She wasn’t about to leave it in her car or a locker at the facility. Nor would she be so careless as to hang it on one of the eco-friendly bamboo hooks that lined the yoga room.

So for Jane, it was obvious and more than natural for the Glock to lie next to her as she attempted the Salutation to the Sun pose and arched into Downward Facing Dog. In her mind, there was no dichotomy between the peacefulness of yoga and the brain splattering capacity of her Glock. As the annoying, high-pitched flute music played in the background—a sound meant to encourage calmness but which sounded more like a dying parakeet to Jane—she felt completely safe knowing that a loaded gun was inches from her grasp. The other people in the class, however, did have a problem and they showed it by arranging their mats as far from Jane as humanly possible. None of this behavior bothered Jane until the soy milk-chugging teacher took her aside and asked her to please remove the Glock from class. Since Jane wasn’t about to take orders from a guy in a fuchsia leotard who had a penchant for crying at least twice during class, she strapped her 9mm across her organic cotton yoga t! op and quit.

That’s what predictably happened whenever you shoved a square peg like Jane Perry in a round hole of people and situations that don’t understand the real world. Crime has a nasty habit of worming its way into the most unlikely places—churches, schools, sacred retreats and possibly yoga studios. The way Jane Perry looked at life, yoga might keep your flexible but a loaded gun kept you alive so you could continue being flexible. She knew what it felt like to be the victim of circumstance; to be held hostage by another person’s violent objective. Even though it was a long time ago, she’d never wash the stench from her memory. Her vow was always the same: Nobody would ever make Jane Perry a victim again.

But somebody apparently had made the old lady inside the Cherry Creek house a victim. Jane rolled to the curb and parked the Mustang, sucking the last microgram of nicotine from the butt of her cigarette. Squashing it onto the street with the heel of her roughout cowboy boots, she flashed her shield to the cops standing at the periphery and ducked under the yellow crime tape that was draped between the two precision-trimmed boxwood shrubs that framed the bottom of the long, immaculate brick driveway.

Disclosure: A PDF copy of the novellettes were received from Partners in Crime tour group in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Fantastic review and posting. Thank you for the recommendation of a talented author.

  2. Laurel does sound like an interesting character, and one that I might like to see through a few adventures. Glad to hear that you liked these books! I will be looking for them!

  3. Wow, definitely adding these to my TBR list!

  4. I think it's pretty awesome when a book really delivers!!


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