Bloody Halls by Carl Brookins

Bloody Halls by Carl Brookins

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When Jack Marston took a position at an unusual urban institution, he didn’t expect to find himself involved in murder and suicide. But working with adult students is sure to be a new an interesting challenge.

Back home in Minneapolis, Jack is starting a new relationship and a job as head of Student Services at campus-less City College. It appears to be a calm satisfying life. Settling in, he puts his talent as an amateur actor into play and is selected for the lead in Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” at the college. Without warning, his life takes a strange twist and Jack find himself playing altogether different roles.

A student is brutally murdered and the college president assigns Jack to liaise with the police. Though homicide investigator is not in his job description, he is soon forced to scrutinize faculty and staff. He soon sees the irony as well as the difficulties of his parallel roles.

In the end he is forced to solve a murder to save himself, a colleague, and his obligation to the students of the institution.

Meet the Author:

Carl Brookins

Carl Brookins

Although I’ve traveled widely, I’m a Minnesota boy. I graduated from Murray High School in St. Paul, and from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I acquired a bachelor of arts in several subjects, including art, history, humanities, journalism, and television and radio. A wise man suggested that broad path with multiple majors and I have always been grateful for the suggestion.

After a stint in the United State Navy, I spent fifteen years working in public television, first in Minnesota and later in North Dakota after I attended graduate school at Michigan State University. During that time I wrote scripts and continuity and produced hundreds of educational, classroom and public television programs.

During this time my wife, Jean, and I raised two fine daughters, who are enjoying successful professional careers. Now living in the Twin Cities, I retired after almost twenty-five years as a faculty member and advisor for adult students at Metropolitan State University, in St. Paul.

Along the way I’ve also had some success as a Cable TV administrator, program producer and host, free-lance photographer, and playing a few roles in a number of community theater productions.

Writing, like reading, has been part of my life almost forever. First it was scripts and reports and articles. Novels came later. My first mystery, Inner Passages, published in 2001 by Top Publications, was followed in 2002 by A Superior Mystery, and Old Silver in 2005, also from Top. On September 2, 2005, the first in my new series was released. It is a hard cover noir about a private investigator named Sean NMI Sean. The novel, titled The Case of the Greedy Lawyers, is published by Five Star Mysteries. This new series is intended to be my homage to the crime fiction genre which has provided me with so much enjoyment over many years. The sequel, The Case of the Deceiving Don, was released in 2008.

I’ve always been a reader. Some of my fondest memories are sitting on our screened porch of a summer day with my mother, she with her book and me with mine. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were part of my scene then as was the series featuring the Swallows and the Amazons, by that fine English writer, Arthur Ransome.

Today I try to return some of the pleasure I always found in mysteries by reviewing books, at various times, for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Mystery Scene Magazine, and Books n’ Bytes. I am a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). This year I was elected to the board of directors of the Midwest chapter of MWA. You can find me bouncing about the country attending various mystery conventions and touring with a fine collection of mystery writers called The Minnesota Crime Wave. And still sailing the lakes and waters of the world.

For more info about Carl Brookins visit

Talon’s Heart by Caroline Bourne

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She is Talon Rose, half-blood daughter of a Comanche chief and a white captive. As an outlaw who prides herself on never having killed, she rides the Arizona badlands with Mexican bandits, rustling livestock to sell south of the border, and eludes a “hang on sight” order. . . until a US Marshal captures her. Taken to an American army camp deep in the Huachuca Mountains and forced to scout with Apaches, she is soon caught in a triangle wrought with desire. John Nightwing, the Apache Chief of Scouts, proud and determined. Major Laine Taylor, Officer of Scouts and a genteel Southern gentleman, stubborn and equally determined. Talon’s heart is captured between the two equally imposing men, but only one can gain her undying love and devotion. Torn between her heritage and her heart, Talon Rose battles the demons of the world as fiercely as the ones within herself. But her struggle is not the only one, two desperate suitors face off in a passionate battle that may cost one man not only his heart, but also his life.

Meet the Author:

Caroline Bourne was born in Southampton, England to an American father and an English mother. Spending only seven months in England, she grew up in the small southern town of Lecompte, Louisiana, in between transfers to Army posts in Texas and Arkansas with her Army father. She was an avid horse lover and spent many hours on horseback, riding with a group of friends on weekends. Graduating from Lecompte High School in 1965 she went on to spend two years in the United States Marine Corps, being honorably discharged as a Corporal E-4 in 1967.

Returning to Louisiana, she went to work for a local newspaper, the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, eventually married and had two daughters, Kristen and Kimberly. Her first novel was published in 1984 by Kensington and 12 others, plus a co-authorship and two contributions to anthologies followed. As the years passed, she worked for lawyers and judges, and eventually moved to Indiana to be near her sister. For the past fourteen years she has worked for a Southern Indiana police department. Today, she is the grandmother of six granddaughters and one great-grandson. www.

Totally Buzzed by Gale Borger

Totally Buzzed by Gale Borger

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Trouble seems to follow Buzz Miller, and this time it finds her outside the town of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin, where the dead body of a neighbor woman turns up stashed under her mother’s house! The retired detective is reluctantly roped into finding out “who dunnit.”

In order to snag the bad guy, Buzz, along with her Biology teacher sister Mag, “The Maggot” Miller, have only to find the murderer by following the trail of a dead horse, uncovering the illegal importation of rare plants, breaking up an international drug trafficking ring, uncovering a designer drug lab, and avoid being bumped off by the bad guys.

Simple enough, right? That is, until her mom’s wacky “Geriatric S.W.A.T. Team” cronies turn the crime scene into a neighborhood barbeque and Buzz’s 160 pound Newfoundland chews up most of her initial investigation!

After a shoot out at the Not-So-OK-Corral, Buzz has to explain to Sheriff Green why his only solid suspect was now pushing up daisies while lying dead in the petunias!

Meet the Author:

Gail Borger

Gail Borger

Gale Borger is the author of the hilarious Miller Sisters Mystery Series. Gale brings to life, the small town of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin and its wacky inhabitants in “Totally Buzzed,” a madcap romp through murder and mayhem. Second in the series, “Totally Fishy” is an uproariously funny tale complete with a pole dancing granny and two bumbling hit men who can’t seem to bump off the right guy. Number three, “Totally Evil,” uncovers a crime better left at the bottom of Geneva Lake one moment, and will have you chuckling out loud as Snoodle the Poodle performs an encore no one will ever forget!

Gale’s first Miller Sisters eBook short, “Totally Decked,” was out in time for Christmas, 2010, and the second, “Totally Sleighed,” came out in the summer of 2013. Gale’s books are published by Echelon Press, LLC.

Gale also writes for reluctant reader teens. Her six-short story ebook series, “The Olive Branch Mysteries,” is a hit as a part of summer reading programs, or used in the classroom on computers or e-readers. Now all six episodes are available under one cover, and “Death of a Garden Hoe” delights both teens and adult readers alike.

Gale has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Education. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband Bob, their sometimes-seen college student Shannon(dragging behind her, a trombone and her dirty laundry), and more flowers in her yard than grass. Visit Gale and get to know the Miller Sisters at or write her at

The Missing Locket by Mary Cunningham


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Magical costumes, disappearing stairs and a spooky attic filled with dusty antiques–what more could two, adventurous, young girls ask for?

Best friends, Cynthia and Gus as she prefers to be called, are as “different as bubble gum and broccoli.” They are, however, equal in their ability to get into trouble without much effort.

In trying to escape the “boring summer” of 1964, the adventurous twelve-year-old girls stumble upon a trunk in Cynthia’s attic that has been in her family for three generations.

They discover its mystical qualities when they are swept into the trunk and whisked back to 1914, literally into the lives of their twelve-year-old grandmothers, Clara and Bess. The mystery of a missing family locket is revealed. Their quest takes numerous twists and turns, including a life-and-death struggle on a large steamship traveling from England to America.

Along with perilous escapades, they make important, sometimes humorous discoveries about their ancestors, and even manage to change history–for the better–along the way.

Meet the Author:

Mary Cunningham

Mary Cunningham

“I live in my own little world, but it’s okay, they know me here.”

Author, Mary Cunningham grew up in the sleepy little town of Corydon, Indiana. And she really means, in the town! Her house was just beyond the main intersection that took Southern Indiana cars and trucks from north to west. Her childhood days were well before I-64 zoomed traffic just north of town, so imagine the teeth-grinding sound an 18-wheeler made downshifting around the tight, downtown corner as they passed her house. Winter? Not so bad. Summer with the windows open? Many sleepless nights were spent sitting on the front porch listening to her dad tell stories and point out every constellation.

After ten years as a bank teller, followed by a horrifying stint as a travel agent, followed by a less horrifying experience teaching travel and tourism and the airline computer reservation system, she finally realized her heart belonged to writing.

Childhood experiences, and a recurring dream about a mysterious attic, inspired her to create characters, Cynthia and Augusta Lee (Gus), for her award-winning Tween series, “Cynthia’s Attic.” Like Cynthia and Gus, Cunningham’s childhood best friend, Cynthia, and she, grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for the series. Neighborhood friends spent much of the summer playing softball, hide and seek, badminton, and croquet in a vacant lot. Years later, those joyful summers would be recalled in the five-book series.

She is also co-author of the humor-filled lifestyle book, (WOOF) Women Only Over Fifty, along with published short stories, Ghost Light, and Cynthia’s Attic short story, Christmas With Daisy.

She’s in the middle of writing an historical/time-travel Tween series. The Adventures of Max and Maddie begins at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum in West Georgia, and continues throughout the United States.

Cunningham is a member of The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club.

When she gives her fingers a day away from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband. Together they’ve raised three creative children, have 2 granddaughters and an adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.

At last count, she’s moved nine times to six different states (all after the age of 36), and aside from the packing and unpacking, she believes it’s been a great experience, having made some very dear and lasting friendships.

Ms. Cunningham spends non-writing time speaking to schools and libraries on the writing process and gathering your own story ideas.

She may be reached through her publisher, Quake/Echelon Press (, or through her website:

Snowstorm by Connie Hullander


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Being sixteen is cool, unless you’re in a psych ward.

When sixteen year-old Carly Blackstone wakes up behind bars with a massive headache, she thinks her life can’t get any worse. Unfortunately, it does. Standing before the same juvenile court judge for the fourth time, she is stunned to hear him commit her to a psychiatric hospital.

Once there, she is not only a charity case among a unit full of rich kids, she is battling the doctors and nurses to keep them out of her head. Her psychologist is really good at his job, however, and gradually chips away at her defenses, forcing her to see herself the way others do.

Her roommate’s disastrous decision pushes Carly to consider her own future and make choices that will change her life.

Meet the Author:

Connie Hullander

Connie Hullander

Connie Hullander is a Southerner. She was born in Tennessee and lives in South Carolina, though she did make a detour to go to the University of Hawaii and get married on the Big Island. Connie is a college French teacher because she loves all things French. Her first novel, “Snowstorm,” came about because she particularly loves teenagers. YOu can learn more about Connie at her website.

Blind Traveler’s Blues by Robert P. Bennett


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The year is 2021. Natural forces have changed our world. As the Earth’s magnetic poles have shifted, pressure on the planet’s mantle layer is building. The bottom line…earthquakes now wreak havoc in areas they have never occurred before.

In Mexico, members of an archaeological team investigate the remains of an ancient village uncovered by a quake; racing to prove their theories about the civilization that once lived there. But, disaster strikes when the accidental destruction of an artifact unleashes a worldwide agricultural plague.

Halfway across the continent, Douglas Abledan, a blind computer technologist, embarks on a long-anticipated vacation. On the plane to Chicago, he meets world-renowned agricultural pathologist Cara Cordelia, but their chance meeting could cost them both their lives.

In this stand-alone sequel to his critically acclaimed “Blind Traveler Down a Dark River,” author Robert P. Bennett continues to bring us suspense and intrigue while exploring a world of the not too distant future. While society struggles with the impact of natural changes, the advancement of new technology enables a blind man to investigate a murder.

Meet the Author:

Robert P. Bennett

Robert P. Bennett

Robert Bennett is a social worker and writer who focuses on issues of disability. His articles, which appear in both local and national publications, have spanned a wide range of topics. He has spoken to groups of physical therapy students, church members and senior citizens, and has appeared on several radio programs. In writing about the issues people with disabilities are involved with he feels he has learned a very important lesson, “It is the act of truly living and believing in yourself that is important, not the manner in which that action is undertaken.” Contact Mr. Bennett through his website at

Welcome Back!

ksyed-funThere have been so many rumors about the demise of Echelon Press. The rumors are greatly exagerated. In fact, we are coming back stronger than ever.

For thirteen years, Echelon has been entertaining readers. We’ve made some mistakes and we’ve learned from them. With that said, I want to invite you to get reaquainted with us.

There will be new books and stories, updated versions of previously published works, and perhaps even some giveaways.

It would please us greatly if you would find it in your budget…er heart… to support our authors. Honestly, I am confident that once we infiltrate your wallet, we will have earned your heart and your loyalty as an Echelon reader.

Oh, and one more favor. When you read an Echelon/Quake book/story would you be so kind as to take a moment and share your thoughts (in the business we call this a review.) We love knowing what readers think of our work. It keeps us growing as writers, and people.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions. You can reach me directly at

Happy Reading!

Karen Syed


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