Wednesday, November 06, 2019


Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!

Article 15
M.T. Bass

GENRE: Mystery


“She was one in a million…and the day I met her I should have bought a lottery ticket instead.”


Griffith Crowe, the "fixer" for a Chicago law firm, falls for his current assignment, Helena Nicholson, the beautiful heir of a Tech Sector venture capitalist who perished in a helicopter crash leaving her half a billion dollars, a Learjet 31, and unsavory suspicions about her father's death. As he investigates, the ex-Navy SEAL crosses swords with Helena’s step-brother, the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum, and an All-Star bad guy somebody has hired to stop him. When Griff finds himself on the wrong side of an arrest warrant he wonders: Is he a player or being played?

Lawyers and Lovers and Guns…Oh, my!


The conference room was small—smaller, at least by “Big Firm” standards, than the huge public conference room up front used to intimidate clients, adversaries, witnesses, and opposing counsel by swallowing them up whole like Jonahs lost in the belly of a legal whale. Tucked away in a back corner among the partner offices, it was extremely well appointed, though darkly so, in oak furniture and paneling. The quiet confines served as a war room of sorts, a place where grand strategies and hair-brained schemes were incubated, hatched and sometimes celebrated, sometimes autopsied. He knew because Griffith Crowe was sometimes part of them.

There were no windows, which was fine with him. He didn’t need to be seen, and, besides, he was just there to get paid and be quickly on his way. Even in the dim, indirect lighting, he found a shadow where he sat and sipped coffee from a massive, dark mug with Stein, Baylor & Stein gilded on the side, patiently waiting for Lance Baylor to come back with his check.

Lance was a master of entering and exiting rooms. So, when he burst into the room like a starlight artillery shell, wearing his white phosphorous rain-maker smile, followed by two junior associates and a young, very attractive Asian waitress pushing a serving cart with no doubt a sumptuous lunch, he knew his escape would be neither clean nor quick.

“Miss me?” teased Lance, baring his canines. “I couldn’t send you back to…to…where was it you were you off to, Griff?”


“Right, send you home hungry after a job well done. Pull up a chair, and we’ll feast before you depart.”

Lance naturally took the head of the table with Griff to his right. The two junior associates, veritable bookends with their young, already balding pates, red ties, pin-striped suits, expanding waistlines, and leather portfolios, sat on the opposite side of the table.

They all politely smiled at one another as the waitress set their places and served what turned out to be Beef Wellington. After pouring drinks—Cabernet for Lance, iced teas for the empty bookends and black coffee for Griff—she quietly left them and closed the door.

Like an orchestra conductor, with cutlery for a baton, Lance silently cued the quartet to begin eating.

Lance smiled broadly and looked to his right. “Good. No?”

“Excellent. My compliments to Cookie.”

“You know, our friend here was busy freeing Iraq before there actually was an Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Lance said, turning to the two associate attorneys, who frowned at the apparent contradiction. As if to explain, he continued, “Special Forces, of course. What was it you did there in the desert?”

Griff watched Lance watch himself surgically cut his Wellington.

“Nothing really so special,” Griff said, turning his attention to his own lunch plate.

“I suspect much the same sort of things as you may have done here to get your name on the marquee. You know, all’s fair in love and war.”


Please tell us about growing up. 

Early on my family moved around quite a bit: Athens (Ohio), Columbus, Racine, and Milwaukee until we finally settled in St. Louis for the long haul when I was in the third grade. It was pretty normal—for back then, anyway. In the summer, Mom kicked us out of the house after breakfast and told us to be back by dinner time. So, me and the guys from the neighborhood rode our bikes all over creation (without helmets); played sandlot baseball and football (and kept score), and stomped through the woods, creeks and ravines at the very edge of suburban civilization (no cell phones or beepers or electronic leashes). It was glorious. Kids being kids.

Were you the shy kid or all boy? Married, single?

I live on the shores of Lake Erie with my stunning, mystery companion, Lola. We first met at The Cleveland Grill. It was a regular night for our duo, Project Mojo. She came in with her girlfriend for dinner and we cajoled her into singing a few songs with us. To make a long story short, we had just lost our female singer and Chuck convinced her to join up with us. A couple hundred gigs later, she and I were celebrating the release of our CD, Operation Thunderclap, over Mac ‘n Cheese at Crazy Mac’s, which, really, was just a flimsy excuse for our first date. And the rest, as they say, is history.

When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

There’s really not a lot of relaxing that goes on for us. On a crazy whim we bought a really old newspaper building (like 1901 old) in downtown Lorain, Ohio, a couple of years ago when the Broadway riverfront was lined with mostly abandoned and decrepit properties.  The city had been trying to set the area up as an Arts & Entertainment District and we thought it would be a great place to expand Lola’s boutique and art gallery downstairs and be home for my publishing “empire” upstairs. While we’ve been chipping slowly away at renovations, the city has finally come through with the streetscape modernization and the time is ripe for us to get the shop open. And there’s a hell of a lot to be done. So anyway, when it comes to relaxing and recharging, we like to sit out back, look out to sea drinking wine and consuming mass quantities of Lola’s exquisitely fine food creations.

How long have you been writing?

Decades. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been scribbling out words since before laptops and Microsoft Word were even invented.  I used to use college-ruled yellow pads and a pencil. I’m a fossil.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

I’m not really particular about where I write. When I was still out in the real world (where they expect results), I filled the hours of downtime in hotels, airline concourses, and trapped inside the hollow tubes of Boeing airliners racing down jetways six or seven miles overhead, scribbling out my stories. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a pantser.  I work without a net. I get an idea and just start running with it. I did try, once, to outline one of my books and it was a fiasco. I was about halfway through In the Black and I had more characters than a Tolstoy novel milling about and it seems like eleven different storylines going on all at once, so I thought, “Hmmm…maybe I should get organized.” I had also just found a photo of Joseph Heller’s spreadsheet for writing Catch-22, and since this was my homage to that brilliant work, I thought, if it worked for him it should work for me, too. Well…not so much. I wasted a lot of time plotting out grand ideas that my characters took one look at and basically said, “Yeah, I don’t think so, Tim.”  Then they went and did their own things.

Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

I get up most every morning around 5-5:30 and write—before I check emails, or look at social media, or read the news, or allow myself to be distracted by any number of shiny objects beckoning to me. I tried setting specific goals, but that doesn’t always work out, because sometimes you’re puking out that first vomit-draft and other times you’re doing fine finish work on a pieces.  The point is to be writing. Period.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

While I am a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, I’m afraid of heights. My brother-in-law, Tom, says it’s not the heights, but falling that I’m afraid of and he may be right. There’s a big difference between height and altitude. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Know your stuff and never give up.  “Persistance to the point of stupidity,” I always say, “but never beyond.”

What has helped you in your writing career?

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have met so many folks along the way who were really helpful as I stumbled along: professors, writers, readers, publishing pros, and marketing guys. I always seemed to get the right advice at about the right times.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Every writer starts out as a reader. I just hope my stories bring a bit of the same excitement, revelations, and sense of discovery I experienced—and still experience—reading great books.

Tell us about your latest release.

This pot has been simmering for a long, long time. The first line came to me inspired by the movie Body Heat. Kathleen Turner’s character, Matty Walker, struck such lustful terror in me that I knew I was going to go down that dark path at some point. But I needed a more formidable foil than Ned Racine. I think Griff comes out scarred, maybe, but mostly intact. 

Give us a PG excerpt:

She was one in a million…and the day I met her I should have bought a lottery ticket instead.
Blonde, slim and well-built, of course, her eyes were darkly blue which, when unsheathed from behind her Jackie Ohhs, glinted like gunmetal at twilight.
I noticed when we first met.
I ignored it after the first time we made love.
I caught it again as she testified against me.
I suppose, I’ll just never learn.


Lance pulled up to the security gate by Atlantic Aviation at the approach end of Runway 16. He rolled down his window and punched the security code into the keypad. When the chain link gate opened, he pulled onto the tarmac and parked next to Griff’s Cirrus S-22. “I had them pull it out of the hangar. All gassed up and ready to go. Thank you very much.”
“Thanks, pal.”
They got out of the Escalade. Griff loaded his duffel bag into the plane and started his pre-flight inspection.
Lance checked FlightAware on his iPhone, then scanned the approach to Runway 16. Soon landing lights glared down the glide path. A Learjet 31 quickly crossed the threshold and touched down with tiny puffs of blue-gray smoke off the mains. Lance watched it roll out, then taxi their way. He smiled.
Griff came around the left wing and stood next to Lance. They watched the Learjet turn onto the apron in front of the Atlantic Aviation hangars and get marshaled to a stop by a baton-waving line boy. Another stood by with a rolled up red carpet, which he placed by the cabin door as soon as the engines spooled down.
“I love the smell of kerosene on the tarmac,” Lance said.
Griff looked at Lance staring at the Learjet.
“Wait for it…”
The cabin door opened like a clamshell. The co-pilot scurried down the stairs and stood ready to assist the deplaning passenger.
A slender blonde in Ray-Ban Jackie-Ohh sunglasses, a skin-tight red dress frosted at the shoulders with a sheer white shawl, and stiletto heels took the co-pilot’s hand and stepped down onto the tarmac into the hungry stares of the line boys. Griff pulled off his sunglasses to watch her sashay across the apron, chased by the co-pilot who held the door to Atlantic Aviation open, then followed her in.
“Don’t tell me. The stubborn possessor of a priceless Jackson Pollack,” Griff said, looking at Lance.
“Now, who owes who?”
Griff put on his sunglasses again, then headed towards the fixed base operator’s lobby. “Guess I better go pay my fuel tab.”
“But I took care of that,” Lance called after him. Then said to himself, “Oh, you dog, you.”


Where can readers find more about you? (bio, social media links):

Book Listing on Website

Retail Author Pages

M. T. Bass, Author

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.
Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

Amazon Author Page:

Article 15 Purchase Links

Author Web Site Info Page:


M.T. Bass will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mary Preston said...

A great interview. I had a lot of freedom as a child too.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

M.T. Bass said...

Hi Caroline --

Thanks for being a stop on my Blog Tour for Article 15 and giving me a bit of space for the interview.


Bernie Wallace said...

Who is your favorite author that is currently still writing?

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great read.

M.T. Bass said...

Hi Bernie --

That would defintely be Carl Hiaasen. Ever since Tourist Season I've been a big fan.

Christopher Moore's Noir and Caihm McDonnell's A Man with One of Those Faces have bumped those guys into Second & Third place.



James Robert said...

Thanks for sharing your book with us. I think we all enjoy hearing about new books we previously didn't know about. Also, thank you for the giveaway.

Mya Goss said...

I love checking out genres other than what I normally read, and this is definitely interesting..

marisela zuniga said...

Thank you for sharing an excerpt, this sounds great

Glenda said...

Excellent interview! I grew up when we were able to roam and be free all day (even in California). My kids were not able to have that much freedom.

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great giveaway!

Sherry said...

I enjoyed the interview and think the book sounds good.

Sheila Askins said...

I would like to ask the author: at what age did you start writing?
what inspired you?

Sheila Askins said...

What advice would you give for new authors?

Sheila Askins said...

What is the hardest part about being an author?

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! Love hearing about new books.