Ray Courage’s wife Pam died thirteen years before in a car accident. Or did she? Ray’s world is turned upside down when he receives a series of e-mails from someone claiming to be his dead wife, accusing him of attempting to kill her and vowing revenge. Ray sets out to find the identity of the e-mailer only to discover the circumstances of his wife’s apparent death appear to be all but accidental.
Soon Police Detective Carla Thurber comes to suspect Ray of killing his wife, and of a subsequent murder of Pam’s confidant. Meanwhile, a murderous predator who does not want the facts of Pam’s death to surface aims to stop Ray. In the greatest challenge of his life, Ray must outrun the police and elude those who are out to kill him as he seeks the truth about his wife’s death.
Hi Scott. Welcome to back Read Your Writes Book Reviews.
Hi Kim. Thank you so much for having me.
Please tell me about Ray Courage and the Ray Courage Mystery series.
Ray Courage is a fifty-two year old retired college professor turned private eye. In the first book, Courage Matters, he starts his first real case at the request of an old flame. He more or less learns his craft as he goes until he reaches a shocking conclusion. Courage Resurrected takes place a few months after the events in the first book. Courage Begins is a novella-length book that is a prequel to Courage Matters. The novella tells the story of Ray’s assignment in an investigation during his internship with an insurance company. It’s a suspected murder case that can’t be proven. If it isn’t already, Courage Begins will be Permafree on Amazon and other online retailers very soon. It’s a great--and inexpensive--introduction to the series.
Courage Resurrected is the third book in the series. Is this a standalone read, or will readers need to read the other books to understand?
Courage Resurrected works completely fine as a standalone. I write all the books in the series so that they can be read individually and in any order. I try to provide the necessary context and backstory in each book so that they work alone and as part of a series.
Over the course of the series, Ray has been through a lot, and has managed to survive. How has he grown as a person and a character?
Ray’s growth and development is the fun part of writing a series character. Frankly, that’s why I launched the series rather than creating standalone books. I wanted to explore how a staid ex-college professor would evolve when thrust into extreme circumstances well outside his comfort zone. In Courage Resurrected he has to question many of his basic values and beliefs or risk losing everything. He really struggles with this. The Ray that emerges at the end of the book is different from the one at the beginning of it.
How much of you can be found in Ray?
We share some demographic similarities--age, hometown, and fans of the San Francisco Giants. That’s probably about it. Ray is more of a smartass than I am, and more of a risk taker. I certainly would not want to be subjected to the things that I put him through in my books.
You're currently working on book four, Courage Lies Beneath. What can readers expect from it?
Courage Lies Beneath will be released this fall. Again, we’ll see more character change and development in Ray. The storyline centers around the theft of a multi-billion dollar project, and the various parties that want to get their hands on it. Like the first three books, it is fast-paced and introduces some new quirky characters.
Thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for me. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for your time and the opportunity to share information about my books with your readers. If anyone would like to comment or ask questions, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I usually have Giveaways every month. To receive notice of those, readers can sign up at www.rscottmackey.com. Thanks again!
“Ray, are you going to tell me what’s going on with you?” Rubia asked.
“It’s November,” I said, finally answering truthfully the question she’d been asking all week. “I always get this way in November.”
I nodded. November no longer brought tears, those had stopped a few years ago. It did bring heartache and memories. I couldn’t help but miss her, now thirteen years ago to this day, November 11, when she died in a horrific automobile accident.
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Read Gemini’s review of Courage Resurrected here.
Scott Mackey lives in Northern California, where he writes both fiction and non-fiction. His first book, Barbary Baseball, achieved critical acclaim from baseball historians for its quality research and writing. He followed that with two young adult novels. His popular Ray Courage Mystery Series includes Courage Begins, Courage Matters, and Courage Resurrected. The fourth book in the series, Courage Lies Beneath, is scheduled for release later in 2015.
Scott's career arc has included stints as a corporate communications manager, college professor, copywriter, bartender, and youth sports coach. In addition to obsessing over punctuation and grammar, he cares about his family (including his dog and cat), the San Francisco Giants, and his rather sad golf game.
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