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becke_davis
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Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Today we're helping Ed Kovacs celebrate the release of BURNT BLACK, the third in Ed's New Orleans-based mystery series published by St. Martin's Minotaur.

 

Burnt Black  

 

Ed Kovacs has visited with us before - check out these links to his previous visits:

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/Guest-Blog-by-Author-ED-KOVACS/m-p/1430871/highlight/...

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/Please-Welcome-Author-ED-KOVACS/m-p/1226448/highlight...

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

 

Ed Kovacs is the author of the critically-acclaimed Cliff St. James mystery/crime series published by St. Martin’s Press. He spent two and half years living in New Orleans beginning in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and he co-founded a security company there that taught defensive tactics and other techniques. Ed has studied martial arts, holds many weapons-related licenses, certifications and permits, and is a certified medical First Responder. He is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, American Legion Post 299, the International Thriller Writers association, and the Mystery Writers of America.

Ed graduated from Southern Illinois University, having paid his tuition by working in a steel mill, driving a truck, and spinning records as a late-night jazz DJ on local radio.

Ed’s hobbies include meditation, target shooting, wine tasting, and motorcycling.  He’s an amateur dowser and prospector and he collects WWII aviation memorabilia.  He has studied with shamans, medicine chiefs, and chi gong masters on several continents.

He splits his time between his home in Asia and his aircraft hangar home at a Southern California airport.

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Burnt Black  

 

Overview

 

 

Cliff St. James returns along with his partner Honey to investigate a baffling series of ritualistic deaths that may be connected to a bizarre secret society, in Ed Kovacs' Burnt Black.

 

New Orleans Homicide Detective Cliff St. James and his partner Honey are still trying to piece their lives together a year and a half after a killer storm decimated the city.  They find themselves probing a succession of unusual deaths that may or may not be homicides.

The investigation not only proves frustrating, but it strains at the very fabric of St. James and Honey’s relationship.   The puzzling deaths connected to a secretive occult group seem to only lead them deeper into an unsolvable maze fraught with strange occurrences and brutal death.

 

When their sleuthing uncovers a connection to a ruthless Mexican drug cartel, a complex murder conspiracy emerges, but with shifting suspects.  St. James and Honey catch nothing but bad breaks as they struggle to determine which of their suspects is the killer, or perhaps the next victim.

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

[ Edited ]

Ed is halfway around the world from us, but he may stop in to chat. Thanks for joining us, Ed!

 

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Becke,

 

Hey, thanks for having me back!

 

I just spent 19 hours on a series of airplanes and am back in California.

Jet lag, anyone?  I'm fighting it, so excuse me if I'm a little punchy.

 

Burnt Black will be in stores and is available for purchase tomorrow, November 19th.

 

Kirkus said:  

"The vibrant description of occult doings mixes well with the movements of the earthbound characters, making this Cliff and Honey’s best outing to date."

 

From Booklist:  

"What lingers after the demons are downed is St. James’ obliquely funny personality. A fine, offbeat procedural."

 

And a nice review from Criminal Element just came in:

"This series has a definite southern noir feel, and its rough around the edges locale will be catnip to some readers, like myself. The black magic element gives it a particularly gritty edge and the book has more twists and turns than the streets and back alleys of New Orleans itself, not to mention some pretty gruesome surprises, perfect for a cop that doesn’t always play by the rule book to get what he wants, and doesn’t hesitate to knock heads in the interest of justice."

 

 

So, Becke, since we're almost on the same time zone for a change ( :smileyhappy: ), I'll try to answer your reader's Qs in a much more timely manner.

 

Please fire away!

 

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Hi, Ed, your new book sounds wonderful and I will buy it! Where do you get your ideas for novels from?

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs


EdKovacs wrote:

Becke,

 

Hey, thanks for having me back!

 

I just spent 19 hours on a series of airplanes and am back in California.

Jet lag, anyone?  I'm fighting it, so excuse me if I'm a little punchy.

 

Burnt Black will be in stores and is available for purchase tomorrow, November 19th.

 

Kirkus said:  

"The vibrant description of occult doings mixes well with the movements of the earthbound characters, making this Cliff and Honey’s best outing to date."

 

From Booklist:  

"What lingers after the demons are downed is St. James’ obliquely funny personality. A fine, offbeat procedural."

 

And a nice review from Criminal Element just came in:

"This series has a definite southern noir feel, and its rough around the edges locale will be catnip to some readers, like myself. The black magic element gives it a particularly gritty edge and the book has more twists and turns than the streets and back alleys of New Orleans itself, not to mention some pretty gruesome surprises, perfect for a cop that doesn’t always play by the rule book to get what he wants, and doesn’t hesitate to knock heads in the interest of justice."

 

 

So, Becke, since we're almost on the same time zone for a change ( :smileyhappy: ), I'll try to answer your reader's Qs in a much more timely manner.

 

Please fire away!

 

 


Ed - Did you have to do any special research about black magic for this book, or did you rely on your imagination?

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Maxcat,

 

Thanks for the Q!

 

For BURNT BLACK, I was having a beer one night with an NOPD captain buddy of mine, when he mentioned a case he and his former partner had never been able to solve.  That real life case became a pebble dropped into the pond of my imagination.  My book is not like his case at all, but his premise got me going.

 

I think that's how it is with most novelists.  It might be a newspaper clipping, an item on the TV news, or some other input that acts as a spark.

 

But then sometimes, I get an idea for a character and the story itself just seems to appear.  I'm right now developing a spec novel that originated in a dream I had ten years ago!  Talk about an incubation period!

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Becke,

 

I did pretty much the usual kind of research for the New Orleans black magic aspect of the book.  I deliberately avoided making this about "voodoo" per se.  And I kind of went out of my way to suggest that I wasn't creating some kind of indictment of the practioners of these types of alternative religions and spiritual beliefs.

 

By usual research I mean I spent time on the Internet, I bought and read a number of books, and I interviewed a detective in New Orleans with a working knowledge of occult crimes and groups.  And while I've never practiced black magic, I've spent decades studying with shamans, spiritual teachers, medicine chiefs, and the like, so I have a solid background in things "occult."

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs


EdKovacs wrote:

Becke,

 

I did pretty much the usual kind of research for the New Orleans black magic aspect of the book.  I deliberately avoided making this about "voodoo" per se.  And I kind of went out of my way to suggest that I wasn't creating some kind of indictment of the practioners of these types of alternative religions and spiritual beliefs.

 

By usual research I mean I spent time on the Internet, I bought and read a number of books, and I interviewed a detective in New Orleans with a working knowledge of occult crimes and groups.  And while I've never practiced black magic, I've spent decades studying with shamans, spiritual teachers, medicine chiefs, and the like, so I have a solid background in things "occult."


I've heard there's a lot of focus on the occult in New Orleans and certain parts of the Caribbean. Do these practices make their way to Asia and the Middle East, or are they more common in the Northern Hemisphere?

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Becke,

 

The Afro-Carib religions and practices--generally speaking--evolved from the practices of slaves from certain African countries who were sent to the "New World."  So there are strong similarities to practices happeneing today in Africa, parts of South America, the Caribbean, and much of the Gulf Coast (and elsewhere in N.A. as folks have migrated).

 

The shamans, taoists, and esoteric Buddhist monks I've spent time with in Korea, Mongolia, and SE Asia use very different methods and protocols, although the use of human bones is perhaps a commonality--but they use bones in different ways in Asia, than say, the way practioners of Palo Mayombe use bones in the Caribbean.

 

I can't speak as to what's going on in the Middle East, although some say that Iranian sorcerers do a lot of black work against the United States.  There's a novel for you!  Does Uncle Sam have a Psy Corp fighting these enemy shamans?  I don't think so. :smileywink:

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

"some say that Iranian sorcerers do a lot of black work against the United States.  There's a novel for you!  Does Uncle Sam have a Psy Corp fighting these enemy shamans?  I don't think so." :smileywink:

 

I'd say you have a couple of novels there! Speaking of which, what are you working on now, Ed? Can you give us any hints or is it too soon to say?

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Becke,

 

I'm launching a new series with St. Martins--your typical global espionage conspiracy thriller!  The first book is called RUSSIAN BRIDE, to be published Feb of 2015.  It's an ensemble with several vey capable female characters, I might add.

 

Meantime I'm writing a spec thriller called LOCKED DOWN, set in Hong Kong, with an American heroine trapped in a gargantuan luxury highrise complex who's trying to figure out why a team of Chinese killers seem intent on ruining her vacation!

 

The only way for me to stay out of trouble, it seems, is to keep writing!

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs


EdKovacs wrote:

Becke,

 

I'm launching a new series with St. Martins--your typical global espionage conspiracy thriller!  The first book is called RUSSIAN BRIDE, to be published Feb of 2015.  It's an ensemble with several vey capable female characters, I might add.

 

Meantime I'm writing a spec thriller called LOCKED DOWN, set in Hong Kong, with an American heroine trapped in a gargantuan luxury highrise complex who's trying to figure out why a team of Chinese killers seem intent on ruining her vacation!

 

The only way for me to stay out of trouble, it seems, is to keep writing!


Oooh - I look forward to reading these! Are they thrillers (as in super-scary) or more mystery/suspense?

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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

Becke,

 

They are mystery/suspense.  I tend to use the umbrella term "thriller" to refer to action/adventure, mystery/ suspense, espionage, etc..... any fiction book that is a nail-biting page-turner.

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs


EdKovacs wrote:

Becke,

 

They are mystery/suspense.  I tend to use the umbrella term "thriller" to refer to action/adventure, mystery/ suspense, espionage, etc..... any fiction book that is a nail-biting page-turner.


I use pretty much the same definitions. I need a new category for books that scare the pants off me, though - I'm not big on horror, and I've read a few thrillers recently that came closer to horror than mystery, to my mind, anyway.