Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Derrick by Russell - Book Tour and Giveaway

In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening. 

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities —but one of the victims is most peculiar… 

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered. 

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.  

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything. 

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a  killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.


“Look at that.” Derrick pointed over to the front rows.

At the fifth and fourth rows in the dead center, several more CSI members were photographing two burnt corpses. The explosion blew back the bodies into a crumpled position on the chairs.

Hopefully they had a quick death. Gavin stayed silent.

Moving on, they reached the exit door near the front of the theater. Another warning from Delanie informed them of the rubble and potential structural damage in the next section. Briefly looking back, Gavin heard the crackling of radios, like eerie ghostly crickets fluttering in the distance. In the opposite direction, three firemen were still containing some smoldering chairs.

“Shit,” Derrick muttered, tapping Gavin’s shoulder. He nodded up.

The once ornate ceiling now had entire sections missing. Squinting slightly, Gavin could see the dark night sky.

Once they passed the doorway, a series of portable lights cascaded over the area. Gavin was unable to decipher the debris, the contents of which were haphazardly pushed away from the clear epicenter near the opposite end of the room. Up above, about a third of the ceiling had disintegrated, leaving a huge hole. The cold wind invaded the space, dissipating the soot scent slightly. More CSI team members shifted diligently, gathering debris in clear evidence bags and marking each spot with photographs and red markers. Near the apparent epicenter of the blast, several firemen were discussing the area, pointing at spots.

“Have to get back to my captain,” the young fireman said. “Need anything else, just let me know.”

“Thanks,” Gavin replied.

“Where the fuck do we begin?” Derrick grumbled.

“You can begin by bringing back that hottie,” Susan said behind them.

Gavin turned to find the doctor kneeling near a shriveled, burnt corpse. Her scalpel gingerly poked and prodded the body’s seared skull.

“Isn’t he too young for you?” Derrick returned with a snarky grin.

Gavin stated, “I didn’t see your van.”

“Came through the back.” She looked up at him and then at Derrick. She added, “As long he’s eighteen-plus, no laws broken, baby.”

Shaking his head, Derrick snickered. One of the CSI team, an annoyed-looking woman whose gray hair probably came directly from her stressful job, shot him a glance.

Standing up and ripping off her plastic gloves, Susan said, “No offense, love you guys, but what the hell are you doing here?”

“Creighton’s orders,” Derrick answered first. His midnight eyes darted over the scene.

Guest Post

What would you like to tell the readers about yourself?

Since I had been young, I always intended to be a writer. Yet, life somehow turned me in another direction. 
For nearly two decades, my real job was as an Executive Chef in the Restaurant Industry. For me, college was both exhilarating and overwhelming. As the semesters wore on, my scholastic path did not have a clear direction. Working as a waiter, I had paid my own way through endless semesters. When my mother had passed away before I turned twenty-one, the shock made me reassess my future and discovered my passion for cooking. Leaving the university life for good, I attended a local community college and received my degree in Culinary Arts. After that point, I became a Sous Chef in a private club, and created high end dishes for the members. When an opportunity arose in Chicago, my wife and I headed down to the Windy City. Once there, I became an Executive Chef for a corporate dining company, which I ran kitchens up to twenty-five people, produced meals for up to a thousand people daily and prepared classic fine dining for CEOs and Presidents of companies. 
Over time, the stress, long hours and demanding general managers took a toll on me, and the taste to cook for the masses slowly lost my appetite. Eventually, my position had been eliminated due to labor cuts and found myself unemployed. I quickly realized having an Associate’s Degree and experience was not enough to qualify for most jobs. I decided then to return to college and finish my Bachelor’s degree. Despite this, I still loved cooking and changed my career path to teach Culinary Arts. (Currently, I teach Culinary skills to a new hungry young chefs.) No matter, the extended time away from the academic realm ignited my juices for knowledge. Thus, I entered Graduate School to earn my Master’s Degree in Sociology. 
However, back in my mind, the longing to be writer gnawed at me. While I read a plethora of books, I imagined myself to be the one to be on the cover and produce a book myself. Despite my busy life as a chef (albeit having children on top of that), I always wrote in the spare small moments of my hectic life. In my twenties, I worked on a story from start to finish which gave me sense of accomplishment. Was it the great novel? Absolutely not! What it did though, the buried manuscript pushed me forward to write The Tale of Old Man Fischer. Unbeknownst to my family, I never shared the fact I was a writer. Consequently, I decided to publish Old Man Fischer. Quite frankly, my family was rather flabbergasted.  While the lessons learned from publishing a book would deter many newbies (such as promoting, always need an editor, ins and outs of social media), this new world opened a fresh start for me. Zenning my inner Chef, I took my own experience in opening cafes and shifted it into the publishing world. Most of all, like creating a new meal, creativity is always first and foremost, but criticism is a necessary evil to create a better dish.  I listened, took notes and moved forward.
Thus, it gave way into GAVIN, which is part of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy. On a side note, I wrote my sophomore novel during Graduate School between the dense dry reading, writing short essays and grinding out my thesis. Even as I wrote GAVIN, I realized the story could not be contained just in one book. (I highly recommend you to read GAVIN before you tackle DERRICK because you will see the natural progression of the story.) About a month after my second draft of GAVIN, DERRICK was conceived. DERRICK is a darker version of Book 1, where I explore the friendship between Gavin and his partner Derrick even more, testing it to the very end. Currently, I’m on the next draft of QUINN--the final part of the Gavin Nolan Trilogy. While the process can be time consuming, I have to comb through GAVIN and DERRICK in order to answer all the outlining questions…or will they all be answered? Hmmm…QUINN will be out Spring 2020. In fact, a preview of QUINN is in DERRICK. 
In meantime, I had written something completely different, a standalone piece, titled The Eradication Initiative. Here’s the premise: A group of seemingly random strangers are being hunted down, captured and brought to an underground facility. Soon the experiments begin. I hoping to have Initiative out late 2020. Currently while editing QUINN, I’ve been plugging away at another piece that is untitled. While I’m about a third into it, the piece is about a ghost story located somewhere in Up State New York. Seriously, I’ve been scaring myself even while writing in the full daylight…yeesh!

Thank you so much for spending some time with me. I do hope you checkout my books GAVIN and now DERRICK. This series is not for the light hearted mystery reader, it contains strong sexual situations, graphic violence and explicative language. If you enjoy that, you will be in a ride for your life.

Read to Escape!


About the Author

Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.

DERRICK is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards, receiving Official Selection in Psychological Suspense.

Russell will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Another great book to discover. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  2. I enjoyed the guest post & exerpt!

  3. Did you help design the cover? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  4. The excerpt sounds wonderful..I can't wait to read the rest!!

  5. Learning that DERRICK is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards & receivied Official Selection in Psychological Suspense makes me want to read it even more!