New Book: BROKEN

My National First Place Award-Winning novel is now available.
“A series of seemingly unrelated murders rattles a small desert town. As one death follows another, the only common thread is that all of the victims had their necks broken. When clues begin to point to one of the two cops on the case, the officers become more determined than ever to find the real killer.”
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.

 

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The Corpse in the Cactus

Corpse in the Cactus cover proofSynopsis:
Tucson police detective Maggie Reardon is back, in the sizzling sequel to The Mosaic Murder!
The murder that Detective Maggie Reardon just solved at a local Tucson art gallery has already created repercussions, complicating her life both legally and personally. Her new lover dropped to second place when a new man entered the picture. A dead man whose body had been found at The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum lying under a bed of cactus. What at first appeared to be a tragic accident was quickly starting to smell like murder.

And dead things always smelled worse under the hot Arizona sun.

Losing wasn’t her game, but she’s been dealt a nameless victim with no witnesses, no suspect, and no apparent cause of death. As the evidence unfolds, Detective Reardon battles a hostile fellow cop, determined to see her lose her badge.

The mixture adds up to a scorching southwestern recipe guaranteed to sear your taste buds — but leave you begging for more!

The Corpse in the Cactus is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Reviews:

By Wryheat on March 22, 2015
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first Maggie Reardon Mystery, The Mosaic Murder, it left me wanting more. I was impatiently looking forward to the next one in the series. Well, Maggie’s back in town with The Corpse in the Cactus! Unlike the first novel, where everyone is a suspect, this time she has to solve a murder with no suspects at all and a nameless victim while battling a nasty fellow cop as well as the jumbled emotions that complicate her love life. Lonni Lees has a writing style is all her own, combining humor, action and mystery with just the right touch of the poet in her descriptions of people and places. This is a hard book to put down, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself up late until you turn the last page. Lonni Lees always delivers with interesting and fully developed characters and a great plot that kept me guessing to the very end. Although not necessary because this is a stand-alone story, I recommend reading Mosaic Murder first to even better appreciate the development of the characters and contrast between two very different stories.

By Terry Butler on March 23, 2015
For this reader one of the great pleasures of reading P. I. or Police Procedural novels in series is the opportunity to move along with a good writer as she develops the character of her protagonist and those close to that person. That’s why I was so glad to see that up-and-comer Lonni Lees has continued to flesh out the intriguing character from 2012’s “The Mosaic Murder”–Detective Maggie Reardon of the Tucson P.D.

And this book is even more compelling than the first book in the series, because as Ms. Lees has deepened our attraction to a believable and likeable cop with a heart, she now provides Det. Reardon with a lightly drawn but troubling back story that promises a more complex psyche than is at first apparent. Something powerful happened to Maggie to form her toughened vulnerability somewhere along the line and I want to know what it was!

Lees has also pared down and sharpened her mystery this time, making it more puzzling–and ultimately more satisfying– than most of the tired tropes and standard plots we have to plow through while looking for a gem like this. This time we also have a few dark and somehow interconnected weirdos inhabiting a sort of parallel world in the darker corners of Tucson. Ms Lees brings to this underground some of the ways with horror stories that she displayed in earlier books like 2011’s “Deranged” and in some of the short stories she’s published online in magazines like Yellow Mama (where she also does illustration work) to add to the mystery in front of us.

There’s a bit of Jim Thompson here, some Stephen King too, but much more Lonni Lees than anyone else.
When I got my copy from Amazon I was going to crack it and see where it would go in my book pile; on the table in my workroom or the nightstand next to the bed. I ended up in a comfy chair in the living room pleasurably ingesting the first three chapters before I had to get back to the real world. I finished the book in short order though, and it was a joy to read, reading in bed as a cap to my day. I like shorter books that get to the story right away, that don’t try to trick you or make you read lots of detail–books that fit Elmore Leonard’s parameters in his Ten Rules of Writing (Google it!)
This one is a good example of that kind of storytelling. I highly recommend it.

And check out Lonni’s other books as well as those of her sister Arlette Lees, a talented author and painter in her own right.

Besides The Mosaic Murder, linked above, Lonni’s first novel, Deranged, is about a serial killer who meets his match. This book won a first place award from PSWA a professional association of writers, forensic experts, police and firefighters. Lonni also has an anthology of her noir-style short stories in the book called Crawlspace. One of the stories in this collection, The Blue-eyed Bandit, also won an award from PSWA.

Lonni’s story “The Confessor” online at Shotgun Honey won First Place as well as Grand Prize from PSWA. Take a look at The Confessor for a short taste of noir.

If you are a fan of murder mysteries, give both The Mosaic Murder and The Corpse in the Cactus a try. If you like sheer horror and suspense, try Deranged.

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A new short story has been published by All Due Respect

DOING STUPID
By Lonni Lees

I’d been watching one of those talk shows on the television. I do that a lot because Jeb doesn’t want me to leave the apartment without him. He doesn’t want me to do anything. I don’t fancy Oprah much. She’s too damn touchy-feely for my taste. And she’s always hawking books. Books that sound pretty damn boring if you ask me. I watch The View and Jerry Springer and sometimes that doctor guy. And I like the soap operas with all those people and their complicated lives. They help to fill up the hours. And I have to admit it feels good to see people in a worse off way than I am.

Read the rest here: http://all-due-respect.blogspot.in/2013/05/issue-52-may-2013.html

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The Mosaic Murder

The Mosaic Murder  a new mystery by Tucson writer Lonni Lees has just been released.

Mosaic Murder coverSynopsis by Borgo Press:

“The artists’ reception at the popular Mosaic Gallery in Tucson, Arizona is a great success, but the next morning, when the body of Armando, the owner’s husband, is discovered, things start turning ugly. Every artist becomes a suspect, and each of them has their own reason to want the man out of the picture. But who disliked him enough to want him dead? And who stole the Mexican artifacts and the sculpture of the goddess Gaia? Gallery owner Barbara Atwell is devastated at her young husband’s death, and turns to her friends, Adrian and Rocco, for support. An unseasonal Arizona heat wave keeps everyone’s nerves on edge as Police Detective Maggie Reardon juggles a disastrous personal life while trying to solve the crime. She even finds herself attracted to one of the suspects as she sifts through a long list of colorful, Bohemian characters to determine who had the ultimate motive for murder. But when she’s viciously attacked in her own home, she begins wondering whether she’ll survive long enough to find the culprit. The first of a great series of detective novels set in the sizzling Southwest!”

This book has just been released and is available at Amazon.  It will soon be available from other providers.  Other books by Lonni include Deranged, a novel of horror and Crawlspace, an anthology of creepy short stories.

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QUICKSILVER

See my new science fiction story published online at Black Petals in issue #59:

http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/blackpetalsissue59/id16.html

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New Book: Crawlspace

Two new anthologies of noir mystery and hardboiled crime short stories available as a double book in print form or singly on Kindle: Crawlspace by Lonni Lees and Cold Bullets & Hot Babes by Arlette Lees.

CRAWLSPACE AND OTHER DARK STORIES by Lonni Lees:

Lonni has followed up on her novel “Deranged, A Novel of Horror,” with a collection of short stories that get you into the head of the protagonist.

Deep beneath the surface, they hide in all of us. The crawlspaces, cobwebbed basements, shadowed alleyways and musty attics of our minds; they are the dark and dangerous corners of the human psyche. Dormant, they lie in wait. Some pretend they’re not there and go about their innocuous lives, while others grab hold and pull them to the surface, feeding on their dark forces.  Whether a career criminal, a madman, a thug, an abused spouse or an innocent child, within these pages you’ll find those who have embraced that darkness. Some tap into it for survival, some for greed. Some use it for destruction, some just because it’s there. It dwells within all of us, waiting.

Commentary about Crawlspace:

“When Hardboiled Magazine publishes new authors, I’ve learned over the years it’s worth paying attention, and Lonni Lees is no exception. Her crime story, “The Blue-Eyed Bandit,” merges a pitch-perfect Black Mask pulp style with a more modern, psychotic noir, with the result being that Ms. Lees is someone readers should be on the lookout for.” -Dave Zeltserman, Author of Small Crimes and The Caretaker of Lorne Field.

COLD BULLETS AND HOT BABES by Arlette Lees:

Detour if you dare into the dark alleys and twisted cul-de-sacs of the human heart. Brush shoulders with men whose eyes are as hard and cold as bullets – murderers, grifters, and hapless goofballs, who prey on the innocent and unsuspecting, often at their own peril.

Against your better judgment, get up close and intimate with sizzling kiss-and-kill babes, and live to tell about it … or not.

Eight hard-edged tales of criminals, killers, and their delectable molls, all with an ironic twist.

Commentary on both collections:

“The Lees Sisters, Lonni and Arlette, are unique; these two gals write their own work in their own way, but they always deliver sharp, exciting, intense crime stories you can really sink your teeth into. You can’t go wrong with the stories in this book.” -Gary Lovisi, Hardboiled magazine

“If I didn’t know the Lees Sisters were chicks, I would think they were hard-drinking, gun-toting vigilantes from Brooklyn. Genius, pure genius, runs in the Lees gene pool.”  -Cindy Rosmus, Editor, Yellow Mama

The print book containing stories from both authors is available from Amazon here, from Barnes & Noble here, and from Wildside books here.  The Kindle separates are Crawlspace here, and Cold Bullets here.

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BATTLING BOXING STORIES

Thrilling Tales of Pugilistic Puissance!

Gary Lovisi, Editor

Available at $14.99 from Amazon or Wildside Press.

My tragic boxing tale, DEMENTIA PUGILISTICA, is among 15 of the most intense and hard-hitting stories about the pugilistic arts collected in one place and written by some of the best of today’s new crop of exciting writers.  The stories in this book highlight all types of boxers and all aspects of the sport, from amateur bouts and illegal street fights, to heavyweight championship events.  These are wonderful stories with unforgettable characters who are full of passion and emotion, action and rage – heartfelt tales about real people fighting for their lives, their honor, and sometimes their very souls.  Each story captures that rare magic – the combination of violence and majesty that takes place in the boxing ring.  Your ears will still be ringing with the sting of these battles long after you finish this book!

 The authors include: Wayne D. Dundee, Stan Trybulski, Ron Fortier, Robert S. P. Lee, G. D. McFetridge, Arlette Lees, Terence Butler, Marc Spitzer, C. J. Henderson, Gary Lovisi, Garnett Elliott, Penelope Stanhope, Michael A. Black, Lonni Lees, and William Boyle.

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DERANGED reviewed by A Shot of Ink

An independent review by Brendan Matley, editor of an online literary magazine called A Shot Of Ink in Britain is available.

Here is Brendan’s review:

When first sitting down and sinking my teeth into DERANGED I must admit that I was a little surprised. I was surprised at how good it is.

Now don’t get me wrong, Lonni Lees is a talented writer of short stories (check out her story ‘Desert Venus’ elsewhere on A Shot of Ink), but this was her first full length novel. As any writers out there will testify; creating a novel is a very different skill to writing a short. The plot has to be strong enough to interest the reader over a vastly longer word count, and the characters must be well developed and have suitable depth to carry the narrative. This is where Lonni Lees shines.

The plot involves a psycho named Charlie Blackhawk kidnaping a twelve year old Sabrina Stinson. Meanwhile, a girl named Amy is suffering terrible nightmares that possibly hold the key to saving Sabrina.

The book is beautifully plotted, with Lees leaving the actual kidnaping until relatively late in the story. This allows her to explore the characters and their various interactions with friends and family, leaving the reader with a true sense of caring about their fates. By the time the abduction happens the reader has gotten to know Sabrina quite well so you really feel for her and her family.

The protagonists in DERANGED read as real people as opposed to a cast whose sole purpose it is to forward the plot. I must also mention the secondary players, most notably; the Stinson’s friend Betty and Amy’s friend Freddy. Both of them ooze warmth and likeability tinged with a melancholy that is hard to describe without spoiling the plot. These peripheral characters fill the world nicely; adding extra layers to a relentlessly dark environment.

The story runs at a pitch-perfect pace with a special mention going to chapter fourteen which breathlessly switches between characters giving a wonderful sense of foreboding that only a great book can achieve.

The main players in DERANGED are very well written. Sabrina is a precocious little thing that you can’t help but love. Her grit and determination coupled with her obvious love for her mother make her a well rounded heroine.

Meg (Sabrina’s mother) and Charlie both share a history of sexual abuse, although both have grown into very different adults. Meg is still somewhat of a victim as an adult although she allows herself to commit sexual acts in order to further her career as an actress.

The star of the show, for this reviewer at least, is Charlie Blackhawk. He is a wonderfully creepy villain that exudes a sense of menace whenever he is on the page. Lees weaves his back-story throughout the novel and succeeds in making him both evil and slightly sympathetic; a very difficult trick to pull off.

DERANGED is a curious mix of both horror and crime fiction and fans of either genre will not be disappointed. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel as it is written with the confidence of a seasoned professional and reads as such.

A Shot of Ink heartily recommends DERANGED as a riveting read. It is available now from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Deranged is available from the publisher Wildside Press and from Amazon as a print book and as a Kindle ebook, or may be ordered through your favorite bookstore. It is also available from Barnes & Noble here.

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Deranged: A Novel of Horror, by Lonni Lees

My first novel has come out. It is available directly from the publisher, Wildside Press, and is also available at amazon.com or may be ordered from your favorite bookstore. I thought that you might be interested. I hope you enjoy it! Lonni

Just an ordinary-looking man, Charlie Blackhawk is really a monster inside–a cold-blooded killer who likes to use a knife. When his path crosses that of Meg Stinson and her 12-year-old daughter, Sabrina, their lives are changed forever.

What’s the connection between the Stinsons and a girl named Amy? Do Amy’s nightmares hold the key to Sabrina’s survival? A chilling, thrilling exercise in unrelenting horror and suspense.

“A harrowing ride, mixing crime with horror, horror with crime, in a way you won’t soon forget.” — Gary Lovisi, Hardboiled Magazine.

“Lonni Lees sends chills down my spine.”  — Terrill Lee Lankford, Novelist and Film Maker.

Deranged is available from the publisher Wildside Press and from Amazon as a print book and as a Kindle ebook.

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