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Wahoo Rhapsody (An Atticus Fish Novel Book 1), by Shaun Morey.

Take one sea-loving captain, a drug-smuggling first mate, and a novice deckhand with a secret, and you have the motley crew of the Wahoo Rhapsody, a ramshackle fishing charter plying the Pacific's waters off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. Captain Winston Weber makes an honest, if lean, living running fishing charters between Mexico and California, with no inkling of the fact that his first mate, Weevil Ott, is smuggling marijuana inside the yellowfin tuna stacked in the boat's hold. But when Weevil decides to skim a small fortune for himself, goons under orders from the mysterious drug lord known only as "La Cucaracha" descend upon the Wahoo Rhapsody. What ensues is a madcap romp that will catapult readers from Cabo San Lucas to Tucson and San Diego, as Winston, Weevil, and an expat American lawyer by the name of Atticus Fish try to outrun La Cucaracha's bloody reach. Fans of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard will relish this rollicking satirical adventure from award-winning writer Shaun Morey.

A Q&A with Shaun Morey

Question: Wahoo Rhapsody is one part international mystery, one part drug caper, and one part big fish story. What gave you the idea to mix the three?

Shaun Morey: A combination of a short attention span, a best-selling fishing book (Incredible Fishing Stories), and my discovery of pot floating in the Sea of Cortez. I blame tequila for the short attention span, dumb luck for the best-selling fishing book, and a combination of both for stumbling across kilos of lost dope. And because Baja California is mostly lawless it was ripe for a novel. Or jail. Or worse.

Question: You won the inaugural Abbey-Hill short story contest, and you're a three-time winner of the Los Angeles Times novel writing contest. Did these prizes push you to write Wahoo Rhapsody, or is it a story that's been in the back of your mind for years?

Shaun Morey: The wins were great fun, but a mystery series set in Baja had been marinating for years. Baja is like Florida without laws. A land of expatriates, rapscallions, outlaws, whackos, drunks, drunk whackos... It was easy to fit in.

Question: You've got to be a good storyteller to be a fisherman, don't you? But tell us honestly, what's the biggest fish you've ever caught?

Shaun Morey: Size isn't everything. My most memorable catch--other than the occasional floating kilo--was a Mahi Mahi that beached itself on a remote stretch of Baja coastline. I raced down the sand and bear hugged it. But fish are slimy for a reason. A wave washed over us and the fish slipped free. I came that close to making it into my own fishing book. Which would have been weird, so maybe it worked out best.

Question: There are some pretty quirky characters aboard the Wahoo Rhapsody, from Atticus Fish, the eccentric millionaire lawyer who sued God and won, to trouble-making first mate Weevil Ott. Are any of them influenced by real people or do they all exist only in your imagination?

Shaun Morey: All the characters are based on real people. The bars in Baja are filled with lovable and not so lovable oddballs, and you never know who you'll meet on the back roads. You learn quickly not to drive at night (drunks, wandering farm animals, drug dealers, bandits) and not to ask expatriates what they do for a living. As for my mistreatment of lawyers in the book, that was easy. I grew up around lawyers. And I have an uncle who really did sue God and win. Actually, it was the Catholic Church, on behalf of abuse victims. He made enough money to retire early. As for names, most are taken from people I've met over the years. And as a surfer I always wanted to name a character Skegs.

Question: You're a fisherman, but fishing isn't your only passion. You've worked as a bar tender and attorney, among other things. Did those jobs influence the dead-on bar scenes and legalese in Wahoo Rhapsody?

Shaun Morey: The old saying "write what you know about" really rings true. The opening sting ray scene is based on an experience in Baja. I was camped on a beach when this drunken expatriate started spearing sting rays by the dozen. Supposedly, he wanted to make the water safer for his grandchildren who were coming in from the Midwest somewhere. It was as ridiculous as it was cruel and senseless. No one can kill every sting ray.

In Wahoo Rhapsody I try to satire the absurd. For instance, beheadings in Mexico are so commonplace that we risk becoming desensitized. So instead of beheading my deckhand, I have the bad guys use a hole punch on his face. Imagine replacing 30,000 dead drug war victims with 30,000 hole punch victims. That would be quite a lasting statement. Everyone would know what they'd done, including the cops.

Lawsuits are another area to poke fun at. More and more absurd cases are making the news. So, I invented Derek Moneymaker and his toothpick lawsuit. And of course, there's the lawsuit against God that made our hero Atticus Fish a billionaire and sent him fleeing south to escape the fanatics.

Question: What's next for your writing? Any other fish stories you're working on? More mysteries to come?

Shaun Morey:The next Atticus Fish mystery-adventure El Dorado Blues is out November 2012, and I'm collecting stories for a second Incredible Fishing Stories book.

280 pages, with a 4.0-star rating from 171 reviews

Three books in this series, $1.99 each.

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The Perfect Affair (The Shady Sisters Trilogy Book 1), by Lutishia Lovely.

The Shady Sisters Trilogy

In this thrilling new series, acclaimed author Lutishia Lovely dives into the scandalous heart of romantic obsession with a cunning, sexy seductress, and the object of her affections. . .

Freelance writer Jacqueline Tate arrives in Los Angeles and soon meets brilliant, award-winning scientist Randall Atwater, the man she's come to cover at a conference on trends and technology. He is everything she's read about--brainy, witty, handsome, and cool. And after a week spent with the most fascinating man she's ever known, there's no way she can give him up.

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353 pages, with a 4.4-star rating from 59 reviews

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All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, by Michael Patrick Macdonald.

A breakaway bestseller since its first printing, All Souls takes us deep into Michael Patrick MacDonald's Southie, the proudly insular neighborhood with the highest concentration of white poverty in America. Rocked by Whitey Bulger's crime schemes and busing riots, MacDonald's Southie is populated by sharply hewn characters like his Ma, a miniskirted, accordion-playing single mother who endures the deaths of four of her eleven children. Nearly suffocated by his grief and his community's code of silence, MacDonald tells his family story here with gritty but moving honesty.
300 pages, with a 4.5-star rating from 460 reviews

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Obsidian Eyes, by A.W. Exley.

1836, a world of light and dark, noble and guild. The two spheres intersect when seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan is placed at the aristocratic St Matthews Academy. More at ease with a blade than a needle, she finds herself ostracised by the girls and stalked by a Scottish lord intent on learning why she is among them.

She begins to suspect why she is at the school when soldiers arrive to see her friend, Zeb, a mechanical genius. On the hunt for answers she breaks into his underground laboratory. There, Allie discovers he is not just constructing sentient mechanical creatures, he is building a devastating new weapon for the military.

Used to relying on herself, Allie must cross the guild-noble divide to keep Zeb safe and stop the weapon falling into the wrong hands. However, the guilds want the device and she is caught in their trap.

Once rescued from Newgate prison, now she must obey the overlord of the guild and deliver up her friend or he will return her to the gallows. Can she trust her new bonds of friendship to save both their lives?
264 pages, with a 4.3-star rating from 37 reviews

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The Forgotten Door, by Alexander Key.

Lost in an unfamiliar world, a traveler searches for understanding

At night, Little Jon's people go out to watch the stars. Mesmerized by a meteor shower, he forgets to watch his step and falls through a moss-covered door to another land: America. He awakes hurt, his memory gone, sure only that he does not belong here. Captured by a hunter, Jon escapes by leaping six feet over a barbed-wire fence. Hungry and alone, he staggers through the darkness and is about to be caught when he is rescued by a kind family known as the Beans. They shelter him, feed him, and teach him about his new home. In return, he will change their lives forever.

Although the Beans are kind to Little Jon, the townspeople mistrust the mysterious visitor. But Jon has untold powers, and as he learns to harness them, he will show his newfound friends that they have no reason to be afraid.
146 pages, with a 4.8-star rating from 94 reviews

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