Beta book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn_mDGLOPe8

Back in 1988, when I worked for radio station WKEI/WJRE in the self proclaimed “Hog Capital of the World” town of Kewanee, Illinois, one of my fellow broadcasters was named Gary Petersen. He was the first person I knew who spelled the surname with EN rather than ON. When I created my private investigator/martial artist, I gave a slight nod of admiration to Gary by naming her Mallory Petersen.

Last week, we explored the early life and the current situation of Mallory. This week I want to show a little more of her personality and tell you a little about the people in her life. I spent many months developing Mallory starting with a character profile. I started by writing attributes I thought were interesting. I included basic things like height, weight, hair and eye color, and then moved onto little tidbits of information. Her favorite color is lavender. She likes chocolate and lilacs. She dislikes coffee but drinks Dr Pepper.

I wanted her to be fun loving with a sense of humor, wit, sarcasm, a touch of cynicism. Part of the humor is shown through her involvement in odd cases and the people she meets during those cases. Even on her serious case, she can’t avoid the oddballs. In Beta, Mallory receives a visit from a Focal Point Seer, otherwise known as a remote viewer, who gives her a list with ‘clues’ pertaining to the kidnapping. Of course, Mallory thinks the woman is a bit strange considering when she sometimes receives her ‘visions’.

Part of her personality I mentioned last time with her love of the Bogart portrayal of Sam Spade. Although Mallory wouldn’t dream of smoking a cigarette, she loves the trench coat and hat.

I borrowed several attributes from my life for Mallory. One is the first car I remember my parents owning when I was a child. A 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger, blue with a white hardtop. Mallory’s parents also owned one and she bought it for a buck when she went off to college.

Mallory possesses a lot of love and adoration for her students and the people around her. She cares for everyone who trains at her taekwondo school. She also throws herself wholeheartedly into each of her cases, even the weird ones. So when she starts after the kidnapped girl in Beta, you know she is going to get emotional. She has to utilize a lot of self control when squaring off against the people involved in the crime. She pushes the envelope and steps over the line at times because she cares so much. She knows the potential of the young students in her classes and can’t imagine the horrible acts perpetrated on this one little girl.

Mallory has a wonderful supporting cast, each of whom will assist her with finding more leads on the case, help her to control her emotions, or show the humorous side of her life.

Darren: her enigmatic secretary with a last name she can’t pronounce. He is Mallory’s rock when things get rough. A few years her junior, Darren is a loyal and trusted friend and confidante.

Willy Washington: Mallory’s ‘confidential informant’. She caught him trying to steal her car and did her own version of ‘scared straight’ on him. Now, he occasionally provides information about various criminal elements around town.

A few years ago, some author friends persuaded me to change the name of Mallory’s secretary. Originally, I named him Jamie. I also had given the handsome detective Mallory meets in the Quad Cities the moniker of Laurel, but they pooh-poohed that name, too. So, I chose the more masculine names of Darren and Lawrence.

Lawrence Cameron: First name taken from, ahem, yours truly (what do you think the L stands for?), and the surname from, um, well, a certain someone I give a passing mention to in the book and about whom I’ll tell you if you ask me, but not here in this forum. Anyway, he’s the very good looking member of the Special Case Squad, based out of the East Moline police department. He partners with Mallory when her search for the girl takes her to the Quad Cities. He also will stick around for awhile as Mallory’s romantic interest.

So, tomorrow is the day. The first day the new month with a new heroine ready to take the stage. I hope you will come to love Mallory Petersen as much as I have. Do me a huge favor and spread the word about her. If you like martial arts, a detective with a few quirks but real emotion, and an action packed story, give Beta a read.

Thank you.

Beta is published by Echelon Press. The book can be purchased October 1, 2011, at Omnilit.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. For more information on Beta, my other book, Night Shadows, my upcoming book, Alpha, and four short stories also to be published, please visit www.stephenbrayton.com.

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