Today we have the opportunity to visit with one of the primary characters from author Mark Love’s Jamie Richmond Mystery Series. To date there are two books in the series, “Devious” and “Vanishing Act” and a third book is under construction. Jamie is an independent woman in her early thirties, a former reporter who is now devoting all her creative efforts to writing mysteries. I’d like to introduce you to Jamie’s love interest, the somewhat mysterious Malone
Tell us a little about yourself.
Malone: Well, I have worked in law enforcement as a Michigan State Police trooper for more than fifteen years. It is important work and it’s something I do well. I’ve been a sergeant for about ten years now. For quite a while, the afternoon shift has been mine. I like having the mornings free and there is always plenty of action and excitement with the three p.m. to eleven p.m. shift. Outside of work, I enjoy baseball, football, skiing, motorcycles and hockey. I like to cook. I like classical music but not opera, jazz and blues but not reggae. I’m divorced, early forties and enjoying life. And the only name I use is Malone. Most people don’t seem to notice, but there is a certain redheaded female who is irked by that.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Why? What drew you to them?
Malone: The greatest love of my life would be Jamie Richmond. She’s the redhead I just referred to. We’ve been together less than a year, but I’d swear we’ve known each other a lot longer. Maybe we just squeeze so much into each moment we’re together. Jamie’s a fantastic woman. She has her insecurities and idiosyncrasies like everyone else, but she’s got a great heart, an even greater sense of humor and she’s very smart. She’s beautiful. I’ve always been a sucker for tall, slender women and that describes her pretty well. We first met when she was doing research for a novel and she ended up witnessing a trooper getting shot. Jamie kept digging, trying to figure out what happened. In the end, she did just that. So you could say it’s the combination of her beauty, her brains and her personality that caught my attention.
Do you have any unusual interests of hobbies? What led you to that interest?
Malone: I’m a baseball junkie. I grew up playing the game, so I’ll watch it every chance I get. When my schedule permits, I help coach a youth team in the area. Baseball is sacred. Don’t try and distract me when I’m watching a game. (Laughs) Well, Jamie can be very distracting when she sets her mind to it. But I think she enjoys it as much as I do. I used to have a motorcycle and would disappear on my days off, just follow my nose all over the state, without a plan or a destination. That’s a great way to travel. A few years ago, I took cooking lessons, so I could impress a woman I was dating at the time. It didn’t work out, but I learned that I enjoy cooking.
What’s your approach to life?
Malone: Keep your eyes and ears open. If you don’t pay attention, you might just miss something great.
How do the other characters in the books view you?
Malone: To the other troopers I work with, I’m seen as a strong leader, capable of taking charge of situations. As a cop, you have to be ready for anything. With Linda (Jamie’s best friend) I think she views me as someone special. Jamie is the big one. She sees me as this strong, fearless guy who may not have all the answers but is willing to help her find them. (Laughs) Whatever that means!
You’ve just gotten through an incredibly trying day. Now it’s time to kick back and put everything behind you. Describe what you’d do.
Malone: My workday normally ends just before midnight. So I’d go home and find Jamie. She usually waits up for me. One look at her can cause me to forget about everything else. If she’s been anticipating my arrival, we can get pretty romantic in a hurry. If she’s pensive or preoccupied, that just motivates me to take the lead. Jamie is pretty…adventurous. Sometimes we’ll talk for an hour or two until we fall asleep. Whatever was difficult about that day is soon long forgotten.
What is it about you that will interest a reader?
Malone: I’m a guy who can be calm and reassuring or taking charge, whatever the situation needs. When Jamie’s around, she triggers the romantic in me. Dating her has reawakened the passion, the intensity that a relationship brings. I feel more alive when she’s around. Even if I don’t have a first name! (Laughs) By the way, Jamie is determined to figure out my first name. So every day, she calls me by a different name. I’ve promised to tell her if she ever guesses right. So far, she hasn’t come close.
If you could go anywhere in the world on an all expenses paid trip, where would it be?
Malone: I’ve always wanted to go to Europe. I’d love to have a big motorcycle and cruise from one country to another, France and Spain and Italy and wherever the wind took me. Of course, I’d want to take Jamie along, just to keep things from getting boring.
What trait in others do you find most deplorable?
Malone: I’m not a big fan of violence. There are people who live for it, whether it’s physically beating each other or blasting away with guns merely for the sake of it. I’m a sharpshooter. I know how to use weapons and how to use force to control a situation. That’s part of my job. But I don’t want to be around people who live for it.
Now for an off the wall question: What’s your favorite meal?
Malone: Chicken Piccata. It’s one of my favorite dishes to cook and it comes together quickly. The first time I made it for Jamie I think it made her clothes disintegrate. (Laughs) Well, it certainly seemed that way.
Jamie Richmond is still discovering her way in the romantic relationship with the mysterious Malone when her best friend Linda Davis comes home. The beautiful Linda suddenly finds herself swept up in a whirlwind romance of her own with an older man, Dr. Vincent Schulte. But not everything is all champagne and flowers for Linda. She suddenly realizes she’s become the target of a stalker. The problem escalates. Jamie is determined to protect her friend, but even she is at a loss when Linda suddenly disappears one cold, snowy day. The police are searching for clues. Despite Malone’s attempts to keep Jamie on the sidelines, she is driven to find out what happened to Linda and where she could be. Despite her best intentions, Jamie has once again put herself in danger while trying to unravel the mystery.
Apparently Malone wanted to take advantage of the fact that I was so close. With one hand pressing me close, he pulled my robe open, drawing the sash free once more. Turning, Malone eased me onto the bed, moving me closer to the headboard. My body was on fire. I wanted to shed my robe and nightgown and feel Malone’s skin on mine.
His kisses were incredible. On this night he started with my eyes, lightly kissing the lids. Then he moved across my cheekbones with a little more pressure. His warm breath and lips were on the shell of my ear. Then he was nuzzling behind my ear, touching with his lips a spot so sensitive that I thought my heart might explode. It was as if Malone had discovered yet another level of passion and was ready to introduce me to it. I moaned as he pushed my arms up above my head.
He was still kissing me, moving his lips over to mine now, toying with me. I could feel his hands sliding up and down my arms, stretching me out on the bed. And then I realized I couldn’t move my arms. My eyes snapped open. Malone had a devilish grin on his face as he pulled back.
“Dexter, what are you doing?” My voice was a throaty rasp.
“I’m just fulfilling a fantasy or two.”
He had used the satin sash from my robe to bind my wrists to the wooden headboard. I squirmed beneath him as the realization sunk in.
“Somehow I always pictured myself naked or wearing some sexy lingerie when I thought of this, Dexter. Not dressed in a flannel nightgown.”
He sprawled beside me on the bed. Then with one hand, he slowly began to pull my nightgown up. I felt his hands everywhere. As he raised it above my hips, Malone resumed kissing me. And I sensed this was one fantasy I’d want to revisit. Now he moved the nightgown higher. Just the idea of him taking advantage of me this way was a rush. My body was thrumming like a guitar string. And Malone was a master musician.
“Jamie,” he whispered in my ear. He was beside me now, lightly kissing my face while his hands continued their explorations. “How long should I keep you tied up?”
“A minute,” I gasped “or for an hour or two.” In my wildest fantasies, this is the part where I would make a feeble attempt at escaping. But that wasn’t happening.
“I wonder how close I can get you,” he said as he drew patterns on my thighs with his fingertips, long slow circles and ovals.
“I’m already going to peak, Dexter. The question is, how many times?”
Malone raised his head to look deeply into my eyes. “How many times would you like to peak, Jamie?”
“More than half a dozen will probably put me in the hospital, Dexter.”
“Then you’d better keep count,” he said.
Yes, my name really is Mark Love. I am a Michigan native, who up until recently lived in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption always seem to be at the top of everyone’s news. So there is always the chance to find something that can trigger a story idea and enough interesting characters to jump start your imagination.
While I have worked in many industries and career paths over the years, one of my passions has always been writing. I was even able to parlay that passion for a while, working as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers in the Detroit area. Writing features and hard news helped me hone my talents. But while newspaper work was interesting and paid a few bills, it was a far cry from the fiction writing that I enjoy the most.
I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, the kind of stories that have a fast pace that keep you moving and keep you guessing as to what’s going to take place next. Mix those in with some elements of crime, perhaps a glimpse of the seedier side and you’ve got me. So it’s always been one of my goals to write stories like that.
Currently I have two self published mystery novels on Amazon, “Fade Away” and “Desperate Measures”. With the release of “Vanishing Act”, I now have two Jamie Richmond mysteries with Sweet Cravings Publishing. While it is a kick to have these available as eBooks now, I’m looking forward to this fall when they will be available in paperback. I’m working on a third book for the series.