Celebrate Woodstock at 50 with new novel

On the 50th anniversary of Woodstock comes a gripping story of love and obsession, set in one of the most turbulent times in American history.

It is 1969, capstone of a tumultuous decade, and life in the rural town of Pennsboro is about to explode. A dam that would flood the valley pits neighbor against neighbor. Protesters riot. Buildings burn. Amid the chaos, two lovers risk everything to fight for their dreams.

Elizabeth Reed feels conflicted. She loves photography, the river the government wants to dam, and a musician who can’t settle on any one person or place. Hayden Quinn, the guitarist Rolling Stone calls the next Jimi Hendrix, feeds a single obsession—to play Woodstock, the biggest concert of his life. He presents Elizabeth with a terrible dilemma: does she stay to save her family farm, or relinquish her dreams to follow Quinn into the unknown?

With saboteurs targeting everyone she loves, Elizabeth must face the greatest risk of all—whether to trust herself.

Rich in unforgettable characters, brimming with social insight and historical detail, Born Under a Bad Sign is a dramatic and nuanced portrait of love and loss in the Sixties—a coming-of-age story for an entire generation.

Scheduled for release on May 1, the novel is available for preorder through bookstores and online at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

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Complete McCoy series available now

All four books in the CW (Candace) McCoy crime series are now available in multiple formats.

Tourist in Paradise
Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Permanent Vacation
Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Come hell or high water

From the author of the McCoy and Brinker crime series comes a novel of treachery and greed on Florida’s luxury coast.

In the tony resort town of Spanish Point, sea levels are rising. So is the body count. Both threaten the lifeblood of the Gulf Coast, the real estate industry, and its agents. That includes CW (Candace) McCoy.

In her fourth outing (after Peak Season, Tourist in Paradise and Curb Appeal), the former detective is still reeling from the murder of her fellow real estate agents. She relishes a fresh start—a new agency, a stellar property and a second chance at love. But when she’s attacked near Spanish Point’s hottest condo project, she knows there’s more at play than road rage.

The massive redevelopment will generate untold wealth. It also will expose thousands to the risk of storm surge. Despite nonstop protests and allegations of fraud, the city greenlights the project.

As tragedy strikes, CW launches her own probe, without her friend and mentor Walter Bishop, who’s feared lost at sea. Who approved the project? Who tampered with evidence? And who’s eliminating its opponents? Despite warnings from the authorities, she presses the city elite for answers, jeopardizing her job, alienating friends and lovers and triggering a political backlash that will reach the statehouse.

CW knows who’s guilty. She just has to prove it—before someone sends her on a permanent vacation.

Permanent Vacation is available from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

Praise for Jeff Widmer
“CW is a great character. Widmer easily brings the town of Spanish Point and its colorful cast of characters to life. An entertaining mystery romp.” Kirkus Reviews

“A writer who knows how to put the reader in the action is a rare thing. Jeff Widmer does it with every character and every scene.” Anna Schmidt, Last Chance Cowboys series

“Jeff Widmer takes you on a wild ride in the murderous tour bus in a uniquely dark and twisted story that touches on euthanasia, addiction, sex and more. And then there’s Brinker. . . .” Louise Machinist, My House Our House

“Reading Jeff Widmer’s novels is like gliding on Hans Brinker’s silver skates—the writing just flows. It’s smooth, sharp and with a cutting edge throughout.” Screenwriter Michael Downend

The return of CW McCoy

While showing a mansion in the tony resort town of Spanish Point, former police detective CW (Candace) McCoy discovers the naked body of a rival real estate agent, a black bra wrapped around her neck. A rival agent, the woman has filed a wrongful-death suit against CW. And now the woman’s dead, in a mansion near the tony resort town of Spanish Point, Florida . . . just in time for the showing.

The murder is the least of CW’s problems. Her career is faltering. The hot new cop she’s dating may face assault charges. Both her best friend and mentor question her judgement. And back-to-back hurricanes threaten to flatten the coast.

As the bodies mount, CW must uncover the truth about her friends, her lover and a serial killer who specializes in murdering female agents . . . before she becomes a victim herself.

The third outing for CW (after Peak Season and Tourist in Paradise), Curb Appeal is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo, as well as bookstores everywhere.

Mr. Mayhem returns

Brinker swears he’s sworn off violence. Until his boss at the ad agency asks him to ace the competition, and the PR whiz has to spin some potent magic to escape the snare of sex, lies and greed.

Mr. Magic, coming in the Fall of 2016 from Allusion Books.

EDMONTON ALBERTA, May 4, 2010: A lone figure walks down a sidewalk in the University area during a spring blizzard in Edmonton Ab on Tuesday May 3, 2010. Photo by John Lucas/Edmonton Journal

Who’s killing tourists in Florida?

In her second outing (after last year’s Peak Season), former detective CW McCoy must discover who’s killing the tourists in Southwest Florida or die in the process.

Tourist in Paradise cover 3DWhen a gunman mistakes CW for a wealthy visitor, she faces her biggest challenge yet: Is the violence the start of a full-blown war on tourists? Or are the attacks a smokescreen for an even greater threat?

And if CW unmasks the killers, will it spell the end of her career, her friends, and her life?

Haunted by a father who destroyed her family and a skinhead who wants to finish the job, CW must confront her violent past as well as a dangerous future as she uncovers a conspiracy that leads from the sunny beaches of Florida to the statehouse.

Tourist in Paradise, the new novel in the CW McCoy crime series by Jeff Widmer, available now through Amazon, iTunes , Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Veteran actor brings ‘Mr. Mayhem’ to life

Alan Wade is a character. It’s a description he likes, one that has brought him work in theater (King Lear), movies (The Pelican Brief) and television (House of Cards Season 4). And one of the reasons he was drawn to the narration of Mr. Mayhem, the first in my series of crime novels starring a defrocked journalist turned PR whiz named Brinker.

Alan Wade as the drunken clerk in Shaw's Augustus Does His Bit for The Washington Stage Guild

Alan Wade as the drunken clerk in Shaw’s Augustus Does His Bit for The Washington Stage Guild

Alan is a veteran of film, television and stage. Actor, writer and director, he has appeared in regional theater and off-Broadway, as well as television (Homicide) and film (The Pelican Brief, Major League II).

For almost four decades he has served as a professor of speech communications and theater at The George Washington University and directed 30 plays there. His professional work has won praise from After Dark magazine and The Washington Post.

For his latest project, Alan drew on his extensive stage experience to bring the dark story of Mr. Mayhem to life as an audiobook, as he explains in this two-part interview, conducted shortly after he finished the narration.

Alan Wade as Sgt. Rough in “Angel Street” for the Olney Theatre Center with Julie Ann Elliott (Stan Barough Photography)

Alan Wade as Sgt. Rough in “Angel Street” for the Olney Theatre Center with Julie Ann Elliott (Stan Barough Photography)

Tell us a bit about the path you took to a career in acting and narration.
I was a freshman in high school when the “bug bit.” I took some after-school courses, went on to Northwestern University’s theater program, to Catholic University’s drama program (M.A.), and back to Northwestern for a Ph.D. in what is now Performance Studies. Intertwined with this academic work was a stint as a resident actor at Center Stage in Baltimore.

You’ve appeared in everything from King Lear to The Pelican Brief. How has stage and television influenced your voice work?
Well, I’m what is thought of, certainly now, as a character actor, which can often involve roles differentiated in part by changes in vocal characterization: dialects, accents, vocal qualities, and other speech mannerisms. My first Equity role was as Billy Bibbitt in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Center Stage. Billy suffers from a pronounced stammer.

How does audiobook narration differ from your other projects?
You’re by yourself and, for someone like me who enjoys the culture of theater and its sociability, this aloneness is a pronounced difference. I’ve done two one-person shows during my stage career, so I’ve had a performance experience that approximates being in a booth alone, but there was always the audience to provide companionship.

What do you like best about voice acting?
In the case of audiobooks, it’s somewhat self-directed (though you do interact with the author and sometimes a producer), so there is a larger creative component to voice acting of this kind.

New crime series debuts

Mr Mayhem 3d_coverAllusion Books has launched a new crime series from author Jeff Widmer. Mr. Mayhem marks the first of the books starring a defrocked journalist named Brinker, who find that in this economy, even a serial killer needs an agent.

When his doctor asks for help in euthanizing terminal patients, Brinker hires an assassin named Angel, who brings chaos and fame to the sleepy resort town in Pennsylvania. But as Angel’s demands soar with the body count, Brinker wonders whether he’ll become the latest addition to his own list

In trade paperback and e-book formats, Mr. Mayhem will soon be available as an audiobook.