Friday, June 12, 2015

Dying for the Past by Tj O’Connor Review, Interview & 2 Giveaways!

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Dying for the Past
by Tj O’Connor

…love this series it really pulls you in… Definitely a great new series I will soak up as much as possible!
~Community Bookstop
The end of the book was such a hoot. You tore from one event to the next, all of it culminating in the big bang ending. I wanted to read the end, yet I didn’t want the story of Tuck and his gang to be over.
~fuonlyknewLaura’s Ramblins and Reviews
Dying for the Past is a great mystery filled with so many twists and turns that you’ll swear you were riding a roller coaster.
~Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Dying for the PastDying for the Past
(A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery)

2nd in Series
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (January 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0738742069

Dying is not for the faint of heart . . .
. . . Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters.
At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver “Tuck” Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time—until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.
Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read “the book”—deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese’s journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.
As Tuck learns the book’s secrets, he begins to unravel his own family’s wayward past, leading to the question—is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living . . . but not one of them.
main bw photoAbout This Author
Tj O’CONNOR IS THE 2015 GOLD MEDAL WINNER OF THE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS BOOK AWARDS FOR MYSTERIES and the author of Dying to Know and Dying for the Past, available in books stores and e-books from Midnight Ink. His third paranormal mystery,DYING TO TELL, will be released January 2016. He is currently working on a traditional mystery and a new thriller. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Lab companions in Virginia where they raised five children. Dying to Know is also aForeword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award finalist.

Where are you from?

I was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and was raised in Upstate New York’s Hudson Valley. I’ve lived all over the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the UK, and throughout the Americas (just to name a few places!)

I currently live in Winchester, Virginia—a small, historic city about 80 miles west of Washington D.C. My current murder mysteries take place right here.

Tell us your latest news?

I just wrapped up my third book—Dying to Tell. It will be out in January 2016. Dying to Tell is the third in the Gumshoe Ghost series following the cases of Oliver “Tuck” Tucker, a dead detective who solves mysteries in Winchester, Virginia. I’m currently working on a traditional murder mystery with a thriller-feel—The Consultant: Double Effect. My agent, the amazing Kimberley Cameron, has another murder mystery with a paranormal twist, New Sins for Old Scores, trying to get into the market.

When and why did you begin writing?

Believe it or not, when I was in the fifth grade I knew I wanted to be a writer. My childhood was rough and I retreated to books as a safe place to hide. My 5th grade teacher had us read The Mystery of the Witches’ Bridge by Barbee Oliver Carleton as a class project. I was hooked. Then I found a copy of Mystery of the Haunted Mine by Gordon D. Shirreffs in my family attic and loved it. I knew I wanted to be a writer. Later, in junior high, my brother gave me a copy of James Grady’s breakout novel, Six Days of the Condor—a novel about a CIA agent who escapes an attack on his Washington DC research office and it forces him to try and stay alive long enough to figure out who and why he’s being hunted. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be in the intelligence field and write books when I grew up. Little did I know then, that both would become my life’s work.
I wrote periodically as a young man, finishing my first book, The Trial of Trinity while I was assigned in Athens, Greece, running anti-terrorism operations for the military. It was terrible. Over the next many years, I dabbled in writing a couple novels but nothing worth publishing. It wasn’t until about 2004 that I got serious about being published. My fourth novel, Dying to Know, is a story about a detective killed in Winchester who comes back to solve his own crime and several others. It’s a traditional mystery with a paranormal twist. Getting it published was a fluke—it was never meant for the public!
To date, I’ve written eight novels, and three of them have been published.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In high school. I was writing plays and short stories and was the editor of my high school newspaper. I sort of lost the feeling for many years while I chased my career in anti-terrorism and investigations, but over the past 10 or so years, I reclaimed it. When asked now what I do for a living, I can honestly say, “I’m an anti-terrorism consultant and an author.”

What inspired you to write your first book?

As I noted above, my love of reading at an early age started it. Mystery of the Witches’ Bridge, Mystery of the Haunted Mine, and Six Days of the Condor are without question, the reason I wrote my first works.

As I said above, my first published novel, Dying to Know, was never meant for publication. It is based on a twenty-year nightmare that plagued me after I left the first Gulf War in the 1990s. I kept dreaming I was killed in a terrorist operation and I returned to help my partner find the terrorists. One night at dinner, I was telling my daughter about the nightmare, and she—being a fan of the paranormal TV shows and books—asked me to write it as a novel. So I did—just for her—turning it from a dead terrorism operative into a dead detective. I added a historical subplot to each book and it came out very well. Good enough, actually, to land me a literary agent and publishing contract! All that for a book I never would have written, but relented and wrote for my daughters.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not sure it’s a style yet as I’ve only written a few books. But, I like main characters who are fun and who have a good time in life—they don’t take themselves too seriously. I also tend to write short chapters, five to six pages, to keep the story moving a little faster. I don’t write pages and pages of description. Instead, I tend to set the scene pretty fast to get to the dialogue and character action. Other than that, the closest thing to style I have is my love of having a lot of suspects in my mysteries, more than one person who “dunnit” whereby one may be the killer but others have done some seriously bad things, too. There’s always enough mayhem and guilt to go around.

How did you come up with the title?

My first novel in the series, Dying to Know, is literally that—Oliver “Tuck” Tucker is killed and returns to find out who killed him. He literally was Dying to Know. Thereafter, I wanted to keep the titles similar and convey the paranormal twist of each story. So, in Dying for the Past, a wealthy philanthropist is murdered because of what he learned of the past, and the subplot concerning 1939 gangsters and spies are all about Dying for the Past, too. The third book in the series, Dying to Tell, will be out in January 2016. It’s the story about a banking executive killed because of secrets he and his friends brought back in World War II from Cairo, Egypt. Someone has learned their secrets and is Dying to Tell them.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

A message, not really, except perhaps the idiom, History Repeats Itself. Each of my novels in this series have three components—a current murder and a historical subplot that entails other murders or vicious crimes, and those culminate to show a grand caper that started in history and leads up to the current murder spree. Each of the books also deals with Tuck’s family he never knew. He was raised in foster care, and, in each story, he learns more about his family’s history and quickly wonders if being a ghost is hereditary. His family has been involved in organized crime, World War II OSS operations, the CIA, FBI, and so on. In each story, his family is center point to the historical events in each subplot. So not really a message as much as a continuing theme.

What would you like my readers to know?

Find me. Read me. Pass my name along! All of us new authors struggle to find an audience. We have to find our own ways to get readers. So look for the new authors and give us a shout. If you like what we do, pass our names along and help us out! We’ll be in your debt. As for me personally, I encourage all my readers to drop me an email or Facebook comment. Let me know what you think of my work and what I can do to keep you as a fan. Being an author is a personal thing. We do it because we love it—we have to write—our characters make us and they’re mean when they don’t get their way. So anything readers can do to help—including letting us know what you think—is well received.

I hope you enjoy my stories. And remember—Dying is overrated ... Murder is not.

Learn about Tj’s world at:
Web Site:
Purchase Links
Giveaway #1 for a Kindle loaded with Tj’s Books!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2 ~ Deal Sharing Aunt Readers:

1 copy of either Dying for the Past or Dying To Know. The winner can chose print or an e-copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My review;

I just finished reading, Dying for the Past" the second book  in a new series by TJ O'Connor called A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery. This book is a story that is full of suspense, twists and a little ghost thrown in. Tuck is really dead and a ghost but, he is still at his house with his wife who can talk to him. Oliver "Tuck" Tucker used to be a detective who is at a ball that his wife Angela is running. and all is going well until there is a murder.  Tuck  decides that he has to try to solve the murder. With his wife helping they read a book that was written by Vincent Calabrese. This book is filled with stories that may be closer to Tuck than he knows. I give this book a 5/5. I was given his book for the purpose of a  review and all opinions are my own.


  1. Fantastic giveaways! Thanks for the opportunity!

    1. You're welcome! I hope you enjoy the books.

  2. Do you do you do you own research for your books?

    1. Yes, I do my own research. However, most of the investigative storyline and many of the characters come from my own life's background as a former government agent and a consultant. The remainder of the research, like the historical subplots, are researched locally where the stories take place. Check out the books and you can drop me an email about what you think via my web site. Many thanks, Tj O'Connor

  3. I like that you tie the past in with the present. It adds and extra layer to the plotline COOL and thanks for the giveaway

  4. How do you choose the locations for your books?