It wasn't without problems. It was demanding and dangerous. Denver Stone and his team knew it, but did it anyway. Someone had to take the streets back from the drug runners, and his unsanctioned team of law enforcement officers stepped up. A story of action, intrigue, humor and romance. "Credible Justice."
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Bob Lowey is a friend and adviser from Illinois, U.S.A.
As you read on, I am sure you will understand why I respect his views and his friendship.
I first met Bob many moons ago, when he was visiting the U.K to track his ancestry, particularly on the Isle of Man and Scotland. He happened to make an appearance at the Police Social Club in Carlisle, Cumbria, where we met.
His visits have not gone without excitement. On one occasion, we crossed the border into Scotland because he wanted to buy a kilt and everything that matches the outfit. (It's the first time I have helped a man shop for a skirt ;)
As we relaxed in a restaurant, a diner next to us fell to the floor having great difficulty breathing. Bob and I were there in a flash, cleared his airway of obstructing food and gave as much aid as possible. He had a weak pulse, and erratic breathing, but he was still with us. Luckily the paramedics were on scene in good time, and after a quick brief, they went into action.
Bob and I sat down afterward to gain composure and were offered a meal on the house, but somehow it didn't feel appealing. Later, we attended the hospital where the gentleman was taken, but because we weren't relatives, the staff wouldn't tell us anything about his status. I understand, and I hoped for the best, but it didn't give us closure. To this day, we don't know if he made it.
We have attended a rugby game at Twickenham, London. My nephew was playing for England. Bob and I, have a photograph of us on Westminster Bridge, where the recent terrorist act occurred. It was a time of problems in the farming sector; foot and mouth disease had gripped parts of the country, including Cumbria. Bob must have found it very strange on the train journey to our city from London, because the predominant accent to be heard-was Australian!
The Aussies had supplied numerous veterinarians to the U.K. to assist in controlling the disease. Most of them were based in Cumbria, and most of them were in our carriage!!
To cap it all, we were in a bar, uptown in Carlisle and having a few drinks, when the doors were shut quickly by door staff, which trapped us inside.It was believed, some soccer hooligans were nearby and they didn't want them in. Bob and I revealed we were cops and ready to help. I think his American accent may have confused everyone, but there he was, ready to protect life and property, even in another country. In any case, it turned out to be nothing at all.
Bob started his career in law enforcement as an Auxiliary Police Officer in 1993 by the Bradley Police Department: Illinois. The equivalent In the U.K. are called Special Constables. In 1996 Bob was hired full time by the Bradley P.D and during his time there, he became a firearms instructor as well as a Crime Scene Technician (CST). Firearms is one of Bobs' passions, and some people would describe him as a gun nut.
At that time, one of the pre-qualifications for Detective was to be a CST, whose role is to process and secure evidence for the Detectives while they canvased the area for witnesses and talked to the victims. In addition to these duties, Bob was also one of the first members of the Honor guard. In 1999, he was assigned to a drug task force as a detective working as an undercover agent and In 2000, he became an OC instructor (pepper spray) and a Tazer Instructor.
In 2001, Bob felt a change of role was needed when internal politics hit the scene, and he began a process of adapting his career. In 2002, he was hired by the Kankakee County Sheriff's Police Department.
After His move to the Sheriff's Department (a term we Brits love to hear, because of the movies, I guess) Bob has worked on a variety of differing roles. One of the first assignments was the Marine Unit (more commonly River Patrol). It was one of the best assignments he had ever worked. During the summer months, he was in shorts and wearing polo shirts, riding around on jet skis and patrolling in the police boat. (Once again, we Brits get jealous) Unfortunately the unit is no more.
Next, Bob became a Field Training Officer (FTO) training the next generation of police officers. To date, he is still a FTO as well as the Coordinating supervisor. In 2010,he was assigned to the Stolen Auto Task Force again working in plain cloths and in some undercover capacity. While he was in this unit, he received training as an elderly service officer, then taking the promotion exam and was subsequently awarded the rank of Corporal in 2012. As a matter of interest, the Sheriff's Department has 3 tested ranks Corporal, Sergeant, and Lieutenant. Bob is currently assigned to midnight shift as a supervisor; still teaching firearms, and a member of the County Wide Honor Guard Unit.
We may not see Bob and his family so much, because of the distance and time related issues, but we aim to put that right in the future. It is no wonder I have a strong feeling of attachment to the U.S, when people like Bob and his family come to the fore.
Meanwhile Bob in his country, and my wife, Fiona in ours, carry out their duties on behalf of their respective communities.
Please click photos for best viewing.
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Writing isn't always fun. It isn't always convenient, and certainly the work an author has to do, to back up a published book can be all consuming. Of course, I am guessing people who are experts in social media and advertising, will see things so much differently to me.
This is because I am way out of my comfort zone, when it comes to selling myself, find it difficult to post articles about myself, and hate using photos, which is why I have previously mentioned the need to have an author stand in. A younger man, plenty of hair, sexy and fit as a butchers dog. You know, the total opposite to me!
I had no idea how much self promoting I would have to do, and all of this with no guarantees whatsoever.
I am no different from other writers; in the fact I have thought about writing over the years, then suddenly the time was right. I lacked self confidence in the period before publication, which is not a good start for someone who hopes that readers will buy into their hard work.
I found myself conversing with established author Paul Anthony, who has experience of writing many books on a wide range of subjects. During this conversation, we began to discuss charities and the work he does for research into Chiari Malformation. If you look it up on the internet, you may be surprised such a condition exists; I certainly was.
It dawned on me, that if I published a book and the profits of which could go to charity, then maybe I could handle that easier than just selling myself for me!
It's exactly what I have done for my book, "Credible Justice: Fighting Back." Any profits will be shared between research into Chiari and the Police Dependants Trust. The latter because of my career in the police, until an injury on duty, necessitated my early retirement.
I mentioned early in this piece about writing not always fun, and that is true, yet something about writing the first one, made me do another!, and no doubt I will finish my third one in due course.
If, as I have found, an author writes about a subject that they have knowledge and experience of, then it is impossible not to be immersed into the storyline. Characters are based on people we know, some stories reflect incidents we know about and reliving some of the trauma can be unsettling, and yet there is something compulsive about the need to keep going.
When I read books now, I imagine what a writer may have gone through in putting those words to paper. It makes reading a lot more interesting.
Now, when I tap the keys, and promote my book via social media and other means, I take great comfort, in the fact that it's not 'all about me,' and although I still cringe, when I press the send button, the effect is nowhere as bad as it was, say, even a month ago!
All of this said, I thank all of you for your support, and every comment, every review, makes it all worthwhile.
If you wish to check out three authors who have advised me so well, Please click on link to find out more about Paul Anthony, Wane Zurl and Matt Hilton.
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There are reasons why authors are drawn to certain characteristics of people they know, have become aware of, or simply wish for someone to exist for them and the readers. Inevitably the writer and the reader can become attached to an individual, and thus wanting them to be influential within a story.
My "Credible Justice" books, of which two are now published; contain several lead characters.This is because of the team work involved in such a daring and controversial escapade. As I write this, I am reminded of someone who advised me to write about the adventures of an individual, as opposed to a number of characters. The reason for this, being that it is difficult to outline the on going actions of several people at the same time, and keep the readers locked in.
I understand that, and it is true, when my storyline, as it often does, requires moments of action, it is harder to put it all together, and describing the efforts of everyone. However, the challenge is there through necessity, and I wasn't willing to compromise my reasons for writing about such a team in search for justice. It means something to me, from my past and my present. I hope that you do enjoy the books, and that the story can fuel your imagination enough, to be able to carry the day.
Now, talking about the characters. In past blogs I have mentioned Denver Stone, his strengths and weaknesses.His toughness in the field, and his nervousness in romance. Stone would be the first to say, that his prime partner at work, Tyson Cross, is the rock he can lean on.
What do we need to know about him? Ty Cross, is a 6' 2'', African American; a picture of power and strength. He was brought up in Antelope Valley, in Los Angeles County. Struggling to find happiness at home and hiding a secret, he joined the Marine Corps, doing his basic training at Camp Pendleton. As he progressed, he joined the Marine Special Operations Regiment, which changed back to the Marine Raider Regiment, as a throwback in time to WWII. In Iraq, after several operations, he was assigned as a tactical driver to the Ambassador and visiting dignitaries. After leaving the service, he joined Homeland Security and was attached to London, in part, to set up the American end of the partnership with the Brits, in the new, but unofficial team.
Cross has his issues to cope with too, but is invaluable to the people he works with and protects. Perhaps his biggest operational fault, is that he often takes risks ahead of others and has to be reminded that firearms are the last resort. Although that has become increasingly difficult to adhere to, as the story moves from book 1 and into book 2.
I hope this insight helps you understand him, and I hope you will get to know more about him, and particularly his issues, but I can't give too much away on that point.
Thank you all again for supporting my writing, in which ever way you do. Remember any profits for "Credible Justice: Fighting Back," is for charity.
You can find out much more on my social media sites.
https://gerry.stewart999 facebook https://@gerrystewart999 twitter
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I have had a frustrating three weeks. A mixture of a virus and problems that appear to have resonated from the spinal injury that caused my early retirement from the police service. The virus thankfully is subsiding, leaving me with the aches and pains from my injury. Hopefully this will be sorted out soon with medical intervention.
Anyway back to whats going on in general. I was pleased that the National Association of Retired Police Officers included my books in their recent publication. For a person such as myself, who found having to finish my career far too early, it feels like a support system that is valued at times, especially when setbacks to health occurs.
In this blog, I don't want to talk about my books in detail, but i want to throw my support into the new wave of optimism that is driving along the benefits of counselling to those suffering from mental health issues. I doubt that anybody will go through life without the desire or need for help. This could be just a good friend who is prepared to be there for us, or indeed the professional counsellor who has the ability to help a client open up their deep and dark places in their time of need.
When I was more active in person centered counselling, I was amazed how much of a high percentage of clients would tell me what their problem was, only to find after a few sessions, that in fact the real problem was hidden away in the depths of their being. In other words, we have a tendency to blame something or someone other than the real issue. The problem is, that it can only be through pro- counselling that this hidden monster can be found. Beware of people who only have a few days or weeks training. Well meaning, but not qualified to the same extent.
One of the characters in my series, Den Stone, is mixed up. He has strong core values for justice and for the rights of victims above all else. He takes chances for them, he flouts the laid down rules for them, and he puts himself in danger for them. All of this takes its toll, as you will know from the book. There is no such thing as a super hero in reality, but a real man or woman of integrity, who can make super efforts to make things better for others. This can happen in all aspects of life, and I am particularly amazed at those who offer their time as volunteers to care for others.
The point I am making, is that everyone needs help and guidance sometimes. The bigger man or woman, the bravest of them all, is the one who can step outside of themselves for a moment and reflect on how they see themselves with pure honesty, no matter how horrifying or upsetting the process is. If this needs someone to help you, then my advice is to go for it. You will be better mentally and physically for the experiences. After all there is nothing achieved in life, that is more satisfying, than when you do something out of your comfort zone and achieve the required results.
Recently I expressed to an experienced author friend of mine, the difficulty I have in self promoting, for the benefit of selling my books. He told me, "If you don't sell yourself, why would anyone else help you?" I thought about that, and the same applies to all kinds of personal hurdles. I am sure you can all relate to this in some way.
Another addition to the family has arrived. Baby Oliver Luke Houghton, arrived into our world, which means we have four grand children on the go, two who live locally, and two who live a couple of hours drive away. All very nice, but the problem is, it make me feel old! Especially now it's my birthday. Which I have decided only to have every two years from now on, to stretch it out a bit.
Anyway so much time, so little to do, and I will catch you soon.
You can keep up to date with me, and some of my experiences, by navigating my website-
http://www.gerrystewart.com From here you can find details of other social media connections.
Thank you so much for your help and support.
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It's a strange title for a blog, I agree. What possible connection could there be, between the day of romance and a series about crime related events?
The strange sense of humour that inhabits my body, wants to say to you, that buying my book will give you something to read, when you are snubbed on the day by your partner.
C'mon, Let's be honest! we have all made mistakes or errors of judgements, or not quite got it right on the day. It is also possible you have either dumped, or being dumped ahead of the day itself? So as to relieve the need for cards and gifts. In which case having a good book in reserve will help, and you can catch up with someone who has great difficulty with romantic occasions. I told you I have a strange sense of humour.
For those who have caught up with the characters, I guess some of you will be wondering how Denver Stone could cope on such an occasion. Stone has a mission to complete in life, along with his peers. But what about his private side, his love life, his passionate quest for romance?
When he joined the team, he was surprisingly alone. He knew he was missing out, but didn't find it easy to share his feelings to someone of the opposite sex. Indeed, he found it difficult to form a relationship full stop! To this end, he simply didn't go out of his way to push it with anyone, until of course, that someone special came along when they moved to the States.
He is a character of complexities. His urge to stand up for those less fortunate over-rides anything else, including his personal happiness. He is a tough, but not an uncompromising individual. He continually questions his ability to lead, his morals and his actions. He struggles to absolve himself of any actions he has done, that may be deemed to be less than he would expect of himself.
Over the years, from my perspective as a man, I guess I have built up my heroes in fiction books, and often in real life, to be a person who never doubts him or herself, who throws themselves into the devils lair without a thought of their own safety and to do the right thing and save the day. When I started writing, I think thats the way I was going too, until something become so unreal and so uncomfortable to write anymore.
So here we are, my main character, warts and all, who could never succeed alone, who could never be alone, but finds it hard to accept that anybody could want him too. At this time of year, I think we all would like to believe that someone like Denver Stone exists. He does somewhere, somehow.
If you are looking for a novel, with a super human, all action and a total winner, then Credible Justice, isn't for you. If you want a novel that features a human face and flaws to match, and everything isn't perfect, then I sincerely hope you enjoy the story.
Have a great Valentines day!