THE BLOG

Mona Lisa Eyes Promotion!

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Mona Lisa Eyes is free 12/1/14 thru 12/3/14 on Amazon!

Mona Lisa Eyes Version 1

Logan PI Store Open!

Posted by on Aug 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Many of you die-hard Logan fans have been asking about the store. Well, good news. I finally got around to sitting down and slogging through the learning curve required to get itopen. When you click on “The Store” in the main menu, you’ll be redirected in a new window to the brand new CafePress Logan PI store.

It’s a little rough and a little sparse – I’m starting slowly. There are just a few designs and a limited number of items (shirts/mugs/etc.). But, I’ll be expanding both over time, now that I know what I’m doing (actually, just about enough to be dangerous!).

Hope you like it and – if you have any items you’d like me to include, drop me a note.

M.D.

Danny Logan/Toni Blair Radio Interview

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

TRANSCRIPT OF DANNY LOGAN AND ANTOINETTE BLAIR INTERVIEW WITH UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON RADIO STATION KEXP-FM ON JUNE 26, 2013

KEXP Notes: I met Danny Logan and Antoinette “Toni” Blair of the Logan Private Investigation Agency on a warm June afternoon at the KEXP studio on the campus of the University of Washington. Throughout the course of the interview, I was struck by the contrast in the two. Logan is a sandy-haired guy, tall and trim. He wore blue jeans, worn running shoes and a dark-blue faded t-shirt that said “Property of LOGAN PI Athletics”. He seemed laid back and friendly enough, but he has a serious side to him – maybe even a little introverted.

Blair, on the other hand, is a complete enigma. On the one hand, she’s drop-dead, fashion-model beautiful with long black hair, big bangs and deep blue eyes. On the day of our interview, she wore white, knee length shorts and a sleeveless floral blouse–she’d have fit right into any fashion catalog. On the other hand, she’s also a complete Seattle grunge-child: full sleeve tattoo on her left arm, Celtic weave tat on her right, and plenty of piercings to round out the picture. Either way, she’s funny, outgoing and completely charming –a perfect contrast to the reserved, buttoned up Logan.

KEXP: Good afternoon. In keeping with our series of interviews with U-Dub alumni who are working in unique businesses here in the northwest, we’re happy to have in our studio today Mr. Danny Logan and Ms. Antoinette Blair from the Logan Private Investigation firm, one of the best known private investigation agencies in Seattle. Good afternoon to you both.

LOGAN: Good afternoon. It’s good to be here.

BLAIR: Hi.

KEXP: Before we get started, let me just start by saying that neither one of you look like private investigators – at least not the kind we’re used to seeing on TV.

BLAIR (smiles): Thank you.

KEXP: Yeah, definitely. I mean, when you think of a private investigator, I guess we’ve been programmed to think some kind of crusty, old guy in a trench-suit with a cigar. Looking at the two of you, you’re the opposite–both young, both obviously fit.

BLAIR: Danny’s a runner: half marathons, very competitive. He’s a maniac. He runs all the time. Never gains an ounce.

LOGAN: Yeah, right. Toni works out at the martial arts studio three or four times a week. She stays pretty fit herself.

KEXP: That would do it, I suppose. And Toni–it’s okay if I call you Toni?

BLAIR: Certainly.

KEXP: Thanks. I was about to say, you look like a native Seattleite–

BLAIR (smiling): You mean because of these striking tats? [She extends her arm to show off the full sleeve tattoo on her left arm].

KEXP: Yeah, the tats . . . and the piercings. [The day of the interview, Blair was wearing three earrings on each ear, and a small diamond stud in her nose.]

BLAIR: Yeah, well I am–a native, that is. I was born in Lynwood. Went to Lynwood High School. Class of 2003.

KEXP: And you, Danny?

LOGAN: Born right here in Seattle. Grew up in Queen Anne, graduated from Ballard High School in 2000.

KEXP: And I understand that you spent some time in the Army?

LOGAN: I did. A little over seven years. Four in the infantry, three more in Army CID – Criminal Investigation Division stationed mostly at Fort Lewis.

BLAIR: He was a hero. He was in Afghanistan and Iraq. Silver star, two purple –.

LOGAN (softly): Enough. [He shakes his head].

BLAIR (smiles): Oops. [She stops and makes a motion to zip her lips but her grin tells me she’s not really very intimidated].

KEXP: Okay, then. I got it. No questions about the war. Back to the present. What was it that brought the two of you to private investigations?

BLAIR: For me, I wanted to be a police officer. That’s why I got an LSJ degree. That’s where I met Danny.

KEXP: For those listeners who don’t know, LSJ is the University’s equivalent of a Criminal Justice degree. It stands for Law, Societies, and Justice. What was so appealing to you about police work, Toni?

BLAIR (shrugs): Oh, it might sound a little corny, but I think I was always impressed by the way the police mostly seemed to help people. That and the cool uniforms. [Laughs].

KEXP: Uniforms. Got it. So, you two met at school?

LOGAN (nods): We did. I always wanted to be a PI. I come from a long line of Seattle attorneys–

BLAIR: Which he’s dedicated to severing.

LOGAN: Right. Growing up, I got to watch my dad work with PI’s from time to time. I was always impressed by those guys–it seemed like they were able to work in a segment of law enforcement–do some real good, yet at the same time, they weren’t caught up in the political crap you’d find on the police force. Am I allowed to say crap?

KEXP: Feel free.

LOGAN: I guess their independence appealed to me. I entered the army with a deal in place to transfer to CID after my infantry enlistment. I finished up my degree while I was stationed at Fort Lewis. I mostly took night classes. We met when we were both seniors.

BLAIR: That’s right. Since we were seniors, we had a lot of the same classes. We worked on a few projects together in 2007. One night we were working on something and Danny told me his dream was to have his own PI firm. I hadn’t really thought much about becoming a PI before then, but after we talked, I started thinking about it. I mean, it’s not like he offered me a job or anything, but the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded.

KEXP: Were you two already an item then?

BLAIR (laughs): No-o-o-o. I mean, he was a good looking guy–tall and all buffed out and all, but he was definitely a soldier back then: super short hair, perfect posture – he still stands up perfectly straight all the time. I even think he used to call me ma’am.

LOGAN: (shakes his head): Stop it. I did not.

KEXP: Go on.

LOGAN: Well, I’d noticed her of course. She kind of sticks out, in a good way. But I didn’t think I had much of a shot with someone like her so I kind of pus-chickened out and never even made a move. Anyway, like Toni said, we did a few projects together and we just kind of ended up spending more and more time together.

KEXP: Just friends, though?

LOGAN: Yeah, just friends. Then one day, we had this guest lecturer at one of our classes–a man named Richard Taylor. Richard was a lieutenant for 20-something years on the Seattle Police Department before he started Taylor Private Investigations. I remember after the lecture, Toni and I talked to him for about an hour. It was fascinating– definitely a good talk. Eventually, Richard said that he was looking forward to retiring soon. That got me to thinking and, to make a long story short, I ended up buying Taylor PI from Richard a few months later, right after I was discharged and right after we graduated. Toni, being the shy sort of person she is, kind of hired herself. We started working together from day one. That was in March 2008. We eventually changed the name to Logan PI and we’ve been working together ever since.

KEXP: Outstanding. And since that time, you’ve been involved with a number of high-profile cases in the Seattle area.

BLAIR: We have. We’ve been lucky. We’re pretty busy nowadays.

KEXP: Recently, your cases have been chronicled by the novelist M.D. Grayson, right?

LOGAN (nodding): That’s right. He’s been following us around for over a year now. He takes our most interesting cases and uses them as inspiration for his fiction.

KEXP: Has he been pretty accurate?

BLAIR (shrugs): Mostly. I mean, he tries.

KEXP: And it’s my understanding that most recently he’s written about your most recent case involving Sophie Thoms.

BLAIR: That’s right. The book’s called Mona Lisa Eyes and I think it’ll be released later this summer.

KEXP: What can you tell us about it?

BLAIR: Well, I can say that we’re lucky to get out alive–

LOGAN (cuts her off): Toni–.

BLAIR (shrugs): Guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

KEXP: Well, we’ve all read the newspaper accounts of what happened. But I suppose there are things that happen behind the scenes that never make the papers.

LOGAN (smiles): Could be.

KEXP: Right. Okay, then, moving on, a couple of final questions before we go. First, I understand you train with the Seattle Police Department on their firing range?

LOGAN: We train by ourselves actually but they let us qualify on their range, yes.

KEXP: Between the two of you, who’s the better shot?

BLAIR (immediately) I am. [She looks at Logan, who turns and looks at her with an amused look on his face.] Okay. He is. But he’s had more experience.

KEXP: Understandable, with the army and all. Who’s better at hand-to-hand combat?

BLAIR: I am. Definitely.

LOGAN (laughs): Only when she cheats. Which she does all the time.

BLAIR: Crybaby. There are no rules in Krav Maga, remember. Just win.

LOGAN: In combat, okay. In training, though? Really?

KEXP: I can see I’ve touched on a hot spot here. Fair to say that the two of you are competitive?

BLAIR: Yes.

LOGAN (Nods): Definitely. On those two things, mostly. The thing to keep in mind regarding these two particular things – guns and martial arts – they’re not the most important part of our job. Matter of fact, we’ve hardly ever had to even pull our guns. If we do, it probably means something’s gone pretty terribly wrong.

KEXP: What is, then?

LOGAN: People skills, pure and simple. The ability to interact with people, make them comfortable, talk to them. And, at that, I have to admit, Toni’s the best I’ve ever seen. I’m lucky she’s on our side.

BLAIR (smiling): Why, thank you, Danny.

KEXP: Well, I have to say that it’s pretty clear that the two of you have a special relationship. Am I correct in assuming that you’re more than just business associates now?

BLAIR (smiles): You are correct. For a little more than a year now. [Reaches over and pats Logan on the arm]

KEXP: And there you have it. So, what’s next for the two of you?

BLAIR: You mean businesswise?

KEXP: Business, personal, you name it.

BLAIR: Well, speaking in terms of the business, we’ve been working on a case that deals with an iconic landmark in Seattle. We can’t get into details now, but who knows, maybe you’ll read about it one day in one of Mark Grayson’s books.

KEXP: We’ll look for it. Danny? What’s next from your perspective? Personal wise, maybe?

LOGAN (smiles): Personal, huh? You know how to put a guy on the spot, don’t you? [He shrugs]. To be completely truthful, I’ve already done more and survived longer than I expected I would. I’m extremely lucky in so many ways. [He reaches over and squeezes Blair’s hand]. I honestly don’t know what happens next. I guess we’ll just have to see.

–THE INTERVIEW CONCLUDES-

Mona Lisa Eyes nears completion

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Mona Lisa Eyes Version 1I am very happy to report that after many months of work, frustration, starting over, and then more work, Mona Lisa Eyes has finally reached the point where it’s gone to the editors. That’s right, Danny Logan, Toni Blair and the rest of the crew will soon be back in action. Barring some sort of editorial catastrophe, I’m setting an Amazon release date of June 21. My fingers are crossed.

After all the work that Logan #4 took, I’m excited about the way “MLE” turned out. It’s a classic “who-dun-it?” with a bit of a Seattle twist tossed in for good measure.

I like to think that each successive Logan novel has gotten a little better than the ones before – at least in terms of the way the story hits the paper. (I certainly have plenty of room to improve.) Hopefully, Mona Lisa Eyes will meet with your approval.

Between the blog and the posts on Facebook, I’ll keep everyone updated on release date progress.

By the way, let me know what you think of the cover.

Thanks-

Mark (M.D.) Grayson

No Way to Die Kirkus Review

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

 

No Way to Die was recently reviewed by Kirkus Reviews, one of the nation’s leading independent book review organizations.

 

TITLE INFORMATION

NO WAY TO DIE

Grayson, M.D.

Cedar Coast Press

$2.99 e-book

July 17, 2012

 

BOOK REVIEW

Private investigator Danny Logan, driven by loyalty and maybe even love, takes on another band of foreign bad guys.

When last heard from, retired Army tough guy Logan appeared ready to pause the wisecracking and follow his heart, but apparently what happens in Hawaii stays in Hawaii. And now Danny hangs with lovely FBI agent-with-benefits Jennifer at night while still playing verbal games by day with tough/brilliant/beautiful Toni and the rest of the agency crew. Brought in by a mourning wife to investigate what appears to be a straightforward suicide, the firm uncovers contradictions: happy husband or cheating louse? Wealthy, supportive wife or shrew tightening the financial screws? At the heart of the intrigue is cutting-edge technology with the potential to upset worldwide Internet security, and an aggressive foreign company may be trying to obtain by force what $10 million couldn’t buy. As usual, Logan’s tactics alternate between finesse and bull-in-a-china shop bluster, with Toni there to sort things out. Then Toni goes missing, and her life becomes another poker chip in a high-stakes game. Detailed forensic passages engage the curious reader, and fast action keeps things moving. Small plot discrepancies may exist (why not just steal the technology, initially kept at the inventor’s home, in the first place?) but won’t distract. Readers will enjoy contemporary music references—what is it about that Adele song that puts Toni on edge?—and Logan’s characteristic jeep and guitar campouts under the stars. More is divulged about the firm’s tech guru Kenny with his parade of young girlfriends and the stoic Doc, who appears to figure more centrally in a planned follow-up tale of intrigue.

Steady and even, the newest Danny Logan mystery holds up well and suggests a solid series is in store for those enjoying PI stories with personality.

 

 

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744

indie@kirkusreviews.com

Angel Dance available for Free Download!

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Angel Dance

Angel Dance

Angel Dance will be available for free download from Amazon for five days starting at midnight on Friday, August 17 and running through midnight on Wednewday, August 22.

Now’s your chance to do a no-risk test-drive of the Danny Logan series. If you like it, you can check out No Way to Die and soon, Insabel’s Run!

No Way to Die Released!

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m happy to say that No Way to Die is released now on Amazon both for Kindle eBook as well as paperback. I’m proud of the way this book turned out. It puts Danny Logan and crew right into a sticky situation.

Meanwhile, I’m just now polishing off the first draft of Isabel’s Run. “Isabel” will be headed to the editors for the next month or so with the goal of publication on or about October 1.

It’s been a hectic five months – moving into the new house, releasing Angel Dance, writing and releasing No Way to Die, and writing Isabel’s Run. Hectic – but fun. We got caught up watching Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives – particularlly thouse episodes that feature barbeque restaurants. This got me thinking about smokers (the bargeque kind – not the tobacco kind). Bottom line – we now own a new smoker and we’re learning how to use it. Let me know if you have some tips.

Till next time –

M.D. Grayson

Memorial Day 2012

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

My friend Rick McCarty served in the U.S. Air Force and wrote this great piece for Memorial Day 2012:

“As many of you know I am an ex Air Force pilot. I served by flying fighters in the post Viet Nam era and did not see combat duty, but was certainly ready and eager if I had been called to do so. I was only in the Air Force for about 8 years after college so I have been a “Mister” much longer than I was an Air Force officer.

It is amazing how age gives you a sense of perspective and mellows the hormones that were flowing strong when we were younger. I was and am proud of the service I gave my country. Even though I was never in combat, at that point in my life I would have been eager to go if I had been called. I would have gladly done what was asked of me in carrying out the duties I was assigned.

As we reflect on this Memorial Day season I would like to offer some food for thought about the use of our military in today’s world. These are totally my thoughts and I am sure some of you will not agree, but here goes.

War is a very ugly concept. It is “RAW” spelled backwards. One definition of “raw” is when something is unnaturally or painfully exposed. This is what happens to our young men and women, both physically and emotionally, as a consequence of the horrible things they, at times, suffer through and witness. Many times the emotional impact is far greater than the physical damage.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some things worth fighting for! What bothers me is the cavalier way our leaders have committed our young men and women to combat, across the world during the last 50 years or so. For all of us that have lived through the conflicts we have endured, from Viet Nam until the present, all of us have at times asked ourselves WHY??

I was taught that when you do enter a conflict, enter aggressively, accomplish the mission and go home. Our politicians use our kids as pawns and expose them to unbelievable risks with little regard for their well being or the long term cost to our society. I encourage you to go and spend a few days walking the halls of your local VA hospital and you will quickly see what real sacrifice is and the price that has been paid. I just wish I could confidently say it was a justifiable price they paid for our freedom, but I can’t.

What price will our young men and women pay that have spent 3 or 4 combat rotations during the last 10 years? What price will our society pay and what price has it paid already. How many families have been destroyed? Do we really need to be the world’s police force?

On this Memorial Day, no matter what your political affiliation, I would ask you to pray not only for all the men and women that have and are serving, but pray for our leaders that they might exercise strong and decisive wisdom during times of worldwide conflict. I know that is asking a lot, especially considering the political climate in Washington. Our track record over the last 50 years or so has not been too sterling though.

One last thing… When you see the veteran standing on the side of the street asking for a little money, just remember that even though you do not see his physical wounds, odds are, he has deep emotional scars as a result of giving all that was asked of him. It probably occurred when he was only 18 or 19 years old. As the song says, “It ain’t pretty but it’s beautiful”. At the very least, show him a friendly smile or shake his hand. If you really feel brave, give him a good old Texas hug and tell him thanks.

There is a passage from this wonderful book I have read several times. It says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” It is a great book written by some very wise men. If you haven’t checked it out recently, it might be a good thing to do.

Have a happy Memorial Day.”

Well said, Rick.

The Ring of Fire

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Big happenings in the astronomical world today. At 3:00 p.m. PDT today, we had what’s known as an “Annular Eclipse”. Basically, the moon passes between Earth and the sun. Unique to this year, the moon is at its apogee – the farthest point in its orbit away from the earth. This means it doesn’t completely blot out the sun – instead it sort of sits inside and leaves what astronomers call a “Ring of Fire” showing on the outside.

This is pretty exciting stuff for me, my being something of an amateur astronomer and all. Naturally, I didn’t want to let this uncommon event go undocumented – especially since many of my friends live on the U.S. east coast where they won’t be able to see the eclipse at all. I would effectively be their west coast “eyex”.

So I hauled out my camera complete with sun filters – DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. I pointed it at the sun – or at least the spot where the sun was supposed to be. You see, here in Seattle, we’ve got these things called clouds. They’re big, gray fluffy things. They roll in sometime in October and, except for rare breaks, they don’t leave until June. Today – like most days in May – it’s cloudy.

Not to be deterred, I decided to take some photos anyway and post them on my blog so I could share them with you. Boy am I glad I did.

Here’s a photo of the sun before the eclipse.

Before the Eclipse

Next, I waited until the eclipse peaked at 3 p.m. local time and then I took this stunner – right at the height of the eclipse:

Height of the Eclipse

How about that ring of fire!
After the eclipse, I took another shot, just for reference:

After the Eclipse

I’m glad I was able to bring these to you. I really enjoy astronomy in the Pacific Northwest!

Angel Dance Kirkus Review

Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Angel Dance just got reviewed by Kirkus – one of the nation’s leading reviewing organizations:

TITLE INFORMATION

ANGEL DANCE

Grayson, M.D.

Cedar Coast Press

$2.99 e-book

March 9, 2012

 

BOOK REVIEW

A PI operates his firm with a tattooed female partner in this Pacific Northwest noir.

Look out, Seattle, there’s a new private eye in town: Danny Logan—retired Army (Afghanistan), with a criminal justice degree and FBI Advanced Training from Quantico—runs a professional investigation business with Antoinette “Toni” Blair, the Seattle native and requisite female sidekick. She sees Danny as “completely brilliant in certain aspects, barely better than adolescent in others. Clear insight in certain areas, barely able to see to the end of his nose in others.” His take on her? “Think Katie Perry with tattoos. Taller, ‘grungier,’ but the same beautiful face, same breathtaking figure, same medium-length black hair, same brilliant blue eyes. No denying, Toni is easy to look at.” Office policy has helped them remain hands-off so far. Their newest case adds more roadblocks and delays to their romance when the lovely, controlling, daughter-of-a-mobster Gina—who happens to be a previous romantic interest of Danny’s—goes missing and her anxious family hires Danny to look in places the local police can’t. Contemporary language and issues abound (marijuana growing operations, Mexican drug cartels, Chicago mob family members) and Northwestern readers will particularly enjoy the many local landmarks and references. With clean editing, vetted police procedures and sound research, Grayson’s tale makes for easy reading. Dialog is solid, entertaining and only occasionally clichéd (“I was just about to … throw her down and make a woman out of her when she broke it off—just in time”). Fast-paced with brief time-outs for reflection by the somewhat angst-ridden, music-loving Logan, the plot is interesting, carefully thought-out and perhaps a little far-fetched and reminiscent of a particular Paul Newman/Robert Redford movie surprise ending. In fact, this first installment of a planned series has a definite but not unpleasant screenplay style. The story zips right along: straightforward with more action than introspection, explanation over exploration, and just enough rationalizing by Danny to explain away any doubt we might have about his decisions.

With two more books in the works and a cast of interesting characters awaiting development, this author is worth watching.

 

 

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744

indie@kirkusreviews.com

Lyla Wins the Lottery

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

 

Earlier this year, I blogged about the loss of our female German Shepherd, Ava (see “Red Vines Will Rain From the Sky“). After our move to Bainbridge Island last month, my wife Michelle and I decided that our new house felt a little empty with just our two boys – Sam and Sarge (also German Shepherds). The time was right for another female.

Michelle follows rescue organizations around the country. One of them is the Westside German Shepherd Rescue in Los Angeles. Not long ago, Michelle noticed that WSGR had rescued a young female stray from “death row” at a Los Angeles animal shelter just hours before the poor dog’s scheduled execution. No one knew her background so they named her Katja. Michelle was struck by Katja’s looks – she’s a long-haired German Shepherd with bold rust and black markings. She looks very similar to Ava. We talked it over and decided to go for it. We don’t make this decision lightly – we’ve been fortunate to share our homes with five German Shepherds over the past seventeen years. In addition, we’ve fostered a half-dozen more until they were rescued. We know the commitment involved.

Once our decision was made, a flurry of phone calls and emails ensued and soon, we were on an airplane to Los Angeles. Before we left, Michelle had decided to rename Katja “Lyla” – I think partly because Michelle likes the Lyla Garrity character on Friday Night Lights. We’d only seen pictures of Lyla (the dog) before we arrived late Sunday night, but we were very happy when we met her at the rescue and found her to be a very alert, loving, young lady – not at all aware of how close she’d come to the end. Quite the opposite, really – she seemed full of life and quietly confident – as if she’d known all along that we’d show up. She was ready to go home.

We don’t like to fly dogs in the cargo hold of commercial airlines if it can be avoided so we rented a car and made the two day drive home. Now, 1200 miles later, we’re back. As I write this, Lyla’s laying on a pillow in my office sleeping. Michelle’s gone to pick up the boys – they’ve been at the baby sitter’s since Sunday morning. We’re anxious for them to get acquainted so that Lyla can get on with her “new” life. She will be well attended to – compared to where she was last month, she’s won the doggie lottery.

I look at her sleeping and I’m struck that anyone could abuse, abandon or mistreat such a beautiful being – yet it happens over and over. Somewhere between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in this country. What a shocking tragedy. Three or four million lives snuffed out because these poor animals had the audacity to become suddenly inconvenient. People treat these animals as completely disposable and apparently give no value at all to their life.

Obviously, those people are wrong. Thank God for groups like WSGR and for people like my wife Michelle who so anxiously open their hearts and their homes to these needy animals. If you’re thinking about a pet, first rethink it before deciding. Make sure you’re ready for the long haul. If you are ready for the commitment, please consider adopting. I can assure you that somewhere, there’s a perfect companion who desperately needs what only you have to offer.

Lyla has stirred as I finish up. I can clearly see an intelligence in her beautiful golden eyes. She’s her own “person” with her own unique “worth”. Like all of us, she’s one of God’s creatures. She’s been given the gift of life and no one has the right to abuse that gift.

Of course, Lyla doesn’t understand this – that’s our job. Lyla’s smart but not that smart. She’s looking out the window now, taking in her new surroundings. The Pacific Northwest looks nothing like the streets of Los Angeles, but she doesn’t seem too concerned. Why should she? A month ago, she was on the streets. A few weeks ago, she was on death row. Now, she’s resting in a warm home on a soft pillow, about to meet the rest of her family and be pampered for the rest of her days. For her, this seems just about right – no big deal. She probably wonders why everyone’s making such a fuss.

Angel Dance Released!

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments


I’m happy to report that Angel Dance went live on Amazon today! It took about six weeks longer than I’d hoped but, the book’s available at the bargain price of $2.99 for Kindle or iPad.

It’s also available at Smashwords (or will be in the next day or so) – Smashwords sells eBooks themselves and they are also the supplier for Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks, Sony eReader and a few others.

I’m told the print edition will follow in a few weeks.

Please have a look and let me know what you think! If you want to write a review, that would be great!

Meanwhile – I’m about one fourth of the way through the next Danny Logan mystery – “The Starfire Protocol”. Should be out in May.

Thanks,
M.D. Grayson

Welcome Home USS John C. Stennis

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

My office at our new house is located above a detached garage, twenty five feet or so from the main house. I’m fortunate in that our new home is located directly across the Puget Sound from Seattle – we have a great view of the water from the main house and from the office. A few days ago, I was working at my desk when my wife called. “Is that an aircraft carrier?” she asked.

I couldn’t see it, but a minute later, the carrier came into my view. Wow! It was majestic. The little escort boats swarmed about, barely visible. The ship had a big white “74” painted on her stack. I looked it up and found that it was the USS John C. Stennis, homeported in Bremerton, which is just down the road from us. At that moment, the Stennis was returning home from a lengthy depoyment in the middle east.

I studied a little more and found that the Stennis had launched more than 1,000 air sorties in support of our troops during this seven month deployment. Nearly 6,000 men and women serve on board the Stennis.

I thought about this for a second. Imagine having to uproot yourself away from your a family and essentially disappear for six months or more. How many of us would be willing to do this? My thanks and deep gratitude go to each and every one of the sailors onboard the Stennis. I’m very grateful that you are willing to sacrifice your home life and put yourself “in harm’s way” on behalf of me, my family, and my fellow countrymen.

Thanks – and welcome home!

Snow in the Northwest

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Excuse me if there are typos in this post.  My friggin’ fingers are still numb.  Let me explain.

We live on the Puget Sound.  You may have seen where the northwest has gotten blasted with snow over the past few days.   This morning, my friend Curt sent an email asking how we were holding out.  I decided to send a picture so everyone could see.  I work from an alcove off a bedroom on the second floor of the house where we’re staying.  The bedroom has a nice balcony so I decided to brave the snowstorm for a second and snap a couple of shots with my iPhone.  It was going to be a quick trip, so I didn’t grab my coat – I was dressed in jeans and a polo shirt and wearing slippers (one of the benefits of working from home).  I stepped outside and closed the door behind me so the cold wouldn’t get in.  Less than a minute later, I was done and ready to head back in.  Not so fast.  Someone had locked the door handle and I was locked out.

A bit of history – all the doors in the house have deadbolts plus handle locks – the kind that stays locked unless you manually turn them.  When we moved in, we didn’t know this and Michelle locked herself out once.  We learned from this experience and we did two things to make sure it didn’t happen again.  First thing we did –  we made it house rule number one  to only use the deadbolts – never the handle lock.  The handle locks are to remain unlocked always.   Second thing we did was we hid a key outside in case we screwed up on rule number one.

This solution has worked pretty well.  One occasional problem is that no one else knows about house rule number one and sometimes people come over and notice that a handle lock is unlocked.  Wanting to be helpful, they lock it for us, usually not telling us.  That’s when the hidden key comes in handy.  For me, the problem was solved.  I never even check anymore – the doors are always supposed to be unlocked, right?  With a backup, even.   Not this time.

Someone had locked the handle and I was locked out.   Worse, the hidden key was no help because it’s downstairs and I was stuck on the balcony on the second floor – no way to get down and no way to get in.  In the blizzard.  In my friggin’ slippers.

I knew Michelle had just gotten in the shower downstairs.  This could be problematic because she doesn’t always hurry through this event.  😉    Worse, she usually turns her phone off so she doesn’t have to be bothered by it ringing while she’s in the shower – calling wouldn’t help  (trust me, I called ten times!)   Left with few options, I naturally started pounding on the door.  I wasn’t acting completely irrationally as I hoped that our two dogs would be curious as to why someone was standing outside in the snow on the second floor balcony, pounding away.

I guess that was something the dogs didn’t expect.  It probably took five minutes or so before Sam (our alpha German Shepherd) finally came upstairs to see what all the racket was.  (By the way, five minutes is a pretty long time if you’re standing in a blizzard in your slippers, staring inside at the warm room.)  Sam didn’t bark.  Instead, he kind of cocked his head, trying to figure out why I was standing outside.   He gave me a pretty effective “What the hell’s wrong with you? Why are you standing outside beating on the door?” kind of look.  He wagged his tail like this must be some kind of new game.  Fortunately, I’ve trained him to bark on a hand signal and believe me, I was signaling away.  Finally, he got it and he started barking.  This was to be my salvation, I figured.   Michelle would wonder why Sam was barking and she’d come to find out.  I’d be let in.

And that’s pretty much the way it happened – about fifteen minutes later.  Five minutes after Sam started barking, Sarge (the omega dog) came upstairs to see what was going on.  He was pretty amused as well and he joined in.  I had to keep beating on the door, and giving the bark command, otherwise they stopped and just stood and wagged their tails.   Great fun.  I was worried that if they stopped barking, Michelle would assume I was just playing with them and she’d never come up (assuming  she heard us in the first place).  Fortunately, beating on the door and stamping my feet were the only things that kept me warm.

Eventually, Michelle came up, wrapped in a towel.  I think she wondered why I was teasing the dogs so much.  She got a pretty good kick out of my predicament.

So, lesson learned.  Again.   Good news is that now, twenty minutes later, I’m starting to feel my toes again.

Angel Dance Sample’s Up

Posted by on Jan 14, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m excited because I  just finished my final draft of Angel Dance and sent it off to my editor today.  He’ll be done by the end of the month.  Then, a little polish and it should be ready to publish by the first of February, or so.

Meanwhile, I put an “unedited sample” on the blog today.  You can see it on the “Angel Dance” book post, or you can simply click on the following link (I apologize in advance for the formatting of the sample.  It’s a little cludgy.):

https://mdgrayson.com/?page_id=150

Let me know what you think!

 

Steadily Forward

Posted by on Jan 12, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

I didn’t set out to write stories only about dogs – but this actually happened today

 

Driving out of the post office at Port Hadlock today, I had to wait for an elderly woman to cross the street.  She was moving pretty well but she was walking her dog and the dog was moving quite slowly.  Speaking in terms of dog-years, I think the dog was quite a bit older than the woman.  The dog was gray – a tall, wiry looking mixed-breed.  She had a quiet dignity she shares with many older dogs.

While her owner waited patiently in front of her, she’d slowly and deliberately pick up one foot, move it ahead, and then pause, maybe to rest. Then she’d pick up the next foot, move it ahead, pause, and so on.  Steadily forward – slowly, surely, steadily forward.   You can imagine, it took the two a while to cross the street.

They’d about reached the other side – the woman had stepped up onto the sidewalk and was waiting for the dog to join her – when the dog suddenly stopped and turned and looked straight at me.  Dogs communicate by look an awful lot.  If you’re tuned in, you can “hear” what they’re saying.  Her deep brown eyes sent me a clear message – “I apologize sir for being old and taking so long to cross the street in front of you.  I moved faster when I was younger.”

I’m sure you think this is probably hocus-pocus and that’s O.K.  But I was there and I’m convinced that’s what she said.  What I’m not so sure of, though, is how they hear back, but somehow they do.  I smiled at her and my mind said, “Take all the time you need, fair lady.  You’ve earned the right to set the pace today.  I’ll happily wait for you to cross.”

She heard me.  How do I know?  She gave me two quick wags of her tail, then, looking forward again, resumed her walk to rejoin her owner.  Steadily forward –  slowly, surely, steadily forward.

 

Red Vines Will Rain From the Sky

Posted by on Jan 3, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Ava

Sad day at my house today.  Today was the last day for Ava – our female German Shepherd.

We’re a dog family.  Always have been – even when the kids were little and still lived with us.  Now that the kids have moved out and have families of their own, our dogs are our kids.  Like many folks, we dote over our canine family.

My wife Michelle is a bit of a saint when it comes to dogs.  She wants to rescue all of them.  There are plenty of dogs needing rescue of all breeds but I’ve got her to focus on German Shepherds.  We have three – two rescues.  Well, as of today, we’re down to  two.

We got Ava from the Northwest German Shepherd rescue a little over three years ago.  She was a small but stout senior citizen who’d been picked up wandering the streets of Everett.  For all she’d been through, she still had a wonderfully unique, perky personality.  But she was in very poor health – in fact, she was in real trouble.   Her coat was matted and her skin had bad infections beneath.  We had to shave her off completely to cure her skin condition.  Worse, she had horrific infections in both ears that, left untreated, could have killed her.  We ended up having to do complete ear ablations (a process that essentially removes the entire internal parts of the ear).  Good news – she perked right up.  Bad news – she spent the rest of her life almost completely deaf.  Still, three months after we got her, Ava had a beautiful silky coat and her skin and ear infections were gone.  She was transformed.  She was happy and secure  – maybe for the first time in her whole life.

She loved to play tug-of-war with our younger alpha-male Sam.  In her best day, she didn’t really run – more of a shuffle actually.  Sam would grab a toy, Ava would bark and shuffle after him.   She was a ferocious tug-of-war partner.  She gave as good as she got.

All of our dogs are on a strict diet – no human food – but one day one of our friends told us she’d discovered that Ava was nuts for red vines.  She loved them.  From then on, we broke our no-human-food rule and we’d give Ava a red vine every now and then as a treat.  She was deaf and she didn’t move very fast, but she could damn sure sniff out a red vine from fifty yards away.  After she finished hers, she’d shuffle over and stare at me with her big, mopey eyes if she knew I’d hidden one for myself.  She wanted it and there was no fooling her.

We had three great years together.  Towards the end of 2010, she started losing muscle control in her hips.  She was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a disease in older dogs which attacks the spinal cord but shows up as a loss of muscle control.  Over the past year, she had a harder and harder time getting up and moving around.  Still, she hung in there. Mentally, she was as alert as ever.  She barked, she played, she ate well.  She just didn’t move well.   Good news – our vet says he doesn’t think she was in any pain through this process.

Unfortunately, the disease got worse.  It got to the point where she could barely get up after she was lying down (and she couldn’t get up at all if she wasn’t lying on a rug – hardwood floors were impossible).  Once she got up, she could only walk a few steps without having to lie down again and rest.  She started to become incontinent.

Through it all, though, she loved her red vines.  She’d notice right away when I got the container out of the pantry.  She couldn’t get up and come to get one so I’d toss one to her.  I got pretty good at landing them right between her feet.  Eventually, as soon as she saw me get the container, she’d look down at her feet and wait for the red vine to fall from the sky.  I think she must have thought it was magic.

Over Christmas, it got to the point where she could hardly move for any reason – even to go the bathroom, to get a drink, anything.  We decided to try and get her through the holiday by helping her around as much as we could.  Today, though, was her time.

We took her to the vet for the final time this morning, along with a handful of red vines.  Michelle drove and I tossed red vines back to Ava one at a time, all the way to the animal hospital.  She was happy.  When the vet tech gave her a sedative, we gave Ava her last red vine.  She was still happy as she went to sleep.

She’s gone now and we’re going to miss her.  I believe, though, she’s in a better place – a place where she can bark and hear and run and play.  And, with God’s good grace, a place where red vines rain from the sky like magic.  She deserves no less.

Bye, Ava.

Angel Dance Release Date

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s looking like the release date for Angel Dance is holding steady for the end of January 2012.  The book will be available on Amazon for Kindle at that time, immediately followed by release at Barnes and Noble for Nook.  Stay tuned here for updates and the latest news.

– MDG

Angel Dance

Posted by on Nov 16, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Beautiful Seattle business heiress Gina Fiore has vanished without a trace.  Desperate for help, her family turns to Gina’s old boyfriend, Danny Logan  to find her and bring her home safely.  Logan is a fifth-generation Seattle native who owns the Logan Private Investigaton Agency.  Along with his associates Antoinette “Toni” Blair, Kenny Hale, and Joaquin Khiatel, he accepts the case and begins the hunt for Gina.

Logan and his team dig for clues and soon find that they’re not the only ones looking for Gina.  The Tijuana-Mendez drug cartel is keenly interested in her whereabouts, as is the Calabria crime family from Chicago.  The race is on to find Gina and bring her home safely and the stakes could not be higher.  In order to prevail, Logan’s not only going to need all the skill and luck he can gather, he’s going to need to confront the unresolved feelings he still has for Gina -feelings that might just get him killed!

Read a Book Sample


Buy Angel Dance on Amazon

Reviews

From the Publisher

In his debut novel, M.D. Grayson scores big with Angel Dance – a compelling thriller that has Seattle private investigator Danny Logan on the trail of his old girlfriend, missing heiress Gina Fiore.  As Logan and his sidekick Antoinette “Toni” Blair search through the few clues available, they soon find that they’re pitted against a dangerous drug cartel and the Chicago mob in a desperate race to see who finds Gina first.  Ultimately, though, Logan’s forced to confront the unresolved feelings he still has for Gina  – and he must make certain that these feelings don’t get him killed!

Book Details

  • Pub. Date:   March 2012 (est.)
  • Publisher:  Cedar Coast Press
  • Format:  eBook, Hardcover, 460 pp
  • ISBN:  978-0-9849518-1-9 (Hardcover)
  • ISBN:  978-0-9849518-0-2 (E-Book)

 

 

Happy Veterans Day!

Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

My high school buddy Curt joined the U.S. Navy not long after we graduated from Clark High in Las Vegas. Curt went on to spend more than twenty years on nuclear submarines in defense of our great nation. Over his career, I figure this sacrifice cost Curt several years worth of 24/7 days and weeks completely separated from his wife Joni and their two boys. I don’t mean the go-to-work-early and get-home-late kind of separation, either. I mean the complete, total, see-you-next-year kind of separation. Brutal on a family. Almost like prison (at least in this respect). Curt’s one of thousands, and, in many ways is one of the lucky ones.

Curt’s lucky because he finished his service and came home. The same can’t be said for many of America’s young men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. So, on this Veteran’s Day in 2011, for my friend Curt and for all the other Americans who served in the military defending our freedoms, thanks.