Saturday, February 24, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Shooters! by Thomas A. Burns, Jr. @3Mdetective @RABTBookTours

A Natalie McMasters Mystery, Book 8

Crime Fiction

Date Published: 1/8/2024

Publisher: Tekrighter, LLC


Award-winning author Thomas A Burns Jr. spins another mind-blowing tale about twentysomething detective Natalie McMasters and her unlikely family that’s torn from today's headlines This time Nattie is preggers (?!) and unsure of the father. The candidates? Her husband Danny, the love of her life, or her biological father, who cruelly had his way with her.

Complicating the situation, her Uncle Amos's 3M Detective Agency is hemorrhaging money, and even the estate that houses Nattie, the agency and the fam is at risk.

Her quakeworthy solution? An infamous social media influencer and unapologetic misogynist is bringing his totally unwoke nude beauty pageant to Capital City and wants to hire 3M to provide security for its million-dollar prize. Her hormones raging, Nattie gets it that a cool mil would make all her money troubles vanish. But she doesn’t know that a malevolent enemy from her past is back and gunning for her…

Meanwhile, her foster son Eduardo has his own problems. Humiliated at school, he falls under a deadly influence that sends him racing toward an unimaginable act of violence that will change his young life forever. The astonishing ending is like nothing you've ever seen in contemporary crime fiction and will totally leave you reeling.

You'll truly get why Natalie McMasters is "a detective for the new millennium".

Interview with Thomas A. Burns, Jr.

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    I can name several seminal books that qualify:

    Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is a novel that has many levels. It’s a rousing sea story. It’s a non-fiction treatise on whaling in the 19th century. And it’s an allegory about life itself. It’s a masterpiece because it shows the true potential of fiction.

    Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is another allegorical novel that actually launched the original philosophical system of Objectivism. The story itself illustrates the effects of living according to the principles of Objectivism on the lives of the characters.

    Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a science fiction masterpiece about a libertarian revolution in a lunar colony. It brilliantly shows the evolution of a political and social system governed by the severe environment of the colony, as well as predicting the creation of AI that we are experiencing today. Several of the ideas in the book have made their way into the Natalie McMasters mysteries, especially the notion of the nature of family.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    I really don’t put a lot of thought into it, except to ensure that I don’t have character names that are too similar, which can lead to confusion. I even try to avoid having characters who have the same initials.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    I’ll never tell (heh, heh, heh…).

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    I want people to be able to read my books as standalones, i.e., to have all the information present that’s necessary to understand the story. However, the Natalie McMasters Mysteries chronicle the life of a young woman from her freshman year in college to graduation and beyond, and her loss of innocence as she encounters the seamy side of life. I think the reader will appreciate each book more if the series is read in order. Also, I find I have a penchant for cliffhanger endings…

    What were your goals and intentions in Shooters, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    What inspired you to write Shooters!?

    I think these two questions really ask the same thing, albeit a little bit differently, so I’ll answer them together. Primarily, I wanted to explore the mindsets of people who engage in mass shootings and how they go from general resentment of their circumstances to a desire to hurt others, to finally acting out. And as in all of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, I wanted to illustrate some important social issues such as the power of social media influencers, misogyny, transgenderism, and abortion.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in the Natalie McMasters Mysteries or what you have planned for the future?

    You’ll just have to read Shooters! to find out where Nattie is going next. But before I write the next Natalie McMasters Mystery, I am going to release a second book of Sherlock Holmes stories as a companion to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: Ten Steps from Baker Street. The new book will contain nine more stories and will be entitled Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: A Peek into Doctor Watson’s Dispatch Box.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Shooters?

    There’s a list of the characters in the series and a blurb about each on the first page of my website at You can also read the first Natalie McMasters short story Stakeout! there ( ) and sign up for the monthly 3M Detective Agency newsletter ( )

    What did you enjoy most about writing Shooters!?

    As far as my writing process goes, I’m a pantser, which means that I write my stories by the seat of my pants—I don’t follow a detailed outline or plot structure as I write. So the part that I find most enjoyable is watching the story emerge from chaos, so to speak, from turning a jumble of half-baked ideas into a well-structured and coherent tale.

About the Author

Thomas A. Burns Jr. writes the Natalie McMasters Mysteries from the small town of Wendell, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and son, four cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. As a kid, Tom started reading boys’ mystery series such as the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, then graduated to the classics by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, beginning with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Currently a full-time novelist, he’s excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as writing stories about his second most favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes. Tom’s Holmes story, The Camberwell Poisoner, appeared in the March–June issue of The Strand Magazine in 2021, and many of his other Holmes stories have been published by MX Books and Belanger Books. The sixth book in the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, Killers!, was released in September, 2021, and won the Silver Falchion award for best action/adventure book of 2021 at the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference. His latest Natalie McMasters Mystery, Sister!, was published on December 5, 2022, and was chosen as a finalist for the Silver Falchion award in 2023. Tom has also written a Lovecraftian horror novel, The Legacy of the Unborn, under the pen name of Silas K. Hendersona sequel to H.P. Lovecrafts masterpiece At the Mountains of Madness. Tom also published his first volume of Sherlock Holmes stories, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: Ten Steps from Baker Street, on March 1, 2023.

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