JAKonrathKW_OneEightSeven_FrontFINALTitle: One Eight Seven
Published On: Mar 2, 2015
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Lt. “Jack” Daniels’ mom doesn’t just enjoy guilt trips she buys your ticket, packs your bag, and stamps your passport. Now she has Jack reluctantly heading to San Francisco in an effort to solve the murder of a drag queen superstar.

Teamed up with a tough-as-nails local P.I., Jillian Varela, Jack figures it will be an easy case. But what her mom didn’t tell her was that she would be helping a Mafia don with a long list of enemies.

As the bodies begin to stack up, it becomes obvious that Mom’s “simple job” has turned into something both dangerous and deadly.


It was three-fifteen in San Francisco making it five-fifteen p.m. in Chicago. Herb would already be down the stairs and headed to his car. That left one person I could call. My erstwhile partner, Harry McGlade, now a third-rate, bordering on worthless P.I. Besides being a major thorn in my side, Harry had sold a stupid TV series, Fatal Autonomy, with a supporting character based on me. The writer had placed the fictional Jack Daniels on the extreme low end of the stupid scale, and the whole thing had damn near ruined my police career.
I decided that I didn’t want to talk to Harry after all, and I started to hang up.
Too late. The phone rang once and he picked up. “Thank God. After the ball gag problem last night, I was worried you wouldn’t call me again.”
“Harry, it’s Jack.”
“Jackie! I thought you were my date from last night. She—”
“Stop! I don’t want to hear about it.”
“Okay. Sure. Hey, I hear you’re in San Francisco consorting with drag queens.”
I’m going to clobber Herb and his big mouth. “I need you to check out a P.I. for me. Name of Jillian Varela, based in San Jose.”
“Give me a second.” I heard Harry tapping on his computer.
Harry whistled. “I’ve got a picture. Get a load of her. She’s hot.”
There was silence for a few seconds. Silence where Harry was involved was never good.
“Harry? What are you doing?”
“I’m—uh . . .”
“Never mind. Forget I even brought it up.”
“Say, can I come out and help you?”
Having Harry come out ranked right up there with removing my eyes with a grapefruit spoon. “No, you can’t come out. Tell me her background.”
“She’s thirty. Her dad and mom escaped from Cuba. They had two daughters, Jillian and Lisa. Jillian joined the Marines, staying two tours as an MP. Um. She became a cop, but only for a couple of years. She quit and opened a gym. She runs her P.I. business out of the back. At least ask her if she needs a partner.”
“Background, McGlade.”
“She’s had success. She solved a child killer cold case. When she caught up to the guy he was trying to snatch a ten year old off the street and she beat the crap out of him before calling the police. Then she got the goods on a skeevy cop taking protection money from an underage prostitute. She also caught a serial killer who’d been active in three states. She fights MMA for fun. She sounds even tougher than you.”
Not likely. “That it?”
“When the two of you team up, you’ll be Jack and Jillian. That’s pretty good, huh?”
“Shut up Harry. Is that it?”
“No. Tell me again why we shouldn’t get married.”
“We’re not the same species?”
“Jackie, you hurt me.”
“It’ll be okay, Harry. You’ll find someone to love, someone who won’t turn you in.”
“Goodbye Harry.”
“Wait a minute. Tell your blubbery partner I found his mom on the internet. She looks— ”
I hung up.
Harry’s the guy who asks, “What is that perfume?” right after he farts so everyone takes a deep breath. What an idiot.
I called the number Phil had given me. Jillian answered, directing me to an address on Broadway.
Okay, Jillian Varela. You sound professional, and you’ve been successful. I’ll talk to you, but I’m still going to be on a redeye


Why did you decide to become a writer? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.  In fact, I wrote a column for a motorsport magazine, one-act plays and short stories while I earned a living. Now I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can write full time.

Who/what are your writing inspirations? General themes that I love to write about are facing darkness and reality, empowerment, courage, heroism, family, losing hope, and the role of women. Those things challenge me and I hope challenge my readers.

What are your favorite genres to read? Sci-fi, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, and fantasy.

Favorite writing food / snack? Has to be a bowl of popcorn by the keyboard.

What do you hope readers take away most from your writing? That it was a good story with great characters. I really want to engage the reader’s imagination.

Who’s the favorite character of yours that you’ve written and why? It would be a tie between Terra Vonn in The Fountain of the Earth series and Jillian Varela my tough as nails P.I. in One Eight Seven, Remember the Dead, Pooled Blood, and two short stories.

What is your writing style? Outliner/Planner or Seat of the Pantser? A combination of both works for me. Usually I have a scene that I like and start stitching a story around it. Once I have 50 to 100 pages, I create a chapter outline.

If someone wanted to become a writer, what tips would you give to them? Just do it. Join a writers group and contribute. You’ll learn a lot about which of your skills are good and which need work. Don’t give up. And edit, edit, edit.

Have you ever purchased something from a late-night infomercial? If so, what? I haven’t. But Amazon and Ebay are particular addictions of mine.

If you could collaborate with any other author (living or dead) who would that be and why? I have so many favorite authors, it’s a tough pick. Perhaps Ernest Hemmingway or John Steinbeck.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do? I enjoy painting in watercolor and oils.

Coke, Pepsi, or? Coke definitely.

Is there a character that has the most “You” in them? Or the opposite of you? Not really. Although, there are bits and pieces of people I’ve known and a little of me in all of them.

If we lived in a Fahrenheit 451 culture, which book would you want to memorize? It would have to be something massive perhaps one of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books.

Other Works by H.L. LeRoy

Kindle World

(A LT. Jack Daniels/Jillian Varela Mystery)

One Eight Seven  (1)

Can Be Read As a Stand Alone

Remember the Dead (2)

Can Be Read As a Stand Alone

Pooled Blood (3)

Can Be Read As a Stand Alone

The Fountain of the Earth Series

Sudden End (Prequel)

The Fountain of the Earth (Book 1)

Heralds of Juno (Book 2) Coming 2015


Street Crimes

Hollow Point (Coming Soon)

Malibu Blues (Coming Soon)

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