& Bailey Book 1
Crime Mystery, Thriller
this first book of the Reightman & Bailey Series, deceit,
corruption and murder tangle together with vivid, unconventional
characters in a story of unlikely new friendships and their power to
are going well at the Time Out Spa, but when the night young proprietor
Toby Bailey discovers his former lover naked and dead on a massage
table, more things are spoiled than just his white leather shoes.
Detective Melba Reightman and partner, Sam Jackson are called in to
investigate and soon become embroiled in the most perplexing homicide
case seen in years.
a Hunting knife engraved with Toby’s name is found in a pile of wet,
bloody laundry, he’s arrested for the murder of Geraldo Guzman. He
enlists the aid of Madame Zhou Li, practicing attorney and owner of
Green Dragon Chinese Herbs and Teas. The peculiar octogenarian seems
an unlikely choice to defend him, but has a few tricks up her sleeve.
Toby joins forces with Reightman and Jackson and a shocking string of
clues leads them closer to the killer. The bad news? Successfully
solving the crime might unleash a firestorm on this southern city,
and come with a price none of them are prepared to pay.
& Bailey Book 2
this second Reightman & Bailey thriller, Detective Melba
Reightman is distraught over the murder of her friend and partner,
Sam Jackson. The Guzman murder case has been closed, but she knows
the real killer is still out there somewhere. Toby Bailey’s
discovery of a set of incriminating photos proved there were more
people involved in Geri Guzan’s death than just Dr. Lieberman, but
getting anyone to listen is more of a challenge than she’d ever
imagined. She’s going to need help convincing the powers that be
that the case needs to be reopened, but she’ll find a way to do it.
It’s the only choice she has if she wants to discover who’s
behind it all.
still struggling with Geri’s death and the shock at having been the
target of a hitman. Detective Jackson took the bullet meant for him
and saved his life, and he doesn’t understand how things could have
gone so very wrong. No one should have known about the evidence Geri
left behind, but it’s the only explanation that makes any sense. He
has a hunch things are going to get worse, so he’ll just have to
pull up his pants and get on with whatever needs to be done to help
Detective Reightman figure things out.
as for John Brown? He’s just worried he won’t get paid after
botching the hit on Toby, and can’t help wondering what will happen
next. It wasn’t really his fault. Mistakes were bound to happen
when things got complicated, but who knew this would be such a hard
are heating up in this southern city.
& Bailey Book 3
Skin Puppet: Reightman & Bailey Book Three, the whole gang from
Capital Street is back and almost ready for business. It’s just two
weeks until The Reightman & Bailey Agency officially opens, but
Melba Reightman and Toby Bailey have things pretty much under
control. After the horrific events of the last six months, things are
starting to feel normal again.
inconvenient lisp from a busted lip isn’t slowing Toby down, but it
makes him sound embarrassing like a cartoon character. And there’s
the whole awkward situation with Jon Chiang. One minute Zhou Li’s
nephew is cold and distant, and the next minute…well, Toby could
swear the guy might be interested in something more. It’s all very
got her hands full completing last minute paperwork so they can open
for business. There’s the huge stack of invitations Madame Zhou
dropped off, all needing to be hand-addressed. Melba doesn’t see
the need for a huge grand opening party, but there’s no point in
arguing with the bossy owner of Green Dragon. To top things off, Zhou
Li is strongly hinting that Melba needs a new dress.
so much going on, the reports of children missing from the local area
haven’t really registered on anyone’s radar. The single flyer
posted by a desperate mother looking for her daughter was disturbing,
but it’s really a matter for the local police, not the Reightman &
Bailey Agency. Right?
Things are never that easy.
This novel deals with mature subject matter.
Craig is the writing pseudonym of the author, used for fictional
works. Jeffery resides in the southeastern United States and shares
his life with his husband and partner, and a menagerie of much-loved
pets. For several years, he worked as a executive providing
technology and consulting services to help clients meet business
needs. He’s an avid supporter of the arts and co-owns a local art
gallery/gift store that provides an outlet for area artists to
showcase and sell their works.
he isn’t writing, he might be found working on a painting or enjoying
the covered front porch of his historic southern home with a good
book in hand
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What book do you think everyone should read? Why?
There are a lot of great choices for this answer! If I had to choose just one, it would be “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. There is so much food for thought in this book and I think it has a lot to offer anyone, regardless of age, background, or profession. It shows the reader ways to welcome creativity into their lives and to take advantage of the opportunities the cosmos presents us. It’s very thought provoking and offers a unique perspective. I found it life changing, and think others would as well.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
A dead one, probably. I’m outspoken and I usually take the side of the underdog. I like nice things and think everyone should be able to make a good living, but don’t understand how we can let children starve or people suffer to fill the coffers. I’d make a lot of enemies trying to remedy things, and would probably move too fast in changing the world.
Tell us about a favorite character in your series.
My favorite character is Madame Zhou Li, and many readers feel exactly the same. She has a very defined world view and is equal parts manipulation, wisdom and compassion. She’s wonderfully flawed, but endearing. Writing her character gives me another angle to express my thoughts about the world. I like that she is the product of another culture, and made a success of her life only by making sacrifices along the way. She’s often the moral voice of the books. In many ways, Zhou Li is the rudder of the ship, and provides the growth path to Toby and Melba. I also like the “bad guys” I write. They’re complex, driven, and each has their own special brand of evil. I have a blast writing them, although researching what might have influenced their paths is sometimes difficult. Making sure they get their just rewards is very, very satisfying. (word to the wise— never make an author angry)
Describe your writing style.
I hope my writing style comes across as both entertaining, and truthful. I work with an outline, but not a detailed plan, except for when needed to make sure I have all the clues in the right places within a mystery. I try to let the characters tell their own story while I write it all down. Sometimes I have to reel them back in and get everyone back on task, but when I listen to the character, I get a richness I wouldn’t have otherwise. It adds more words, and I have to edit a lot. Even then, my books are fairly long. Some writers plot; some writers fly by the seat of their pants. I think I combine the two approaches and it seems to work for me.
What makes a good story?
I think there are a few components to a good story. First of all, there has to be an element of truth in the writing. I don’t mean the story has to be true, but it has to come from a true place inside the writer. Great characters are a must for me, and there has to be conflict somewhere within the pages. It can be external conflict, or internal conflict. I also like details —little touches that tell readers something new, surprising, or unexpected about the characters, the setting, or the situation. When those elements are combined, the story really comes alive for me.
How do you relax and unwind?
I have a lot of hobbies —too many probably. I love a good book, and try to read as much as possible. It helps me free my mind, and there are so many great stories out there. I paint, usually in oils, and I find that’s a great way to take my mind off whatever the most pressing problem of the day is. Although I never learned to play an instrument as a child, I eventually taught myself to play the Celtic Folk harp and classical guitar. I don’t practice as much or as regularly as I should, but I can spend hours working through a piece of music. It engages another side of my brain, and I always feel I’m more centered after a few hour of playing. Finally, time spent with great friends, talking about nothing and everything, is a great form of relaxation for me!
Describe a day in your life as an author.
There’s nothing typical about my day, other than I do write every day. In the morning, I check email and the news. I keep a list of marketing activities I need to complete, and try to keep the time I spend on those to about ten to twelve hours a week, otherwise it gets out of control. I think the marketing aspect is the biggest challenge to most indie writer.
I write better in the afternoon and during the evening, so I plan accordingly. Although tempted, I try not to rework any sections of the book until I have several chapters done. Since I often write mysteries, I can’t wait until the entire book is done, because I have to keep track of clues. Making sure they’re in the right place at the right time is critical. If I’m in the editing process, I try not to obsess about what my editor or beta readers might find. Instead, I catch up on all the things I put to the side while finishing the book, and often take a break and do something else fun, such as paint or read someone else’s work. I also catch up with all my friends and family.
The best – and the worst —days or those when I’m starting a new book. I’m nervous and excited at the same time and really have to make myself focus until I get the first few thousand pages down.