What do most authors crave?

When a writer sits down at his computer and types up a few hundred pages of his imagination, what is he hoping for? When an author takes a risk and sends her “new baby” out into the harsh light of the world, what are her expectations?

Well, he or she hopes to have created the great American novel, become rich and famous like James Patterson or Stephanie Evanovich and make gazillions of dollars.

But, when any serious writer eschews such impossible fantasies and re-enters the real world, what is his actual goal for any manuscript? If he’s lucky and perhaps possesses more than a modicum of talent, what he longs for is for readers to savor his work and for his novels to achieve recognition from knowledgeable reviewers in the profession.

But with the tsunami of books cascading down upon readers and reviewers—two million new titles a year in the U. S. at last count—this aspiration is a high hill to scale. To capture readers’ eyes and attain even a bit of notice from professionals is a daunting task. (Insert picture of rows of books)

That’s why the remarkable success of the books in my series, the Haunted Shores Mysteries, amazes and humbles me. In the first entry, BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE (2019), Darrell leaves his hometown for the Eastern Shore where he lands a great teaching job, becomes a winning coach and even falls in love. But he is also stalked by an angry ghost whose murder thirty years earlier reveals an ugly side of the resort town. This first book won over readers and even captured a national award. Then, last month BLOOD became a #1 Amazon and B & N Best Seller! WOW! (Insert BLOOD Bestseller cover)

“An absolutely chilling ghost story wrapped around an even scarier piece of history – or perhaps it’s the other way around.” ★★★★★—Chanticleer Reviews

That was followed by CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY (2020) released right in the middle of the pandemic. The second book takes Darrell to a beautiful Jersey shore town, which has been welcoming guests for more than 150 years. He’s there to help coach a summer football camp and introduces Erin to the lovely beach town with its scores of unique Victorians. (Insert pic of Cape May beach) Only, he learns Cape May is also the most haunted town on the East Coast and Darrell ends up with his own personal ghost this time—a bride killed on her wedding night. CRIMSON surprised even me by collecting three national awards and stacks of five star reviews as well as loads of new fans.

“I loved everything about this book. As a ghost story combined with a mystery, a romance, a social injustice and stunning historical details, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY has something for everyone. ★★★★★—ReadersView

This month the Wild Rose Press will launch #3 in the series, SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER (2021). Darrell’s tale continues, this time with his new wife, Erin. The couple heads to the Gulf Coast of Florida for a romantic honeymoon. But when Darrell tries to share some memorable experiences with Erin like swimming with the manatees and playing in the warm ocean waves in December, their fun is derailed. The desperate ghosts of two murdered children haunt Darrell, begging him to find justice for them and their parents. SCARLET also includes some nice touches of the Christmas season. Even before this book was released, SCARLET has garnered several five star reviews and a national award—the Gold Award from Literary Titan. (Insert graphic of Gold Award)

SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER is a suspenseful paranormal novel with compelling characters and an enigmatic mystery that drives the story to a riveting conclusion. Overbeck is a master.” ★★★★★—Literary Titan

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All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. Only a pair of ghosts decide to intrude on their celebration. And not just any ghosts, the spirits of two young Latino children. Unwilling at first to derail the honeymoon for yet another ghost hunt, Darrell finally concedes when a painting of the kids comes alive, weeping and pleading for his help.

When he and Erin track down the artist, they discover the children’s family were migrant workers the next county over. But when they travel there, their questions about the kids gets their car shot up and Erin hospitalized. Torn between fear and rage, Darrell must decide how far he will go to get justice for two young children he never even knew.

If you haven’t had the chance to check out one of the award-winning Haunted Shores Mysteries, there is no time like the present.



Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker. As an educator, he served children for four decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, Leave No Child Behind (2012) and his recent mysteries, the Amazon No. 1 Best Seller, Blood on the Chesapeake, Crimson at Cape May and Scarlet at Crystal River have earned five star reviews and garnered national awards including “Thriller of the Year–ReadersFavorite.com, “Gold Award”—Literary Titan, “Mystery of the Year”—ReadersView.com and “Crowned Heart of Excellence”—InD’Tale Magazine. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation, “Things Still Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.

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