You think you've got problems? Doc Goold calls it cognizant premonition triggered by causal hypersensitivity, but Manny Shepherd and his Vietnam vet buddy Steve Mallitti call it Shepherd's Luck, that time-proven knack to sense bad shit lurks just around the corner. Manny felt the premonition slump into his gut minutes before he witnesses Steve's girlfriend Rita Hayward get slammed in the mud to her death by a well-stacked gal dubbing herself Screaming Eagle. Mired in shock, guilt and a drunken haze, Steve coerces Manny, who has little on his Private Investigator's plate, to figure out why Rita died like that with them and a SRO crowd watching and cheering at Peoria's Heart of Illiis fair. After all, back in earlier days at Neelys Landing, Missouri, Rita reigned as a star gymnast. So how could a simple Judo throw have killed her? No way will Manny jeopardize his tenuous yet sensual relationship with Tazewell County's District Attorney, Lisa Shelton, to hang around half-naked, oiled-bodied beauties with names like Virgin Witch, Passion Queen, Midnight Fire, and Holy Terror, just to expose the obvious - Princess Lay-ya aka Rita Hayward just took a bad...okay, seriously bad header. Steve's heart-tugging story of Rita's journey to professional mud wrestler fame, and haunted by Rita's single staring dead eye watching him, Manny takes the leap onto the St. Louis Slingers on-tour bus. Shepherd's Luck bites hard amidst boobs and bullets as Manny is targeted while he hunts down a scheming, sadistic killer.
Judy Douglas Knauer is an Illinois Press Association newspaper journalism award winner (1988-1995). During that period, she captured a total thirteen awards: eight IPA awards, including two first places for Education Reporting and Headline Writing, plus IPA awards in Feature Stories, Investigative Reporting, Newspaper Column, and Sports Feature. She also earned awards from American Publishing Company with a first place for both Hard News Story and Sports Story, plus second and third for Best Feature Photo and (another) Hard News Story, respectively. She has published magazine articles on farmsteading; a mystery to Over My Dead Body's print magazine; and her fiction entry of Page 19 of her novel BAD CATHOLICS won a spot in the Chicago Chapter of the National Writers Union 2005 Writers at Work Chapbook. Berkley/Jove purchased her romance, ECSTASY RECLAIMED by Brandy LaRue in 1983. Admittedly, not one who easily follows rules, she switched from romance to her true love: mystery writing. Currently, Amazon is selling two of her novels as e-books: VENDETTA (a thriller); and, A DIRTY WAY TO DIE, a Manny Shepherd P.I. (a mystery), both under the name J. Douglas Knauer. A DIRTY WAY TO DIE is also available in print worldwide through Amazon. Her thriller novel BAD CATHOLICS is being updated and will soon be released by Amazon under the title THE DEVIL'S HEAT. Judy has 4.0 GPA's in college studies of Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation; Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation; English Composition I and II; International Business (economics) and Desktop Publishing. She is an active member of Mystery Writers of America (Midwest) and Sisters In Crime, mystery writer organizations. She lives with her husband, Dennis, and mixed-Lab, Jesse, on four acres about 75 miles south of Chicago. They have two daughters, two sons and five grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, fishing, reading, cooking, refinishing antique furniture, learning, walking, and travel. Please visit www.suspenseiskillingme.net to learn more about the author and her books.