Thursday, September 7, 2017

Showcase - Interview with Terry Keys Death Toll Rising

You all know how I love bringing new to me authors to all my reader's attention well today I have a multitalented thriller author who's just released #4 in his series staring Houston detective David Porter.
It's not a coincidence that Terry's protagonist is from Houston, Terry is also from Houston and has been directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, so please while you read about his make believe stories keep him in your thoughts about his real life challenges.


Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: 5-23-2017
Length: 228pp
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ Kobo
When world leaders gather to attend the first Worldwide Religious Summit, no one is prepared for what happens next. On the eve of the Summit Japan’s Prime Minister, Akio Yoshida, falls dead in Houston’s Chinatown, and the eyes of the world descend on the city. His final moments streamed live on social media for the world to see. The broadcast includes a chilling death threat for the remaining world leaders and the unfathomable accusation that America is behind the assassination.
As shockwaves ripple across the globe, the FBI summons HPD Detective David Porter and his team to investigate and restore order to the chaos. But is this nightmare more than Houston’s finest detective can handle?

Paralyzed by fear, the world watches as life as we know it hangs delicately in the balance. Can the threat of global destruction be averted? No one wants to watch . . . but they can’t look away.

Excerpt courtesy Terry Keys––

Dry, lung-scarring heat forced Akio Yoshida to take a deeper, harder breath than he was used to. Japan’s prime minister had barely reached the bottom of the private jet’s staircase, and he could already feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead. If there really was a hell on earth, he’d found it. He had made several trips to the United States, but this was his first to Houston, and the rumors about the humidity and the unbearable summer climate had proven to be true.
Bush Intercontinental Airport was as busy as it ever was. Planes landed or took off every few minutes it seemed. It rivaled Japan’s Narita International Airport, Akio thought to himself. A dozen armed U.S. soldiers were already in place and surrounded the small plane. A handful of prescreened journalists and photographers also stood nearby trying to catch a glimpse of Akio. They all wanted the shot for their newspaper or website. A handful of onlookers gathered as well.
Akio was in Houston to attend the world’s first Religious International Summit. The goal of the summit was to bridge the gap between various religions around the globe, repair strained relationships, and start to build peace. The summit would include leaders from Japan, China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, Israel, France, Italy, England, Germany, and a handful of African nations. The summit was scheduled to begin in two days. Yoshida was the last of the visiting country leaders to arrive in Houston. He still had a few days to spare and planned to tour a few places in the highly cultured city. Among his stops would be the Johnson Space Center, the Holocaust Museum, and the USS Texas which intrigued the man more than it probably should have. The USS Texas was the last remaining vessel that was active during WWI and WWII and was an amazing part of both world and American history.
Houston also boasted a very impressive Chinatown that Yoshida wanted to visit. This, he had decided, would be his first stop. A few drinks and, if it went as planned, a few special guests to keep him company.
Rush hour traffic in Houston was legendary for being some of the worst in the nation. It was nearing five p.m., which meant any type of travel would be a nightmare. Yoshida and his team had overlooked this detail when scheduling arrival time. What would typically by a forty-minute drive to Chinatown would now easily take closer to two hours, Yoshida was informed.
A tall, square-chinned, middle-aged man with a sergeant badge approached Akio. The man, Sergeant Butler, bowed to the prime minister.
He extended his hand to shake. “Konnichiwa, sir,” Butler said.
Akio bowed back. “Konnichiwa. It is an honor to be here in your country.”
“We are honored to have you, sir. You have the entire power of the U.S. Secret Service at your disposal.”
Suddenly, two of Yoshida’s men rushed to his side. Akio raised his hand, gesturing the men to stand down.
Butler looked both men firmly in the eyes, almost beaming through them. “I want to assure you every conceivable security measure has been taken. The health and well-being of the prime minister will be my number one concern until we put him back on this jet in five days,” Butler sternly announced.
“Thank you, Sergeant Butler. My men are very protective. I have an incredible security team; I want them quickly brought up to speed.”
“Yes, sir. I will bring them up to speed in short order. The United States military is the finest in the world. If we can’t protect you, no one can. Every detail needs to run through me before it happens.”
A few of Yoshida’s men smiled wryly but no one replied.
Yoshida was escorted to a waiting limousine. Butler and a few of Yoshida’s men climbed in behind him and started discussing the security details.
Yoshida’s team had informed the U.S. of his itinerary, and his first stop, Fu Fu Café, was fully reserved and awaited the prime minister’s arrival. The restaurant topped many lists as the best place to eat in Houston’s Chinatown, and Yoshida was eager to give it a shot.
Private entertainment had also been arranged and would be provided by a small local band. The restaurant was known for being open late, upward of five or six a.m., which also suited the Japanese leader. His late-night parties were well-known.
“Sergeant Butler, we have been moving twenty minutes but have only traveled a short distance. Is there a problem with this route?” Yoshida asked with a look of concern on his face.
“It’s rush hour here in Houston, sir. Any route around the city will be equally as bad.”
Yoshida threw his hands up in the air. “So it’s like this every day here?”
“I’m afraid so, sir. And worse if we encounter an accident along the way.”
Yoshida muttered something in Japanese that made his men laugh. Butler smiled politely. He felt like he was the ass of the joke, but he wasn’t sure what he’d said or done. Language aside, you can always tell when you aren’t in on the joke. It bothered him, but what the hell could he do about it?
Yoshida stared in amazement at the gridlock of cars all around him. He wondered why his team hadn’t better planned this out.
Finally, a little over an hour later, the group arrived at the restaurant. A US-led security team had already swept the place twice and given the all clear for the Prime Minister. The team had established a perimeter and stood outside, armed and ready for Akio’s arrival.
As the limousine pulled up, patrons who were in eyesight pushed in closer, everyone wanting to catch a glimpse of the foreign leader. Cameras were already flashing by the dozens.
As the car came to a stop, three armed guards walked over and opened a rear door. Akio climbed out of the limo and bowed, waving to the gathered crowd as he walked into the restaurant.
The entire waitstaff stood along the front, and each of them greeted Yoshida. The youngest and cutest of the waitstaff escorted Yoshida to his table in a back, a dimly lit corner of the restaurant. Someone had done a great job making sure he got the best service. Yoshida’s affinity for women was no secret.
Both the U.S. and Japanese secret service teams had the entire restaurant secured. Men with guns and no smiles paced back and forth, ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice. Sergeant Butler had been given direct expectations from the president herself regarding the well-being of Yoshida. Her exact words, “Do not eff this up, Sergeant Butler,” couldn’t have been clearer.
As the hours rolled by, Akio had become bored with the band. A few weeks earlier his security had prescreened some adult entertainment to accompany him at his request. Akio told the men to send for the women now. He slammed back three more shots while he waited.
About fifteen minutes later, two young, tight-bodied blonde entertainers stood outside the front of the restaurant.
Sergeant Butler heard his name called over the radio. He pointed to Akio to stay put. Akio smiled.
“Butler here what’s going on out there Petty Officer Newman?” he called into his radio.
“Sorry to bother you, sir, but . . . uh, two strippers—I’m sorry, adult entertainers—just showed up. Said they were called,” Newman nervously replied.
“Who the hell called them, Newman? And how do you know they’re strippers? Are you sure they are at the right place?”
“Sir, I don’t know who called them. That’s why I’m calling you. And trust me, these skirts ain’t here for wonton soup. They asked for Mr. Akio by name.”
Just then, Butler saw several of Akio’s men heading toward the front of the restaurant.
“Hold on, Newman,” Butler said.
He turned to the head of Yoshida’s security team. “You guys hire some goddamn girls?” he hissed, putting a hand on the man’s chest.
“Yes, are they here? Mr. Yoshida is waiting for them. And I’d watch where I put those hands.”
Butler inched closer to the man, purposefully invading his personal space. “This is not how this is going to work. Everything needs to run through me, compadre. Got it? I thought I made that painstakingly clear a few hours ago.”
The man pointed in Butler’s face. “Listen, cowboy, we no work for you. We work for Mr. Yoshida. If he asks for girls, we bring him girls. Mr. Yoshida always gets what he wants. You got it?” he taunted pushing a stiff finger into Butler’s chest.
The two men stood face-to-face and glared into each other’s eyes.
Finally Butler spoke up. “My orders come from the President of the freaking United States. I don’t give a damn what you or your goddamn boss wants. My job is to keep his ass alive, and we do it my way on my turf. This isn’t freaking Japan. None of you are running this show. This is my show.”
Butler grabbed his radio. “Newman, pat ’em down and then let them in.”
“Excuse me, sir?”
“You heard me. Pat them down, and then let them in. Or do I need to come and do it?”
“Nooo, sir. I can handle this one. 10-4.”
Akio’s security man smiled then turned to walk away. Butler grabbed the man’s shoulder and spun him around to face him. “I let them in this time. For the next five days, everything runs through me. No more passes. We clear?”
The man smiled at Butler again, gave the slightest of nods, and slowly walked away. He turned back one last time and winked at Butler, who gritted his teeth.
What the hell is this guy’s problem? Butler thought. Here he was, trying to keep his asshole boss safe, and all this guy wanted to do was make it harder.
As the girls walked by, Butler frowned. One of them blew Butler a kiss.
Yoshida had moved to a private room by the time Butler got back to check on him. He opened the door to find the prime minister surrounded by three topless girls, one of them already perched on top of the five-foot-five leader.
Butler shook his head, closed the door, and posted up just outside of it.
Thirty minutes later, Butler popped his head in again. Another girl was now astride Yoshida.
“He go all night. He Japanese,” one of the guards jeered to Butler, clearly poking fun at the American. All of Yoshida’s crew laughed.
Butler knew he should turn and walk away, but he couldn’t help himself. These guys had already pissed him off, and he was done taking their shit. “Well, you guys better be able to go all night. I’ve heard . . . ” Butler put a hand in the air with his thumb and index finger about two inches apart.
One of the men lunged toward Butler, who never flinched or moved. “Don’t make me have to shoot you, because I won’t hesitate. My job is to protect him, and I have the green light to shoot anyone who threatens my ability to do so. And that includes your dumb ass too, little man.”
Butler’s radio went off again.
“Butler here,” he said, never taking his eyes off the bodyguard.
“It’s Newman. Director Burke is on the SAT phone. He needs to speak with you now.”
“About what? And why right now, Newman? I’m sure whatever it is can wait. I’m kind of busy at the moment.”
“I don’t know, sir. He wouldn’t tell me. He said to get you on the phone now. Seems pretty anxious to talk to you, sir.”
Butler took a quick walk toward the front to retrieve the SAT phone from Newman. When he got to Newman, he hurriedly snatched it from his hand.
“Butler here.”
“Butler, listen to me closely. Al Jazeera just posted a 750-page dossier of a supposedly leaked U.S. military operation. It claims the United States government hatched a plan to kill all the leaders here for the Summit one by one. Akio Yoshida was named as the first to die. There are names, places, details of secret meetings that allegedly took place over the last five years. It’s complex, and at first glance it looks pretty damning. This puts us in defcon two, Butler. Go put your hands on Yoshida and don’t let him out of your freaking sight. Do you hear me? You are to sit and wait for further instructions.”
Butler tried to comprehend what Burke was telling him. He replayed the message in his head again.
“So someone created fake documents to make the United States look like we’re trying to take over the world? Whoever went to that much trouble didn’t create this as an idle threat.”
Butler dropped the radio and sprinted to the back where Yoshida was. Several of the other soldiers took notice and ran behind him. He was about twenty yards from the door when he heard the first screams.
It was coming from the private room. The girls were screaming at the top of their lungs. Why the hell are they screaming? Butler thought. What in the hell was happening?
Yoshida’s men who were stationed outside the private room’s door bolted into the room just as Butler reached it. Everyone had their weapons drawn.
They all stared in horror. Yoshida’s lifeless body was slumped over onto the floor. Butler ran over to check the fallen leader’s vitals. He checked his neck and his wrists. Nothing.
He turned to the escorts. “What the hell happened here?”
“We don’t know. He just fell over. We were dancing for him, and he just fell over,” one of the girls persisted.
Newman burst through the door with his cell phone in his hand. “Sir, you’re going to want to see this—like right now.”
Newman handed the iPhone to Butler. He held the phone out in front of him so Yoshida’s men could also watch. Perched in front of a camera, sitting on a wooden chair, a man whose entire face and body were covered in traditional Arabic clothing spoke.
“To the children of Islam, I am speaking to you. The true followers. America’s true self today has been shown to the world. We have been warning you for decades that America has one plan, one goal, and one ally, and that is herself. Today Prime Minister Akio Yoshida was murdered by the United States as part of their plan to take over the world.”
Suddenly the live video of the man was gone, replaced by . . . What the hell? Butler thought. The video was now streaming from the very room they were in. The camera panned in on Yoshida’s dead body and then around to the US military men who were also present. Butler waved his hand in the air to try to find the hidden camera. He zeroed in on it, took out his service weapon, and fired two rounds into it.
The video began streaming again from the man in the chair.
“You see, America has always wanted to rule the world. They have always wanted this to be the way. You saw what they did to Mr. Yoshida. The American plan to take over the world, released by our brothers on Al Jazeera today, is clear, and now the hateful Americans have followed through with the first promised murder. Join with me, brothers around the world. We must stop them. They seek to destroy our way of life and annihilate all Muslims. Leaders of the world, America will try to get you to leave their country now, under a false narrative of protecting you. Do not board any American plane. It is a trap. America has also paid many of your security teams, so trust no one. Islam is coming for you. We will find you and protect you from the infidels!”
No one moved. Everyone just stared at Akio, looking back at them from the floor.
“Bring me the AED!” Butler demanded.
Ten seconds later, someone reached through and handed him an AED. He’d already cut Akio’s shirt open. He slammed the discs onto Akio’s chest and pressed the button on the AED.
The machine barked out orders. “Charge needed. Will charge in five seconds. Clear.”
Akio’s body jumped when the charge hit him, but he still remained lifeless. The machine attempted to jolt his heart back several more times, but it was too late.
Butler hadn’t even noticed, but the Japanese soldiers were all standing with weapons drawn and pointed at the U.S. contingent.
Butler put his hands into the air. “America is not behind this. You need to lower your weapons now before a lot of good people die. We didn’t even have a person in this room. The only uninvited guests are the ones you arranged to come here.”
“Our leader is dead here on American soil. You told us Mr. Akio would be safe here. It was your job to protect him,” one of Akio’s men said.
“Hey, pal, that’s all the hell I’ve been trying to do here the last few hours. It was all of our goddamn jobs to protect him. You invited the girls. Way I see it, it couldn’t have been anyone else. Newman, cuff these girls now.”
The SAT phone rang, and Newman handed it to Butler.
“Butler speaking,” he answered, his eyes still trained on the weapons of the Japanese.
“Director Burke here. I got the president breathing down my neck on this. What the hell happened out there? And the whole world just saw that damn video with you going John Wayne and shooting the camera. It makes us look even guiltier.”
“Sir, I don’t know. None of us know. I panicked. Just wanted to stop the transmission and figured that was the best way. As far as Yoshida goes, there are no knife or gunshot wounds and no blunt force trauma to the head or neck area. I can’t even determine a goddamn cause of death. I can’t see one thing wrong with him. He literally just toppled over onto the floor. But there are no vitals. Make no mistake about it; Prime Minister Akio Yoshida is dead. Best I can tell is maybe cardiac arrest. Maybe a heart attack.”
“Well, you better figure something out, because not only is he dead, sergeant, but the world thinks the United States of America murdered him.”
Interview with Terry Keys 

Terry Hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy.
Tell my readers a bit about your new novel.

Howdy Debbie! First off I would like to thank you for interviewing me. So a bit about Death Toll Rising – well the book takes you deep into the minds of a middle eastern group of extremists that are set pretty strongly on destroying America. We follow super Detective David Porter as he and his team do everything they can to stop them.

Wow what a premise.
Did the current world in general or something specific lead you down this particular storyline of murder and mayhem?

It’s easy for everyone to fall into the trap of only looking at things from their point of views. Being objective is really tough for most of us if we are being honest. I just wanted to write an exciting book that kind of showed a few different sides of the same fight.

Terry this is your 4th novel featuring Detective David Porter.
Tell us a little of his background.

David Porter – ahh… let’s see he is 6’3”, late thirties, muscular, ex-college football player, ex-army ranger – so he’s been around the world. He has a beautiful wife and 2 daughters so being a detective he struggles with balancing work and home. Sometimes the line blurs between which one he loves most…

Do the novels need to be read in order?
Chained Guilt, Maximum Guilt and Games of Guilt are a trilogy (in that order) – my latest project Death Toll Rising is a standalone.

Terry you’re a poet, songwriter and crime thriller novelist plus being a project manager in the gas and oil industry.
What drew you to writing in the crime thriller genre?

Yes – I love creating. Some days it’s playing my guitar and writing a song – most days it’s me and my laptop! I love the cat and mouse game between readers and authors. As a reader I want to think I know what’s going to happen only to be cunningly woven into a trap. That is what I try to do with my books as well.

Staying on the subject of genre.
Has your muse ever whispered in your ear to try another one?

Yes… and someday soon I will…yikes! I have a few different genre’s I’m thinking about writing in! And (sidenote) I loooove Game of Thrones… maybe I’ll write in the fantasy genre haha!

Terry your protagonist David Porter is a Texan like you.
Do you use real venues in your settings or are they fictional too?

In my books I use real venues, street signs, landscapes etc. I spend a good deal of time researching areas to make the read as authentic as possible. I don’t data dump endless sentences of imagery – but I give you enough to use your imagination a bit.

Will there be a David Porter #5 or has another deadly thing caught your talented eye?
Hmmm… well fans have compared David Porter to Alex Cross in many of my reviews… so I think I’ll keep him around awhile. BUT I do have a lead female detective that I think readers are going to love – she’ll debut a few books down the line!

Terry congratulations on your debut novel, Chained Guilt receiving the 2017 NIEA Best Thriller Award.
Good luck with your latest novel too.
Will you be attending any author events soon?

For now I’ll just be focusing on writing and getting my senior and freshman through high school! Stay tuned to my website and it will be updated with any events that I plan to attend. Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me! Tata - Terry

The Series

Connect with Terry Website - Facebook - Twitter 

 Meet Terry: Terry Keys is a novelist, songwriter, and poet. He writes for and works as a project manager in the oil and gas industry. A native of Rosharon, Texas, Keys spends his free time hunting, fishing, and working out. He lives in Dickinson, Texas, with his wife and two children.


  1. Thank you again Debbie! This interview was so much fun. Writing Death Toll Rising was a blast and the research taught me a few things that I didn't know. The novel I just finished Lie No More will be in a boxed set with 19 additional authors - called Murder and Mayhem. I can't wait for everyone to read that story!

    1. Terry you're so welcome. I love learning things about authors especially new to me authors.
      I just took a look at the upcoming boxed set and wow it looks fantastic.
      Here's the promo on Lie No More
      "Love, Lies and Lust… some marriages have it all.
      Stay at home mom, Candice Harstow, started her day just like any other. Her lawyer-husband John, was already off to work. And her soon-to-be senior in high school son Max, already off to school. A routine bout with house chores would lead to a discovery that would change their lives forever.
      Now she was fully entangled in the criminal world of guns, drugs and international espionage and someone wants her dead. With no one to trust and time running out she may be playing a game that she can’t win.
      “A can’t miss pulse-pounding thrill ride – this book will leave you breathless and begging for more.” – Amazon Customer
      Lie No More is the Fifth novel by award-winning author Terry Keys. Lie No More will be included in the Murder and Mayhem set."
      Here's a purchase link for all my readers -
      And it's only .99¢

    2. Yes we are very excited about the set... we've sold nearly 10k units to date! I actually received the novel back from my editor last week. Doing some beta-reading now! I think reader's are really going to enjoy it!

  2. This sounds like a fantastic series! Thanks for sharing the interview and for bringing the series to my attention.

  3. Oh this sounds so good and those covers are awesome!

  4. Such an engaging interview and sure sounds like a fascinating story indeed. Warm greetings to you.

  5. Neat to meet Terry and be introduced to his books. I've been trying out many new to me thrillers lately so I will definitely keep this series in mind.