Giveaway & Guest Post from Dale Phillips, author of A Memory of Grief

Dale Phillips is the author of A Memory of Grief, his debut series featuring Zack Taylor. Troubled ex-con Zack Taylor is haunted by the accidental death of his brother years before. Zack’s guilt and anger have pushed him into a shadowy, wandering life, with little purpose and few attachments. When he hears of the death of his close friend Ben Sterling, a supposed gunshot suicide, Zack finds he now has a purpose– to find out what happened. Then his purpose becomes an obsession. Zack goes to Maine, where Ben died, and is a fish out of water, with no connections, no information, and no credibility. People don’t want to talk about Ben’s death, so Zack gets ever more frustrated, making enemies, getting into fights, and breaking the law in his search for the truth. The only bright spot seems the potential for a relationship with a sympathetic nurse– if he can control his violent streak. To draw out the killers, Zack offers himself as bait. But without a gun, he must rely on his wits and his physical skills to survive a dangerous game of drugs and death. Though managing a measure of justice, Zack is changed in the process, and must learn to live in a very different world.

Dale is offering my readers the  chance to win an electronic edition of A Memory of Grief, read on to discover how you can enter…


I began writing the Zack Taylor series with one book, a mystery set in the state of Maine, and it expanded all by itself. There are more things going on in Maine than just what appears in Stephen King’s writing. My one tale grew into a series of adventures focusing on different locales and situations in Maine. The protagonist comes there on a mission, and finds himself staying to heal when the mission is over. But he must find other reasons to carry on. The setting is different, and so is the set-up. So many mystery protagonists whip out a gun to get out of trouble- and they never miss. That’s too easy, almost lazy, sometimes boring, and not as much like real life. Zack Taylor gets into very bad trouble, and doesn’t have a gun to rely on, as he hates them. But he’s often up against people who use them. So he starts with a big disadvantage.

“A Memory of Grief” isn’t just an action tale, it’s about how we go on living with grief, and guilt, and anger. How we connect, and how our lives influence each other. The second book in the series, “A Fall From Grace,” is about power, corruption, greed, sex, and violence, and how those with influence and money abuse power and affect the lives around them.

Each title in the series is from classic literary works, and echoes the theme of the book. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Bible, Plato, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, and others will have their titles in the series. So there’s something more than just another shoot-’em-up, there are references to a broader spectrum of knowledge and culture. I’m aiming for something more than just to entertain, I want to showcase a high quality of writing, and layer the books with many things for the careful reader.

Each book starts with a rough idea that gradually evolves into a framework. I’ll work out different scenes and characters, and other ideas suggest themselves to me during that process. Eventually, there are enough scenes to start outlining, to keep track of the timelines and plotlines. In each book, there’s more than one thing going on. Zack often uncovers something bad and unexpected when he’s looking for something else, so he has a lot to deal with, and is often thrown on the wrong scent in his investigations.

This book follows the ancestors of the mystery genre, from Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler to John D. MacDonald to Robert B. Parker, and others. If you like mysteries in the Travis McGee vein, or even the characters of Doc Ford or John Cain, you’ll likely enjoy Zack Taylor. Book 3 of the series, A Shadow on the Wall, is due out early 2012.

Enter to Win

1  electronic edition of

A Memory of Grief by Dale Phillips

Open worldwide

Required To Enter:

Leave a comment

and include your name, email address and country +1

(you do not have to have your email address visible as long as you have entered in while commenting)

For extra entries:

+1 tweet or facebook this post Use the icons below to make it easier and please provide a link

+1 Add A Memory of Grief to your Goodreads, LibraryThing TBR page, or Amazon wishlist

+2 leave a comment  or LIKE my review of A Memory of Grief HERE

Total possible entries = 5

Entries close November 26th 2011

Drawn via

Good Luck!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. krystallarson
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 15:51:45

    Thank you for the great chance to win! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom



  2. Sue Quimby USA
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 06:39:22

    Way to go Dale!



  3. Michelle Grayce
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 01:50:44

    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Michelle from Uk



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