Rosarito BeachIt’s been a pretty good year for me. My eighth Joe DeMarco political thriller, House Odds, was released in July 2013, the ninth DeMarco, House Reckoning, is coming out in July 2014, and I’ve just started a new series with a female protagonist named Kay Hamilton. The first book in the new series is called Rosarito Beach. I wrote this book under the name M. A. Lawson, and it’s being released December 31, 2013.

In Rosarito Beach, Kay is working for the DEA and gets into a jam involving a Mexican drug cartel and the book has received great advance reviews from two authors I really admire: Jeffery Deaver and Lisa Scottoline. Deaver said: “Rosarito Beach grabs you by the throat ten seconds after you’ve settled into your easy chair for a read,” and Scottoline said: ”I loved this riveting thriller, which launches a new star in crime fiction, the tough-minded and tough-talking Kay Hamilton, a renegade who welcomes risk and doesn’t play well with others.” I should add that Rosarito Beach has been optioned for television, which is a first for me and very exciting.

The funny thing about Rosarito Beach is that I didn’t want to write another series. I wanted to write a few stand-alone books. I’ve really enjoyed writing the DeMarco books and I like the D.C. stage for the DeMarco series. Washington, D.C. is a target-rich environment for a writer, and the DeMarco books have been well received by the critics, nominated for awards, and one (House Blood) garnered an award for best mystery by a Northwest author.

But the problem with any series is that it limits what you can write. What I mean by that is, a series constrains the author by having a certain permanent cast of characters, and the abilities, occupations, and personalities of those character means there are certain stories you can’t write. So often times, I’ll get what I think is a good idea for a novel but it won’t fit with the general theme of the DeMarco books and I’ll have to pass on the idea.

Which is how Rosarito Beach came to be: I had an idea for a novel involving a strong female protagonist and the news at the time was filled with the savage drug violence in Mexico. Researching Rosarito Beach took me to the Mexican border region, the brig at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and to the federal lockup in San Diego – then, to my delight, (Penguin-Blue Rider Press) loved the Kay Hamilton character and asked me to write a second book with the same character. In other words, to start a new series. Now I can only hope that readers will like Kay Hamilton as much as they’ve liked DeMarco.

There’s more information about all the DeMarco books and Rosarito Beach on my website:, and I always welcome emails from readers if they have questions or comments on the books.

Last, I just want to say thanks to Dru Ann for allowing me to post on her blog. I’m very grateful that she gave me this opportunity.

More about Rosarito Beach, a Kay Hamilton mystery
Bold, brash, and beautiful, Kay Hamilton is not your average DEA agent—she’s as infuriating as she is irresistible. Having recently been transferred to San Diego after a case in Miami brought her more notoriety than medals, Kay once again finds herself embroiled in an international bust. Tito Olivera, younger brother of drug czar Caesar Olivera, is within her grasp. If she takes down Tito, Kay is positive that Caesar will follow—and when Caesar falls, so does the largest and most vicious cartel in Mexico. But when a mysterious stranger shows up on her doorstep, all of Kay’s carefully laid plans are thrown out the window. The Olivera case suddenly becomes far more personal—not to mention dangerous—and Kay must be willing to sacrifice everything to get her man.

Rosarito Beach is an explosive, action-packed thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats until the final moments of the epic conclusion.

You can read more about Kay in Rosarito Beach, the first book in the “Agent Kay Hamilton” mystery series, published by Blue Rider Press. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on December 28, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of Rosarito Beach. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Mike Lawson has published eight political thrillers. The Inside Ring, House Secrets, House Divided, and House Blood were all nominated for the Barry Award. House Blood won the 2013 Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award. House Rules was a Nancy Pearl Pick and House Justice was called “a perfect political thriller” by Library Journal. His eighth novel, House Odds, released July 2013, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Mike is also beginning a new series writing as M. A. Lawson, and the first book in the series, Rosarito Beach, is being released by Penguin in December 2013. Prior to turning to writing full time, Mike was a nuclear engineer employed by the Navy and he lives in the Northwest.

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