Today we welcome Stephen Brayton to the blog! He talks to his main character, Mallory Peterson, in a mock talk-radio interview. Find out more about his new mystery BETA at his website, www.stephenbrayton.com

Welcome back to the Mike Janelson show on 1040 WHO radio, Des Moines, Iowa. Well, it’s my show this week because the regular host is on vacation. Anyway, I’ve been talking with Mallory Petersen, local martial artist, taekwondo school owner, instructor, and private investigator. She’s the heroine in the latest book by author Stephen Brayton, entitled “Beta”. This concerns a kidnapping case where Mallory tracks down Cindy McGee, an eight year old girl taken by a ring of child pornographers. Mallory, this was an emotional time for you wasn’t it?

Yes, Mike. I pushed myself to the limit. This became personal for me because of my relationship with my taekwondo students. I feared this one child’s innocence being ripped away when every day, I help my kids improve themselves physically and mentally.

In fact, you went over the line a few times, didn’t you?

I’ll admit to using my martial arts skills when I felt justified.

I believe in one scene you used duct tape on a man in his own apartment. Where in your training did this come from?

Well, I needed information from this individual and felt this was the best way to obtain it. I won’t say it was altogether legal, but I had a little devilish fun. In fact, even given the nature of the case, I enjoyed the chase and the adventure. Most of it, anyway.

Let’s talk about some of the people you meet in this book. Talk about your secretary.

I sometimes call Darren my secretary, but he runs the office most of the time, does computer investigations, background check, that kind of thing. He’s a sweet guy, loyal, caring, and I couldn’t operate without him. I just wish I could spell or pronounce his last name.

Who’s Willy Washington?

A few years ago, I caught Willy trying to break into my 1971 Dodge Dart and literally scared the pee out of him. He’s now my confidential informant when I need information on criminal activity. He sounds as if he’s permanently breathing helium.

I know the ladies in our audience want to know about Lawrence Cameron.

If he was featured on a billboard advertising blue jeans, the accident rate in that area would increase. He’s second in command of the Special Case Squad in the Quad Cities. The other guys really look up to him. He’s very handsome, cooks for his mother, and likes Dr Pepper as I do. My time with him was usually encountering one crazy bad guy after another.

Edward Brougham.

Would somebody arrest this drug dealing scum and make the charges stick? If he’s listening: stop sending me gifts! I will never go out with you. You are a dirtbag and I long for the day I can kick your teeth down your throat.

Without giving away too much of the plot, can we mention Charles and Cheryl McGee?

Cindy’s parents. They divorced a number of years ago. I’d rather not say too much about either of them. You’ll have to read the story.

One more person who causes trouble for you is federal agent Pitz.

Oh, I’m definitely not on his Christmas card list. I understand a bit of his antagonism, but I was only trying to help. It wasn’t my fault things kept going awry.

This book is filled with interesting characters. Any others you’d like to mention?

I liked the way Mr. Brayton helped soften the seriousness of what the pornographers were doing to the girl by putting in scenes where I encounter many of life’s more goofy people. The two stoned apartment tenants, the flaky psychic, the robber in drag, and the felon on the forklift.

Could you give a little idea what Mr. Brayton’s sequel is and when we might be reading it?

Apparently, Darren, without my knowledge, like he did with “Beta,” passed along another case of mine to Stephen. This concerns the murder of my boyfriend, the secrets he kept from me, and a metro wide drug ring operated by…well, that’s what I end up discovering. I know Mr. Brayton is looking forward to having it published. All I can say is keep checking his website.

Again, thank you for being on the program this morning. We’ll take another break and return with your phone calls for Mallory. Meanwhile, please check out Stephen Brayton’s website, www.stephenbrayton.com for information on his first book, “Night Shadows”, as well as upcoming stories.