Thursday, October 6, 2016

Guest Post w/Giveaway - The Lizard's Tale by Kurt Kamm

 The Lizard’s Tale

by Kurt Kamm

GENRE:  Mystery/Crime Thriller



Kurt Kamm has written a novel that's a literary crime novel, with a strong thread of non-fiction running through it. The Lizard's Tale is a tale of crime—with an a wide-ranging cast of characters.

When the DEA goes up against the Sinaloa Cartel, an orphan and an endangered lizard are caught in the conflict. The action moves from Guatemala to Mexico to Catalina Island off the coast of California.

Alejandro, a middle class Guatemalan, wants his share, and makes a deal with the cartel. Now he’s risking his life to deliver the goods.

El Dedo, a brilliant financier, is the Sinaloa Cartel’s banker. He worries about what to do with the billions of dollars collecting dust in his underground vault.

Ryan, a DEA Special Agent, needs to make a high profile case to get a promotion. Is the big yacht headed for California carrying a Mexican drug shipment?

Kate, a wildlife officer on Catalina Island, smells smoke. When she heads out in the middle of the night to investigate a fire, she makes an astonishing discovery.

Jorge, an orphan from the streets of Mexico, is abandoned in the United States. Will he find his way back home and track down his mother’s killer?



Dedo was one of the few outsiders at the top of the cartel hierarchy. He came from a different background than most of the drug lords, who had grown up in poor towns in the Sierra Madres where people suffered a hard existence living in hovels made of cinderblocks. Dedo had no poverty to escape. He grew up in Mexico City and lived a blessed childhood. His father owned a small Mexican chemical business that grew large when it began to supply the Cartels with the ingredients used to make methamphetamine. His mother was Swiss, and had worked for a chemical company in Basle when she met his father. Dedo inherited his intellect and business sense from his father. His grey eyes came from his mother.

When his father brought him to the State of Sinaloa for the first time, Dedo stood in the dust and blasting heat and felt the moisture evaporating from his skin. “Those mountain highlands,” his father had told him, pointing off into the distance, “are ideal for growing poppies. All they need is sunlight and moisture.” Then he turned and pointed in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, and continued, “And out in those valleys between the mountains and the coast, the climate is perfect for growing marijuana.” Finally, his father looked at Dedo and told him, “Fortunately for us, sunshine and water don’t produce methamphetamine. For that, they need chemicals—a lot of chemicals—and that’s why we’re here.” 




I was fortunate enough to be chosen to attend the DEA's Citizen's Academy at their Los Angeles Field Division. The DEA runs this program in fits and starts in various cities across the country. Approximately 25 individuals who have a "voice in the community" are selected and are provided a look inside the operations of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Typical participants are local government officials and prosecutors, community activists, and of course journalists and writers. The objective is to disseminate a positive image of the DEA.

The academy ran for nine weeks and we met once a week for approximately 4 hours. Agents spoke about different DEA functions, and some classes involved fieldwork where we were shown surveillance techniques, learned about chemical testing for drugs, and had the opportunity to use the ram to break down a door and participate in a practice takedown. There was a range day when we were able to fire a variety of handguns and assault rifles and get a close look at the body armor and tactical vehicles the DEA uses. We also got a fascinating look at confiscated vehicles with various secret compartments used for drug smuggling. Finally, in addition to hearing about the more exciting aspects of drug enforcement, we learned of the drudgery of obtaining warrants for wiretaps and the actual methods of conducting them.

I came away from the Academy with a great respect for the work these agents do and the dangers they face. I was astonished to learn that the DEA is like a small army, active in as many as 40 countries. The experience was fascinating, and provided me with the kind of detailed color about DEA operations ("ops" in their parlance) which I was able to use in my book. Short of actually being a DEA Special Agent, I don't know how I could have collected this information, and I think it lends an aura of authenticity to my novel.

I hope you enjoy reading The Lizard's Tale. Among other things, it will give you an inside look at one of our largest law enforcement agencies.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Malibu, California resident Kurt Kamm has written a series of firefighter mystery novels, which have won several literary awards. His newest novel, The Lizard’s Tale, provides a unique look inside the activities of the Mexican drug cartels and the men dedicated to stopping them.

Kurt has used his contact with CalFire, Los Angeles County and Ventura County Fire Departments, as well as the ATF and DEA to write fact-based (“faction”) novels. He has attended classes at El Camino Fire Academy and trained in wildland firefighting, arson investigation and hazardous materials response. He has also attended the ATF and DEA Citizen’s Academies. After graduating from the DEA Citizen’s Academy in 2014, he began work on The Lizard’s Tale.

Kurt has built an avid fan base among first responders and other readers. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, Kurt was previously a financial executive and semi-professional bicycle racer. He was also Chairman of the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation for several years.

Visit his author website at



TUNNEL VISIONS  (MCM Publishing 2014)

2014 USA Best Book Award -Fiction: General – Finalist

HAZARDOUS MATERIAL  (MCM Publishing  2013)

Best Novel 2013 – Public Safety Writers Association

Winner of the 2012 Hackney Literary Award for best novel of the year ($5,000 PRIZE)

Reader's Favorite 2013 – Finalist – Urban Fiction

The 2012 Dana Award – Finalist

Eric Hoffer Award - Finalist (2014)

Excerpt published in Birmingham Arts Journal

ONE FOOT IN THE BLACK  (MCM Publishing  2012)

The 2012 USA Best Book Awards – Fiction: General  – Finalist

The 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards – Fiction: General  – Finalist

Excerpt published in Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides: Stories About America's Public Safety Heroes

CODE BLOOD  (MCM Publishing 2011)

Writer’s Type -  First Chapter Competition.  January 2011- First Place

2012 International Book Awards -  Fiction: Cross Genre Category –  First Place

National Indie Excellence Book Awards – Faction (fiction based on fact) -  Winner of the 2012 Award

The 2012 USA Best Book Awards -  Fiction: Horror  -  Winner

LuckyCinda Publishing Contest 2013  First Place – Thriller

Reader's Favorite  2013– Finalist – Horror Fiction

Knoxville Writer’s Guild -  2011 Novella or Novel Excerpt – 2nd Place

RED FLAG WARNING  Aberdeen Bay 2010

The Infinite Writer– Mystery 2010 – First Place

The Written Art Awards -  Mystery/Thriller 2010 – First Place

Royal Dragonfly – Mystery Category 2011 – First  Place


Buy Links:



One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
Follow the tour HERE


  1. Good morning Sue, and thank you for hosting me and my new novel, THE LIZARD'S TALE. Most reviewers call my work "FACTION" because it is fact based fiction. Anyone who reads this book could easily believe it is true.
    The book is full of fascinating characters, including the orphan from Mexico and his lizard, DEA Agents, Narcos, firefighters, and some great women.
    Here's an excerpt from the flashback which reveals why Jorge, the orphan, is such a strange child and why he is fascinated with lizards--:

    Six years had passed and the details of his mother’s face were beginning to blur in his memory, but he could recall every detail of the night she died. He also remembered the tattoo—a skull surrounded by barbed wire—inked on the back of the neck of the man who killed her.
    When the man spoke, Jorge had edged farther under the bed.
    The room was filled with the lemon scent his mamá wore when she worked, and the odor of rancid sweat from the naked body grinding away on top of her. The man, who had come many times to visit his mother, intensified his efforts. The bed shook and the sagging web of springs holding the filthy mattress pressed down on top of Jorge. In a few months, he would be six—too big to crawl under his mother’s bed.
    A cuiza, a small, unremarkable gray-green gecko, crawled through the dust on the concrete floor under the bed, trapped between Jorge and the wall.
    “No, dammit, no, no,” the man bellowed. The bed stopped swaying.
    Jorge heard the sound of a hand slapping flesh and his mamá whimpered.
    “You pig,” the man said. “Do better than that. Damn you.”
    The second impact was louder, harder. Jorge heard her high-pitched cry. He reached for the gecko and it flattened itself against the concrete, remaining motionless in the dust. Its head was inches from Jorge's face. He looked at its black eyes and it stared back. A live insect—a tiny fly—struggled in its jaws. The little lizard swallowed the insect.
    The man became furious and the blows were more powerful. This had happened before, but it had never gone on so long or sounded so brutal. His mother’s cries turned to screams and Jorge tried not to listen. He grabbed the cuiza's tail with his fingers.
    The gecko made a chirping sound—chik, chik, chik—shed its tail, and skittered away.
    The force of the final blow knocked his mamá off the bed. From his hiding place, Jorge saw the brown skin of her naked back as she lay on the floor. He watched the man’s bare foot poke her and then push her body aside before he walked out the room. When Jorge crawled out from under the bed, he saw the blood dripping from his mother’s face, collecting in a small red pool on the floor. He wanted to wake her, but his brain no longer controlled his voice. His throat was frozen—no words came. Jorge lay down on the floor, curled up next to his mamá, and cried silent tears. Above him, he saw the tailless gecko climbing the bedroom wall.

  2. If you could be anyone for one day, who would you be and why?

  3. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  4. Sounds very interesting. I like the title and cover. What was your favorite part of the Academy?

    1. Hi Marcy - One evening they took us out to their warehouse and we got to do a number of physical things including breaking down a door by swinging the "ram" Its a very heavy solid pipe with handles on it. I'm sure you've seen it used in the movies. Swinging it is a chore, and when it hits the door your arms get quite a shock.
      We also go to participate in an entry into a "drug house" Men lined up with guns (empty) drawn, each with a specific task upon entering the house. Then "clearing" each room. We found a "drug dealer" hiding in a cabinet under a sink.
      Mucho fun

  5. Really great post - sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Here's what a reviewer in the UK had to say -

    Welcome to another full on story from one of America's upcoming authors. Excitement and intrigue is found on every single page. The authors brilliance in bringing together the rich, an illegal smuggling racket and a poor boy is first rate. The human element of greed and the lengths that people will go to get what they want is prominently portrayed throughout the story. Kurt's story portrays an up to date issue that is affecting the whole of the planet, illegal trapping and animal smuggling and the damage and impact on the people it involves.

    The characters are brought to life by the authors brilliant descriptive writing and also touches the nerve ends like no other author can. The bravery of the author to move away from his fire fighting mysteries has to be applauded and again has not let the reader down.

    Praise for Kurt Kamm and his hard hitting, page turning novels which provide an excellent read and never disappoint.

  7. I really enjoyed the entire post. I loved reading about the book and am looking forward to learning more about it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!