- N. N. Light
Author Spotlight | Meet Award-Winning Author @OverbeckRandy and his #paranormalmystery series
In pursuing his literary career, Dr. Randy Overbeck has clearly heeded this sage advice. From the beginning, he has chosen to set his narratives—whether edge-of-your-seat thriller, classical whodunit, or eerie ghost story—squarely in the realm of school. His three plus decades of experience as a teacher, professor and school leader has infused his writing with a rare authenticity about the world of education, even as the protagonists of his tales tackle daunting, out-sized challenges.
In his career, Dr. Overbeck has held a wide range of positions and has brought this knowledge and insight to the characters he has created. For example, in his early years, he served as an English teacher and student newspaper adviser, much the same as Dee Dee Sterber, the heroine of Leave No Child Behind (Leave No Child Behind, a thriller about the terrorist takeover of a small town school and the teacher who confronts the intruders in her own hallways, was published 2010.
Then, like Ken Parks, the assistant superintendent and protagonist in Hard Lessons, Overbeck has also served in the role of school investigator, interrogating students and teachers in order to uncover the truth behind a crime at school. (Hard Lessons, a traditional mystery about the death of four elementary students from a strange drug and the drive to uncover the murderer and drug dealer, is a novel in process and is set for publication in 2022). His doctoral studies instilled in Dr. Overbeck an enhanced skill set for research and analysis that inspired him to imbue the character of Darrell Henshaw, history teacher and amateur researcher of Blood on the Chesapeake with similar abilities. (Blood on the Chesapeake is the first entry in the new ghost story/mystery series, “The Haunted Shores Mysteries,” and was released last year. The second entry Crimson at Cape May was released summer, 2020.
Though generally well regarded in his profession, Dr. Overbeck has had his own share of struggles. During his years as an educator and student advocate, he has had to confront those in power—like his characters of Dee Dee and Darrell—often asking the hard questions, sometimes even costing him his job. In reality, Overbeck’s passionate work for literacy education has been well recognized by his colleagues and earned him both state and national awards including “The Teacher Leader Award” from the Reading Recovery Council of North America. Not surprisingly, his writing has earned similar notoriety, with Leave No Child Behind winning the Silver Award for “Thriller of the Year” from ReadersFavorite.com and his upcoming novel, Blood on the Chesapeake, garnering early rave reviews.
When he is not writing, Dr. Overbeck is often in demand as a speaker to groups, large and small. His speaking experiences run the gamut from delivering a keynote at a national conference to a participant in a federal policy debate on education. During the past several years, he has shared his tribute, “Teachers--the Real American Heroes” with more than 150 clubs and organizations, introducing audiences across the country to his first novel, Leave No Child Behind. In similar fashion, Dr. Overbeck is now accepting invitations to share his newest presentation, “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” a fun and intriguing talk about what lies beyond and an introduction to his ghost story, Blood on the Chesapeake. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. He also currently serves as Past President of the 20,000 member Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA) with members in more than thirty states.
Dr. Overbeck is married to Cathy, his wife and partner of 48 years, and they have three grown children—settled in three different states across the country—as well as seven grandchildren, who he loves to spoil. For him, time not devoted to writing and speaking is spent traveling to visit family and other favorite spots around the US.
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Title CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY
Author Randy Overbeck
Genre Paranormal Mystery
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
What if you needed to escape a haunted past and a town furious with you for exposing its ugly secret? With no job and few options, Darrell Henshaw—teacher, coach and paranormal sensitive—heads for Cape May to accept an offer to coach a summer football camp. And the resort town, with gorgeous beaches, rich history and famous Victorian mansions, might be just the getaway he needs.
Only, no one told him Cape May is home to even more horrors as the most haunted seaport on the East coast. The new town launches his gift of seeing ghosts into overdrive and one resident ghost, the Haunted Bride, stalks him, begging for help.
Darrell can’t refuse.
Joining forces with Cassie, a street-wise teen and another sensitive, he investigates the bride’s death and discovers an even greater crime. Can Darrell and Cassie expose the killer before they meet the same fate?
“Hey, is there some kind of theatre doing a nineteenth-century play here in Cape May, some Jane Austen story or something?” Darrell turned and asked the bartender who passed, delivering two beers to a couple down the bar.
After he dropped off the drinks, the guy stopped in front of Darrell. “Oh, you mean Margaret?” The server grinned, showing a few missing teeth.
Darrell swerved in his seat to point out the woman sitting at the second booth down the row. But she was gone. “She was right there.” He pointed to the now empty table in the center of the room. “She wore this gaudy make up and this fancy, old-time, flowing red dress. I saw her there a few seconds ago.”
The barkeep chuckled and pointed at the inked snake on his neck. “With black ruffles on the collar?”
“Oh, that was Margaret. She…um, you might say, she floats in here from time to time.” He tucked the towel back into its place. “She’s one of the ladies of the evening from the House of Royals. And…she’s pretty much a regular round here.”
“The House of Royals?” Darrell asked.
“Yeah, they tell me one of our hotels housed a famous bordello about a hundred years ago.”
“You mean she’s a hundred-year-old ghost?” Darrell said.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
I’m one of the authors participating in the Read a Book Month Giveaway and you can win one of three e-copies of Blood on the Chesapeake (book 1 in this series).
Runs September 1 - 30 and is open internationally for most prizes.
Winners will be drawn on October 1, 2020.
Dr. Randy Overbeck is a veteran educator who has served children for more than three decades as a teacher and school leader, winning national recognition and awards for his work. Over that time, he has performed many of the roles depicted in his writing with responsibilities ranging from coach and yearbook advisor to principal and superintendent. An accomplished writer, he has been published in trade journals, professional texts and newspapers. His first novel, Leave No Child Behind, won the 2011 Silver Award for Thriller of the Year from ReadersFavorite.com. His second novel, Blood on the Chesapeake, a ghost story/mystery, released by the Wild Rose Press, is the first in a new series called the Haunted Shores Mysteries. The second entry, Crimson at Cape May, was released Summer, 2020. Dr. Overbeck is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and an active member of the literary community.
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