Friday, October 22, 2021

Blog Tour: Dark Ride Deception



A Nostalgia City Mystery, #4



Date Published: 09-30-2021

Publisher: Archer and Clark Publishing

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Computer genius Tom Wyrick has invented mind-bending technology that will make theme park rides challenge passengers’ senses, their grasp of the material world. His Perception Deception Effect will rocket Arizona’s Nostalgia City theme park decades ahead of the competition. But the secret technology is missing. And so is its creator. Is he dead? On the run?

An FBI agent theorizes the People’s Republic of China is responsible for the disappearance. The Nostalgia City CEO, however, is convinced a rival theme park is behind the theft. He drafts ex-cop turned theme park cab driver Lyle Deming to fly to Florida to find the missing computer scientist and recover his secrets.

Does this have anything to do with the severed human finger Lyle finds in his cab?

Back at Nostalgia City, a sprawling re-creation of an entire small town from the 1970s, a movie company is shooting a Vietnam era crime story. It’s a welcome distraction from the tech theft until the film company announces its last-minute replacement star is Cory “Psycho” Sievers, fresh out of rehab and aching to exact revenge on Hollywood. When another actor is found dead, park executive Kate Sorensen, a 6’ 2 ½” former college basketball star, is persuaded to investigate.

Shrugging off jet lag and chronic anxiety, Lyle goes undercover using a parade of false identities—from attorney to maintenance worker—to snoop behind the scenes at other theme parks. Although he’s generally tech savvy, he’s flummoxed by Perception Deception science. He gets help from a Nostalgia City engineer who speaks the jargon, but Lyle must rein in his assistant’s enthusiasm for corporate espionage.

In the meantime, Kate confronts the mentally unstable actor. But she may be forced to give up the murder case—Lyle’s in trouble.  Kate and Lyle have little time to explore their relationship as both their investigations turn deadly, threatening them and the future of Nostalgia City.



Chapter 1


The slender woman with the sad, blue-green eyes gasped, gagged, then threw up all over the back seat of Lyle’s taxi. He took his foot off the gas and glanced in the back. All he could see was a mass of red hair as the woman bent down, head between legs. He rolled down his window, but not before the odor hit his nostrils like a sour tsunami. He breathed through his mouth as he hit the brakes at a red light.

Other cab drivers had warned him about nights like this. But he thought operating a taxi in a theme park would be fun, not at all like being the stereotyped big-city hack driver. Visiting Nostalgia City, a full-size re-creation of an entire small town from the 1970s, would put people in a vacation mood. They’d be happy. And the cab was an ideal escape from the grinding stress of his previous occupation.

“You okay?” he asked his passenger automatically, knowing she wasn’t. He grabbed a handful of tissues from a box next to him and handed them back over his shoulder. The young redhead had looked a little unsteady when she got in the cab by herself in front of the Centerville Tavern and asked to be taken to the Desert Sunrise Hotel.

“S-sorry,” she sputtered as she tried to sit up.

“Keep your head down. Breathe deep, slowly.” Not unfamiliar with her condition, Lyle was certainly well beyond such excess now. Certainly.


About the Author

Mark S. Bacon began his career as a Southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

He is the author of the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with Death in Nostalgia City.  The first book introduced ex-cop turned cab driver Lyle Deming and PR executive Kate Sorensen, a 6’2½”  former college basketball star.  Death in Nostalgia City was recommended for book clubs by the American Library Association. His second mystery, Desert Kill Switch, earned the top fiction award in the 2018 Great Southwest Book Festival and was a Top Shelf Magazine Indie Award nominee.

After working for two newspapers, Bacon moved to advertising and marketing.  He wrote nonfiction business books including Do-It-Yourself Direct Marketing, printed in four languages and three editions and named best business book of the year by the Library Journal.  His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, Orange County (Calif.) Register, Denver Post, and many other publications.  Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State.  He gets many of his ideas when he’s walking his dog.


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