Book 1

Last Dance

Book 2

One Last Goodbye

Book 3

The Last to Remember

Book 4

Until Our Last Embrace

Book 5

For The Last Time

Book 6

Dreams Don't Last

Book 7

Last Fires Burning

Book 8

Glory's Last Victim

Book 9

Last Rites

Oct. 2004

Book 10

Last One Down

February 2005

Book 11

Before the Last Lap

August 2005

Book 12

The First Shall Be Last

June 2007

All books are available at 




Last Fires Burning


The Clement's Building (DSG Staff Photo / Jim Lavene)



Cover Story...

Forest fires in the Uwharries are panicking the citizens of Diamond Springs. But a new threat has the Sheriff's office baffled. An arsonist has claimed at least one life and destroyed part of the old courthouse.


It’s one week before the election in Diamond Springs when an old car rolls down Main Street with flames shooting out of it and a dead body in the backseat. A day later, a man is found dead on Diamond Mountain, trapped in a net that was supposed to help save wild animals trying to escape the fires in the Uwharrie Mountains. Both deaths look accidental.

But both are murder. Sheriff Sharyn Howard is called a hero when a suspect is arrested quickly. The election is finally looking up for her. Unfortunately, the quick answer isn’t always the right answer. When the sheriff goes looking for the truth, she gets more than she wants. And endangers someone she loves in the process.


Book Details:

Thomas Bouregy and Co.
Book 7-Avalon Books


Books available here:



Read more on the story in the excerpt below...

The cover design and illustration of "Last Fires Burning" by Tess Anson (DSG)

Sheriff Sharyn Howard fact...

Sheriff Sharyn Howard is a Capricorn.


This is a well-crafted plot with a writing style that is realistic and smooth. The action is fast paced with suspense building throughout. The characters are true to life, successfully interacting with each other with their strengths and weaknesses. It is full of the sense of danger both from the raging fire and from the unknown arsonist. The dialogue sounds conversational and real. The developing romance between Sharyn and Nick is a delight to observe. There is a thread in the story which leads back to previous events and which perhaps leads the authors to subsequent adventures of Sharyn and her family and cohorts. Let's hope there will be more to come.

Barbara Buhrer
All About Murder

Sheriff Sharyn Howard has her hands full. A forest fire threatening her town, her re-election committee and the looming election day, a deputy who has decided he's in love with her, and a mother who only dates men totally unacceptable to Sharyn-and she doesn't need a couple of murders this week. Even Nick, the county medical examiner, is beginning to lose patience with her and feels their potential romance will never happen. Can Sharyn figure out what's going on and still get reelected? Just when Sharyn thinks she's got one fire-literal or figurative-doused, another one pops up. The authors are excellent at piling on the troubles-and getting Sheriff Howard out of most of them. The settings are authentic, and the dialogue is realistic. This is a good book and will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

Ann M. Beardsley for Scribes World


Excerpt from "Last Fires Burning"...

It was almost midnight. The acrid smell of smoke from the fires in the Uwharrie Mountains filled the cool air. Sunday nights were quiet in Diamond Springs. Folks tended to go to bed early.

That's why hardly anybody saw the old car roll down the hill from Center Street. Fire shot from the windows and burned through the roof. The car picked up speed as it careened down Main Street past the post office and the hospital. It almost hit one of the well-kept antebellum homes that postured like a queen over her court.

A huge gnarled oak tree stopped it. It was moving fast by the time it hit the tree. Sparks flew up into the highest boughs, burning against the night sky. Flames raced up the tree, igniting the dry branches. Car parts scattered in the street.

Lights came on in the darkness. Sirens flared. Two deputies ran out of the sheriff's office across the street.

"Sheriff's gonna love this," David Matthews declared.

JP Santiago patted his shoulder. "Then I let you tell her!"






Jim & Joyce Lavene