Broken But Not Dead has been awarded the silver medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards: Canada West-Best Regional Fiction category.
Vanderhoof Omineca Express: Local Writer Launches second novel.
Rie McGaha: interview with J. Butler, July 15, 2011
The Citizen article on Broken but not Dead, July 14, 2011
Carol Garvin interviews J. Butler, June 24, 2011
Page Readers talks with Joylene Nowell Butler, March 29, 2010
Novel Works, Marta Stephen, interview with J. Butler.
Bertram's Blog, guest post by Joylene Butler
Dragon My Feet, Pat Bertram, Dead Witness interview.
A Writer's Love, Kim Kouski, Joylene Butler on Self-publishing.
MAPLERIDGENEWS.com (reporter Monisha Martins) Dead Witness
Prince George Free Press article: Dead Witness
April Pohren's interview with Joylene: Interview with Joylene Nowell Butler, author of Dead Witness
Review by J. Kaye Oldner: Dead Witness
Reviews on Good Reads: Dead Witness
Reviews on Amazon.ca: Dead Witness
Reviews on Amazon.com: Dead Witness
Reviews on Chapters.Indigo.ca: Dead Witness
Review by Martha Cheves: Dead Witness
Dead Witness – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘A long, narrow building, beyond the small shed, blocked her view. Valerie inched past a rusty engine leaning against the hut and peeked around the corner. Two men in black tee shirts and black pants stood at the stern of the sleek cabin cruiser docked at the wharf. Three more men stood on the pier: One young, one old, one dangerously attractive. Facing her, she could see he was perfect, in fact. Except, why was he wearing a long, tan raincoat? Maybe she wasn’t the only unprepared foreigner. No way would she interrupt their business. Two of them walked way. Mr. Perfect, the handsome Latino in the tan raincoat, smiled after them. His sensuous, slightly accented voice broke the silence. “Gentlemen, please. It has been my experience that even in times of indecision, a solution exists.” His arms spread wide as if to embrace them. The two men stopped and turned back. Still smiling, the Latino reached inside his raincoat and pulled out a gun. Valerie gawked at him. She heard a pop. The older man fell backward onto the wharf. Pop. The younger man’s head exploded. The man in the tan raincoat leaned down and fired a third bullet in the older man’s head. The body twitched, then lay still.’
Valerie McCormick is the mother of 3 beautiful daughters and wife to Ed. Ed owns a timber business in their home town of Prince George, Canada. In the process of trying to secure the business he runs across a possible client who has his eyes set on a boat docked in Seattle, Washington, so when Valerie wins a trip to Seattle, what better time to take pictures of the boat with hopes of scoring brownie points with the client. But when Valerie witnesses the murder of 2 men she decides she must do her duty and report it to the police. To her relief, the police ended up arresting Miguel DeOlmos on a traffic violation and now had him in jail. To her disappointment, after the American FBI talked her into testifying against DeOlmos, he ends up escaping during his trial. And to make matters worse Miguel DeOlmos is the leader of one of the largest drug cartels in the both North and South America. DeOlmos will stop at nothing to keep from being tried in the US due to its death penalty and it’s not beyond him to kill the only witness the FBI have against him.
Author Joylene Nowell Butler took me on a ride from Canada, Seattle, Nevada, California and then to Baja as FBI agent Mike Canaday chases DeOlmos while still doing everything in his power to keep Valerie alive. Valerie comes up with her own ideas of how to capture DeOlmos and ends up in the clutches of his psycho brother Vincente. Dead Witness is a superbly written murder mystery that has everything from greed to murder to deceit and of course love. I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading Dead Witness.
March 1, 2010
by Harold N. Walter, The Southern Gazette
Daddy's Boy sent me a this book from Prince George for Christmas. Remember Christmas?
Author, Joylene Nowell Butler, lived in Prince George for nearly 20 years. Now she lives near Vanderhoof, still in the same neck of the woods.
Because of the solitary tree and the field of snow pictured on the cover, my first reaction to ‘Dead Witness’ was, Oh no! Not a story with a lot of snow in it!
I have no love for snow, not even in books and movies. But, since it was a gift from Daddy’s Boy, I placed it at the bottom of my pile of Christmas books.
Now I’ve read it and I’m sporting a bruised butt, the result of booting myself for not reading it sooner. Dead Witness is a dandy yarn, a Canadian thriller.
Valerie McCormick, wife and mother of three teenage girls, is an occasional freelance journalist living in Prince George. She has won a trip to Seattle. She’s tickled to death, figuratively speaking, for this opportunity to get away from home and have an adventure on her own.
Considering the trouble she gets into, the tickle factor soon evaporates and the death factor becomes frighteningly literal.
Before she has been in Seattle for a day, Valerie witnesses a murder at a local marina.
The slain men’s bodies haven’t thumped on the dock before Valerie’s life is changed forever. Feeling morally bound to do ‘the right thing’, Valerie informs the authorities of the crime.
All this happens in the first dozen or so pages. A few pages later, Valerie is back in Prince George attempting to re-establish her daily routine, being a mother and trying to help her husband Ed save their foundering logging business.
At the same time, she’s anxiously waiting to be called back to the States to appear as the lone eye witness in the trial of Miguel DeOlmos – the baddest baddie.
Then, one day in a supermarket parking lot, Valerie’s van is blown Kablooie! and she is snatched up by the FBI, for her own protection, they say.
Like that ever works.
Did you ever read a book or watch a movie in which some law enforcement agency manages to protect the person they’ve stashed in one of those safe houses?
Admit it though; it would be a boring story if the hidden witness lounged around watching big-screen TV and eating nachos. Not that nachos feature in Dead Witness.
Suffice to say, Valerie is unsafe in the safe house, although guarded by a team of FBI agents. And you know one of those agents has to see Valerie as a ‘hottie’.
In this case, he’s a broody Viet Nam vet who’s been with the Department for 20 years – Mike Canaday.
An aside: While reading Dead Witness I couldn’t help wondering if Bulter – a Canadian writing about a Canadian setting – was having some kind of chuckle by naming the toughest American in the story Canaday.
Bet she was, eh b’ys?
Bye the way, I’m ReMarking on this novel on Daddy’s Boy’s birthday. I imagine him driving on Highway 97, the road whose traffic roar Valerie can hear from her house as she waits in the dark for bad ol’ Miguel to pounce.
I imagine the murky sweep of the Nechako River that Daddy’s Boy and Valerie have to cross when returning to their homes in the foothills.
Can you handle another aside? The first time Missus and I visited Prince George we were surprised – I was anyway – the Nechako and Fraser rivers are surprisingly muddy. They’re the colour of … of … well, mud.
You’d hate me if I told you how Valerie’s story ends, so I won’t.
Needless to say, on the way to the showdown there’s plenty of shooting and killing. There’s some hugging and kissing, to euphemistically call raunchy hanky-panky by a gentler name.
And when Valerie is attacked by the second baddest baddie, she does some impressive serious butt bashing.
I don’t know if Dead Witness is available in Newfoundland bookstores. You may borrow my copy if you promise to bring it back.
I wouldn’t want to lose a gift from Daddy’s Boy.
Thank you for reading.
by Ric Wasley, author of The Scrimshaw.
Dead Witness, the exciting break-out novel from a talented new author - Joylene Butler, is a non-stop roller-coaster of suspense and intrigue.
Joylene does a masterful job of creating an "Every-Woman" protagonist, Valerie McCormick, that at first you will feel compassion for when she is forced to abandon her beloved family to save their lives. But as the story progresses, you will find yourself rooting for Valerie as she learns that she is much stronger that she ever imagined
The story is tight and well crafted. The villains are pure poison but the author doesn't fall in to the trap of so many others who make their evil characters two dimensional stereotypes.
Author Butler's villains are evil to be sure but the author gives us a back story which helps we the reader, to comprehend their actions without necessarily sympathizing with them
The action is fast paced and intense, as is the transformation of Valerie; from a bored, and beleaguered wife and mother - to a woman who finds that when the worst happens and her family lives are in danger, she has the inner strength to transform herself from an insecure and vulnerable housewife, to a brave and strong woman.
I highly recommend Dead Witness as a "Must" for your reading list !
Ric Wasley - Author
•The Scrimshaw – 2008