Obey All Laws: A Probation Case File Mystery by Cindy Goyette
Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner
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Obey All Laws
When Phoenix probation officer Casey Carson goes to work, she expects naked people to answer doors, meth-addicted clients to hit on her, and angry judges to chew her out in court. After a routine home visit with a client, a Diablo gang member, goes horribly wrong, she knows she must watch her back.
Even she must admit that a one-eyed, bad-ass, angry gangster and his crew gunning for her is a bit more than she was trained to handle.
Casey has even more reason to fear Diablo when her cousin Hope goes missing, and it looks like their handiwork. With women vanishing at an alarming rate in the area, police treat Hope’s disappearance as a priority. Still, Casey can’t sit on the sidelines, even with her ex-husband leading the investigation. After she receives information that proves her suspicions about Diablo right, the gang will do anything to keep her from sharing it with police, even if that means taking her on a one-way trip to the desert.
To purchase Obey All Laws, click the following link: Amazon
Interview with Cindy Goyette — Author of Obey All Laws
Obey All Laws features probation officer Casey Carson, a job that you have held yourself. What are the similarities and differences between your career and the fictional career of your protagonist?
I was Casey’s age when I became a probation officer and I retired from the profession a few years ago. I started writing her character about 25 years ago (it took me that long to nail it), so a lot has changed in the profession, and I had to make sure I captured how I felt doing the job at that age while I kept up with the times.
Although the story is fiction, I did encounter a lot of similar situations. No, I never assaulted a gang member (not a spoiler alert, it happens in the opening pages), but I’ve been in some pretty intense situations. Like Casey, I wasn’t armed for most of my career, although I was for the last part.
Casey flies by the seat of her pants sometimes, and I admit I have that personality trait as well.
We’re also different. She’s quicker than I am and a bit more adventurous. I almost always did fieldwork with a partner, while Casey prefers to work alone. But I did know officers who operated that way so it’s not farfetched.
Obey All Laws takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. (A place we have both lived!) Now you live in Washington State. (Where I live as well!) What made Phoenix the place where you wanted to set your series?
They say write what you know. I set my series in Phoenix because that’s where I did the job and lived for most of my career.
I moved to the pacific northwest in 2011 and became a probation/parole officer here. It’s a little different and sometimes I struggled to not merge the two. I had a Phoenix probation officer friend read an early draft so she could identify any places in the book that I mixed things up.
Obey All Laws also addresses gangs and gang violence. What drew you to that topic for your debut?
I’ve had specialized caseloads over the years. Sex offender, mental health, and gang to name a few.
Gang was my favorite. It took some convincing for the department to let me take on that role in the 1990s as I was the first woman to do so. There were two other gang officers, both male and they were so welcoming and helpful. I also worked closely with the Phoenix Police gang squad.
Some of my favorite moments happened when I tagged along with them. They liked it because they could utilize me to do things they didn’t have the power to do. For instance, I could conduct searches of my charges without a warrant.
Most of the young men I supervised looked to me like I was a soccer mom. There were a few who probably didn’t want me around, but most of them were protective of me.
In the past, you also worked as an immigration officer. Tell us about that career and what made you shift to probation officer:
I stumbled into law enforcement. My bachelor’s degree is in social work. Turns out, you need experience—and in Arizona it helps if you’re bilingual—to get a decent job in the field.
I was desperate and out of options when I applied to be a police officer with Phoenix PD. Much to my surprise, they hired me. I completed the police academy and became a cop.
My then husband had a career opportunity in his native Quebec that he couldn’t pass up. So, I resigned from Phoenix PD, and we moved to Canada. My French is horrendous, so I was having trouble finding a job in Montreal. I headed to the boarder and once again, much to my surprise, they hired me.
I worked at the New York/Quebec border as an Immigration Officer for several years before returning to Arizona where I eventually became a probation officer.
You also write the Wiggle Butt Manor Mysteries, what should we know about Diamond in the Ruff?
Diamond in the Ruff is my first attempt at writing a cozy mystery. Although the protagonist is an amateur sleuth (she never finished the police academy), we do have one big thing in common— we both have rheumatoid arthritis. And that stands in the way of her fulfilling her dream of becoming a cop.
But the biggest thing in the book that mirrors my own life is the dogs! I based the ones in the book on my beloved cocker spaniel, Noah and my daughter’s crazy dog, Maya. Unfortunately, Noah has since passed away. But Maya, at age 19, is still causing mayhem and continues to give me material for future books.
Diamond in the Ruff is in the hands of my editor, and I hope it will be picked up for publication. Like Obey All Laws, it will also be a series and I have two more books planned.
What are you working on now?
I’ve finished book 2 of the probation case files series and am starting book 3.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:
Don’t give up! I’ve been writing for most of my life and tried to get Obey All Laws published for about five years before I finally got a yes!
Now it seems like things are happening at lightning speed. I don’t think of those years as wasted. I was learning and honing my craft.
Author Pet Corner!
Noah’s floppy ears are one of the few things that separate him from identifying as a sloth. An English Cocker/American Cocker mix, he came to live with Cindy and her daughter as a puppy. He got into normal puppy trouble. He earned his name when Cindy would come upon messes in the house and she’d say, “No! Ah!” Always quick, her daughter said, “Why don’t we call him Noah?”
Noah gave Cindy comfort when they moved to the Pacific Northwest, leaving the familiar behind. He’s been a hiking buddy, a travel companion, and a muse.
With a heavy heart, Cindy said goodbye to Noah in July of 2022. His paw print sits on her desk and he remains forever in her heart.
Maya was a shelter dog. Her previous owners brought Maya and her sister, Mia, to the shelter because they constantly escaped from their yard. Mia was adopted first, and Maya was alone until Cindy and her teenage daughter found her. Maya quickly showed her mischievous, or some would say, cunning, side. Afraid of anything with wheels, she destroyed a leather couch and loveseat, ate through kennels (plastic and metal) and consumed anything within reach, including a wasp nest, a pound of coffee beans, and a glass mason jar of chili sauce.
She often regrets her decisions when she pays the price several hours later, sometimes with a trip to the ER. But her memory is short and she’s always up for her next adventure. Still alive and kicking at sixteen, the joke is that she is not mortal. She’s a love though and hopefully she’ll break longevity records. When her time does come, her tombstone will say “Worth it!”
Cindy Goyette — Author of Obey All Laws
Armed with a handgun and a word processor, Immigration Officer Cindy Goyette spent her nights creating fictional friends to help pass the lonely hours between border crossers. A portable black-and-white TV cancelled the unexplained noises coming from the ancient jail cells in the creepy basement. The resulting book will stay in the closet where it belongs, but the seed was planted and she’s been writing ever since.
Cindy spent the ensuing years as a probation officer, dealing with hardened criminals with hard-luck stories that sometimes kept her up at night. Every day was an adventure. She survived by seeing humor in situations where she could find it. She joked about writing a book and then she did just that.
OBEY ALL LAWS incorporates the wild and crazy life of a probation officer with an issue currently in the news. Cindy’s history with flirtatious felons who thought they were charmers and addicts who denied the drugs in their pockets, claiming they’re wearing their friend’s pants have given her ample material for the books she now writes.
Cindy has a habit of adopting dogs who get into as much mischief as her probationers. A vet told her, Maya – a basic brown miscreant mixed breed – was lucky Cindy had taken her home because no one else would have put up with her antics. So why not give Maya her own series? Thus, Diamond in the Ruff: A Wiggle Butt Manor Mystery was born.
Born in New Jersey, Cindy lived in Phoenix for twenty years. She now makes her home in Washington state with her husband and two cocker spaniels.
Elena Hartwell/Elena Taylor
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