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Saturday 30 September 2023

My Coffee and Thorn Guests: A White Hot Plan by Mike and Ayan Rubin

Coffee and Thorn Book Tours

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About the Book

Genre:  crime thriller

Print length: 278 pages

Age range: This is an adult book but could be suitable for mature older teenagers

Trigger warnings: violent deaths; terrorism; white supremacist racism; children in peril

Formats available for the Tour: all standard electronic formats (sorry, no paperbacks)

Amazon rating: 4*

A group of alt-right terrorists decides that now is the time–and New Orleans is the place–to make an explosive statement that will force the world to acknowledge the superiority of the white supremacist movement. Disgraced former New Orleans homicide detective Starner Gautreaux is now a poorly paid sheriff’s deputy relegated to writing his weekly quota of speeding tickets in a sleepy south Louisiana parish. His mundane life is all-too-predictable until several unusual events cause him to suspect something is seriously amiss.

While the local coroner classifies the resulting deaths as accidental, Starner’s prior experience leads him to believe that not only are they homicides, but also that they signal something far more sinister.

Taut action bubbles up from the swamps of Louisiana to the hidden haunts of underworld bosses, from small-town life to urban grit, and from a high-speed highway shootout to a terrifying confrontation in the heart of the French Quarter. White supremacists seek to impose their will on a city swamped with carefree tourists, but Starner Gautreaux is determined not to let that happen.

Amazon link:

Goodreads link:


Mike and Ayan Rubin are a husband and wife writing team.

Their debut novel, THE COTTONCREST CURSE, is a historical thriller published by the award-winning LSU Press. Its story line takes place from the 1860’s through the 1960’s and follows the exploits and travails of several generations of five families who own, work, or reside near the eponymous South Louisiana plantation.  THE COTTONCREST CURSE garnered the Book of the Year Gold Award at an annual meeting of the American Library Association where it was named the top thriller/suspense novel published by a university or independent press. A German edition has been published by Suhrkamp and is for sale in Europe.

Their second novel, a contemporary legal thriller entitled CASHED OUT, is now in its second edition.  It won the coveted Jack Eadon award as the Best Contemporary Drama and was shortlisted for the Silver Falchion Award as the best thriller. Combining page-turning action with a distinct sense of southern locale, the Providence Journal raved that it features “a lawyer down and out enough to make John Grisham proud. He’s culled from the likes of Michael Connelly by way of James Lee Burke. A gem of a tale.”

A WHITE HOT PLAN is their third novel.

A nationally known legal ethicist, public speaker and humorist, as well as a full time appellate attorney, Mike has had a varied career. He has been a professional jazz pianist in the New Orleans French Quarter, a radio and television announcer, and an adjunct law professor. He won the Burton Award for Outstanding Writing given at the Library of Congress and is a member of the Author’s Guild, the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and the International Association of Crime Writers.

Ayan has had an equally varied career, having been a classroom teacher, an education administrator, a prolific grant writer, a developmental book editor, a nonprofit consultant, and, for almost three decades, the Coordinator of the Educational Services Division of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, a statewide television network, where she was responsible for initiating and then shepherding a wide variety of video projects from concept through script development and production to statewide and national broadcast.

Mike’s breadth of knowledge about the intricacies of the law and his penchant for devising dramatic situations, combined with Ayan’s unique ability to visualize and bring characters and scenes to life, make for taut tales with unrelenting twists and turns.

Because Mike’s full time legal career and numerous speaking engagements keep them hopping, they write early in the morning or late in the evening, often discussing plot lines and character development during their daily 4:30 a.m. power walks. They are just as apt to draft and revise chapters while sitting in airports or hotel rooms as they are to do so in their adjoining home offices.

Together, Mike and Ayan Rubin have developed a unique literary voice that has captivated devotees of their page-turning thrillers. A WHITE HOT PLAN is their third novel..

The protagonists and primary characters in each of their contemporary novels are descendants of the protagonists and primary characters in THE COTTONCREST CURSE, and the intoxicating action in all of their fiction plays out amidst the backwoods, bayous, big cities, and body politic of their beguiling home state of Louisiana.



A thriller that will keep you turning pages. A quiet Louisiana parish (a/k/a county) is the home of an exceptional criminal enterprise. The suspense builds with every chapter. A white-hot explosive together with corrupt and lethargic law enforcement complicates the resolution. A fascinating read. Amazon review



A White Hot Plan is a rocket-sled ride of a crime thriller… Mike and Ayan Rubin do a masterful job of setting their fast-paced story in Cajun Country, a downtrodden and exotic land where everybody’s name seems to end in ‘eaux.’ Their description of Petit Rouge Parish, an insular enclave ruled by a now-dying sheriff named Naquin “Knock” Mouton, is vivid, realistic and evocative while utterly devoid of cliches and caricatures. Amazon Revie

(note: Helen has not yet read or reviewed this book)

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November 2023 to April 2024 writing retreats include Writing Crime Fiction (with guest speaker, Helen Hollick) Writing Romantic Fiction and Writing Psychological Suspense and Thrillers with a dazzling array of bestselling authors and guest speakers in their genre.

Throughout Summer 2024 Writing for Wellbeing and Writing Memoir will focus on the personal benefits of writing and the joy of sharing work with others and writers on our Writing Historical Fiction retreat will explore the past in a house steeped in history (hosted by Helen Hollick and Annie Whitehead)

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Do come and join us!

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