Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Betrayal at the Border

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.  Mark M. Bello will be awarding a $25 BN/Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Click on "read more" below to read an excerpt or sign up for the GIVEAWAY. 

In Betrayal at the Border, attorney Zachary Blake returns to tackle two cases that strike at the heart of our nation's contentious immigration debate.

In Riverview, Michigan, undocumented immigrants Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzalez are determined to realize the American dream. They find jobs at a local filler plant, have children, and lead an all-American life, that is until ICE raids their plant . . .

Canan and Karim Izady are naturalized citizens of the United States. They have immigrated legally from Kurdistan and have an American born daughter, Hana. Unable to persuade her mother to follow the young family to America, Canan and Hana travel to an ISIS hotbed so the child may meet her grandmother for the first time. With the war over, what could possibly go wrong?

Two unique immigrant families, two uniquely dangerous consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration system. Enter Zachary Blake, superstar lawyer.

But, for the first time in a long time, Blake is out of his element—immigration law calls for the expertise of his specialist/partner, Marshall Mann. Together, two extraordinary lawyers take on a terrorist network and a broken immigration system. And master investigator Micah Love returns, racing against the clock to prevent tragic circumstances. In our politically charged, anti-immigrant international climate, will a Hail Mary be their only move?

Award-winning legal thriller author, Mark M. Bello, pits our nation's broken immigration system against important human and social justice rights issues, spinning a tale that shines a bright light on the everyday fears of immigrants all over these United States. Can Blake, Mann, and Love prevent a Betrayal at the Border?

read an excerpt...

The Gonzalez family continued to live their lives as if there was no threat to their safety or freedom. What choice did they have? President Golding and ICE made good on their threats to communities in Texas, Mississippi, Arizona, California, and Florida, but raids had not yet happened in Detroit. However, everything changed in mid-September, the second week of school.

Reporters interrupted evening programming to announce ICE raids on businesses and manufacturing plants in Detroit and surrounding communities. Emma was horrified. She was convinced ICE would walk into Mama and Papa’s plant or, worse, break into their home and take her parents away, right before her eyes. She implored Mary Carmen and Miguel to stay home from work and hide or get in the car and drive away. She didn’t care where they went, provided they went somewhere where ICE was not grabbing people off the streets and taking them away.

Miguel tried to soothe his daughter. He told her everything was under control at the plant. The people he worked for would take care of them. They were ready if ICE agents came. People called lawyers were waiting by the telephone. They knew immigration law better than anyone and would protect Miguel and Mary Carmen.

“We are good citizens. We work hard, contribute to the economy, and pay our taxes,” Miguel explained. Emma understood only the ‘work hard’ and ‘good citizen’ parts of his explanation. He’s not a citizen, though, she reasoned, with maturity beyond her years. That’s the problem!

Of course, none of Miguel’s assurances were true. Miguel and Mary Carmen were undocumented. They had a small savings account and too little money to hire expensive lawyers to fight deportation. If ICE raided the plant, there was little the Gonzalez family or any other similarly situated family could do to prevent the consequences. They couldn’t run, and they had no place else to go. If they did decide to run, without their jobs, they would soon run out of money. They knew the day would come when their freedom would be threatened, but they hoped it would be later than sooner, perhaps after some type of amnesty program was introduced for people in their situation.

The following day, Miguel and Mary Carmen kissed their children goodbye and put them on the school bus. They pre-arranged with their pastor and members of their church to monitor the situation and make sure the kids were picked up and housed if anything happened at the plant. The church rallied to their side, offering the children room and board, if necessary. The couple watched and waved as the bus disappeared down the street. Emma and Emilio sat at the back window, waving, watching their parents disappear.

 Will we see each other again? Miguel wondered, his eyes tearing as the bus drove away. 

"Mis hijos!” Mary Carmen cried, clutching her husband, burying her face in his chest. “What will become of them?”

 The couple embraced for a few precious moments. Finally, they separated and walked to the car.

about Mark M. Bello...

As an attorney and civil justice advocate, author Mark M. Bello draws upon over 40 years of courtroom experience in his Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series.

A Michigan native, Mark received his B.A. in English Literature from Oakland University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After working extremely high-profile legal cases, Mark wanted to give the public a front-row glimpse of what victims face when standing up for justice.

Combining his legal experience and passion for justice with a creative writing style, Mark not only brings high-quality legal services to his clients but captivating novels to his readers.

When Mark’s not writing legal and political novels, he writes and posts about fairness and justice in the civil justice system on his website, Legal Examiner and NotFakeNews. In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Mark and his wife, Tobye, have four children and 8 grandchildren.

For more information about Mark, please click here (

Mark loves hearing from his readers! Drop him a line on the Contact page or follow him on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, or Bookbub.









more personal "stuff" about Mark M. Bello...

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?

Betrayal at the Border is special because I am deeply troubled by the divisiveness of our politics, the nasty rhetoric, hate speech, and incarceration policies going on at the southern border and in the middle east. It is not “illegal” to seek asylum in this country; using this word to describe asylum seekers is wrong and cruel. I keep thinking of my great-grandparents, emigrating from Russia and Poland as atrocities were happening in their home countries, especially to Jews, and I shudder to think that they were treated when they arrived at our shores, the way immigrants are being treated today. We can and should do better. We can be a beacon of freedom, that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan spoke of. We can be warmer and more welcoming. That is what I would like to see from the land of the free.

 Where do you get your storylines from?

The first book, Betrayal of Faith, was written from a personal experience, a case I handled in the early 1980’s. The other six were inspired by various headlines and occurrences happening in real-life America.

 Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others?  Why?

In some ways it was easier; in others, it was harder. Easier, because I am more experienced at writing full-length fiction, and I have gotten better with practice. More difficult because I’ve never practiced immigration law, and I had to do a lot more research, talk to lawyers and judges in the system, research courtroom procedure, and hit the library and the internet for context. I think I did it well. Any mistakes are the fault of the author.

Do you only write one genre?

Until this year, the answer would have been “yes.” But this year, I have just written, of all things, a Jewish recipe cookbook, featuring Zachary Blake’s fictional Jewish family. I have written (currently being illustrated for release in the winter) 4 children’s safety/social justice picture books, and I am also hard at work on my 8th Zachary Blake legal thriller, a murder mystery. I am enjoying my golden years!

 Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?

I have a home in Michigan and an apartment in south Florida. I have very similar offices in both residences. I like to close myself in and write at the writing desks in my offices, depending upon the season.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?

Yes, the case I told you about that sparked my first book. Once I experienced and finished that first novel, and it was well-received by my readers, reviewers and award-distributors, I realized I could do this, and began writing novels based on real legal/political/social justice issues happening in America. I am having fun.



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  1. I enjoyed the excerpt and Betrayal at the Border sounds like an edge of your seat thrilling read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a magical holiday season!


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