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About William Bernhardt
I love telling stories. I'm super-excited about this new series featuring lawyer Daniel Pike. The first book is The Last Chance Lawyer, followed by Court of Killers, Trial by Blood, and Twisted Justice. Several years back I wrote a series of legal thrillers featuring Ben Kincaid, then took some time off to write poetry and young adult and nonfiction books on writing (the Red Sneaker series). It's fun to be back in the fictional courtroom, this time with a fresh take and new characters addressing some of the contemporary issues facing our world today.
If you'd like to sign up for my newsletter, visit www.williambernhardt.com (you'll get a free Ben Kincaid short story!).
If you'd like to sign up for the Red Sneaker Writers newsletter, visit www.williambernhardt.com, then click on Red Sneaker Writers (you'll get a free book-planning handbook!).
William Bernhardt (The Last Chance Lawyer) is the author of over fifty books, including the bestselling Ben Kincaid series, the historical novel Challengers of the Dust, two books of poetry, the Red Sneaker books on fiction writing, and most recently, Court of Killers. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writers Center to mentor aspiring writers. The Center hosts an annual writers conference (WriterCon), small-group writing retreats, a newsletter, and a bi-weekly podcast. More than forty of Bernhardt's students have subsequently published with major houses. He is also the owner of Balkan Press, which publishes poetry and fiction as well as the literary journal Conclave. In 2019, Bernhardt received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for the Book.
In addition to his novels and poetry, Bernhardt has written plays, a musical (book and score), humor, children stories, biography, and puzzles. He has edited two anthologies (Legal Briefs and Natural Suspect) as fundraisers for The Nature Conservancy and the Children's Legal Defense Fund. OSU named him "Oklahoma's Renaissance Man." In his spare time, he has enjoyed surfing, digging for dinosaurs, trekking through the Himalayas, paragliding, scuba diving, caving, zip-lining over the canopy of the Costa Rican rain forest, and jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. In 2013, he became a Jeopardy! champion, winning over $20,000. In 2017, when Bernhardt delivered the keynote address at the San Francisco Writers Conference, chairman Michael Larsen noted that in addition to penning novels, Bernhardt can "write a sonnet, play a sonata, plant a garden, try a lawsuit, teach a class, cook a gourmet meal, beat you at Scrabble, and work the New York Times crossword in under five minutes."
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This time, Dan’s putting everything on the line. Will his dangerous scheme reveal a killer…or cause a fatal injustice?
Defense lawyer Daniel Pike believes he’s closer than ever to proving his late father was no murderer. But with key witnesses snuffed out and his archnemesis pulling all the strings to ensure no one talks, his frustration is about to boil over. His only remaining option is a high-stakes gamble to force the arrogant powerbroker onto the witness stand.
Risking the wrath of a ruthless cartel, Pike relentlessly pursues the evidence he desperately needs. But as he uncovers his own family’s shocking history and navigates a blossoming romance, the determined attorney finds himself back in the courtroom on the losing end of the biggest case of his life with many lives hanging in the balance—because someone has become judge and jury...and executioner.
Will Pike’s pursuit of justice destroy him when he learns the tragic truth?
Judge and Jury is the sensational fifth novel in the Daniel Pike Legal Thriller Series. If you like David-versus-Goliath stories, stunning twists and turns, and genius court moves, then you’ll love William Bernhardt’s gripping fight.
Buy Judge and Jury and uncover the truth today!
If he loses this court case, the consequence is death…
Ever since his father’s wrongful incarceration, defense lawyer Daniel Pike has defended the innocent at any cost. But he’s stunned when his archrival DA is found shot dead and brutally crucified. And after Pike himself lands in jail for the crime, he smells a terrifying setup.
Fearing he’ll suffer the same fate as his parent, the determined attorney uncovers evidence that the DA was involved with a sinister sex-trafficking ring. But with the prosecution presenting an ironclad case against him, it’s clear someone wants Pike out of the way. And if they can’t get him with a lethal injection, they may resort to bullets…
Can Pike get to the truth before he’s condemned to die behind bars?
Twisted Justice is the tense fourth novel in the Daniel Pike Legal Thrillers series. If you like dark conspiracies, heart-stopping suspense, and courtroom battles against the odds, then you’ll love William Bernhardt’s breathtaking tale.
Buy Twisted Justice to escape death row today!
A billion-dollar inheritance. A relative’s suspicious reappearance. Can Dan dig up the secrets of the past before he’s buried six feet under?
Attorney Daniel Pike’s flashy courtroom antics have earned him plenty of enemies--but also freed many innocent people. When he learns that the same crooked cop who got his father locked up for life is testifying in a contested-identity suit, Daniel takes the case. But it won’t be easy to prove his client is the long-lost heir to an immense estate since the young man can’t remember the last fourteen years…
His civil litigation becomes a criminal trial when another heir is violently murdered and the mysterious amnesiac looks like the prime suspect. Battling vanishing evidence, political interference, and a brutal attack on his life, the savvy lawyer knows he’ll need to put on his best performance yet.
Can Dan clear his client’s name and inheritance? Or will they both pay with their lives?
Trial by Blood is the third book in the nail-biting Daniel Pike legal thriller series. If you like sinister conspiracies, brash attorneys, and dark-alley danger, then you’ll love William Bernhardt’s page-turning novel.
Buy Trial by Blood and take a crack at injustice today!
The court of public opinion found her guilty. But one attorney resolved to change the verdict…
Attorney Daniel Pike knows the dire consequences of crossing the government. So when rising political star Camila Perez faces charges in a gruesome quadruple homicide, his instincts sense a frame by powerful rivals. But Dan and the Last Chance Lawyers may have a hopeless case when the police discover damning evidence scrawled at the crime scene in blood...
Sorting through incriminating clues in the horrifying murders, Dan pieces together a dark conspiracy. But just when it seems he might have a rebuttal, a social media leak sparks a nationwide outcry for conviction.
Can Dan foil the vicious scheme before Perez and her career go up in flames??
Court of Killers is a standout book in the gripping Daniel Pike legal thriller series. If you like intricately plotted suspense, gritty courtroom drama and surprising twists and turns, then you’ll love William Bernhardt’s captivating novel.
Buy Court of Killers to watch a determined lawyer unmask a murderer today!
Daniel Pike would rather fight for justice than follow the rules. His unique ability to "connect the dots," to observe what others do not, has made him the most notorious criminal lawyer in St. Petersburg. But when his courtroom career goes up in smoke, he fears his lifelong purpose is a lost cause. A mysterious job offer from a secretive boss gives him a second chance but lands him an impossible case with multiple lives at stake…
To protect a young orphan from a horrifying fate, Pike must save the girl's guardian from a charge of first-degree murder. Dan uses every trick he knows in a high-stakes trial filled with unexpected revelations and breathtaking surprises as he uncovers a trail of deceit from Florida to El Salvador. When blood-soaked threats arrive, Dan realizes that winning the case might be a death sentence for him—and everyone he hoped to protect.
Can Pike protect the girl and get the charges dropped before his race for the truth proves fatal?
The Last Chance Lawyer is a gripping legal thriller. If you like courtroom suspense, page-turning plot twists, and rebel attorneys, then you’ll love William Bernhardt’s riveting drama.
Ben Kincaid is too honest for corporate law. When his refusal to compromise his ideals gets him tossed out of Tulsa’s largest, most corrupt firm, he hangs out his shingle on the rough side of town. He works for peanuts—and occasionally chickens—but is safe in the knowledge that he is helping people who have nowhere else to turn. His newest client is also one of his oldest friends: Christina McCall, a onetime colleague in the world of corporate law. Christina is beautiful, daringly dressed, and on trial for a murder she didn’t commit. The last thing Christina remembers is the smell of her mother’s perfume. When she comes out of her stupor, her client is dead, the gun is in her hand, and the police are cuffing her wrists. Proving her innocence may be an impossible, but the impossible is becoming Kincaid’s specialty.
Since he fled the dehumanizing tedium of corporate law, Ben Kincaid has scratched out a living on the rough side of Tulsa, working cases strictly related to the three Ds: divorce, deeds, and dog bites. So when the state’s largest corporation, the Apollo Consortium, offers him six figures to join them as in-house counsel, he can’t turn down the pay raise. But if the Apollo partners think they’ve hired a legal stooge, they’re wrong. Kincaid is a bloodhound, determined to sniff out the truth no matter the cost. As Kincaid tries to fit in at his new offices, a serial killer stalks Tulsa, luring young women into his car before chopping them into bits. But these horrors pale in comparison to the infighting at Apollo. And when he comes out on the wrong side of a turf war, Kincaid finds himself defending a hapless loser against a murder charge. The client’s name: Ben Kincaid.
Ben Kincaid’s air-conditioner is on the fritz, his staff is on half-pay, and his sister has just disappeared, leaving him holding her baby. He needs fast money, and a quick-and-dirty personal injury suit could do the job. But what looks like a sure-fire case turns out to be something far more complicated. His prospective client hopes to rescue his son—a twenty-eight-year-old with the mind of a child. Ten years earlier, Leeman was accused of murdering a woman with a golf club, and he has been locked in a mental institution ever since. Now he is finally about to come to trial, and Kincaid sees no way to save him. But when a young Tulsa boy goes missing, Kincaid senses a connection between the two cases. Finding the abductor and could mean saving lives—Leeman’s, the kidnapped child’s, and those of the countless victims to come.
For Ben Kincaid, the forests of Arkansas are a place to escape the hubbub of the courtroom and enjoy the outdoors. But for the thousands of Vietnamese refugees who came through this backwoods area in the mid-1970s, the Ouachita Mountains were a place to begin their new life in the United States. And for Tommy Vuong, an activist among the American-born Vietnamese, the woods are a place to die. When Vuong is found stabbed through the neck beneath a burning cross, the logical suspect is Donald Vick, a member of a local white supremacist hate group who was seen fighting with Vuong the previous day. No lawyer in the county will take Vick’s case, but Kincaid can’t refuse. His new client is sullen, hateful, and demands to plead guilty—even though there’s no evidence linking him to the crime scene. No matter what it takes, Kincaid will bring justice to the backwoods, whether the inhabitants like it or not.
It’s Ben Kincaid’s first day as an associate at corporate giant Raven, Tucker & Tubb, and he’s ready to start the long climb up the ladder to partnership. But he’s barely cleared the first rung when a body trips him up. Ben’s first task is to arrange an adoption for one of the firm’s biggest clients—a bit of grunt work that becomes interesting when he meets the child in question. Emily suffers from Korsakov’s Syndrome, a rare disorder that prevents her from forming memories, and Jonathan and Bertha Adams want nothing more than to raise her as their own. But Kincaid has just begun getting the paperwork together when he gets a chilling phone call: Jonathan has been found dead, hacked to pieces in an alleyway. Investigating the killing will take Kincaid down a fearsome path, leading him to wish that, like Emily, he had the power to forget.
How do you create a fictional world that readers will want to visit?
How do you paint a picture that springs to life on the page?William Bernhardt explains how to use description and setting to enhance your story without slowing the pace. Bernhardt discusses showing without telling, providing descriptive details that inform character, and integrating visuals and action with “stealth description.” In his direct, no-nonsense style, Bernhardt explains how to use all five
senses to create a fully realized portrait.
William Bernhardt is the bestselling author of more than fifty books, including the bestselling Daniel Pike novels. Bernhardt is also one of the most sought-after writing instructors in the nation. He has received the Southern Writers Gold Medal Award and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award, which is given “in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large.” In 2019, he received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Red Sneaker Writing Center provides a free e-newsletter, podcast, workshops, retreats, and an annual conference to help writers achieve their goals. What’s a red sneaker writer? A committed writer seeking useful instruction rather than obfuscation and attitude. Red sneakers get the job done and so do red sneaker writers, by paying close attention to their art and craft, committing to hard work, and never quitting.
Are you a red sneaker writer? If so, this book is for you!
With his winning smile, acting experience, and history as one of the best quarterbacks Oklahoma University has ever seen, Wally Barrett had no trouble becoming Tulsa’s first black mayor. But this perfect politician has a dark side, too. One afternoon at an ice cream parlor, a dozen people watch as he nearly hits his wife during an argument about their children. That same night, a neighbor calls the police after hearing screams from inside the mayor’s house. The patrolman discovers the first lady and her children murdered, and the mayor nowhere to be found. Barrett is captured after a high-speed chase, insensible and covered in blood. The only person willing to defend him is Ben Kincaid, a struggling defense lawyer with a history of winning impossible cases. But when the national media descends on Tulsa, Kincaid will have to do something he’s never done before, and oversee an increasingly wild three-ring circus.