FLY on the WALL now available in paperback!

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to announce that the formatting for Fly on the Wall (Det. Annie Avants #5) into a paperback is complete and the book is available at Create Space:

Of course, it’s still available for $3.99 as an eBook on Nook, Kobo, all Amazon outlets, iBooks, GoodReads, and other sites.

Here’s a description:


Drug trafficking in Kern County has increased drastically due to Interstate I5, which runs adjacent to Bakersfield, and goes from the Mexican border to Canada. Kern County’s many law enforcement agencies work in their own jurisdictions to solve the problem. Sometimes they work together, but most of the time they don’t.

The Kern County Narcotics Division (Part of the Gang Suppression Unit) had been investigating a farmhouse along the Interstate 5 corridor for several months. The eight residents of the home were alleged members of a Mexican Cartel that delivered their wares up and down the I5 corridor. This house was just one of many links on I5.

At 3:00 a.m. on April 13, 2014, Detectives Annie Avants and Tom Weston of the Kern County Robbery/Homicide Unit were called to the scene of a combined Narcotics Division/SWAT Team raid gone bad at the farmhouse.

The house was abandoned when they arrived, but a surprise package had been left for the teams. The body of a middle-aged Mexican male had been executed “gang” style and left at the scene.

When Tom and Annie talked to the Narcotics Division leader later that morning, they were informed that the man had been covertly working with them to close this house and get more information on the connections to the Cartel.

The conclusion: someone snitched and tipped off the residents so they could leave, and told them the name of the man who was working with the Narcotics Division.

Later, during their investigation, as Tom reviewed some of the videos made by the Narcotics Division, a figure caught his eye. He asked the video people to enhance the image and, when he was sure what he was seeing, he was shocked.

It appeared that one of the remaining men who lived at the house was a life-long friend of Tom’s whom he thought worked for the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

It seems that everybody wants to be a fly on everyone else’s wall!



Causa Mortis FREE through Oct. 17th, 2015

Annie Avants' Causa Mortis in Portuguese

CAUSA MORTIS, the Portuguese version of the first book in the Det. Annie Avants series, Cause of Death, is now available FREE through October 17th, 2015.

Here are the links where you can find the eBook at Amazon outlets:

USA Amazon

UK Amazon

Germany Amazon

France Amazon

Spain Amazon

Italy Amazon

Netherlands Amazon

Brazil Amazon

Canada Amazon

Mexico Amazon

Australia Amazon


Apple iBooks


COYOTE’S SONG available for Pre-Order

coyotes song

A mysterious 30-year old Miwok Indian woman has visions about the victim in Det. Annie Avants case, Green Witch, Dead Witch. Who is this woman, and what is her connection with Kern County? She lives in the mountains of Calaveras County, near West Point, on indian land.
Evangeline Mason has a mystery of her own. Is she the fulfillment of an old Miwok Legend:

There was a legend among the Sierra Band of Miwok Indians. It said that a female would someday become the Shaman of the band and she would reunite the Miwok Indians and make them strong again. Many people believed in the legend at first but, throughout the years, less and less Miwoks even remembered the legend and it didn’t get passed down to the newer generations. At least, not to all of them.
There were a few who still remembered, and waited. The old Shaman was one of the believers, but one day he walked into the mountains and was never seen again. Everyone thought he had gone away to die.
The band dwindled after that. They had a chief who was strong, but the young people left, especially those who lived in the isolated mountain town of West Point, California. There was nothing there for them.
Then, one day in 1989, a little Miwok girl disappeared from her front yard on the reservation.

This book tells the story of Evangeline Mason and  begins on August 6, 1989, the day she disappeared from the front yard of her home on indian land just outside of West Point, California.  Where did she go?  What happened to her?  How did she get involved with Detective Annie Avants?

Coyote’s Song will “go live” on April 23, 2015. You can Pre-order it now at the following Amazon outlets:

Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon Germany
Amazon France
Amazon India
Amazon Spain
Amazon Japan
Amazon The Netherlands
Amazon Italy
Amazon Brazil
Amazon Canada
Amazon Mexico
Amazon Australia

Have You Talked to a Green Witch Today?

Have you talked to a Green Witch Today?

In the introduction to my latest Det. Annie Avants crime fiction novel, GREEN WITCH, DEAD WITCH, I said this:

green witch“Yes, there really are green witches.  But they aren’t made of chocolate and won’t melt when you throw water on them.  In fact, there are many green witches around the world . . . and white witches, gray witches, good witches, evil witches, garden witches, kitchen witches, cottage witches, and many more.  Each person who makes the decision to follow the path of witch, creates his or her own journey.

A green witch is a nature-based witch.  Green witches believe that all things are connected and have their own energy.  When they perform magic, they use the gifts of nature – herbs, crystals, rocks, plants, flowers, etc.  They respect and follow the phases of the moon.  They respect the four elements – air, water, fire, and earth.  Some add a fifth element – spirit – the universal life spirit that lives in all things.

They have a code – “An Ye Harm None – Do What Ye Will.”  What does this mean?  Some translate it to mean:  “if it is not going to hurt anyone, it’s okay to do.”.

The witches in this story are green witches.  I haven’t made up a “witch persona” and I’m not making up a mythical world that my witches inhabit.  They live in Kern County just like anyone else.  They live among us.  They are our friends and neighbors.”

When I first thought about writing Green Witch, Dead Witch, I was making the attributes of my witches as I went along.  (In fact, Lily Rose was NOT a witch, she was a fairy named Fiona who could unpack her wings and levitate on the spot).    Then, for over a year, I researched green witches.  Along the way, I decided to keep Clem Moonstone realistic and change Fiona into a witch just starting her first year of training.  Like a real witch would do.

I learned a lot during my research.  For instance, if you are familiar with the Law of Attraction, casting a spell is basically the same as invoking the Law of Attraction to bring something into your life.  Many real witches know this.  In fact, an excellent book on the subject is “Magick and the Law of Attraction: A User’s Guide” by Maggie Shayne.  It can be found at Amazon along with other books on the same subject.

Why am I explaining all of this?  One of my beloved beta readers was concerned that I was drifting off into the genre of “fantasy.”  Here’s what she said:

I think about your target audience being those that liked the first three books or at least they read likely one of them. The books, being a police mystery type book. So that being said, I am concerned that the ending is almost purely fantasy. What I mean is that since I was reading a true to life type mystery I expected to find a realistic type ending. (Cops save the day example) So even though it was great to understand what and how green witches live and learn etc. I thought that the ending of the book would be based in more realism instead of fantasy so that kind of seemed un-natural. I could, kind of, relate if the girl that was kidnapped thought that was true but…. All the cops believing the fantasy was real??  If your target audience were fantasy readers then they would love the ending you have.

The key word in her comment was “fantasy.”  I tried my darndest not to include any “fantasy” in my book.  I based it on real witches and experiences they had.  When I explained this to her, she understood what I was trying to accomplish.

I guess my point is that there are people who follow the path of witch and they are real, everyday people.  Whether you believe or not, they exist and they’re really caring women.  One of my reviews, which is in another blog post I wrote, said “This story is entirely about Magick – Green magick. The concept is put across very strong that witches do exist among us today and most of them are good witches. The idea is put across very subtly and nicely. In fact it makes you want to meet a green witch.”  (Review by Devi Nair).

So, there you have it.  If you read Green Witch, Dead Witch, I hope you enjoyed it.  If not, and I’ve piqued your curiosity, you can find it here:

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble

Happy reading!

Great Review for Green Witch, Dead Witch

Green Witch, Dead Witch by Renee Benzaim

Review by Devi Nair 

January 9, 2015

JPG Cover NEW 270 X 400 24 Dec 2014

This story is entirely about Magick – Green magick. The concept is put across very strong that witches do exist among us today and most of them are good witches. The idea is put across very subtly and nicely. In fact it makes you want to meet a green witch.

Witches are being killed and it all appears to be accidents. Only someone is suspicious that they are not accidents and witches are in fact being murdered. Detective Annie Avants is dealing with a personal crisis of her own. This case gives her a break from her crisis and she dives nose down into it. However, the murderer appears to be someone of Magick background. Will Annie be able to catch hold of the murderer? Or her lack of magick lead to the murderer going scott free?

Annie is not someone you instantly tend to like. She has all the features of a detective – fierce, independent, brave and at the same time, a bit too careful. Her thinking process is relatable, but there are times through the book when you feel like telling her it is OK to let go and live life spontaneously. And that makes Annie a human. Renee has done a good job creating a detective who is as much human as anyone of us. She is afraid of making mistake, just like any one us.

The book is really nice. I am looking forward to understanding the characters more by reading the previous parts of the series.

Available here:

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble

Green Witch, Dead Witch Available for Pre-Order

JPG Cover NEW 270 X 400 24 Dec 2014


Two women, one man, are dead. All three were solitary green witches who met from time-to-time to share rituals and festivals. Not a coven, just a group of like-minded individuals who preferred to practice their witchcraft alone.

The first two deaths appeared to be accidental, but the third death was an obvious murder. Each death occurred in a different area of Kern County – in different jurisdictions – which made it unlikely any connection would be made between the deaths.

The third body was found in an outlying area of Kern County, which put it in the jurisdiction of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. The detective team assigned to investigate this homicide consists of Lead Detective Annie Avants and her partner, Detective Tom Weston. As the initial investigation begins, they find nothing to make them suspect that this murder is connected to any other death in Kern County.

Clem Moonstone is a solitary green witch who owns a metaphysical shop in Bakersfield. She and Annie Avants have been friends for many years. When Annie and Tom attend the funeral of the victim whose death they are investigating, Annie is surprised to see Clem there. Clem explains to Annie that the young woman whose funeral they are attending is the third person in her circle of friends to die during the past few months.

Annie’s gut instinct tells her to look into the previous two deaths. Clem gives her the names of the other two people and the locations where their bodies were found. After Annie obtains the files and begins to research their deaths, she comes to the chilling conclusion that the first two deaths may not have been so “accidental” and that all three victims may have died at the hands of a serial killer.

It appears someone is killing the witches of Bakersfield

This fourth book in the Detective Annie Avants series can now be pre-ordered at all Amazon platforms as well as iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.  To see a preview of the first 20% of the story, go to  SmashWords Preview

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble