Friday, December 10, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Betrayal at the Border (A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #7) by Mark M. Bello

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Betrayal at the Border by Mark M. Bello. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as an insightful guest post about immigration from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Betrayal at the Border
Series: A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #7
Author: Mark M. Bello
Publisher: 8Grand Publications
Publication Date: October 11th 2021
Print Length: 334 pages
Genre: Contemporary Legal Thriller
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?

As Emma got older, she noticed things that provided a better understanding of her parents’ fear. After dinner, her parents often watched the evening news. Emma witnessed people protesting at the southern border to Mexico and heard phrases like ‘send them back’ and ‘build the wall.’ Video footage of arrests, family separations, and kids in cages was heartbreaking. Emma was a free American like her friends and neighbors, but she would never be free of worry that her parents might be captured. Mainstream media considered families like hers ‘undocumented.’ Over time, Emma understood the reason why her parents broke the rules and kept the family secret. Because Miguel and Mary Carmen were undocumented, they couldn’t travel, not even across the northern border into Canada from Detroit, so they never took vacations. Emma and her family never went anywhere.

While Emma understood, she was still slightly conflicted. She learned about crime in school. People who did bad things went to jail. It was ‘illegal’ to steal, to hurt someone, and to drink and drive. Mama and Papa didn’t do any of those things. They obeyed every American rule. They were decent people, good neighbors, and solid citizens. How could they be criminals?

Mama and Papa’s citizenship status was not a subject of conversation in the community. Few people knew they were undocumented because while some people embraced immigrants, others tried to make their lives difficult. Landlords were encouraged not to rent to ‘foreigners,’ and employers were encouraged not to hire them. Some communities attempted to block immigrant access to jobs, housing, education, and healthcare, a coordinated strategy to prevent large numbers from moving into those communities or neighborhoods. Citizens didn’t want ‘brown people’ swooping in and taking their jobs. Other communities embraced immigration and thrived because hard-working immigrants started businesses, worked for other citizens or independently, provided childcare service, housekeeping, or odd repair jobs.

One evening, after dinner, the newsman said President Golding was considering a series of raids on immigrants in targeted areas around the country. One of the areas mentioned was Detroit. Golding said it was time to ‘deport the undocumented in fairness to those who enter our country legally and obey our laws.’ Did those people complain or something? Emma pondered.

“Mama, what does ‘deport’ mean?” Emma asked inquisitively after the newscast ended.

“It means people who are here without proper papers might get sent back to the country they came from, hija,” Mary Carmen advised.

“What does ice have to do with it?” Emma glanced at the refrigerator.

“Pardon me?”

“They talked about ice on television.”

Mary Carmen looked at the refrigerator and smiled. “They weren’t talking about ice from the fridge, hija; they were talking about immigration policemen. ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I—C—E. Get it?”

“What does this ICE do?”

“They find people who are here without proper papers. If people can’t prove they are citizens or have a right to be citizens, they get sent back to the country they came from.”

“Can that happen to you and Papa? Do you have these proper papers? Are you and Papa criminals, Mama?”

“That’s a difficult question to answer. Papa and I came to this country a long time ago. We arrived legally and followed all of the rules, but our papers expired before we could become citizens. We were supposed to go back to Venezuela, but you were just a baby, and it was dangerous back home. Here in America, Papa had a good job; we had a nice home, and lots of friends and relatives in the area. We couldn’t possibly go back to the old country.

“We decided to stay and try to work out our paper problem later. As the years went by, the government made it more difficult for us to become citizens. We were caught in a trap. We weren’t supposed to stay, but we couldn’t go back, either.”

“What are you going to do? The newsman on television says ICE is coming to Detroit.”

“I don’t know, sweetheart. Papa says everything will be okay. Maybe they won’t come to Lincoln Park. Maybe they will only come to Detroit. All we can do is hope and pray.”

“From now on, I’ll say a special prayer at bedtime, Mama.”

“Oh, Emma, thank you! That makes me feel so much better. I’m positive God will listen to you. You are my special little girl!”

Emma almost burst with pride. She would pray extra hard tonight. Mama and Papa were counting on her.
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.

The immigration crisis—
Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free

by Mark M. Bello

When America decided to place Emma Lazarus’s words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” at the base of the Statue of Liberty, our leaders did not discriminate. They did not consider exceptions. No one suggested a Muslim ban or a limit on Latino immigration at our southern border. Why? Because most immigrants came to this country to pursue a better life – to escape war, poverty, and/or religious persecution. And when they cross, most plan to stay and obey our laws. They seek legal status, citizenship, and the full rights and freedoms that all Americans enjoy.

These days, our country is far less warm and welcoming, even to people who have lived here for decades. Despite working hard, paying taxes, and contributing to their community, many immigrants are being denied basic human rights and a growing number with no criminal background are being deported.

Three simple steps would help solve the current crisis, but our current leaders must be willing ignore the divisive politics and do the right thing:

1. Continue DACA and change it from a policy to a law. DACA is a program that protects hundreds of thousands of children who were brought into this country as very young children. While they’ve done nothing wrong, and contribute to our society, they remain under constant threat of deportation. It is high time we find a path to citizenship for these so-called dreamers.

2. Enforce our existing laws. The best way to resolve undocumented immigration is to give people hope of citizenship. Provide opportunities for legal migration. It is not “illegal” to seek asylum. Build bridges instead of walls. Create more work visas for American industries that have a shortage of workers.

3. Consider the circumstances immigrants are running from and act with compassion. A welcoming immigration policy creates greater transparency, fills currently open positions, and reduces criminality associated with border crossings. This boosts our economic growth, as new immigrants tend to take jobs that citizens don’t want. Many untruths are told about the job market, but there is little evidence to suggest that immigration affects American employment or unemployment levels. We, the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of immigrants, must be more warm, welcoming, and understanding about the plight of those who come from so far away to make it to America.

Immigration has enriched the U.S. culturally and socially. Their contributions have helped make the U.S. the vibrant country it is today. Our diversity makes America unique and is a source of our fundamental strength and long-term prospects. Yet, our immigration system is broken; laws are rigid and outdated; we need an overhaul.

This is America. We are better than this. I firmly believe that. American greatness is achieved when our citizens welcome people to our shores, not when we turn our backs on them. A helping hand, an immigration process that recognizes the hardships and contributions of people coming to the United States, is what is needed We must offer a clear path for those seeking citizenship, and an immigration policy that recognizes that the very definition of America requires us to welcome people from other places and other cultures. Our distinctive identity and character are built on these concepts. The surest sign that the American dream has ended would be a policy that slams our doors in the faces of newly arriving immigrants.

It is time for Congress and the president to come together to repair our outdated and broken immigration policies. My latest Zachary Blake legal thriller, Betrayal at the Border, is a dramatic, harrowing account of the challenges faced by immigrants desperately trying to navigate a dysfunctional and dangerous immigration system. I hope people will read the novel and embrace its intent, even if they don’t agree with my proposed solutions. My words are not enough—readers must find their own sense of empowerment to assist our immigrants and lead America to a better tomorrow.
Mark M. Bello will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions assumes all responsibility with this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. thanks for hosting, and congrats on the release

  2. Are you currently working on another book?

  3. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  4. looks like a good one

  5. I love a good legal thriller. Good work

  6. Congrats on your recent release of Betrayal at the Border, Mark, I enjoyed the guest post, excerpt and following the tour and learning about your book, which sounds like an intriguing read that my dad would enjoy! Good luck with your book and I hope the tour was a success! Thanks for brining it to my attention and have a magical holiday season!

  7. Congrats on the book!

  8. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

  9. It's a legal thriller - yes!
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  10. Sounds like a very interesting book especially with being in the news so often.

  11. In the About the Author section, it states that you enjoy traveling. Do you have a favorite city that you have visited?

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  12. Seems like an interesting story that would be nice to read. Thank you for the introduction.

  13. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest.