Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Betrayal at the Border by Mark M. Bello - Book Tour + Giveaway

Betrayal at the Border

by Mark M. Bello


GENRE:   Legal/Political 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?



The Gonzalez children were both born in Lincoln Park. The city was a part of the Downriver Community, southwest of Detroit. Their little three-bedroom bungalow was the only home they had ever known. In a city of approximately 37,000, only 20% were of Latino descent, nearly a 50% increase since 2010.

Emma and Emilio’s parents, Mary Carmen and Miguel Gonzalez, immigrated to Lincoln Park in 2011 when Mary Carmen was pregnant with Emma. Papa found a job, mixing compounds at an adhesive and filler plant in nearby Riverview. Emma was born soon after her parents moved into the house. Two years later, her little brother was born.

When they were old enough to be placed in daycare, Mama secured a job at the same filler plant as her father. The two siblings depended on each other. They were attached at the hip until Emma was old enough to go to Kindergarten. It was a very traumatic time for Emilio. He started behaving as if his sister died.

Emma promised to play with him after school, but Emilio carried on to the point where Emma pushed back and refused to go to school. Promises of candy and ice cream after Mama got home from work finally persuaded both children to go separate ways. As time went on, they adapted to the new routine.

Two years later, Emilio started Kindergarten, and all was forgotten—the siblings were reunited at Raupp Elementary School. Both children spoke fluent Spanish and English and did well in school. The children were now entering fourth and second grade, respectively, and thriving. 

The Gonzalez children made friends easily and were well-liked in the school. Emma and Emilio were Americans. Although Mama taught them Venezuelan games and customs and tried to convey a sense of their Latino heritage, the kids had experienced life in no other country but America. They spoke fluent English, celebrated the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, and proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Emma collected dolls while Emilio collected baseball cards—he worshipped Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and treasured his 2012 Cabrera Triple Crown card. Emma and Emilio did everything other American children did. 

Their parents were determined to raise them in America, with American values and an American education. They dreamt of a better life, with higher education and, perhaps, affluence for their children. But these dreams were clouded by a secret reality—the Gonzalez family, as ‘American’ as they appeared, protected an important family secret, far more important than the Frozen game. This one could derail all of their dreams.

Emma and Emilio were taught to be careful and quiet, even though they didn’t understand why this was a big deal. But they knew Mama and Papa feared their secret would one day be discovered. Their parents’ fear was so intense; Emma and Emilio were frightened too. 

Emma was conflicted. Mama once taught her that telling and keeping secrets was bad. She shouldn’t tease her little brother by telling him she knew something he didn’t know. She shouldn’t keep things from her friends, and, most of all, she shouldn’t keep any secrets from Mama and Papa. So, why was this secret okay?

Mama carefully explained the delicate situation to her children: She and Miguel came into the country legally but stayed longer than they were welcome. As a result, Mama and Papa were not citizens and did not have the protection some of their friends’ parents had. They could be picked up by the police at any time, put in jail, and even sent back to Venezuela, where conditions were terrible, especially for people who ran away and were later returned by government mandate. It didn’t matter if their minor children were citizens. If the family secret were discovered, her mother decried, it could mean hasta la vista, forever.

The threat of permanent separation from her parents terrified Emma. A secret preventing her from losing them, perhaps forever, was one worth keeping. Emilio was too young to understand, but Emma made him pinky swear to silence.  


Author Interview

1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
I cannot stop taking sides. My novels feature David and Goliath struggles, much like real trial lawyers face every day, in courtrooms all over this country. I tend to side with the trial lawyers, naturally. I would hardly consider my writing “balanced,” but it is “fair.”

2. If you could tell your younger writing self, anything, what would it be?
Don’t assume that just because you’ve written quality, award-winning novels, people will run out and buy them in droves once the word spreads. Sometimes, the word never spreads. Write for the pure enjoyment of writing.

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Second question first: I’m uncomfortable naming names, but it bothers me that once an author becomes “famous” he or she can write schlock and still sell books. There are many authors who have the talent to write extremely well but consistently choose not to do so.

As for my “under-appreciated novel,” that would be Pudd’nhead Wilson, perhaps the least known Mark Twain novel, a stunning portrayal of the human experience and an early example of racism, mixed race issues, and slavery in America’s early days.

4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
Learning to read was thrilling. I was my parents’ second child, so being able to do anything my brother could already do was very cool. After “See Spot. See Spot run” and all that, my favorite childhood memories were Dr Suess books. I love stories in rhyme and that is the format of my upcoming children’s safety/social justice series

5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Atticus Finch is my favorite literary hero of all time (Gabriel Allon is second). Atticus took on a racist culture—an entire society of white privilege. He risked his career and livelihood, indeed his own life and the life of his daughter, to do what was right and just. He inspired me to become a lawyer.

6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
I’d love to live in a world where people lived together in harmony and where community, good, truth and justice prevailed over evil, falsehoods, division, and injustice. Given what is going on in America today, this is truly a fantastical fictional world, but one we can aspire to.

7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
No, first, I wanted to be a baseball player. Then, I wanted to be a doctor, then a lawyer. It wasn’t until I came to the end of my legal career that I decided to write. I am truly enjoying myself.

8. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Driven, Compassionate, Friend

9. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
I don’t have a “quirk.” The only thing I can think of is that I can often write days at a time or nothing at all. Fits and spurts are the only things I can think of.

10. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
Casablanca. “Readers . . . This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship . . .”

11. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
I need more information about hygiene, toilet training, safety, and such.

Mr Ed, the talking horse, would be cool.

12. Have you ever met anyone famous?
I met several athletes over the years. I had the chance to chat with Al Kaline, Detroit Tiger Hall of Famer, on an airplane, a few months before his death. I also once ran into OJ Simpson and his buddy Al Cowlings (the bronco driver) at a pancake house in Detroit. We had a long chat—this was long before he was accused of murdering his wife. He was very nice (at the time). Who would have thought?

The question you didn’t ask: Who would I have liked to meet? Barack Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or Barbra Streisand in that order


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.










Mark M. Bello will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


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