Tuesday, April 20, 2021




When Californians start getting sick with flu-like symptoms, traumatized engineer Jake Bendel is once again forced to work with the FBI to discover the cause. With his new desalination plants behind schedule and searing pressure from the California Governor, Jake uncovers a secret network of vengeful terrorists planning catastrophic genetic modifications.

But before Jake can find a way to cure the masses, he himself is injected with the virus, forcing him to dig deep to track down the leader of the terrorist group. Using strength from recent losses in order to save the lives of millions, Jake overcomes drone strikes and bunker bombs to discover the mastermind behind the plot, but not until the very end does he realize he’s been chasing someone who can’t possibly be caught.

“The breakneck pace will surely thrill and delight many.” — Sarasota Magazine

“Bennecke was able to create a suspenseful story that was driven by an action-packed plot. The book pulled me in and left me eager for the next installment.” — OnlineBookClub.org

Book Details

Title: Waterborne: A Jake Bendel Thriller

Author: J Luke Bennecke

Genre: mystery/thriller/technology 

Publisher: Black Rose Writing (April 22, 2021)

Print length: 329 pages


A few of your favorite things: the smell of fresh gardinia flowers, the sound of a lonely chirping cricket at dusk, pepperoni/olive pizza, and cookie-dough ice cream.

Things you need to throw out:
tax returns from more than 3 years ago, an old pair of jogging shoes, and some well-worn drumsticks with nicks and abrasions.

Things you need in order to write: a computer, peace and quiet, complete lack of stress and a creative mood to “get in the zone.”

Things that hamper your writing: noises, stress, a vibrating cell phone (I have ADHD, so it’s challenging to concentrate with distractions).

Things you love about writing: the creative process, the magic of storytelling, and how I become a conduit for my characters and their voices.

Things you hate about writing: nothing. I dislike having to delete entire sections of work I’ve written in order to keep a proper pace and plot arc, but I don’t really hate anything.

Easiest thing about being a writer: typing (I took typing class in seventh grade . . . four months of whacking away on a manual typewriter . . . then word processors were invented!)

Hardest thing about being a writer: learning the ins and outs of the publishing industry.

Things you love about where you live: the view of the desert and mountains, fresh snow a couple times a year, and swimming in my pool.
Things that make you want to move: the heat can get pretty bad in the summer months.

Things you never want to run out of: after going through the COVID-19 shortages last year, toilet paper! And, of course, peanut butter, clean underwear, and cat food.
Things you wish you’d never bought: A GMC truck in 1996 . . . everything that could’ve broken down did break down, especially the 50k-mile-warrantied transmission at 51k miles.

Favorite foods: pizza, ice cream, tacos.
Things that make you want to throw up: pickled beets, menudo, red wine.

Favorite song: this changes every few months, but right now it’s a song by a band named Cannons called “Baby.”
Music that make your ears bleed: anything country western. I must have been abused by a cowboy as a child but repressed the memory.

Favorite beverage: my home-made fruit protein smoothies.

Something that gives you a pickle face: buttermilk.

Favorite smell: perfume on my favorite wife.

Something that makes you hold your nose: vomit or feces.

Something you’re really good at: kicking footballs or soccer balls, doing character voices, flying small airplanes.

Something you’re really bad at: singing.

Something you wish you could do: play the drums like a pro.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: twirl my pen in my hand when I’m nervous.

Something you like to do: travel with my wife.
Something you wish you’d never done: played football in high school. I endured multiple injuries that still haunt me to this day.

Last best thing you ate: strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream.

Last thing you regret eating: a chocolate donut.

Things you’d walk a mile for: a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: a zombie army led by Dracula.

Things you always put in your books: a splash of humor.

Things you never put in your books: death of a dog.

Things to say to an author: Your book really resonated with me, and I cried when I read the chapter when . . .
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You pace your novels the same way my grandmother walked her cat.

Favorite places you’ve been: Rome, Paris, London, New York.

Places you never want to go to again: a heavy metal concert.

Favorite things to do: watch It’s A Wonderful Life with my brother every year at Thanksgiving, collect coins, take walks with my wife, share memories/stories with my daughters, pet a purring kitty, take a nap on Saturday afternoon after a hot round of golf, fly my drone in FPV mode, sit in a steaming hot jacuzzi tub, and every time I start reading a new thriller.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: washing dishes, cleaning toilets, paying higher taxes.

Things that make you happy: winning a new engineering contract, watching the stock market rise, taking a deep breath, and waking up next to my beautiful wife every morning.

Things that drive you crazy: getting 2nd place on a proposal for an engineering contract, watching the stock market go down, and traveling without my wife.

Proudest moment: tie between holding each of my two daughters after they were born and hugging my grandmother after getting my MBA.

Most embarrassing moment: not paying attention one day in high school—staring at the cheerleaders practicing—I walked into a basketball pole.

Best thing you’ve ever done: finish college.

Biggest mistake: having kids so young.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: flew a Cessna 172 solo into a storm with only 15 hours of experience—while practicing stalls, going into a spin, but miraculously coming out of it.

Something you chickened out from doing: applying for a PhD program.

The last thing you did for the first time: got a COVID-19 vaccination shot.

Something you’ll never do again: get raging drunk at a party.



J. Luke Bennecke is a native Californian and veteran civil engineer. His first book, Civil Terror: Gridlock, became an Amazon Bestseller. Bennecke currently resides in Southern California with his wife of 30 years, whom he enjoys traveling with, and three spunky cats. Waterborne is his second novel. 


Connect with J. Luke:
  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:

Publisher Site  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

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