My Books

New Release
Book 4 – Cry Baby Cry

Even if gender identity was a choice, no one has a right to force you to choose. Now, if only reporter Jo Sullivan can teach Lily’s father that lesson before someone dies.





Book 1 – Painted Black

Self-E-logoJo Sullivan and graffiti artist CRY search for a missing street kid and unearth murder, corporate greed, and a bizarre collection of freeze-dried corpses.


Book 2 – Bend Me, Shape Me

Snow Ramirez is convinced psychiatrist Mordechai Levinson is responsible for one kid’s suicide, and may be targeting her brother Alley as his next victim.


Book 3 – Box of Rain

Self-E-logoWhen the severed head of a gang banger is found in a dumpster, Jo must figure out why the evidence seems to point to the one kid least likely to have committed the crime.



Praise for Box of Rain

This quick-paced, sometimes dark, but ultimately good-hearted novel aims for light entertainment with a straightforward message, not unlike the spirited Chicago detective novels of Sarah Paretsky. – Chicago Book Review

“Borys did an excellent job of leading the reader down false paths, painting a suspicious picture of almost everyone, and yet creating an ending that would shock even the most die-hard murder mystery fan.” —Windy City Reviews

4-starsBox of Rain is an important story for us to read. It’s an inside view of life unfolding in the shadows of our world, providing a new perspective about the challenges good people face trying to survive and live in spite of the circumstances they were born into.” —M. J. Joachim

“A4-stars fast paced murder mystery. I loved the setting in Chicago, the descriptive details are very accurate. I liked Booker, he was a determined young man, determined to make something good out of his life, despite his horrible upbringing. The plot was very good and original, I like that in a book. Overall I feel that those who love murder/mystery will enjoy Box of Rain.” — Sheri Wilkinson for Juniper Grove

4-stars“The pacing is excellent. There are surprises around every corner…Mystery lovers are certain to find Box of Rain to be a gripping story, not only filled with excitement, but one which deals with some very real current issues.” –Cyclamen at Long & Short Reviews

5-stars“Who is the killer? Do Booker T and Shorty survive to see another day? I wondered almost to the end. The characters are very real, the pace is good, and the suspense is great. Ms. Borys tells a wonderful story while teaching us about life in the Chicago projects.” –Dayna Leigh Cheser at Reviews by Dayna

 Praise for Bend Me, Shape Me

“I was immediately drawn into the story by Debra Borys’ deft handling of the drama and the raw, gritty dialogue. She’s got a knack for capturing the futility of life as revealed in the characters struggling with their own demons and hardships” — 5-STARS by author Jeffrey Miller

“This was a fantastic follow up to the first ‘Street Stories’ book, Painted Black. This was a rollercoaster of a book both with regards to the action and emotionally.” — 5-STARS at Wistfulskimmies Reviews

“This story is another heart wrenching look into the life of kids on the street. I was immediately drawn into Snow’s story and the book didn’t let go until the end.” —5-STARS at Jenn’s Review Blog

“The author also brings a high degree of craft to the elements that make the story an experience you can see, hear, and smell; she has a talent for both descriptive language and dialogue. The conversations between characters, in particular, ring true. If you want your street people to speak a polite, formal language, look elsewhere.” —4.25-STARS at IndieHeart

“There are many books that try to delve into the darker areas of life on the streets, yet at best can only come across as somewhat believable; Borys is quite the master at not only creating believable environments, but thrilling tales. – 4-STARS by Darian Wilk

Snow is strong, brave, troubled and incredibly fierce. Watching her open up and trust was profound. Jo Sullivan is a reporter plagued by the conditions of the homeless children on the streets. 4-STARS at Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Praise for Painted Black

“I would not hesitate in recommending this well-written, fast-paced novel to readers who enjoy character-driven novels that aren’t afraid of taking a (large!) step across to the dark side. This is a promising start to what I hope will become a solid mystery-suspense series.” —Nicola Foster at My Good Bookshelf

“This is a fantastic novel full of suspense and intrigue. Each character comes to life in these pages making it almost impossible to put it down for even a moment as you wonder what is going to happen to Chris and Jo. I think the author has come across an interesting setting for an entire series of novels featuring Jo.” —Angie Mangino at Reflections of a BookWorm

“Whilst on the one hand highlighting the fate these teenagers have to face, it was also a good mystery at its heart. Jo and Chris are damaged in their own ways and must put aside their mistrust of each other to work together. It is a gripping story. A real page turner but also very sad. The characters were true to life and leapt out of the page at me, at times their pain was tangible.” —Kim Tomsett-Fowler at Wistfulskimmie’s Book Reviews

“Painted Black is about the young faces we see on the streets, covered in dirt, wearing worn out clothes, shrouded in looks of hate, pride, and fear…. There isn’t a part of this book you don’t feel, it reaches into your core…. There are many enjoyable books out there, but there aren’t many that make you feel, make you think, make you sit back and contemplate the uglier side of life we try so hard to ignore its existence.  This was a very well written book on all accounts.” —Darian Wilk, author of Love Unfinished and Reinventing Claire

“This is a crime/suspense/mystery kind of book, but at the forefront are all the characters that Debra R Borys portrays so well. This was one of those books where you start reading and before you can even blink you are almost done with it. I was so caught up with the characters of this book……Painted Black was a great story and I am glad I got a chance to read it!” —Danielle at The To Be Read Pile

“Painted Black takes place on the gritty streets of Chicago. Midst the pervading misery that often defines the homeless community, something even darker is stirring…. The characters come across as real, and the at times disturbing reality of the way she portrays the lives of the homeless lend the entire book a visceral feel…. Knowing that the portrayal is accurate only lends weight to it. There is also an underlying message of hope, as well.” —Connor Rickett, Cities of the Mind

“Borys depicts the street life and struggles in an engaging, interesting way that draws you in and helps give a little perspective into the lives of the homeless. Maybe the next time you see someone huddled in a door frame or sleeping on a park bench, they won’t be quite so invisible.” —Norelle Done, Seattle Wrote

“One of the most unique mysteries I’ve read in a long time. From drugs, hustling, and child abuse to the seedy and disgusting desires of a strange and twisted man this story keeps you reading from page one to the last word. Dark, gritty and suspenseful this is a seat of your pants ride that you won’t soon forget.” —Jenn’s Review Blog

“Painted Black has a Silence of the Lamb’s feeling about it…..there’s something dark and ominous going on here.….  Fiction can be a great vehicle for exposing the darker side of the human experience in ways that are both important and meaningful and I think that Painted Black fits into this category.” —Quinn Barrett, Wise Bear Books