Monday, May 22, 2017

#Excerpt: Epic Fantasy ASSASSIN'S CURSE


The Prophecy of the Witch Stone

From the line of power twice born
To the power born twice
Shall arise the seekers of the Stone.

Look for the sign of the witch in two joined
For they shall be the saviors
Who shall grasp the power from darkness
And bring it into the light
For when the flower blossoms
Then will be the time

For their powers shall be twined within a single aspect
And stand balanced on the sword’s edge of good and evil.
False guidance shall lead to the path of doom
And will spell destruction of all
That they were brought about to save.

PROLOGUE:
The boy stood in the middle of the room staring blankly at the wall.
Choose well was all he remembered.
The room was about sixty paces long and probably half as wide.  It was two stories’ high with numerous oil lamps set along the upper walls that provided more than adequate lighting for the entire room.  A balcony ran along three of the four walls and provided a means to observe any event happening below.  There was one door leading in and out of the room, but it was blocked by a large, well-muscled man dressed completely in black.  His eyes were deadpan, like those of a cold-blooded killer. 
The air was relatively cool, but the young boy felt a drip of sweat run down his back.  He tried to hide his nervousness beneath a façade of serenity while staring at the wall, but he could feel the butterflies roiling in his stomach, threatening to unman him.
The wall the boy stared at contained all conceivable manner of weapons, from short throwing knives to elegantly curved swords to long-handled halberds with wickedly curved barbs and spikes.  The boy had to choose something soon or forfeit his chance to test again for another year.  He would not let this opportunity pass, because this was the day he had trained long and hard for, the day he had anticipated for the last three years, and the day when he would finally prove himself worthy.  Today he would test to become an apprentice in the guild of assassins.
The rules of the test were simple: choose your weapon and fight.  Any novice who aspired to test for apprenticeship had twenty short minutes to fight and draw blood from their opponent.  Whatever weapon a novice chose to test with would be the school in which they would be apprenticed if they passed.  There were five schools: Sword, Knife, Axe, Staff, and Bow.  The tests were short, brutal, and bloody, designed to ensure that no one advanced who did not rightly deserve to.  Their opponents were fully trained brothers of the guild who gave no quarter or latitude to the would-be contenders.  Many tested for the honor, but few passed their first time, and some even lost their lives in the attempt. 
Jeda had decided many months ago to choose a pair of fighting knives as his weapon of choice.  He was good with knives, both in hand-to-hand combat and throwing, and liked the way they felt perfectly balanced in his hands.  He had been steadfast in his weapon of choice until the moment he entered the room and saw Brother Mave waiting for him.  A slight grimace passed over his face, but he quickly composed himself.  The last thing he wanted was for Mave to see he was scared.  Mave was dressed in the traditional, assassin color of black, but also wore a distinguishable symbol of red, crossed swords on the bandana holding back his hair.  That symbol marked him as a preeminent sword expert within the guild, second only to the masters in the School of Swords.  Knives were excellent, close-in fighting weapons, but Jeda was not good enough with them to draw blood from a sword expert like Mave.  Now he stood immobilized, staring at the weapons wall, furiously trying to think of what he should do next.  He knew he would have to choose wisely if he was to survive this day. 
Damn, of all the brothers in this guild, how could I be so lucky as to get Mave? Jeda thought sarcastically.  He stepped forward and reached for the weapon he thought he would have the most luck with.
No sense in changing now.
***
Mave saw the boy look his way and inwardly smiled.  He knew the boy was scared, and rightly so.  It was not chance that brought him here today, but a carefully orchestrated scheme to make sure he tested the boy.  He felt Jeda was no more than a third-year upstart who did not deserve the opportunity to test for apprenticeship.  Most novices trained for five or six years before petitioning to test.  Mave was going to make sure that the boy did not pass.  That was as it should be, for it was Mave who had brought Jeda to the guild in the first place.  He should be the one to put the boy in his place and teach him humility.
Jeda finally reached up and took a pair of fighting knives off the wall.
Mave shook his head at the boy’s choice.  I knew it.  The boy may know how to fight, but he knows nothing of winning.
“Begin,” said the dispassionate voice of the master-in-attendance judging the test.
Mave strode forward, closing the distance and eliminating the only advantage knives would give the boy.  Without the distance to throw them, they were completely useless against swords. 
The boy stood stock-still, visibly trembling as Mave approached.  His frozen fear was pathetic and almost embarrassing.  Mave would cut him slightly with his first blade and knock him out with the handle of his second, putting a quick end to this charade of a test.  Twirling his swords in a deadly dance, Mave felt no sympathy for the boy.  Today’s failure would set Jeda back at least a year and give him more time to learn proper respect and modesty, traits Mave felt he was sorely lacking. 
The young fool doesn’t know what he’s in for.   
As Mave swung the first blade to catch the boy across the cheek, something unexpected happened.  Jeda dove forward, under the first blade, and whipped one of his knives at Mave’s exposed side.  Mave deflected the throw with his second sword.  If he had not been such an excellent swordsman, the throw would have a scored a hit.
Maybe not quite the fool I took him for.  Mave spun around swinging the sword in a deadly arc to face the boy as Jeda jumped to his feet.  The swing cut the boy high on the arm and he cried out in shock and pain.  The cut was deep and bleeding heavily, rendering the arm useless.  The boy went down on one knee, but Mave moved cautiously forward.  He would not be caught off-guard a second time by the boy’s cleverness.  When Mave came within a sword’s reach of him, the boy jumped forward into a diving roll and threw his second, remaining knife.  Mave anticipated the move and easily deflected the throw, shaking his head at the boy’s stupidity in throwing away his last means of defense.  As he turned to face Jeda, he realized his mistake.  He felt a blade slice through his trousers, burning and drawing a bright-crimson line along his leg.  Jeda had used the second throw to distract Mave from his true objective: the first blade that Mave had deflected.  The boy had used his diving roll to reach that first blade, left forgotten on the floor.  
How did he get that knife so quickly and throw it so precisely? Mave wondered, looking down at his bleeding leg.     
“Enough.  Blood has been drawn by Novice Jeda,” said the master’s voice from the balcony.  “He is elevated to the rank of apprentice.”
Mave studied Jeda with a smoldering anger.  He was a good fifteen feet away and was wobbling on his feet from loss of blood.  It didn’t seem possible that he could have thrown that knife in his condition.  Mave knew the boy must have somehow cheated. 
This is not over; no one makes a fool of me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book blurb:
 When elite assassin Jeda received his assignment to kill a witch and deliver her twin daughters to the Countess of Berkshire, he had no idea it would be his last. The witch stuns him with an elemental blast, but not before he's able to throw his knife. When Jeda regains consciousness, the dying witch is performing a compelling spell between him and her twin daughters .
 

Now bonded to the girls, Jeda's old life is forfeit. His only thought is to take the girls and run as far away as he can. He has no idea that the twins are the ones spoken of in the long-lost prophecy of The Witch Stone. Forces are gathering: the white witches want to teach them; the Countess wants her grandchildren back, and the guild has sent their best assassin to bring Jeda back, dead or alive.

Jeda must use all of his assassin skills to stay one step ahead of them all, but will it be enough to save himself and keep the children of prophecy alive?


Amazon link: 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

SALE: .99 MOUNTAIN LAUREL by USA Today bestselling author Donna Fasano


Blurb:

So what if Laurel Morgan hasn't had a date in years? Her dysfunctional family makes creating a private life next to impossible. But if all it will take to convince her teenage sister to turn her life around is to go on a few dates and have some fun, it’s a bet she can beat. And before she can change her mind, rugged forest ranger Michael Walker agrees to play the part of her ardent admirer.

Laurel is stunned by Michael's convincing acting abilities. Whenever her sister’s watching, Laurel finds herself wrapped in a heady embrace with a passionate kiss on the way. Her captivating cohort promises a performance that will win her the wager, but when the curtain closes, will she lose the only man she will ever love?

“…perfect, page-turning romance.” ~eBookLuver

Buy Links:On SALE until May 23, 2017. Grab a copy before the price goes back up!









Author Bio:

Donna Fasano is a bestselling, award-winning author whose books have sold over 4 million copies worldwide. She is the recipient of a Cataromance Reviewer's Choice Award as well as a three-time winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion. If you enjoy the writing styles of Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Freethy, and RaeAnne Thayne, you will enjoy Donna Fasano’s upbeat and romantic stories.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Interview with Brit Constantine, THE TEMPEST


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
The Tempest is a contemporary romance novel of love, comedy and treachery. It tells the story of Felicity Saint James, a wild-hearted blogger, who locks horns with Lenic Reevus, a hot-headed bare-knuckle boxer with an iron heart.

When Felicity uploads a private video of him to her one-million-subscribers channel, he nearly breaks down her studio door in anger. Only, she’s in the middle of a live streaming event! She doesn’t tell him. She doesn’t switch off the camera, secretly playing to her audience. As love blossoms between the two, Felicity uncovers the secret Lenic is keeping. A dark secret that will, ultimately, tear them apart.

In the future, I plan to feature several of the loveable minor characters from The Tempest in their own steamy and humorous novellas.

Do you have a favorite character?
Most definitely. Lenic Reevus is my baby. He was the reason I wrote this romance tale in the first place. For me, lately, I just couldn’t fall in love with any heroes. Lenic isn’t a walking-STD player, and neither is he a manipulative billionaire. He’s loyal to a fault, and when he falls in love, he falls hard. His inner turmoil from the haunting guilt he carries almost breaks my heart. But when I think about Lenic Reevus, about the way he treats my heroine, about how much he loves her, and what he is willing to do for her, what he is willing to sacrifice, for her alone … I think I feel my heart smile just a little inside.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I’m an early bird and love writing before the world wakes up. It’s at that time when everyone is still dreaming, and the air is unmoving, that my imagination comes alive and my fingers fly across the keyboard, putting life into my characters and story.

I love listening to music when I’m writing poignant scenes to give me inspiration and set the mood. But there are times where I like silence. Like when my boyfriend nags at me to tidy up my mess in our London home. I wish for endless silence in those moments.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I’m a stickler for planning, a perfectionist of sorts. I need to know where the story ends before I begin. I’m one of those impatient anxious people who read spoilers before watching a film or reading a story. I couldn’t bear to invest my heart into something without a happy ever after. I like to think I was a psychic in a previous life and I just haven’t learnt to let go yet of not knowing the future.

But planning isn’t all robotic and rules and limits. My muse is the driving force, the spiritual mechanism that turns and spins and twists my wild ideas until they take shape and direction. Until it all clicks perfectly in place.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
The list is endless! OK, so I would say be honest with yourself. In traditional publishing, you would have someone highlighting the weak links in your story, but in self-publishing you’ve only got yourself.

And it’s hard, really hard, to throw away chapters you’ve spent a long time gruelling over. But get over it fast. And edit and edit until you want to murder the actual process of editing, until you want to hunt down the guy who invented it and torture him with endless editing. The beginning of my book was re-written at least three times! But in the end, all that hard-graft and effort was worth it in the end. I can’t imagine my story opening any differently. The way my hero and heroine meet for the first time is both humorous and original, making the first manuscript seem as entertaining as watching paint dry.

Truly, the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is to have faith in yourself and to never give up your dream. No matter what, just keep going. You’ll get there in the end.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
At the moment, not at all. Giselle from Xpresso Book Tours has been marvellous, and has taken the marketing reins from my hands while I plot my next book. Perhaps, once The Tempest is published, and I’m caught up in all the social-media madness, I might find it challenging. But I love a good challenge. And anyway, I’m a woman. We can do and experience multiple things at once, right? ;)

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
My biggest advice is to seek professional help — book an appointment with your therapist fast! OK, jokes aside, I mean get a graphic designer to create the book cover, and a professional to market your book. Go on book tours, get reviews, create a book buzz before you publish your book, and make it shine amongst the other thousands of books being launched monthly.

The Tempest was originally published in January 2017 under the title ‘Captain Dark’ with hardly any marketing. Once I’d hit the publish button on Amazon, it drowned in the endless sea of romance books being published daily. This was in no way a testament to the quality of my book. Self-publishing is bigger than ever, and thousands of authors are competing to be seen. Make sure your book is given a chance at least.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I’ve done ballet since I was six years old and will pirouette until the day I die.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
I have a cat who, I swear, hates me. She loves my boyfriend more than me, and he prefers dogs to cats. Chocolate and vanilla! I’m a girl who wants it all. Why not, eh? A good cup of hot English tea over coffee, for sure. Coffee makes me jittery and I can already talk for England! Talking over texting. I spend most of my life typing on my MacBook, so my poor fingers need a rest. Despite relishing the early morning, I love the night too. This is when I curl up with my boyfriend and cat — who hates me — on the sofa, and snuggle up with the ones I love.

What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m plotting my second contemporary romance novel about a sexy cocky alpha-male fire-fighter. Just like The Tempest, this one will have a shocking plot twist you’ll never see coming! In addition — back to the multiple-tasking ability — my muse is spinning out the first novella featuring Lenic Reevus’ best mate, Jack Cross. And I guess, I really should clean up my mess before my handsome patient boyfriend leaves me!

Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your lovely blog. It’s been wonderful! Luv, Brit!



Book details:
The Tempest
by Brit Constantine
Publication date: May 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:
They call him “The Tempest.”
England’s most feared heavyweight-boxing champion.
He despises the fame and glory, but it’s nothing compared to the hate he inflicts on himself. All he wants is to be left alone to live on his boat in misery.
When I line up for his autograph, it’s instant fireworks. But not the beautiful stars-shine-bright kind. He’s rude. Heartless. A ticking time bomb of rage.
Luckily, I’m not afraid to put a lit match to his fuse.
I upload a private video of him to my one-million-subscribers channel. The video goes viral.

The ex-Royal Marine nearly breaks down my studio door to flag me inappropriate…
…while I’m in the middle of a live streaming event.
I don’t tell him. I don’t switch off the camera. I keep recording, secretly playing to my audience. He should have checked if the camera was rolling, right?
It should be a shipwreck from the moment the storm hits.

It is.
And then … it isn’t.
Our attraction is painful, undeniable, and it’s like I am Eve and his lips are the apple, and damn if his tongue isn’t the snake.
I am the only girl who can put this broken man back together again.
But he knows the secret he is keeping will tear us apart. He knows it’ll force my hand to break ties with the only family I have left in the world.

But once The Tempest, the man with the iron heart, falls in love … he’ll crush anyone who dares to take me away from him.
I have no choice but to go down with his ship.
Hook, line, and goddamned sinker.

The Tempest is a contemporary romance story of love, comedy and treachery.
No cheating. No OW/OM. Standalone. HEA. 18+


Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:

Brit Constantine is a twenty-something author of The Tempest, her first published novel. Writing and ballet are the two things she lives for … next to cheesecake and firemen. When she’s not writing, or randomly bidding for useless items on the Web, she’s either earning bruises at her boyfriend’s mixed martial arts club or sipping on a perfect glass of Pimm’s with her girlfriends. She lives in London with her ever-growing collection of shoes. It’s a woman’s right to shoes.

Author links: 


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Interview with Emily Mims, EVERGREEN


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series? 
‘Evergreen’ is the third book in the Smoky Blue series.  Leilani has come to Tennessee in search of her birth father and a bone marrow transplant for her daughter.  She falls in love with Bradley Barstow, who longs for a traditional family of his own-the last thing she can ever give him.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all? 
Not exactly.  Since I write my plots ahead of time, the characters pretty much stay as they were first conceived.  However, I have had many minor characters cry out for, and get, their own stories.  In the Texas Hill Country series, Cathy and Beto, Christi and Tommy Joe, Russ and Angie, Emily and Jason, and Misty and Alex all started out as minor characters.  In the Smoky Blue series, Timberlynn and Sawyer and Caitlyn and Tanner appear first as supporting characters.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers? 
I have both a traditional agent and a traditional publisher.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel? 
It depends on which of my writing careers we’re talking about.  Back in the 1980’s, Candlelight bought my second book.  In 2012, Boroughs bought my first attempt to write for them.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher? 
They believed in me and my work.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence? 
I write between one and seven or eight in the evening, or until my brain gets tired.  I need silence to work.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you? 
I work from a detailed outline.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing? 
That’s the beauty of traditional publishing!  They provide expert editing of my work.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
 
Smashwords and Nook

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)? 
Facebook, Twitter, blog tours, and a lot of face-to-face talking up my work.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book? 
You might say that!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions? 
Making music.  I play piano, organ, dulcimer and ukulele and just got back from a 10 day ukulele cruise.

What’s next for you? 
My next book in the series, ‘Indigo’, is in the editing process.  I have four more books plotted and ready to write.

 
BLURB:

Thirty-year-old musician Leilani Mahuiki is in Tennessee to find Joe Barstow, the birth father whose bone marrow might save her daughter’s life. She finds Bradley, too, Joe’s adopted son. Against all odds, she and Bradley make wonderful music together, she on the ukulele, he on the banjo. And Bradley is everything else she’s ever wanted in a man.

Bradley wants her, too. But is that enough? He needs a family of his own. Having grown up an outsider, he’s always dreamt of something simple and old-fashioned. No entanglements. No complications. Just mom, dad, and the kids. Not something Leilani can ever offer. She already has the very complications and entanglements that he so desperately wants to avoid, and that are not going away any time soon. And yet, as he and Leilani pull out all the stops to save her daughter’s life, he knows Leilani is the only woman for him. The most beautiful music in the world can sometimes happen when disharmony resolves—and a lonely Tennessee winter can become a tropical paradise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author of thirty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time.  The mother of two sons and grandmother of six, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia.  She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands.   

She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them.  Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”

Website:
Facebook:
Twitter
@EmilyMimsAuthor





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Thursday, May 18, 2017

NEW Release: FAIRY BITE by Maria Schneider


Blurb:

Shunned and ridiculed ever since a fairy mistakenly bit her, Ally leaves her village knowing it's the only way her family can resume their normal lives and be respected. She heads to Wendal, hoping the shifters there won’t care about the little problems associated with the effects of a fairy bite.

Before she is even halfway there, she discovers that the fairies may not be finished ruining her life. If she wants to leave Birk, she’ll first have to contend with the little people, a very ornery gargoyle, more than one prince and, of all things, an enraged dragon.

Buy link:
Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Bite-Dragons-Wendal-Book-ebook/dp/B06XXMK7T9

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fairy-bite 

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy-bite-maria-schneider/1126243311

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fairy-bite/id1214750950?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Maria_Schneider_Fairy_Bite


All 3 books in the DRAGONS OF WENDAL series can be found here:


 
Author Bio:
I grew up in New Mexico where the desert environment inspired me to embellish the landscape with my imagination. After working in the computer industry for twelve years, I decided technology moved too slowly and again put my imagination to work, creating messes and then inventing characters to handle all the clean up. If only that worked on the dinner dishes!

I currently reside near Austin, Texas with my husband. My partners in crime are two cats, Leo and Junior. They can be found causing trouble any time of day or night!

For more information about Maria visit: www.BearMountainBooks.com

Find her on

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#Excerpt: LADY OF SHERWOOD by Molly Bilinski


Lady of Sherwood
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.
After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.
As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.
Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

EXCERPT:
Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.
“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.
“We are the only ones.”
Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”
“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”
“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.
“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”
“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”
“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.
“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”
“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”
“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.
“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.
“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.
It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

Author Bio:
Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend...and any five minutes she can find). When she's not writing or working, she's scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.


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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#Excerpt: THE DEVIL ORDERS TAKE OUT by Bill A. Briers


“I’m afraid you’re going to get it hard, Mr. Bolt.” Costanzo had that fatherly tone of this will hurt me more than you. “Did you ever stop to think that there’s only one way of being dead, but many ways of dying?”

Grayson felt something cold touch his spine, all the way down. “I don’t follow.”

“Take your man Stockard. He killed two of your beloved family members, wife and eldest son. Isn’t that right?”

A strangling tightness gripped Grayson’s throat. “That— that’s right.”

“Wouldn’t you say a part of you died too?”

“What’s your point?” Grayson’s voice erupted in suppressed panic.

“You don’t have to die to feel dead. I’m going to kill your other son. That’ll be your punishment.”

The blood drained from Grayson’s face. Just like that. Most people held the basic principle that no man should be punished for the deed of another. Costanzo was not one of them. Grayson would be cut right to the bone, and his son would be the sharpest knife Costanzo could use. Costanzo had spelled out the thought in invisible brushstrokes. It was there and Grayson had tried not to see it.


BLURB:

A tax attorney with integrity...a powerful mobster determined to bend his will...

Grayson Bolt isn't about to compromise his integrity to help a notorious crime boss escape the cross-hairs of the IRS. But there's a steep price to pay for defying The Man--Grayson's beloved wife and older son.

There's only one way for Grayson to prevent his younger son, Jim, an innocent golf prodigy, from also being taken out: play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. And what will Jim be forced to do when the woman he loves gets ensnarled in a web of betrayal and deceit?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bill grew up in California and went to Hollywood High School, then served in the Air Force as a combat cameraman.

After hiring on at Disney Studios as a film loader, he soon advanced and moved on to other film studios.

He earned a master’s degree in psychology. A big help when working with Trumpish Hollywood producers. You're fired!

During his more than twenty-five years in the movie business as a cameraman, film editor, and general manager, Bill worked on everything from the hilarious, The Love Bug, to the creepy, The Exorcist, to the far out, Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica.

Eight years ago, Bill switched from reading scripts to writing thriller/mysteries and driving racecars. After completing three award-winning novels, he signed with Black Opal Books. His first novel, The Devil Orders Takeout, is about a devoted father and husband who makes a deal with a real-life devil to protect his golf-prodigy son after his wife and older son are killed in a mysterious accident — and pays hell for it.

Bill’s second mystery, The Killer Who Hated Soup, is Book One in the 1950s The Killer Who series, and it launches this Summer. The Internet? Never heard of it. Smart phones? Who you kiddin’?

Energetic and eager to make his mark on what Time magazine called the next great boom town, Bucky Ontario leaves his daddy and little sister in Louisiana and rides a bus to Defiance, Oklahoma, a town not particularly adverse to murders, just the embarrassment of them when committed by high officials.

Book Two, The Killer who Wasn’t There, will be on bookshelves this fall.

Bill writes every day and golfs infrequently (that damn right knee!). His five children and eight grandchildren keep him busy going to birthday parties, and he never misses a one!

The Brier Patch is Bill’s wildly entertaining blog about his shameless early days in Hollywood. It’s on his website, billbrier.com, along with a contest linked to The Devil Orders Takeout, which will award the grand prizewinner $1,000.

Bill is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Bill’s USA Today revealing interview:

Bill’s website with blog: billbrier.com




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