Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Triage: A Thriller (Shell Series)

Jack Reacher…

Leonid McGill…

John Rain…

Now a new brand of tough guy…

There is serious trouble brewing on the cracked streets of Newark, New Jersey, and Shell, a former killer-for-hire, finds himself at the deep center of it all. Nevada, a past love interest, has gone missing from a seedy motel, leaving behind nothing but an impression in the wet spot on the bathroom sink counter consistent with the shape of a laptop, a haphazardly parked SUV in the lot, and blood splatter on the pillows and wall tile. What happened in the shabby motel room? Speculation ends with just one conclusion: Nevada had fallen into the rough trade of sex for money, nothing more than a trick/john transaction gone terribly wrong.

Case closed.

It makes sense for Shell to chalk it up as another dose of the bad luck and trouble that dispirited him on the killing game. But walking away is always easier said than done. The thought that Nevada is out there somewhere, hurt and praying for a savior, simply will not leave him.

He has no choice, really, but to roll up his sleeves.

In the blink of an eye, Shell is traveling a path littered with shocking betrayals, brutal ambushes, and senseless murders. One day he is ensnared in a Mob beef, and the next he is confronting an assortment of men linked to Nevada: a community activist with the comportment of a street thug, a possibly bent politician, an understated college professor, and a slick fire-and-brimstone preacher. At best, they are all very dangerous; at worst, at least one of them is a murderer.

And to survive, Shell is going to have to return to what he worked so hard to distance himself from being: a violent man with a conscience in foreclosure.

Purchase at Amazon

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who in the World is Neville Longbottom?

I have a major confession that I hope will not result in me being tarred-and-feathered. I have not read even one of the Harry Potter novels, and it is quite possible I never will. However, my ignorance as far as everything Potter has not been so thorough that I am unaware of the little wizard’s impact on our culture (He is a wizard, correct?). Potter, nor his creator, J.K. Rowling, needs my seal of approval. The votes have already been cast. Millions of book sales. Hundreds of millions in movie revenue for this past weekend’s Deathly Hallows: Part II alone.

Harry Potter is doing just fine without Phillip Thomas Duck.

Nevertheless, I find myself compelled to express my high regard and appreciation for the series. I am a writer, and a decent enough one according to some (the others are delusional), but I was a reader first. Dr. Seuss and later the Hardy Boys. Quick pause while I scan through a Hardy on my bookshelf for the first line:

“Iola’s missing?” Chet Morton gasped as he ran up the driveway to the Hardy home.

Okay, I’m back. I don’t know Iola from a can of paint but she is missing and I, right along with Chet, am certain something needs to be done. Go get ‘em Hardys!

Eventually, I graduated from the Hardy Boys to more adult fare. A Stephen King here and there. One of the naughty Anne Rice’s too steamy for Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. James Patterson. Eric Jerome Dickey. George Pelecanos. Walter Mosley. Lee Child. James Lee Burke.

If every author I’ve loved were a brick, I could build an additional wing onto the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Thank you, Wikipedia).


My love of reading ultimately fueled a love of…this is brilliant stuff, so pay attention…a love of words.

That’s right. Reading made me want to be a writer. I knew by writing I would have the opportunity (hopefully) to transport someone to another world peopled with characters I invented. I could make readers laugh, or cry, think, or simply drift away (drift being different than falling asleep).

I write books about flawed people and broken relationships. Husbands that forget anniversaries and wives that make forgetting easy. Absent fathers and those that stuck around but should have gone on a twenty-five year run to the store for cigarettes. I also write about violent men with soft spots for discarded women. And troubled teens with both the intelligence and will to overcome their circumstances.

I write about people you know.

I write about you.

I am beyond grateful for the writing opportunities I’ve had as well as those that are still to come. But I am even more grateful for every book I’ve read.

So who in the world is Neville Longbottom?

Most would say a transcendent character in Harry Potter.


Keep reading.