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2013 – Week 27 and An Interview with Hunter

Hello, my friends. Welcome to newsletter number 27.

I’ve began a new edit this week, whilst waiting for the betas comments on Blood is Power. The edit is good and the comments awesome! I have a feeling Nick Hunter has amassed quite a few fans.

For that reason, I risked my neck and pinned him down for a quick interview. Would you like to peek into the mind of Nick Hunter? Here we go!

Interview with Nick Hunter, by Ella Medler

New BIP cover singleHello and welcome. Thank you for giving me the chance to introduce Nick Hunter, the main character of the Hunter Trilogy.

Let me give you a bit of background first. Nick Hunter had a tough start in life, but he overcame his difficulties and joined the Army. One day, a mission he was supervising went wrong and he lost all his comrades in an ambush. Their bodies shielded his own. Since that day, post-traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt have haunted him relentlessly. In time, and mostly to escape psychologists’ clutches, he sorted out his shell of a life. Still uncertain and not entirely in control, he accepted a quick job — which turned out to be one of many — and slipped into the murky world of contract killing.

E: What happened, Nick, what was the catalyst to you changing your way of life?

NH: It was wrong. I was playing God and leading the life of a somewhat disturbed loner. Don’t get me wrong — I had friends. I just… I don’t know… I guess I just grew tired of killing, eventually.

E: Did your decision become final when you met Maxine Hamilton?

NH: Maxi is everything to me. I certainly wasn’t prepared to put her life in danger, but I knew things had to change before that evening… the evening I saw her walking down the beach, sweet and lost, strong on the outside yet crumbling on the inside. I love Maxi.

E: I’m grateful for allowing me to write your story, and Blood is Heavier is just the beginning, isn’t it? It’s about meeting Maxine and turning your life around. You settled down in a little town in England, had a little boy, Cameron…

NH: My son is the best thing that ever happened to me.

E: And then shadows from the past clouded up your sky.

NH: Oh, very poetic. I was too trusting, I believed we’d be safe in England. I mean, crime is really low, outside London, and I never thought for one second that there could be someone dumb enough to try and blackmail a contract killer… sorry, ex-contract killer… someone stupid enough to try and use my son as a lever to get me to go back to my old way of life. I should have changed our identities, lost our tracks somewhere really remote. I was careless and exposed my family…

E: You blame yourself? It’s not your fault, you know.

NH: It is. But I can fix that. The people threatening my family will not have the chance to do it for long.

E: Somehow, I didn’t expect you to say anything different. So, can you tell people about the real threats? What exactly happened in Blood is Heavier?

NH: Read the book and find out. (He chuckles) All I’ll say is that in the second book, Blood is Power, everyone will get what they deserve.

E: Oooh, I like that. Wait a minute, so if the events that began in Blood is Heavier get resolved in Blood is Power, what’s left for book three? You did say it’s a Trilogy, the Hunter Series, right?

NH: Yes. The third book jumps forward in time by a few years, and I’ll just let you into the secret now, if you like, without giving away any of the plot: you’ll have to ask Cameron a lot more questions. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

E; Your son? Hmm, intriguing. I can’t wait to write that story, too. Ok, so I can see you’re a little reluctant to reveal the action. Tell me something about you, then.

NH: What do you want to know?

E: What’s your favourite pastime?

NH: Easy. Sailing.

E: Favourite place on Earth?

NH: The ocean.

E: I guess I should have seen that one coming. What do you treasure most on Earth?

NH: My family. Do you even need to ask these things?

E: Oh, oh. I know. What is your greatest asset?

NH: (He sighs as he considers his answer) My resilience, I think. I just don’t give up. Not in my nature.

E: Do you think about death? I mean, does it bother you, as a concept? And if yes, how often?

NH: It doesn’t bother me. Why should it? We’re born, we live, we die. It’s what we do with our lives that bothers me, as you put it. It seems not all of us have managed to find the best use of our time on Earth. Well, I’m not wasting my time teaching others. And yes, I do think about it, but not in a macabre way. I’m quite relaxed about it. Philosophical, you’d probably say.

E: Is there a recipe for perfect murder? Could you do it?

NH: Honey, you couldn’t afford me!

E: Ha ha ha. What makes you laugh?

NH: Good jokes, a puppy chasing its tail, a seagull misjudging its landing, a kitten tripping up a mountain of a man, a kid who’s just discovered that crabs have claws… many things.

E: Do you laugh at your own jokes?

NH: Of course. And so should you, if you know what’s good for you.

E: Thanks for the warning. Promise to behave. What makes you cry?

NH: Oh, heavens! Lengthy interviews!

E: Oops. I thought you were ok with being interviewed.

NH: I was. Before they stripped off my weapons in the doorway.

E: Should I continue?

NH: I’ll answer three more questions. Now, for goodness’ sake, ask me something intelligent.

E: Ok. (My turn to think for a minute) Is there anything you’re ashamed of?

NH: Yes. I wish I was a stronger man. Sometimes, just being able to survive is not a good enough sign of being a strong, decent person.

E: So, does that mean you’d change anything in your life, if you had the chance?

NH: I already have. By the way, don’t bother trying to follow me. You’ll never find me. Unless I want you to find me.

E: Wasn’t planning to. I value my life far too much. One question left… What’s the most important life lesson you want to pass on to your kids?

NH: To make their own rules. Respect life, be human and humane, but never ever let someone else dictate what you should do or like or say. Being free is so much more than an entry in a dictionary.

E: Wow. I wish I knew that one when I was young. It would have saved me a lot of headaches. Well, thank you for being here, thank you for being patient and most of all, thank you for being so open and truthful.

NH: My pleasure. I hope to speak to you again, someday. Goodbye. (to the heavy by the door) Hey, big fellah, can I have my gun back now?

~

(If you’re interested in picking up Blood is Heavier, find it FREE on Smashwords here http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/158896. It will stay free until Blood is Power’s  release day, 19 July.)

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in News, Sunday Feature

 

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10 Things You Should Know About Nick Hunter

The gorgeous Raven McAllen hosted me on her blog, Raven’s Ramblings. The post includes ten things you should know about Nick Hunter, the main character of my Hunter Series, and an excerpt from Blood is Heavier, all to put you in the mood for the sequel, out soon.

Hunter series ebook covers. Ella Medler

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Just A Thought

 

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Hunter Series Snippet

Hello, my friends. The blogosphere, this Thanksgiving Week, is almost deserted. Hmm. Too much shopping? Too much food? Too much time with the family? Whatever the reason, I think we could all do with a pick-me-up. And I know just the guy who can provide that: Nick Hunter.

Here’s a small excerpt (written only last week) for your enjoyment:

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Goldberg Senior shuffled sideways out of the covers and switched on his bedside light.

“Enter.”

His wife, Marion, turned over with a humph taking most of the covers with her, and shielded her face from the soft orange glow. Goldberg ignored the chill and slid his wrinkly feet into his slippers, his attention focused on the advancing butler.

“Nate?”

“Mr. Goldberg, phone call for you.”

“Is it Lorri?”

“No, Sir. Mr. Dollar de la Rue.”

Goldberg frowned at the phone, but took it with one hand, dismissing the butler with the other.

“Yes?” he barked, watching the door glide softly shut. Dollar was beginning to get on his nerves of late. Too whiney and too full of his own self-importance. The only calls he got from him these days were to justify another failure. What good was a dumb head on an Operations Manager? Back in his day, Goldberg thought, paid crooks worked for their keep. Forget the dragon, 2012 seemed to be the year of the ass in more ways than one.

“The Whitbournes are dead.”

“Is that all? What about the house?”

There was a pause before Dollar spoke again.

“Hunter has the signed papers and he’s on the run now. He was expected at the station for questioning – I had my man standing by and ready to press for his arrest – but Hunter just… disappeared.”

“You never cease to surprise me. What did you expect from a contract killer, Dollar?”

“I expected the UK Police to be more effective, that’s what. Hunter took off in the Detective’s car, for Pete’s sake!”

Goldberg let out a quiet chuckle which only incensed Dollar more.

“Look, he’s been trying to find me. He is somewhere in London now. And if he gets to me, he’ll get to you, too.”

“Do I detect a hint of panic from the man who charges me millions simply to take care of my unfinished business?” All Goldberg could hear was Dollar’s heavy breathing, barely under control. He went on softly. “I suggest you get off the phone and start doing what you claim to do best: take care of the damn business. Before I find someone more capable. Or less dishonest. I don’t want to hear your voice again until it’s over.”

Goldberg pressed the ‘off’ button and dropped the phone on the small glass-topped table. It clonked loudly when it landed and Marion growled from under the covers. The old man pulled hard at the silk-sheathed blankets and slid back under them, oblivious to the daggers in his dear wife’s stare. He closed his eyes and let his bony fingers hunt for the off switch on his lamp.

Marion was a pretty woman, even now, when she was fast approaching her forty-sixth birthday and her expression was ten shades of sour in his company. The bash he’d agreed to endure at the Hyatt was partly to celebrate that, but mostly to ward off the vultures. Philanthropy must have been invented by the rich as a defence mechanism. People who held their hand out year after year, month after month, would let you live, so you could continue to place money in it. It was a symbiotic relationship – undesirable, yet beneficial.

A bit like his hasty marriage had been. Goldberg repressed a sigh as memories of his first weeks of courtship, if you could call it that, flooded his mind. Marion was so pretty. Twenty-four and extremely fanciable. A beauty.

Of course, he knew she used him just as much as he was using her. She helped provide the smokescreen he needed in order to be fully accepted in every circle. People happily mixed with other people, as long as they were no threat. Married. With children. Vulnerable.

Vulnerability brought with it an extra layer of acceptance which he hadn’t needed until he reached fifty-five. By then he had enough money to buy acceptance, but it seemed a better deal to buy one wife instead and get the rest for free.

When, a year later, Lorri came along, any remaining gossipmongers drew back into their shells or went off to pester some other unfortunates in the public eye. Yes, Lorri made sure the thirty-one years age difference between her parents lay forgotten. To the outside world, they were a happy family, rich beyond belief and able to influence most things, within reason. And sometimes outside it, too.

The best boon of all, one he hadn’t expected, was that no one bothered to dig any deeper than those twenty-two years of marriage. It was as if his life up to that point didn’t exist. As if he hadn’t lived. But live, he did. He lived, he worked, and he suffered.

Now that he could strike Judge Whitbourne-Philips off his list, he could finally relax. Getting hold of his house would have been the icing on the cake – a way to bring to blissful, heart-warming completion the eternal discreditation of the Whitbourne-Philips name – but even without that, it still felt good to have the treacherous, gutless limey off the face of the Earth.

Goldberg silently congratulated himself on his win and resolved to keep up the elderly benefactor façade – just enough – and enjoy his last few years as much as his weary body and considerable fortune allowed.

Just before drifting off, Nick Hunter entered his thoughts briefly. Should he worry about Hunter? Nah. Dollar would deal with him. Or the other way around. It really didn’t matter. That was why he’d planted the idea of using Hunter in King’s head in the first place. He knew King would rather die than suggest anyone else to Dollar, the dim-witted fool. There were plenty others, of course, but King chose Hunter because he wanted payback for the Turks and Caicos affair five years ago. The one hit man who could bring down both King’s meagre drug venture in the Caribbean and ensure Dollar’s demise, with a bit of luck, and instead of keeping their distance, the fools were prodding the angry bear.

Goldberg shook his head at the crass idiocy of some of the people in his employ and wondered whether he should offer Hunter Dollar’s job, but he fell asleep before he reached a conclusion.

BLOOD IS POWER – out next month

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Just A Thought

 

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

You can never know enough about a writer, I find. Curiosity consumes me. What drives someone to write? How do they do it? Does it come easily or is it an exhausting process? These are the questions most of us have to answer in pretty much every interview, the ones which are often so overdone, we don’t even stop to think as we type up the reply.

But you know what? You’ll learn much more about a person when you read about their work. Ask an author about their work and their eyes light up. The tone changes, there’s a fire behind those words. Try it. I often buy the books because I like the person.

So, how did I get here? Through an author I admire.

Bruce Blake – you’ll find him in my Awesome Authors Gallery – contacted me and asked if I’d like to take part. Thank you, Bruce. This whole thing originated on the She Writes site, as far as we could work out, and is designed to raise awareness of our work, or work in progress. We do that by answering ten questions about it. We graciously thank the person who nominated us, and tag five other authors whose work could well be that NEXT BIG THING.

That bit was easy. Now for the scary part:

Q1: What is the working title of your book?

Blood is Power. I can do more than that – I can show you the provisional cover.

Q2: Where did the idea for the book come from?

I have a ‘thing’ about injustice. I find it easy to see a golden nugget in every living soul, and I don’t believe in judging people. Nick Hunter, the protagonist in my story is someone most people would stay away from, someone they might fear, someone they would most certainly judge, if they knew his story. In the Hunter trilogy I wanted to delve deeper into the human mind and, in a way, I wanted to give someone like Nick Hunter a second chance. What happens to him does not define him. He lives his life by his own rules and would turn Heaven and Earth upside down and inside out to protect his loved ones. Unlikely as it sounds, he is a hero.

Q3: What genre does your book fall under?

Action thriller.

Q4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ah! You got me there. I watch so few movies, and so little TV, I barely know who’s who. I do learn a lot from my teenage kids, though, so let me try. Tequila would be played by a blond Angelina Jolie, Maxi would be Emilie de Ravin, and Nick… oh, Nick… Matt Damon or Brad Pitt maybe. It’s hard to tell. When I see Nick Hunter in my mind, I don’t see the face. I see the soul.

Q5: What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

An ex-contract killer has to face old demons in order to make his family safe.

Q6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ll self-publish this whole series.

Q7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me six weeks, part of which I was working full-time, to write way more than I could fit in one book. Two days after I thought I’d finished I realised I had enough plot for three books. So then I had to take the initial story and split it. It took one week to have Blood is Heavier ready for publication, back in May. I’m still working on Blood is Power. I’m allowing two weeks to make sure the plot is solid, and then two more weeks for re-writes, edits and formatting. Yes, I work fast. I can become a little obsessive about a project.

Q8: What other books would you compare this story to, within your genre?

I would liken my style to Dean Koontz in as much as the storm brewing in my novels affects the characters and those in their immediate vicinity only. It’s Armageddon, but only for them. The rest of the world goes about its business oblivious to these few people’s predicament. The Husband and Life Expectancy would be closest, I think.

Q9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Human nature. I am fascinated with human nature. I’ve been watching people and piecing together their reactions and mannerisms so I could understand why they did what they did or said what they said since I was a little kid. It’s got easier over time, but it never lost its appeal. I could watch people all day and not get bored. That and my probably-mistaken belief that I could right some of the injustice in this world. I just couldn’t resist Nick Hunter. I had to tell his story.

Q10: What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

This book will make Blood is Heavier read like a bedtime story, by comparison. The villains only spoken about in book one make a full-on appearance now. Confident that his family is safe in Tequila’s care, Nick pulls out all stops to hunt down and punish every person responsible for killing his parents and kidnapping his son. He uncovers a ring of human traffickers with chilling connections into slavery, drugs and the manufacture of a certain type of pharmaceuticals, whose business dealings are right out of every human being’s worst nightmare. And it’s all legit, it seems. What can one person do, one person against a global, corrupt, yet well-oiled machine?

~~~

Now that I’ve said just enough, I’d like to pass the torch to five deserving authors, and let them tell you all about their work. Their posts will bear the same title and will be live on or around 14 November. Here they are:

Maree Ward-Russel

Kristie Haigwood

Kristine Cayne (you’ll find her on my Awesome Authors Gallery, too)

Emily Guido

Emma Meade

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Just A Thought

 

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This Is The Reason

I have been asked this question before. Why do you write? What made you choose this career?

Many other authors are also wondering how to answer this same question as we speak.

Well, I can’t think of a better answer than to show you Michael Phoenix’s review of my recently published thriller.

Here’s the link to his review http://nightsdream.hubpages.com/hub/Blood-is-Heavier-book-review

And if this reviews does make you curious, BLOOD IS HEAVIER is still free to download from Smashwords for a limited time.

Michael Phoenix – Review of Blood Is Heavier

As per my usual style, I am writing this review as I am reading the book. The other part: I went into the book cold. By cold, I mean I did not check out anything about this book before I read it. The only thing I will say: Blood Is Heavier is the second book I am reviewing by Ella Medler. Now, with the intro out of the way, onto the review:

After the cover, there is the usual copyright info, where you can find the book, bio and dedication. Pretty much the standard for most books. I use and prefer the Kindle. Navigation on side and Table of Contents is good. Personal preference here: there are no back links back to the table of contents. Right at the end of the table of contents you jump right into chapter 1 without a break. Nice work and design on this aspect! Opening section done, onto the book and story….

Chapter 1 Spectre, introduces two characters right off: Nick and Mrs. Budleigh. The book starts with a situation almost comical, even in everyday life. Right off, visualization is excellent! Take a drive / walk in your town or city and prove me wrong. We are introduced to more main characters. A major internal conflict with Nick is also introduced. By the end of Spectre, we are thrown right into the action with a decent enough backstory. Chapter 1 sticks to it’s title: Spectre perfectly! The transition into Chapter 2 is very smooth and leads you wanting more, easily.

Ok, now that I have your attention, I will not do a chapter by chapter breakdown here. If I did, you would be reading another book. I want you to read this one. The following will be highlights / previews from the rest of the book.

Chapter 2, get ready for emotional whiplash. So far, Ella is doing a great job creating believable characters, scenes and situations. She is also creating a perfect combination of all elements. Is chapter 3 forshadowing or backtory? Between chapter 3 and 5 all I can say is WOW! Another story created within the main one. I actually forgot about the main plot. Starting at chapter 5, a wicked surprise but did not forget other story, yet. The one or two stories only take off from here. If you think I am going to give more details, you are nuts. If I have not grabbed your interest by now, I give up. With that out of the way, onto the final ratings and evaluation:

Overall Rating / Review:

I give this book a perfect 10! No problem at all….

I put this book to an extreme test. While I was reading it took several breaks. I wanted to see if Blood is Heavier would keep my attention. I also wanted to find out if I would constantly want more. I easily did on both fronts. Once again, Ella did a near perfect job developing main and supporting characters, scenes and situations. The internal conflicts are very believable. These conflicts can also be related to if only in a distant, personal sense. The action, we are thrown into almost right away is a great way to start this book. Like I said, at points, Ella almost creates a second story that I came close to forgetting about the main one. The way she melds the backstory with current action does not lose you at all. Chapter titles are well thought out in sync with the chapter itself. The title “Blood Is Heavier” is mentioned in the story. Another nice way to combine the entire book into one, flowing / consistent entity. Visualization: everything that happens in the story is very easy to see with mind. The emotions portrayed, you can almost feel as if they were your own. For the second time, I can not say enough about a book by Ella Medler.

Between Martin Little, Resurrected and Blood Is Heavier, Ella took on two, different genres and pulled off both that will keep you wanting more. Even if you are not a fan of Action / Suspense, I would suggest this book. Character strength and believability one of the main reasons.

Ella, this book exceeded my expectations by a long shot! They were high after Martin Little. You did a great job, again. You have proven two things with this book: 1) You are around for the long-term. 2) You can write in more than one style / genre.

Thanks for reading this review. As always, feel free to comment / critique / disagree. I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

More information on Ella / her books

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Blood Is Heavier – A Taste Of The Sequel

For you, my friends, this is a little taster of what’s in store for Nick Hunter when he decides to hunt down the people who tortured and killed his parents.

 

Obviously short on time, the old, wiry man splashed straight through puddles in his hurry to reach his goal. He was wearing an old-fashioned bowler, out of which irregular tufts of brilliant white hair were poking out all over the place, unyielding to the rain. His black trench coat was so sodden it looked almost like an oil slick, its hem splashed with reddish splodges of mud which caked the soles of his good quality shoes, as well.

When he reached the corner of the street, he left the sanctuary of the overgrown hedges and ventured to the other side of the road, risking one quick look over his shoulder to make sure that he wasn’t being followed. He wasn’t sure why he needed to see it for himself. Maybe to make doubly sure that there was nothing incriminating that could land him in trouble with the law, or with the others. Come to think of it, the law didn’t scare him half as much.

Stepping carefully over the police tape, the man moved swiftly to the far end of the fire-darkened building and turned towards the metal door set between two red brick walls partly hidden by an overly-exuberant wisteria. Out of his trench coat pocket he produced an outdated key, with which he proceeded to unlock the door.

After a little struggle, there was a positive clunk and the door groaned open inwards. The man entered and shoved the door back, but Nick’s foot was over the threshold already. Not waiting for a clear invitation, Nick pushed his way in, and then slammed the door shut behind them both.

The ravages of fire had little effect on this room – cellar, Nick guessed, probably old enough to be separated from the main house by a few feet of soil. It was dark, cold and damp.

“W-what do you want? I have nothing left,” the man whimpered when Nick shone his torch on his wrinkly face.

“Just a little chat,” Nick replied calmly. “I believe you knew my dad, Mortimer.”

The man jumped noticeably at the mention of his name and blinked repeatedly as if by doing so the terrifying stranger standing in front of him would disappear. “I know a lot of people,” he hedged.

“I’m talking about Randolph,” Nick clarified.

“Randolph. He and I go back a good few years. You are his son, you say?”

“One of them. I guess he didn’t talk about us that much.”

“No, Randolph is a very private man. He never mentions many personal details.”

“Did,” Nick corrected. “Never did. My father died this morning.”

Mortimer started at the words, but recovered quickly. “I’m very sorry to hear that, my dear boy. Very sorry indeed. I wish there was something to do to help.”

“As it happens, there is.”

“Oh?”

“I know my father trusted you enough to keep coming back to you with all his publishing needs.”

“Yes, I arranged all the necessaries for him. Very private man, Randolph. He didn’t like dealing with strangers.”

“My father mentioned something. Something he felt compelled to share with me before he took his last breath. Unfortunately, by then his thinking had become somewhat disjointed, erratic.” Nick winced as he remembered Randolph’s last few minutes and the injustice he was doing him by letting Mortimer Hughes believe the Judge’s thinking had become muddled. In fact, it had been clear as ice; he’d spoken with focused determination. “I would be grateful, therefore,” Nick struggled to concentrate on the here and now, “if you could tell me what you know about him and the Brotherhood of Death.”

“Oh, dear. I don’t know if I should speak about that…”

“I know he was involved with it, and I know he later tried to get out. I know about the code of silence, but…”

“Then you will understand why I can’t tell you anything, my dear boy. If they should find out…”

“And who will tell them? I’m not exactly their biggest fan, after what they did to my father.”

Mortimer swallowed loudly, thus confirming that he indeed had a very good idea of what the Brotherhood might have done to Randolph, but kept quiet.

“I need to know,” Nick insisted through gritted teeth. “I will pull it out of you piece by piece, if necessary. Don’t make me. It won’t be as pleasant as a tooth extraction.”

Mortimer’s breathing spiked at the unveiled threat in Nick’s voice. “Ok, I’ll tell you. But please don’t judge me too harshly. Keep in mind that I am a mere man, and not a particularly brave man at that.” Nick waited for him to order his thoughts. “The first time your father became involved was during his student years here…” Mortimer looked up, his brow showing signs of stress.

Nick nodded. “He said.”

“One of the many fellowships – student life abounds with them. They’re all into mysticism, rituals of initiation, secrecy; all much of a muchness. Up to a point, the Brotherhood was the same. This is just its UK arm. They’re much, much bigger than any of us had ever imagined. Its leaders hold the key to the control button that could crumble this whole planet to dust, but also to the coffers that could completely eliminate disease and hunger, at least for our life time. You must have heard about the Skull and Bones. Here, they also followed their customary path. For valued members, they merely ease the way. They help people into good careers, strategic positions, you know… And in return, when the need arises, the people they once helped would be perfectly situated to return the favour. They did facilitate your father’s progress, though it wasn’t obvious to him at the time – he got a pupilage with Goldberg, right away. He was talented. Very talented and very clever, so he was soon encouraged to stretch his wings, to take more and more controversial cases, important ones, the kind that would get him noticed, his name recognised. It worked; he progressed incredibly fast.”

Mortimer pulled a handkerchief from his coat pocket and mopped his brow absently, while continuing to talk.

“And then, there came a time for payback. Randolph was completely unaware and bluntly refused to er… help. He was a man of great integrity, your father. One of the few who could smell a rat a mile away. The case where his help was needed, if I remember correctly, was between Rossiter and the Metropolitan Police. It was quite complex, I never understood all the implications, but it appeared that a Superintendent’s conduct during Rossiter’s arrest was a little doubtful and the press had a field day with it. As it happens, Rossiter lost anyway, and the story swiftly disappeared off the front pages to make space for more interesting news.”

“That’s when my father started asking questions.”

“Quite. It wasn’t easy. Having refused the organisation, doors closed in his face and people regularly suffered sudden attacks of memory loss. However, Randolph could be really focused when he wanted to get to the bottom of things and he soon gathered enough information – witnesses’ accounts, fishy business transactions and the like – to present a reasonably strong case. He decided to put it all in writing, in a book unmasking the shady mechanism by which entire countries were being manipulated by persons unseen and unknown. It would have made some waves, in paperback. Alas, it was not to be.”

Mortimer stopped again, mopped his brow and shuffled his feet. He seemed reluctant to go on.

Nick prodded, “You were his agent.”

“Yes.”

“So? Who did you approach? Which publisher?”

Mortimer sighed. “Many. It was easier for me to make a case for a book, a presentation if you like, and send this to a few choice contacts. This time I sent it to eight different people. Within the week, I’d had seven refusals. Not just refusals, but the sort of answer that leaves you in no doubt that from then on you are an outcast. You know the bridge has been not just burnt, but so thoroughly and severely cut and shredded, that there is no chance of rebuilding it ever again.”

“And the eighth?”

“The eighth had recently changed hands. I didn’t know… I should have kept up to date with the news in the industry but I had a lot on my plate at the time and… I just didn’t. The new owner’s name was Goldberg. Yeah, same family. Not the same person, but it might as well have been. I cannot describe the threats, the terror. Living had suddenly become a waking nightmare. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. My business was pretty much ruined. No one would touch me with a bargepole anymore.”

“Did you tell my dad?”

“I did. And he understood. He didn’t blame me, you know? He said so. He said he was sorry he had ruined my life.”

Nick felt a finger of ice run up his back. Blame? What for? “What did you do?”

“I’m sorry,” Mortimer whimpered. “If I could turn back the clock…”

“What did you do, scum?” Nick found it harder and harder to control the anger he felt building up inside him. “Tell me!” he shouted at the terrified man.

“I told them. I told them everything they asked for. I gave them the manuscript, but it is copyrighted. They couldn’t just use it. All they could do was to unpick it piece by piece and discredit every witness statement, mock every assumption, every logical conclusion, every supposition. It took months but, slowly, I could see how little credibility his book would have even if it somehow did make it on chain bookstores’ shelves. All his work, the risks he’d taken to gather all the information – now it is nothing. Worthless. And then, stranger things started to happen. People started to disappear. Rossiter did, amongst the first – I remember the incident; I thought it a little strange, at the time. He lived in an unsavoury part of the city. Some louts raided the local shops one night, threw petrol bombs. He lived above a dry cleaner’s. The only one to die in the entire street.”

“Tell me about these people. What sort of things did they want to know? What more could they want if you already gave them the manuscript?” Nick had forgotten time and place, absorbed as he was by the horror story.

Mortimer shuffled awkwardly back a couple of steps.

“They wanted to know the names of all the people I ever spoke to. About Randolph’s book, I mean. That was easy; they weren’t that many.” He took a deep breath, and continued. “And they wanted to know how to contact them.”

Nick was starting to realise the sheer power of the organisation he had taken on. But, as far as he was concerned, that was not at all a defence for the way this cowardly old man had acted.

“You,” he growled at the steadily retreating figure. “You gave them my parents’ address,” he accused. “You got them murdered. They tortured them before they killed them, did you know?”

“I had no choice.”

“You always have a choice.”

“I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want to suffer.”

“You, scum.” Nick choked the words out, livid with rage. He was so mad, he thought of nothing but how easy it would be to squeeze the life out of this gutless excuse for a human being. Mortimer saw his anger, and maybe the years of having to dodge the Brotherhood had taught him something, because he bent over, suddenly and without warning and disappeared from view.

Before Nick could locate him again, a low groan of rusty metal on concrete reached his ears. In the next second he was knocked off his feet by an enormous weight that just kept coming. Layer upon layer of heavy cardboard storage boxes, together with the shelves they had been stored on, landed on him, crushing him, leaving him winded and gasping for air. Some boxes split open and piles of paper toppled out. It seemed like a lifetime of manuscripts were working at one with their master.

By the time Nick managed to free himself from the combined weight of metal and paper, Mortimer Hughes was long gone. Nick knew he wouldn’t come back soon; the old man was too much of a coward. Why he’d risked returning to the cellar in the first place was a baffling question. Nick surveyed the scene, as best he could, with the limited help of his torch. It looked like a hurricane had passed right through the middle of it. Metal twisted, boxes split. There was paper everywhere. If what Mortimer wanted was in here, then he’d probably left without it. The temptation to start searching was unbearably strong, but then Nick reminded himself of his tight schedule and the fact that Jesse had had a considerable head start. If Dollar had been tipped off, it would make tracking him down that much harder. And then, there was another lead he wanted to follow. Than name in the paperwork Randolph had been forced to sign, Alastair Lloyd Campbell, and why in the world would he be interested in the Whitbourne’s estate.

With a sigh, Nick gave the agent’s cellar another regretful glance, then he turned his back on it and walked away.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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REVIEW: First Review for Blood Is Heavier

 

I am so happy, I could sing! (no, don’t tempt me)

The wonderful Kym Grosso has reviewed the shiny new thriller I released just a few days ago, Blood Is Heavier, and she was so impressed, she gave it 5 stars.

Thank you, Kym!

Here is what she had to say:

 

“Edge of Your Seat Thriller!

 

Blood is Heavier is a mystery thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. I was literally up all day and night reading to book so I could get to the end to see if he would prevail.

Nick Hunter is a strong male lead who is very likable and you will be rooting for him throughout the book. I don’t want to give away any spoilers because this is a mystery/thriller. I found that throughout the book, there were lots of twists and turns…and I kept hoping that Nick would come out on top (can’t tell you how or why because that would give it away!)

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a page turning thriller that will keep you up all night. It was an emotional roller coaster of a read that I can say I was happy to be on!”

 

I bet you she doesn’t know Nick Hunter is after revenge next. With a bit of luck, you will be able to read all about his future adventures in December.

Until then, you could read Blood Is Heavier and see why Nick feels vengeful in the first place. It’s still FREE on Smashwords here http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/158896 The downloads range in the hundreds – you’d be silly to miss out; the price can only go up.

Or you can find the kindle version here (hopefully Amazon will catch up on price-matching soon) http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Is-Heavier-Hunter-ebook/dp/B0080UVRSQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337100139&sr=8-1

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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