Tag Archives: other: excerpts

excerpt: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

An excerpt from the first chapter of this novel. A cop and a mobster find themselves thrown together in a life-or-death situation.

Microsoft Office clipart - This could almost be Delaney!Angelo Trezini was slowing down, too cold and too dull to even think. Well, his only thought was a wistful wish for the energy necessary to feel sad or sorry or righteously pissed off. He was fading fast.

He was in a freezer. A large storage room of a freezer, packed high with cartons of food, and lit so brightly that Trezini was forced to squint. When his eyes were open, that is. Mostly he was just pacing in a circle, eyes shut tight against the harsh light and harsher cold, arms wrapped around his chest. He’d lost count of the number of times he’d walked this circle, but it was often enough that he didn’t have to look where he was going anymore.

A muffled clang, and the door swung open. It all happened so fast, and Trezini was feeling so slow that he didn’t have a chance to take advantage of the situation. As luck would have it, he was as far away as his circle took him – by the time he’d turned and drawn his gun, the door was already slamming shut again. And Trezini had company.

He was staring down his gun-barrel at a big dumb hunk of a man wearing a cop’s uniform. A man who was so ridiculously handsome that Trezini almost forgot the cold for a moment. There was a stillness about the man, a sense that he was completely self-contained.

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excerpt: Homosapien

An excerpt from this novel. Patrick tries to imagine what David and Adam could have found to say to each other after they got off to such a bad start.

Microsoft Office clipartSo, what happened at Apollo’s?

Consider this a dramatic reconstruction based on forensic evidence and the sworn testimony of witnesses …

Actually, writing this scene is kind of hard. David wouldn’t have had much to say under the circumstances and I later learned that Homosapien is far more articulate in his wrestling persona than when speaking for himself. This pair of characters are going to be just too difficult to work with. They are such very different people and yet somehow now they managed to connect. How to explain that?

I can imagine David standing there by the Apollo’s counter, doppio in hand (he got it to go, just in case), wondering whether to head over there and talk to the guy or not. And Homosapien looks up at just the right moment, and their eyes meet, and David is when-push-comes-to-shove a bit too polite to turn his back and walk away.

Homosapien gestures to the chair opposite him. David sits, leaning back and turned half away, one leg crossed over the other, trying to appear casual. He doesn’t bother taking off his jacket.

“Uh,” David begins, “I shouldn’t have done that. That was harsh. It’s not my habit to chase customers out of my store … ”

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excerpt: The Definitive Albert J. Sterne

An excerpt from the Prologue (New Orleans, October 1971) for this novel. Albert goes looking for sex.

Microsoft Office clipart“You looking to party?” the young man asked.

When Albert drew off his dark glasses, his com­panion politely followed suit, tucking his own into the back pocket of his jeans. Albert considered the figure before him, stepping to one side for the full effect of the late-setting sun’s illumination: male, of primarily Hispanic background; eighteen or perhaps nineteen, which was getting old to be on the game; one-seventy, an inch taller than Albert; light brown and dark brown. Further than that: undernourished, and had been for months if not years; clothes old and torn, though fairly clean and assembled with a harmony of color; eyes too bright; demeanor anxious, assessing. Some might have considered the haunted expression romantic, those who thought fey meant something more whimsical than the tragedy of ‘fated to die’. But Albert was instead drawn by the spark of intelligent curiosity.

“If party is a euphemism for having sex,” Albert said, “then, yes, I do want to. Frankly, I have no idea why else I’d be approaching you.”

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