The Novel Approach welcomes Riptide writing duo Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock today on the Merchant of Death blog tour. Enjoy the excerpt and enter for a chance to win some great prizes.
Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE MERCHANT OF DEATH. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!
Today we’re sharing an excerpt from THE MERCHANT OF DEATH. And things at work are just about to get very complicated for Mac:
Mac’s attention was caught by the sudden hush that descended. He saw two men and a woman he didn’t recognize out on the floor.
OPR. Office of Professional Responsibility.
Their reputation was enough to shut down conversations in mid laugh, but Mac didn’t hate them—had no reason to. He’d always played by the rules. Sure, it was a pain in the ass when they investigated some bullshit complaint, but there was no point getting defensive about it. In light of the news Val had broken when he’d arrived at work, Mac half expected it to be about Jimmy Rasnick.
“Mac.” Val appeared in his doorway again. “Do you have a minute?”
“Sure.” Mac stood up and slipped the sticky note into his pocket, then followed Val to the conference room. Sat down beside her.
The two men were studying files and didn’t look at Mac. But the woman was staring at him. She had dark hair pulled into a ponytail at her nape and wore a navy suit. “Agent McGuinness?” she said. “Agent Janice Bixler, OPR. This is Agent Lawrence and Agent Talbot. We’d like to ask you a few questions.”
Agent Janice Bixler didn’t ask him any questions, though. She left that to one of the guys—Lawrence or Talbot—and sat taking notes on her sleek black tablet while Mac went over, in painstaking detail, what exactly had happened at the cabin in Altona.
Well, not exactly. There was some stuff that Mac was keeping to himself. The impromptu Shakespeare performance. The stolen groceries. And especially the way Henry had just fucking melted against him when they’d kissed.
It was strange to have a name to put to the guy he’d killed. Robert Jones. And such a prosaic name. A schoolteacher name. A guy-in-the-street name. Not a hired-killer name.
For an hour and a half, Mac went through the sequence of events in the cabin. And didn’t even get pissed when one of them asked him if he’d considered using an alternative to lethal force.
“He was a hit man. He was there to kill my witness.”
“The witness you then lost,” the guy said.
Okay, Mac was keeping his cool, but he officially did not like this guy. He was even more creeped out by Janice Bixler, who sat making notes, her expression never changing. Every few minutes, though, Mac could feel her gaze on him. “After I got shot, yes, I lost him. He ran. Anyone would have.”
“Your office seems to have some trouble holding on to this particular witness,” the guy said. “Where is he now?”
Val bristled. “Mr. Page is staying nearby. If you need him brought in for questioning, that’s certainly something that can be arranged, but I assure you that his version of events matches Agent McGuinness’s. I took his statement myself.”
Of all the things that Mac admired most about Val, it was her ability to bald-faced lie. He leaned back in his seat and let her take over.
“In addition, Agent McGuinness has my full support in this matter.” Val closed her folder. “And I would advise him not to continue this interview until he is medically cleared to do so.”
“We’ll talk again soon,” the guy said.
“Actually, I have one more question,” Bixler said, looking up at Mac.
He waited. Nothing warm in her eyes. It was like staring into a hole in the ground.
“How well do you know your witness, Agent McGuinness?”
He couldn’t speak for a moment. His mind was caught on an image of Henry, lying on Mac’s bed, his pants around his ankles, his cock hard and straining his underwear.
“Not very well.”
There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.
But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.
You can check out THE MERCHANT OF DEATH at Riptide.
Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and Mac’s favorite coffee mug. What? It’s not like he’s supposed to be drinking coffee.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On February 12, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!