Lakewater Press Holiday Blog Hop (Day 3): James L. Weaver

 

For the holiday season, we at Lakewater Press thought it would be a good time to share who we are with a little holiday blog hop.

Between December 1 and the 24th we’ll share holiday interviews with our authors and the Lakewater Press staff. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, and to give our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages!

Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book!

(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway!!)

 

Today’s interviewee:

Name and LWP affiliation: James L. Weaver – LWP Author  

Your blog (url): www.jameslweaver.net

Where do you live? Olathe, Kansas – a suburb of Kansas City. The name means beautiful or fine, and Olathe served as a stopping point at the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails.

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? As of now, “a wintry mix” is possible which means we’ll be sure to get a mix of rain or sleet to make the roads treacherous for traveling and embolden my desire to move to Phoenix.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? We have the holiday present opening tradition of going in order from youngest to oldest. The next person cannot go until the previous person has had ample time to unwrap, admire and thank the giver of the gift profusely. During big family gatherings, this can be an exhausting experience.

Egg nog: Yes or No? Dear Lord, a thousand times no. Step One of drinking egg nog? Throw the carton in the trash.

Are you an artistic gift wrapper or a basic “paper & tape” warrior?  I am a warrior. As long as the paper covers the gift and there is so much tape that the opener can’t locate a seam to start the unwrapping process, I am happy.

Do you have any special holiday memories that include books? Are there any specific titles you remember? One of my favorite memories involves the Lord of the Rings books. One Christmas, we bought my dad a J.R.R. Tolkien calendar that had this really cool artwork from Lord of the Rings. I sat on my dad’s lap and he told me the stories of each one of the pictures.

What is your earliest book-related memory? Reading “The Hungry Thing” by Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler when I was in kindergarten. We did a school play where I got the role of The Hungry Thing and asked for shmancakes and tickles and feetloaf and gollipops. I think the costume was just a bed sheet and a cardboard sign hung around my neck that said “Feed Me”.

Do you write/work during the holidays? I seem to have a hard time using my vacation throughout the year, so I usually take off work for the two weeks around Christmas and plan on getting quite a bit of writing done.

Can you share what you’re working on now? Right now, I’m working on Book 4 of the Jake Caldwell series. I’ve written a few chapters as I knew exactly how it would start, but was a little fuzzy on how it would end. I’m working on outlining the rest of it as we speak. I have the ending done (since you have to know where you’re going) and am plotting the middle to get me there. I don’t want to give too much away on the plot since it follows directly on the outcomes of Blackbird Road which is Book 3 of the Jake Caldwell series.

What are your goals for 2018? 2018 should be a great year!  Blackbird Road will be released in early 2018 and Book 4 later in the year.  Two books in one year will be pretty ambitious, but we’re going to do it!  There’s also some potential fantastic news about my first self-published book Jack & Diane that I’m hoping to share. It’s been polished and revamped (and available on Amazon). I also plan to start outlining a book featuring Bear Parley, Jake’s best friend and everyone’s favorite character from the Jake Caldwell series. So, it should be a very busy writing year in the Weaver house!

 

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Lakewater Press Holiday Blog Hop (Day 2): Emma Wicker

 

For the holiday season, we at Lakewater Press thought it would be a good time to share who we are with a little holiday blog hop.

Between December 1 and the 24th we’ll share holiday interviews with our authors and the Lakewater Press staff. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, and to give our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages!

Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book!

(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway!!)

 

Today’s interviewee:

Name and LWP affiliation: Emma Wicker. A/NA acquisitions and creative director.   

Your blog (url): www.elwicker.com

Where do you live? On the US Star Ship Voyager.

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? Slim, but not impossible.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? Yes! I love eating pigs in blankets on Christmas morning for breakfast.

Egg nog: Yes or No? I’ve never tried it! It’s not really a ‘thing’ here in Britain on the US Star Ship Voyager.

Are you an artistic gift wrapper or a basic “paper & tape” warrior? I try to be artistic, I really do. So… I would say I’m a failed artistic gift wrapper. The replicator does a great job, though.

Do you have any special holiday memories that include books? Are there any specific titles you remember

? I once got The Complete Works of Hans Christian Anderson for Christmas from my Aunt. That was cool. Might try a holo-novel this year.

What is your earliest book-related memory? Probably when I threw a tantrum because Bilbo wasn’t the main character in Lord of the Rings. I refused to read on when I discovered that. Stubborn.

Do you write/work during the holidays? Of course!

Can you share what you’re working on now? I don’t know. Do you have level 10 clearance?

 

What are your goals for 2018? I want to find a stunning romance for Lakewater Press. Something like Mia Sheridan – you know, grips your heart from start to finish and makes you ugly cry but cheer with happiness too. That’s a big goal of mine.

 

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Lakewater Press Holiday Blog Hop (Day 1): Barbara Quinn

 

For the holiday season, we at Lakewater Press thought it would be a good time to share who we are with a little holiday blog hop.

Between December 1 and the 24th we’ll share holiday interviews with our authors and the Lakewater Press staff. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, and to give our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages!

Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book!

(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway!!)

 

Today’s interviewee:

Name and LWP affiliation: Barbara Quinn Author                        

Your blog (url):barbaraquinn.wixsite.com/barbaraquinn

Where do you live? I split time between Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? I’m usually left Dreaming of a White Christmas..about 20% chance of snow in my NY/NJ area.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? I come from a large Italian-American family so FOOD  is a religious experience, especially at Christmas time. Christmas Eve is a seafood extravaganza.On Christmas Eve we celebrate The Feast of the Seven Fishes, but it can rise to 13 after arguing. It’s a wonderful night, filled with all manner of fish dishes, embarrassing stories, and much laughter and yelling.

Egg nog: Yes or No? Nooooo!

Are you an artistic gift wrapper or a basic “paper & tape” warrior?  Um..gift bags are my savior.

Do you have any special holiday memories that include books? Are there any specific titles you remember? I liked reading The Night Before Christmas to my son. And now I enjoy reading it to my Grandson.

What is your earliest book-related memory? I was about 5 years old when I boarded the book mobile for the first time when I was growing up in the Bronx, NY, I couldn’t wait for the day the book mobile, a van filled with books for lending, made it’s stop on our block. I loved climbing the steps up, studying all the shelves and oh, the smell of paper and anticipation  My favorite book as a kid was The Light Princess. I remember my dad reading it to me at bedtime. It’s a story about a princess who lost her gravity and had to be tethered to the earth.

Do you write/work during the holidays? Yes I write during the holidays, but not as much as so much is going on.

Can you share what you’re working on now? I’m working on a retelling of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

What are your goals for 2018? To write more!

 

The pictures are of me in my Christmas finest with my Grandmother. I soon removed the dress and stole, er, borrowed, my brother’s Viking outfit  present which held more attraction than my own doll gifts 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reveal: The Witchbreed Series by R.L. Martinez

In the Blood & Beneath the Skin
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #1 & 2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

The WITCHBREED series is a rich fantasy set in a time when magic is feared by most but harnessed by the ruthless. It follows the story of twin sisters, one witch one warrior, separated by war, but whom have a bond so powerful they will do whatever it takes to keep one another alive.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Being a stay-at-home mom is probably the hardest job Robin’s ever had (and that’s after working at places like Goodwill, MCL Cafeteria, and Captain D’s). Her house is never clean! No matter how many dishes she does or toys she picks up, her two little ones come right behind her and make a whole new mess. Anyway, this is the first time she hasn’t had some sort of job outside the home since she was fifteen. Kinda scary!
Now that her kids have both started all-day school, she can fling herself into the stories that constantly swirl inside her head. One of the main reasons she writes is to read books that she wishes other people were writing. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, two small sons, two naughty canines, and a mouse-killing cat.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Book Review: ARES ROAD by James L. Weaver

It is rare that I read (and review!) a book so soon after it’s released. However…I had just finished book 1 in the series and I was on a mob/crime book roll. Also, this is a pretty catchy series, I am definitely a fan of Jake Caldwell books now. So here it is…

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ISBN-13:9780994451217

Publisher:Lakewater Press

Publication date:03/02/2017

Series:Jake Caldwell, #2

Pages:294

 

 

“A teenaged girl screaming down a dead man’s cell…it’s Monday for Jake Caldwell.”

I mentioned when I reviewed POOR BOY ROAD (book 1 in this series) that I have a life-long obsession with all things mob related & am frequently disappointed in crime related books. That is even more often the case where sequels are involved. ARES ROAD, however did NOT let me down.
Jake Caldwell (former mob enforcer) is now trying to make his way on the right side of the law. He’s learning the PI business with the help of ex-cop Logan and they are hunting down a stolen briefcase. But that search has turned up a dead man and a girl screaming on the end of his cell phone. Jake is pulled into a deadly ring of bad dudes (Russian & Middle Eastern mob-types), crooked politicians, an FBI agent with her own secrets and crooked cops. And behind it all, his former mob boss still lingers.

 

ARES ROAD is another fast-paced thriller that was just as exciting as its predecessor. And now I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

You can purchase ARES ROAD at the following places:

Amazon.com Amazon.com.uk Amazon.com.au Barnes & Noble

 

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Book Blitz: ARES ROAD by James L.

Ares Road
James L. Weaver
(Jake Caldwell, #2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: March 2nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller

With his days as a mob enforcer behind him, Jake Caldwell’s trying to go straight.

But it seems his past won’t let him go.

His first job working as a private investigator turns up a teenage girl screaming down a dead man’s cell phone, and Logan, his mentor and the only man with answers, beaten into a coma.

Now Jake’s taking it personally.

The only clues Jake has to unravel the mystery are a Russian with a stolen, silver briefcase and three names: Snell, Parley and Ares. Teaming up with his best friend Bear, the Sheriff of his home town, and an attractive FBI agent, Jake quickly discovers they’re not the only ones looking for the briefcase and its deadly contents.

It’s no longer about seeking revenge.

The thrilling second book in the Jake Caldwell series is a heart-stopping ride that won’t disappoint fans.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

“How do you know, Mr. Logan?” a uniformed cop named Murphy asked Jake while a couple of young paramedics tended to Logan. Murphy had a low forehead and wide-set eyes, and spoke like he’d been dropped on his head multiple times as a child.

“We work together.”

“You a PI, too?”

“Sort of. I was learning the ropes from Jack. Don’t have a license yet.”

Murphy jotted in a notebook. Paramedics wheeled Logan out of the office on a stretcher, and Jake wondered how they would get him down those three flights of narrow stairs. A rail-thin, black detective with a shaved head and a cheap, tan suit slipped into the room. His polar opposite partner squeezed through the door, red faced with beads of sweat rolling down his jowls from the three-flight climb. The fat one was as tall as he was wide and waddled into Logan’s office. The bald one talked to Murphy, took some notes, and turned to Jake.

“I’m Detective Ogio. You know Jack Logan long, Mr. Caldwell?”

“Three years,” Jake answered. “We were supposed to meet tonight.”

“To do what?”

The detective waited with raised eyebrows for an answer. Ogio’s acorn eyes were hooded, giving him a sleepy look, but there was light there. The guy wasn’t stupid. He was suspicious of Jake, which pissed him off because he’d given them no reason to be suspicious. Plus, Jake couldn’t tell the cop the truth because it would start a whole line of questions he didn’t want to answer. He had to stonewall them.

“We were going out to dinner,” Jake lied.

“Where?”

“Does it matter?”

“It does if I’m asking the question.”

“I didn’t do this,” Jake said.

“I didn’t say you did. You’re a big guy, though. Six two and what…two hundred twenty pounds?”

“Six three, two thirty. Like that matters. Why would I beat the shit out of him and then call you guys?”

“Like I said, I didn’t say you did. Why are you getting defensive?”

“You think I’m being defensive?” Jake asked.

Ogio’s head ticked to the side. “A little.”

“I’m worried, that’s all. My buddy just got his ass kicked.”

“What were you guys working on?”

Jake shifted, tired of answering these banal questions.

“We were between jobs.”

“Must make it tough to learn the ropes.”

“What ropes?”

Ogio’s thin lips pressed together. “The ones Officer Murphy said you were learning from Mr. Logan.”

“A bit. We done here? I want to go to the hospital.”

“Why do you think Mr. Logan’s office was trashed?”

“Somebody was looking for something.” Jake hoped the detective caught his sarcasm. He laid it on pretty thick.

“You think? Maybe you should be a detective.”

“Maybe you should too.”

Ogio grinned. He clearly had a good nature. “He say anything to you about anyone being after him?”

“He said he did a lot of divorce cases. Maybe someone looked for photos of their cheating wife.”

“Always possible,” the detective said. He handed Jake his card—Thomas Ogio.

“Where are they taking Logan?”

“Truman Medical Center,” Ogio answered, flipping his notebook shut. “You got my number. Call me if you think of anything else. Stay reachable.”

Ogio headed toward Logan’s office to join his partner. Jake strode out the door, down the steps, and out into the early March evening. He stood on the sidewalk wondering what to do. Did Logan meet with his contact that would lead them to Voleski? Did the contact do this to him? Was this about another case? Somebody wanted something up there and it wasn’t divorce photos. What did Logan say? The less you know on this one, the better.

Jake rubbed his hand over the day’s growth on his face. The one person who could answer his questions and give him a direction to go was Logan. Jake jumped in his truck and headed toward Truman Medical Center.

 

Author Bio:

James L Weaver is the Kansas City author of the Jake Caldwell series featuring IAN Thriller of the Year finalist Poor Boy Road and soon to be released Ares Road from Lakewater Press. He makes his home in Olathe, Kansas with his wife of 19 years and two children. His previous publishing credits include a six part story called “The Nuts” and his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane which is available on Amazon.com. Author note: a handful of the raters are actually not related to him.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Book Review: POOR BOY ROAD (Jake Caldwell Book 1)

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I have a life-long obsession with all things mob related and am often disappointed with the books that purport to have mob-related characters or story lines. POOR BOY ROAD was not a disappointment. I was hooked from the first paragraph.

Jake Caldwell is an enforcer for the mob. Now he’s heading home where the abusive father he escaped from years ago is dying. He is also on deadline, his boss has given him a way out of the “business” only it involves taking his bone-breaking work to the next level: murder.

Jake’s new life and the old collide as he faces family obligations, old friends, a rekindled love, and the ticking clock of a murderous and unforgiving boss.

POOR BOY ROAD is a fast-paced thriller that was hard to put down. It is well written with realistic characters and dialogue. My interest never waned and I really cared about the characters. This is a story that could be happening in any town right now, which makes it even more realistic. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 21st 2016 by Lakewater Press
ASIN
B019X3WELC
Edition Language
English
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Book Review: BUTTERFLY BONES by Rebecca Carpenter

I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of BUTTERFLY BONES from Lakewater Press in exchange for an honest review of the book.

Bethany is a high school student who was born with a rare genetic disease. Osteogenesis imperfecta affects her bone growth and has caused her to be the size of a ten-year old. Now she’s become the target of the new girl at school and her unrelenting bullying. She’s also helplessly in love with Jeremiah, who seems to want nothing more than to be her friend.

As if everything weren’t already bad enough, Bethany’s dad, a research scientist, has been experimenting with a hormone derived from butterflies in an attempt to find a cure for her. But finding a cure won’t be so easy because “When one alters the order of nature, it’s only a matter of time before nature screams for revenge.” The results of her dad’s experimenting have profound consequences.

BUTTERFLY BONES is a unique concept and definitely pulled me through a lot of different emotions, which is a testament to the writing of Rebecca Carpenter. I was furious when reading about the bullies and with some aspects of Bethany’s home life. I got a little teary when reading her dad’s journal entries. And, in one particular revelation near the end, I almost threw the book across the room–which I realize was a great reaction, because it showed how invested I felt in what happened to Bethany.

As for the ending, I personally prefer my vengeance a little more brutal, but I thought this book wrapped up nicely and left me with a little bit of hope.

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Book Tour & Giveaway: In The Blood by R.L. Martinez

In The Blood Banner 540 x 200

 

In the Blood: The Witchbreed, Book One by R.L. Martínez

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Lakewater Press

Date of Publication: March 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9944511-0-1
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-1-8
ASIN: B019X8WCWI

Number of pages: 370
Word Count: app. 122,000

 

ebookinthebloodgirl

Blurb

The Warrior

The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.

But she may arrive too late…

The Witch

Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster. Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Cover Artist E.L. Wicker

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Excerpt

 

“296.”

Angry hisses and mutters rippled through the assembly at the announcement of Ottilde’s number.

The guard at the front of their formation watched with a bored expression as the other inmates spat at her feet. “King Killer,” the woman next to her hissed. Ottilde swallowed and her grip on the heartstone tightened. Chroy had not been a king when she threw her knife into his throat, not yet. But he had been their future, their hope.

Ottilde raised one hand into the air. “Here.” The commotion died down after he called a few more numbers and Ottilde let out her long-held breath. She loosened her fingers from around the heartstone. They came away aching with the force of her hold.

When all the prisoners were accounted for, several inmates broke formation to walk to the dining house for breakfast. The guards, however, growled at them to remain in line, shoving some of the slower ones back into place.

Ottilde frowned at the change in routine, and peered around. Prison Chief Wilder Coomb strode towards them on the other side of the wire fence that formed the front of the yard, his adjutant close at his side. One of the guards unlocked the yard gate and stood back as the Chief entered.

Wilder Coomb was a formidable man. He might once have been handsome, but life had bullied him viciously. His shaved head sported a deep, curling scar on one side of his scalp, while his face and neck carried similar gruesome marks. One earlobe was missing, which gave his head a cock-eyed appearance when viewed straight on. A jagged horizontal line along his neck indicated someone had tried to cut his throat at one time. But Ottilde believed the most impressive scar lay behind the patch over his left eye. The silvery tail of the wound snaked down his cheek and neck to disappear in the stiff collar of his forest green officer’s coat.

Upon reaching the front of the prisoner formations, he folded his hands behind his back and swept a contemptuous eye over them. Ottilde could only imagine what he saw as he stared at them, the ragged unlucky soldiers taken prisoner during the recent Pleinour War. For a moment, Chief Coomb’s hard, dark eye settled on her and she lifted her chin, refusing to show him how much he intimidated her. But his gaze moved on, and she sensed the subtle shift of discomfort in the prisoners around her when one of them felt the whip of his gaze

He held up a sheaf of folded papers; a letter, judging by the regular creases.

“Queen Kuonrada has fled and Deauxerr has vanquished her armies.”

The prisoners shuffled and muttered. The cold air warmed with the force of their anger and humiliation. Ottilde kept her eyes on Chief Coomb’s face, though she felt a good portion of their collective rage focused on her. She knew she held blame for breaking the back of Roanaan’s fighting spirit.

“Over the last several weeks,” Coomb continued, “those with authority in such matters have considered what to do with you all. I have a list of officers and knights to be traded for Deauxerr soldiers now held by the remnant of Roanaan’s military as an act of diplomatic faith. Step forward when I read your number. You will be readied immediately for transport to the exchange point.” He snapped his fingers and his adjutant took the letter from his hand, replacing it with a single sheet of dark paper. Coomb scanned it and shouted out prisoner numbers.

Ottilde’s breathing grew irregular with hope as each man or woman came forward in answer to the prison chief’s summons. But he reached the last number on the list without calling hers. Her stomach soured as she watched a contingent of guards escort the fifty or so fortunate prisoners from the yard.

Once the yard gate had shut again. Chief Coomb’s adjutant handed him another paper. “Now, King Talin of Deauxerr has decided to offer those of you with reports of good conduct and no criminal past the opportunity to swear fealty to the Deauxerr crown. Talin has granted you permission to return to Roanaan or settle in Deauxerr; also, you will be given a small subsidy to start your new life. If you wish to accept this offer, step forward when I read your number.” He sounded off another list of prisoners. Again, Ottilde listened tensely for her number, though she knew how unlikely it was she would hear it this time.

Coomb must have called a hundred numbers or more, but Ottilde estimated only forty prisoners stepped forward. They averted their eyes from those who remained in the formations. Another handful of guards led this group from the yard.

“As for the rest of you,” Coomb said, “you are to be moved to a civilian prison facility where you will no longer be my concern.” He folded his arms behind his back. “Remember, as long as you remain in this camp, or in the custody of my staff, you will obey Lachlas regulations. Everyone will appear for morning roll every day. You all know what will happen should even one of your numbers go missing.” He gave them a last menacing glare then stalked to the yard gate.

 

 

About the Author:

SONY DSCR.L. Martinez writes fantasy and science fiction with dark edges and corners. She began writing when she was in the seventh grade when her teacher assigned a creative writing project. She lives in Norman, OK with her husband, two young sons, a mouse-killing cat, and two naughty pooches.

 

Website – http://robinlmartinez.com/

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RobinLMartinez

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robin.l.martinez400

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8121315.R_L_Martinez

 

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/robinlm488/

 

Tour giveaway, enter HERE!

 

1 swag pack (book, bookmark, postcard, heartstone necklace) and

 

3 ebook copies

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Poor Boy Road by James L. Weaver

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Poor Boy Road, Jake Caldwell Book One by James L. Weaver

 

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Lakewater Press

Date of Publication: March 21, 2016

 

ISBN 978-0-9944511-2-5

ISBN: 978-0-9944511-3-2

ASIN: B019X3WELC

Number of pages: 251

Word Count: approx. 78,000

pbrebookCover Artist: E.L Wicker

 

Blurb

 

As a mob enforcer, Jake Caldwell is in the dark business of breaking kneecaps and snapping bones. But each job sends him one step closer to turning into the man he swore he’d never become—his violent and abusive father. Leaving the mob is easier said than done. When his boss offers a bloody way out, Jake has no choice but to take it, even if it means confronting ghosts of old.

 

Arriving in his Lake of the Ozarks hometown, Jake has two things on his mind: kill ruthless drug lord Shane Langston and bury his dying father. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love all over again and team up with his best friend Bear, the Sheriff of Benton County, to take Langston down. Racing through the countryside searching for Langston, the web of murder, meth and kidnapping widens, all pointing toward a past Jake can’t escape and a place he never wanted to return—Poor Boy Road.

 

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Excerpt

 

“Open the door, Carlos,” Jake said, pounding the door twice. No answer, but the shadow wavered as if its owner was uncertain if it should stay or run.

Jake sighed and stepped back. With his good leg, he exploded forward, driving his heel above the knob. The lock assembly collapsed against the splintered wood and the door burst open. Carlos cried out as the door cracked his face, his wiry frame collapsing to the floor. He landed on his ass, holding his nose. Blood poured through his fingers and onto his stained, white T-shirt. Jake entered the apartment to the stench of cigarettes and fried onions, and shut the remains of the door behind him. Carlos pushed back toward a kitchen stacked with crusted plates and glasses, his wide eyes fearful.

Jake tucked the Glock in his waistband and picked up a dented baseball bat leaning against a bookcase covered with dead plants. He held it with both hands, testing the weight. Thirty-two ounce aluminum fat barrel. He walked to Carlos and tapped him hard on the leg with it.

“Where’s your daughter?” Jake asked. The last thing he wanted was a little girl to run in screaming. It happened before.

“Hospital.”

“Still?”

Carlos nodded. “They can’t figure out what’s wrong.”

“Sorry to hear it,” Jake said. He didn’t wish that kind of heartache on anyone, but Keats wasn’t paying him as a shoulder to cry on. “The two grand. Where is it?”

“Ain’t got it. No insurance and the damn hospital’s sucking me dry.”

The bat burned in Jake’s hands. He didn’t want to, but his orders were to liberally apply a blunt object to Carlos’ legs if he didn’t have the money. There would be hell to pay otherwise. He raised the bat, white knuckling the handle.

“Please, Jake,” Carlos pleaded, tears rolling down his weathered cheeks. “It’s my little girl, man.”

The brief howl of air and hollow thunk of metal meeting bone echoed in his head, a ghostly sound from long ago. The excruciating pain would rip through the man’s body, so intense he would shred his vocal cords from the screams. He knew because he dealt this punishment too many times in the past. He could feel it because he was once on the receiving end. As the bat barrel wavered and Carlos sobbed, Jake’s cell phone vibrated for the fifth time in twenty minutes. Like the previous four times, he silenced it.

He glimpsed a picture on the kitchen counter of Carlos and his daughter. Eight years old, cute as hell in a white dress with a daisy in her thick, black hair. What would happen to her if Jake broke her daddy’s legs? What would Keats do to him if he didn’t? His cell vibrated again.

Jake tossed the bat on the floor. It clanked toward the busted front door and he yanked the cell from his pocket, checking the number. 660 area code. Home, if there was such a place. He needed to think and the call provided as good a distraction as any. Jake answered with his left hand and pulled the gun out with his right, training it on Carlos.

“Dad’s dying,” Janey said. His sister’s first words to him in a year. Like he was supposed to give a shit.

 

About the Author:

Weaver photoJames L Weaver is the author of the forthcoming Jake Caldwell thrillers Poor Boy Road and Ares Road from Lakewater Press. He makes his home in Olathe, Kansas with his wife of 18 years and two children. His previous publishing credits include a six part story called “The Nuts” and his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane which is available on Amazon.com. Author note: a handful of the raters are actually not related to him.

His limited free time is spent writing into the wee hours of the morning, playing parental taxi cab to his kids’ sporting endeavors, and binge watching Netflix.

You can read his blog at weaverwrites.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @WildcatJim2112.

 

Blog: https://weaverwrites.wordpress.com

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28121043-poor-boy-road

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WildcatJim2112

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/James-L-Weaver-1561520517509056

 

Tour giveaway, enter HERE!

 

1 copy of Poor Boy Road and swag pack

 

3 ebook copies of Poor Boy Road

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