Blog Tour in January for Phil Brennan #2, “A Still, Small Voice”

A Still, Small VoiceTo promote my newest book, A Still, Small Voice, which will be out in December, I’m going on a blog tour in January.

If you, dear reader, would like to host a stop on the tour, I’ll give one of your readers a copy of the book just for commenting. (Oh, and you’ll get one for hosting.) You don’t need a large audience. I’ll take whatever you’re willing to share.

If you know of another blogging author who might be interested in hosting a stop on the tour in exchange for the bribe of 2 copies of the book (one for them, one for a commenter) please point them this way.

Eager to share this one with you. It is my best book so far.

He pulled out the soiled handkerchief again and smeared germs across his forehead

sweatingHe pulled out the soiled handkerchief again and smeared germs across his forehead. Then he sat.

“I should say, that is, I meant to say, I removed something and I would like you to put it back.”

He hadn’t added up from minute one. It was only getting worse.

“And the reason you can’t return it yourself is what? They don’t know you took it and you’d like to keep it that way?”

He blushed. Actual pink-in-the-face blushing.

“While it’s more, well, complicated, yes, complicated than that, you could put it that way.”

His predilection for circuitous expression was annoying. And apparently catching.

“Why?”

It pushed him back against the chair.

“What do you mean, why?”

“I get the broad strokes. Give me the details. You said there were details. Share them.”

The sweating and blushing continued. The predilection didn’t.

“No.”

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Phil Brennan, Web Martin, and Jesse Donovan Walk Into A Bar

Joel D CanfieldYou’d think I’d know what to expect considering who I was meeting in the cheap dive downtown.

One at a time, sure.

I’d never sat down with the three of them, not all at once.

It’s enough to drive you to drink.

Or for those with other proclivities, to write.

Or maybe both.

Coming from the giant moth in my dream it sounded strange

moth“How did you get in here?”

Coming from the giant moth in my dream, it sounded strange.

Once I got my eyes open and saw it was coming from a thirty-something woman standing a safe distance away from me, looking very proprietary and possessive, it made more sense.

“The gate.” Yeah, my mouth can even do that with total strangers. I wasn’t awake yet.

“Very funny. Who are you and what are you doing in my yard, on my beach, in my chair?”

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Off to See the Editor: A Still, Small Voice (Phil Brennan #2)

AStillSmallVoice-cover20151020e-flat-3DYesterday the final manuscript of the second Phil Brennan mystery, A Still, Small Voice, was trundled off to my marvelous editor Tom Bentley to face the Pain of the Red Pen.

My goal is to have it in your hot little hands by December 1st.

It’s not courage when you’re not afraid

brave-face“It’s not courage when you’re not afraid. Courage is when you’re afraid, and you do it anyway.”

Millie turned enough to touch Darcy’s face with the back of her hand. “I know, dear. I don’t think you’re in any real danger or I wouldn’t ask you to do this.”

Darcy nodded. “I’ll be okay. I just had to wind up for it.” She smiled a big fake smile at me in the mirror, mussed up the back of my hair, and got out.

Millie and I went off to do battle with the rest of the family.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

The hammering felt like a hangover

hammering-anvilThe hammering felt like a hangover. Since I hadn’t had a drink in years, it wasn’t a hangover.

It wouldn’t stop, though. There was yelling. And a scraping noise.

When my eyes had the strength to open, some of the noises started to make sense.

“Hang on.” I didn’t know if they could hear me over their own yelling. I got my thick fluffy robe, which is far more luxurious than most single guys would have but since I sleep in the same clothes I shower in I keep something posh handy in case of emergency.

The hammering and shoving at the door sounded like an emergency.

I froze.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Maybe you can help me with a little something

coffee-and-darknessShe scrunched her lips and her eyebrows. I liked the lips better, but the scrunched eyebrows worked, too.

“Well, now. I’m not here about what Gil wanted. You’ve clearly already taken care of that, according to the papers. I’m here on my own. He seemed confident you could help him, so I thought, if Gil trusts you, maybe you can help me with a little something.”

It was thin as the decaf in an office coffee pot, but I figured I might as well let her run with it.

“Well, that’s different. Tell me all about it.”

She sure was good at that smile. I kept almost believing it.

“Since Gil is dead he can’t finish the job.”

That settled that.

“I need you to kill someone for me.”

And that, my dears, unsettled that.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

No point buying something expensive when you can’t be sure any of it is going to stay down

whiskey burns“You knew.”

I’d given up saving the situation. Yes, I knew, and I hadn’t told her. Yes, this Gertrude and Sam thing was my idea, and we’d blown it sky high. Yes, Darcy, I love you, and you hate me, and once again I’ve managed to destroy the best hope I had for any kind of salvation through a relationship.

She didn’t spit on me. She didn’t slap me. She didn’t even look at me. Or anyone else.

She just walked out, leaving the door swinging open as she went.

Sam started to follow her, but Millie held her hand and stopped her.

I don’t know how long I stood there, but after a few years of it, I left, alone, and took a cab home.

Made a stop on the way there and bought a bottle of Old Overholt.

No point buying something expensive when you can’t be sure any of it is going to stay down.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Knee-deep in these folks and their shenanigans

“Could she have put Gil up to hiring me?”

“Why would she do that?”

I hadn’t thought about it. I was still slapping pieces into the puzzle to see what fit where. Would have been nice if I could see the picture on the cover so I knew what we were trying to piece together.

“No idea. But if she’d wanted him to do it, would he?”

She nodded. “Oh, yes. Absolutely. He believed every word she said, even if she’d said the exact opposite the day before.”

“And does she have reason to wish your father harm?”

That got a shrug. “Who knows? Like I said, we’re not close. She’s not close to father by any means. And it might have cost her a job.”

“Revenge doesn’t always calculate the risks first.”

But then, I hadn’t either, or I wouldn’t be knee-deep in these folks and their shenanigans.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

So, Who Knifed You?

dagger“Come over here and lie down on the bench.” She pulled my arm and the rest of me back to the little corner spot where some folks drank their coffee instead of buying it and going home to make their own.

“There. On your back. These straight edges will keep tearing apart if it’s not taped well, and I can’t do that if you’re standing up.”

I eased down on the bench and put my hands behind my head so everything was out of her way. She did things with wet stuff, cleaning and moisturizing or something like that, then rolled out three hundred yards of gauze and an entire roll of tape. Somehow it all fit on my chest. Somehow, it made me feel a whole lot better. I might even get out of here without too many awkward questions.

Yeah, right.

“So who knifed you? And why?”

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

72,275 Words: A Still, Small Voice, the Last Chapter Written

AStillSmallVoice-cover20151020e-flat-3DThursday morning I wrote the final chapter of A Still, Small Voice, the second Phil Brennan novel.

In one way, it didn’t end as I expected. The people in the room surprised me.

What Phil does, though: I’d seen that coming for a while.

In a few weeks, you’ll see it, too.

Look Back, Look Forth

A Look Back (at My Latest Book)

top-hat-arrivesWhen Lia London mentioned her penchant for writing Shakespearean sonnets on demand, after a brief exchange regarding the details she delivered this, the very first sonnet based on That She Is Made of Truth: … more … “Look Back, Look Forth”