Posts tagged ‘political thriller’

Skulls and Bones

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The Eight Sentences:

Hula girls and a skull dagger.

Hula girls and a skull dagger.

Claudia asked, “What’s up with the choice of shirts?”
“The dagger bothers you?” asked Debert.
“I’m not sure…” she hesitated wondering what Debert was up to. “Is he mocking me—or is this some dark metaphor?” she asked herself.
Debert assumed a dignified frown, lowered his eyebrows and intoned, “You remember from your study of history, that in medieval times, before the age of printing, events were often documented with marks on the handles of knives.”
“Mmmmm…..that does ring a bell,” Claudia remembered, “and this shirt with a skull at the junction of the blade, handle, and guard?”
Debert smiled, “Well I have no idea how many skulls, or notches on your gun you might have, but I thought one would represent what you do in addition to all of them in toto.”

The Set Up:

In this scene from The Tourist Killer, Claudia is having breakfast with Mr. Debert at the Sandestin Hilton in Florida. His choice of attire becomes the subject of their conversation. And in the news, Claudia got a great 4 star review this past week. Check it out, HERE.

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What the shooter knows before squeezing the trigger.

Group Dynamics crowdTravis Bickle lurks just a few rows from where the President is shaking hands with the crowd.
Twenty yards away, Squeaky Fromme waits with the patience of a tortoise.
John Hinckley is an adolescent who observes every movement.
A select detail of Secret Service Agents execute their duties to perfection.
The President works the crowd and departs the airport unharmed in his limousine, “The Beast.”

From her hotel room on the forty-second floor, Claudia Barry lowered her binoculars, smiled, and thought to herself, I could have choreographed that entire scene.

Her confidence in doing so comes from the fact that she was the first person to earn a (fictitious) masters degree in group dynamics from LSU (or anywhere else for that matter.)

The study of a system of behaviors and psychological processes which occur within a social group, or between social groups and individuals within and/or outside of either, is group dynamics. An in-depth understanding of these interactions coupled with knowledge of the subject individual will assist observers in predicting the subject’s movements and response to the movement of others. Such facts as the subject’s personality profile and handedness are key elements to anticipate reactions as well. (How many U.S. Presidents were left-handed?)

Ms. Barry earned an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of Arkansas. She learned to shoot from her grandfather who was a retired motorcycle repairman (a subtle reference to Zen) and had enjoyed watching the movement of animals in the woods. She attended numerous church services, political cocktail parties, and trials to study the way humans moved in response to others. She took private dance lessons and applied what she learned while moving through crowded subway stations and common areas. Mardis Gras parades were a favorite for personal challenges.
How close can I get to the mayor?
Can I shake hands with the grand marshall on the parade route?
She interviewed street performers and scrutinized every move they made, especially as they interacted with the impromptu audiences.
To add legitimacy to her project and to mask her unconscionable motive, she titled her thesis paper, Security in Space: The dynamics and challenges of providing personal security in high risk environments.

Book Review: Secrets of the Dead by Caleb Pirtle

“Through the travail of the ages                Image

Midst the pomp and toil of war

Have I fought and strove and perished

Countless times upon this star.

 

So as through a glass and darkly

The age long strife I see

Where I fought in many guises,

Many names – but always me.”  — George S. Patton

 

General Patton believed in reincarnation.

 

Ambrose Lincoln has lived it.

 

How many lives has he lived? No one knows. Countless times upon this star.

 

Not even he knows how many times he has lived and died.

 

As a result of his peculiar circumstance, Mr. Lincoln has no fear of death whatsoever.

 

Everyone will die with secrets.

 

When Ambrose Lincoln dies, he will carry many secrets to the grave with him.

 

But he won’t remember any of them in this life.

 

Lincoln is the central character in Secrets of the Dead, Caleb Pirtle’s most recent offering. Pirtle is the author of over sixty books and long recognized as one of America’s great story tellers.

 

November 1938 is the setting for Secrets of the Dead. It was known as “Kristallnacht.” It was a night of horror in Poland. A night of broken glass, broken hearts and broken promises.

Kristallnacht would likely have been the “Gulf of Tonkin” for America’s involvement in World War II had it not been for Pearl Harbor.  Either event alone would have begun the cascade of events that brought the Yanks into the European war. Together, they assured American involvement and doom for the Axis Powers.

 

Kristallnacht would precede and create the venue for Ambrose Lincoln’s next assignment. He wouldn’t remember it for very long.

Image

Rare color image from WWII found in a book we recently reviewed: “America At War in Color.” Click on the image to read the review in a new window.

Pirtle takes readers back in time to the climax of events that created World War II. From the rubble in Jewish ghetto streets to the hallowed halls of power in Washington. We experience the power of politics, hate, war, redemption and love via an unforgettable cast of characters. In addition to the assassin pawn, Lincoln, we meet his handlers, his masters and several Germans who share the misfortune of his company. We know that not everyone we meet will live to the last page.

Another character of interest is a natural element, snow. The ever-present snow erases evidence of footsteps and meetings. It seals the secrets of the dead.

Secrets of the Dead debuted as a daily serial on Venture Galleries’ web site. Venture Galleries is a leader in bringing serial novels back into the mainstream. Any given day, readers will find up to a dozen serials in progress with an eclectic variety of genres from thrillers and romance,  to historical novels, politics, and murder. All chapters are archived on the site and available anytime. So, settle down in your easy chair with your online reading device and enjoy a quick interesting read.  Secrets of the Dead is a great place to start.

The Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects article

In 1968, my high school football team won eight games and lost one during the regular season. The Mangham Dragons were district 2-B co-champs. An 8 X 10 photo of the team hangs on the wall near my computer. (See top right, notice red label.)

My wife asked me about the photo one day and I started naming all the players — by number.
Number 8 is Oliver Douglas.
Thirty-one is Tommy Pailette.
Twenty-one is Lynn Mercer.
I went on and on. The names came back to me without hesitation.

About two weeks ago, I finished reading and reviewed Dancing Priest, a book by Glenn Young. There were four significant characters.
Several times, I got them so confused, I had to write out a flow chart.
Brother, sister, roommates, friends, twins.

How could I remember dozens of names from forty years ago and couldn’t keep four characters separated now?

In the fall of 2011, I read Michael Crichton’s last book that was finished by Richard Preston. Micro featured a group of seven students. In the opening pages of the book, readers were treated to a list of characters and a brief description. It was a great help. I referred to it often while reading the book.

Now, I’m involved with another book featuring a group of seven characters. It’s my own book, The Presidents Club. While writing it, I’ve referred to my notes many times. An important point my editor/mentor brings up every time we talk is how to avoid confusing my readers.

Authors know more about their characters and stories than the readers.
Authors certainly know background information unavailable to the reader, unless it is revealed in the written word.

If I cannot remember four characters and their relationships, why should my readers be expected to sort out and remember almost a dozen characters? An added complication is that my book is serialized, one chapter each week.

One step we will take soon is to begin presenting two chapters a week rather than one.

Another step is this list of characters with brief descriptions. When The Presidents Club becomes available as an e-book and a trade paperback, this same list will appear in the front near the opening pages.

 

Cast of main characters in The Presidents Club by FCEtier

John Hixon – ex-FBI agent hired by Thibaut to protect the Presidents Club

Julian Thibaut – billionaire investor/political activist currently promoting an initiative to improve government efficiency and encourage public participation

Gerald Point – chief of Thibaut’s personal security staff

Rosemary Woods – Thibaut’s secretary

Carl “Louie” Chaisson – former pharmacist now part owner/bartender of the Louisville Tavern

 

     The Presidents Club:

          Abraham “Abe” Region – retired school teacher now janitor at Holiday Inn Express

          Ronald Gold – U.S. Air Force retired, former member special ops

          Woodrow “Woody” Risk – retired Lowes manager, domino expert, and math savant

          George Ridge – general surgeon paralyzed from waist down, speed reader

          Thomas “Tommy” Pritchett – former Baptist minister

          Ulysses “Useful” Fishinghawk – retired college professor

          Franklin York – retired chiropractor, photographic memory

Second Novel Debuts: “The Presidents Club”

TPC Cvr - sml

January 6, 2013, my second novel, The Presidents Club will begin as a weekly serial. One chapter each week, every Sunday.  The posts will remain on the site indefinitely, so if you come in late, or miss an episode, it will be easy to catch up.

Pitch line: A group of retirees and the ex-FBI agent hired to protect them face danger as they investigate a murder and uncover the source of ultimate government power.

Serial novels are making a come back at VG Serials and have proven to be wildly popular.

Watch for

The Presidents Club at this link:  http://venturegalleries.com/category/blog-serials/

Visit my author’s page on FaceBook

Seated in the reading room of Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, NC.

Received many requests about this, so now, my author’s page on FaceBook is live.

Click HERE to visit.  “Likes” appreciated!

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