The right hand of the dominant mob family, Raine Morgan is tasked with hunting down two miscreants messing with the bottom line. He finds them on the docks, but, in the confusion of the fight, accidentally kills their victim and lets them escape. Horrified at what he’s done, Raine seeks redemption as well as revenge.
Things spiral out of control when a greedy middleman overthrows Raine’s mob organization. It’s only with the help of a friend inside the crumbling mob as well as a streetwise artist that Raine remains undetected as he searches for the men who started this all. Raine doesn’t realize, however, he has caught the attention of a disparate conclave of gods in the process.
As the pantheon returns to the city they’d abandoned, old conflicts re-emerge, causing divine civil war. Both sides try to pull Raine to their side, expecting to find a naive god for them to manipulate. Instead, they find a man stripped of everything, intent on playing both sides as they learn an awful reality – even gods can die.
The figures disappeared around a jagged line of barrels. Cale kept the same speed, listening to their movements. Running his fingers along cold steel of the shipping container, he moved around to catch one of them, the largest one, venturing towards the labyrinth, retreating moments later. Quiet laughter followed as they teased and jostled each other.
Coming to a stop, he stared at the silhouettes, considered his action. The children crept forward, toying with the lines of shadows as they went. Cale balled his hand into a fist and rapped on the metal with the white bone shards that wrapped his fingers like a gauntlet. One, two, three times in a slow, measured beat. A breeze coalesced with the beat, twisting into something entirely inhuman.
The whispers stopped. So did the thump of the children’s footsteps. The three children froze, stared into the darkness. The sound of happy jostling was gone, replaced with the splashing of choppy waves.
Cale struck the crate once more.
Shrill shouts hit his ears as the silhouettes retreated, tripping over each other in their haste. Cale watched them, making sure they didn’t stay. He rested a hand on his gun, wondering what he’d do if the Stalker actually showed up again. His heart thudded, anxiety creeping into his chest. As he watched the last leg disappear over the last step, he turned back to the docks. He had a long night ahead of him.
With the area empty once more, he felt a wave of relief wash over him.
Special Guest Post By The Author – My Decision To Self-Publish
I’ve been working on this story for years. Since 2008 to be precise. And the thing I’ve found over the years that it is a real love it or hate it affair. And, even then, it mostly comes down to loving the first or second half. After more than a hundred rejections with some close calls, I realized that this was really a passion project that would not find a mainstream audience. I had been told for years and years self-publishing was the way to go, not only from a royalties standpoint, but also from the aspect that you are able to control the marketing and put as much into it as you want to. Those two factors were the primary reason for me deciding to go down the self-publishing route.
Honestly, the most difficult part was convincing myself to finally put my story out there. Even after the book went up on pre-order, I was still doing minor tweaks to the story, though most of it was changing some word choice and ferreting out typos that I hadn’t caught. I’d also run into a few examples of authors throwing their stuff out there when it wasn’t ready, then correcting it after the fact, which left a bad taste in my mouth. However, years after the fact, they’re successful and it’s just a minor blip for those of us that were there at the start. That was probably the biggest hurdle: to have the manuscript ready and perfect before putting it out there. As I’ve learned, it’s really never going to be, you just have to let go.
I think I’m proudest of the cover. I made it after spending weeks and months trying to find someone to create one for me. I was not able to distill my ideas down and I was getting wildly different interpretations of what I was trying to do. In the end, I didn’t even make the cover I wanted, but I was able to put together a couple different images that evoked the feeling I wanted, particularly for the later parts of the novel. What I like so much about the image is that my eyes trip over every “gate” as you look through to the mist beyond. Honestly, I tinkered with multiple different iterations and images, but once I got the font and the cover put together, I got chills and just knew that “This is it.” Of course, at that point, I had to still tweak some things and build the back cover, but all the core elements were there and I couldn’t be happier.
About The Author
Justin D. Herd is a Fantasy Noir author, who has been writing novels for ten years. He absolutely loves dark, twisted stories that take readers into unexpected places. Horror movies are his passion and he often takes stories to task for not logically thinking out their concepts. His home has been invaded by three eccentric cats, one of which is obssesed with all things digital. He is married with two children.
You can buy his books at the following links:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1FJIeHf
Justin D. Herd will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.