Kindle Countdown Deal – Behind the Mask & UNMASKED!

BookstogetherStarting Friday, November 16, 2018, Kindle versions of the novels Behind the Mask and the sequel, UNMASKED will be available for only $.99.  The sale will continue through Friday, November 23, 2018.  Both are available at Amazon.com.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle App for free at Apple.com or for Android at Google Play.

Excerpt from Behind the Mask:

“Hold the elevator?” Remi shouted at the top of her lungs.  But no one did.  “Thanks a lot,” she yelled out.  She then impatiently waited, tapping her foot as the heavy-weighted bags numbed her aching arms.  After what seemed like hours, the doors eventually re-opened, but a barrage of passengers filed out, knocking into her causing the two larger bags to drop. “Dammit!”

An assortment of paper products and food items were strewn all over the lobby.  She immediately started picking them up while spouting obscenities.  “Aren’t there any nice people left in this world?” she bellowed.  Liam walked up, completely unaware of whom the agitated, young lady was. “Need some help?” he asked, setting aside his luggage and kneeling down.  She nodded, but her back was to him so that he couldn’t see her face.  He grabbed one of the bags and filled it back up while Remi scurried around, trying to retrieve bottles of soda.  Liam picked up a small block of Colby-jack cheese, and as he was about to hand it over, he finally caught a glimpse of her face.  He was instantly taken aback as if he had just seen a ghost. Her hair was much shorter than he remembered.  But what he could never forget were those dark blue eyes, as they still reminded him of sapphires.  “Are you okay?” she asked, flashing a warm smile.  That was something he wasn’t on the receiving end of when they were locked inside of the vault.  He recalled her smiling, but it was tainted with fear and uncertainty. 

“Yeah, I just remembered that I forgot something,” he lied.   

She studied him for a moment, causing him to squirm internally.  As their eyes locked on one another for a brief moment, he thought for sure she recognized him.  “Can I have the cheese?” she asked, holding out her hand.  “Yeah—sorry,” he said, somewhat flustered.  Her fingers had barely gripped hold of it before Liam pulled his hand back.  “Are you sure you’re okay?” she questioned, wrinkling her forehead. That was reminiscent of their time in the vault, with her constant perplexed expression, along with curious observations.  But regardless, she never saw his face.

The one thing he hadn’t thought of was his voice.  He thought she had to at least remember that, especially when there was an awkward pause.  He thought for sure he’d been caught, but then she just smiled and thanked him for his help, pretty much affirming she hadn’t a clue.

Excerpt from UNMASKED:

Luckily, Olivia’s cell phone rang, giving Remi the out she needed. “I’ll let you get that,” she said, quickly exiting and sprinting down the hall towards the ladies room.  After frantically barreling herself through the door, she instantly infiltrated the closet stall, where she dropped to her knees and hugged the toilet.  With vapid tears streaming down her cheeks, she tried to curb the vomit that had built up inside of her throat.  However, it was futile because soon she began to puke violently.  “Oh God,” she cried out, as her morning coffee and cinnamon bagel made a reappearance.  Just then one of her co-workers entered the restroom and asked if she was all right.  In an attempt to disguise the true nature of her meltdown, Remi suppressed the tears and yelled out, “Yeah, I think it’s just food poisoning.”

“Can I get you anything?” the concerned young woman asked.  “No, thanks, I’ll be fine,” she replied, hoping the woman would leave, which thankfully she did.  And once she was alone, Remi leaned against the stall wall and let the tears flow again.  She knew she had to tell Liam that he was right.  The police had the bag all along. Cradling her now bent knees, while sitting on the dirty, tiled lavatory floor, she had only two thoughts running through her head.  One, how hard it was going to be to tell Liam about the bag. And the second was purely selfish; it was the thought of losing him.  She took a few deep breaths, trying desperately to regroup.  However, it took close to ten minutes for her to finally climb up off the floor.  Then it took another five for her to make it to the sink.  After scrubbing her hands, she grabbed a handful of paper towels, wetted them with cold water and proceeded to dab them all over her face and neck. Glancing into the mirror, all she could see was her eyes, still moist and crimson from the barrage of tears. An indication of how horrible she felt at that moment.  She then popped a wintergreen mint into her mouth and pulled out her phone to call Liam, but stopped short of clicking his name.  Thinking that maybe doing it over the phone wasn’t the smartest of choices, she decided to go see him instead.

To avoid Olivia spotting her tear-swollen eyes, Remi purposely kept her face skewed by the doorframe when she peeked her head into Olivia’s office. “I’m not feeling well, think it might be food poisoning,” she fibbed.  “Is it okay if I go home?”

“Of course, go get some rest and feel better soon,” said Olivia.  Remi thanked her then hurriedly got out of there.  She had barely made it to the street when she began yelling for a taxi.  Fortunately, one pulled right up.  “Kitty Hawk Avenue at the Navy shipyard—I mean Braddock and Associates,” she snapped at the driver then apologized for her rudeness.  She started to search the address on her phone, but the driver stated he knew the location.  Remi slumped down into the backseat, and something unfamiliar happened, she dreaded seeing Liam.

Kindle Countdown Deal – UNMASKED

UnmaskedCoverWebsite1Kindle edition for my novel, UNMASKED will be available at Amazon.com for only $.99 starting Monday, July 16th, 2018.  The sale will continue through Saturday, July 21st, 2018.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle App (for other devices) for free at Apple.com or for Android at Google Play.

Excerpt from UNMASKED:

Though he was doing a good job concentrating on the task at hand, his thoughts once again betrayed him, by sending him right back to the Bank of Philadelphia.  But this time, it wasn’t the meetings before or the actions afterward, it was right at the point when he and Tom retrieved the diamonds.  They each had one of the two keys required to open the safety deposit box, and Liam thought about how as they unlocked the box, he was oblivious to Remi being in the vault with them.  He was so focused on the diamonds that to him, she didn’t exist.  Of course, she soon became very real when right before they were about to exit, Tom asked what they should do with her. Those dark blue eyes, he thought. It was as if those eyes could see directly into his soul.  Liam remembered telling Tom just to leave her.  Never realizing that it was at that exact moment, he began protecting Remi. Even with his own empty threats against her, looking back, he had to laugh at the irony.  Other than knowing she was one of the tellers, she was a stranger to him and knew little about her but yet he was still compelled to risk it all for her.  “You identified with your hostage, that’s a big no-no.”  Remi’s own words certainly rang true, in more ways than one.

He gazed up at the full moon then started smiling.  “No regrets, no emotions, no involvement…blah blah blah,” he uttered.  Those words sounded so false now.  While inside the vault, Remi asked who he was trying to convince, after his cold declaration that hostages were just part of the job.  She didn’t believe him, and at the time, he thought she was dead wrong, but now knew she was right.  It took someone like her to make him face reality.  And face it, he did.  The longer he laid there, the more he realized that not only did he want to go back to Philly, but he needed to go back. – Chapter 5

 

Kindle Countdown Sale – Behind the Mask

BehindtheMaskBookWebsiteBefore the sequel read about how a masked gunman became a reluctant hero to a young woman who would forever change his life.  My debut novel, Behind the Mask, Kindle edition will be available on Amazon.com for only $.99 starting this Friday, May 11th, 2018.  The sale will continue through Friday, May 18th, 2018.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle App for free at Apple.com or for Android at Google Play

Excerpt from Behind the Mask:

He had never regretted his decisions; stealing was a means to an end. Guilt was something he kept at bay. An expert at being selfish, he made zero apologies for it, but he didn’t enjoy dealing with hostages. He preferred the jobs that were done overnight, where no one else was involved, or the smash and grab ones where everything was done in record time. On the other hand, Charles and Tom took great pleasure in watching innocent people suffer. Up until that point though, no hostage had ever been sexually violated or killed under Liam’s watch, and he had planned on keeping it that way. Even though he did threaten Remi, he never had any intention of harming her. He hated to admit it, but she was absolutely correct in her assessment of him. He was certainly no angel, but she was safe—at least with him. – Behind the Mask

Literary Agent Rejection Letters

Back in June of 2014, I began the difficult task of sending out query letters and a 10-page synopsis of Behind the Mask, to a list of literary agents I found at WritersMarkets.com.  Having absolutely NO clue what I was doing, I researched how to go about the process.  And I’m pretty sure I did it all wrong, but the longer I do this, the more I learn.

So, the query letter was awful, even when I read it now, I cringe.  And the 10-page synopsis, which needed to basically spoil the reader, was harder to write than one would imagine.  But I was undeterred in my quest to make a fool of myself.  I say that because though I felt I had a decent story to tell, I wasn’t fully confident I had succeeded in writing it.

After skimming through the names of hundreds of agents, I just picked out ones that I assumed handled fictional novels.  I typed up the required self-addressed stamped envelopes, stuck in the query letter, along with the synopsis and hoped for the best.

Since I self-published both of my books you can guess what happened.  However, I had heard horror stories about some of the rejections letters authors had received, even famous ones.  Therefore, I was prepared for the slaughter, but surprisingly the rejections weren’t as painful as I expected.  That being said, after the tenth one or so, can’t say they didn’t sting a little.

I sent out 24 in all and got back 20.  Some were just my query letter sent back to me with a few words written on them, stating how they weren’t interested.  Some were a standard stock robotic letter, saying they couldn’t represent me.  But a few were very kind and no one told me it all out sucked.  Or that I should give up writing.  There was one in particular who wrote the most amazing letter and told me how she saw it as a movie, but I didn’t submit a screenplay, I submitted a novel.  Two completely different things.  Not going to lie, can’t say I haven’t thought about the movie version, but I’m a realist.  Even though she didn’t represent me, I never forgot about her letter.  The following are just three of the rejection letters, to show the difference in responses.  The first one is my favorite:

EPSON MFP image

literaryrejection2.jpg

literaryrejection3.jpg

Remi & Liam…

 

notebooknotes
Dated July 21, 2010 – Behind the Mask notes aka scribbles

As I tweak this website, the one thing I decided to do was separate the two novels, Behind the Mask and Unmasked into separate sections.  At first, I had them listed under a menu titled, ‘NOVELS’ but thought by giving them each their own identity made more sense.  Because even though Unmasked is a continuation of the first novel there are things that are unique to both, that I think people would find interesting.  Or at least, I just think it would be fun to give away some little nuggets of this long journey that has brought me to this point.

For instance, the characters of Remi Catalano and Liam Matthews have been a part of my life for 10 years now.  10 YEARS!!!!  They’ve had many, many, MANY conversations in my head.  Some made it to the books, some did not.  I have tons of notebooks, post-its, and iPhone notes with scribblings that only I would understand what was written.  I’ll read a few now and laugh at how manic they appear.  I used to write while my son was playing travel baseball.  He’d train for hours, so I would just drift off into Remi and Liam’s world.  Never did I think, 10 years later, I’d still be writing about them and letting others read about them as well.

It’s crazy!