Clickity clack … what other sounds does a keyboard make? I start typing, finish several pages and send them off to Lon. He reads, makes notes and sends them back. Pssst, near the end of this post is a great way to get a story for free and we have an excerpt from Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill.
Writing the Tom Stone Detective Series with him has the look of a traditional writer-editor relationship where we discuss an idea or approach, I write it up, and he puts in his comments.
During our revision round, we’ll get together in person or, lately, use the Facebook messenger app and I’ll read, while he listens and we incorporate edits and smooth out rough patches.
Collaborating on creative work isn’t easy, just like any business partnership has its troubles. But this relationship has worked well for us and it’s resulted in a short story, three novels, and our fourth novel Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill.
Fans of authors like Lee Child and James Patterson sound the alert: the gripping Tom Stone Detective thriller novels and our action-adventure short story in ebook form are on sale today. Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23 for 99 cents each.
Follow the story of Detective Tom Stone and his partner Jake Sharpe chasing a wanna-be drug lord, Anthony Angelino, through the streets of Los Angeles as both men bond with friends and fight the mob.
Angelino wants to be his own boss and book reviews have noted that he’s a sympathetic character as an organized crime syndicate trips him up and takes over his life. His girlfriend desperately wants a way out of the lifestyle and becomes the first person in her family to attend college.
You’ll see the development of friendships while touching on themes like inter-racial relationships, foster care, and parenting teenagers. We take a real-life approach and have quirky characters running around Los Angeles.
Our Work-in-Progress 4th Novel Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill
Our sale comes as we’re in the editing and revising round of our 4th novel Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill.
Los Angeles is in chaos as someone is selectively killing the wealthy who finance the shipment and sale of cocaine and other illicit drugs. A cartel sees an opening to take control and overwhelm the police. Tom Stone must find a way to take control when his girlfriend, an accomplished defense attorney, refuses to represent one of the cartel members and her life is at stake.
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EXCERPT 1 for BOOK 4: TOM STONE: ONE SHOT, ONE KILL
The equestrian trail ran parallel
and he slowed down when he spotted the wreath, flowers, and candles at the
exact spot of the death. The crime scene was described so clinically: on the mount and fell toward the freeway.
There was more to it. She would have been looking straight ahead and down the
trail with her mind on so many other things. Perhaps business or chatting up
her daughter’s schoolwork. The bullet struck without warning and she wouldn’t
have had any time to react.
He jogged on toward Travel Town. The locomotives and old-fashioned passenger cars had school-age boys and girls climbing in and out of them followed by doting moms and dads. No one at the attraction would have even heard the shot. One bullet fired in hiding held such power to change the course of a family’s life, the business dealings of a company, and even the fate of a nation.
EXCERPT 2 for BOOK 4: TOM STONE: ONE SHOT, ONE KILL
Kilbraide set the
papers down and thought that money isn’t always a motive. There was something
that Stone and Jake didn’t understand. You’re good and have the talent as a
sniper and then you train day in and day out until the shot becomes an
extension of yourself. Just like it was in the military with wind whipping dirt
and sand in your face. You’re not there because you want to make a shitload of
money. You’re there to do a job. Get it done. It’s your mission. You dedicate
your life at that moment to bringing down the enemy.
Kilbraide picked up the evidence bag from his desk and inside was the patch. One Shot, One Kill. No Remorse. I Decide. The mindset of a sniper. Why should civilian life be different than the military? He thumbed through the numbers and thought two elite individuals are now gone. But in a city the size of Los Angeles, there were still plenty more.
Lon and I are now in round one editing of our work-in-progress Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill. The image below is one I took of Los Angeles off Mulholland Drive. It’s one of my favorites from the area. This pic is significant for Book 4.
You’ll find out why by reading the first chapter. Want to get it for free? Join our reading group by clicking here and we’ll send it off. You can also get another freebie or two.
Moving through a chapter or two a day of edits and adjustments is making me feel good about the story we’ve created. This is Book 4.
We started writing the first story in January 2015, wrote several months and decided that we needed a Christmas story to help market the novel. The Christmas story was finished almost a year later in August 2016 and became Book 1 Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas.
Book 4 focuses on the pain of losing a loved one to a drug overdose, the coming together of loyal friends to battle the bad guys, and the reach of government. It ties together elements from the first 3 books even those can stand alone.
We’re in editing mode so we’re looking at about six weeks out for a release. Stay tuned and hang in there.
Join our readers group in the meantime.
Oh and the review … if you’re pressed for time we had a nice succinct review on our short story A Deadly Path by Pen and Ink Reviews. Check it out in the previous post.
A hike in Los Angeles meant to bond father and son quickly turns into a fight to stay alive. Action fills the pages; a father’s frustration swiftly turns into protectiveness and sacrifice; and a series of murders in the city comes to a chilling conclusion. A Deadly Path is a pithy read, filled with thorny family dynamics and hair-raising suspense.
Typing the last scene and giving life to the character’s emotions in this thriller novel was satisfying and only now have I fully discovered the story that Lon and I will tackle in our Round of Revisions.
Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill weaves a tale of power struggles and the quest for justice as Detectives Tom Stone and Jake Sharpe along with friends and colleagues fight a cartel invading Los Angeles and what appears to be a lone gunman taking down the cities wealthiest who have ties to the drug trade.
Characters from previous books and new ones — the caring and the evil — come to life in this gripping full-length action-adventure novel.
From the ridges above the Hollywood Hills to the beaches and sprawling Griffith Park the hunt for the killer takes place while an international cartel spreads mayhem and fear.
How can Stone and his team possibly stand against the onslaught of a gang and solve the mystery of a sniper?
examiner called out to them. “Hey, Stone. How you doing? Heard you guys were
playing softball. Sorry to interrupt your game but here’s what we got.”
“Mind if I take a
look?” asked Stone.
“Go ahead. It’s
Stone pulled the
sheet back and Jake took a deep breath. The man’s face was nearly intact except
for a hole just above the eyes. A closer look showed the power of what had
struck him. The back of the head was missing so that the face was covering
nothing. A mess of blood and brains splattered from below the chair to the area
Jake. “For once, I’ve lost my appetite.”
“Looks like one bullet. Obviously high caliber,” said the examiner. “A hell of a shot.”
Stone looked at
Browell, the color had drained from his face. He acted shaky. “Do you know
anything about this guy?”
“So far, just the
usual. His name was Charles Scott, aged sixty-four. Was in good shape. Had a
lot of money. The wife kept crying out that he was a good man. You might have
seen her. She’s inside with their kids and friends.” Browell motioned to the house.
“Apparently, Bennington was chairman of his own financial consulting firm.”
Browell wiped his forehead. “Was
chairman. Damn, that changed fast.”
“Did they know
where the shot might have come from?”
“No, this place is
secure. Like its own little fortress on a hillside.” Browell inhaled. “Hey, do
you guys mind if I step to the front of the house for a change of scenery?”
“Go ahead,” said
Jake, reaching in his pocket. “Here’s my card. Email me your notes, please.”
Browell wobbled away.
around. The patio was situated partly behind the home and stretched east. It
was perched on a level spot above a cliff. Looking further east, he saw the
lights of Hollywood flowing like a carpeting toward downtown Los Angeles. There
was no place for a gunman to run up to the fence and shoot. Behind the property
a hillside rose toward a ridge that looked about several hundred yards away. A
few small trees and scrub brush covered the steep grade. There was no trail or
steps leading down.
We pause in our writing of Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill to bring you a story of sub-municipal havoc—a sewer creature preying on unsuspecting and red-blooded Americans like you – and me. This tale of tentacles reaching through residential and commercial plumbing was woven by the sludge-filled imagination of Lon Casler Bixby, who actually practices good hygiene.
Cover art is from London-based artist Ben Southgate.
Just don’t read it when you are most vulnerable.
SCREENPLAY AS ART
Lon has written numerous screenplays, including one on
Detective Tom Stone that we turned into the action-adventure, crime fiction
Detective Tom Stone Series.
Often, screenplays end up in the inner recesses of
production company desks and interns, held captive, and are never allowed to see
the light of day.
So Lon has graciously released his creation for the public to purchase and enjoy.
Dark, light, and a bit off the wall is one way to describe Lon’s brand of humor. Black is his favorite color to dress in and yet he has a light personality along with a friendly and positive attitude. Go figure.
OTHER SEWER CREATURES
Now, don’t discount
the idea of sewer creatures. Consider the miles of moist tunnels, snaking
beneath major cities in North America, Europe and Asia. And toss in Australia
for good measure.
You’re telling me that a sewer creature couldn’t possibly exist?
Videos on YouTube beg to differ with your skeptical beliefs.
And just like Facebook, if it’s on YouTube, then damn it, it must be true.
In fact, the public
works department from Carlisle, PA ran an entire story on a sewer creature
one Halloween. How can you have fiction without having fact since fiction is based
on fact? Huh? Try to convince me.
So now indulge yourself in a little sewage humor and drama.
What is it about pineapple that’s so doggone attractive for cocaine smugglers. Some of the largest drug busts in the last few years have been finding coke in pineapples. Just think about the pineapples that have made it through.
If you like adventure novels with drug smuggling, check out our Tom Stone books on this blog site and on Amazon.
Savannah, Georgia — Coke in Pineapples
A news report from early 2019, revealed that cocaine smugglers from Colombia tried to sneak about 1,000 pounds of coke worth $19 million past authorities. It didn’t work. The CBP Area Port Director, Lisa Beth Brown, said the find was “an outstanding interception of narcotics by our CBP officers” and the work highlights what “our officers do each day to stop illegal activity at our borders and ports of entry.”
Spain and Portugal 2018
Authorities in Spain and Portugal got their notice a year earlier when inspecting a container of pineapples. The little white powder was everywhere.
the coke-stuffed pineapples were discovered as part of a collaboration between
police in Spain and Portugal that began almost a year ago. The joint
investigation led them to search a series of shipping containers, where they
discovered that the shipment of pineapples from South America was moving more
than just fruit.
745 kg of cocaine—1,642 pounds—were split into packages, coated in
pineapple-yellow wax, and hidden inside hollowed-out shells of the spiky fruit.
Police seized the fruit stash of blow and raided a lab in Spain where the stuff
was allegedly going to be cut and repackaged, making nine arrests in the
process, Business Insider reports.
Costa Rica Pineapple Growers are Ticked
Pineapple growers in Costa Rica are upset with the cartels for using their precious fruit to smuggle illicit drugs. The pineapple growers say the smuggling hurts their reputation and can damage their industry since the smugglers are coming out of Colombia.
In Costa Rica, exporters ship out about 2,000 containers of pineapples every week.
Abel Chavez , the president of the National Chamber of Producers and Exporters of Pineapple (Canapep), says “The damage that this is doing to the country’s image and to the sector is big. The country can lose competitiveness over this. The countries that import pineapple from Costa Rica might decide to scan the shipments of pineapple for security reasons, and this could result in an additional cost for the industry.