This afternoon I have the pleasure of helping to kick off J.A.Marley’s blog blitz with an extract from his new novel, ‘Godsend’! Big thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite! Do keep reading until after the extract where you will find the all important ‘to buy’ links!
It has been eighteen months since Danny Felix pulled off the robbery of his life. His plan brought London to a standstill, but at a heavy price.
Now, living a quiet life running a charter fishing business in the Florida Keys, Danny is trying to come to terms with the death and destruction he had unwittingly unleashed. However, the low profile is beginning to wear thin and he soon starts to crave the adrenalin rush of his former criminal ways.
Little does he know that three very different women are about to enter his life and turn it upside-down. Soon Danny finds himself right back in the action.
But why has he been chosen? And does he have the appetite to pull off another job where the stakes are so lethally high?
Godesend By J.A . Marley
Bloodhound Blog Tour Extract
A Mini – Mart Adventure
When the scruffy-looking kid pulled out the gun and pointed it at the chump on the other
side of the cash register, Danny Felix thought, Here we go.
He felt his heart stir, his stomach muscles flex and his balls tighten.
Danny couldn’t deny it. He was excited.
Here he was, in the presence of a stick-up merchant, waving a gun around like they’d
seen too many cheesy Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.
“Nobody muthafuggin move!”
Wild eyes sat atop a scarf wrapped in a hoodie, Old Navy sweats pulled high to the waist.
Filthy, worn-down Converse sneakers completed an overall look that screamed desperation and deprivation.
Danny could smell the funk of nerves, bravado and good old-fashioned fear emanating
from the would-be thief. It was a familiar smell, one that he had, undoubtedly, emitted
himself in his early career. He watched as the gun thrashed around. If he wasn’t mistaken, it was a replica. It looked like a World War One vintage revolver, a Webley Mark IV.
To Danny’s mind, anyone who possessed a genuine Webley wouldn’t need to knock off a
Tom Thumb mini-mart off Florida’s Highway One.
The bandit whipped the fake gun around for added effect, to make sure anyone present
would know this was the real deal. It caused Danny to flash back, a gun in his own hand, faces filled with terror, suddenly compliant. He had to drag his attention back to the here
and now. Danny was the only other customer in the shop.
The stoner kid behind the counter looked bored, resigned to having to stick around after
his shift to tell cops about a robbery they would, from his bitter experience, do jack shit
about. Danny swept the store with his eyes, his head not moving, his own familiarity with such events allowing him to clock where the closed-circuit cameras were positioned. They were usually all in the same type of spots. He was certain that they had caught an image of him as he entered through the door from the side, and the one behind the stoner’s head was probably making a movie star of both him and the stick-up merchant right now. But, still, Danny thought he could have a little fun.
“You’re making a right fucking mess of this.”
It was the smallest of movements, but Danny knew he had the thief’s attention because
they turned their left foot slightly towards the door.
“Shut yo face muthafugga, what kin’ of turnt accent be that? I’m the bitch pointing the
gun right atcha, so do as I say!”
Danny shrugged. Bitch? So, this is a bandita rather than a bandit. Danny adopted a look
of sympathy. “I would, but I can’t stand to see someone making such a pig’s ear out of a
blag that should be so simple.”
The filthy left sneaker twitched toward the door again. The eyes above the scarf widened
then hardened in almost the same instant.
“Look at this, yo’ punk ass bitch. See this. I’ll smoke yo’ ass all over this sto.”
“You’re about to fail, bandita. First, you’ve wasted time chatting to me, enough to allow Captain America here to reach under the counter and hit his store’s panic alarm. The local coppers are probably en route right now. Secondly, you haven’t covered the angles behind you in the aisles since you stormed in. You don’t know about the bloke who is about to crack you across the head with a baseball bat.”
She flinched, glancing over her shoulder enough for Danny to make his move. He closed
the distance between them in one sweep, gripping her gun hand, bending the wrist back
beyond its natural angle. He pivoted his hips onto one leg, his other sweeping away her feet just above the ankles. As she dropped, the gun fell. Danny simply extended his left hand, the satisfying heft of the replica revolver meeting his palm, while his right arm locked around her head, pulling her off the floor. He tucked her head into the crook of his arm as you would a football.
“See, you didn’t know if there was someone there for sure. Pig’s fucking ear. “
The girl thrashed about, trying to scratch and pull at Danny’s hair. He simply tightened his grip, denying her airways full capacity. Her fight soon waned.
Nearly limp, he lowered her to the floor.
“What you should have done, quick as you like, is march straight to the cashier. The gun
should have been practically down his throat whilst scanning the store to make sure that
there really was only the three of us in here. Then, demand the money, asking for it to be
done fast and, if needs be, pull the hammer back on the revolver to show you mean proper business.”
As he said it, Danny carried out the instructions.
Stoner Kid’s eyes were wide with his arms in the air. He almost reached down to pop the
cash register open until Danny gently shook his head at him. Bandita had pushed herself
into a sitting position, her breath coming in short rasps.
Danny continued: “Except you couldn’t pull the hammer back on the gun because it’s a
bleeding replica. And as for your accomplice? He or she is taking a month of Sundays to
work out you might be in trouble. I haven’t heard a squeal of tires yet, which means… three, two, one…”
On cue, the shop door flew open. Bandit number two entered like a whirlwind, with
another ancient-looking handgun being waved around.
The accomplice didn’t scan the scene either but came straight at Danny at speed.
Danny shifted his weight, matching the oncoming velocity of the attacker. They met
halfway. Danny put all his weight into a straight-arm punch. It arrowed onto the bridge of the accomplice’s nose. The explosion of blood was like a scene from a Rocky movie. And as suddenly as it had all kicked off, it was over. Danny turned to the stoner kid behind the counter.
“That… that was fucking cool, dude.” The stoner pushed his lank, greasy hair away from
his eyes. “Man, this is fun and games, but I’m the asshole who’s still gonna have to hang
around to answer dumb cop questions. Except…”
Danny couldn’t believe it as the kid slapped his own forehead. “Oh man, I forgot to push
the panic button…”
Danny cocked his head. By Danny’s assessment, the stoner kid probably had a brain that
was ten percent water and ninety percent THC. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Colt… Hi… What’s yours…?”
Danny strode to the door and flipped the ‘open’ sign to read ‘closed.’ “We can play this
one of two ways, Colt. You can go out back and call the Old Bill, the cops, and we can waste the rest of our evening talking to Bozo the Donut Eater, or you could go back there and erase the last hour of your CCTV and report a malfunction in the little log book you keep. You have one of those, right?” Colt nodded slowly.
“And, in turn, I will dispose of Bonnie and Clyde here for you, in a non-lethal, community- relations kind of way, and we can all go about our lives.”
“I dunno, man. I should really report this…”
Danny spread his arms wide, making a face like a cheesy De Niro in one of his later,
“You won’t hurt ’em, Mister…?”
“As God’s my judge, kid…”
Colt’s face warmed with a grin. He nodded his agreement.
“Okay, Colt. Give me your belt.” Danny was already taking off his own. Colt hesitated as if
to protest, but then obliged.
Danny secured the two would-be rip-off artists with the belts. Securing the late-arriving
accomplice, he was surprised to discover they were both female and white, despite the
attempts to sound ghetto tough. He grabbed a magic marker from a nearby shelf and
“When I’m gone, Colt, park their car up in one of your furthest parking bays. Make sure
when you erase the CCTV that you erase all the cameras, even the one that covers the
forecourt. too. ”
Colt nodded again enthusiastically as they exited out into the parking lot.
Danny bundled the pair into the back cab of his pick-up truck. Colt watched, a question
hovering on his lips as Danny slid behind the wheel.
“You sure you won’t hurt ’em?”
Danny reached inside his pocket, pulling out a hundred-dollar bill. “This should cover my
bottle of bourbon, the marker and the Funyuns, plus your belt, too, Colt…”
“Uh, okay… and hey, Mister… How’d you know their names were Bonnie and Clyde?”
About the author.
John A. Marley’s writing career started with a poem about two brothers who both liked sausages…their names were Butch and Dutch and his Primary School teacher Mr. Murray liked it so much it made the main noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Child Primary School in West Belfast. A little older but none the wiser, he ended up as a film journalist in his native Northern Ireland, contributing to local newspapers, BBC Radio Ulster and latterly writing as the main film critic for the glossy magazine, Northern Woman.
John’s love of good stories came from the Irish predilection for telling a good yarn and the fact that there was nothing quite like sneaking away his Dad’s battered paperbacks to read even though he knew they were meant for adults and not kids. And so pulp fiction such as The Edge Westerns by George G. Gilman, the adventure novels of Alistair MacLean and the thrillers of Jack Higgins all served to whet his appetite for a good story told at pace.
These days, his reading tastes still focus on thrills, spills and good plot and he can’t walk by a James Lee Burke or an Elmore Leonard without pausing to read a few pages…even if it is in a busy bookshop.
John A. Marley is also a TV producer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming and formats for both a UK and international audience. His eclectic portfolio of high-profile shows include Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAF, Britain’s Flying Past, Staraoke, Best of Friends, Skatoony, Noel’s House Party, Through the Keyhole, SMTV:Live/CD:UK, How Euro Are You? and live coverage of “The Oscars” with Barry Norman.
John runs his own production company Archie Productions which he launched in 2008. Prior to setting up his own indie, John enjoyed a wide and varied career in television will creative roles at Talent Television, Planet 24, Carlton Television and Walt Disney UK. John’s broadcast media career started in his native Northern Ireland as a radio host.
Godsend is the follow up to John’s debut novel, Standstill in which we first met master thief Danny Felix.