My 7th novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Click on your favorite book seller below to grab your copy, and don’t forget to enter the official giveaway for your chance to win a physical copy of it’s prequel, Give Us This Day!
(Or how I found a plot point with everything on it!)
One of the main plot points of my new novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, concerns my heroine, Brooke Burrell-Morton’s attempts to clear her name of a murder she did not commit by extra-legal means. The prosecutors and the cops were satisfied that they had their murderess – her. So, they ceased looking any further for the killer of an abusive father. Brooke had visited him in the afternoon of the night he was killed to let him know she was watching him. That encounter didn’t go well. It was all Brooke could do to restrain herself from utilizing her training and skills as the most decorated operative in America’s service, retired, and take a deep breath and walk away.
But the press and the DA, eager to get a good story and a conviction, pursued only her. Leaving her just one alternative; find the real killer. To do this she and her dear close friends from her old unit, band together and go deeper than even the FBI could and find not only the killer but unravel an international conspiracy to kill millions. All garnered without the benefit of a search warrant. Meaning, inadmissible in court.
Okay, so how did I come up with this? I was settling a debate whether you can only call it a frankfurter if it came out of Frankfurt Germany, that’s why Oscar Myer and everyone else only calls them, Franks, to avoid any trademark infringement. Enter google. The Weiner controversy went unanswered because I was struck by another search result: Mr. Justice Frankfurter, a judge who is credited for coining the phrase, the fruit of the poisonous tree. It is a term I heard many times before and I knew sometimes it led to some very nasty, evil killers and rapists getting off scot-free. I thought, how odd? An oddity being the wellspring of authoring a different new idea, I quickly realized I could explore that legal abyss by putting Brooke in it and helping her find a way to not only get justice but mete some out. I had found one of the thru lines of my next novel, the sequel to my number one best-seller, Give Us This Day. Hot Dog!
One of the milestones during a pregnancy is Gender Reveal. Likewise, when birthing a book, its equivalent is the Cover Reveal.
The cover then reveals what the book is about. Hmmm. Let’s see. A woman, a gun, and an airplane cockpit. I wonder what this could possibly be about?
But then you see the author’s name. Hey, wait a minute, that guy has 4 number one bestsellers! He writes thrillers about Brooke Burrell, a former federal agent, and special operator whose exploits and successes back then, force her to live cautiously now… while she’s pregnant! Ah, back to birthing.
The essence of this 4th Brooke novel, where she applies her special brand of exemplary skills is; innocent is not a defense. When social media, the media, corrupt D.A.s, and some really pissed-off terrorists all want her to pay for the things she did in service to her country. So now your saying, “Okay got it, sounds like a good thriller, but what’s the plane got to do with it?” Ah, that’s the other part of the cover, to create that question. For that, you’ll have to read, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, the next adventure following the number one best-seller, Give Us This Day.
PS. Although the front of the book gets all the glory at one of these Cover Reveal events, I think it makes the back cover feel bad. Mainly because its ‘other’ side gets all the smiles and goo-goo’s and “Oh, -you’re-so-cute”s. Well, here’s the other side of the cover reveal!
Forgive Us Our Trespasses will be available on February 22, 2022, but you can pre-order it on Amazon here.
Click above for the latest episode of the Accidental Author and hear me discuss the following • Backstory to the Bill Hiccock “Thrillogy” • Passion-the essential element to being a good writer • Perfection – the enemy of good.
Don’t miss an episode!
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s our normally Thursday posting, today. Click above for the latest installment of The Accidental Author. In this episode: How to start and get through a first draft. A great quote from one of the biggest author’s around and how to see your writing as an art form. Did you miss an episode? Click here for episode 2 and here for episode 1.
Okay, so I am going to try to make this not some old guy rant about, ‘In My Day…” but since The Eighth Day has achieved #1 bestseller status, many more people have been reading it and resonating with the Bronx, New York side of the story. Which elicits E-mails from fans of both the book and the Bronx. “Belly Flopping” a street game being central to the character development of FBI Special Agent, Joey Palumbo, has started a stream of E-mail consciousness that lead to HOT BEANS!
For those of you NOT blessed to have grown up on the gritty streets of the Bronx, I will endeavor to explain this particularly unique “childhood” game.
Start with a Garrison Belt, which is a serious looking strap of leather that’s around two inches wide with a mean-ass metal buckle on the end. Just like in Hide and Go Seek, one person is designated as “It.” The rest of the kids hide at “home base” around the corner. Now the guy that’s “it” hides the belt anywhere on the street. When he’s got the belt where is sure no one will find, he yell’s, “REEEEEAAADDYYY!”
Everyone comes around the corner to find the belt. The one who finds it, gets to yell, “HOT BEANS” and then gets to whip the crap out of everyone who is caught between the home base (around the corner) and him. At this point it would help to remember we are talking a heavy thick belt with a heavy buckle that can draw blood.
Believe me you don’t know what terror, fear, trepidation, caution, strategy and courage is until you play this game. Why? Because unlike other games, where the only skin in the game is playing for a win, bragging rights or the most points, in Hot Beans, your skin is actually at risk in this game.
Today, kids hardly go out into the street anymore. Their games are on a computer. The optimists and sociologists say it’s a good thing, that they are developing skills for our techno-future.
However, I wonder about those men and women who operate the drones and other High Tech, Stand Off, Remote controlled weaponry that we are embracing as national policy. I am referring to those who joystick their way through a war, one that’s been made impersonal and game-like on LCD screens. A process that transforms the deadliest endeavor of mankind to be remarkably like, Call Of Duty or Battlefield 3.
What happens if somebody pulls the plug on their console, will they, who have been raised in this kind of Sanitized War, be able to become warriors? The bigger question is, are Americans, who never played HOT BEANS and have no skin in the game but a vote once a year, citizens who in general have become war weary, will they have the grit to turn to our war fighting soldiers who have tested their mettle? Combat ready troops who are the ultimate weapon, and last resort, in defending a nation’s way of life and thus all we hold dear? Or will our techno-war complacent population cower at “home base” when some big, ugly brute from a foreign land wields an actual big belt with malicious intent?
P.S. Millions of people play war-based video games. All of these games are sold with graphics depicting “Shit Wired Tight” soldiers who are shown as stoic, deadly and dressed to kill. These are homage’s to the true warrior. Yet, millions of players, who assume these roles, never show up to a Veteran’s Day parade or write their congressperson to take better care of the actual “prototypes” of these fake computer icon warriors, when they return from the real life battle.
Those images and the exploiting of heroism has amassed many billions of dollars in box office for games and almost equal amount for movies. Unlike these computer generated figures, our soldiers have actually faced danger, unspeakable horror and have risked everything. Yet, far too many are homeless.
Here’s a thought for all you gamers out there, donate 1% to 10% of your highest war game score to Veterans Matter or text VETS to 41444.
Along with the corner bookstore, many of the benchmarks of the book business have bitten the digital dust. Hundreds of thousands of books now flood the virtual shelves of the big and small on-line retailers. Marketing experts call this “fragmentation” while most authors call it “frustration.” It seems nowadays this evolution in book selling has made the REVIEW, the gold standard in determining how much buzz, support, exposure and sales potential a book receives.
“If you like your thrillers realistic enough to make your spine tingle, and well-written enough to keep you turning pages, you must pick up THE DEVIL’S QUOTA. Tom Avitabile is at the top of his game. Read this book.” – Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of TERMINAL CITY and DEATH ANGEL
But how does an author garner reviews, and good ones at that? The simple answer is write a great book. The nuanced answer: start the snowball effect, the more reviews, the more people read the book, the more they post reviews and it goes on like that until you have an avalanche of reviews.
“The go-to guy for pure thriller reading pleasure, Tom Avitabile delivers with every word.” – John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of THE KEEPER and THE OPHELIA CUT
It’s also great when your big –time multi million selling, NY Times bestselling authors who huge fan bases, take the time to read your book and then serve up glowing quotes. That’s just gotta help. But in the new democracy of the Internet, average readers hold an awesome power also. Their reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook, Good Reads and other sites are critical in informing the large retailers where to put marketing “soft dollars” to push a book over the top.
“This gritty and interesting novel swooped me up early in it’s pages and hung on tight to me until the very last words.” – Five Stars – Good Reads by Booklover Catlady
Me personally, I would never push my reviews in your face, but it is a dire necessity today to garner as many 5-Star reviews as you can. Why? The algorithm (No, not the Al Gore Rhythm, which if you’ve watched him dance is decidedly not in evidence) but those little robotic calculators that today make decisions large and small in everything from your refrigerator, to automated factories to how Amazon decides a book is worthy of “Push”
“This is the kind of book you want to snuggle up with for a quick and quiet thrill.” – The View From the Phlipside
So the new reality is this: an author could get tens of thousands of dollars worth of boost marketing from on-line book sellers if the Al Gore Rhythm machine inside their servers counts a certain number of glowing reviews. Now this isn’t money in the author’s pocket, it’s in soft dollars or what you would have to pay them to push a book like this to their customers. Let’s just say for that kind of advertising they’d charge you four arms and six legs. But old Al Gore the Rhythm King, he’s going to bestow that windfall on a purely digital, cold, unemotional basis – namely reviews!
“Tom Avitabile’s plots are page-turning and gripping. Good read for all fans of crime/thriller fiction!” – Crystal Book Reviews
Therefore in conclusion, you may not be able to judge a book by it’s cover but, Al-A-Gore-ically, they can, and do, judge a book by it’s reviews…
“Reading a novel is like being in a car and taking a journey. The narrator is driving. And whether he drives fast and cruises the curves or whether he’s pedestrian and pokes through the plot – he’s in control.
Tom Avitabile is a cocky chauffeur and The Eighth Day is one hell of a ride.”
-Anonymous via Amazon
Here’s some links in case if by now you haven’t gotten the clue, that I would love a good review from you.