Only a few days away from the official launch of THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY, which will happen on July 20th. I’ve been piling up some prizes, which include a couple of glow-in-the dark “bee” bottle openers, a Jack style flask, Amazon gift cards, a couple of paperback copies of THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY and IN THE BONES, and an ass-load of e-books.
So far I’ve shared interviews with the star of the show, Jack Murphy, his wife Jenny, his mistress, Whitney, and the business partner, Ray. When you stop by the official Facebook launch party on the 20th, these little introductions will be quite handy, because some freebies and fun will include the information I’ve provided in the interviews and excerpts. Katrina Monroe will also be live-tweeting with Jack trivia, offering prizes and fun for Twitter folks too. Follow me (@ReneeMJ) or Kat (@AuthorKatM) or use the hashtag “#WWJMD” to get in on that fun. Twitter folks will get the opportunity to win digital copies of the first 4 books in Darke Conteur’s Watchtower series, and you’ll all have the chance to win books by other authors too. There will be a grand prize for local folks, meaning those of you from Tweed who have been so awesome in your support of my books,.
While Jack is possibly one of my personal favorites in terms of characters I’ve created, the other characters in this book had to be of equal caliber, or they’d fade behind his awesome assholery. So let’s continue meeting the characters and get to know James Murphy, Jack’s cousin.
Age: Mid 30’s
I’m a self-made man, just like old Jackie-O. He hates it when I call him that. Did you know his middle name is Owen? Anyway, shit doesn’t always fall into place for me like it did for Jack. He’s got luck on his side. Me? I make my own luck. Problem is, these casinos, they’re fixed. Honest guy can’t get ahead. So unless I tweak the odds a little, I lose. They caught me last time. Said I had to pay back everything I won from them. Does that seem fair? I didn’t think so. It’s not like I played with the odds the whole time. But who’s gonna argue with the fucking mob? If I can get fifty grand, I’m back in the game… well I’ll be breathing anyway. Jack’s going to give me that money.
I’m kinda big on family too, you know? I think blood’s gotta stick together. That’s why I came to Jackie with my little problem. He doesn’t know it yet, but he wants to help me. Makes him feel superior. So really, it’s not blackmail. I’m making my cousin feel good. Nothing wrong with that.
I’m a solid guy. I’m not uptight like my cousin. Actually, most of my family is kind of tight-assed. Worried about appearances. Me? I wish I was a little taller. Jack got all the height, man. He got the looks too. Guess that’s fitting, since he has zero personality to go with it. Does that sound insecure? Maybe I’m a little insecure about the height thing. But I know I’m a smart guy. No one gets out of the tight spots I’ve been in without a bit of smarts.
I believe in God and Buddha and… I believe in all the religions. I figure that way, whichever one is THE god, I’m cool. Right?
Emotions, huh? Well, I have to say I don’t get down much. I’m an optimist. Shit’s gonna work out for you if you believe it will. You start thinking it won’t, you’re fucked. Never lose your cool. I learned that a long time ago. Guy’s got a knife to your balls over a tiny bit of cash, you learn to stay calm.
I’m happy. I guess the word is content. I’m content. Jackie, he’s always scraping for more. I take each day as it comes. Only way to keep your shit together.
I’d just like to keep my head on my shoulders and both kneecaps unsmashed.
Like I said before, I’m short. However, I do have the Murphy good looks. Well, if you don’t count the hair loss. How’s that happen? Only guy in the family who doesn’t get to keep his hair is me. Not fair.
What do you fear?
Cement shoes and rivers. Man, that’s a fate I do not want. I also fear guys named “Big” whatever. There was this guy named Big Joey. He wasn’t big at all, but once he got through doing what he does, he was ten feet tall in my mind. Scary shit, I tell you.
Do you have secrets?
I’ve got secrets coming out my ass. It’s how I survive. Most of them aren’t even mine. Only secrets I keep lately are the ones that’ll get me killed if they get out, like what I saw the night the mob assholes gave me their ultimatum. I wish I could un-see that shit. Now I have all Jackie-O’s secrets piling up. If he doesn’t learn how to share, those will come out. He’s giving me no other choice, man. Gotta do what keeps you breathing.
People were useless; they wanted a butt load of money without doing any work. Before leaving work, his foreman had called and said they’d failed inspection. Not only would that set Jay-Ray back a couple of weeks, it cost Jack money and he didn’t pay people to cost him money.
A million thoughts running through his head contributed to confuse his plans for the meeting with Asshole Thorne. Jack pushed the door open—jackass James never locked a damn thing—and tossed his keys at the hook next to the door. They clattered to the floor. “Fuck it.”
He turned the corner and froze. James had made a friend, and was fucking her on the kitchen counter.
Jack just stood there, staring, rage bubbling to a boil in his gut. Who nailed some chick he barely knew on someone else’s counter top? What the fuck? Nasty. That’s what. Now Jack would have to rip the damn thing out and fumigate or something.
The woman looked as though she’d crawled out from under a bridge somewhere. Her hair had that skunky look: dark underneath with a blond-on-the-top layer. Why did women think that was even remotely attractive? It was just plain weird, that’s what it was; weird and tacky with trailer-trash hair. She was on the fat side of chubby too; he could tell since her fat ass was plopped atop his counter. Dimply and scarred, it jiggled every time she moved. Make that every time James rammed her. Ugh. Jack tasted bile.
Jack strode to the counter. James had his back to him, oblivious to his audience. He picked up a pan from the stove, raised it over his shoulder, and cracked James in the back of the head. The skunk screamed and tried to cover her sagging breasts while James swore, and grabbed his head as he jumped away from her. His erection couldn’t withstand the blow.
“What are you doing, you fucking idiot?” Jack asked.
“Jesus Jack, why do you always have to go there? You can’t just say excuse me? You gotta fucking hit me? With a frying pan? Shit, you are mental.”
“I asked you a question. What is that skanky slut doing on my counter? Why are you in my kitchen nailing anything?”
“You’re never home. I’m a guest. Gotta keep your guests happy, man.”
“You are not a guest. You’re a pain in the ass. You’re supposed to be gone, and I’m tolerating you.” Jack turned to the girl.
She was pulling her clothes back on as fast as her red claws would allow, with enough sense to look offended.
Jack pointed toward the door. “Get the fuck out and don’t come back.”
“You don’t have to be so mean. God, James, I thought you said he’d be cool.”
“He is when he’s not here. You better go. I’ll call you later.”
Jack stood by the counter getting more pissed by the second, and positively irate when the front door closed with a bang.
“Thanks a lot. Why can’t you just relax?”
“I’ll relax when you’re out of my house and I don’t have to look at you anymore.”
“You know how to get rid of me. With your partner gone, you’ve got some extra cash kicking around. You don’t have to share the take anymore. How convenient. Give me my money and I’ll vanish.”
“Only to reappear in a year or two? I don’t think so, James. I didn’t do anything wrong and I’m not giving you anything.”
He just wanted James to go, but couldn’t afford to have him running around talking to people. What if he convinced someone to look further into Ray’s death? Or Jenny’s. It might amount to nothing, but he couldn’t afford the damn shit storm it’d cause. If he paid James off, he’d bet that the little fucker returned in under a year. His only hope was to hold out long enough for James to find some other sucker, or for whoever wanted their money to come for him.
“Suit yourself.” James shrugged.
“I will, thanks. No more women, especially in my kitchen. That’s dirty and I don’t like wondering what kind of nasty shit is on my food surfaces.”
“Listen to you, Mr. Clean. Food surfaces? Give me a break, like you never did it.”
“It’s my house and if I want to put my germs on there, I can. God knows what assortment of diseases she had in that cunt.”
“I’m offended. You think I can’t pick up quality girls? She was really nice, and she’s not a slut. She works at the club by your office.”
“More like on the corner outside the club. What were you doing near my office?”
“Just checking things out, you weren’t there yet. Michelle is very nice. Too old for my taste, but not bad.”
“Stay away from my office too.”
“Where can I go?”
“To Hell,” Jack was tired of his face. What did he do about him though? He couldn’t have another accidental death close to him. That might be too much; the cops weren’t stupid. “I have a meeting so I’ll be gone for a few hours tonight. You think you can clean up a bit?”
“Don’t you have a maid?”
“I have a service that comes in once a week, but they aren’t paid to clean up your mess. Pick it up.” Jack walked away and headed up the stairs. What a loser. How did he come from such a shallow gene pool? He should have blown the whole lot of them up years ago.