Monday, December 11, 2017

The Latest Book – A Promotion Distraction

In recent months, I have posted several excerpts from my latest book, Ordinary People; Extraordinary Lives, on this blog. That Great Depression/WW II story is 100% true. Today I am preparing an upcoming presentation of that book for the Belton and Temple, Texas, libraries. I thought it would be good to bring a few copies of my other books along during that presentation, just for interest. When I pulled out The Training Bra (which is 100% untrue), I realized I had not promoted that book in many months, yet it is outrageously funny.

The Training Bra is one of four paranormal comedies written around a quirky main character called Miss Havana. All four novels provide a glimpse into Miss Havana’s life before and after her death. They also reveal her interaction with the devil and other heinous characters in her afterlife. In The Substitute, Miss Havana bests the devil and takes over “below.” Most people feel bad for Old Nick as she steamrolls him. In Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!, she self-identifies as the Angel of Death and wreaks havoc on “the surface” until called to the woodshed by God. In The Training Bra, Miss Havana continues her comical exploits by harassing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And finally, in The Trophy Wife, she redeems herself through some uncharacteristic actions … and becomes God’s trophy. Although the novels are written as a series, each book stands alone as a complete story.
I’ve been neglectful, and it’s just not right to let the comical exploits of Miss Havana go un-promoted. Therefore, I offer the following excerpt. In the scene below, the devil and Miss Havana are being held captive in hell by the current absolute ruler—their own daughter, Lilith. Although Miss Havana and the devil hate each other, they agree to a night of “trust building” before attempting to usurp Lilith’s authority.
In the morning, I sit on the edge of the bed scratching my overused boys while my mind screams for coffee. It will take some time to tell whether the night with my ex was worth the effort. All I can say for sure is the sex was okay and I didn’t have to pay for it, although I’m a little ashamed because I violated one of my personal rules—never sleep with anyone crazier than me. I also know Miss Havana violated one of her basic tenets—anything worth doing is worth doing for money. Perhaps that’s the reason we were able to devise a plan for dealing with Lilith. We both gave up something—the essence of compromise.
The plan is risky, but hey, in our situation, doing nothing is risky. When I hear the weirdwolves whine—a sure sign Lilith is approaching—I poke Miss Havana in the butt to wake her, remove my collar from her ankle and put it back on my neck. I stare into Miss Havana’s beautiful amber eyes, and remember quite clearly what I saw in her when we first met. “It’s been fun; now it’s show time.”
She nods and then gives me a bite on the cheek. “For luck.”
The moment we step into the hallway, I grab her by the hair and fling her tumbling violently toward the living room. I make a running pounce at her, landing with a thud on her struggling body. We thrash about on the floor, and I notice a look of delight creep across Lilith’s face when she enters the room.
Miss Havana rolls us in Lilith’s direction and appears to jam her finger on the button at the back of my collar. I go into convulsions, jerking and pissing all over the place as Miss Havana jumps up and begins kicking and stomping me.
Lilith throws up her hands in an obvious display of pleasure, and in that moment of her distraction, carried away with utter delight, I rip the collar off my neck, snap it around her ankle and press the button on the controller. Lilith’s eyes widen and her mouth drops open as my collar snugs up like a coiling boa into an ankle bracelet, and then unleashes the power of hell on her lower leg.
She drops like a duck hit with a ten gauge and, before she stops twitching from her massive jolt, I grab the controller for Miss Havana’s collar from her robe pocket. Every moment is critical now. I can’t stop pressing the controller button, lest Lilith gain her wits and strike back. I hope the damn thing has a fresh battery.
Miss Havana and I sit on opposite ends of the sofa, gasping for breath as Lilith thrashes about on the floor. I glance at her while rubbing the foot-sized bruises on my body. “You emote well. You even fooled me.”
She adjusts her bejeweled collar. “Thanks. You were pretty good yourself. Any chance you might give me the controller for my collar?”
I shake my head. “Not a chance. You need to distract Lilith’s dogs while I get her to the Great Hall of Judgment. I’ve planned for this moment for some time. All creatures below are prepared. When I sit on the throne once again, everything will change. My power will be restored, and only then will I remove your collar. In the interim, your controller will be a symbol of trust between us.”
She looks down at the floor like she’s hurt, but I know she isn’t. I simply add, “It’s show time,” as I grab her by the arm and fling her out the door toward the most ferocious looking beast. After the initial shock of being attacked by a puny little female, the massive weirdwolves immediately pounce with all the viciousness they’ve been saving up during the night. Amid the screams and tearing of flesh, they don’t notice me slip by with Lilith dangling over my shoulder.
I shock Lilith again for good measure as I enter the Great Hall of Judgment and then strut to the throne like a hunter bringing home a fresh kill. When she stops jerking and flopping around, I drop her at the foot of the throne, administer another jolt and ascend to my rightful place. The gallery is stunned silent, but when I stand and raise my arms in victory, the cavern erupts in adoration. All manner of filth rains down and the beasts above and below bellow their acceptance of the triumphant return of their king—the King of Darkness.
I stab my finger on the controller again, and Lilith convulses violently, slamming her legs into the base of the throne and bouncing back with jerky motions like a banked billiard ball. The chanting begins as I strut in a circle around my throne, thrusting my arms in the air again and again: “Long live the King! Long live the King! Long live the King!”
Of course, like any threesome of power-hungry Queens, Kings, and Princesses of Darkness, control is never “forever.” The fight will go on for eternity.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please consider purchasing one or more of the series.
Thanks for reading,

James L. Hatch

Other books by James L. Hatch: Aftermath Horizon and Kill Zone


Tina Donahue said...

Congrats on your upcoming presentations, James. I have no doubt they'll be great. :)

James L. Hatch said...

Thanks, Tina. "Ordinary People; Extraordinary Lives" is doing fairly well. As you well know, sales are difficult. It's a good thing we write books for our own pleasure!