Hi everyone! Less than one week until the release of Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1)!!! I can't even believe it's almost here!
Today, I want to introduce you to my hero, Nick Rixey, who's in a bad place at the beginning of the book. This excerpt gives a good look into the internal workings of the man:
Nick fell heavily into his desk chair and pulled his drawing into his lap. Following from Jeremy’s rough sketch, the half fireman, half soldier tattoo was nearly done, though that didn’t mean he understood why he kept letting his brother talk him into doing this. Part of it was that art had always been the one thing he and Jer had in common. Well, that and video games. That was about where it ended. Only a year separated them, but Rixey had been sports, and his brother had been books. Rixey had been parties and drinking and hell-raising of the usual teenage variety, and Jeremy had been quiet around everyone but his small circle of Goth and punk friends.
But there was more to it, and Rixey knew it. He continued to do these tats and apprentice toward a license he didn’t really want and had no intention of using in the long term because he was fucking floating through life.
No purpose. No plan. No mission.
For a dozen years, all he’d worried about was completing the mission and getting everyone home safe. In Afghanistan, his team had done counterinsurgency work, counternarcotics work, which had often been the same thing, and local police force training. It had been challenging, dangerous, and sometimes frustratingly thankless work, but it had given him the sense of purpose in life he’d been lacking as a younger man.
Now? Wish in one hand, shit in the other. See which one fills up the fastest. He chucked the pad to the desk.
The Army had given him more than just a purpose. It had made him part of something much bigger than himself, placed him in the middle of a brotherhood who understood him implicitly. Nearly a year later, he still mourned the loss of the six good men gunned down in the ambush. Eric Zane, Carlos Escobal, Jake Harlow, Walker Axton, Marcus Rimes, Colin Kemmerer. Their memory was a weight on his shoulders he was privileged to carry. But in not doing more with his life, he wasn’t doing enough to honor their memory. His survival should’ve meant something, shouldn’t it?
You do have a mission, shithead. Keep Becca safe. Find her brother. Get whoever is harassing them to back the fuck off. Maybe that’s why you’re still here.
Fair enough. It was a worthy mission. And if it filled the void for a few days, all the better.
A kind of peace settled over his shoulders—well, as close as he freaking got to anything in the same zip code as peace. And it was enough. Really, it had to be, didn’t it? With a last glance at his soldier-fireman, Rixey pushed up from the chair and made for his bed.
What was on the other side of his soldier identity?
Someday soon, he’d have to figure out the fubar of his career and find his own next mission. Wasn’t anybody going to drop that shit in his lap. But, damn, oh stupid thirty in the mothereffing morning was too early to put his brain cells to work on that particular conundrum.
I really enjoyed writing Nick's journey in Hard As It Gets, and I can't wait for you all to read more!
There are a TON of fun things planned over the next few weeks:
- Like the new Hard Ink Puppy FB page for some fun prizes!
- 11/21, noon, chat with me and Kay Thomas, author of Hard Target
- 11/26, blogs everywhere, release day blitz event
- 11/26, 12-9pm, Facebook New Release Celebration with guest authors & prizes
- 11/29-12/8, Hard As It Gets Blog Tour - with 2 Kindle Paperwhite 3G devices as grand prizes!
And don't forget: I've got a reward of some exclusive content for anyone who pre-orders Hard As It Gets (or who already has pre-ordered)! Submit proof of pre-order using this form, and on December 1 you'll receive my behind-the-scene notes and character dossier for the whole Hard Ink team!
Edgy, sexy and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!" ~ #1 NYT Bestselling Author J.R. Ward on HARD AS IT GETS
Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt?
Thanks for reading!