Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2)
by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Published January 29th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Genre: Adult MxM Romantic Suspense
It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship.
But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war.
One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.
“So it’s late, the girls have been in bed for a while, and I’m nodding off myself.” Dominic set his fork and knife on his empty plate and dropped his napkin on top. “I ended up falling asleep in front of the TV.”
Across the small table, Levi was leaning back in his chair, as casual and relaxed as he ever got—which was to say not very. His keen gray eyes were intent on Dominic’s face.
“I woke up with the sense that something wasn’t right,” Dominic said, continuing his story about babysitting his two young nieces. “Then I heard this kind of quiet, secretive giggling. And let me tell you, the last thing you want to hear when you wake up confused in the dark in a strange house is the sound of giggling children. Brings back the memory of every horror movie you’ve ever seen.”
The corner of Levi’s mouth tilted—a half smile that was for him what a broad grin would be for anyone else. Dominic took a moment to drink in the sight of it.
“But my mind cleared pretty quick, and I heard some sort of wet slapping noise on top of the giggling. I jumped up and ran to the girls’ room. Vinnie and his wife shop at Costco, and for God knows what reason, they’d bought this five-gallon jug of olive oil—”
“Oh, no,” Levi said, his eyes widening.
“Yeah. Those two little miscreants had snuck out of bed, dragged the jug from the pantry to their bedroom, and dumped the oil out all over the carpet. They’d created their own Slip ’N Slide.”
Levi laughed quietly, and Dominic thrilled at the sound. Over the past few months, it had become his personal mission to make Levi laugh as often as possible. Levi was naturally solemn—not joyless, not by a long shot, but one of the most serious people Dominic had ever met. Bringing a smile to his face was a worthy feat in itself; getting him to laugh out loud was a deep source of pride.
“I almost didn’t want to stop them, because they were having the time of their lives. But responsibility won out in the end. I managed to get them both cleaned up and most of the oil off the walls and the furniture. The carpet had to be ripped out and replaced, though.” Dominic made a flourishing gesture with his hands. “And that’s why I’m currently on babysitting probation.”
His face still alight with amusement, Levi drank the last sip of his Boulevardier, the bourbon cocktail Dominic had introduced him to. He ordered one whenever he and Dominic went somewhere with a full bar, though half the time Dominic had to explain to the server or bartender in question how to make it.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist? ?
The antagonist of the series, the eponymous Seven of Spades, was inspired by the first element of the series I thought of – the final line of the first book, Kill Game. That line gave me an idea for a vigilante serial killer who enjoys playing games, as well as the killer’s true identity and motivation. But I can’t share more about that inspiration without revealing who the Seven of Spades is!
As for the series’ protagonists, homicide detective Levi Abrams and bounty-hunter-turned-PI Dominic Russo, their cultural backgrounds are inspired by my own (Jewish and Italian American). I love a classic antagonists-to-lovers trope, so I created personalities that would play well off each other – contrasting Levi’s prickly, abrasive nature to Dominic’s easygoing charm, while ensuring they shared important qualities (courage, compassion, competency) that would bond them despite their differences.
3. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
Of course! With writer’s block, I find it’s most productive to get away from my computer and move around – go to the store, work out, take a shower. In my opinion, the absolute worst thing to do when you’re blocked is just sit there, staring at your screen and agonizing over what comes next. When you redirect your mental energy, the solution to the block tends to work itself out in the back of your mind.
4. Your all time favorite book? ?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
5. What made you pick that one above all others? ?
The dry humor! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy never fails to make me laugh out loud, which is something I think we all desperately need these days.
6. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
Well, my very first original novel, Close Protection – which was self-published online years ago – took me over a year to write. But that’s because it was 250,000 words long!
7. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
There’s a time during the writing of any novel when you become convinced that it’s garbage and you want to give up. It’s a natural part of the writing process, caused by boredom and burnout. When this happens to me, I take a break from the project for a day or so, then go back and read it from the beginning – not to edit, but to recapture the excitement that inspired me to write the story in the first place. Often, all you need is to build your momentum back up.
8. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
I’m a full-time writer, so that is how I spend most of my day. But I’m also passionate about physical fitness, and I work out a lot – strength training, conditioning, and practicing Krav Maga. Until recently, I worked part-time as a server in a restaurant/bar, but I left that job and I’m currently considering other opportunities.
9. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ?
Honestly, I try not to read reviews of my work at all – good or bad. I tend to obsess over small details, so I’ve found it’s better for my mental health to avoid reviews altogether. That’s not to say authors should ignore constructive criticism of their work, of course – there’s no other way to improve. Just be selective about who you accept criticism from. Make sure it’s somebody who knows what they’re talking about and whose judgment you trust, not a random stranger on the internet!
10. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
It is indeed! The Seven of Spades series is five books long, and Trick Roller is #2. The only thing I can share about what I have in store is that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
Fun facts: :
1. Name your favorite fruit. ?
2. Coffee or tea? ?
Neither! Just the smell of coffee or tea makes me nauseated. I get my caffeine from diet soda.
3. Favorite season? ?
We don’t really have seasons in South Florida. I do look forward to the approximately six weeks a year when the state is somewhat less of a vile swamp, though.
4. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ?
I’m currently re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
5. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
Bright, fire-engine red. I love everything in red – it just makes me so happy!
6. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ?
For Christmas, my mother gave me a framed print of a quote by Victor Hugo: “A writer is a world trapped in a person.” I love that quote so much, because it really conveys how I feel about writing.
7. Cats or dogs? ?
Dogs all the way! I have nothing against cats, but no animal has ever been able to touch my heart like a dog does.
8. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? ?
Clubbing. I love to dance, and I’m also not a very romantic person, so dinner by candlelight sounds boring to me.
9. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
I just spent an entire day putting together a playlist for Trick Roller, which involved a lot of song hunting! The one I’ve listened to most is “Trouble” by The New Respects, which is the Trick Roller theme song.
1. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ?
2. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ?
Harry Potter. I honestly owe my writing career to my time in the Harry Potter fandom. I’ve lost touch with the online fandom since I began writing original fiction, but I’m still a dedicated fan of the books themselves, right down to my Ravenclaw sweatshirt!
3. If you could have any one superpower, it would be… ?
To be able to speak every language in the world. I love languages (linguistics was one of my majors in college), and I’ve always been super envious of people who grew up multilingual. Plus, think of all the good you could do with a superpower like that!
4. The awesomest thing in your life is… ?
Being able to do the thing I love most in the world every day.
To celebrate the release of Trick Roller, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 3, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About Cordelia Kingsbridge
Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.
Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!
Connect with Cordelia:
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