Tuesday, August 7, 2018

"See You Soon, Afton" by Brent Jones

See You Soon, Afton
(Afton Morrison Book 2)
by Brent Jones

See You Soon, Afton (Afton Morrison Book 2) by Brent Jones

Author Brent Jones stops by today to share an excerpt from his latest book, See You Soon, Afton. You can also read my review. This is the second book in his Afton Morrison serial thriller. Also available: Go Home, Afton (ON SALE for $0.99; read my blog post). Available for pre-order: Nice Try, Afton, Time’s Up, Afton, and The Afton Morrison Series (Books 1-4).

For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on The Fifteenth of June and my blog post on Fender.

Somebody is watching. Somebody is always watching.
A teenage girl in Wakefield has been abducted, and tracking her down not only tests Afton's moral limits, but threatens her freedom and her life.
Suspected of murder by local police, and under the watch of a menacing figure in the shadows, Afton's search and rescue effort unravels dark secrets from her own past. Familial secrets her mother took to the grave, more than a decade ago.
See You Soon, Afton is the second of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, the Afton Morrison series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

I’d spent the better part of the last ten years determined to commit murder. And that meant that someday, I might find myself being interrogated by authorities. I’d practiced giving a convincing denial in the mirror at least a thousand times. But as it turned out, there’d been no need to rehearse. I really hadn’t killed Kenneth Pritchard, but that didn’t stop two uniformed officers from showing up at my apartment door a couple of days later. It was never a question of if they’d come knocking, but when. I wish, however, that they’d given me a chance to finish my breakfast. What a waste of fresh peach slices.
I’m not sure what I expected, to be honest, after arriving at the police station. I’d pictured a large interrogation room, with walls of stone, or concrete blocks, perhaps. Its temperature would be on the frigid side, and there would be an echo whenever somebody would speak. There would be a table in the center of the room, too. Long, rectangular, its surface a cold brushed steel. There would be two detectives, both dressed in expensive suits, except one of them would have his tie loosened, jacket off, and sleeves rolled up. He’d pace the room, pausing every so often to loom over me, his face a few inches from mine. And when I would profess my innocence, he’d pound his fists on the table, shouting about how I was dead to rights. There’d be a huge mirror, too, and a whole panel of interested parties on the other side, keen to dissect my statements and reactions.
But this was Wakefield, a town of no more than ten thousand. And its police force, men that had allowed Kenneth to carry on raping women with impunity, turned out to be nothing like what I’d seen in movies. I was seated in a small corner office, no bigger than five by eight feet, and sweltering hot. It was saturated with fluorescent lighting, humming overhead. The walls were a taupe color that might have been stylish decades ago, before I’d been born. There was no mirror, either. Just four walls, a door, a wooden table with chips and uneven legs, and a bumbling idiot sitting across from me.
I’d seen this nut sack on television last Wednesday night. I’d suspected then that he was the chief of police, or something like that, and it turned out, I had been right. Except today he didn’t sport a uniform with extra decorations and frills. He wore a dark polo shirt, much too small, hugging a massive gut that flopped onto his thighs. Casual attire on Saturdays, I guess. Poking out the top of his shirt was a round head. Red, nearing purple, beaded with sweat, and home to an unkempt gray mustache. Whatever scent he was wearing reminded me of gingerbread, which made it that much harder to take him seriously.
“You’re telling me, you’ve never met Kenneth Pritchard before? You’ve got no idea who he is?”
“I’ve never met him, no.” Does stalking count? “And I don’t think I’ve ever seen him, either, at least not until you, ah— wait, sorry, what did you say your name was?”
“Wallace Banks.”
I continued, but not before letting half a second of silence elapse, just to demonstrate that my answer hadn’t been premeditated. “Right, ah, Chief Banks. Well, I’d never seen him until, ah, I think it was you, sir, that I saw release him from custody on TV.”
“You sure about that?”
I concentrated on keeping my breathing neutral, and made sure not to touch my face. It wasn’t like me to fidget, but just to be safe, I kept my hands folded on my lap. “Yeah, I’m sure.”
He gave a single shallow bob of his head before turning his attention to a manila folder, and I had a feeling I knew what he was about to show me. He slid me a photograph, and I made every effort to keep the muscles in my face at ease. He’d be watching my reaction, of course. It was difficult to do, though, because I was excited to return to Kenneth’s bedroom, the scene of the crime. Thrilled, aroused even. I almost wished he’d shown me a photo of Kenneth himself, dead, throat gouged and raw and bloodied. But instead, it was a high-resolution photograph of the bedroom wall, featuring the words that had come to haunt me: GO HOME AFTON.

Praise for the Book
“When I finished this book I was freaking out!! I don’t even think I could have formed complete sentences to write my review! This book!!! It was EVEN BETTER than the first book, which was awesome!!! If you haven’t started this series, you really need to!!” ~ ~ Donna
“Woah! I read this book in one day and literally couldn’t put it down. The first Afton book was a warm up for the mystery, intrigue, and action in this second part of the series. […] I loved the suspense of it all and I’m excited to see how Afton fixes this mess in the next book.” ~ Andrea Jones
“Holy smokes! Book 2 literally sets the plot on fire with the dark and desperate attempt by Afton to find and save little Kim. […] This series is recommended for those who enjoy a fast, spicy adult thriller mix of crime, mystery, action, and suspense.” ~ Stanley McShane
“It’s hard to put this book down. But you don’t need to. This short novella will have you hooked, and in no time you’ll be left perching on the edge of your seat … waiting for Part 3.” ~ David H
“Afton cracks me up. She’s a smart ass librarian and I love her. […] I love how Brent Jones writes this character. Sure she has a foul mouth and she has an urge to kill people, but only people who deserve it. That’s logical to me, lol.” ~ Amanda, Write Where I Read

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
With Kenneth out of the way, Afton sets her sights on The Man in Shadows, who has kidnapped Kim and is now taunting Afton. What does he want? And what is the big secret from Afton’s past?
The short, punchy chapters keep you reading, and the author maintains a brisk pace to ramp up the suspense. We find out more about Afton’s past and the origin story of her alter-ego Animus. While Animus doesn’t have as great a presence in this installment, it’s nice to see that Afton is no longer a loner but now has the support of her brother Chris, his girlfriend Tia, reporter Jared, and even library volunteer Kim.
Be warned, this is a serial novel, and you will have to read the rest of the series to get the complete story. I’m looking forward to finding out how Afton gets out of the situation she finds herself in at the end of this book.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, graphic violence.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“Ever the white knight. A single kiss on the cheek, and now he’s my sworn fucking protector.”
“He was trying so damned hard to be gallant, and I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.”
“He was an asshole, sure, but he didn’t deserve to be murdered, at least not according to the standards I’d set for myself.”
“I responded with the flattest tone and blankest stare I manage. Resting bitch face, I believe it’s called.”

About the Author
Brent Jones
From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.

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The Matchbook by Brent Jones