Saturday, 25 November 2017

Get Ready - Wall of War is here! Win an autographed copy and read an excerpt.

I'm very excited to have a copy of my latest novel in hand. Three years in the making and it's been terrific fun! 

Lots of action, a new Drake Alexander adventure.

Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy directly from the author to be shipped anywhere in the world. See details how to enter below***.

I'd like to share an excerpt with you this week.

The story opens in 1953 when an amateur rock climber makes a strange discovery while scaling a sheer cliff in the Andes. Due to circumstances beyond his control, the revelation remains hidden for another fifty years. The excerpt is from Chapter 1 when Miguel Pisconte and his assistant, Teodoro Delapaz, are wrecking a water stained ceiling and something clatters to the floor.

(copyright is held by the author)

Teodoro clears his head of the troubling thoughts, going to his room to change into work clothes before he goes to help Father Pisconte with the renovations. He actually smiles, for he enjoys nothing more than wrecking things. He secretly appreciates the skills he is learning from the priest. The occasion to work with his hands is fulfilling. He can forget his cloistered life as he concentrates on the details of construction. He quickly changes into a pair of jeans faded from many washings and a navy t-shirt that has a faded picture of Yoda on the front. He sits on the bed to lace up his work boots, wondering if Senora Carmona’s granddaughter Beatriz will be there. He smirks, scoffing at the idea of celibacy. He may have made the vows, but they were in word only, the fire of carnality continues to burn within him.

When he reaches the dressing room, Miguel is on a rickety step ladder tugging at the mouldings that frame the trapdoor. Teodoro glances at the reddish water stains that decorate the old plaster, tugs the chair they are using as steps into the middle of the room and grasps the extra pry bar from the floor.

“What section should I tackle, Father Pisconte?”

Miguel reaches up to tear off the mitered wood he has loosened and replies, “Teodoro, when we are alone, I would like it if we could forget the formalities. Please call me Miguel. Why don’t you start on the section beyond this hatch and work towards the back wall. I will work in the opposite direction. Try to direct the larger pieces towards the pile behind me, okay? “

The young man smiles because he really does like the priest, who is not much older than him. Miguel has been kind to him even though Teodoro’s dislike for the priesthood and his posting have been evident in his behaviour. It isn’t this man’s fault, he knows.

“Very well, Miguel.”

“Use those gloves on the counter, Teodoro; you can’t be giving out hosts with scarred fingers. The parishioners will be reluctant to let you put them near their mouth.”

The men laugh at the quip, knowing that it is only the older members of their congregation that want the priest to place the precious body of Christ upon their lips; the younger people want it in the palm of their hands.

Teodoro puts on the gloves before sweeping some of the larger rubble towards the main pile. Getting up on the chair, he places the wrecking bar into the cavity made by the missing mouldings and heaves on the laths that hold the plaster in place. He is fortunate in his placement. When he pulls down, a section of the ceiling the size of a small coffee table falls. The laths at the opposite end are rotted from the excess moisture. They crash to the tarp-covered floor, breaking into a dozen pieces. A dust cloud erupts from the collection of rubbish fogging the air.

Teodoro jumps from the chair to get out of the way of the falling ceiling, slipping and falling onto his butt. The pry bar he has been using lands in the middle of the pile with a thud.

“Be careful you don’t hurt yourself Teodoro,” says Miguel.

“Well, I hope it all comes down that easy, it was all breaking off in small pieces before. This won’t take us too long.”

He picks himself up, brushes away some of the dust and retrieves his tool. When he bends down to pick it up, he disturbs a dusty blue rag that was rolled into the insulation. He picks it up.

“What have we here, Miguel?”

Miguel is braced upon the ladder. He watches Teodoro reach for the rag, noticing that there is something rolled up inside where the edge of the flap is open.

“It’s very heavy, whatever it is.”

Teodoro unravels the cloth to reveal a roll of paper.  The shiny edge of something gleams from within. He drops the rag to the floor, holding the items in his hand. The paper has an unfamiliar feel and thickness. As Teodoro unrolls the paper, the golden object slips out, falling to the floor. Miguel has alit from the ladder, curious as to what Teodoro has. He is standing beside the younger man when the object falls. He stoops to pick it up. Holding it in both hands, the men are speechless as it is obviously made of gold. After several moments, Miguel says, “This is an ancient dagger, Teodoro; it is similar to one on display I saw at the University in Cuzco. Archeologists have suggested knives like this were used in what was referred to as capacocha ceremonies, human sacrifice, often children. The squat figure of the haft might be a depiction of one of their gods. This one reminds me of Supai, the god of death, but I’m only guessing.”

Teodoro remains spellbound, not so much by Miguel’s interpretation, but at what such a relic might be worth. He has forgotten about the paper he holds in his hand until Miguel hands the golden object out to him and says, “Hold this Teodoro and let me see the paper. Handle the scroll carefully for it seems quite old.”

The men trade objects; the younger man’s eyes are glazed by greed, unnoticed by Miguel. Teodoro handles the dagger with caution, turning it over while inspecting the details of the carved figure. Miguel studies the paper roll, surprised at how white the paper is. It hasn’t yellowed like most paper, adding to the mystery. The texture is much different than normal paper; it almost feels like a banknote. It is then that he realizes that it is likely rag paper, paper made from fibres of the cotton plant. That would explain why it is not brittle.



****To win an autographed copy, please go to the "Follow by email" area in the top left of this page. Send me your name and contact info before December 31, 2017 when a winner will be drawn by an independent source. You will be contacted for your shipping address. Or you can choose a digital copy if you prefer. Thank you for entering.

Wall of War is available as an eBook and paperback at amazon in Canada, USA, France, Great Britain, Denmark, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan and Mexico. The paperback is available at amazon in the US, Denmark, Great Britain and France.
Paperback copies will also be available at bookstores in Atlantic Canada starting in mid-December and the New Year, as well as from   the author. (shipping charges may apply)

Watch here for more details.

Thank you for visiting the Scribbler today.



  1. Can't put it down! Excellent right from the beginning!

    1. Thank you for your nice comments Tracy. So happy you are enjoying it

  2. Congratulations, Allan - wishing you the best success with WALL OF WAR, and will definitely add this to my tbr list.

    1. Thank you Toni for dropping by. Very happy with the results to date and it's only the beginning. Having so much fun!

  3. Great promo Allan. I'm already following by email. :)

    1. Hello Debby. Thanks for visiting and subscribing. I'll put your name in the hat! Have a fun day.

  4. Congratulations, Allan! Great photos of you and a terrific promo. I'm already following you by email. Hope the book flies off the shelves :) ❤

    1. Hi Tina. Thanks for dropping by. I'll put your name in the draw too. The e Book is selling well and I'm quite pleased.

  5. Hi Allan, congrats on the new novel. Hope I am the winner. Really enjoyed the first. Entered my email address below. Hope tht is how to enter the draw?

    1. Thanks for visiting and your comments Eva. This counts. You're in the draw. Good luck.


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