EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads Sunday Spotlight w/Giveaway: Idiot's Tale by Anthony Land

Welcome to EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads
Sunday Spotlight!

Today we are spotlighting Anthony Land's
Idiot's Tale!

Enter below for a chance to win all 3 of Anthony Land's books in print
from Anthony Land

Anthony Land's
Idiot's Tale!

You’re a middle-aged former college professor turned penniless private investigator. Things start looking up when a beautiful and rich young woman bursts into your low-rent New Orleans office, announcing that she has just escaped from kidnappers.

Within 24 hours you and your client are in Miami, with an ex-Mossad agent – the most violent woman you ever met – guiding you through a tangle of lies, greed and murderous peril surrounding something diabolical called White Stone. 

You may have unintentionally killed someone. You’re out of your depth and you’re starting to suspect that your guide is out of her mind. And tomorrow things could get really bad.

Idiot’s Tale is unlike any thriller you’ve read, careening between mordant humor and nihilistic darkness, on its way to an ending that will haunt you for a very long time.


Tell us about Idiot's Tale: It's Always Darkest Just Before the End.
It’s a dark thriller. The protagonist, John Rainwater, is an out-of-work English professor turned somewhat inept private investigator. His most promising case bursts through the door of his low-rent New Orleans office in the person of Morgana Trehane, a beautiful and wealthy young woman who has just escaped from kidnappers who questioned her about something called White Stone. Rainwater discovers it may be the fulfillment of the ancient dream of turning base metal into gold. Within 24 hours, they find themselves in Miami, escorted by a female ex-spy from whom they learn the frightening truth about White Stone -- a truth that will ultimately have them fighting for their very lives.

What initially inspired you to write Idiot's Tale: It's Always Darkest Just Before the End?
I have written for a living my entire adult life, primarily as a journalist, advertising man and marketer. Idiot’s Tale was my first foray into fiction. I’ve always been a fan of thrillers and noir detective stories, and set out to write a novel with attributes of both. It quickly turned even darker than I had expected. I shouldn’t have been that surprised, given that my experience as a reporter inclined me to cynicism and a lifetime spent juxtaposing what I learned while earning an honors degree in Philosophy against the grubby reality of the world have made me a nihilist.

Tell us little about the characters in Idiot's Tale: It's Always Darkest Just Before the End.

John Rainwater decided to become a private investigator when the small liberal arts college where he taught for most of his adult life shut down. His justification for that odd decision was that 20 years of formal education and another two decades of thinking, teaching and writing made him one of the small percentage of human beings capable of sustained, logical thought. He is, in fact, something of an innocent and completely out of his depth in a dangerous environment.
Morgana Trehane appears at the outset to be a highly intelligent, stunningly beautiful spoiled brat. She is, in fact, a tough and manipulative young woman who shares one significant attribute with Rainwater. Both have endured loveless childhoods and lonely adult lives. The affection that develops between them proves to be their most vital emotional support but, ironically, their greatest source of sorrow as well.
Roni Miller, the retired Mossad agent who is their tour guide through the terrestrial Hell of White Stone, is a bitter, mocking and shockingly violent woman whose very sanity Rainwater and Morgana come to doubt. Still, she is their only ally.
August Krankheit, the retired New Orleans cop turned private investigator who trained Rainwater is already dead when the story opens. But the vulgar and supremely misanthropic Krankheit remains a significant presence throughout the novel.
Milo Trehane, Morgana’s robber baron of a father, has focused his daughter’s entire upbringing on making her the ruthless captain of industry that will one day inherit his business empire. She professes to hate him, but can’t – or won’t – break free from him. Trehane holds Rainwater in contempt and threatens more than once to kill him.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Getting out of the way of the story. After spending a lifetime writing about events that actually occurred and things that really exist, I found it very hard to let my imagination run free. I finally resorted to creating an alter ego – Anthony Land – who I conceived as a dark-souled, bloody-minded, nihilistic doppelgänger. It worked. Writing as Land, I was able to think and write without the stuffy inhibitions I had originally brought to the project.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I’m not sure I have a favorite part of the book. Well, maybe the climactic scene where Rainwater and Morgana have to fight for their lives against the arch villains. Writing that was fun.

What are your future project(s)?

Since writing Idiot’s Tale, I’ve written a two-volume thriller series – Nika and The Banshees. I’m going to dedicate much of this year to promoting all three books. But I’m mulling a fourth novel set in the same imaginary New Orleans exurb as the NIKA series, but with a different time frame and cast of characters.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book?

Well, it will be on free promotion May 12 through May 16, 2017. I hope your readers will be interested enough to download it, read it and honestly review it.

I was breathing hard but the other guy was out cold on the bar's sticky, beer-stained floor. 
"My hero," cooed the blonde on the booth bench in front of me, rebuttoning the top two buttons of her blouse.
 "Don't be sarcastic," I replied. 
"Well, you did hit him from behind with a bar stool." 
"What did you think I was going to do?" 
She shrugged. "I don't know. 
Tap him on the shoulder and knock him out when he turned around." 
"With my fist? He's the size of a refrigerator. I'd have broken my hand and he'd have broken everything else." "Well, you could've hit him on the head with the butt of your gun. You do have it with you, right?" 
"It's a .38 with a two-inch barrel. There's no way you could generate enough force with it to knock someone out." 
I was breathing easier, but now I'd begun shaking. 
"I suppose," she said. "But you just never do anything heroic, do you?"
 "My business card says 'private investigator.' Nowhere does it mention 'heroic.'" 
Morgana Trehane is a woman with a remarkable talent. Without changing her behavior in any way she had, in the 72 hours of our acquaintance, cycled in my perception from Headstrong Beauty I'd Love to Bed to Spoiled Bitch I'd Love to Strangle and back again at least four times. 
Braining the chap on the floor was her idea. I was beginning to realize that it was a very bad idea indeed. The bartender had been the only other person in the place. His departure through the bar's alley door with a pail of garbage had provided the privacy I needed to carry out my attack. He'd be back at any moment, and having to explain why a 225-pound man in a loud Hawaiian shirt was sprawled out cold on the floor of his establishment was going to be a bit tricky. 
I rifled through the unconscious man's pockets, to little avail. No wallet, no passport. I almost missed the harness that crossed his back under his shirt: a shoulder holster rig. But it wasn't for a gun. It held a sheath for a knife, hilt down. I felt the hair stir on the back of my neck.
 I saw a movie once in which the revenge-bent hero is trained by an expert knife fighter. The fighting technique was unlike anything I would have imagined: two men standing toe to toe, their arms whirling like the forelegs of fighting cats, every thrust, slash, parry and block freighted with the prospect of instant death. No quarter, no retreat. The hero carried his knife in that fashion. That movie gave me a complex about fighting knives and people who use them that I never quite got over.
 I pulled the knife from its scabbard. It had a thick, chisel-tipped blade, like a Samurai sword, finished in black, with a vicious saw tooth in the blade's final third. It had a full cross hilt and what I took to be a shark-skin grip. It looked very lethal. I tested the saw tooth edge. Quite sharp. I could saw through the owner's Achilles tendons in less than 30 seconds, making him a cripple and the world a slightly better place. 
Not that I'd ever do that. I am, after all, an educated and cultured man. And squeamish. That makes for some really strange inner conflicts, since, as I just demonstrated, I have a rather gruesome imagination. I settled for tossing the knife under the bar's darkest and most remote booth. 
"Any hint why he was following us?" asked my client.

Anthony Land has made his living as a writer for over 50 years as a newspaperman, wire service reporter, television journalist, documentary writer, advertising man, medical writer, marketer, public relations advisor, and ghostwriter.

In keeping with his conviction that no author should be analyzed beyond what he chooses to publish, he reduces his autobiography to a single sentence. “I’m a non-believing summa cum laude graduate in philosophy from a Jesuit university who, in the course of a somewhat adventurous life, has seen more of the dark side of humankind than I might have wished, and contributed more to its absurdity than I intended.” He and his late wife, Sharon, spent most of their adult lives in New Orleans, until exiled to Alabama by Hurricane Katrina.

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