by M.T. Bass
“She was one in a million…and the day I met her I should have bought a lottery ticket instead.”
Griffith Crowe, the “fixer” for a Chicago law firm, falls for his current assignment, Helena Nicholson, the beautiful heir of a Tech Sector venture capitalist who perished in a helicopter crash leaving her half a billion dollars, a Learjet 31, and unsavory suspicions about her father’s death. As he investigates, the ex-Navy SEAL crosses swords with Helena’s step-brother, the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum, and an All-Star bad guy somebody has hired to stop him. When Griff finds himself on the wrong side of an arrest warrant he wonders: Is he a player or being played?
Lawyers and Lovers and Guns…Oh, my!
The conference room was small—smaller, at least by “Big Firm” standards, than the huge public conference room up front used to intimidate clients, adversaries, witnesses, and opposing counsel by swallowing them up whole like Jonahs lost in the belly of a legal whale. Tucked away in a back corner among the partner offices, it was extremely well appointed, though darkly so, in oak furniture and paneling. The quiet confines served as a war room of sorts, a place where grand strategies and hair-brained schemes were incubated, hatched and sometimes celebrated, sometimes autopsied. He knew because Griffith Crowe was sometimes part of them.
There were no windows, which was fine with him. He didn’t need to be seen, and, besides, he was just there to get paid and be quickly on his way. Even in the dim, indirect lighting, he found a shadow where he sat and sipped coffee from a massive, dark mug with Stein, Baylor & Stein gilded on the side, patiently waiting for Lance Baylor to come back with his check.
Lance was a master of entering and exiting rooms. So, when he burst into the room like a starlight artillery shell, wearing his white phosphorous rain-maker smile, followed by two junior associates and a young, very attractive Asian waitress pushing a serving cart with no doubt a sumptuous lunch, he knew his escape would be neither clean nor quick.
“Miss me?” teased Lance, baring his canines. “I couldn’t send you back to…to…where was it you were you off to, Griff?”
“Right, send you home hungry after a job well done. Pull up a chair, and we’ll feast before you depart.”
Lance naturally took the head of the table with Griff to his right. The two junior associates, veritable bookends with their young, already balding pates, red ties, pin-striped suits, expanding waistlines, and leather portfolios, sat on the opposite side of the table.
They all politely smiled at one another as the waitress set their places and served what turned out to be Beef Wellington. After pouring drinks—Cabernet for Lance, iced teas for the empty bookends and black coffee for Griff—she quietly left them and closed the door.
Like an orchestra conductor, with cutlery for a baton, Lance silently cued the quartet to begin eating.
Lance smiled broadly and looked to his right. “Good. No?”
“Excellent. My compliments to Cookie.”
“You know, our friend here was busy freeing Iraq before there actually was an Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Lance said, turning to the two associate attorneys, who frowned at the apparent contradiction. As if to explain, he continued, “Special Forces, of course. What was it you did there in the desert?”
Griff watched Lance watch himself surgically cut his Wellington.
“Nothing really so special,” Griff said, turning his attention to his own lunch plate.
“I suspect much the same sort of things as you may have done here to get your name on the marquee. You know, all’s fair in love and war.”
What, if any, music do you write to? (If you don’t explain). Do you have a playlist for Article 15?
I worked mainly in verse when I finally got serious about scribbling things down back at the Ohio Wesleyan English Department. And, since you are working the rhythms and sounds of the language to create unmelodized songs, it’s difficult to listen to music while you are trying to make it. By necessity, then, writing was a quiet meditation for me.
So, I don’t have a specific playlist for Article 15, although I do reference Griff listening to Brad Paisley at excessive sound pressure levels as he races a convertible Mustang through the Carson National Forest on his way to Helena’s home in the New Mexico mountains.
The reason I worked mainly in verse back then was to improve my song writing skills, as I entertained notions of Rock ‘n’ Roll stardom. And between there and here I did release an album of originals called Operation Thuderclap.
Also along the way, I created the very first novel ever with a sound track. If Alfred Hitchcock and the Rolling Stones spawned a bastard child of a story, it would be Crossroads. And if you’re going to have a story whose characters are musicians…well…then…it should have music. Right?
So I structured the story in twelve parts—like a twelve bar blues—and each part opens with a song whose lyrics are relevant to the characters and the plot line. There are also fourteen other songs embedded along the way to help tell the story.
Most of the music publishers monetized the lyrics videos I created, while for a few of the others I used the official YouTube videos links in the manuscript, which you can click on to listen to as you read. Consequently, Crossroads can only exist as an eBook.
You can listen to the soundtrack here: Crossroads Playlist on Electron Alley
These were some of the very best tunes I grew up with, wearing out the grooves on vinyl over and over and over again.
Now they’re all on my iPhone and at some point on every long road trip they serenade me down the highway.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.
Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.
M.T. Bass Author Links
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mtbass
Article 15 Purchase Links
Author Web Site Info Page: https://mtbassauthor.wordpress.com/scribblings/article-15-griffith-crowe-1/
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