GIVEAWAY: End of Book Shit Spencer and Veronica
Bomb and Guns Genres: Adult, Adult Suspense, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Romantic Suspense
IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ALL THE OTHER BOOKS, STOP. Go back and read the books you skipped, including the novellas. Every book has clues and plot points, so if you have skipped books you will probably be lost immediately. :)
Spencer Shrike is a man with a plan. Get in. Get out. Move on. He loves Ron the Bomb, and her safety is the only thing on his mind. But life is a tricky bastard. And conning criminals for the better part of ten years brings its own set of problems. Sure, Rook lied her way out of a sticky situation, covering for Ronin, Ford, and Spencer’s crimes in the process. But not everyone is buying her story and Spencer is desperate to figure out who’s in town setting them up for a fall.
Veronica the Bombshell Vaughn has put up with Spencer Shrike’s shit for years and where has it gotten her? A big fat nowhere. No ring, no house, no kids, and no promises. In fact, Spencer is worse than ever—distant and moody. She’s done sitting at home, pining over a man she can’t have. She’s tired of being ignored and she’s coming out swinging.
Now there’s another man in town with his eye on her. He’s got secrets too, and he’s more than willing to share. She’s ready to jump ship. Because the last thing on Spencer’s mind is a relationship, and Ron the Bomb has had enough.
The entire Rook and Ronin series comes full circle. Every con, every lie, and every skeleton in the closet is back for one final shot at vengeance and the only way to set it right… is with GUNS.
(ROOK & RONIN SPIN OFF #6 & #7)
Spencer is in every single book in the Rook & Ronin series. He comes in late in Tragic, but boy does he make an impression. He scoops Rook up when she needs a friend, and just when you start to think this might turn into a triangle, Spencer Shrike does a 180. He’s not what he appears to be. But then again, that was the whole point of the series.
Sometimes when I’m writing a later book in a series I recall a little detail in an earlier book that changes everything about the story. This happened with Spencer and Veronica in Bomb. That novella is supposed to be the first book about Spencer, but instead it introduced Veronica the Bombshell Bomb—Spencer’s long-time love-interest who has been dumped.
In Bomb I start from the beginning and take you back in time to the day Spencer first saw Veronica on their college campus. He proceeds to woo her, and they end up back in his garage where he reveals his customs bikes. Well, he’s only got one custom bike at that point in his life.
That bike he shows Ronnie sort of existed in Tragic, but only as a casual detail. Spencer takes Rook to his bike shop where he has lots of custom bikes. This is his future. He’s Big Time now. He’s got a showroom filled with motorcycles he needs photographed. He wants something from Rook, and he’s willing to offer up something big to get her on his side. So he offers her a custom motorcycle.
Rook picks a Shrike Bike resembling a classic Triumph motorcycle that is just sitting in Spencer’s shop, so that’s the bike he pretties up for her and presents to her in Manic. The bike ends up being called the Shrike Rook. But it used to be something else before Rook claimed it…
I’m pretty sure no one ever thought about that bike again except me. Because when I had to go back to the time when Spencer was first dating Veronica, Spencer was in Veronica’s family tattoo shop asking her to give him ink. He drew the tat he wanted and it caught Veronica by surprise. Spencer was surprised too.
“So, Veronica. I never properly introduced myself this morning. I’m Spencer.”
“I don’t need to know your name. Besides,” she says as she slips a visor over her forehead that has a long clear plastic shield attached to it. “I already know all about you.” Her last few words come out muffled and with an echo from behind the mask and the shield.
I smile and wink. “Don’t believe everything you hear, then, OK?”
She ignores me. “Take your shirt off and tell me what you want that awful thing you’re calling a tattoo turned into.”
I slip my shirt over my head slowly, just like I did it this morning. She pretends to be busy with her machine and ink, but I catch her looking out of the corner of her eye. “I’m thinking I need a whole back piece to cover that little lady. I’m thinking ravens, and skulls, and smoke. I’m thinking blackbirds, of the mechanical variety. I’m thinking all done up in black and red.”
“Ha,” she fake laughs. “That’s a month’s worth of appointments. I want to know what you want me to do today.”
“A Blackbird, Blondie. I want a Blackbird today. The hula girl can wait until we get the design right. Today I want you to start the piece. Give me that paper over there, I’ll draw it out for you.”
She looks at me skeptically, removes her face shield and mask and walks over to the counter top where she’s got a spiral notebook. She grabs it, and a pen, even though there are pencils in the jar she’s keeping her writing utensils in, and hands them over.
I open the notebook and realize it’s her personal sketchbook. I look up at her and she’s got her hands on her hips, like she’s waiting on me to perform. I do the head tilt smile and page through, trying to look at each of her drawings without being obvious. They are all very detailed with elaborate shading and perspective. She’s a talented artist and I’m dying to see the sketch she did of me this morning.
I find a blank page and uncap the pen with my teeth and start to draw. I can sketch this image with my eyes closed, that’s how often I’ve drawn it in, both in real life and in my mind. I was drunk when I let Bobby Choo tat me up with a hula girl. Out-of-my-mind drunk, celebrating after the grand jury refused to indict me and my team for murder. Because I’ve been planning this bike since I was a little kid and I was still handing my old man tools in our garage as he was building the business.
I’m not sure how much time goes by when Bomb whispers over my shoulder. “Thunderbird.”
I laugh and turn my head. I don’t have to turn it far, her cheek is practically right up against mine. “Yeah, baby. Thunderbird, American style. The 1956 Triumph Blackbird. I want ravens and rooks. And skulls and smoke. All done up in black and red. But first, I want the Shrike Bikes version of the Blackbird. And this is it.” I stop talking so I can stare at her lips for a moment. She licks them and I almost die. I reluctantly drag my eyes up to her heated stare. Her opinion of me has changed since I came in this room. I rip the page out of the notebook and set it on the counter. “Will you do it?”
She lets out a breath, like she was holding it in. “I’d need to plan it properly, Spencer.”
The sound of my name coming out of her mouth gives me the chills. “Of course.”
“You’d need to help me,” she continues in a whisper.
“I’d have it no other way.”
“I might need a model.” She licks her lips again.
“I have the perfect specimen at home in my garage.”
“You have a ‘56 Blackbird?”
“I do. You should come see it, get a feel for it between your legs. Get a feel for me as well.”
The Shrike Rook appears in Tragic, Manic, Panic, Slack, Bomb, and Guns. If I had really planned it better, it would’ve been in Taut as well. But I didn’t plan that bike at all. I pulled that classic Triumph design out of my memory for its first appearance in Tragic. I knew a guy once… he had one. But I had no idea Triumph made a model called the Blackbird when I decided to name Rook after a black bird. I had no idea that the Shrike Rook was modeled after the Triumph Blackbird when I put that random memory into Tragic. And the way the whole thing came full circle didn’t even hit me until I was writing Bomb and I realized what I had set up by accident.
I think that’s the best thing about writing a series like this. Moments when all the little backstory details add up to something BIG just because you’re making it all up, and most of what you make up is based off things you already know.
The motorcycle means a lot to Rook. It’s her one true possession in Panic—something she takes with her on her final quest to put her past behind her. To Bomb. She has her first Spencer experience on the half built model and she wants it back in Guns. And to Spencer, because it was the first bike he ever built—it was a symbol of his future, what he was capable of. I think it’s the little things like this that makes the story come alive, and even though I didn’t really plan it out that way, sometimes it’s better to create by accident.
Because then it becomes fate.
(ROOK & RONIN SPIN OFF #6 & #7)
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