Sometimes the toughest fight lies within yourself.
As more dark secrets come to light, the battle for souls pushes Prairieville to the brink of war in the living and supernatural realms.
Jeff Wrage swears a blood oath to Abaddon, the supernatural avenger of murder victims, to hunt the crooked cop who butchered his wife. Jeff wonders whether he can be the executioner Abaddon requires. Their pact throws the supernatural realm in chaos and threatens to trigger an apocalyptic fight for control of the afterlife between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Orlando Marino sees the death of Cyrus Black as his opportunity to restore the Marino family's stronghold in Prairieville’s organized crime scene and become a mob kingpin. He unleashes a plague, turning its victims into mindless followers. Cyrus' heir is busy rooting out a traitor and is unable to stop the coming turf war in the realm of man.
The fate of all rests with Homicide Detective Anna Duke, who steps into the shoes of her mentor while coming to terms with unrequited love. As she tries to clear the fallen hero's name, she takes on a case where corpses go missing. Her new partner is reported dead. She learns the truth about her true identity and uncovers a trail of secrets questioning her tragic past. She journeys to avert the destruction of all creation.
Thunderclaps from high above jolted Jeff out of his slumber.
Something hard and cold with jagged edges pressed into his back.
When he tried to move, iron shackles strained against the skin of his arms and legs. Chained to a rock in a dry stream bed, he knew he’d become a helpless prisoner who could do nothing more than wait for his captor. Stormy skies threatened from directly above him with bright flares of lightning snaking among sooty clouds and disappearing. Out of the corner of his eye, he could detect that the sun was shining brightly on the other side of the rock.
Scant rays of brilliant sunshine peeked over the rock, reflecting bright light off a magnificent golden shrine on a bank not far from where he was chained.
This can’t be real. He’d never seen a place like this in his life.
Large wet drops crashed against his skin. The coolness of the rain streaking down his body caused steam to rise from his skin, which he noticed had turned a dark shade of crimson. The only being this red was….
“Lucifer,” a calm voice echoed from above Jeff on the shoreline.
A giant, dressed in white armor sparkling like diamonds in the spare sunlight, stepped into view. He wielded a golden-hilted silver sword in one hand and a silver shield with the Latin inscription “Quis ut Deus” (I am like God) on the front in the other hand. He loomed above Jeff. A large gold cross ran down the center of the giant’s breastplate. A second inlaid golden cross glinted at the center of his white helmet. The helmet obscured his face, save for flawless ivory skin which radiated a blinding light. There was something across his back casting a large shadow, but Jeff couldn’t see what it was.
“You were thinking of Lucifer, whose skin is often portrayed as red,” the giant said. The ivory giant stepped into full view. From his back a pair of massive wings spanned over ten feet wide and five feet long majestically fluttering in the breeze, yet didn’t cast a shadow. The rain pelting Jeff in the eyes didn’t touch this giant. He certainly was no man. The only thing Jeff could compare it to would be—
“An angel,” the giant completed Jeff’s sentence again. “You are correct.”
I’m a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale who currently works as a supervisor in a 9-1-1 emergency communications center in Peoria, Ill. My debut novel, Grim, received an average of 4 stars on reviews at Amazon and Barnes And Noble online. Wrage picks up where Grim left off as the second book of The Sons of Darkness series. I’m also an animal lover along with my wife, Amy, who is a veterinary doctor.
How did you get started writing?
I worked for ten years as a print journalist in large regional daily newspapers in Peoria, Il., Decatur, Il., Burlington, Iowa, and Grand Junction, Colo. I covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, Va., the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game. I also won an award for outstanding writer of the year by the Colorado Tennis Association.
What was the inspiration for your book?
Wrage explores the Faustian theme of wanting something different for your life. Several characters strike deals they may end up regretting to see their schemes and obsessions realized. This novel also expands its universe of supernatural characters which were inspired in part by mythology and one of my favorite TV shows, Supernatural. Critics of my first novel in The Sons of Darkness series Grim expressed some dissatisfaction that there wasn’t more redemption for the characters involved, and I think they will find this story a little more to their liking.
What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Thanks to the HBO series, I’ve become enthralled with George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. I’d think it’d be fun to take a hack at writing fantasy, but I’d certainly have to do more research on conventions of the genre.
Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I’m not a huge fan of romance. I’ve read some YA series with love stories included, but nothing strictly aiming for romance as the main story arc. There are so many novels out there that this type of novel just doesn’t interest me as much because I think it is hard for writers to differentiate their work from others in this genre. It just wouldn’t be my strong suit when it comes to writing.
So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I’m working on the third book of my Sons of Darkness series Malice. It will follow a bad boy rocker, Malice Madsen, who is loosely patterned after Marilyn Manson. Each son represents one of the seven deadly sins so Malice will represent pride. I’m also working on a side project outside of the series in which a small town girl with big city dreams gets conned into a human trafficking ring. I don’t think people realize how large of a problem this is inside the United States.
Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions.
My favorite color is blue. I’m a huge sports fan and many of my favorites – Cubs, Bears, Fighting Illini have blue in their color scheme. My Camry is blue. A lot of my clothes are blue.
I’ll go with Seven. Kevin Spacey is such a creep, and I can’t blame Brad Pitt for pumping him full of lead. Honorable mention for me includes: The Princess Bride, Bridesmaids, The Breakfast Club, The Dark Knight and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Book that inspired you to become an author?
Antiheroes captivate me, so when I read Count of Monte Cristo in junior high school I couldn’t put it down. I guess I just love a good revenge tale. I aspire to write a story as great as that one.
Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I’d like the ability to manipulate time because it’s the one foe that usually can’t be beaten. Perhaps if I could slow down the clock, I could churn more novels out. My work schedule with my full-time job is so demanding that it’s hard to find time to write.
You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
I’d have dinner with three of my heroes – Abraham Lincoln, Sherlock Holmes and my grandfather Charles McLaughlin. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln and I’ve always been fascinated with his accomplishments in the face of such adversity. I’m proud our country had such strong leadership in righting a wrong and hopefully the fight for freedom will continue today for all minorities who still don’t enjoy the fruits of equality. Sherlock has been one of my best friends since I was a child. I love the fact that his character isn’t perfect and evolves, but I love his unique way of looking at the world most of all. My grandfather died on my 10th birthday and in a lot of ways he was the only father figure I had. I’ve lived my life in the hope he’d be proud of the man I’ve become.
Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Jeff Wrage is a character who has lost his hope and his faith. He feels like his wife’s murderer ripped his whole world away from him. He’s lonely and afraid of what his future holds. He’s lost almost every reason to live. The only thing keeping him going is pure hate and the pursuit of vengeance. I must admit I’ve had times in my life where I felt lost and hopeless. I think many of us can identify with loss and having to reinvent ourselves in the wake of that great loss whatever it might be.
That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Joseph will be awarding a $25 Starbucks gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!
8/26 SECOND STOP Sharing Links and Wisdom
8/27 Emraz :The Spark
8/28 Deal Sharing Aunt
8/29 Red Wine and Books
9/13 Andi's Book Reviews
9/16 Unabridged Andra
9/17 Book Bling Blog
9/18 SECOND STOP Jodie Pierce's Ink Slinger's Blog9/20 Dalene's Book Reviews
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married to Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph is hard at work on the rest of the series. Book 2 – Wrage – was released June 1, 2013. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space.”