Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Hostile Takeover by Cristelle Comby - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway
by Cristelle Comby
P.I. Bellamy Vale isn’t your everyday investigator. Moonlighting as Death’s earth-bound envoy, he specializes in the weird, wacky, and slightly unhinged.
When a mysterious beast savagely mauls random residents of Cold City, the police assume that these are the killings of a rogue wolf. But experienced private investigator, Bellamy Vale, is unconvinced.
Ordered by Death herself to investigate, Vale has no choice but to obey, for his boss is not someone to disappoint—if he wants to keep breathing, that is.
With friend and computer hacker Zian, nosy journalist Candice Kennedy, and homicide sergeant Melanie Ramirez by his side, Vale has no choice but to end the killings or face the wrath of the demon who holds his life in her hands.
I was having a bad day.
The ugly thug facing me readied himself for the next swing. “What did you say, bastard?” His red-splattered knuckles were ready for the next round; my body wasn’t.
“I’m haffin a fah fay,” I managed to repeat through a mouthful of saliva and blood.
That made Julian Ragazzo, former welterweight boxing champ and top bodyguard to the city’s prime Italian Mafia family, smile. His wet beard glistened with sweat beads around stained teeth. Glad one of us was happy.
I took stock of the damage Ragazzo had already done. Broken nose, check. Split lip, check. Swollen eye, check. Broken rib, double check, and the list went on and on. It could have been worse. The injuries, though painful, weren’t enough to put me in the hospital. Sure, I’d hurt for a week or four, but I’d live to tell the tale outside of a body cast. I knew that, and Ragazzo did, too. This was a game we’d both played before … not that I’d gotten any better at it.
I caught a reflection of myself in the glossy surface of a cabinet door. My messy mop of brown locks was matted with blood on one side and the five o’clock shadow had a hard time concealing a fast-bruising chin. One eye was swollen shut and the other had a pale blue, haunted orb dancing amidst a sea of red veins. I was a mess, and not a hot one.
I closed my good eye and waited for the next blow. The bodyguard didn’t disappoint. A second later, he delivered a power punch and I saw stars. It didn’t help that I was tied to a chair and my already sore shoulders screamed in protest at the added strain. In a noise that only I could hear, my body cried out, ‘How in all the hells was this part of the plan?’ Fair question—it wasn’t.
In truth, there may have been a few glitches here and there. Like those two extra guards at the office building’s back entrance, plus that wrong turn I took on the fourteenth floor. Yeah, okay … the plan was just as screwed as I was.
Ragazzo followed up his haymaker with another kick in the guts. It would have ripped a scream out of me if I’d had any breath left for it. Instead, my lungs just took in short, choppy gasps I couldn’t control.
“Well, well, well … look what the cat dragged in,” taunted an Italian-lilted voice.
I recognized the lazy drawl and opened my good eye to confirm my suspicions. Sure enough, Alonzo Vitorini, Cold City’s resident wannabe kingpin, stood near the entrance in a dark-green pinstriped suit. Shit, looking at his ugly get-up hurt worse than any of Ragazzo’s blows.
Vitorini sauntered into the room, smiling as he noticed my stare. “Like the suit?” he asked, doing a little pirouette to show off this walking insult to fashion.
I wasn’t going to reply, but the second my eye caught sight of the finishing touch, a pair of black-and-white spectator shoes, my mouth kicked into gear on its own.
“Al Capone called,” I wheezed out. “He wants his brogues back.”
Vitorini laughed, the corners of his muddy-green eyes wrinkling. Not sure if he was laughing at the crack or the fact that he was going to kill me for it in another minute or two.
Here is Cristelle's take on Building A New World
Building a new world
I’m sure you’ve already happened upon a book where the writer didn’t bother to spend time on World-Building. You were thrown into a city that didn’t feel real, filled with little things didn’t add-up. A world where you felt like an outsider all along, never able to engage fully with the story. Not a very pleasant experience, was it?
World-Building does what it says on the box. It the process writers use to define the rules of their world. It governs everything from technologies, political systems, geography, religions, cultures, technologies, and more.
It’s especially important in science-fiction and epic fantasy stories. And with historical fiction, it means getting your facts straight.
The Main Categories
Each category requires different skills and depending on where your strength lies as an author, some categories may be better suited to you.
This category equals total creative freedom. You want flying horses, you can have them. People terraforming asteroids to build golf courses, no problem. Anything goes in an imaginary world!
This is the category that requires the most creativity on the author’s part. It is also the longest to develop. Every last detail needs to be addresses and it all has to fit together and make sense.
This one is for all those murder stories and money heists. For the boy meets girl romance and the biographies. Whether set in contemporary times or in the past, these stories are anchored to reality.
There’s no room for creative licenses here; you need to get your facts straight. What material did they use to make cowboy boots in the Far West? When did England start to use gas lamps? If the train leaves the station at 6pm and it averages at 60mph speed at which time will it reach San Francisco?
This category is a bit of mix between the first two. It is the home of Urban Fantasy, Dystopia and Uchronia. It can be everything’s the same as the real world, accepts vampires exists. Or it can be everything is the same except Nazis won the war.
This category requires author to find the subtle balance between what’s real and what’s imaginary.
The Writing Method
There are two main currents to building a fictional world.
Just like Tolkien did with the Lord of The Rings, you start by creating the world. You draw maps, populate the world with various races, and create languages and political systems. Once you’re done, you bring life to a bunch of characters and give them something to do.
You start with your characters, and built the world outwards. If your main character is the captain of a space ship, then it means that mankind knows how to build spaceships. What are they like? Do they travel faster than light? Who made the ships, was it the army or a giant corporate entity? What about the fuel and materials, which country makes them?
The Key Elements
The main points that need to be addressed to fully build a world are:
GEOGRAPHY (locations, landscapes, climate, …)
CULTURES (government, religion, laws, ethics, values …)
SOCIAL CLASSES (divisions, social customs, …)
HISTORY (important battles, major political shifts, tensions, …)
MAGIC (limitations, rules, classes, …)
TECHNOLOGY (level, access, prices, restrictions, consequences …)
Showing Not Telling
This last bit is the most important of all. Once you’re done world-building, you will have a pile of data. It’s important not to spoon-feed all of that to your readers in the opening chapter. You don’t want them to choke on it.
The reveal of your universe needs to be slow and subtle. Not everything you imagined has to end up on paper. Focus on your character and how they see and experience the world. Ask yourself which details are necessary to make their journey understandable.
It’s important to use a nuanced approach to reveal things as you go using the narrative.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.
She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.
She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.
Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.
Official Website: www.cristelle-comby.com
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Cristelle-Comby/e/B00EAWEODS/
Cristelle Comby will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.