Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's a Novel November with James M Larranaga

I'm excited to welcome Jim Larranga to Novel November.  He is the author of In the Company of Wolves. He will be sharing an excerpt of his novel.  Before we get to that, I wanted to take a moment and share a little about him.

 Larranaga writes about corporate crimes and conspiracies. Much of the author's inspiration takes a "truth is stranger than fiction" approach and his novels are based loosely on real crimes and events. In his latest novel, "In The Company of Wolves," Larranaga uses his 25 years of experience in the financial services industry to expose the hidden sub-culture of Death Brokers who choose greed over human lives.

Now for the excerpt:  

Minnesota has the highest concentration of wolves of the lower forty-eight states.
Quin had the jitters everyone feels on the first day of a new job. Nervous questions came to mind. Could he handle this job? Would they accept him into their group? He arrived early for his 9:00 a.m. starting time and remained seated in his 1988 Chevy Silverado pickup truck, the engine idling to keep him warm. He checked his look in the rear- view mirror again. He had his corporate game face on: he had shaved, combed his black hair back into a ponytail, and bleached his teeth to a dazzling white. He adjusted his Lorenzo Cana silk tie that he’d bought on eBay and debated whether to keep the earring.
He reached for his phone and sent a text message to his girlfriend Zoe.
Earring or no earring?
He waited for her reply as he looked at his GPS watch and heart rate monitor. It was 8:44 a.m., and his pulse was ham- mering at 105 beats per minute.
Wear the earring. Good luck! Zoe texted back.
Quin stepped out of his rusted truck onto hard-packed snow, slamming the door so hard that he startled two ravens
in the trees. The birds took flight above him, squawking as they landed on the branch of an oak.
He glanced up at the ravens. One squawked at him, flapping its wings in the cold wind. How long had they been watching him here?
Quin reached into his coat pocket and removed a sheet of paper with the office address. He’d heard about this place from his grandfather. This section of Lake Minnetonka had been spiritual ground for Native Americans like the Sioux. But now from the way it looked to Quin, it was a sanctuary for rich white folk.
The home office of Safe Haven LLC was more home than office. He saw no corporate buildings at the end of the cul-de- sac, just a few mansions and villas nestled along a dead-end lane near a frozen body of water. The home before him, the place that was supposed to be his new office, was an Italian villa with ornate bars over the windows and a red clay tile roof. The landscape had tall pine trees that were hunched over from the heavy snow on their branches. A Georgian colonial with white pillars stood across the road, and beyond it was a Cape Cod mansion with artificially weathered cedar shakes.
Quin walked the icy sidewalk, bits of rock salt crunching under his suede shoes. Tucking his ponytail under his collar, he watched both ravens float and land on the mansion’s tile roof, looking for a better view of the outsider. He stopped when he noticed a man rounding the corner of the mansion with a shotgun in his hand.
“Yes?” the man asked, loading the shells.
Quin waved the company letterhead, feeling confused and nervous. He did not like shotgun greetings. “Uh, is this 607 Lake Drive?”
The old man had a rosy, wind-burned complexion and thick dark hair that hardly moved in the wind. “It is. And you are...?”
“Quin Lighthorn. I’m the intern you hired,” he said, holding the sheet of paper higher, knowing the man could not read the acceptance letter from this distance across the knee-deep drifts of snow.
The man played with the safety on the gun, snapping it on and off.
“I thought we called that off, son.”
“Don’t think so,” Quin said, watching the man’s gloved trigger finger. “I spoke with Ben Moretti. He said to begin work here January second.”
The man squinted. “Oh, you’re the Indian?”
Quin wasn’t surprised by the question, and he’d expected some reaction to his ponytail and feathered earring. He offered a polite smile. “Yeah, Dakota Sioux.” He could see disdain on the man’s face.

The man sighed and stepped through the snow with his gun held high, as if he were wading through a deep river. “Follow me then,” he said, setting the gun on the front step of the house.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, In the Company of Wolves is available at Amazon:

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