Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan

One of the pivotal scenes in my novel, Pigeon-Blood Red, takes place in what used to be a well-known landmark in Honolulu: the historic International Market Place.  Midway through the novel two of the main characters duck into the marketplace while attempting to elude a hit man.  Here is how I described the scene:

“Although it was late, as usual the downtown streets were choked with traffic and the sidewalks packed with shoppers and revelers.  They blended into one of the many groups and walked several blocks in silence, ending up on the Kalakaua side of the entrance to the International Marketplace, a cavernous bazaar filled with shops and eateries from the mundane to the exotic.  One twisting aisle after another overflowed with all manner of clothing, fine linens, jewelry, brac-a-bac, souvenirs, and practically anything else.  They went in.”

“Along the streets they’d checked behind them as inconspicuously as possible and seen no one.  They continued their vigilance inside, while stopping occasionally, pretending to admire the wares.  At the opposite side of the market they exited on Kuhio Avenue.  Compared to Kalakaua it was practically deserted.”

That brief description from memory was based on a trip I took to Honolulu in the mid-90’s to attend a legal conference.  I returned to that city a few days ago and decided to pay a visit to this iconic site.  To my surprise, it was unrecognizable.  It had been completely renovated and converted into an upscale shopping mall filled with high-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, and Abercrombie & Fitch.  Other stores and shops have yet to open, so at least around noon on the week day I was there the mall was not very crowded.  Certainly, it was not teeming with the throngs of people I recalled from my earlier visit.  Needless to say, therefore, it would have provided much less cover than the old marketplace for two people seeking refuge from a killer hot on their trail.

The International Market Place is, of course, an actual place and it is (or was) something of a tourist attraction.  I fear, therefore, that anyone learning about it for the first time through my novel will be in for quite a shock if they visit the current incarnation.  However, a bit of the old marketplace is preserved inside, starting with the ancient banyan tree around which the original structure was built.  It was planted in the mid-1800’s and stands over sixty feet tall.  On the second floor, mounted on railings surrounding the tree, are placards with narration and photos describing the history of the marketplace.

Its predecessor was Waikiki Village, which was created by Donn Beach “with the goal of building a Polynesian-themed village.”  It opened in 1957.  Tahitian entertainers performed under the banyan tree, and drinks were served at Beach’s famed Don the Beachcomber tiki bar while  Rickshaws transported tourists around the marketplace in the evenings.  The banyan tree supported a tree house where Donn Beach actually lived and worked and a small version of it sits in the banyan tree today.

There is one interesting aside to my visit.  Unlike the International Market Place, another Honolulu locale in the novel is entirely a creation of my imagination.  I needed a site for two of the characters to meet and I created a small generic park.  In retrospect, I always wished I had used a real park so that readers could find it if they looked.  On my return visit I discovered such a park.  It’s on Kalakaua street and it’s called Queen Kapiolani Regional Park.  Readers of the novel won’t be sure but now I know they can at least speculate that this is the park I had in mind.  It’s a small point but I hope this makes Pigeon-Blood Red just a little more authentic.

Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced and suspenseful crime thriller by Ed Duncan.

Duncan says, “It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I am a lawyer – as is a pivotal character in the novel who is being pursued by a hit man – and I’m excited to be able to use my legal training creatively as well as professionally.”

Synopsis

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Praise for Pigeon-Blood Red

“In a novel with as much action as love, it is sure to be a story that will fulfill the desires of readers of all ages, genders, and areas of interest.” – 4 Stars, Red City Review

Pigeon Blood Red at 238 pages, is not particularly long as books go, but Duncan packs a lot of story into those pages. Readers in search of a tight, well written, good guy versus bad guy, crime/action/adventure will find Pigeon Blood Red by Ed E. Duncan, an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” Mike Siedschlag

“This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans…refreshingly old-school pulp, inhabited by a familiar cast of gamblers, con men and hustlers found in Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard novels” – 5 Stars, Best Thrillers

About Ed Duncan

Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

Connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Why I write Horror By Stuart R Brogan

As writers, our work is only limited by our own imaginations. The perceived barriers stopping us from exploring, are placed there by our own hand, free from the influence of outside forces. When we put ink to paper we have the capacity to create vast, intricate worlds, full of amazing beasts or evil foes. To travel to distant realms and have the ability to catapult our readers to unimaginable heights. We can gently submerge them in pools of harmony, or throw them into the maelstrom at will. And this, friends, is the power of the written word.

Like many authors, my love affair with books started when I was a young child. My days would be filled with wild adventures gifted to me by the choose your own adventure books known as Fighting Fantasy. These were first person game books when all you needed was a dice, pencil and the wit to do battle with the forces of evil. I can still remember running home from school, eager to embark upon another quest, in which I was the hero. Looking back with more appreciative, and adult eyes, the creators of these books were not only pioneers in the genre but the instigators of my lifelong passion regarding the power of words. The feeling of joy that enveloped me was, and still is, one of life’s greatest pleasures and is now magnified when I myself, am the provider of such tales.

It wasn’t until the early 90’s that I started to expand my reading into the realms of horror. I remember as a young man of fifteen browsing the shelves of my local bookstore, hungry to find the most horrific of stories, mesmerized by the covers depicting otherworldly beasts, hell-bent on my destruction. The likes of Dean R Koontz, Clive Barker and Shaun Hutson held captive my eagerness to devour any unimaginable story being thrust into my psyche, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

These skilled purveyors of the macabre opened my mind to the limitless possibilities within the genre and proved that I could mix fast paced action pieces with visceral horror yet still grip the reader, forcing them to turn one more page despite their weary eyes crying out for slumber. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time but it just goes to show the impact that these and many other authors had in formulating my own writing style and voice.

Now at the age of forty-one, I have finally released my first action / horror novel entitled Jackals. A fast paced and relentless hell ride for those who have an affinity with the darker side of literature. You may ask why it took me so long to unleash it upon the masses, or if I was bitten by the book bug so young, why did I wait, and the answer is, I am a great believer of timing.

As a practicing Heathen, we have a concept called Wyrd for all intents and purposes it is a kind of fate. I truly believe that it wasn’t the right time, until now. My younger years were dominated by music, all I wanted to do was play my drums and live the rock and roll lifestyle, and to a degree I was successful, but playing in a band is a team sport and I craved for something on a more personal level, desperate to show the world what I was capable of.

In 2013, I began writing my first non–fiction book swiftly followed by my second to which I received great reviews. But deep down, I knew I was warming up for my leap into the world of horror.

Years of not reading the genre had left me as a clean slate, untouched by any modern trends currently doing the rounds. So, I switched on the computer and started to write. I am lucky in the fact that when I am writing, my mind races at one hundred miles per hour and it’s like I am watching a film and my fingers are just explaining what I see. Sometimes I see the frame in slow motion with the ability to pause, giving me the opportunity to really dissect the sequence. Maybe other authors work in the same way or maybe I seem a little crazy explaining my creative process, but rest assured it is the most joyful experience to be able to see your ideas come to life, characters start to breathe, enemies begin to scowl and as you get further into the story your heart beats a little faster.

Sometimes I only have the basic idea, happy to let the story grow organically and to forge its own path and sometimes I have to give it some serious contemplation regarding direction. Regardless of how it manifests, I personally find the process almost Zen like.

To me, writing is art, and as with all forms of art, I demand unbridled passion and dominant intensity. I want to feel something deep within, to feel transported from the banality of modern living. In music, I require emotion and unrelenting power. This could come from a sweeping piece of epic classical or from the harshest drone of black metal, all that matters is the feeling generated at an atomic level.

For me horror is the purest form of expression, the most adaptable and intense kind of written word. It taps into our primal fears then forces us to face that which truly scares us. It can make us feel sick, yet intoxicated at the same time, and has the ability to bring the hardest of us to our knees.

Some of you may enjoy the extreme horror end of the spectrum while others prefer the supernatural ghost story. For me, I enjoy exploring the primitive nature of man whilst adding a dash of gun toting action.

Words are a powerful weapon my friend, some would go as far as to call them magic. They can set us free or have the ability to enslave us.

That’s why they call it spelling.

About the Author:

Stuart R Brogan is a former nightclub bouncer and unwaveringly proud Heathen who loves nothing more than expanding people’s minds with Pagan related Non-Fiction or blowing people’s brains out with fast paced, gut wrenching, thrilling horrors.

​Harley lover, extreme metal drummer and avid movie nerd, Stuart has never followed the crowd but instead carved his own path and danced to his own tune. Since his early years, Stuart found escapism in both the written word and the silver screen. A huge fan of 80’s Action / Horror movies such as The Thing, Aliens, Predator & Die Hard and literary heroes such as Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, Richard Layman and Brian Lumley, Stuart endeavours to bring an unapologetic cinematic eye to his fiction in the hopes of rekindling his childhood sense of wonder, all whilst blowing through vast amounts of ammunition down his local shooting range.

​Stuart currently resides in Glastonbury, UK with his long-suffering wife and man eating Shih-Poo dog “Poppy” where he co-owns a kick ass Viking / Asatru shop, fiercely named “Shield Maiden”

Stuart R Brogan – Jackals Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review as part of the Confessions Publicity book tour

Jackals by Stuart Brogan takes you to a dark and disturbing world of killers on the loose in a small town in England. But this group, known as Jackals, is only the tip of the iceberg. This is part of the larger and insidious group known as the order.

Jackals is action packed and thrilling as Jesse struggles to survive the days following the attack on her and her husband. The group of killers only have one goal, to terrorize and insight fear.

The lead detective is an interesting character. He is filled with flaws and defects making his only job, to solve the case, a serious challenge. But his usual lack of interest is replaced by a new found drive to solve the murders and identify this group.

The history of the Jackals makes for an engrossing storyline. I loved the authors ability to create a secret society and make it feel completely legit. The order is a social club for serial killers and they are everywhere.

The character development solid. The plot contains interesting twists. There are several misdirections and double crosses leaving you unsure whom can trust. The level of crazy written into the multiple antagonists is comparable to America psycho.

I found the killers to be convincing and their actions disturbing with the level of graphic violence. I really enjoyed the fact that no one is off limits, any character is a possible target for death. The ending of Jackals was perfect, a complete surprise and came at me from left field. Stuart Brogan has written a solid debut novel with Jackals and I look forward to reading his work in the future.

Book Info

Length: 356 Pages

Release date:  January 7, 2017

To Purchase Jackals Click Here

From the aftermath of a brutal massacre at a rural police station, two survivors leave behind a swathe of bodies and a cryptic sigil painted on the wall, in blood.

A disgraced Detective Inspector begrudgingly starts to investigate the crime scene but as the facts begin to emerge the trail appears to lead into the highest echelons of power, making the policeman himself the next target.

As the conspiracy spirals ever deeper and with no-one to trust, both prime suspect and policeman are forced into an unlikely alliance to prove, not only their innocence, but the existence of a force so ingrained into our society, it could rewrite the very fabric of human nature.

Stuart R Brogan, Biography-

Stuart R Brogan is a former nightclub bouncer and unwaveringly proud Heathen who loves nothing more than expanding people’s minds with Pagan related Non-Fiction or blowing people’s brains out with fast paced, gut wrenching, thrilling horrors.

​Harley lover, extreme metal drummer and avid movie nerd, Stuart has never followed the crowd but instead carved his own path and danced to his own tune. Since his early years, Stuart found escapism in both the written word and the silver screen. A huge fan of 80’s Action / Horror movies such as The Thing, Aliens, Predator & Die Hard and literary heroes such as Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, Richard Layman and Brian Lumley, Stuart endeavours to bring an unapologetic cinematic eye to his fiction in the hopes of rekindling his childhood sense of wonder, all whilst blowing through vast amounts of ammunition down his local shooting range.

​Stuart currently resides in Glastonbury, UK with his long-suffering wife and man eating Shih-Poo dog “Poppy” where he co-owns a kick ass Viking / Asatru shop, fiercely named “Shield Maiden”