As an aspiring writer I tend to read a lot and I tend to read in the genre’s that I’m interested in and that I want to write in. Every once in a while a friend will talk me into reading something a little different for better or worse. In the case of C. M. Sottolano’s “One Right Tricky Bastard” it was more a matter of reading something because I had been asked by a friend and that friend happened to be the author as well.
He asked me to read an early copy of the work so that I could offer up my opinions and to do a little editing. I started out reading, my red pen in hand, ready to mark his draft with corrections and comments. My red pen did not last very long, not ecause there were so many errors, but because I couldn’t put any thought into editing because the story and writing were just that good.
I often read the work of friends with some trepidation. As a friend you want to be positive and encouraging, but as an author I want to be brutal and honest, so the two different parts of me often conflict and I end up satisfying neither side. With Sottolano’s work however I can say that I was engrossed completely. The characters were brilliant and unique, the story was captivating and suspenseful and I found myself unable to stop reading once I had gotten started. When I had finished I could offer little in the way of advice to my friend and I had nothing to hand to him in terms of editting, but I shared with him my enthusiasm and my urgings that his story must be published.
Four years later, the story has been added to, edited and finally published electronically. I was excited to see it come out and immediately purchased the book from Amazon for the Kindle (the only version currently available, though the author tells me he is considering a print run as well). Once again I devoured the book, pleased at the changes he made and loving the story even more.
One Right Tricky Bastard is urban fantasy that tells the story of Milo Gives (rhymes with strives), a Disreputable Urban Magus, and a friend to those in need. He starts out helping a young woman find her brother who has run afoul of some very dangerous individuals, so dangerous in fact that Milo has to pull out all the stops to not only help the kids, but to stay alive. That in and of itself would be hard enough, but throw into the mix his ex-wife, who happens to be a man eater…literally, and Milo and friends will be lucky to survive at all.
You can buy One Right Tricky Bastard at amazon.com or by clicking here: http://cmsottolano.weebly.com/one-right-tricky-bastard.html.
Excerpt From C. M. Sottolano’s “One Right Tricky Bastard” (shared with permission from the author)
“So I’m not crazy? I mean, I was really beginning to think I was cracking up.”
I tried giving her my most reassuring smile. Her eyes remained dead. I couldn’t tell if it had worked. “Certain supernatural creatures have that effect.”
“Supernatural? That’s hard to believe.”
I chuckled, “You have a better name for it?”
“Pandora, I’m not the person your friend intended you to call.”
“But I asked Castillo for someone professional, someone who could handle it.”
“Well, I am a professional who can handle your problem. Just not the one Castillo intended. I doubt whoever that was could handle this. Even an inexperienced Jekyll/Hyde could prove frustrating to a mundane detective. Their assumptions would lead them away from, not towards, a solution.
I actually saw something stir in Pandora’s eyes. Sadly, it was mistrust. “So, who are you then?”
“Have you ever heard of the Magi?”
“You mean, ‘We Three Kings of Orient are’, those guys?”
“Hey, I’m impressed. Yes, those guys.”
“Right. I remember reading that Magi is part of the root word for magician. So, you can do magic then?”
I nodded slightly, “For lack of a better word. I like to think I deal more in ‘signs and wonders’.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Magic’s more under the magician’s control. And I can do that, but that control has a price. It puts a cap on what you can get. Wonders do require a leap of faith but there’s no limiting them.”
“I’m a little short of faith,” she said.
“That’s what ‘signs’ are for. They’re a little nudge to help faith along.”
This time Pandora smirked and drained the last little dregs of her coffee. “I think I’d like see one of your little signs. I mean, I’ve seen some weird shit in my life. I think Stephan’s seen even more . . .” She looked like she had another question to ask then suddenly she changed gears.
“Okay, bottom line this for me. You can help me find Stephan, right?”
“Where few else could.”
“Why should I trust you? How do I know you aren’t just another liar?”
I took her now empty coffee cup and the half empty single-serve liquid creamer. I poured the creamer into her empty, tall coffee cup until it overflowed onto the table. Pandora held her breath for along moment, looking for the trick up my sleeve. There wasn’t one. The hardness in her eyes softened for a moment while she let her breath out slowly.
“Okay then, you’re hired.”