Thursday, 31 October 2019

Article 15 by M.T. Bass

Title: Article 15
Author: M.T. Bass
Genre: Mystery

“She was one in a million…and the day I met her I should have bought a lottery ticket instead.”

Griffith Crowe, the "fixer" for a Chicago law firm, falls for his current assignment, Helena Nicholson, the beautiful heir of a Tech Sector venture capitalist who perished in a helicopter crash leaving her half a billion dollars, a Learjet 31, and unsavory suspicions about her father's death. As he investigates, the ex-Navy SEAL crosses swords with Helena’s step-brother, the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum, and an All-Star bad guy somebody has hired to stop him. When Griff finds himself on the wrong side of an arrest warrant he wonders: Is he a player or being played?

Lawyers and Lovers and Guns…Oh, my!



The conference room was small—smaller, at least by “Big Firm” standards, than the huge public conference room up front used to intimidate clients, adversaries, witnesses, and opposing counsel by swallowing them up whole like Jonahs lost in the belly of a legal whale. Tucked away in a back corner among the partner offices, it was extremely well appointed, though darkly so, in oak furniture and paneling. The quiet confines served as a war room of sorts, a place where grand strategies and hair-brained schemes were incubated, hatched and sometimes celebrated, sometimes autopsied. He knew because Griffith Crowe was sometimes part of them.

There were no windows, which was fine with him. He didn’t need to be seen, and, besides, he was just there to get paid and be quickly on his way. Even in the dim, indirect lighting, he found a shadow where he sat and sipped coffee from a massive, dark mug with Stein, Baylor & Stein gilded on the side, patiently waiting for Lance Baylor to come back with his check.

Lance was a master of entering and exiting rooms. So, when he burst into the room like a starlight artillery shell, wearing his white phosphorous rain-maker smile, followed by two junior associates and a young, very attractive Asian waitress pushing a serving cart with no doubt a sumptuous lunch, he knew his escape would be neither clean nor quick.

“Miss me?” teased Lance, baring his canines. “I couldn’t send you back to…to…where was it you were you off to, Griff?”


“Right, send you home hungry after a job well done. Pull up a chair, and we’ll feast before you depart.”

Lance naturally took the head of the table with Griff to his right. The two junior associates, veritable bookends with their young, already balding pates, red ties, pin-striped suits, expanding waistlines, and leather portfolios, sat on the opposite side of the table.

They all politely smiled at one another as the waitress set their places and served what turned out to be Beef Wellington. After pouring drinks—Cabernet for Lance, iced teas for the empty bookends and black coffee for Griff—she quietly left them and closed the door.

Like an orchestra conductor, with cutlery for a baton, Lance silently cued the quartet to begin eating.

Lance smiled broadly and looked to his right. “Good. No?”

“Excellent. My compliments to Cookie.”

“You know, our friend here was busy freeing Iraq before there actually was an Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Lance said, turning to the two associate attorneys, who frowned at the apparent contradiction. As if to explain, he continued, “Special Forces, of course. What was it you did there in the desert?”

Griff watched Lance watch himself surgically cut his Wellington.

“Nothing really so special,” Griff said, turning his attention to his own lunch plate.

“I suspect much the same sort of things as you may have done here to get your name on the marquee. You know, all’s fair in love and war.”

Author Bio:

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

Interview with M.T. Bass:

Hi M.T., Welcome to Just Books. Would you like to kick off by telling us how your journey as a writer began and whether you always wanted to be an author?
Truthfully, I started as a reader—way, way back before I ever thought about being a writer. In elementary school and junior high, I consumed mass quantities of bios, mostly of baseball and football heroes. One book, though, I particularly remember is Sabre Jet Ace about Joseph McConnell, the first jet ace of the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War, who flew F-86s (which my dad worked on at North American Aviation.) I’m pretty sure it eventually pushed me over the edge into becoming a pilot.
Later, when I moved into fiction in high school English classes, it seemed like maybe I could do that, so I took a few “creative” writing courses. But after I flamed out of the Music Conservatory my freshman year of college, I retreated into verse because I wanted to be a better songwriter. I chased that dream for a long while, then escaped to Colorado. And there I started having some ideas for novels that just kept coming and coming.

What are you working on now?
When I finished my very first book, My Brother’s Keeper, I always intended it to be a series following Hawk, a World War II fighter pilot, as he kind of wanders through different aviation based adventures in the years after the war. Well, some shiny new stories and characters kept cropping up and distracting me again, and again and again. I’m finally back to it. This time Hawk finds himself in Congo during the Sixties flying old T-6 Harvard training aircraft, fighting Simba Rebels as part of the civil war. It’s called Jungleland.

Besides yourself, who is your favourite author in the genre you write in?
With regards to living authors, definitely Carl Hiaasen is my favorite. I still enjoy his first book, Tourist Season the best. I don’t know if I exactly fit into his Florida-Crazy-Man genre, but I keep giving it my best shot from different parts of the U.S.

What's the best part of being an author, and the worst?
Being done and holding the finished print book in your hands—it just never, ever gets old. There’s really not a worst part as far as the writing goes. What the heck, it’s fun. You’re making stuff up and having a grand old time with it all. I guess when I am absolutely forced to take off my scribbler’s hat and put on my “Author’s” hat and deal with all the promotion and marketing and all the bull crap that comes along with it that is probably the worst part. But that’s not writing.

Do your characters ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?
There’s a great book called Being Written by Willian Conescu where one of the minor characters conspires against the author to get a bigger part in the story. That’s the way I feel almost all the time. About halfway through the manuscript for In the Black I was floundering around because the book had so many characters and plot upon plot upon plot that I thought, “Gosh, I should get organized or something.” Right at that time I found a picture of a spreadsheet used by Joseph Heller when he wrote Catch-22 and since In the Black was my homage to Yossarian and his gang, I thought. “This is perfect.” So, I did the spreadsheet thing and had everything all laid out perfectly, except…none of the characters cooperated. They were all off on their own doing their own things, despite my best efforts. What could I do except go with the flow? Consequently, I now work without a safety net, which others call an outline.

You’ve written around 10 books… Do you have a favourite?
I feel like I never finish a book so much as I abandon them and leave them to their own devices out in the publishing world. And what ends up happening is that my favorite book is always the one that I’m working on at the time. It’s almost like having a series of affairs, sort of the Stephen Stills thing: “Love the One You’re With.” That being said, when I look back fondly, In the Black and Somethin’ for Nothin’ are really the two that tug at my heartstrings.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have one unpublished novel that will never see the light of day. It was my very first, called The Twilight War. It was an odd combination of John Fowles and…gosh, I don’t even know what the heck else I threw in there. Some stones are best left unturned.

Before you leave, I'd like to throw in a 'non-writing' question, if that's ok...
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Let’s see…a pitcher, shortstop, and outfielder…a quarterback, wide receiver, or defensive back…a formula one, then an Indy car driver…Sergeant Saunders, Captain Rock Torrey, General Savage…a cop, an F.B.I. Agent, a lawyer, or, once in a while, a robber…an actor…a pilot…a rockstar…Gosh the world was just full of possibilities. And here I ended up scribbling down bald-faced lies.

Thank you for joining us here on Just Books today. Best wishes for the rest of the tour and for all your future projects.

M.T. Bass will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.