Author Bill Cokas has had a busy 2012 from his home base in North Carolina. Already this year the ad man turned novel writer has released a pair of satirical novels in the form of Ring of Fire and Battle Axe.
Drawing comparisons to the works of Miami-based author Carl Hiaasen, these two novels take the reader on adventures all the way from North Carolina to Europe with a number of quirky, flawed characters revealed along the way. Check out the summaries below then head on over to Cokas’ author page on Amazon for reviews or to pick up either novel. Both titles are currently available in either Kindle or paperback formats.
Seeking refuge from a corporate scandal, Wally Gibbs trades his corner office in Chicago for a tweed jacket with elbow patches in a quaint college town. He soon realizes he wasn’t meant to teach marketing; he was meant to reinvent it. And the timing is right. To Wally’s perverse delight, the economy has brought consumers everywhere to their knees. In Wally’s own words, “people are so desperate to lop thirty cents off a cantaloupe, they’d give a urine sample at the checkout.” During a routine colonoscopy, he envisions a new hyper-efficient marketing vehicle, which he labels “Project Argus.”
As Wally ensnares his unsuspecting students in the beta test, Project Argus catches the attention of eight-fingered frustrated campus policeman Nick Pappas. Sensing a connection to an unsolved student death, Nick becomes obsessed with exposing the scheme, even “deputizing” student cartoonist Zak Dawson to do the digging he can’t. The pair follows Wally to a tiny Greek island, where he acquires a rare exotic gem that he smuggles back home and turns over to a local jeweler. Within a few days, the hottest-selling graduation ring in the school’s history is quietly collecting data—and claiming lives.
Ring of Fire is a quirky suspense full of wry social satire, combining offbeat characters, a contemporary twisted plot and a setting that’s equal parts academia and Aegean Sea. Those who appreciate the offbeat characters and unconventional plots of Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey and Janet Evanovich should thoroughly enjoy Ring of Fire.
When his father plays the sax, he blows crowds away. But when Dorsey Duquesne picks up a guitar, he simply blows. Though he’s a wealthy software entrepreneur, music just isn’t in his blood—and neither is his father’s DNA. When his mother Cherry reveals (at his father’s funeral, of all places) he was adopted at birth, Dorsey’s tin ear suddenly makes sense. But it also leaves the 40-year-old questioning his identity. Emotionally adrift, he hires a one-eyed strip-mall detective, hoping the missing pieces will provide the peace he’s been missing. Meanwhile Cherry, along with Dorsey’s wife and best friend, are colluding to keep him from finding the long-buried truth about his “adoption.”
A yellowed, anonymous letter leads the vulnerable Dorsey to a dusty vineyard in the Black Forest—and straight to a jitterbugging, strudel-baking redhead named Mitzi, who claims to be his birth mother. Employing a well-rehearsed charm, she slowly wins him over—and away from his family. While in Germany, and with the help of the axe-wielding village night watchman, Dorsey does some long-overdue growing up. But will his eyes open in time to see his new “mom” has a darker agenda? And will he realize the true definition of family before it’s too late?
Battle Axe is an offbeat, suspenseful novel that places quirky, flawed characters in unwelcome situations. Adopted or “normal,” readers will find something to relate to and someone to root for. Readers who appreciate the colorful characters and unconventional plots of Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich and Tim Dorsey should thoroughly enjoy Battle Axe.
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