Thursday, April 03, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway: Federales by Christopher Irvin - April 3, 2014

Please welcome Christopher Irvin to The Qwillery and enjoy this excerpt from Federales. Also check out the giveaway below.

       When he reached the outskirts of Tecomàn, the rain hit like a drive-through car wash, challenging the ancient wipers on his SUV to keep up. The few cars ahead of him pulled over to wait out the storm. Marcos clenched the wheel, hoping the dark stretch continued as paved road.

       After crawling for what seemed like miles, the neon blur of a gas station caught Marcos’s eye through the windshield. He gunned it across the highway, tires slipping in the muddy median, stopping at the second gas pump, which had enough protection overhead to keep him dry as he filled the tank. He pulled out his new cell phone and dialed a number Salinas had given him. A man answered, instructing Marcos to stay put and wait for a red pickup truck.

       Seconds after Marcos ended the call, lightning struck a transformer atop a telephone pole in the distance, the explosion showering the sky with sparks of electricity. He dug his nails into the steering wheel, mouth slightly agape at the site of the smoldering tower. More bolts crackled and danced near the blast, congratulating the first successful strike. Marcos felt the hair on his arms stand up, like the electrical charge from the storm was probing for its next victim. He steeled himself for the coming unease, the instinctual desire to throw the car in drive, speed away and never look back. There was still time to run, to save himself from the darkening clouds. But in spite of the storm, he feared an ounce of cowardice more than anything—that tiny voice that selfishly lingered in the back of his head.

       Then the tempest caught up with Marcos, booming with thunder as he threw himself out of the car, seeking shelter in the small bodega attached to the station.

       He paced the store to slow the rhythm of his heart. The heaviest of the rain passed quickly in a blur, slamming sideways into the store windows. Once calm, he still had time to put a few pesos in the tank and drink half a lemon soda before his contact and a friend arrived. The man wearing a black poncho over a maroon hooded sweatshirt and jeans introduced himself as Paco, Eva’s brother. His friend, Alfredo, looked like he had been dragged off the street. His head and shoulders were soaked, his too-large shirt sagged exposing collarbones. Marcos reluctantly removed his car key from his ring and handed it to the kid. He grabbed his bag from the back of the SUV and stood with Paco, watching as Alfredo revved the engine and tore off into the storm. He rubbed his chin, wondering if he’d ever see the car again.

       “The car will be safe,” said Paco, withholding the details on where it would be housed. Everything was on a need-to-know basis. Security tighter, the situation more dire than he had encountered on the job. His mind was still out on the beach, but the seriousness of the situation echoed like thunder in the distance—it was close, but hadn’t dug in yet. Marcos crammed into the passenger side of the cab with his bag on his lap. The engine sputtered to life on the second try.

       “Do I need to place a bag over my head?” asked Marcos, grunting at his own joke. Paco ignored him as he put the truck in gear. They turned onto a side road and headed for the dark heart of the city, where the clouds had eaten the sun.

One Eye Press, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 126 pages

Mexican Federal Agent Marcos Camarena dedicated his life to the job. But in a country where white knights die meaningless deaths, martyred in a hole with fifty other headless bodies in the desert, corruption is not an attribute but a scale; no longer a stigma but the status quo. When Marcos’s life is threatened, he leaves law enforcement and his life in Mexico City behind for a coastal resort town—until an old friend asks him to look after an outspoken politician, a woman who knows cartel violence all too well. Despite his best efforts, Marcos can’t find it in his heart to refuse, and soon finds himself isolated on the political front lines of the war on drugs.

About Christopher

Christopher Irvin has traded all hope of a good night’s rest for the chance to spend his mornings writing dark and noir fiction. His short stories have appeared in several publications, including Thuglit, Noir Nation, and Shotgun Honey. His debut novella, Federales, is out from One Eye Press. He lives with his wife and son in Boston, Massachusetts.

To learn more about Chris, visit his Website or follow him on Twitter.

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a print copy of Federales by Christopher Irvin and a print copy of Weird Noir, which includes Christopher's story Charred Kraken with Plum Butter. US/CANADA ONLY

‘On the gritty backstreets of a crumbling city, tough dames and dangerous men trade barbs, witticisms and a few gunshots. But there’s a new twist where
urban decay meets the eldritch borders of another world: WEIRD NOIR.

Featuring thugs who sprout claws and fangs, gangsters with tentacles and the occasional succubus siren. The ambience is pure noir but the characters aren’t just your average molls and mugs—the vamps might just be vamps. It’s Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson or Dashiell Hammett filtered through H. P. Lovecraft. Mad, bad and truly dangerous to know, but irresistible all the same.’

Introduction by K.A.Laity, A Kick in the Head by Chloë Yates, Violets and Furs by Richard Godwin, Sins of the Brother by Karina Fabian, Across the Border by Hector Acosta, Corkscrewed by Jan Kozlowski, East of Écarté by Andrez Bergen, 3 Kings and The Mark by Carol Borden, Black Moon Rising by Paul D. Brazill, The Darkness Cult by Jennifer Martin, Identity Crisis by Katherine Tomlinson, A Diabolical Liberty by Jason Michel, Evil and Life by Asher Wismer, Gus Weatherbourne by Michael S. Chong, Wonder Woman Walks into a Bar by Leeyanne Moore, Charred Kraken with Plum Butter by Christopher L. Irvin, Yao Jin by Joyce Chng, Train Tracks by W. P. Johnson

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on April 12, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. would be great to win some new reads , thank you for the chance !

  2. Thank you for the great spotlight! This book sounds very intriguing :)