March 6th, 2014

balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Terrible Beer and Awful Employers –Strandberg’s Motivation for Tarot Card Killer


Back in 2009 I was sitting in my Chinese dorm room drinking my umpteenth bottle of Qingdao, perhaps the worst beer known to man. Yeah, I taught English in China.
I hammered out a couple pages about a detective in an office, you know, 1940s black & white, P.I., all that jazz. Well, I didn’t do anything with that for the next 4 years but think of it from time to time.
If you’ve ever had a Qingdao headache you know they’re terrible. But they’re not as terrible as people who won’t pay you for writing.
A woman in Australia gave me a job writing a non-fiction Tarot How-To book. She didn’t pay me, and after being miffed for awhile I started thinking of a Tarot Card Killer.
Why not bring back that detective and get him on the case? And hey, I’m right across the border from one of the largest and most-storied metropolises in the world – Hong Kong! What better setting?
After that it was just filling in the details – 70,000 words worth! It wasn’t easy, but I did it with the help of NaNo (National Write a Novel Month). It forced me to finish the book quickly, which was great.
Since then I’ve started on the second volume in the planned trilogy, getting up to about 10,000 words. For now I’m letting it sit so the story can unfold in my mind. Or until another Qingdao headache or unscrupulous employer strikes.



Jim Sharpe is sick of life, sick of being a cop, and most of all sick of Hong Kong. He’s one of the few not on the take, yet he’s being charged with corruption. By the end of the week he’ll be kicked off the force – no matter what.
All that changes when a dead body’s found next to Victoria Harbour, a bloody Tarot card in its hand. Jim’s called onto the case, and what he discovers promises not just to upend his world, but the whole city as well.


Tarot Card Killer_Greg_Strandberg

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Greg Strandberg was born and raised in Helena, Montana. He graduated from the University of Montana in 2008 with a BA in History.
When the American economy began to collapse Greg quickly moved to China, where he became a slave for the English language industry. After five years of that nonsense he returned to Montana in June, 2013.
When not writing his blogs, novels, or web content for others, Greg enjoys reading, hiking, biking, and spending time with his wife and young son.
Greg will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.



Amazon Kindle:



Suddenly the Barracuda passed in front of him, going at a regular pace. Obviously the driver thought he’d lost the unmarked car with the flashing red light, but he’d been mistaken. Jim slammed on the gas and headed quickly down the hill.
He made it just half a block when the Barracuda spotted him and sped up, high-tailing it faster toward Connaught Road, three blocks ahead of him. Jim reached it easily, cutting straight through one lane of onrushing traffic and taking a hard right onto the busy street. There, just four blocks ahead of him, was the Barracuda.
They were speeding down Connaught and farther up ahead Jim knew it’d turn into the busy interchange with Des Voeux, branching off in two directions. This time of the morning and Jim knew it’d be clogging up fast with early commuters, and he wanted to end this chase now before it became dangerous. He slammed on the gas and closed the distance between the Barracuda and himself, and had another two blocks before the change.
He got closer to the car, but also closer to the turn up ahead. There was a barrier, forcing the traffic to go either right or left, and Jim could tell there were cars backed-up.
Suddenly he saw the passenger side window of the Barracuda roll down and an arm with a handgun extend. Jim tightened his grip on the steering wheel, waited, and then swerved to the right.