I am so excited that A GOOD MAN by P.J. McIlvaine is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for five signed copies of the book courtesy of P.J. & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.
About The Book:Title: A GOOD MAN
Author: P.J. McIlvaine
Pub. Date: August 18, 2023
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Decades after a brutal childhood trauma,
a famous novelist finds his life shattered once again, in this unsettling
psychological mystery thriller.
After years of turmoil, Brooks Anderson is sober and has a stable life with his wife and two kids. He should be enjoying life, but the persistent nightmares and sleepwalking tell a different story.
As hard as he’s tried, Brooks can’t run away from the defining event of his life: the senseless murders of his mother and brother during a vacation in Montauk. An eight-year-old Brooks was the sole survivor of the carnage, which left him in a catatonic state. He buried his pain and eventually overcame his demons. Or so he believed.
Now an unscrupulous journalist is threatening to write about the deaths. Fearful that the truth will be twisted to suit sordid ends, Brooks decides to write his own book, despite the grave misgivings of his agent, wife, and father.
However, when the journalist is brutally killed, Brooks finds himself in the authorities’ crosshairs. To prove his innocence and exorcise the past, he digs deeper into his psyche and that fateful summer. His relentless pursuit of the truth soon leads Brooks down a slippery slope that challenges everything—and brings him face-to-face with the real monster of Montauk . .
Excerpt: (part of chapter one)
Sheldon Adler, my agent at Crown-Hawkins and my brother from another mother, is late as usual. No fucking surprise there. When you’re meeting Sheldon, you have to tack on an hour at least. I’m at our usual table at La Bonne Grenouille, the best little French bistro in Manhattan that no one has ever heard of, sipping a glass of ice-cold watermelon seltzer. Sheldon has been my literary agent—no, make that literary savior—since he read my first published short story that didn’t involve erect penises in The New Yorker. He contacted me out of the blue and suggested Hey, why don’t you write a book and I’ll sell it? I wrote Fallen Angels in twenty-four days in a drug haze. When it was finally published, it sold less than two hundred copies, but Sheldon was so fucking proud you would’ve thought it sold two million. I resigned myself to being a failure. Months later, the book was plucked out of obscurity by the senior literary critic of The New York Times and nominated for a Pulitzer. A tabloid dubbed me “The Heroin Hemingway.” The name stuck, even though I’ve been sober and drug-free for more than twenty-five years.
Sheldon got me my first million-dollar advance. He’s the wolf that other wolves hire, and his reputation is well-earned. My biggest supporter, he stayed with me through the lean, mean years when I wrote truly terrible books. Despite my abysmal marital track record, I’m extremely loyal. I wouldn’t dream of leaving Sheldon and believe me, other agents have tried to poach me. And unless I did or said something unacceptable that blew up on social media—which is why I don’t have any social media accounts—Sheldon wouldn’t kick me to the curb or toss me under the bus. All my skeletons are out there. Well, most of them.
A portly man with a vague resemblance to the great Mafia chronicler Mario Puzo, Sheldon huffs his way to our table. I can’t say it to his face, but Sheldon needs to lose forty—make that fifty—pounds, if not for himself, then for his young children. I’m sixty-five and I can still fit into the jeans I wore when I was nineteen. It takes discipline and willpower, of which I have plenty to spare.
After we order and exchange our typical innocuous pleasantries about the weather, politics, and soccer, for we’re both rabid fans, Sheldon downs a gin and tonic. It’s his first of the day and not his last. “Brooks, how is the book coming along?” he booms in a guttural Brooklyn accent that has other diners turning their heads.
“Great,” I reply cheerfully. “It couldn’t be going any better. Gold, pure gold.”
He tilts his head. “Cassie says you haven’t been sleeping well.”
Cassie’s my third and—if I have anything to say about it—last wife. She interviewed me for a puff piece and months later, when the pregnancy test was positive, I knew I’d met my Waterloo, no thanks to Abba. An abortion was out of the question. Now we have two children under six, our lives are a merry-go-round of sweet chaos. Last fall, I had a vasectomy so there will be no more miniature Andersons polluting the planet.
I finish my seltzer and signal for another. “You know I never sleep well when I’m writing. I do my best work after midnight.” In the old days, that didn’t necessarily apply to writing.
The waitress delivers our meals: me, a grilled chicken Caesar salad with extra feta, and Sheldon a porterhouse with crispy julienne potatoes and parmesan creamed spinach. I eye his steak with unconcealed envy, but Cassie’s always after me to eat healthier. I sigh and add more dressing to my salad. Cassie would be pleased.
“Yeah, I know. You have the constitution of fucking Secretariat. You did drugs with Keith Richards and Lou Reed.” Sheldon cut into his steak; it’s not just blue, it’s bloody raw. Just looking at it makes me queasy. “But this is different. You’re writing about your goddamn family.”
“I can be objective.”
Sheldon puts his fork down. “Not about this, Brooks. Come on. The cold-blooded executions of your mother and brother—”
I suddenly lose my appetite. Sheldon means well. Cassie does, too. But this quasi-intervention is the last thing I need. “Sheldon, you know as well as Cassie that I had no choice. I wasn’t going to let that fucking guttersnipe drag my mother through the mud.” The fucking guttersnipe in question is Marshall Reagan (no relation to the former president), a douchebag posing as a journalist. His brand is writing scandalous, unauthorized biographies of the rich and famous because he knows he can get away with it. No dirt, no sleaze, is beneath him. And when he can’t find anything salacious, he makes shit up and pulls it out of his ass like saltwater taffy.
“You don’t know that.”
“Oh, but I do know. I know exactly the angle he’d take. That my mother was having an affair with Julian.” Julian Broadhurst, born in Lancaster, England, in 1942. An artist who was supposedly the protégé of Peter Max. Julian had long blond hair and drove a robin’s-egg-blue Aston Martin. Palmer and I loathed him. “And when Mom wanted to end it, he killed her. But that wasn’t enough, fuck no. When my brother tried to protect her, Julian killed him, too.” I shake my head, the bile percolating like a fresh pot of coffee. “My mother was brilliant. Graduated from Mount Holyoke with honors. And she was utterly devoted to my father. To us. The idea that she’d have a summer fling with that bohemian scumbag—” I choke on the words (or is it a sliver of chicken that went down the wrong pipe?). “And you know damn well that when that cocksucker Reagan’s done tarring and feathering her, he’ll start in on my father, who has been nothing less than a fucking saint. Saint Bernard.” I rap my fist on the table. “It’s fucking ludicrous.”
Sheldon nods, sympathy oozing from every pore. “All I’m saying is that you have a lot on your plate. The book. The next book. Your father’s gala. You’re writing a speech for that, right? Jesus fucking Christ, Brooks. You’re not Superman. It’s bound to take a toll on you.”
“So, what are you suggesting? I can’t return the advance. It’s already spent.” Six million gone in a heartbeat. Lawyers. Trust funds. The new house in Water Mill. And I was finally able to get my ex-wives off my back with a tidy lump sum. For the first time in years, no alimony to shill out every goddamn month. All thanks to Sheldon, who hadn’t budged an inch during the multi-house book auction. He earned his commission ten times over.
“No one’s suggesting that. That’s crazy.” Sheldon’s halfway through his steak. “But we can ask to push the deadline back by a couple of months.”
“No.” I’m a stubborn son of a bitch. If there’s one thing I’m known for, it’s living up to my contractual obligations. I’ve never missed a deadline. I could be fucking pushing up daisies and I’d still deliver.
Sheldon sighs. “Why are you being so goddamn obstinate?”
“I’m well into the book now, it’s just a matter of research.”
“Really?” He gives me a side-eye. “Cassie says you’ve barely written the first chapter.”
I’m annoyed. Mostly because Cassie’s right. “It’s all in my head, Sheldon. Don’t worry.”
About P.J. McIlvaine:
PJ McIlvaine is a prolific and creative children’s author/screenwriter/writer/journalist.
PJ will have two books coming out in 2023: A GOOD MAN, a gritty adult contemporary psych thriller from Bloodhound Books and THE CURIOUS CONUNDRUM OF CHARLEMAGNE CROSS, a young adult alternate history adventure set in Victorian London from Orange Blossom Books.
PJ’s debut middle-grade supernatural historical mystery adventure VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET (Darkstroke Books, April 2022) is about a poor little rich girl in NYC 1912 who sees ghosts.
PJ’s debut picture book LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE (June 2019, Big Belly Book Co.), with illustrations by Leila Nabih, is about a determined little girl tired of eating with her annoying cousins at the kid’s table, only to discover that the big table isn’t much better. She has another picture book, DRAGON ROAR (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing, October 2021) artwork by Logan Rogers, about a lonely, sick dragon who has lost his mighty roar, and the brave village girl who helps him find it again.
PJ is also a co-host and founding member of #PBPitch, the premiere Twitter pitch party for picture book creators.
PJ has been published in numerous outlets including The New York Times and Newsday, and is a regular contributor for The Children’s Book Insider newsletter (paid firewall), writing about the path to publication and interviews with established and debut kid lit authors.
PJ lives on Eastern Long Island with her family and furbaby Luna.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of A GOOD MAN, US Only.
Ends August 29th, midnight EST.a Rafflecopter giveaway