Tuesday 19 April 2016

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge

When the Serpent Bites
Author: Nesly Clerge
Genre: Crime fiction, psychological thriller

Book Description:
Frederick Starks has it all—a gorgeous wife who was his high school sweetheart, three beautiful children, a mansion and cars others envy, millions in the bank, respected in his community, admired by his employees, loved and respected by loyal friends. He revels in the hard-earned power and control he’s acquired. As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold,” which Starks discovers when gut-wrenching betrayal by his wife sends him over the edge and into a maximum security prison. There, Starks is a new “fish,” stripped of nearly everything he’s always relied on. In that place, where inmates and guards have their own rules and codes of conduct, Starks is forced to face the darker side of life, and his own darker side, especially when the betrayals, both inside and outside the prison, don’t stop. He must choose which path to follow when the line between right and wrong becomes blurred: one that leads to getting out of the physical and emotional hellhole he finds himself in or one that keeps him alive.

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Starks believed without a doubt that he was not born to be an underling. Low man on the totem pole did not suit him at all. Yet, here he was, lower than he’d ever been. And this was only the first day of the next fifteen years. The only advantage he had in this godforsaken place was money. Parker had greased a few palms to get Starks’s prison number as soon as it was assigned. Jeffrey had then promptly deposited four hundred dollars into his prison account and set up automatic deposits of the same amount every two weeks, with the agreement that if more money was needed, it would be there.

He edged his way slowly around the fenced-in prison yard, pausing to grasp the mesh of the chain-link fence and look past it at the twenty-foot wall that was ten yards from where he stood. A crow landed on the wall. It stared at Starks, tilting its head in crisp movements, seemed to study him with one eye then the other. The black bird sharpened its beak on the concrete, cawed once then flew away.

Nearby, inmates played a rowdy game of football, while others used exercise equipment or otherwise occupied themselves. He’d learned from Parker that there were several hundred more inmates incarcerated with him than the place was actually designed to accommodate, which was already a large enough number. He wondered what the ramifications of that compression of bodies, mentalities, and egos would be, especially in the hot months. Fortunately, if one could consider anything about prison life fortunate, at least in Massachusetts, there were fewer hot months here than in the southern states. This did not ease apprehension about sharing his confinement.

Fifteen years was a long time. Especially in a maximum security prison. Unless he got out early for good behavior. This, he decided, was what he’d strive for, unless what he dreaded happened and his sentence became life.

“What happens to me if Ozy dies?” he’d asked Parker.

“You don’t have to worry about the death penalty. Massachusetts no longer executes felons and hasn’t since 1947. Some enthusiasts have tried overturning that decision. It’s been up for a vote a number of times over the years, always defeated. Really, don’t worry about it.”

“Easy for you to say.”

“I know it’s a small comfort. I’m afraid you’ll have to get used to small comforts. They’ll keep you sane.”

I’m in hell.

And I don’t deserve to be here.

He desperately wanted to return to his former life. Wanted everyone to say that what he’d done that landed him in this godforsaken place had been justified, excused. That he’d done what any man in his situation would have done, and had a right to do—if he had any self-respect at all.

He thought about writing a letter to Jeffrey or calling him on the phone, realizing he had no idea how either process worked here—derided himself for not getting more of this kind of information from Parker before coming here.

Jeffrey would understand if he told him “I’m scared out of my mind, man. I’m always looking behind me, watching my back. Inmates stare at me. The fear of being raped or stabbed is more than a fear, it’s a real possibility. If anyone other than a guard approaches me to talk, I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t trust anyone in here. And no one tells you anything, unless you ask. Even then, you almost wish you hadn’t. You have to watch and learn what to do, not even knowing what the penalty might be for getting it wrong. Know what they call new arrivals, like me? New fish. That’s how I feel. Like a fish out of water, flapping desperately on dry land, gasping for breath. It’s a different world, Jeffrey. I’m seriously thinking of finding a way to kill myself.” He knew his last sentence would seem dramatic, and he broke into a sweat when he realized some part of him meant it.

About the Author
Nesly Clerge received his bachelor’s degree in physiology and neurobiology at the University of Maryland, and later pursued a doctoral degree in the field of chiropractic medicine. Although his background is primarily science-based, he has finally embraced his lifelong passion for writing. Clerge’s debut novel, When the Serpent Bites, will be available in 2015, with the sequel to follow in 2016. His debut novel explores choices, consequences, and the complexities of human emotions, especially when we are placed in a less-than-desirable setting. When he is not writing, Clerge manages several multidisciplinary clinics. He enjoys reading, chess, traveling, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with his significant other and his sons.

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  1. This sounds great! Thank you so much for the excerpt!

  2. Frederick Starks is a fascinating character! His journey is extremely difficult so it will be interesting to see how it ends.

  3. Book description and excerpt sound really good. Love the cover too.

  4. This sounds great....your main man has got a long hard road ahead....can't wait to walk it with him

  5. Wow, that sucked me right in. I wonder how the rest of Mr Starks journey will play out and if he gets out of there or not.