The Bantam Dell Publishing Group has a great program called Booked For Breakfast. Once you sign up (which is a free process), every Monday they’ll introduce you to a different Bantam Dell author and title from their mystery and thriller line. Then each weekday morning you’ll be served (via e-mail) a portion of that book. It only takes five minutes to read the day’s selection and by the end of the week you’ll have sampled two to three chapters.
This week, the program is offering sample excerpts from Dean Koontz’s The Good Guy. We’ve included the first day’s excerpt below, but you’ll want to sign up in order to receive the rest of this week’s excerpts as well as future sample chapters from other books. Here’s the sign-up link: Booked For Breakfast
And here’s the first Chapter One excerpt from The Good Guy …
Sometimes a mayfly skates across a pond, leaving a brief wake as thin as spider silk, and by staying low avoids those birds and bats that feed in flight.
At six feet three, weighing two hundred ten pounds, with big hands and bigger feet, Timothy Carrier could not maintain a profile as low as that of a skating mayfly, but he tried.
Shod in heavy work boots, with a John Wayne walk that came naturally to him and that he could not change, he nevertheless entered the Lamplighter Tavern and proceeded to the farther end of the room without drawing attention to himself. None of the three men near the door, at the short length of the “L”-shaped bar, glanced at him.
Neither did the couples in two of the booths.
When he sat on the end stool, in shadows beyond the last of the downlights that polished the molasses-colored mahogany bar, he sighed with contentment. From the perspective of the front door, he was the smallest man in the room.
If the forward end of the Lamplighter was the driver’s deck of the locomotive, this was the caboose. Those who chose to sit here on a slow Monday evening would most likely be quiet company.
Liam Rooney–who was the owner and, tonight, the only barkeep–drew a draft beer from the tap and put it in front of Tim.
“Some night you’ll walk in here with a date,” Rooney said, “and the shock will kill me.”
“Why would I bring a date to this dump?”
“What else do you know but this dump?”
“I’ve also got a favorite doughnut shop.”
“Yeah. After the two of you scarf down a dozen glazed, you could take her to a big expensive restaurant in Newport Beach, sit on the curb, and watch the valets park all the fancy cars.”
Tim sipped his beer, and Rooney wiped the bar though it was clean, and Tim said, “You got lucky, finding Michelle. They don’t make them like her anymore.”
“Michelle’s thirty, same age as us. If they don’t make ’em like her anymore, where’d she come from?”
“It’s a mystery.”
“To be a winner, you gotta be in the game,” Rooney said.
“I’m in the game.”
“Shooting hoops alone isn’t a game.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ve got women beating on my door.”
“Yeah,” Rooney said, “but they come in pairs and they want to tell you about Jesus.”
“Nothing wrong with that. They care about my soul. Anybody ever tell you, you’re a sarcastic sonofab itch?”
“You did. Like a thousand times. I never get tired of hearing it.
This guy was in here earlier, he’s forty, never been married, and now they cut off his testicles.”
“Who cut off his testicles?”
“You get me the names of those doctors,” Tim said. “I don’t want to go to one by accident.”
“The guy had cancer. Point is, now he can never have kids.”
“What’s so great about having kids, the way the world is?”
Rooney looked like a black-belt wannabe who, though never having taken a karate lesson, had tried to break a lot of concrete blocks with his face. His eyes, however, were blue windows full of warm light, and his heart was good.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Rooney said. “A wife, kids, a place you can hold fast to while the rest of the world spins apart.”
“Methuselah lived to be nine hundred, and he was begetting kids right to the end.”
“That’s what they did in those days. They begot.”
“So you’re going to–what?–wait to start a family till you’re six hundred?”
“You and Michelle don’t have kids.”
“We’re workin’ on it.” Rooney bent over, folded his arms on the bar, and put himself face-to-face with Tim. “What’d you do today, Doorman?”
Tim frowned. “Don’t call me that.”
“So what’d you do today?”
“The usual. Built some wall.”
“What’ll you do tomorrow?”
“Build some more wall.”
“For whoever pays me.”
“I work this place seventy hours a week, sometimes longer, but not for the customers.”
“Your customers are aware of that,” Tim assured him.
“Who’s the sarcastic sonofabitch now?”
“You still have the crown, but I’m a contender.”