FIGHT CARD: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE! FIGHT CARD AUTHOR DAVID FOSTER
GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON FIGHT CARD’S JANUARY 2013 RELEASE, FIGHT CARD RUMBLE IN
THE JUNGLE ... The Fight Card
books are a blast to write, so when I finished up my first entry in the series,
King of the Outback, I immediately
knew I wanted to write another. However, I thought I had gone as far as I could
with the characters in that story. That is to say, I couldn't write a direct
sequel. So, I had to look for a new tale to tell. My first thoughts drifted toward a
tale set in the seedy American underworld. But other writers in the Fight Card series – such as Eric Beetner
and Heath Lowrance – had already written fantastic books showcasing boxing,
intermingled with the American underworld. I knew I couldn't walk down that
path, or if I did, all I would be doing was writing a limp pastiche of what had
gone before. So, to move forward, I knew I had to look for other
ideas and settings. The first flash of inspiration came on the train to work. I
happened to be listening to an audio book of Ian Fleming's Moonraker, and a
passage described how James Bond looked to casual observers. Here's the passage. And what could
the casual observer think of him, 'Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVSR', also
'something at the Ministry of Defence', the rather saturnine young man in his
middle thirties sitting opposite the Admiral? Something a bit cold and
dangerous in that face. Looks pretty fit. May have been attached to Templer in
Malaya. Or Nairobi. Mau Mau work. Tough looking customer. Doesn't look the sort
of chap one usually sees in Blades. – Moonraker,
Ian Fleming (1956) – Page 28 of the Pan paperback (24th printing, 1969) Mau Mau work.
The idea of setting the story during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya peaked my
interest. It suited the time frame perfectly, as the Fight Card books are almost all set in the 1950s. And on the
surface, the Mau Mau seemed like a ready-made villain. I thought it would be
great to drop a boxer, smack dab into the middle of that conflict. However, the conflict was far too complex and
multi-faceted to provide an entertaining framework to build a story around. At
least, without spending many thousands of words on lengthy explanations of the
conflict – certainly not suitable for a 25,000 word novelette. Also, history
has changed the perception of the Mau Mau conflict greatly. What was once
considered a violent rebellion is now considered a turning point to Kenyan
democratic freedom. So unlike in Fleming's time, the Mau Mau are now the good
guys. Instead, I created the fictitious country of Sezanda,
and the villains are not so much the Sezanda Socialist Army (standing in for
the Mau Mau), but a group of neo-Nazis who are behind a similar style of
rebellion. I was sad to see the Mau Mau go, but if I continued
with the style of story I wanted to write, I would have appeared as a
blinkered, ignorant, racist – which was certainly not my intention. I simply
wanted a conflict as background, to drop my protagonists into. But that's the
thing with any conflict I guess, there is always two sides. So, I had a setting. Now I needed a hero. In King of the Outback, Tommy King is a ready-made hero. Right from
the get-go, he has the tools (his fists) and attitude to fight for what's
right. In some ways he is a superman,
albeit one who bleeds – a lot! This time I wanted the main protagonist to be
somewhat more of a reluctant hero. As it happened, I was watching an old Chuck Norris
film, A Force of One (please don't
hold that against me). What struck me, was how much more enjoyable it was than
many of Chuck's later offerings, in which he would play pretty much a superman. In A Force of One, Chuck, despite his formidable skills, refuses to be
drawn into the local police's attempts to track down a karate killer. Chuck
does not want to get involved. But of course, after the bad guys mess with
Chuck's family (bad move), he does become involved, and when that happens there
is a palpable frisson. It is a Hell Yeah!
moment. We know Chuck didn't start the fight, but he is damn well going to
finish it. In Rumble in the
Jungle, I wanted to use a similar style protagonist. A man who does not
want to fight, but has no other option. In the story, that man is Brendan
O'Toole, a man who has lost everything and wants to be left alone. But as civil
war breaks out in Africa, O'Toole is left with very little choice but to fight. I am proud of Rumble
in the Jungle. I think it serves up the kind of characters and pugilistic
action fans of the Fight Card series
have come to expect. It contains more action than two full length novels, and
hits harder than a Mack truck. But it also brings something new to the series.
It is a story of love, loss, redemption and ultimately standing up to tyranny
and oppression. I hope you enjoy it. FIGHT CARD: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE Hell’s Kitchen, 1953 Brendan O’Toole is on a downward slide. When his wife
dies in a freak car accident, he quits his job and hits the bottle hard. Half
tanked in the ring, he allows himself to be knocked out, ending his boxing
career. O’Toole, hits rock bottom. After a night of boozing, he
is brutally mugged and left for dead. But O’Toole has friends, even if he can’t
see it. One of them is Danny Reilly, a barman with a heart of gold. He arranges
for O’Toole to join a construction crew set to work on a hotel being built in
the Central African jungle nation of Sezanda. It’s O’Toole’s last shot at
redemption. Sezanda, Central Africa, 1954 As things begin to look up for O’Toole, the Sezandan
government is overthrown in a military coup. All foreigners are taken prisoner
and locked in concentration camps. O’Toole is sent to the worst, Hell Camp XXI,
under the control of a brutal ex-Nazi, Kommandant Krieger. Krieger has a
special way of keeping his prisoners under control. In the camp, he has erected
a boxing ring. And anyone who steps out of line is forced to face off against
his man-mountain, wrecking machine, Crator – a man whose sole purpose is to
inflict pain. Fate has destined Brendan O’Toole to don the gloves one
more time, in a fight not just for his life, but his very soul.
AVAILABLE NOW! FIGHT CARD: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE!
RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE
Hell’s Kitchen, 1953
Brendan O’Toole is on a downward slide. When his wife dies in a freak car accident, he quits his job and hits the bottle hard. Half tanked in the ring, he allows himself to be knocked out, ending his boxing career.
O’Toole, hits rock bottom. After a night of boozing, he is brutally mugged and left for dead. But O’Toole has friends, even if he can’t see it. One of them is Danny Reilly, a barman with a heart of gold. He arranges for O’Toole to join a construction crew set to work on a hotel being built in the Central African jungle nation of Sezanda. It’s O’Toole’s last shot at redemption.
Sezanda, Central Africa, 1954
As things begin to look up for O’Toole, the Sezandan government is overthrown in a military coup. All foreigners are taken prisoner and locked in concentration camps. O’Toole is sent to the worst, HELL CAMP XXI, under the control of a brutal ex-Nazi, Kommandant Krieger. Krieger has a special way of keeping his prisoners under control. In the camp, he has erected a boxing ring. And anyone who steps out of line is forced to face off against his man-mountain, wrecking machine, Crator – a man whose sole purpose is to inflict pain.
Fate has destined Brendan O’Toole to don the gloves one more time, in a fight not just for his life, but his very soul.
COMICS CORNER: BUD COLBERT: TIME
If you gave Dr. Who a mop and a bucket, an affinity for wild women and beer, and then wrapped him up in a bad – or perhaps we should call it, less evolved – attitude, you might get close to the brilliance that is Bud Colbert: Time Travelin’ Janitor.
Created by Jim Fader and Troy Lowe with art by Pat Carbajal, Bud Colbert: Time Travelin’ Janitor is the most refreshing comic take on time travel tropes in years. Irreverent and hilarious, the first issue’s story – Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful – is filled with sharp dialogue, action filled panels, and comic art both pleasing to the eye and integral to both the story and the feel of the comic.
Blue collar pride, babes, snakes and mesoamerican warriors – what more could you ask for?
TO CHECK OUT BUD COLBERT: TIME TRAVELLIN’ JANITOR ON FACEBOOK CLICK HERE
WAVING THE FLAG FOR MY NEW ORLEANS DETECTIVE/AUTOR BUDDY O'NEIL
His terrific Det. Lastanza novels, which have been too long
out of print have just been released as e-books for the very affordable price
of $1.99 for your Kindle, and his new Lastanza novel, New Orleans Homicide, has just been release for
$3.99.If you love cop stuff, you owe it
to yourself to give these a try.
De Noux is very prolific. As well as his LaStanza novels be sure to check out his police procedural series featuring NOPD detective John
Raven Beau, and (my favorite of his characters) his novels featuring
1940’s New Orleans private eye, Lucian Caye.
Lots of great reading
LASTANZA #1: GRIM REAPER
This is New Orleans - 1981
Police Detective Dino LaStanza’s first week in Homicide and
he must handle the horrific murder of Marie Sumner, slashed to death on a quiet
French Quarter street. LaStanza and his partner Mark Landwork long,
frustrating hours with no results.
When another woman is slashed to death along Bayou St. John,
the detectives bear witness to the carnage again. LaStanza feels even worse
this time, almost useless. The media labels the killer ‘The Slasher’ and when
he strikes a third time - murdering the daughter of a wealthy banker - LaStanza
meets a young woman who changes his life.
Lizette Marie Louvier is an alluring, intelligent young
woman, a dark haired, uptown beauty beyond LaStanza’s reach and yet the
attraction between the two is undeniable.
The unrelenting pressure in the Homicide Pressure Cooker
grows as LaStanza and his partners track a monstrous killer through the dark
streets of the murder capitol of the U.S., hoping they can catch him before he
LASTANZA #2: THE BIG KISS
This is New Orleans – 1982
In Homicide, you’re only as good as your last case. Fresh
from solving the Slasher Murders, NOPD Homicide Det. LaStanza must investigate
a ‘floater’ pulled from the Mississippi River. The bloated body with two holes
in the head is the son-in-law of the La Cosa Nostra Boss Alphonso Badalamente.
Sicilian-American LaStanza’s is in the middle of a Mafia slaying. LaStanza’s
new partner, Paul Snowood, who dresses in cowboy get-ups, teases LaStanza with,
“There goes your perfect record.” The killer is probably back in Detroit or
Chicago or maybe China.
LaStanza keeps his date with Lizette Louvier (from Grim
Reaper). The relationship of this working-class detective and the uptown
daughter of the wealthy class grows slowly. That same evening the body of a
young prostitute is found. LaStanza learns she was shot twice in the forehead,
and has the bullets compared to the bullets from his victim’s. It’s the same
gun, a .22 Magnum. The killer’s still in town and LaStanza must connect the
victims to hopefully lead him to the murderer.
LASTANZA #3: BLUE ORLEANS
This is New Orleans – 1982
The case is not only a ‘whodunit’ but also a ‘whoisit’ - the
case of a body dumped in a ditch along an isolated stretch of a deserted
highway. The victim is shot in the back of the head, execution-style.
A bone-tired NOPD Det. LaStanza identifies the victim then
meets his victim’s seventeen year old daughter who is reluctant to talk at
first, but when she does, she draws LaStanza to a Latin-American killing circle
where he must build a case against drug importers and keep the daughter alive.
The ‘Electric Daughter’ is an alluring, beautiful, wired
hellion, a drug user running wild in the streets. Her Electra complex with her
father makes her want LaStanza to take her father’s place, when all he wants to
do is put the ruthless murderers behind bars.
LASTANZA #4: CRESCENT CITY KILLS
This is New Orleans 1983
NOPD Homicide Detective LaStanza and his new partner, the
long-cool-blond Jodie Kintyre, are called to the west bank of New Orleans where
the bodies of two young women, hands bound behind their backs, bullet holes in
the back of their heads, lay on the narrow strip of unkempt land between the
levee and the river’s edge known as the batture. There are no witnesses, the
only clue a lone set of muddy footprints leading away from the bodies. This was
the work of one man.
LaStanza focuses all his energies on the case, identifying
the victims as two prostitutes from the familiar streets of the New Orleans
Police Sixth District, where LaStanza worked as a patrolman. The families of
the victims won’t help. Their friends don’t care. The Police Administration
doesn’t want overworked detectives spending time on the murders of two low-life
street criminals who won’t even be missed by their families.
LaStanza and Jodie are all the dead women have left in this
world and they are not about to abandon them.
LASTANZA #5: THE BIG SHOW
This is New Orleans – 1985
A burning man stumbles in front of Det. Dino LaStanza’s
police car. Doused with gasoline, the victim had been set afire with a flare
gun. How did this homeless man manage to get murdered along the manicured lawns
of the Garden District? Who was he? And who would commit such a vicious crime?
In every profession there’s a Big Show:
In the army it’s the Special Forces
In the Navy it’s the Seals
In baseball it’s the Major Leagues
In football it’s the NFL
In police work it’s the Homicide Division
Homicide - The big pressure cooker. The big cases. The big
LASTANZA #6: NEW ORLEANS HOMICIDE
This is New Orleans – 1986
Murder is no stranger to New Orleans and the Easter Weekend
of 1986 is particularly violent, an elderly man brutally murdered on Good Friday
evening, a young woman shot to death on Saturday evening, a middle-aged woman
bludgeoned to death on Easter morning.
Homicide detectives, responding to the scenes, are again
faced with sudden violence. Det. LaStanza, handling the first murder, feels a connection
with the victim, a ninety-one year old Italian-American named Venetta. When
asked by the victim’s family what are the chances he’ll catch the killers, he
tells them one-hundred percent. “I always get them. Always.”
These murders are deliberate acts of violence. LaStanza and
his partners begin a meticulous, relentless pursuit of the killers and will use
whatever deliberate acts necessary to bring justice to the victims and their
ABOUT O’NEIL DE NOUX
Born in New Orleans, O’Neil De Noux is a prolific American
writer of novels and short stories. Although much of De Noux’s fiction falls
under the mystery genre (character-drive crime fiction primarily), he has
published stories in many disciplines including mainstream fiction, children
and young-adult fiction, science-fiction, suspense, fantasy, horror, western,
literary, religious, romance, humor and erotica.
In 2007, The Private Eye Writers of America awarded its
prestigious Shamus Award for Best Short Story to “The Heart Has Reasons” by
O'Neil De Noux. The SHAMUS is given annually to recognize outstanding
achievement in private eye fiction. De Noux is also the 2009 Derringer Award winner
for Best Novelette for “Too Wise.” The Derringer Awards are given annually to
recognize excellence in the short mystery fiction form.
In 2010, De Noux made a move to eBooks and print-on-demand
books, teaming with other artists in the art co-op Big Kiss Productions and
published Slick Time, a sexy caper novel, followed by collections New Orleans
Mysteries, New Orleans Nocturnal, New Orleans Confidential, New Orleans Prime
Evil and Backwash Of The Milky Way.
In June 2012, De Noux’s novel John Raven Beau was named 2011
Police Book Of The Year by Police-Writers.com, a group that boasts of 1153
state and local law enforcement officials from 485 state and local law
enforcement agencies who have written 2504 police books. A hyper-realistic
crime story, John Raven Beau provides an intimate look into the beleaguered
NOPD Homicide Division, a story that begins in the French Quarter and ends in a
swamp, all within the city limits of America’s eternal city, a city that cannot
be destroyed – New Orleans.
Earlier in 2012, after six months of intensive research and
eighteen months of non-stop writing, O’Neil De Noux published Battle Kiss, a
320,000 word epic of love and war set against the panorama of the Battle of New
Orleans, January 8, 1815. So timely is the book, released as the bicentennial
of the War of 1812 arrives, Mr. De Noux received an Artist Services Career
Advancement Award from the Louisiana Division of the Arts for his work on Battle
Kiss. Also in 2012, Mr. De Noux’s first private eye was published. Enamored a
novel of obsession and murder, is set in 1950 New Orleans. Another crime novel,
Bourbon Street, set in 1947, was released in 2012, along with the young-adult
superhero novel Mistik.
In 2012, O’Neil De Noux was elected Vice-President of the
Private Eye Writers of America.