TOUR, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY - On The Devil's Side of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn
With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life.
Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he's retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life.
Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado.
Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.
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After Ronald had emptied his last clip he waited to see if the threat would advance into the house or if they had decided enough was enough. A long five minutes of silence dragged into fifteen minutes and then into thirty. After that, he decided to move Jessica and himself deeper into the house, to a better defensive position. Jessica was sobbing and beating his chest.
“Why are they doing this?” she cried.
He had no answer. Instead, he held her close, smoothing her hair and patting her gently on her back. “I don’t know,” was all he could muster.
The adrenaline coursing through him was unbearable. He wanted to fight back; to hunt the man who had invaded their home and then make him regret that decision in a very painful and deadly way. Inside, Ronald was working to force down the impulse to leave her here and seek out those who would do him harm. It took a long time for those feelings to subside and in its place, a burning anger began to take over.
“Jess, I promise you the men who did this will pay,” he said.
Jess reacted like she had been slapped. “No you won’t. You’re going to let the police do their jobs and YOU’RE not going to do anything! Do you hear me, Ronald?”
He didn’t answer right away, the thoughts of vengeance and retribution taking front and center in all of his thoughts.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. They are going to ask questions I can’t answer,” he said.
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Roger Peppercorn has suffered for the better part of his life from wanderlust and this need to see the other side of the horizon has taken him to all parts of the world. The people and backdrop of his travels have served as the inspiration behind his characters and storytelling.
As a child, his mother taught him to read and write. His father's collection of Louis Lamour novels provoked the fantastical images in his mind and the romance of the written word. In the seventh grade, his history teacher brought the characters of a bygone era alive. From that point on, Roger began to hone his skills in storytelling. After high school, Roger took a course in creative writing that was taught by a long haired hippy in a Hawaiian shirt.
Roger’s grandmother used to tell hypothetical tales of traveling across the plains in a covered wagon, the woes of having a son sent off to war, and the larger-than-life man she met at Pea Green Hall who later became her husband.
His first two novels "On The Devils Side of Heaven" and "The Sometimes Long Road Home" take place on the western slopes of Colorado, in the sleepy town of Fruita, where he grew up. They center on the strained relationships and sorted histories of three characters - Walt, Ronald and Jessica, and violence that erupts around them.
Roger is married and is a father of four beautiful children. He currently calls South Dakota his home.