I've mentioned before that one of the joys of digital publishing is that we authors can re-edit and re-release reverted works. Spy Game is one of these old friends. Originally written in 2001, it first was given life by Five Star, a reputable publisher of hard-cover novels for the library market. They gave it a fantastic cover:
|The teal was a bad idea--|
I've noticed that bright covers sell better.
But the graphic is very cute.
And it got GREAT reviews. One of the cooler aspects of publishing with Five Star was, although they were a very small publisher, they had a reputation for putting out good work, so reviewers like Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly covered them. Here's what PW said about Spy Game:
Sue Swift. Five Star, $25.95 (277p) ISBN 978-1-59414-658-9
Cyber geek meets seductive spy girl in this feverish
Silicon Valley thriller from Swift (Triangle). Half-French,
half-Algerian Ani Sharif, whose parents were murdered by extremists 10 years
earlier when she was at a private girls' school in Algiers, has joined the
United States Security Agency. On her first undercover assignment, Ani must
uncover who's selling Defense Department cyber secrets to foreign governments.
The prime suspect is Richard “Baby Rex” Rexford of Rexford.com, where Ani lands
a programming job by playing the part of an opportunistic cyber pirate. Her
mission is to hack into Richard's home laptop and locate incriminating
evidence. What she doesn't bargain for is falling in love with this possible
traitor. Swift delivers a fast-paced romantic romp as the spy games escalate
into erotic games, testing Ani's faith in her ability to separate business from
pleasure. Swift's brisk narrative offers an unusual blend of romantic suspense
and cyber crime. (Feb.)
You're probably wondering who "Sue Swift" is. That's me, or at least, one of my personae. Writers tend to be schizophrenic. (Just kidding!)
Spy Game was then licensed to a not-so-wonderful publisher which will remain nameless and unlamented as it fades off into the sunset of wrecked publishing dreams--the fate of all opportunists seeking to take advantage of authors.
But then--it came back to me, so I was able to re-edit, update, and perfect. Now, some people might feel that we're too picky about our work:
But really--they're our babies, and we like to launch them properly into the world. So here's the new cover by Sweet and Spicy Designs plus an excerpt from the Prologue to pique your interest:
San Francisco, California
On Saturday afternoon, Gar saw an umbrella hung in the signal tree in Golden Gate Park, so he met his contact in the Castro at midnight. To anyone watching, they’d look like two guys outside a crowded bar, sharing a smoke, but his contact passed Gar a tiny package, a package worth millions to his customers in Indonesia.
He tucked the package inside his jacket and mounted his motorcycle, heading for Potrero Hill and the shelter of a safe house. As he passed through a residential area, he slowed, and only then did he hear the growl of another motorcycle on his tail. At first he thought it was happenstance, but as he turned one corner and then the next, with the following motorcycle’s roar ringing and banging in his ears, he realized he’d been tagged.
Gar tried every trick he knew to shake the tail, but nothing worked. Too late, he saw that he’d been herded toward the shore of the bay, heading too fast down a dead-end alley, with warehouses on each side and a chained metal gate in front of him.
Braking too hard, he jerked the bike into a sharp turn in front of the ten-foot-high gate. The bike slewed on the slick, damp street, drawing a screeching curve to the left before crashing into the cyclone fence.
He hit hard and went down, his bike clattering on its side, sliding out of the fog lamp’s amber halo into the dark, misty night.
In a haze of pain, he lay stunned on the pavement, moving in and out of consciousness, with the bitterness of failure flooding his mouth.
The other motorcycle stopped. Gar heard the scrape of boots on asphalt. Blinking, he raised his heavy head a fraction to see an hourglass figure silhouetted against the golden light. He groaned and dropped his head back. One hand scrabbled toward the precious parcel, seeking to protect it.
The boots stopped close to his head. Too close, but nothing he could do about it. Too weak. Too much pain. Should have worn a helmet…
Motorcycle leathers creaked. He smelled jasmine, felt warmth, sensed she knelt beside him. He blinked again.
She had a jaunty smile and eyes that gleamed green even in the dim light. Opening his jacket, she removed the package, which contained the prototype of the computerized brain that would run some of the United States’ newest, most sophisticated guided missiles.
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