Shelf Media hosts the annual Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition for best self-published or independently published book. In addition to prizes, the winner, finalists, long-listed, and more than 100 notable books from the competition are featured in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound.
Eddie Vegas made a terrible mistake. Now he has to pay the price. After a botched debt collection turned double murder, Eddie splits, desperate to avoid his employer, notorious L.A. crime boss Saul Benedict, and his men (and Eddie’s ex-partners), Floyd and Sawyer, as well as the police. Soon he becomes entangled with the clever and beautiful Dakota, a Native American woman fresh in the City of Angels to find her missing friend–someone Eddie might know something about. Meanwhile in Texas, ex-assassin Rufus, seeking vengeance for his murdered brother, takes up his beloved daggers one final time and begins the long drive to L.A. When the bodies begin to mount, Detective Alison Lockley’s hunt for the killers becomes increasingly urgent. As paths cross, confusion ensues, and no one’s entirely sure who’s after who. But one thing is clear: They’re not all getting out of this alive.
About The Author: Philip Elliott
Philip Elliott is an award-winning author, freelance editor, and founder and editor-in-chief of award-winning literary journal Into the Void. His debut novel, comedic L.A. noir NOBODY MOVE, won the Indie Author Project Award for the region of Ontario. Philip was a National Juror of the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and a winner of the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Chapbook Prize. His writing has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. A music and film obsessive, Philip lives in Toronto with his wife and their spoiled pug.
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loyd hated kids, which was unfortunate because his wife wouldn’t stop pestering him to give her one. Every goddamn day recently.
“Not now, baby,” he said into his cell phone as Sawyer drove the S.U.V. to their destination. He couldn’t catch his wife’s reply over the ’80s trash metal Sawyer insisted on blaring every time he drove, which was every time they went anywhere because Sawyer was unquestionably the better driver of the three of them, Eddie being the third person. One time, after a botched robbery of a San Diego jewelers, Sawyer successfully evaded an entire legion of pursuing cops, which included a helicopter. Must have been every on-duty cop in the state of California. The man could drive, no doubt, but that fucking music . . . Once, on a highway near the U.S.-Mexico border, Floyd made the mistake of switching the music off. Without so much as a modicum of warning, Sawyer swerved off the road and slammed on the brakes, the S.U.V. screeching over the dirt. The vehicle came to a halt and Sawyer looked Floyd in the eye. “I ain’t driving without my Pantera,” he said, casual as afternoon tea, while Floyd breathed quickly and deeply, unsure whether to punch Sawyer in the face or apologize. Before he’d come to any kind of decision, Sawyer switched the music back on, pulled onto the road, and continued the journey as if nothing had happened. Floyd was just glad he hadn’t turned the music off on the freeway.
“I can’t hear you, baby,” he shouted into his cell phone. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?” He hung up and shoved the phone into his pocket.
“Hey, Sawyer,” he yelled as they passed a decrepit motel, crackheads and prostitutes spilling out of it like a sickness.
Sawyer turned the music down. “Yup?”
“I know the cat runs the bar in this place. Says Eddie’s in there right now talking with some new girl. I said we’d be discrete, so we gotta get him out of there quietly, without a fuss. You got that?” He watched Sawyer’s face. “I don’t want security fucking our shit up.”
Article originally Published in the December/January 2020 Issue “2019 Indie Best Award Winners”