Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway - Murder Once Seen by JT Hall

Murder Once Seen
by JT Hall

About Murder Once Seen: 

In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem. 

Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something. 

Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life. 

Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together. 

Available now at Riptide Publishing and Amazon



A Terrible Night 

Derwin Bryant never quit in a chase. 

A light rain was falling on the city of Nis, turning the neon lights of the porn shops and drugstores into pretty reflections on the asphalt. Derwin avoided a puddle as he ran down an alley and then swerved around an overturned trash can. He grimaced at the stench of rotting food and old beer. It’d be nice if his heightened senses blocked unpleasant things like that.  

Up ahead, the alley was a dead end. No way would ol’ Jack escape this time.  

The fugitive Derwin was pursuing was an Oddity—annoying because the guy could read minds. He knew exactly where Derwin was. Derwin’s own unusual abilities couldn’t compensate for such an advantage, even though he’d powered up before heading out.  

Derwin slowed to a walk to check the shadows in doorways. He lifted lids of garbage containers to be sure Jack wasn’t hiding there, and kept his pepper spray in his left hand, ready to fire at the first sign of the mousy guy. Jack Rapper was short, only five foot two, with dark skin and a gold-capped tooth. He was also quick, but Derwin was quicker, thanks to his own Oddity. And with his larger size and muscles honed daily at the gym, Derwin was a match for just about any criminal in a fight.  

Satisfied that Jack couldn’t be hiding nearby, Derwin broke into a run from the last garbage canister to the brick wall at the end of the alley. No Jack Rapper. He turned and cursed. Where had the guy gone?  

He scanned the closed doors, wondering if Jack had managed to get one open. As he reached to try the first door, his cell phone buzzed in his pocket, the single pulse of a text. Swearing under his breath, Derwin pulled out his phone with one hand while he jiggled the doorknob with the other.  

The door was locked.  

On a whim, he glanced up, in case his skip had suddenly developed the ability to climb walls, but there was nothing above him other than a laundry wire several stories up, where an abandoned T-shirt dripped in the rain. It appeared Jack had managed to escape. Not surprising for a guy who had managed to hide his special powers from police. Derwin probably should tell the cops about Jack’s Oddity, but he couldn’t do it. Couldn’t betray a fellow Oddity, even a low-life, criminal one like Jack.  

Derwin flipped open the phone and tapped on the text, just in case it was important. In his line of work, anything could happen. He didn’t recognize the number, but he recognized the tone and the awful spelling: Lloyd Brunson, one of his past fugitives out on parole again.  

You fucker. I shuld kill you and yur pretty boyfriend fur putting me away like dat. 

Derwin shook his head, fuming. It wasn’t right that Lloyd had threatened Grady, who had nothing to do with Derwin’s job. Lloyd had been a good chase as well, mostly because the guy had a knack for stealing fast cars.  

He had a temper too, but as far as Derwin knew, he wasn’t the violent sort. Derwin shoved his phone back in his pocket; he’d warn the guy off later, once he was certain Jack was out of reach or in custody.  

Cans crashed at the other end of the alley. He crouched, mentally cursing Lloyd for the interruption. Had Jack managed to trick him somehow?  

Maybe he hadn’t gone into this alley at all. Derwin began walking toward the noise, readying his pepper spray once more.  

His phone buzzed again.  

He was going to kill Lloyd for the stupid interruptions, and then shut off his phone. Yet when Derwin glanced at it this time, he recognized the number.

It was from Grady.  

Come home. Hurry.

 Derwin halted in alarm. He ran a hand through his wet hair, pushing the long strands out of his eyes so he could verify what he’d read. Grady wasn’t the type to send a cryptic message.  

Cursing under his breath, Derwin tapped the button to call his lover. One ring, two, three, and then it went to voice mail. Coldness spread from his gut up his spine. After a text like that, he couldn’t imagine why Grady wouldn’t answer. Unless he can’t.  

“Call me,” Derwin growled when the voice mail beeped, and then put his phone away. Still no sign of Jack, but he couldn’t worry about that now. With one last look at the alley’s dead end, he ran back toward his car. Grady had to be all right. Even if Derwin called the police for help, what would he tell them? Plus, working as a bail bondsman had taught him that the cops would only screw things up, and anyway, he didn’t have a lot of friends on the force.  

Ten feet from his upgraded black muscle car, Derwin clicked the little key fob to turn off the alarm and start the engine. It paid to have a ride ready to go when his fugitives fled.  

It took only a second to climb into the seat, strap himself in, and shift into drive, stomping on the gas to blast forward into the empty streets. Over the rain-slicked asphalt, past hookers on street corners and young men hanging out near liquor stores, Derwin headed east, away from the seafront and toward the less crime-ridden areas.  

The broken-down stores and apartments soon gave way to modest condos and shops wedged between large financial buildings and parking garages. Each red light taunted Derwin, whispering to him: You’ll never make it in time if he’s in trouble. 

His hands shook on the wheel, though he fought to remain calm. Maybe it wasn’t an emergency. But the fact that his phone hadn’t rung yet made him step on the gas harder, urge more speed out of the vintage car.  

It took twenty-two minutes to reach his condo. It seemed like an eternity.  

About JT Hall:

J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts. 

Connect with J.T.:


To celebrate the release of Murder Once Seen, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit!
Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest.
Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 17, 2016.
Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. Looks like a great book! Congratulations on the release! Coreydclancy@gmail.com

  2. Sounds like a great read. Thank you for the excerpt!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  3. I like the excerpt!

    vitajex at aol.com

  4. Congrats and good luck with your new release. I love gay superheroes and mysteries. I like m/m romance, even more so if it's not just about the romance, but with something that adds extra substance to the story – whether it be gay SFF/mystery/historicals. - Purple Reader
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  5. Congrats on your first release! Thanks for the excerpt!

  6. Congrats on the release & thanks for the excerpt!