Condition Black by Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

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Condition Black

by Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington

April 26 – May 21, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Condition Black by Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington

EVAN WEYLAND, a brilliant research scientist tasked with developing new technologies to fight cancer, sees the world differently through the lens of Autism Spectrum Disorder. His guiding light is his wife, Marie—a globally recognized war correspondent. When she returns home from Syria deathly ill with an unknown disease, Evan believes his research may be the key to unlocking the cure. However, when his superiors refuse his request for help, Evan’s single-minded love for Marie drives him to take matters into his own hands—a decision with far greater consequences than he could possibly fathom.

BILLY VICK, a Captain in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, is a combat veteran unable to leave the horrors of war behind. Only the love of his family and a sense of absolute justice keeps him grounded. When Billy’s unit becomes aware of a US-sanctioned airstrike on a civilian settlement in Syria and an eye-witness reporter comatose with an unknown illness, he fears the worst. An unethical military project thought mothballed has resurfaced, and a civilian, Evan Weyland, may be about to inadvertently unleash it upon the world. It’s a mistake that could cost the lives of millions.

Pitted against each other in a game of chess-like deception and intrigue, with time running out, both men must come to terms with the magnitude of what’s at stake—and what each is willing to sacrifice to win.

Praise for Condition Black:

“This solid sci-fi thriller [is] a well-balanced thrill ride. Well-shaded characters keep the pages turning. Fans of high-tech medical and military thrillers should check this out.” ~ Publishers Weekly.

Like Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, this book is revolutionary. Incredible.” ~ Jonas Saul, author of the best-selling Sarah Roberts series.

Condition Black provides such an exceptional read. It’s highly recommended for fans of technothrillers who want a firm marriage between psychological depth and unpredictable action, all grounded by ethical concerns that challenge each character to reach beyond his skill set and comfort zone.” ~ Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller / Medical Thriller
Published by: Dropship Publishing
Publication Date: 27 April 2021
Number of Pages: 334
ISBN: 9781954386006
Series: Condition Black is a stand alone thriller.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Author Bios:

Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington holds a degree in marine biology, a PhD in Endocrinology, an executive MBA, is Board Certified in Medical Affairs, and currently works for the Pharmaceutical industry educating the World’s doctors on new cancer therapies.

Gareth Worthington is an authority in ancient history, has hand-tagged sharks in California, and trained in various martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do and Muay Thai at the EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and 2FIGHT Switzerland.

He is an award-winning author and member of the International Thriller Writers Association, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the British Science Fiction Association.

Born in England, Gareth has lived around the world from Asia, to Europe to the USA. Wherever he goes, he endeavors to continue his philanthropic work with various charities.

Gareth is represented by Renee Fountain and Italia Gandolfo at Gandolfo Helin Fountain Literary, New York.

Catch Up With Gareth Worthington:
GarethWorthington.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @GarethWorthington
Instagram – @garethworthington
Twitter – @DrGWorthington
Facebook – @garethworthingtonauthor

 

Stu Jones

Stu Jones

Stu Jones. SWAT Sniper. Adventurer. Award-Winning Author of Epic Genre-Bending Fiction.

A veteran law enforcement officer, Stu has served as a beat cop, narcotics, criminal investigations, as an instructor of firearms and police defensive tactics and as a team leader of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He is trained and qualified as a law enforcement SWAT sniper, as well as in hostage rescue and high-risk entry tactics. Recently, Stu served for three years with a U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force – hunting the worst of the worst.

He is the author of multiple sci-fi/action/thriller novels, including the multi-award-winning It Takes Death To Reach A Star duology, written with co-author Gareth Worthington (Children of the Fifth Sun).

Known for his character-driven stories and blistering action sequences, Stu strives to create thought-provoking reading experiences that challenge the status quo. When he’s not chasing bad guys or writing epic stories, he can be found planning his next adventure to some remote or exotic place.

Stu is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo-Helin-Fountain literary

Catch Up With Stu Jones:
Goodreads
BookBub – @stujonesfiction
Instagram – @stujonesfiction
Facebook – @stujonesfiction

 

Q&A with Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington

What was the inspiration for this book?

Stu: I came up with the initial idea for this one but it started as something much more cliché. I had the idea of a scientist shrinking himself, Fantastic Voyage/Ant Man style, and going inside his wife to try to cure her of a fatal illness. Only elements of this initial idea remained by the time we were done with Condition Black, but it definitely set us on the right track. Then the Corona Virus pandemic happened while we were writing it and our working on a near-future medical thriller concerning a terrible disease suddenly seemed all the more relevant.

What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?

Stu: I feel like the greatest challenge for an author these days is getting their voice heard. You can have a great voice. You can have an amazing story to tell. You can dump hundreds or thousands of hours of work into making it the highest quality product you can deliver. But in the end, rising above the overwhelming slush pile of half-baked indie works and tough-to-unseat heavy hitters in the industry, can be a really difficult battle.

Gareth: I would agree with this. There are 5 million books on Amazon. And it is very difficult to be heard over the white noise. Sometimes it only takes one person to start a snowball rolling, but finding that one person is hard.

What do you absolutely need while writing?

Stu: COFFEE. And solitude.

Gareth: Ditto. But not American coffee LOL (you can’t see but I’m nudging Stu). I also need Stu to energise me, and keep my head up as well as a great editor. Christopher Brooks worked on CB with us, and he was phenomenal.

Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?

Stu: First thing in the morning, every day, is my writing time. Sometimes it’s just twenty minutes before a 10-12 hour shift in police work. On days off I try to get in a couple of hours first thing. Rarely do I crank out over a thousand words in a day. It’s a tough grind alongside all my other responsibilities, but it faithfully produces about a novel a year.

Gareth: I set aside time, a couple of hours when I can. I have weeks where I’m really productive and others where I’m not. I work better to a deadline for sure. But with so much going on, it’s really a juggling act.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Stu: Billy is the easy choice for me since I spearheaded him and I get his character. PTSD is a terrible thing. A sad thing. The constant battle against your innermost demons, demons you try to kill time and again and just can’t, is something both Gareth and I understand – most of us do on some level.

Gareth: Well, I will of course pick Evan because he was my main focus when writing. And I incorporated my son’s experience on the Autism spectrum into Evan’s character. That said, I do really like Reinhardt!

Tell us why we should read your book.

Stu: It’s relevant to our time. The world in which Condition Black takes place is just a moment away from being OUR world. That’s frightening! It’s exciting and action packed. It’s got great nuanced characters (Including a really awesome female character who in some ways steals the show). All that, and you might even learn a scientific thing or two about the human body you didn’t know before. How cool is that?

Gareth:for me it’s also about having characters who have mental conditions to deal with, PTSD and autism, without those conditions being ‘the story’. They are character traits, and for me moving in this direction helps to normalize them. Not many books do that.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?

Stu: Gareth and I both had to do a bunch of research on the human body’s immune response to be able to write the later sections of this book. Gareth was much more informed about some of these processes because of his training and education, but holy smokes…. I had no idea about some of the crazy things that are going on inside you on a microscopic level. It’s really amazing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Stu: Thank you. Seriously. Your support means everything to us. We love writing stories and we want them to be awesome, but in the end – it’s all for you.

Gareth: agreed!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?/

Stu: I had the opportunity to do some cool things in my life. Veteran Law Enforcement Officer for almost two decades. On SWAT for fifteen years. Sniper trained and qualified. Trained in hostage rescue and high risk entry tactics. Got to run around with the US Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force for three years – chasing the worst of the worst. It’s been a wild purpose-filled ride. But at the end of the day, I’m a quiet family man. I love the outdoors. I love Jesus. My sweet wife and kids. My golden doodle. Good friends. Greasy cheeseburgers and craft beer. Great books and movies. Honor, Character, Hope, and Love. Simple things. Good things. Things worth investing in. That’s me in a nutshell.

Gareth: like Stu I’m a mixed bag, too. I’m a trained Marine biologist and hold a PhD in comparative endocrinology, an EMBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology, and multiple post-grad certifications in pharmaceutical industry-related disciplines. Currently, I work in medical affairs on new cancer therapies for the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve lived in the USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, Singapore and currently Switzerland with my family. I have hand-tagged sharks in California; and trained in various martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and MMA at the EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and 2FIGHT in Switzerland.

What’s next that we can look forward to?

Stu: I’ve got two solo works at different stages of development: A cyberpunk thriller and a superhero styled action adventure story. On top of that Gareth and I love working together and almost always have something in development behind the scenes. Who knows what might spawn next from our collective madness? Only time will tell.

Gareth: I have a solo project releasing in May: A Time for Monsters. It’s a Nordic noir and was chosen to be excerpted in Buzz Books’ Spring/Summer 2021 greatest books to come. And of course I’m looking forward to another collaboration with Stu. We have a crazy idea with zero clue on how to execute, but we’ll get there.

Read an excerpt:

Through the lens of her SLR, Marie Wayland couldn’t pry her gaze from the morbid scene as it unfolded some two hundred feet away. Another twist of the objective and the image in her ultralight mirrorless camera became crystal clear, even in the fading evening light of the Syrian sun: a man, his hands bound secure with coarse rope, sucking with erratic breaths at the cloth bag over his head. The fabric molded to the shape of his quivering lips and stuck there for an instant before being blown out again. He cried out as two masked assailants forced him to his knees. A whimper emerged from beneath his hood, followed by a muffled plea for mercy. Unwavering, the men stood in a line behind the captive, their AK-47 rifles pointed to the sky. Above them all, a black flag, inset with white Arabic script, fluttered like a pirate banner in the desert wind.

A young man carrying a beat-up camcorder scurried onto the scene and set up his tripod. He fiddled with his equipment, then gave a thumbs up. One of the soldiers stepped forward and pulled a curved blade from his belt. He called out and pointed to the camera, stabbing the air with the long knife. For a moment, he seemed to look right at Marie. Her heart faltered and the hot prickle of perspiration dampened her forehead.

Marie lowered her camera and eased further into a small depression in the side of the hill, perfect for both observation and concealment. “Don’t be tree cancer,” she whispered to herself. A strange phrase, but one that had proved invaluable during her long and storied career as a war correspondent. A Marine Corps scout sniper had offered her this golden nugget of advice during a stint in Afghanistan. Master of short-range reconnaissance, he’d spotted her crouched in a ball, peering out from behind a twisted stone pine tree. After approaching undetected, he’d whispered in her ear: Don’t be tree cancer. Marie had nearly jumped out of her skin. She later discovered the phrase referred to an observer drawing attention to themselves by standing out from the world around them.

The voice of the knife-wielding man rose in pitch. Marie shuffled for a better view and raised her camera once again.

The knifeman jerked the hood from the captive’s head.

A chill crawled down Marie’s spine.

Glen Bertrum, the American relief worker kidnapped three months ago from the outskirts of Aleppo, shifted on his knees. With a brutal shove from his captors, the terrified relief worker flopped to his side, squirming. The knifeman descended on Glen, then sawed at his relief worker’s neck with the blade. Blood sprayed against the sand. Glen screamed for what seemed an eternity, the sound morphing into a horrible sucking wheeze.

His gore-drenched knife dripping, the murderer yanked Glen’s head free and held it aloft.

The men shouted in victory, thrusting their weapons into the air.

“Shit,” Marie said, lowering the camera.

The cruelty and barbarism of humankind knew no end, and these zealots had a way of making it even uglier, spreading their jihad across the globe like a pestilence. Without raising the SLR again, she watched the terrorists conclude the recording and march away, leaving Glen’s decapitated body to rot.

Marie’s stomach knotted, and she tried to swallow away the tingle of nausea in her throat. This isn’t why you’re here, she thought. A beheaded aid worker wasn’t news, even if she had met the man before. Such things hadn’t been news for a long time. The war had escalated, far beyond Syria and the Middle East, beyond single hostages and beheadings. Terrorist cells were now a pandemic, spread across the globe, and embedded in every country. There was no central faction anymore. No IS or al-Qaeda, or Allah’s Blade. The war against the west was now an idea, a disease infesting the world. Anyone, anywhere could be an enemy—the core vision metastasizing, traveling to every corner of the Earth and there propagating.

Major cities now operated under war-time policy; curfews and rationing to prevent too many people congregating in any one place, such as a supermarket or a major sporting event. Aerial surveillance and street-level military patrols did their best to keep people safe, but a cage was a cage. In some ways, Marie felt free out in the world, even if it was in the enemy’s backyard. Yet while hate for terrorists was justified, as in all wars the enemy wasn’t the only one capable of terrible things. So too were the allied forces—the people who stood against terror and extremism—and that was why she was in Syria.

The little jaunt Marie had undertaken was unofficial. Her boss would kill her if he knew she’d conducted this op. After flying into Istanbul and crossing the border south of Daruca, she’d spent the better part of the past three days moving from checkpoint to checkpoint, working her way along Highway 7 through northeastern Syria. With dark features and perfect Arabic, Marie hid with ease among the local population.

Marie pulled a tablet from her backpack and keyed up the map she’d gotten from her contact. The coordinates were correct. A tiny civilian village in Northeastern Syria. This ramshackle settlement was little more than a speck on the map, and from what she was told by her contact, this place was of zero military significance. No base, no known weapons caches, no landing strips. The small cell of terrorists she’d just found was likely that: a small cell. Little more than a coincidence, and by no means justification for this village to be firebombed back to the stone age.

Unless they’d found something of significance.

***

Excerpt from Condition Black by Gareth Worthington & Stu Jones. Copyright 2021 by Gareth Worthington & Stu Jones. Reproduced with permission from Gareth Worthington & Stu Jones. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Enter to Win:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington. There will be two (2) winners who will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 26, 2021 and ends on May 23, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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1 thought on “Condition Black by Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

  1. Thanks for an awesome fun interview!
    I knew I liked this writing duo.
    But the minute COFFEE was said… I fell in LOVE!!! <3
    Keep doing the coffee and keep doing the writing!!

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