The Fall of Billy Hitchings (A John Reeves Novel)

The Fall of Billy Hitchings (A John Reeves Novel)

The Fall of Billy Hitchings - A John Reeves Novel

Cover Design by, Copyright 2012

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Book description for The Fall of Billy Hitchings by Kirkus MacGowan:

The John Reeves Creed: “Kill them with kindness. Unless you have a gun.”

John Reeves drives to Myrtle Beach to confront his fiancée, hoping to repair their damaged relationship. Instead, he finds her unconscious in the local hospital, the victim of an unexplained explosion at a local restaurant.

During his investigation, Reeves meets Billy Hitchings, a teenager who knows more about the explosion than he should. Their questions lead to an ancient legacy best left alone.

Pulled into yet another crossfire, John Reeves fights to protect his friends and keep a primeval power from falling into the wrong hands.

Check out an excerpt from The Fall of Billy Hitchings (A John Reeves Novel) after the Amazon review section.


Excerpt from The Fall of Billy Hitchings by Kirkus MacGowan:

Billy’s eyes jerked open. He stood in the middle of a humming city street, steam rose from the manholes, rain splashed on the pavement around him. Cars streamed by, some honking, some with drivers holding up their middle fingers. Headlights bore down from the left. He launched himself away from the oncoming traffic and collided with a trashcan, its contents poured onto the rain-slicked sidewalk.

He rolled to his back and peeled the empty ketchup packets and cigarette butts from his soaked Superman t-shirt. The glowing lights of the building in front of him climbed hundreds of feet toward the rain-filled sky. He scrambled to his feet, staring.

He lowered his eyes and spun in a slow circle, admiring the city’s grandeur. The bark of a hotdog vendor and the mixed aroma of onions and horseradish made his stomach growl. Everything looked familiar, as if he should remember where he was, but his thoughts would not form. Squinting toward the sky, he hoped to see the stars, but the rain, smog and brilliant city lights polluted his view.

Hairs stood up on the back of his neck. Someone was following him. People pushed by, covering their heads with umbrellas or newspapers, shoulders hunched as if it would help. It looked like an ordinary night, but his pursuers were there, closing in. A sense of empowerment washed over him. He felt as if he could hurt them if he wanted to, but he couldn’t remember how.

Turning away from the over-turned trashcan, he found the closest side street—85th according to the sign—and ran. He was supposed to be somewhere. His feet slapped the wet pavement, and clouds of breath poured from his chest.

The rich scent of soil stopped him. So many trees; red oak, American elm, silver linden, they took the place of the soaring skyscrapers that had surrounded him minutes ago. Farther away from the city he ran, down the paved sidewalks and under the illuminated street lamps.

Whoever, or whatever, followed him was still there, bearing down. They want what he has, but it is not theirs to take. Their urgency was as clear as if it were his own. Faster he ran, head swiveling as he tried to catch a glimpse of his pursuers. They were just out of sight. Something urged his eyes toward the cloudy sky. A memory tried to impose, something vital on the edge of consciousness. The thought faded.

The weight on his back swayed in rhythm with his footfalls. The backpack, it was important, its contents the answer to his elusive memory. He slid to a stop on the wet grass next to a field surrounded by park benches, a cement stage to the side. He slid the straps from his shoulders and gently placed the backpack on the muddy grass. He gave the zipper a soft tug. The bag fell open, the contents almost visible. Tilting his head back, he threw his arms in the air and started singing with a deep, passionate voice; the beautiful Italian words reverberated throughout the park.

Buy the eBook now!
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

(eBook version exclusively part of the KDP Select program at Amazon)

Paperback Edition
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble


The Fall of Billy Hitchings (A John Reeves Novel) — 67 Comments

  1. Thanks for following me on Twitter. I'm now following you also. Your book looks great. I'm definitely going to buy it. I'm also following my dream of becoming an author, but after two other lengthy careers. The kids are all grown so my wife and I are devoting full-time to writing (me) and editing, getting published, marketing (my wife). I think I have the best part of this deal. Best of luck for a very successful career.
    Richard Alan

    • No problem. :) Thanks for stopping over. That’s awesome! I wish you both the best. What a great set up, haha. I asked my wife a few weeks ago whether she’d do the same as yours… she rolled her eyes. I’m guessing that’s not a good sign. Of course she absolutely loves her job so I would never ask her to quit. I’ll keep the idea on the backburner in case she changes her mind. I’ll use you as an example if I have to, haha. “Look how great they’re doing, honey.” Thanks again for the comment, chat soon. :)

  2. Having always loved reading, I read a wide variety of books every evening for enjoyment for most of my life. 7 years ago, other interests took precedent and I gave up reading….until now. I have to say that "The Fall of Billy Hitchings" kept me on the edge of my chair and excited to turn each new page. Thank you Kirkus MacGowen and know that I will be standing in line to purchase your next novel!

    • Sweet! It can be hard to find time, but I believe everybody needs an escape sometimes. What better way than to lose yourself in a book? I'm glad I could be a part of that.

  3. Read the excerpt.
    Short but catchy.
    Very rich read.
    I've never met you Kirkus or John Grisham, but I've read all his work.
    I can see myself reading your books, too.

    • Wow, thanks Salvador. :) To be mentioned in the same sentence as John Grisham is a great compliment by itself. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for stopping over!

  4. Thanks for the Twitter follow. Interesting excerpt. I've just started my own blog in anticipation of my ebook's release this month. I like your format and your story. I'll be back!

    • Cool! Thanks for stopping over Ann. :) Np on the Twitter follow. Good time to start a blog, and good luck on your impending release! Look forward to hearing more from you.

    • Thanks for stopping over Sharon. :) Pleasure to meet you. I hear you about the busy holidays. Glad I had the opportunity to get the book out there before Christmas. I might have had to miss even more sleep!

  5. I'm with Denise on this one – Figaro . . ? Hummmmmmm . .
    It certainly captures you. I read about the kid, the Merc and the archaeologist and
    started think 'Indiana Jones'. Hawaii Five-O music. Tom-toms pounding in time
    with each footfall.

    Just my opinion – because I'm def gonna have'ta read more! :-)

    • Lol, sounds like I did my job. :) Glad to hear it, Gibson. Thanks for the comment and for the laugh! I look forward to hearing what you think.

    • Howdy! Thanks for responding. Glad you liked it. :) I’m pretty sure I already said this on Twitter to you, but I’ll say so again. There’s nothing better for a writer to hear. Thanks again!

  6. Nice man, definitely wondering how Figaro fit into that excerpt! I also really like the layout of your blog, very well organized. Thanks a lot for the follow on Twitter! I'll be sure to keep up to date on this and give you RT's when the time calls for it. The favour's always appreciated when reciprocated :)

  7. Enjoyed the excerpt Kirkus, well written, flowing. If I had a guess I'd say he was dreaming. Look forward to the release.
    I love this craft, it will be good to keep in touch with each other's progress as first timers.
    I wish you every success.
    Russell Perry

    • Thanks for the compliment Russell, I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt. A dream huh? :) You’ll have to wait and find out! Thanks for stopping over.

  8. Really looking forward to this book!! Cover art looks great and your excerpt left me breathlessly waiting for the rest of the story!!

    • Awesome! Thanks Becky. Working away at the final suggestions from the editor as we speak. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. :)

  9. Very Interesting Kirk. So when you get this thing published you are sending me a copy right? Signed please. Thanks brother.


    • Hah, we’ll see about that. If I send you one, how many other people will ask for one? And don’t you dare say nobody! Heh. I think I’ll keep your copy at my house until you decide to visit again, or when the wifey lets me come out there.

  10. I liked what I read… The description was vivid, and the character's disorientation worked well in hooking the reader's curiosity. As for breaking out into operatic voice and singing Figaro, I've no idea why he would do that, but I'd like to find out!

    Nicely done, and I hope the release goes smoothly and it sells well.

    • Lol, thanks for stopping over T. James. Appreciate the kind words. Love that scene. As for the singing of Figaro… you’ll have to wait. :) Figured it would work as a hook.

  11. I’m intrigued :) Do you intend to stick with the thriller genre or will you try something different next time? Look forward to buying the completed work!!

    • Haha, that’s always good to hear. Glad you found it intriguing. :) I’m currently about 25% completed with another thriller, and a little less so with an urban fantasy. My eventual goal is to work my way into epic fantasy, but it really depends on the success of the thrillers. I have a funny feeling I’ll be writing thrillers for a long time though, regardless of the fantasy. My experience so far has been I can pound a thriller out fast. The editing takes awhile, but those stories just flow from me. I can see fantasy taking much longer. Anyway, thanks for the comment, and I look forward to hearing what you think!

  12. Hello Kirkus. I saw that you were following me on Twitter. I read your excerpt and enjoyed the storyline, pacing, and descriptive feel of your MC's world. I'm not sure why he would be singing Figaro. I'm also curious about the contents of the backpack and who is chasing him. So…I would like to read more. Good choice to engage a reader. I wish you all the best on this bumpy road called authorship.

    • Awesome! Thanks for checking out the sample. I’m glad you’re hooked, my plan has come to fruition! Hehe, on a serious note, that is great to hear. I felt that section gave the best example of what I had to offer as well as not revealing too much. I\’ll be posting the first chapter or two up here in a few weeks depending on the cover art. Had some past issues but I think it’s all under control now. Thanks again for stopping over!

  13. I'll be buying your book, Kirkus. I'm hooked already! I've been traditionally published in the past but have moved into the indie field now. I'm rereleasing some of my children's books that I have the rights for, but mainly as a way of putting my name out there before my adult fiction and non-fiction arrive, hopefully within a month or so. Wishing you every success as an author – and I'm sure you'll get it.

    • Awesome Stephanie! Love to hear that. I hear about tradtionally published authors moving to Indie more every day. Great idea getting your name out there. I’ was chatting with a friend earlier today about how much of a difference that makes. Almost every big named Indie author talks about how they had four or five books out before hitting it big. You’re already on your way! Hope my debut lives up to your standards. :) Keep us updated on your adult fiction and non-fiction. Thank you so much for stopping over!

  14. just finished reading the excerpt, it's really good! make me want to read the whole thing already;) Thank you for following me on Twitter by way;) hope you succeed with writing career. also you the first stay-in-home dad that I heard of;)
    I wish I would work on my novel as good as you;) sadly I have only 10 pages since I started few months ago..but maybe one day I'll finished it?:)
    Good luck with … well everything;)
    All Best from Poland

    • Thanks for the awesome comment and the well wishes Maggie! I wrote the first 300 words three years ago. Last January was when I decided to start again, and I haven’t stopped. I figure you’ll finish it when you’re ready. Sometimes practicing with smaller stuff first starts those creative juices flowing. I only wrote one, but from what I hear, short stories are a great way to get started. Thanks again!

  15. Hi there. Thanks for following me on Twitter. Checked you out after seeing that we are at similar places with our first novels. Fun times, aye? Great blog. Kudos to you for your good work- writing and day-job. I'll be back.

    • Howdy Becky! What point are you at with your book? And you are right, very fun times. What an amazing feeling to sit down and put into words everything our inner voices tell us. Sorry, corny psychology joke. :) I enjoyed your blog as well. Love all the information you have up about New Zealand. Thanks for stopping over!

  16. I found your blog after you followed me on Twitter (thanks!) and enjoyed the excerpt. The opera singing surprised me at the end. I wonder what else I'm missing… Looks like a fun read.

    • Heh, thanks for checking out the WIP Steve. I have a tendency in real life to throw things into conversation to catch people by surpise and I’m finding I do the same thing in my writing. See you on Twitter. :)

    • Thanks for stopping over Kay! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s completed. See you on Facebook. :)

  17. Hey there, noticed you followed me on twitter so I came to check you out! The Figaro deal surprised me too, and of course, I'm wondering what's in the backpack too. Good excerpt! Always neat to connect with another writer. My manuscript (second one) is currently on submission with publishers so I know what a rollercoaster this life is. I'm also an editor so when you're ready if you want a professional editing job, feel free to look me up — we can discuss. Is the manuscript complete, do you have an agent? I'm sure you have writer friends and know all the ins and outs of querying but if you want help, I'll be happy to offer any suggestions with the process! Feel free to email me at [email protected] (it's one T in Elliot.) Good luck! : ) … Oh, see your sidebar, you've got it all figured out by the looks of who you follow already! : )

    • Hi Stephanie! Thanks for checking out the blog. I’m glad my excerpt piqued your interest. Gratz on having your manuscript to a publisher, that’s a big step. Not sure how much I have figured out yet hehe, but all those blogs and websites have certainly helped. I see your comment on my other post as well. The self-publishing thing is something that I only recently decided on. It was either that, or start searching for an agent. My manuscript is complete in the respect that it’s written. However, it needs work. I’m always learning something new that I want to go back and check on. Thanks for your e-mail, I’m still in the process of figuring out who my editor is going to be. Congratulations on the book by Kathleen as well, that has to feel great for both of you! Thanks again for stopping by.

  18. Hi Kirkus, loved the excerpt man and they can be hard to get right. I'm on the same path as you are my friend only I've yet to finish the first draft. Like yourself I follow Joe, he has some brilliant insights into the self publishing market.

    We are already following each other on twitter but I've added your site to my blog role for good measure. No point in going there for a read as I had a disaster midweek and lost 2 yrs worth of blog posts and I'm having to start from scratch again. Maybe it's a sign.

    Anyway, I'll be following your experience closely as it has a lot of bearing on my own journey. Good luck and keep up the good writing.

    • I think I read that sentence about losing your posts about twelve times now. You have my condolences for your blog post loss. :( Sometimes I’m paranoid it will happen to me, but primarily because my brain and the words tech–savvy are polar opposites. Glad you can benefit from the blog. Keep pounding out that draft. Typing the words, “The End” makes the whole thing worthwhile. Thanks for checking out the blog! I’m sure I’ll chat with you soon.

  19. I don't always finish someone's excerpt–if it's not interesting and/or has too many writing problems–but this excerpt kept me reading. Surprise ending, as the first commenter said. I want more! Excellent visual and sensory images, and action that moves the sequence forward. The writing flows. I'm impressed.

    • Wow Ann, thanks for the amazing compliiments. That’s exactly what I like to hear. I’m trying to keep up those standards throughout the book, which is why I’m an editing machine right now. :) Thanks for commenting!

    • Hehe, good, it worked then. :) I’ve always liked shock value in life, and not it’s coming through in my writing. I try to keep it in check, but I don’t want to change too much. Thanks for commenting!

    • Lol, I\’m glad you enjoyed it. :) Sorry it took me a bit to respond. Had some issues with the comments last week. Happy I found yours. Gave me a good laugh. Thanks for the comment!

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