Today I'm showcasing a fantastic sounding novel, Law and Addiction, by author Mike Papantonio that reviewers call captivating, intriguing, enthralling, suspenseful, page-turning, riveting, unpredictable, and thought-provoking.
Jane Wesman Public Relations is sponsoring a #giveaway of this novel, see details below
Publisher: Waterside Productions
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Pages: 250 Amazon LAW AND ADDICTION is based on Papantonio's experiences fighting Big Pharma on behalf of hundreds of Americans devastated by the opioid crisis
One week before Jake Rutledge is scheduled to graduate from law school, he receives the devastating news of the death of his fraternal twin, Blake. What makes this death even more terrible for Jake is that his brother died of a drug overdose. Until hearing of his death, Jake had no idea his brother was even using drugs. When Jake returns home to Oakley, West Virginia, he takes a hard look at the circumstances of his brother's death. In the five years Jake has been away for his schooling, his hometown has drastically changed. Because of the opioid epidemic, and the blight it has brought, many now call Oakley Zombieland. Jake can see how his town's demise parallels his brother's. Undeterred, the newly minted lawyer takes on the entrenched powers by filing two lawsuits. Jake quickly learns what happens when you upset a hornet's nest. The young attorney might be wet behind the ears, but is sure there is no lawyer that could help him more than Nick Deke Deketomis and his law firm of Bergman/Deketomis. Deke is a legendary lawyer. When he was Jake's age he was making his name fighting Big Tobacco. Against all odds, Jake gets Nick and his firm to sign on to his case before it's too late
Walking down the row toward Blake’s grave, his thoughts on the past, Jake saw a figure working in front of a headstone. He paused, not wanting to intrude, and as he did so, she got to her feet and began to move away.
“Anna?” he said, shocked by the familiar face.
She turned. “Jake?” she said, her voice unsure.
Anna Fowler looked much the same as she had in high school. Her blue eyes sparkled, and her long chestnut-brown hair swayed against her shoulders. The two of them walked toward each other and then embraced in a big hug. As they disengaged, Anna’s gardening basket hooked on Jake’s shirt.
“Don’t move,” she said. “I don’t want to tear your shirt.”
With careful fingers—did Jake imagine it or were her fingers trembling?—she disentangled the shirt from her basket. “Sorry about that,” she said.
“You could always hook ’em without even trying,” said Jake. He hoped his smile said he was kidding—sort of.
“Listen to you,” said Anna. “It’s so good to see you. How is it that we both live in the same town and we never run into one another?”
She seemed to be struggling to speak and smile at the same time; he could see the sweat trickling down from her forehead, though the day wasn’t very hot.
“I’ve been gone,” he said. “For a while, actually. And now that I’m back, all I plan to do is work.”
“Then nothing has changed,” Anna said. “I knew I never had a chance to be valedictorian with you in the mix.”
“That’s not how I remember it,” Jake said, grinning. “I recall you were always matching me grade for grade.”
“Blake thought we were both crazy to study like we did.” A cloud passed over her face; then she said, “My kryptonite was Algebra II. You deserved to be valedictorian.”
“I didn’t have your social demands,” Jake said with a wink. “I was more the nerd while you were doing cheerleading and student council. You even played volleyball, if I remember correctly. Not to mention how you were always working at Fowler’s.”
She laughed. “Don’t remind me about my misspent youth. See where it got me? Still right here. On the other hand, I hear you’re a lawyer.”
Jake nodded. “Hard to believe, right?”
Anna shook her head. “It’s not hard to believe at all. I’m really proud of you, Jake. And even though Blake and I didn’t keep in touch much after high school, I know he would be, too.”
Jake tried to deflect her praise. He didn’t want to feel like a fraud. “It’s not as glamorous as it sounds,” he said. “I’d probably be making more flipping burgers.”
“I don’t believe that.”
“Sadly,” he said, “it’s true. But that’s partly because of my own stubbornness. I’m about to start working on this long-shot case. I hate to think I’m tilting at windmills, but I probably am. You can call me Don Quixote.”
“It sounds like you’re doing something courageous, Don,” she said.
That got a smile out of him, along with more head shaking. “I wish I was that noble,” he said, “but the reason I’m pursuing this case is because of Blake’s death.”
Anna’s voice was unsteady. “I am so sorry about that,” she said.
Jake nodded. “His death really threw me for a loop. I never saw it coming, so it was a real shock.”
She didn’t speak for a moment, and he could see that she was blinking away tears. He hadn’t meant to make her sad.
“What about you?” he asked. “I heard you went off to college but then came back.”
“A dream deferred,” said Anna, nodding. “My mom got cancer, and I came home to help her fight it. Unfortunately, it was a fight we lost. And right after her death, Daddy had his stroke. I’ve sort of been a recluse myself since Momma died. And for a while there, Daddy needed round-the-clock care. Luckily, he’s better now. That’s allowed me to go out and work a part-time job.”
“Doing what?” asked Jake.
“I’ve been modeling.”
“That doesn’t surprise me,” he said, “as pretty as you are. What kind of modeling?”
“I’ve been an art model for Clint Smith for a while now,” she said. “Oakley’s native son made good.”
Jake nodded. In high school he’d had a crush on Anna, but then again, just about every male in his class had. Back then, he’d thought Anna was out of his league. She was classy, always doing and saying the right thing. Whenever he found himself in her presence, he had the hardest time uttering a complete sentence. In his daydreams he wasn’t tongue-tied; in them, he dared to ask her out. But that never happened. Besides, she’d always been arm candy for Blake. The two of them had looked great together. In fact, the school had voted them homecoming king and queen. They had dated a few times before mutually agreeing they were better off as friends. Jake wondered if Blake had sensed how he felt about Anna, and backed off to give him a chance. He guessed he would never know.
“This morning I made some floral bouquets to put on gravesites,” Anna said, gesturing to her basket. “I made one for Blake’s stone, assuming that’s okay with you?”
“Okay? At this very moment, Blake is strutting around the clouds, saying, ‘The prettiest woman in all of West Virginia is leaving me flowers.’ And loud enough for me to hear, he’s saying, ‘What do you think of that, little brother?’”
“You were the younger twin?” She laughed. “I don’t think I ever knew that.”
“By only twenty minutes,” said Jake. “But he loved lording that over me.”
Anna’s hands rose to her face, and a frown creased her expression.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“I’m afraid I’m not feeling well,” she said. “If you don’t mind, I’ll give you Blake’s bouquet.”
As Anna passed him the flowers, Jake couldn’t help but notice her shaking hands. Pale red blotches had formed on her fair skin.
“I better walk you to your car,” he said.
“That’s not necessary,” Anna said, her voice sharp. Then she softened it. “I’ll feel better after a warm bath and a little rest.”
She smiled for him and began walking away.
“It was great seeing you,” Jake called after her.
Anna paused in her escape, waved to him, and said, “It really was. Don’t give up on your dreams, Jake. Or should I say . . . Don? Keep dreaming those impossible dreams. I hope you’ll call me.”
Her words, and her invitation, made Jake smile. “I will,” he said.
Anna waved again and kept walking. Jake watched her go. Her illness would give him a reason to call to see how she was doing.
Maybe he wouldn’t even wait until tomorrow to call her.
Excerpted with permission from LAW AND ADDICTION by Mike Papantionio. Published by Waterside Productions. Copyright (c) 2019. All rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.
About The Author
Mike Papantonio is a crusader who uses fiction to entertain and inform readers about some of the most pressing issues of our times. In each of his legal thrillers – from Law and Disorder to Law and Vengence, and now LAW AND ADDICTION – he lays bare the conspiracies and white-collar crimes that hurt ordinary Americans. A senior partner at Levin Papantonio, he’s taken on Big Pharma, tobacco companies, and the automobile industry, among others. One of the youngest trial lawyers to have been inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, Papantonio is also a distinguished media presence as one of the hosts of the syndicated Ring of Fire radio show and as the host of American Lawyer on RT America network. A skilled musician and athlete, Papantonio is based in Pensacola, Florida. To learn more, visit: www.mikepapantonio.com
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