Today I’d like to share with you an excerpt of the book ” Sangre: The Wrong Side of Tomorrow ” by Carlos Colón, as part of the blog tour organized by Blackthorn Book Tours.
BLURB: The Story of a Reluctant, Undead Vigilante
The harrowing saga of Nicky Negron’s tortured soul continues as the inner and outer demons shadowing Newark, New Jersey’s undead vigilante have no intention of letting him rest in peace. Knowing his paranormal existence can only lead to complications, Nicky tries not to draw too much attention to himself. This becomes difficult as he learns that he has captured the interest of an unrelenting federal agent.
Suspected of being an assassin for a South American drug cartel, Nicky finds himself dealing with the exact kind of scrutiny he’s been trying to avoid since he was turned almost thirty years ago. It complicates matters, even more, when Nicky is confronted with another undead presence that is threatening to commit atrocities to the children of a friend Nicky had sworn to protect. This pits the foul-mouthed night stalker, Nicky Negron, against the most horrifying monsters – both the human and non-human variety.
An absolute rollercoaster of a novel, Sangre: The Wrong Side of Tomorrow delivers even more suspense, insight, laughs, and emotional wallop than its predecessor. Nicky is back! See you on the other side…
Get the book here – Amazon
The ER was a little more quiet than usual. There was a mother with her sniffly, pre-teen daughter, some bulky dude with a bloodied t-shirt wrapped around a big knife cut on his left hand, and a couple of lonely seniors. We always had elderly regulars show up on a routine basis, using the slightest discomfort as an excuse to come to the ER for a little attention. But as far as I was able to tell, there was no FBI agent.
I checked with Wendy at the reception desk, who was filling out a form while questioning a whiney grandma. “Hey, Wendy, Jimmy said there’s some Federal agent here looking for me.”
Without looking up or responding, Wendy pointed me to a waiting room a couple of yards past her desk.
I opened the waiting room door and found a stern-looking African-American woman, who was just a little shorter than me, wearing a dark blazer with a matching skirt and a white blouse. Above her nose she adjusted a pair of glasses with conservative frames and looked me over. She was like a combination of Agent Scully from the X-Files and Gladys Knight. “Excuse me, I’m Jorge Sangria. I understand you are looking for me?”
Her firm stare indicated this was someone who wasn’t going to be won over with any charm. “Special Agent Janet Howard. Have a seat, Mr Sangria.” I didn’t dare not to. Her authoritativeness reminded me of those hard-assed elementary school teachers from the 1950s that were allowed to smack the shit out of you with a ruler (and frequently did). She took a seat opposite me. “Firstly, Mr Sangria, I am very sorry about what happened to your friend, Miss Rojas.”
“The two of you were very close, weren’t you?”
“Yeah, we kind of developed a little friendship over the past year where—”
“Uh, yeah, friend—”
“I was under the impression that you were romantically involved.”
“Uh, well, no, not really. I mean—”
“You were intimate with her, weren’t you? In fact, from what I understand, the two of you even shared some intimate moments right here in this hospital.”
I was suddenly reminded of those days when I was caught not having done my homework. “Uh, well, yeah, but—”
“Where I come from, two people who are intimate together are usually in some manner romantically involved.”
A predator! She was a predator!
And I was her prey!
And while I was aware that this was a serious matter, for some reason, I was getting extremely turned on.
I wanted to play. “Uh, Agent Howard, is it all right to call you Agent Howard?” She didn’t answer. “What exactly are you getting at?”
The agent smiled and rose from her seat. She was circling in. “The man that committed this terrible assault, he was an ex-lover of Miss Rojas, correct?” We both knew the answer to that but I respectfully nodded. “And then you came into the picture, and from what I understand, you gallantly defended her, effectively forbidding him from ever coming back to her apartment. Am I correct?” Well, she certainly had done her due diligence. Again, I nodded. “So, Mr. Sangria, I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that the attack on Miss Rojas could have been the result of a jealous rage from being rejected in favor of another lover.”
“It’s not really like that—”
“Oh, really? Then tell me. Tell me what it’s like?”
I didn’t care for where she was headed. And though I kind of dug her, I decided I’d heard enough. Mind control was something I never took likely because of the damaging effects that can come from scrambling around with someone’s brains. I had been holding off to see if it could have been avoided. But the agent was clearly focused.
It was time to break a few eggs and prepare a Nicky omelet. “Okay, Agent Howard, I want you to listen to me carefully.” She fell silent. “You are going to forget you ever came here to speak to me. In fact, you are going to forget that I ever existed. And you are never going to seek to question me again. Now, I would like you to repeat that.”
What I mistook for daze was the actual process of the agent’s eyes converting into chainsaws. “Who the hell do you think you are talking to me like that? I ought to put you away right now!” She pointed her finger at me, close enough to pick my nose. “Now you listen to me. I’ve been trailing beheadings related to drug deals all throughout the northeast but I could not link any deals to Mr. Rodriguez. Yet the M.O. behind his murder is similar to the ones we’re investigating. Now, as far as anyone can tell, Mr. Rodriguez is not involved with the cartel we are investigating. But what if he did something to upset someone who was part of that cartel, like maybe beat his girlfriend into a coma?” She paused a moment for effect. Her technique was to question by intimidation and she was probably used to it working. “So, you see, Mr. Sangria, it isn’t hard to find a motive here, a motive that would drive someone to track Mr. Rodriguez to Queens less than twenty-four hours after the attack on Miss Rojas. And from what I’ve gathered, up until now, you haven’t provided anyone with anything close to an alibi. Would you care to share one with me now?”
Holy shit! There was no effect! There aren’t that many out there who are immune to our trances. Apparently, this little fireball was one of them. And now I pissed her off. “Wait a minute, Miss Howard, you don’t understand.”
“That’s Agent Howard! And what do you mean, I don’t understand? Make me understand! Where were you on the night Roberto Rodriguez was murdered?”
“Well, well, I was home—”
“Home? Was anyone with you?” I shook my head. “Can anyone place you anywhere, away from the scene of the crime?” I shook my head again. “I didn’t think so. Which means, right now, you are my best suspect. Which means, I am going to have my eyes on you, day (yeah, good luck with that, baby) and night.” I had to act fast. What if she were able to get a warrant to search my apartment? The coffin! The Filipino blade I use for beheadings, which for her intents and purposes was the murder weapon she was looking for! The FBI agent closed in enough to engulf me in her coffee breath. “You see, Mr. Sangria, I don’t believe in Rego Park monsters like they showed in those cell phone videos.” That Rego Park monster was my death face, all out for everyone to see on the eleven o’clock news. Howard huffed on. “Now, fools committing crimes of passion in Halloween masks, that I can believe in.”
The agent gleamed at me with a voracious smile. She knew I did it. And she knew that I knew that she knew. (What the fuck did I just say?)
I gleamed back.
Okay, baby, you want to play?
Her menacing glare said yes, and don’t call me baby.
She was definitely kind of hot. I hated the thought of having to kill her.
About the Author
Born in Spanish Harlem and raised by Puerto Rican parents in the South Bronx, Carlos Colón drew attention from his high school teachers with his penchant for storytelling. Before long, they nicknamed him Hemingway. After graduating from CUNY’ s Herbert H. Lehman College, Carlos dabbled in screenwriting for a few years before settling into the insurance business. Several decades later, Carlos returned to the entertainment world when he formed the retro rock ‘n’ roll band, the Jersey Shore Roustabouts. After twelve successful years performing live and producing two albums, the band moved on after their farewell concert in 2018.
Prior to that, 2016 saw the release of Carlos’ first novel, “Sangre: The Color of Dying”. It was later that year named as one of the Top Ten novels written by a Latino author. After receiving extraordinary praise from literary critics and the unexpected devotion of readers to his foul-mouthed, yet oddly endearing anti-hero, Nicky Negrón, Carlos knew he had little choice but to begin working on a sequel. In 2019, the follow up “Sangre: The Wrong Side of Tomorrow” was released and it received just as much praise as its predecessor. Readers are already hoping that there is a third installment in the works.
When not busy with his multiple projects, Carlos enjoys his private time living in the Jersey Shore area with Maria, his wife of 40 years, and their cat, Tuco.