Thursday, August 11, 2016

Author Of The Month - Lisa Henry - Week Two

Welcome to our 2nd week of celebrating the amazing author from Down Under

In today's post, we'll talk about Playing The Fool (the series, co-written with JA Rock), plus 5 little-known facts about Lisa. All the way at the bottom will be another chance to win as well.

First up, The Two Gentlemen Of Altona:


Mischief, thou art afoot.

Special Agent Ryan "Mac" McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he's also been tasked with keeping Henry Page-the world's most irritating witness-alive. Which is tough when Mac's a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn't really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn't mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry's a valuable asset to the FBI. But he's got his own agenda, and it doesn't involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they're surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he's willing to go to keep Henry by his side.


In this scene, FBI agent Mac has arrested conman Henry and is driving him back to Indianapolis. Mac is suffering sugar and caffeine withdrawals, and Henry is a little shit.

“Do you need those glasses?” Mac finally asked him, when he was sick of counting down the miles with nothing but Henry’s theatrical donut-eating noises and the clink of his handcuffs to listen to.
Henry licked frosting off his bottom lip. “Depends.”
Mac pretended he hadn’t watched the progress of Henry’s tongue. At all. He concentrated on his irritation instead. There was no such thing as a straight answer from this guy.
“They don’t really help me see any better,” Henry said at last. “But they are quite useful.”
“For looking like an accountant?”
“Oh no, I’d never be an accountant. All that math.” He shuddered.
“For what, then?”
Henry sucked the tips of his fingers. “Guy out in Tucson told me they were hot. Said I’d get lucky more often if I wore them.”
Mac gripped the wheel a little harder. “And has it worked?”
Henry pulled his lips off his pinky with a smack. “So far.”
“What were you doing in Tucson? Besides getting lucky?”
Henry leaned back and jingled the cuffs. “You know, I like small talk, but I have a feeling anything I say can and will be used against me in a court of law.”
“This is all off the record.”
“Well in that case, I was in Tucson getting lucky. At cards.”
Mac gripped the wheel tighter. A truck sped past them.
“So what’s your specialty, Henry? Sweet talking old ladies out of their disposable income? Playing dress-up? I know you’re lousy at stealing cars.”
“Never tried stealing a car.”
“You were picked up for driving a stolen—”
Borrowed. I took it for a test-drive. Lost track of time.”
Mac shook his head. “I’ll bet your grade school teachers wanted to beat the shit out of you.”
“Nah. They loved me.” Henry wiped his hands on his jeans. “I’m decent at dress-up, I guess. I look good in costume.” He glanced out his window, and Mac snuck a peek at the back of his head. Thick, tousled dark hair in need of a wash. He probably looked good in anything. “The thing about conning is, there’s not really much deceit involved. You’d be surprised what people are willing to give you or do for you when they like you.”
Mac grunted.
“Do people like you?” Henry asked, turning to him.
He didn’t answer.
“People like me.”
“I don’t.”
“Aww. Gimme a chance.”
“Like hell. And don’t expect any free donuts from my people. Thanks to you, we had to let Maxfield go. And I’m wasting a day of my life retrieving you.”
“You request it?”
“Did you ask to be the one who came and got me?”
Mac hesitated. “Yeah. Why?”
“Just wondering. You still seem salty about the crime scene.”
“You were the sole witness. You bailed. You lied to me, then you bailed. Damn right I’m salty.” And speaking of salty, he would have killed for some potato chips from the office vending machine. Or one of those peanut caramel bars.
“I wasn’t gonna hang around waiting for Maxfield’s gang to kill me.”
“You know him pretty well?”
“He stopped by Gloria’s now and then. There was an instant and mutual loathing.”
“And yet you stayed with Gloria—even once you realized her nephew was a mobster?”
“It was the middle of Toby’s midterms.”
His grip on the wheel tightened. “I’ve been after Maxfield’s boys a long time. So if you know anything about the pack he ran with, you could make yourself extremely useful.”
“Sheriff, I’m just here to tell you what I saw that fateful night.” Henry paused. “I didn’t have to call 911, you know. I could’ve just beat it. Really wish I had.”
“We’d’ve kept you safe. We’re gonna keep you safe.”
“Until Maxfield’s put away. And then what? Then it’s my brains on someone’s custom cabinets.”
“There’s options. Witness protection.”
Henry huffed. The air went sour in the car, and Mac tried to tell himself to be grateful Henry had shut up. But suddenly Henry leaned over and looked out the window. “There’s Chase Tower. Almost home.”
“Is Indianapolis home?” Mac didn’t know why he’d bothered to ask. As though Henry would give him a straight answer.
“Altona. Moved to the city when I was sixteen.”
He gripped the wheel harder. “Very funny.”
“What’s funny?”
“I don’t know what you think you know about me, but this game stops now, you hear? Or I will charge you with every fucking thing you can possibly be charged for.”
“Whoa.” Henry held up his cuffed hands. “I don’t know what I said, but I’m sorry. You wanna lick some glaze off the bottom of the box? It might help with the mood swings.”
I’m from Altona. Whatever else you dug up on me—”
“I didn’t dig anything up on you. I was too busy running for my life. Can’t we both be from Altona?”
“It’s a town of two hundred people. I’d have remembered growing up around someone like you.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. And no offense, but wouldn’t you have grown up way before I did? I mean, maybe you don’t remember me because I was still in diapers when you left for college.”
He nearly swerved into the other lane. Two drivers honked. “How old are you?” he demanded, looking at Henry. “Twelve?”
“Well, I’m thirty-one. So no, you wouldn’t have been in diapers when I left. Unless you required diapers well into your adolescence. Which wouldn’t surprise me at all.”
“Harsh, Mac.” Henry paused. “Does anyone call you Mac?”
Everyone calls me Mac, except my parents. But if you call me anything but Agent McGuinness, you can wash down those donuts with a few of your own teeth.”
Henry was silent for a moment. Mac waited, on edge, for whatever the little fucker would throw at him next. “You look older than thirty-one,” Henry said finally.

Get the book:

Second in the series, The Merchant Of Death:


All’s fair in love and war.

There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.

But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.

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And third, so far, Tempest:


Something wicked this way comes.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

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Five little-known facts:

  1. When I was a child, I spent two years living in Papua New Guinea. I wasn’t at school yet, so I’d just travel around with my dad whenever he had to visit other towns and villages for work. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of seeing wrecked tanks and planes on the sides of the roads, left over from the Second World War, and the way the jungle was burying them again. I’m also thankful for my parents for teaching me at a very young age to respect other cultures, and not act like the British in India which, sadly, was the prevailing attitude of many of the ex-pats living there at the time. It was in PNG that I also developed my love of books, because they were a rare commodity. We didn’t have a book shop, or a library, so every book we had was read over and over again. Although one of my favourite memories was of the time a boat full of books came to town—I think it was possibly run by some missionary group. My sister and I spent hours choosing a book each. It’s one of those memories that you look back on and say, “Wait, a book shop on a boat? Did that really happen?” It did. I confirmed with my mum.

  2. In my day job, I am a police dispatcher. As a result, I speak fluent drunk. It’s very much a job I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it because I hated my very brief foray into the Monday to Friday 9-5 corporate world, but also I’m fast approaching the point where I’m literally sick and tired of shift work. But I do like though that every day is different from the next, and that you have no idea what’s going to happen when you pick up the next call.

  3. I live in Townsville— the most boringly named city in the entire world. It’s actually a very nice regional city. Magnetic Island is only twenty minutes away by ferry, and the rainforest and the reef are both right on our doorstep. We have some incredibly beautiful beaches. The downside is, you can’t swim at them because of jellyfish. We do have beaches where there are stinger nets set up to swim in, but last summer they were closed because of crocodile sightings. Also, sharks sometimes get in them. Actually, why the hell do I live here again?

  4. I have three cats. They are called Simba, Sam and Grub. They are all rescue cats. I also have a series of possums that break into my house every night. The latest is called Scrappy. Scrappy likes bananas, and hates sudden movements. He lets me pat him, but only because I bribe him with bananas. I still miss the possum before Scrappy. Her name was Ramona and she used to wander in the back door and sit beside my desk until I noticed she was there. She was much friendlier than Scrappy. Scrappy and I are still a work in progress.

  5. I collect old medical textbooks. This started when I was a kid, and I saw a textbook in my doctor’s office called GUNSHOT WOUNDS. Not going to lie, I still kind of want to steal it. The crazier and more outdated the book, the better. Because yes, I do need to know the symptoms of strychnine poisoning, thank you! I mean, I know nothing about medicine, but for some reason I just get a kick out of my British Pharmacopeia of 1932 where it tells the pharmacist how to prepare tincture of cocaine for his customers. An all round pick me up, I guess! One of my favourite books is a Police Forensics Handbook from the 1880s. It’s amazing!

Wow, those are some cool facts. Which one, dear readers, is your favorite? Tell us below.

More about Lisa Henry:

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters. Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn't know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she's too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.


More books by Lisa Henry:

Fallout, with M. Caspian
Fall on Your Knees, with J.A Rock – part of the Rated: XXXmas Anthology
Bliss, with Heidi Belleau
Tin Man, with Heidi Belleau.
Another Man's Treasure, with J.A. Rock
When All The World Sleeps, with J.A. Rock
The King of Dublin, with Heidi Belleau
The Good Boy (The Boy #1), with J.A. Rock
Stealing Innocents, writing as Cari Waites
Falling Away - a free short
The Last Rebellion - a free short


Thanks for celebrating with us. We hope you enjoyed learning more about Lisa and her books. Join us again next week for more books from Lisa, a personal story she's chosen to share, and of course another chance to win.

Until then, happy reading!


  1. I'm not entering the contest because I have already read all the published books in the Playing the Fool series. But I wanted to comment that I loved that series and I hope there will be new books added to it!

  2. Angela:
    I enjoyed reading this post, and love the Five little-known facts. It is so much fun to read them and to get to know Lisa a bit better, so i love all the facts ;)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


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