Posts Categorized: Hard Return

Books do one thing that television and movies can’t do:

They give you your own personal experience. Reading calls upon you to see what YOU see, and while it might be similar to the author’s intention, what you see comes from where you live, who your family is, how you see the world, the experiences you’ve had. If you lived in Greenland, you would experience a different world than a person who lives, say, in Tucson, Arizona.

I’ve never been to Greenland, so if someone describes it, I still see it my way: a vast platform of ice, populated by polar bears. Or maybe it’s taken from a TV show I saw as a child—Eskimos fishing. It comes from everything I’ve learned up to this point.

Childhood, school, the area where I live, what the people are like in my neighborhood, if I live way out on a ranch somewhere or cheek-to-jowl in a crowded city. People have mutual experiences, like school, learning to drive a car, your job. Your car might be an expensive beauty, and mine might be falling apart.

So we see everything through the prism of our own minds and experiences—and books give us the freedom to do just that.
Do you see what I see graphic
MY view of a cabin in the woods, depending on the area you or I live in, would look different from YOUR cabin in the woods. My picture of a strong female cop might be different from your idea of a strong female cop. She could be massive and strong. She could look like the cop on Criminal Minds. She could be red-haired, freckled, model-thin, with a whip-smart mind and a smart mouth to go with it. Whoever she is, she’s YOUR person. You made up your half of her.

If my character is driving on a lonesome winding highway in the middle of the night, YOU’RE driving on a road that might be like it, but it’s all your own—it’s your road. You fill in the pieces of the puzzle. That, in a nutshell, is the wonder of reading.

And because you hold the other piece of the jigsaw puzzle, I respect you and I respect what you add to the story. It takes two to tango. And I can’t help but wonder: what do YOU see?

Show me how you see it

Here are five subjects that have appeared in my books. I’m going to furnish you with a short description of each scene, and it’s up to you to fill in the blank. What does it LOOK LIKE?

Please post those pictures here on my Pinterest Page. Choose as many as you’d like. I’m really curious how you see these places and people.

1. A cabin in the woods near Aspen, Colorado—the opening scene of my thriller, The Shop.

2. A guy out in the boonies with a camper and a dog on a chain—from The Survivors Club.

3. A bombed-out house in Iraq with a secret stash of incredible riches—from Hard Return.

4. A bandshell in a western town—from Darkness on the Edge of Town.

5. A horsewoman teaching a riding class—from The Survivors Club.

I wonder how different your photos will be from other peoples’ photos, or what I saw as I wrote these scenes. I really want to know what YOU see. Go to

Categories: Books Darkness on the Edge of Town Hard Return The Shop The Survivors Club

Sounds innocuous, doesn’t it? Almost boring. You picture some metal shed near a lawn and a strip of driveway. Where you keep the rake, the shovel, and the fertilizer.

But what if a “toolshed” is not what it seems?

What if you need certain tools that aren’t on sale at Ace Hardware?

Like a guy who can take out somebody you don’t like.

If you’re connected the right way, you can go to the Toolshed, and pick out your tool.
In Hard Return, Cyril Landry wants to attract the attention of certain people who are looking for such a service. So he puts himself out there. And someone comes a’calling: his old friend, a former Navy SEAL named Eric Blackburn.

Here’s the scene:

Eric said, “Your picture was floating through the Toolshed, so I snagged it…. Got your contract, too.” He set the phone down, leaned back, and stretched out his legs, crossing his tennis-shoed feet at the ankles. “Seriously, dude, the people I work with wouldn’t be happy about the way you’re sniffing around.”

According to my source (wow, I just said “according to my source!”), when you want someone done yesterday, there’s a place you can go: the Toolshed. You put out feelers. It’s kind of like a forum, kind of like thin air, where some tough characters and assassins with good resumes are available to get the job done. You go to the Toolshed and pick out the right tool.

And if you’re selling your wares, sometimes, you just hang out in an outdoor café in Austria, and look like you mean business. Which is what Cyril Landry does in Hard Return and then makes his “hard return.”

So how do you get access to The Toolshed?

That’s above my pay grade.

Is the Toolshed for real? Is it for REALLY real?

That’s for you, dear reader, to decide.

Categories: Cyril Landry Hard Return