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Demons of the Jungle – The Art Work

Every book should have cover art that will catch your eye in a sea of other books. I wrote about this in a book review of “Woman with a Gun” written by Phillip Margolin. The cover art was so unique and different it drew me to the book.  I also like illustrations in a book, to me they enhance the story which brings the reader deeper into the plot. Below is a sneak preview of the cover art and illustrations.

By Rick Chappell of Chappell Grahix

© 2016 Joseph Clay, Rick Chappell, Chappell Graphix

The Cover Art above was created by Rick Chappell of Chappell Graphix located here in the Nashville, area. Rick used the same concept of the cover of the first edition that was painted by John Cannon. Rick added a face and body language that shows a connection between the woman and the serpent. The cover art above is under copyright and can’t be reproduced without permission from the owner Joseph Clay and the Artist Rick Chappell.

The second edition shows more and tells less, and is formatted different, which makes the book longer. For more on how the second edition came about you can read the following blogs, “When is a second edition needed?”, Birth of the Demons.“, “Piecing it all together.”

John Cannon drew all the illustrations for the first edition, there were six in the printed version. Once the second edition was complete, due to the new formatting, I needed more illustrations. John drew seven more bringing the total to thirteen sketches. Some of the sketches from the first edition were relocated to different sections of the second edition.

John Cannon is an artist here in the Nashville. His studio is located in the Five Points area of East Nashville at the Idea Hatchery, 1108 Woodland St. Visit him there or check out his website johncannonart, you won’t be disappointed.

The new format breaks the book up into parts and each part has a sketch on the lead in page. Below are the sketches as they appear in the second edition. All sketches below are under copyright and can’t be reproduced without permission from the owner Joseph Clay and the Artist John Cannon.

© 2014-2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art

Part One – A DEMON PRESENCE – © 2014-2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Part 2 Debra Wright

Part Two – THE RELEASE OF DEBRA WRIGHT – © 2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art



Part Three – STARTING ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE – ©2014 – 2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art




Part 4 Patricia Mitchell

Part Four – FREEDOM FOR PATRICIA MITCHELL – ©2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art



Part Five – JUNGLE ICE – ©2014 – 2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Part 6 Hotlanta

Part Six – HOTLANTA – ©2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Part 7 Stars Lone Star State

Part Seven – STARS IN THE LONE STAR STATE – ©2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art



Part Eight – THE BARREN WASTELAND – ©2014 – 2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art



Part Nine – WHO’S IN CHARGE – ©2014 – 2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


The Games

Part Ten – PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS – ©2014 – 2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Part 11 Plea deal

Part Eleven – PLEA DEAL OFFERED – ©2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Part 12 The Trail

Part Twelve – THE TRIAL – ©2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Part 13 Killer Smile

Part Thirteen – FREEDOM WITH A KILLER SMILE – ©2016 Joseph Clay, John Cannon, John Cannon Fine Art


Other blogs in this series; When is a second edition needed?Birth of the DemonsPiecing it all together Who is Debra Lynn Wright Who is Patricia Sue MitchellWho is Levi Colt West The Demons A deal too good to be true.

Demons of the Jungle, second edition, will go on sale Feb.5, 2016, The book will be available on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and other e-book outlets. For a paperback copy visit Amazon, or for a personalized autographed copy, at no extra charge, visit the official website AuthorJosephClay.











Book Review: Sleight of Hand – By: Phillip Margolin

Welcome to Review Friday

Book Reviews from an Authors Perspective.



 By: Phillip Margolin

Book Details:

  • Published: 2013
  • ISBN:978-0-06-206991-7
  • Hardback
  • 312 Pages
  • SRP: USA $26.99
  • A Novel of Suspense
  • Joes Rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Sleight of Hand is the second book by Phillip Margolin I have read. The first, Woman with a Gun, I reviewed back in February.

Charles Benedict is an unscrupulous lawyer with a high IQ and an amateur illusionist. Most of his clients come to him via the Russian mob. Benedict is magical in the court room a good criminal lawyer. However things get weird when he ‘s on a case,  key witnesses  disappear into what seems like thin air, evidence tampered with or missing, and other strange happenings that allow his client to walk free. Charles Benedict has many adversaries in the courtroom, from the judge to Carrie Blair, prosecutor for the common wealth. Carrie, shunned by many due to her wealth, but she loves her job, and not her husband Horace, who has the money. Horace Blair is beyond rich and a powerful man in the business world with connections in state and federal government. Horace is older than Carrie, if you see them together you would think she is his daughter, but that didn’t matter, he fell head over hills for Carrie in court, and swooned her from the witness stand. The two married , of course not before the pre-nup was signed. Carrie had a good job and could stand on her two feet, the pre-nup, she didn’t care for. Horace insisted so she added her own little clause to it. Carrie would receive two million a year for each year of marriage, payable after ten years, if in that time she stayed faithful to Horace and tells no one about the agreement. Horace and Blair’s tenth anniversary was upon them, only days away. Carrie gets caught in a compromising position and suspects she was photographed coming out of Charles Benedict’s apartment one morning, nothing had happened, so he said, but the miss understanding could cost her twenty million bucks. Carrie disappears before the payout, Horace isn’t concerned until the local authorities show up at his door. Dana Cutler an ex-police detective, now a private investigator, has mental issues of her own. While infiltrating a biker gang her cover was blown, their payback was to hold her captive, gang raping her day after day. Her payback, priceless, she got her revenge but the trauma left her unstable and she loses it when threatened by a men. Dana returned from a wild goose chase that bought up questions. Who had paid her twenty-five thousand dollars to look for something that didn’t exist? Then there was the question of Carrie Blair’s disappearance, had she been murdered, if so by who, her husband? Will Horace hire Benedict if charged with his wife’s death? What about the other bodies that keep turning up with the same MO, is there a Psychopath on the loose? What could be the KEY, to this mess that has everyone scratching their heads.

Phillip Margolin uses the above characters and more in this suspense novel that’s action pack and full of turns. All the questions are answered in this story that flows well, is fast paced, with believable characters, making you pull for some and hate the others. The ending, well I’ll just say you gotta read the book.

Phillip Margolin is becoming my favorite author, his work is outstanding. With each book I read not only do I get a great story that I can lose myself in, I learn something about the craft of writing. Sleight of Hand showed me by example the following.

  •  Cover Art is important: Once again Phillip Margolin’s cover is appealing, and full of clues of what the book is about. Remember your cover makes the first impression, don’t blow it. Phillip Margolin has some of the best I’ve seen.
  • Point of view: Dana the private detective, in disguise, leaves the apartment of Tiffany Starr, a stripper, after questioning her. Once the door closes, the point of view changes from Dana to Tiffany. No new chapter, or paragraph heading, he added more white space to tell the reader of the change. He also does this when an amount of time has passed from one paragraph to the next.
  • Character Names: Some people so they are not important, I disagree and try to give my characters names that suit them, not stereo typing but you want a Joe to act like a Joe, not like an Alan. Prime example, when you read Tiffany Starr above you determined she was a stripper or porn star before I told you. There’s something to say about a strong character name.
  • Thesaurus: Never write a word without one. Phillip Margolin used the word ‘seethe’ means to boil or stew. A writer’s job is to show and not tell, one of the hardest things for many of us newbies to grasp, difficult to do that using the same words over and over.

Joe Clay is a new author, check his work out on his Website, Smashwords and Kindle. Joe can also be found on Goodreads where he answers questions every Friday. To see what Joe is working on visit WIP.

Woman with a Gun–Author: Phillip Margolin 4 out of 5 Stars




Welcome to the first Review Friday.

 A writer, must do just that, to hone their skills. Subject matter isn’t important, putting words on paper, in a form of a blog, keeping a journal, or working on a novel, just write every day. Another important thing for them to do, READ, somebody’s work beside your own, in all genres. Reading will improve your craft. I fell short last year in that department, reading only five books, that’s on the high side. This year I have vowed to improve on that total.

Reading takes us away, in order for new writers to accomplish this for their readers, they most learn from those who are masters at doing it. Reading is gaining knowledge of the craft. How does James Patterson set a scene, Mark Twain was a master at keeping dialogue true to his characters ethnic origins. Stephen King, how does he set the tone and pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat, how is Penelope Syn so masterful in bringing her characters to life, allowing the reader to feel their desire, pain and pleasure. How did A.N. Roquelaure (Ann Rice) in her trilogy, set the tone and era perfectly. You won’t have any idea if you don’t pick up a book and read it.

While diving into the pages of a book, as a writer, you pick up on technique, dialog, and plot structure, the way they draw the reader into the story by showing what’s happening and not telling. You feel the characters heartbreak, joy, and fear. Their words paint the picture as if you were watching it on the big screen, evoking all five senses.

A light, no brighter than sixty watts, came on, lighting up the dark empty skull where a brain should be. Read and Write, if I was going to read more I would also write a review of what I was reading, from my perspective. Don’t worry I hate spoilers and will not give away the ending, I hate when someone does that.

 Woman with a Gun.

By: Phillip Margolin

 I had never heard of Phillip Margolin, and I’m sure he has never heard of me. Mr. Margolin has written many a novel, eighteen to be exact when the above one was published. He has a long background as a defense attorney handling thirty murder cases. What made me pick Phillip Margolin’s book from the Inglewood branch library out of the thousands I had to choose from. The cover, that’s right, the cover art.

New authors take note to what I just typed, the COVER ART is why I chose his book. Your web site is the only place that markets your books with no competition. Book stores, libraries, and e-book retailers, carries everyone’s work. Your published work will be tossed among hundreds if not thousands of others. The cover art makes the first impression and we know what they say about first impressions, on with the review.

Woman with a Gun depicts beautiful scenery in the North West Pacific region, where a majority of the story takes place, but also gives us the hustle and bustle of life in New York. I liked the way Mr. Margolin drew a contrast between the two, you could feel the relaxation of the waves and ocean breeze brought to one’s soul versus the tension of a crowded city. Stacey, a receptionist, had been convinced by her college professor, that her short story should be expanded into a novel. Stacey moves to New York to do just that, but as with all of us life got in the way, she was getting nowhere. She needed some type of motivation to kick-start her creative juices flowing. Stacey decided that a trip to the museum at lunch, there was an exhibit she wanted to see, maybe would break the funk that had a hold on her. Her lunch relief arrived and she agreed if Stacey was late coming back she would cover the phones. Stacey had finished looking at the pieces she went to see, her eyes darted as they were drawn to a black and white photograph. You guessed it, the one Mr. Margolin used for the book cover. The photo drew Stacey in, mesmerizing her, she had questions dancing in her head. Stacey had to figure out what was behind this simple but intriguing master piece taken by Kathy Moran. This was the kick Stacey needed to get her writing back on track, this picture would be her focal point. From there Woman with a Gun explodes into action and will hold you captive till the end. The book moves along at a good pace, the characters are strong, and fit right into the story. The plot is concrete with more twist and turns than a formula one road race, with a great ending.

Let’s talk back story, this book has a lot of it, after Part One, Woman with a Gun, takes place in 2015 with Chapter One. Next Mr. Margolin takes us back to 2005 in Part Two, The Cahill Case begins in Chapter Two. Part Two leads to Part Three, The Kilbride Case, the year 2000, and begins Chapter Seven. Mr. Margolin uses Part Four, The Cahill Case to bring us back to 2005 beginning in Chapter Fourteen. Part Five, Palisades Heights brings up back to 2015 starting with Chapter Twenty Eight. Chapter Thirty Six opens Part Six, The Smoking Gun, still in the year 2015 which takes us to the end of the book in Chapter Fifty. Why did I bring this up, that’s over twenty-five chapters of back story? From the books I’ve read, classes I’ve taken, and editors who have bled on my work, that’s a no-no, if you’re new. Mr. Margolin taught me a way to bring the back story to life with action, character building, and events that tied to the main plot through sub plots. I found this to be pure genius on his part. There were other rules he broke or pushed to the edge of the proverbial envelope, hey when you got eighteen novels under your belt, instead of one, you get some lead way.

I give Woman with a Gun 4 out of 5 Stars. I read the book in a day, it was raining and cold outside, but I felt the warmth of the North Pacific sun. Thank you Phillip Margolin for a great suspense mystery, and the opportunity to learn from your writing. I look forward to reading more of your works.

Joe Clay is a new author, his works can be found at the below links. His reviews can be found on Goodreads along with what he’s reading.

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