Monday, July 15, 2013

Special spotlight : International action thriller School of the Assassins by W.K. Blais

Dear readers, today's spotlight is about a popular International action thriller titled School of the Assassins by the well known author W. K. Blais whose articles have been featured notably in The Los Angeles Times Magazine amongst many other popular reading journals and newspapers.. So, if you want a cracking edge of the seat read filled with intrigue, action, thrills and mystery, then this is the book for you!

Best-selling thriller author Brad Meltzer recommends, "Support first time novelists: School of the Assassins". (source : School of the Assassins - Amazon Book Page )

Let us read a few thoughts about this book School of the Assassins that author W. K. Blais has shared with us today.

Author W. K. Blais                                    School of the Assassins at Amazon

Connect with author W. K. Blais

W.K. Blais’ website:

Amazon author site:
Follow author on Twitter : @wkblais

Author's Facebook page :

Author's Bio : W.K. Blais grew up in Los Angeles. An Air Force veteran, Honor Guard member and captain of her flight in Officer Training School, she used the G.I. Bill to earn a degree in Computer Science and worked as a software engineer for the Department of Defense. Her early novels, White Trash and Croutons, were published under the pen name Katie Carothers by an imprint of Red Hen Press in 1995 and taught in literature classes at UCLA and four community colleges. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Oxygen, Senior, L.A. Fitness and Hearing Health. An avid marine aquarium hobbyist, she lives with her husband Roger in Los Angeles and enjoys salmon fishing in Alaska.

Q. What is so special about this book? What inspired you to write such a book? Is there any message for the readers out there through your book?

From the author's desk : I think that School of the Assassins provides a unique exploration of the multi-faceted effects of war profiteering and the unprecedented privatization of war through the perspective of a security contractor. As a military service vet and former Department of Defense engineer, these subjects have interested me for many years.

I like writing about the collision of social and cultural forces that at first glance might appear unrelated, then show the subtle interconnectedness. I’ve always been inspired by writers like Cormac McCarthy and James Lee Burke, and their work with social justice themes.

Fiction writers have a keen sense of characters. Twenty years ago, my sister brought home a new boyfriend, a South African Afrikaner and former mercenary in the Congo. I thought, wow! The relationship didn’t last, but I knew I would write a book based on his character.

When I started my research I had little knowledge of the extent of the terrible genocide plaguing the Afrikaner people in South Africa, the ongoing horrific murders of the Boer farmers. Above all else, I hope that School of the Assassins will create awareness of this travesty.

Interesting trivia regarding School of the Assassins:  
"My protagonist, Pieter Durant, was inspired by my sister’s boyfriend 20 years ago, who was a South African Afrikaner and former Congo mercenary.

When I wrote the book, I had little idea of the extent of the terrible and invisible genocide currently plaguing the South African Afrikaner population, in particular the Afrikaner (Boer) farmers. My greatest hope is that School of the Assassins will draw publicity about this travesty, now listed by Genocide Watch as Stage 6 in the 8 stages of genocide.  School of the Assassins is also a thematic exploration of the recent and unprecedented privatization of war."

Book Spotlight 


Author :W.K.Blais

Genre : Fiction - Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Reviews : multiple 4.7 - 5 stars

Since this Ebook is in KDP Select, all Amazon Prime members can borrow this book for free! So, grab a free copy of this book through Prime anytime you want!

Synopsis :  Title: School of the Assassins

International action thriller

The Ghost Writer meets A History of Violence in this evocative thriller about a half-American, half-South African mercenary pitted against an international gauntlet of obstacles while seeking justice for his murdered and displaced family.

            When Pieter Durant’s widowed American mother is killed during an invasion of their South African farm by genocide fomenter Govan Seme, he vows to avenge her murder and recapture his farm. But his younger sister, Jessie, is about to leave for America to attend her freshman year at Princeton, and he must shoulder her tuition costs. The twenty-one-year-old farmer joins the exodus of South African mercenaries heading to Iraq in 2007 for lucrative private security jobs. When an injury forces a visit to Los Angeles three years later, to the home of his American relatives, Pieter shortly finds himself the catalyst of a crime-syndicate coup. The FBI sting that follows, along with the faith of his American lover—provide the unexpected keys that finally free him for his quest—and his most arduous challenge yet.
Editorial Review ( Amazon Link) : Best-selling thriller author Brad Meltzer recommends, "Support first time novelists: School of the Assassins".
Reviewers are saying: "Engrossing summer read. Hollywood blockbuster future."

Chapter Excerpt

The red King of Hearts, faded and bent, flicked in the breeze.

Pieter spotted it in the dead grasses along the side of the driveway as he and Jessie neared the old "bakkie", the utility truck favored by all the farmers. He reached down to snatch it up.

"Whose card?" he asked his sister as he hopped into the front seat.

            "Hmm," she murmured disinterestedly, flipping down the visor to check her makeup. The last long rays of the evening sun drenched the cab but in July, provided little warmth.

 "It's probably Thabo's. He and Robert were having a game on the porch yesterday."

Pieter tossed it onto the rear seat. He started the bakkie and swung around the circle, then headed down the dirt driveway that was bordered on each side by vast fields, left tilled and fallow, until the November planting season.

"Maybe we shouldn't go," he said, glancing back at the farmhouse in the rear mirror.

"She wanted us to go. Robert's staying, and some of the others. It's my last chance to say goodbye to my friends."

He opened the gate of the high electric fence with the remote. After following the narrow road for a few miles, he turned north onto the N1 highway toward Kroonstad. Along the way they silently passed farms that just five years ago had been well-kept, lush and abundant. Since the African National Congress took them over in the new land reform they had fallen into ruin, the fields dead or burned.

"Ready for Princeton, Miss Ivy League?" he said with a forced cheer to distract her.

She smiled, tucking a strand of blond hair into her brown wool cap. "I'm ready. New Jersey's so far away, though. I wish you and Mom would think about selling and moving to Amer—"

"You have to take this opportunity, Jess, but we're not leaving now! We won't be driven out." Then more gently he added, "We'll see you at Aunt Beth's in L.A. for Christmas, remember? That won't be long."

"I should have gone with you when you visited a few years ago," she said wistfully. "I don't know her. I don't know any of them."

"You were just a baba," he teased.

"I was eleven."

"Like I said… you'll have your chance soon. She's all right. She's a lot like Mom."

A grayish, diffused twilight had descended as they reached the quaint agricultural town of Kroonstad, lovely with its wide open parks and languid trees, and he exited off the highway. He followed sparse traffic along the shaded banks of the Vals River, graced with poplars and willows, for a mile before arriving at the apartment building.

He kept the motor running.

"You're not going? You're not going to my goodbye party?" she asked with disbelief. He reached over and gave her arm a playful shake.

"You're the star. What do they want to see me for? I'll be back to get you… about ten? I'll come up then."

She got out, and before slamming the door said, "Blimmin’ arse. You're going to get yourself killed."

Twenty minutes later he was negotiating the rocky gravel roads into the Maokeng Township, past rows of shacks, street vendors, broken-down old cars and heaps of trash. A tangled overload of electrical wires sprang from the trees, haphazardly connected to one sub-station in the area. Finally, he parked at the side of a tiny house with a red, corrugated tin roof and ochre plaster walls.

After pulling his black wool cap low over his forehead, he zipped up his parka and got out of the bakkie.

He knocked twice on the white steel door, with a good bolt lock, that he had purchased and hung himself. He waited, gazing around. Smoke drifted from open fires, carrying the mouth-watering smell of roasting lamb. A child yelled somewhere, followed by a mother's rapid Zulu scolding. Old Ben gave him a friendly wave from across the street and he waved back. Ben left the farm soon after Pieter's father died, eight years ago. Now he lived with his brother and played jazz at the shebeen, the local club. Three men huddled together motionless a block away, observing him.

Then the door opened and he ducked inside.

"I missed you," she said. In the dusky light her rich brown eyes were luminous with love, but held traces of sadness.

"Amehlo," he said softly, drawing her close against him. Her name meant "eyes", and it suited her. "I know."

            The only heat was from the small space furnace, but her smooth skin was warm inside her robe. She was the same girl he had played with as a child and grown up with. Now she was expected to treat him as an enemy because he was an Afrikaner farmer, a supposed intruder in her country that was just as much his, but she refused. And while the world remained dazzled by the achievements and possibilities of the Rainbow Nation, the silent genocide of the white farmers ticked up unnoticed, mostly unreported and denied.

            "Ubuntu." She whispered their shared greeting.

            Only through you can I be who I am. It was the old Buntu word embraced by Mandela as a basis for post-apartheid ethics, a dream that included humanity for all, community, sharing and hope.

            "Ubuntu," he answered emptily. The dream had gone bad, not just for the farmers driven out or murdered in their homes, but for loyal workers displaced as well. He held her close, and their passion was a brief oasis in the unrest sweeping South Africa, a simmering undercurrent gathering force by the day.

            Later, as he drove home with Jessie, she gazed through her window at the celestial sky. Spangled clusters and gaseous whorls of hot white stars shot through a hazy palette of midnight blue and deepest purples. To the west, the light had turned a coppery brown above a sliver of moon as bright as a halogen lamp.

            "I'm going to be homesick."

1 comment:

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi, nice blog. Will have to check out this book.

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