Friday, April 22, 2016

Exceprt Tour + #Giveaway: When The Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge @Clergebooks @GoddessFish

When The Serpent Bites
by Nesly Clerge

GENRE: Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller


Frederick Starks has it all—a gorgeous wife who was his high school sweetheart, three beautiful children, a mansion and cars others envy, millions in the bank, respected in his community, admired by his employees, loved and respected by loyal friends. He revels in the hard-earned power and control he’s acquired. As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold,” which Starks discovers when gut-wrenching betrayal by his wife sends him over the edge and into a maximum security prison. There, Starks is a new “fish,” stripped of nearly everything he’s always relied on. In that place, where inmates and guards have their own rules and codes of conduct, Starks is forced to face the darker side of life, and his own darker side, especially when the betrayals, both inside and outside the prison, don’t stop. He must choose which path to follow when the line between right and wrong becomes blurred: one that leads to getting out of the physical and emotional hellhole he finds himself in or one that keeps him alive.


A handcuffed Starks was escorted by a bailiff into the courtroom from the holding cell. He shuffled directly to where Parker and the other top three of a long list of attorneys from Parker, Birnhaum, Bailey, and Todd sat at the defense counsel’s table. He nodded at each man in turn. The chair next to Parker was empty, which the attorney pulled out for him.

“I see you brought your muscle,” Starks said.

“Sometimes it makes a difference, especially for someone as high-profile as you are. But I’m lead counsel for your defense.”

Starks turned to check out who was in attendance in the gallery. Behind the prosecutor’s table, Margaret Hessinger glared at him. He looked away. Directly behind him and toward the middle sat his mother, his aunt Anita, and her son, Hank, who waved at him. Next to Hank sat Jeffrey Davis, who smiled and gave Starks the thumbs-up sign. Starks nodded, his own smile not reaching his eyes. He continued to scan faces, thankful that Emma had heeded Parker’s advice and stayed away.

The one person he wanted to see wasn’t there.

Where the hell is my wife? She should be here, supporting me.

After all he’d done for her; after all he’d sacrificed for her and their children. And after all, it was her fault he was here.

His jaw was tight as he turned to face the judge’s bench.

“All rise. The Superior Court of Suffolk County, State of Massachusetts, is now in session. The Honorable Benjamin Solomon, presiding.

Once the formalities were taken care of, the prosecuting attorney walked to the jury box and began his opening statement.

Starks blanched at the words used to describe him. That person was unrecognizable to him: Extreme sense of entitlement, calculating, serial philanderer, a monster with a violent temper who’d planned his revenge on Ozy Hessinger—the victim of a deliberate, brutal, potentially fatal attack in front of his wife and two young children.

Starks rested his forearms on the table. Leaning to his right he said to Parker, “He’s trying to make it sound like Ozy was the only victim.”

Parker touched Starks’s right forearm, making clear his message to stay silent.

Starks slouched in his chair and stretched his legs out in front of him. He crossed his arms and sighed.

Parker whispered, “Sit up straight. And get that expression off your face.”

Starks did as instructed and glanced at the jurors, who listened with frowns on their faces as the prosecutor continued to speak. My God, he thought, I’m being branded as some rich CEO who believes the law doesn’t apply to him.

Now he understood why Parker had advised him to keep his expression as blank as possible and not to look at the jury. He felt certain none of those people who were supposed to be his peers would think or imagine anything other than what they were being told to. None of them knew what he’d been through. How would any one of them feel if their spouse had cost them their self-respect, reputation, and family, and in the excruciating way his wife had?

Starks’s head snapped up when he heard his name.


Nesly Clerge received his bachelor’s degree in physiology and neurobiology at the University of Maryland, and later pursued a doctoral degree in the field of chiropractic medicine. Although his background is primarily science-based, he has finally embraced his lifelong passion for writing. Clerge’s debut novel, When the Serpent Bites, will be available in 2015, with the sequel to follow in 2016. His debut novel explores choices, consequences, and the complexities of human emotions, especially when we are placed in a less-than-desirable setting. When he is not writing, Clerge manages several multidisciplinary clinics. He enjoys reading, chess, traveling, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with his significant other and his sons.


A signed paperback copy of When The Serpent Bites

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Post a Comment