I've been slow to embrace the e-book.

Since 1980, I haven't had a job that hasn't revolved around books--printed books--and publishing and writing and words. I've worked in just about every aspect of those fields, and I'm admittedly biased toward books printed on paper.

But the world is changing fast. Bookstores (including Mysterious Galaxy, which I co-own) sell e-books in addition to print ones. At MG, some books have QR codes on the shelves, so if you'd rather have the digital version than the paper one, you can scan it with your smart phone and buy it on the spot. When I started in the business, that would have been too outlandish for Dick Tracy.

So I've been getting my feet wet with e-book publication, first with young adult paranormal thriller/romance Carnival Summer, then with an e-book reprint of horror epic The Slab (for Kindle--for other formats, look here), and now with my first original e-book for adults, a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller called The Devil's Bait.

The Devil's Bait is about what's called a relationship banker--a banker who works with a select group of very high-end clients, managing their accounts for them. Most of us go to the bank (or more likely, the ATM), deposit a few checks, withdraw some cash, and hope the interest on what little savings we have more or less keeps up with inflation. The clients who merit relationship bankers have far, far more money than we do, and they keep it working.

Only Jessie Dawn Cutler, the relationship banker in question, learns that her favorite client is a crook and a killer. And having learned it, her life is in imminent danger. She is not a person accustomed to violence, but she is resourceful, and she knows the ins and outs of money, and she enlists some unlikely allies, including a mostly washed-up mercenary and an estranged sister, to assist a quest that turns from simply survival to some kind of justice.

Bestselling author J. Carson Black (The Shop, Darkness at the Edge of Town) says: "Jeffrey J. Mariotte has written a compelling heroine in banker Jessie Dawn Cutler, whose well-ordered world implodes when she witnesses a cold-blooded killing by her biggest client. Now Jessie must pit her courage and resourcefulness against a remorseless killer whose reach is limitless. In this heart-pounding thriller set against the glittering backdrop of international banking, Jessie must hold her own against tremendous odds to survive.

"Fast-paced and gripping, THE DEVIL’S BAIT takes you full-throttle from beginning to end. One heck of a ride!"

As of now, The Devil's Bait is only available for Kindle, at the price of $2.99. I'll be getting it out in other formats in the coming days and weeks. I hope you'll take a look, give it a try, and of course, write reviews, "Like" it on Amazon, and spread the word. It looks like this e-book thing is going to be around for a while.

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