The walls vibrated. The windows shook. The Nero Award bust was vibrating its way off the trophy shelf as the song entered a crescendo:
Come on feel the noise
Girls rock your boys...
The offices of BradParksBooks.com were getting wild, wild, wild as the howling chorus of the ultimate 80s hair band anthem—Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize"—boomed from a pair of stadium speakers that had been cranked to a volume that could have awoken Agatha Christie.
Sarah, the smart intern, was just returning from lunch when she was assaulted by the sound. She stuck her fingers in her ears and immediately began yelling at Zach, the silly intern.
Well, at least her lips were moving.
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?" Zach hollered back.
Her face pinched together. Her lips moved again.
"I STILL CAN'T HEAR YOU," Zach yelled. "THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD."
Sarah ran over to the speakers, spent three panicked seconds looking for the volume knob, then simply ripped the plug from the wall.
"Okay, do you have something against my eardrums?" Sarah asked as the ringing noise slowly subsided in her head. "Why are you trying to make everyone who works here go deaf?"
"Because it seemed like an appropriate way to celebrate Brad's newest review," Zach said. "THE PLAYER will be a 'Top Pick!' in the RT Book Reviews March issue, where reviewer Jeff Ayers wrote, and I quote:
'Parks has quietly entered the top echelon of the mystery field.'"
Sarah's forehead wrinkled. "Quietly?" she said. "Brad has never done anything 'quietly' in his whole life."
"Exactly. That's why we're playing 'Cum on Feel the Noize.' It's now our theme song for the Still-Dashing Tour. I'm trying to get Quiet Riot lined up to play at the Official Launch Party in Tappahannock."
"The Official Launch Party," Sarah repeated. "The one being hosted by the Friends of the Essex Library?"
"Yeah, that's the one."
"Do you think a band that once featured a deranged man in a straight jacket and metal face mask is a good fit for the Friends of the Library?"
Zach didn't answer. Just then, Maggie, the clueless intern, popped up from behind a cubicle divider. Earmuffs were still clinging to the side of her head as she yelled, "IS IT SAFE NOW?"
Well, yes and no. Despite Zach's entreaties, Quiet Riot hasn't toured in a decade and appears unlikely to come out of retirement for THE PLAYER's launch party.
That said, Brad's new book is making noise all on its own. In addition to the rave from RT Book Reviews, it got a star from Kirkus Reviews, which cheered, "Muckraking has rarely been so meaty or so funny."
Publishers Weekly opined, "Parks smoothly blends grit and wit." Booklist called it "Compulsively readable," concluding: "Ink-stained heroes are a dying breed. Enjoy this one while you can."
In other news, Brad has once again been nominated for the prestigious Lefty Award, given annually to the best humorous mystery published during the preceding year. Voting will be at the end of March at the Left Coast Crime conference in Monterey, California, where Brad is proud to serve as Toastmaster. If Brad wins, he'll join Janet Evanovich and Donna Andrews as the only authors to capture the award more than once.
In the meantime, THE PLAYER releases March 4 and can be purchased wherever fine, handcrafted books are sold. Pre-order your copy now and find a nice place to read it.
Preferably one quieter than the BradParksBooks.com offices.
The BradParksBooks.com Interns