Brad has been nominated for the Library of Virginia People's Choice Award! Hurry! Voting ends Sunday.

The chattering of a hydraulic lift motor bounced off the facade of the offices of

A man in a chef's hat was leaning over the side of a basket, twelve feet in the air, holding the sixth and final layer of a roughly thousand-pound cake. It had "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAD" written on the side in eighteen-inch letters.

From the ground, Zach, the silly intern, was directing him.

"To the left," he shouted over the din of the motor. "No, the other left! My left!"

Hearing the noise, Sarah, the smart intern, walked outside, looking appropriately bewildered. She had just returned to the office after a well-earned vacation. Peter, the slothful intern, was still in Frankfurt, visiting Greta, the German intern, as part of the other half of the intern exchange.

That meant it had been just Zach and Maggie, the clueless intern, left to their own devices for a full week.

Which had ended in a half-ton of pastry.

"Okay, steady now," Zach hollered. "Steeeeeaaadddyyyy andddd. . . Perfect! Okay, I think that's a wrap!"

"Zach, what are you doing?" Sarah asked, as the motor cut out and silence—but not sanity—returned.

"The Guinness Book of World Records has listings for longest cake, tallest cake, largest diaper cake, largest dirt cake, largest rice cake, and even largest fruit cake," said Zach, shuddering at the thought of a 2,077-foot-long fruit cake. "But they do not have an entry for largest author birthday cake. It's Brad's 44th birthday on Friday. Let's make some memories."

"If they don't have an entry, couldn't you have done something. . . a little less elaborate?"

"Are you kidding?" Zach scoffed. "Patterson has, like, ninety interns working for him. You think I want to make it easy for them to top us? Not on your life."

"Zach, didn't you look at the calendar? Brad isn't even here for his birthday this year. He'll be at ThrillerFest, where he probably won't even tell people it's his special day."

Sarah then proceeded to rattle off three far better ways to celebrate Brad's birthday:
  1. Join the interns in admiring the cool new cover of Brad's next standalone thriller, The Last Act. It's the breathtaking story of an out-of-work actor who is hired by the FBI to impersonate an inmate in federal prison, with the goal of finding documents that will bring down a ruthless drug cartel. It comes out March 12, but is now available for pre-order wherever books are sold. New York Times bestseller Steve Berry has called it "A perfect piece of entertainment."

    The Last Act
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  2. Tell a friend: The ebook version of Say Nothing is being discounted to $2.99 as part of a promotion with BookBub between now and July 22. Yes, it's true, you can get the only novel named to both Kirkus and Library Journal's Best Thriller of 2017 lists for less than one of those fancy cups of iced coffee.

  3. VOTE FOR BRAD. PLEASE. HIS WIFE CAN'T STOMACH HIM LOSING A SECOND TIME. Brad has once again been nominated for the Library of Virginia's People's Choice Award, which is determined by fan voting. You don't need to be a Virginia resident to cast a ballot. And you can vote with as many email addresses as you have (don't worry, the Library of Virginia won't collect them or spam you). Voting ends Sunday, so don't delay! Go here.
"That's all well and good," Zach said, when Sarah had finished. "But what are we going to do with all this cake?"

"We can still have a party," Sarah said. "Why don't you invite the Patterson interns over? We may actually have enough for all of them."

Happy Brad's Birthday To All,

The Interns
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