It is my great pleasure to be included in the cover reveal of the first book in the Desire Card series by Lee Matthew Goldberg, the first book Immoral Origins is released on June 15th by Wolfpack Publishing/Rough Edges Press. So what is the series about?
Lee Matthew Goldberg’s THE DESIRE CARD series of international thrillers mixes Elmore Leonard with a Tarantino edge. It explores the characters and situations around a card (and sinister organization) that promises “any wish fulfilled for the right price,” and what we will do to survive when money isn’t enough to get everything we want.
Who is this Lee Matthew Goldberg? (Don’t all assassins have 3 names)
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of nine novels including THE ANCESTOR and THE MENTOR and the YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN. His books are in various stages of development for film and TV off of his original scripts. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. VANISH ME will be out in Feb’22. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared as a contributor in Pipeline Artists, LitHub, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Mystery Tribune, The Big Idea, Monkey bicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, Hypertext, If My Book, Past Ten, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The NewPlains Review, Maudlin House, Underwood Press and others. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screen craft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
What is Immoral Origins all about?
New York City, 1978. Disco and mobsters, gritty streets, needle parks and graffiti on the subways. Jake Barnum lives in Hell’s Kitchen, a petty thief selling hot coats with his buddy Maggs to make ends to meet and help his sick kid brother Emile. At a Halloween party downtown, he meets a woman with a Marilyn Monroe mask that works for an organization called The Desire Card, an underground operation promising its exclusive clients “Any Wish Fulfilled for the Right Price.” Its members all wear lifelike masks of old movie stars to remain incognito, and Jake is instantly taken with its leader, Clark Gable, who becomes a pseudo father but is a sociopath at heart. Jake has always thought of himself as Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor (i.e. himself), so he becomes Errol Flynn. As he falls in with the Card and in love with Marilyn, the money rolls in but the wishes become more and more suspect, even leading to murder. The first book in the Desire Card series, Immoral Origins is a pulse-pounding thriller that asks how far we will shed our morals to help the ones we love and an origin story that will pick up in the present time with its sequel Prey No More, once Gable has taken his deceptive organization to an elite, international status. The books all following those indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.
Super slick design, the title really pops out at you the the image has enough intrigue to make you pick up the book to read the blurb. Top stuff. If seeing the cover AND reading the blurb ain’t enough whet your appetite then you’re in luck cos below is a short excerpt, read on and I’m sure you’ll be adding to your TBR list.
THERE’S A GUN TO THE BACK OF MY HEAD.
The hammer makes a clicking sound, whoever it is ain’t fucking around. I should’ve seen this coming. It’s either the one I fear, or he’s sent someone in his place because he’s too gutless to do it himself. Fucking bastard. Had me strip away every shred of morals and left me a hollow cave. Over the years, the blood on my palms has seeped into my love lines, my life lines, my fate lines. I’ve visited the graves of those I’d put in the earth. I expect nothing less than a direct elevator to hell when this tormentor finally pulls the trigger. Maybe I’ve been waiting for it. Doing exactly the wrong thing in the hopes that I’ll see the end. Because there’s no escaping. That’s what the Desire Card promises along with every wish it fulfills.
But it wasn’t always supposed to be this way. Troublemaking kid from Hell’s Kitchen— sure—but mostly petty crimes. Figuring out ways to steal from the rich and give to the poor (i.e. me). Yeah, I’d spent time behind bars, but baby bars, not maximum security. Shoplifting something stupid. Drunk tank. Purse snatch. Drunk tank. Breaking and entering (they never proved that one). Maggs and I did it mostly because we were bored. I’d dropped out of high school and so did he. We flipped burgers at a smelly diner on Eighth Avenue but that paid shit. Then I was fired and Maggs quit out of loyalty because we’d done everything together since the sandbox. And my girl Cheryl wanted a diamond tennis bracelet because she heard some celebrity on TV yapping about her husband getting her one for their anniversary. I was already planning on dumping Cheryl because I’d heard she got with Crazy Eddie who fucked anything with limbs and might’ve given her the clap. But at the time, I’d seen this tennis bracelet in the window at Tiffany’s and my god did it twinkle. I figured even if Cheryl didn’t deserve it, my next girl would. So I tried to swipe it and SLAMMO—jail time number five. Maggs bailed me out with money he lifted from his mom and I moved back home with my folks and ailing little brother Emile who’d spent half of his life in hospitals. Ma yelled at me to take my GED and get a job. Pop tanned me with his belt. Emile cried. I went to sleep with the left side of my body all bruised and swore I’d figure out some way to wrench my life out of the pits I’d been in for too long.
And voila, on Halloween Night 1978, I was dressed like Robin Hood because he fit my motto and met Marilyn Monroe. A masked wonder who led me on the path of greatness before death came lurking. To this gun poking the back of my head. To my brains Jackson Pollocked on the wall. But that night, I was simply star struck…
There we go a fantastic sounding book to start of this series, I’ll definitely be giving it a go.
Thanks for reading.