Thanks for the opportunity to guest post on the blog tour for TANGLED TIES TO A MANATEE. For the “A Day in the Life” feature, please let me introduce the antagonist character, Stan.

What a day it has been. Tonight, back in my hotel room here, smoking this whole pack of cigarettes might not calm me back down. I can’t wait ’til this job is over.

I’m starting to understand why my past bosses were so grumpy. That comes with the territory when you’re working with numbskulls.

This guy, Covington, is my man in the next state south – Kentucky. He calls me last minute saying he couldn’t deliver the machine himself since the Feds are breathing down his neck. So, me and Craig, he’s my hired muscle, we have to drive halfway from the middle of Ohio to meet some teenage kid Covington’s hired for the day to deliver the machine we need for the job. The only upside to that was we were able to get out of there without the kid learning anything about our scam, I mean, our job.

Scam? Yeah sure. The job is a scam. We’re set to cause this major blackout tomorrow. Going to be at least three states involved. And I better make a killing off the regional stocks spiking up and down from it because I’ve put all I got into this. This is my first job where I’m the boss.

My past bosses, they never took to my ideas. But, that’s what I am – an idea man. I have great ones. But, my past bosses were too full of themselves to see that. Most guys either keep working for the boss man or suddenly find themselves dead one day. Not me. I want to live to enjoy the good life, and I’ve got it coming to me.

So, now I’m my own boss and keeping my ideas for me. See, my ma passed away not too long ago, and left me some money. I put all of it into this job. Far as I know, ma never knew what I did for a living. I miss my weekly talks with her.

But, being the boss ain’t easy. My hired muscle, Craig, he’s dumb as a post and rags on me all day about smoking. But, he is loyal and ain’t likely to figure out about the extra money I’m making on the side from this gig.

Craig’s also a hothead. That’s why we’ve got Jerry for company. Jerry, he’s slow. Not his fault, he just is. Jerry just walked across from the Grove City Zoo into our headquarters, and Craig knocked him out. And we’d been to the coffee shop Jerry works at. He’s seen us before. So, we’re holding Jerry until we’re done with our scam. I keep worrying that people from his work, or his family, or someone’s gonna come looking for him.

But, there’s no turning back now. It’s now or never to make this job work.

The weather is only going to be on our side for this tomorrow. And tomorrow, I got this college kid, Gavin, working the machine. I conned him into thinking it’s just a regular temp job. I’ve got Vera, who heads some treehugger nonprofit, taking her group around the nearby neighborhood, asking all kinds of questions of people about power use. So, her group is set to get the police’s attention first after the power goes down. That will cause all kinds of ruckus, and me and Craig are going to skedaddle away free and clear.

I need everything to go right tomorrow. Jerry is the last surprise thing going wrong I can handle. And Craig’s acting goofy, worried about the guy. Don’t know why. I ain’t planning to hurt Jerry none, just keep him quiet until we’re out of here.

Yes, I’m a con man, sure. But, I’m a decent one. And I’m good at it. There’s no big secret of a good con. Just offer people what they want, then after you get what you want from them, take the money and run.

Long as everything goes okay, Jerry will be fine. But, if anybody else gets in our way tomorrow during this job, someone’s going to get hurt big time.

** Thanks to the Kalen, I have one (1) digital copy of TANGLED TIES TO A MANATEE to give away for the Kindle. Contest ends July 25. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The e-book will be sent directly from the author.

Kalen will also award a $25 Green Gift Card from — redeemable for GCs from hundreds of your favorite merchants to one randomly drawn commenter on his blog tour. **

About the author
Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in animal protection and environmental causes, he often brings such concerns into his fiction writing. After having a number of poems and short stories published, as well as original plays produced locally, he took up novel writing. TANGLED TIES TO A MANATEE is his debut novel. Visit Kalen at

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