Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Claude Bouchard - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase: Femme Fatale

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Claude Bouchard New Book:
Femme Fatale

Femme Fatale


Author: Claude Bouchard


Less than two years earlier, Leslie Robb, an accountant in her late twenties working for the Imperial National Bank, had seen her life-partner and co-worker, Gina, shot to death during a bank heist subsequently foiled in part by Chris Barry, millionaire and clandestine operative of the government's 'Discreet Activities'.

Taken as a hostage along with Chris by the remaining robbers onto a helicopter secretly piloted by two 'DA' operatives, including 'DA' head, Jonathan Addley, Leslie had played an integral role in helping bring the offenders down. As a result, thanks to her sang froid, sense of moral justice and martial arts affinities, Leslie left the world of finance to fight crime as a member of the 'DA' team.

Now, Leslie has a new partner in life, Dominique Petit, a Canadian/French dual citizen who suggests Leslie visit Paris with her while she is in the City of Lights on business. Less than twenty-four hours after Leslie arrives, Dominique and her sister, Corinne, disappear, turning Leslie's vacation into her own business trip of justice and revenge…

Excerpt (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1 – Thursday, May 17, 2012

It had turned out to be a very good week for Sébastien Hétu.

On Monday morning, he had sat in a courtroom at the Palais de justice de Montréal, fighting the urge to not burst out laughing as one witness after another denied having ever seen him behave violently in any fashion. Much to the crown attorney’s chagrin, her star witness, who had allegedly seen Hétu beat Hélène Soucy to death, had not even bothered showing up to testify. Word given to the defendant’s lawyer was that the witness had at least been kind enough to call the prosecutor, insisting he was mistaken with what he had initially stated seeing and was off to parts unknown. What had initially seemed like a slam-dunk win for the prosecution had turned to mush and the case had been dismissed on Tuesday morning. It was wonderful what a bit of quiet intimidation and threatening could do.

Since, his girls had been quiet, obedient and submissive which was how he liked them to be. None had attempted to skim on anything, even on a few jobs they had picked up on the side, which was something he liked as well. Two of the girls had decided to move away from the city while he was temporarily a guest of the system but had left what cash they owed him before taking their leave. He appreciated that kind of respect and would probably go easy on them if he ever ran into them somewhere; perhaps he would even leave them alone.

Raising his spirits even more, as he climbed the stairs to the small apartment he kept for business purposes on St-Laurent Boulevard downtown, was the long-legged goddess he was following up. The tight, worn, faded black jeans she wore had learned over time to perfectly hug the curves of her butt and he was looking forward to a closer, more intimate examination.

“It’s this door to the right,” he told her as she reached the first landing. “We’ll be more comfortable in here to, you know, get to know each other better and talk and stuff.”

“Uh, huh,” she mumbled, her eyes to the floor as she nodded.

Quiet because she was shy, stoned or both, he wasn’t sure but, in the end, he preferred his girls to speak as little as possible even when they were spoken to. In addition, with a face and body like hers, chatting would also be the last thing on the customers’ minds. In fact, he’d be able to charge a premium for her services, which he was certain most, if not all, clients would be agreeable to.

He had been snacking on a burger and fries at the pool hall and grill one floor below, one of his main haunts when on the job, when Lilly, one of his girls, had walked in with the five foot eight beauty. Though she had most likely been living on the street for a few weeks, as attested the dirt and grime on her clothing and skin, she remained a knockout. He hadn’t been able to determine the colour of her hair because of the light-knit tuque it was tucked into but even if she was bald, she would still be gorgeous. Her expression had been sullen and guarded but her eyes had been alert, not the look of someone messed up on heavy drugs. Though not always easy to guess, he had pegged her to be somewhere in her twenties.

“Hi, Sébast,” Lilly had said, glancing at him briefly before turning her eyes down. “This is April and she needs work. I told her maybe you could help.”

“Who asked you to do that?” Hétu had sneered, cuffing Lilly under the chin with a knuckle so that she look at him. “How do you know her? Where’d you meet her?”

“I’ve been in Montreal for the last week,” April’s monotone had interrupted, “In this area the last couple of days. I noticed Lilly working the street and asked her if she knew where I could get some work with decent protection. There’s lots of mean fuckers out there. If you can’t help me, no worries, I’ll go somewhere else.”

“Whoa, whoa, hang on,” Hétu had said with a smile as he rose from the table. “Maybe we can work something out. I’d need to interview you first, if you know what I mean. I have to see what you look like, what you’re good at, what you don’t like to do, that sort of thing. Are you ready for that?”

“Sure,” April had replied with a shrug. “Anytime you want, now or later.”

“Now would be fine,” he had said as he peeled a fifty from a roll of bills and tucked it into Lilly’s cleavage. “You can get yourself something pretty with that later. For now, go make us some money while I go upstairs and get to know April.”

Into the apartment, he closed and locked the door behind them then turned towards her, saying, “Get your clothes off - What the fuck is going on here?”

“Keep your hands away from your body where I can see them,” April a.k.a. Leslie Robb ordered, her silenced Glock 36 Slimline trained steadily on his forehead.

“If you’re planning to rip me off,” Sébastien snarled, “You’re messing with the wrong crowd, bitch. You don’t know who you’re dealing with here.”

“Sébastien ‘Spike’ Hétu, local pimp and scumbag with the Aces of Death,” Leslie replied. “Big whoop-dee-do shit. Now, move slowly away from the door towards the bed and keep those hands up or I’ll shoot you.”

“You’re dead,” he muttered as he moved slowly sideways in a semicircular pattern towards the bed while Leslie did likewise, moving away from it until they had effectively changed positions.

“What now?” Hétu scoffed, not unaccustomed to risky situations. “Are you going to frisk me? I really would like that. Or maybe you want to tie me up? That could be fun too.”

“No, I’m going to give you the opportunity to apologize to Hélène Soucy for killing her, face to face,” Leslie replied before double-tapping him in the forehead.

As the body tumbled back onto the bed, Leslie quickly stripped out of the dirty grey and black clothing she wore and donned faded blue jeans, a white t-shirt and denim jacket she pulled out of her packsack. Off came the tuque to be replaced by a motorcycle half-helmet equipped with a Bluetooth device which she activated after tucking in her flaming red ponytail.

“All done,” she said. “Meet you out front.” She left the apartment, closing the door behind her, and descended one flight to the ground floor exit. As she opened the door and stepped out onto the sidewalk, a metallic blue Harley Davidson Wide Glide pulled up to the curb. She trotted the few steps across to the curb, climbed onto the back and, in seconds, the pair was gone.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Claude Bouchard Books - Crime Thrillers and other Stuff...
Twitter: @ceebee308
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Facebook: Check Out Facebook
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Author Description:
I was born in Montreal, Canada, where I still reside with my spouse, Joanne. I completed my studies in human resources, accounting and management at McGill University and worked in various management capacities in the fields of HR and finance for a handful of firms for what seemed like decades, because it was. I should also mention I love pizza, but who doesn't and, in my opinion, nothing rocks more than cooking on the grill.

My first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being my first novel, Vigilante. This was subsequently followed by The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997), all of the same series. Professional obligations and other creative interests led me away from writing for a number of years but I found myself busy at the keyboard in 2009 with The Homeless Killer after having finally published my first three novels. I then followed up with 6 Hours 42 Minutes in 2011, also part of the Vigilante series born from Vigilante. In July 2011, I released ASYLUM, my first stand-alone novel and Discreet Activities, my sixth Vigilante crime thriller was published in January 2012. In October 2012, I penned and released Something’s Cooking, a faux-erotica parody and cookbook under the pseudonyms Réal E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah. My eighth novel and seventh installment of the Vigilante series, Femme Fatale, has just been released. I think I'm really starting to like this writing thing.

Besides writing, editing and promoting my work, I also spend some artistic energy with my five guitars, oil paints and watercolours. Other passions include cooking (big time with fine wine to go with it, of course), reading, traveling and working out just enough to stay fit. It should also be noted that following several years of practice, I now excel at being cat furniture for Krystalle and Midnight, or so they tell me.

Author's Book List
Discreet Activities - VIGILANTE Series
As a result of information gathered via electronic surveillance by intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Canada, a budding terrorist organization, the Army for Islam or AFI, is suspected of planning an attack, its target possibly NYC, Burlington, Vermont or even Canada's famed Montreal.

When four foreign students from Pakistan with known ties to the AFI's Montreal cell arrive in the area on New Year's Eve, Discreet Activities' head, Jonathan Addley, along with Chris Barry and other DA consultants are more than willing to take on the additional workload.

After two of the DA team members die violently in an AFI related suicide-bombing, the job becomes getting revenge on those responsible for this Holy War…
Order the Book From: Amazon
Managing Director of the Montreal Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Doctor Matthew Russell, has always put his professional responsibilities ahead of all else...

...That is, until he one day realizes he is losing his wife, Cassidy, and his two children, Stuart and Jennifer...

With only his family in mind, Russell takes an adventure-filled, impromptu vacation of indefinite duration, leaving all else behind and stopping at nothing to show how much he cares for his loved ones in an effort to win them back...

...But, will he succeed, or…
Book Trailer: ASYLUM
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
6 Hours 42 Minutes - VIGILANTE Series
Though most of them dabbled in a variety of criminal activities, they weren't experienced in this particular field and had never been involved in a job like this before...

However, with proper planning, careful organization and the inside information available to them, they were certain that this bank heist would be a piece of cake...

...Ten minutes, in and out, was all it would take and they'd be sharing 2.5 million dollars...

Nothing could go wrong as they had thought of everything...

How could they possibly know that a new member of the board was visiting the bank that morning?

...How could they know that the new board member was Chris Barry?
Book Trailer: 6 Hours 42 Minutes
Order the Book From: Amazon
Mind Games - VIGILANTE Series
Montreal is plagued by a string of vicious sex slayings...

Captain Dave McCall and his Special Homicide Task Force are in a frustrated frenzy as they try to bring an end to the savage butchery...

Assisting officially is noted psychiatrist, Doctor Samuel Bowman and unofficially, computer genius and multi-millionaire, Chris Barry...

With each passing day, McCall works his way closer to the truth...

Unaware that they are heading deep into the deadly core of...

Mind Games…
Book Trailer: Mind Games
Order the Book From: Amazon
The Consultant - VIGILANTE Series
The friendly takeover of CSS Inc. leaves computer executive Chris Barry unemployed, very wealthy and pleased with the situation.

But the hiatus is short-lived...

As a result of his involvement in the recent Vigilante investigation, Barry is approached by Jonathan Addley and invited to join Discreet Activities, a government agency of the clandestine variety,

Accepting, he promptly takes on his first assignment under the guise of an IT consultant, to investigate possible links between a local import business and the murder of its MIS director.

As he discovers the firm is being used to import narcotics, his cover is blown and things get personal, spurring him to show that murderers, drug lords, biker gangs and kidnappers are no match for...

...The Consultant
Book Trailer: The Consultant
Order the Book From: Amazon
Vigilante - VIGILANTE Series
Montreal . . . the long, hot summer of 1996. . .

. . . and in the dark of night, moving like a shadowy wraith, a vigilante prowls the city's streets.

The targets of his bloody rampage: the worst of the worst.

Murderers. Gangbangers. Rapists.

Six months. Sixteen murders. The harried police are still without a clue . . .

. . . until the day they receive an email from the assassin himself.

Lieutenant Dave McCall, head of Montreal's Special Homicide Task Force, needs help to crack the secrets of the killer's taunting message. He calls on an expert--Chris Barry, who runs a security firm specializing in computer communications.

Together, McCall and Barry launch a grim quest to track down a man who preys on predators--an urgent quest to bring this remorseless killer to justice.

But whose justice will prevail: theirs--or the vigilante's?
Book Trailer: Vigilante
Order the Book From: Amazon
The Homeless Killer
The homeless of Montreal are dying at the hand of 'Allan', a serial killer set on ridding the city of street people...

... As the killer taunts the police about the increasing body count, Captain Dave McCall calls on the services Jonathan Addley and Chris Barry, both operatives with the government's clandestine 'Discreet Activities' team...

All while fighting the city's proposed by-law banning the homeless from downtown parks, philanthropist and activist, William Enright, joins the law-enforcement crusade to capture the assassin...

... But will the combined efforts of the law and old money be sufficient to stop the Homeless Killer?
Book Trailer: The Homeless Killer
Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful spotlight, James. Much appreciated!

  2. Thanks for featuring my friend!