Hammers and Nails

The Fixer

Book 3
Andrew Vaillencourt
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Roland Tankowicz is fed up.

He’s really trying to be a better person. Killing fewer people, talking out his issues more, and not immediately resorting to violence whenever a problem arises. But let’s face it, when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

It’s not like he has any shortage of nails kicking around, either. After stopping that last batch of mobsters and pirates from upsetting the delicate balance of New Boston’s seedy underworld, the list of people willing to pay hard creds for his head is even longer than usual. Worse, The Brokerage still wants Dockside, and they have called in a ringer. Who is this guy who seems to know an awful lot about Dockside’s most famous Fixer? Where did he get all this classified information? Who are these unregistered mercenaries that keep popping up at inopportune moments?

Roland will need the help of all his allies if he wants to run down the answers to these questions before a galactic crime war leaves the streets of his beloved hometown awash in blood. But at least there is one thing everybody agrees on:

Dockside is done playing by mob rules.

The war for the docks is coming to a head, and there is no guarantee that anyone will be left standing when the dust settles. It will be up to everybody’s least-favorite Army-surplus cyborg to take the fight out of Dockside and into the streets of New Boston. The stakes have never been higher, and the fight never more desperate than now.

But Roland Tankowicz is mad as hell, and no matter what happens, a whole new crop of mad Science gone awry is about to learn a painful lesson about the differences between HAMMERS AND NAILS. 

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About the author

Andrew Vaillencourt is a former mental health professional, gym teacher, bouncer, amateur MMA competitor and freelance writer. He currently spends most of his time as the VP of Engineering for an energy services company saving the world one kilowatt at a time. He is one of twelve children and he is pretty sure that Mom loves him best. But it's hard to call that one.

When he is not crawling through the bowels of large office buildings hunting for energy savings or railing against the iniquities of a predatory marketplace, Andrew is an avid reader, hiker, martial artist, cook, and weightlifter. His wife swears he is a nice guy, but this has not been confirmed by any outside sources. His three children actively refute this. 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Andrew Vaillencourt
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Published on
Nov 21, 2017
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Pages
354
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ISBN
9780197952252
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Roland Tankowicz hates Venus.

The last time he went there, he died. So, no one could really blame him if he never went back. Nevertheless, when a squad of Venusian assassins ruins date night, everybody’s least-favorite Army-surplus cyborg decides to take a trip to Earth’s sister planet and have a sit-down with an infamous group of terrorists. 

Perhaps it’s because he really likes date night. Maybe he just wants to keep the promise he once made to a troubled young man. It is even conceivable that he might still have a heap of unresolved issues with the separatists who blew his body apart years ago. For whatever reason, the big man and his motley crew of misfits strap on their guns and hurl themselves into murky world of interplanetary terrorism. 

To his dismay, Roland discovers that Venus has changed since his last visit. The black-and-white politics of the fanatics and governments he remembers have now merged into complicated shades of gray. Cyborg killers walk the halls without fear, and the soldiers stationed there seem no better than the thugs they fight. The sweltering underworld of Venus holds terrors and trials that will test the old soldier in ways he is not prepared for, while a crafty assassin stalks them all from shadows both real and imagined. 

The team must to walk a narrow path between terrorists, soldiers, and their own dark pasts if they expect to get out of this one alive. Is The Fixer strong enough to pull an entire population from the ashes of civil war? If he isn’t, they may all drown in a flood of: APHRODITE’S TEARS.

I started writing as a means of expressing myself. I was not always sure how to express myself to the world. At times I felt people did not understand me. I wanted people to know me. I wanted them to understand what I am capable of becoming. So I wanted to narrate a story of me by writing poetry. My biggest inspirations were my parents, family, friends and self-respect. My parents were like stepping stones over troubled waters and they deserve to be made proud. My family walked behind me like an army, they are the people who were prepared to support me no matter how tough things got. I don’t know where I would be without them. My friends are the people who finish my sentences. I respect them because they know so much about me, but yet they still want me in their lives. A true friend can see pass your differences and only looks at what makes you and her/him whole. Regarding my self-respect, I knew people wouldn’t take immediate response to my poetry because I am still a young writer. I am still processing into improvement but I told myself to never give up, because the day will come when people will listen to my protest.

I didn’t only write this book to make others understand me, but I also wrote it to understand myself better. I grew up being different from other children my age and I never really understood why, but ever since I have decided to write a book of poems. I have taught myself that God has given me this gift of being different, because He believes that I can fight through the challenges of life to become my own, unique self. Thanks for sharing my journey in your reading of this book.

Many writers suffer from the depressing misconception that popularity and critical acclaim are mutually exclusive. Encouragingly, from 2000-2012, 20 superhero movies scored above 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 17 of them grossed more than $200 million at the box office. Hopefully, the enclosed reviews of four great superhero movies and two of the genre’s most notorious disasters will help you identify ways to distinguish your writing, sharpen your skills, and broaden the appeal of your work.

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

The Amazing Spider-Man

1. To the extent that you cover a superhero origin story, I’d recommend focusing on things and approaches we haven’t seen much of before. I think it would have helped to either spend less time covering the origin story or make it more different than Spider-Man 1. That said, I thought ASM’s approach to the death of Uncle Ben was smoother and more thematically effective–when Peter has the opportunity to stop the robber, there’s a plausible and immediate threat to bystanders. Peter declines and Ben gets killed seconds thereafter. This makes Peter’s motivation for a life-changing decision (becoming a superhero) more plausible. In contrast, in Spider-Man 1, Peter gets torn up because he doesn’t get involved in a relatively minor situation with a police officer present, with only a faint connection between Peter Parker letting the robber go and the robber killing a civilian.

1.1. Peter plays a more active role acquiring superpowers. He was only in the laboratory because he stole an ID and figured out how to thwart a keypad. I think the scene develops him more than just getting lucky at the science fair in Spider-Man 1. (Likewise, he makes his own webslingers instead of getting them from the spider-bite).

2. Beware the idiot ball – make sure there are believable consequences to actions. Peter Parker displayed his superpowers in public so many times that I think his classmates would have to be idiots not to notice something was amiss. (For example, the NBA-caliber dunk? Or breaking a goalpost with a football? Or lifting enormous Flash Thompson by the neck?) When characters make decisions, there should be consequences. For example, if the character is reckless with his powers, maybe other characters come closer to figuring out what’s going on. Or at least start asking difficult questions.

3. Speaking of consequences, I thought the crane scene was kind of cute. (Peter saves a construction worker’s kid and the construction worker later pulls in favors at the climax to help Spider-Man). It helps build a contrast between Spider-Man’s decidedly limited means and, say, the lavishly-funded Avengers or X-Men. I think it’s also a more subtle and effective way of showing he’s more of an everyman hero than we saw in previous Spider-Man movies (e.g. subway passengers throwing themselves between Dr. Octopus and a crippled Spidey felt sort of hokey to me).

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 Roland Tankowicz hates Venus.

The last time he went there, he died. So, no one could really blame him if he never went back. Nevertheless, when a squad of Venusian assassins ruins date night, everybody’s least-favorite Army-surplus cyborg decides to take a trip to Earth’s sister planet and have a sit-down with an infamous group of terrorists. 

Perhaps it’s because he really likes date night. Maybe he just wants to keep the promise he once made to a troubled young man. It is even conceivable that he might still have a heap of unresolved issues with the separatists who blew his body apart years ago. For whatever reason, the big man and his motley crew of misfits strap on their guns and hurl themselves into murky world of interplanetary terrorism. 

To his dismay, Roland discovers that Venus has changed since his last visit. The black-and-white politics of the fanatics and governments he remembers have now merged into complicated shades of gray. Cyborg killers walk the halls without fear, and the soldiers stationed there seem no better than the thugs they fight. The sweltering underworld of Venus holds terrors and trials that will test the old soldier in ways he is not prepared for, while a crafty assassin stalks them all from shadows both real and imagined. 

The team must to walk a narrow path between terrorists, soldiers, and their own dark pasts if they expect to get out of this one alive. Is The Fixer strong enough to pull an entire population from the ashes of civil war? If he isn’t, they may all drown in a flood of: APHRODITE’S TEARS.

It takes a brave soul to mess with Dockside.

Roland Tankowicz has made a career out of teaching this lesson, and the galaxy is starting to notice. Yet despite filling entire graveyards with corporate raiders, pirates, criminal organizations, and the occasional marauding cybernetic psychopath, somebody out there still thinks the lucrative district is worth harassing.

Someone is funding drug dealers, pimps, smugglers, and other scumbags, then sending them to Dockside faster than everybody’s least-favorite army-surplus cyborg can kick them out. Before Roland and his team can start rounding up suspects, a terrifying revelation about one of his former teammates raises the stakes higher than they’ve ever been.
Soldiers, spies, mercenaries and pirates converge on New Boston’s most famous fixer as he begins to unravel the plot the only way he knows how: With his fists.

Roland must take the fight to a lawless section of deep space and challenge a strange new enemy on his own turf. Lucia will face her darkest moment as well, as the past and future combine in a trial that will forever cement what she has become. 
Has Roland truly outgrown his days as a mindless war machine? Can Lucia accept the weight of leadership without the crush of fear dragging her down? Were the Golems just another super-soldier program, or is something even more sinister at play?

This time it’s not about money, or power, or even revenge. It’s about the right to live, to grow, and to become what you were meant to be. This time, the battle is over

HEAD SPACE. 

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