If you missed previous blogs, this is an action/ adventure-style novel with a twist of humour, set in the world of cycling, and you can now preview 20% of the book for free – see the Cyclopathic Tendencies page of my website for the full blurb & preview link, etc.
In any case, I’ve dished up a small slice of the book below. This scene features Mark and Paul, pro cyclists hoping to make it into this year’s Tour de France team. The characters are twenty-somethings (who seem more like they’re still stuck in their teens – but that’s another story). Here, Mark has just returned to their shared room after seeing the in-house doctor at the Masterton Training Facility. (The mention of trackers is covered earlier in the book and basically refers to advanced technological devices attached to the cyclists’ arms which pick up bodily readings such as nutrition levels.)
“Doctor Lamborghini’s pretty chilled, though, isn’t he?”
“Oh, you’ve had your ‘consultation’ with him, have you?” Paul asked.
Mark wondered why he’d used such a derisive tone. The doctor was a darn sight more friendly than Hans. “Yeah. Had to give blood as well,” Mark said, making a face.
“And I thought I was supposed to be the coward. It’s a wonder you don’t faint at the sight of needles, the way you go on about ’em,” Paul chuckled. “He wanted some of my blood, too. Although I don’t think they’ll be opening a blood bank any time soon with the tiny amount they needed from me.”
“What d’you think they want with our blood, anyway?” Mark asked.
“Buggered if I know,” Paul replied, lying back on the bed. “But I’d watch that Doctor Lamborghini if I were you.”
“Why’s that?” Mark said, looking quizzical. “He seems like a nice bloke. Put me at ease, anyway. And that’s saying something when I’m around needles.”
“Hmm… That’s as maybe,” Paul said. “Let’s just say his name cropped up more than a few times when I was in Europe. He’s the go-to guy for ‘alternative medicine’, if you know what I mean.”
Mark frowned. “What, New Age stuff, like?”
“No, silly!” Paul said. “Y’know… He’s got a reputation for being into dodgy practices – including drugs. I don’t know why someone with the Professor’s standing has taken him on, but I’d watch me step around him, if I were you.”
Mark felt confused. The doctor had seemed so genuine. “Well, he hasn’t given me any drugs, if that’s what you mean. Just a vitamin formulation to help me recover from yesterday’s ride.”
“Little red capsule?” Paul said disdainfully. Mark nodded. “He gave me one, too.”
Mark pulled the pill out of his pocket and held it up to the light. “Looks like one of those pills out of the Matrix movie, doesn’t it?”
“Eh, yeah,” Paul replied. “Didn’t think of that.”
“So, what? You reckon that what’s in this might not be vitamins?”
“I’d stake my life on it. And if you’ve got any sense, you’ll ditch that pill, just like I did,” Paul said. “Look, mate…” he sighed, seeing Mark was in a quandary, “if I hadn’t heard about him before I came here, I’d have been taken in by him as well. There’s no doubt about it, he’s a slick operator.”
Mark paused to think. “So if we don’t take our pills, what’s gonna happen when they look at our tracker readings? Won’t they see we haven’t taken extra vitamins – or whatever…?” he asked.
“Look, I’ve got an idea,” Paul said, getting up and fishing a small plastic container out of his holdall. He flipped the lid and shook out a few tablets into his hand.
“Take these – they’re real vitamins,” Paul said, handing them to Mark. “My guess is, the doctor was only half lying… He’s given us something for recovery, all right – only my guess is, it’s a testosterone pill and not vitamins.”
“I get it, so if we take these, then it’ll show on the tracker readout that we’ve taken some vitamins… Hmm… But what if he has given us testosterone? It’ll show up that we haven’t taken it, won’t it? Won’t the doctor have a go at us about it?”
“I doubt it. I think our Doctor Lamborghini’s a bit smoother than that. Anyway, at least we won’t be taking anything dodgy, eh?”
“Thanks. I’ll take these later,” Mark said, putting the tablets on his bedside table.
Mark rested his head in his hands for a moment, perched on the edge of the bed. He felt down-hearted, like he’d been on a strange kind of journey ever since he’d come to Masterton Manor. Nothing was quite as it seemed – or how he’d expected it to be.
[Curtain closed… End of Sneak Peek!]
If your appetite has been whetted, why not preorder your own copy of the Cyclopathic Tendencies ebook? Downloadable in both eReader & printable formats. All sales outlet links such as Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are on the Cyclopathic Tendencies page of my website. (The paperback’s on its way shortly.)
LOOK OUT FOR…
…another sneak peek which I’ll be posting before the book is out – this one will be short but dramatic. If you don’t want to miss it, why not FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to the blog if you haven’t already, LIKE the Cyclopathic Tendencies Facebook page, or FOLLOW me on Twitter?
Since we’re on the cycling topic, I thought I’d leave you with a bikey quote from Charles M Schulz of Charlie Brown fame…
Life is like a ten-speed bicycle.
Most of us have gears we never use.