Eddie lives a life of uncommon routine. At nearly fifty-years-old, he’s only ever lived in one house. Bored with his bank job, he spends evenings at the movies where he lives vicariously through Rock Hudson and Robert Mitchum. With one screen in town he often sees the same picture repeatedly. He finds Hollywood fantasies infinitely more enticing than reality.
Late one Friday, a woman walks into the bank. Her name is Mary Rose, and she looks like Marilyn Monroe. Her father came into money and the two are looking to settle in a small town. Infatuated, Eddie breaks from routines and spends time with her.
While she couldn't be sweeter, her father is different. He has a roughness about him, an edge. This becomes especially clear when he requests Eddie's help with a bank heist.
Mary Rose’s interest in Eddie was only to lure him into helping her father. Eddie understands this now. Walking away is the obvious move. He knows it’s the right thing to do. Yet her attention and affection and beauty have made him feel alive for the first time.
All he has to do is unlock a door.
Written by Stephen Jared
Returned from the Great War, living in 1920s Hollywood, Walter Steale is hired as muscle by his politician brother while a platinum blond, renowned for playing empty-headed nymphets in the flickers, rekindles his faith in the world. But before long, lies stack up around his work, and Steale finds himself on the front lines of corruption.
Once he confronts his brother, Steale’s dirty work is used against him to protect powerful state leaders. Forced into the life of a fugitive, with the secret love of a film star at his side, the former GI fights to expose the state’s true enemies while hiding in the shadows of a thriving new metropolis where everyone is dancing fast, chased by sorrow, drugged by the dream of change.
1936. Hollywood. A young woman struggles to fulfill a dream. She meets a man with connections, becomes overjoyed, and soon feels indebted when she lands a studio contract. At the studio, a young writer takes a shine to her; however, rumors circulate that the man who got her the contract is a mobster. Unbeknownst even to her, the rumors are true, and her dream soon becomes a nightmare.
It's 1948. The war is over yet trust among nations is low. While Cairo is jittery with calls for revolution, American spies are murdered, and new eyes are needed on the ground.
Having earned recognition for heroics in China during the war, Jack Hunter is asked to assist in gathering information. He and his best friend travel to Egypt hoping to revisit the spirit of earlier adventures. Shortly upon arrival, however, what they find is not a lively escapade but a changed world, people torn apart by grievances, dark alliances to money and power, fundamentalism, and cynical, suspicious characters on all sides. The darkness of war seems to have settled into people's bones. As a result, Jack's latest tale is his most harrowing, and could even be his last.
It’s 1942. With war raging, and millions of lives hanging in the balance, the world faces an urgent need for chin-up heroics. Having barely escaped South American headhunters in his last adventure, Jack Hunter seizes the chance to prove his courage. He uses “skills” picked up as a former actor so he can pretend to be a Chicago gangster and pursue spies collaborating with the mob.
A bold plan, however, is not always a clever plan, and when Jack goes missing hope falls on Maxine Daniels, the great love of his life, to pick up a trail that leads all the way to Shanghai, China. Once there, she finds Jack in a race against time involving priceless jewels, secret weapons, a mysterious Chinese singer, and a fiendish warlord.
It’s been five years since they survived the Amazon. This time Jack and Max set out to save more than each other – and end up facing a greater danger than they ever could have imagined.
Also included, a book bonus – Jack and the Jungle Lion, Jack Hunter’s first adventure.
Rave Reviews for Jack and the Jungle Lion…
"I was delighted with it from page one to the end. It's amusing, rollicking tale will make you nostalgic for the old days of glitzy Hollywood when fantasy and reality were often too close to tell apart." – Ron Fortier, Pulp Fiction Reviews
"... has the crackle and snap of a thirties comedy. There's also plenty of the cliff-hanging action of a Saturday morning serial." – Kendahl Cruver, A Classic Movie Blog dot Com
"Here's a debut novel that will knock your socks off. The pacing is spot-on, the characters believable and endearing, the action jumping off the page. Stephen Jared has just staked his claim as a pre-eminent voice in the growing legion of writers producing retro style adventures. Jack and the Jungle Lion is a topnotch entertainment." – Errol Flynn biographer Thomas McNulty
"Jack and the Jungle Lion may be an affectionate tribute to adventure serials and screwball comedies of the 1930s, but it stands on its own as a great fun read. The story is as entertaining as it is refreshingly free of cynicism. I loved Stephen Jared's first novel, and sincerely hope it's not his last." – Indiana Jones and Star Wars author, Ryder Windham