Book Blitz: The Artful by Wilbert Stanton

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Title: The Artful (Shadows of the City #1)
Author: Wilbert Stanton
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult

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Buy from: Amazon ll B&N
 New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.

Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels – their playground. They aren’t heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.

On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.
 Here's an interview with the main cast: Dodger and Twist!

Wilbert: Hi everyone, today I have a special treat for you, flown in on a secret military chopper from the shadows of New York City, are Twist and Dodger, better known as —

Dodger: Dodger and Twist.

Wilbert: Excuse me?

D: It’s Dodger and Twist.

Twist: Oh come on, really?

D: Well it just sounds better. Straight from the shadows of New York City, Dodger and Twist, better known as the Gutter Punks!

W: Ok, well… sorry about that.

T: It’s really not all that important—

D: We were promised a really attractive female reporter, not a writer… What happened to her?

W: Well she couldn’t make it; she’s conducting an interview with Gia.

T: Gia is getting interviewed too? Did she say anything about me?

D: Here we go again, all you have to do is mention Gia and he falls to pieces.

T: I don’t fall to pieces… I just wanted to know if she mentioned me.

D: Yeah she mentioned what a dork you are. Am I right Wilbert!?

W: Well, no, I’m sure she thinks very highly of you—

T: Really?

W: Yeah, you’re a nice guy. You steal meds from the rich and give them to the poor. I mean that’s what you guys are known for right? Helping out those in need, trying to make New York a better place?

D: I do it for the women, really. I mean not that I have problems in that area, but it’s a really good way to get into a girl’s—

T: He’s lying! We do it to make a difference. It isn’t right that all those rich tower babies get all the meds and live in the safety of their towers, while the rest of us are forced to live underground. We couldn’t, wouldn’t stand for it anymore. So we had to make a difference!

D: Also the women love it, did I mention how they drop their—

T: Oh, god, can we just get on with the interview without you saying something offensive?

D: We can try, but I make no promises. You know the longer I talk the easier it is for me to say something inappropriate.

T: Nice to meet you Wilbert, and thanks for having us… did you have any questions?

W: I… um… yeah, we got a little off track there, didn’t we?

T: Sorry that happens with us, we have the gift of gab.

D: Oh would you let that go? Gia once told him we have the gift of gab and he acts like she wants to date him or something.

T: Let’s talk about something else.

W: Okay, why don’t you tell us how you guys met?

D: That’s easy, I saved his life.

T: He didn’t really save my life—

D: He was a scrawny little orphaned street rat with nowhere to go. If it hadn’t been for me protecting him from some street kids and taking him under my wing, he’d be dead.

T: He tried to rob me, when he saw I didn’t have anything he decided to help.

W: So wait, Dodger and a bunch of street kids tried robbing you?

D: We wouldn’t put it like that… would we?

T: No what actually happened is the street kids were robbing me, and then Dodger joined in!

D: I decided to help in the end though… that counts for something.

T: Then we both got beat up.

D: Yeah, but after that I took you under my wing, and taught you the laws of the street.

T: I will admit I learned a lot from Dodge.

D: See I saved his life!

W: Well… it actually looks like we are running out of time, I guess one last question.

D: Okay, where is the hot interviewer I was promised, the one with the huge—

T: I think he meant he has one last question…

W: What do you guys have planned next?

T: We are going where no one has ever gone before, beyond the quarantined zone.

W: That sounds frightening.

T: It is, we have no way of knowing what’s out there. But it’s something we have to do. For all the people who look to us for help, for a better tomorrow.

D: Oh god, really? Is that what you’re closing with? Let’s just say we are about to save the world. And be done with this interview.

W: Well thanks for your time, I think. I look forward to hearing about your adventures. And um, good luck with everything.

D: Whatever.

T: Thanks, sorry about him. I enjoyed meeting you.

Cigar turned his head to the side until his neck cracked, then again to the other side. He reached for one of his guns. I knew my face went pale, my hands began to shake, and the prospect of throwing myself through the glass window seemed more and more inviting. He put the gun on the counter with a noticeable thud, taking care to aim the muzzle at Dodger.
“Now, now, Fred, we’re all friends here.”
“Name’s not Fred, and you’re no friend of mine.”
“And here I invite you into my place of business and offer you my liquor, thinking we shared the bond that comes with supply and demand―”
“I’m beginning to wonder how you came to own this place. Last I been here, the bartender was a lot older.”
Dodger slammed a cup down on the counter. Prying the whiskey bottle from my frozen fingers, he poured a drink and chugged it down. “Maybe you don’t want to find out.”
This made Cigar laugh, a slow chuckle. “You got a set on you, huh? Now why don’t you tell me where this vault is, and pray to God that there’s more value in it than in turning over a couple of Gutter Punks!”
The game was over. He knew who we were. Frankly, it wasn’t surprising. Dodger and I had made quite the reputation for ourselves, but this, this wasn’t in our favor. And the threat was on the table in the form of a shiny gun.
Dodger held up his hands in mock surprise. “Ahh, you made us. Fine, maybe we can help each other. I tell you where to find the vault, and you walk away?”
“I’ll decide on that when I see fit.”
Dodger looked at me and winked. I knew the look. It meant I had to stay on my toes. After taking a swig of the whiskey, he went through his pockets and produced the lighter I stole at the Empire. I sat on the tip of my stool as he held it out to Cigar, who smiled in turn.
“Smart boy,” he said, holding out his cigar in Dodger’s direction. Dodger opened the lid and flicked the wheel, causing the flame to spark. As soon as Cigar leaned in close enough to light his cigar, Dodger spit the whiskey at him, and the lighter’s flame in-between ignited the flammable liquid, shooting a hail of fire into Cigar’s face.
He yelled, clawing at the flames. His beard caught on fire; the smell of burning hair was instant. I used the distraction to my advantage and jumped for the gun before his wild hands could find it, training the muzzle on him before he could regain composure. Dodger and I tensed as he got up, brushing the last of his scorched beard from his face.
            “You boys really made a mistake. What you fixing to do, huh? Shoot me? Look at you, ain’t no man in you! Shaking like a leaf. What makes you think I think you have the balls to shoot me? You got the fear of God in your eyes, but you know what, boy? I ain’t God… I’m the Devil.”
Wilbert Stanton was born and raised in New York City. From an early age, Wilbert decided he would either write books or take over the world; everything else was just a precursor to his end game.

Along the way, he has studied Psychology, English, and Computer Science. He’s held jobs in a wide range of fields and met people from all walks of life. Wilbert is constantly learning and growing as a person, in order to solidify his dreams.

In the end world domination was a bit tedious, so he decided to focus on writing books.
His links
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