Thursday, October 27, 2016

Page 69: After the Texans (Blog Tour)

Disclaimer: The Page 69 Test is not mine. It has been around since 2007, asking authors to compare page 69 against the meat of the actual story it is a part of. I loved the whole idea of it and so I'm stealing it specifically to showcase small press titles - novels, novellas, short story collections, the works! So until the founder of The Page 69 Test calls a cease and desist, let's do this thing....

Hey everyone! Today, we're taking part in the blog tour to help spread the word about Declan Milling's novel After the Texans.  We thought it would be cool to throw the book up against the Page 69 Test. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see where the tour's been and which stops are still left to come.....

OK, Declan, set up page 69 for us:

Emil, the main character, finishes a conversation with Australian lawyers he was summoned to Hong Kong to meet. The reason for him being called there is in case the lawyers lost a big arbitration case, and has just transpired. Emil thinks he knows why, but they don’t. It’s a disaster for the Australian government, but could be even worse for the global carbon market and Emil’s organisation. 

The scene jumps to the Hong Kong Police HQ where Senior Inspector Tang is informed of a missing person matter that he doesn’t want to, but must, get involved in. 

Things are about to start deteriorating even further for Emil.    

What is After the Texans about?

After the Texans is about Emil Pfeffer, who works for the UN’s carbon market organisation, trying to maintain a semblance of doing his job – which he knows is important – while trying to find leads on where his girlfriend, Johanna, is. She’s been kidnapped as insurance that he stops investigating the funding of corrupt carbon projects in Papua New Guinea that he exposed. He blames himself for getting her involved in his work, as a result of which she’s been taken. 

Emil’s work takes him to Hong Kong, where a chance sighting sets him in pursuit of the kidnappers, then on to Australia, where threads begin to come together, drawn in by the political machinations of Australia’s richest man and the energy policy advisers he’s arranged to advise the government there.  

Do you think this page gives our readers an accurate sense of what After the Texans is about? Does it align itself with the books overall theme?

Page 69 gives a snapshot from the plot – an important one, as the sequence of events flowing from this sets the scene for much of the plot that follows. So yes, it does give a sense of what After the Texans is about – Emil’s rollercoaster ride as he searches for Johanna.


panel member appointed by the investors was in their favour And the chairman, well, he came down in favour of the inves- tors, obviously ” 

Emil looked at Loftus and the others “Yes,” he said, knowingly “Obviously ” 


Not far from the Exchange Centre, at Police Headquarters in Arsenal Road, Wan Chai, Senior Inspector Tang was sitting at his desk, reviewing reports of recent arrests and incidents that his o cers had investigated His unit was generally ahead of the curve when it came to case clear-up statistics, which was just as well if he was going to stay on the promotion fast-track However, recently it had been slipping a bit, a fact noted to him that morning by the Assistant Deputy Commissioner: a none-too-subtle reminder of the expectations that were being placed on him Trouble was, the ADC had told him, he was too accommodating, too willing to accept the jobs his peers would say they had no time for But, as Tang had told the ADC, if someone wasn’t willing to do these tasks – like chasing up Red Notice reports from visiting round-eyes – they would slip through the cracks and eventually come back to bite someone, perhaps even someone more senior than Tang himself As he sat there, skimming through the pile from his in-tray, re ecting on the conversation, he wondered whether the ADC would think he was being a bit too cheeky by saying that, or would he accept that Tang was just genuinely concerned His phone rang It was a colleague in Operations “We have just received a report, a missing person report I am sending it over to you ” 

“Why are you doing that? What has it got to do with me?” he snapped “ e ADC told me only this morning to stop accepting these matters from other units ” 

“You are shown acting as the liaison for a round-eye who reported sighting an Interpol Red Notice o ender?” 


Declan Milling has over thirty years experience as an environmental lawyer. Born in Australia, he holds bachelor degrees in science and law and a masters degree in environmental law. Currently based in the United Kingdom, Milling divides his time between London and Edinburgh. His first novel, Carbon Black, was released in 2014. After the Texans by Declan Milling (published by Clink Street Publishing RRP £8.99 paperback, RRP £2.99 ebook) is available from 1st November, 2016 online at retailers including and can be ordered from all good bookstores. For more information please visit


Wanna follow the rest of the tour? 
Here's where it's been and where it's heading: 

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