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Thriller / Suspense / Action / Romance
Date Published: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Regis Books
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Colonel Aleksandr Talanov – the “ice man” – is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can’t, and it’s an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experiences: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes.
Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction. He should have been killed, not her. He was the one whose violent past would not leave them alone. Months tick by and Talanov hits rock bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where he meets a hooker named Larisa, who drugs and robs him.
But in the seedy world of human trafficking ruled by the Russian mafia, Larisa made the mistake of stealing the ice man’s wallet. In it was Talanov’s sole possession of value: his wedding photo. Talanov tracks Larisa down to get that photo because it reminds him of everything that should have been but never was, and never would be because an assassin’s bullet had mistakenly killed his wife. Or was it a mistake?
The answer lies in Greco’s Game, a chess match played in 1619 that is famous for its queen sacrifice and checkmate in only eight moves. In an unusual alliance, Talanov and Larisa team up to begin unraveling the mystery of what Talanov’s old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?

CHAPTER 1

TALANOV slowly opened his eyes to the sound of canned laughter. You stupid idiot, he thought, fumbling for the remote. After switching off the TV, he swung his feet down onto the floor and sat hunched over for a long moment. Finally, he stood and looked around the bedroom for his clothes. In the wash of light coming in through the window, he could see them strewn across the floor. He remembered kicking them in various directions when he and “Tash” had giggled their way into the hotel room earlier that night.

Tash sure knew the routine. With legs like a sprinter and hair the  color  of  honey,  the  twenty-something  Ukrainian  had moved up and down him like a pole dancer while slow- waltzing him into bed. Talanov knew it was a set-up long before his head began to spin from whatever it was someone had slipped him back in the nightclub. Even so, he didn’t care. He had quit caring long ago.

He picked up his underwear from a tangle of covers at the foot of the bed. A remnant of what would never be a memorable night of lovemaking. He could still see Tash jumping from the bed in her hot pink g-string, contemptuous at his inability to “do it.” It was always the same, whether with Tash or any of the other hookers he had picked up over the last few months in an effort to try and forget. But try as he did, he could not get Andrea out of his mind.

Memories of that night were still embedded in him like shrapnel. On stage for the award. Waves of applause. Andrea’s sudden urge to lean over and kiss him. Suddenly a shot. An explosion of blood. The brilliant red spatter floating before him like a nightmarish special effect in a movie. And in that split second before his wife hit the stage, Talanov saw movement high on the catwalk. A fleeting shadow making an escape. Then came the shrieks. People scattering. Andrea’s fingers desperately reaching out for him while she lay quivering in a spreading pool of red.

In all his years with the KGB, Talanov had never felt panic.

But he felt it then. Diving to her side, he placed his hands over the gaping holes in her neck. He screamed for help while Andrea’s life continued to squirt through his fingers.  He looked down and saw Andrea’s eyes smiling up at him. She tried to speak.

“Save your strength, help’s on the way,” he instructed, his eyes betraying the confidence he tried to portray.

“Love … you,” Andrea whispered as her eyelids sagged closed.

“Stay with me!” Talanov shouted as the tears streaked down his cheeks. He screamed again for help.

Sitting in the ambulance minutes later, Talanov strained to breathe. But the coils around his chest were crushing, relentless, and cruel. The hope once visible in his eyes had melted into dark puddles of despair. Suddenly, a high-pitched squeal sounded and the paramedics sprang into action. Readings were shouted, drugs were administered, heart massage was commenced. Then came the paddles.

“Clear!” one of them shouted an instant before a jolt of electricity convulsed Andrea’s ghostly white body. The high- pitched squeal did not waver. The paddles were charged again. Talanov did not know how many attempts were made to save his wife before she was finally pronounced dead. He did not remember the hospital waiting room or the questions asked by police, or the young female officer who finally drove him home. Numbness was all that he felt as he lay curled up on the side of the bed where Andrea had fallen asleep on countless nights, wrapped in his arms. 

And numbness was all that he felt now as he stood at the hotel room window, buttoning his shirt.

After staring absently at the lights of West Hollywood for several minutes, he looked toward the nightstand for his watch.

It was nowhere to be seen. With a sarcastic snort, he walked over and picked up his slacks. A wrinkle of worry then creased his brow. My wallet, he thought. It’s gone. He felt his pockets, then turned a full circle, hoping to see it on the floor. He then dropped down onto all fours and searched under the bed.

You little bitch.

Jumping up, Talanov yanked on his slacks, pulled on his shoes and stormed out of the room. Outside, he paused on the sidewalk and tried to remember which way he and Tash had come. He looked right and saw a darkened stretch of asphalt lined with apartment blocks and parked cars. Half a block to his left was an intersection with a traffic light. I remember that light, he thought. He ran to the corner and paused. Which way now? Both sides of the boulevard in both directions were lined with cafés and clubs. Think, he told himself. How far had they walked? A few minutes at most was his recollection. That meant the club was not far away. He remembered its green awning, long and narrow. The kind that stretched out over the sidewalk. With bushes on each side. And black walls, half a block wide, like a warehouse.

He looked right and saw it, a hundred yards or so on the other side of the street. He waited for a break in the traffic and crossed against the light. When the next wave of cars rushed past, he felt a blast of exhaust fumes.

Guarding the front door were two bouncers dressed in black slacks and t-shirts. Flirting with them were several girls in micro skirts. Everyone was laughing. The more muscular bouncer, Gunner, was taller and bald, while the other one, Daz, had a ponytail to the middle of his back. Talanov ignored them and headed straight for the door. Gunner stopped him.

“I need to see some ID,” Gunner said. “You’re kidding. I’m over fifty.”

“Fifty?” blurted one of the girls named Tracy. “I thought you were, like, thirty-something.”  

“Shut up,” snarled Gunner, glaring at Tracy. To Talanov:

“Do I look like I’m kidding?” “Someone inside has my wallet.”

“Not my problem.”

Talanov took a calming breath. He was furious. Tash, or whatever her name was, had stolen his wallet and he wanted it back, assuming, of course, that Tash was inside, which was entirely doubtful. “Ten minutes, that’s all I ask,” he said. “I go in. I look around. I get my wallet and leave. If she’s not there, I leave, anyway. You never see me again.”

“And I’m telling you that’s not going to happen.”

Talanov took another calming breath. This one was not as effective. “I’m not looking for trouble,” he began.

“Then get the hell out of here. Or trouble is going to find you.” According to Gunner, the choice was simple. Leave voluntarily or leave forcibly. And it didn’t seem to matter to Gunner which choice Talanov made. For Talanov the choice was like- wise simple. Was his wallet worth a fight? Logic told him to either forget the wallet or try and work things out peacefully.

He opted for option number two. After all, Gunner was a big guy. He was also twenty, maybe twenty-five years younger. Besides, what were the odds that Tash was inside? His wallet had had nearly two thousand dollars in it. More than likely, Tash was partying someplace else.

Talanov looked at the other bouncer, who was staring at him with unfriendly eyes. The groupies were also watching. Everybody was waiting to see what the old guy was going to do. “Don’t make this worse than it is,” he said. “Ten minutes.

Then I’m gone.”

There was a long moment of silence, almost like a vacuum. Nobody seemed to breathe. Then Gunner’s arms shot forward, the heels of his hands like battering rams aimed straight for Talanov’s chest.  It was a preemptive two-handed blow designed to knock the wind out of Talanov and send him flying into the bushes. A lesson about who was boss.

But Gunner had made the mistake of broadcasting his intentions with a number of subliminal signals. Flaring of the nostrils, tightening of the lips, setting of the jaw, the drawing in of a breath and holding it. So when Gunner’s hands shot out, Talanov stepped to the side, grabbed Gunner’s wrist and twisted it down and back. This forced Gunner to compensate by straightening his arm and bending left in an effort to pull away. That allowed Talanov to twist the outstretched arm behind Gunner. He then used Gunner’s momentum to drive him facedown to the sidewalk in one smooth motion. The whole maneuver took less than four seconds.

Kneeling on Gunner’s back, Talanov lifted the arm in a direction that could easily pop it from the socket. Gunner cried out and Talanov eased off.

“I asked you not to make this worse than it is,” Talanov said, glancing at Gunner then up at Daz. “What’s it going to be?” Daz glared angrily down at Talanov but knew better than to try anything with Gunner’s arms bent backward like that.

Talanov raised an eyebrow expectantly. “Ten minutes,” growled Daz. “But if you cause anyone any trouble – and I mean, anyone – I guarantee you won’t be leaving in one piece.”

Releasing Gunner’s arm, Talanov glanced at Tracy and stood. And with a hint of a smile, he disappeared inside.

“Did you see the way he took Gunner down?” Tracy whispered excitedly to her friends. “Man, he’s like friggin McDangerous! C’mon, let’s go and meet him.”

“What is wrong with you, Decker?” a friend responded, giving Tracy a slap on the arm. “You don’t even know that dude. Know anything about him!”

“Yeah, but he’s, like, totally hot.”

The inside of the nightclub had a high ceiling, exposed truss beams and flexible ductwork, all painted black. On the dance floor, a churning mass of young people gyrated wildly to a deafening blast of music played by a DJ with dreadlocks and sunglasses. Mounted above the dance floor were numerous tracks of colored stage lights that kept time to the music.

There’s got to be three or four hundred people out there, thought Talanov, squinting through the noise at the waves of arms bending back and forth. But he had to start somewhere and the dance floor was the logical place.

Finding Tash, however, was not his only problem. She also had a partner: the person who’d spiked his drink. He’d been in enough nightclubs to know one should never leave a drink unattended. And he had not. So who had spiked his drink? The waitress? One of the bartenders? Someone watching him from the service area? Whoever it was, it was imperative that he spotted Tash before she or her partner spotted him. Which meant he had to work fast.

Threading his way through the crowd, Talanov was grabbed by several laughing girls. Lost in the rhythm of the music, they whirled and swayed enticingly around him while motioning him to join in. Talanov pushed past them and made his way to the end of the bar, where he stationed himself unobtrusively in the slashes of spinning lights. There, he allowed his eyes to systematically comb the dance floor. There were lots of blondes, but none of them was Tash.

Suddenly, on the far side of the nightclub, Talanov saw Daz and Gunner enter the club. Daz spoke into a filament mike positioned near his mouth. Within seconds a large man in a suit approached. Standing a full head taller than either of them, the man looked like a Sumo wrestler, with a buzz cut and folds of flesh creasing the back of his neck. The two bouncers spoke to him briefly, then fanned out to begin sifting their way through the crowd.

So much for getting ten minutes.

To his left was a short flight of steps that led to a mezzanine full of café tables and booths. Talanov waited for a group of young people to climb the stairs and fell in behind them. At the top he stepped to one side and surveyed the room. People were everywhere. At tables, in booths, standing in the aisles. Most were laughing and drinking. Many were sending text messages or talking on their cell phones. Again, lots of blondes but none of them was Tash.

Talanov started back down the stairs, then abruptly reversed direction and excused his way to the top. You’re angry and in a hurry. This time, do it right. Thus, calling on skills learned more than thirty years ago at the Balashikha training center near Moscow, former KGB colonel Aleksandr Talanov stood in a darkened corner and methodically double-checked each face in the room. In less than a minute he saw her, seated with a businessman in a darkened booth.

“We go to quieter place now, yes?” Tash asked the businessman in broken English. “Get comfortable. Have some fun.” With a seductive smile, she kissed his ear and began stroking his thigh.

“I don’t normally do this,” the businessman replied nervously. He was a florid-faced man in his fifties, with fleshy jowls and thinning hair.

“Me, too,” Tash replied, scooting closer.

“Where are you from, anyway?” the businessman asked, staring into her gothically-shadowed eyes.

“Wherever you want,” answered Tash. Her hand suddenly went higher and the businessman’s eyes widened. “Hurry. Finish drink,” she cooed.

The businessman was gulping the remainder of his mojito when Talanov slid into the booth. “Zdravstvuy te, Tash,” said Talanov in Ukrainian. Tash’s mouth fell open.

“Who are you?” the businessman asked, blinking several times.

“I came for my wallet,” answered Talanov, his eyes on Tash.

“You know, the one you stole?”

The businessman looked at Tash, who shook her head emphatically.

“I think you’ve got the wrong table,” the businessman said.

“Oh, I’ve got the correct table, all right,” answered Talanov. “Tash here slipped something into my drink a few hours ago. And by the look on her face, I can tell she wasn’t expecting me to wake up anytime soon.”

“He is lying, Tom!” cried Tash. “I don’t know who this man is. Or what he is talking about.”

“It’s Todd,” muttered the businessman, glancing at his empty glass.

“Let me out,” demanded Tash.

“Not until you hand over my wallet,” said Talanov.

“She said she doesn’t know you,” responded Todd. “Then how did I know her name?”

Todd started to respond then looked at Tash with a wrinkle of doubt. “How did he know your name?”

Tash replied with a disdainful huff. “I told you, I am model! He see me somewhere.”

 Todd gave Tash a dubious scowl. “Whatever,” said Tash. “Let me out.”

“As soon as I get my wallet,” declared Talanov.

“How many times do I have to tell you? I don’t have your stupid wallet.”

“Let’s just see about that,” said Talanov, grabbing Tash’s tiny pink leather purse.

“Give that back!” cried Tash, lunging for it.

Blocking her hand, Talanov opened the purse and turned it upside down. A tube of lipstick, mascara, two condoms, and a folded wad of cash landed on the table.

Talanov stared at what was not there.

“See, I don’t have wallet,” said Tash, snatching back her purse. “Now, get out of here. Leave me alone.”

A petite Asian waitress named Jade came up the stairs with a tray of drinks. She had blue streaks in her hair and wore bright red lipstick. When she saw Talanov, she placed the drinks on a table, ran back down, and pushed her way through the crowd.

She found Gunner and grabbed him by the arm.

“Not now,” Gunner replied, shaking off her hand while continuing to scan faces in the crowd.

“Upstairs. The Russian guy that was here earlier with Tash. He’s back and he’s causing trouble.”

Gunner stared at Jade for a moment then touched the micro- phone near his mouth. “On the mezzanine. We’ve got him.”

Sliding out of the booth, Todd stood. “I’m calling the police,” he said, fumbling clumsily with his cell phone.

“Go for it,” said Talanov. “When they get here, tell them to run a drug test on your glass. Provided you’re still conscious by then.”

Tash tried scooting out of the booth. Talanov grabbed her by the wrist.

“Hey, wut’re you doing?” said Todd, fumbling his words as much as his phone. “I think you’d bedder leave.”

“You’ve got ten, maybe fifteen minutes before you pass out,”said Talanov while Todd wobbled in front of him. “If I were you, I’d get some help.”

Todd blinked several times but did not move. “Go!” commanded Talanov.

Todd nodded and hurried off.

“Okay, where is it?” Talanov asked Tash, turning to face her. Tash folded her arms and looked defiantly away. Talanov grabbed her by the chin and forced her to look at him. “For the last time, where’s my wallet?”

Talanov and Tash locked eyes.

“Out back. In dumpster,” she said quietly. Talanov let go and settled back in the booth.

A long moment of silence passed while Tash rubbed her chin. “I want to go now,” she said.

“No driver’s license. No credit cards. No keys.” “What are you talking about?”

“You’re carrying no driver’s license, no credit card, and no keys.”

“So what? Why do you care?”

“That tells me you’re part of something you probably don’t want to be a part of,” Talanov said. “That maybe someone’s holding you against your will. Making you do things against your will.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.” “I think you do.”

Tash stared at Talanov for a long moment then looked away. Talanov watched her for a moment. Tash – or whatever her name was – was a pretty girl. A pretty girl with a look of fear in her eyes.

“Sorry for getting so rough,” he said.

Tash gathered her lipstick and mascara and slid them into her purse. She placed her hand on the cash but paused when she saw Talanov watching her. “Here,” she said, sliding the money toward him. “It is all there. Count, if you wish.”

“It was never about the money,” Talanov replied, ignoring the cash and sliding out of the booth.

“Then what is this about?”

“Her photo. It’s all I’ve got left.”

“You do this for picture?” Tash asked incredulously.

“I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”

The next few seconds were one of those rare moments when time seemed to linger.  And in that moment, Tash saw Talanov’s anguish. She remembered the photo – a wedding shot – in a plastic window where a driver’s license should have been. The picture was of Talanov and his bride, happy and smiling, holding flutes of champagne on a beach. Tash studied him more closely and saw desperation and a certain “lostness” reflected in his eyes. Her photo. It’s all I’ve got left. No divorced man thinks that way. My God, she’s dead, you’re in mourning, Tash realized. No wonder you couldn’t do it.

By now, Talanov’s thoughts had drifted back to happier times, what few there had been, mainly because he had been unable to love his wife the way she deserved. Transparency and love – qualities that defined a good marriage – were contrary to what had been hammered into him at Balashikha. Love would get you killed. Or worse: those you loved.

Then the world changed. But Talanov could not change with it. And just when he was beginning to learn how— Talanov noticed Tash’s eyes widen an instant before the room flipped upside down as he crashed hard on top of a table before tumbling head-over-heels to the floor.  Around him, people shouted and ran.

For a long moment, Talanov lay stunned and motionless. What the hell just happened? He opened his eyes and saw Gunner standing over him like an angry bull. Gunner grabbed Talanov and pulled him effortlessly to his feet. When Gunner drew back his fist, Talanov closed his eyes. Do what you want. I’m already dead.

The blow hit Talanov like a freight train and sent white spots exploding through his brain. He floated limp for an instant, then landed on another table before rolling down onto the floor.  In the distance he heard Tash screaming.  Talanov groaned and rolled onto his back. His head was pounding and it hurt to breathe. He saw Gunner push an overturned table out of his way and bear down on him, teeth bared, hands like claws, his neck muscles taut and veined. Gunner took a quick half-step and swung his foot at Talanov’s head. Talanov rolled away and Gunner missed “Leave him alone!” cried Tash. She grabbed Gunner and tried to stop him but he brushed her aside and kicked again. Gunner’s kick was comparable to an extra-point kick in a football game. Full-force after a quick hop, aimed straight at

Talanov’s head. That meant one foot was in motion while the other foot supported all of his weight. Talanov swung his leg like a scythe and caught Gunner in the back of his ankle. Gunner’s leg flew out from under him and Gunner hit the floor hard. When he did, the crowd of young onlookers cheered.

Gunner immediately scrambled to his feet just as a winded Talanov struggled to his, one hand holding his ribs, one hand waving back and forth, an indication that he wanted to stop.

“I’m leaving! I got what I wanted!” gasped Talanov.

“You’re leaving, but not in one piece,” growled Gunner just as Daz pushed his way through the circle of spectators, many of whom were recording the action with cell phone cameras.

“There’s no need for this!” said Talanov, looking back and forth between the two bouncers.

“Stop it, Gunner!” yelled Tash. “He got what he wanted. Leave him alone.”

“Shut up, you worthless whore!” shouted Gunner.  He clamped a meaty hand across Tash’s face and shoved. Tash crashed into a table and back-flipped down onto the floor, where she lay crying, legs sprawled, her short skirt hiked up to her waist. Her blonde hair was tangled and her lipstick was smeared. Her cheeks were streaked with mascara.

Talanov saw the crowd laughing as Tash rolled slowly onto her side and looked helplessly over at him. She tried to get up but Gunner pushed her back down and kicked her. Tash tried crawling away but Gunner grabbed her by the hair.

Five minutes ago, Talanov would have been happy to let Tash get what was coming to her. She had drugged and rolled him. She had taken the only item that meant anything to him. She had left him passed out in a hotel room in order to fleece some other guy. And now, here she was, trying to defend him.

 A thieving whore. Why couldn’t she have left well-enough alone?

Gunner lifted Tash to her feet by the hair and drew back a fist just as Talanov slammed one of the aluminum café chairs on the floor. Gunner paused when he heard the noise and saw Talanov fall into the chair. With his head lowered, Talanov sat motionless against the pulsating reflections of light keeping time with the music. Surprised by this apparent act of surrender, Gunner let go of Tash and looked over at Daz. An instant later, they both rushed forward.

Sensing their decision to attack milliseconds before any movement occurred, Talanov grabbed the leg of his chair and sprang left, slinging it straight at Daz, who stumbled backward while trying to wrestle it away from his face. Continuing his pivot, Talanov sank a roundhouse kick into Gunner’s kidney. With a bellow, Gunner stumbled forward. Talanov stepped behind him, seized Gunner by the back of the neck and hammered his forehead onto a table to the crazed delight of the crowd. He then whirled to face Daz while Gunner slid limp to the floor.

Daz picked up a chair and threw it. Talanov grabbed one of the café tables and used it to deflect the chair. Daz hurled another chair, then another, but Talanov used the lightweight table like a shield and sent each of them tumbling to the floor. Daz turned to flee but was stopped by the wall of spectators. Cut off, he turned and charged. Talanov blocked several wild punches, stepped inside and smashed Daz in the jaw with an elbow. He then grabbed Daz by the shirt, twisted inward and flipped him over his shoulder. When Daz landed on his stomach, Talanov grabbed him by the ponytail and slammed his face on the floor.

“I told you not to make this worse than it is,” Talanov said, leaning close.

With his nose dripping blood, Daz swallowed and coughed. Talanov leaned closer. “So I’ll ask you one more time. Are you ready to call this off?”

Daz coughed again.

“Are you?” Talanov demanded.

With his attention focused on Daz, Talanov did not see the big Sumo move in from behind. He did not hear the collective gasps as Sumo’s hand came down like an axe. All he felt was an explosion of pain. An instant later, everything went black.

 

About the Author

James Houston Turner is the bestselling author of the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series, as well as numerous other books and articles. Talanov the fictional character was inspired by the actual KGB agent who once leaked word out of Moscow that James was on a KGB watch-list for his smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain. James Houston Turner’s debut thriller, Department Thirteen, was voted “Best Thriller” by USA Book News, after which it won gold medals in the Independent Publisher (“IPPY”) Book Awards and the Indie Book Awards. His novel, Greco’s Game, has just been optioned for film. A cancer survivor of more than twenty-five years, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Baker University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). After twenty years in Australia, he and his wife, Wendy, author of The Recipe Gal Cookbook, now live in Austin, Texas.
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Late Bite: Vampire On Trial

The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 1

By John Matsui

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Action Thriller

About the Book:

Police capture Dragul Mangorian in Toronto’s sewers on a series of blood-sucking assaults. Media worldwide and local citizens and politicians buzz with news the perp is ‘a real vampire.’

Mangorian’s blazing yellow eyes, cadaverous 6’-6” frame, three-inch fangs, taste for human blood and near takedown of a heavily-armed SWAT team persuades the usual public defenders to contract the flu. It falls to down-on-his-luck lawyer Al Hamblyn not just to defend this fearsome creature on the charges but to ensure he beats down a crack prosecution team’s efforts to deny Mangorian his legal rights on the basis that he’s not quite human.

Hamblyn learns Mangorian is the sole-surviving member of the Homo Sanguinus, a sub-species of Homo Sapiens that through evolution evolved to feed on human blood.

The lawyer seizes the opportunity to revive a disastrous career and win back his former wife and family. First, however, he must overcome his fears in mounting a defence for a client who appears to have stepped out of a nightmare.

Late Bite has been described as “A Path Breaking Novel” that’s “Fast and Fun” and gives an entirely “Fresh Take On Vampires.” The main character Dragul Mangorian is a non-sparkly blood sucker who both charms readers and keeps them guessing until the final page. 

Lawyer Al Hamblyn listens to radio reports en route to meet his new client. Excerpt begins:

“You’re hearing this first on Rock 1060. Confidential sources in Toronto’s police department confirm the suspect in the stalker attacks is a vampire. And we can confirm victims had blood sucked out of them.”

I switch stations.

“Police are rumoured to have the suspect in a special cell that has no bars so he can’t change into a bat and escape.”

Next station.

“We have breaking news from our reporter Melissa Doig at 52 Division,” says Dee-Jay Brad G.

“Thanks Brad. Detective Buddy Ferino just held a news conference. He’s identified the suspect as Dragul Mangorian, age unknown, address unknown.”

“Did Det. Ferino confirm the suspect, this Magurry, is a vampire?”

“Not quite, but the next best thing, Det. Ferino will not deny that he is a vampire. Listen for yourself.”

“Is it true that he’s a vampire?” Doig asks.

“I have no comment.”

“So you are not denying he is a vampire,” she persists.

“I have no comment.”

“So,” says Doig, “There you have it, no denial.”

“Hey folks, you heard it here first on AM 960, Detective Buddy Ferino is not denying they have arrested a vampire.”

I switch stations to the usually calmer CBC. The publicly funded broadcaster doesn’t rely on hype and ratings.

“Reporter Janice Chakrabarti’s on the scene for a sensational development in the Toronto Stalker investigation. Janice?”

“Hi Peter, I’m here at Police Division 52 where the lead investigator into the Stalker Attacks is concluding a news conference.”

“We’re hearing some wild reports about vampires, giants, you name it.”

“I think you should make that decision for yourself. The voice you’re about to hear is Det. Ferino.”

“At approximately 9:10 p.m., police received a report of an incident. Officers found a 32-year-old female had been physically assaulted. Canine units were dispatched and they tracked a suspect to a storm sewer outlet in the Don River Valley. It appears the suspect had been living in the sewers.

“A suspect was found and arrested after a three-hour search. The suspect resisted arrest. Two officers were injured and are reported in good condition in Hospital. The suspect is being held and will face numerous charges in court this morning.”

A dozen voices shout out questions.

“Det. Ferino, is this case linked with the other stalker cases?”

“Yes, we believe all of the stalker crimes are linked.”

“Can you elaborate?”

“The method of attack is the same.”

“And that method is?”

“The victim last night, and eight previous victims, all had two puncture wounds on the neck and all were missing a quantity of blood.”

I flip the station.

“… Like Dracula. We have an unconfirmed report the suspect changed into a giant bat.”

A hulking, 40ish cop with three chevrons on his sleeve greets me at the front desk of 52 Division. His nametag identifies him as ‘P. Crampton.’

“You Hamburger?” the sergeant says, revealing a set of huge teeth.

“Hamblyn,” I correct.

“If you’re that vampire Mangorian’s lawyer, you’re Hamburger,” he says, unveiling his choppers in a smile that stretches from one cauliflower ear to the other.

Half-muffled guffaws erupt from cubicles behind the front desk. It does nothing to ease my feeling of foreboding.

“May I see my client, sergeant?”

“Sure, but you may wanna see Detective Ferino first.

I nod okay and he waves at a guy in a hat.

A tall, wiry guy with a long, thin nose and horn-rimmed glasses approaches. He’s about 30 but is dressed in a trenchcoat and fedora like he walked out of a 1950s pulp crime novel.

“So, you’re the lawyer assigned to represent Dragul Mangorian. Detective Buddy Ferino,” he says offering me his hand to shake.

He gives my hand two quick pumps. “I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of each other.”

“Uhh, Al Hamblyn. Nice to meet you.”

“I asked the sergeant to direct you to me,” he says, drawing conspiratorially close.

Almost whispering in my ear, he says, “I shouldn’t be saying this to a suspect’s lawyer but I got to tell you … Be careful. I don’t know if he’s a vampire or what he is, but he’s not normal.

“We Tasered him. Flat on his back, he still took out two of our guys.”

I feel my blood run cold.

“He sucked blood from two officers?”

“No, he threw them against a wall. They’re banged up but they’ll live.”

“Oh good,” I say with relief for me, not the injured cops.

About the Author

John Matsui is a former daily newspaper writer, turned public relations guy, turned business consultant, turned Internet entrepreneur, and finally author of thriller mashups that stick to a single genre like confetti in a hurricane.

His storylines and characters, like his work life, rush everywhere at once and still arrive at the finish line with all plot threads neatly and satisfyingly knotted or so readers have told us. Unless you have a habit of reading the last pages of a book first, you clearly enjoy this form of topsy-turvy, jigsaw mystery. That or you decided to see how far from the beaten path John could go.

People who [enjoyed] [hated] [laughed] [cried] [got sick over] [have no idea what to think about] John’s writing are invited to visit https://johnmatsui.com/ or email the author at: john@johnmatsui.com and tell him they [loved] [despised] [shared] [ripped apart] [borrowed a copy of] [bought a copy of] his books and that they plan to [buy his other books] [recommend him] [start a bonfire with it] [spread it as fake news].

John’s other novels, Lycanthrope Rising: The True Story Behind The Vampire-Werewolf Wars — The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 2 and Gravity Games, A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller, are available as eBooks through most popular online vendors. The paperback version can be ordered on Amazon.com or clicking the link on John’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/John-Matsui/e/B00L8GIQ2E

John and wife Judy live in Wortley Village, a quaint neighbourhood in London, Ontario, far from Toronto’s clash of vampires, werewolves, superheroes and high housing prices.

Facebook.com/jmatsuiauthor

Twitter: @johnmatsui99

Twitter: @DragulMangorian

JohnMatsui.com

https://www.amazon.com/Late-Bite-Vampire-Toronto-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00JPYDE8W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22035362-late-bite
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/late-bite

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#Book #Promo…Delightfully Witchy…#BookBoost #PNR #Romance #Action #Adventure #Giveaway #OnTour @acaciakparker @RoxanneRhoads

Delightfully Witchy

A Delightfully Witchy Novel

Book One

Acacia K. Parker

Genre: Paranormal Romance /

Action and Adventure

Publisher: Parker Publishing

Date of Publication: 9/14/2017

ISBN: 978-0-9989444-4-9

ASIN: B071SLRNVS

Number of pages: 417

Word Count: 135,000

Cover Artist: Acacia K. Parker

Tagline: Not everyone is good at being a witch.

Book Description:

Looking for true love? Having dreams you need to recall more clearly? How about that pesky curse that just won’t go away? Let Delightfully Witchy Herbal Shop conjure up the perfect charm for you!

Meet Emerson Harper—herbalist, shop owner, witch—exceptional at the first two, not so much on the last. She finds there are perks to living a quiet life, especially when those perks involve Lincoln Summers walking into her shop asking for a rare Stone. Powerful, wealthy, and famous, she finds it hard to resist selling him what he seeks when those dazzling blue eyes of his linger a little too long.

What Lincoln failed to mention, however, is someone evil is looking for the Stone; a witch who now has Emmie in his sights. Luckily, Emmie made more of an impression on the sexy stranger than she realized, and when he comes to her rescue she finds herself suddenly pulled into Lincoln’s world of dark magic and buried secrets.

In the fight to reclaim their lives—and save the world from a deranged witch hell-bent on destruction—Emmie is thrust into a journey of mystery, peril, and self-discovery, only to learn that sometimes…

All magic needs is a little push.

Amazon

I awoke screaming and scared, feeling like I was locked in that trunk again, bound and unsure of the outcome. I was dazed. I knew I was awake, but it was still hard to tell what was real. I felt the mattress underneath me, and the clothes that smelled of spices and were faintly musky and sweaty. There was a light beside the bed I could turn on to show that I was perfectly safe. None of that mattered, though, because I was frantic, tears falling down my face, trying to get out of the confined space that had me caged in.

Someone was talking to me, calmly and evenly. Whoever it was grabbed my arms and lifted them, moving me so my back was to a chest, clearly not my sister’s. I yanked my arms to get free, but whoever had me was too strong, the voice continuing to speak, telling me I was all right, that I was safe, and there wasn’t anything to be worried about.

“Emmie, it’s just a dream, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

Lincoln. It was Lincoln’s voice that finally trickled through, and I realized where I was. He had his arms wrapped around me, holding me still so I wouldn’t hurt myself—or him, for that matter. My head was somewhere near the crook of his neck as I craned it back, looking up at the black ceiling, its endless depths forbidding and ominous. Tears fell, my breathing was labored, and my heart raced. He never moved, even as my legs kicked the blankets away, hating myself for allowing this to happen.

When I finally got myself to calm down, Lincoln turned me and without a word pulled me into a hug. I wrapped my arms around his waist, listening to his heartbeat as it hammered violently in his chest. With his head resting on mine, I barely felt the stubble scratching at my forehead, abrasive but welcome.

“You scared me.” His voice was throaty, like he’d just woken up himself. “Are you okay?”

“I think so,” I managed to say, pulling back, noticing the light on the nightstand was on, dim in the darkness. “I’m so, so sorry. That was—”

“Expected . . . considering.” He shrugged, his hand on my shoulder as I wiped the tears off my face.

“I guess it’s a good thing I don’t sleep naked,” I giggled, trying to lighten the mood.

“I think that depends on who you’re asking.” He smirked.

And I blushed, of course. I was feeling all warm and cozy with his hand still on my shoulder and then I noticed he wasn’t wearing a shirt. Good Lord. Trust me, it was everything I ever thought it would be. No, it was definitely better. He was perfect; chiseled chest, washboard abs, thick arms, and a dark line of hair leading from his belly button until it disappeared underneath his pajama pants. I’m pretty sure if I kept looking I was going to start drooling, literally, and that would be . . . just no.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing! It’s nothing.”

“It doesn’t look like nothing,” he said, raising his brows.

“It’s not important,” I answered nervously, biting my lower lip.

“Are you sure?”

“Yep.” I nodded. “I’m sure.”

“Ok.” He squeezed my shoulder lightly.

About the Author:

Acacia has been what some may call a “gypsy” for most of her life. With her father serving in the Air Force for twenty years, she’s enjoyed many different homes in many different states, with a decent portion of her life lived overseas in Germany. Always one to be creative, she has been drawing since she could write, and writing has become a passion of hers since her teenage years where she discovered she loved telling stories and creating eccentric characters.

Currently residing in Phoenix, AZ with her husband Shawn and their two golden retrievers, Boomer and Sookie, the duo find any excuse to enjoy the weather (when it’s permitted), and you can often find the them scuba diving (their favorite place is the Florida Keys), hiking, visiting one of the many beautiful lakes Arizona has to offer or finding winding, dirt roads to discover. Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games. A good chunk of Acacia’s time is taken up to complete her Bachelors in Business Management at Grand Canyon University – although procrastination does ensue.

In her writing adventures, Acacia hopes that one day her stories may inspire others to follow their dreams – no matter how crazy they may seem.

http://acaciakparker.com

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#Book #Promo…Brainrush Series…#BookBoost #Action #Adventure #Thriller #Romantic #Suspense @Richard_Bard @SDSXXTours

An “international thriller with soul.” Features a broad cast of characters with kids playing significant roles. Ideal reading for fans of Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Vince Flynn.

Brainrush Series Summary


Brainrush is a story about second chances, and embracing every day of your life as though it’s your last. Called “a terrifically entertaining thriller” by Publishers Weekly, Book-1 of the series was named The Wall Street Journal #1 Bestselling Action/Adventure in their Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers, while Book-2 was on the Top-10 Amazon Mystery/Thriller Top Rated list for 53-straight weeks. This set the stage for the blockbuster release of the third book in the series, which was heralded by Suspense Magazine as “part science fiction, part thriller, part suspense, part love story, and part mystery. It’s got it all and that’s what makes this novel one of the best.” The characters live on in the final four books of the series. Books 4 & 5 were released in 2014, and were met with rave reviews that outpaced even those from the first three books. Book-5 was named “one of the best books of the year” by IndieReader.com. The final two books in the series, No Refuge and Against All Odds are available now, and they promise to keep you on the edge of your seat in a fashion that lives up to what the series is all about—a thought-provoking, soulful and satisfying rush that will keep you gasping long after the final page.

Get the first three books in a box set!!
Brainrush
Brainrush Series Book 1
by Richard Bard
Genre: Action/Adventure Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Publishers Weekly heralded the first book in Richard Bard’s Brainrush thriller series as “terrifically entertaining” and “inventive and compelling.” It went on to earn The Wall Street Journal’s #1 Action/Adventure slot in the Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers list.Before he slid into the MRI machine, Jake Bronson was just an ordinary guy with terminal cancer. But when an earthquake hits during the procedure, Jake staggers from the wreckage a profoundly changed man, now endowed with uncanny mental abilities.An ocean away, Luciano Battista wants a piece of Jake’s talent. Posing as a pioneering scientist, the terrorist leader has been conducting cerebral-implant experiments in a sinister quest to create a breed of super jihadist agents…and Jake’s altered brain may be the key to his success. But Jake refuses to play the pawn in an unholy war–and when an innocent woman and autistic child are taken hostage to force his cooperation, he embarks on a jihad of his own. Jake and his band of loyal friends are thrust into a deadly chase that leads from the canals of Venice through Monte Carlo and finally to an ancient cavern in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan–where Jake discovers that his newfound talents carry a hidden price that threatens the entire human race.An “international thriller with soul.” Ideal reading for fans of Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Vince Flynn.

 Add to Goodreads

Get the First Book FREE!!
The Enemy of My Enemy
Brainrush Series Book 2

The Enemy of My Enemy (Brainrush 2) became the Amazon #1 Top Rated (best reviewed) Mystery/Thriller, AND the #1 Top Rated Action/Adventure within one month of its release. It maintained the #1 or #2 slots for 10 straight months.Bestselling author Richard Bard returns with his highly rated Brainrush thriller series, pitting hero Jake Bronson against his jihadist nemesis–and a new bioweapon that threatens the soul of every mother in America.When a freak accident gave Jake Bronson near-superhuman mental powers and landed his loved ones in the crosshairs of an Islamic terrorist, the only way out was with guns blazing. But Jake was unable to put a stop to his nightmares or his murderous nemesis, Luciano Battista, in that ferocious Afghan mountains showdown. Now the terror czar and his minions have brought the fight to American soil–along with the most terrifying bioweapon that has ever threatened the free world. They demand vengeance, and Jake’s family and friends are caught in the crossfire.From California’s beaches and Mexico’s deserts to the depths of a raging underground river and the treacherous Venezuelan jungle, Jake and his unlikely alliance of combat veterans and gangsters wage a rolling war of wits, weapons, and indomitable will–to rescue those they love, to save America from extinction, and to stop a madman’s bid for global conquest dead in its tracks.

 
Beyond Judgment
Brainrush Series Book 3
With Publishers Weekly heralding the first book in his Brainrush thriller series as “terrifically entertaining” and “inventive and compelling,” and Book-2 holding a death grip on the #1 or #2 slots of the Amazon Top-Rated (best reviewed) Mystery/Thriller and Action/Adventure lists for 10 straight months, Beyond Judgment, the third in the series, sees hero Jake Bronson at the mercy of his hidden past.After waking up with amnesia from a six-year coma, Jake Bronson’s past is lost to him. But that doesn’t mean the past hasn’t been looking for him–or that it will let him live when it finally catches up.Jake’s placid, anonymous life in Italy is shattered by the arrival of an assassination squad hell-bent on eliminating him–and he has no idea why he’s in their crosshairs. He’s saved only when an American scientist intervenes, wielding strange technology that briefly reactivates Jake’s dormant memories and deadly skills. As  unknown enemies continue to hound Jake’s every step, the scientist helps him reconnect with lost friends and loved ones who believed him long dead.Any happy reunion is forfeit, though, as Jake’s murky history and mysterious talents conceal a terrible secret that–should it fall into the wrong hands–could trigger the extinction of the human race. Averting this apocalypse means Jake must risk everything to reawaken his true self and stop an ancient order from unleashing humanity’s ultimate judgment.
 
Brainchild
Brainrush Series Book 4

The first three books in #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard’s Brainrush series garnered over 2,000 Amazon 5-Star reviews, setting the stage for the continuing story spanning three continents and two more books. With Brainchild (Brainrush 4) called “a high-speed thriller that ignites pages with scenes of action and suspense” by Kirkus Reviews and Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush 5) named “best book of the year” by IndieReader.com, this mind-gripping adventure is sure to capture the imagination long after the final heart-stopping chapter.

A gifted boy forced to grow up too fast… A father who will do anything to protect him… A madman bent on destroying them both.In Amsterdam, a visionary scientist is laying the groundwork for a cybernetic life-extension project that will transfer individual consciousness to a personalized avatar. Halfway around the world, his brilliant grandson is secretly planning to use the same technology to infiltrate the world’s most secure networks. But the scientific advances necessary to perfect the brain-to-computer interface are slow in coming, too slow for the aging founder of the Everlast foundation–who may die before realizing his dream of immortality–and too slow for his ruthless grandson, who will stop at nothing to attain the recognition that is his birthright.Caught in the middle are Jake Bronson and his seven-year-old son, Alex,
whose combined mental gifts might provide the key to leapfrogging the impasse. 
When Jake’s family and closest friends are simultaneously abducted in a globally coordinated kidnapping scheme, he races across two continents before uncovering the first clue to their whereabouts, unaware that his hostage son and teenage siblings crash-landed in the jungles of South China, where they must find every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels. Can a seven-year-old boy learn to kill to save his family?

 
Smoke & Mirrors
Brainrush Series Book 5

Named “Best Book of the Year!” by IndieReader.com Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush 5) is the exciting conclusion to Brainchild, Book-4 of the Brainrush series. A gifted boy forced to grow up too fast… A father who will do anything to protect him… A madman bent on destroying them both.Jake Bronson and his seven-year-old son, Alex, possess mental gifts that could provide the missing link to a cybernetic life-extension project that will transfer individual consciousness to a personalized avatar. But those same gifts are sought by a Chinese underworld mastermind who will use them to infiltrate the world’s most secure networks.As the story continues from Book-4 of the Brainrush series, Alex and his brother and his sister are lost, and Jake’s wife and best friends have been taken hostage. Jake will risk everything to save them, and he is thrust into a frantic race that takes him from the back alleys of Hong Kong to the depths of the South China jungles, where he must lever every scrap of his failing abilities to rescue his loved ones and crush a madman’s plans to bring the world to its knees.

No Refuge
Brainrush Series Book 6
#1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard, who entertained fans with his wildly successful Brainrush thriller series, now unleashes the heart-pounding series finale in a two-book ride that will take your breath away.Jake Bronson’s family and friends are mourning him. They’d watched as he sacrificed himself so their lives could return to normal. But normal wasn’t to be. The megalomaniac whom Jake had killed during his suicide assault left a legacy of videos that damn Jake and everyone associated with him, leading to a price being put on their heads, dead or alive. They go to ground, unaware their every move is being tracked by a new breed of young, tech-savvy jihadists about to unleash vengeance on America’s homeland–with Jake’s family and the unsuspecting citizens of Los Angeles in their crosshairs.As the jaws of the terrorist trap begin to close, Jake’s eight-year-old son, Alex, faces a threat of his own. He carries a deadly secret that endangers the world, and now that his father is dead, Alex is the only one who can deal with it. He slips away to heed the call of unearthly visions that demand his presence, and his journey draws him to the back alleys of Bogota, Columbia, where he encounters a group of terminally ill orphans. One of their siblings has been abducted by child traffickers. Alex can’t ignore their cry for help, and the unlikely alliance plans a nothing-to-lose rescue mission that has little chance of success.But the bloodthirsty outcry against Alex’s family and friends reaches beyond those who wish them harm, as do the visions that reveal their dark secrets to Alex. Help is on the way…
Against All Odds
Brainrush Series Book 7

The highly anticipated series finale to the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Publishers Weekly called “a terrifically entertaining thriller!”In this conclusion to Richard Bard’s popular Brainrush series, Jake Bronson’s family and friends face their biggest threat ever. The startling challenges revealed in No Refuge (book 6) are coming to a head, and the team must wrest every resource available to them in hopes of preventing a terror-driven cataclysm unlike anything America has seen.But the menace from within America’s borders pales by comparison to the global threat revealed to 8-year-old Alex Bronson in a series of otherworldly visions. And Alex isn’t the only one targeted by the mind-bending revelations.The stakes are higher than ever. The fates of America and the world hang in the balance, and Jake Bronson’s family and friends must risk everything to tip the scales against evil.

Releases September 12th!!
Gifted
A Brainrush Novella

From #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard comes a heart-pounding adventure of love, loyalty, and survival – as a gifted child faces the ultimate question of whether or not he can kill in order to save his loved ones.A gifted 7-year-old boy and his teen siblings are ripped from their peaceful lives–kidnapped by a sinister organization determined to get back at their father. But when their plane crashes an ocean away in the bear-infested jungles of South China, the mysterious motive behind their abduction is the least of their problems, and they must lever every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels.Important Note: Gifted is a compilation novella taken from the Brainrush thriller novels Brainchild and Smoke & Mirrors, which are books four and five of the series. If you’ve read those full-length novels, then you’ve already read most of the contents of this novella. If you’d prefer to read the entire series from start to finish, then you’ll be happy to learn that Brainrush (Book-1) is currently available FREE.

FREE on Amazon!

Richard Bard draws on his own experiences as a former USAF pilot and cancer survivor to craft compelling characters who risk it all for love and loyalty. Born in Munich, Germany, to American parents, he joined the United States Air Force like his father. But he left the service when he was diagnosed with cancer and learned he had only months to live. He earned a management degree from the University of Notre Dame and ran three successful companies involving advanced security products used by US embassies and governments worldwide. Now a full-time writer, he lives in Redondo Beach, California, with his wife and remains in excellent health.

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#Book #Promo…Alexandria Rising…#BookBoost #Action #Adventure #Conspiracy #Suspense #Giveaway @WallaceMaguire @XpressoTours

Alexandria Rising
Alexandria Rising Chronicles Book 1
by Mark Wallace Maguire
Genre: Action-Adventure, Conspiracy, Suspense

Rand O’Neal, an ambition-less newspaper reporter, is given a single task upon the death of his grandfather: Destroy a mysterious map. What should be a simple errand thrusts Rand into a journey across three countries chased by unknown pursuers into a world he never could have imagined. The novel has been reviewed as, “Superb,” “Amazing” and “Extremely well written” and has drawn comparisons to Dan Brown, Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum. The book is labelled an action adventure, but contains elements of science fiction, suspense and mystery. It is also linked to a multi-media website which allows readers to engage with the experience in video, images and interactive appendices.

 

Alexandria Reborn
Alexandria Rising Chronicles Book 2

He can’t go home. He’s dead in the real world. Everything has changed. Forever. In, ‘Alexandria Reborn,’ the anticipated sequel to ‘Alexandria Rising’ Rand O’Neal rises from the ashes to join an elite team in an effort to shift the power struggle set in motion by control of the alchemistic Slendoc Meridian. As this fast paced adventure continues, Rand will discover the answer to many of this questions, but will he lost Hope in the process?

As a preacher’s son, Mark Wallace Maguire spent his childhood crisscrossing the South soaking in the lilting dialects, oral traditions and cultural idiosyncransies. After a brief career in music, he settled behind the desk as a reporter at the Marietta Daily Journal and has spent the last 20 years as fixture in the metro Atlanta media scene. He currently serves as director of Cobb Life magazine and Cobb Business Journal. His writing has been published in many regional and national publications including Snake Nation Review, Reach of Song, Cobb Life magazine, Neighbor Newspapers and The Blood and Fire Review. He has been honored for his writing by several organizations including The Associated Press, The Society of Professional Journalists and The Georgia Poetry Society. In 2005, he was named the Berry College Outstanding Young Alumni of The Year. In 2017, he was nominated for Georgia Author of The Year for his first novel, “Alexandria Rising” which was described as “magical” and “phenomenal.” “Letters from Red Clay Country: Selected Columns” was published in 2015 and features the best of his award-winning newspaper and magazine columns. When he’s not writing, Maguire produces musical projects inspired by his favorite authors and books as well as painting, gardening and making Star Wars puns with his sons.

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#Book #Promo…Las Vegas Tales…#BookBoost #Erotica #Action #Adventure #Suspense #Romance #Interracial @RoxanneRhoads @authambermalloy

Las Vegas Tales

4 Story Box Set

Amber Malloy

Genre: Erotica, Action, Adventure, Suspense, Romance, Interracial

BIN: 08096-02614

Page Count: 117

Even love takes a vacation in Sin City every once in a while.

Four brown beauties tumble head first in love in the last place on earth anyone would look for it… Las Vegas!

The Guardian

Jack Stone has inherited his family’s casino. The only problem? The mob wants it more than he does. If he doesn’t play his cards right, he’ll end up dead. When his high school sweetheart drops back into his life, Jake’s got an even tougher decision — should he trust the beauty with his life and heart — again?

High Art

A brilliant painter, Bebe Noel has the goods to make it to the top… just not the social skills. With her financial situation in limbo, she must turn to her deceased benefactor’s husband for help. Will this new arrangement become lucrative for the both of them or fizzle out before it can even get started?

Beauty and the Boxer

Middleweight boxer Cristiano Díaz is in trouble. Unless he can score a quickie marriage he will be deported. He has his eye on a sexy baker, and she’s the only one he wants. Can the boxer convince the curvy vixen to marry him, or will he get knocked out before the first round?

Run, Pussycat, Run

Sullivan McNeill comes to Vegas to snatch lounge singer Kitty Carmichael, the love of his life, away from the bright lights of Sin City. When he finds out she’s trapped in a contract with the devil, he has to figure out a way to save her or lose the woman who holds his heart forever.

Changeling Press

Excerpt The Guardian (Las Vegas Tales 1)

Amber Malloy

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2017 Amber Malloy

The last remains of the Vegas nightlife surrounded his bar, where the showgirls from the Bellagio ignored last call. Jack Stone cleaned off the glasses with a smile. He had no choice; this town was a world of its own. Only in Las Vegas would a baby shower at the witching hour be acceptable. The star act of the Night Review was not blessing a new life with just any old nightclub but one where old Hollywood had once clamored to get in.

“To Mindy, for getting out of the dance race before she got tossed out on her pregnant ass!” The pack of Amazons cheered at their captain’s toast.

“Last ones, lovelies,” Jack called out. “It’s time to go.”

“Aw, come on, Jack, one more?” they whined practically in unison.

“Sorry, girls, the big boss would have my head if he knew I kept us open this late.”

“We could only make it over after the show.” The tallest of the tribe reached across the dark bar to touch his shoulder. “I’m sure you can pull a few strings.”

Jack kept his smile firmly in place, without allowing them to know he was immune to their charm. “Last one,” he repeated with a wink to soften the blow.

“Okay, you win.” Still sparkly from her performance earlier, the replacement showgirl took her Peppermint Schnapps down like a pro. “What do you say to dinner tomorrow night after last curtain?”

Since his return to Vegas three years ago, this was the same song and dance he went through nightly. He was hip deep in friends with benefit offers. At first he indulged in the available pool of beauties, a distraction from his true mission. It would have been easy to keep going, but the sexy woman who had just stepped into Pauline’s consumed his mind and heart.

Lena Mercier walked upstream of the thin dancers. Toned with curves in all the right places, she was an artistic statue painted in the vibrant hue of milk chocolate.

“Thanks for the drinks!” The showgirls headed out of the bar doors in a peal of giggles.

“You’ve got something of mine, Jack,” Lena said in a subtle tone that stopped the mindless chatter in his head. The Lululemon leggings cupped her perfect ass. It was her usual travel uniform. She must have just gotten off a plane. A fancy tank top and light leather jacket topped off her outfit. Her sleek black hair fell in a swoop in front of her right eye — a sophisticated cut that showcased her elegant neck. Jack noted how perfect she looked. Except for the fact she had left town two weeks ago, and he had no idea where she had gone. It still aggravated him.

He wiped down the deep wood and concentrated on the high polish, instead of the sexy woman in front of him. “Just put your lips together and blow.”

She gave him a cheeky smile before she put her fingers to her mouth and ripped a high-C whistle. In a matter of moments, the heavy panting of excitement filled the damn near empty bar. A squat, furry toad ran at full tilt in her direction. Lena’s Frenchie, Harry, hopped on the chair, then the table before he took full flight through the air. Lena caught the little fucker in the crook of her arm.

Since he never tired of that circus trick, Jack chuckled. “Nightcap?” Happy to see his neighbor had made it back home, he tried not to compete for her attention with the dog.

“Sorry, Jack, I’m beat.”

“You want to talk about it? After all, bartenders are great listeners.” He nudged to get her to open up about her work. Once high school sweethearts, they’d spent more than a decade apart, and then one day she was back. Since he didn’t believe in coincidence, he had his suspicions why Lena had suddenly showed up in his life.

“If only that were true.” Lena smiled before she headed toward the door.

“We’re not good listeners?” He wished she would stay and keep him company.

“No,” she turned around, stopping short of disappearing into the cool night, “the part where you’re just the bartender.”

About the Author:

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

Amber loves to talk to her readers and can be found at http://www.ambermalloy.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authambermalloy

Website: http://ambermalloy.blogspot.com/

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#Book #Blitz…Crash Land on Kurai…#BookBoost @SciFi #Action #Adventure #Space #Opera @lolasblogtours #Giveaway

This is my stop during the book blitz for Crash Land on Kurai by SJ Pajonas. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 20 July. See the tour schedule here.

Crash Land on KuraiCrash Land on Kurai (Hikoboshi #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction, Action Adventure, Space Opera
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 18 July, 2017

Blurb:
Yumi Minamoto has the shortest fuse on the ship. She’s just whipped a bully and been confined to quarters, but she’s not staying there. A disgraced journalist trying to clear her name, her job is to document the mission to the Hikoboshi system, and she’s determined to get it right, despite all the trouble she causes. But when unknown vessels fire on their ship, and Yumi’s life pod crash lands on a dying moon, she’s separated from her family and friends, and her mission falls to pieces. Now she must navigate the unfamiliar and deadly terrain, deal with a society she doesn’t understand, and try to stay alive until rescue comes… if it ever does.

Crash Land on Kurai is the first book in the Hikoboshi Series, an action adventure, space opera series that explores the worlds settled by the Japanese who fled Earth a century ago. Culture, history, technology, and swords clash in a fast-paced future society on the brink of war.

You can find Crash Land on Kurai on Goodreads

Read the first four chapters of Crash Land on Kurai! Get your sample here from Instafreebie!

You can buy Crash Land on Kurai here on Amazon
The book is available to read with Kindle Unlimited

Check out these teaser images for Crash Land on Kurai!

Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #1

Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #2

Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #3

SJ PajonasAbout the Author:

Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
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Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway during the book blitz of Crash Land on Kurai. These are the prizes you can win:

– 2 winners will get a US$10 Amazon.com gift card and a Nogiku Series Omnibus ebook delivered via BookFunnel (valued at US$13)

– 1 winner will win a Nogiku Series Omnibus ebook delivered via BookFunnel (valued at US$13)

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#Book #Promo…Isle of Savages…#BookBoost #NA #Action #Suspense #Thriller #Giveaway

 

Isle of Savages

T. Briar

Genre: New Adult Action Suspense Thriller

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Date of Publication: June 13, 2017

eBook ISBN: 978-1-77127-926-0

ASIN: B07195LTB8

Number of pages: 220

Word Count: 59,400 words

Cover Artist: Eerilyfair Design

Tagline: Eleven souls are shipwrecked on an island teeming with sub-human cannibals. Who will survive to tell the tale?

 Book Description:

On July 20, 20— a charter school’s sponsored sail from San Diego to Hawaii hits a reef during a violent storm. Sixteen souls abandon ship. Nine students, along with the hated captain and first mate, wash up on what they believe is a deserted island.

Separated into three groups by circumstance and mutual distrust, treachery and death lurks for all. Over the course of a single day, one student betrays all the others. Another drowns. Two others get ambushed by a great white shark. And, like falling dominoes, the captain, first mate, and six students fall prey to a tribe of bloodthirsty cannibals.

In the face of almost certain death, who will escape from the isle of savages to tell the tale?

MuseItUp    Amazon     BN    iTunes    Kobo

Date: July 20, 20—

General Location: Pacific Ocean Definitive
Longitude and Latitude: Unknown

Through strangled, sputtering coughs, Eric Kovac’s eyelids flickered open to stark darkness. He lay face down in receding wave-wash, naked except for a pair of board shorts, drenched to the bone. A tortuous grittiness seared the tender linings of his mouth, nose, and throat; pain wracked his body, inside and out. As he struggled to make sense of his peril, the sound of crashing waves thundered. A sudden rush of warm saltwater buried him underwater.

Choking and coughing violently, he forced himself up onto his hands and knees, stomach clenching in excruciating spasms as he vomited up great bouts of saltwater. Although the purging left him weak—on the verge of blacking out—it cleared the irritating sand from his breathing passages. Survival instinct, more than cognizant reasoning, sent him crawling up the shoreline. After only a few feet, his battered body could go no further and he collapsed onto wet sand while his feet and legs still lay in the incoming tide.

The sound of crashing waves slowly returned, and with it, the recognition of something new. Wind buffeted his body from all directions…storm-washed, freshly cleansed wind. Beneath the dizziness threatening to overwhelm him, he had only one coherent thought.

What happened to me?

For the life of him, he couldn’t remember how he’d come to be on this beach, hurting and possibly grievously injured. Despite the horrendous pain, he rolled over onto his side to lift himself on an elbow and scan the darkness for clues.

In the edge of the surf, a dark silhouette resembling the shape of a human body floated, the incoming and outgoing surf pushing and pulling at it. It was a tossup as to which would win the tug of war.

Instantly, the memory of the ship’s boom careening into his forehead materialized out of nowhere. In something akin to shock, distorted memories of the chain of events leading up to the blow that had laid him low flitted through his mind…

The storm had come out of the northwest late yesterday evening, the leading edge blue-black and roiling. It’d chased after them relentlessly, finally howling down on their sixty-foot blue water cruiser in the middle of the night, crackling long streaks of lightening that were blinding in their frequency and intensity. Fierce winds and towering waves tossed the yacht to and fro as if it were a toy. Deafening claps of thunder reverberated through the vessel to drown out the terrified shrieks of the sixteen students cowering below deck. Then, without warning, when only the tiniest tendril of hope remained, the yacht ran into something, cementing their fate—

That’s right! We’d run from the storm well into the night, hoping to angle out of its path to safety. But we hit something…

Snapshots flashed through his mind, one after the other in quick succession: the sickening crunch of fiberglass shattering; the non-stop rush of water breaching the hull; the ear-splitting cries of his classmates’ despair; the captain ordering everyone from below deck to abandon ship; the screeching wind and stinging rain above deck merciless; brilliant veins of lightening illuminating the pitch blackness to reveal the shoreline of an island; so much water in the air, breathing seemed almost impossible; a boy and a girl at the very end of the line of joined hands snatched up like kites and flung out into darkness; the terrifying fear that the rest of the line would quickly follow; the glassy, shock-stricken stares of his classmates waiting their turn to be helped over the side into the life raft; the white boom breaking loose from its mooring and whipping toward him; trying to duck and almost making it; total blackness…

Eric, trembling in the aftershock of surviving the impossible and being grateful simply to be alive, remembered something else…there had been a girl he was intent upon saving…and one of her friends. He’d helped them into the raft right before his accident. But what were their names? Who were they to him?

He concentrated on summoning their faces, unable to shake the feeling they had been his close friends, or perhaps, one of them had been more than a friend.

Slowly, like gooey fluid forced through a half-clogged strainer, the image of a dark-haired girl—seventeen years old and of Asian-American descent—with a beautiful oval face, olive skin, and dark eyes took form in his mind’s eye. The face of a pretty, blue-eyed blonde with curly, shoulder-length hair quickly followed.

Mia! I was trying to save Mia Miller! And her best friend, Keri Shaw!

Peering at the floating body again, a burst of adrenaline coursed through his veins, energizing him into action. The sickening hollowness in his stomach and the aches in his body disappeared. He flipped back over onto hands and knees to scramble toward the dark silhouette in the white surf. As of yet, he couldn’t tell if the body was male or female.

Please don’t let it be Mia. Please, anyone but her.

His eyes made out what he thought looked like the muscled back and arms of a young man and his fear receded…somewhat. Grasping the corpse by the hair of its head, he lifted the face out of the water to ascertain that it wasn’t Mia—instead was Charles Darry, a Low Country kid from South Carolina. He’d been the only other Southern student on their cruise of horrors, which had given Eric and him something singularly in common, although they had never become what one would call friends. He released Charles, frantically glancing around the darkness.

“Mia!” he attempted to yell, but the name came out strangled and weak. He tried again and it came out clearer and louder this time.

“Eric!” answered a frightened, high-pitched voice. “I’m over here!”

 

About the Author:

Always striving for pulse-pounding action, sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, and hair-raising thrills, T. Briar’s mainstream thriller writing places courageous heroes and heroines in the fight of their lives against the elements, hostile surroundings, morally bankrupt villains, and any other obstacles T. can think of.
 
But be warned, once the wheels are set into motion with the first sentence, it’s a twisting, turning journey to the end to see who lives and who dies. And make no mistake, someone’s going to die. Some will even die badly. That’s just the way it is when fighting for survival under perilous conditions. The only question is: Will it be the heroes and heroines, or the villains?
 
T. Briar’s target audience is New Adults who boldly step up to meet life’s challenges with the confidence of youth urging them on.

Please checkout T. Briar’s page at http://thomasbriar.com to find out more about T. and his thriller writings.

 

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#Book #Promo…Moxie’s Decision…#BookBoost #Fantasy #Action #Adventure #IAN1 #Tour #Giveaway

 

Sometimes it’s fun to add a little laughter and satire to our daily routine so that’s why I’m delighted to be a part of author Hank Quense’s MOXIE’S DECISION Blog Tour with MC Book Tours today.

Entertaining from beginning to end, MOXIE’S DECISION is uproariously funny and satire at its best. Selected as one of 2016’s best YA novels: Huffington Post. It’s also a top pick! Indie Reader: 5 stars

You can enter to win a copy of MOXIE’S DECISION today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details below.

 

◊ Series: Princess Moxie (Book 2)

◊ Paperback: 306 pages
◊Publisher: Strange Worlds Publishing (October 15, 2015)
◊ Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure,
◊Language: English
◊ISBN-10: 0985779195
◊ISBN-13: 978-0985779191

Moxie has a plan; she’s determined to rule as queen after her father, King Smedley, dies.

But Smedley refuses to acknowledge her as his heir. Her uncle also wants the throne and he’s already tried once to eliminate Moxie as competition.

            Moxie recognizes she hasn’t been trained to rule and she needs lessons about the real world. Moxie goes on a quest to learn how to rule and to learn about life outside the castle. 

Moxie faces unexpected obstacles as she struggles with adventures in a brutal reality that tests her mettle and determination. 

This is a fantasy coming-of-age story that is decidedly different than the usual ones. The book is filled with satire and humor. What more can a reader wish for? 

It takes place against the backdrop of Camelot, but this isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe where the Knights of the Round Table play football and Guinevere coaches the team’s cheer leaders. The wizard Merlin struggles to understand the Magic of the Mind using primitive ink stained diagrams and Stonehenge is a theater-in-the-round.   

Moxie’s rollicking adventures are the stuff of comedy. Enjoy!

  Add MOXIE’S DECISION to you Goodreadsshelf!

 

Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories.
 
He also writes and lectures about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 19 books and 50 short stories along with dozens of articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a third Moxie novel that takes place in the Camelot era.

He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.
 
Be sure to visit Hank’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BM76IE

This tour-wide giveaway (prizes courtesy of the author) is for five (5) eBooks copies (worldwide) of MOXIE’S DECISION and three (3) print copies of MOXIE’S DECISION (U.S. entries only). The giveaway ends at 12 a.m. (EST) on Monday, July 3. 
 
To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. If the widget doesn’t appear, just CLICKHERE for a chance to win a copy of this fun book.
 
Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy stories with bits of fun blended in?

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#Book #Blitz…K-Love…#BookBoost @FanPerks #NA #Romance #Giveaway

K-Love
Alice Cornwall & Devon Atwood
(Korean Drama Series, #1)
Published: May 4, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Action, Adventure, New Adult, Science Fiction

Chase has been set up. She finds herself on a blind date with a Korean hottie, and all because her mom obsessively loves Korean romance dramas. It turns out that Daniel Bak is actually really dreamy, but things take a turn for the worse when Chase happens upon stolen research on her university professor’s laptop. It throws her into the arms of wealthy corporate heir Hyun Tae, who also happens to be Daniel’s best friend.

Caught between both men, and hunted down by a vengeful CEO, Chase must rely on Hyun Tae’s protection. But when the drama settles, where will her heart land?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

The lunch lady ladled the soup into a bowl and placed a Styrofoam plate with the grilled cheese next to the bowl on her tray. “Anything else?”

“That’s it, thanks.” Chase smiled.

The Asian kid behind her asked for a salad. She caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye as he got his plate of food. He was wearing white skinny jeans, navy sneakers, and a sort of silky gray T-shirt that definitely looked designer. They shuffled along in line until finally it was her turn to pay. Chase handed the thin student cashier her card. He looked at the debit card briefly before handing it back to her. “You need your student card.”

Chase took the card, suddenly nervous. “My what?”

The student had dark blond hair and kind features, but his look of exasperation told her he was thoroughly fed up with answering this question. “Your student ID card. You pay for lunch with it. You can’t get lunch any other way.”

“What, seriously?” Chase looked down at her tray. Her stomach gurgled. “So I have to get my card and then come back?”

“Sorry.”

She swallowed. “My mom didn’t say anything about a student ID card.” The cashier gave her a blank look of disbelief, so she added, “She works in registration.”

“Okay. Well, sorry, but you need a student ID.”

Someone sighed behind her. She was holding up the line.

“Excuse me,” a low voice said from behind her. Chase looked over her shoulder and found the guy with the designer shirt leaning toward her. He held out a student ID card, and reaching over her, handed it to the cashier. “Just pay for both.”

Chase turned to face him, her eyes widening. “Oh . . . ah, wait . . .”

The cashier hesitated.

“No, don’t do that,” Chase insisted. No, no, no! Don’t do that! I don’t like owing a complete stranger, thanks very much.

The guy gave the cashier a nod so full of confidence, Chase was pretty sure anyone would have obeyed an order from him. The cashier swiped the card.

Chase realized she was staring. For one thing, this guy was otherworldly beautiful. He had high cheekbones and warm brown eyes that tilted up at an exotic angle. His chin sloped down to a square point from his razor-like jawline. She almost couldn’t find words to respond to him. And besides that, he held himself like he owned the school.

His eyes flitted to her. “You can go now.”

“Oh.” Direct. And people thought she was made of stone. “Thanks. Sorry.”

“It’s fine.” He had an accent, but it was barely detectable.

She scurried forward with her tray, her face hot and her calm ruffled.

She whirled around to face him but miscalculated the motion by a mile. She collided with the generous stranger, her tray flying off to the side. Tomato soup splattered all over the floor, washing over both their shoes in a torrent of scalding liquid.

The guy jumped back and then looked up from his shoes to her face, his scowl a mixture of incredulity and shock.

The racket in the cafeteria quieted almost instantly. All eyes turned to them. Chase stood there like an idiot with tomato soup trickling down her leg and seeping between her toes. She couldn’t seem to find her voice with the entire cafeteria staring at her.

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#Book #Blitz…Shag Lake…#BookBoost @FanPerks #Action #Adventure #NA #Romance #SciFi #Tour #Giveaway

Shag Lake
Susan McEachern
Publication date: July 11, 2017
Genres: Action, Adventure, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.

Eight years after the awkward incident behind the shed, Geri and Sean meet again. She’s now an ambitious journalist working in a dead end job, and he’s a successful structural engineer working on a classified government project. For different reasons, they’re both interested in a woman who has gone missing midst allegations of a Sasquatch encounter in the vincinity of Shag Lake. Geri is determined to get the scoop on the hottest story to hit the Internet, while Sean is determined to stop her.

Dodging other-worldly creatures and a corrupt shadow government, Geri and Sean struggle to find neutral ground in this debut new adult adventure by author Susan McEachern (who also writes young adult as award-winning author S.M. McEachern).

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Check out the FREE short story, Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss here!!

Where the hell is it? Why can’t I see it?
Keep moving. Don’t look for it. Just go. I’ve run enough marathons to know that distractions, like trying to keep my eye on my opponent, will only slow me down.

A guttural shriek slices through the quiet, and I almost lose it, I almost scream, because the shriek came from somewhere on my right. That means two things are chasing me. I save my scream for later because right now I’m locked in marathon mode, concentrating every ounce of my energy on running.

The trail is just up ahead, and I push harder, trying to remember when the officers said they would be back. An hour? Two? How long have I been out here? Jumping over deadwood and low-lying bushes, grateful for every second that something doesn’t grab me, I head toward the caution tape like it’s a home-free zone. Whatever is running on my right lets out another violent shriek, louder this time, and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s closer to me or just super pissed off.

Clack, clack, clack echoes through the air, the sound of rocks cascading down on other rocks. The noise is coming from up ahead, in the home-free zone of yellow caution tape, where the land ends in a twenty-foot drop-off into the lake.

A third thing is in front of me?

Illogically, I keep running in the direction of the caution tape, back to the crime scene, back to the path that will lead me to the truck, and praying those two RCMP officers are on their way up here now.

I’m almost there; I can see the trampled area of the crime scene and where it abruptly ends at the cliff’s edge. I push myself harder, my lungs burning with the effort. Then something suddenly flies up over the edge of the cliff, as if it had been catapulted.

I stop in my tracks so fast I almost break my ankle, and watch in horrified silence as it lands on two steady feet in a slightly crouched position, arms away from its sides and hands balled into fists in a threatening posture.

The scream I’ve been holding down finally erupts out of me. My eyes wildly dart in every direction, looking for an escape route. I can’t go forward, I can’t go to the right, I can’t go to the left, and for all I know, some thing is behind me too.

Get yourself together, Geri. If I can’t flee, then I have to fight.

Gritting my teeth, I raise the rifle into a ready position, swing it left, and damn near drop it when I almost hit a large mass. It’s just standing there, over eight feet tall, wearing a purple tunic with red writing on it. The thing has a symmetrical face covered in scales with a rigid spine running from its forehead to under its chin, with two large nostrils on either side. Deep yellow eyes with vertical slits for pupils ogle me in what I can only describe as cold interest.

“Geri?”

I barely hear my name being called over the roar of adrenaline pulsating through my ears, but it registers that whatever is crouched by the cliff knows my name. I risk a glance and see a man, naked from the waist up, all rock-hard muscle with sunlight glistening off his wet skin and hair, his chest heaving from exertion.

Am I hallucinating? “Sean?”

I swing my eyes back to the reptile man, but he’s gone. Just disappeared.

Or is he? I couldn’t see him before when he came right up to me and whispered in my ear.

“Are you okay?” Sean calls out to me. “Are you hurt?” Despite the odd mix of concern and wariness lacing his tone, I’m so relieved to hear his voice that I’m weak in the knees. I’m not hallucinating. He’s really here.

“No,” I reply in a breathy voice. “I have my gun on one of them—I think. I can’t see it anymore. And I don’t know what the other one behind me is doing.”

“Geri, lower the gun,” Sean says.

“Are you insane?” I scan the area, looking for any sign of it. “Can you see it? I don’t have eyes on it anymore.” Is it behind me now? I pivot, keeping the rifle aimed.

There’s a light wind blowing the tall straw grass, so it’s hard to tell if anything else is disrupting it.

Suddenly, I’m aware of a rank odor being carried on the breeze. I think maybe the smell has been there for a while but was drowned out by the rush of adrenaline.

“Absolutely nothing is going to hurt you.” The clear underlying threat in Sean’s tone does nothing to calm me. It only confirms that I’m in just as much danger as I thought I was.

Keeping my rifle aimed, I shuffle my feet to do a full sweep around me. Where the hell did it go?

“See? There’s nothing there,” Sean says. “Now lower the gun and walk to me.”

It finally registers that he’s not going to come to me. He’s been standing in the same aggressive stance, using the same threatening tone ever since he flew up over the side of the cliff. And he’s talking to me as if I’m a hostage who has a shot at getting free of her captor if I do everything right.

I don’t know what Sean is doing here at the very moment I need him, at the very place two young women were terrorized and one went missing, but right now I trust him way more than whatever is stalking me.

 

Author Bio:

Award winning author S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) attended Dalhousie University in the 1990s where she earned an Honours Degree in Sustainable Development Studies, specializing in ocean resources. With a background in international development and resource management, as well as being the wife of a military officer, Susan has had first hand experience in international affairs and policies. She attributes Elizabeth Mann Borgese–daughter of Nobel prize winner, Thomas Mann–as one of the greatest influences on her view of world politics. Susan had the privilege to work and study under Mann Borgese, an author, teacher and political activist for world peace. The first book of a series, “Sunset Rising”, combines Susan’s knowledge of politics and resource management with her love for Young Adult literature and action and adventure. The second book of the series, “Worlds Collide”, was published March 2014. The third book, titled “New World Order” was released January 2015.

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#Book #Promo…My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit…#BookBoost #Fiction #Action #Adventure

This is my stop during the blog tour for My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit by Liz Laz. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 29 May till 18 June. See the tour schedule here.

My Not So Normal Life: Spy RecruitMy Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit (My Not So Normal Life #1)
By Liz Laz
Genre: Fiction/ Action/ Adventure
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: May 23, 2017

Blurb:
My name is Lily Anne Gemorski. I am not your normal eleven-year-old. I am a spy. I speak four languages and know how to defend against someone three times my size.

As a new recruit, I have learned a lot about being a spy. What I haven’t learned is how to lie to my best friend, Becky; or how to get my team captain to stop hating me.

You can find My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit on Goodreads

You can buy My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit on Amazon

About the Author:

Liz Laz began writing as a child and penned her first novel, My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit at the age of 15. Liz continued writing in her spare time while attending college at Dominican University and law school at the John Marshall Law School. Liz works as an insurance attorney and writes in her spare time. Liz loves binge watching Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock on Netflix, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. Liz lives with her rescue dog, Robin Hood, just outside of Chicago.

You can find and contact Liz Laz here:
Website
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#Book #Blitz…The Sun God’s Heir…#BookBoost #Historical #Fantasy #Action #Adventure

The Sun God’s Heir: Return
The Sun God’s Heir
Book One
Elliott Baker        
 
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Action and Adventure
 
Publisher: Hypatia Press,
Piscataqua Press
 
Date of Publication: January 18, 2017
 
ISBN: 978-0-9978322-0-4
ASIN: B01MS3RCE0
 
Number of pages: 347
Word Count: 108,000
 
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
 
Tagline: To defeat a brutal pharaoh re-embodied in 17th century France, René Gilbert must fight his way through pirates and slavers to Morocco and reclaim the power of his own ancient past. To succeed, he must remember.

Book Description:
 
For three thousand years a hatred burns -In seventeenth century France two souls incarnate, one born the child of a prosperous merchant, the other, determined to continue a brutal incarnation begun long ago.
 
In ancient Egypt two brothers are disciples of the pharaoh, Akhenaten. When Pharaoh dies, the physician takes the knowledge given and goes to Greece to begin a new mystery school. The general makes a deal with the priests and becomes pharaoh. One remembers, one does not.
 
The year is 1671. René Gilbert’s destiny glints from the blade of a slashing rapier. The only way he can protect those he loves is to regain the power and knowledge of an ancient lifetime. From Bordeaux to Spain to Morocco, René is tested and with each turn of fate he gathers enemies and allies, slowly reclaiming the knowledge and power earned centuries ago. For three thousand years a secret sect has waited in Morocco. 
 
After ages in darkness, Horemheb screams, “I am.” Using every dark art, he manages to maintain the life of the body he has bartered for. Only one life force in the world is powerful enough to allow him to remain within embodiment, perhaps forever. Determined to continue a reign of terror that once made the Nile run red, he grows stronger with each life taken.

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            The boatswain, a large man with scars on his arms and face, walked over to stand in front of René. “Chain him to the mast.”

 Their gazes met.

 “Don’t look at me, boy,” he said, backhanding René in the face. “Look down at the deck when I talk to you. You’re some over-fed nobleman’s kid thinkin’ you make the rules. I’m surprised you ain’t cryin’ for your mama. You got a mama, boy?” he asked and laughed. When René didn’t answer, he hit him again. “I asked you a question, boy. Don’t try my patience, cause I ain’t got none.”

 “My mother died when I was born,” René said, watching the man’s feet to see how he moved. He was cataloging everything he could see out of the corners of his eyes.

 “Well, not to worry, you’ll be seeing her soon.” The boatswain turned to walk away and then turned back and hit René again. “I had to do that,” he said, and walked away laughing.

 Though they had chained him in a way that didn’t allow him to sit, René had enough slack to turn and see most of the ship. He was aboard an English slave ship. She was an older carrack in design, still with the large forecastle. She had seen better days, though. The fact that she was still on the seas suggested either a cutthroat reputation or an experienced captain. Under the wear, the ship was surprisingly clean, her ropes and sails newly repaired and in good order. Second rate though she might be, she was seaworthy. This was a veteran crew, competent in their tasks. It wouldn’t be easy getting free, and even if he could, where would he escape to in the middle of  the ocean? Don’t rush fate. One thing at a time. Do what you can do, he heard the Maestro say. It was clear he would have to pick a fight, and hope he could survive long enough to begin creating allies. The next time the big boatswain walked by, René laughed.

 “What are you findin’ so funny, boy?” The boatswain stuck his face within inches of René’s. René had noticed the boatswain had one leg shorter than the other, and was certain the big man would be touchy on that point. “You walk funny, that’s all,” said René, raising his voice. It was of no use to him if he got beat up and no one knew why. 

 All work within the sound of René’s voice crashed to a complete stop. Silence reigned. René had guessed right. Now he could only hope he would survive his insight.

 The boatswain stood in absolute disbelief, his face turning redder by the moment. “What did you say?” Spittle flew from his mouth. 

 Even the captain had turned to watch. René counted on the fact Gaspard’s agent had given the captain a great deal of money, along with explicit instructions that didn’t include throwing a dead boy overboard. What he didn’t know was how close to dead the agent considered acceptable.

 “I said you walk funny,” René said—louder this time, so there would be no mistaking it.

 “Do you know what a cat is, boy?” the boatswain said, clearly beyond rational thought. René could see the veins standing out in his neck and temples, his eyes shot red with blood.

 “A small animal?” René asked.

 There was a laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain took one look around, and the laugh died.

 “You, James, bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I promise you.” The boatswain’s voice was a rough whisper.

 James walked over and handed the Cat-O-Nine-Tails to the boatswain. As he caught René’s eye, he sadly shook his head. The cat had nine long thongs of blood-encrusted leather dangling from a handle, knots tied along the length of each thong.

 “This here’s a cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there’s a skill and a talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I’m proud to say I have. You see, you need to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs every couple of strokes, to keep ‘em separate. I gotta tell you—as much pride as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I’m forgetful. I try to keep count, but before I know it, I plumb forget to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that don’t happen today.”

 “I also have a skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said quietly.

 For one second, the boatswain paused, confusion written across his face. “Turn him around, and chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”

About the Author:

Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced in the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to release his first novels. The Sun God’s Heir: Return, book one of the trilogy, was released this past January, and book two, Rebirth will come out in April, followed in July by the third and final book of the series, Redemption. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

https://www.elliottbaker.com

https://www.facebook.com/ElliottBakerAuthor/

@elliottbaker on Twitter

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423737.Elliott_Baker    

 

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#Book #Promo…Spies R Us…#BookBoost #Erotica #Action #Adventure

 Top Ten Spy Movies

Spy movies leave the audience on the edge of their seats wanting more. This genre will always hold a classical feel that stands the test of time. Anything can happen and anything usually does. The formula can be different each time—or the same tried and true. Can you guess which franchise I’m talking about?  Since we all would love to save the world from imminent danger without super powers, this task would probably be impossible. However, spy movies allow mere mortals extraordinary skills in the worst of situation. 

10. Mission Impossible and 007—These two franchise are old throw backs that were almost left off. Sometimes the series hits it out of the park, like Sky Fall and Casino Royal, or falls flat like MI-2. These oldie but goodies are a tie since we know exactly what we are getting into when we sit down to watch them.

9. Haywire (2011)—Not the best acting but the fight scenes are worth it. I’m all for girl power and Haywire definitely provides that. 

8. Bourne Identity —Also a franchise, but the modern ‘flip’ shakes things up a bit more then Mission Impossible and 007.

7. Salt (2010)—Angelina Jolie revisit her spy roots in this movie with grit. It was good enough to watch a sequel.

6. All the President’s Men (1976)—The only movie on the list that doesn’t have spies but is about spying. I couldn’t resist adding this to the list, because the acting is awesome and there still a whole lot of intrigue.

5. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)—This movie has action, romance, and humor. It even has Vince Vaughn in his first ‘not that annoying but still kind of annoying’ role. 

4. Three days of the Condor (1975)—Another Robert Redford throwback that doesn’t end the way a spy movie should … or maybe it does. Trust me and put it on your Netflix list to find out. 

3. Safe House (2012)—This movie, with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, is a tricky spy movie in which the audience couldn’t care less who they should root for. Usually we want the good guy to win, but that bad guy seems to be all right, too. 

2. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)—This one is a hoot. Sam Rockwell knocks this mind-blowing ride out of the park. In fact, this movie was so good that many people had to ask if the dude from the Gong Show really was a spy or not. 

1. Argo (2012)—Another must see, this Ben Affleck film was good from beginning to end. This one is even based off of a true story. 

Spies R Us
Amber Malloy
 
Release date: February 2
 
Genre: Erotic Action Adventure. 
 
Publisher: Totally Bound
 
Book Description:
 
The top African American spy, Eden Morgan, was living the good life…
 
Days away from permanently leaving the spy game, Eden Morgan plan of being a stay at home mom goes up in smoke. Number one on the Russian hit list, Eden must leave her beautiful family and figure out who’s trying to kill her.
 
Unfortunately, her agency burns her status, so what should have been only weeks on the run turned into years. Instead of accepting her fate, Eden claws her way from the dead to save the next people on the Russian’s hit list… her kids. However, after three years missing, her homecoming isn’t well received. She finds that her awesome husband has moved on with a perky school teacher; not to mention her twins barely remember her. With a good idea who’s behind the plot to kill them, Eden must navigate car pool lanes, bitchy moms, and one angry, sexy husband.
 
By definition, Vann Morgan was charmed. One gorgeous wife and twins, and the most difficult thing in his life was reconstruction of his Chicago brownstone. Unfortunately everything changes when his lovely wife disappears and no one but him seems to care. After some years, Vann makes a new normal as a single dad, but his routine is blown apart when his long lost wife comes back. Unable to trust Eden with his heart, he soon uncovers that everything surrounding her disappearance was all his fault.

 Amazon    Totally Bound

 About the Author

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

Twitter @ambermalloy

 
 

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#Book #Blitz…The Animal Under the Fur…#BookBoost #Action #Adult #Romance

The Animal Under
E.J. Mellow
Publication date: March 30, 2017
Genres: Action, Adult, Romance

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.

Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.

But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

E.J. Mellow is the award-winning author of the contemporary fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series and The Animal Under The Fur. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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#Book #Promo…In the Prison of Our Grief…#BookBoost #Action #Thriller

About the Book

Title: In The Prison of Our Grief

Author: S.E. Amadis

Genre: Action Thriller

A harsh prison in England.

The grisly, tragic murder of three babies.

The murderess is on the loose… And Carrie Anne’s made friends with her.

Will she be able to find out the truth in time? Or will she become this sadistic murderess’ next victim?

Once again, Carrie Anne finds herself in the centre of another terrifying ordeal…

In this exciting sequel to Patricia, we follow seventeen-year-old Carrie Anne Houghton and her new comrades-in-arms in a whirling, dizzying, action-packed adventure that spans two continents, from the glitzy high-rises of New York City to the lonely expanses of rural Canada to the glamour and colour of Mediterranean tourist resorts.

Persecution, murder, lies and deceit. Traps, stormy Gothic settings, abandoned mansions and secret passageways. All of this comes to vivid life in the pages of In the Prison of our Grief.

A gripping, fast-paced, action-packed thriller featuring a strong female protagonist and a quirky male counterpart. This book can be read as a standalone.

 

Author Bio

I could never write about a happy, conventional couple living in a happy, conventional, suburban neighbourhood with two cars and one and a half children, a dog and a pet bird, working at happy, conventional, uneventful jobs.

My heroes and heroines have to walk through fire (or rather, crawl through fire), get strangled, beaten, shot at, drowned, poisoned, get caught in tornados or earthquakes or get attacked by mutant gnats. Or, they have to strangle, beat, shoot, drown and poison other people.

A story with anything less than these dramatic, hair-raising elements was always too boring for me to even consider telling.

I believe in magic. I believe that the world is full of mystery, and that there are more things in heaven and earth than could ever be dreamt of in our conventional, logic-based philosophies.

Outside of that, as a dry, mundane list of facts about me, I’m a single parent from a village near Montreal, Canada, who now enjoys the freaking great good fortune to live happily with my two sons on the almost-tropical south coast of Spain, basking in summer eight months of the year. Typical activities include running a marathon with the kids to school every morning and cooking frequently for an Always Hungry teenaged son with four stomachs.

 

Links

Author website: www.SEAmadis.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/seamadis/

Twitter: @seramadis

Amazon author page, on:

www.amazon.com/S.E.-Amadis/e/B019R5T9SW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

or

www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pdt_bl_sr?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=S.E.+Amadis

You can purchase the book at:

www.amazon.com/Prison-Gripping-Fast-Paced-Action-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01ATOL51O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

or

www.amazon.co.uk/Prison-Gripping-Fast-Paced-Action-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01ATOL51O/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1485418787&sr=8-4&keywords=S.E.+Amadis

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#Book #Promo…The Azrael Initiative…#BookBoost #Action #Thriller

The Azrael Initiative
Kayla Falk Series Book 1
by K Hanson
Genre: Action Thriller

Best friends Kayla Falk, an engineering student, and Olivia Bellamy, who is studying nursing, are nearing the end of their college career when terrorists attack their university. Through a combination of cleverness, bravery, and luck, the two manage to foil the deadly plot. A mysterious man from the United States government, Mr. Hightower, sees their potential and attempts to recruit Kayla and Olivia for a program to take on ISIS. They initially refuse, but another terrorist attack that strikes close to home pushes them to change their minds and join the Azrael Initiative.

After several months of hard training, the two women are dropped into Al-Raqqah, the capital of ISIS, in Syria. Once there, they must blend in with the locals as they strike from the shadows to kill ISIS leaders, destroy their facilities, and free captives. As Americans deep within enemy territory, they know that they will be killed if discovered. As women, they also know that they would suffer before death. Walking the line between vengeance and justice strains their relationship. As they work to resolve their differences, the symphony of brutality around them ultimately pushes them closer together and forges them into the warriors that they were meant to become.

Goodreads * Amazon

 

 

K Hanson is a new author and is currently working on launching his debut novel, The Azrael Initiative, which features two young women being thrown into the fight against ISIS. He is also working on Storm Raven, the first book in a new fantasy series.

K lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he works as a software developer. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading, working out, playing video games, and spending time with his wonderful girlfriend, Bobbi.

Some of his favorite authors are Tom Clancy, George R. R. Martin, and Sarah Maas.

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#Book #Promo…Storm Ketchum #Adventures…#BookBoost #Mystery #Historical

Port Starbird
Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 1
by Garrett Dennis
Genre: Mystery, Historical Adventure

Mystery, History, and Adventure in the Outer Banks!

~WHERE IS PORT STARBIRD? ~

Find out in this quirky tale set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

In this quirky low-key murder mystery/adventure, Storm Ketchum, a amaged emigre to the coastal town of Avon on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, likes to mind his own business and isn’t any kind of detective-until he’s forced to become one by extraordinary circumstances. On the verge of losing his modest waterfront home to an unscrupulous developer, Ketch stumbles onto the scene of a crime that might expose the perpetrator of an unsolved murder and enable him to save not only his own home, but also the similarly threatened bohemian boatyard community he’s inexorably drawn into. And in case Plan A fails, he’s hard at work on a Plan B that’s both laudable and pitiable. Together with his loyal dog, a salty charter boat captain, the sketchy denizens of the boatyard, and an alluring scuba diving instructor who may or may not have a hidden agenda, Ketch struggles to make sense of his new reality, while trying to save some of the things that really matter along the way.

 
Port of Refuge
Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 2

~ WITCHERY & MAYHEM IN THE OUTER BANKS ~

Welcome to PORT OF REFUGE – another light and quirky island mystery steeped in Outer Banks culture, from the author who took you to PORT STARBIRD.

Storm Ketchum, a damaged emigre to Hatteras Island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, generally prefers to stay close to home and mind his own business – but he unexpectedly finds himself entangled with a cult-like coven of modern-day Roanoke Island witches when a relative of his paramour meets an untimely end on church property. Is the High Priestess of the Croatoan Covenant Church really in contact with the departed spirits of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island? Are the members of her church really from both this world and the next? Or is she just a con artist preying on gullible Wiccan acolytes – and is she a killer? A desire to provide closure for the family drives Ketch to once again call on his amateur sleuthing skills to conjure up answers to these and other questions, in the process risking the physical and spiritual well-being of both himself and the one he loves.

Join Ketch, his loyal dog Jack, and his Kinnakeet Boatyard friends as they embark on a bewitching new adventure in the picturesque Outer Banks, where intrigue continues to cast its spell on them all.

 
The Port Fee
Storm Ketchum Adventure Book 3

“ENGAGING AND QUIRKY MYSTERY, HISTORY, AND ADVENTURE!”

Underwater, everybody can hear you scream, but they can’t tell where you are… Ketch is at it again in the magical Outer Banks of North Carolina, in this new adventure from the author of PORT STARBIRD and PORT OF REFUGE.

It’s a picture-perfect summer afternoon on a pristine beach near a ghost seaport on an uninhabited island. What could go wrong? But things do, when two bodies wash ashore and Ketch stumbles upon clues that lead to the sunken treasure of an old-time buccaneer off Portsmouth Island. Ketch isn’t the only one who has an interest in the treasure, and it exposes both him and his adversaries to unexpected obligations and consequences. It seems everyone has to pay the port fee…

Good guys and bad guys, boating and diving, a dash of romance, and a mysterious otherworldly presence all come together in THE PORT FEE, Ketch’s most challenging adventure to date.

 

Garrett lives in upstate New York, where he and his wife serve as housekeeping staff for two rather spoiled dogs. He has graduate degrees in biology and computer science. After a career that ranged from testing experimental drugs (legal ones, and not on himself!) to developing computer operating system software, he decided to retire from the real world and try his hand at writing fiction. Garrett lived in coastal North Carolina for a while some years back, and the current focus of his writing is a place that’s very special to him, the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, which he still visits as often as possible. There are now three books in his Storm Ketchum Adventures series of quirky Outer Banks suspense novels, plus two short Storm Ketchum Tales.

 

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