Thursday teasers: New releases from your favorite BestSelling authors


BestSelling Reads member authors have been a busy bunch this winter, releasing 11 excellent novels. And there are more to come by May.

Here are the latest releases from your favorite writers.

January 12


Thriller by Alan McDermott

When MI5 learns that a horrifying new weapon is in enemy hands, agent Andrew Harvey is called in to track it down before it reaches British soil.

Get it on Amazon.

January 23

Conspiracy of Lies

By Caleb Pirtle III

It was the race for the bomb. America was at war a long way from home. Hitler’s war machine was storming across Europe. Russia wanted to become a world power. All three nations knew that whoever split the atom and developed the atomic bomb first would rule the world.

Get it on AmazonKobo or Barnes & Noble.

January 28

Amelia The Mother: A Pocket Full of Innocence

By D.G. Torrens

Amelia Series Book 3—Amelia takes her readers on an emotional journey, of how she used her own past as an example of “How not to parent.”

Get it on Amazon.

January 31

Imperfect Harmony

By Raine Thomas

House of Archer, Book 1—The line between reality and Reality TV begins to blur for rock singer Dane Archer when he starts falling for his best friend, Lily.

Get it on Amazon.

Scorch Road: JT

Romance thriller by Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

Scorch Series Book 1—A new romantic action adventure series for fans of romance thriller suspense and family romance series!

Get it on Amazon.

February 19

Wired Hard

Mystery by Toby Neal

Paradise Crime Book 3—Security specialist Sophie Ang has a new case: someone is looting artifacts from a royal Hawaiian archaeological site on Maui. Things get deadly fast—while Sophie walks a tightrope between new love and heartbreak.

Get it on AmazonBarnes and NobleKOBO or iBooks.

February 21

Cinder Road: Dolf

Romance thriller By Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

Scorch Series Romance Thriller Book 2—How can Dolf protect his twin’s brave, stubborn widow, Avital, and hide his feelings from her as they struggle to live long enough to reach the Haven?

Get it on Amazon

February 22

Walking Out of War

Military biography by Scott Bury

Book 3 in the Eastern Front trilogy—A Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army fights to survive the death struggle between Nazi Germany and the USSR, then elude Stalin’s NKVD to return home to Canada.

Get it on Amazon.

February 24

Night Side of Dark

Historical mystery by Caleb Pirtle III

Ambrose Lincoln Series Book 3—American operative Ambrose Lincoln must find an ancient religious painting in bomb-ruined Poland before the Gestapo can use it to bring about Nazi Germany’s victory.

Get it on AmazonKobo or Barnes & Noble.

March 5

Cassidy Jones and the Eternal Flame

Middle-grade superhero adventure by Elise Stokes

Cassidy Jones Adventures book 5—The diabolical Metal Woman takes three hostages. Her ransom demand: an unprecedented weapon, rumored to have been a gift to the Third Reich from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. Only Cassidy Jones can stop her.

Get it on Amazon.

March 14

Smoke Road: Luca

Romance thriller by Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

Scorch Series Romance Thriller Book 3—Ex-Special Forces Luca Luciano joins an elite commando unit tracking down the suspicious origins of the Scorch Flu plague. Sparks fly as he and his commanding officer, Dr. Haunani “Nani” Kagawa race to find the bioterrorists responsible.

Get it on Amazon.

Coming soon

April 4

Burnt Road: Dante

Romance thriller by Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

Dante, the genius Luciano brother who made millions in the California IT industry, faces twin challenges when the Scorch Flu pandemic hits: his own autism, and getting an actress from Malibu to JT’s safe compound in Idaho.

Pre-order it from Amazon.

April 18

Wedding Dreams: Memory’s Edge

Contemporary romance by DelSheree Gladden, part of the Wedding Dreams boxed set—20 delicious nuptial romances.

Gretchen finds a man injured on the road. After he wakes, “John Doe”  has no memory. As he pieces his life together, he begins falling in love with the woman who rescued him.

Pre-order from Amazon.

May 5

Place of Skulls

Thriller by Caleb Pirtle III

Ambrose Lincoln series, boook 4—Has a DEA agent found unmistakable proof that Christ walked the land of the Aztecs fifteen hundred years after his crucifixion in Palestine? Ambrose Lincoln can’t dig past the charred fragments of his memory, but he must unravel the legend of the white-skinned, blue-eyed god whose sixteenth-century ministry, death, resurrection and promise to return parallels the story of the man called Christ.

Pre-order it from Amazon or Kobo.

May 17

Flame Road: Cash

Romance thriller by Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

The Scorch Flu pandemic sweeps through Colorado, sending adrenaline junkie Cash, one of the six Luciano brothers, through the wilderness to his family’s survival compound in Idaho. On the way, he finds a traumatized woman with no idea where or who she is.

Find more information on Toby Neal’s website.

Stay tuned

Your favorite BestSelling authors are always hard at work on new books to delight, inspire, thrill and scare you. So keep watching this page for new books!



Caleb Pirtle joins BestSelling Reads


Prolific, bestselling author Caleb Pirtle III has re-joined BestSelling Reads, the association of professional, independent authors. One of the first members of the group, Pirtle is returning in 2017.

The author of more than 70 books, Pirtle has been a newspaper reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was the travel editor of Southern Living Magazine for ten years. He was editorial director for a Dallas custom publisher for more than 25 years.

A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, Pirtle was the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Since then, several of his books and his magazine articles have received national and regional awards.

His fiction includes the Ambrose Lincoln series: Secrets of the Dead, Conspiracy of Lies, and Night Side of Dark. The fourth book in the series, Place of Skulls, will be released in the spring of 2017. His latest novel is Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever.

He has also written three teleplays that were produced on major networks.

Pirtle is also the author of a number of non-fiction titles. Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk recounts the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield, and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow is the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II.

His coffee-table book, XIT: The American Cowboy, was the third-bestselling art book in publishing history.

With his wife, Linda, Caleb Pirtle founded Venture Galleries, an author’s promotional platform.

You can find more about Caleb on his BestSelling Reads author page or his Amazon Author page.


Thursday teaser: Sweet Valentine Treats


By BestSelling Reads members

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, and BestSelling Reads is offering anyone who subscribes to receiving our notifications by email a free copy of Sweet Valentines Treats—an anthology of romantic, hot, sweet and exciting books by some of the best voices in new fiction.

Just to whet your appetite, here are some sample lines:

Under the colorful lights, she moves like a flower in the wind, flying like rainbow colors after a beautiful rain. I realize I’ve now reached her level, and I see that she is dancing alone.
—A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan

They had already finished cocktails. She had dragged Larry into the kitchen while the others waited in the living room. And what was he doing? He was pinching her.
—Zombie Candy by Frederick Lee Brooke

She was a dream. My dream. A tall woman with long, wavy brown hair. Couldn’t be more than 30 years old. In a big floppy hat. And a string bikini.
—One Shade of Red by Scott Bury

A lush body that made promises it had never fulfilled. Zoe bit her lip, hating her body for its betrayal. Hating having to do this article. She persevered, filling in imaginary answers.
—Somewhere on Maui by Toby Neal

The moon vanished as the first raindrop plunked into a bucket, rippling its dark surface. Hitch looked heavenward and sucked a last drag, the lines in his face etched deeper in the ember’s glow.
—The Devil of Light by Gae-Lynn Woods

A drunk woman fell into Evan’s lap about two hours into the wedding reception. He’d seen her coming from across the dance floor. She’d been glancing his way for the better part of an hour.
—Meant for Her by Raine Thomas

I’d pulled on my jeans but was still wearing Emmanuel’s shirt. I didn’t want to take it off; the soft cotton, the bigness of it, how it hid me underneath—Emmanuel’s shirt made me feel safe.
—One Kiss by Emily Kimelman

Oh, we were women all right. A man could have just about anything he wanted, he just had to figure out what it took to get it. Talk sweet. Make you tingle.
—My Last Romance by Kathleen Valentine

All you have to do to get all nine full books for free is to fill out the subscription form on the top right.

Happy reading and happy Valentines!


Monday musings: Alan McDermott introduces himself


I’m Alan, and I’m the author of seven thrillers.  The first six are part of the Tom Gray action thriller series, while the latest, Trojan, is a spinoff featuring the MI5 team led by Andrew Harvey.

Back in July 2011, my first book hit the Amazon shelves.  Gray Justice was written as a standalone, just to see if I could do it.  My ambition back then was to make a few pounds a month to top up a meagre salary, and sales were pitiful.  It was six months before I received my first royalty cheque, because in those days you had to reach £10 before they paid you!  It was during that period that someone left a review on Amazon asking what was going to happen to Tom next.  The truth was, I had no idea!  Still, I wrote Gray Resurrection, and then Gray Redemption.  The plan was to stop there, but more and more people were interested in Gray’s adventures, so I started on Gray Retribution.  By this time, the books had sold roughly 50,000 copies, and I got a call from Thomas & Mercer offering me a four-book contract.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, as with Gray Justice and every book since, I write by the seat of my pants.  I’ve tried plotting books out beforehand but never manage to stick to the story.  My main character has evolved immensely over time, going from a thinly-painted figure (mainly to hide his true intentions) to a fully-rounded character loved by many.  One thing that has changed is my writing style.  Back in 2011 I had no idea what POV meant, and it shows in my early work.  However, working with the editor at Thomas & Mercer on my last four books has taught me so much about the art.   Reading a lot has also helped me add more descriptive content to my work without bogging the story down.  I like my action fast-paced, and I want to give the same to my readers.

Most of my writing is done during the week at the local library using a notepad and pen.  Once I have 20 or so pages, I spend a day at home typing them up and editing as I go.  Weekends are reserved for my family.  I’m not really one for flying, so my wife and daughters take holidays abroad while I stay at home and catch up on the things I can’t do while they’re around, such as binge-watching box sets like Game of Thrones.

Read more about Alan on his BestSelling Reads author page.


Thursday teasers: New BestSelling Reads from your favorite authors


Your favorite writers have been hard at work. Here are the newest books, just out or soon to be, from BestSelling  Reads members.

sugarforsugarsebkirby2Sugar for Sugar by Seb Kirby

How far would you go to uncover the secrets of your past?

Issy Cunningham has made a new life for herself but that’s all about to come crashing down.

If only she could recall what happened that Valentine’s Eve, she would be able to tell the police what really took place.

But those memories won’t come because there’s too much in the past that troubles her.

How can she set the record straight when her past won’t let her be?

Get it now on Amazon.

tgwtgEmily (author photo)The Girl with the Gun by Emily Kimelman

When international fugitive Sydney Rye turns herself over to authorities in order to protect the vigilante network she inspired, her freedom depends on helping Homeland Security shift the tides in a war for “hearts and minds.”

Recruiting female fighters to take on jihadists because being killed by a woman is the only thing they fear (it bars their entrance to heaven) is the perfect assignment for Sydney and her dog, Blue. But when the director who enlisted her is killed and the deal she made is scrapped, Sydney and Blue are left in a war zone, hunted by the U.S government and jihadists.

Get it now on Amazon.

wired-rouge-text-usa-today-high-res-185x278TobyNealWired Rogue by Toby Neal

“Wired in” to her computers, MMA-fighting tech agent Sophie Ang has been content in her clean, cool tech lab, where she chases criminals online, continuing a dance in the dark with the enigmatic vigilante known as the Ghost.

Tumultuous changes from without and within eject her from her agency cocoon to the front lines, where she finds herself in partnership with a brilliant, overbearing, larger-than-life ex-Special Forces operative, Jake Dunn. They climb walls, dodge bullets, kidnap children and dig up bodies for a case that might cost her life—and has already taken her badge.

Get it now on Amazon.


smalltownfocusRenee PawlishSmall Town Focus: A Reed Ferguson Mystery by Renée Pawlish

With this one sentence, Gina Smith immediately draws Denver private investigator Reed Ferguson into a case. Questioning her past and yearning to find the mother she’s never met, Gina hires Reed to find answers. With the help of his wife, Willie, his best friend Cal, and the always amusing Goofball Brothers, Reed’s search for Gina’s mother leads him to a rural Colorado town and a puzzling mystery that involves a decades-old kidnapping, a powerful small-town mayor, a seductively charming pastor, and an unsolved murder. And if Reed isn’t careful, the murderer’s focus could turn to him.

Small Town Focus is a suspense-filled mystery, with a Bogie-wannabe detective, a dose of humor, and a clever homage to film noir. From the award-wining author of This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies.

Great for fans who love a fast-paced, humorous read, without a lot of swearing or sex.

Get it now on Amazon.

obliviousgirlshandbookDelShereeGladden4The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook by DelSheree Gladden

Being oblivious to all the signs that your life is about to fall apart doesn’t stop it from happening to Sara Taylor.

Alone except for the Siamese cat her boyfriend—ex-boyfriend—Joseph left behind to teach her a lesson, Sara has no clue how to survive on her own. She hasn’t handled her own bills in years, can’t meet a deadline without someone else programming alarms into her phone, and is constantly either losing important things or getting herself hopelessly lost. Sara has no idea how she’s supposed to move out of her university apartment and start her first real job without someone there to hold her hand.

Although she knows her new friend Monroe would step in to help, she’s not about to call him after having thrown him out of her apartment when his suspicions about Joseph prove true and Sara is left angry and mortified. It doesn’t take long before she is desperate to lean on someone else’s strength, even for just a few minutes, as real life begins to overwhelm her. Pride forces her to either sink or swim, even when sinking seems the most likely outcome.

Get it now on Amazon.

violenceinvegasJulie Gilbert 2013Violence in Vegas by Julie C. Gilbert

Coming December 1

Sin City holds some dark secrets …

But Marcella Scott’s in town to help Angela Melkin-Pierce with a small case of sabotage. Somebody’s been slashing guests’ tires and ransacking rooms at The Grand Game Hotel. With the guest list including the Reno Birdwatcher’s Society and the Paradise Quilting Club, the suspect list is kind of thin. The only intriguing option is Gatton Technologies. When the eccentric billionaire who runs the company decides to host a masquerade party at the hotel, Marcella goes undercover.

The air of elegance quickly turns to terror when masked men kidnap Jeffrey Gatton and Angela.

Marcella’s going to need all of her wits—and a borrowed handgun or two—if she wants to survive the violence in Vegas.

Get more information on Julie’s website.

More to come

black-jasmine-185x287Keep watching this blog for more exciting news about books from your favorite bestselling authors. Fill out the form at the top right of this page to Subscribe to BestSelling Reads by email and you can download a free copy of Toby Neal’s Black Jasmine.



Sweet Treat Thursday: A romance giveaway


ValentineBundle-FacebookIs there an avid romance reader that you want to be your Valentine?

No romance reader could resist a boxed set of 9 romantic e-books from the freshest voices in fiction today. And you can get them for FREE simply by signing up to receive the BestSelling Reads e-newsletter. Fill out the form on the right and you’ll get this nine-book volume in Kindle format FREE in your inbox.

We promise not to spam you. The BestSelling Reads email newsletter comes out three to four times per year, giving you advance notice on upcoming books from your favorite BestSelling authors. You can unsubscribe at any time, and of course we promise not to sell or give away your contact information to anyone else.

And you can make it the gift of romantic reading for your special Valentine.

Happy reading!


Teaser Thursday: Ashlynn’s Dreams


By Julie Gilbert

AshLynnsDreamsCoverI had another one of those weird dreams where I can hear a conversation I know I shouldn’t be able to. Sometimes I fight these dreams by pushing ’em back and pretending I never heard ’em. It ain’t normal to hear things while you’re sleeping. Only Nana and Dr. S. know it ever happens, but I trust ’em both not to blab it across the world. If we told most doctors, they’d probably wanna study me or something. It’s our secret. I had to tell someone, so this ought to do the trick.

Oh, I suppose Danielle knows, too, but she wouldn’t say nothing to the wrong people. Daddy Three knows, too. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s kid cousin; a lot of people know my secret.

Don’t fret. Don’t fret. No threat means don’t worry yet. Nana said that so it must be true.


“Shut up; no names!” snapped another man, obviously Darren.

I recognized his voice as that of the first man who kidnapped me.

“You want the little freak to wake up and come hunting you down someday?” demanded Darren.

“You’ve been watching way too many movies, man. That stuff I gave her would take down an angry pit bull.”

“You don’t know these kids like I do,” Darren muttered. “Freaks, all of them.”

“I thought you said we only wanted the little kid. I don’t like this complication. The—”

“You saw how the kid reacted,” Darren replied. His voice sounded quiet but mean, like a coiled spring fixing to take someone’s eye out. “Besides, kidnapping and murder will draw just as much attention as a double kidnapping. This way, at least the boss can put his own spin on it. He can kill the other girl later if he wants, but it’s a lot harder to undo a murder.”

The two men fell quiet.

“Aw, stop it. You’re like an old, worrying woman,” Darren said, breaking the brief silence. “We’re getting paid well enough, aren’t we?”

“Money’s one thing, but I didn’t sign on to snatch kids.”

“Think of her as an overgrown lab rat,” Darren said soothingly. “The experiment failed, and we’re here to clean up the mess.”

“Clean up? As in kill?”

That’s all of the conversation I remember. Only hearing part of the conversation is probably the most frustrating part of the dreams. Overall, it’s a pretty useless skill to have, though I must say I’ve probably overhead more Christmas and birthday gifts than anyone else in the world. The downside is that anytime I say something I’m not supposed to know Momma just thinks I’ve been eavesdropping on her. I guess she’s right, but subconscious eavesdropping don’t count. Dr. S. says I ought to tell Momma about the dreams, but she don’t know Momma like I do. Momma would probably bust a button if she knew.

Win a copy!

Answer this question in the Comments section (link at top) to be eligible for a draw for a free e-copy of Ashlynn’s Dreams:

What are the names of Devya’s Children and what are their Gifts?

About Ashlynn’s Dreams (Devya’s Children Book 1)

Twelve-year-old Jillian Blairington is just an ordinary girl—bright, brave, and sometimes a bit too headstrong for her own good. She never thought she was particularly special or different than anybody else.

She was wrong.

Everything changes the day she and her babysitter, Danielle, are kidnapped and taken to a secret scientific facility. There Jillian learns she has a new name, Ashlynn, and a strange connection to the other children at the lab. They each have powerful abilities, Gifts that Jillian doesn’t quite understand. As if that wasn’t enough to absorb, Jillian discovers she has a Gift of her own—the power to enter other people’s dreams.

Jillian’s task seems simple enough: the scientists want her to use her ability to find another Gifted child who has disappeared. But the longer Jillian stays in the facility, the more she realizes that nothing is as it seems … and everybody has secrets. Besides, the boy’s life is not the only one at stake. The scientists will stop at nothing to force Jillian’s cooperation, even if that means threatening Danielle.

Jillian knows they have to get free. But after all they’ve seen, will they ever truly escape?

About the author

Julie Gilbert 2013Teaching and writing make up about 90% of my life. The other smidgen would probably be split between Legos, Star Wars collecting, and drinking decaf coffee or a strong peppermint tea. I might also be a candy addict. I occasionally do puzzles, but crossword puzzles bore me. I’m more of a word search gal because there’s always a chance of winning those.

Visit Julie on:

And follow her on Twitter: @authorgilbert or @jilliananddeli.




Teaser Thursday: Thirteen to None


Book 8 in the Vigilante Series

By Claude Bouchard

It’s a new year and time for new things. Teaser Thursday is a new feature on BestSelling Reads where we’ll showcase a member’s book with an excerpt and sometimes a giveaway. This week we present new BestSelling Reads member author Claude Bouchard, author of the USA Today Bestselling Vigilante series.

ThirteenToNone As Nose approached the clearing, a house came into view and he could hear voices, likely female, though he couldn’t distinguish what they were saying. Creeping forward, he took cover behind some bushes and as he peered through the branches, he spotted two women, the same two he had seen cruise by on the boat. They were busy at the side of the house, covering some big and bulky object with a large tarpaulin.

Scanning the area, he saw no one else around and hoped these two lovely ladies were alone. He noticed a plane moored at the dock and grinned at the thought of going for a ride with the two women, getting it on in the air. If they were alone, it was likely that one or both were pilots and his fantasy could actually come true.

Deciding there was no time like the present, he stepped into the clearing and moved toward them across the lawn, approaching quickly but soundlessly from behind as they concentrated on their task.

“Good afternoon, ladies,” he said, his smile and friendly demeanour in contradiction with the pistol he held trained on them.

Startled, both women spun around and stared back at him in shock for a moment before one spoke.
“What the hell is this?” Sandy demanded. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“Well, well,” Nose replied, his confidence fuelled by cocaine, single malt scotch and his gun. “Aren’t you a feisty one?”

“She’s not feisty,” Cathy snapped. “You come barging on our property pointing a gun at us. What do you expect? That we offer you a drink?”

Nose grinned. “Actually, a drink would be nice if you’re offering.”

“We’re not offering,” Cathy shot back, taking a step forward.

“Whoa, babe,” said Nose, stepping away and raising the gun. “Stay the f**k where you are.”

“What happens if she doesn’t?” Leslie asked from behind him. “Don’t move and drop the gun or I’ll hurt you real bad.”

Nose stiffened and became statue-like but held onto the gun.

“I know I spoke quickly and you’re probably slow,” said Leslie, “But I really need you to drop the gun right now if you don’t want me to hurt you.”

With his gun arm already extended, Nose suddenly spun around, ready to shoot and in the few seconds which followed, several things happened. First, Nose heard the high-pitched, whirring sound of an electric motor. As he completed his spin, he felt a severe flash of pain and saw his right forearm, from just below the elbow to the hand holding the gun, drop to the ground as blood spewed from his amputated limb. Last of all, he saw a gorgeous but clearly angry woman with flaming red hair, but he only saw her for a second before she slashed deeply into his chest with a battery-powered chainsaw and ended his life.

About Thirteen to None

An iron-fisted crime lord, Butch Kincaid demands an intense, high-risk pace from his men. When he introduces home invasion for death and destruction at his command, his crew is enthusiastic. Butch promises them the summer of a lifetime: multiple invasions, an orgy of terror, rape and murder.

Their first stop, the home of a retired couple in Brighton, Ontario, is a resounding success, as per their standards. Their next stop, several hundred miles away in Knowlton, Quebec, promised to be even more exciting… The home of an attractive and obviously affluent couple… The home of Sandy and Chris Barry.

Get it from Amazonor

Answer the question below in the Comments section to be entered into a draw for a free e-copy from the author:

How vulnerable is your home to invasion?

About the author

CBouchardBorn and raised in Montreal, Claude completed his studies at McGill University and held various management positions in the corporate jungle before turning to fiction writing full time in 2009. He has since published fourteen works, eleven of which are part of his bestselling Vigilante Series.

Visit his:

And follow him on Twitter @ceebee308


Focus Friday: The Maltese Pigeon


By David Bishop

TMP-1A woman in her mid-thirties sat in a law firm in front of the largest desk she had ever seen. Across from her sat attorney William Ginsberg. She presented a California driver’s license and a passport identifying her as Catherine Martin. The firm possessed a letter and a package to be delivered to Catherine four months after the death of Alice Martin, Catherine’s grandmother.

Catherine didn’t fully understand why she was there. An assistant to Mr. Ginsberg had called to set the appointment, saying nothing beyond, “We have been your grandmother’s attorney for decades. She left certain items with us for delivery to you. Mr. Ginsberg will answer any other questions you care to ask.”

The existence and contents of the letter and the package were a mystery to Catherine. She knew her grandmother had a modest sum of money, and that Grannie had always been a very private woman living a quiet life.

“What . . . Mr. Ginsberg? I’m sorry, my mind wandered for a moment. You asked?”

“Is this address on your driver’s license still good? For our file, you understand.”

Before speaking, Catherine let her eyes track a line of ornate carving on the modesty panel of Ginsberg’s desk. “Six months before my grandmother’s death I left Sacramento to move in with her here in Long Beach. Following her death, I remained in her home. Now, I’m considering moving to a hotel or renting a little place. I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Long Beach, perhaps a few months until her affairs are in order. I’m probably being silly, but after Grannie’s death her home seemed a bit . . . creepy, I guess . . . somehow. As soon as I get settled, I’ll let you know.

“If my grandmother left a letter and package for me, why didn’t she just give them to me? I was with her almost constantly during her last six months. What’s in this package?”

“Our firm does not know the contents of either the letter or package. I just buzzed my assistant to bring them in. I was surprised when I read the obituary you had published after your grandmother passed on. I only knew her as Alice Martin, but your announcement said she was born Alena Maltisi. I confess to having done little to prepare for our chat this morning. I did make a cursory review of our archived file where I found references to the name Maltisi.”

Attorney Ginsberg swivelled his chair slightly to one side to more directly face Catherine. “When your grandmother first became a client of the firm, over thirty years ago, we helped her change her name to Alice Martin. This was done with maximum secrecy. Only the judge saw the name Maltisi and the judge ordered the file sealed. All that is very unusual, I’ve never known of such an occurrence for a name change. In any event, your publishing of her obituary again brought the name Maltisi out into the open.”

“My grandmother was born in Russia. My mother and I were born on the island country of Malta where my great, great grandmother took for us the name Maltisi. When I was an infant my grandmother brought us to the United States. My grandmother always loved the name Maltisi. I often asked why we didn’t use that name in America. She would only say that one day I would understand. Beyond that, she insisted I refer to myself as Catherine Martin without reference to the name Maltisi or our life before coming to America. Long ago, I stopped asking further about the name Maltisi. When she died at age ninety, I felt it appropriate to include the name she loved in the announcements of her death. May I ask, when did Grannie . . . ah, my grandmother, give you this letter and package?”

“Thirty years ago, on your fifth birthday. I wasn’t with the firm then. The partner who originally set up the file has died. I took over your grandmother’s account ten years ago. There’s no current legal matter under contest, never has been. Our purpose today is simply to identify you and deliver the letter and package. Your grandmother and I met once each year to review and, if she wished, to amend her instructions. She paid all our fees and for all our time including carrying out her instructions today. You’ll owe us nothing unless you retain us to provide further services. With her death, our responsibility was limited to making this delivery.”

“Did I ever come here with my grandmother?”

“Perhaps as a child, I wouldn’t know. Over the ten years since I joined the firm, I don’t believe so. I can’t be certain beyond you were never here in my office where I met with your grandmother. Don’t you recall whether or not you came during any of those earlier years?”

“Not at the moment. My mother died when I was very young. I attended several boarding schools and spent summers with either my grandmother or my aunt, Natasha. If I came here it would have been during one of those summers. It’s possible, even likely, at the time I didn’t consider it important enough to remember. Forgive what that implies. It would be my immaturity that would cause that thought. If we did meet, please don’t think me rude for not recalling.”

“I understand these are not easy times.”

A light knock on the door preceded a woman’s entry. She moved gracefully across the thick carpeting, stopping at the side of Ginsberg’s desk. Her eyes were framed in mascara, her lids brushed with a faint blue. She leaned in far enough to set a small box in front of her employer. On top of the box she balanced a sealed, somewhat yellowed envelope. She stood erect, nodded slightly, said nothing, smiled at Catherine, and left. The door closed without a sound. Mr. Ginsberg pushed the box and envelope toward Catherine, just far enough to symbolize “these are for you.” He picked up the single sheet of paper Catherine had noticed at the center of his old-fashioned desk blotter when she entered.

“You’ll need to sign this.” He held the paper in his extended hand. “It’s a receipt for your grandmother’s letter and the box. I will then sign at the bottom confirming. You’ll be given a copy.”

“May I read her letter first?”

Ginsberg inclined his head and held it lowered for a moment, followed by a perfunctory smile. “Please, take the time and do it now. It may generate other questions you wish to ask. I say again, neither I nor anyone at this firm has read that letter.”

Catherine tore open the aged envelope, steadied her forearms against the chair, and began to read her grandmother’s handwritten letter. When she finished she found the envelope also contained a timeline that joined many of the events of her family’s history with that of Russia in general and the Imperial Romanov family in particular.

About The Maltese Pigeon

A shy, mysterious woman and a shadowy fat man put Matt Kile in the middle of Russian Romanov history, danger, murder, and enormous wealth.

All while Matt spars with two romantically competitive women.

About the author

DavidBishopDavid Bishop stuck his author nose under the edge of the mystery tent with his first novel in October 2011. Since then his mysteries have maintained a constant presence on Amazon Best Selling Lists in multiple categories of mystery novels. He has also been listed numerous times among the 100 best selling authors of mysteries, including appearances among the top 10.

He writes several character series :

  • Matt Kile Mysteries (in the order of release): Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, The Original Alibi, Money & Murder, and Find My Little Sister
  • Maddie Richards Mysteries (in order of release): The Beholder and Death of a Bankster
  • Jack McCall Mysteries (in order of release): The Third Coincidence and The Blackmail Club.

The stories within these series are independent, not continuing. They can be read in any order.

Visit David Bishop’s

And follow him on Twitter @DavidBishop7.


Focus Friday: Strings of Glass


StringsofGlassShadedBy Emily Kimelman

The road crumbled under my feet as I ran up it. There is no road surface strong enough to resist the pull back to dirt in this climate. In Goa, Mother Nature rules.

Blue touched my thigh with his nose, a gentle tap to remind me he was there. Thick jungle lined our path. This hill had the fewest homes on our route. No neighbors to wave a hello to or children to smile at as they raced by on bikes either too large or too small for them. There was just me, Blue, the burst of vegetation, and this road of rocks. I reached the top of the hill, my thighs and calves burned. Panting, I struggled to keep my pace.

A low growl narrowed my attention onto a black and white street dog in the brush. Ears flat to her head she curled her lips and showed us her teeth. Noting the swollen teats hanging low and exposed, I kept moving.  “I’m not going to bother you, mama,” I said in a steady voice. “We are just passing by.”

Blue slowed and when I patted my thigh for him to catch up he stopped. I turned to look back at him, my senses on high alert. Blue was a mutt the height of a Great Dane with the coat of a wolf and the long snout of a Collie, with one blue eye and one brown. Blue has saved my life more than once so when he stopped, so did I. 

I recognized a twitch on his lip and saw the hackles raise off his shoulders and back making him appear even larger. A deep and rumbling growl left his chest. It was answered behind me. There were suddenly three dogs in our path. None as big or strong as Blue but together they looked dangerous.

I’d been warned about this pack. Growing larger by the day, it was led by an aggressive alpha male the color of dirty water. This must be him, I thought, as the largest of the three, his head wide, fur the muddy brown of an engorged river, growled at Blue. The compactness of his body spoke of strength and survival. When he barked the saliva that shot from his mouth caught a ray of sunlight streaming through the thick foliage around us.

Muddy Water stepped forward, revving his growl like a teenager on a motorbike. The bitch in the brush flanked our left side and when I turned right, two young dogs, their ears still soft from puppyhood, glowered at me.

Get Strings of Glass on Amazon.

About Strings of Glass

Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and her great dog Blue are attacked by a pack of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again—to do good by being bad.

Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and child trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. Sydney struggles to accept her true nature, fearing that she will lose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against. But what can Sydney do when she realizes it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation?

Emily Kimelman’s best selling Sydney Rye series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome mystery with tons of action that will keep you reading late into the night!

About Emily Kimelman

Emily (author photo)Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling Sydney Rye Series including Unleashed, Death in the Dark, Insatiable, Strings of Glass, The Devil’s Breath and Inviting Fire. This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Emily splits her time between the Hudson Valley and traveling the world with her husband and dog, Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone), researching exciting locations for the Sydney Rye Series. You can follow along on their adventures through Instagram, Facebook, and on Emily’s blog.

The first book in the Sydney Rye series, Unleashed, is available as a free download on all major ebook retailers.

Emily can be found:

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