Thursday teaser: Finding You #excerpt

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This week’s excerpt comes from Dawn Torrens’ upcoming new novel, Finding You.

By Dawn Torrens

Noah wound up his conference call with his New York office and reclined in his chair. Max appeared disgruntled and paced the floor, “Okay Max, what’s on your mind?” demanded Noah.

“I don’t like it – there I’ve said it. I think that on this occasion you are making a mistake, Noah. I have always been honest with you and I think Jim Peters is the wrong person to head the New York office. I don’t trust him… He is not the right replacement for Jeremy.”

Noah jumped off his seat, walked over to the bar, and poured himself a whisky. He sipped at it slowly while pondering over Max’s words, “Why, Max?”

Noah was sporting an expression that Max knew all too well – an expression that made him nervous, “Well… the word from New York has it that Jim cannot be trusted. He sold out his last company. This did not come up in our searches at the time and that is why I am just hearing about it now.”

Noah studied Max briefly, “So, you are telling me that Jim has been employed by Ainsworth corporation for three years and you are only finding this out about him now?” roared Noah.

Noah added, “Jim Peters has been an asset to Ainsworth Corporation over the last three years, nothing he has done suggests any foul play as far as I can see. I have ears to the ground on every single person in my employ and not once has Jim Peter’s name come up negatively. However, I do not doubt you, Max. What I suggest is that Jim Peters is kept a close eye on. If you find anything that suggests he is a liability to Ainsworth Corporation then I want to be the first to know. Keep your eyes and ears to the ground and make sure your connections in New York do the same.” Noah turned his back on Max and Max left the room without saying another word. He knew Noah needed to digest this latest information. He was a thinker, a forward planner and where business was concerned, he never acted on impulse. He was a meticulous planner and thought everything through to the very last detail before taking action. Noah Ainsworth did not make mistakes…

Noah called Duke who came bounding over excitedly. He knew it was time for a walk and ran in and out of Noah’s legs, “Come on Duke, I need some fresh air.”

Noah walked the footpaths through his land for over two hours and Eden Marshall dominated his thoughts. It had been a long time since anything but work had dominated his mind. He could not get her out of his head. Her piercing blue eyes had hypnotised him. The genuine innocence of her smile and her naivety were spellbinding. Eden Marshall – now you, I was not expecting.

About Finding You

Noah Ainsworth has been hiding away in his ivory tower for far too long and decides it’s time he started living again. The enigmatic Eden Marshall is his prime motivation—captivated by her, he begins to trust in love again. Until a dark secret from his past emerges, threatening all that he loves …

About the author

A life should be lived with unclipped wings or how
else can one fly…”

D.G. Torrens is the author of 15 books, including the bestselling trilogy, Amelia’s Story #1, Amelia’s Destiny #2 and Amelia The Mother #3. This is an emotion-charged true story that the author wrote for her daughter.

D.G is a mother/writer/blogger who has a dream to inspire as many people as possible through her story. To show those with little hope that dreams can come true.

Born in England, passionate about writing, D.G. Torrens is married with a daughter. Her first book, Amelia’s Story, has inspired people all over the world. Amelia’s Destiny, book #2 is the sequel and is followed by Amelia The Mother book #3 in this awe-inspiring trilogy. A memoir that remains with D.G.’s readers long after they have put the book down …

D.G is a prolific writer and in 2013, her works were recognized by BBC Radio WM, where she has given several live interviews in the BBC studios in Birmingham, UK. Thereafter, D.G. became a regular Headline Reviewer for the radio show for the next 12 months.

Visit her on:

And follow her on Twitter @torrenstp.

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Announcing a new #BestSelling member: J.L. Oakley

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BestSelling Reads is thrilled to announce another new member: the award-winning, bestselling author of historical fiction, J.L. Oakley.

Janet wrote her first historical fiction in the fifth grade and has not stopped since. She contributes to a number of journals and literary publications, and is the author of seven works of historical fiction:

She also published an essay about a city that lost its water supply three days before Christmas, The Christmas Well.

Janet’s writing has won a number of awards:

When she’s not writing, Janet demonstrates 19th-century folkways in schools and at San Juan Island National Park in Washington State.

“I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to this stellar group of best selling and active writers from across the world,” she says.

Get to know more about J.L. Oakley and her books at:

And follow her on Twitter @JlOakley13.

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Thursday teaser #excerpt: Instigator

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This week’s excerpt is from Eliza Carlisle Mystery number 3

Read on to see how you could win a copy of the first Eliza Carlisle mystery, Trouble Magnet.

By DelSheree Gladden

He caught my wrist just as I reached his apartment door. Sighing, I turned to face him. He spoke before I could. “Can you come in for just a minute?”

“Baxter,” I said, “I have to meet Morales soon. I don’t have time—”

“Just for a minute,” he said, careful to keep most of the pleading from his voice.

The last few seconds before he stormed out of my apartment the night before played back in my mind. He’d switched from angry about me getting involved in the cupcake case to purposely seductive. That had only happened a few rare times, all quite memorable. I had no idea what he’d been about to suggest, I knew it hadn’t been advice on how to get through the weekend with Puck’s parents. In fact, I was almost positive it was something closer to me spending time with him instead of anyone related to Puck…or Puck himself.

All of that should have been enough reason for me to walk away. “Just for a minute,” I said, disappointed at my own weakness. Maybe he wanted to apologize. But probably not….

I slipped past him into his apartment and stopped as soon as I saw the table set for two. Either he was extremely presumptuous about me making him breakfast after the way he’d behaved or…. I stepped closer to the table and realized that while the mugs and bowls were empty, there was a covered dish and a thermos of what I hoped was coffee sitting in the middle of the table.

Turning to face Baxter, I couldn’t keep my surprise hidden. “You made me breakfast?”

“It’s nothing like what you can do, but…” He froze when my eyes welled with tears. “What? I’m trying to apologize.”

Blinking back tears, I asked, “Do you know when the last time was someone made me breakfast?”

“No,” he said slowly, wary of the answer.

I fought against the memories resurfacing and focused solely on Baxter. “The morning Ben died. My mom made me toast and scrambled eggs. After that…doing something nice for me would have been like admitting it hadn’t been my fault.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” Baxter said, his voice blunt and unbending.

“Regardless,” I said, gesturing at the meal, “thank you.”

Grimacing, Baxter’s gaze fell. “I was trying to thank you…for putting up with me the last few months.”

I chuckled and closed the distance between us. “I’ve been putting up with you since we met. The last two months haven’t been anything I can’t handle.”

Surprisingly, that drew a small smile from him. “I’m not sure there’s anything you can’t handle.”

I snorted and turned away to turn off the oven he’d left on. The list of things I couldn’t handle was quite long. He just didn’t happen to be on it.

About Instigator

“Why would someone commit murder over a cupcake?”

That is Detective Gordon’s question. Eliza doesn’t have an answer, and doesn’t particularly want to find one. Gordy promises she doesn’t have to get involved…just look at the cupcake and use her culinary knowledge to tell him why it would inspire murder.

It’s never that easy.

Not for Eliza Carlisle.

What should be a relaxing two week break between semesters of culinary school turns into a never ending string of embarrassing, injury-inducing, rat-filled situations Eliza can’t escape. She hadn’t wanted to meet Puck’s parents to begin with. Meeting them in the middle of the murder investigation and running into Chef Harper, her least favorite instructor who is intent on making her life miserable, guarantees anything but a good time.

Add it just keeps getting better. Baxter is getting impatient. His ex-wife, the Evil Queen of Darkness, is getting more vicious by the second. Cupcake bakers are dropping every time the cops turns around. Eliza quickly finds herself hating the Christmas holidays even more than usual. All she has to do to survive her least favorite time of the year is catch a killer, beat Megan at her own evil game, hold off Baxter a little longer, and face down Puck’s unimpressed parents.

Piece of…cupcake.

Get it on:

Check out the other three Eliza Carlisle mysteries:

If you liked this excerpt, leave a Comment to be entered in a draw for a free e-copy of the first Eliza Carlisle mystery, Trouble Magnet.

About the author

USA Today bestselling young adult and romance author DelSheree Gladden loves books—reading them and writing them.

The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities.

DelSheree lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist.

Get to know DelSheree at:

And follow her on Twitter @Delsheree.

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Thursday teaser #excerpt: Wildfire

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By Scott Bury

This week’s excerpt is a special one: it’s from a yet-to-be released book, the first in a new mystery series. Titled Wildfire, its author plans to release it as an e-book on Amazon on March 20, to be followed quickly by releases on other platforms and in paperback.

This excerpt is from Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: An Open Door

From a distance, the winery looked like a simple barn, but when she got close she could see it was a modern building, painted to match the yellow and orange of the mansion-restaurant. Set into the ersatz stucco front wall was a wide barn door made of solid dark wood. In its center, a human-size door gaped open. When Tara walked close enough, she could feel conditioned, cool air flowing out.

She leaned in and knocked on the open door. No one said anything. She could hear the hum of some kind of machinery. Smooth concrete floors and light grey ducts and pipes gleamed under halogen lights on the high ceiling. To the left, windows in sheetrock walls showed offices, where a man with dark hair sat, writing with a pencil.

Tara took another deep breath of cool air, stepped up to the office’s interior door and knocked on its frame. The dark-haired man looked up quickly, hazel eyes wide, then relaxing. She could now see a shaggy dog curled up on the floor near his feet.

“Yes? Can I help you?”

His voice was deep and smooth, his tone fast but courteous. Tinged with sadness? Stop imagining things, Tara. You haven’t even met him yet.

“Mr. DaSilva?” She stepped farther into the office, hand extended. The dog stood up, looking at her. The tail wagged tentatively. Its head was just below the level of the desktop, its light brown fur curly. It had a square nose and the fur at the blunt end of it looked to Tara like a moustache.

“I’m Tara Rezeck.”

The dark-haired man stood to shake Tara’s hand. He was tall and slim. The sleeves of his open-necked dress shirt were rolled up over his elbows, showing ropey forearms. His hand was rough, his grip firm. On the left hand was a large gold ring with a dark stone. “Rezeck? Oh, yes. Sophia called about you.” He indicated a guest chair in front of his desk and sat again. “So you’re looking for a job?”

The dog’s mouth opened slightly and its tailed wagged freely now.

Tara already had a crisp new copy of her résumé out of her briefcase. He took it and leaned back in his chair.

She waited, trying not to look around the office like some kind of thief casing the place. It wasn’t much to look at, just the working office of a company that made wine. Messy stacks of paper and notebooks took up most of DaSilva’s desk, and on an extension at right angles to the main part sat a large office telephone and a laptop computer. The screen saver was a picture of a vineyard.

On the wall beside DaSilva, over the laptop computer, a large whiteboard hung, covered with a multi-colored chart and acronyms that Tara could not begin to interpret. Behind him was a large window that looked out into the winery. Beyond high tanks, Tara thought she could see people moving around.

A window on the other side looked outside, where trucks were parked on a wide, dusty yard. Behind that was a thick hedge, a fence, and beyond that the vineyards, on south-facing slopes bathed in sunlight.

“You have a law degree?” DaSilva was staring at her, eyebrows high and mouth slightly open.

Tara nodded. “From the Vermont Law School. I graduated cum laude last spring.”

“Then what are you doing here? Why aren’t you applying for jobs with law firms in Vermont?”

Like it? Leave a Comment to be entered in a draw for a free e-copy.

About Wildfire

Single mom Tara Rezeck moves to California after graduating from law school, in pursuit of a lifelong dream. Unable to find a position in a Bay-area law firm, she takes a job in the kitchen of a prestigious winery-restaurant in Sonoma County.

When wildfires ravage wine country, a burned body raises questions that the police are too overwhelmed to investigate. It’s up to Tara to discover her own skills as an investigator and rebuild her confidence.

Wildfire will publish on March 22, 2018.

About the author

Pic-ScottBuryScott Bury can’t stay in one genre.

His first published book was The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, followed in 2013 with a “50 Shades” spoof, One Shade of Red, in 2013. Then came the first volume in his Eastern Front trilogy, Army of Worn Soles, a memoir telling the story of a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in the Second World War.

He has also written four mysteries in the Lei Crime Kindle World (based on characters and settings created by bestselling Toby Neal), two action thrillers in the Sydney Rye Kindle World (based on Emily Kimelman’s bestselling series) and a thriller in the JET Kindle World (based on Russell Blake’s Jet series.)

Visit Scott’s:

And follow him on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

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Monday musings: The writing year ahead

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At the beginning of the year, Monday Musings tells readers BestSelling authors’ plans for the year—so you can start getting excited now!

By Caleb Pirtle III

New year.

New plans.

It happens every time one yellowed and dog-eared calendar bites the dust, and another January suddenly appears out of the blue.

I have long written that today’s readers prefer shorter books.

At least they do with mystery/thrillers.

Or romance.

Forget the epics, the long-winded sagas.

Readers don’t want to make the journey anymore.

Those days of settling down and following a family through three generations and six-hundred pages have faded away.

No, readers prefer bite-sized books.

Grab me quick.

Tell me a story.

Few characters.

A lot of emotion.

Some suspense and surprises along the way.

Make me laugh a little.

Make me shed a tear or two.

Write The End, and let me move on to another book.

It may be a saga.

It may be about the same family.

But tell me their story in four books instead of one.

In today’s hectic, chaotic, stress-filed world, readers no longer have the attention span they once did.

They want short.

Maybe even shorter.

So here is what I intend to do.

During 2018, I plan to write a time travel series built around the same character.

Each book will be a novella, somewhere between 100 to 120 pages.

I will place each on Amazon as a stand-alone eBook, then my idea is to package all three novellas into one Trade paperback book.

I think the three-in-one concept will be great for book signings, which is where I sell most of paperback books anyway.

My idea is not original.

It’s not a breakthrough concept.

Many authors are already writing and producing variations of the idea.

But I’ve never done it before, so I’m anxious to give it a whirl and see what the marketplace does it with it.

The idea may work.

It may not.

It may hit a dead end and fall flat at my feet.

If so, there will always be another year.

I’ll take a deep breath and develop another plan.

Books are like life.

We have a lot of stops and starts and usually get lost a few times from the opening chapter to the last.

Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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Thursday teaser #excerpt: A Silent Prayer

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This week’s excerpt comes from the first volume of the Prayer Series.

By Samreen Ahsan

As I stare out over the city, a sound catches my attention. It’s music, but not the music from the restaurant. It’s magical-sounding. I try to determine where it’s coming from. I see a door and head toward it. It feels like it has not been opened for years; in fact, like no one has ever opened it at all. I struggle with the rusted knob and finally get it to turn and open the door. I am expecting another set of fire stairs, but instead there is a passage. There is nothing to the right or left and I follow the passage; or rather, I follow the magical music.

…The sound of the music is so warm and comforting that I realize I am not feeling cold anymore. I take a few more steps and what I see freezes me, just like the weather outside. There are no doors, no stairs in this piece of architecture. It’s nothing but a spiral passage leading down to ground level. I look down to the bottom and my heart comes into my throat. A girl is dancing to the music. From here on the sixth level I can’t see her face clearly, but the way she moves takes my breath away. I feel as if the dance and the music are casting a spell on me. The girl is lost in her dance, not caring about anyone watching her. I see the shadows of other people dancing with her, but since the light is on her, I am unable to see more than shadowy figures. For the first time in my life, I feel my soul is pulling me…toward her.

…I start walking down that spiral passage. The music becomes clearer and melts in my ears, in my body, in my soul. I have never heard of anything like this. How can mere humans create such a heartwarming composition?

Why can’t I take my eyes off her? This has never happened to me before. Or perhaps, I have never seen anyone like her.

…The violins behind me accelerate, and so does her body. She moves round and round with the music, unaware of my presence until all of a sudden, she crashes against me. I hold her by her waist tightly to give her support. The music stops, and so does her dance. Our eyes meet. Under the pink mask, her big eyes, darker than ebony, catch my attention. She looks at me as if she is looking directly through my soul. The madness in her eyes rips my existence and peels off my flesh and bone to search my soul. The darkness in them draws me to let her devour my presence, insanely and willingly.

…I want to touch her skin, but its softness and tenderness scares me in a way I have never experienced. Instead of touching her, I raise my hand to take the mask off of her beautiful face, wondering if it is as perfect underneath as it looks. She backs off and releases herself from my grip. The lights grow dimmer. The music fades. It is just me and her, staring at each other in consternation. I watch her stepping back, but cannot follow her; it’s as if my feet are frozen to the ground and I cannot move at all. I see her pick up her bag and look back at me, and then she leaves me in the darkness that she has cast on me with her one last look.

…I stand there numb, not sure for how long.

…I rush out of the spiral structure to catch my breath. Inside my body, my heart is skipping from one place to another. I feel like I have caught a really high fever. My body is trembling, and I can’t even stand properly on my own feet.

…I turn around to look back, and I’m flabbergasted. There is no spiral structure behind me. It twists my mind completely, wondering where I saw that beautiful girl, and where I came out from.

…I had never seen such an alluring woman in my entire life. A refinement that surpasses all levels of beauty and grace. An artistic existence so pure that even the angels would envy it. How could someone make your heart beat so fast, without even touching, without even kissing, without even making love? The urge to see her again is unexplainable.

About A Silent Prayer

A Silent Prayer is the Book One of A Prayer Series

Adam Gibson is a young and powerful Toronto millionaire. Despite his many blessings, he is an atheist, though he has an altruistic soul. He denies there is a God–until he meets a beautiful stranger in a place that does not exist for anyone but him.

Rania Ahmed strongly believes in God, but has lost hope she will ever find her soul mate. Endowed with hypnotic beauty and cursed by a brutal past, Rania has no idea she has cast a spell on Adam, who has never received more from a woman than physical pleasure. As Adam slowly discovers the true meaning of love from Rania, he begins to face his demons and reconsider his beliefs. He learns to love, forgive and repent. But as Adam grows closer to Rania, a series of strange, unexplained events threatens to drive them apart. To keep her from being destroyed by her past, he must persuade her to trust him with her deepest secrets.

In this spiritual romance, an atheist embarks on a path of enlightenment with a tormented soul who may just have the power to change everything he has ever believed to be true.

A Silent Prayer is the multiple award-winning title.

  • Winner  2014 Los Angeles Book Festival
  • Winner  2014 Paris Book Festival
  • Winner  2014 Hollywood Book Festival
  • Honorable Mention 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards
  • Honorable Mention  2014 New York Book Festival
  • “An intense, joltingly modern love story.” Kirkus
  • “This is a love story with a twist – perhaps one of the most unusual love stories I have ever read.”—Raheel Raza, freelance Journalist & documentary filmmaker
  • “I think A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan is destined to become a classic in the romance genre.”—Readers’ Favorite
  • “A powerfully written modern day romance with a strong spiritual element. Highly recommended.”—The Wishing Shelf Awards
  • “Samreen Ahsan gives their love story a series of obstacles, but a love as powerful and inevitable as gravity pulls them together. Five stars!” — Scott Bury, Author of Army of Worn Soles
  • “Once I started reading this book it was very hard to put down.” — Books and Beyond Fifty Shades Blog
  • “Samreen Ahsan’s A Silent Prayer gets 5 stars hands down!” — Julies Book Review

About the author

History, art and literature are my passions. I love digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are mentioned in history and holy books, that don’t sound possible in today’s modern world.

Since childhood, I have been into reading and writing—and yes, it can’t happen without imagination, which luckily has no boundaries. Dance and music are also pastimes I enjoy, as well as reading romance fiction. I love to travel and explore historical cities.

A Prayer Series” is my first Multi-Award-Winning Series about paranormal events, based on Islamic concepts.

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Monday Musings: Scott Bury’s year ahead

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As a follower of this blog, you have a lot of great reading to look forward to!

BestSelling Reads members released 48 new titles in 2017, alone. For a group of 17, that’s a prodigious amount that spans the gamut from romance to thriller to fantasy.

And I know our members are well on the way to publishing another 15 to 20 new titles in 2018—more great reading for our fans.

Over the next few weeks, BestSelling Reads member authors will reveal their publishing and literary plans for 2018. Today, it’s my turn.

A new mystery series

In 2017, I published three book, including the fourth installment of my my #LeiCrimeKW Hawaii Crime series featuring FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm, Echoes. Based on the very favorable response to those books, I have decided to start a whole new, stand-alone mystery series. This one features a young private investigator named Tara Rezeck (which means “risk”), a single mom and law-school graduate. The first book, Wildfire, is set in California wine country during the wildfires that devastated Sonoma and Napa counties.

  

A boxed set

Last year, I published the concluding novel of the Eastern Front trilogy, the true story of a Canadian-born citizen drafted into the Soviet Red Army during World War II. This year, I will release all three books together as a single boxed set.

I am also making all three volumes, Army of Worn Soles, Under the Nazi Heel and Walking Out of War, available on all book e-tailers in addition to Amazon.

Historical fantasy

Finally, I will return to the series that started my career in fiction. I am hard at work on the second volume in the Dark Age trilogy. That began in 2012 with my historial magical realist novel, The Bones of the Earth, which was very well received by critics, reviewers and readers.

The sequel, also Book 2 in the series, will be called The Triumph of the Sky—and for anyone who knows my plot twists, you’ll agree that you won’t be able to predict where this one is going.

All in all, I think that’s a pretty ambitious plan for the next twelve months. Keep following this blog for updates.

Giveaway

I’ll give away a free signed copy of The Bones of the Earth to anyone who can answer this question:

What year is The Bones of the Earth set in?

About the author

Pic-ScottBuryScott Bury can’t stay in one genre.

His first published book was The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, followed in 2013 with a “50 Shades” spoof, One Shade of Red, in 2013. Then came the first volume in his Eastern Front trilogy, Army of Worn Soles, a memoir telling the story of a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in the Second World War.

He has also written four mysteries in the Lei Crime Kindle World (based on characters and settings created by bestselling Toby Neal), two action thrillers in the Sydney Rye Kindle World (based on Emily Kimelman’s bestselling series) and a thriller in the JET Kindle World (based on Russell Blake’s Jet series.)

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Visit Scott’s:

And follow him on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

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Thursday teaser excerpt: A Lovely Night to Die

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This week’s excerpt is from Caleb Pirtle’s newest book.

By Caleb Pirtle III

HE LAY ALONE in the dark and waited to hear footsteps outside the front door. It was nothing new for Roland Sand.  He had been waiting for an invitation from the grim reaper for the past three months, sixteen days, eight hours, and six minutes, provided the digital clock on his motel nightstand was correct.  Hotel clocks hardly ever were. A few minutes of lost time here and there made little difference to a man on the run, and he had been running most of his life. Sand doubted if the running would last much longer.

One day, probably sooner than later, or maybe sometime in the middle of the night, it would all be over. The door would be torn from its hinges, and he would hear the sound of a single gunshot. Then again, he might not hear anything at all. And the cool darkness that wrapped itself around him like the arms of an unfaithful woman would remain dark for a long time. Lying with his back against the wall in the early morning hours, dying didn’t seem like such a bad way to make his final exit. So why was he determined to fight so hard for a chance to catch another breath – and who was trying to rip it from his throat?

Sand crawled out from beneath the damp, wrinkled sheets and walked to the window. He opened the drapes just wide enough for him to look out across the parking lot and toward the lights of Durango, Colorado, lodged against the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains. The timbered ridges were dark bruises against the sky, and the stars had been wiped away by a thunderhead that promised bad weather.

Sand smiled faintly. He must have come to the right place. It was far easier to hide away in bad weather. Sand knew how to become one with the rain and the fog. He would be another faint shadow without a face, a ghost in the mist, a name without a voice, and names were the easiest things he had to throw away. Thunder rumbled in the west like a slow-moving train, and lightning reached down to touch the top of the mountains. The winds crackled with electricity.

His gaze swept from one end of the street to the other. Two Atlas trucks and an aging Chevrolet van were the only vehicles on the road.  Sand ignored, then forgot them. He was searching only for black SUVs that would bring men wearing black suits and armed with enough firepower to leave the little Colorado town in ruins. They were somewhere behind him. He didn’t know how far.

Roland Sand knew the kind of man he worked for. He realized he had been reduced to a vague number on some out-of-date death certificate. Sand’s name would not be released. He would be just another John Doe in an unmarked folder at the back of some clerk’s filing cabinet. A pauper’s grave might be too good for him.

Who was Roland Sand?

Don’t know.

When did he work here?

Don’t recall.

Whatever happened to him?

Maybe he retired.

Everyone would know he didn’t quit.

No one quit the Association.

A man worked until the day he died. For some, the day always came earlier than they expected.

About the book

Roland Sand has killed two government operatives sent to execute him. He is arrested and represented in court by a beautiful young public defender, Eleanor Trent. Their eyes connect. So do their hearts, but both keep their feeling buried deep inside them.

Eleanor does not know that Sand is an assassin for a rogue intelligence agency that sells its deadly services to foreign nations as well as to its own country. He has angered his chief, the one-eyed Bohemian, by refusing to kill an accountant who accidentally saw the details of a top-secret mission. Sand sees no reason why an innocent man should die.

The Bohemian’s agents kidnap Sand and take him from the Durango, Colorado, jail. He is given one chance to redeem himself. He must carry out the assignment to assassinate the President of the United States. It is a mission sanctioned from inside the United States government.

Eleanor is furious, and she is frightened. She has lost cases before. But never has she lost a client. In desperation, he calls Navy SEAL Commander Patrick Hurt to help her track down the missing Roland Sand. She handled a case for one of Hurt’s friends years earlier, and he said she could count on him if she ever needed him.

At Midway Airport, Sand awaits the arrival of Air Force One. The President comes down the steps, and Sand sees Eleanor in the greeting committee. He is told, “Kill the President or we kill the lady.” He has only a second to make up his mind. And Hurt knows, if necessary, he must kill Sand to save the President.

If you liked this excerpt, check out the book on Amazon.

About the author

Caleb Pirtle III is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

 

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Thursday teaser excerpt: The Damned Don’t Die

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This week’s excerpt is from Book 16 of the Reed Ferguson mysteries

By Renée Pawlish

“I know exactly what you’re up to.” It was Shirley. She was just as angry as she’d been inside.

“I can assure you, I’ve been board president for two terms now, and there have never been any issues.” This from Alan Prestwick.

“If you want to cover up for Phil Epstein, you can try, but I’m not going to put up with this nonsense. My money is valuable, and if I have to get the law involved, or more, I will. This is important, and if you don’t do something about it, I might talk to people. And that won’t help you with that other situation.”

“You wouldn’t do that!”

“If I have to, I will. How would you like that?”

“Don’t you threaten me.” Prestwick’s voice had grown ominous. “You think I don’t have ways to handle people like you?”

“That sounds like a threat, too. You better watch yourself.”

A crack sounded loudly in the darkness, and Prestwick cleared his throat. Then footsteps clapped on the pavement. I pressed against the wall, but neither one of them came by me. I peeked around the corner. No one was there.

What was that crack? Had one of them hit the other?

I peered into the night and mulled things over. Shirley was certainly stirring things up. Was it justified? The investigator in me didn’t think I could let it go, but I hadn’t heard anything about the HOA’s financials being off. However, I hadn’t been at too many meetings.

“You ready to go, hon?”

I jumped at the sound of Willie’s voice. She laughed and put her arm on my shoulder.

“I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It’s okay. I didn’t hear you come up behind me.”

She looked around the corner. “What’s going on? Is there a ghost out there?”

“Nothing.” I told her what I’d overheard.

“Do you think Shirley has uncovered something illegal?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll make a few calls.”

“Okay. Let’s go.”

We walked to my 4-Runner and drove to B 52s. I didn’t think about Shirley for the rest of the evening. After a few games of pool, Willie and I headed home.

The next morning, Humphrey Bogart’s voice woke me from a deep sleep.

“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”

It was a new sound bite I’d installed, Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon. I’m an avid film noir fan. I love those movies with the dark, noir hero and the femme fatales. And I aspire to be as cool as Bogie was. A stretch, I know, but I can dream, can’t I?

Willie mumbled something about killing whoever was calling so early as I picked up my phone. I recognized the number. Deuce.

“What’s up, buddy?” I said through a yawn.

“You’re never going to believe it.”

“What?”

Humphrey – the kitten – jumped upon my chest and began purring.

“Shirley Durocher’s dead.”

About The Damned Don’t Die

From Amazon #1 Bestselling Author with over 1 million books in circulation.

“This series just keeps on getting better.”—Amazon review

Denver private investigator Reed Ferguson isn’t looking for an investigation, but one comes his way when his crotchety neighbor, Shirley Durocher, is murdered the day after a contentious Homeowners Association meeting. The suspects with motives are many, including Shirley’s shy granddaughter, Holly, who insists she is innocent and hires Reed to clear her name and find the real killer. To complicate matters, romantic sparks fly between Holly and Cal, Reed’s computer-geek best friend. As Reed delves into the case, he discovers lies, deceit, thieves, and secrets that may lead to Shirley Durocher’s murderer. Can Reed juggle his most challenging case yet while playing matchmaker for Cal?

The Damned Don’t Die is a suspense-filled mystery, with a Bogie-wannabe detective, a lots 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 on Amazon.

About the author

Renée Pawlish is the award-winning author of the bestselling Reed Ferguson mystery series, horror bestseller Nephilim Genesis of Evil, The Noah Winters YA Adventure series, middle-grade historical novel This War We’re InTake Five, a short story collection, and The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within, a nonfiction account of a haunted house investigation.

Renée has been called “a promising new voice to the comic murder mystery genre” and “a powerful storyteller.” Nephilim Genesis of Evil has been compared to Stephen King and Frank Peretti.

Renée was born in California, but has lived most of her life in Colorado.

Find more about Renée and her books on

 

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What to give the fantasy reader on your list? A BestSelling Read!

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It’s getting to crunch time in the gift-buying season. What can you get the fantasy reader on your shopping list? A BestSelling Read, of course. And this it the perfect place to find great fantasy reads.

Samreen Ahsan

Samreen Ahsan’s award-winning A Prayer series is a romantic fantasy based on Islamic themes. Her new series, starting with Once Upon a [Stolen] Time, combines fantasy, science-fiction and time travel in a powerful love story that spans centuries.

Frederick Lee Brooke

The Drone Wars trilogy is a fast-paced, thrilling and chilling science-fiction series that peeks a few very short years into the future civil war that tears the United States apart.

 

Scott Bury

The Bones of the Earth breaks the mould of fantasy. Set in the real sixth-century Byzantine Empire, it tells the story of a young Sklavene named Javor who needs to find out how a dagger and amulet he inherited from his great-grandfather is connected to deep forces bent on erasing humanity from the face of the earth.

DelSheree Gladden

The Something Wicked This Way Comes series tells the story of young godlings finding their way in a world that doesn’t believe in them—and facing forces that want to destroy them,.

Her Twin Souls trilogy evokes Native American mythology in a reader-favorite series.

In the Aerling series, beings who are not ghosts depend on Olivia to guide them to their destiny.

DelSheree goes to the world of actual ghosts in her Ghost Host series, where poor Echo Simmons needs to learn what to do with the ghosts that haunt her YouTube channel.

Her Destroyer series tells the story of Libby, who’s person capable of destroying the world—so it’s no big surprise when she ends up with a Guardian blade at her throat.

Toby Neal

On the island of Lanai, teens from very different worlds must find a way to survive when all technology is destroyed, aided by a mysterious `aumakua dragon that may or may not be imaginary.

 

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas has crafted several fantasy series. Each book in the Daughters of Saraquel series focuses on one sister who has to learn what it means to Become, and how to live on the Estilorian Plane.

The Firstborn trilogy traces the story of the descendants of Saraqael as they embark upon their own thrilling adventures and race against time to save the Estilorian plane…battling for love along the way

The Ascendant series are New Adult novels intended for audiences over 17 years. It tells how secret lovers Kyr and Ty must save the planet of Alametria, even while its inhabitants are trying to kill them.

Subscribe to get this blog by email to keep on top of all the best new fantasies, mysteries, romances and thrillers that the avid readers on your gift-giving list will love.

 

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