Velvet Rain

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A Thursday teaser from the Readers Favorite-selected read

By David C. Cassidy

The black car eased left, onto the dark country road that would lead to its destruction.

“I’m telling you,” Christensen said again, tapping his wristwatch. He’d been going on about it for nearly five minutes. “No way it’s nine-thirty.”

Strong glanced up at the rear-view mirror, then brought his focus to bear on the road. He seemed quite put off with the private’s obsession with the current time, even more put off by the ill color of his own bloodshot eyes. “Just shut the fuck up.”

Christensen looked like he might say something about the lieutenant’s skin, which was quite unsightly now, what with its odd blister here and there. He studied it a moment longer, then simply turned and faced the road.

The headlamps cut through the darkness. After a short distance, Strong shut the air vents. “I can’t take this no more. Smells like cow shit, for Chrissake. Fucking hick towns.”

Christensen disagreed as he rolled up his window. “I think it’s more like a dump. Sir.”

Brikker was not surprised at the darkness. What surprised was that foul odor; the hideous transformation of Strong. The man rarely suffered but minor aches and the occasional bout of nausea after a Turn, but how it had affected him in this manner, yet showed not the least in the private, was a puzzle. Perhaps it had something to do with the homosexual gene (of which he was certain existed and could be eradicated in time), but that was only speculation. More likely, the queer was simply one of the fortunate few who suffered no ill effects of the Turn, unlike the vast majority predisposed to certain side effects of the magic. And thus it did not surprise him when he reached up and touched his cheek and found it blistered and worn. He could smell his own blood from the open sores. Could taste it on his lips.

What most surprised—and intrigued—was this strange turn of events. Richards had struggled to summon the magic, had nearly destroyed himself in the process; had nearly destroyed all of them. He could still see the burning bodies in his mind, the fall from human to human waste, terrifying. He could not recall such horror, nor such agony. And from this moment onward, he would remember the agony.

The world was different now; of that he was certain. Perhaps a rebirth of ten minutes had come … perhaps fifteen. Nonetheless, the effects would be far-reaching in every sense: There would be mild chaos and confusion for a radius of several miles. Miles of wasteland, yes, and perhaps that would serve as a saving grace. But what he did not know, could not possibly know, were the full implications of this strangest of Turns. Richards had not only struggled, he had suffered the loss of his greatest strength: control.

Indeed, to grasp Time’s Wheel and draw it back without thought, with no guiding hand … who knew its danger. The Turn itself had been disastrous, and already this new world had taken a darker path. The air reeked of filth; Strong was a fright, as was he. He would heal, surely, his nausea would pass, and his eyesight, of which he had never suffered the least ill, would clear. Yet the question tasked him: What darker surprises awaited?

“Sir.” It was Strong.

“Shit,” Christensen muttered. He was struggling to read the directions on his crumpled notes.

Brikker lowered his window. At least all had not changed.

In the distance, the farmhouse burned.

“That’s the place,” Christensen said. “Jesus.”

In the other direction, far to their right along the road perpendicular to them, Brikker saw a pair of headlamps in the blackness. The vehicle was moving at quite the rate of speed. The bumpkin who would be hero, he thought. Or was it the farm boy?

It mattered little. What mattered was avoiding another collision.

“Slow down,” he snapped.

“Slow down?” Strong asked. “What for?”

“Do it.”

Strong eased up on the gas and brought them under the speed limit.

Brikker nodded to himself as a second pair of lights appeared, perhaps a quarter mile behind the first vehicle. It was closing quickly.

All three vehicles converged toward the intersection. The first, a flatbed, Brikker now discerned, had slowed as it approached. It was still a hundred yards shy.

“Stop,” Brikker said. “Let them pass.”

Strong hesitated, clearly wondering why, but followed the order to the letter. The black car slowed, creeping up on the intersection. It finally stopped, a safe thirty feet from the stop.

And waited.

Velvet Rain

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy takes you on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the human soul, where one man’s incredible story of courage and tragedy will lift you, shock you, stir you—and leave you begging for more. 

Velvet Rain is a rollicking thrill ride, pitting unstoppable power against unstoppable evil. With a nerve-wracking beat that weaves paranormal and horror with a deeply human touch, this is a gripping tale of heartbreak and redemption, terror and torment, with a stunning climax that is simply unforgettable.

HE WAS BORN A MIRACLE.

IT WILL TAKE ONE TO SAVE THE WORLD.

A mysterious drifter, Kain Richards is the last of his kind—and a man on the run. Once a tortured prisoner and pawn in a secret government experiment, his freedom hangs in the balance against the relentless pursuit from Brikker, an obsessed and brutal madman who will stop at nothing to possess him.

Born with the Turn—the godlike power to reverse time—Kain’s ability is constrained inside a “bubble” that alters time within it. The further back he turns, the larger the bubble, the larger the effect—and the greater, stranger, and more dire and unpredictable the consequences, for those within, and beyond, the Turn’s reach.

Kain also possesses the Sense, giving him knowledge of the previous timeline and fuzzy, incomplete glimpses of the future. While the vast majority of the population don’t have the Sense, some do—and Brikker is one of them. And yet, while those who have it aren’t even aware of it, experiencing little more than déjà vu when time has turned, Brikker’s Sense far exceeds Kain’s, and is utterly dangerous. Not only can he remember every detail of a previous timeline, his glimpses into the future are far deeper, far more telling, giving him a deadly advantage. As these glimpses can only occur when time has turned, Kain is the key to Brikker’s twisted plans that tread an unalterable path to a terrifying future of death and destruction.

Knowing full well he must keep to the road, yet worn from the chase and his curse of the Turn, Kain settles into a job as a farmhand, only to fall for a beautiful and sensible Iowa farmwoman. Unable to stay but unwilling to leave, his dark secret sets their lives in peril. His health and his powers failing, only an iron will in an epic final battle will give him the chance to stand against the evil menace that threatens to consume him and the woman he loves—and to save the world from a hellish apocalypse.

Read more about it on the author’s web page.

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David C. Cassidy

David C. Cassidy, horror and science-fiction

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind several chilling books of horror and suspense. An author, photographer, and graphic designer—and a half-decent juggler—he spends his writing life creating tales of terror where Bad Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.

David lives and plays in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD—Multiple Activity Disorder—he divides his time between writing and workouts, photography and Photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.

Website   |     Facebook     |     Google+     |     LinkedIn     |     Twitter     |     Instagram

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Memory’s Edge, Book 2

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A Thursday teaser from the upcoming bestseller

By DelSheree Gladden

The cab lurched forward, finally jarring her from her shock. “I can’t believe you just did that.”

John had just spared her from public humiliation. He didn’t understand why she seemed so upset, almost angry. “Didn’t you hear what they were saying? How they were talking about you?”

“There were cameras,” Corey said quietly.

“So?”

“What will the headlines be tomorrow?” she said, panic thick in her voice.

John shook his head. “Headlines?”

She stared at him, confused. “You do remember your parents, don’t you? You remember their rules, right? You know what they’ll do if you hurt their reputation more than you already have.”

“More than I already have?” I asked. “I was beaten within an inch of my life and lost my memory.”

Corey braced herself against the door. “That’s the story now,” she said quietly, “but up until a week ago you were the son who ran out on his family and business…the scandal of the year.”

John didn’t understand. He was back. The story had been corrected. There was no scandal anymore.

Slowly, Corey turned to face John. Her face was a mask as she watched him, scoured him for understanding. “You don’t remember, do you? Not everything has come back.”

“No,” John said, “You and the kids, I remember most of that. The rest is still hazy.”

“Who wasn’t there, Alex? Who wasn’t there to greet you?”

For a moment, John didn’t know what she was talking about. She had said his parents would be there. They were. When John had thought about his family earlier, he’d remembered his brother, his nephew. Frowning, he tried to remember what would have kept them from being at the airport. After a year missing, wouldn’t they want to run up and hug him as well?

A sound, almost a cry of dismay, slipped out of Corey. “You really don’t remember.” It wasn’t a question that time.

“Why wasn’t David at the airport?”

Corey half-laughed, half-cried. “At least you remember you have a brother.” Shaking her head, she then looked up and blinked several times to stall the tears that had pooled in her eyes.

“Two years ago, your parents found out David’s wife was having an affair. David didn’t even know. He came home to find them throwing her out of his house. When he tried to stop them and figure out what was going on, they accused him of knowing and allowing it to continue, ruining the family’s reputation. He threw them out, mostly just so he could talk to Allison and try to understand what was happening. They went ballistic. They ruined him, Alex. When they disinherited him, it blocked him from accessing his trust, and then they demanded he return all the money they’d invested in his construction business—which forced him into bankruptcy. It didn’t matter that they had been right and he ended up divorcing Allison. He’s not allowed on any of their properties and they haven’t seen Parker in almost two years.”

Even with the explanation, John felt somewhat lost. “But, all I did was defend you.”

Spearing her hands through her hair. “Of all the times for you to finally stand up to them…” She shook her head. “Why did it have to be in front of the media?”

“I don’t understand,” John said.

“No,” she said, “you don’t.” Falling back against the seat, Corey seemed to grow smaller. “I’ve spent the last year trying, with David’s help, to keep our businesses going. Businesses we started with money from your parents. Money they could find a way to take from us, ruin us just like they did David. We could get you back only to lose everything else.”

Memory’s Edge

Book Two

Most people only have one life-changing experience, but John and Gretchen are on round two of having their lives sent into utter chaos.

After a year of living with Gretchen after being attacked and left for dead with no memory of his former life, John’s memory returns when his wife and children find him. Leaving Gretchen weeks before their planned wedding breaks both their hearts. Being reunited with his family is a balm to that loss, but John quickly realizes the old adage that you can never go home again is even truer when you still don’t remember huge sections of your former life. A spotty memory compounds family infighting, a risk of financial ruin, and having no idea how to step back into a marriage that is complicated by his lingering love for Gretchen.

Even though Gretchen was the one to release John and step aside, going home to her friends and family and the curiosity and pity of an entire community quickly overwhelms her. Friend and neighbor Carl has been in love with Gretchen nearly since the day they met. She knows he would be more than willing to help her forget the pain of losing John, but diving into a new relationship is the last thing Gretchen needs. Feeling lost, broken, and confused leaves Gretchen floundering to figure out how to move on.

As they both face starting over, again, the pull to fall back into the familiarity of each other’s arms weighs heavily against facing the struggle to move forward.

Memory’s Edge, Book One

Gretchen brought her car to a screeching halt in the middle of the highway, terrified she had just killed someone. The body lying on the road appeared so suddenly, she barely had time to hit the brakes. Luckily, she stopped short of him. Unluckily, someone else hadn’t. Her call for help may have saved his life, but the damage done may be impossible to repair.

Waking with no memory of who he is or how he ended up a broken mess in the hospital, he has no choice but to rely on his rescuer for help. “John Doe” is his only identity until fragmented memories begin cropping back up. They are only fleeting images of a woman, but John hides even that from Gretchen, afraid it will lead him back home and away from the woman he is quickly falling in love with.

Get it from:

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Terror teaser: The Dark

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Spooktober continues on BestSelling Reads with this taste of the chilling novel

By David C. Cassidy

Harmon devoured a handful of hard candy before heading out. The wood-chopping went well, but when his bum hand grew strained he took a break to change his dressing. Sitting at his kitchen table he found his leg healing, but as he unraveled the next-to-last strand of gauze around his hand, he lowered his head slowly, like a man ready for the gallows door to fall.

“God … let it be better. Let it be better.” He removed the last strip.

Moss had consumed his flesh, spreading like the wild growth that it was. The wound was a grassy mound. The shoot sprouted lime-colored spores, like pus-filled pimples that begged to be popped. Thick veins, like those of a healthy leaf, ran across his palm and his fingers.

He stood up and brought his hand close to the light. His new flesh was cloudy but translucent. His thinning bones looked like tapering branches.

He fell back in his chair. How far did it go?

He rolled up the sleeve of his snowsuit and hiked up his shirtsleeve. All the way to the elbow. His forearm pulsed with bulbous veins.

He laid his hand on the table. He fingered the spores with his good hand. Squishy. Ripe.

Ripe for what? he wondered. He considered bursting them before they grew into something worse than he could imagine.

So he burst one.

The oily sac splayed open, spewing pus into the air. His head jerked right, his neck pierced by searing heat.

“Shit! Ohhhhhh, shit!”

He scrambled from his chair and nearly upset the table. His skin sizzled, and he rushed to the sink to douse himself with water. Bubbles of flesh rose and fell on his throat as his skin boiled. Some burst.He snatched a cloth from a drawer, ran it under the tap and slapped it against the burns. The cold eased the torture, and only then could he bear the pain. It was all he could do not to scream.

Upstairs, he stood at the bathroom mirror. He removed the cloth and found blood. When he looked up, he saw the true horror cast by the spore.

Something had invaded his flesh. His skin was raw, burned away. Shredded strips dangled limply along his neck. He picked them off, and what he saw next horrified more than the wounds themselves.

Scores of small punctures marked his throat. They ran red, but for how long they’d bleed that color he couldn’t know. If he was pissing green, he might start bleeding the same.

He leaned close to the mirror.

Things—things—were moving under his skin. Crawling.

He slipped against the wall. He stood silently, hopelessly, watching his reflection falter as the creatures worked their way through his body. It felt like a hundred insects, hundreds of legs creeping beneath his skin. His body jerked and started. His heart pounded. Cold tore through him. He pulled up his shirt over his rounded belly and watched the things ripple across him in waves. On occasion the creatures would pause and expand—breathe—and a sharp stab would accompany each breath.

They were eating him.

Harmon Wyatt closed his eye.

No one saw his tears.

About The Dark

2015 National IPBA Award Winner in Horror Fiction

2015 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner in Horror Fiction

4-time Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Selection

Pure Heart meets Pure Evil.

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy draws you into a realm of terror, a world unlike any other. With the inspired flair of Clive Barker and the pulse-pounding beat of Stephen King, The Dark will leave you breathless, reminding us all that for all we desire there is always a price, the currency in suffering and sacrifice. Brimming with insidious evil and a nerve-wracking pace that never lets up, this story will grab hold of your most primitive fears and crank them up to Warp 10—and won’t let go. 

It knows what you want.

It knows what you need.

In denial over his father’s death in a horrific accident, Kelan Lisk has grown fearful and withdrawn. For this meek and bullied child, a burning desire to tame a deadly sledding hill consumes him, drawing him inside a wondrous place where anything is possible … including his father. But as this strange new realm spills into this one, twisting an innocent little boy into an agent of evil, the world is forever changed, devoured by an even greater evil—the Dark. 

“Move over Stephen King and Dean Koontz … The Dark is everything that horror fiction fans want—scary, unsettling, relentless and so creepy that you will not want to read it at night.” — Charity Tober for Readers’ Favorite

“I haven’t enjoyed a horror novel this much since the early days of Stephen King’s work.” — Miss Lyn, Amazon Reviewer

“You can’t read this in the dark because the author has made it too real … this is horror at some of its finest.” — Samantha Colville for Readers’ Favorite

“The Dark compares with works of King and Koontz and is tremendously difficult to put down.” — Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite

Get it on

David C. Cassidy

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind several chilling books of horror and suspense. An author, photographer, and graphic designer—and a half-decent juggler—he spends his writing life creating tales of terror where Bad Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.

David lives and plays in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD—Multiple Activity Disorder—he divides his time between writing and workouts, photography and Photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.

Website   |     Facebook     |     Google+     |     LinkedIn     |     Twitter     |     Instagram

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Missing belt: The Peacekeeper’s Photograph

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Thursday teaser from the military mystery

By M.L. Doyle

“Can you take a look in here and see if there’s anything missing? Anything that might be wrong with the room?”

My breath caught in my throat. I did not want to go in there to see her and those hot pink toenails. I did not want to smell that smell again.

Ramsey, standing in the door of the trailer, saw my hesitation.

“We need your help, Sergeant Harper. Just a quick look.”

He held his hand out, like he wanted to help me up the stairs. I took the steps slowly, ignoring his hand, and stepped into the trailer. With Ramsey, Santos, Jenkins and the photographer in there, the crowded trailer could barely accommodate me. I stood in the doorway and looked around them.

“Everything looks the same as when I left this morning,” I said.

“What time was that?” Ramsey asked.

The foul odor reeked stronger now. My shallow breaths weren’t helping. I covered my mouth and nose with my hand and swayed, feeling dizzy. Santos steadied me, then handed me a small jar of mentholated rub.

“Under your nostrils,” he said.

My hands shook as I took the jar. The pungent ointment made my nostrils burn but presented enough of an olfactory distraction to cover up the odor partially. I wondered if I’d ever be able to eat again. They all watched me, sympathetic looks in their eyes, except for Ramsey. His blue eyes were icicle cool. I shivered.

“I left around zero six hundred to take a shower. When I came back from the shower, Delray wasn’t here. I’d assumed she went to shower herself,” I said. “I dressed, grabbed my gear and went to meet the EOD team. Everything seems the same as I left it. Even my towel there,” I added weakly.

The dry towel, draped over a hanger, hung from a nail next to my cot. Right next to that nail, sat another nail where my reflector belt should have been. My reflector belt wasn’t there. I clenched my fists, trying to stop the sudden trembling. I switched my gaze to the other side of the trailer, to the nail near Delray’s cot, where she hung her reflector belt to keep it handy for early morning PT. Her belt hung there, light glinting off the reflective material.

The door of the trailer gaped open. The air conditioner cycled full blast, but the frigid air wasn’t what had me feeling wobbly. My reflector belt wasn’t where it should be, but I knew exactly where to find it. Around Delray’s neck.

“Oh God,” I mumbled.

“Are you all right?” Ramsey asked, those frosty blue eyes not missing a thing.

“I, my, ah, reflector belt,” I said, hating how frightened I sounded. “It’s gone.”

Ramsey took a step toward my cot, pushing himself past the photographer.

“Where do you keep it?”

“On that nail there,” I said, pointing. I dropped my arm quickly to cover my shaking, then wrapped my arms around my chest. I wanted to tell someone to turn the air conditioner off, but couldn’t force the words out between my clenched jaw.

Ramsey looked at the empty nail, then over at Delray’s reflector strap. He motioned for the photographer to take pictures. The click and whir of the flash unit sounded loud in the trailer. 

“Okay,” Ramsey said. “Anything else?”

The Peacekeeper’s Photograph

A Master Sergeant Lauren Harper Mystery

The NATO mission in Bosnia is to broker peace between warring factions and help restore a devastated county. It’s a mission the world is watching.

But when Master Sergeant Lauren Harper makes a gruesome discovery, she has a new mission. Saving herself.

Harper, a career soldier, is innocent of the crime she is accused of, but she’s guilty of a lot of other things, like inappropriate feelings for her commanding officer, Colonel Neil McCallen and failing to lead a soldier who needed her help.

To get out of the mess she’s in, Harper must employ all of her wits and the help of an unexpected friend from across the pond, Sergeant Major Harry Fogg.

Her mistakes land Harper in the worst trouble she’s ever faced. She is forced to choose. Save herself and risk the lives of others, or stay, and face a life of degradation and slavery.

Get it from:

M.L. Doyle

M.L. Doyle, military mystery, erotica and urban fantasy

aimed to prove her brother wrong when she joined the Army on his dare. Almost two decades later, she not only confirmed that she could, contrary to his warning, make it through basic training, her combat boots took her to the butt-end of nowhere and back countless times and she lived to tell about it … or write about it as it turned out.

A native Minnesotan, Mary lives in Baltimore where her evil cats force her to feed and care for them including cleaning up their poo. To escape from her torture, Mary loves to hear from readers. Check her out on Facebook.com, or Twitter @mldoyleauthor, and you can read excerpts of all of her work on her website at www.mldoyleauthor.com.

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