Below is a reblog from Indie Author, Christoph Fischer. Although his blog post says, "little warning", he has a big warning for authors!
I'd like to add that, I am familiar with this company, this man, and his scam. I have worked with and still work with several of the authors who have fallen victim to this. It is outrageous, appalling, disgusting..... Please, please, please, beware of this man! A Liar and A Thief!
This man, Wid Bastian, has taken so much money from Indie Authors, and now CHARITIES! Verified 501c3 Charities(For Veterans and Animals) The lowest of lows! Please share this far and wide so we can get the word out. Stop the cycle!
I’m usually sceptical when it comes to professional indie author support but was taken in by his string of box sets. So many authors couldn’t be wrong?
Our book, Do No Harm, A collection of Medical thrillers, did well. Thanks to advertising and our own huge efforts we made USA Today and gathered 1.5 millions page reads during the short time it was in KU.
Two charities were named for this set, both 501c3 charities in the US and were to receive the pre-order proceeds. The charities advertised and marketed the set along with the authors. I’ve seen predominantly the marketing efforts from charities and the authors involved – actually next to nothing from his company.
Anyway, when it came to the end of the project and payments were due Wid stated in a Facebook post to us that Genius Media spent over $15,000 on the set (his own fee was $7,050 USD not counting his two staff members) and the total revenues for the set were only $14,000, hence no payout.
Hang on – we already paid the expenses upfront. Per contract our own fee to him should have covered all advertising and labour already so he double pocketed – fees and earnings! And even if our fees hadn’t been paid, we earned well in excess of the fee, with some KU money still to come. Yet, at a rate of $75 per hour for his ‘work’ or more and despite what’s in the contract there will be no money for the charities and no royalties for the authors. It’s appalling and I am so sorry to all the people who helped us promote the set under the impression they were helping veterans and dog shelters. Beastly to rob charities. Some of us have donated their own money to said charities in embarrassment while others are pursuing legal action against Wid.
I understand Wid has other Box Sets as a marketing product line in KPC and is currently engaged in recruiting other authors and promising them potential success in a USA Today run. Please let other authors be aware of him. This is so wrong on so many levels. He keeps moving companies and apparently uses variations of his name but the picture is verified by one of our authors who has met Wid.
Here’s what our contract stated:
“For the purposes of the USA Today Bestseller Medical Thriller Author Publishing Collaborative Boxed Set program, Genius Media shall not incur any publication and promotion expenses of any nature in excess of the fees paid under the terms of its author agreements and shall have no power to obligate the author or any other author for any publication and promotion expense above author fees paid whatsoever at any time.”
We paid a total of $12,750 which was the total amount GM would receive for publication and promoting expenses for DNH, which, of course, would include labor costs associated with that promotion and publication.
In The Line Of Ire by Amazon International bestselling Author Edwin Dasso
Jack finds himself the target of a blazing hatred His commanding officer blames Jack for his own failings. Jack becomes a scapegoat of his malicious jealousy and hatred, and he is intent on making Jack pay - with his life!
In the cross-hairs of an egotistical man without remorse Fighting for their lives, Jack and his new love - Major Lori Darden, RN - learn just how dangerous it can be to raise the ire of a psychopathic boss. Jack must fight back to prevent his world from turning to ash right before his very eyes.
A mix of Lee Child's Jack Reacher Series and TVs M.A.S.H.
Download your copy today and become immersed within the pages of this brutally intense, thrilling adventure from international bestselling author Edwin Dasso.
"This is a fast-paced, action-packed roller coaster of a read. A refreshingly different perspective..." *Contains adult content and violence
Available on Amazon in #kindleUnlimited for FREE
Read The First Chapter Right Here!
In the Line of Ire A Novel by Edwin Dasso Book One of the Jack Bass Black Cloud Chronicles
2200, 23 December, 1989
Forward Medical Facility outside of Panama City, Panama
Two soldiers kicked open the entrance doors to the triage area of the field hospital and hurriedly carried one of their comrades inside on a stretcher. The prone man moaned loudly and writhed, obviously in great pain. “Hold still, man! You keep moving around an’ you’re gonna set that damn thing off!” one of the stretcher bearers hissed. Jack’s eyes shot wide as he noticed the fins of a rocket round protruding from the arm opening in the man’s body armor, a large bulge obvious beneath the chest portion. The two stretcher bearers dropped their burden on an empty gurney and scrambled to the far side of the room. “What the hell?” Jack exclaimed, inching to the side of the soldier on the stretcher and grasping the man’s wrist to feel his pulse. The heartbeat was rapid but not thready, and Jack saw no evidence of active, significant hemorrhage. His cursory assessment told him the soldier was stable and he backed quickly away, eyes glued on the tail of the mortar round. He spun and looked at the former stretcher bearers where they crouched on the far side of the room. “Is that a live round?” Jack called to them, pointing his thumb over his shoulder at the soldier on the stretcher. Both men nodded like bobble-heads, staring at Jack with saucer-sized eyes. “It ricocheted off a tank and nailed him,” one of them whispered through cupped hands, as if afraid he’d set off the explosive if he talked any louder. “It could explode any second.” “Holy shit, guys! Why didn’t you talk to me before you brought him in here? That round could take out this whole room!” “Where the hell else we gonna take him, Doc? This is the field hospital,” the apparent spokesperson for the pair whined. Jack rolled his eyes, spun away from them and shouted, “Everybody out of the room! Right now! Move stable patients to another tent; move the unstable ones back into the hallway between the ORs.” Jack looked around the room as his medical colleagues all stood and stared at him with puzzled looks. He pointed at the soldier with the unexploded RPG round in his chest. “That guy has a rocket round in his chest that could blow any second!” All those who were staring at Jack turned in unison to look at the injured soldier then they looked back at Jack. “Now, goddammit, people! Let’s get these patients out of here!” Major Lori Darden, the head OR nurse, with whom Jack had worked during past assignments, yelled like a drill instructor. Jack shot her a quick, thankful nod and smile. The staff started scurrying about, grabbing wounded patients, pushing them on gurneys, in wheelchairs or just helping them hobble out of the large triage area. Though they were all swarming toward the doors, they did so in a relatively coordinated fashion. While everyone else hurried to exit the room, Jack turned back to the two soldiers who had carried in their explosive comrade and stated firmly, “One of you guys help me lower his stretcher to the floor. While we’re doing that, I want the other to go out and find as many sandbags as you can, and bring them back here to put around his stretcher.” The two young infantrymen looked at each other and then hesitantly at Jack. “C’mon, you dumbasses, hop to, before that round blows and shreds us all!” Jack shouted. Jack watched impatiently as the two did a quick, “rock, paper, scissors” thing, and the loser shook his head and yelled, “Shit!” “Jesus Christ, you guys gotta be shitting me! Get the hell over here, now!” Jack bellowed in his best command voice. One of the soldiers stepped forward and helped Jack gingerly lower the stretcher to the floor. “Now go help your buddy find some sandbags and pile them around this guy,” Jack told the man who’d just assisted him. “Aw, c’mon, Doc, I already helped you move him…” Jack finally lost his patience. At six-foot-two-inches tall and weighing two-hundred pounds, he rarely felt the need to throw his weight around, but he knew he could present an intimidating figure when he needed to, and now was one of those times. He straightened, towering over the other man, and shouted, “Shut the fuck up and do what I say, or I’ll make sure your squad sergeant knows what a chickenshit you are! I’ll help you as soon as I make a quick call.” Jack ran to a desk, picked up the field phone, and asked hurriedly to be connected with the Chief Surgeon, Colonel Robert Blackburn. Jack had only met Dr. Blackburn briefly when the surgeon had done a quick tour of the facility soon after his arrival at the field hospital. Jack hadn’t seen him in the several days since then, though, since the surgical cases were all being handled by the two junior surgeons on staff. “Colonel Blackburn’s quarters.” A woman’s voice came over the line. “Uh…this is Dr. Jack Bass,” he said, a bit taken back by the unexpected female voice. “I’m the triage OD for the field hospital, and I was calling for Dr. Blackburn regarding a case that needs his personal attention. All the other surgeons are in the middle of cases.” She responded in a cool tone. “I’m sorry, but he’s…indisposed right now. Can’t one of the junior surgeons handle it? They are real surgeons, aren’t they?” Jack held the receiver out and looked at it incredulously. “What? Of course they are, but as I said, they’re both doing cases as we speak—” “Then the case you’re calling about will just have to wait, won’t it?” she asked in a brusque tone. Jack bit back the swear words that were on the tip of his tongue. “Do you mind if I ask who I’m speaking with?” he asked tersely. “I do mind, but I’ll tell you anyway…was it Dr. Bass, you said?” “Yes.” “And your rank, Dr. Bass?” “Seriously? You need to know that now? Shit! I’m a Major, okay? For whatever difference that makes!” “Well, Major Bass, this is Lieutenant Colonel Thornhall, and I’ve been a nurse in this army for over twenty-five years and am your superior officer, so you will address me accordingly! For the last ten of those years, I’ve been the traveling chief-of-staff for Dr. Blackburn, so if I say he’s unavailable, that means he’s unavailable.” Jack glanced fleetingly over his shoulder as the two privates quickly deposited some bags near the foot of the stretcher before turning to leave the room again. Jack covered the phone receiver and yelled after them. “Hey, you guys aren’t done yet! I want a row of sandbags at least two feet high completely surrounding him.” Their shoulders sagged as they made their way back out the doors of the triage room. Jack took his hand away from the phone’s mouthpiece. “Look, Lt. Colonel Thornhall, sir…ma’am, whatever the correct term is, I’ve got a guy in the triage area with an unexploded RPG rocket in his chest, and I need a surgeon here, stat! I don’t have time to wait until one of the other surgeons is done because this thing could blow up any time! As the Triage OD, I’m formally requesting Colonel Blackburn’s presence urgently! If he is truly so indisposed that he can’t come over here right now, please let me know now, so I can go up the chain of command to try to get another surgeon here ASAP!” Jack tried to keep his voice calm but could hear the edge in his tone. “You’d better be careful how you speak to a superior officer…” “I don’t give a rat’s ass right now about military protocol! Can’t you get it through your head? This guy could blow up any second…and probably take out the whole goddam OR suite if he does!” Jack suddenly heard a man’s gruff voice in the background. “Give me that goddam phone, Maggie!” “This is Colonel Blackburn. Who the hell am I speaking with?” The man’s voice boomed so loudly from the receiver that Jack had to hold it away from his ear. “Major Jack Bass, sir. I’m the lead anesthesiologist at the field hospital and the triage OD. We met briefly the other day—” “I remember you. I’m not sshhenile, you jackass. Why the hell are you calling me?” Jack glanced at the phone again and frowned. Did they have a bad connection or was the surgeon really slurring his speech that badly? “I have a soldier here with an unexploded RPG round lodged in his chest. Both of the other surgeons are in the middle of cases…” “What kind of cases?” the surgeon demanded. “Uh…gunshot wounds, sir. One with multiple abdominal penetrations, the other with head and neck wounds.” “Schhhit!” the surgeon exclaimed. “And they aren’t going to finish up anytime sshoon, Major?” “Both likely have a couple of hours of operating time yet, sir.” Jack suddenly noticed the presence of Lori Darden at his side; she had donned an armored vest and was also wearing a Kevlar helmet that was too large for her head. She shrugged and raised her hands, as if to question Jack about what was going on. Jack held up an index finger, indicating for her to wait, but then quickly regretted his action as her ivory complexion turned red and her eyes narrowed to slits. Jack cringed. Geez, I’m managing to piss off every nurse in the army tonight! “Is he stable?” “Yes, sir…currently, anyway.” “Then why can’t you jushht put him outshhide somewhere away from everybody else and wait for one of the other surgeons?” “Sir? Seriously? You’re suggesting I just set him aside and come what may? Really?” Lori suddenly snatched the phone from Jack’s grasp. “Sir, this is Major Lori Darden, the head nurse of this surgical unit, and if you can’t come over here right now, I’ll be happy to call General Smithson, whom I know very well, and ask him if he could fly down from Tampa and do this surgery.” There was silence on the phone for several seconds. “Major, you’re playing with fire…” Blackburn replied menacingly, speaking loudly enough for Jack to hear. “I understand any possible risks, sir, and I’m stating it again. General Smithson has been a friend of my family for as long as I can remember and is largely responsible for me choosing nursing as a career, and I’m sure he’ll take my call.” “Alright, goddammit! But you and I are gonna have a chat after I get there, Major. Nobody threatens me!” “Of course, sir,” she replied with a hint of sarcasm. Lori handed the phone unceremoniously back to Jack and then immediately moved to the stretcher, where she began stacking sandbags around the soldier as the man continued to writhe and moan. Jack stood dumbfounded, looking at Lori. He held the phone to his ear and heard Major Thornhall pleading in the background. “Rob, you can’t go over there like this…just come back to bed and let them take care of it.” The comment roused Jack from his daze. He shook his head. “I beg your pardon?” he asked. What the hell was going on? he wondered. Instead of a reply, someone on the other end slammed down the phone. Jack placed the receiver back on the base then cautiously approached Major Darden. “That was pretty…ballsy. Thanks,” he told Lori. “No problem, Jack.” She didn’t look up, and her tone told him she didn’t think her actions were any big deal. “Help me stack these sandbags and then get an IV in this guy.” “Um…yes, ma’am,” Jack replied quietly, not wishing to raise her ire again.
With all the books out there nowadays it can be hard to choose which one to read. There are so many to choose from. As of May 2, 2019 there were 48.5 million books available on Amazon.com! That number has increased since then, it increases every single day!
One way to choose a book is by reading the first chapter. Yes, I know Amazon has the 'Look Inside' feature. But first you have to find a book to use that feature and Amazon only shows you the books that are already selling a lot. So, I'm going to share one of the books I am promoting currently. Although I am promoting this book, I can personally recommend the author, I've read her work and I'm hooked. I'm lucky to have been introduced to her work and I think you'll find you will enjoy it as much as me.
Lacey Stuart’s muscles tightened as irritation prickled through her nervous system. She gave her phone yet another check. No new messages. A swirl of frustration blew past her lips, as she pushed the phone farther back on the bar. It didn’t look like Steve was going to show. Emergencies pop up, she thought, trying to be generous. But really, what could have stopped him from sending a quick text? She slid her thigh farther up her crossed legs, trying not to skate off the ultra-modern, ultra-awkward bar stool made for someone much taller than she. Lacey caught the server’s eye and tapped the rim of her empty Cosmo glass, signaling that another one was in order. She decided to take a taxi back to her apartment after she finished this drink – with or without Steve.
She should probably be worried about Steve. It wasn’t like him to stand her up. But honestly, the only thing she felt was aggravation. It had been a long, miserable day at work. All Lacey wanted was to be back in her apartment curled up with a cup of hot tea, and her book. Lacey glanced down at the winter coat she’d thrown across the stool beside hers to save a place for Steve — a good thirty minutes ago. She couldn’t understand why he’d been so insistent on meeting her here, and then not being courteous enough to give her a heads up that he was running late.
As the server set a fresh drink in front of her, Lacey caught scotch-on-the-rocks guy staring at her mouth. Again. She wondered if he had a thing for bright red lipstick or if she had a strand of spinach from her afternoon snack caught in her teeth. Lacey held her hand over her mouth, lowering her head to stare at her lap while her tongue foraged in the crevices and along the gum line, hoping to excavate any residue.
As she raised her eyes, they caught on a man by the door. He was staring at her as if he knew her and was trying to make a decision. She didn’t recognize him, but his attention made a tingle of apprehension skitter across her scalp. Lacey hated living with this pervasive paranoia. Fear and hypervigilance had made her find demons in the shadows. After everything that had happened to her last fall, she no longer trusted her ability to tell the difference between some guy checking her out and some guy who meant to hurt her. I need to find a therapist, she told herself. Lacey reached out to touch the base of the pink girly drink in front of her. An anchor. A reason for her to be sitting alone at the bar. Her shaking fingers encircled the delicate stem, and she lifted the glass for a sip.
Out of the corner of her eye, Lacey watched the man by the door take another step forward into the room. As his interest pulled her focus back over to him, he tipped his head as if asking her a question. The stranger’s eyes didn’t move from hers, even as he eased his shoulder against the wall, letting a boisterous girl-group push past him in a cloud of perfume and shiny fabrics.
The man was tall; his sports jacket looked tailored to his athletic body. He bunched his brow into a wrinkled knot as they looked at each other. His face might have been handsome in a rugged Marlboro-man kind of way in his earlier years, but now he was weathered and balding, and there was something vicious about the slash of his mouth and the way he held his shoulders.
Lacey stopped breathing. Vulnerability swept up from her stomach and stuck in her throat. She forced her eyes away from his and scanned the screen on her phone. No, Steve still hadn’t texted with a reason for not showing, or a time he’d arrive. She tapped the app to call a cab. She glanced at scotch-on-the rocks guy, who dangled his glass from his fingertips in such a way as to hide his attention. But his gaze was firmly on her mouth. Lacey felt threats everywhere. She worked at being reasonable. She was a woman alone in a bar. Of course she had attracted attention. Though, neither of these men was giving off the usual bar signals – there was no hoping-for-a-hook-up vibe. These guys seemed a different kind of predatory. And she felt trapped. Panicked.
Lacey leaned into the bar. “Hey there, I think I’m going to take my check, please.” She pushed her almost-full glass away from her to signal that she was finished.
As the bartender slid her tab into a leather folder and placed it in front of her, Lacey jerked her credit card from her phone case. She wished she could ask the manager to let her slip out the back door of the kitchen rather than make her skitter past the guy spooking her at the front. While she signed the bottom of the receipt, Lacey peeked past the long layers of her hair over to the man at the entrance. He was fishing in his pocket, then pulled something out.
Lacey jolted as a crack of thunder erupted violently, causing a wave of gasps and startled giggles from around the room. The lights flickered, and Lacey slid off her stool to leave. As her feet touched the ground, the doors crashed open and a group of festively dressed couples surged in, laughing and shaking off the sudden rain. With the noise and commotion as a backdrop, the man made his move. In an instant, he towered in front of her, blocking Lacey’s retreat.
“Danika?” he said quietly.
Even though the room was loud, Lacey could hear him clearly. When she heard that name, her joints solidified, and she couldn’t move or speak. Her dark brown eyes, heavy with mascara, pulled wide as they filled with shock. Another clap of thunder worked its way across the sky; the sound held Lacey in place, sucking the oxygen from her lungs.
The man bent his head closer to her ear. “Danika, you’re in danger.” His last word became a sharp sucking sound as he arched backward. His fingers curled into the pewter satin of Lacey’s blouse. He pulled her sideways, reeling to the left, hitting the floor first with his shoulder, then with his head, taking her with him.
Lacey tried to scramble up, to pull her skirt back down below her hips, to regain some decorum now that she had flashed the bar with her pink silk panties. But the stranger tightened his grip and locked her to him with a tight fist. “They know who you are. Trust no one. Run.” His words bubbled out with red spittle and the visual made Lacey’s mind go numb. She worked hard at processing what was happening, but her brain snagged on the red froth at the corners of his lips, and she couldn’t think past it.
As the man exhaled the word “run,” he unwound his right hand from the fabric of her blouse. He shoved something cold and hard down into her bra. Lacey tried to pull free. She dropped her jaw to scream, but Lacey couldn’t make any air pass by her vocal cords, so her mouth hung open and empty.
Someone gripped Lacey’s upper arms, lifted her, questioned her, was she all right?
All right? Lacey stared down at the stranger, trying to process the fact that he had called her Danika. That he was there to warn her. And now, a red puddle pooled from under his shoulders.
The bartender rolled the man on to his stomach as the well-clad patrons fished out their phones. Lacey prayed that someone was calling 911. But the bright strobe of flashes meant that most were grabbing pictures to post on Instagram and Snapchat to show what dangerous and exciting lives they led. The flashing lights turned the scene into an impressionist’s painting where the eye only took in and defined certain aspects, the outline of a leg, the hem of a skirt, the swirl of burgundy leaching across the floor.
Lacey pinned her focus on the knife handle protruding from the man’s herringbone jacket. Someone had stabbed into his lungs, and now he was gasping like a trout lugged from the river. That doesn’t belong there, was all Lacey’s shocked mind could manage. She reached down and yanked the blade from the stranger’s back. Blood dripped from the sharp edge. Lacey dropped the weapon to the ground in disgust. She held her hands wide and let the wine colored droplets trickle from the webbing of her fingers.
Hands now pulled Lacey backward, away from the stranger’s flailing legs. A linen napkin rubbed over her fingers. Lacey twisted to see over her shoulder where she found scotch-on-the rocks guy.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, dropping the napkin to the floor. “He’s a good friend of yours?” His voice was kind and solicitous. With a solid grip, he moved Lacey away from the dying man, around the back of the fascinated crowd, and toward the front door.
It wasn’t until she was propelled out of the bar and a shot of cold, wet air hit her face that Lacey registered the dying man’s warning. “Trust no one. Run.” She hadn’t a clue what he could have meant. All she knew was that Scotch-on-the-rocks had tightened his grip and was herding her toward a black car with its back door gaping open.
Lacey set her high heels into the mortar of the rain-slicked brick sidewalk. She snaked her body and protested, but she made no progress in freeing herself. Without forethought, Lacey’s knee slammed into the man’s groin. He collapsed with a grunt. As he hit the ground, he stretched out a hand, shackling her ankle with an iron grasp. Lacey freaked.
She kicked at his face with her free foot, yelling for help. Swinging her head, she searched the crowd for a hero. She spotted two men clambering from the black sedan and knew she had seconds to get herself free. Lacey aimed her stiletto at her captor’s chest. He blocked it with his free arm. Releasing her ankle, he reached into his jacket. Lacey felt sure he was going for a gun.
Her scream should have cut through the bar patrons’ glee at tonight’s horrific adventure, should have brought someone to her rescue. But the scream was masked by an EMS truck, speeding up the street, sirens wailing. Lacey reeled back into the bar and ran as fast as her high heels and tight skirt would allow, pushing people out of the way, clambering past chairs. She had to find another way out–a back exit–some way to escape.
Lacey burst out of the kitchen door, stumbling head long into a pile of black trash bags, lining the alleyway. The downpour stung her upturned face as headlights caught her in their abrupt illumination. Car doors popped open.
Pushing herself up—her shoes left behind—Lacey sprinted down the alley, down the road, down the Metro stairs, and into the late-evening crowd. Away from the men’s angry shouting.
Sopping wet and garbage streaked, Lacey slid behind a Metro System’s construction curtain. She panted behind the plastic yellow fabric, replaying the scene of her alley escape from the second car of scary men.
Lacey was sure she had heard a man bark, “Secret Service.” But the dead man had said, “Trust no one.”
Was he dead? Lacey had never seen anyone blow blood bubbles before and couldn’t imagine coming back from that. It was the stuff of horror flicks and midnight campfire stories – the kind of imagery that ruined sleep for nights, maybe even for years, to come. Lacey lifted her hands, crusty with flaked blood where she had squeezed her fists as she pumped her arms and fled. She rubbed her palms together in disbelief.
It was possible that the man was alive, she tried to reason. Surely someone had gotten to him with medical help in time. If he lived, Lacey would like to talk to him and find out what was going on. And while she wanted the information, she also never wanted to be near that guy again. Ever. But still. . . Lacey’s head danced with questions like pointillist dots on a canvas all blending together to paint a picture of absolute terror. Lacey was terrified. This was what the word meant. She had used the word so many times when it was just silly – rollercoasters, and exam grades. Lacey pushed the strands of her damp hair back off her face and bit at her lip to stop its trembling.
Did the man really mean trust no one? Lacey sat on an overturned bucket, propping her elbows on her knees and holding her head, trying hard to calm her shaking. Secret Service seemed like reasonable people to trust. Maybe the police? “They know who you are.” Suddenly, Lacey wondered why scary people would know who she was. Her mind slipped to her great uncle, Bartholomew Winslow, who owned the art gallery she managed. He was hiding out at his home in Bali, and wouldn’t be coming back to the United States until things settled down – until the arrest warrant went away. Did this have something to do with him and his affiliation with the Assembly? She reached into her blouse to retrieve what the dying man had thrust into her bra.
Sure, I get a lot of free books sent to me by authors, but ultimately I prefer to purchase them or at least use KU. Authors put a lot of work into their books, they deserve the compensation for their work. Trust me, not all indie authors make a ton of money on their books. After the selling platform takes their cut and you figure in the cost of editing, formatting and cover design, not to mention the cost of advertising, authors are sometimes in the negative. It takes a lot to make a living as an author. So, no matter what book you read please leave the author a review. It keeps them going!
Support your Indie Authors and share this book post!
Welcome to the second edition of First Chapters with Fiona Quinn!
Today we are featuring the second book in The Lynx Series, Missing Lynx. We can't emphasize enough how good this series is! Read the sample below and start reading this series today, FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Missing Lynx (The Lynx Series Book 2)
Lynx Thought Her Job Would Keep Her SafeLexi Sobado, code named Lynx, is settling into a new job at Iniquus. The new position is satisfying: sort the random puzzles her team hands her to solve crimes, and, occasionally, support her team in the field - planting transmitters, sleight-of -hand, cracking a safe every once in a while, but nothing that would call for daring deeds of do or die. At least that's how her contract reads.
The Person Lynx Trusts Most Can't Help HerSadly, Lexi's life does't ever follow her carefully laid plans. Spyder McGraw, Lexi's long-time family-friend and mentor, shows up in town, bringing more questions than answers. A new neighbor, Maria Rodriguez, moves into Lexi's neighborhood - their pasts dangerously linked together. And grief as Lexi mourns her late husband, Angel, tangles itself around her feelings for Striker Rheas. At work, at home, in her heart, Lexi can't seem to find the sense of peace and security that she craves.
As old enemies surface, Lynx will fight until her last breath.Just as Lexi seems to move in the right direction, she becomes a pawn in a deadly international game. Lexi's teammates scramble to find her before it's too late. Lexi is fighting for her life.
I strained against the seat belt, leaning forward with impatience, as if by weight and will I could get us there faster. My fingers drummed anxiously on the car door. I wanted to be at the airport now; I had waited more than a year to see my mentor, Spyder McGraw, and hear his rolling thunder laugh.
Striker slid his eyes toward me then refocused on the road. A little smile played across his lips. “You think that screaming like a Hellhound through Washington is going to get Spyder off his plane any faster?”
Striker Rheas took up a lot of space. His silken rusty-brown hair with its tight military cut brushed the roof; his shoulders — powerfully built from his days in Special Ops Forces — spread wide against the seat back. His bearing was always calm, and capable – sometimes too much so. And while I obviously amused him right now, he was pissing me off. I answered him with my best withering stare and turned to the window as he drove sedately through the city streets.
The snow outside fell in big light flakes, powdering the trees and cars, making the road shiny and slick. DC traffic was non-existent this morning. Everything had shut down for Christmas.
Striker pulled into Reagan International Airport’s parking deck and set the brake. I narrowed my eyes so he would know not to hedge. “At least give me a hint. What kind of assignment are we going to be working on?”
There it was again, the glimmer of amusement. “I’ve told you everything I’ve got. I’ll be finding out the same time you do.”
“Okay, then where’s Spyder coming in from?”
Striker released his seatbelt and swiveled toward me. “He flew his last leg from Dallas - DC” He held up his hands. “I swear that’s all the information I know.”
“This is a little surreal.” I pushed a blond curl behind my ear. “One minute I’m starting new classes at the University, and the next you’re handing me my gear to take down some bad-guy. I had a plan.”
“Plans change. Seems serendipitous — Spyder reappearing just as you wanted to head out the door.” He flashed a smile. I loved Striker’s smiles — slightly crooked, hint of dimples, straight white teeth. His smiles started in his warm green eyes where the flecks of gold danced. They disarmed me, but I wanted my armor up.
I arched a brow. “I think perhaps you used more bullying and less serendipity to change my heart. Maybe a little bribery?”
“Incentivizing, Lynx. You wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to serve your country – and, of course, to work with Spyderman.”
I got out of the car. The wind whipped the skirt of my Christmas-red cocktail dress around my legs. I was still dressed from the party last night. After the guests left, Striker surprised me with the news about Spyder coming home. Since my parents had passed away, Spyder took on a bigger role than playing my mentor; he became my other dad. Spyder’s homecoming was the best Christmas gift ever. Well, that and the beautiful gold brooch Striker gave me under the mistletoe – along with the kind of kiss that should end every great romance novel. The kind that promises a happily-ever-after.
Ah, if life were only that simple. I didn’t need a fairytale ending. Right now, I just wanted to regain my balance. And truth be told, Striker wasn’t looking for fairytales, either.
I wasn’t sure what he meant by that kiss. Striker was his job. He was a highly effective operative dedicated to protecting national security. Everything was secondary. Everyone was secondary. Would I change that? No. Could I live with it? Hmmm. I tried before with Angel, and that ended about as badly as anything could end. If Striker wanted a relationship with me, he’d want it on his own terms. He hadn’t articulated his parameters to me. Probably because he knew I wouldn’t like them.
I tightened the belt around my short wool coat as Striker walked over to my side. His eyes caught mine. He tilted his head with that assessing look of his. “That’s a curious expression, Lynx. What were you just thinking?”
I smiled up at him. “That the décolleté on this party dress might be a little inappropriate for Christmas morning.”
Striker grinned. “You’re probably right, but I’m not complaining. I think you’re beautiful.” He planted a light kiss at my hair line, entwined his fingers with mine, and we walked toward the terminal.
Even in my heels, Striker’s six-foot-three frame towered above me. His Irish cable knit sweater and pair of 501s accentuated everything a girl could want accentuated. His assets weren’t lost on the woman passing us, pulling her carry-on behind her. She turned to give his rear an appreciative glance, clearly enjoying the view. Pretty tactless — the man was holding my hand, and she didn’t know we weren’t a couple.
In the waiting area, I shed my coat and paced in front of our seats, wringing my hands. Impatience and excitement made me hot and twitchy.
“If you get any warmer, there isn’t much left to shed, Lynx.” Striker stretched out his long legs and slouched back in the hard plastic chair.
“It’s Lexi. I don’t use my call name when I’m off the clock.”
Striker’s eyes moved over my dress. The low cut bodice showed off my full breasts and cinched tight at the waist like a starlet from the fifties. I felt flirtatious and sexy when I danced at the party. The skirt ballooned out as I spun around showing off legs toned from years of running and martial arts.
“What if he’s late? Did you check and make sure he made his flight?” I pulled my hair back into a ponytail to get it out of my face. “I should take another peek at the board, maybe there’s been a delay.”
“That’s fine. You go do that.”
I focused down the hall where the flight board stood. “I can’t.” I plopped down beside him. “My feet hurt too badly.”
“I will never understand why a woman does that to herself.”
“You think my high-heels are sexy, don’t you?” I straightened my leg for him to see.
“And that’s why I wear them.” I kicked off my shoes. The cold floor eased the ache. I didn’t care too much about propriety, since we were almost the only people at the airport. “They make my legs long and my butt perky. I like dressing girly and pretty.” Actually, looking young, cute, and approachable made my job a whole lot easier. Being discounted as a piece of fluff let me go places, and do things, that would normally set off alarms.
Striker wrapped his arm around my shoulders pulling me to him. “I totally agree with the girly and pretty part, Chica,” he whispered into my hair.
I pushed Striker off me and jumped to my feet. “Oh God, he needs our help.”
“Who does?” Striker rose beside me his eyes scanning the room for a threat. “What are you talking about?”
I hopped on one foot, cramming my shoe on to the other one. Striker cupped my elbow to hold me steady.
“Spyder. I heard him say it in my head.” I tapped my finger to my temple as I came upright.
Striker’s body shifted. His muscles tightened and the laughter left his eyes. “You heard this ESP-wise?”
A disembodied voice over the loudspeaker announced Spyder’s flight was deplaning.
I didn’t bother answering Striker. Of course ESP-wise. Why else would I be hearing voices in my head?
I grabbed up my coat and purse and ran toward the security gate. The passengers coming up looked rumpled and droopy eyed. I, on the other hand, was chomping at the bit, eagerly searching the crowd.
Normally, Spyder McGraw stood flag-pole tall and thin. The contrast between his white teeth and midnight, blue-black skin was startling, and the only distinctive thing about him. He shaved his head and wore non-descript clothes. Spyder liked to blend.
There! The last one off. His tall frame loomed in the back behind the swarm. His shoulders bowed uncharacteristically as he moved forward zombie-like.
With my focus glued to Spyder’s face, I pushed through the crush of travelers leaving the security gate. The guards jumped up from their posts – my actions drawing their attention, but I didn’t care. I had to help Spyder. One guard grabbed at my arm. His other hand popped the snap on his holster. Striker brandished his Iniquus ID, and the guards fell back.
I swam forward against the current of travelers until I could reach Spyder. The deadly strong arms, that I knew so well, hung lifelessly by his sides. I pulled him in to a hug. Sweat glistened his face, and his body trembled against mine. I reached up and touched his head; the heat wavered off his skin in almost visible pulses.
“I need a wheelchair.” I commanded the guards whom I caught in my peripheral vision. They had braced for action mere inches away. My focus never left Spyder’s face. “Spyder, you’re burning up.”
He mouthed, “Malaria,” and keeled over.
Striker lunged for him but couldn’t get a good hold from over my shoulder. I dropped to the ground to protect Spyder’s head from the tile floor.
The guards pushed passengers out of the way.
“Call an ambulance!” I shouted and struggled out from underneath Spyder.
He was conscious, but his eyes were glassy and unfixed. I patted his face and called his name. He didn’t even try to respond or focus on me. Striker loosened Spyder’s clothes at the neck and waist.
Grabbing my purse, I upended it, searching frantically through the debris to find the extra diabetic supply kit I carried for when I babysat my neighbor’s little girl, Jilly-bean.
With shaking hands, I grasped Spyder’s finger. I have done blood checks about a thousand times as a volunteer EMT, but my training whispered from deep in my brain - muffled by the storm clouds of my emotions. Memories of the night my dad and I were in the car accident swamped my mind. I knelt exactly like this, on the side of the road, holding my dad’s head and praying the same prayer, “Please be okay, please be okay,” even though it was obviously too late for him.
The number on the meter came up low. Way too low. Verge of coma low. “Think,” I commanded myself as I reached blindly for the glucose gel from my purse jumble.
“Striker, hold him still.” My EMT voice sounded focused and in charge. Where did that come from? I felt everything but professional; I felt gelatinous. “When I give Spyder this glucose, he won’t understand what’s going on. He’ll fight for his life.”
Striker fastened down on Spyderman’s wrists. Straddling him, Striker used his weight as leverage.
Kneeling, my thighs clamped like a vice by Spyder’s ears to restrain him and protect his head. His chest didn’t rise or fall. Horror jetted through my veins. I put my cheek toward his face to reassure myself that he was still breathing. Spyder’s exhale whispered against my skin. My breath blew as thinly as his. My legs and feet burned and tingled from lack of oxygen. “Breathe deeper!” I ordered as much for Spyder as for myself.
By muscle memory and not from conscious thought, I held Spyder’s nose until he unclenched his teeth and parted his lips. I stuck the tube into his mouth and squirted the glucose down his throat. I used all of my leg strength to protect his head, and to keep him in place while I squeezed the gungy gel. As he fought, glucose smeared everywhere.
Striker wrestled Spyderman down like they were on the Olympic mats, going for a gold medal. I knew Striker would have to. Once I watched Spyder lift a man twice his weight and throw him like a rag doll. Spyder had long thin limbs made of steel.
I had tunnel vision. Nothing existed but Striker, me, Spyder and the red goo. As I worked, I chanted my mantra. Each inhale was a “Please.” Each exhale, “Be okay.” “Please, be okay.” Like the Little Engine-Who-Could cheerleading itself through the crisis. “Please, be okay.”
I startled when the security guard crouched beside me.
“The rescue squad’s in the building, ma’am; they’ll be here in a minute.”
“Grab more gel and pop the top off for me.” I pointed at the tube with my chin. The guard put it in my hand and waited for further instructions.
“Hold his legs down.”
The security guard looked dubious but did as I said.
I was squirting the second tube of glucose into Spyder’s mouth, as the paramedics rushed over with a gurney. I knew one of the guys, Chuck; I recognized him from my volunteer-training. The sight of him buoyed me. We had resources now and trained support. I put on a costume of competence. My teeth stopped chattering; my hands stopped shaking.
“What’ve you got here, Lexi?” Chuck asked, setting his equipment bag beside me.
“Forty-five-year-old male, with no history of heart problems, weak vitals, reporting a recurrence of malaria. High fever. Exhibiting signs of hypoglycemia. I checked with a meter I had. It read 29. I have most of one tube of gel in, and I’m working on the second one. If you’ve got any more, we could probably use it.”
Chuck opened his case, grabbed a tube, and pulled off the plastic top. He laid it beside me and took out his official blood glucose meter. He swabbed Spyderman’s finger, with Striker’s help.
“22. He’s not coming up, yet. He’s thrashing too much to try to run a line with dextrose. We may want to use a Glucagon shot.” Chuck rummaged in his supply kit.
I caught Chuck’s eye. “Since he’s not unconscious yet, let’s see if I can get enough gel in to calm him down, then we can put him on the gurney and strap him down for the IV.”
He nodded. “We’ll work your plan. Let me get more gels out. He’s spitting most of it on you.” Chuck pulled a handful of tubes from his kit.
I was covered in gel; Spyder was covered in gel. It took every single tube the paramedics had brought with them to get Spyder stable. While Spyder became lucid, the EMTs wiped him off and loaded him on to the gurney. I sat on the floor and watched – nerves vibrating.
Chuck tapped his pen against the clipboard. “Malaria. How’d you know to check for hypoglycemia, Lex?”
Spyder had contracted malaria when he was in Africa supporting a DEVGRU operation. It was Striker who carried him out of the jungle to safety. When Spyder returned home to recover, I made sure that I knew everything I could about the disease. I wasn’t about to lose another loved one. Not if I could help it. “I don’t know,” I said. “I must have read something about it along the way. Quinine and hypoglycemia…”
Chuck nodded. “Do you have a name and address?”
“His name is…” And I stopped. I didn’t know his name. He was like a father to me, but the only name I’ve ever associated with him was his call name, Spyder — or as Iniquus baptized him “Spyderman” since Striker and Spyder sound the same over the airwaves. I had no idea what his legal name was. I searched out Striker’s eyes, and he shrugged.
“His name is Mr. McGraw. He’s just back in the country. I don’t know where he traveled in from. He’ll be living with me.” I gave Chuck my contact information.
“Are you following us to the hospital?” Chuck placed a kit between Spyder’s legs on the gurney. His partner attached the IV bag of dextrose and saline onto a support arm.
“Yes,” I said from my place on the floor.
“Okay, he’s packaged for transport, so we’re going to head on. We’re taking him to Suburban; dispatch says they have a pathologist on call this morning. I’ll catch up with you at Emergency. It’s good to see you again, Lexi. Sorry it’s under these circumstances.”
I slowly gathered the contents of my purse back together. Striker helped me to my feet and held me steady until I caught my balance.
“You’re sticky.” He moved his hands out and away so as not to spread the goop any farther.
“Yeah, let’s wash up, and then we can go,” I said.
The shock my body was processing pushed me beyond exhaustion. I shambled into the ladies’ room and stood in front of the mirror. Not girly. Not pretty. Not even approachable. I was one big fat mess. Red slime in my hair, on my dress, up and down my arms. My mascara had run with the tears down my cheeks, leaving black rivulets. I did my best to wash off, took a deep breath, and headed back to the car with Striker. He opened the passenger-side door for me. I sat down, but couldn’t swing my legs in. I stopped for a minute.
“You okay?” Striker crouched beside me.
“Ha! My legs are shaking from that workout. Spyder fought like a madman.”
Striker put his warm hands on my thighs and slowly massaged them up and down. I reached out and grabbed his wrists, his hands caught under my skirt. I swirled with emotions - too many feelings in one big rush; they made my head spin. “Please don’t.” The last wayward tear slid past my lashes and got stuck beside my nose.
“Lynx, I was trying to help - I wasn’t thinking.” Striker said earnestly.
“Not your fault. I’m just - it’s too much. My emotions have been doing cart-wheels since the party.”
“It’s been a hell of a morning for you.” Striker looked deeply into my eyes. His calm confidence steadied me. “Okay, Chica?”
Striker slowly brushed a stray lock of hair back, kissed the tear from beside my lips, and walked around to the driver’s side.
I hauled the door shut with the last of my energy. “I’m exhausted.”
Striker slid under the wheel. “It was a hell of a fight for first thing in the morning.”
“What I want to know is why Spyder would chance travelling in that condition. You spoke to him — he said nothing about his being on death’s door-step?”
“All he said was, ‘I’m coming in for Christmas, gear up, I need help beheading the Hydra.”
“My thought, exactly.” Striker warmed me with a smile, pulled his belt across his chest, and steered down the early morning streets with his normal calm – which, as usual, drove me absolutely crazy.
When you are searching for your next book to read what are some of the things you look for?
Were you tempted by the cover, the description, the price, the genre, the author? Did someone recommend the title?
Perhaps you like to read a sample of the story as well?
In another round of first chapters, we have a treat for you! The book we have today has hit all the points we addressed above, surpassed them actually.
From USA Today Bestselling author Fiona Quinn a thrilling novel of uncompromising determination and courage.
Rukia's take: "This book follows a young woman as she is terrorized by an unknown assailant. Someone is stalking her, spying on her, and she is scared for her life.
That doesn't mean she is just going to sit around and wait for them to hurt her though, young Lexi is a force to be reckoned with. She's tenacious, strong, smart, sassy and a brilliant puzzler. We found this first book to be an intoxicating read! A wonderful play with words."
After reading this, our Elite Rukia Readers have said such things as: "Loved it! Just got the next book!"
"I was enchanted, couldn't put the book down!"
"Love Lexi, her bravery and brilliance won me over."
"Lexi is a super strong lead character who surprises you at every turn. Well done, Ms. Quinn. I can't wait to read the next book!"
Weakest Lynx (The Lynx Series Book 1)
What she wanted was a simple life. What she got was simply terrifying
A madman forces his way into Lexi's home. Her survival means she is the only one who can identify the stalker. Lexi becomes the critical witness who holds the key to stopping the serial killer, terrifying Washington families.
An Expert Bodyguard Struggling To Maintain Professionalism Around His Newest Assignment
Striker Rheas, an ex-Navy SEAL, and his team of expert operators are charged with protecting Lexi. The more time Striker spends on this security assignment, the more trouble he has maintaining the boundaries of professionalism. He knows Lexi is keeping secrets and protecting her is not going to be an easy task if he's missing vital information, and losing his heart to her.
How Much Can She Reveal Without Getting Herself Killed?
With her psychic antennae tuned in, Lexi realizes that what she hides, what she reveals, and what she uncovers will need to find the perfect balance if she's going to save her own life and stop the killer. Time is running out.
Join Lexi’s battle to protect the greater good.
The 1st Chapter
The black BMW powered straight toward me. Heart pounding, I stomped my brake pedal flush to the floorboard. My chest slammed into the seat belt, snapping my head forward. There wasn’t time to blast the horn, but the scream from my tires was deafening. I gasped in a breath as the BMW idiot threw me a nonchalant wave – his right hand off the wheel, with his left hand pressed to his ear still chatting on his cell phone. Diplomatic license plates. Figures.
Yeah, I didn’t really need an extra shot of adrenaline—like a caffeine IV running straight to my artery—I was already amped.
“Focus, Lexi,” I whispered under my breath, pressing down on the gas. “Follow the plan. Give the letter to Dave. Let him figure this out.” I sent a quick glance down to my purse where a corner of the cream-colored envelope jutted out, then veered my Camry back into the noonday DC gridlock, weaving past the graffitied storefronts. I recognized that the near miss with the BMW guy probably wasn’t his fault. I couldn’t remember the last ten minutes of drive time.
I watched my review mirror as a bike messenger laced between the moving cars on his mission to get the parcel in his bag to the right guy at the right time. Once he handed over his package, he’d be done. Lucky him. Even though, I was handing my letter off to Dave, the truth was that wouldn’t be my end point. I wasn’t clear about what an end point would even look like. Safe. It might look like I was safe, that I had my feet back under me. But that thought seemed like it was far out on the horizon; and right now, I was just looking for a something to grab on to to keep me afloat.
When I finally parked in front of Dave Murphy’s mid-century brick row house, I sat for a minute, trying to regain my composure. I’d pushed this whole mess to the back burner for as long as I could, but after last night’s nightmare… Well, better to get a detective’s opinion. Dave had handled enough crackpots over his time with the DCPD that he’d have a better grasp of the threat level. Right now, even with all my training, I was scared out of my mind.
I glanced down at my hands. The tremor in them sent the afternoon sunlight dancing off my brand-new engagement and wedding rings. I felt like an imposter wearing them - like a little girl dressed up in her mother’s clothes. I’m too young to be dealing with all this crap, I thought as I shoved my keys into my purse. I pulled my hair into a quick ponytail and stepped out into the February cold. Casting anxious glances up and down the street, I jogged up the stairs to bang on Dave’s front door.
The screen squeaked open almost immediately, as if he’d been standing there, waiting for my knock. “Hey, Baby Girl,” he said, stepping out of the way to let me in. Dave had been calling me Baby Girl since I was born, because my parents couldn’t decide on my name, and that was how I was listed on my hospital ankle tag.
“Glad I found you at home.” I walked in and plopped down on the blue gingham couch. It had been here since I could remember. The fabric was threadbare, and juice stained by his five-year-old twins. On a cop’s salary, fine furnishings ranked low in priority. Right now – edgy and confused – I appreciated the comfort of familiarity.
Dave shifted into detective mode – hands on hips, eyes scanning me. “Long time, no see.”
“Where are Cathy and the kids?” I asked.
“They’ve got dentist appointments. Did you come to tell us your news?” He lifted his chin to indicate my left hand and settled at the other end of the couch, swiveling until we were face to face.
“Uhm, no.” I twisted my rings, suddenly feeling drained and bereft. What wouldn’t I give to have my husband Angel here? The corners of my mouth tugged down. I willed myself to stay focused on the reason for the visit. My immediate safety had to take priority over my grief.
Dave raised a questioning brow, waiting for me to continue.
“Angel and I got married Wednesday. I’m Lexi Sobado, now.” My voice hitched and tears pressed against my lids. I lowered my lashes, so Dave wouldn’t see. But his eyes had locked onto mine, and he never missed much.
“Married? At your age? No introduction? No wedding invitation? Why isn’t he here with you now?” Dave angled his head to the side and crossed his arms over his middle-aged paunch. “I’d like to meet the guy.” He all but snarled.
Dave probably thought I’d come here because my husband screwed things up already. I pulled the pillow from behind my back and hugged it to me like a shield. “I’m sorry. I should have let you and Cathy know what was going on – I was caught up, and I just...” I stopped to clear my throat. “Angel and I got married at the courthouse and no one came with us. Not even Abuela Rosa.”
“Angel Sobado. He’s kin to Rosa, then?”
I gave the slightest tip of a nod. “Angel is her great-nephew. I couldn’t bring him with me today because he deployed with the Rangers to the Middle East Thursday. That’s why everything happened so fast. He was leaving.” The last word stuck in my throat and choked me.
Dave leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees. Lacing his fingers, he tapped his thumbs together. “Huh. That’s a helluva short honeymoon. Married Wednesday. Gone Thursday.” Dave’s tone had dropped an octave and gained a fringe of fatherly concern.
His compassion gave me permission to break down. But those Angel-emotions were mine. Private. Right now, I needed to hold myself in check long enough to get through my mission of handing off the letter. I shifted my feet back and forth over the rug as I glared at my purse.
“Might even explain the expression on your face,” Dave said, narrowing his eyes. He slouched against the arm of the over-stuffed couch.
Stalling wasn’t going to make this any easier. I reached a hesitant hand into my bag, pulled out a plastic Zip-loc holding the envelop, and held it up for Dave. “The expression is because of this,” I said.
Dave took the bag. After a brief glance, he hefted himself to his feet. Over at his desk, he pulled on a pair of Nitrile gloves, then carefully removed the letter.
Dearest India Alexis, O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune!
As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ your bones are white and dry:
Till a’ your veins gang dry, my dear,
And your skin melt with the sun;
I will luve thee until your heart is still my dear
When the sands of your life shall no more run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve, so I can watch you die.
Dave read the words aloud then stared at me hard; his brows pulled in tight enough that the skin on his forehead accordioned. “What the—”
“Someone shoved the poem under the door to my room, and it’s scaring the bejeezus out of me.” I gripped the pillow tighter.
Dave peered over the top of his reading glasses. “Last night? This morning?”
“Wednesday morning.” I braced when I said it, knowing it would tick Dave off that I didn’t bring this to him immediately. Ever since my dad died, his buddies had stepped in and tried to take over the fathering job, even though I’d be turning twenty in a few days.
True to my expectations, Dave was red-faced and bellowing. “Wednesday? You waited two whole days to tell me you’ve gotten a friggin death threat?”
Yup, this was exactly the response Dad would have given me.
Dave jumped up, pacing across the room. Obviously, he didn’t think this was someone’s idea of a joke. Fear tightened my chest at his confirmation. I had hoped he’d say, “No worries – someone is having fun pranking you,” and then I could go on about my life without the major case of heebie-jeebies that tingled my skin and made me want to run and hide.
“It was our wedding day.” I worked to modulate my voice to sound soft and reasonable. “I only had a few short hours before Angel had to take off. So yeah, I decided to focus on us instead of this.” I motioned towards the paper in his hand.
Dave took in a deep breath, making his nostrils flare. “Okay.” I could almost see his brain shifting gears. “When you first picked up the letter, did you get any vibes?”
“You mean, ESP-wise?”
He nodded stiffly, his eyes hard on me.
Vibes. That wasn’t the word I would have chosen to explain my sensations. “I didn’t hear anything. It was more like an oily substance oozing over me.” I tucked my nose into the soft cloth of the pillow and breathed in the scent of cinnamon fabric freshener. “I vomited.” My voice dropped to a whisper. “It felt like evil and craziness, and I can still smell that stench.” A shiver raced down my spine.
Dave’s lips sealed tightly; he was probably trying to hold back a litany of expletives. Finally, he asked, “That’s all?”
“Did any of your neighbors notice anyone unusual lurking around? Did you check with management and run through the security tapes?”
“Dave, didn’t you hear? My apartment building burned to the ground three weeks ago. I assumed you knew. It was on the news.”
Dave’s eyebrows shot straight up.
“I’ve been living in a motel the Red Cross rented out for all the families displaced by the fire. But to answer your question, no, nobody saw anything, and there were no cameras trained on my motel corridor.” I curled my lips in to keep them from trembling. I was used to holding my emotions in check. I trained myself to present a sweet exterior, a costume of sorts, but right now I was filled to over-flowing, and my mask kept slipping out of place.
“Shit.” Dave ran a hand over his face. “I had no idea. I’m letting your parents down. Apartment burned, married, husband gone, and now a death threat.” His eyes narrowed on me. “Do you think that about covers all of your surprises for me today?”
I paused for a beat. “Yeah, Dave, I think that’s it for today.” Okay, even if he was like family, the way Dave was talking pissed me off. I was frightened. I wanted a hug and his reassurance. What I was getting was… Dave’s brand of love. He wouldn’t be this red-faced and agitated if he wasn’t worried about me. Tears prickled behind my eyelids, blurring my vision.
“Hey, now. Stop. We’ll get to the bottom of this. Did you already let Spyder McGraw know what’s going on?”
I wiped my nose with the back of my wrist. “Spyder’s still off-grid. I have no idea when he’ll get home.”
“Were you assigned a different partner while he’s gone?”
“No, sir. I only ever worked for Spyder – he sort of wanted to keep me a secret.” I still couldn’t believe Mom had sat Dave down and told him all about my apprenticeship with Spyder McGraw. Under Spyder’s tutelage, I was following my dream of becoming an Intelligence Officer, learning to out-think and out-maneuver the bad guys trying to hurt American interests. And like anyone heading toward a life in the intelligence community, my skills needed to go under the radar. Now that my mom had died, only four people – Spyder, the Millers, and Dave – knew that side of my life. I would prefer Dave didn’t know.
“Still, did you consider bringing this to Spyder’s commander? Iniquus would probably give him a heads up. Get a message to him.”
“Iniquus is my last resort. Sure, Spyder told me to talk to them if I ever found myself in trouble.” I sucked in a deep breath of air. “Bottom line? He never wanted them to know I worked for him, well, for them. Safety in anonymity and all that.” My fingers kneaded the stuffing in the pillow. “Besides, I guess I was hoping this would all just go away.”
Dave’s eyes were hard on me. “You know better. Once some psycho’s caught you on his radar, you’re stuck there until someone wins.”
“Okay, so I make sure it’s me who wins.”
“Exactly right.” He considered me for a minute before he asked, “You’ve kept up with your martial arts training?”
“I have a sparring partner who’s pretty good. We rent time at a Do Jang twice a week.”
Dave lowered his head to read over the poem again. He put the letter and envelope back in the Zip-loc and placed it on his mantle. Pulling off his gloves with a snap, he looked down at them. “I hate these things. They give me a rash. Look, I’m going to take this down to the station and open a file. If you get anything else, I want you to bring it to me right away. Understood?”
“This is the only poem, letter, communication of any kind you’ve gotten?”
I nodded. For the first time since I walked into Dave’s house, I became aware of sounds other than our conversation and the thrumming blood behind my eardrums. A football game played on TV. I glanced over as the announcer yelled some gibberish about a first down, then moved my gaze back to Dave. “You must have taken graveyard shift last night,” I said.
He picked up a remote, zapped off the TV, and sent me a raised eyebrow.
“It doesn’t take a psychic. You look like an unmade bed.”
Dave ran a hand over his dark hair, thick on the sides, sparse on top. He hadn’t used a comb today or bothered to shave. He was hanging-out-at-home comfy in jeans and beat-to-hell tennis shoes. It looked like the only thing I was interrupting was the game re-run.
“Double homicide. Turned into a long night up to my ankles in sewage.”
“Yum.” I tried on a smile, but it was plastic and contrived.
Dave narrowed his eyes. “We need to move you. Pronto. It’s priority one. You need to be someplace secure where I can keep better tabs on you.”
“I’ve been looking since the fire, but I haven’t found anything.”
“Would you consider buying?” he asked.
“Yes, actually – I’m looking for a low-cost fixer-upper I can work on to help me get through this year without Angel.” I followed Dave into the hallway. “Diversion, and all that.”
“How about here, in my neighborhood? I could keep a better eye on you – and you won’t be showing up at my door with a suitcase full of surprises.” He grabbed his coat from the
closet and shrugged it on. “I’m taking you over to meet my neighbor. She has the other half of her duplex on the market.” He looked over his shoulder at me. “You shouldn’t be running around without a jacket.” He handed me an oversized wool parka that smelled like raking leaves. He kicked a Tonka truck out of the way, and we moved out the front door.
On the front porch, I slid into the shadows and took in the length of the road. No cars, no barking dogs, everything quiet.
Dave glanced back. “Coast is clear.”
I tucked the coat hood up over my ponytail. Screened by Dave’s broad back, I started across the street. Down the road, a car motor revved. I reached under my shirt and pulled out my gun.
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Page count: 406
Publication Date: April 25, 2018
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Phoenix Triumphant: A Story of the New Glasgow War (Book Six) AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER SPECIAL PRICE 99 CENTS!!!
Scattered and alone, our heroes must sort out fact from fiction in a web of lies and conspiracy.
Shattered lives of the New Glasgow Marines that Rachel Duncan once led, attempt to pull together and find out what happened. Assassinations, intrigue and incompetent superiors drive these men from the military they once loved and out into a hostile and unforgiving world. Gordo leads his remnant on a quest for the truth. What happened to Rachel Duncan and why?
In a war torn world, one soldier rises out of the ashes to take the fight to the enemy.
New Glasgow lays in ruins. Sergeant Rachel Duncan leads her under armed platoon against the mechanized iron fist of the Federated Union of Planets. Short on men and even less supplies, all they have to do is hold their ground until reinforcements arrive. Will Duncan rise to the occasion or will she crack under the intense pressure of a world under siege?
A New series of first chapters from the books by Lisa B. Thomas! Sit back relax and enjoy! The Maycroft Mysteries 'Heart & Humor'
SOMETIMES IT’S BEST TO FORGIVE AND FORGET
Fed up after thirty years of teaching, Deena Sharpe doesn’t know what to do with her life. Sure, she’s ready for a new challenge, but an old family mystery is about to turn her life upside down and inside out.
When a Texas sheriff’s office finds a 50-year-old skeleton in their closet, a rookie deputy scrambles to make an identification. That’s when Deena’s family turns to her to uncover the truth about the murder before a conspiracy theory-nut implicates their loved one in his latest book.
Can Deena channel her inner sleuth to sift through the clues and protect her family name? With the help of her off-beat brother, she embarks on a quest that brings the past colliding into the present.
Sharpe Shooter is book 1 in the Maycroft Mysteries. If you like a savvy amateur sleuth with wit and perseverance, check out this puzzling whodunit today!
Part One: Sharpe Shooter
Rookie deputies in the county sheriff’s department always did the grunt work, especially when the boss was running for re-election and his opposition was throwing around accusations of mismanagement. It was June, just six months until the November election. Deputy Trey Simms ached to get out in the field where the action was instead of being stuck cleaning out the ancient back closets of the original Bingham County evidence room. How was he supposed to impress the boss doing clerical work? Most of the cold case evidence had long since been transferred to a warehouse in Maycroft, but this 3rd floor office was converted to a file room back in the seventies, and no one had bothered to empty out its three closets—until now. So far, the most unusual item he had uncovered was a bowling ball cut in half and drilled out to hold a small Colt pistol. It came from a 1971 case where a woman took her dead husband’s old Brunswick to the pawn shop. The clerk found the gun after dropping the ball, causing the pistol to fire. Luckily, no one was hit. Like all the other items he had inventoried, Simms entered the case number and description into the master computer spreadsheet, marking it for transfer. He put the case file and broken ball back in the cardboard box and re-sealed it with new evidence tape. Reaching for a yellowed cardboard box from the top of the metal shelf, he discovered this one was larger and heavier than the others. As he tipped it forward to get a hand underneath, dust fell like snow and landed on his hair and face. Setting it on the table of his makeshift workstation, he pulled out his dingy handkerchief to wipe off the debris, first from his face and then off the paper label on top of the box. It read, “Jane Doe 3-18-64.” The cellophane evidence tape had long since lost its ability to secure the contents of the file box and fell away as he gave it a slight tug. Removing the lid, he peered inside at a black plastic container with a lid that was taped shut. Simms, however, recognized immediately what he had uncovered. Stunned, he shook his head. “Well, I’ll be darned.”
Like most Texas sheriffs, Bob Lowry was hands-on when it came to unusual cases in his jurisdiction. You aren’t re-elected to office four times by trusting your deputies to do all the work. If a case proved important enough to make the newspapers, Lowry insisted his name appear in the article. He learned that playing nicely with the Maycroft Police Department worked to his advantage, and the two agencies were careful to keep off each other’s toes. He ruled over the county like a protective father who could not trust his children to fend for themselves. Deputy Simms understood this about his boss, which is why he headed straight down to the second floor with his Jane Doe evidence box in tow. “What in the heck is this?” the sheriff demanded, wiping away dust that settled on his heavy oak desk from the filthy box. “Take a look inside.” Simms carefully removed the lid. Sheriff Lowry stood up to get a better view. “Why on earth is there a skeleton in my evidence room?” he shouted as his face reddened. “Whose case is this? How long has it been here?” Satisfied he had gotten the boss’s attention, Simms answered calmly. “Sir, it’s a Jane Doe from 1964, so it’s been here roughly fifty years. Do you want me to find the original officer’s name?” He opened the case folder for the first time and scanned the summary notes inside the cover, stopping on something unexpected. “No! Take it over to forensics.” Lowry pushed the box toward his newest deputy. “And Simms,” he added. “As of right now, this is your case. And whatever happens, I want that skeleton in the ground as soon as possible. This could look really bad for me, so don’t screw it up!” “Yes sir.” Simms quickly put the folder inside the box and replaced the lid. He hurried out of the office holding the box in front of him like an undetonated bomb. Around the corner in the hallway, he stopped and leaned back against the wall. Not only had he unearthed some family’s loved one, he had blown the lid on one of his own family secrets. Whether it was fate or coincidence, he knew it was up to him to solve this icy cold case.
Getting canned after more than thirty years of teaching was definitely not on Deena Sharpe’s bucket list. But there she was, packing up the last remnants of her classroom and the only career she had ever known. The tap-tap-tap sound coming down the hallway meant Janice Marshall, the assistant principal, was ready for Deena to vacate the building. No one liked the screeching of fingernails on a chalkboard, but most teachers at Maycroft High School would have chosen that sound any day over the incessant clatter of those clicking shoes. Like Deena always said, there was something fishy about a woman who could stand on her feet all day in high heels. She was not to be trusted. Luckily, Deena would never again have to endure Janice Marshall’s condescension or her shoes. “How much longer are you going to be, Mrs. Sharpe?” Janice stood in the doorway as though entering the room might infect her with cooties. “There’s no telling. I might need a few more hours,” Deena said, using her gooiest Southern drawl. “You don’t have to wait for me, dear. Why don’t you just run along and see if you can find some other teacher to harass.” Janice smirked and leaned against the door frame as if she herself were the very foundation of the building and began occupying herself on her cell phone. Standing over her desk, Deena slowed her movements even more. “Is this how you deal with all teachers when they leave this school? Are you worried I might steal this stapler?” She held it up as a visual aid. Janice rolled her eyes. “No, but this is a special circumstance.” Still holding the heavy black stapler, Deena contemplated bashing Janice in the head or shoving it up somewhere else. She envisioned the headline in the Northeast Texas Tribune: Ex-Journalism Teacher Bludgeons Assistant Principal with Swing Master II. She dropped the stapler in the box she was filling to take home. Ha! Not exactly the gold watch others got upon retirement, but it would have to do. Deena envisioned herself as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider—always ready to fight the good fight. In her mind, she would kick butt and take names; in reality, she would step aside and apologize. Still, she was always looking for ways to unleash her inner Lara. She even took karate at one time but gave up when she got smacked around by a six-year-old warrior princess. “You know,” Janice said, “this all started because you refused to cooperate with Principal Haskett. If you had just given his daughter that four-page spread in the yearbook like he asked, you’d still have a job.” “Four pages!” Deena shook her head and slammed the desk drawer closed. “No single student even gets two pages. The yearbook is not his personal scrapbook. Fair is fair.” Deena had considered just quitting when he made the unreasonable demand but mustered the strength to stand her ground. After several more meetings, Principal Haskett “suggested” that perhaps Deena’s talents could be more useful elsewhere. He said she could stay until the end of the school year and officially resign rather than be fired but only if she kept the information under wraps until school was out. Deena agreed, although she didn’t give a hoot about whether people knew she was canned. Everyone in the small town of Maycroft knew all their neighbors’ business anyway. So, she included the pages and turned in her resignation. “Whatever,” Janice said with a heavy eye roll. “Besides, you’re probably super burned out after all those years of teaching. I’m surprised you lasted this long.” The heat rose from Deena’s chest, up her neck, and landed in her cheeks. “Just how old do you think I am, Ms. Marshall?” “You don’t really want me to answer that, do you?” Standing there in her power suit and heels, Janice Marshall was the complete opposite of Deena. Whereas Deena loved her teaching job, Janice was all business. She had taught health for the obligatory three years before becoming eligible for a job in administration. The students had liked her well enough, especially the boys. With her long brown locks and brooding dark eyes, she was one of those women who had perfected the hair-flip to her advantage early on in life. Deena, on the other hand, had always wanted to be a journalist. But it just wasn’t in the cards. She had been guided toward teaching by a college counselor and found herself in a high school classroom in the blink of an eye. She couldn’t believe that was more than thirty years ago. Deena balled her fists and put them on her hips. “Go ahead. Take your best guess.” “Judging by the dye job and those gray roots, I’d say sixty-five. Maybe seventy. Definitely old enough for social security and the senior discount at the movie theater.” Well, that didn’t go like I thought. Deena raised her chin. “I’m fifty-nine, Miss Congeniality. And you have a lot to learn if you want to be successful in the education business.” “Yeah, right. Check back with me in six or seven years when I’m a superintendent.” That was all she could take. Deena had lost all the fight she’d been able to muster for Janice Marshall. Now, surrendering her classroom keys to the principal’s chief stooge seemed like waving a white flag on her career. However, she still managed a pained, melancholy smile as she headed out of room 106 and down the hallway for the final time. Was this the end? Was she destined to spend the rest of her life in a rocking chair shooing the neighborhood kids off her front lawn? At that moment, Deena had no idea that one phone call would soon set her on an entirely different path.
The Perry County Forensics Department consisted of two technicians and an intelligence analyst. Far from the sophisticated set-ups in big city police departments, the forensics lab mainly took fingerprints, gathered DNA samples, and bagged evidence to send to larger forensics contractors to be processed. Automobile accidents, burglaries, and the occasional cattle rustling kept the small team busy. Trey Simms was not surprised when the lab tech told him it would be several weeks before she could even look at his fifty-year-old skeleton. He hoped calling it a “high priority” for Sheriff Lowry would speed up the process, but she only scoffed and said, “Everything is a high priority for Sheriff Lowry.” So, it came as a shock when less than a week later he got a message to call the lab about his skeleton from the closet. “Are you aware that your vic was shot twice in the back of the head?” the tech asked. Simms was very much aware, having spent several nights poring over the case files. The facts of the case were simple: A local farmer found the body in a low-lying area of his back forty in the southern part of the county. It was March, and the ground had begun to thaw. The victim was in his late twenties, according to the report. Due to the damp conditions, the body had badly decomposed and had been dragged—probably by coyotes—before it was found. The deputy recovered two bullet casings from a Model 10 Smith & Wesson along with the skeletal remains. The victim had no identification and no personal belongings. The only recognizable scrap of clothing was a tattered piece from what appeared to be a green raincoat. The color of the coat led the deputy to believe it was a woman’s garment. The report concluded that based on the size of the skeleton and the type of clothing found, the body was that of a female. The cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head, and the case was labeled a homicide. With a lack of sophisticated scientific technology in 1964, common sense proved to be as big a part of crime solving as DNA evidence was today. The report documented that over the next few months, numerous people were brought in to try to make an identification of Jane Doe. No one claimed the body, which was left inside the cold case closet to rot, along with the identities of the victim and the killer. “There’s not a lot left to work with here, Trey,” the tech said. “I doubt computer recognition software could even help. However, I think the forensic artist we used on the Sorenson case may be able to sculpt a face from the skull.” “Well, that’s good news, right?” The rookie was apprehensive, yet hopeful. Not only was the sheriff breathing down his neck on this case, he had a personal interest as well. The tech sounded skeptical. “That work costs big bucks, and we don’t have a family paying for it this time. Do you think the boss will sign off on it?” “I’ll talk to him and let you know.” “By the way Simms, you might also want to let him know this: Your Jane Doe is actually a John Doe.”
Deena flipped the pages of the latest issue of Texas Monthly. Tossing the magazine on the coffee table, she walked to the window to look out on the backyard for the hundredth time that day. The flower beds, once brimming with brightly colored blooms, were barren except for the occasional leafy weed standing defiant against the sun’s crucifying rays. Is this what it would be like from now on? As a teacher, Deena was used to having summers off. Those long, hot days were filled with attending workshops, reorganizing her classroom, taking a few short trips with her husband, and getting her house back in order before the next school year began. She also used the time to work on her vintage booth at the Hidden Treasures Antique Mall, a hobby she had turned in to a small side business. This summer was going to be different, and she had no idea what to do with herself. Ah. Life in the suburbs. The sound of cars driving past the house, garage doors opening and closing, and children screaming for no real reason all signaled the end of the workday. It was only her third day to be at home, but already her house felt like a white-collar prison. Deep cleaning her house was out of the question. With no children due to some wiring problems in her lady parts, she and Gary kept their ranch-style home tidy enough for their liking. Cooking was never one of her specialties. As a child, she’d preferred reading a book to helping her mother in the kitchen. What on earth was she going to do with her new-found freedom? The sound of Gary’s car pulling in was like a trumpet announcing the king’s arrival. She glanced quickly in the mirror above the entry table, noting that Janice was right. It was time to color the gray roots peeking out from her auburn hair. Earlier, she had spent half an hour playing with her make-up as a way to pass the time. She looked like someone the make-up artist at the funeral home had just practiced on. “I’m so glad you’re home,” she said when Gary walked in the side door from the garage. “How was your day?” She couldn’t believe how June Cleaver-ish she sounded. “Same old same old. It’s weird having you here when I get home.” Gary placed his briefcase and keys on the entry table and turned to look at her. “What did you do to your face?” “It’s called make-up,” she said with a sneer. “Did you use a mirror?” “Very funny.” She stood on tiptoes to kiss him and left a bright red smudge on his cheek. She’d met Gary the first year she taught school in an East Texas town even smaller than Maycroft. He was a financial adviser and came to the school to discuss retirement plans for teachers. At just twenty-three years old, retirement was the last thing on Deena’s mind back then. She sat in the auditorium, however, thinking how nice it would be to spend a little one-on-one time discussing her long-term future with the dashing Gary Sharpe. After the meeting, she got his business card and he got her phone number. They married a year later and moved to Maycroft for Gary’s job ten years after that. Looking around in mock surprise, Gary asked, “What? No dinner on the table?” Deena shot him a look. “Just because I’m unemployed doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly turned into Betty Crocker. If you wanted someone to cook and clean for you, you should have married your mother.” Gary loosened his tie. “You realize that’s against the law, right?” “I hope that’s not the only reason you chose me over her.” The playful banter continued until Gary offered to take her out to dinner as long as she would clean off her face. They drove to Las Abuela’s, their favorite Mexican food restaurant. It was small and dark and served great margaritas and comfort food. There were plenty of other good restaurants in Maycroft, most filled with tourists or screaming babies. Except for the strolling mariachis on Saturday nights, the place was quiet and cozy. Maycroft thrived on tourism, mostly from the antique stores, flea markets, and bed-and-breakfasts. The locals, however, had their favorite haunts off the main street. Gary took a sip of his drink. “So how does it feel to be retired?” “Unemployed, not retired,” Deena shot back. “For Pete’s sake, there are plenty of jobs I can do.” “I know, but you don’t have to work if you don’t want to. Besides, you know how burned out you were. This is the perfect time to take a break and re-group. We can manage financially.” He covered her hand with his. “I just want you to be happy.” There was that phrase again. Janice had called her burned out too. Still, the strong tequila and spicy salsa was lifting her spirits. “Hey, maybe I can come work for you. I could be your secretary or Girl Friday.” Sangria spewed out of Gary’s mouth, covering the tablecloth with little red spatters. Once he wiped his mouth and regained his composure, he looked at her sheepishly. “You’re kidding, right?” She folded her arms on the table. “I was, but I guess I know how you’d feel about it.” “Sorry, but you took me by surprise. I love you more than anything, but being together all day, every day…” “I get it.” The server appeared with their food. She waited until the girl left. “But seriously, I was thinking about trying to get a job at the newspaper.” “Is that something you want to do? I didn’t realize you planned to keep working.” “I think so, it’s just...” She felt the old insecurities creeping up and looked down at the table. “Just what?” “You know what they say, ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.’” She made air quotes to emphasize her point. “Maybe I can’t.” Gary leaned forward, looking her straight in the eyes. “Deena Jo, you are one of the smartest people I know. You can do anything you set your mind to. Besides,” he added, “the only reason you didn’t become a reporter in the first place was so that you could be close to home to take care of your brother.” Russell. Deena’s older brother was the family eccentric. Intelligent and creative, he served in the army and had returned home not quite the same. One of the reasons she decided to stay in Texas was to be near him. She had hoped he would marry, but it seemed he was destined to bachelorhood. That didn’t stop Deena from setting him up on blind dates, though. “Actually, I talked to Russell today,” Deena said. “Have you heard his latest scheme?” “What’s he up to now? Building a spaceship or searching for Bigfoot?” “He and some of his survivalist buddies are going to build one of those underground shelters for the next D-Day or the zombie apocalypse. They’re like little boys playing army in the dirt.” They both laughed and shook their heads at the thought of Russell’s antics, an endless source of amusement. Gary raised his glass. “Well, here’s wishing you much luck for the start of your new career, whatever it is.” She clinked her glass against his. “Move over Woodward and Bernstein. Make way for Sharpe.”
Memoir Monday with John Searancke from Rainne's Ramblings!
You became an author late in life. How did your journey as a writer begin? I had always wanted to write a book, but never either had the time, or felt that I possessed the skillset to do so. Only after retirement came the moment to make the dream come true.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it? “The Reluctant Hotelkeeper” is my third book, and forms the prequel to my first. It charts the calamities that befell me as I struggled to keep an old family hotel going, save it from bankruptcy, and turn it into a profitable and well-known concern. I wrote it because readers of my first book asked me what I had done with my life.
Why do you think this book will or should appeal to new readers; what makes it stand out? If you enjoy reading about one man’s trials and tribulations in turning an old building into a successful hotel, then this is for you. There were some hard times, and these have not been glossed over. What has amazed me is that a number of readers have told me how humorous this latest book is. I did not set out particularly for humour, but I can see the funny side now.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? I have written three books, all of which have been published. My favourite is “Prunes for Breakfast”. People have been kind enough to say that the wartime story of my father from enlistment in 1940 to capture in Normandy and then incarceration in a German Prisoner of War camp touched them deeply. It moved me too, particularly the main battle scene, which I had researched in depth on the battlefield in France.
Here are 3 very brief synopses of my books: My first book, Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands, tells the stories of moving my family and dog to live on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. It received much acclaim and is available in paperback and e-book formats.
Prunes for Breakfastis my second book and records the life and times of my father throughout WW2, including a cache of unpublished personal letters with details of his landing in Normandy, fighting through the bocage and later capture and incarceration in a German POW Camp. It is available in paperback, e-book and audio formats.
The Reluctant Hotelkeeper is my third book and forms a prequel to Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands. How to (and sometimes how not to) bring an old building back to life as a country house hotel. It is available in paperback and e-book formats.
It is with great honor that we introduce to you USA Today & Amazon best selling author Angelica Dawson! Her newest release, Ethereal Guardian, is the third book in the Ghosts of Salem Series. We would like to take today to share with you five question from our In-depth Author Interview with Angelica. We really enjoyed our time with her and we think you will too.
What were you like at school? A goody-two-shoes. I never got in trouble and only skipped the last class of the year. I was quick to answer questions, just to keep the class moving. I get bored easily.
So, what have you written? I have 8 parts in my Blue Moon House series, which is where I started. I’ve had many stories in boxed sets, including Changes, my contribution to the Prowlers and Growlers boxed set that made the USA Today bestseller list. I’ve been the best seller at my publisher, Naughty Nights Press and made #1 on Amazon with Blue Moon House: Kitten. My latest title is the third in the Ghosts of Salem series, following Ethereal Protector and Ethereal Witness. I have two medical themed stories, Cardiac Melody and Dynamic Destiny, as well as Not Your Bitch, Old Flame Burns Again and Switching it Up. Not all my titles are paranormal, but many of them are.
What genre are your books? They range from contemporary erotic to paranormal romance with many steps between.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Editing. That’s something I often struggle with. I’m not good at seeing the holes in my work or spotting where it runs over. My editors are godsends. They’re not only good at finding such things, but giving me ideas how to fix them.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? The ghosts of Salem are twofold. The literal ghost is Geoffrey. He is connected to Summer Parker and her house. The other ghosts are the past lives of the current inhabitants. Each one, through their books, relives their past life in part, including the witch trials. It was through this that they discover they are witches.
Go on over to read the full interview and really get to know Angelica Dawson! Not only is she a wonderfully talented writer, but she is a fabulous person!
Wondering who Pamela Grimm is? Well, we have an in depth author interview with her!
Here's a sneak peak at what she had to say!
Which writers inspire you? I grew up reading any nautical adventure yarn I could get my hands on, starting with Mr. Midshipman Easy. So, Frederick Marryat and Jack London, for example.
So, what have you written? SisterShip Press has just published the first book in my Captain Jane Thorn series. There will be at least two more to come in 2019! Where can we buy or see them? Available in paperback, ebook and Kindle Unlimited at https://amzn.to/2RIhgwv
This debut novel is currently on sale for $0.99! Sale ends January 23rd!
What genre are your books? Historical maritime fiction set in the 1820s aboard a schooner called the Destiny.
What draws you to this genre? The first half of the 19th century was a time of upheaval and change all over the world. In many ways, the rapid developments in technology and the political turmoil would be familiar to today's readers. For Americans, the country was still growing and defending its territory while trying not to get involved in European affairs. Within, issues of slavery, expansion, and the role of government were hot buttons that everyone had to work around. Captain Jane is akin to today's millennials, figuring out what she thinks about things and acting on her principles.
Sarah Jane Butfield, Rukia Publishing, RPBP News, @SarahJanewrites, Glass Half Full, Two Dogs and a Suitcase, Our Frugal Summer in Charente, The Accidental Author, The Amateur Authorpreneur, Ooh Matron