Tag Archives: action




Fleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?

Deep AL Bates

Buy Links

Don’t miss the limited time 30% discount across Amazon sites!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/deep-by-al-bates/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deep-1969763-177.html

Book Trailer


Joel Riley was a difficult captain to work under, and for his first season in the Deep, Sean was pretty sure he despised the man. But another season in he’d grown accustomed to the captain’s volatile temper and inability to compromise. Joel had been a miner all his life, born on Titan to a family of miners. He had the sea in his veins and Ariel was his heart. There was a confidence to Joel that drew the crew to him and an arrogance that kept him slightly out of reach. Rugged, strong, and built for hard labor, he was the exact opposite of Sean—and yet of all the crew, Sean felt closest to Joel. Sean understood the captain’s approach, his passions, and he trusted the older man with his life.

“Captain, is everything all right?” Sean said from the entrance.

Joel jumped, knocking his knees on the control board. “Jesus, boy! What you doing creeping around in the middle of the night?”

“I wasn’t creeping,” Sean said.

“Skulking around, spying on people, and you reckon that’s not creeping,” Joel grumbled.

Deep Cover

Sean thought better of continuing into an argument. If Joel’s mood was testy they were going to go around in circles annoying each other.

“I was about to turn in,” Sean said, deciding it was best to be passive.

“You looking for permission?” Joel’s tone was still curt, but it wasn’t really directed at Sean. Something else was bothering him.

“No, I just thought I’d come in and say good night.”

Joel sighed, apparently appeased by the lack of confrontation. He gave Sean a weak, tired smile. “Better get some rest, Doc. Couple of hours and Harvey will need you to stitch something, no doubt.”

Wasn’t that the truth. Harvey, their engineer, was pretty good when it came to mineral mining and keeping the ship moving, but he could injure himself getting into his dive suit.

“What about you, Sir?”

“I’m not planning on cutting anything,” Joel said, his smile strengthening.

“I meant are you turning in?”

Joel hesitated. Usually the captain was impossible to read, but every so often Sean got hints of the man behind the muscle. There was a softness to him, hidden behind the square jaw and piercing eyes. Sean had always been drawn to his vulnerable side. It crept in from time to time, reminding Sean that the captain, despite liking to pretend he was a demigod, was just a man. A good man.

“Not yet.” A shadow seemed to be hanging over him.

“Would you mind some company?” Sean offered, sensing the captain had something he needed to get off his chest.

“Suit yourself.” It was as close to an invitation as Joel ever gave anyone.

About the author

A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.

A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralbates

Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point

Take a look at this extract from middle-grade supernatural novel Matthias from Jodi Auborn.
Sleeter and Quint! They were still after me, and now I was trapped! I couldn’t run into the woods without them seeing me. I waded into the thorny rose bushes beside the road, looking for a place to hide. But there was nothing but the tangled bushes, which snagged my clothes and tore at my arms. It was like trying to walk through a net. I pulled myself away from one big thorn that ripped a hole in my shirt.
“DAAAAD!” I cried, one last time. “MATTHIAAAAS!”
I finally ignored my bleeding arms and the thorn bushes, and ducked down into the muddy ditch.
“We got you now, kid!” Quint and Sleeter whooped. They were still laughing at me as the car raced back up the road, louder and closer every second.
Then someone’s laughter turned to a shriek. He sounded terrified. “What…what the…MEL, LOOK!”
I couldn’t help it. I peeked up over the edge of the road.
“Matthias…” I whispered.
Matthias was standing on the other side of the road, and for the first time…I could seethrough him! He didn’t look at me. He just stepped in front of the speeding car and pounded his hands down on the hood, glaring in at Quint. Quint stared back and screamed as the car passed through Matthias, who disappeared in a swirl of white mist.
Quint slammed on the brakes and the car stopped right by my hiding place. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead on the steering wheel, making strange little moaning sounds. His whole body started shaking.
“Quint!” Sleeter bellowed. “What’re you doing, trying to kill us? Learn to drive, you moron!”
“Didn’t you see him?” Quint wailed. “The guy in the blue coat? I drove right through him!” Quint hid his face in his hands and began to cry. “That was no man! That was a…a ghost! A hideous ghost!”
“You idiot!” Sleeter snapped, smacking Quint in the back of the head. “You’re useless. Now, stay here. I’m getting out to find that kid.”
“Dylan, stay down!” Matthias said as he appeared beside me and sprawled out in the mud, looking like his normal self again. He put his hand on my head and pushed me down on my stomach. My chin scraped against some gravel in the ditch.
“You’re hurting me!”
“Sleeter will hurt you a lot worse if he catches you!” Matthias whispered. He did ease up on my head, though, and nodded at a round pipe that ran under the road. “Don’t ask questions. Crawl into that culvert and be quiet! It’s your only chance.”
I did as he told me. The bottom of the pipe was covered with oily water and weird orange mud. I could hear Matthias pushing weeds and brush in front of the opening that I had just crawled through. I knew that he was standing guard at my end of the culvert, so I felt a little safer.
It took forever for them to leave. I couldn’t move. I heard Sleeter crashing through the brush, calling me. Quint continued crying in the car. Then Sleeter yelled at him some more, and told him to move over so he could drive.
I heard the car pull away, but didn’t dare to make a sound.
“Dylan?” Matthias called. “You okay?”
“Are they gone?” I whispered.
“You’re safe, for now. But we need to get you home.”
I tried to wiggle back out of the pipe, but couldn’t move. “Matthias? I think I’m…I’mstuck!”
“Don’t worry, m’boy, I’ll have you out of there in no time.”
He grabbed my ankles and yanked me out of the culvert as if I were a dead fish. My back scraped up against the rough cement. “Ow!” I howled. “Take it easy!”
I got to my feet, rubbing my back and blinking in the bright sun. Matthias shook his head. “You’re going to have some explaining to do, sonny. You’re a mess. Wait until your mother sees you.” He reached out and brushed some twigs and leaves off my shoulders. “Now, follow me. I know a shortcut through the woods. We can’t stay on this road, in case they come back looking for you.”
I looked down at my torn, muddy clothes, bloodstained hands, and scratched-up arms, and the dried brown splotches on my shirt from my bloody nose. My soaked sneakers squished with every step I took. Then I stared at Matthias as I followed him across the road and into the woods. His clothes were spotless. He didn’t even have any mud on his shiny black shoes.
He looked over his shoulder at me. “You’re going to have to tell your parents that you were kidnapped. You know that, don’t you?”
“No, way! They would never let me walk to town by myself again. Mom’s already really mad at me.”
“Why is she mad? You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“She thinks I lied to her about taking her dish towel, and playing the piano that night. Then she found all of her paintings thrown on the workbench in her studio, and thought that I did it! And then she said that I was the one playing with her eggbeater and it left pancake batter on the couch, and she made me clean it up.” I glared at him. “You always get me in trouble. Why do you have to play with all of our stuff?”
He shrugged. “I’m a ghost, Dylan. We’re naturally curious about the lives and possessions of those who follow us.”
“Well, you better put Dad’s book back. He’s been looking for it.”
We didn’t say much more as we trudged through the woods. I watched as a chipmunk scampered over the leaves and squatted on its hind legs to nibble at something it held in its paws. It was cute. “Matthias, look,” I said, pointing it out.
He hardly glanced at it. “It’s just a chipmunk. Now, stop dawdling. Sleeter could be looking for you.”

Here are some links for the book:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Matthias-Salvation-Jodi-L-Auborn/dp/1499321236/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428164991&sr=8-1&keywords=matthias+the+ghost+of+salvation+point
Amazon UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Matthias-The-Ghost-Salvation-Point/dp/1499321236
My website: http://jodilauborn.webs.com/
And the book’s Shelfari page: http://www.shelfari.com/books/38703908/Matthias-The-Ghost-of-Salvation-Point

The Awakening of Abraham Brown

Here’s an extract from The Awakening of Abraham Brown by Graeme Smith.

Southern France, August 1944

As he lay there, the bayonet plunged deep into his left shoulder piercing his dark skin, cutting through the flesh and then striking the scapula.

The German smiled as he twisted his rifle around, intensifying the pain and discomfort so much so that Abraham Brown was at the threshold between consciousness and unconsciousness. Abraham looked up and released a deep sigh – his whole being relaxed – mind, body, and soul, and deep within his psyche, all the pain that he had suffered in life together with his father, grandfather and all his ancestry since being taken from Africa as slaves two centuries before; all this pain, struggle, strife, everything, it all just melted away.

In his mind’s eye he could see the truth, the truth that everyone looks for in life but rarely finds. His whole body was limp and he just lay there and looked up deep into the German’s eyes. The German was called Hans Gruman; his two sons and wife had been killed in an Allied bombing raid two years before. He was full of hate – hatred of the English, Americans and Allies. He had been a good man at heart but life and the war had eaten away at that goodness and turned him slowly into a monster.

Abraham Brown lay there in pain, watched by the other five Germans and his two fellow American comrades. Hans pulled the bayonet out of Abraham Brown who now felt no pain and prayed silently in his heart. Hans raised the rifle high above Abraham’s chest directly above the heart and uttered the words in German, “Die, black dog, die.” Just as he intended to thrust the rifle’s bayonet deep into Abraham’ s chest and heart, their eyes met again, but this time in just a microsecond of time Hans saw the monster he had become. All the hate and blood lust was reflected back by Abraham’s soul-searchingbrown eyes. Hans let out a scream and dropped the rifle. He staggered over to a raised clump of soil and grass, looked up into the heavens and slowly unholstered and drew out his side arm Luger. The other Germans had no idea of the horror Hans had seen when his eyes had met Abraham’s and now they thought he was play acting some sort of game before killing the three American servicemen. Hans stood there looking to the heavens, his once smart uniform dishevelled and war torn. His face, hair and hands were dirty.



Introducing J.P. Choquette and her book Subversion – check out her guest post and extract.

JPChoquette--resized for web

Thanks for offering to share a bit of information with your readers about Subversion, Lynzie. I appreciate it greatly! Tatum “Tayt” Waters, the main character in this mystery novel is spunky, sarcastic and always seems to find her way into trouble. Though she’s only 29, she has her own cleaning business and is transitioning into another full-time business, providing security at events or for individuals. On the side though, Tayt often helps people who have been failed by the justice system through “Sunflower Specials.”

This scene is taken from an early part in the book, when Tayt is contacted by an abused wife, Mary Ann, seeking retribution against her husband, Walter Hawk.

Mary Ann Hawk is tiny and bird-like and does have the dark hair and wrinkles I expected but not the angry eyebrows. Instead, her eyebrows are nearly invisible, almost plucked to extinction. I order coffees for both of us, and we sit at a table with a view of the street.

“I got me a problem with my husband, Walter. I told you that on the phone,” she says. “He’s a maniac. A crazy man. And when he gets to drinkin’ …” she leaves the sentence unfinished, staring intently at the large windows as though her estranged husband is watching from the street. And what do I know? He could very well be.Subversion cover DIGITAL edition--resized for web

“So, Mrs. Hawk. Mary Ann. Is it OK to call you that?”

She nods, twisting the thin curtain between clenched fingertips.

“Your husband, Mr. Walter Hawk, has a history of abusing you.”

“Yeah. If you can call nearly killin’ me abuse, then yeah. I almost died that last time,” she laughs, a deep, dry sound. “He messed me up so good that it took me weeks to recover. Thought I might not for a while there, but here I am.”

Her fingers strangle the paper napkin. I nod, make a note on my paper.

“How’s all this work, anyway?” she asks, looking at me. “My friend said that you take on these special jobs, Sunflower Specials, she called ‘em. Said you can track people down, make ‘em pay for what they done.”

I nod, hoping my wig stays in place.

“Are you familiar with Iranian law?” I ask.

Mary Ann nods, then shrugs. “Not really. I guess not.”

“In Iran it’s called Capital Punishment. The law states that the victim of a crime, or the victim’s family, if the victim is deceased, is responsible for exacting punishment on the criminal. Not on their own, but as part of a legal process.”

Mary Ann’s eyes brighten.

I continue, “Say for instance that a man is killed in a street fight. After a legal trial where the perpetrator is convicted, the victim’s family will be the ones at the hanging, responsible for pushing the chair out from under the murderer.”

“Pffft,” Mary Ann says, squinting her eyes at me. “So you’re sayin’ you’ll bring, what, bring Walter to me? No offense, but that ain’t gonna do me an ounce of good. You think if I could kick his ass, I’d have let him kick mine so many times?” Mary Ann pauses for her first sip of coffee. Her skinny arm shakes slightly.

“That’s where I come in,” I say, lowering my voice further. “Think of me as your sort of rented family. I’ll see that Walter is punished. My job in these cases,” I’m whispering now and Mary Ann leans closer to me, so close that I can see every pore in her nose, “is to make sure that the punishment fits the crime.”

“And then you just go along your merry little way?” she says. Her breath smells like coffee

and spearmint.

“I do have two rules in regards to Sunflower Specials,” I say, tapping the table with a nail to enunciate each. “The first is that the perpetrator actually is a perpetrator. I’m not going to go around scooping up innocent people for psychopaths,” I take a sip of my drink. “No offense.”

“None taken. I can get you court papers, photos of me from the hospital if that’s what you want.”

“That is exactly what I’m looking for,” I say, leaning back in my chair and returning my voice to a normal volume. “Once you give me those and your retainer, we can move on with your case.”

“You said you had two rules. So, what’s the second?”

“I get paid in cash, half up front and half when I deliver. No checks, no credit cards, no IOUs.”

“How much is a job like this gonna set me back?” Mary Ann asks, taking another sip of her coffee. I tell her, and she chews her lip a while, then nods.

“I can get it to you by the end of this week.”

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A Game for Assassins

Today I have a guest post from an amazing author. Check out his new book A Game for Assassins.


I’m hacking away at being a writer:

I came pretty late to book writing. I’m the new kid on the block at the age of 40! Oh it’s something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I won a short story competition in Primary School where my favourite super-hero character of the time – Ant-Man – swung in and saved the day of the class with laser-guns (c’mon I was only 6 give me a break). That and reading have been my constant throughout my life; through good times and bad.

When I pick up someone else’s book the first thing I do is read the blurb on the back and look for the characters to see if they interest me. If the main protagonist doesn’t connect with me in some way, then 9 times out of 10 I move on to something else. There are only so many story lines you can do, but for me the characters are the glue of a good book. They are unique. Just like people in real life, we all have quirks and foibles that make us different. I knew that my books were always going to have “Gorilla Grant” (my main character) as the protagonist. He’s been on my shoulder for decades, pulling my ear, nudging me and begging me to bring him to life. And once Gorilla starts whispering in your ear, well, it’s pretty hard not listen to him…….a silenced S&W 39 or a cut-throat razor DO tend to concentrate the mind!

So once we have the main characters then what are we going to do with them?

My writing process then starts with the “what if” question? What if someone targeted a spy network? How would the Secret Service respond? I don’t have a plot at this point, instead the idea germinates for many a month before I even begin making notes. After that I start with the premise and then I see where the characters lead me until suddenly the pages grow and grow and come to life.

A Game for Assassins started out as one book, but because of the lives and adventures of the characters involved in the story, somewhere along the road (I’d guess about 200 pages in) it slowly morphed into a different kind of thriller. With hand on heart I’m glad the change came when it did because the story (and how it altered) truly surprised me. As I mentioned, writing and reading have always been a big part of my life and now I have the luxury of doing something I love and getting the opportunity to share it with people of a similar passion.

So what makes a character unique to you? What do you look for in a book hero? I’d love to hear about it.

James Quinn

A short scene from the new spy thriller – A Game For Assassins – that introduces the anti-hero/spy Jack “Gorilla” Grant.

Her eyes remained locked on his face. Was there a begrudging sense of respect behind the man’s glower? She leaned forward to make her point, another lock of hair fell forward across her face and she brusquely brushed it away. “You see I knew you’d take one look at me and dismiss me straight away. Pretty face, but only useful for answering the phone or for filling a senior officer’s bed on a cold Friday night. Well, I can put your mind at rest that that’s not me. Never has been and never will be. And if you want cunning and streetwise, I’m pretty sure I could run deceptive rings around you any day of the week.”

“Because you think you’re a field agent?”

“No, because I’m a woman.” She thought she may have gone too far, made too much of a point that had dented his pride. So she was surprised and not a little pleased when he beamed a wonderful glowing smile at her. He should smile more often, she thought. He has such a good smile.

“Well, Miss Nicole. I think we should maybe have another drink and begin again. What do you think? I’ll start; my good friends call me Gorilla.”


They spoke for another thirty minutes until the conversation had come to a natural conclusion. In truth the little stunt she had pulled had told him far more about her than a whole series of interviews ever could. Grant busied himself swirling his whisky in his glass, Nicole pretended to find the fellow drinkers in the bar interesting. Luckily none of them had seemed to notice the tension. Either that or they were all too polite to say anything.

“So what about you,” she asked, determined to break the hiatus. “What makes you suitable for the Redaction Unit?”

He thought about it for a moment before he answered. “I have a certain set of skills that are always useful to the top people in this business and unfortunately or not there’s always someone willing to use it.”

“And the work name “Gorilla” where did that come from,” she asked innocently enough.

He took a sip of his Speyside. “That was from years ago. A nickname that stuck.”

Nicole looked confused by his irritatingly obtuse answers. Damn him, he could be so frustrating. He smiled, sensing her impatience with him, “Sorry Miss Nicole I don’t do war stories. You’ll have to look elsewhere.”


The assassination of a Caribbean dictator….The “hit” on a traitor in Beirut……The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain…..So begins the game……

It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.

But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins. In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.

A Game for Assassins

Jack “Gorilla” Grant isn’t your typical Cold War secret agent. Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn’t fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents. He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.

But “Gorilla” is one of the best “Redactors” in the business. He’s an expert at close quarter shooting: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS). He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.

“A Game for Assassins” is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.

Buy Links

Free with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VQORC0K/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VQORC0K/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00VQORC0K/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00VQORC0K/


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About the author

James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.

He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows. He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.

He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.

Website: http://jamesquinn.webs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Quinn/1558765681046413

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ape101Quinn

The Running Game on Audio

If you’re on the road, cleaning the house, or out in the garden you still need to read a book right? Well now you can download The Running Game as an Audio book. Check out the sample and listen to the wonderful Mil Nicholson as she narrates my paranormal thriller.


Dead Money Run

There are currently 10 books in the Lou Malloy Crime Series by J. Frank James. Dead Money Run is the first book in the series. Take a look at this extract!

Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Frank-James/e/B00EJLQRI0


The warden was a small man, but dressed neatly. Everything about him was neat-from his hair to his shoes. He was almost too neat.

“So what are your plans, Lou?”

When I walked into the room, the warden turned over a little hour-glass full of sand. We both watched it for a few seconds and then looked at each other. This was the first time I ever met the man. What did he care about me now? Since he never cared before, I figured the man was just looking for information. Perhaps he wanted to give me a warning. I didn’t say anything.

“Do you ever think about time, Lou?”

“After fifteen years, what do you think?” I said.

He smiled and said, “Most valuable thing we have and no one seems to mourn its passing until it’s too late.”

I had nothing to say to that. Conversations with a prison warden came with a lot of maybes. While in prison I trained myself to watch a man’s hands. If he rubbed his hands in a washing motion, he was lying. If he messed with his fingernails, he wasn’t interested in the conversation. The warden was rubbing his hands as if he had touched something distasteful.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought, Warden Edwards.”

“Call me John, Lou. We’re friends now,” Edwards said while rubbing his hands in a determined kind of way.

So now we were friends. I wanted to tell him he was a liar, but my better judgment stopped me. Probably a good way to delay my release-things get lost, papers go unsigned. Things happen.

“Okay, John,” I said.

“You know, we never found the fifteen million,” he said.

“I didn’t know you were looking for it.”

I watched his eyes flicker briefly. I seemed to hit a sweet spot.

“No, Lou. You misunderstand,” he said as he caught himself. “There is a reward for the recovery of the money. Did you know that?”

Edwards said it more as a statement than a question. I said nothing and waited. Edwards shifted in his chair and started to rub his hands again.

“It would be in your best interest to tell them what you know.”

“Who’s the ‘them’ John?” I asked.

“They’re the people looking for the money.”

I thought about that for a few moments. The statement covered a lot of ground.

“Since I didn’t take the money in the first place, I don’t have anything to tell them. They need to ask the people that took it,” I said.

Edwards was smiling now and he stopped rubbing his hands.

“There are some people that think you do.”

“I can’t help what people think.”

“Ten percent,” he said.

“Ten percent of what,” I said.

“The money, Lou. Ten percent of fifteen million is a lot of money.”

“I hadn’t heard about that,” I said.

“Yeah, it seems the Indian casino had insurance. The insurance company that paid off on the claim put up a ten percent reward for the return of the money. A million five is a lot of money.”

“I hope they find it,” I said.

Edwards blinked his eyes signaling he was moving on to something else.

“Sorry to hear about your sister,” he said. “I understand they are doing all they can to find her killer.”

Edwards was a real card and running out of things to say. On any other day, in any other place, he would be dead or wishing he was.

“Thanks, John. Your words are real comforting,” I said and returned my gaze to the little hourglass and the sand as it accumulated on the bottom.

I had nothing else to say except make him happy. Make them all happy. Just one big happy group sitting around smiling at each other; happy, happy, now let’s just get the money and spread it all around and we can go on being happy. In the meantime my sister lies in a hole feeding worms. I had money on the worms being real happy. No word on how my sister felt.

Edwards looked disappointed when I didn’t add to our conversation.

“Lou, it might be a good idea for you to help them find the money. It could be a big windfall.”

Now we were getting somewhere. Just like all the rest of the treasure hunters, the miserable bastard was just in it for the money.

“Windfall for who, John? Me or you?”

As if tasting a lemon, Edwards twisted his face and, at the same time, waived his hands at an imaginary fly.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Lou. I’m just trying to give you a head start. If it was my decision, you would still be with us. Fifteen million dollars is a lot of money to lose.”

“It still is,” I said.

I sat and watched Edwards shift in his chair some more. We had nothing left to talk about. I could feel him working out in his mind how he was going to present his failure to get a lead out of me on the money.

“So, what are you going to do now?” Edwards said.

Finally, I had enough.

“Leave. Isn’t that what we all do?”

His smile vanished. He knew he was wasting his time on someone who had maxed out. He also knew he couldn’t hold me. There would be no parole violation with the threat to re-incarcerate me. No work release effort to rehabilitate me. Just a new suit made in the prison cut and sew area and a hundred bucks was the sum total of it. That probably hadn’t changed since the 30s. I wondered if Al Capone wore the suit they gave him when he got out.

We were both looking at the little hourglass of sand now. The sand had drained from the top of the glass to the bottom. Suddenly, as if being shot out of a cannon, we both stood up. Edwards stuck out his hand. I turned and left the room. I turned and left the room. I didn’t shake his hand. I didn’t want to touch him.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Frank-James/e/B00EJLQRI0


Noise, by Brett Garcia Rose, is a thriller/mystery centering on a deaf character’s search for his missing sister. It’s short, violent, but ultimately it’s about love. Noise was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery


The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?



The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.

My own hideous voice.

I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.

I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.

The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.

The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new

history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.

I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.

The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.

Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.

I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet café a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.

The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.

His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.

In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.

Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.

In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.

I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.

I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.

I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.

The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:

“Wait for me.”

Available for sale now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

The Legend of Water Hole Branch

Keep It Stupid, Simple

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Guest post by author, Lucas Wright

Certain questions are continually asked by people that have read my novel The Legend of Waterhole Branch, but one above all – how did you come up with this story and the characters?

As an aside, I almost hesitate to call it a novel. If we’re being honest, I just want to call it a story. My story The Legend of Waterhole Branch sounds better to me. Technically, I met the definition of a novel when I put this story on paper, but I am not a professional writer. I don’t make my living writing books. I didn’t major in journalism or take creative writing classes. I haven’t spent the last twenty years refining my craft and developing my skills, so keep that in mind when reading my answers to the standard question that I am always asked by readers of my story.

It’s a good question. No one that reads The Legend of Waterhole Branch is going to be blown away by the technical writing or the creative use of certain literary techniques that a more polished or seasoned author might incorporate, but if they are taking the time to talk about it, then let’s assume they liked something about it. That something, for my story, will almost always be the characters or the plot.

When I sat down to put words on paper, the only thing I focused on was the characters and the plot. I was convinced that if the story was strong and that the characters were dynamic then the reader would be entertained. I wrote every bit of this story with the reader in mind. How would the reader feel about this conflict and this action? How would the reader feel if this happened or if that happened? I ultimately decided that if the reader was happy with all the decisions I made with respect to the plot and the characters, then he or she would likely be entertained.

This may sound obvious, but I think many writers get caught up in their writing instead of their story. There is nothing wrong with this and if you are a great writer, then more power to you. If you can make sentences dance across the page with flare and big words, then that is great. I chose to tell my story using simple sentences and phrases. I wanted to get from point A to point B as simply as possible and wow the reader with the action not the style. I kept it stupid.

Have you ever watched a basketball game and a player made an incredible move, eluded three defenders, rose high above the rim, double pumped, and then finished with an incredible highlight reel dunk? Then some dweeb next you says, “That was pretty, but it’s still only two points.”

You ignore such a boring statement because good lord, that was incredible! I do it all the time, but that doofus has a point. It was only two points, and in the game of basketball, a boring post move coupled with a lay in accounts for the same amount of points as that high flying dunk. Likewise, a lay in ultimately measures the same towards the common goal of winning that game. That is how I write.

That is how I wrote The Legend of Waterhole Branch. I strung together a lot of narrative with simple sentences that were designed to take you through a really interesting story about lost treasure, hidden clues, kidnappers, guns, and murder. Now, the high flying dunkers of the writing community might scoff at my approach, but I promise that the story won’t let you down. There are no wasted movements in my story. Every chapter has a purpose and provides the reader with more knowledge about the characters, their past or present conflicts, and pushes towards a resolution. My story is 392 pages, but you can read it in a day. It’s fast paced, action packed, and a nine year old could read it. Just the way I like it.


More information on Lucas’s book, please visit him online: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10812102.Lucas_R_Wright Official Website: http://www.lucasrwright.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucasrwright Twitter @LucasRWright – https://twitter.com/lucasrwright Amazon – http://amzn.com/149694299X Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-legend-of-waterhole-branch-lucas-r-wright/1120464437?ean=9781496942999

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The first ever book I published was a book called Dark Waters, this was a mammoth epic fantasy that eventually got split into three books. It feels like a life time has past since I published these stories and do you know what I really do miss these characters. So today I am going to introduce you to my debut novel Harvest (Book 1 of the Dark Waters Series).

“Line up the prisoners!” Hastings shouted.

Wey again gave Batty a warning look to comply. The Virgin Queen’s crew huddled together and were pushed into a line across the deck. The youngest was forced to sit by his dead mate and sobbed uncontrollably. Finn and Wey kneeled beside each other, their hands tied tightly behind their backs. Wey spotted Thorin waiting beneath the ship’s netting. Only his glowing eyes visible.

Hastings strode up the deck, his eyes were bloodshot and his nose had started to ooze red liquid again.

“We know you are harbouring criminals on this boat Captain!” He yelled. “If you tell us where they are I will let you and your crew live.” That was a lie and nobody believed it.

Batty thrust his head back and said steadily: “This is a cargo vessel, we are heading for Helena under the contract of the Westwick Brewery. Feel free to search for any stowaways but I assure you I can vouch for every one of my crew’s honesty and integrity. We are all law abiding, tax paying, sea folk Officer.”

Hastings began to laugh, “Search the ship!”

One of his officers remained, manoeuvring himself behind the captured crew. He was smiling insanely.

“I ask you again Captain.”

Wey spotted a figure on the navy ship. She was dressed in a uniform and appeared on deck for just a second, before disappearing below. Wey suppressed a smile. Finn had spotted her too and couldn’t believe the Officers seemed oblivious to her arrival.

“She’ll be safe for the minute,” Wey whispered.

“Captain!” Hastings screeched in a voice that sounded as though his vocal cords were shredding inside his throat.

“This is a cargo vessel, we are heading for Helena…”

A shot was fired. The young lad stopped sobbing as his body joined Mr James. Their blood mingled together, seeping into the deck like wood stain. Finn was sure the other men would cave now. He wanted them to speak up and save themselves. The responsibility had never been theirs and now they would die helping!

“Captain tell me where Mr Wey is!”

Wey’s ears pricked up. They were after him personally. He tried to stop his frown, tried to organise he thoughts. He stared at the navy ship, at the girl he had just handed over to them and he knew he had been betrayed.

“Balor,” he hissed through gritted teeth.

The barrel of a freshly loaded gun pressed against the back of his neck. He was about to speak, when his words were stolen from him.

“I’m Wey!” Finn shouted boldly.

They moved unnaturally fast, hauling Finn up and dragging him over to the main mast. Tying him to it, they slashed his shirt, and viciously flogged him before Wey could react. This was wrong, this was all wrong. Finn ignored the questions being yelled at him: Where are the others? Where is the girl? He ignored the pain and began his mantras.

“Batty,” Wey whispered desperately, “These are not real soldiers.”

Batty was in a catatonic state. He heard Wey’s words and he looked up at the soldiers ransacking his ship. He glanced over at his crew and knew that they were all going to be murdered. One girl had brought about their downfall. He smiled; there were no regrets.

Batty pulled himself up, eight of his crew, eight ordinary sailors, followed. They stared the armed soldiers in the face and, hands tied behind their backs, they attacked.

Wey dragged himself up and cut his hands loose from the cutlass of one of the fallen soldiers. He stabbed the officer flogging Finn, who collapsed to the floor, unable to stand. Wey unbound his hands and he fell free of the mast.

“Why did you do that you stupid bastard?” Wey yelled shaking him conscious.

“Get Adiah. Protect her, please, Wey,” Finn said pushing him away.

“Thorin!” Wey yelled, “Guard that boy with your life,” he said before leaping across to the navy ship.

The soldiers were untrained beasts descending on the sailors. They tore, bit, stabbed and ripped at the sailor’s bodies. The sailors had nothing to lose. They withstood everything and fought back with the weapons of the fallen. They could not win, but they could hold out and as the rain plummeted down on to the blood soaked ship they knew they had another fighting their cause.

The sea picked up quickly, separating the two boats. Uncoordinated soldiers charged at the gap between the ships, many being crushed under the rising waves. A wave hit the navy ship while the wind anchored its unmanned sails and it began to capsize under the storm. Wey stumbled across the deck, attacking the small force that confronted him. He cut through each of them, taking small wounds from each battle. With both ships unmanned they collided, the Virgin Queen began to take on water.

Wey hurried through the enemy ship. Soldiers tried to cling onto the boat as the waves crashed over them. Lightening struck the sky. Wey skidded below deck. He clambered through the mess below, wanting to call out and being concerned about drawing the wrong attention. There were so many places to hide. The ship struck another wave. Lightening flashed again and Wey could smell fire nearby. He hurried, being thrown into walls and barrels.


When the boat overturned she knew she was in trouble. Balor had told her she was to lay low on deck until the search was over. He said to watch the boats and wait until the soldiers started to return, then jump ship and wait for them to find her. It seemed impossible at the time and more so now. She hid from the soldiers, instead of blending in, unnoticed. Now she was lost. Memories swamped her, forcing her to stop and panic. She’d watched half her crew being murdered by him; the ogre, and she was powerless.

Someone was down in the brig with her!


Wey felt the plank of wood hit the back of his head. He stumbled but maintained his consciousness. Pulling himself up he quickly turned to catch the plank.

“If you keep hitting me I’m going to stop saving you,” he growled.

She dropped the wood, unsure of whether seeing Wey was a blessing or not.

“Where’s Finn?”

“Being a hero,” Wey answered distastefully. “You can swim right?”

She scowled.


This story is available to download from Amazon.