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The Eye of Mares

 The Eye of Mares Blog Tour

 ROTE - Eye of Mares Revised Cover Art

To celebrate the release of the second instalment in the Rise of the Elohim chronicles, the Eye of Mares is going to blog hopping like a headlining rockstar, multiple showings for over the course of two weeks, with a new page shared with each appearance, continuing from where the last one went off and today I get to host the latest page:

 

 

 

The Eye of Mares – Part 11

…“Tell me, Damien—” Zach said, as he materialised beside his own bed, tying his pillow cases together. “—you forgot how fast I am, haven’t you?”

“Grrrr,” Damien snarled. Besides being furious, he felt a little embarrassed. He had forgotten.

Damien cursed himself for his own stupidity, as he bit his own tongue. In the forty-six months he had known Zach, he was aware of his spectacular talents. Such as his natural talent of being able to raise both speed and strength at an astonishing rate when fighting stronger opponents. And yet despite being no match for him, Damien was forever trying to best him, only to be met with failure time and time again.

He had hated Zach from the day he met him, all because he was meant to live the same life as Zach, to grow up as a Watcher, as opposed to being a prisoner on Osiris. He deemed Zach unworthy of the life he led and desired it for himself instead. And he would do whatever it took to bring Zach down a peg or two.

“Give me my sword back, Damien.” Zach repeated evenly.

“Never!” Damien denied in retaliation.

Then I’ll just have to reclaim it for myself then.

Zach’s telepathically spoken words threw Damien off-guard, allowing him to strike out twice. His first move saw him use the sheet to slap Damien across the chops before he whipped it again at his legs, knocking him over.

The sword came free from Damien’s grip, only to have the sheet fly out again and reclaim both it and the sheath for its owner. Zach tossed the sheet back onto his bed and sheathed his weapon, only to then advance on his defeated foe.

“I can sense your every move and read your every thought. Did you really think I didn’t know you were coming?” Zach asked off-handedly. “I knew what you were up to from the moment you woke up this morning.”…

 

Be sure to check out the continuing blogs to watch the story continue, or pick up a copy direct from Amazon: The Eye of Mares – Out now!

You could even let the adventure continue and check out its prequel, where the story began and the series was created: The Spirit of Iris – Out now!

 

Cover Art Book 3 - The Story Continues.JPGAuthor: Rocky Rochford

Illustrator: Ashleigh Longman

Title: The Eye of Mares

Series: Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles

Genre: Illustrated YA fantasy adventure

Book Content Rating: Suitable for ages 12 and up

Tag-line: “Darkness has many forms and Mares is its playground.”

 

Blurb:

Nearly four years have passed since Zach drew blade against the Shanzi Shimay and now the time has come for him to draw his sword once more. The Realm of Mares has fallen victim to invasion as three terrifying beasts of darkness, seek to destroy the world around them, as they await the inevitable arrival of their King.

With dark times ahead, the numbers of the Watchers on Iris has grown, as Zach is joined by seven fellow students, all too eager to prove their worth. It’s not long before the students are put to the test facing off against the Nein Navy and uncover a dark secret.

The stage is set and the Battle for Mares is under-way. 

Author Shot - Rocky Rochford 2015Rocky Rochford Biography

Rocky Rochford is your standard guy, if your standard guy scuba dives, partakes in underwater photographer and is a wake-boarding, adventure seeking, sword collecting, marine conservation supporter. After living life on the road and the places between, he finally settled down but not without benefiting from all the lessons life had to teach him.

Self-professed “Student of Everything, and Master of Nothing,” Rochford does not choose what he writes, but writes what chooses him, be it fantasy, crime, poetry, philosophy or even adventure. Life is a journey we all get to experience, just like a good book.

Every read into another of his typed works is another trip into the imagination of his mixed up, crazed and deranged mind and this year along those works include the likes of full novels and novellas such as:

London Calling – a Deep Water Novel (Spy Thriller)London Calling

Don’t Even Blink – Part of the Don’t Turn Around Trilogy (Horror)

Wait and Bleed – The Don’t Turn Around Collection (Horror collection of the entire Don’t Trilogy)

And now The Eye of Mares – Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles (Illustrated YA fantasy adventure)

 Other works released by him, are a number of short stories pertaining to horror, paranormal and romance, as well as other works released as part of an anthology:

The Devil You Know (Paranormal short)

Salt in the Wound – Part of the Entwined Saga (Paranormal short)

The Food of Love (featuring Him & Her) – An Anthology by Solstice Publishing (Romance filled Anthology)

Him & Her (Romance Standalone release)

Don’t Say A Word (Horror)

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Volume II (featuring The Devil Before) – An Anthology by the Solstice Shadows (Paranormal themed Anthology)

Awethology Dark (featuring Ghosts) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme)

The December Awethology Dark Volume (featuring Seven Years Bad Luck) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme, set around December)

****Welcome to the World of Rochford****

­­

Social Media Links:

Rocky Rochford’s website: rockyrochford.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IamRockyRochford/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RockyRochford

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7310280.Rocky_Rochford

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Rochford/e/B00O3AA3KU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1449272442&sr=8-1

 

Rochford writes a little something for everyone, so if Mares isn’t your cup of tea, you can guarantee one of his many other works certainly is!

Wait and Bleed

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Guitars and Cages

Guitars and Cages Blog Tour

Title: Guitars and Cages

Author: Layla Dorine

Genre: gay fiction, urban drama, contemporary, M/M fiction

Length: Novel

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

The future for the Guitars and Cages world

Greetings. Thank you for such a warm welcome, it’s a pleasure to be here, and a little surreal too. I never imagined I would be doing a blog tour or being given so many wonderful opportunities to talk about the Guitars and Cage’s world and what in store for it now that the book has been released. When I started, I never imagined that there would be a second part of the story, but after I reached the final chapter, all of the characters were still loudly telling me that they had much more that they wanted to share.

In fact, there’s so much more that, after writing almost 85,000 words of the second novel, there is a third book in the planning stages. Right now, the second book will give readers a greater insight into Cole, while still being very focused on the core group of Asher, Conner, Morgan, Alexia and Rory. I’ve also had the chance to show Asher interacting with his son, and taking some steps towards making amends with Eve. Asher’s father will also make an appearance in this book, so readers will have the opportunity to see if he’s as horrible he’s been made out to be. Right now, it’s looking like the third book will be Alexia centric, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself in making notes. I never know what they might tell me after everything unfolds in the second book.

In addition to the second book of the Guitars series, I’ve also written two other novels that have been accepted for publication by Wayward Ink that are both in the early stages of the editing process so I won’t give their names right now as they just might change. I will say that one of them kick starts with an arranged marriage, and the other focuses on a rock and roll band that is on the cusp of breaking out of the bar scene and making it big. I’ve always got some kind of writing project going on and am focused at the moment on finishing the first draft of a dirt bike themed story with more steamy bits then I’ve ever written before.

Excerpt

“You know what? Sometimes it is. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, Conner, but sometimes you need money faster than you can earn it honestly. I hadn’t planned to fight anymore, but Kimber ditched Rory with Morgan, like for good, and the bar is struggling. The taxes are due and the only goddamned home Morgan, Alexia and Rory have is over that bar. I knew I could make enough to help Morgan pay the taxes until he got things settled at the bar again. That’s the only reason I took that fight tonight.”

“You know what, I can understand that. What I don’t get is how you go from fighting to ending up cuffed and blindfolded with that guy pawing you like a bad prom date.”

“I’m one of the guys Catfish took a liking to. He’s been after me for months to work for him as his bodyguard. What that really means is I’d be hired muscle and a personal fuck toy. I would have said yes to the bodyguard if the rest didn’t come with it, but Catfish don’t want one without the other, and every time I’m with him, it’s just…”

I let out a shuddering sigh and hung my head.

I felt Conner’s hand on my arm, and he used his other hand to brush my hair back from my eyes. “Do you know that whenever you don’t want to talk about something, you try to use your hair as a wall?”

I glanced at his face, and then down again. “Yeah.”

He slid his hand beneath my chin and raised my eyes so I was looking at him. “I’m not judging you. I want you to explain it to me so maybe I can understand what you’re thinking when you go there.”

“That’s just it,” I said low, but I knew he could hear me. “He doesn’t judge me, he doesn’t think my scars are hideous, he doesn’t think I’m stupid because I don’t read so good and I didn’t finish high school. He doesn’t expect anything more from me than to be who I am, and when I need it most, he’s the only one who ever tells me I’m worth anything, or that he wants me around. I hate that I love it when he touches me, that it feels good even when he hurts me. I didn’t say yes to being his bodyguard because I knew if I did, I’d never leave. If I let him give me everything he’s promised, there would never have been a chance at walking away.”

Conner put one hand on my cheek and caressed it, while the other kept me from looking away. “You’ve always wanted more than to fight and play your guitar, haven’t you?”

I swallowed hard. “Yeah.”

Synopsis

Asher Logan is a bartender and a pretty wicked guitar player, when he isn’t wrecking his hands fighting in a cage. With a past he keeps hoping to outrun, Asher’s been on a downward spiral for longer than he can remember. When his sister-in-law leaves Rory, his eight-year-old nephew, in his care, Asher is forced into two things he’s never been good at: sobriety and responsibility. As he struggles to care for Rory, his own life begins to unravel.

When Asher’s brother, Alex, turns up, presenting as a girl and announcing her new name is Alexia, it further complicates matters, as does the arrival of his new neighbor, Conner. Both, in their own way, compel Asher to look at his own closely-guarded views on sexuality.

Guitars and Cages by Layla Dorine

When the siblings’ older brother, Cole, reacts violently to Alexia, Asher is placed squarely in the middle of a family conflict which compels him to confront who he pretends to be versus who he really is.

Asher must choose who to trust and who to finally walk away from.

Buy Links

Don’t miss the Wayward Ink Publishing Tickle Me Pink Sale – 25% off all list prices!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/guitars-and-cages-by-layla-dorine/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Guitars-Cages-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B00YWD9PVQ/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-guitarsandcages-1838198-341.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guitars-and-cages-layla-dorine/1122098430?ean=9781925222463

Book Trailer

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize: $20 WIP Gift Card and 1 ebook copy of Guitars and Cages

About the author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005197938547&fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/layladorine

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/layladorine/


A Game for Assassins

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


aga-640

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.”


Synopsis

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/

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


A Game for Assassins

Here’s an extract from James Quinns’ A Game for Assassins – check it out.

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

Gioradze snorted. “Fuck you. Torture me all you want. You think this is the first time I’ve been tied to a chair and tortured.”

“Probably not,” said Gorilla. “But this isn’t the first time I’ve tied someone to a chair and interrogated them either, so on that score we are equal.” He was thinking of his time spent with the forger in Belgium. But the one thing that Gorilla was positive of was that, unlike the forger, this killer would not be walking away safely and with a suitcase full of cash.

In his role as faux KGB interrogator Gorilla had decided to use that oldest and most dangerous of tactics first; honesty. Honesty to the subject, honesty about his potential fate, honesty leaves the subject with no place to hide and no manoeuvring room. It spells it out for him in stark detail. You are here. I am here. These are the facts.

“I won’t tell you a thing you Russian pig,” said Gioradze, as the anger started to rise in him.

Gorilla frowned. “Oh, I believe that you believe that. But there is one thing that I can tell you from experience and that is everyone talks, everyone has a breaking point. You just have to find the correct leverage. For some its pain, some people can’t handle pain. However, in your case I think that you are such a tough man that you could withstand it, of that I have no doubt.”

The Georgian was breathing heavily now, gulping in a huge lungful of air, mentally bracing himself for what was about to come.

“Some people fear the danger that their loved ones might be targeted, but again not applicable in your case,” Gorilla continued.

Gioradze snorted with derision as if the thought of using another human being as leverage over him would have succeeded.

Gorilla knelt down so they were face to face. “What I think is that in your case it’s simple. It’s Biology. It’s your own body. You are wounded, tired, under stress, so you’re already weak, maybe even compliant, although you would never admit that. No, the one thing that is going to let you down here is your own body.”

Gioradze looked down at his mangled legs. For the first time the stunning realisation that he was in pain, in a foreign country, isolated and about to be interrogated by a Russian operative, hit him.

“And you really don’t remember me?” asked Gorilla, looking the man in the eye.

Gioradze shook his head violently. “I fucking told you – No!”

Gorilla brought his face closer so that they almost touched, nose to nose, and then whispered through gritted teeth. “Well, I’m the “hitter” from Marseilles. I’m back to haunt you, and you don’t look pleased to see me at all you miserable son-of-a-bitch!”

Find out more:

http://jamesquinn.webs.com/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00VRR0DYI?ref_=pe_1805931_64002121


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

CHAPTER 1

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


The Lights In Their Eyes

Here’s an exclusive from sci-fi novel The Light In Their Eyes by Michelle Vongkaysone which is out now.

 

Her eyes were still locked with his, silently extracting his intent from them. Though she remained flustered over their reckless union, the woman could tell her companion truly meant no harm. His words had a sheepishly innocent tone to them, much like an apologetic child would possess. Sculpted cheeks began to redden, painting his disoriented face the fairest of pinks.

 

Gleaming white teeth bit her carnation tinted lips, which gradually eased into a knowing smirk. As her orbs became softly lidded, the woman’s eyes illuminated from within. They evoked a guardian’s kind, warm gaze, but with an otherworldly aura as well. Absurd as it seemed, she was like an aurora’s light taken human form, both radiantly beautiful and mystical.

 

Still dumbstruck by her “divine” presence, all Benjamin could do was remain locked under it. As he raked curious eyes against her form, Tanner stopped by his side, having caught up to them. The other man peered at their companion as well, observing her in a more studious manner, Stepping to his lover, he tapped his arm, forcing Benjamin’s gaze away from the woman.

 

“There you are,” Tanner called out, holding the other’s parasol in the air to shield his rapidly heating skin. “What’s happened now? Who’s this lady?”  His sunglasses returned to their owner’s person as alabaster and gold hands embraced once more. Prying his orbs away from the woman, Benjamin wrapped an arm around his lover’s, drawing him in closer.

 

“I accidentally ran into her,” the other man frantically explained as his other companion looked on calmly. “I didn’t mean to, but she’s okay. Well, I think so.” Nodding a bit, she smiled once more, bright and eternally cheerful. Her magenta orbs scanned the two as well, seemingly curious as they were. “Isn’t that right, Miss-?”

 

“Inanna,” the woman recited, tongue dancing along her given name’s syllables. As if imbued with magic, her voice struck both men’s consciousnesses. They jerked straight up, further drawing her intrigue. A burst of excitement welled within her, open to countless new possibilities. “I’m Inanna Donati, and it’s quite all right. And you two gentlemen are-?”

 

As she spoke, the compelling nature in her eyes made itself present through her dialect. It brought to mind an Italian’s natural accent. Eloquent and husky, her tones swiftly enthralled both men, their ears carefully listening to what she articulated. Like sirens of legend, her voice seemed to pull at their innermost selves, reciting some sort of manipulative spell.

 

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The Line – Blog Tour

The Blurb

Suspended in the nothing between timelines, the station Janus is an unseen marvel: the greatest technological achievement in human innovation. From Janus, Gustavo and his hand-selected team of historians and engineers venture into the past and observe history, unseen and unnoticed.

But they are not alone.

Another traveler is shattering history. Unhindered by desires to remain scientific and uninvolved, the intruder’s technology is far advanced with methods more brutal and a present more terrifying than anything Gustavo and his team are prepared for. As they apply their intellects and skills towards solving the mystery of the ferocious interloper, they discover than they have its full attention.

The Line by William Galaini

Excerpt

1.

Mary wasn’t certain what woke her up. Her body was long and taut like a firm rubber band, and in a sleepy haze she stretched out with a prolonged groan. Soon after, she pulled her tangled hair from her face and first one eye was purged of morning crusties, then the other. Curling her toes, tensing her calves, and stretching again, she placed her bare body on display. A childhood of ballet had carved her and leaned her down and now at college in her second year, she discovered her interests to be in the humanities, to the dismay of her mother’s expectations and her father’s bank account.

Flopping a clumsy, sleepy arm to her side, she felt the pillow next to her and found it to still be warm, but vacant.

Last night had been simply amazing and even the dreaded thought of calling her parents with the news couldn’t dull her elation. She and Trevor had spent yesterday afternoon studying on the dormitory lawn, sprawled out in the fat blades of the Florida grass, and as the sun went down he had handed her a book out of his backpack.

“I know you like dark stuff,” he had said. “It’s by Victor Hugo. About a kid who is kidnapped, his face cut up, and raised as a circus freak. Don’t worry, though. He kills everyone.” Trevor presented it with his usual musing grin and Mary rewarded him with a snicker at his description.

“Well, the French love this writer so there it is,” she said as she took the hardback novel from him. Quickly she realized it had a small lump in it. Shaking it upside-down, something fell out and glittered in the grass between her feet. Instantly Mary knew what it was and hesitated for a moment before digging for it frantically, tearing up green blades, dirt, and thick roots. Her fingers halted when she found it.

“Go on…” Trevor encouraged from somewhere above her. Mary lifted a simple gold band with a small solitaire diamond; a visually sad offering of a ring but the loveliest thing she’d ever seen. She began to cry.

“I read in one of your magazines that crying can be the best sign or the

worst . . .” Trevor said, seeming anxious. “And don’t worry about it being so small. I figured after we’re married for a few years and have saved up I can buy you a new one and that little diamond there can be on the side or something.”

Mary was crying full bore now. “Shut up,” she squeaked as she grabbed him around the neck and held him in a loving grip. “Yes. Dear God, yes. Always yes. Yes a long time ago.” After a few minutes of holding each other and rocking back and forth she added, “The ring is perfect. It’s just perfect. I’d rather you save your money for down the road or something.”

“My car needs brakes,” Trevor confessed. His car was notorious for announcing its presence to every stop sign and stop light with a loud screech.

“Yeah, get your brakes.” She laughed, trying to salvage her makeup while wiping tears away. Finally, she looked him dead on in the eyes. “Really?”

“Really. Marry me.”

She bit her lip. “Okay, but I so have to fuck you like, right now.”

Trevor mock sighed, and pretended to look about in search of a bush or trash bin to hide behind. After his pantomime was played out, they went back to her dorm room. Sometime between the giggling and the orgasms she managed to call her roommate and ask her to sleep elsewhere.

Pizza was ordered. His parents were called and they were delighted. The TV was on but was never watched. Drinks were mixed. Futures were discussed. Music was played and sung along to. And eventually they both slept naked, curled up in her small bed intended for only one occupant.

Mary rubbed her eyes while blinking against the morning sun that sliced through the blinds. Then she heard the shower, and assumed it was Trevor closing the bathroom door that had awakened her. She smiled, and pushed the thought of calling her parents far back into her mind. Sitting up, she looked about for her coffee that was left from the night before. “Trevor, have you seen my coffee? I had half a cup left somewhere around here.”

There was no answer.

She started to wrap herself in the sheets to look around for her coffee, but with a whimsical chirp she stood out of bed, naked. “This is how I will dress when I’m walking around the house.”

The dorm room was actually two rooms; essentially a sleeping area

separated from a study area with two computer desks, a micro fridge, and a second TV. Mary stepped out of the bedroom into the study and gasped at how cold it was. She scampered back into bed with a squeal, her teeth chattering.

“Trevor, when you get back, bring me my coffee, it’s in a mug on the fridge! From last night!” she called out. A muffled ‘okay’ came from behind the bathroom door while the shower turned off.

Mary’s mind drifted toward more serious things. Would her parents pull her out of school because of Trevor? Where would they live? Who would actually pay for the wedding? Her parents certainly could, but would they? Who would the bridesmaids be? What kind of home could they afford? She felt the stress mounting, and wished Trevor would hurry out of the bathroom so that he could make everything better.

Bio:

William Galaini grew up in Pennsylvania and Florida. His mother gave him an early love of reading, especially when it came to the great classics of science fiction. He is also a history buff and fascinated by mythology and folklore. His various vocational pursuits include being a singer in a professional high school choir, manager of the call center at a luxury resort, U.S. Army medic, prison guard, and middle school English teacher. As such, he is perfectly suited to breech a solid metal door, humanely restrain the enemy within, and politely correct their grammar all while humming Handel’s Messiah and drinking a lovely cuppa tea.

He currently hangs his hat, rucksack, and tweed smoking jacket in Northern Virginia.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/thelinebook

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNthelinebook

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GRthelinebook


Noise

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

Synopsis:

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?

Excerpt:

Twenty-Eight

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.”

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The Cortlandt Boys

Today I have an exclusive extract from Laura Vanderkam and her book The Cortlandt Boys.

 

She watched a detective snap pictures and a truck carting the county’s mobile crime scene trailer pull into the parking lot. Soon, though, she was shivering too much to stand there, so she went inside to grab the coat she’d left in her room. As she put it on, she looked at Janie’s collage, sitting on her bedside table.

She looked at the white house. She looked at the baby.

“Oh my God,” she said to no one in particular. She felt her heart beat a little faster. It was the baby in the Curtis Inn. Janie had known the baby was there.

Of course, as she thought about it, she realized that made no sense. How could a 7-year old know about a 10-year-old crime? Still, it was an utterly intriguing idea: a body buried around the time of the championship game, a body hinted at by this little witness that no one believed. It was an idea that twisted the story of the Cortlandt boys in ways Max knew her editor would find difficult to resist. Any chance you could uncover an unsolved violent crime? She texted news of the discovery to his cell phone. This could be even better than the Friday Night Lights boys robbing a bank. With this dark addition, she could see her story splashed even more prominently across the cover of Sports. To be sure, it was awful to imagine a tiny body hidden under the room where she’d been sleeping. But then again, Max always did like a story.

The Cortlandt Boys is available on Amazon. ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Cortlandt-Boys-Laura-Vanderkam-ebook/dp/B00R8I2672# )

Laura Vanderkam is the author of the novel, The Cortlandt Boys, and several non-fiction books, including 168 Hours (Portfolio, 2010), What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio, 2013), and the forthcoming I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make The Most Of Their Time (Portfolio, June 9, 2015). She blogs at www.LauraVanderkam.com.


Where Freedom Rings

Today I have an exclusive extract from Steven Donahue’s Where Freedom Rings – take a look…

In this scene, Kelsa is getting a lecture from Jackson Mallard, her owner. A neighbor named Wilkensen had questioned her about slaves who escaped from his plantation, whom he thought were hiding on the Mallard’s property. 
They stood in silence for a moment until Kelsa composed herself. She looked at Jackson. “May I go, sir?” she asked. He said yes. Kelsa looked down at the floor as she unsteadily walked away. She was nearly out of the room when he asked her to stop. She turned and faced him with her fists balled tightly.

“The slaves Wilkensen is looking for,” Jackson said softly. “They were badly mistreated by his foremen.” He inched toward her until he was close enough to touch her. “They were abused, poorly fed, and kept apart from their families. It was a miserable existence. But you have it good here, Kelsa. You and your family. Far better than slaves at other plantations.” He slowly took a deep breath. “Remember that,” he said.

“We appreciate your kindness,” replied Kelsa. She folded her hands and rested them against her legs. “I understand how things are here. This is our home. We don’t have any desire to leave.” She looked into Jackson’s eyes and hoped he believed her. “I should get back to work,” she said. “Miss Virginia has chores for me.” Jackson nodded, giving her the opportunity to leave the library.

 

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