Apr 282016
 

The Ebola Game

by Glenn Shepard

on Tour April 2016

The Ebola Game by Glenn Shepard

ISIS terrorists are trying to start an Ebola epidemic in America.

Only Scott James is immune.

The Ebola Game just keeps coming at you and at you. Incredible.” -John Haslett

A BOMB

A bomb explodes at a local hospital.

A DOCTOR

Dr. Scott James must race through twists and turns to find a cure for a deadly biological weapon.

A PATHOGEN

A quarantined group of people await Dr. James’ help.

SANFIA, VODOUN BOKOR

Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. She may have the cure.

ELIZABETH, THE WILDCARD

Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. Scott James will need her unique genius to stop the epidemic.

“Scott, a biological weapon just exploded on your doorstep. We don’t know what we’re dealing with here.”

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Medical Fiction, Action & Adventure

Published by: Mystery House

Publication Date: Jan 2016

Number of Pages: 205

ISBN: 0997134917 (ISBN-13: 978-0997134919)

Series: The Dr. Scott James Thriller Series, 3rd (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Conference Room
Hospital Administrator’s Offices
9:30 a.m.

Dr. Reed called and said that he wanted to update hospital leaders on his team’s findings and give further instructions. I called the operator and had her contact the Executive Committee, a governing body comprised of the department heads, committee chairmen, and all the assistant hospital administrators quarantined in the hospital. The group assembled within fifteen minutes. The two from the CDC were the only ones in the room in hazmat suits and helmets.

Dr. Reed gave his report: “Ebola virus was definitively diagnosed by electron microscopy.”

Everyone groaned, even though they knew before this report came in that it was Ebola. Then, he gave what he called the “good news.” The vast majority of the patients who had been in the hospital at the time of the explosion, as well as most of the doctors, nurses, and people in maintenance and facilities, were not exposed and could be released from quarantine to return to their homes. I began to applaud and the other members of the executive committee followed.

Reed was resuming his talk when my telephone rang. I looked to see that the caller was the Mayor’s Office. I answered in a quiet voice, “Dr. James.”

It was Mayor LaShaun Washington. “I know you are in a meeting with Dr. Reed and your staff. I’m going to call back in a minute on Skype so I can teleconference with your entire group.”

I paused for a moment to comprehend his demand, and hung up. I opened Skype on my computer. The large screen at the end of conference room went from black to a picture of Mayor Washington and a group of people sitting at a conference table.

The Mayor spoke: “Dr. James, you will recognize everyone in my panel, the Jackson City City Council, and of course the City Attorney, Ms. Marks.

“Dr. James. This conference is called into emergency session. Now, let’s get right to the point: Dr. James, did you receive a message from a terrorist group that mentioned ‘Ebola?’”

“What?”

“Dr. James: Did you, or did you not, receive a message from a known terrorist organization in the last twenty-four hours? The Jackson City Police have the article in their possession. You are a terrorist. You affiliate with terrorists, you’ve been the center of multiple attacks, and why the FBI has allowed you to carry on, purely in the interest of having another informant—”

“I am not a terrorist, sir!”

“Dr. James—you are out of order here. This is an emergency meeting. Let’s get to the second point, of which this body has just been informed: You are immune to Ebola. Is that correct?”

“What?”

Reed stepped forward and said through his mask, “We have not informed Dr. James of that yet. We just got the results. Frankly I’m a little shocked that you know.”

“I assure you Dr. Reed, this body will be involved in every aspect of this ongoing tragedy. Dr. James, we find it all just a little too convenient that the epidemic you have created here in the United States is something that you also just happen to be immune to—”

“I didn’t create anything!” I screamed. “What are you talking about! It’s Omar Farok! He’s doing all this!”

“Dr. James! That’s enough! That is enough! That is enough! Now … The FBI will be taking you into custody shortly. We are cooperating thoroughly in their investigation. This body is going to make sure that the federal authorities do the right thing and indict you for conspiracy. You are directly responsible for a number of terrorist attacks and your connection with certain cults is well known. The City Council has passed a binding resolution that relieves you of your position at The Jackson City Hospital. Permanently. We are also considering civil action against you and your group.”

“Why don’t you just banish me from the city! You’re a dictator, right?”

“Dr. James.”

“Just throw me out of my own home! You are a dictator, right?”

“Dr. James. That’s enough.”

I turned and looked at the scornful stares of my hospital staff. Many of these doctors had been my friends for many years. I had grown up with so many of them. But no one spoke a word in my defense.

 

Author Bio:

Glenn Shepard - authorGlenn Shepard’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt. In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero, and began publishing a series. The first volume of the Dr. Scott James series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. The third of the series, The Ebola Game, is due out in December, 2015. Though the books contain many of the same characters, they don’t have to be read in order. Each can be read as a stand-alone.

Learn More About Glenn:
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Apr 182016
 

Deceived

by Ashlee Mallory

Book Blast on April 18, 2016

Deceived He took everything. Now it’s her turn…

Former foster kid Olivia Michaels is finally about to have it all. She’s recently engaged, and on the cusp of earning a big promotion at a job she loves. But her perfect life is ripped apart by accusations of insider trading and fraud, and ultimately the murder of her best friend. Faced with the possibility of life in prison—or worst, death—she accepts a deal. A plea of guilty for something she didn’t do, in exchange for three years in prison.

Olivia’s lost everything. The only thing she has left now is time. Time to remember what she’s lost. Time to realize who had the most to gain. Time to plan exactly how she’s going to exact her revenge. When she leaves those prison walls, she’ll have more than just a new family of friends who’ll have her back; she’ll have a plan. And he’ll never see her coming.

Grab hold for this fast-paced, high-stakes caper that won’t let go!

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: April 18, 2016
Number of Pages: 299
ISBN:
Series: A Final Justice Thriller, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The hammering pain in my head finally brought me into consciousness, although I couldn’t yet bring myself to open my eyes. I lay there, trying to remember what happened. Someone had struck me. But Charlotte had been next to me and the blow…

I was wet, cold, and there was a strange smell in the air, an earthier smell, like copper, like…

I opened my eyes and managed to turn my head.

Blood.

I sat up and winced as pain and nausea hit me over the sudden movement. Why was I wet? Why was there blood on my hands? My shirt? Had my head been bleeding? And where was Charlotte?

I couldn’t rise, not just yet, and came to my knees, crawling to the coffee table and my cell phone. This wasn’t right. Something was wrong.

Someone might still be here.

Where was Charlotte?

There was pounding again, only not from my head and voices called out. Police? Then there were officers swarming in.

Relieved, I sat back on the carpet, dropping my head to my hands. What had just happened? There was so much talking, someone asked me if I was okay, who I was, if anyone else was in the house. I shook my head as I tried to make sense of their questions.

“We have a body,” a female officer called out.

I turned to the officer, who was looking down at something behind the couch, already calling it in.

“What do you mean?” I stumbled to my feet, but wavered instantly. Before I could buckle back down, arms were around me.

“Olivia? Are you okay?” It was Ethan. He’d arrived and was holding me up. “Oh my God, what happened? Is that your blood? Are you bleeding?”

But I was barely listening. They’d said a body and I threw myself forward, trying to see something, anything.

Her feet were the first thing I spotted. She’d been wearing her black Jimmy Choos that we’d picked up on her birthday four months before, but one had fallen off and was next to her now bare foot.

Still, so still.

Another officer came over, stepping around the bod—around Charlotte. “I think we have a weapon.”

I’d reached the area where Charlotte was lying, her eyes glassy as they looked up, lifeless. Her pretty blonde hair streaked with fresh blood. The carpet underneath her deep crimson. Sure enough, by her side was something. The lamplight made the surface of the long scissors almost glisten—except where the dark color that could only be blood covered them.

The female officer squatted down along with the male officer to look at her, neither of them touching anything. The eggshell blouse she’d been wearing was now mostly red and it was apparent from the wound and the blood pooled underneath that she’d been stabbed in the throat.

I couldn’t stop the sob this time as I screamed her name. Over and over.

And then there was a prick in my arm and I was floating, adrift. And darkness again took me.

Author Bio:

Ashlee MalloryAshlee Mallory is a USA Today Bestselling author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Thrillers. A recovering attorney, she currently resides in Utah with her husband and two kids. She aspires to one day include running, hiking and traveling to exotic destinations in her list of things she enjoys, but currently settles for enjoying a good book and a glass of wine from the comfort of her couch.

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Sep 082014
 

Track Presius Series, Books 1 & 2

by E.E. Giorgi

Book Blast

 

Chimeras

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Quemazon Publishing
Publication Date: April 5 2014
Number of Pages: 406
ISBN: 978-0996045100

Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Haunted by the girl he couldn’t save in his youth, and the murder he committed to avenge her, Detective Track Presius has a unique gift: the vision and sense of smell of a predator. When a series of apparently unrelated murders reel him into the depths of genetic research, Track feels more than a call to duty. Children are dying — children who, like himself, could have been healthy, and yet something, at some point, went terribly wrong. For Track, saving the innocent becomes a quest for redemption. The only way he can come to terms with his dark past is to understand his true nature.

 

Kudos:

Chimeras is now a Reader’s Favorite 2014 Book Award Finalist!! Check it out here: Reader’s Favorite.

 

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

It was one of those hot summer afternoons, with air made of cobwebs and a glare as sharp as pencils.

“Something’s wrong today,” I said.

“It’s L.A.,” my partner replied. “Something’s always wrong in L.A.”

A few hours later Johnny Carmelo was dead, his brains skewered by the whistling path of one of my bullets. He collapsed on the pavement, a red trickle of blood weeping down his face. They told me they weren’t going to clear me back to duty until the investigation was over. I left the next day. I drove up to the Sierras, camped in my truck, and hunted at night.

There are days I long to disappear in the wild, go back to the predator life I was meant to have. Kill the prey or be killed: it’s in my genes.

A chimera, that’s what I am. And this is my story.

 


 

 

Mosaics

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Quemazon Publishing
Publication Date: 9/2014
Number of Pages: ~410
ISBN: 978-0-9960451-1-7

PreOrder Today:

 

Synopsis:

Dubbed the Byzantine Strangler because of the mysterious mosaic tiles he leaves at the crime scene, a new serial killer is stalking the streets of Los Angeles. Racing to decipher the code encrypted in the tiles before the killer strikes again, Detective Track Presius faces a new challenge: the “awakened” genes that make his vision and olfactory sense so sharp are now taking a toll on his life. When a new set of tiles appears in his own backyard, Track makes a chilling realization: those very same genes that are threatening his life are drawing the Byzantine Strangler closer and closer. The line between hunter and hunted has suddenly blurred. Will Track be the next piece of the mosaic puzzle?

 

Read an excerpt:

MOSAICS – excerpt

A dark hallway with no windows opened to the right of the foyer. The smells changed—the staleness of a vacant place and the victim’s scent—feminine, ambitious, seductive. The wall displayed wrought iron sconces and a collection of photos of Amy—Amy in her graduation gown, Amy with friends, Amy with her cat. A pretty face, I noticed, whose beauty didn’t distract from an underlining drive for determination.

Her bedroom was orderly. There was a half-empty birth control kit in her nightstand drawer, but no boyfriend in her life, according to the friends and relatives interviewed, only an ex-husband who now lived in Oregon. Toiletries on her vanity table, regular clothes in her closet, a few garments in her drawers that told me she was no nun, but no distinctive masculine scent anywhere. If she shared her bed with somebody, she’d done a good job at hiding it. The sheets smelled clean and freshly washed.

The next door let to her home office, a small carpeted room with a couple of white bookcases, a table with a desktop and printer, a metal chair, and, on the opposite side, a futon, a laundry basket, and an ironing table folded against the wall. Through the window, the hills of Montecito glowed against the evening sky, a wavy fabric of glimmering lights.

I inhaled. The bookshelves were crammed with medical books, the desk buried under stacks of papers.

The sweet, foul smell of the tiles…

I sat at the desk, opened the drawers, sniffed the keyboard, then the computer screen.

Not here. Close, though.

The papers. He went through the pile of papers.

I rummaged through the folders not knowing what to look for, just tailgating a smell. Gloved fingers had brushed through printouts and graphs, tables, essays, research proposals…

Did he find what he was looking for? And if so, what?

Article after article of scientific jargon, each title some random permutation of the words immunodeficiency, vaccine, study design, therapy, antiretroviral.

“What are you gonna see in the dark?” By the office door, Satish flipped the light switch.

“Smells.”

“On paper?”

“Yeah. And patterns, too,” I said. I sniffed the top right corner. I could follow the gloved fingers searching through the pile of papers, most likely a left thumb holding up the top ones so he could read the titles, and a right index flipping through. Until the trace stopped.

He found what he was looking for. Probably took it with him.

I inhaled and gave one last look around. Everything else seemed untouched.

“What did Gomez have to say?”

Satish shook his head sideways. “Autopsy’s scheduled for Thursday morning. Just got an invitation. Wanna join the party?” He smiled. Waited.

Amy Liu smiled too, from a silver frame on her desk, a man’s hand draping her shoulder, and a strand of black hair blowing over her face.

“Fine,” I said, walking past him out of the room. “I’ll keep you company on Thursday, but—”
He switched the lights off and followed me back to the foyer. “Uh-uh, Track. First things first. Tomorrow you pee in a cup and get your LAPD badge back.”

“I pee in a what?”

We locked the house, replaced the yellow crime scene tape. The air was tainted with a hint of humidity and the scent of jacaranda blooms. A handful of pale stars dotted the sky, the glow of downtown beneath them like a disoriented dawn. A broken streetlight strobed from farther down the street. The Latino music persisted. Yo sufrí mucho por ti, mi corazon…
Satish unlocked the car and slid behind the wheel. “Union mandated drug test. Your leave of absence from the department was longer than ninety days. Welcome back to regulations, Detective Presius.”

I made a face.

“Look at it this way. Whoever handles those cups has it way worse than you.” He started the engine and backed out of the driveway. “Shit happens, Track. Never forget that.”

“Hard to forget on days like this.”

I rolled down the window and let cool air blow in my face. The freeway droned in the distance, as another night descended upon L.A. Another murder, another killer on the loose.

It was June 2009, the beginning of summer.

Killing season had just started.

 


 

What Readers Think:

 


 

Author Bio:

E.E. Giorgi is a scientist, a writer, and a photographer. She spends her days analyzing genetic data, her evenings chasing sunsets, and her nights pretending she’s somebody else. On her blog, E.E. discusses science for the inquiring mind, especially the kind that sparks fantastic premises and engaging stories. Her detective thriller CHIMERAS, a hard-boiled police procedural with a genetic twist, is now available on Amazon.

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Dec 172013
 

WELCOME JAC WRIGHT

JAC WRIGHT

Jac Wright is a poet published in literary magazines, a published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England. Jac studied English literature from the early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Trinity College Speech & Drama classes taken afternoons and Saturdays for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years. A published poet, Jac’s first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts. You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, the dramatic scene setting, and the deep character creation.
These passions – for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering – have all been lovingly combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer. There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers. High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day. Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with. Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.
Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which he explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex. Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected. The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy’s Wessex Tales. The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the author’s first full-length literary suspense title, The Reckless Engineer.
Connect with Jac at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

Q&A with Jac Wright

-Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Quite a bit of my experiences make their way into my writing, but not in a direct way. Bits of different experiences are mixed together with a lot of imaginary and fictitious characters and events.  A character might have the looks of a stranger I might have spotted on the train, certain mannerisms of a friend, and a completely imaginary personality. It is so mixed together that the end result is fictitious.

I have not used events in the news for my books published so far.  However, I use parts of the Northern Bank Robbery which happened in Belfast in December 2004 as an event to fictitiously model some action in my next book, “Buy, Sell, Murder”.  I also use the Barclays Libor fixing scandal somewhat carefully in it.

-Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and
see where the story line brings you?
Oh, no.  I start with a core idea central to the plot that would have come to me in a moment of inspiration, almost like a dream or a segment of a movie. The main characters are inextricably interwoven into this segment.  I then build the other characters around this, give each character a psychology, and let the characters drive the story forward by keeping each one true to his or her psychology.

For example, I woke up late on a warm summer day this June with an image of a fugitive escaping and running away from an overturned van transporting him to court from prison that had met with an accident. Prisoners wear normal clothing in England, not orange jumpsuits, and they are not in chains.  He runs into the crowds and a bus parked behind a mall to hide among the people only to find that it is a film set.  The actor playing a main character of the movie and the director are having a fight. The actor suddenly punches the director in the face who falls backward. My protagonist fugitive hiding among the supporting film crew catches him and breaks the fall.  The director gets up, wipes the blood off his nose, fires the main actor loudly, and asks him to get out of his movie set.  He turns to my protagonist and asks: ‘You there, what’s your name?’  ‘Art Miller,’ he gives a fake name.  ‘Art, you are playing Michael Fallon. His trailer is yours now. Go with my crew and get dressed.’  And there I have the plot, the main characters, and the first chapter of my standalone book, In Plain Sight.

-Your routine when writing?  Any idiosyncrasies?
My only routine is I have none. I write when time allows me and inspiration hits me. I usually prefer to write at my desk on my big-screen server I do my engineering work on, but sometimes I might move to a different spot or go outside with my laptop.  To make it easy I keep my writing on a USB drive and back up onto my 3 computers about once a week.

-Is writing your full time job?  If not, may I ask what you do by day?
I am an electronics and software engineer by day. However, I have recently left full-time nine-to-five work to start an engineering firm with a friend and I take on engineering subcontracts that allow me more flexibility to write when I want and do the engineering work when I want.

-Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love most of the classics. Out of the authors in my genre I really like Patricia Highsmith, Roald Dahl, Ian Rankin, and Benjamin Black.

-What are you reading now?
I am re-reading Wuthering Heights. I grew up reading a lot of mystery and suspense fiction and writing in the suspense genre comes easily to me.  However, I need to hone my skills in writing the romances that run as sub-plots in my work, and what other way is there to do that than read the greatest romances ever written? I read Wuthering Heights in my mid-twenties, but I have forgotten the details; and this time I am really absorbing the work.

I am also reading this time’s Mann Booker prize winner, The Luminaries.

-Are you working on your next novel?  Can you tell us a little about it?
One of them is In Plain Sight that I described above.  The second in The Reckless engineer series – Buy, Sell, Murder – and Summerset Tales #2 – The Bank Job– are also half written.  I hope to publish two of these in 2014.

-Your novel will be a movie.  Who would you cast?
Daniel Craig would be good to play the series lead, Jeremy Aiden Stone, though he would have to look a decade younger.
A great alternative would be Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood Junior) if his acting abilities are anything like his dad’s, but they would have to age him a decade which I not hard.
Richard Armitage would be absolutely perfect to play Harry Stavers, the defence counsel.
Desmond Harrington (from Dexter) could play the mess that is Jack Connor really well.
Jessica Biel had the right looks for Caitlin McAllen-Connor, Jack Connor’s wife, with a shorter haircut; and she would have to play the character a stronger personality than she is used to.
Jeremy Irons for Douglas McAllen, Caitlin’s father.
I know Otter looks like Lenny Kravitz.  So they will have to cast a new actor in the role.

-Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Keyboard.  It is too hard to do re-writes and corrections with handwritten.  Having said that, I admit that I wrote chapters 28 through 44 (to the end) with a black ballpoint pen, doing correction with a blue ballpoint pen first and typed it up later.

-Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Writing. LOL. Other than that I love kittens and puppies.

-Favorite meal?
Authentic Spanish enchiladas with a shredded beef filling; with a Margarita to sip.

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can you forgive betrayal?

The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.

Jack Connor lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law’s extreme engineering company in oil & gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife, Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when the alluring Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.
Jeremy Stone brings in a top London defence attorney, Harry Stavers, to handle his best friend’s defence.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim’s house? Who is the “KC” that Caitlin makes secret calls to from a disposable mobile? Has the powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter’s first partner, and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin’s brother’s power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame him? Is the divorce from his first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin’s past haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack’s manager at Marine Electronics?

While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister Harry Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend’s life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense tale of love, friendship, power, and ambition.

Read an excerpt

Despite the comfort and luxury all around him Jeremy was woken from a night of disturbed sleep by the sound of the dogs barking. It was 8:20 Saturday morning. There were voices downstairs in anxious chatter. His room (huh, he thought of this as his room now, did he?) was a first-floor en-suite with a bath. Actually it had a shared bathroom separating two twin rooms, but the second one had never been occupied whenever he had been here.

Jeremy washed his face quickly and hurried to the cupboard. Caitlin had laid out some clean clothes. He set his oversized laptop case, in which he carried a sleek laptop he had enhanced to pack in massive processing and memory power, so compact it hardly took any space, on the bed. Into the remaining space he generally packed various gadgets and electronics equipment he needed at client sites, including some “emergency” underwear and socks.

He pulled on a pair of black slacks and a blue Polo T-shirt from the cupboard. They must be Ronnie’s. Being slightly over 6 feet tall and having a wider frame, he did not fit so well into Jack’s clothes. He stepped out of his room and followed the voices downstairs.

One of the boys who worked in the stables and on the land, a brown lad in muddy Wellington boots, was talking animatedly to Caitlin, who was still in her dressing gown, in the kitchen.

‘There is police again at the front gate, sénora,’ he said with a heavy Spanish accent. ‘I put Molly and Max in the stables, ha?’

Caitlin and Jeremy hurried to the front reception with little Bubbles the puppy Lab running circles around them. There were two police cars at the gates.

‘If you could open the gates, Caitlin, I shall handle this,’ he said, thinking how lovely and vulnerable she looked with no makeup on and with tousled dark brown hair some length between short and medium. Something about a damsel-in-distress in silks stirred a man’s loins.

Jeremy went back to his room, splashed his face with icy cold water, and put on his shoes. He stepped out as the police cars pulled up outside the front door.

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Mystery, Legal Thriller, Suspense
Print Length: 340 pages
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: November 3, 2013
ISBN-10: 1619353210
ISBN-13: 978-1619353213
ASIN: B00GH67LVC

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

THANKS TO AUTHOR, JAC WRIGHT,
I
HAVE ONE (1) DIGITAL COPY OF THE CLOSET
(short fiction) TO GIVE AWAY.

EBOOK~~OPEN TO ALL
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GIVEAWAY ENDS DECEMBER 31st AT 6PM EST
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DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

 

Dec 012013
 

WELCOME PAUL ROBERTS

Paul Roberts

I fell in love with reading and writing at an early age, and knew by age 12 that I wanted to tell stories I could share with the entire world–stories that transcend culture, race and ethnicity, and are timeless. My work has been described by some as “provocative and entertaining international tales of intrigue that also inspire.” But most importantly, I strive to bring my readers unique tales that are lightning-fast, packed with action, loaded with suspense and surprises, and deals the reader an intensely deep emotional blow that’s unforgettable. While I use the Freedom of Expression quite judiciously, there have been instances where I’ve had to kick self-censorship in the butt in favor of “creativity originale”. I am thriller novelist and filmmaker, Paul Roberts. Thank you for delving into my world.
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SYNOPSIS

Disguised as “Humanitarian aid,” a fraternity of corrupt U.S. politicians is using American tax dollars to fund ethnic cleansing in a fictional African republic, in return for millions of dollars in kickbacks. An unsuspecting U.S. President authorizes a covert mission to end the genocide by taking out leading war criminals, who repeatedly blocked the United Nations’ peace efforts. In order to protect their kickback scheme with the war criminals, the ruthless U.S. officials promptly betray the mission, and hire an army of foreign mercenaries to ambush and destroy American commandos sent to carry out the assassinations. Barely surviving a bloodbath in the jungle, leader of the commando unit, Brett Collins finds out about the shocking conspiracy, rogue CIA agents, and high-ranking UN diplomats who accept bribes to vote down UN military intervention while thousands of innocent and defenseless men, women and children are slaughtered daily. Forming an alliance with a stunningly beautiful British Intelligence agent, Agatha Cornwell, and an idealistic African soldier, Major Danka, whose wife and children were burned alive as punishment for challenging the war criminals, Brett would take on the transcontinental network of powerful men and their assassins in order to liberate, avenge, and also prevent a sure-fire nuclear “dirty-bomb” attack on two million Americans by angry, surviving victims of the genocide.
Inspired by actual, true-life events, Permanent Enemy is a bullet-fast, action-packed international thriller, filled with nail-biting suspense and stunning surprises. It’s the first novel in a series.

Read an excerpt

Chapter 1

AUGUST 27, 2004

BRETT COLLINS AND his commando unit had no idea that his covert mission would turn into a bloodbath. It was eleven minutes past midnight in sub-Sahara Africa. The vast and remote tropical jungles of the Republic of Dargombi lay in semi- darkness about 15,000 feet below as a camouflage- painted MC-130H special operations transport aircraft snuck toward the drop zone. A smiley half- moon cast an eerie illumination from a clear, stark- naked sky.

Inside the cockpit that was jam-packed with electronic indicators, the pilot made a scrambled radio transmission: “Bravo-Alpha approaching drop zone. Over!”

A raspy and commanding voice belonging to a middle-aged man filtered through the pilot’s earphones.

“We copy Bravo-Alpha! All clear on LZ. Proceed to next phase. Over!”

In the partial-darkness of the aircraft cabin, the heavily-armed twelve-man commando team in jungle camouflage fatigues and face paints was now making final preparations, checking and re-checking their weapons and gears—M4 assault rifles, Glock 9mm pistols, pineapple grenades, rocket launchers, commando fighting knives, Night Vision goggles…

Brett Collins casually glanced at the eleven camo-painted faces in black berets and headsets, and reminded himself once again that these were men he could depend on, specialists who knew more than a dozen ways to kill with their bare hands, let alone with a gun, knife, explosives or an improvised weapon.

He also knew they were all aware that they could depend on him. They would follow him into a hellhole if he asked. Brett felt a sense of pride, mixed with an unusually deep feeling of apprehension, which nobody around him could detect. A premonition of danger was manifesting itself far too early in the mission. Brett knew that his sharp and well-developed survival instincts rarely sent a false alarm. Something’s very wrong, he thought to himself. He wondered what it might be.

IN THE DENSE tropical jungle below, under barely perceptible streaks of light from the half moon, about 100 heavily-armed men in black private army uniforms were maneuvering secretly through the bushes with AK-47 assault rifles at the ready. Led by a sinister-looking, 51-year-old, American mercenary notoriously known as The Colonel, the army of foreign mercenaries slowly and cautiously inched their way toward a field in the middle of the jungle. The Colonel wore an olive green sabotage uniform without an insignia, a dark-green beret, and a black eye patch that covered his right eye. Spread out over a large area in the jungle, the advancing army scrambled for deeper cover as the unsuspecting American aircraft flew past overhead.

Less than two minutes later, the Colonel, who hid behind a mahogany tree, whispered instructions into the mouthpiece of his headset:

“All units, this is the Colonel. Maintain radio silence from here on. Hold your fire until the enemy is at treetop level.”

IN THE NIGHT sky above the jungle, the aircraft’s rear ramp door opened, causing a gush of warm tropical wind to surge into the cabin as Brett Collins and his commando team shuffled forward and began jumping out in the semi-darkness. Less than a minute later, all twelve warriors were freefalling toward the jungle below. Their Black Spider parachutes began opening up shortly thereafter, filling the foreboding night sky. The MC- 130H transport aircraft banked and made a wide, 180-degree turn, and departed from the area. The twelve unsuspecting CIA contract operatives slowly drifted downward…

Far beneath them in the jungle, the Colonel and his foreign fighters began maneuvering hastily to have the landing zone surrounded.

Chapter 2

CLUTCHING HIS M4 rifle at the ready as he drifted downward under the wide parachute canopy, Brett’s sharp eyes scanned the jungle below through his Night Vision. He quickly detected movements— several armed men darting through the bushes.

“Mission is compromised!” he yelled into his headset mouthpiece, “Hostiles on LZ!”

His M4 was already blazing away with ferocious intensity. The floor of the jungle suddenly lit up with spectacular and deadly muzzle flashes and tracer bullets from out-going gunfire as some fighters began dropping dead from in-coming volleys. Firing and taking hits while still airborne, the commando unit blazed its way down into the hell below, crash-landing under fire.

In the field that served as the landing zone, half of Brett’s men, six, lay dead still attached to their parachutes. Three others had multiple gunshot wounds in the lower parts of their bodies but were still in the fight, engaging enemies on their flank with fierce gunfire, and rocket attack, killing, and forcing some of the fighters into a momentary retreat. Brett and two commandos survived the landing safe and sound; they were now busy cutting down anything that moved outside the perimeter.

Brett sprang to his feet with hellish fire, going on the offensive, and cutting retreating men to pieces. Some of the enemy fighters scrambled up tree branches as others, who were laying cover fire, began dropping to the forest floor like flies under fast and furious slaughter fire from Brett. He directed his fire upward cutting men from tree branches and treetops, splintering wood and foliage. A few yards ahead of him in the semi-darkness, a fighter threw a grenade. It landed on the forest floor about two feet in front of Brett, who saw it, dove at it in a flash, and, in one swift motion, grabbed and hurled it at the fleeing group of fighters. Half a dozen men flew to pieces in a blinding fireball explosion. Already flat on the forest floor, keeping his head low behind the cover of a tree trunk, Brett quickly reloaded his M4 rifle as he yelled into his headset mouthpiece while heavy firefights raged around him.

“Intruder Romeo to Control Delta: ambush on LZ! Fifty percent KIA! Mission aborted! Requesting immediate extraction! Over!” A throaty voice quickly came through his headset. “Control Delta to Intruder Romeo: negative! Extraction not possible! You must cease transmission immediately. It’s an order! Godspeed, Intruder Romeo! Over and out!” “Control Delta! Fuck you!” Brett Collins cursed into his headset mouthpiece. Then, he sprang to his feet with fearsome rapid-fire, running through the forest with maddening rage, killing, dodging, knifing, blasting, terminating… And then, he ran out of ammunition for his M4. He quickly pulled his sidearm, a Glock 9mm, and kept shooting and dodging as enemy fighters relentlessly popped up from behind every tree in front of him, and from his left, and right flanks as he pursued them, killing with precision single shots and two-shots. Then a bullet hit him in the back, just below his bulletproof vest. He lurched forward and fell…

Chapter 3

AS HIS BODY met the forest floor in the semi- darkness, his left hand pulled a pineapple grenade from his waist belt. He pulled off the grenade pin with his teeth as he was struck again, this time in the buttocks. A group of enemy fighters surged out of hiding a few yards ahead of him to finish him off.

Brett threw the grenade at them, the Glock pistol still in his right hand. He buried his face in the forest bed as the explosive detonated in a thunder blast killing several of them.

Brett winced with pain as he quickly dragged himself up, but fell again as an AK-47 stuttered from his left flank, putting three bullets in his left arm, just above the elbow. The shooter started sneaking closer to Brett’s position. Brett fired a single shot through the foliage, hitting the shooter dead-on between the eyes. The man dropped to his knees and collapsed to the forest bed.

There was a momentary lull in the firefight around Brett, but sporadic gunfire still echoed through the forest from the landing zone area. Painfully, he dragged himself up with a grunt. He was in a bad shape—his back and buttocks were now drenched with his blood. The bullet holes in his left arm furiously dripped blood. He turned and began to limp agonizingly through the forest, heading back in the direction of the distant, weak, but on-going firefight at the landing zone.

He came upon a dying enemy fighter in his path, who roused slightly on the jungle floor. Brett raised his Glock and pulled the trigger to finish him off, but heard a familiar click sound.

“Fuck!” he cursed. “Now, I’m totally out of ammo. Good grief.” He re-holstered the pistol, and pulled his commando fighting knife from a scabbard on his waist belt as he limped along wincing with pain.

THE LANDING ZONE was being overrun. Dead bodies of Brett’s men and those of enemy fighters littered the clearing as the last two commandos left standing—and wounded—lunged at the enemies with fighting knives, having run out of ammo and grenades. The Colonel and his remaining fighters, about twenty men opened fire at almost pointblank killing the two men. They crumpled to the ground in the overkill.

And then, all was quiet…

The American mercenary and his foreign hired guns began slowly inspecting the eleven fallen CIA commandos, at times, using their feet to turn the bodies over and make certain they were dead. Standing over a body, a fighter called out in a heavy foreign accent, “Colonel! I think this one is pretending.”

At this moment, hiding in thick foliage outside the perimeter, Brett Collins flung his commando knife at the fighter. The cold steel blade darted through the air and buried itself deep in the fighter’s throat. He staggered backward, dropping his AK-47, and fell dead. The Colonel and his men reacted quickly; they turned and opened furious fire. Brett Collins was already tearing through the bushes in a painful, life-and-death zigzagging. He tripped over a stump and fell. Bullets puffed off dirt and foliage around him and zipped past his head in close calls as he rolled onto his feet in the semi-darkness. Wincing and grunting with pain, he tore through the jungle growth. Several yards behind him, the Colonel and his fighters mounted a hot pursuit; some of the men reloaded their rifles without stopping as they gave chase.

Brett made a sharp turn in the jungle, disturbing a swarm of fireflies; he tore through with unbearable pain and suddenly came upon a swamp river infested with over-grown crocodiles. He stopped abruptly at the river’s edge, almost falling over headlong. “Fuck!” he cursed. Six of the large crocs scuttled toward him with lightning speed. Two of them rushed out of the water as Brett leapt into the air with a grunt and caught a tree branch high enough, as both crocs swung their open jaws to bite off his legs. More of the crocs rushed out of the river excitedly, and began gathering under the tree. Perched precariously on the tree branch, Brett glanced over his shoulder in the semi darkness. He could see his pursuers closing in.

He was trapped.

Chapter 4

DRAGGING HIMSELF HIGH up the tree limb as fast as he could, and at about 12 feet above the crocodile-invested river, Brett began painstakingly crossing by leaping from one connecting tree branch to another in a heart-stopping high-wire act. Not far behind him, his pursuers stopped dead in their tracks as they came upon the crocodiles. They opened fire on the reptiles.

AT SUNRISE, THE sub-Saharan tropical jungle brightened up as rays of sunshine streaked through the jungle canopy and penetrated all the way to the forest bed. The cries of wildlife harmonized with the gushing resonance of a magnificent waterfall crashing down the side of a 200-foot, vertical cliff that was covered with lush, evergreen foliage. Soaking wet from head to toe, and barely alive, Brett Collins found himself at the foot of the waterfall. He’d been drifting in and out of consciousness for some time now. He’d lost too much blood. Extremely weak and dying, he crawled with difficulty, inching away toward dry land. He had struggled and stumbled through the wilderness for several miles through the night, successfully evading his pursuers. But now, he was lost in the middle of nowhere, and was quickly losing his cognition. No search-and- rescue aircraft was hovering overhead. No sign of an approaching and friendly search party beating through the jungle either. I’m fucked! From jungle treetops around him, colorful birds and a school of baboons observing him cried animatedly.

An adult leopard napping on a nearby tree branch became alerted. The big cat turned its head in Brett’s direction, saw him, and promptly descended from the tree, leaping into nearby foliage. Dazed and shivering from head to toe, Brett Collins was vaguely aware of the predator. By now, he’d managed to drag himself to dry land, but was too sick and exhausted to continue.

The leopard started moving very slowly through thick foliage that framed the open clearing, stalking him in a semi-circle. Brett lay face down in the undergrowth and fought desperately to stay awake, but he lost consciousness again.

Suddenly, the leopard was standing directly behind him, only about two yards away in the clearing. The hungry cat glanced around. Then, in self-assured strides, it began to close in…

Chapter 5

THE DEAFENING RIFLE shot scored a bull’s eye hit that crashed a high-caliber bullet deep into the brain of the leopard. The big cat was flung to the ground by the deadly impact. It lay motionless as blood oozed from the hole between its eyes. It was excellent marksmanship by the stunningly gorgeous woman in safari outfit emerging from the bushes, and accompanied by two middle-aged armed men, who carried powerful hunting rifles as well. Agatha Cornwell and her companions were British. She was an impressive 29-year-old with blond hair, full bosoms, and wide, curvy pelvis. As she moved toward Brett’s body, she could tell he was a tall, handsome Caucasian with blond hair like hers, although he was covered with dirt and blood.

THE MEDEVAC HELICOPTER with International Red Cross markings flew out of the jungle less than a half hour later, and headed North toward the sprawling refugee camp along Dargombi’s northeastern borders with the smaller African republic of Sudini. Inside the short, narrow cabin, Brett Collins lay unconscious on a gurney with intravenous drips from IV bags as Agatha desperately performed a CPR—he’d gone into a cardiac arrest. Two Red Cross medics—a young Frenchman and a Dutchwoman—were assisting in the urgent efforts to revive him. “Come on, bloody stranger!” Agatha yelled in a heavy British accent, “Don’t you die on me!”

“Dr. Cornwell, he’s flat lining,” said the young Frenchman as he monitored an EKG machine. “We’re losing him—” Then, he quickly added, “Disregard, he’s pulsing again.”

Agatha heard the familiar electronic beeping sound from the EKG machine and stopped CPR. She quickly grabbed a two-way handset, “Unit B, this is Dr. Agatha Cornwell. Surgical Theatre Four is expecting me,” she transmitted. “I have a high trauma patient with multiple gunshot wounds. Vital organs may have been damaged. I need to operate immediately. Trauma Team Four is already on standby. Over!”

The chopper landed on a wide helipad at the center of the massive refugee camp, its noisy rotor blades kicking up a cloud of red dust. Nearby, three long lines of about 700 African refugees waiting to obtain food and medicine curled around large Red Cross tent structures. Thousands of smaller tent structures dotted the landscape as far as the eye could see in every direction, occasionally punctuated by unpaved access roads with relief truck convoys coming and going.

As Brett was being transferred from the chopper to a makeshift hospital on the enormous camp, a scrawny-looking old man, who wore a load of graying and unkempt beard, watched the flurry of activity from a discreet distance as he swept rubbish from a pathway. The old African knew right away that he had to report this incident to his handlers— the soldiers who came across the border in plainclothes and paid him for information at discreet meetings outside the camp. The government in Dargombi needed to know what went on in these camps, particularly amongst the White men and women who operated them. The old man watched and noted that it was a severely wounded White soldier, who was being rushed into the camp’s hospital. He knew that was enough information to earn him money for a keg of palm wine. He could not wait to contact his handlers using the secret cellular phone they had provided him.

UNDER ANESTHESIA A few crucial minutes later, Brett Collins was fighting for his life as Agatha, assisted by a surgical team, carefully began extracting bullet fragments from his body. As she worked painstakingly, she had serious doubts that Brett would survive.

Chapter 6

FIELD MARSHALL HASSAN Itabuna had been a war criminal long before the United Nations declared him one. Forty years earlier, in a different “war”, he had been initiated as a child soldier at the age of ten by being forced to murder his own mother and father in cold blood with a machete while they were tied up and pleaded for their lives. Having lost his soul after that harrowing incident, like a zombie, he followed the rebel “army” that had stolen his innocence on a five-year killing rampage, where he took innocent human lives on a daily basis. At 15, after the “war” ended and the rebels lost, he found himself in a Catholic orphanage which expended all efforts to rehabilitate him.

But Hassan Itabuna and four of his fellow former child soldiers were beyond salvage. Three years later, at 18, and with minimal education and zero job skills, they joined the government army as another armed conflict was breaking out in sub- Sahara Africa’s perpetual retaliatory conflicts often stemming from tribal and religious differences. Soon, they became known in the army as the Gang of Five for their ruthlessness and efficient brutality.

Decades later, they had all risen through the ranks. And after mounting a bloody and successful military coup, they gained control of the army. And, in the Republic of Dargombi, the army controlled everything else. Itabuna proclaimed himself a Field Marshall and Head of State. He appointed his four cronies as Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, and Military Intelligence Chief.

A mineral-rich former British colony sandwiched between Egypt, in the East and Sudan, in the West, Dargombi gained its independence in 1965 and became a republic three years later. It had since been embroiled in intermittent armed struggles. The latest conflict had begun about ten years earlier, as soon as Itabuna and his Gang of Five seized power and declared that the ethnic minority group, the Yandes, would be exterminated. The Yandes represented about 10% of Dargombi’s population of roughly 30 million, but accounted for almost 90% of the wealth. They were simply far better educated and more industrious than the dominant ethnic tribe, the Katumus, to which Hassan Itabuna and 97% of Dargombi”s armed forces belonged.

Overwhelmingly outnumbered, the Yandes tribal members of the armed forces put up a futile resistance and were quickly crushed.

Then the horror began.

Chapter 7

THE ENORMOUS GOVERNMENT building in the capital city of Zuma in Dargombi was heavily guarded by Katumu army troops as the Dargombi
national flag flew high on the well-manicured front lawn. A sign identifying the building as the Supreme Military Headquarters was erected outside the gated entrance in bold colors and graphics.

The coldblooded American mercenary known as the Colonel had already arrived. Now in a civilian outfit, a dark two-piece suit and a grey open-collar shirt, his face was masked with a pair of dark sunglasses as he strutted down a high-floor hallway leading to Field Marshall Itabuna’s office, briefcase in hand. Escorted by two machine-gun toting Katumu soldiers, the American could easily pass for a highly regarded international businessman. Come to think of it, he was a highly regarded merchant of death. The door to the office he was approaching was guarded by two sentries who quickly saluted him. His reputation had already preceded him.

Inside the ostentatious office, two army bodyguards kept watch, as Hassan Itabuna—a tall, slender, 50-ish man with ebony black skin and wicked brown eyes—sat behind his power desk, loading an open briefcase on the desk with bundles of fresh US 100-dollar bills. He was grabbing the money from an open top drawer. Itabuna glanced at a closed-circuit TV monitor in the room and saw the Colonel at the door. He pushed a button under his desk that caused the double doors to swing open inwards, admitting the visitor. Itabuna rose from his chair with a mischievous grin as the Colonel walked in with an equally roguish smirk.

“Good morning, Colonel!” He greeted with a firm handshake. “And thank you!”

“You’re welcome, Field Marshall! They’ve all been wiped out. I lost eighty percent of my men, but don’t shed any tears for them. They knew what they’d signed up for.”

Itabuna motioned to a chair at his desk, “Please, have a seat, Colonel. I was just preparing your care package.” He waved to the open briefcase full of money.

“It sure looks good,” said the Colonel, eyeing the money. “I love doing business in Africa. But I can’t hang around here too long.”

“I perfectly understand.” Itabuna took his seat.

Once the Colonel was seated, he said, “I’ve advised your men to go out there right away, and clean up—before the next fly over by American spy satellites.”

“They’re already on their way,” Itabuna replied. He pushed the open briefcase toward the Colonel. “We cannot compensate you enough, Colonel.”

“Thanks!” The Colonel closed the lid on the briefcase.

“I’m already being well compensated by the senator and his associates.” “I’m quite aware of that, Colonel. This is merely a token of our appreciation. We’re a very gracious people. It’s quite unfortunate that the United Nations, and the rest of the world, including other African nations, see us as bloodthirsty. They’re calling this civil war a genocide campaign—an ethnic cleansing. How absurd?”

The Colonel grinned mischievously under the dark sunglasses masking his face.

“I’m a straight shooter, Field Marshall,” said the Colonel. “You’re using an organized army to kill thousands of innocent and defenseless men, women and children per day cuz they belong to a tribe that’s better educated and has more economic power. If that isn’t ethnic cleansing, Field Marshall, you ought to have your fucking head examined.”

“I beg your pardon?” Itabuna was incensed.

“How fucking dare you insult my intelligence?” The Colonel queried. “I have just killed my fellow Americans in order to keep them from overthrowing your ass, and put an end to your madness.”

“This is uncalled for, Colonel,” Itabuna was furious. “You may leave now! This meeting is over!”

“It’s not over until I say it’s over!” The Colonel fired back. “The only reason you’re still in power is because crooked-ass senators in Washington are funneling humanitarian aid into your crackerjack government in exchange for kickbacks! American tax dollars is funding your fucking army. The same army you’re using to commit genocide! I got caught up in all these cuz I’m totally fucked up! That’s why I got kicked out of United States Army. You do not want to fuck with me, Field Marshall.”

The tension between both killers was palpable as they regarded each other in foreboding silence.

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Thriller, Action & Adventure
Publisher: ACTION-PAK MEDIA INC.; First Edition
Publication Date: June 3, 2009
Number of Pages: 248
ISBN-10: 061529510X
ISBN-13: 978-0615295107

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