Category: Partners In Crime Tours

Guest Author Dr. Brian O’Grady

Back in April of 2011, Dr. O’Grady visited with his debut novel, Hybrid.   Unfortunately, at the time, I was very behind in my reading and didn’t get a chance to review it.  Today, he is back to tell us about his latest novel, Amanda’s Story, published by The Story Plant   And this time I did read his novel, and let me tell you, I have put him on my “authors to read” list.  So please, help me in giving Dr. O’Grady a warm welcome back, to CMash Reads as he tours with Partners In Crime Tours!

DR. BRIAN O’GRADY
AMANDA’S STORY is Brian O’Grady’s second novel after his best-selling debut with Hybrid. He is a practicing neurologic surgeon and, when he is not writing or performing brain surgery, he struggles with Ironman triath- lons. He lives with his wife in Washington state.
Connect with Dr. O’Grady at The Story Plant.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK
In his national bestseller HYBRID, Brian O’Grady created a bracing and vividly realized tale of a virus gone out of control. At the center of that story was Amanda Flynn, a woman not killed by the EDH1 virus, but changed in frightening ways. HYBRID only hinted at the story of Amanda’s work in Honduras that led to her exposure and the ramifications when the American government sought to contain the damage. Now, that story can be told.

AMANDA’S STORY is the heart-stopping tale of a woman caught up in a storm she wanted no part of, and what happens when she refuses to be collateral damage. It is the story that readers of HYBRID have been waiting for and that new readers will find impossible to put down.
Read my review here.

Read an excerpt:

“Does it make any of you angry that a little less than a year has gone by and very few Americans remember what happened?” Mindy McCoy, super-model turned talk show host asked the four women that surrounded her. She shifted her long legs and casually inclined toward the pale, blonde woman to her left, just as the voice in her ear had instructed.For a moment Amanda met the gaze of her host, but became distracted by the movement of the cameras that prowled the perimeter of the group just beyond the glare of the stage lights. She had said very little during the fifteen minute interview and it was becoming uncomfortably obvious. Heather Waylens shifted her legs as well, just not as casually as Mindy, and the older woman’s stony glare communicated one message to Amanda: do your part. A weak, joyless smile crossed Amanda’s face as she stared into the cameras; she took a long breath as the panel, the audience, and the TV world waited.

“At this point in my life it takes almost everything I have to get out of bed in the morning. I simply don’t have the luxury of being mad at anyone.”

Mindy McCoy and the rest of the world waited for more, but Amanda’s gaze had returned to the floor. The moment began to stretch and, just as everyone began to shift rather uncomfortably, Heather and one of the other panelists jumped into the void. At first, their comments stepped over the others, but it was Heather’s voice that prevailed. “The American mindset is always looking forward. It is a requisite for progress and one of the reasons that America leads the world in so many ways. Of course, the cost of that is a short memory; we have to guard against the mistakes of the past being forgotten so that we as a people can incorporate those lessons as we work to fulfill our great destiny…” Heather continued for a full two minutes before yielding the floor back to their host who immediately took them to a commercial break.

The stage quickly filled with show personnel. Despite the attention of her make-up artist, Mindy whispered to Amanda, “Honey, we need a bit more from you.” Her careful and practiced elocution had been replaced by a more natural drawl.

“Hold still or you won’t be beautiful,” the make-up artist scolded Mindy with a lilt.

“Amanda,” Heather called from across the stage, but the frenetic activity gave Amanda a convenient excuse to ignore her summons. “You need to tell your story, for everyone’s sake,” she pleaded with a tone that was much too close to a demand.

“Especially yours,” Amanda whispered to herself. Everyone was trying to turn her grief to their advantage, particularly Congresswoman Heather Waylens. Her husband, the previous Representative of Kansas’ third district, had died along with 202 others, including Amanda’s husband and their two-year-old son, when Delta flight 894 crashed into an Iowa cornfield. The governor of Kansas appointed Heather to serve out her late husband’s term, but she had every intention of holding onto that seat well beyond the remaining sixteen months, and perhaps other seats as well. She used her loss and the pain of others to further her ambition, and right now Amanda hated her. She had never hated anything or anyone in her entire 24 years, but she was certain that at this instant she hated the Congresswoman from Kansas. It was a good hate, a righteous hate that for a moment burned brightly in the confines of her hollow soul, and then, just as quickly as it had flared, it began to fade, depriving Amanda of its heat and energy, leaving her drained from the emotional effort.

A figure suddenly blocked the bright lights and Amanda found a young, slight man scanning her face. “Just checking for shiny spots,” he said while leaning in close and inspecting her forehead. “Sweetheart, you were made for TV,” he sang while straightening, and playfully patted her nose with his powder-puff.

“Coming out in thirty seconds,“ a voice screamed, and the flurry of activity that surrounded the group spun even faster. Something touched Amanda’s hand and she turned to find Mindy’s face inches from hers.

“I know that this makes you uncomfortable, and it’s more than a little intimidating, but try and forget all this,” her arm swept across the stage. “Ignore the lights, the cameras, even the Congresswoman, and just talk to me as if we were in your kitchen. Lust us two girls, no one else.” Mindy’s eyes sparkled, her smile was natural and infectious, and Amanda realized that Mindy had more going for her than just a singular beauty, a perfect figure, millions of dollars, her own TV show, and uncounted adoring fans.

“I’ll try,” Amanda answered.

“People what to hear what you have to say; they should hear it, and between you and me, I would prefer that it come from you rather than a politician.” Her head gave a quick jerk toward Heather.

“It’s difficult for me to care about what other people need.” Amanda paused as the stage lights came up. “That didn’t come out right.” She smiled. “I probably should be angry; maybe at the mechanic who didn’t fix the door correctly or Delta Airlines for not insuring that he was properly trained, or, as Heather would like people to believe, the Transportation Board and the government for allowing Delta to perform their own inspections. Maybe I should take it all the way up to God, who gave me something wonderful and then snatched it back. But what does it matter? In the end they’re still gone, and their absence is all I can feel.”

“You’re trapped,” Mindy said.

“I’m stuck; that’s what everyone tells me. It’s why I’m here; to get ‘unstuck.'” Amanda briefly smiled but then her head sagged as she began to examine a spot on the stage a few feet in front of her shoes.

“But you don’t want to get unstuck, because as long as you still feel their absence in some way they’re still with you,” Mindy said softly with a tone that revealed more than understanding. “Getting unstuck means taking a step away from their memory and is an acknowledgement that they are never coming back; that things will never be as they were.”

Amanda looked up from the studio floor and found Mindy’s eyes glistening with unshed tears.

“My parents when I was thirteen.” Mindy said, answering Amanda’s look. “The details aren’t important. What is important is that I know what it means to be stuck. I know what it’s like to have others tell you that you need to do this or that, feel this way for this amount of time, and then move on to this next stage. But they really don’t understand what being stuck means. In some ways, it’s an acknowledgement of the people that we’ve lost, how their passing has torn out a large part of you, and that “moving on” means filling that void with something other than them. In some ways it’s a violation of their memory.”

Amanda stared into Mindy’s flawless face and realized that someone else in the world understood; that she really wasn’t alone. Since the accident, she had met with more than a dozen other “survivors” of Flight 894, and each of them had managed to either move past their grief or controlled it well enough to put on a brave face, which only increased Amanda’s isolation.

“But you survived,” Amanda managed to say with only a slight waver.

“For a long time, that’s all I could manage.” Mindy’s perpetual smile had a painful edge as her hand slipped into Amanda’s and they shared a private moment on national television. “My director is having a fit upstairs because we are so far off topic and I’m starting to sound more like Dr. Phil than an empty-headed talk show host. I think he’s afraid that if I show more than one-dimension I’ll demand more money.” The studio audience erupted in a mixture of laughter and applause. “Well, I think we are right on topic.” Mindy let go of Amanda’s hand and half-rose from her seat. She faced the camera and had to shout over the audience who began to cheer. “A year ago two hundred and two people died in what some say was a plane crash that should never have happened, but the human toll was far greater than that, and these four ladies, along with hundreds of others, will have to deal with their loss every day for the rest of their lives. My next two guests will hopefully try and explain why. Coming up after this short video salute to the victims of flight 894 is Kevin Tilits of the National Transportation Authority, and Dennis Hastings, President of Delta Airlines.” The audience cheered louder and the stage lights dimmed.

A stagehand appeared at Amanda’s side and began to unclip the microphone attached to the collar of her blouse. “Please follow me,” he told Amanda rather curtly the moment she was free.

“Can you give me just a moment?” She asked the young man. “Thanks, Mindy,” she said reaching for her host’s arm.

“Can you stay until I’m done here?” she asked Amanda, who nodded. “Good. Will you please escort Mrs. Flynn to my dressing room?” She ordered the stagehand as much as asked him, and then returned to the argument she was having with her director.

Amanda followed the irritated and hurried man offstage; apparently Mindy’s dismissive attitude toward the crew was not entirely unusual and Amanda felt obliged to apologize for his help.

“Don’t worry about it; she always gets this way when the boss man is riding her.”

“I think she’s in trouble because of me,” Amanda said as they navigated through a maze of cables, wires, and video equipment.

“Are you kidding me? That was great TV. It’ll be all over the entertainment channels in an hour, and tomorrow our share will be up by at least ten points. If she keeps this up she won’t have to ask for more money; they’ll be throwing it at her.” He opened a door for Amanda, and as she walked through, she felt his eyes follow her into the room. “Do you have anyone here with you/ I could bring them up while you wait.”

“That would be nice, but I don’t want to impose.”

“You’re not imposing, it’s my job.”

“My mother-in-law, Lisa Flynn, is in the yellow room. She’s about five-five, short brown hair…”

“It’s OK; I think I can find her. I’ll be back in a moment.” He closed the door and the latch closed with a muted click.

Mindy’s dressing room was in a word sparse. She had a table covered with a variety of cosmetics. Above it was the obligatory mirror rimmed with bright lights, and aside from a small sofa and a recliner, the only other thing in Mindy’s room was a television, which was tuned to her show. Amanda quickly turned the TV off as the video showing the remains of Flight 894 focused on an undamaged teddy bear lying on its side. Behind it was a shattered airplane seat. This particular frame had become the symbol of the tragedy and it pierced Amanda to the core. It was the main reason that she had been invited here. The bear’s name was Fred T. Bear, and Amanda had bought it for her son’s second birthday, a month before he died. She had no idea whether the seat behind Fred belonged to her son, her husband, or someone else. It didn’t really matter; they were gone. Only Fred had survived, and he was safely wrapped in plastic somewhere in her in-laws’s home.

Book Details:
PUBLISHED BY: The Story Plant
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13th, 2012
ISBN:
Print ISBN-13: 978-1-61188-047-2
E-book ISBN-13: 978-1-61188-048-9
GENRE: Suspense
# OF PAGES: 304

Purchase links:   AMAZON link    B&N link  

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 affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Guest Author Vincent Zandri

WooHoo!!!  Heeeee’s baaack!  If you follow me, then you know how much I enjoy Vincent Zandri’s novels.  I have read every single book except one and that is waiting for me in my Kindle.  And today is super special because not only is he back to talk about one of newly published books, today he kicks off his tour with Partners In Crime Tours.  So please help me give a very warm welcome to author and friend, Vincent Zandri!!

VINCENT ZANDRI

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, SCREAM CATCHER, BLUE MOONLIGHT and MURDER BY MOONLIGHT. He is also the author of the Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” Zandri’s list of publishers include Delacorte, Dell, StoneHouse Ink, StoneGate Ink and Thomas & Mercer. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he lives in Albany, New York. For more go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Visit Vin at his website, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Vincent Zandri’s tour here and enter to win a copy of Concrete Pearl, Moonlight Rises and/or Blue Moonlight.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Now you see her. Now you don’t…

Captain Nick Angel has finally made a separate peace with the war in Afghanistan. Since having been ordered to bomb a Tajik village which resulted in the death of a little boy of no more than two, he’s been suffering from temporary bouts of blindness. Knowing the he needs time to rest and recover from his post traumatic stress, the US Army decides to send him to Venice along with his fiancee, the artist, Grace Blunt. Together they try and recapture their former life together. But when Grace suddenly goes missing, Nick not only finds himself suddenly alone and sightless in the ancient city of water, but also the number one suspect in her disappearance.

A novel that projects Hitchcockian suspense onto a backdrop of love and war, The Disappearance of Grace is a rich, literary thriller of fear, loss, love, and revenge. From the war in the Afghan mountains to the canals of romantic Venice, this is a story that proves 20/20 eyesight might not always be so perfect and seeing is not always believing.
See my review here.

Read an excerpt:

The wind picks up off the basin.
It seems to seep right through my leather coat into flesh, skin and bone. I try and hold my face up to the sun while the waiter takes our orders. Grace orders a single glass of vino russo and a pancetta and cheese panini. I forgo the Valpolicella and order a Moretti beer and a simple spaghetti pomadoro. The waiter thanks us and I listen to him leaving us for now.We sit in the calm of the early afternoon, the sounds of the boat traffic coming and going on the basin filling my ears. People surround us on all sides. Tourists who have come to San Marco for the first time and who’ve become mesmerized by it all. I don’t have to physically see them to know how they feel. The stone square, the Cathedral, the bell tower, the many shops and high- end eateries that occupy the wide, square-shaped perimeter. The pigeons. The people. Always the throngs of people coming and going amidst a chorus of bells, bellowing voices, live music emerging from trumpets, violins, and guitars, and an energetic buzz that seems to radiate up from underneath all that stone and sea-soaked soil.It’s early November.Here’s what I know about Venice: In just a few week’s’ time, the rains will come and this square will be underwater. The ever sinking Venice floods easily now. The only way to walk the square will be over hastily constructed platforms made from cobbled narrow planks. Many of the tourists will stay away and the live music will be silenced. But somehow, that’s when Venice will come alive more than ever. When the stone is bathed in water.The waiter brings our drinks and food.
With the aroma of the hot spaghetti filling my senses, I dig in and spoon up a mouthful. I wash the hot, tangy sauce-covered pasta down with a swallow of red wine.

“Whoa, slow down, chief,” Grace giggles.

“Eating, smiling, making love to me. What’s next? Writing?”

“Don’t press your luck, Gracie,” I say. “The sea change can occur at any moment. Just don’t start asking me to identify engagement rings.”

She laughs genuinely and I listen to the sounds of her taking a bite out of her sandwich. But then she goes quiet again. Too quiet, as if she’s stopped breathing altogether.

“There’s someone staring at us,” she says under her breath.

“Man or woman?” I say, trying to position my gaze directly across the table at her, but making out nothing more than her black silhouette framed against the brightness of the sun. Later on, when the sun goes down, the image of her will be entirely black. Like the blackness of the Afghan Tajik country when the fires are put out and you lie very still inside your tent without the benefit of electronic night vision, and you feel the beating of your never- still heart and you pray for morning.

“Man,” she whispers.

“What’s he look like?”

“It’s him again. The man in the overcoat who was staring at us yesterday.”

A start in my heart. I put my fork down inside my bowl. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. I think. He’s wearing sunglasses this time. So,. I think it’s him.”

“What’s he look like?”

“He’s a thin man. Not tall. Not short. He’s got a dark complexion.”

“Black?”

“No. More like Asian or Middle Eastern. He’s wearing sunglasses and that same brown overcoat and a scarf. His hair is black and cut close to his scalp. His beard is very trim and cropped close to his face.” She exhales. I hear her take a quick, nervous sip of her wine. “He keeps staring at us. At me. Just like yesterday, Nick.”

“How do you know he’s staring at you? It could be something behind you, Grace. We’re in Venice. Lots going on behind you. Lots to see.”

She’s stirring in her chair. Agitated.
“Because I can feel him. His eyes…I. Feel. His. Eyes.”

I wipe my mouth clean with the cloth napkin. I do something entirely silly. I turn around in my chair to get a look at the man. As if I have the ability to see him right now, which I most definitely do not.

“What are you doing?” Grace poses, the anxiety in her voice growing more intense with each passing second.

“Trying to get a look at him.”

“You’re joking, Nick.”

I turn back, try and focus on her.

“You think?”

We sit silent.
Once more I am helpless and impotent.

“I’m sorry,” she says after a time. “I’m not trying to insult you. This isn’t like yesterday with the ring. But this man is at the same café we’re at two days in a row? This is really starting to creep me out, babe.”

My pulse begins to pump inside my head. Not rapid, but just enough for me to notice. Two steady drum beats against my temples. I find myself wanting to swallow, but my mouth has gone dry. I take a sip of beer thinking it will help.

“He’s coming towards us, Nick. I don’t like it.”

Heart beat picks up. I feel it pounding inside my head and my chest.

“Are you sure he’s coming towards us, Grace?” I’m trying not to raise my voice, but it’s next to impossible.

“He’s looking right at me. His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his overcoat. And he’s coming.”

I feel and hear Grace pulling away from the table. She’s standing. That’s when the smell of incense sweeps over me. A rich, organic, incense-like smell.

There comes the sound of Grace standing. Abruptly standing. I hear her metal chair push out. I hear the sound of her boot heels on the cobbles. I hear the chair legs scraping against the stone slate. I hear the sound of her wine glass spilling.

“Grace, for God’s sakes, be careful.”

But she doesn’t respond to me. Or is it possible her voice is drowned out by what sounds like a tour group passing by the table? A tour group of Japanese speaking people. But once they pass, there is nothing. No sound at all other than the boats on the basin and the constant murmur of the thousands of tourists that fill this ancient square.

“Grace,” I say. “Grace. Stop it. This isn’t funny. Grace.”

But there’s still no response.
The smell of incense is gone now.
I make out the gulls flying over the tables, the birds shooting in from the basin to pick up scraps of food and then, like thieves in the night, shooting back out over the water. I can hear and feel the sound-wave driven music that reverberates against the stone cathedral.

“Grace,” I repeat, voice louder now. “Grace. Grace…Grace!”

I’m getting no response.

It’s like she’s gone. Vanished. But how can she be gone? She was just sitting here with me. She was sitting directly across from me, eating a sandwich and drinking a glass of wine. She was talking with me.
The waiter approaches.

“The signora is not liking her food?” he questions.

I reach out across the table. In the place where she was sitting. She is definitely not there.

“Is there a toilet close by?” I pose. “Did you see my fiancée leave the table and go to the toilet?”

The waiter pauses for a moment.

“I am sorry. But I did not. I was inside the café.”

“Then maybe somebody else saw her. Maybe you can ask them.”

“Signor, there are many tables in this café and they are all filled with people. And there are many people who walk amongst the tables who can block their view. I am looking at them. No one seems to be concerned about anything. Sometimes there are so many people here, it is easy to get lost. Perhaps she just went to the toilet like you just suggested, and she got lost amongst the people. I will come back in moment and make sure all is well.”

I listen to the waiter leaving, his footsteps fading against the slate.
Grace didn’t say anything about going to the toilet or anywhere else. Grace was frightened. She was frightened of a man who was staring at her. A man with sunglasses on and a cropped beard and a long brown overcoat. He was the man from yesterday. The man with black eyes. He was approaching us, this man. He came to our table and he smelled strongly of incense. He came to our table. There was a slight commotion, the spilling of a glass, the knocking over of a chair, and then Grace was gone.

I sit and stare at nothing. My heart is pounding so fast I think it will cease at any moment. What I have in the place of vision is a blank wall of blurry illumination no longer filled with the silhouette of my Grace.

I push out my chair. Stand. My legs knock into the table and my glass spills along with Grace’s.

I cup my hands around my mouth.

“Grace!” I shout. “Grace! Grace!”

The people who surround me all grow quiet as I scream over them.

The waiter comes running back over.

“Please, please,” he says to me, taking me by the arm. “Please come with me.”

He begins leading me through the throng of tables and people. He is what I have now in the place of Grace. He is my sight.

“She’s gone, isn’t she?” I beg. “Did you check the toilets?”

“We checked the toilets. They are empty. I am sorry. I am sure there is an explanation.”

“Grace is gone!” I shout. “A man took her away. How could no one have seen it?”

“You’re frightening the patrons, signor. Please just come with me and we will try and find her.”

“She’s gone,” I repeat. “Don’t you understand me? My. Grace. Is. Gone.”

Purchase links:    AMAZON link    B&N link

 

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 affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Guest Author Giacomo Giammatteo

Today is an exciting day for me.  I have the honor and pleasure to introduce you to a new author, that I have met through Partners In Crime Tours, as we kick off his 2 month tour.  Remember this name because after reading his book, I am sure you will be hearing a lot about him!!  I would like you to meet Mr. Giacomo Giammatteo!!

GIACOMO GIAMMATTEO

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.

Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals—12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs.

Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.

Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night—late at night—I turn into a writer.
Visit Giacomo at his WebsiteFacebook  and Twitter.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn’t good.

Frankie has taken two oaths in his life—the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable.

Those relationships have forced Frankie to make many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years—and risks losing his life.

In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.
Read my review here.

Watch the trailer:

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1
Rule Number One―Murder Takes TimeBrooklyn, New York—Current Day
He sipped the last of a shitty cup of coffee and stared across the street at Nino Tortella, the guy he was going to kill. Killing was an art, requiring finesse, planning, skill—and above all—patience. Patience had been the most difficult to learn. The killing came naturally. He cursed himself for that. Prayed to God every night for the strength to stop. But so far God hadn’t answered him, and there were still a few more people that needed killing.The waitress leaned forward to refill his cup, her cleavage a hint that more than coffee was being offered. “You want more?”He waved a hand—Nino was heading towards his car. “Just the check, please.”
From behind her ear she pulled a yellow pencil, tucked into a tight bun of red hair, then opened the receipt book clipped to the pocket of her apron. Cigarette smoke lingered on her breath, almost hidden by the gum she chewed.Spearmint, he thought, and smiled. It was his favorite, too.He waited for her to leave, scanned the table and booth, plucked a few strands of hair from the torn cushion and a fingernail clipping from the windowsill. After putting them into a small plastic bag, he wiped everything with a napkin. The check was $4.28. He pulled a five and a one from his money clip and left them on the table. As he moved to the door he glanced out the window. Nino already left the lot, but it was Thursday, and on Thursdays Nino stopped for pizza.He parked three blocks from Nino’s house, finding a spot where the snow wasn’t piled high at the curb. After pulling a black wool cap over his forehead, he put leather gloves on, raised the collar on his coat then grabbed his black sports bag. Favoring his left leg, he walked down the street, dropping his eyes if he passed someone. The last thing he wanted was a witness remembering his face.He counted the joints in the concrete as he walked. Numbers forced him to think logically, kept his mind off what he had to do. He didn’t want to kill Nino. He had to. It seemed as if all of his life he was doing things he didn’t want to do. He shook his head, focused on the numbers again.When he drew near the house, he cast a quick glance to ensure the neighbors’ cars weren’t there. The door took less than thirty seconds to open. He kept his hat and gloves on, walked into the kitchen, and set his bag on the counter. He removed a pair of tongs and a shot glass, and set them on the coffee table.
A glance around the room had him straightening pictures and moving dirty dishes to the sink. A picture of an older woman stared at him from a shelf above an end table. Might be his mother, he thought, and gently set it face down. Back to the kitchen. He opened the top of the black bag and removed two smaller bags. He set one in the fridge and took the other with him.

The contents of the second bag—hair and other items—he spread throughout the living room. The crime scene unit would get a kick out of that. He did one final check, removed a baseball bat from the bag, then sat on the couch behind the door. The bat lay on the cushion beside him. While he stretched his legs and leaned back, he thought about Nino. It would be easy to just shoot him, but that wouldn’t be fair. Renzo suffered for what he did; Nino should too. He remembered Mamma Rosa’s warnings, that the things people did would come back to haunt them. Nino would pay the price now.

A car pulled into the driveway. He sat up straight and gripped the bat.

#
Nino had a smile on his face and a bounce in his step. It was only Thursday and already he’d sold more cars than he needed for the month. Maybe I’ll buy Anna that coat she’s been wanting. Nino’s stomach rumbled, but he had a pepperoni pizza in his hand and a bottle of Chianti tucked into his coat pocket. He opened the door, slipped the keys into his pocket, and kicked the door shut with his foot.

There was a black sports bag on the kitchen table. Wasn’t there before, Nino thought. A shiver ran down his spine. He felt a presence in the house. Before he could turn, something slammed into his back. His right kidney exploded with pain.

“Goddamn.” Nino dropped the pizza, stumbled, and fell to the floor. His right side felt on fire. As his left shoulder collided with the hardwood floor, a bat hit him just above the wrist. The snap of bones sounded just before the surge of pain.

“Fuck.” He rolled to the side and reached for his gun.

The bat swung again.

Nino’s ribs cracked like kindling. Something sharp jabbed deep inside him. His mouth filled with a warm coppery taste. Nino recognized the man who stood above him. “Anything you want,” he said.
“Just kill me quick.”

#
The bat struck Nino’s knee, the crunch of bones drowned by his screams. The man stared at Nino. Let him cry. “I got Renzo last month. You hear about that?”

Nino nodded.

He tapped Nino’s pocket with his foot, felt a gun. “If you reach for the gun, I’ll hit you again.”

Another nod.

He knelt next to Nino, took the shot glass from the coffee table. “Open your mouth.”

Nino opened his eyes wide and shook his head.

The man grabbed the tongs, shoved one end into the side of Nino’s mouth, and squeezed the handles, opening the tongs wide. When he had Nino’s mouth pried open enough, he shoved the shot glass in. It was a small shot glass, but to Nino it must have seemed big enough to hold a gallon. Nino tried screaming, but couldn’t. Couldn’t talk either, with the glass in there. Nino’s head bobbed, and he squirmed. Nothing but grunts came out—fear-tinged mumbles coated with blood.

The man stood, glared at Nino. Gripped the bat with both hands. “You shouldn’t have done it.”

A dark stain spread on the front of Nino’s pants. The stench of excrement filled the room. He stared at Nino, raised the bat over his head, and swung. Nino’s lips burst open, splitting apart from both sides. Teeth shattered, some flying out, others embedding into the flesh of his cheeks. The shot glass exploded. Glass dug deep gouges into his tongue, severing the front of it. Shards of glass pierced his lips and tunneled into his throat.

He stared at Nino’s face, the strips of torn flesh covered in blood. He gulped. Almost stopped. But then he thought about what Nino had done, and swung the bat one more time. After that, Nino Tortella lay still.

He returned to the kitchen and took a small box from the bag on the counter then went back to the living room. Inside the box were more hairs, blood, skin, and other evidence. He spread the items over and around the body then made a final trip to the kitchen to clean up. He undressed and placed his clothes into a large plastic bag, tied it, and set it inside the black bag. He took out a change of clothes, including shoes and plastic covers for them. Careful not to step in any blood, he went back to stand over the body.

Nino lay in his own piss, shit, and blood, eyes wide-open, mouth agape.

You should never have done it, Nino.

He blessed himself with the sign of the cross while he repeated the Trinitarian formula. “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.” Then he shot Nino. Once in the head. Once in the heart. An eye for an eye. And then some.

Before stepping out the door, he removed the plastic covers for his shoes, placed them into the bag, then closed and locked the door behind him. The wind had picked up since he arrived, bringing a cold bite with it. He turned his collar up and tucked his head into his chest.
Forgive me, Father, for what I have done.

He walked two more blocks, almost to the car, when an image of Donnie Amato appeared in his head.

And for what I still have to do.

 

Purchase links:   AMAZON link   B&N link

Check out his tour schedule here and enter for a chance to win his book. 

THANKS TO AUTHOR, GIACOMO GIAMMATTEO, I HAVE
ONE (1) COPY OF HIS THRILLING BOOK TO GIVEAWAY.
OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF THE U.S., CANADA, & UK

CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.

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 affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Guest Author Mark Gilleo

It was just a few months ago that I was introduced to today’s guest author through a tour with Partners In Crime Tours via Mr. Lou Aronica, publisher of The Story Plant.  It was Mr. Gilleo’s debut novel, Love Thy Neighbor, and I have to tell you, I was blown away.  You can read my review here.  It was amazing!!

Today he is back to tell us about his latest novel, that hit the shelves today, as he kicks off another tour with Partners In Crime Tours.  I ask, for you to help me, give him a warm welcome back to CMash Reads!!

MARK GILLEO

Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, hiking and biking. He speaks Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His first two novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wis- dom creative writing competition.
You can connect with the author at his website.

 GUEST POST

I am often asked where I get the plot for my novels.    The answer is “I don’t know.”   The idea for Sweat came from a conversation I overheard while working in Asia.    How that single line idea transformed into several hundred pages with multiple subplots, well, that is the mystery and magic of writing.     Obviously, the idea for my previous novel, Love Thy Neighbor, is pretty straight forward, as the inspiration came directly from a real situation.

When I first starting writing Sweat, there was no Senator.    The story was about an international businessman, his son and a seamstress.   As I progressed through the book and the plot expanded, a host of other characters entered into the fray.    A couple of chapters into the book I realized that it may be more relevant if the subject of scrutiny were a Senator.   It occurred to me that people could imagine a Senator more easily than they could an international businessman.  Maybe I am wrong on that point, who knows.

Some readers are probably saying “but the Senator first appears in chapter 2.”   They are right!    I have started five books and finished three of them, and I have yet to have Chapter 1 remain the first chapter.   At some point, Chapter 1 gets bumped, as does Chapter 2 and 3.    I have actually given up on numbering chapters I am currently just naming them and will assign a number later.   For whatever reason my subconscious mind doesn’t want to feed me the story in the correct order.

Another question I often get is whether characters in my book are born from people I know.    “No” would be my short answer, butthere are elements of people I know in almost every character I write.     I don’t consciously pick and choose the character attributes, but there are occasions when I am re-reading a passage and I think to myself, “That guy sounds a like Uncle Joe.”     If I were to try to mold a character to a real person, I think it would slow me down.   It could easily become an exercise akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole.  No two people are alike, even if one of them is fictional.   So a real person, with all their skills and flaws, may not meet the requirement of a fictional character I need to fill a particular role in the story.

So not only do I avoid modeling a character after people I know, I wouldn’t want to, unless a friend came out and asked me if I would.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Jake Patrick took a summer internship at his estranged father’s corporation, he anticipated some much-needed extra cash and a couple of free meals from his guilty dad. He would never have guessed that he’d find himself in the center of an international scandal involving a U.S. senator, conspiracy, backroom politics, and murder. Or that his own life would hang in the balance. Or that he’d find help – and much more than that – from a collection of memorable characters operating on all sides of the law. Jake’s summer has turned into the most eventful one of his life. Now he just needs to survive it.

From the sweatshops of Saipan to the most powerful offices in Washington, SWEAT rockets through a story of crime and consequences with lightning pacing, a twisting plot, an unforgettable cast of characters, and wry humor. It is another nonstop thriller from one of the most exciting new voices in suspense fiction.
Read my review here.

Read an excerpt:

As the van pulled away in a small cloud of dust, the senator inspected the main guard booth and the now present guard. Lee Chang took Peter by the arm and stepped away. The sweatshop boss dropped his voice to a whisper and looked over Peter’s shoulder as he spoke, “Interested in the usual companionship?”Peter, in turn, looked over at the senator who looked back and nodded in approval to the conversation he couldn’t hear but fully understood. “Is Wei Ling available?” Peter asked as if ordering his favorite wine from the menu.

“Yes, of course. Wei is available. Shall I find a companion for the senator as well?”

“Yes, the senator would enjoy some company. Someone with a good command of English. I don’t think he wants to spend the evening playing charades,” Peter responded.

“No, I’m sure he wouldn’t.” Lee Chang smiled, nodded, and barked at Chow Ying in Chinese. The large subordinate walked across the front lot of Chang Industries, down the side of the main building, and vanished into the seamstresses’ two-story living quarters. The CEO, senator, and sweatshop ruler went upstairs to wait.

Traditional Chinese furnishings cluttered Lee Chang’s living room.

“Nice piece,” the senator said, running his hands across a large black cabinet with twelve rows and columns of square drawers.

Peter spoke. “It’s an antique herbal medicine cabinet. The Chinese characters written on the front of each drawer indicate the contents.”

“Tattooed reminders of a former life,” the senator said with poetic license.

Lee Chang stepped over and pulled open one of the drawers. “And now it holds my DVD collection.”

“Modernization never stops,” Peter added.

The three men found their way to the living room and Peter and Senator Day sat on the sofa. Lee took a seat on a comfortable wooden chair, small cylindrical pillows made from the finest Chinese silk supporting his arms.

The middle-aged woman who entered the room to serve tea didn’t speak. She had standing orders not to interrupt when her boss’s guests were wearing suits. The senator watched the woman skillfully pour tea from a blue and white ceramic teapot. He wondered if the woman was Lee Chang’s lover. Peter knew Lee’s taste ran much younger.
The intercom came to life on the wall near the door and Chow Ying announced that the ladies were ready. A brief exchange followed in rapid-fire Chinese before Lee Chang ended the conversation abruptly, flipping the intercom switch off.

“Gentlemen, if you are ready, the car is waiting.”

The senator took the front seat next to Chow Ying. Peter gladly sat in the back seat, squeezing in between the two beautiful Asian women. As he got comfortable in the rear of the car, Wei Ling whispered in his ear, her lips tickling his lobe. Peter smiled as his lover’s breath blew on his neck.

Shi Shi Wong, the senator’s date for the evening, looked up at the seamstresses’ quarters as the car began to move. She spotted several faces pressed against the glass of a second floor window and fought the urge to wave.

By the time the black Lincoln exited the gate of Chang Industries, Peter had one arm around each lady. He kept them close enough to feel their bodies move with every bump in the road. He leaned his torso into theirs with every turn of the car.

Peter Winthrop’s favorite table at The Palm was in an isolated corner next to a small balcony overlooking intimidating cliffs thirty yards from the back of the restaurant. A steady breeze pushed through the open French doors that led to the balcony, blowing out the candle in the center of the table as they arrived.
Peter asked for recommendations from the chef and ordered for everyone. They had spicy barbecued shrimp for an appetizer, followed by a salad with freshly sliced squid that the senator refused to eat. For the main course, the party of four shared a large red snapper served in a garlic and lemon-based Thai sauce. Copious amounts of wine accompanied every dish.

Chow Ying waited subserviently in the parking lot for over three hours. He fetched two cups of coffee from the back door of the kitchen and drank them in the Lincoln with the driver’s side doors open. With his second cup of coffee, he asked the waiter how much longer he thought the Winthrop party was going to be.

“Another hour at the most,” came the reply.

On the trip back to the hotel, the honorable senator from Massachusetts threw his honorability out the window and sat in the backseat with the ladies. Flirtatious groping ensued, the senator’s hands moving like ivy on human walls. His Rolex came to rest on Wei Ling’s shoulder. His Harvard class ring continued to caress the bare skin on Shi Shi Wong’s neck.

Peter made conversation with Chow Ying as the driver forced himself not to look in the rearview mirror. Peter, never bashful, glanced at Wei Ling on the opposite side of the backseat, their eyes meeting with a twinkle, her lips turning up in a smile for her lover. Peter smiled back.

Wei Ling was beautiful, and a sweetheart, and intriguing enough for Peter to find an excuse to stop in Saipan when he was on business in Asia. He usually brought her a gift, nothing too flashy, but something meaningful enough to keep her compliant in the sack. A dress, lingerie, earrings. He liked Wei Ling, a simple fact tempered by the realism that he was a CEO and she was a third-world seamstress. Pure attraction couldn’t bridge some gaps. But Lee Chang was proud of the fact that Peter had taken a fancy to Wei Ling. It was good business. She was a company asset. He wished he could put her on the corporate balance sheet.

Chow Ying dropped the party of four off at the Ritz, an eight-story oasis overlooking the finest stretch of white sand and blue water on the island. He gave Wei Ling and her sweatshop roommate-turned-prostitute-without-pay a brief command in Chinese and followed with a formal handshake to the senator and Peter. He waited for the four to vanish through the revolving door of the hotel and then pulled the Lincoln into the far corner of the parking lot.

The senator and Peter weaved slightly across the lobby of the hotel. Wei Ling and Shi Shi Wong followed several paces behind. The concierge and hotel manager, jaws dropping momentarily, engaged in a seemingly urgent conversation and didn’t look up until the elevator doors had closed.

Purchase links:  AMAZON link    B&N link

 

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 affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Guest Author Allan Leverone

I just love when authors come back and visit.  To me, this means that they have been very busy writing books that we enjoy reading and that they truly like the followers of CMash Reads.  I ask that you help me give a warm welcome back to Allan Leverone.

ALLAN LEVERONE

Allan Leverone is the author of the Amazon bestselling thriller, THE LONELY MILE, as well as the thriller, FINAL VECTOR and the horror novellas, DARKNESS FALLS and HEARTLESS. He is a four-time Derringer Award finalist for excellence in short mystery fiction and a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. Allan lives in Londonderry, NH, with his wife of nearly thirty years, three children and one beautiful granddaughter.
Learn more about Allan on Facebook, Twitter or at www.allanleverone.com.

GUEST POST

Guest Post: Inspiration for Novels
By Allan Leverone

If a writer is paying attention, a plot idea can come from almost anywhere. It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve written stories, novellas or novels based on: a line from a song, an item I saw on the news or on a television news magazine, a dream, a suggestion from my wife, an experience I had as a child, an incident I made up out of whole cloth in my mind, and any of dozens of other sources.

The one thing all of the above examples have in common, though, is that each idea was followed up with one simple question: “What if?” In most cases, the “what if” was then followed up with, “Well, if that happens, then what?” “And if that happens, then what?”

My most successful book to this point is an Amazon bestselling thriller titled THE LONELY MILE, which spent three days in the Top 25 in the paid store at Amazon back in February, peaking at #21 and selling over twelve thousand copies. It was based on a simple premise, one which can’t help but strike a chord with every parent: a man’s daughter is kidnapped by a remorseless sociopath, and he is forced into a desperate attempt to rescue her, racing against time to get her back before it is too late.

Is he successful? You’ll have to read the book if you want to find out, but this post is about inspiration, and the point is this: the idea for THE LONELY MILE came to me three decades before the book was written, when I was in college, driving nearly a thousand miles one-way several times a year between my home in central Massachusetts and my school, the University of Notre Dame, located in South Bend, Indiana.

The trip was a relatively straight shot. I would drive to Interstate 90, roughly twenty miles from my home, and then stay on that highway until I arrived in northern Michigan, where my exit would put me almost right on top Notre Dame’s golden dome. To save time, I would drive straight through, nineteen hours in one shot. It was a questionable tactic, one I would never allow my own kids to try, and one which almost cost me my life any number of times. It’s not something I would recommend to anyone.

But dotting the highway on those 950-mile sojourns from New England to Indiana and back were small Interstate rest stops, little plazas where weary drivers could pull in, gas up, get some fast food and coffee, and continue on toward their destination. Everyone’s seen them; you’ve probably used them dozens of times without thinking anything of it, right?

Well, try pulling into an isolated highway rest stop at three o’clock in the morning, tired and strung out. The places are never totally empty, but they are spooky and creepy, often populated in the middle of the night with questionable-looking characters, and I remember thinking—many times—how easy would it be for some psycho to pull in here, wreak havoc, and then take off? He would be miles away before anyone could even respond.

That was in the days before cell phones were anything more than a twinkle in some engineer’s eye, but even in this era of instant electronic communication, a highway rest stop located within a couple of miles of one or more exits still presents what seems like a pretty attractive staging point for an evil person intent on doing evil things, don’t you think?

Anyway, that one image, of an amoral sociopath using an isolated highway rest stop as an area to commit horrible atrocities, remained embedded in my mind for thirty years. When I began writing fiction, the idea crystallized into the modus operandi for the antagonist in THE LONELY MILE, a serial kidnapper/murderer named Martin Krall.

The important thing for the writer is not so much the inspiration, but the followup to the idea. Inspiration is everywhere. What makes or breaks the writer of genre fiction is the ability to take that inspiration to the next level, and develop a gripping, exciting storyline. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at that. I invite you to check out one of my books and see if you agree.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Mike McMahon moves to the remote village of Paskagankee, Maine, to take over as chief of police following a tragic shooting, he’s hoping for nothing more than to get a new start on life. Instead, he encounters a series of brutal murders, beginning almost immediately upon his arrival.

Together with a beautiful rookie cop and a disgraced college professor, McMahon races against time and a mounting body count in a desperate attempt to stop a seemingly unstoppable killer…

Book Details:
Genre:Adult, Horror,Suspense,Thriller
Publisher: Rock Bottom Books; First Edition
Publication Date: June 29, 2012
Pages: 224
Purchase:  Amazon

DISCLAIMER
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 affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Guest Author Helga Zeiner

Today I am elated to have the opportunity to reintroduce you to my guest.  Please indulge me so that I can explain why I am beyond thrilled.

Helga was a guest author back in May.  At the time, I was behind in my requested review reading schedule and was unable to read and review her book.   However, we traded emails regarding her showcase.  She asked me about Partners In Crime Tours and decided to book a tour.  I have since read her book and it is riveting!!  Could not put it down.

Not only is she an amazing writer but a very kind, generous and thoughtful person who I now consider a friend.  And today is her kick off and first stop as she starts her 2 month tour.  Please meet author and friend, Ms. Helga Zeiner!!

HELGA ZEINER

Helga Zeiner is a Canadian and German citizen
At the age of 18, Helga completed her arts degree at the Art School of Bavaria, and then left Germany.
She lived and worked for two years in Australia, and twelve years in Hong Kong.
Since 2004 she has lived with her husband Manfred in the wilderness of British Columbia, about 5 hours north of Vancouver. There they own over 500 acres which they have developed into a gated cabin community, the Rainbow Country Estate.
For as long as she can remember, Helga has been writing novels, usually in her spare time. Today most of her time is devoted to writing, but she also manages the land development company, is politically active, enjoys outdoor sports and loves smoking cigars.
You can visit Helga at her Website, and on Facebook, and Twitter.
GUEST POST

“How did I research this subject”

 Since Section 132 was published, I have been complimented quite often on the extensive research I had undertaken for this novel. Although the story is fictional, it is based on true events which took place in Canada and America. I therefore felt compelled to get all the relevant details right before I could create a tale that would grip the reader and transport him into this weird and freaky world.

Readers have asked me how on earth one researches a polygamous sect. Go under-cover? Infiltrate them somehow? Get in touch with and interview women and teenagers who managed to escape? Or did I maybe, just maybe, write from personal experience? Had I possibly been a sister-wife myself?

Well, it’s not quite that spectacular. It simply took years of painstaking, traditional subject matter research. I worked diligently on collecting supporting facts. I read many books, biographies, anything I could find about the history of the Mormon religion and their off-shoot cult FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Later Day Saints), the biography of its founder Joseph Smith, of their Prophet Warren Jeffs, as well as many accounts of women who had escaped the cult.

I closely followed a court case at the BC Supreme Court which had to decide if polygamy should be made legal in this Canadian province. This case was brought before the courts by the Bishop of the Canadian polygamous sectBountifulwho argued it on the grounds of religious freedom. Luckily, the judge ruled that polygamy is harmful to women and children and will therefore continue to be illegal.

Eventually I got hold of the ‘Book of Mormon’ and the attached “Doctrine & Covenants’ written by Josef Smith. There I found “Section 132’ which covers the holy covenant of ‘The Principle of Plural Marriage’ (polygamy!) and provides the religious justification for the strange rule that one man must have several wives. It was quite a read!

In the course of this research I got in touch with a wonderful group of University Women who have formed the ‘Bountiful Round-table’ as well as the ‘West Coast Leaf Lawyers Association’ – both groups are actively working toward their goal of banning polygamy in our society altogether.

Finally, I was contacted by members of a fairly clandestine organization who had heard about my efforts. As they are pro-active in rescuing women who try to escape the cult, they have met with some serious opposition in the higher echelons of the FLDS and have made quite a few enemies. They checked me out thoroughly before allowing me to join their closed group. I was honored to be able to collect further data this way. You can imagine what valuable insights, sometimes heart breaking and infuriating, I could gather through those channels.

All in all, it has taken me several years before I even wrote the first sentence. Although I have taken liberties with the truth and let my imagination run rampant, which is my prerogative as a novelist, there is still a very chilling element of authenticity in this story.

ABOUT THE BOOK

    Lillian is only 13 when her parents marry her to a middle-aged Bishop of a fundamentalist sect who practices polygamy. She is forced to live with her new husband’s many wives and children on his compound tucked away in the Canadian wilderness.

The hardships of poverty and isolation have crushed the will of just about everybody in his flock. They suffer in silent submissiveness, trying to please their despotic leader. He justifies the humiliating treatment of his dependents by citing ‘Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants’ of his fundamentalist religion.
Until, one day, Lillian had enough. But it is dangerous to try and escape the Bishop’s iron rule. He practices blood-atonement, which is quietly sanctioned by the ‘Gatekeepers’, an American secret society within the Fundamentalist Mormon Church.
Lillian must find out-side help if she ever wants to leave the Bishop’s compound – but how can she do this if she is locked up without any means of communication?
Lillian doesn’t know how life outside a compound functions. She only knows that she can not live like this much longer. Many questions plaque her troubled mind.
Why do her sister-wives put up with this hardship, knowing only a bleak future lies ahead of them? Where do the child-brides come from, the Bishop keeps adding to his family? Where do some of his daughters disappear to, once they come of age? Lillian’s defiance grows with every injustice she witnesses – until she can’t hide her rebellion any longer.
Her desperate struggle to escape draws the reader into a very dark, very dangerous place. But not all is hopeless. When land developer Richard Bergman buys the neighboring property, Lillian’s luck seems to be changing …
Read an excerpt:
Martha knew the Bishop was coming for her. His boots stomped toward the office, and when he unlocked the door, she moved back to the opposite wall, trying to melt into it. The room was only about ten feet deep, and he was threateningly close as soon as he had entered. She saw the gun strap slung over his shoulder. Marion was beside him, her face still wet from crying, but already setting into a mask of acceptance and denial. Empty eyes buried in a stone hard expression. With only minimal movement of her body, she looked like a motionless statue, placed there only as an accessory to her husband, an extension of his wrath, coming alive only to cater to his demands. For the moment, he needed nothing of her except to observe him in all his glory as the executor of the faith.
Martha was not scared of him, but she was terrified of the unknown. What cruelty had he planned for her? Would she have to suffer long? It would be easier to bear if she knew what to expect.
She didn’t have to wait long.
“Get out of here, you worthless piece of shit!” he snapped at her. He slipped the gun strap off his shoulder and casually swung the hunting rifle in front of his massive torso like a trophy. “Here, see this! Fear this! It is the Lord’s instrument of vengeance. He has appointed me to be his executioner. Commanded me to exterminate filthy vermin like you. Get out, you slut, so I can punish you for your sins!” He came closer, lowered the weapon and prodded her thigh with the tip of the rifle. Martha jumped sideways and was forced to move forward and slide past him to the door.
He directed her with his weapon. “Bitch! Out with you! Outside! We don’t want a mess in here. Out you go, you miserable creature! I’ll show you who your master is. Move it, bitch, don’t drag your feet.”
Martha moved a little faster. She was numb, didn’t even feel herself walking past Marion who remained grotesquely frozen in her stance.
The Bishop kept pushing her forward, down the hallway, to the back entrance of the house. “Go, go, go. Let’s have a little target practise. You’d better move a bit faster, or it won’t be fun at all. Outside you go.”
He pushed her through the back door and out into the yard. “When I count to three, you run. If you make it over there, I’ll let you live. The Lord will decide.”
The distance from the house to the trees was much larger than she remembered. But it didn’t matter; he would get her anyway. Best to go slow, otherwise he might miss and only injure her.
“One!”
Martha took a deep breath. He slammed his rifle painfully into her back. She nearly lost her balance.
“Two!”
She forgot her resolution to be an easy target and instinctively started to run.
“Threeeee….”
She ran as fast as she could, trying to get away from his horrible ‘eeeee’. She practically flew over the ground, driven by her survival instinct, until she stumbled, lost her balance and fell face down on the ground. A sharp slash whipped viciously through her whole body, ripping her insides apart. She was surprised to hear herself groaning, although the excruciating pain of a moment ago subsided into shocked numbness. He had not finished her! Mixed into her total confusion of being shot at, lying on the ground and not feeling any pain, was the realization that something did not fit into the whole scenario. Something did not make sense. She had heard him counting and his final endless, blood curling “eeeeeeeee” still rang in her ears. She was on her knees now, slumped forward to steady herself with her hands, and turning sideways to look behind her.
He was also on the ground, holding his side with one hand, the rifle lying next to him. His “eeeeee” had evaporated into a whimper. At the same instant Martha saw the shape of a woman running away from him. Nothing but billowing skirts in a hasty retreat, impetuously heading for the protection of the trees. Anna! Already she had reached the trees. A safe haven for the fleeing Anna; as it would be for her, if she could reach it before he recovered from the injury Anna had inflicted on him. He was already shaking his head like a wounded bear, groaning in an effort to get the nasty foreign object that incapacitated him out of his flank. Martha did not see what had injured him so badly that the air had been knocked out of his lungs, but it must have weakened him considerably. He was wheezing, coughing and gurgling in his angry attempts to regain his stability and was slowly steadying himself.
If only she had not been hurt – if only she could reach the cover of the forest before he recovered from the surprise attack. She forced herself to try and scramble to her feet, surprised that she was still in one piece and not cut into two like she had thought. Where did it hurt? Even more surprised, she realized that she was not hurting at all. Her brain finally solved the mystery that had puzzled her before. No shot had been fired! On his last count she had only heard his scream but no shot – no bullet had been flying in her direction. She had stumbled and fallen, that was all. The pain had been imaginary.
By now her legs were firmly on the ground, holding her weight, and she started to run. She looked back once and increased her efforts to reach the tree line when she saw that he was already on his knees, groping blindly for his weapon. She literally flew across the yard, her skirt bunched up high, with her feet barely touching the ground. The forest. The trees. There they were. She ran past the first few trees, getting deeper into the woods before she pressed herself behind one wide trunk, panting heavily. She dared to look back. He was nowhere to be seen. He had moved. Where to? She knew her panting was too loud, but she could not stop it, her lungs were screaming for oxygen.
It was mercifully dark in the forest, but he only needed to follow the wheezing sounds she made to find her. Anger welled up inside her. She wanted to live! Why hadn’t Anna finished him! She must have been too weak. If only she had a weapon. The frustration of being so helpless made her even more angry. I will fight him, she thought. This time, I will scratch his eyes out before he can hurt me again. Martha slid down the tree trunk until she cowered on the wet cold ground, making herself as small a target as possible. She concentrated on the sounds of the night. He was injured and furious, he would not approach like a seasoned hunter but would storm through the darkness in search of her. When she heard him coming, she could hide or run away from him. She wasn’t quite sure what she would do, but this time she would not make it easy for him.

Book Details:
Published by POW WOW Books
Publication Date: July 1, 2011
Genre: Suspense
ISBN-10: 0986879800
ISBN-13: 978-0986879807
Number of pages: 458
Purchase links:  Amazon link    B&N link

THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF AUTHOR, HELGA ZEINER,
I HAVE ONE (1) EBOOK EDITION TO GIVE AWAY.

CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO THE
GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE. OPEN TO ALL.

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,
Barnes & Noble and/or any other retail/wholesale
outlets either online and/or elsewhere.
I am providing this link solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
I do not receive any monetary compensation from any parties

Guest Author Joel Andre

The name and face should be familiar.  Joel has stopped by often, which means he is always busy writing and today he is sharing about his latest work, a short story,  as he tours with Partners In Crime Tours.  So please help me welcome back, author and friend of the CMash blog!!

JOEL ANDRE

Joel M. Andre was born January 13, 1981. At a young age he was fascinated with the written word. It was at fourteen that Poe blew his mind, and Andre began to dabble with darker poetry.

Between the years of 1999 and 2007 Joel was featured in various poetry anthologies and publications. In 2008 he released his first collection, Pray the Rain Never Ends.

Knowing there was something deeper and darker inside of his soul, Joel decided to take a stab at commercialism. Releasing the dark tongue in cheek,  A Death at the North Pole, created a dark world among the death of Kris Kringle. Ultimately providing a tale of redemption.

October of 2008 saw Joel release his second book,  Kill 4 Me. A tale in which a woman is haunted by a vengeful spirit through text messages and instant messaging.

Taking some time off and doing a lot of soul searching, Joel took things in a new direction and dabbled in the Fantasy Genre with,  The Pentacle of Light. The tale dealing with five major races battling for control of Earth, and the acceptance of their God.

Finally, after missing his detective Lauren Bruni, he released the book The Return in October 2009, this time moving the action from the North Pole and placing it in the small Arizona community he was raised in.

Andre’s latest book is The Black Chronicles: Cry of the Fallen about a dead man who seeks revenge on the woman that tormented him in peaceful Northern Arizona.

Currently, he resides in Chandler, AZ.
You can connect with Joel at his website here.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this dark, philosophical tale of horror, a man has the opportunity to sit down with Death. What he discovers is that the dying process is a little more complex than he imagined and that making a deal with the Grim Reaper comes with a price.
Read my review here.

Book Details:
Genre:Adult Suspense, Mystery, Thriller,Horror
Publisher: Darkcountry Publications
Publication Date: March 7,2012
Purchase: Amazon

THANKS TO AUTHOR, JOEL ANDRE, I HAVE TWO (2)
EBOOK EDITIONS TO GIVE AWAY. OPEN TO ALL.

CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.

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,
Barnes & Noble and/or any other retail/wholesale
outlets either online and/or elsewhere.
I am providing this link solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
I do not receive any monetary compensation from any parties

Guest Author Joshua Graham

We have a special guest today as he is on a very busy tour.  Please help me welcome, award winning author, Mr. Joshua Graham!!

JOSHUA GRAHAM

Winner of the 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, and Amazon.com #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham’s Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling novel BEYOND JUSTICE is taking the world by storm, one reader at a time. Many of his readers blame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.

BEYOND JUSTICE, THE ACCIDENTAL EXORCIST, THE ACCIDENTAL HERO, THE ACCIDENTAL HEALER, and DEATH AND TAXES, have reached the top of multiple bestseller list on Barnes & Noble topping titles by John Grisham, Linda Fairstein, Scott Turrow and James Lee Burke, Ted Dekker and Steven James. Soaring to the top of the Barnes & Noble lists, BEYOND JUSTICE recently hit #1 in the Legal Thriller and Christian Thriller categories, topping by John Grisham, Joel C. Rosenberg, and Michael Connelly. It has also remained on the Amazon.com top 100 bestselling Kindle bestseller list months after its release.

Suspense Magazine listed BEYOND JUSTICE in its BEST OF 2010, alongside titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.

His short story THE DOOR’S OPEN won the HarperCollins Authonomy Competition (Christmas 2010.)

Publishers Weekly described BEYOND JUSTICE as:
“…A riveting legal thriller…. breaking new ground with a vengeance… demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”

ABOUT THE BOOK

A thrilling suspense novel about a man’s dark past, his daughter’s mysterious visions, and a psychopath who wants to kill them both.
After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick moves home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, a Pulitzer Prize winner who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept—one that has devastated their family.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism, and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.
Read my review here.
Purchase links:  Amazon~Barnes&Noble

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,
Barnes & Noble and/or any other retail/wholesale
outlets either online and/or elsewhere.
I am providing this link solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
I do not receive any monetary compensation from any parties