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Tropical Depression by author Jeff Lindsay Blast @dexterjeff

I’m a massive Jeff Lindsay fan. Before the TV show I saw a book about a serial killer who kills serial killer and I was hooked then and there. I’m so pleased to be able to share about another Jeff Lindsay book Tropical Depression. Check it out and the other blogs taking part in the blast.

Tropical Depression

by Jeff Lindsay

August 25 Book Blast

 

Synopsis:

cover

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Jeff Lindsay mastered suspense with his wildly addictive DEXTER series. Before that, however, there was former cop and current burnout Billy Knight. When a hostage situation turns deadly, Billy loses everything—his wife, his daughter, and his career. Devastated, he heads to Key West to put down his gun and pick up a rod and reel as a fishing boat captain. But former co-worker Roscoe McAuley isn’t ready to let Billy rest.

When Roscoe tells Billy that someone murdered his son, Billy sends him away. When Roscoe himself turns up dead a few weeks later, however, Billy can’t keep from getting sucked back into Los Angeles, and the streets that took so much from him.

Billy’s investigations into the death of a former cop, and his son, will take him up to the highest echelons of the LAPD, finding corruption at every level. It puts him on a collision course with the law, with his past, with his former fellow officers, and with the dark aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. Jeff Lindsay’s considerable storytelling gifts are on full display, drawing the reader in with a mesmerizing style and a case with more dangerous blind curves than Mulholland Drive.

 

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Police Procedural

Published by: Diversion Books

Publication Date: August 25, 2015 (Re-Release)

Number of Pages: 256

ISBN: 2940151536677

Series: Billy Knight Thrillers, Book 1

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

 

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Read an excerpt:

Somebody once said Los Angeles isn’t really a city but a hundred suburbs looking for a city. Every suburb has a different flavor to it, and every Angeleno thinks he knows all about you when he knows which one you live in. But that’s mostly important because of the freeways.

Life in L.A. is centered on the freeway system. Which freeway you live nearest is crucial to your whole life. It determines where you can work, eat, shop, what dentist you go to, and who you can be seen with.

I needed a freeway that could take me between the two murder sites, get me downtown fast, or up to the Hollywood substation to see Ed Beasley.

I’d been thinking about the Hollywood Freeway. It went everywhere I needed to go, and it was centrally located, which meant it connected to a lot of other freeways. Besides, I knew a hotel just a block off the freeway that was cheap and within walking distance of the World News, where Roscoe had been cut down. I wanted to look at the spot where it happened. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t learn anything, but it was a starting place.

And sometimes just looking at the place where a murder happened can give you ideas about it; cops are probably a little more levelheaded than average, but most of them will agree there’s something around a murder scene that, if they weren’t cops, they would call vibes.

So Hollywood it was. I flagged down one of the vans that take you to the rental car offices.

By the time I got fitted out with a brand new matchbox—no, thank you, I did not want a special this-week-only deal on a Cadillac convertible; that’s right, cash, I didn’t like credit cards; no, thank you, I did not want an upgrade of any kind for only a few dollars more; no, thank you, I didn’t want the extra insurance—it was dark and I was tired. I drove north on the San Diego Freeway slowly, slowly enough to have at least one maniac per mile yell obscenities at me. Imagine the nerve of me, going only sixty in a fifty-five zone.

The traffic was light. Pretty soon I made my turn east on the Santa Monica. I was getting used to being in L.A. again, getting back into the rhythm of the freeways. I felt a twinge of dread as I passed the exit for Sepulveda Boulevard, but I left it behind with the lights of Westwood.

The city always looks like quiet countryside from the Santa Monica Freeway. Once you are beyond Santa Monica and Westwood, you hit a stretch that is isolated from the areas it passes through. You could be driving through inner-city neighborhoods or country-club suburbs, but you’ll never know from the freeway.

That all changes as you approach downtown. Suddenly there is a skyline of tall buildings, and if you time it just right, there are two moons in the sky. The second one is only a round and brightly lit corporate logo on a skyscraper, but if it’s your first time through you can pass some anxious moments before you figure that out. After all, if any city in the world had two moons, wouldn’t it be L.A.?

And suddenly you are in one of the greatest driving nightmares of all recorded history. As you arc down a slow curve through the buildings and join the Harbor Freeway you are flung into the legendary Four-Level. The name is misleading, a slight understatement. It really seems like a lot more than four levels.

The closest thing to driving the Four-Level is flying a balloon through a vicious dogfight with the Red Baron’s Flying Circus. The bad guys—and they are all bad guys in the Four-Level—the bad guys come at you from all possible angles, always at speeds just slightly faster than the traffic is moving, and if you do not have every move planned out hours in advance you’ll be stuck in the wrong lane looking for a sign you’ve already missed and before you know it you will find yourself in Altadena, wondering what happened.

I got over into the right lane in plenty of time and made the swoop under several hundred tons of concrete overpass, and I was on the Hollywood Freeway. Traffic started to pick up after two or three exits, and in ten minutes I was coming off the Gower Street ramp and onto Franklin.

There’s a large hotel right there on Franklin at Gower. I’ve never figured out how they break even. They’re always at least two-thirds empty. They don’t even ask if you have a reservation. They are so stunned that you’ve found their hotel they are even polite for the first few days. There’s also a really lousy coffee shop right on the premises, which is convenient if you keep a cop’s schedule. I guessed I was probably going to do that this trip.

A young Chinese guy named Allan showed me up to my room. It was on the fifth floor and looked down into the city, onto Hollywood Boulevard just two blocks away. I left the curtain open. The room was a little bit bigger than a gas station rest room, but the decor wasn’t quite as nice.

It was way past my bedtime back home, but I couldn’t sleep. I left my bag untouched on top of the bed and went out.

The neighborhood at Franklin and Gower is schizophrenic. Two blocks up the hill, towards the famous Hollywood sign, the real estate gets pretty close to seven figures. Two blocks down the hill and it’s overpriced at three.

I walked straight down Gower, past a big brick church, and turned west. I waved hello to Manny, Moe, and Jack on the corner: it had been a while. There was still a crowd moving along the street. Most of them were dressed like they were auditioning for the role of something your mother warned you against.

Some people have this picture of Hollywood Boulevard. They think it’s glamorous. They think if they can just get off the pig farm and leave Iowa for the big city, all they have to do is get to Hollywood Boulevard and magic will happen. They’ll be discovered.

The funny thing is, they’re right. The guys that do the discovering are almost always waiting in the Greyhound station. If you’re young and alone, they’ll discover you. The magic they make happen might not be what you had in mind, but you won’t care about that for more than a week. After that you’ll be so eager to please you’ll gladly do things you’d never even had a name for until you got discovered. And a few years later when you die of disease or overdose or failure to please the magic-makers, your own mother won’t recognize you. And that’s the real magic of Hollywood. They take innocence and turn it into money and broken lives.

I stopped for a hot dog, hoping my sour mood would pass. It didn’t. I got mustard on my shirt. I watched a transvestite hooker working on a young Marine. The jarhead was drunk enough not to know better. He couldn’t believe his luck. I guess the hooker felt the same way.

The hot dog started to taste like old regrets. I threw the remaining half into the trash and walked the last two blocks to Cahuenga.

The World News is open twenty-four hours a day, and there’s always a handful of people browsing. In a town like this there’s a lot of people who can’t sleep. I don’t figure it’s their conscience bothering them.

I stood on the sidewalk in front of the place. There were racks of specialty magazines for people interested in unlikely things. There were several rows of out-of-town newspapers. Down at the far end of the newsstand was an alley. Maybe three steps this side of it there was a faint rusty brown stain spread across the sidewalk and over the curb into the gutter. I stepped over it and walked into the alley.

The alley was dark, but that was no surprise. The only surprise was that I started to feel the old cop adrenaline starting up again, just walking down a dark alley late at night. Suddenly I really wanted this guy. I wanted to find whoever had killed Roscoe and put him in a small cell with a couple of very friendly body-builders.

The night air started to feel charged. It felt good to be doing cop work again, and that made me a little mad, but I nosed around for a minute anyway. I wasn’t expecting to find anything, and I didn’t. By getting down on one knee and squinting I did find the spot where the rusty stains started. There was a large splat, and then a trickle leading back out of the alley to the stain on the sidewalk.

I followed the trickle back to the big stain and stood over it, looking down.

Blood is hard to wash out. But sooner or later the rain, the sun, and the passing feet wear away the stains. This stain was just about all that was left of Roscoe McAuley and when it was gone there would be nothing left of him at all except a piece of rock with his name on it and a couple of loose memories. What he was, what he did, what he thought and cared about—that was already gone. All that was hosed away a lot easier than blood stains—a lot quicker, too.

“I’m sorry, Roscoe,” I said to the stain. It didn’t answer. I walked back up the hill and climbed into a bed that was too soft and smelled of mothballs and cigarettes.

 

 

Author Bio:

authorJeff Lindsay is the award-winning author of the seven New York Times bestselling Dexter novels upon which the international hit TV show Dexter is based. His books appear in more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies around the world. Jeff is a graduate of Middlebury College, Celebration Mime Clown School, and has a double MFA from Carnegie Mellon. Although a full-time writer now, he has worked as an actor, comic, director, MC, DJ, singer, songwriter, composer, musician, story analyst, script doctor, and screenwriter.

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Giveaway:

Diversion Books is hosting a Rafflecopter Giveaway for Tropical Depression. Don’t miss out! Visit the tour stops & enter so you have a chance! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Blond Cargo by John Lansing #bookblast #giveaway

Blond Cargo

by John Lansing

Visiting with the Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tour Company

Book Blast on October 7th

on Tour at October 8 – November 30, 2014

Blond Cargo by John Lansing | Coming Soon

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Series: Jack Bertolino, 2nd

* Blond Cargo does include some graphic violence.

Published by: Karen Hunter

Publication Date: 10/20/2014

Number of Pages: 320

ISBN: 9781476795515

Purchase Links:

 

Synopsis:

“A pulse-pounding thriller with a charming protagonist” (Kirkus Reviews), this gripping ebook continues the story that began in The Devil’s Necktie.

Jack Bertolino’s son, Chris, was the victim of a brutal murder attempt and Vincent Cardona, a mafia boss, provided information that helped Jack take down the perpetrator of the crime. Jack accepted the favor knowing there’d be blowback. In Blond Cargo the mobster’s daughter has gone missing and Cardona turned in his chit. Jack discovers that the young, blond, mafia princess has been kidnapped and imprisoned while rich, politically connected men negotiate her value as a sex slave.

A sizzling whodunit for fans of James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell, Blond Cargo taps into the real-life crime world to deliver a thrilling, action-packed story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the explosive, unprecedented finale.

 

Read an excerpt:

4

Jack carried a Subway turkey sandwich, a tall unsweetened iced coffee, a bottle of water, and a smile as he keyed the security gate that led to the dock in Marina del Rey where his boat was moored. The marina was always quiet during the week. Just the way he liked it.

He stopped to admire his twenty-eight feet of heaven before stepping onto his boat’s transom and then . . .

“Yo, Mr. B.”

Jack never forgot a voice, which explained his reluctance to turn around.

“Yo, yo, Mr. B.”

Miserably persistent, Jack thought. He turned to face Peter Maniacci, who was dressed head-to-toe in black. With his outstretched arms draped over the chain-link fence, Peter looked like an Italian scarecrow. The black circles under his eyes belied his youth. The sharp points of his sideburns, his boots, and the .38 hanging lazily from a shoulder holster added menace to his goofy grin.

So close, Jack thought. His only worry that day had been whether to eat his sandwich dockside or out on the Pacific with a view of the Santa Monica Pier.

“How you doing, Peter?”

“How you doin’?”

Jack let out a labored sigh. “We could do this all day. What’s up?”

“That’s funny, Mr. B. How’s the boy? How’s his pitching arm?”

Jack’s face tightened. He wasn’t happy that Peter knew

any of his son’s particulars. When he didn’t answer, Peter continued.

“Hey, nice boat. I used to fish for fluke off the north shore. Long Island. I think I must be in the wrong business.”

“Count on it,” Jack said. “What can I do for you?”

“My boss was wondering if you could spare a few minutes of your time.”

As if on cue, a black Town Car materialized behind Peter and came to a smooth, silent stop. The car rose visibly when Peter’s boss, a thick, broad-shouldered man, stepped out of the rear seat.

Vincent Cardona. Expensive suit, the body of a defensive linebacker—fleshy but muscled. Dark, penetrating eyes. Cardona looked in both directions before leveling his feral gaze on Jack. An attempt at a smile fell short of the mark. A thick manila envelope was tucked under one beefy arm.

Jack had been aware there would be some form of payback due for information Cardona had provided on Arturo Delgado, the man responsible for the attempted murder of his son. He just didn’t think it would come due this quickly. He opened the locked gate and let the big man follow him down the dock toward his used Cutwater cabin cruiser.

As Peter stood sentry in front of the Lincoln Town Car, Jack allowed the devil entry to his little piece of paradise.

“How’s your boy? How’s the pitching arm?” Vincent asked bluntly. Just a reminder of why he was there.

“On the mend.” Jack gestured to one of two canvas deck chairs in the open cockpit of the boat. Both men sat in silence as Jack waited for Cardona to explain the reason for his visit.

Jack wasn’t comfortable with Cardona’s talking about Chris, but the big man had taken it upon himself to station Peter outside Saint John’s Health Center while his son was drifting between life and death. Cardona’s enforcer had scared off Delgado, and that might have saved his son’s life. The unsolicited good deed was greatly appreciated by Jack. The debt weighed heavily.

“It rips your heart out when your children have problems and you can’t do nothing to help,” Cardona said with the raspy wheeze of a man who had abused cigars, drugs, booze, and fatty sausage for most of his life.

“What can I do for you?” Jack asked, not wanting to prolong the impromptu meeting.

Cardona, unfazed by Jack’s brusqueness, answered by pulling out a picture and handing it to Jack.

“Angelica Marie Cardona. She’s my girl. My only. My angel. Her mother died giving birth. I didn’t have the heart to re-up. I raised her by myself.”

Mobster with a heart of gold. Right, Jack thought. But Cardona’s wife must have been a stunner because Angelica, blond, early twenties, with flawless skin and gray-green eyes, didn’t get her good looks from her father. Cardona’s gift was her self-assured attitude, which all but leaped off the photograph.

“Beautiful.”

Jack Bertolino, master of the understatement, he thought.

“And doesn’t she know it. Too much so for her own good. You make mistakes, my line of business. Whatever.”

“What can I do for you, Vincent?” Jack said, dialing back the attitude.

Cardona tracked a seagull soaring overhead with his heavy-lidded eyes and rubbed the stubble on his jaw.

Jack would have paid good money to change places with the gull.

“I shoulda never moved out here. L.A. I’m a black-socks- on-the-beach kinda guy. East Coast all the way. Never fit in. But I’m a good earner and the powers that be decided they were happy with the arrangement. Everyone was happy except Angelica and me.

“She turned thirteen, didn’t wanna have nothing to do with her old man. Turned iceberg cold. I tried everything— private schools, horses, ballet, therapy, live-in help; nothin’ worked. She closed up tighter than a drum. I finally threatened to send her to the nuns.”

“How did that work out?”

“I’m fuckin’ sitting here, aren’t I? On this fuckin’ dinghy . . . no offense meant,” he said, trying to cover, but the flash of anger told the real story. “I hear you’re an independent contractor now.”

It was Tommy Aronsohn, his old friend and ex–district attorney, who had set him up with his PI’s license and first client, Lawrence Weller and NCI Corp. But Jack Bertolino and Associates, Private Investigation, still didn’t come trippingly off his tongue.

And thinking of the disaster up north, he said, “We’ll see how that goes.”

“This is the point. I haven’t seen my daughter in close to a month. Haven’t heard word one since around the time your son was laid up in Saint John’s,” he said. Reminder number two. “It’s killing me,” he continued. “I’m getting a fuckin’ ulcer. Then this.”

Cardona pulled out the L.A. Times with the front-page spread reporting on the woman who had died when her boat crashed on the rocks at Paradise Cove. As it turned out, a second woman down in Orange County had washed up on the beach a few weeks earlier at the Terranea resort, scaring the joy out of newlyweds taking photos at sunset. Talk about twisted memories, Jack thought. As if marriage wasn’t tough enough. He’d already read both articles with his morning coffee and hadn’t bought into the pattern the reporter inferred.

“And the connection?”

“I got a bad feeling is all. She’s never disappeared like this before—not for this long anyway,” he said, amending his statement. “And then . . .” Cardona said, waving the newspaper like it was on fire. “It says here they were both blonds. Both about Angelica’s age. They could be fuckin’ cousins. Could be nothing.”

“Did you file a missing-persons report?”

Cardona gave him a hard side eye. “Jack, don’t fuck with me. We take care of our own.”

Jack thought before he spoke. “I’m not one of yours.”

“Semantics.”

“What about your crew?”

Cardona flopped open his meaty hands. “I get angina, I don’t call my cousin Frankie, who has a certain skill set but stinks when it comes to open-heart surgery. Look, I get it. You were on the other team. But this is straight-up business. One man to another. One father to another. I need you to find my girl. You got my number. Use it, Jack. Money’s no object. Find my baby.”

Strike three.

Jack didn’t answer. He stared out at the navy-blue water of the marina, past row upon row of beautiful yachts, symbols of dreams fulfilled, and knew they were empty notions compared to family.

Cardona hadn’t actually spoken the words you owe me, but they filled the subtext of everything he’d said. He was not subtle. The big man had reached out when Jack was in need, and Jack had accepted the offer. Now Vincent Cardona wanted his pound of flesh.

“This is everything I know. Last address, phone numbers, phone bills, e-mail accounts, bank, credit cards, friends and whatnot. The whole shot,” Cardona said, holding the manila envelope out in Jack’s direction.

“I have other commitments,” Jack stated.

“You look real fuckin’ busy, Jack, if you don’t mind my sayin’.” His eyes crinkled into a sarcastic grin. Vincent Cardona does charm.

Jack accepted the overstuffed envelope with a sigh.

“If she don’t want to come back, fine. No funny business, no strong-arm bullshit from my end. You got my word. I just need to know that my blood is alive. I’m fuckin’ worried and I don’t do worry too good. Sleep on it, Jack. But do the right thing.”

Cardona’s eyes locked on to Jack’s. Jack remained silent. He’d take a look. No promises, not yet.

Vincent’s knees cracked and the canvas chair squeaked like it was in pain as he stood up. He covered a belch behind his fist and rubbed his gut as he moved stiffly past Jack. The boat rocked when Cardona stepped off and walked heavily away, his Italian leather shoes echoing on the wooden dock.

The weight of the world. Jack could relate.

Peter Maniacci opened the gate for his boss and then the door to the Lincoln Town Car, which plunged to curb level as the big man slid in. Peter ran around to the other side of the car and tossed Jack a wave like the queen mum. He jumped into the Lincoln, which lurched forward before Peter could slam the door shut.

Jack walked into the boat’s deckhouse, grabbed a bottle of water, and downed two more Excedrin. He stretched his back, which was going into a spasm from yesterday’s violence, and chased the pills with a Vicodin to stay one step ahead of the pain that he knew was headed his way.

Jack had already decided to take the case.

 

Author Bio:

John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.” He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows. During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was “Good Cop, Bad Money,” a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. “The Devil’s Necktie” was his first novel. “Blond Cargo” is the next book in the Jack Bertolino series. A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Catch Up With the Author:

 

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Open from 10/7/2014 – 12/1/2014

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Green’s Calling Book Blast #giveaway

 

Greene’s Calling (Seventeen #3)

By A.D. Starrling

Release Date: June 16, 2014

Paperback, 394 pages

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Action / Mystery

FROM THE AWARD WINNING AND NOMINATED SERIES SEVENTEEN.

An immortal healer.

 

An ancient legacy reborn.



A chain of cataclysmic events that threatens to change the fate of the world. 
When a plane crashes in the Amazonian swamp where Conrad Greene is attempting to live out the rest of eternity, the jaded immortal who was once one of the Bastian First Councilís greatest assets stumbles across a conspiracy involving the recently elected president of the United States.
 

 

Caught in the middle of the intrigue is US Secret Service agent Laura Hartwell, the one immortal on Earth most likely to put a bullet through Greeneís skull.

 

Greene is coerced into returning to the life he had left behind by the leader of the Bastians and reluctantly agrees to assist the Americans in their investigation. As disturbing incidents start to unfold around the globe, Greene and a team of elite human and immortal agents must track down an elusive organization hell-bent on shifting the power balance of the world.

 

Can Greene stop the deadly countdown that threatens to alter the course of human history and regain the trust of the woman he loves?

 

The riveting and fast-paced third installment in the award-winning, supernatural thriller series Seventeen is finally here.

Anyone interested is welcome to join the blast, just copy this and make sure you put your link in the Rafflecopter when you post! Not only will you get to share this great book and series but also will get 5 additional entries in Lady Reader’s Book Tours Blast participation Rafflecopter!  There is a participating Giveaway Rafflecopter for this & the Tour!

CHAPTER ONE
Conrad Greene ran across the wet, sloping lead roof of the Banqueting House, his breath misting in the cool night air. Moonlight flashed on metal to his right. He caught a glimpse of a blade falling toward his neck and ducked. The sword skimmed past his head with a faint hum. Feet skidding on the slick surface, he spun around, dropped to one knee, and lifted the short, silver-gilded staff in his hands.
A grunt sounded above him as the burly swordsman brought his weapon down once more. The edge of the blade struck the staff hard, raising sparks in the gloom. The manís lips pulled back in a vicious grin, exposing two uneven rows of stained teeth. The muscles and veins in his neck and arms bulged with superhuman strength as he drove the sword into the staff.
Conradís elbows slowly folded toward his chest. Air left his lips in a low hiss as the tip of the manís blade inched closer to his left eye. He pushed back with the staff with all his might, dark spots dancing across his vision.
A figure dashed past them on the left. Conrad caught a glimpse of soft, brown curls. His heart stuttered inside his chest. He swore, fell back, and rolled out of the way of the falling blade.
He landed close to the balustrade that ran around the top of the building and climbed swiftly to his feet. Ignoring the swordsman charging toward him, he peered through the rainfall at the dark shapes engaged in a fast-paced and deadly battle on the moonlit rooftop. His eyes sought and found the woman who had run by him.
She was almost at the north end of the terrace, where a young man with brown hair and eyes stood confronted by three armed attackers; blood from the wounds on his left shoulder and flank had already soaked through his long-sleeved, ruffle shirt and stained his leather jerkin.
ëWilliam!í the woman yelled, her voice edged with fear and desperation. She passed the weather vane on the sloping roof and unsheathed the rapier at her waist.
Relief darted across the younger manís face at the sound of his name. He glanced at the woman over his attackersí shoulders and raised his own blade to block another strike.
Conrad clenched his teeth. He turned to face his opponent and twisted one of the metal rings on his short staff. The weapon extended and a spear blade sprang out at either end. A loud battle cry preceded the attack of the burly swordsman a heartbeat later.
Conrad blocked his blade, kicked him in the groin, and hooked the staff behind his neck. He yanked the manís head down at the same time that he drove his knee up into his face. A guttural groan left his adversaryís lips, and he slid to the ground, unconscious.
A flurry of activity to the right captured Conradís attention. Another group of men had rushed onto the rooftop terrace of the Banqueting House. He scanned the other fighters around him, anxiety twisting his stomach; he and his companions were now heavily outnumbered.
His eyes suddenly widened. The newcomers had drawn their swords and were heading resolutely for the running woman and the wounded man still fighting at the north end of the building. Knuckles whitening on his staff weapon, Conrad moved to intercept the men.
The woman reached the figures at the edge of the terrace. She stepped in front of the injured young man and swung her thin blade around in a flurry of strikes and blocks at his three attackers. Rage darkened her face and a roar left her lips. The men fell back under her fierce attack.
The wounded man sagged behind her and gripped his bleeding limb. Even from a distance, Conrad read the fear and confusion on his features. The man turned and flinched when he met Conradís eyes.
The expression on his face left no doubt in his mind. William Hartwell was the one who had betrayed them. Bile flooded the back of Conradís throat. Hartwell looked away. His lips moved, forming words that were lost in the stormy night as he shouted something at the men trying to kill him.
For an infinitesimal moment, the woman faltered, a flicker of incomprehension flashing across her face. She cast a quick look over her shoulder at the one she was trying to protect. Their closest assailant moved and brought down his sword. The blade arced across her left arm, carving a deep cut from her elbow to her wrist.
A cry escaped her lips. She took a step back and warded off another blow inches from her neck. Hartwell moved forward then, anger blazing across his face. He raised his sword and joined in the fray once more.
Conrad got to within twenty feet of them before he crossed paths with the four men he was trying to head off. He raised the double-bladed spear staff and spun it through the air. The gilded wood deflected the silver swirl of swords that danced toward his body while the jagged tips blurred, slicing and stabbing through flesh. One man fell, his fingers rising to the spurting crimson stream pouring from the wound on his neck. Another followed him to the ground seconds later.
A single scream suddenly shattered the night.
The sound was a knife that cut straight through Conradís soul. He blocked a blow to his head and looked to his left.
William Hartwell had backed up against the balustrade. Conrad froze and felt time slow down.
The young man tipped over the edge and fell from the terrace, dragging his three attackers with him. The woman leapt forward through the curtain of glittering rain, crystal drops crashing on her skin, her movements heavy and sluggish in that stolen moment of stillness. She leaned over the balcony, fingers clutching desperately at the figures plummeting toward the ground. Her hands closed on empty space.
The bodies struck the street three stories below with a dull thud.
Time unfroze in a cacophony of sounds and sensations. Thunder rumbled across the heavens, underscoring the battle cries around Conrad. Cold wetness drenched his hair and face, bringing the sharp scent of the storm to his nostrils and a tangy taste to his lips. Lightning tore a brilliant, jagged path across his vision and made him blink.
Heat suddenly erupted across his chest when a blade slashed his skin. Blood bloomed on his shirt. Conrad scowled and focused on his two remaining adversaries. By the time he had disposed of them, the woman had disappeared from the rooftop.
He looked at the other fighters around him and felt a rush of relief at the sight that met his eyes; despite the odds, his men were winning.
ëGo!í yelled someone to his right. The red-haired figure who had spoken danced nimbly out of the way of a blade and stabbed his opponent savagely in the chest. Pale eyes glanced at him for a second. ëWeíve got this, Greene!í
Conrad bobbed his head jerkily and twisted the ring that retracted the staffís spear blades. He raced for the door that led inside the building.
By the time he reached the ground floor, the wound on his chest had stopped bleeding. He knew without looking that the skin beneath his torn shirt was once more unblemished.
He found the woman on her knees by the pile of bodies that lay in an awkward tangle of broken limbs at the north base of the Banqueting House. She was leaning over William Hartwell, sobs shuddering through her as she stroked his pale face with shaking fingers; blood from the wound in her arm mingled with his where it seeped from the irregular depression on his temple. Hartwellís chest rose and fell shallowly with his breaths. He was unconscious.
The woman looked around at Conradís footsteps, her hazel eyes wild with anguish.
ëDo something, please!í she begged.
Conrad sank to the ground next to her, his voice frozen in his throat. He placed his left hand on the young manís head and closed his eyes.
A burst of energy flared inside his chest and pulsed down toward his elbow. It darted through the birthmark dancing along his forearm and flashed to the ends of his fingers. He inhaled deeply and guided the flow of his power inside the broken body of William Hartwell.
Bone popped beneath his hand. The young manís flesh slowly began to knit together.
Sweat broke across Conradís brow. The battle had drained him of much of his strength; he could feel Hartwellís torn tissues resisting his ability to heal them. He ground his teeth together and willed his exhausted body to cooperate.
ëWhatís happening?í said the woman. Panic raised the pitch of her voice. She grabbed Conradís shoulders and shook him, her fingers biting into his skin. ëWhy isnít he waking up?í
Conrad sagged as he felt his own life force start to ebb; he was nearing the limits of his ability. He blinked and swayed. Dark blotches clouded his vision. The womanís frantic words became a roar in his ears.
A moan suddenly broke through the rush of blood inside his head. He looked down and saw Hartwellís eyes open. Within the dark pupils of the man he had come to know and love as a brother, Conrad Greene read the words he could no longer utter.
William Hartwell wanted to die. He also yearned for something else.
Conrad gasped and slowly pulled his power back inside his own body, his fingers trembling on the cooling skin of the dying man. Hartwell shivered beneath his touch.
ëWhy are you stopping?í yelled the woman. ëSave him!í
Conrad knew there were only seconds left; he could feel Deathís shadow approaching through the thunderstorm raging across the city. He leaned down and brought his lips to Hartwellís ear.
ëI forgive you,í he whispered, his vision blurring with tears. He pulled back slightly and saw Hartwell blink once. The young manís last breath left his mouth and caressed Conradís cheek.
William Hartwell stared unseeingly at the rain falling from the night sky, his face serene and his body relaxing in death.
ëNo,í mumbled the woman. ëNo, this isnít happening!í Her voice rose to a scream. ëWhy did you let him die? Why? Goddamn youó!í Grief overwhelmed her and she wept brokenly.
Conradís heart shattered inside his chest as he looked at the woman he loved and saw hate dawn in the depths of her hazel eyes.

 

 

AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Pediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.
 Her debut novel Soul Meaning (Seventeen Book #1) has won and been nominated for several awards, as has her second novel Kingís Crusade. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the next installment in the series. She still practices medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.

 

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Longclaws by Steve Peek book blast #giveaway

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Welcome to the Longclaws book blast. This one of a kind horror novel by Steve Peek is an amazing journey into a different kind of horror story, with a new version of the mythology the reader might not expect.

With an average of 4.7 stars out of 5, this is an amazing book that will take you places you don’t expect. Interested? Read more!

Blurb

 

Longclaws COVER Spearhead 02-12-14Their world is crowded with active volcanoes, sulfur and acid rains, permanent thick clouds turn day into deep twilight. It is a violent place: moment-to-moment survival is victory, every creature is constantly predator and prey, sleep is certain death.
This is home to the longclaws, beings of super-human speed, strength and senses. Their predatory skills allow them only a tenuous niche in their hellish environment. Though smart and fierce, their rank in the food chain is far below the top. One clan leader draws from ancient legends of paradise and devises a plan to escape and take his clan to the otherworld – a world filled with slow, defenseless prey.
The clan activates an Indian mound deep in southern forests and enters our world -hungry for prey.
Torrential rains and washed out bridges force a runaway teen, an old dowser and a Cherokee healer to face the horrors of the clan’s merciless onslaught.
Mankind’s legends are filled with vampires, werewolves, dragons and other nightmarish. Perhaps our legend of hell is based on the world of the Longclaws.

meet-the-author

Steve PeekSteve has only recently seriously taken to writing. Though he wrote and managed to have a couple of books published during his life, something clicked a few years ago and now, for better or worse, he sits at his table researching and writing about things that interest him.
His wife, Annie takes care of him. She keeps him eating too well and laughing often in their old farmhouse halfway up the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Steve’s forty year career in the game industry allowed him to travel extensively and explore histories and myths of peoples and places.
His books on Amazon include:

Longclaws, Alien Agenda, Coyote Dreaming, Otherworld and The Game Inventors Handbook.

In addition to writing, he works in a vegetable garden trying not to be herbicidal, walks in the woods with a rescued dog and gathers imaginary eggs from a few cut-out, wooden hens.
e loves all things ancient and appreciates the magic of life and the interconnection of all things. He would like to hear from you via jstephenpeek on facebook or send me a message via his contact form.

excerpt

After Father came home from work, they piled into their family car: a six-year-old 1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic station wagon. Painted hunter green, their car possessed real wood trim around the side windows.
He and his brother sat on blankets in the back, where the third seat had been laid flat to create space for them and the two suitcases. Tom’s sisters—Amanda and Allison—occupied the backseat, with a picnic basket between them.
The basket contained sandwiches and cookies, as well as two of their mother’s green-apple pies that she had made for the new widow in Alabama. Tires in those days were real rubber and produced hypnotic, whining sounds as the car cruised along the highway, causing occasional dogs to give chase.
Their father started the car and enumerated the road-trip rules for the Mason family, which applied only to the Mason kids: no horseplay, no loud talking, no teasing brothers or sisters. They could play games, talk, or tell stories, but in low voices. If they stopped, everyone would go to the bathroom, real bathroom available or not. Their estimated time of arrival was 10:00 p.m. The host family and their guests might all be asleep or ready for bed, so as soon as introductions concluded, the kids were to go to sleep wherever their host placed them.
The Futuramic hummed through the moonless darkness. Boredom settled in, and sleep overtook all the kids except Tom. Tom clipped his Boy Scout flashlight to the neck of his T-shirt and reread the Superman annual comic book for the thirtieth time.
Tom felt the car slow and then turn onto a dirt road packed hard by a summer of little rain. The tires vibrated on short stretches of washboard ruts in the dirt road. Tom sensed the edge of motion sickness, so he put away his comic and sat up to stare out the back window through an accumulating layer of reddish dust.
His brother, Russ, slept at his side. At fourteen—the oldest of the Mason kids—their parents expected Russ to become the surrogate father when adults were absent. Tom never admitted it, but he idolized his brother. Russ was as close to a hero as Tom could imagine. Tom knew he could depend on Russ, no matter what.
Amanda, two years Tom’s senior, was the more feminine of the two sisters. Allison—one year older than her sister and the prettier of the two—preferred mud fights and tree climbing to dolls and frilly dresses. She tried to mother Tom when he hurt himself or fell ill, but Tom would have none of it.
Tom stared out the back window. The taillights cast a scary, red glow behind the car as the tires kicked up dust, which twisted into horizontal dirt-devils streaming from the rear of the car. Beyond the red glow of the taillights, the complete darkness frightened Tom a little.
Tom’s father and mother exchanged words. His mom twisted her body and faced the backseats. “Wake up kids. We are going to be there in a few minutes. Wake up and make yourselves presentable.”
The sisters stirred, emerging from whatever dreams had been born of the bouncy car and the background rhythm of the eight-cylinder engine.
Mother looked past the girls at him and said, “Tom, wake up your brother. We are almost there.”
Knowing they would be at their mysterious destination soon, Tom’s phobia of meeting new people—especially new kids—welled up, feeling like the anxiety of walking to school to face a waiting bully.
Without taking his eyes off the illuminated portion of the road, their father said aloud, as if making an announcement over the school intercom, “I want you on your best behavior. The folks here are good people. They are our relatives. If an adult asks you to do something, do it.”
He cleared his throat and continued, “So mind your Ps and Qs. Oh, and one more thing: last time I visited, they did not have a bathroom in the house; they have an outhouse.”
He paused as if preparing to issue a warning or instruction, thought better, and simply said, “You’ll get used to it. But until you do, no complaining.”
Tom saw some lights up ahead: an island in the dark.
When they turned right onto the track serving as the driveway to the old country house standing fifty yards from the road, Tom looked at the layout. The front yard was not really a yard at all. Once part of a forest, it had been cleared long ago, and now only a few huge pine trees were left, rising over beds of needles. Tall grass grew here and there, but gave way to dirt paths where people had walked between the pines.
Light came from every window. An electrical wire stretched fifty feet from the top of the front porch to the biggest pine tree Tom had ever seen. Six bare bulbs—affixed to the wire—dangled about seven feet above the ground.
In one of the circles of light beneath the wire, folding chairs formed a perimeter. The chairs were occupied by men of all ages. In the center of the group, where a fire might be in fall, sat a large washtub filled with melted ice and bottles of Coca-Cola, RC, and Nehi soda pop. The men stopped talking to study the Masons’ car.
“Hello, stranger,” one of them called, walking toward their car. Their father nearly leapt out of the car and grabbed the man’s extended hand, which quickly pulled them together for a hug.
Russ and Tom climbed out the tailgate and stood alongside the car, watching as a group of twelve or fifteen men and kids approached from the string of light bulbs.
The house looked as if it had never seen a coat of paint. The gray planks warped and strained against the rusty nails, which bled dark-red streaks from years of rain. The steep, tin roof was nearly invisible in the night sky. Where the main metal roof ended, another began. A shallow slope formed a roof for the porch, which ran across the front and left sides of the house.
Underneath the porch roof, bare bulbs with dangling pull-strings cast a yellow glow on all the women sitting in rockers. Conversation halted while they examined the new arrivals.
“This is my cousin, Royce.” Their father indicated the man he’d hugged.
“Hello, Royce,” their mother replied with a smile, adding, “Children, say hello to your cousin Royce.”
The man was tall and thin, but somehow seemed stronger than he looked.
“Hello, ma’am,” he said, offering his hand to their mother.

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The Book of Paul book blast @RichardLongNYC

Welcome to The Book of Paul Book Blast.

With 170 reviews, and an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars, the Book of Paul is a blockbuster in the making.  Memorable characters, a great storyline and a blending of mythologies, this deftly woven novel is currently $0.99.

About-the-BookIn the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure “beyond all imagining”– an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will…and attaining eternal life.

When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book’s occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul’s clutches and Martin’s destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul’s sinister legacy.  Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn’t be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe–the Maelstrom.

The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.

With production values matching that of a movie, the Book of Paul Trailer is as epic as the book!

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“Everything you’ve ever believed about yourself…about the description of reality you’ve clung to so stubbornly all your life…all of it…every bit of it…is an illusion.” 

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Meet Richard Paul

Richard-authorRichard Long writes to exorcise the demons of his past and manifest the dreams of his future.

His debut novel, The Book of Paul, is a dark, thrilling, and psychologically rich supernatural horror/thriller that blends mythology, science and mystery into a page-turning addiction.

Richard is also writing a YA novel, The Dream Palace, primarily so that his children can read his books.

He lives in Manhattan with his wife, two amazing children and their wicked black cat, Merlin.

Find and Follow Richard:

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