Olivia Brown Mystery Book 1
By A.J. Gallant
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Crime, Thriller
A Taste of Christmas: Dublin Style
Who knew that a quick shopping trip would provide me with the miracle that I so
Title: A Poisonous Journey
Author: Malia Zaidi
The year is 1925, a time that hovers between two catastrophic wars, a time of jazz and sparkle, and a time of peace and reflection. For Lady Evelyn, struggling to outrun the ghosts of her tragic past, it is a time of transformation. Left orphaned after a fire when she was only four, Lady Evelyn Carlisle was raised in London by her stern aunt and uncle. Now, twenty years later she has grown restless and is keen to escape her chaperone’s grasp. A letter from her cousin, Briony, living with her husband on Crete, comes at just the right time. Packing what she can, Lady Evelyn makes off for foreign shores. Welcoming her are not only Briony and her husband, Jeffrey, but also his handsome and mysterious friends, Caspar Ballantine and Daniel Harper. Though the latter carries with him tragic memories of the Great War, Evelyn is glad to be in their company. With the sun warming her back and the dazzling sea in her sights, this fresh start seems destined for happy days ahead. Little does she know . . . What starts off as a sunny holiday quickly turns into a sinister nightmare, when Evelyn stumbles across the corpse of one of her cousin’s houseguests. Drawn into the mystery surrounding the murder, Evelyn embarks on a mission to discover the truth, forcing her to face her own past as well as a cold-hearted killer. With the help of her cousin, the handsome local police detective, and the mysterious Daniel Harper, will she uncover the truth, before another life is claimed?
A chill ran down his spine and goose-bumps prickled his skin as the cold darkness enveloped him, swallowed him, the realm of Hades tormentingly near. He sucked in a breath of the damp air and blinked furiously, anxious to find his bearings, to discern hard rocky wall from empty space. It was his fault, he had dropped the torch and they had no choice but to save the reserve for later. For their destination. He would manage. He knew the way.
“Andros?” The nervous voice caught him almost unaware. Andros, Dros, Dros…the echo bounced off the walls around him and made him feel dizzy for a moment, as though the walls were moving closer and caging him in. He exhaled, trying to steady himself. They just had to follow the plan. He was good at that. Good at being patient, good at doing what he was told, at following directions to the letter.
“It’s all right,” he tried to sound calm, quelling his fear as it mingled with the excitement that bubbled inside him, ready to explode. They were so close now. He could feel the rhythmic beat of his heart increasing, a nervous echo in his chest. “Stay where you are, your eyes will adjust. Have patience.” Listening for a moment, he became aware of the labored breathing of his brother close behind.
He stood still for another moment, no other sounds dared to intrude, eerie silence, thick with mystery, with secrets to be uncovered swathed them in its heavy shroud. The Sirens are calling, only you can hear. Run for safety, or plunge and fall prey to temptation. His eyes began to adjust, slowly deciphering the jagged outline of a rocky outcrop above him. It was close. He could feel it. His muscles tensed, stiff and solid, waves of energy pulsing through him, barely contained anticipation. Despite the cold, he felt beads of sweat dotting his brow and running down his temples.
“Andros? I think I see you. Yes.” A few unsure steps followed these words, and he saw the shadowy outline of his younger brother, warily moving toward him.
“Come, but beware your steps, a wrong move could be your last.”
Slowly, with his hands carefully outstretched, he felt his way forward. The air was growing stale, thick and cloying with dust and age.
“Are we almost there?”
“Close, very close.”
Breath was quickening, he shivered. So close now. Everything would change. For a split, indulgent second, he allowed himself a fantasy of the glory that would come, of the life that awaited him. Yes, not much further now. His feet, clad only in his worn leather shoes felt every rock on the uneven ground, a sensation that gave him comfort, a feeling of awareness that had replaced his compromised eyesight and heightened his sense of touch. Hands extended, he reached into the blackness like a blind man. Suddenly they came up against something. Wall. Hard rock wall. The tunnel had come to an abrupt end.
“What is this? Are we lost?”
Andros frowned, small creases folding his forehead, his brother’s voice behind him a distracting intrusion. “No,” he answered carefully, unconsciously holding his breath. He ran his hands along the roughness of the stony wall, seemingly solid and impenetrable, until… Yes, a smooth oval protrusion in the rock face. Sucking in a nervous lungful of dusty air, he pushed. The oval receded into the wall with neat precision. A momentary silence. Then, as if by some miraculous force, the wall gave way, an ingenious mechanism. A dense cloud of dust and debris rose up, sending both men staggering backward, coughing, and rubbing their stinging eyes. Soon the dust settled and silence was again upon them. Neither spoke, fear and excitement taking hold of them. Andros swallowed. It was all coming together. They were here, finally.
“The torch, now.” His voice was almost a whisper, thick with anticipation. A hiss, and a flicker of orange light shot out of the darkness, illuminating his brother’s dirty face. Reluctantly the younger man handed it over. No words were exchanged as Andros took the first careful step, holding the glowing light before him. He entered the chamber, eyes wide, barely breathing. He had found it! He wanted to shout out in joy, in relief. He had known all along, he had found it.
“So, this is it.”
Andros turned, sensing something strange in his brother’s tone. The younger man’s face was still cast in shadow, save for the glittering eyes, shining in the gloom like those of an animal.
“Yes, this is it,” he turned around again, taking it in, the glory. His glory. A sudden coldness at his neck startled him, a stab of pain. And then the blackness returned. Endless and unrelenting.
Malia Zaidi is the author of A POISONOUS JOURNEY. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, and studied at English at Oxford University. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides, vicariously in countries throughout the world. A POISONOUS JOURNEY is her first book in the Lady Evelyn mysteries series. The sequel, A DARKER SHORE will be available later this year.
Brandon Gray is the pen name of Braden Bell (Brandon writes YA fiction; Braden writes for middle grades). Braden holds a Ph.D. from New York University. He and his family live on a quiet, wooded lot in Tennessee, where he teaches middle school theatre and music. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys reading, gardening, and long summer afternoons writing in his hammock. His most notable skill is being able to eat a full rack of BBQ ribs with one hand on long drives.
Shadow of the Drill
By Rhani D’Chae
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
A Gritty and Violent Thriller.
A brutal experience transforms an unproven young tough into a ruthless killing machine.
For fifteen years he waited, building his body into an unstoppable weapon so that vengeance would be had through the strength of his will and the power of his hands.
On the bloodstained streets of a northwestern city, the enforcer known as the Drill stalks his prey. Judge, Jury, and Executioner; he seeks out those who target the weak, condemning them to the kind of justice that has made him a legend.
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Donny’s body sagged against the restraints that held him upright in the chair. He no longer had the strength to scream, which was fine by Decker. The noise had begun to irritate him, and he was glad that it had finally stopped.
A glance at his watch told him that it was five minutes after ten, which was not bad. Another fifteen or twenty minutes would give him what he needed with plenty of time to spare. Then a quick shower, a couple of phone calls, and he would be ready to hit the streets.
He knelt down with his hands resting on Donny’s knees. The man had not opened his eyes in almost ten minutes, but Decker knew that he was listening. “Donny, I’m gettin’ tired, and my back hurts. It’s been a long day, and I hear the shower callin’ my name. We both know you’re lyin’, so just tell me where the key is and we can be done.”
He waited for the requested information, but his prisoner did not respond. “It’s over, man,” he said finally. “You broke the faith, and I can’t let it pass. If I did, word would leak that I actually do have a speck or two of compassion and that’s the last thing I need. Every dipshit on the strip would start thinkin’ they’re good enough to play me, which would make my life a living hell. I have enough to do without spendin’ my time defendin’ my reputation as a heartless bastard. So . . . you gotta go. Now you can go easy, or you can go hard. It’s up to you.” He yawned, rolling his left shoulder to ease a minor twinge while Donny protested frantically in useless denial.
“Look . . .” Decker kept his voice reasonable. “I talked to the bartender, and he fingered you. He’s seen you in the bar often enough to know who you are, and I’d told him when you were comin’ in.” He stood up and reached for his coffee cup.
“He remembers what time you got in, but it’s not the time I told you to be there. It’s not even close. So I have to ask myself – why would Donny be in the bar an hour and a half early? And then you say you met my investigator, and everything went as planned . . . except for one little thing.”
He leaned close, his face inches from his prisoner’s. “Do you know what that one thing was, Donny? Do you have any ideas?”
Donny shook his head vigorously, his mouth working without sound. His body felt as if it was on fire, with the burns on his back from Decker’s lighter a constant source of suffering. He was close to breaking, but resolved to fight for as long as he possibly could. He had betrayed Decker for a reason, and if he broke then both the betrayal and its consequences would be for nothing. His only hope was to die before he spilled everything, and he prayed desperately to whichever God it was that listened to low-life, panhandling, purse-snatching, garbage-grubbing street trash to take him quickly. Continue reading
Date Published: October 2016
Taylor Grant thinks she has life all figured out. But when her longtime boyfriend says goodbye via a few scribbled words on the back of coffeehouse napkins, she begins to doubt everything she ever knew about love and relationships. What she needs now is time to refocus and regroup…somewhere far, far away from the man who broke her heart.
After Texas cowboy Cole McKenzie finds his wife in the arms of another man, he goes in search of a new life, somewhere where he won’t be reminded of his wife’s infidelity. The Caribbean island of St. John seems the perfect place to start over. That is until he runs into city gal Taylor Grant.
Taylor isn’t ready for a new love. Cole has a secret he isn’t ready to share. Can escaping to a tropical island heal all wounds, or will Taylor’s past show up in paradise and make her an offer she can’t refuse?
Available on Amazon.
Genre: Anthology, Short Stories
Published by: BookBaby
Publication Date: October 7th 2016
Number of Pages: 23
ISBN: 1483577856 (ISBN13: 9781483577852)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 Barnes & Noble 🔗 Goodreads 🔗
Unexpected is a collection of true life short stories inspired by the author’s travels around the world and the people he has met. The book features seven thought-provoking, humorous and engaging stories that end with the most unlikely twist.
In one of the stories, The Wedding Contract, the author tells the story of a man who was forced to sign a pre-nuptial agreement simply because his wife was wealthy and he was considered poor. As time went on, fortunes changed and the man became far wealthier than his wife. His wife and friends dreaded the worst from him because of his new financial position but what he did next was shocking.
P.F. Citizen One is a writer. He works as a petroleum engineer, which requires a lot of traveling to different countries, and he uses the situations and varied people he has come across as an inspiration for his great love of writing. His interest in travel has meant that he has picked up some useful languages along the way, and he is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German, allowing him to go just about anywhere and still be understood. Most of the time. He lists his great fear as ”being stranded alone on a desert island” and, as a result, he avoids traveling by boat whenever he can.
P.F. Citizen One’s new book, Unexpected, was published on October 7th and is a book of short stories, inspired by his travels throughout the world and the people he has met.
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In February Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World will be featured in a virtual book tour. Visit the sites below for great features, reviews, and giveaways!
Title: I, Angus
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity 4 Popsicle Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
During a time of civil strife and purging the North has lost more men to Wars then it ever did to Nature.
Angus has grown up learning that his life is better off with only him and a family. But is that really in the Grand Plan.
The North needs someone to build community.
But first, Angus needs to be forged… beaten, shaped, bolded and trained.
Watch as Angus hits both lows and highs across the lands of England, Scotland and France, before meeting a challenge of new land.
Using my hunting knife, I clean the fur away from the meat. Then I cut the rabbit meat into strips and put it into the smaller pot of water. I add some carrots Alice had stashed away, and a few turnips that I have found on my own, and an onion. While everything is cooking, I take a large pail of hot water to where Angela is sitting on a bench in the kitchen and help her clean her legs and knees. Yes, I’m more than a little curious.
She startles me when she asks, “Why are you doing this?” I say nothing and she asks again, “Why are you doing this?”
All I can say is, “What do you mean?”
“What I mean is, why are you helping me? Why are you tending to my scrapes and my hurt ankle? Why are you cooking food for me? Why are you the first man who hasn’t tried to beat me? Or worse?”
“Is there a problem with my taking care of you, lass?”
She hesitates. “I don’t know. Nobody has ever taken any notice of me like this. Not even Da’. He’s been too busy grieving Mother to pay attention to me except to take out his anger. If my own da’ won’t pay attention to me, then why should you?”
This strikes me to my core, and I stand up in shock. The blow of those words is akin to being kicked in the gut by a horse. How can anyone so young be so wrong about life? The look of discomfort and disbelief on her face is just as hard to understand. I search for the necessary words but they escape me.
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike’s latest book is I, Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4).
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“Forgotten lines of ancient magic and the power of the throne. One will make them both his own if his heart sees the true power. . . ”
So begins the ancient Cremelino Prophecy.
The Path Of Destiny
The Cremelino Prophecy Book 1
by Mike Shelton
Genre: YA Fantasy
In this new Young Adult/Teen fantasy series, Darius San Williams, son of one of King Edward’s councilors, cares little for his father’s politics and vows to leave the city of Anikari to protect and bring glory to the Realm. But when a new-found and ancient power emerges from within him, he and his friends Christine and Kelln are faced with decisions that could shatter or fulfill the prophecy and the lives of all those they know. Wizards and magic have long been looked down upon in the Realm, but Darius learns that no matter where he goes, prophecy and destiny are waiting to find him.
The Path of Decisions
The Cremelino Prophecy Book 2
In the second book of this young adult/teen fantasy series, Darius San Williams, now the first commander of the King’s Elite Army struggles with his emerging and ancient powers. After winning his first battle against external foes, he must decide now to follow the King or to take matters in his own hands. Back in Anikari Christine wrestles with how to confront oppression against her people, while in Belor, Kelln must escape the clutches of an evil wizard and warn Darius. Mezar, the captured Gildanian quietly watches everything closely and harbors a secret of his own. Each of their decisions will determine the fate and destiny of their friendship and their kingdom.
The Path of Peace
The Cremelino Prophecy Book 3
In the conclusion of this magical Young Adult/Teen fantasy trilogy Darius DarSan Williams, newly crowned King of the Realm, is being pushed and tested on all sides by others vying for power. His best friend Kelln is in Mar trying to find the escaped Preacher and his daughter, while Mezar discovers a plot in Gildan that could tear the Realm apart, and put Christine in danger. All are being watched over and guided by the mysterious Cremelino horses. They hold one final magical secret that could help Darius save those he loves and find the path of peace.
Contemporary Romance/Womens fiction
Date Published: 11/14/16
Publisher: Fifth Ink Publishing
“Even though I was decaying, Amelia was growing. It was like some beautiful symphony the way both things were happening at once.”
Sacrificing your life for your child is one of the greatest ways a mother can show her love.
For Cara Michaels, that sacrifice was made.
At ten weeks pregnant, Cara was diagnosed with a fast-acting cancer and was faced with the ultimate decision…
That decision, was to forgo life-saving treatment to ensure her child would come into this world unharmed.
Cara shares with us the last months of her life as she prepared to give birth to her child and for her husband, Joel, to parent without her.
But a husband can only handle so much before he breaks…
Grab your tissues because you’re in for heartbreak.
Available on Amazon.