Beat Stops!

FREE short story – set in Thailand

“Your seat, sir,” the air hostess cleaned some imaginary dust from its cushion.

The passenger looked around before answering, “Thanks, I’d like to sleep, so no interruptions.”

His crumpled Daily Mail hit the floor. The headline glared up at him, ‘Guitarist – Dead’.

“I know you,” wailed a girl sliding into a seat nearby.

Mr Giles Goodly tutted and glared at the hostess. The Thai Airways lady offered an embarrassed smile.

“You’re the drummer! I know you. Why have you cut your hair?” she continued.

The once bouncy black curls now styled as a grey crewcut.

“Excuse me, young lady. Please leave him in peace,” said the hostess. “We are about to take off, sit and fasten your seat belt.”

“Your hair didn’t fool me, I recognise your tattoos,” the young girl said sitting down.

Giles Goodly, better known as Beat-Em Up, or Beat for short, the drummer for chart-topping, ‘Forsaken’, an ageing band of hell-raisers, he was wearing a blazer and Levi jeans, his long-sleeved denim shirt covered his arms, his jacket now stowed above.

“You should have worn gloves,” laughed Amy, his neighbour for the long flight to Thailand.

“Next time, I’ll take your advice,” he grinned.

“You look good without the curly bonnet,” she noted. “Pity about Pots, I loved his voice, and how odd and sad about the guitarist, what was his name?” she asked, judging Beat’s facial reaction.

“Please let me rest,” he said, reminding him of his friend did not improve his mood.

“Sure, sure, I bet you are still upset? Half a band dead!”

He closed his eyes and hoped to drift to sleep without thinking about the group’s leader, who he’d had a love-hate relationship with. Once more he started visualising the Ferrari, spinning and smashing into an M4 barrier. 

“What happened to Jethro?” he wondered. That was news to him.

Beat’s relationship with the fastest fingers in London had been far friendlier than with their leader. He slept fitfully the rest of the way to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Amy rushed to join him at the exit, “Where are you heading?”

“A day in the city, then down to Phuket for a party. Are you alone? You are young. I hope someone is meeting you?” he asked.

“I’m fifteen, quite old enough, thank you,” she answered, almost stamping a young foot.

“Okay, be careful. Bye, have a wonderful trip,” Beat jumped into a taxi.

“I will,” she mouthed. “It will get better.”

“Follow that one,” Amy ordered her taxi driver. She felt like James Bond as she entered the hotel. Keeping back, she tracked Beat into the reception. She scribbled a hasty note on hotel headed paper, ‘Your bass player is dead too!’

Folding the paper in four, “Please deliver this to that man’s room,” she asked the receptionist, pointing to Beat as he entered the lift.

As soon as the porter left, Beat read his note then checked Google on his phone, “Oh no. ‘Bassist found dead in his bedroom. There was no trace of foul play. Police suspect he died following an overdose. Time of death approximately forty-eight hours ago,’ Oh God, oh God,” he said fighting back tears.

He went to the room’s mini-bar and downed all the spirit collections. 

“Should I go back to London?” he asked himself, before ringing his manager.

“There’s nothing you can do. Stay there, we’ve got a new release to sell. Imagine the sympathy sales we’ll get? Do it for the band,” said the manager. 

“Take me to the airport,” Amy said as she signalled the next taxi cruising to head the rank.

Checking all the following day’s flight times, she bought a ticket for the next plane to leave for Phuket. 

It took only two phone calls to hotel receptionists to discover which place was hosting the ‘Drummer Hammer Night’, an international gathering of the world’s renowned drummers.

Pleased that she needed only one further call to find if he was staying in the same hotel.

“Has Mr Goodly told you of his dietary requirements. As his personal assistant, I need to check that he keeps to his regime,” said Amy. Her spy skills did not reveal his room number, however.

“Are you press?” asked the receptionist. She disconnected the call.

She then checked in to the hotel herself.

Excited, she whispered to herself, “Not long now.” 

After a much-needed shower, she planned the next day’s activities, before sliding back the quilt to enjoy a refreshing night’s sleep.

“Good morning, madam, you’re the first in for breakfast,” grinned a server. 

Amy sat patiently waiting for Beat to arrive. She flicked through the pages of a pop magazine, whistling to herself.

“Khun Giles, welcome, welcome to our little hostelry,” gushed the manager. “I hope you find everything to your liking. We will do everything to make your stay happy,” continued the limp man.

Amy watched them enter the nearest elevator in a bank of four. The lit number said floor seven. She jumped into the next door lift, pressing button seven, she arrived as the grinning porter exited room number seven-one-zero pocketing his hefty tip.

Downstairs, the drummers started arriving at the party just before eight o’clock; they were all seated around large circular tables with all chairs facing an enormous stage. They had positioned ten drum kits awaiting attention. Lights beamed and flickered as a spritely drummer leapt from one kit to the next as an athletic, warm-up act.

All seats occupied but one. The backing music quietened, guests turned to face the entrance doors, lights dimmed, a drum roll started, applause began, gradually increasing in volume as they saw their hero Beat, arms above his head, hands waving, he grinned at the attention given by his adoring fellow drummers. 

Young drummers took to the stage, banging out star favourite solos. Starting with, Buddy Rich, on to Ginger Baker, Phil Collins, and Ringo Starr, before ending on a twenty-minute tribute session to the late great Keith Moon, “Stars of the future, playing great oldies,” said their host as the applause rang out loudly.

“And now in a change to our published programme, a young lady, all the way from London, Miss Amy. Another big hand please,” the compere bowed out, as leather-clad Amy walked across the stage, throwing drum sticks spinning high in the air, beaming. Without looking up, she caught the sticks, one in each outstretched hand. Taking a hasty bow, she took her time adjusting her seat. She glanced around, then hammered out ‘Moby Dick’ in an exact copy of John Bonham’s 1970 Led Zeppelin performance. Silence. The stunned audience, speechless, the management unsure how to follow that. Time stalled. And then, cheers, claps and whistles rattled the ceiling for ten full minutes. With a tear in her eye, Amy ducked the congratulatory back slaps to dash out of the back door.

“That was the girl I met on the plane! Who the hell is she?” asked Beat.

Nothing but shrugs answered him.

Beat, left without a word. The manager tried to get his show restarted; the guests were no longer interested; they had seen an unbeatable performance. 

“What could cap that?” he said in the mic, signalling to servers to deliver food and beverages. “Quickly, move, get the dishes out.”

“Where did the girl in leather go?” Beat asked at reception.

They pointed to the beach. Beat ran, looking both ways as he raced through the coffee shop out on to the moonlit sand.

“Stop, please stop,” he yelled at the black shadow nearing a rocky outcrop. She disappeared out of view. Beat searched, squeezing between rocks.

“There you are,” he said.

“Yes, I’m here. I’ve waited for years for you to talk to me.”

“What do you mean?” he asked. “Should I know you?”

“I am not one of the thousands of girls screaming your name. I cry in anger at the sight of you.”

“Why, I don’t understand?”

“You and your band killed my dad,” she answered, tears dropped in the sand.

Beat studied her face, struggling to see any resemblance to any man he had ever known.

“Who was your father?” he asked.

“He died because of your thoughtless behaviour? You never gave him a chance.”

“I’ve no idea what or who you are talking about?” he said.

Half sitting, half standing, leaning against a rock she bent forward and gripped her ankles, head on knees, she wept quietly.

“Oh, Dad, I miss you.”

Beat, unsure if he should hug her, and try to comfort the little lost girl. Nervously, he edged closer.

Striking, fast as a cobra, she had pulled stilettos from the cuffs of her trousers, flashing in the moonlight, the blades sliced behind his knees, slashing his hamstrings, left and right, he collapsed to his knees. Her hand clamped his mouth, halting the screams.

“Mr Drummer Man, how hard do you think it is to tamper with a sports car’s brakes? Flash git. Easy. How stealthy you have to be when adding poison to alcohol? And how difficult is it to doctor heroin for an addict? Easy, believe me. Especially when we have an alcoholic, a drug taker who likes solitude by hiding away for days on end. And now, Dear Beat, it’s your turn, the last member of Forsaken,” she smirked. “All superstar musicians who didn’t give my Dad a second thought.”

Beat’s jaw dropped as a distant memory glimmered.

“My Dad taught me to bang on drums, but he could do so much more. He was a genius with guitars, and my God was his voice sweet? Freddie Mercury learned from him. All he wanted was a chance. You laughed at him. He would have made ‘Forsaken’ the best band ever. All you had to do was listen, and you laughed at him. He died holding my hand. You will die looking at my feet!”

Amy left Beat pinned to the wet sand by the blades that slashed his throat.

She skipped along the beach, whistling the latest number one hit.

The END

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Free Comedy Story

“What? Who?” Budgie asked.

“Yes, Mr Um… Budgie, it is strange, but I am only passing on instructions as requested by my client,” said Mr Paulson.

“Just call me Budgie, everyone does, no need for formality.”

“Um, no, I suppose not. Mr Kanom told me you are the man he wanted to turn his daughter into a ‘decent’ person.”

“Look boss, I don’t know why I’m here, I came because I thought you wanted me to quote on a building job.”

“My letter was quite clear, I needed to speak to you about a delicate matter,” said the aged lawyer.

“I assumed your girlfriend needed her room painted,” Budgie sneered.

The lawyer sighed, “I don’t have a girlfriend. He asked me to talk to you, and that is what I’m trying to do. Let me start again. Mr Kanom has died…”

“Oh, sorry to hear that. Who is Mr Kanom,” asked Budgie.

“It appears that Mr Kanom’s wife had some er, um, friendship with your father. Were they related at one stage?”

“What is her name? My dad was a sailor, he had many friends.”

“What was her name, you mean. She passed five years ago. Her name was Khun Wan. She owned the instant noodle business that made them wealthy,” said the lawyer.

“Wealthy? So, why am I here?”

“As I said, Mr Kanom was fearful about his daughter, her future and her somewhat wayward lifestyle. He named you as a beneficiary in his will.”

Mr Paulson now had Budgie’s full attention. The lawyer sighed and lifted the paper that had been waiting more patiently than the solicitor.

He started reading, “I Mr Superit Kanom, in full control of my mental faculties…” he read on. Budgie twitched in the leather chair.

“If it is proven that my daughter, Miss Jak Kanom, no longer uses drugs or alcohol and is in full control of her life, to Mr Paulson’s satisfaction, I bequeath my home in Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, one-hundred million Thai Baht, all contents of said house and the three cars parked there to Mr Budgie Regar.”

“How much is one-hundred million Baht? Sounds a lot?”

“It is, somehow I guessed you would ask,” he said, shuffling through the Telegraph financial section.

“Today one UK pound is thirty-two Thai Baht,” he said, sliding the calculator towards him. As Mr Budgie was playing with his fingers.

“Three million, one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds, said Mr Paulson.”

Budgie feinted, his head bounced on the highly polished desk.

“Jane, please come in with a glass of water and lean Mr Budgie backwards in his seat. Thank you.”

The secretary rushed in and gently slapped Budgie’s cheek as she pushed him backwards in his chair. She stared at her boss with questions in her eyes, then retreated as Mr Paulson’s weary eyes told her to leave.

“I’ll make some fresh coffee,” she offered as the door closed behind her.

Mr Paulson slid several photographs across the desk. A groggy Budgie’s fingers trembled as he looked at a Jaguar, a BMW and a sports Mercedes. Room after room filled with Asian antiques, with uniformed staff smiling in attendance.

“There is a twenty-metre pool, oh, and a well-stocked wine cellar,” said Mr Paulson.

“All mine?”

“Yes, but…”

“This is a prank,” he looked around for hidden cameras, waiting for a show host to leap out grinning.

“It is not a trick. Mr Kanom was a wealthy man, and he wants only the best for his daughter. He chose you to straighten her up,” he ran his fingers through his thinning hair, before whispering, “God only knows why?” he controlled himself, “Then, and only then can you take possession of the listed items.”

Budgie leant back, dreaming of holidays on Thai beaches, cocktail in hand.

“Do they have Singapore Sling in Thailand?” he wondered.

Eventually, he asked, “Who is the daughter and when can I meet her?”

“I thought you would never ask,” said Mr Paulson.

“Miss Jak? Hi, just to let you know, Mr Paulson and his client are ready to meet you at one. They will be in ‘The Club’ awaiting your presence,” said the secretary with a cheeky grin. 

“I thought my father was the client?” said Jak.

“Er, yes, technically,” Jane answered.

“Don’t worry, I’m only messing around. I’ll go as soon as they finish my nails.”

The Club, established in 1887, was busy. All diners wore suits, except Mr Budgie. The grandeur hushed the conversations. Servers wore tail-coats as did the bar staff.

“Yes, sir, are you ready to order?” said one of the long tails.

“We are awaiting a lady, we will order then. A small sherry for me, and my guest will…”

“A beer for me, mate, do you have Carlsberg?”

Budgie leaned back and grinned at those who tried to hide their gaze. Mr Paulson attempted small talk and failed badly. Budgie wasn’t listening, he was too busy dreaming.

A minor disturbance broke through the muted chatter. 

“That must be them,” a stylish Asian lady pointed a newly varnished nail at a central table. She marched in, leaving the Maitre De struggling to keep up.

“Hi guys, I’m Jak.”

Mr Paulson stood and delicately touched her hand. Budgie smiled but remained seated.

“Vodka for me,” she waved at an open-mouthed waiter. Sitting at the proffered chair. Mouse-like Paulson returned to his place.

The dishes were delicious; eating stunted the talk. Budgie was lost for words, Paulson uncomfortable hearing a young woman swearing. It all bored Jak.

“I’ve gone through Mr Kanom’s wishes, I trust it was all clear? May I suggest that you both exchange contact details? The quicker you can prove… follow your father’s wishes, the quicker I can ensure we tick each item. Good afternoon, I have other work that needs my attention.”

“Hang on, who’s paying for all this?” asked Budgie, grabbing Mr Paulson’s jacket.

Jak covered a snigger.

“I have an account here, no money needs to change hands,” said Paulson, stalking out.

“I didn’t know, did I?” said Budgie.

“Come on, let’s get ourselves a proper drink,” suggested Jak.

Hailing a cab, “Take us to Xteme please,” said Jak.

“Xtreme? What’s that?” asked Budgie.

A monster of a man with Maori facial tattoos opened the undecorated door.

“Is he coming in?” he said, nodding at Budgie.

“He’s my guest. Do not question me like that again.”

“Sorry mam,” he answered quietly.

The club didn’t open until ten pm, but staff had to prepare, some days their boss would turn up early.

Beaming greetings to her staff on the way to a private office above the empty dance floor. Mouse-like Budgie followed speechlessly.

“Sit,” she ordered, pointing to a low leather chair.

Looking around nervously, Budgie did as he was told.

“I assume you expect to collect on my father’s will?”

“Um I, I..”

“I’ll take that as a yes. We will both collect if you follow my instructions, okay?” she breathed, crossing her legs, tight buttocks perched on the corner of her mahogany desk. Her guest had no idea her red-soled shoes cost more than he earns in a week.

Budgie looked at the lack of plaster on the bare brickwork boasting brass designs between modern oil paintings showing off a huge drinks cabinet.

“On my say so, you will mail a letter to Mr Paulson, saying that I joined AA and that you never saw me with white powder on my nose, etc, etc. In fact, please forget that I’ll write it myself, you just sign it,” Jak looked at him considering if he could read or write.

“Will he believe me?” asked Budgie. 

“He will.”

“Jane, could you bring my schedule in?” called a more relaxed Mr Paulson.

The secretary had a paper in one hand, something tangled the other in her wavy hair.

“Sorry, sir, could you help me, I’ve got my hair caught in my earring?”

Paulson grunted, unsure how to approach this problem.

“You seem to have…” he started.

The top two buttons on her blouse popped open.

“Oh my goodness,” she fiddled, another came unclasped.

Jane pulled Paulson’s head between her breasts as she pulled her phone from her skirt. The camera clicked soundlessly.

“Come to my nightclub, I’ve some news you will be happy to hear,” said Jak to her mobile.

Budgie took less than twenty-minutes to change his jeans and search for a clean shirt.

“These are the keys to my little Merc, they park it in my Bangkok driveway.”

She slid an envelope across the desk, “First-class air ticket on tomorrow’s flight. Have fun.”

“You mean, Paulson agreed?” asked Budgie.

“Naturally, enjoy Bangkok,” she waved him off.

“Sir, are you okay?” the pretty air-hostess asked.

“I’m fine, maybe too much free champagne?” he stammered.

They whizzed him through passport control and into a waiting taxi.

“Ah, Khun Budgie, welcome to your Bangkok residence. I’m your butler, here to serve. Please let me take your bags. Which bedroom would you like?”

“I’ve got a choice?”

“Why, of course, the um… highly decorated one is Khun Jak’s, her mother and father had the biggest, as they no longer need them, may I suggest one of those?”

“Let’s have a look?”

“Follow me, I will hang your clothes. Dinner at seven? Would that suit?”

“Sure. I want to take the Merc for a runaround. I’ve never had a car like that.”

“Can I suggest later, the jams are worse at this time,” said the butler.

“Never mind, I can’t wait to give it a run.”

Budgie searched his pocket for the key.

The engine hadn’t run for a while, but it burst into action. Budgie felt at home in the bucket seats. He deserved it. He roared down the driveway, only to inch into Sukhumvit Road’s famous jammed traffic. He crawled two-hundred yards before a police officer jumped in front, his hand demanding he stops.

“This is a bus lane,” he shouted in Thai.

“What?”

“Let me see your license?”

“What?”

Often the pro-offered license discretely holds a five-hundred Baht note. The problem disappears. But Budgie was ‘newbie’ on matters of graft.

 The car impressed the police officer, “Nice motor,” he was expecting payment. When Budgie sat staring at him, the officer spoke in his radio.

A more senior man joined them, “Ni alay?” pointing at Budgies’ holdall containing his paperwork. 

“Oh, this? It’s my passport,” Budgie guessed, as they led him to a waiting vehicle.

“In,” he used the one English word the officer knew.

An hour waiting for processing, “What a joke, I can pay any fine they hit me with,” Budgie grinned.

“Sir, we have found class A drugs in your holdall.”

Budgie hadn’t learnt that they gave the death penalty for serious drugs offences. He never used drugs, beer was his vice.

“No way, they are not mine,” he shouted as the cell door slammed.

“I have a welcoming gift for you Jane,” Jak tossed the keys to the sports car to her.

“I’ve been waiting so long for this moment,” gushed Jane as the girls hugged.

The Thai girl led her wife upstairs to her father’s computer room.

Jak typed in the password, a part of her father’s bequeathment. A video film clicked into life.

“My darling daughter,” he said smiling, “I knew you’d gain control of the family’s wealth. Even if I made to work for it. I just wanted you to prove you could. To win the password, you had to be exceptionally clever, you did it. Now you are in control of everything your mother and I owned. The big prize? Well, the shares in the noodle company. Congratulations, and good luck running the business. One last thing, whatever you do, don’t marry that idiot Budgie,” he said grinning. She had never seen him so happy as she clicked the off button.

A tear slid down her cheek as the girls cuddled.

The END  

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Is the evil lurking in Sunshine House human or something much worse?

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Once an exclusive Hollywood hotel catering to the likes of Rudolf Valentino and other great stars of the Silent Film Era, the Bockerman Hotel now is the Sunshine House, an assisted living home for seniors.   

And its residents are dying…in droves.

Sara Caine, paranormal investigator, couldn’t believe she got an invitation to hunt for ghosts in the most haunted building in all of Los Angeles, The Sunshine House. Her excitement turns to horror as the mysteries of Sunshine House reveal themselves to be more terrifying then she could have ever imagined.  

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Psychiatrist Grant Garrick had it all: a thriving therapy practice, a bright, loving, and beautiful wife, a 15 year-old son filled with potential, and a gorgeous home on acreage overlooking the Puget Sound. Life couldn’t get much better.

Then tragedy struck.

Read the novella, Book 1, the prequel to the Psychiatrist Grant Garrick suspense-thriller series.

Learn why he defies danger and adventures beyond the boundaries of his profession to help solve his patients’ problems.

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Sometimes the events of the past cast a wide arc over the present

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Nancy wants to be just like her mom, Sheriff Drew. Regardless of the ribbing she has taken about her name since she was five, Nancy can’t help herself from wanting to delve into her mom’s cases; particularly a serial killer that has victims that fit Nancy’s description. Will Nancy be as good as her mom? Or will the killer win?

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Ghost Stories – Anthology – Horror

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I hope you’re comfortable all snuggled up in the apparent comfort of your own home. Perhaps you are enjoying a crackling fire, a hot cup of cocoa, or maybe you’re wrapped in a warm blanket.

Have you ever felt like you are being watched, only to turn and find no one there? Do you ever hear whispers and dismiss them as the wind? Footsteps in an otherwise empty house? The trail of fingers on your arm that sends shivers down your spine?

All of those feelings are real. We are there, with you.

We are called by many names; spirit, shade, banshee or phantom. Regardless, there is one thing we have in common – we have died and are bound to your plane, trapped between lives.

So, keep a light on while you read the stories of our mortal lives and what happened to our souls. Remember that wherever these pages find you, you are not alone, and not all of us play nice with others.

~ One of many

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“The fear he has created lingers, and it will do so for some time.”

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The once peaceful town of Little Green has been rocked by a series of murders. Three residents of the town have been killed, and the killer always chooses the 13th day of the month to commit his foul crimes. Soon after, another body is inevitably found. As the next 13th day approaches and the town braces itself for another death, residents are fearful. They ask: “who is the killer?” and “will I be next?”

For the residents of Little Green, the killings are both horrific and captivating. They spread their theories across social media, invoking everything from government conspiracies to urban legends. But 18 year old Shelley Matheson is certain those theories are wrong. No one believes Shelley, so she must search for evidence to support her theory; a search which will put her firmly in the frame as the killer’s next potential victim.

From international bestselling Crime Fiction and Murder Mystery author Laura Greene comes The 13th Day, a thrilling small town mystery that will keep you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.

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Disaster All Starts With HIM…

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The full book returns to Amazon January 2021. 

You know where it is, don’t you?….Oh my God, you do.”

Some secrets are better left with the dead. Especially the one Will knows.

William Heaton is a man of many secrets and a hellish past. A new life and a new name are not enough to stop a series of events that unfold after a mass shooting. Events directly linked to that secret.

How will he choose and what will he have to risk for those choices? Find out in this new romantic suspense that will keep you wanting to find out what happens next.

Find out in this new page turning suspense by author Lauren Schultz.

“The Last Consort was a fantastic read, as the author had me biting my nails from the first page right down to the last. The mystery in the book was so gripping that it had me desperately turning the pages to find out more. Furthermore, I must commend the author on her exquisite writing and her excellent use of dialogue. Indeed, some parts of the book felt as though I were in a movie, the writing so vivid and real.”

The Last Consort: Escape is a romantic and suspenseful work that details the story of a man with a complicated past who must prevent the wrong information from getting into the wrong hands. This book is highly entertaining and has very well developed characters. It was also extremely suspenseful and I didn’t want to put it down once I started. If you want an entertaining read, then I highly recommend The Last Consort: Escape

Download your preview copy of the first book of an engaging, page turning new series that will keep you wanting to find out what happens next! 

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Hero worship is not just for the masses…

Sister Jacobine has a secret. An incredible gift from God. It is also an incredible curse.

Sister Jacobine is also the Pope’s hitwoman. When Bishop McGinty gets out of hand with the altar boys, Sister Jacobine is sent to Philadelphia to deliver “greetings” from His Holiness.

In Philadelphia, she meets Rachel Rafferty and her world is turned upside-down. Now, her only possible confidante is Rachel’s brother, the Philadelphia Police Detective that has arrested her for murder.


A Nun With A Gun is a series of short stories and novelettes about Sister Jacobine, the Pope’s hitwoman. They are best read in order.

1.0 Feet of Clay
2.0 A Port in the Storm
3.0 Excommunication
4.0 Requiem Mass
5.0 Den of Lions
6.0 The Narrow Gate

Thriller Short Story

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A paranormal suspense novel

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A reluctant psychic.

A family secret.

A ghost who demands to be heard.


Cheryl reads tarot cards at the Starlight Cafe. When a regular customer asks her to help him get rid of the ghosts terrorizing his home, she takes the job.

Pulled into a web of family secrets and revenge, Cheryl must find out the truth to put the spirits to rest. Little does she know that helping them will complicate her own life in ways she could never imagine.

Follow Cheryl down a winding road of hauntings and paranormal events that change the course of her life.

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Chasing An Elusive Dream…Setting Up an Impossibly Far-Reaching Adventure.

Not Available for Purchase Anywhere!

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Blaine – A CEO searching for an elusive dream, bringing in a talented team, sets the wheels in motion for an impossible, far-reaching adventure.

 Amy – An MI6 agent assigned to a mission wrapped in so much secrecy she doesn’t even know what or who the target is, but is confronted with a life-changing decision.

 Elliot – A brainiac researcher, who once believed that his PhD would lay the world at his feet, is learning about the reality of the frustratingly slow-moving wheels of university grant approvals and funding. Hungry to prove his controversial theories, he stumbles into an incredibly unreal opportunity that might give him exactly what he needs.

Find out how their fates become intertwined in this prequel to ‘The Paradox Journals,’  A Best Selling Time Travel Series.

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He’s almost ready for Black Friday. Are you?

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The Merchandiser by Chad Schimke – When holiday decorations become an obsession, a merchandiser gives in to his longings. He’s at a loss yet second best will have to do, so he makes the most of it. Fear meets perfection in this chilling tale, set against a backdrop of stark film noir. Peek through the window frame, into the darkened department store, while a jingle rings out Merry Christmas… Read ‘The Merchandiser’ today!

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Let the Game Begin!

In a race to find the perpetrators of financial terrorism, the US sends its distinguished operative into a world that is not what it seems. From the strings that control the Presidency to the Cabal that controls the money, everything is hazy. The men in charge of espionage are also some of the most brutal killers, taking pleasure in the work they do. Some do it for flag and country, and others kill for personal pleasure.

In a race to save the sovereignty of the largest economy in the world, watch as the agents go about extracting information while playing a game of cat and mouse. The prize is not always about money, and it’s not always about power. It’s about both. The point where money and power collide is in the modern American Presidency.

The real mastermind stands back and watches as the rest of the world stumbles and falls at the whim of the master. This is such a story, where the clues to the game are found in every word and chapter. Will the truth eventually be revealed and the true mastermind uncovered? Espionage is a game of knowledge. It is the power the world is built on. Knowledge is the real of intelligence and intelligence is the trade of spies. It is evident as the players, the Thirteen, the Omnis, and the Szindikatus come together and set the world ablaze.

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A Small Town Crime Thriller

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Detective Johnson is a veteran on the police force. Loyal, smart and always gets his man. He and his partner, Detective Sally, were stumped when a man arrived at the lone police station of his small town. That man wanted to confess to the murders of nine local women.

After an initial investigation, Detectives Johnson and Sally find that all nine of those women are indeed very much alive, but, each had a strange interaction with the would be serial killer. That interaction alone was enough to put the confessor in prison for life. Detective Johnson knew there was more to the story, especially since the confessor still claim that those women are already dead.

Only Detective Johnson and Sally can find out what more there is to this case… But will they survive what they find?


Dying to Confess is a Novella length book that will be included with a 3 novella anthology thriller book to be released in 2021

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A missing person? A tormented sister. A deadly quest.

In this page-turning short story from bestselling author Nadia Siddiqui, aspiring cop Tori Whitfield deals with the aftermath of her missing sister. Cast into sudden darkness, Tori begins to suspect that someone close to her is involved and tries to set a trap before leaving for the police academy.

It isn’t long before the darkness she had escaped from in her hometown finds her. Tori is forced to rush out into a dark snowy night and race back to her hometown in order to save two innocent lives but is quickly greeted by the horrible truth.

Will Tori survive her nightmare or will she fall victim to the hideous truth that is determined to destroy her?

From bestselling author Nadia Siddiqui comes Preyed Upon, part of Dark Corner collection, a thrilling collection of short stories about a world full of crime committed by those who are good and bad. Follow each character’s journey in each story, which can be read or listened to in a single sitting.

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Action that hits like a roundhouse kick to the head!

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Trafficked by psychotic and abusive foster parents. Jessica escapes and vows to take revenge.

On The Run: With no money and no skills except the ones she’s aquired the hard way, she fights off enforcers and thugs while transforming herself from victim to avenger.

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Moonlight is hired to investigate the brutal murder of his lover. But he has blood on his hands. Her blood…

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THE THRILLER AND SHAMUS AWARD WINNING SERIES!

In MOONLIGHT FALLS, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Vincent Zandri asks the question “If you knew your life could end at any moment, how far would you go to prove you murdered your lover? ” Albany, New York, is the dark setting of this paranoid thriller (in the Hitchcock tradition) about Richard “Dick” Moonlight, former APD detective turned private investigator, who believes he killed Scarlet Montana – his illicit lover and wife of his ex-boss, Chief of Detectives Jake Montana. Problem is, despite the blood on his hands, Moonlight doesn’t remember what happened.

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Vincent Zandri, comes the first in the Thriller and Shamus Award Winning series. For fans of bestselling hard-boiled mystery and suspense writers like Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, Don Winslow, and Charlie Huston.

The Number 1 Bestselling Series in Hard-Boiled Kindle
The Number 1 Bestselling Series in Private Investigators

“Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant.” —New York Post

“The action never wanes.” —Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal

“Gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting.” —Harlan Coben, bestselling author of Six Years

“Tough, stylish, heartbreaking.” —Don Winslow, bestselling author of Savages

“Non-stop action.” —I Love a Mystery

“Vincent Zandri nails reader’s attention.” —Boston Herald

“(Zandri) demonstrates an uncanny knack for exposition, introducing new characters and narrative possibilities with the confidence of an old pro…Zandri does a superb job interlocking puzzle pieces.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

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A friend. A dangerous situation. A choice between life and death. What would you do to survive?

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On the surface, Jessica is your all-American woman—blonde, young, and pretty—but there’s something off in her subconscious, something that draws her to horror movies and true crime. Living with a mix of social anxiety and agoraphobia makes maneuvering the world outside of her mother’s apartment tough, but her job at the local grocery store is something she can manage.

That is, until she gets swept up in the crossfire of an active shooter. In order to survive, Jess must tap into the growing darkness inside of her and cross a line there’s no coming back from, committing her first murder. The experience teaches her one important lesson: murders are like potato chips. You can never have just one.

Warning: Contains scenes of violence that might be triggering to some

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An unpaid debt and a tanning pit of trouble

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Amid the backwaters of 18th century Essex, an outlaw is tasked with collecting an overdue debt. But tanneries can hold secrets far worse than they smell.

Samuel Shanklin has been putting fear in folk since the moment he learned that fear could put food on the table. When a current employer wants his unpaid rent collected from a recluse tenant, living a long ride from the stench of London, Shanklin and his sidekick seize the opportunity for some clean country air. But the air ain’t so fresh where leather’s being made, and the pair soon find themselves tasting a little of their own foul medicine.

Supply And Demand … twisted historical fiction at its finest.

Pick up this novelette now to unlock a dark secret best kept concealed.

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It’s never too late for love or suspense.

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The entire Stone family is home in Flint River for Christmas the first time in over ten years. Mary Stone couldn’t be happier. The holiday season brings her a new love as well, in the form of Elijah Jefferson.

Everything is as it should be until a young woman goes missing and there is a robbery at the Gem Emporium. Mary never imagined the events that took place over of the next several days, nor did she know how necessary her particular brand of wisdom would be.

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It’s 1987. Hair is big. Everything glimmers. A park ranger makes a gruesome discovery in Waterton National Park—the roots of an endangered plant plunging deep into the torso of an atomic tangerine corpse. Fresh off the first serial killer case to grasp his home town, Detective Mahoney is hurled into a series of murder scenes featuring human-plant creations. The corpses stack up. The similarities are undeniable. Mahoney attempts to blur the images of herbaceous-human concoctions crawling into the crevices of his mind with shots of bourbon at a glam rock bar in a dead-beat prairie town. Equipped with a firecracker criminal profiler and a meticulous medical examiner, Mahoney blends physical and behavioural science into his investigation. Does following his gut pay off, or does the garden of a horticultural madman with a passion for parasitic plants continue to flourish?

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They were born as enemies but bonded as mates. This is a Paranormal – Shifter Romance like no other!

As far as Crystal Knew, she was just a normal girl. Sure, there were some instances where she wondered if she were something more than human, but what more could she be other than a foster kid from Nevada? There’s no such things as vampires and witches…right?

After abruptly leaving home to study Zoology in California, Crystal runs into Alveya Tera, a beautiful, and, yet, dangerous member of the mysterious Josbryn family. After recovering from an almost fatal car accident she soon learns that there are definitely more than just animals and humans in the world. She also learns that the beast her mother died protecting her from wasn’t just a part of her imagination.

Neither was her unusual appetite for meat.

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Lock your doors. Bolt your windows.

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MANIAC ON THE LOOSE

An exceptionally dangerous patient has escaped from the local psychiatric hospital. 

Fearing that he’ll lose his job if word gets out, the head of the hospital, Dr. Franklin Grimm, secretly sends his mysterious head of security on a mission to apprehend the deranged psycho before anyone can gain knowledge of the escape. 

Meanwhile, a small town is clueless that an infamous serial killer now walks among them, seeking his next victim. 

Will Dr. Grimm’s devious plan work or will blood be on his hands as a slaughter ensues? 

Terrifying, eerie and incredibly unpredictable, Maniac on the Loose will keep you up all night gripping the blankets in suspense! 

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The serial killer been out for nearly 10 years killing kids and the police department does not know… Who will save the many lives?

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The book was written in continuity of book “THE STRANGE WATCHER”

Lynn Adams’ husband has spent almost 10 years in prison for the murder of their only child, Tasha. Lynn became a cop after her husband’s conviction and had to solve a similar case like her family’s. A father was on the run for the murder of his son and she must arrest him and bring him before the law. Lynn doesn’t believe the father is responsible for the son’s death but can’t prove it. As she continued on the case, she soon realized there was more to the story that had her husband in jail. The city of Houston has a serial killer on the loose; he’s been out for nearly 10 years killing and the police department does not know. The case is bigger than they know. One mistake and thousands of inmates will be bombed. She must fight the painful memories accompanying the case if she must solve and save thousands of inmates and bring one of the city’s longest serial killers to book 

There’s only one person that can help her prove her right to uncover the truth and save the many lives all caught up in one case; the Watcher.

Would Lynn be willing to work with a vigilante as a cop?  

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A lab experiment gone wrong creates a virus that can change the world as we know it…

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Follow Sally as she investigates dark activities happening in Absolute System`s labs and how one night visit changed her life and life of many more. When people try to put evolution into their hands, it can cost them more than they have ever imagined…

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Katie Boles finds her life turned upside when she finds a dead body on her driveway. The mysterious death is reminiscent of the work of a serial killer who terrorized Katie’s hometown five years ago. The police arrested Katie’s brother for the murders, but the trial and her brother’s behavior left her with plenty of questions.

After a second killing nearby, Katie is afraid that the Shock Killer, the man who had forced her into hiding, was back to involve her in a second round of murders. Even more frightening is the fact that Katie might have to come face-to-face with her brother and learn the truth of the murders.

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Exploring the ocean is scary. It’s much worse when something is stalking you down there.

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Being in a plane crash is traumatic, but what if you survived the fall only to find yourself in an unfamiliar forest, with something stalking you and your fellow survivors?
What if you moved to a new apartment that had a locked storage door, but every night when the door opens on its own, you see that doesn’t lead into a storage at all?
What would you do if you applied to work as a night guard, but upon arrival to your new job, you see a list of irrational and strange rules to follow?
Or if you got an emergency alert on your phone, but the more you listened to the sounds outside, you realized that this was no weather warning?

Immerse yourself in ten award-winning Nosleep stories which are guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat with their unpredictable twists and compelling storytelling.

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One woman’s journey from oblivion to recovery

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A troubled relationship, a damaged past and a bottle of wine mixed together make a volatile cocktail for Sophie.

Her journal documents the destructive descent into the grips of alcohol addiction. Full of suspense, as life takes its toll. Is she too trusting? Can she save her friend in time?

Sophie Brown likes to work hard and play hard. Trapped in a relationship she can’t escape from, alcohol becomes her only companion. Unable to accept she has a problem, she becomes increasingly dependent on booze. Full of remorse and afraid of her own behaviour, Sophie finally agrees to accept help and enters rehab, where the road to recovery begins. Hoping for a safe haven, not everyone is as they seem. Then one of her friends disappears, and Sophie is up against time to find and save her.
Sometimes harrowing, sometimes poignant, this funny yet sad novel shows you a real glimpse into what happens when the life of a promising, talented young woman spirals out of control. 

The whole collection for only $0.99

APPLE

AMAZON

In most stores from January 21st

The Sour Cake Murder

“I suppose you expect to win the Christmas cake competition again this year?” asked Patty, the radio newspaper reporter.

“I don’t like to brag, but, well, you know. I am the best baker in the village, so, I guess I’ll win… Again,” answered a grinning Gino.

The listeners did not notice the raised eyebrows of Patty and Steve, the sound engineer.

“It is well-known you always add something ‘extra’ to your recipes? Can you tell our listeners, what it is?”

“I could, but then it wouldn’t be a secret. Stupid girl,” said Gino, his grin turned to a sneer.

“Patricia Puffs Cake Shop fancy their chances,” said Patty.

“Interesting, is Patricia any relation of yours?”

“In the fairness of true reporting, I am proud to call the owner of Patricia Puffs, my auntie Pat.”

“Not surprising that you give her a free advert. I pay for adverts on this station weekly.”

“We’ll take a brief break with the Christmas number one, take it away Liverpool Lads.”

Patty clicked her mic off.

“No need for that, Gino. I’m trying to give a newsworthy report.”

“You may struggle to hold your job, but I am aiming at keeping my name as the top baker for miles.”

Patty pulled at her engineer’s sleeve, “Okay, get on with it.”

“We are standing outside Gino’s bakery shop, Gino is handing out leaflets to passers-by. Gino, excuse me, is there anything further you’d like to say?”

There was a lot he wanted to say. Steve, the engineer, waited for thirty-seconds before he turned on the adverts. Gino rattled on.

Patty and Steve then packed their equipment. Deciding they needed a coffee, they wandered into Patricia Puffs Coffee and Cake Shop.

“Patty, darling, come in and sit down. Hi Steve,” auntie Pat gushed. Brushing flour from her apron, she handed them menus.

“Two caffè Americanos please aunt,” said Patty.

A pretty six-year-old skipped in carrying two plates.

“Careful Jen, you will fall. Why no school today?” Patty asked.

“She’s been a bit under the weather, and with the Christmas holidays next week, I thought it better if she stayed home. Plus, she is a great help to me.”


Gino was peering through the window, spotting Patty, he burst in.

“What was that all about?”

“What do you mean?” asked Patty.

“You cut me off mid-interview. I’ve cancelled all my ads with your tin-pot radio,” he said as he stormed out.

“What a rude man,” said aunt Pat. 

Steve chuckled behind a napkin.

“I don’t know why you are laughing, we could both lose our jobs,” said Patty.

“Well, what happened?” asked aunt Pat.

“I cut him short, I thought people would rather hear adverts than him waffle on about how great he is,” said Steve.

They all laughed as Patty’s mobile rang.

“The boss wants us in his office now,” Patty said.

Jen cleared away and cleaned the table.


Gino was busy in his kitchen, he checked the back door was locked, looked in his large walk-in cupboard to make sure no staff was malingering in there, a last check no one was watching before pulling a large glass jar from the back of a shelf hidden by fridges and freezers. He then carefully placed it next to the ingredients of his extremely popular Xmas chocolate cake and rubbed his hands.
“Ding dong merrily on high…” 

“Oh no, not bloody carol singers,” he cursed, slamming down a heavy spoon.

Pulling out his wallet, he thought again, then searched his pockets for change, deciding on some coins. He opened the front door.

“Here, now clear off, I’m busy.”

He slotted a few pound coins into their box.

Turning, he dropped his cash and swore in Italian as he heard glass shattering from the back.

“Mamma Mia!” he screamed.

Treading on the broken glass, he began wailing, “Where has it gone,” quickly looking under the table. “Where is it!” he screamed.

He collapsed to his knees, ignoring the pain of shards of window cutting through his trouser cloth. He searched for his phone.

“Police, and quickly, I’ve been viciously robbed, and yes, I’m bleeding,” he answered the telephonist.

Gino searched the kitchen for his prized jar as the police arrived.

“Come through,” he showed them the way.

“You reported a theft with violence, they injured you, you said you were bleeding?”

“Yes, look,” he lifted his trouser leg.

“Ripped clothing does not count, sir,” said the younger officer.

“We can see they broke the door, what did they take?” said the other officer.

“I’ve lost something very important to me,” said Gino.

“What exactly?” asked the impatient young police officer.

“Uh,” answered Gino, deep in thought.

“Well? Have they taken anything? You called in an emergency and reported injuries and grand theft.”

“I admit, I caused the cuts, I was looking for something on the floor,” said Gino.

“Are you now telling us, that there was no violence and you don’t know if they stole any item?”

“Err, yes, and no.”

“Christ man, get on with it.”

“I am Gino, a famous baker. Everyone wants the secret to my cakes,” started the chef.

One police officer had taken notes. He slammed the pad back into his pocket.

“We’ll be in touch,” said the senior officer as they strode to the front.


Gino boarded up the door as best he could, all the while talking to himself.

“It must be her. She is the only one jealous enough to brazenly break-in, I was only away for seconds.” 

He crawled into bed muttering and planning.

After a sleepless night, he struggled downstairs. Picking up his trusty rolling-pin, he held an in-depth conversation with it.

“Do you want her dead?”

“Yes.”

“How?”

That required some thought.

“Push her under a train?”

“I’ve no idea when she’ll need a train.”

“Push her in front of a car?”

“People will see.”

“Steal a car and run her over?”

“I’ve no idea how to pinch a vehicle.”

“Shoot her?”

“Where will I get a gun?”

“Use my rat poison and lace a cake with it?”

“Would she accept a gift from me?”

“Stab her?”

“Err, no don’t fancy that.”

Ideas bounced around in his head all day.


The young girl closed the door and put up the ‘closed’ sign.

“Thanks for working so hard in the shop today. But, we have not finished yet. We are going to make the best Christmas sponges. You wait in the kitchen, I’ll cash up. See you in a minute,” said her mother.

She stepped outside to move the sandwich board indoors. She bent, folding the wooden advert together.


From the shadows, an arm crashed a rolling pin into her head. She slumped dead to the pavement. A youthful scream shattered the silence.

Next door’s light went on, more lights illuminated the shops, people ran to their doors, within minutes a police car skidded to the scene.

They hurled questions at all onlookers.

“What happened?” a policewoman asked the young girl shaking in the doorway.

“Somebody hit my mum with a rolling pin,” Jen said through tears.


“Red or white?” Steve asked Patty.

“Are we celebrating losing our jobs?” she answered. “We are the only ones unhappy. Wait a minute, why are you laughing?”

The wine bar was full of people enjoying a pre-Christmas drink, carols rang out above the laughter and jollities. 

“How much do you think Gino will pay to keep his secret?”

“What do you mean?” asked Patty.

Steve pulled a plastic bag from his pocket.

“What is this?” asked Steve.

Patty spread the off-white contents of the bag onto her plate. Poking around with a fork, she smelt it, then tasted it. Her face lit up, trying to control her voice.

“It’s almost worthless as an ingredient. But priceless as a secret!” she burst into laughter.

“What is it?” asked Steve again.

She controlled herself enough to say, “It’s… Oh wait a minute, my phone is ringing.”

She gathered her belonging and called for the bill.

“Come on, we must go. There has been trouble at my aunt’s.”


Several people surrounded the doorway.

“So sorry about your aunt,” said one neighbour.

The senior officer led her into the back room. Blanket-clad Jen was weeping.

“Your aunt struck on the head once it seems and died instantly. I’m sorry for your loss. Her takings are on the counter, so it was not a robbery,” she stated. “Something doesn’t add up. Young Jen said she witnessed a person using a rolling-pin. It seems an unlikely weapon?”

Steve and Patty called out, “Gino!”

Police radios crackled.

The sound engineer then admitted to the police what he had done and instantly arrested.

“Sauerkraut, she stole my sauerkraut,” Gino called as they bundled him into the back of the police car.


Patty held Jen close. Between tears, Patty tried to explain what had happened, “Gino killed your mum because he worried she would tell everyone he used a war-time trick to add flavour and give body to cakes when ingredients were scarce,” she cried. “All because of cabbage and salt. What a sour way to go.”

The END

$16.15

As Sugar Springs gears up for its all-class high school reunion, Mississippi bookstore owner Arlo Stanley prepares to launch her largest event: a book-signing with the town’s legendary alum and bestselling author, Wally Harrison. That’s when Wally is discovered dead outside of Arlo’s front door and her best friend is questioned for the crime.

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$3.49

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

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God’s Will

Denny ducked behind the stone column. He watched as the upturned cross impaled High Priest Drakker’s eyes.  

“Both eyes, how the hell?” Denny asked himself. 

The jelly and goo splattered the elaborate alter, it was black; the blood didn’t change the cloth’s shade.

“Christ, it is like a kid’s Halloween party,” Denny answered himself as stones flicked behind him pinging of stone walls.

Blonde hair matted with blood, Drakker’s wife raced to the rocky entrance and disappeared. Stones flew as flint zinged from the walls. Screams split the rumble of falling boulders.

Denny came round slowly and painfully, it wedged him at a broken angle, one shoulder dislocated, his head bent at right-angles. Agony surged. He needed to move but didn’t. The pain wouldn’t allow it, even if the rocks would. Time passed, Denny did not know how long. Had he drifted into a dream? Was he dead? He heard people shouting, movement, boots kicking stones.

“Help,” he shouted feebly. It hurt.

“Quiet boys, I think I heard someone.”

The flicking blue and red lights caught the leaves in the dark. Denny was being carried to the ambulance. Unanswered questions bombarded him, at last he slept through the siren’s wail.

“You timed that well, didn’t you?” Denny’s wife said at his hospital bedside. 

“What are you on about?”

“Oh, you’ve forgotten have you? We were to go to the lawyer’s office this morning.”

“I’m sorry I missed it. Instead, I’m here with a broken collarbone, and God knows what else.”

“I understand a divorce impedes your full social life, but I want it sorted.”

“It is not a full social life, it’s work,” said Denny.

“Yeah right, that’s not what the village says,” she mumbled.

“And what do the village know-alls say?”

“That accident was your doing.”

Denny looked her in the eye.

“Get out.”

A nurse sidled up to Denny’s bed, “The police are here, they want to speak with you. Is it okay if I bring them in?”

“It looks like they are coming anyway, here they are,” Denny signalled behind the nurse. 

A plain-clothed officer walked in with his badge held high, the uniformed female plodded behind.

“Good morning sir, I need to clear up a few things,” said the officer pulling up a chair, the uniform remained guarding the door. The nurse ducked out.

“Not much I can tell you.”

“That is not what they told me. People heard you insulting, the… eh, pagan people.”

“Pagan people? Who told you that?” Denny snorted.

“Never mind who told me. You have been insulting their group for weeks. Next thing, their coven leader killed along with six members, plus their meeting place was destroyed. And guess what? You were there, uninvited, correct? I wonder why?”

“Yes, I was there. How else did I get these injuries? Am I likely to cause the roof to fall in while I’m in the damn place? All I was doing was writing a piece for the paper.”

“I was told you were digging up dirt? Because you don’t believe in their faith.”

“No, I’m not a Satanist, if that’s what you mean.”

“Why were you really there?”

“You know very well that I’m a journalist. I was doing a story.”

“How did you cause the roof to fall in?”

“I didn’t.”

The nurse held the door open.

“How are you feeling today?” asked the doctor prodding the bandages.

“Better, thanks. When can I go home?”

“Not just yet for several reasons. It is not a good idea to rush out, one, you are not well enough. And two, you have an unhappy mob picketing your home.”

“What?”

“I live on the hill so drive past your house on the way here. They are not a cheerful bunch. I hope they don’t come here!” the doctor glared at Denny.

“What do you want?” Denny asked his wife.

“First, you can sign this. Second, you can get rid of your bunch of mates from outside ‘my’ house.”

Denny looked at the papers she had flung to the bed. The law office logo clear on the top right of the paper threatened him. Denny didn’t need to read further to know what it said.

“I need to get legal advice before I sign anything. And, they are nothing to do with me. I was working.”

“The entire village know you brought the ceiling down just to get a story. Are you proud of yourself, killing those folk, never mind destroying the only historical site we’ve got?”

“It is not ‘your’ house it is still ours.”

She stalked into the corridor bumping into a nurse, a tray crashed to the floor.

“The police are here again,” said the nurse popping her head around the door as she retrieved the tray.

“I will need a statement this time.”

“Because?”

“Because people died, not only were you there, but you are our chief suspect.”

“Is this some kind of sick joke? I was writing an article for The Advertiser, that’s all,” Denny said.

“You were the only non-member of the group present, true or not?”

“How do I know, it is a small village but I don’t know everyone?”

“A get-around journalist? I assumed everything that goes on around here you know about?” said the detective.

“If you must know I was working on something bigger than births, marriages, and deaths.”

“Especially if you caused the deaths?” snorted the officer.

“Oh, come on. You can’t think I caused the accident for a story?”

“My aunt was there.”

“I’m sorry about that, maybe she shouldn’t go to Black Magic masses!”

“She died, I’m holding you responsible. You are under arrest. The doctor assures me that there is no way you could leave that bed for a few days. Then, you will accompany me to the station.”

“So, don’t you believe it was a Satanist’s meeting? Do you want proof?” said Denny.

“You have no proof.”

“My laptop and my phone have all the proof I need,” said Denny.

“I don’t think so, your wife has already handed your equipment to me.”

“Have you looked at it?”

“There was nothing there, no article, no photos,” said the police officer.

“You didn’t give me your name card, can I have it, please?” asked Denny.

Denny studied the officer’s rank and name.

“Detective inspector Richards? Interesting,” said Denny.

Denny asked the nurse for a phone.

“Advertiser how can I help?” the newspaper’s secretary answered.

“Hi, Janice, put me through to Frank please.”

“Oh, it’s you,” said Frank.

“Fine, thank you. What’s wrong with you?” asked Denny.

“Sorry, under stress thanks to you.”

“How do you mean?”

“The police have been here. They wanted your computer and all your notes,” answered Frank.

“No! That’s weeks of work. You didn’t give it to them?”

“What could I do, they thrust warrants at me,” Frank sniggered quietly. “Luckily they don’t know about our back-up system.”

“You mean…”

“Yes, every letter typed on company computers is backed-up on the master system.”

“What about my shots?”

“That depends on where you saved them?” asked Frank.

“On my laptop, now at the station thanks to my wife. The officer, was he called Richards?”

“Yes, his aunt died in the accident.”

“He told me,” said Denny.

“Did he also tell you his sister was married to the head priest?” said Frank.

“No, was she also killed?”

“They haven’t found her body. They have finished their search. What does that tell you?” beamed Frank.

The next morning one of the national papers printed an article: “A free local newspaper’s editor, demanded cub-reporter Mr Denny cover a pagan meeting. The newspaper, The Advertiser, was running several articles covering societies and clubs, Denny thought local sun-worshippers, were something different. At a well-attended meeting, he somehow caused the collapse of the cave’s ceiling. They have used the cave for gatherings for over two-hundred years. The local police are trying to determine if this was deliberate. Mr Denny has a history of writing copy insisting the pagans are a Satanist cult.”

Article by Mrs Drakker.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by [Max Brooks]
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If what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

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Mexican Gothic by [Silvia Moreno-Garcia]
$4.99

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

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Art for Art’s Sake

FREE SHORT STORY

“Dad, what are you doing?” Jilly asked.

“That’s it, I’ve had enough,” said her father.

“You have, what about the rest of us?”

“I took over this shop from my mum, we had a thriving business. Now, its gone, the world has gone mad. I can’t get enough sales to pay for the expenses. Enough.”

Jilly snatched the papers her dad had flung to the counter.

“The rent has gone up, so what?” she said.

“Everything has gone up, except sales.”

“Dad, let me run the business. You can retire.”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“You want me to tell you? Okay, look around, can you see a customer? Even someone browsing? No, it has been like this for days. There is now no need for your mum to come in and help me. We’ve had lockdowns, we were hardly a necessity shop, people don’t spend on their hobbies. So, sorry, but we are going out of business.”

Mr Jacobsen pulled his leg back as if to kick a stack of unused canvases leaning against a paper-filled cupboard. He had a change of mind, relaxing his leg, leaned back against the battered cupboard, head in hands.

“Dad, I want to keep the shop going.”

“It is not up to you.”

“What if I had an idea, that will bring in money?”

“Yeah right, just like you’ve done for years,” he sneers sarcastically.

“Jamie can help me,” said Jilly.

“Your brother is even more useless than you.”

“Dad, that’s not fair, I want to modernise the store.”

He grunted, “Really? What do you do all day? Play on your phone. Jamie plays games on his computer. A lot of good that will be.”

“I am not playing with my phone, I am producing art with it.”

“Art is with paintbrushes and canvas.”

“Dad, my idea is to run art courses, people love to create pictures with their phones and laptops I can help them improve here or online, and then we can print off the work. We earn all round. We can still sell brushes and paint like before, Jamie can mind the till. I will do all the work.”

The quick coughing fit ended with a fake smile, “I said no.”

“Dad, look at this,” she pulled up YouTube.

“See what he’s doing? He has a photograph on the app, see?” her father looked away. She nudged him, “Then he cuts half of it away with a wavy line. Now watch…” Jilly looked at her uninterested father. “Then, using the app, he recreates the portrait exactly as before! Brilliant, isn’t it?”

“No. What is the point?”

“Oh, dad people love this kind of hobby.”

Mr Jacobsen snorted, “That is not art.”

Jilly walked out. The glass in the front door almost came out of its frame.

“Mum, what has got into dad, he wants to shut up shop,” said Jilly.

“Yes, dear, he’s been thinking about it for a while.”

“I want to take over.”

“I don’t think your father will go for that.”

Jilly went up to her room. Google was busy looking for poisons in paint tubes.

“Mum, how long is dad planning on keeping the shop?”

“The sales agent is meeting with him later this month, but I don’t suppose it will sell quickly, do you?”

“I don’t know. Please talk to him for me, I can make a success of it.”

“Your dad never listens to me. Especially if he’s decided.”

Jilly’s brain was pulsating, she felt it would leak grey matter from her ears. She marched to her room. Flicking on her computer, she searched for information on ‘electronic art courses’. Jilly already accomplished at the skill but needed to learn how to monetise her idea. She then went back to a page on Wikipedia where she reread about dangers in the art room.

“What do you want for your tea?” mother called.

“No time mum, I’m off to my pottery class. Bye.”

Nodding to other students, she went straight to the kiln.

“Beautiful work, Jilly,” the teacher said as he admired the mug. “Are you a fan of Matisse’s work?”

“The Blue Nude is my favourite, so I copied it on to this as a present for my dad.”

“It’s wonderful how you got the shade of blue in the ceramic. It works brilliantly on a coffee mug.”

“Yes, I hope he likes it?”

At 9 am the following morning Mr Jacobsen turned the closed sign to open. Jilly marched in.

“Here you are dad, a special gift for you. And not made by a computer.”

“Wow, Jilly, it’s beautiful.”

“Give it here, I’ve also bought some coffee, I’ll make us a cup.”

Jilly went to the back room, which doubles as a kitchenette, filling the coffeemaker with her purchase, and waited for the correct temperature, then poured two cups. She pulled out a small sachet of powder from her pocket. The Blue Nude cup had a little extra sprinkled in.

Jilly and her father talked about their favourite works of art, how and why Matisse painted as he had. It was as if the years had turned back to when Jilly showed early skills as a nine-year-old artist.

“I thought you were going to make something of your life. That was before you got hooked on your damn ‘apps’ or whatever you call them. Jilly didn’t respond, she carried on dusting the shelves.

“Is there any more coffee in the pot? It tastes better in an arty mug,” he smiled.

“Designed by a digital app,” she whispered.

The next morning Jilly travelled to the shop with her dad.

“I’ll continue with the clean-up today,” she said.

“I’m not feeling all that well this morning. Is it okay if I sneak off and leave you on your own?”

“Sure dad,” she smiled, “I know where everything is. Do you want a coffee before you go?”

Alone, Jilly took her time, looking through every drawer, cupboard and hide-hole, anywhere her dad may have tucked something of interest. She didn’t know what she was looking for.

“Ah-ha, what is this?”

She dusted off a carton filled with rusting jars of oil paints.

“Jesus, they made this in 1922, maybe a collector would buy it?”

Tracking down a dealer of antique art, she sent him a photo of her find.

“Whatever you do, don’t open the jars. They are brilliant oils, glorious shades, but it contains arsenic. We wouldn’t dare sell it. Best you can do is to destroy it. Carefully.”

“Thank you,” she said to him.

“Idiot, you can’t destroy arsenic, it says so on Google,” she said to herself. “Also, I haven’t got an osmosis machine, whatever that is?” she laughed.

Yesterday’s powder had worked. She only had enough for one dose. Dad was feeling sick. But she needed a novel idea to progress her plan.

“That can wait, I need to get my digital course up and running,” she said to herself.

“YouTube? Facebook? Instagram? All three?”

She was making her favourite social sites busy. Her phone was being used differently, this time in advertising.

“Mags, I’m taking over my dad’s shop. I will run eArt sales and learning. Interested?”

“Great idea? How much?”

“To you, free, you will be my guinea pig. What do you say?”

The following day Jilly’s dad was still weak but improving.

“I may pop in later and help you cash up,” her dad offered.

“Cash up, you are dreaming. There was not a soul in the shop yesterday or today.”

Mags spent two hours with Jilly.

“Look what I’ve done,” Mags beamed.

“Hey Mags, I’ll make an artist of you yet. Now, do me a favour and spread the word. Let all your contacts know I’ll teach pupils here, then we can go online.”

“Can I print this picture out and show my mum?”

“Sure, that’s the idea, maybe she can have a try?”

“Oh hello, Mr Jacobsen. Are you feeling better?”

“Hello Mags, are you buying paints?”

“No, my new skill is on the phone, look.”

“Skill maybe, but not art, try with a paintbrush,” he said.

Mags nodded a farewell.

“Dad, why be so cruel, she was proud of that,” said Jilly.

“She was in here wasting your time and her own.”

“Fancy a coffee? I’ve got some cookies too.”

“Sure, thanks, my stomach feels better now,”

“Can you open up this morning, Jilly, your dad was taken bad during the night. He is poorly, I’m worried.”

“Probably nothing mum, similar to yesterday? Maybe he rushed with coming back to the shop?” she sniggered behind her hands.

Jilly rushed into the shop and opened her emails.

“Six students!”

She cheered and ran around the store. Then got down to set times for the classes.

Jilly flicked open her phone, “Jamie, can you come to the shop? I need your help and bring your fancy camera with the microphone?”

“What are you doing?”

“I’ll tell you when you get here.”

Jilly started rearranging the shop, she printed several of her artworks and stuck them on the wall ‘borrowing’ some of her father’s elaborate frames, a jam jar full of paintbrushes tipped on its side and a collection of paint tubes scattered on the desktop.

Her brother strolled in, “What is all this? Dad will have a fit.”

“How is he?”

“Dunno, still in bed, I think.”

“Right, I want to make an advert for my eArt course. The brushes and paints signify out with the old and in with the new, ie my eArt lessons. I’ll mention that I can turn their works into coffee mugs, similar to the one I made for dad. Like it?”

“And you’re going to sit there and demonstrate?” he pointed to the stool.

“That’s right. Can you do it?”

“Sure, I’ll film you talking, and splice in the shots of the art on your phone later.”

“Where will you stand? Because I need to clip my script to the tripod next to the camera.”

“Okay, are you ready?” Jamie asked, “Watch my fingers, when I signal three, start talking. Oh, wait, my phone’s ringing.”

“Leave it, I’m all keyed up.”

“It is mum, I’d better answer.”

Jamie turned away, “What? I’ll be right there.”

“Finish the filming, I want to post it on Facebook.”

“No, dad is seriously ill, mum wants me to take him to hospital.”

“I want you to finish this first,” Jilly glared at her brother.

“Dad is sick!”

He shoved his phone into his shirt pocket and rushed for the door.

She swept the jam jar and all the brushes to the floor, coffee mug hurled to the back wall. She began ripping her prints into tiny strips. The tripod kicked into the air, papers flittered. Next, to smash her brother’s camera and mic.

Sitting down, she felt better. First, a smirk appeared which spread, and then turned to a grin and finally the full force of her laugh as she roared, head held back.

Seconds later the door was flung back, “Madam, we are here to arrest you for the murder of your father. If you wish to say…” the sentence trailed to nothing.

Jilly was laughing too hard to listen.

The END

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For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

The Dancing Girls: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with nail-biting suspense (A Detective Jo Fournier Novel Book 1) by [M.M. Chouinard]
$2.99

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When loving wife Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a small leafy town in Massachusetts, newly promoted Detective Jo Fournier is shocked to her core. Why leave her body posed like a ballerina? Why steal her wedding band and nothing else? Hungry for answers, Jo questions Jeanine’s husband, but the heart-breaking pain written on his face threatens to tear open Jo’s old wounds. It’s the same pain she felt when her boyfriend was cruelly shot dead by a gang in their hometown of New Orleans. She couldn’t get justice for him, but she’s determined to get justice for Jeanine’s devastated family.

Songkhla Lake

Songkhla Lake

“Here Comes the Sun. Watch this,” he whistled.

The couple sat on a rock arm in arm.

“Beautiful, you know I’ve never seen the sunrise like this in England?”

“You mean not over a flat lake? You’ve seen it plenty of times, but over council house roofs.”

“Yes, on my way home after a late shift at the hospital,” she laughed.

“Not quite the same, is it?”

“No dear, I feel a lot will change living here.” 

“And just think, on your sixtieth birthday you celebrate by watching nature’s beauty in Thailand.”

“Thank you, darling, for a wonderful surprise, and the many I’ve had married to you. I’ve one for you.”

The steel needle plunged between ribs deep into her husband’s heart.

“Why?” 

His last word as he rolled forward. Mrs Murphy strained as she sat him back on the rock.

“Come and get us,” she said to her iPhone.

The long-tailed speedboat roared into view. The front of the craft scraped over small stones as he cut the engine.

Its driver, Khun Jojo, jumped out grinning.

Mrs Ann Murphy returned the warmth of his smile. Opened her arms and hugged him.

“Let’s get him in the boat, then we can enjoy my birthday,” she said.

Difficult, but Jojo was a strong young man. Between them they rolled Mr Murphy into the weighted fishing net. The sun already glistened darting bolts across the lake.

“Jeez, Jojo, it’s going to be a hot one.”

“This is Thailand,” he answered, twisting the steering bar. The boat slowed and drifted in the middle of the enormous lake. They humped the net over the chipped wooden edge of the speedboat. The package slid rather than splashed and quickly sank out of sight.

“Goodbye dear husband, safe trip wherever you are going,” she giggled.

Jojo started the engine. Black clouds of diesel fumes drifted on the breeze, earning Jojo a glare from his passenger. 

Flapping the smog away, she brightened, “Do you want breakfast?”

“You mean your English version? Toast and jam? No thanks, I’ll go home to my wife’s Thai breakfast.”

“Suit yourself, when do you want the balance of your money?”

“I’ll return my brother’s boat, then I’ll come to you. After you’ve had your toast. Okay?”

Finishing the last mouthful of toast, Ann counted out the thousand Baht notes, one hundred of them.

“Haha two thousand quid well spent,” she said to herself.

“Thank you, Ann,” said Jojo stashing the notes in his truck, “Are you going to live here now?”

“Oh yes, I enjoy living here, we can do things we would never get away with at home.”

“After a couple of holidays, you have decided?”

“As you know, my husband came here alone ten times before he invited me, so it was he who decided we should retire here. But, I love the place. So yes, I’ll stay.”

“If you need me for anything else, you know where I am.”

Ann waited until lunchtime before she reported her husband missing. 

“I’m sorry, madam, there is nothing we can do at the moment. He may have gone for a walk… or something?”

“Yes, officer, I understand. Thank you,” mopping the fake tears.

Out of sight, she rubbed her hands, and went home.

Their home in England had fetched the expected price, and the money invested.

“Leave it to me, I know the stock-market,” her husband had promised. She had no reason to doubt his judgement.

To own a home in Thailand was not as simple. 

“I’ve bought us a lovely bungalow,” he told her on his return from one of his regular trips.

“Look at the pictures,” he had said.

A cute two-bedroomed property on a new estate smiled at her.

“It’s lovely,” she said. “I thought foreigners can’t own houses in Thailand?”

“True enough, my dear, but there is always a way. Don’t worry.”

She didn’t.

Ann often wondered why her husband chose Songkhla to retire to. It boasted the lake he loved and was near the sea. Bangkok, a busy capital, would not have been suitable after living in London. Pattaya had a bad name with a good deal of ex-pat wives. Phuket sounded lovely, a touch expensive, Hua Hin would have been her pick. She wasn’t offered the choice.

“Ah, it’s morning in England, I’ll ring Lucy before she goes to work.”

“Lucy darling, are you sitting down? I’ve got some worrying news.”

Ann sniffed back pretend tears.

“What is it, mum?”

“Your dad, he has gone off. He wasn’t in bed when I woke. His phone is here. God knows what happened. I thought he may have gone to buy his paper. No sign of him. I’ll ring you later.”

They always deliver his Bangkok Post at eight am. As usual, Ann turned it over, “Anything happening in England,” she wondered, then reminded herself to check the share market later.

The phone was ringing, “I hadn’t finished. Mum, I’m worried. Have you been to the police?”

“Yes, they told me there have been no accidents involving British people. I’m worried too, what shall I do?”

“Sit tight. I’m sure if anything happens, the authorities will contact you. It may be… he met a friend and forgot the time?”

“Yes, dear. I’ll ring you later, or tomorrow.”

The Bangkok Post’s financial pages didn’t offer any information of use. She didn’t know what she was looking for, anyway.

Her phone rang. 

“Hello,” answered Ann.

A woman spoke for an entire minute without stopping.

“Sorry, love, I don’t speak Thai.”

She cut the connection.

“What the hell was that about?”

The fridge boasted fresh salad ingredients to which she added half a can of tuna. Sitting down in front of the telly, she tucked in.

“Why don’t I open a bottle of wine? A small celebration for a job well done.”

She was no wine expert, and a locally produced white was perfectly adequate.

An urgent rap at the door disturbed her cheery mood.

“Sawasdee,” said the lady offering the traditional Thai greeting, the wai.

 Ann had been in Thailand long enough to know they expected her to return the bow with her hands together as if in prayer.

“Hello, can I help you?”

The slightly built, well-dressed woman spoke non-stop to the vacant face of Ann. She then politely peered over and around Ann’s shoulders.

“Do you want to come in?”

The woman ducked away, got in a car and drove off. 

Scratching her head, Ann returned to her now warm wine. The mobile was ringing again.

“Yes, hello,” said Ann

“Mum, the bank is trying to track you down.”

“Er, why? They know where I am.”

“Did you know dad changed his next of kin?”

“What do you mean?”

“They wouldn’t tell me, but as they are my bank too, I was told a little. The manager asked me who Khun Su is? I do not understand. Do you know?”

“The only Su I know is our driver’s niece.”

“The Su the bank mentioned is a baby. Is that her?”

“I’ll call you later, there is someone at the door.”

“You again? And who is this?”

The gentleman answered, “I’m Tanai Geek, this lady’s lawyer. Can we come in?”

“And who is she?”

The two guests made themselves comfortable, Ann was dreading the next conversation.

“You are no doubt aware that foreigners may not own property? It is against the law in Thailand.”

“Yes, I know, my husband organised it all safely. We own this house until we die.”

“That is not quite true. It was your husband’s for now. But when he dies, they pass it to his daughter.”

”Okay, and our daughter wants me to live here. What is the problem?”

“His daughter is not old enough to speak. Not old enough to decide on property matters. Therefore, her mother has power of attorney.”

Ann was not listening.

“Of course she is, I just spoke to her in England…” the truth dawned on Ann, a hammer blow struck as she lost the power of speech.

“His new Thai daughter will take possession on his death. We know he is dead, as do you? Now, do you want to hand over the keys? Or do you want to explain photographs we took this morning to the police?”

Her phone was ringing, again. She threw it into the lake.

“You got the better of me again. You always did. I thought finally I had won. Let’s call it a draw.”

The moonlight bounced off the water’s ripples as she strode into the tepid wetness; her pockets full of rocks.

The END

Next read?

Mayhem: A Detective Matt Deal Thriller (Detective Matt Deal Thrillers Book 2) by [Stephen Bentley]
$0.99 AVAILABLE 20th November 2020

Try Bentley’s books – only $0.99 Well worth a look. Get it here!

Don't Even Breathe (Maggie Novak Thriller Book 1) by [Keith Houghton]
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In what appears to be a Halloween prank gone wrong, we are confronted with a twenty-year-old secret. 

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED HERE!

Elsewhere: from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller comes a gripping new science fiction crime thriller for 2020 by [Dean Koontz]
£7.37

With his beloved wife missing, having the key to everything in his possession  proves to be just too much of a temptation for Jeff, and not long afterwards he opens the box and activates the key. GET IT HERE

And my book

Children With No Worries: Do Children Scare you? by [Colin Devonshire]
$3.99

Aren’t children lovely? Most are. 
Philippa’s mother was killed. Philippa didn’t care. She now lives with her ‘half-brother’ Nick, a French lady and a large dog. They all live in a beach house in Hua Hin.
An English film make-up expert comes to Thailand to enjoy a second honeymoon with her husband. To say he has an ‘eye’ for the ladies is true, in more ways than one.
Gail is naturally upset when her husband goes off to enjoy his holiday without her. The children decide he needs to learn a lesson. Was he being set up for murder? The victims all lose a body part. Is there a message hidden in the deaths?
Skylab, fresh from the temple, along with her boyfriend, Kev, set about finding out. They team up with a friendly Thai detective to solve these crimes. 
The action moves from Hua Hin to Pattaya for a fast, hard-hitting surprise. Horror when you don’t expect it!

Cannot Be

A short story by Colin Devonshire, read it here or listen on https://anchor.fm/colin-devonshire

Cannot Be

“He was so small, delicate, perfect. Why oh why?” tears streamed.

“Darling, please stop. You can’t bring him back.”

“No, I know. It’s so sad.”

Mrs Jackie Adams pulled her hand from Mr Joe Adams’ grip.

“I’m going to wash this filth from me,” she said, she brushed her frock.

“What filth? We’ve only been to church,” he asked himself. His wife was bounding up the stairs.

Joe went to the bookcase and tugged the family photograph album from the top shelf. His son was a newborn in the first pages. He flicked through more recent pictures on his mobile. But these too were when their treasured son was a baby.

“What happened to pictures when you were a toddler? When you started nursery?” 

Slowly, pages and pictures morbidly turned. Red eyes flicked from photo to phone, studying one then the next. He was too upset for tears, Joe looked up, hearing the spray of water. Picturing his shapely wife soaping herself, now was not the time to join her in bubbles. 

“No singing in the shower today?” he thought, suddenly dashing up the stairs two at a time. Unsure why, but panic gripped him.

“She never showers with the door open,” he panted.

Bursting through the doorway, “Honey? Are you okay?”

Tearing back the shower curtain, ripping it from its hooks.

“Jackie, Jackie, where are you?”

Running to their bedroom, the wardrobe doors were open, no Jackie.

Returning to turn off the taps in the bathroom, he called, “Come on, darling, please no hiding in Sammy’s room crying alone.”

Pushing open the bright yellow paintwork of the child’s door.

“Come on Babe, finish your shower, then an early night.”

The undisturbed cotton of Thomas the Tank Engine’s eyes glared at him. 

Joe ran to the third bedroom, better known as the box-room.

“Jackie, what are you doing in here?”

The unopened gifts for the second child remained wrapped in pink. She would have been a month old today. Jackie was not there.

“Jackie, where the hell are you?”

Pacing between each room, rushing in and out. He flew downstairs, taking in the emptiness of each room. Eyes searching the kitchen before snatching open the back door.

She was not on the patio; they garaged the car; the garden was empty except for the mower he had forgotten to stow.

“Where the hell is she?” scratching his head, he went in search of his mobile.

“Is Jackie with you?”

“Why would she be here?” said Marcy.

“Have you spoken to her today?”

“This morning, just checking she was all right. Why? What’s going on?” Jackie’s sister asked.

“I’ll talk to you later, must go,” Joe ran to the sideboard.

The blue ceramic urn was missing, as was the smaller pink one.

Sweeping bills and leaflets from the wooden top, her house and car keys were in their normal place.

Running from room to room rechecking each room. Sweat ran down his temples.

“Where are you?”

He slumped to the floor, crying.

The cheerful ‘Joy to the World’ chime infuriated him in happier times. Tonight, he wanted to rip it off the wall. Unless it was her pressing the button.

“Yes,” he bellowed at the door. “Oh, it’s you, come in.”

“What’s going on, you sounded so worried?” Marcy pushed her way in.

She threw her canvas jacket on the chair-arm without taking her eyes from him. Hands-on hips, she glared.

“Go on then, tell me? Where is my sister?”

“Please, Marcy, sit down,” he pointed to the sofa. “I don’t know. That is the truth.”

“Why don’t I believe you?”

“It’s been tough. For me also, they were my children too.”

She studied his swollen eyes and relaxed.

“What happened?”

“She went for a shower, I was here. I went upstairs, she had gone. That is it.”

“My sister wouldn’t go anywhere without telling me.”

“I know, that’s why I called you.”

She looked around, “Where are the urns?”

“Again, I don’t know.”

“Call the police.”

“I’ve thought of that, they won’t do anything, she’s only been missing a short time.”

“Did you call them?”

“No.”

“Call them now, do it, or I will.”

“I’d like to report a missing person…” he started.

“Give me the phone,” Marcy said, grabbing the mobile.

“Please send an officer, it is more than an adult going AWOL.”

Joy to the World rang out, Marcy ran to the door. Two officers could see Joe from the door, head in hands. They listened to Marcy before they started asking questions, Joe first then Marcy.

“Do you have your wife’s handbag, credit cards and purse?”

“It’s all in there,” he pointed to a battered handbag.

“Do you mind if we look?”

“Go ahead, to be honest, I didn’t think to look. She always uses that bag, she’s had it forever,” his eyes welled up.

“Is this the purse she uses?”

Marcy nodded.

“We are sorry, there is not much we can do. It all seems strange, her phone, bag and keys are all here. I will report to a detective back at the station. He will want to ask you the same questions I expect.”

Without a word Marcy marched upstairs she spent the next twenty minutes searching through her sister’s drawers.

“What do you think you are doing?” asked Joe as the bell sounded again.

He left her pulling out clothes. Swearing, he went to the door.

“Yes, and no I don’t want a bible.”

The two plainclothes officers flicked open their badges.

“You had better come in.”

“Thank you, sir. You know why we are here?”

“Of course.”

Marcy stamped down the stairs behind them, “Thank God you’re here. Arrest him now!” she pointed viciously at her brother-in-law.

“And you are?”

“I’m the murdered woman’s sister, Mrs Pilkington.”

Joe found it hard to speak. Head bowed, he slumped into an armchair.

The police followed him, “Can we sit down?”

Joe nodded. Marcy crossed her arms and glared.

“It looks like Mr Johnson needs a cup of tea, Mrs Pilkington, would you mind?” he signalled to his junior officer to follow her.

“Now Mr Johnson, I need to go over the basics…”

In the kitchen, “Never mind tea, why haven’t you got him in cuffs?” said Marcy.

“Why do you say that?” said the officer.

“He must have killed her. All her stuff is here, her favourite clothes, jewellery, the lot.”

“But madam, that proves nothing.”

“Where is she then?”

“That is what we aim to find out.”

“I’ve been through this with the others.”

“Yes sir, I’m sure you have. I’m afraid you must accompany us to the station.”

Marcy was carrying the tea tray through, smiling as she placed the tray on the table.

“You can get out of my house,” Joe snarled at Marcy as one officer held his hand out for the house keys the other was instructing a forensic team by phone.

They eased Joe into the car’s back seat.

Joe answered the questions as he had three times before. They signalled the officer out of the room to join others in the corridor.

“Nothing? You have checked his car too?”

“Yes, sir. There was no struggle in the house or the car. There is no sign of drug abuse or illegal medicine, no empty packs of legal medicine. Nothing showing anything out of the ordinary, certainly not murder.”

“I’ve got nothing to hold him on. Before we release him, I must look into the children’s deaths.”

The detective banged out a number on his phone.

After explaining who he is and the reason for the call, “The girl was stillborn? Why?”

“Mrs Johnson had been overdoing it at work, and she was suffering from stress, giving her low blood pressure, all of which led to a sad death.”

“Did she complain about her husband in any way?”

“Only that he worked long hours and didn’t help around the house.”

“That was a year ago?”

“Yes, sadly it was exactly one year before their son died.”

“And what did he die of?”

“That was a very rare case. His heart stopped. He had been fit and well, not a day’s sickness in his brief life.”

“How often does that happen to four-year-olds?”

“It happens, but I’ve never worked at a surgery where it occurred.”

“Anything suspicious?” he asked.

“No, nothing, a sad end to a brief life.”

They ended the call; the officer trying to find a link and failing.

Joe returned home, leaving the mess as it was. He collapsed fully dressed on his bed. Nine hours later he awoke sweating. The central heating was ready to burst. Joe rushed to the kitchen and turned the heat down.

“Why did the police do that?” he wondered before flicking on the kettle and considering where to start the clearing up.

Gradually Joe got his life in order. He decided not to sell the house and move; he kept his job, people were not as friendly, but they passed the time of day with him. He had few friends before, now he had none. Out of work time, he read novels, watched the news with little interest. He learned to cook; the kitchen became only the fourth room he used. The bedroom, tv room, upstairs bathroom were the others. He kept the rest locked. 

He only used the corner shop for food shopping. He couldn’t face the swanky new stores in the precinct. The owners nodded and took his money but never spoke. Until one day, eight years after his wife disappeared, they sold the shop. An elderly couple bought the business for their recently divorced daughter.

“Hello sir, welcome,” she said brightly.

Joe shyly wished her the best. He used the shop more regularly now.

Gradually, their friendship grew.

“Please, can I…” he stammered, “Can I… what is the new brand of tuna like?”

She smiled, “What are you asking, truly?”

Laughing he said, “I know what the tuna is like, I eat it most days,” he chuckled, “Can I buy you lunch? Not tinned fish. I mean, well, you know. A pub lunch maybe?”

“I would love to have lunch with you. When do you suggest?”

That was the first of many lunches, they progressed to dinners, and then even touching hands. One evening after walking her back to the shop, he leaned across and in a schoolboy attempt he kissed her full on the lips.

“I thought you would never do that,” she breathed. “Sorry, but I can’t invite you in, what with my parents and all. But…” now was her turn to get nervous, “How about after lunch tomorrow, I come to your house?”

He gulped, “Er, yes.”

Excitement tempered by the realisation he had a lot of tidying to do.

Early the next day, he started scrubbing. The four rooms he used were gleaming, ready for the first visitor in eight years. He treated himself to a little clap as he closed the front door on his way to his date for lunch. Dressed in a fresh shirt, he escorted her to the pub.

Both started speaking together, then both shared a nervous giggle. They were grinning at nothing. Neither ate much, both keen to cuddle up on the sofa. Who knows where that may lead. Giggling like teenagers, they rushed into the living room.

They could hear music upstairs, “Ah, that’s a romantic touch, Joe,” she stammered. Then realising ‘Frozen’ was playing. “Strange pick Mr DJ,” she said.

“Please wait here a minute,” Joe said.

He cautiously climbed the stairs, wondering what was making the music. A children’s movie was playing in the ‘box room’. He listened at the door. Opening a crack, he saw a young girl laying in front of a laptop. She waved, “Hello Dad.”

He was just about to open the second door. He heard a child swearing at a computer game. 

“Is that Sammy?”

Leaning back on the wall to stop himself from falling. He heard singing coming from the bathroom.

Someone had locked the door from inside.

“Open up,” he called. “Who is in there?”

“Me, of course, who did you expect, darling?” Jackie laughed.

The END

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Missing, not missed

A new short horror story, available on http://www.dark-novels.com or at https://anchor.fm/colin-devonshire

MISSING – NOT MISSED!

“The police don’t fucking believe me!”

“What did you tell them?”

“What do you think? I told them what I saw.”

Pub owner, Jimmy, scratched his unshaven jowls. The sound of scraping calloused fingers against a three-day growth was better than the sight of the fat chin wobble. His customer cringed.

“Do you want another beer?”

Jimmy pointed at Spike’s empty glass.

“You don’t believe me either?”

“Let’s just say, you and your mates have kept this pub running, by getting a few down your necks.”

“Yeah, you’ll lose me as a customer if you carry on like that. Are you saying that I’m too pissed to know what I saw?”

Jimmy looked away and had another scratch, this time below the bar. 

“All I’m saying is, who cares? We all hated the man.”

The man Spike swears he saw murdered ‘was’ a feared thug. Big Mac, a man who terrified the locals who, like Spike, earned a living dealing with down-and-out users of illegal products.

Spike was well known to the local ‘Old Bill’. He couldn’t believe himself, as he walked through the front door, unaccompanied and uncuffed, willingly to assist them with a report. 

“You must be joking!” Spike had screamed at his girlfriend the night before when she suggested he should mention that he’d witnessed a murder. The look in her eye twisted his mind.

“Okay, I’ll talk to them.”

He soon regretted it. The police laughed at him.

Still fuming, he downed another pint.

“Come on, Jim. I’ll show you.” 

Sliding his empty glass across the bar, he held the door open for Jimmy. The door boasted cracked and patched-up glass, a varnish that looked more like old sandpaper, and squealed in protest at its opening.

As usual, on a Saturday afternoon, the street was deserted. If they could walk they were already at the game if not, they were sleeping off last night’s excesses. People in hiding before sundown when they start again.

The bar owner puffed and coughed rancid breath to keep pace with the taller, fitter and younger man.

They ducked into a litter-strewn side-street and slowed to an amble as Spike signalled his friend into a decrepit drug den. Carefully, easing the smashed door away from a urine stinking puddle, they went upstairs to the back bedroom.

“Christ, Spike, is this where you bring your one-nighters?” 

“This is where I make the dough that gets spent in your dump.”

Jimmy grunted as Spike pulled him forward to the broken glass and rubble that once was a window.

“Down there,” Spike pointed at a patch of flattened grass, “that is where they knifed him.”

“It looks like a patch of overgrown garden where two people rolled about.”

“One person rolled, for sure. The others stood over him and plunged and slashed curved knives into him.”

“Curved knives?”

“Yes, sort of Ali Barb-a style.”

Jimmy mumbled, “Let’s go.”

“Don’t you want to have a look downstairs?”

“No, I’m going back to the pub.”

He was sweating and trembling before he raced down the stairs and on to the pavement. Spike wondered at the reaction and screwed up his face, followed Jimmy down the stairs. The older man was running as he hit the street.

Spike turned back at the foot of the stairs, climbed through a downstairs window into the weeds and broken glass garden.

“How is it there is no blood? I saw gallons of claret spurting from his throat,” Spike looked around hoping no one heard him talking to himself his customers would think he was using too much of his product. He pushed aside clumps of dead vegetation, studying the earth. No blood, nothing, bar trampled grass.

“Wait a mo’, what’s this,” his foot hit something hard.

Oddly, he cleaned his hand on his trousers before picking up the piece of decorated metal. Turning it over, eyeing the matching pattern on both sides.

Spike crouched and pulled a phone from his pocket.

“Do you remember what I told you last night?”

“Spike, for fuck’s sake, it’s early. Let me sleep. Okay, it’s my round later.” Connection lost.

The mobile was busy again with a different number.

“Not now, for Christ’s sake. It’s early.” Again the phone was turned off.

Edgy answered the third number, “Thank God you called Spike.”

“Why? What’s up?”

“Last night you told me that Jock bastard got knifed?”

“He was. I saw it happen.”

“He still wants the money I owe him.”

“What do you mean? He is dead.”

“Right, you tell him then.”

“I don’t understand?”

“He called me, just before you did.”

Spike was now sweating. Was he that drunk last night? No wonder the police laughed at him. Is his girlfriend is having a huge giggle with her pals? This thought did not sit well, he had an image to live to.

“Tell me about the call.” 

Almost shouting at Edgy, stunned at the venom in his mate’s voice.

“I was in the can, checking tonight’s late matches. A call interrupted my picks. It was Big Mac, ‘I’ll break your fucking legs if I don’t get my cash tonight,’ and he means it. I need to borrow the money, okay? I’ll pay you back.”

“Are you sure it was him?”

“I’d recognise his voice, sure it was ’im.”

“So, he’s coming to the pub tonight?”

“Yeah, can I have the dosh?”

Spike stretched, loosened his knotted legs and marched back to the pub.

“Give me a beer, this time with a chaser,” said Spike.

“A chaser? You must have made a deal?”

“What did you say about the curved knife?”

“I didn’t.”

“No, you ran off at the thought of it, why?”

“Listen, I and my family have lived here longer than you lot. Don’t go disturbing things, okay?”

“Big Mac is coming here later. How can he if he got knifed with an odd weapon? I want to know, how come?”

The bartender looked at his mate, deciding what to say. “Whatever could have changed so drastically?” he thought, as Spike slammed the broken metal on the bar.

“Oh, God!” he croaked. He kept his balance by hanging on to the bar. He regained a semblance of his strength, “Call my wife down. She can explain more.”

Spike moved behind the bar and called up the stairs, “June, you had better come down.”

Red and flustered she asked, “Don’t tell me he’s had a heart attack?” as she looked across at her husband, slumped across a table, head in his arms.

“No, no, he’s all right, we need you to clear something up,” said Spike.

June tutted, “What’s this about then?” as she pulled out a chair opposite Jimmy. Spike sat between them and put the metal on the table.

Jimmy looked across at his wife. She gawped at the object, then her husband, then Spike before she could speak.

“Where did you get this?”

Spike told her.

“Why did you bring it here?” she asked.

“Never mind why did I bring it here, what is it?”

June was deep in a thirty-year-old memory.

Shaking her head from side to side to clear the thought, a tissue appeared from her sleeve, dabbing her eyes.

“My uncle banned travelling gipsies from the bar. He threw them all out into the street. Later, after closing, they came back with weapons,” she trembled and clutched her husband’s hand. “They killed him, slicing and cutting, over and over again. I saw it all, blood everywhere. Christ, I was only twelve. I ran to the police station.”

Spike, on the edge of his seat, waited open-mouthed.

“I came back with the police. I got arrested for wasting their time,” she said.

“What? Why?”

“Because… there was no dead body, no uncle, no gipsies and no blood.”

All three jumped as the phone rang behind the bar.

Jimmy answered, “It is Edgy’s girlfriend. She wants to know if he is with us?”

The END

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Art of the Arcane

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When Everything Counts You Cross the Line…

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Al Nadir has transformed terrorism. Through a sophisticated, corporate approach, they dominate global terror. The leader, Al Douri, has created an infiltrating and influential world power with vast destructive potential. His second in command, Sabena Sanantoni, is an evil and remarkable force. Her sadistic habits and savage behavior have coined her The Slayer. Even her closest allies cannot predict her next cruel move. But nobody doubts her status.

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WHEN A YOUNG BOY GOES MISSING, HIS PARENTS ARE DEVASTATED AND WHEN ALL ATTEMPTS TO FIND HIM ARE EXHAUSTED , THEY MUST TRY TO MOVE ON, BUT THIS MAY COST THEM MORE THAN JUST THEIR SON..

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A YOUNG BOY DISAPPEARS ON HIS WAY TO SCHOOL FOR NO APPARENT REASON. HIS DISTAUGHT FAMILY SEARCH EVERYWHERE AND THE POLICE ARE UNABLE TO TRACE HIM. IS THEIR SON ALIVE OR IS HE DEAD? THEY WILL NEVER REST UNTIL THEY FIND OUT THE TRUTH. BUT AT WHAT PRICE?

When Tim, Maria and Bob’s fourteen-year-old son goes missing, they are baffled and distraught. He seemed happy with them and was doing so well at school. But as the police delve into his past, it appears he wasn’t quite the model pupil they thought.

As time passes, they become frantic with worry. Although they fear he is dead, they refuse to give up on him and their search becomes an obsession. It takes over their lives and the stress involved causes them to split up. When out of the blue they find out the truth, and get the biggest shock of their lives. And discover if he is dead or alive.

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A drug lord fathers his lesbian niece’s child, but not in the usual way!

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Two Englishmen have dreams of setting up a business in the sun, but trouble follows them.

Their first brush with death came at Bangkok’s airport on Nick’s first day in the Kingdom.

Action, laughs, romance and tears follow as the story moves at a breathtaking pace. 

Violence and tender moments collide as the gullible pair meet a dodgy ship’s engineer, two lovely French girls more interested in dogs than romance, and a tall Welsh man, with a very chequered drug background who leads them all into more trouble. The last person they need to encounter is a lesbian newspaper reporter with a deadly family secret. 

The tale unfolds into an action-packed finale.

“I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, 

all very worrying.” Janet Brookman

“How can anybody have so many 

worries on a paradise beach?” Tim Mellish

Published by dark-novels.com

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Detective Shelby Griffin is sworn to serve and protect the city of Los Angeles. That doesn’t mean that she has to like it.

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Actually, Shelby hates LA, and she can’t wait to get out of here and return to her hometown in Rhode Island. For now, though, she needs this job, and she works the streets every day with her partner Trevor Morris. There’s no shortage of cases, either. Shelby’s neighborhood is on the very brink of an all-out gang war, and it’ll take just one spark to light the tinder-dry atmosphere. That spark comes in the form of a dead gangster who might just prove to be the catalyst for a gang war that could kill hundreds and cause devastating collateral damage. Or does it?

When Shelby discovers that the murder is not what it seems, she’s determined to find the real killer, but a kidnapping turns the whole case on its head. The murder Shelby is investigating has led to a terrible choice. Either way, people die. And if she doesn’t find the killer and stop him, those people could include Morris. The vigilante roaming the streets makes life even more complicated for LA’s most reluctant detective as she fights back in this fast-paced first installment of a five-book series.

Declan Walsh is not having a good day. An altercation with an arrested priest on live TV has made him toxic in the eyes of his superiors, and the Catholic Church want his head. 

But when DCI Ford, an old friend of his father arrives with a lifeline at the last minute, Declan readily accepts it, and is seconded to Mile End, East London to investigate the murder of a Chinese Diplomat’s son at Queen Mary University.

But as Declan digs deeper, he finds himself entering a world of tokens and cryptocurrency, of East End gangsters with strange secrets and a ‘cold wallet’ that could contain up to two million dollars in cryptocurrency tokens – tokens that most likely cost the victim his life.

Unsure who to trust, and realising that his appearance on the team might not be such an accident of timing, Declan needs to make a choice; to solve the case and keep his job, or do the right thing and risk everything he’s ever worked for… 

LIQUIDATE THE PROFITS is a 15k word prequel to a new series of crime novels by newcomer Jack Gatland. Find him at http://www.jackgatland.com

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Meet Gedrin.

Heavyweight champion boxer who always finds trouble.
If you like the wit and grit of Myron Bolitar, Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole, or Spenser, then you’ll love Gedrin. 
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20 Minutes. 20 People. 20 different reasons to be underground.

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My name is Jelena.

I have been held captive for months but today I have escaped.

But I am being chased and my only chance to be free is to catch the next train.

But in a city of millions, how do I know that the people on the train aren’t worse than the people I am running from?

Secrets. Lies. Terror. Death. It’s just another morning on the tube.

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It’s never too late for love or suspense.

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The entire Stone family is home in Flint River for Christmas the first time in over ten years. Mary Stone couldn’t be happier. The holiday season brings her a new love as well, in the form of Elijah Jefferson.

Everything is as it should be until a young woman goes missing and there is a robbery at the Gem Emporium. Mary never imagined the events that took place over of the next several days, nor did she know how necessary her particular brand of wisdom would be.

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The World Collapses as we know it….

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Something sinister is brewing in the United States…

The United States is hit by an EMP from an unknown source and its citizens are asked to move to New York. Without basic survival skills and being in the middle of winter, it’s more of a journey to death for most. And then there is the increasing number of kidnap cases everywhere.

4 Unlikely Heroes…

Xander, Aaliyah, Stephen and Suzanne are individuals from worlds apart and with different conflicts. However, with suspicions of foul play in the country spreading, fate must bring them together to clear the air and set things right.

Or at least die trying…

Alexander Michael’s life is thrown into tumult in the wake of the EMP. He had been warned but he never listened to rumors. His sister, Grayson is now nowhere to be found and he is separated from the rest of his family. He sets out on a quest to find his sister despite the negative odds and, soon, he finds out that something dark is at work in the United States- something bigger than he could imagine.

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Prequel to the Award Winning, Citizen Warrior – The 4th Branch… Now Being Developed for a Feature Film

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Would you break the law to protect the people and country you love?
Lessons learned by a young Carter Thompson growing up in post-World War II America teach him when to take a stand. 
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Lock your doors. Bolt your windows.

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“Hudgins is a Horror-Meister to reckon with!” 

VICTOR MILLER – Writer of Friday the 13th 

If you like fast reads, this is the author for you!

Steve Hudgins uses a screenplay/novel hybrid writing style that keeps the descriptive portions of the story brief, allowing the narrative to push forward at a blazing pace. 

MANIAC ON THE LOOSE

An exceptionally dangerous patient has escaped from the local psychiatric hospital. 

Fearing that he’ll lose his job if word gets out, the head of the hospital, Dr. Franklin Grimm, secretly sends his mysterious head of security on a mission to apprehend the deranged psycho before anyone can gain knowledge of the escape. 

Meanwhile, a small town is clueless that an infamous serial killer now walks among them, seeking his next victim. 

Will Dr. Grimm’s devious plan work or will blood be on his hands as a slaughter ensues? 

Terrifying, eerie and incredibly unpredictable, Maniac on the Loose will keep you up all night gripping the blankets in suspense! 

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There’s a mysterious murder hiding in the darkness… and it knows your weakness.

Recently returned home, Detective Claire finds herself in the craziest situation, she thinks she can escape the craziness of a quiet island, but she now finds herself up against the monster.

She is close to you. She’s spent years honing her craft.

This is no ordinary killer; she seems to stalk her prey. More importantly Claire can’t shake this feeling, that this killer is around her, and knows the victims well.

Will Claire be able to stop the killer in time before he strikes? (
Can she find out who killed her brother?
Can save the island’s people?

If you like suspense mystery books, then you will love The Scent of Bones.

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A local Sheriff’s daughter gets caught up in a string of murders. Luckily, Anonymous is the only one who can help make her feel safe again. He’s the man destined to take down the worst of the worst.  

In the course to learn about his mysterious past and solve the case, Anonymous must overcome the Sheriff’s hellbent stance on keeping him from taking the lead. The question is—-is it merely pride that has the Sherriff so twisted, or is he perhaps keeping bigger secrets?

From bestselling author Nadia Siddiqui comes In the Blood of Justice, part one of Anonymous, a thrilling series of short stories about a lost man who’s contracted to kill with no recollection of his past. Follow him in each story and see if he finally solves the mystery behind his identity.

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Time doesn’t work the way you think it does

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Time doesn’t work the way you think it does.

2018
After a successful social justice hack and a sexy night of celebrating, Micah arrives home to a gift left outside his apartment door. An Axe, that when touched causes Micah to lose time and allow other people to use his body. After one of such events, Micah returns to his body, blood covered and holding The Axe, with police knocking on the door. Micah has to use his hacker skills to evade the police and a corporation hell bent on controlling The Axe, all while unraveling the secrets of the gift.

1810
In the woods of western Canada, something is stalking and devouring people. Entire settlements have been abandoned, the residents missing. The people refer to the monsters as Demons. Mehall, a demon-hunting nomad, has returned home, leaving a trail of dead Demons behind her. By her hands and her Tomahawk, she continues killing the creatures even as she begins having visions from the future.

3015
The Circle, an oppressive governing religion, is trying to insight an AI genocide while also releasing a plague on the universe to control its people. Life is as normal as it can be for Miko, a social outcast and data broker. While on a routine data delivery gone bad, Miko is chased to the galaxies edge, where she is confronted by a mysterious ship that leads Miko on a mission to stop The Circle itself.

All three lives are more interconnected than they know.

One thing wants them all dead.
The Infection

One thing binds them all together.
The Axe

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A receipt for two cups of coffee in the gutter near a body leads Detectives Zannos and Wong to the New Delhi Donut shop.

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Four days before Thanksgiving, the dead body of a paralegal is found dumped on a residential street in Midtown Detroit. A receipt for two cups of coffee in the gutter near her body leads Detectives Zannos and Wong to the New Delhi Donut shop. Questions arise – why was her body moved? Who broke her fingers?

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Every Legend Begins Somewhere

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Arthur Reed escaped his former life. Then, it came looking for him.

Drawn into a family affair for easy money, Reed is forced to confront horrific legends and tests thay may lie beyond him.

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The gripping international crime thriller that blows the lid off professional sport

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When organised crime is in the dressing room, sport is no longer a game

Kickback is a fast-paced crime thriller about money, supercars, sex and violence in the Premier League. Alec Munday is a player turned journalist who writes the Direct From The Dressing Room newspaper column and is a media fixer in the sport. When one of his clients, top striker Diego, falls under the control of international match fixers, only Alec’s column, contacts and cunning can prevent organised crime from corrupting the world’s top football league.

This page turner goes into the homes and lives of top footballers visiting the world’s most glamourous hangouts and some of its darkest criminal hideaways. Hold your breath as it lifts the lid on the possibility that the beautiful game is a hair’s breadth away from control by some of the world’s most powerful criminal networks.

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Is the evil lurking in Sunshine House human or something much worse?

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Once an exclusive Hollywood hotel catering to the likes of Rudolf Valentino and other great stars of the Silent Film Era, the Bockerman Hotel now is the Sunshine House, an assisted living home for seniors.   

And its residents are dying…in droves.

Sara Caine, paranormal investigator, couldn’t believe she got an invitation to hunt for ghosts in the most haunted building in all of Los Angeles, The Sunshine House. Her excitement turns to horror as the mysteries of Sunshine House reveal themselves to be more terrifying then she could have ever imagined.  

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An epochal galactic threat… An ancient genetic trait… And those destined to defend the world.

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Owen Wood, a former American intelligence agent, heads to the Caribbean preparing to sail around the world when his dreams are cut short by an unbelievable destiny to save the world. An epochal galactic threat has been discovered that happens in celestial cycles when a portal opens to the other side of the galaxy. Owen, united with his true loves, find themselves in the hands of fate shepherded by the unfathomable wisdom of an ancient genetic trait they each have in common. All the while, the citadel of world intelligence gathers to watch over them through a celestial foretelling of a prophecy that signals a common hereditary lineage to defend the Earth. Along the way, they must combat evil to find lost relics used by their ancestors to defend the Earth in the last epoch. The linchpin to save the world…is Lorchen—the one predestined after 200 generations, stranded in Siberia, trying to find her way out to Owen and her lost sisters.

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When you work for a serial killer, death is at your door every day.

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Britney Cage collects people.

From her friends to her clients to the thousands of employees her temp agency places throughout Tampa, Britney obsessively sifts through humanity in search of the ones who might—in some way or other—prove useful to her.

This compulsion has served her well. A young, successful businesswoman, Britney routinely hobnobs with the rich and powerful, making fans and amassing power at every rung up the ladder.

Still, amid nights out with friends and lavish, sparkling parties with clients, there’s always one person who seems just out of reach: her next victim.

This beautiful, audacious entrepreneur just also happens to be Florida’s deadliest serial killer. And she’s getting better all the time.

Meet the alpha female of the species. She’s doing her best to keep her deadly obsession under wraps, but it’s anyone’s guess if Britney’s demons will devour her along with who’s next on her kill list.

Start reading the 13 Reasons for Murder Britney Cage serial killer series today!

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“The fear he has created lingers, and it will do so for some time.”

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The once peaceful town of Little Green has been rocked by a series of murders. Three residents of the town have been killed, and the killer always chooses the 13th day of the month to commit his foul crimes. Soon after, another body is inevitably found. As the next 13th day approaches and the town braces itself for another death, residents are fearful. They ask: “who is the killer?” and “will I be next?”

For the residents of Little Green, the killings are both horrific and captivating. They spread their theories across social media, invoking everything from government conspiracies to urban legends. But 18 year old Shelley Matheson is certain those theories are wrong. No one believes Shelley, so she must search for evidence to support her theory; a search which will put her firmly in the frame as the killer’s next potential victim.

From international bestselling Crime Fiction and Murder Mystery author Laura Greene comes The 13th Day, a thrilling small town mystery that will keep you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.

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The Devil is in the details, they said. 
A man driven by methodical madness, sitting out on his front lawn, chanting and singing the songs of old taught to him by shamans and witch doctors throughout the land. Each song inspiring the demon that lived inside him to awaken, to beckon him and end the suffering of those in need. 
In his mind, deluded chaos struck without contempt. He clung to a self-righteousness unknown to any. A proverbial goodwill that extended beyond life, beyond death, and whispered the virtues of a better tomorrow, while today he committed sins most foul. 
But when even he had no understanding of his unique state, his broken and deranged mentality, there were no measures to ensure the safety of others.

How can this burden be lifted?

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ADA Alastair Maddox is at the top his game in Prohibition Chicago where mobs paint the town red with blood. Despite being beaten, shot, and almost killed by the mob, Alastair continues his war on the city’s criminal underworld.

But when his former police chief comes in asking Alastair’s help with what he call a “bizarre case,” Alastair can’t help but be interested.

The woman in the red dress sitting in the interrogation room is beyond beautiful. Confronting her feels like standing in the presence of a predator.

Alastair soon stares down the face of death, but he soon learns, death isn’t as permanent as he’s been led to believe.

Obsession. Lust. Murder. A dark thirst.

It all awaits in the lawless streets of Vampire Chicago.

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