VBT – EVIL EMBERS

TourBanner_Evil Embers

Evil Embers (Vale Investigation, book 2)

by Cristelle Comby

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GENRE: Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

After narrowly preventing the destruction of Cold City, PI Bellamy Vale needs a rest. Or rather, he needs a plain and simple vanilla case—no monsters or otherworldly creatures involved!

When foreign businessman Eli Smith shows up at his doorstep with a thick wallet and a request to find his missing sister, Vale doesn’t think twice before agreeing.

If he’d known body-hopping demons and smoke monsters came attached to this job, however, he might have.

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EXCERPT

The door slammed shut as something grabbed at me. And by “grabbed”, I mean “lifted me off the ground and rammed me into the nearest wall”.

The structure bent under the impact while a nightmare that would have fit in an old-school John Carpenter movie screamed at me. With my gas mask on, I never heard it coming.

Dazed, I glanced up and faced sharp, yellow-tainted teeth. They formed a circular pit of canines, ready to swallow my head whole. I pulled a knife from my boot and slashed the creep at the center of its mass. The fiend’s scream rose an octave as the cold steel struck home.

The creature dumped me back on the floor before dissipating into nothingness.

The attack sucked the air out of my lungs, and I spent the next few minutes coughing through the mask. I felt like kicking myself. I spent my first week here carving wards around the entire six-block area before going in for the first time. I should have known better than to cut one on this house’s front door and move on. I forgot the back door. That mistake left that damned poltergeist way too much room to attack.

The monster du jour was a ghost, an escapee from the realm of death—the Underworld, Hell, or whatever else you call the place people go to once they’re done with life. From what I knew, not everyone turns Casper in their afterlife. However, those who do become near-mindless creatures stuck in their own plane of existence. When they make it to our side of the border, they turn into full ectoplasmic savages.

The dead guy I stepped over near the open back doorway was proof enough of that. What was once an engineer working for the city now had his chest cavity cut down to the bone and his head severed from his body. Blood splatters all but drowned out the muted yellow of his shredded biohazard suit. Judging from the angle of what remained of his corpse, he was trying to flee the house when the poltergeist got him.

Dammit,” I muttered as I tightened the straps on my gas mask. Whoever this engineer was, I was pretty sure he didn’t come in here alone, which meant I may have to explain what a six-foot PI in a surplus army jacket, a gas mask right out of the First World War and second-to-thirdhand leather gloves was doing in an area strictly reserved for city workers and engineers.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.

Twitter :

https://twitter.com/cristelle

Website :

www.cristelle-comby.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Cristelle-Comby/e/B00EAWEODS

Goodreads :

https://www.goodreads.com/CristelleComby

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Evil-Embers-Vale-Investigation-Book-ebook/dp/B07MD2Z7ZV/ref=sr_1_1

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Book Blast – MIMADAMOS

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chadi Ghaith will be awarding a copy of Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice, (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lebanese author Chadi B. Ghaith brings beliefs that were held in secrecy for a thousand years to awareness in Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice (Fifthscience Inc., July 5, 2017). Ghaith’s book revolves around an ancient triangle of the most significant characters on earth, paralleled by three of the most significant forces in life, and their combined story in space and time. Journey through this fable and explore the ideas that have mystified mankind for centuries: good and evil, heaven and hell, the beginning and end of the world.

Did the ending precede the beginning? Are we only here on earth to comprehend its machinations? Is there room for choice to shape our destiny in the wake of fate and its brutal logic? Mimadamos is a unique, philosophically-rich fantasy which journeys through the depths of conflict and harmony that we understand as the spirit. It decodes the magic of the most ancient scripts known to man, the symbolic fall from Eden and the long anticipated armageddon, revealing a logic so unique that it brings history to its conclusive end.

Read an Excerpt

As the door closed each night, dimming the light from the hall to a narrow beam, Destiny’s heart would flutter a staccato beat. She would clutch the blankets, drawing them up to her ears and nose, and shiver. Eventually the hour grew late, her wide eyes grew heavy, and her sister’s regular, slow breathing lulled her into slumber as well.

Her mother’s smiling face greeted her dream self, leading her on a path through the garden to the small pond where fish glided beneath the ripples. “See the fish?” her mother said.

“Look at the gold one! Do you want to touch it, Destiny?”

A much younger Destiny leaned across the edge of the pond toward the fish. She touched the cool water.

“Do you want to hold the fish?”

The creature swam nearer; Destiny scooped the fish from below with one hand, a trick her father had taught her. She laughed as the fish flopped, mouth gaping, slippery in her pudgy child hands.

“Kill it,” Mother said.

Destiny frowned and looked to see whether Mother was serious.

“Squeeze it until it dies in your hands. It has not the rights of life that you and I have. It is just a fish. Don’t be stupid, girl.”

Destiny shook her head, the fish wiggling free to fall with a plop into the pond. As she stared at her mother, the woman’s features melted into those of a woman Destiny didn’t know.

The strange woman sneered at Destiny, her face melting again and growing dark with hair, the teeth elongating and yellowing. The eyes glowed red, and the person grew larger than her father.

Destiny screamed, paralyzed.

Her sister kicked her under the covers, startling her from the nightmare. Destiny’s heart raced, her body drenched in sweat.

“Wake up,” her sister grumbled, turning over to face the other way.

About the Author: CHADI B. GHAITH has spent many years introducing an ancient mind science called Fifthscience to the public; Mimadamos is his first attempt at translating the magic of Fifthscience into a modern narrative. He is a native of Lebanon; however, he acquired his high school and university levels in Texas. Ghaith studied Arts and Film at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He now lives in Beirut with his wife and three children.

Website: https://www.mimadamos.com/.

Facebook: https://facebook.com/chadighaith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mimadamos

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mimadamos-Choice-Chadi-B-Ghaith-ebook/dp/B073SFYFQQ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1

Chadi Ghaith will be awarding a copy of Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice, (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promo Day 2019

Promo Day 2019 Presenters (14)

ASJ Publishing will be taking pitches during the Promo Day 2019 event on Saturday 11th May.

More details can be found on Promo Day website.

VBT – HIS SECRET LOVE

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya Summers will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Meghan Mallory has a plan for her life and it does not involve falling in love. She doesn’t have the time nor the inclination. She’s too busy trying to save the world. But when a freak snowstorm puts her in the path of a man she has secretly been fascinated with for years, she is forced to reconsider her stance on dating. Spencer is rude and obnoxious with his bad boy swagger but then he rescues her when she gets stranded on the side of the road, like a knight in tarnished armor, and sweeps her away to his house to ride out the blizzard.

Spencer Collins likes his life just fine, thank you very much. As the owner of the lifestyle club Cuffs & Spurs in Jackson Hole, he has a bevy of available subs who are his to command – not that any of them have held his interest in longer than he can remember. When his best friend’s sister-in-law gets herself into trouble, Spencer heads out to rescue the little brat who is in need of a firm hand. But he never expects to be forced to confront the incendiary heat that has always existed between them.

As the storm rages around them, they surrender to a passion hotter than the sun. Now that he has felt her surrender, Spencer attempts to lure Meghan into his world. But will they let go of their pasts or will they allow secrets to destroy them?

Read an Excerpt

“I’m to tell you that your sister is pissed you worried her this way.”

Meghan squelched the ever-present guilt when it came to her sister and sighed. “She always worries. Why aren’t we going to Carter’s? It’s a hell of a lot closer than your place in Jackson.”

She studied his profile, the angular, firm jaw covered with a neatly trimmed black beard.

His gaze was trained on the road as he navigated. The way his big hands—the fingers long and bluntly tipped—kept a firm hold on the wheel made driving in these horrendous conditions appear effortless. “We aren’t going into town. My house is roughly ten minutes from here.” His gruff voice, the deep, rather exasperated, bass slithered along her spine like a caress.

“But I don’t want to stay with you,” she protested. She’d rather be stranded on Hoth or on the U.S.S. Enterprise without power. Plus, she’d been looking forward to a night or two at Casa Jones with lots of yummy food and the chance to hang with her nephew. She was indoctrinating him into her love of pop culture and science with measured success. Then there was also the tiny little fact that the thought of being cooped up with Spencer, alone, made her entire body simmer, and not in anger but anticipation.

“Why? Chicken?” he dared and glanced her way.

Meghan’s heart thudded. Her mouth went dry. And deep down she knew the answer was a resounding yes, not that she would ever admit it. With a deadpan glare, she snorted. “Nope. In your dreams, big guy.”

“Relax. I don’t bite. I have guest rooms you can pick from and we will hardly see each other.”

“Sure. Thanks. I just don’t want to be an inconvenience.” Not just to him but to anyone. Not ever again.

He rolled his shoulders in a manly shrug that was so distinctly bored alpha male, her entire body whimpered with the desire to feel all that strength against her.

And then he opened his mouth. “There are always ways in which you can thank me.”

The innuendo flash-fried her brain, bombarding her with carnal images she wanted to deny. But her body told a far different story. Stupid hormones. Her blood ignited. She pressed her thighs together to squelch the distinct throbbing and felt her nipples bead into hard points. Thank god the parka cloaked and hid her desire. She didn’t want to feel this way about him—or anyone, for that matter.

She cast him a withering stare. “Ew. Thanks, but no. You can let me out right here if this rescue comes with those kinds of strings.”

“Just saying, if you really feel that bad, I can find plenty of chores to keep you occupied.”

“Chores?” She glanced his way. His lips were compressed into a thin line but those midnight eyes of his, the ones she saw in her darkest fantasies, danced with merriment. He was teasing her, the big lug.

“Sure. I could use a maid or a cook.”

She couldn’t help it. Really, the man drove her to it. And perhaps her brain had not yet completely defrosted from her sojourn on the side of the road and then the tawdry images her brain had conjured at his innuendo… Her fist curled of its own accord. She punched him in the arm.

“You’re such a jerk. You had me thinking—”

Before she could retract her left fist, he snatched her wrist. “Careful, brat. Had you thinking what?”

And his dark gaze glittered, bored through her defenses before shifting back to the road.

What did he see? Did he intuit that she was fascinated by him? That the thought of him putting his big hands on her again liquefied her insides? Just the simple contact of his hand gripping her wrist, his thumb pressed against her wildly beating pulse, made her panties wet.

About the Author: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit my website here: http://www.anyasummers.com

Plus, I have an Exclusive Bonus Scene from HIS SECRET LOVE available for a FREE download by subscribing to my newsletter: https://goo.gl/phM786

Website as Maggie Mae Gallagher: http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com/

Visit her on social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnyaSummersAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anyabsummers?lang=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15183606.Anya_Summers

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anya-summers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anyasummersauthor/

Buy the book at https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Love-Cuffs-Spurs-Book-ebook/dp/B07NKN5Y2S/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2

Anya Summers will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – Crystal and Flint

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About the Book

Title: Crystal and Flint

Author: Holly Ash

Genre: Science Fiction

It’s been 300 years since humans arrived on Neophia and the planet’s intelligent species have yet to agree on how much influence humans and their advanced technology should have on the planet. With the threat of war hanging in the air, Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf races to finish construction of the mega submarine, Journey, in order to calm political tensions on Neophia and cement her already stellar military career.

Lieutenant Desiree Flint never dreamed she would leave Earth to serve on Neophia, but with the end of her military career in sight she doesn’t see a way around it. Determined to rebuild her reputation on Neophia, no matter the cost, she sets her sights on dethroning Commander Wolf in order to prove her own superiority.

When Journey is attacked by someone from Crystal’s past, the two women must find a way to work together to save the ship, liberate an underwater colony from an oppressive government, and prevent a war.

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Author Bio

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Holly Ash is the author of the underwater science fiction series The Journey Missions. She has worked for the last ten years as an Environmental Engineer after receiving degrees in Environmental Science and English Literature from Central Michigan University. Holly lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and two tiny people who constantly want her to do things for them.

Holly is also a member of The Cabin in the Woods Association of writers which works to help indie authors get their books seen.

facebook.com/hollyashwriter

hollyashwriter.com

Twitter: @hollyash85

Links

https://hollyashwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hollyashwriter/

https://www.instagram.com/hollyashwriter/

https://twitter.com/hollyash85

Spotlight – Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

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About the Author

Sherry Jones2

Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.  Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne.

Her latest novel is Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

Website: http://authorsherryjones.com
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/sherryjones
Pinterest: 
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BookBub: 
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Facebook: 
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Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/josephinebakerslastdance
LinkedIn: 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cybersecuritytechnologywriter
Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219600.Sherry_Jones

 

About the Book:

Title: JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE
Author: Sherry Jones
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Biography/Historical

From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

Purchase Josephine Baker’s Last Dance in paperback,  ebook,  and  audiobook  formats on  Simon and Schuster’s website (available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  BooksAMillion,  Indiebound,  Kobo,  and  other sites). Learn more about Sherry’s books  at  www.authorsherryjones.com

Josephine Baker's Last Dance

Link to book trailer:

Behind the Mic: JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with Adenrele Ojo. Listen as she discusses what it was like to narrate this epic book: https://youtu.be/lHd0amFM3oo

 

Book Excerpt:

Just before she entered the stage door, a drop of rain hit her on the head. No, that was not a bad omen, only a reminder to do her best, to shine like the star she was, or would be. Wilsie came running up—Mr. Sissle was there, but Mr. Blake had yet to arrive. “You’ll knock ’em dead, Tumpy. Just do your dancing and forget the rest.” Josephine didn’t need to be told that. She was ready.

She flexed and stretched her arms as she walked with Wilsie across the stage, past the musicians gathering, trumpets and saxophones and drums and a clarinet, down into the auditorium, where a slender man spoke to a white-haired man at his side. He turned his head very slightly and looked her up and down from the corners of his shrewd, hard eyes. His mouth pursed.

How old are you?” he’d said before Wilsie had even introduced them. The stage door opened, and a very dark-skinned man with a bald head hurried in, talking about “the damned rain,” scampering down the steps, striding up the aisle, shaking water from his clothes.

Eubie Blake,” he said, smiling, holding out his hand to her.

This is Tumpy, Mr. Blake, the one I told you about,” Wilsie said. “She’s here to audition for Clara’s spot in the chorus.”

The man with Mr. Sissle—the stage manager—motioned to her and she followed him up the stage steps. Did she know the songs? Could she dance to “I’m Just Wild about Harry”? Josephine wanted to jump for joy. She pretended to watch as Wilsie showed her the steps, which she already knew as if she’d made them up herself. Josephine stripped down to her dingy leotard, tossed her clothes on a chair, then ran and leaped to the center of the stage. This was it. She bent over to grasp her ankles, stretching her legs, then stood and pulled her arms over her head.

Ready?” Mr. Sissle barked. The music started, and she began the dance, so simple she could have done it in her sleep. Practicing in the Standard, she’d gotten bored with it and had made up her own steps, throwing in a little Black Bottom, wiggling her ass and kicking her legs twice as high as they wanted to go, taken by the music, played by it, the instruments’ instrument, flapping her hands, step and kick and spin and spin and squat and jump and down in a split, up and jump and kick and spin—oops, the steps, she didn’t need no damn steps, she had better ones—and kick and jump and wiggle and spin. She looked out into the auditorium—a big mistake: Mr. Blake’s mouth was open and Mr. Sissle’s eyes had narrowed to slits. Don’t be nervous, just dance. Only the music remained now, her feet and the stage.

When she’d finished, panting, and pulled on her dress and shoes, Wilsie came running over, her eyes shining. “You made their heads spin, you better believe it,” she whispered, but when they went down into the aisle Josephine heard Mr. Sissle muttering.

Too young, too dark, too ugly,” he said. The world stopped turning, then, the sun frozen in its arc, every clock still, every breath caught in every throat. Mr. Blake turned to her, smiling as if everything were normal, and congratulated her on “a remarkable dance.”

I can see that you are well qualified for our chorus, Tumpy,” he said, and on his lips, the name sounded like a little child’s.

You have real talent, and spark, besides. How did you learn to do that at such a young age? You are—how old?”

Fifteen,” she said.

Mr. Sissle snorted, and cut Wilsie a look. “Wasting my time,” he said. Mr. Blake looked at her as if she’d just wandered in from the orphanage.

I’m very sorry, there’s been a mix-up,” he said. “You must be sixteen to dance professionally in New York State.”

I’ll be sixteen in June,” Josephine said. Her voice sounded plaintive and faraway.

We need someone now.” Mr. Sissle folded his arms as if she were underage on purpose. Mr. Blake led her toward the stage door, an apologetic Wilsie saying she hadn’t known. Mr. Sissle followed, talking to Mr. Blake about adding some steps to “I’m Just Wild about Harry,” saying they should put in some kicks, that he’d been thinking about it for a while. Uh-huh.

Come and see us in New York after your birthday, doll,” Mr. Blake said. “You never know when we might have an opening.” He opened the door and let the rain pour in before shutting it again. He looked at Josephine’s thin, optimistic dress. Where was her umbrella? She hung her head. He stepped over to retrieve a black umbrella propped against the wall and handed it to her. She took it without even knowing, her thoughts colliding like too many birds in a cage. She would have to stay in Philadelphia, she had failed—too young, too dark, too ugly—she should have lied about her age, what had gotten into her? Showing off, that was what.

And now Mr. Sissle disliked her, and she would never get into their show; it didn’t matter how many times she went back. As she stepped out into the rain with that big umbrella in her hands unopened and felt the rain pour down her face; she was glad, for now they would think it was water instead of tears, but when she looked back, Wilsie was crying, too, in the open doorway.

Seeing the men watching from a window, she stopped. They wouldn’t forget her; she’d make them remember. She walked slowly, her silk dress dripping, while Mr. Sissle gesticulated with excitement as he stole her ideas—authentic Negro dancing were the last words she’d heard—and Mr. Blake looking as if he wanted to run out there, scoop her up, and carry her back inside.

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sherry Jones. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Spotlight – The Desire Card

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About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg

 Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 About the Book

Title: THE DESIRE CARD
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Pages: TBA
Genre: Crime/Suspense

The Desire Card

BOOK BLURB:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

PRAISE:

“Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg’s fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you’ll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can’t wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” – Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:

HARRISON STUMBLED INTO CENTRAL PARK CLUTCHING THE SILVER BRIEFCASE, HIS BODY SHAKING FROM BEING HUNTED. Clouds clogged the sky. The trees seemed like creatures towering over him. He turned around to see the man in the Humphrey Bogart mask running toward the entrance, a gun bulging from the guy’s inside pocket. The man’s cold eyes scanned the park, zeroing in. Harrison took off down a dirt path until he was alone with only the wind ringing in his ears.

He wanted to collapse; he begged himself to just give in. Nature would destroy him soon anyway, and his shins were starting to feel like they’d been repeatedly stabbed. He coughed up an excess of blood and mucus that spilled down a rock. Now he’d gone so far down the trail that he couldn’t see where he entered. The sound of footsteps came from all directions. A distorted laugh caused all the nearby pigeons to shoot toward the sky. The laugh was followed by an eerie whistle that became louder and louder as he spun around expecting to see his pursuer.

A shadow passed behind a tree, bigger than any animal. He propped himself up against a rock, too exhausted to move any farther, closing his eyes and waiting to die. He could see tomorrow’s headlines declaring his death as a mugging gone wrong.

“Gracie,” he cried, trembling. “Brent, my boy…oh God.”

He had pissed himself now, the urine hot and sticky as it trickled down his pants leg. He still held the silver briefcase close to his chest, resolving not to let it go without a fight.

The man in the Bogart mask emerged from behind a tree holding a gun.

“Just hand it over, Mr. Stockton,” the man said. The voice box attached to his mouth made him sound robotic, weirdly calm. “You don’t want this to get any more complicated than it already has.”

The man made a grab for the briefcase, but Harrison held on tight.

“You’ll kill me anyway,” Harrison yelled, spooking any pigeons that hadn’t already flown away.

“Only if you force me to do so.”

The man kicked Harrison in the shin, causing him to nearly buckle over. Harrison was thrown to the ground, the man pinning him down. He still managed to hold onto the briefcase as if it was fused to his hand.

“The Boss doesn’t know about what you’ve done yet,” the man said, hitting Harrison’s head against the hard dirt. “Do you understand what that means? That means you can still live. And he’ll never find out as long as we get what we’re owed.”

“Why would you do that for me?” he asked, seeing four masked men spinning around.

The man stepped back and pointed the gun between Harrison’s eyes.

“The Boss doesn’t like when things don’t go according to plan. I could be in as much trouble as you for letting this slip-up happen. So let’s make this easy for both of us.”

Harrison got on one elbow and hoisted himself up.

“Do I have your word?”

The man nodded.

“And my family? My wife…my kids? I wouldn’t have to worry about them being hurt?”

“As much as you might think that you are our sole concern, we have an entire organization to run beyond your pithy life. Now I will count to ten and if you don’t hand over the briefcase, I’ll put a bullet between your eyes.”

Harrison thought about what his life had really amounted to. All the hours he’d slaved at Sanford & Co., making rich people boatloads richer. Getting into the office before dawn and often heading home in the middle of the night. Sacrificing his family, his youth, his sanity. How it had made him into a drinker, a serial gorger of all vices, just so he could forget about what he was losing. After all of that, what did he have left to show?

“…8…9…10,” the man said, about to pull the trigger.

“All right, all right.”

Harrison handed over the briefcase. The man opened it up and appeared to be satisfied, a smirking grin visible through his mask.

“I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom,” he said, without putting the gun away. “If what you did manages to compromise us in any way, if there are any rippling after-effects, be prepared to come across the Boss. He’s known to wear a Clark Gable mask.” The man’s smirk had disappeared. “He only appears when he’s ready to bloody his hands. Good day, Mr. Stockton.”

“Who are you people? Under the masks…who are you really?”

The man raised the gun over Harrison’s head.

“I doubt you’ll ever find out,” he said, and struck Harrison on the forehead with the handle.

A trickle of blood spilled down Harrison’s nose and felt cold on his tongue. He slunk down and rested his cheek against the dirt, watching the man in the mask take off through the trees, the silver briefcase shining like a beam of light snaking through the leaves. And then the man finally disappeared—as if he was nothing more than a nightmare brought to life and extinguished once the fitful dreamer finally woke.

Harrison pressed against his rib cage and felt for his engorged liver. Cursed at it. Wanted to tear it from his stomach. He’d been poisoned from within for too long, his unending punishment for all of his crimes. Blood zigzagged into his eyes as the wound on his forehead opened up even more. With his other hand he reached into his pocket and removed his wallet. A thin metallic card fell from out of a sleeve and sat in a puddle of blood that had collected in the dirt.

He crumpled it up in his fist since it was responsible for letting these psychopaths into his life. He knew he’d never feel completely settled again, always worried that they might come after him and his family. The Desire Card had caused him to seek out gruesome and despicable wishes. From the instant this devil’s temptation had been placed in his hands, his moral compass never stood a chance. So he chucked it into the air and watched it sail over the rocks for some other fool to find.

“I’m sorry, Helene,” he mumbled to the wind. He knew he’d have to come clean about everything. His head throbbed, and he recalled a memory from twenty-five years ago. Spying her in the quad at Chilton College drinking a cherry Coke, tan and shapely from field hockey, the entire campus becoming muted except for her. He took a chance by flirting miserably and changing the course of their lives.

She would’ve been better off if they had never met. In such a short amount of time, he’d fallen so far. Now because of him people had been sliced up, left for dead, and soon he’d follow them to his own grave. As he drifted off into unconsciousness, he remembered that it all began to spiral out of control on his last day at Sanford & Co. over a month ago, this treacherous path he embarked on, his dark and dried-up destiny.

VBT – THE TURSIOPS SYNDROME

TourBanner_The Tursiops Syndrome

The Tursiops Syndrome

by John C. Waite

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:

How do you get a nuke into the heart of the city? Maybe a dolphin can help. From Author John Waite, the tale of a police detective who matches wits with a mad scientist and terrorists intent on destroying America. When detective Hickory Logan joins Park Ranger Kevin Whitehead investigating the mysterious death of a dolphin she finds herself sucked into a far deeper whirlpool. Can she and Kevin stop the tide of terror that threatens to kill thousands or will they be fodder for a nuclear fireball?

A newspaper review described Tursiops thus: “The writing is, well, wonderful. Waite has a gift for dialogue and story-telling, and his plot is adventurous and perfectly paced.”

Cover_The Tursiops Syndrome

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EXCERPT

 Red Logan hunkered down next to the Humvee’s left front wheel. He folded his lanky frame in several places to assure that the vehicle shielded him from rifle fire emanating from the house a hundred feet away.

A furious fusillade had greeted A-Company, first battalion, 407th Special Forces when their vehicles pulled to a halt in front of what was a rather strange building for northern Afghanistan. In the early morning darkness it looked for all the world like a California ranch-style home.

But there was no BMW parked in the driveway.

The firefight lasted less than fifteen minutes. There was only an occasional round pinging off the slate-riddled soil and infrequent bursts of automatic fire keeping the soldiers from charging the structure. Red wondered why the squads weren’t using some of the heavier weapons. He knew the unit armament included shoulder-fired missiles and a Carl Gustav 84-mm recoilless rifle but so far, the big stuff had been silent.

The tip had placed Azam al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda’s chief organizer for nine-eleven, in the house.

Numerous such tips over the past two years had come to nothing. Most of them originated in minds overly-motivated to garner the twenty million American dollars offered for the capture of several of the world’s most wanted terrorists.

At least one Osama bin Laden look-alike had been found dead. And it took weeks before authorities identified the body.  The man had been killed and left in a house to which an Afghan citizen directed U.S. forces. Not only did he not get the reward he sought, but his countrymen also jailed him for mutilating the corpse by cutting off its hands and feet.

Army intelligence, a title Red thought oxymoronic, had considered tonight’s tip more credible than most since it had come in anonymously. The tipster hadn’t mentioned the reward. So the Special Forces unit had headed out in the predawn darkness for a two-hour drive north from Kabul into the mountainous terrain.

“Red?”

The voice belonged to the figure squeezed into the wheel well behind him.

He could barely see Jessie’s sinewy shape, strangely gawky where the video camera and its now-dark lights rested on her right thigh.

“Yeah, what?” he whispered.

“Should I get some video?” Jessie asked, cocking her left hand back over her shoulder.

“Hell no. We’re reporters, not soldiers. CNN’s not paying us to get shot. Just keep your ass down. There’s nothing to shoot.”

Before he could finish his sentence, an amplified Afghan voice rang out from the vicinity of the lead Humvee, imploring the occupants of the house to surrender. The answer was a three-shot rifle volley, the rounds pinging off the hard-pack and whining away into the darkness.

“Now,” Jessie said, pushing past Red and swinging the camera onto her shoulder, leaning on the Hummer’s hood.

“No.” Red yelled, trying to pull her to the ground. But it was too late. The light on Jessie’s camera flared brilliantly then died in a crash of glass and the harsh double bark of a Kalashnikov. The rounds zinged away into the darkness, but Red heard in the report the crunch of bone.

“Jessie.” he screamed.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

Author Image

Thousands of author John C Waite’s words flew past Alpha Centauri years ago,  heading for the center of the galaxy, perhaps sparking an arthropod’s grin in route. Waite, a degreed journalist and retired Merchant Mariner has numerous writing and broadcasting awards to his credit, and millions of words in print and broadcast media. Originally from New Orleans he has called Panhandle Florida his home for fifty years, but still retains a taste for things Creole and Cajun. A recreational and professional sailor, his travels have covered the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, portions of south and Central America, Canada, Hawaii, Ireland, Britain, and Europe. John resides in Pensacola, Florida. He is a father to four, and grandfather to four.  His books are available on Amazon.

http://johncwaite.com/

https://www.facebook.com/johngllgskns

 

The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

 

 

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

John C. Waite will be awarding a $50 Gift Certificate to Nuts.com to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 GC to Nuts.com – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tell us about you as a person, something not everyone knows about you.

Although I was born in New Orleans, I spent most of the first five years of my life in Anchorage, Alaska and I still hate snow. My father was an aviation meteorologist, and he had been stationed in the frigid state during the second Great War. I still have letters that he sent his then-wife, my mother, which are stringently redacted, many sentences blacked out.

I almost remember one fishing trip when, not much more than a toddler, I fell into the creek. My dad built a fire on the railroad tracks which we had walked to the stream and dried my clothes.

I have a few glimmers of memories from those days, the most distinctive of which was when something broke into a backyard cage and slew my pet rabbit. I remember crushing sadness.

From Anchorage, the weather bureau transferred my father to Miami. We spent about a year there, before being transferred back to New Orleans, where I passed my formative years. It was in Miami that I met my paternal grandfather for the first and only time. He was a Presbyterian missionary and had spent some years in China, where my father was born. I still possess letters between my father and his father. Because of his birthplace, my father had to prove his United States citizenship before he could work for the US Weather Bureau.

If you could hang out with one famous person, who would it be?

It would have to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He picks up where Carl Sagan left off. Not only is he a real scientist as Sagan was, but he is also a first-rate communicator. He has a feel for putting scientific principles into words. And if there is one thing the world needs more of right now it is real scientists willing and able to transfer their knowledge via the common language. Life is short. Science is forever.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The story behind The Tursiops Syndrome stems in part from my affection for dolphins and people who appreciate them. And I always like stories of international intrigue. Dr. James Crabtree, the angry scientist (notice I didn’t say mad) in Tursiops loves dolphins and seeks notoriety. Despite his affection for Tursiops, he uses them in a get rich-and-famous plan.

What is your writing process?

My process is to just sit there and stare at the page hoping something will appear. Somehow that happens, and I think I am creating it. If I’m not and it just appears on its own, then I am the luckiest writer in the world.

Tell us about your main character.

A bit about Hickory Logan. She worked hard to win her stripes in the Pensacola PD, particularly in the wake of a previous bad relationship. However, she did that and still aims high. So she is a bit wary about her relationship to Kevin, her male co-star in The Tursiops Syndrome. Hickory is a tough, smart woman, with a bit of a soft spot for dolphins, evidenced in her attempt to rescue a porpoise stranded on a sandbar off Pensacola Beach.

If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role, and why?

I’ve always liked Halle Berry. She’s been in several action movies and carries herself beautifully, while still packing a good punch. She could certainly carry off Hickory Logan’s persona, and would definitely play well in the love scenes too.

What are you working on next?

My biggest project is a fictionalized account of the life and death of my best friend. He died in Vietnam early in that disastrous conflict. Had he lived he could have well accomplished his stated purpose in life, to be President of the United States. In the meantime, I am doing several things, some of which appear in the online journal Page and Spine.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their books?

I am still learning how to promote. There is a lot more to it that one imagines. And you have to spend a little money. There is a whole industry out there based on new writers’ needs. It’s a very different profession from what it was just recently.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

I’m just finishing Jeffrey Eugenides “Middlesex.” To say the least, it’s a hell of a book. The hurricane of research he put into that volume is mind-blowing.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

Time travel, because I want to know how the universe ends.
List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Get really good on the violin.
  • Be a bestselling author.
  • Sell my book to a good movie producer.
  • Complete the book about my best friend.
  • Fly airplanes again.

Any final Thoughts?

I write because I want people to enjoy the story. I hope they do.
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