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VBT – THE MAINE NEMESIS

TourBanner_TheMaineNemesis

The Maine Nemesis

by R. Scott Wallis

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GENRE: Suspense

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BLURB:

Fiercely independent, insatiably curious, and always up for an adventure, public relations hotshot Skyler Moore is a hero for our time. She’s decidedly not a sleuth by trade, but mayhem often comes knocking as she and her friends visit the small towns and big cities of America.

In “The Maine Nemesis,” Skyler decides to spend the summer at her seaside cottage in Wabanaki, Maine, with her best friend—celebrity chef Brenda Braxton—and they have no idea that murder will be on the menu. But women are turning up dead in the once sleepy village where nothing ever happens. With the residents up in arms and the rinky-dink police force overwhelmed, Skyler and her friends feel compelled to lend a hand to save the town they love so much. The backdrop is classic New England Americana: lobster rolls, the whole town out for the Fourth of July, and summer evenings cooled by the ocean breeze. That…and an occasional murder, a kidnapping, and a few dangerous liaisons.

Skyler’s mile-a-minute adventure will keep you turning the pages to see what comes next for her and her Down East ‘friends.’

Cover_The Maine Nemesis

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EXCERPT

During one typically mild Maine summer, slightly more than a few decades ago, while the United States of America was celebrating the anniversary of its independence from England, fifth-grader Skyler Elizabeth Moore was celebrating her freedom from being the only little girl on her street. While she got along fine with most of the kids in her class, she’d not yet made a best friend—besides her beloved Raggedy Ann doll—so when Brenda Braxton, along with her brother and aunt, moved into the white clapboard house diagonally across the street, Skyler made it her mission to show the new girl around their tiny New England town in order to win her friendship.

There were only a handful of houses on the street and most of them were only used in the summer, making for a very sleepy, almost ghost town-like existence for a pre-teen girl during the school year. Skyler would stare into the houses’ dark windows as she walked to school, trying to catch a glimpse of something moving inside. A forgotten cat. A caretaker. Even a ghost. She believed in them and was certain that big old empty houses were where they lived.

When the biting winter winds that came off the ocean turned soothingly cool and the town sprung back to life after Memorial Day, Skyler would get her hopes up that a new family—with kids her age—would magically appear on the block. Specifically, a girl. So, when she finally spotted one that early July day, she wasted no time.

The moving truck was still in front of the house on the corner, and even though her mother told her to wait until the family settled in, Skyler marched herself to the open door and stepped into the front hall. She scooted to the left to avoid getting hit by a couch that two large men lifted through the doorway and then she followed them into the living room.

There she was. A girl her own age, sitting on a moving box, eating a banana.

My mom would be very proud,” she said when she noticed Skyler. “She was always pushing fruit on me.”

I love bananas,” Skyler lied as she moved closer. “I’m Skyler. I live across the street.”

I’m Brenda. And I guess I live here now.”

Welcome to Wabanaki.”

Such a weird name for a town.”

It’s named after an Indian tribe. American Indian, not India Indian.”

I’ll never be able to spell it.”

I’m good at spelling. It’s easy. W.A.B.A.N.A.K.I. Wabanaki. Almost like banana with all the A’s after the letters.”

I guess. Did you just let yourself in?”

I did. Is that okay with your mother?”

I’m sure she doesn’t care. I’m glad you came in.”

Me, too.” Skyler couldn’t stop smiling. “Me, too.”

Skyler noticed that Brenda was a little on the heavy side with a roll of fat around her middle that peeked out between her shirt and shorts, but it didn’t faze her. Brenda had a hearty, infectious laugh and positive attitude despite what Skyler would come to understand was an arduous childhood. Her homework could have been eaten by the dog, or the vacation she was looking forward to could have been cancelled at the last minute, and she’d always manage to find the silver lining. Brenda’s attitude would balance well with Skyler’s sometimes dark outlook on life.

Skyler didn’t know it at the time, but Brenda’s father went missing in action during some U.S. military action somewhere on the other side of the world and her distraught mother had been committed to a mental asylum. Her father’s sister took charge of the children and moved them from a bustling, unkempt New York City (at the time) to the more idyllic world that was sleepy Wabanaki, Maine.

For Skyler, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The girls had the rest of the summer to play outside, have sleepovers, and get to know each other before the school year would begin. And they did just that. Sometime between building a girls-only tree house and starting a weekly lemonade stand, they’d become blood-sisters, cutting their index fingers and pressing them together to form a lifetime bond. It had been Brenda’s idea. She’d seen her brother do it with his best friend, so it wasn’t totally insane.

It seems insane to me,” Skyler said. “But I’ll do it. If you want me to.”

I don’t want you to do anything that would make you feel bad. And I know blood makes you scream and cry.”

That was just that one time, Brenda, and it was only because that stupid treehouse nail went right through my leg. I’m not afraid of blood. I’m going to be a veterinarian. I’m going to have to get used to it.”

I’m going to be a cook, I think,” Brenda said. “So, if any of your animals die, you let me know.”

You are not cooking dead animals, Brenda!”

What do you think steak and pork chops and hamburgers are? Dead animals.”

But they aren’t dogs and cats. I’m going to care for puppies and kitties.”

Veterinarians also take care of cows and pigs and horses and stuff, you know.”

Well, maybe. But if they die—which they won’t, because I am going to go to a very good veterinarian school—I’m not letting you cook them. There will be a pet cemetery in the back behind my pet hospital.”

That seems wrong.”

It does, you’re right,” Skyler said thoughtfully. “Well, we’ll get your stupid brother to take the dead animals away somewhere. But, I’m serious, Brenda, the animals are not going to die. That’s why I’m going to be a veterinarian, to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Everything dies. My dad died. My hamster died. And our first dog died when he got run over by the trash truck.”

That’s horrible. If I was older and if I had been there, I would have saved him.”

She was a she and her head was smooshed into the road and they had to use a bunch of shovels to clean it up.”

That’s so gross.”

It was.”

And sad,” Skyler said. “I’m super sorry.”

It’s okay. I didn’t really see that happen. Actually, I don’t think that’s what happened to her. I made it up. I think she ran away.”

That’s sad, too.”

Not as sad as my dad dying,” Brenda said. “At least, we think he’s dead. He never came back.”

Maybe he’s with your dog somewhere.”

Maybe.”

With your mom, maybe?”

Well, that would just make me mad.” Brenda dug her fingernail into the bottom of her sneaker.

Why?” Skyler asked.

Because if they’re all together somewhere else, why are my brother and me here in Wabanaki without them?”

Oh,” Skyler said softly.

That would mean that they don’t love us.”

I didn’t say that.”

But that’s what it would mean. And I don’t want to believe that.”

Don’t. It’s not true.”

Brenda became uncharacteristically quiet for a few moments making Skyler a little uncomfortable.

Maybe we should do it now.”

Brenda brightened when she remembered the task at hand. She pulled out her brother’s Swiss Army pocketknife. “Ready?”

I am,” Skyler said confidently, even though she was trembling. “Because we’re going to be sisters forever.”

That’s the idea. I don’t want to have to play with just my brother for the rest of my life.”

Brenda took Skyler’s hand in hers, turned it over so that her palm was facing up, and pressed the knife into her finger without hesitation. Skyler’s eyes widened as she watched a small bubble of scarlet red blood form. She looked into Brenda’s eyes. She smiled, cut her own finger, and they pressed them together while they screamed and laughed at the same time.

There,” Brenda said when she was able to calm herself, “blood sisters.”

Blood sisters,” Skyler echoed. “Can we go clean these cuts now? I don’t want to get tetanus.”

What is tetanus?”

I don’t know, but it’s something awful and if you get it inside you, you die.”

I don’t want to die.”

Me either. I have a lot of animals to save.”

And I have a lot to cook!”

The girls took off to find water, soap, and Band-Aids, and to call it a night. The sun was setting and it was getting dark, the sign that another summer adventure must come to an end. But they’d have lots more. They ensured that with blood.

And an infection.

Brenda’s cut got infected, but it wasn’t tetanus…and she didn’t die.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Scott

R. Scott Wallis is endlessly inspired by his surroundings and adventures. And he thrives on new chapters and creating unique projects to keep himself out of trouble. Scott started his working life as an advance person and assistant to a sitting United States Vice President. Later, he served as the creative director for a leading Washington think tank. That led to working directly for one of the richest men on Earth, conceiving and executing exclusive events for his billionaire friends. Tired of working for the man, Scott became a top-rated pop-culture podcaster and celebrity interviewer, while also dabbling in both the worlds of clothing manufacturing (creating his own baby clothes brand that was sold in over 300 stores nationwide) and retail sales, with his own well-received men’s clothing store.


Always willing to lend a hand or donate what he can, he’s an enthusiastic philanthropist, championing causes such as childhood bullying, animal adoption, and feeding the less fortunate. A wide-eyed world traveler, Scott has been to four continents, mostly by sea. While he loves exploring Europe and the Caribbean islands, it’s the vast United States that he likes best. He’s been to Alaska four times, Hawaii twice, and can’t wait to explore the eight states he hasn’t been to yet. Technically a Connecticut Yankee, Scott grew up in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and lived for 25 years in the Washington, D.C. area, before recently discovering that the American West is where he is most at home. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Learn more at www.rscottwallis.com

Author Website:

http://www.rscottwallis.com

Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1729813321/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_b7guCbE7B2WJN

The book is on sale for only $0.99.

Facebook Link:

https://www.facebook.com/skylermoorethrillers

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

R. Scott Wallis will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for being my guest here today. Tell us about you as a person.

I’m constantly making up back stories for people—it’s a blessing and a curse, I think. Whenever I’m out in public and happen upon a stranger I think looks interesting, I instantly start wondering what they are all about…where they come from…what they do for a living…who they love. I’ve always had an overactive imagination—hence my fiction writing career—and making up things about people is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

It won’t come as a surprise to any of my friends, but I think it would be super fun to trail Ryan Seacrest for a day. He has a career I’d die for. Even though he’s not a fiction writer (okay, I’d love to hang with Stuart Woods or Carl Hiaasen, too), he is a master at all-things media, with a successful national radio show and various television hosting duties. Sure, I can hang with Kelly Ripa in the mornings and hold my own during celebrity interviews! But, alas, I’ll have to settle for my silly little pop culture podcast, the Swish Edition, to tide me over until ABC comes calling.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I spent a great deal of time in Maine as a kid and I have an absolute affinity for the state’s southern coast and the quint tourist towns like Kennebunkport and Ogunquit. Endless lobster rolls, cool old farm houses, chilly summer evenings…I love it all. It was so different from sticky, humid Williamsburg, Virginia, where I grew up. When I invented Skyler Moore for my new series, I just knew that she had to be from Maine and that the first book would take place there.

What is your writing process?

I’m best first thing in the morning. I get up with the sun—my two rescue dogs kind of insist on it—and I work from about 6:00 a.m. until 10-ish. Four hours of writing and editing is about my limit. If I have any music on at all, it’s classical or jazz, as songs with lyrics distract me. If I’m working on an exciting, action-packed scene, I might put on movie scores, like the ones from “Casino Royal” or “Batman;” those really get me in the mood. When I write my first draft, I go as fast as I can and don’t typically go back and read what I wrote until the very end. I don’t outline, but I work from extensive notes; I know where I want to go, but I have no idea how I am going to get there until I’m done. It takes me about two months to completely finish a novel and I work seven days a week until it’s done.

Tell us about your main character.

Skyler Moore is an unmarried, middle-aged public relations hotshot who splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Wabanaki, Maine. She’s on the road a lot, too, and wherever she goes, mayhem tends to follow. She’s independent, curious, sarcastic, and doesn’t need a man to define her. While she is open to the idea of love, she’s been burned in the past, so she believes marriage is off the table. Her most treasured thing in life is her best friendship with celebrity chef Brenda Braxton.

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

I will never answer this question! I believe very strongly that readers should envision the characters in their heads as they read along, and I’d hate to taint that by naming a famous person who I think could best play the role. That said, I have ideas of actresses who would make great Skyler Moores. But I’ll never tell anyone but the executive producers at Netflix someday.

What are you working on next?

Book two, THE NEW MEXICO SCOUNDREL, is also out now; book three, THE NEVADA SABOTEUR, is in the can and comes out September 27; and, a new thriller series kicks off with SCOUT’S HONOR: LIFELINE, on August 23. Yes, I have been crazy busy this year. Four books in 2019 is kind of insane, but it’s really all about building a following. I hope people will come on this journey with me.

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

Marketing is a writer’s second full-time job. There’s just no way around it. Every single day you have to do something to get your name out there. Blog. Guest blog. Have a great website. Post to social media daily. Pitch your books to local book clubs (I’ve been invited to go speak to a Las Vegas-area book club this coming September!). Do whatever you can to get eyes on your books.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

“Drunk on a Plane” by Zane Mitchell. It’s a beachy mystery with great characters and fun dialogue. It’s quick and perfect for a summer vacation. I can’t wait to take his second book in the series on my upcoming plane trip back east.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Besides my killer radio voice or my extraordinary fiction writing skills, you mean? I guess I’m good at being funny and sarcastic. I like entertaining my friends. I guess it’s not some great talent, but I enjoy it. Plus, like I said before, I love making stuff up; I have a very active imagination with endless ideas for new stories and situations. I never get writer’s block.

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

Oh, I’ve thought about this a lot: I would love to be able to teleport myself through space to another location. Getting places forever annoys me, especially commercial air travel these days. I just want to BE in Maui. I want to magically get to my parent’s house without taking two different flights and an hour car ride. That would save so much time and headaches, huh?

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. While I like being an independent author, I’d love a big fat publishing deal with one of the big five. Walking through an airport and spotting my book in a store there would be a dream come true.
  2. Two words: Private Jet!
  3. World peace (yeah, I kinda gotta get a P.C. one in here, right?)
  4. I’d absolutely love to design and build a custom house someday. I want to pick out everything, down to the location of switches and plugs. I’ve thought about my dream house since I was a kid. It doesn’t have to be a mansion, it just has to be all mine.
  5. More cruises. I’ve been on nearly 30 vacations at sea, to Hawaii (twice), Alaska (four times), Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. I am happiest at sea on a big ship and I constantly dream of my next vacation. We’re off to Mexico from L.A. in October and back to Alaska for my 50th birthday next May with a bunch of family and friends. I can’t wait.

Where can readers find you on the web?

The best place is rscottwallis.com where you can learn more about me and my books. There are links there to my Facebook and Instagram accounts and an easy way to email me, too.

Any final thoughts?

Read more books! Buy more books! Books, books, books. They are my favorite things. While I love television and consume a lot of programs, I’d be lost without words on paper. You should see my stack of books waiting to be read; I buy more than I could ever get through.

Spotlight – A Broken Reality

A Broken Reality banner

About the Author

Rob Kaufman

As a child, Rob Kaufman was always fascinated by the stories recited by those around him and the words used to tell them. As he got older, his need to tell his own stories grew, as did his ability to share them in exciting and captivating ways.

However, he wanted to share more than just stories. His primary desire was to create characters with whom people could relate, while at the same time bringing them through a journey from which most would crumble.

His degree in Psychology was the first step toward getting beneath the surface of the people in his life. What followed was a lifelong search for what makes people tick – what forces them to become evil when deep down in their heart of hearts, they are yearning for love. Rob’s characters walk this search with him, deep into the human psyche, creating psychological thrillers from every day events.

Rob’s second book “One Last Lie” continues to receive great praise and is selling well in both electronic and paperback formats. His current book, “A Broken Reality” is much darker than his first, with characters who hold bits and pieces of strangers he’s known, friends he’s had and personal tragedy he’s lived through.

“This book hits home for me,” says Rob. “There were a few pages that made me laugh out loud as I wrote them… and many that made me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of this book are experiencing the same emotions.”

Through social and other media, Rob hopes to get “A Broken Reality” into the hands of millions, so that they, too, can experience the ups, downs, twists, turns and final tragedy that has helped make this book a Five-Star contender.

Website Address: www.AuthorRobKaufman.com

Blog Address: http://authorrobkaufman.com/blog/

Twitter Address: @RobKaufmanCT

Facebook Addresshttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobKaufman/

About the Book:

Title: A BROKEN REALITY
Author: Rob Kaufman
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 320
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Psychological Thriller
A Broken Reality

BOOK BLURB:

On a fateful night in the dead of winter, an unimaginable tragedy changes the lives of two families forever. How will they manage to deal with reality while stopping the sociopath who is pushing them toward the edge of sanity?

Ten-year-old, Danny Madsen, has been missing for four days when Jesse Carlton begins his own search for his godson on a frigid, snowy night. Driving along a deserted rural road, Jesse hits a stretch of black ice at the same time Danny appears from the thicket. Unable to control the car, Jesse slams into the boy and watches helplessly as Danny’s body flies back into the dark brush.

When Jesse regains consciousness, he has no recollection of how he and his car wound up in a ditch. However, there’s a witness: Charles Hastings, the sociopathic kidnapper who chased Danny through the brush and into the path of Jesse’s car.

Hastings takes this chance to set up Jesse so he’ll take the fall for both Danny’s disappearance and death. And so the mind games begin–an onslaught of psychological manipulation that devastates Jesse, his wife, Danny’s parents and the cops’ investigation. Inexplicably, the torment continues even after the primary suspect is killed and the rollercoaster of emotions and confusion seems never-ending until the final and devastating truth is revealed.

If you like gripping, suspenseful page-turners that keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, this is a must read!

Link to book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Reality-Rob-Kaufman-ebook/dp/B07HRYRSBP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538875993&sr=8-1&keywords=a+broken+reality+kaufman

Link to book on B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-broken-reality-robert-kaufman/1129769311?ean=2940156129126

Book Excerpt:

Danny Madsen had been missing for four days, and hope was fading faster than the weak sunlight giving in to the cold night ahead. Worse, there’d been intermittent periods of snow and sleet throughout the day, creating slick surfaces on unlit county roads and leaving behind asphalt without traction or boundaries.

Like every other evening since the boy’s disappearance, the approaching dusk put a damper on the search effort. Each was another day past the critical “48-hour window,” another night for Jesse Carlton to fight back tears of frustration as he crawled the icy streets of Hingham, Massachusetts in his silver BMW, looking for the ten-year-old boy the Amber Alert described over and over as white with blond hair and blue eyes, weighing fifty-six pounds and standing about four feet six inches. When last seen, they’d always add, he was wearing a bright blue North Face coat, blue corduroy pants, Nike sneakers and a backpack with the name “Danny” stitched into the left shoulder strap.

Danny’s description echoed in Jesse’s head as he made the right off of Main Avenue onto Forest, which passed the hundred or so square acres of conservation land. He didn’t need the Amber Alert to picture Danny. He’d recognize him the instant he saw him since he’d known the boy from the day he was born. Jesse had long been best friends with his parents, Becky and Don, and Danny had become the son Jesse and Melissa tried and tried for but could never have. They’d become so close to the Madsens, in fact, that they’d purchased a home up the block from them, sight unseen, when Becky and Don told them it had come on the market. It was apparent to all of them that the less distance between the families, the more fulfilled their lives would be.

It was this honorary parenting of Becky and Don’s only child that had Jesse driving the streets and highways in and outside of every neighboring town for the past four nights—pursuing leads he’d overheard cops discussing at the Madsen home, following up on hunches he’d get after scouring the Internet for clues from past abductions. Each evening as he began his search, Jesse prayed he’d be the one to bring Danny home safe, sound and emotionally intact.

Jesse knew his nightly searches were pointless, but he could no longer bear pacing the floor at home or sitting in the Madsen’s cop-filled living room waiting for another bullshit tip, another clue that led nowhere but deeper into heartache. Melissa spent her nights comforting Becky while Don worked with the police to pursue every potential lead. Jesse’s need to do something, anything, forced him into his car each night with dissipating hopes and, by the way things had been going recently, unrealistic dreams.

The last person to see Danny was the school bus driver who watched him jump down the vehicle’s steps four days earlier, just three blocks from Don and Becky’s. And that clue was as solid—and as clear—as mud.

Jesse turned off the radio and clicked on the high beams. The pavement was pure white from the newly fallen snow, and there wasn’t another car anywhere to be seen. In front of him was blackness; behind him was blackness; on each side, nothing but blackness. How did he expect to see anything out here, let alone find a scared and freezing kid? He didn’t know, but it didn’t matter. This was the only action he could take that made him feel like he was actually doing something to help.

The yellow light poles every 300 feet or so did nothing but offer a blurry glow that barely reached the road. And now that a smattering of snow had started again, the soft crunch of flakes beneath the tires filled the silence with an eeriness that sent a strange tingle sliding up Jesse’s neck.

On either side of Forest Avenue lay the Terrence Ford Conservation Land, acres and acres of brush, swamp and trees with a few neighborhoods dotting the outskirts. Since the homes were hidden behind the dense thicket and prodigious pines, they were usually invisible to Forest Avenue drivers. Tonight though, even in the deep blackness of this night, he could see their pinpricks of homey yellow light, which, like the rickety poles lining the road, was nothing he could see by.

As he passed the two-mile marker, his phone rang, jolting him from his concentration. The display on the dash showed Melissa’s cell. He took a calming breath and pressed the button on the steering wheel. “Hey, babe.”

“Where are you?” Melissa sounded almost panicked, her voice trembling.

“What’s wrong? What happened? Where are you?”

“I’m at Becky and Don’s. They just got a call from Agent Rivera…hold on.”

He tried to be patient, but after a few more seconds of muffled voices he couldn’t hold back. “Missy!” he yelled and banged his fists on the steering wheel. “For Christ’s sake, what did Rivera say?”

“Sorry, Jesse. I’m just getting more details.” The muffled voices he’d first heard faded away as though she was moving into another room. “Someone just called the hotline from somewhere out in Hingham. It was an older woman who lives—”

Jesse felt like his heart skipped a beat. “I’m in Hingham! Where in Hingham, Missy? Where?”

“Oh my God, Jesse. Wait, I wrote it down.” His pulse pounded against the side of his neck as he waited for the crumpling of paper to stop and her words to start again. “Okay, the woman lives on Tower Road off Route 228, on the east side of that conservation area.”

He brought up the GPS and frantically searched for 228. “I’m like five minutes from 228—five minutes. I’m literally on the other side of the woods.” His voice was shaky. “I’ll put Tower Road in the GPS.”

 “She says she saw a boy fitting Danny’s description running past her house a couple of hours ago. She didn’t call right away because she wasn’t sure.”

Jesse let out a shout of frustration. His shallow breaths quivered in his throat. “Shit, it’s starting to sleet,” he said. “I’m on Forest right now. It runs parallel to Route 228. I’ll turn around and work my way toward Tower to see if I can meet up with one of the units.”

“Jesse, please be careful. I don’t want you getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.”

“This isn’t nowhere, Missy—it’s Hingham,” he said with a sigh, knowing there was nothing he could say to help quell her anxiety. She was a worrier, plain and simple. It was something he’d become accustomed to and had learned to be patient with, but tonight his nerves were too raw, his patience too thin.

“Jesse, sleet means ice. Ice means slippery. Slippery means…”

Missy,” he snapped. He bit his lip and took another breath. “I’m going to turn around and head back toward 228.” He gazed into the darkness to his right, wishing there was a road that cut through the conservation area. “Once I get there, I’ll give you a call. Until then, sit tight. This could be the break we’ve been hoping for.”

“Oh God, Jesse. I hope so. Please be careful. I’ll wait for your call. I love you.”

“I love you, Babe,” he replied, making sure to sound as composed as possible as he disconnected.

Jesse was once again alone, the soft muffle of the car engine filling the otherwise empty silence. Keeping safety in mind despite his own anxiety to find the boy safe, he made a careful K-turn in the middle of Forest Avenue. The tires slipped a bit on the icy road, so he let up on the pedal allowing the car to straighten itself out. When he faced south, he stepped on the gas again and drove as fast as he could without completely losing traction.

Jesse could see the lights of Hanover Mall through the melting snow on the windshield. The liquid dripping down the glass made it look as though the lights were dancing, shimmying back and forth to the steady beat of the tires crunching the ice beneath him. He glanced at the speedometer: 25 mph. If he could keep up this speed, he’d be back at the intersection of Forest and Main within four minutes.

A faint smile crossed his lips as he remembered finding Danny’s favorite Spider-Man action figure in the back seat earlier that week; Danny must’ve dropped it the day Jesse helped out Don and Becky by picking him up from rehearsal for his school’s play. The toy had been right in the middle of the seat, and he wondered if he could reach it—maybe it would change his luck, somehow attract Danny to him.

Jesse reached back, fumbling around, trying to reach Spidey. Nothing. He leaned further and slid his open palm along the seat. Still nothing. Angling backward as far as he could, he patted the floor mat behind him in hopes that the figure had slid during a turn.

No luck.

A quick glance showed the tiny superhero jammed into the corner of the back seat. Spider-Man was tonight’s lucky charm; the idea felt right, and it would help him find Danny. It was a superstitious and even desperate move, but doing things by the book had so far turned up nothing.

“Gotcha!” he cheered when he snagged the action figure’s foot. He turned back toward the road to see a black figure stumbling out from the brush in front of him. In less than a second, the headlights shown on the figure’s face—it was Danny.

Horror seized Jesse by the throat and he gasped as he slammed on the brakes. The car went into an immediate spin, flying directly at Danny whose eyes went wide in the headlights. Jesse felt a thud against the back panel of the car. He screamed, the view from every window only blurred streaks of light. He tried to focus, to spot Danny somewhere in the whirl of his surroundings. But the boy was gone. He screamed again, his cry now muffled by the airbag exploding against his face. He squeezed his eyes shut, feeling the BMW skid off the side of the road and nose-dive into a shallow ditch filled with snow.

As the car lay on its side, ruined engine still ticking, Jesse could barely hang on to consciousness. Images and sounds swirled through his head: the screech of metal dragging along the pavement, Danny’s face hitting the window, the sickening thump as the car smashed sideways into the little boy’s body.

“It didn’t happen,” Jesse whispered. “This is a dream,” he panted. “Just a dream.” He repeated the words again and again until the weight of his eyelids became unbearable and he closed his eyes, allowing the sound of his sobbing to lead him gently into his own personal darkness.

VBT – THE MULTIMA SCHEME

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The Multima Scheme
by Gary D. McGugan

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GENRE: Suspense, fiction

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BLURB:

Can Multima Corporation withstand another attack from organized crime? While billionaire John George Mortimer copes with treatment for cancer, the accomplished CEO must also ward off challenges for control of his sprawling fictional American empire both from within the company and from nefarious powers operating outside the law.

The Multima Scheme is a fast-paced account of the lengths to which organized crime can infiltrate large global corporations and seize control of respected businesses to conceal activities that are both illegal and immoral but generate billions. It’s also a story of survival – how individuals and organizations might react under intense pressures and the ease with which people can cross lines between what’s legal and what’s not.

Using his knowledge of how large multinationals operate – accumulated over 40 years working with major corporations around the world – author Gary D. McGugan weaves a tale of intrigue using a writing style that readers will find hard to put down once started.

BookCover_TheMultimaScheme

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EXCERPT

His elaborate scheme to oust John George Mortimer, CEO of Multima Corporation, started to unravel with his first telephone call in the wee morning hours. His contact at The Organization reported that no one could locate Wendal Randall – a development of serious concern to Knight. To engineer the election of Multima Logistics’ wayward division president to the post of CEO of the entire corporation, he desperately needed Randall at the meeting.

Events worsened. By mid-day, Knight learned that Randall would not appear at the meeting at all. Instead – at the same time as all the other company direc¬tors – he was shocked to hear the FBI had arrested Randall and was holding him in custody, charged with multiple serious crimes. Knight might still have had a chance to carry out the Mortimer coup successfully until a subsequent startling revelation proved all his efforts would be in vain.

John George Mortimer, more devious and cunning than Knight ever imag¬ined, had somehow finagled an exchange of corporate shares. He’d found a way to convert some Multima shares from one class to another. The shrewd maneuver instantly shifted the corporation’s balance of power entirely in Mortimer’s favor. Knight’s plot had no hope of success with the new equity structure.

Instead, he found himself trapped in a rapidly unfolding disaster. A decade earlier – on his recommendation – The Organization had invested a billion dollars in Multima. And just the previous week, Howard had knowingly put that billion dollars at precarious risk with his scheme to remove John George Mortimer and seize control.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_TheMultimaScheme

A successful business leader, speaker, and author, my most recent work is an exciting novel, The Multima Scheme.

I’m in love with the same special lady for almost five decades. In turn, we love — and are incredibly proud of — our daughter, our son, their spouses, and three remarkable grandchildren.

Family, friends, and hundreds of other wonderful people also populate my life, repeatedly creating rewarding experiences. I’ve had all this good fortune for many years, with reading and writing often playing integral roles.

I’ve loved reading as long as I remember and have enjoyed writing for just as long. For me, writing has taken many forms. Like most, it started with assigned essays as a student and then evolved with my business career. I’ve written letters, speeches, reports, ads, brochures, presentations, proposals, articles, and a blog. My first book was a work of non-fiction – NEEDS Selling Solutions – co-authored with my friend Jeff Allen.

https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/about-the-author.html
https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gary.d.mcgugan.books/
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J8HJK8Y
Twitter: @3WeeksLessaDay
https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/rendezvous-blog
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-d-mcgugan-ba02b3/
https://plus.google.com/+GaryMcGugan
https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/fiction.html

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview:

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
I am the oldest child from a large family, with lots of friends. I’ve never had time to have an imaginary friend!

Do you have any phobias?
Heights have always been a challenge. Over time, I’ve learned to cope and have enjoyed visiting some of the world’s tallest buildings and driven through rugged mountains with perilous cliffs in several countries.

Do you listen to music when you’re writing?
Rarely. I like 100% focus and concentration when I write. On those rare occasions when I do listen and work, the background would be classical music.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?
Yes! I usually read all passages of dialog out loud several times during the editing process to be sure it sounds real and natural.

Tell us about your main character and who inspired him/her.
John George Mortimer is purely a product of my imagination and a composite of many people I’ve encountered over the years. His struggle with breast cancer was inspired by the battles our daughter waged to survive that insidious disease and the experiences of a former male colleague who also coped. While not the focal point of The Multima Scheme, I hope to improve awareness about the potential for male breast cancer as I tell a great story that entertains and informs.

 

BlindSight – Marc Douglas

BlindSight
by Marc Douglas

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YouTube

Blurb: A young married couple takes a vacation in a remote area. They stop in an isolated pub and become the obsession of a wanna-be biker gang. A thrilling page turner with twists and turns. Inspired by Dean Koontz .

BlindSight

 

Available on GooglePlay, Kindle, Amazon.com, and all good e-retailers.

The Red Legion – Max Davine

The Red Legion
by Max Davine

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YouTube

Blurb: Prohibition is over, closing the lid on half the crime in New York. Wall Street has crashed, opening it up for a whole new breed of criminal to roam the city streets…not that it’s Ineke Valence’s problem anymore. She has long since hung up her revolver, replacing it with a soda bottle, her red scarf with a barmaid’s threads. That is until her old nemesis from the force Sergeant Fielding decides to make it her problem, framing her for a murder and then setting her up to fall hard. Valence moves quickly to bust the case, but when an old associate from her days as a Bandita down in Mexico resurfaces bringing omens of ill for her, and then someone makes the fatal mistake of kidnapping her daughter Elysia. Valence heads to Mexico to retrieve her, the line between Ineke and Angel never so stretched, never so close herself to becoming what she has always feared.

 

the red legion _ max davine

Available on GooglePlay, Kindle, Amazon.com, and all good book e-retailers.

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