Demon Days – Book Two, Richard Finney & D.L. Snell {$0.99}

The DEMON DAYS saga continues with “DEMON DAYS – BOOK TWO” in the critically acclaimed thriller series that author David Moody calls “fast-moving… where nothing’s as you’d expect.”

Could NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES be the conduit to Satan’s Presence here on Earth? Jenna Grant picks up the investigation into strange worldwide events which first captured the attention of TV news producer Sandy Travis. She agrees to help her brother authenticate an artifact known as “The Black Pages.” But when Grant decodes a prophecy kept hidden for hundreds of years, the revelation plunges her into a web of deadly intrigue.

Set in a world altogether too real, with a pulse-pounding storyline and unforgettable characters, this book series continues with a terrifying adventure filled with plot twists and hairpin turns. Gripping and thought-provoking, this frightening suspense thriller will linger with readers long after the last staggering secret is… unveiled.

What readers are saying:

“I hope to read anything Finney and Snell write in the future. Their arrival in the genre is a welcome event!” – Ray Garton (Author of “Live Girls”)

“Finney and Snell will have your full attention right up to the last word” – Joe McKinney (Author of “Apocalypse of the Dead”)

5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, enthralling – highly recommended!, November 26, 2011
By K. Sozaeva “Obsessive bibliophile” (Athens, GA USA) (VINE VOICE) (TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)

The story is fast-moving and enthralling. You will find yourself completely entranced as you are reading it. The characters in this novel are beautifully developed and distinct, and we learn quite a lot about many of them throughout the story. It is beautifully crafted with an extremely intricate plot that all slots together perfectly. There are twists and turns and sudden betrayals – you just couldn’t ask for a better book. Definitely check it out!

5.0 out of 5 stars DEMON DAYS (GMTA REVIEW), August 2, 2012
By GMTA Publishing “GMTA Publishing”

Never have I read a book so full of intriguing plot changes that can keep you guessing `til the very end. Finney and Snell have the kind of collaborating ability that writing teams everywhere only wish they could have. The simple fact that this story could hold even an inkling of truth is profound. A conspiracy theory of the greatest volume this is one series you do not want to miss out on.
You must get a copy you will enjoy this series immensely and beg for more. This is one well worth staying up to read!

 Click here to read more about and purchase Demon Days – Book Two for  $0.99 from Amazon!

Jackfish Reborn, Rejean Giguere {$0.99}

In 1885 Chinese laborers were brought to North America to build the railroads. The triads came with them. Caught up in the clashes, Tiger Chang manages to send a letter home about an incredible discovery.

128 years later…

Phil Hardy just wants everyone to leave him alone. That way no one gets hurt. Running from his past, he thinks he has found the peace he’s seeking on the cliffs looking out over the shores of Lake Superior.

Dragon Chang is following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, in search of his discovery. The young triad leader will use all his available resources, including the killing skills he learned on the opium smuggling routes in China, to locate and secure his future.

Local police officer April Harrison has a handle on everything going on in her community, except her abusive ex-husband.

Everything goes sideways when she starts asking questions about who is hanging around the old ghost town of Jackfish and the past begins to catch up with the present in more ways than one.

What readers are saying:

Enjoy the Ride!
It is rare that you get a complete set of 3 dimensional characters from the leads to support, but that is exactly what you get with this book. I love a good adventure but this one surpassed any hope with the strong characters. On top of that the plot just keeps on giving. The book effortlessly shifts between current time and 1883 when the Chinese were building the railroad system in Canada. This is a don’t put it down book!

Action Packed!
If I could write a book it would end up being exactly like this one. Jackfish Reborn is everything, and more, that I look for in a good adventure/action story. The story grabs you and pulls you in right from the start as you begin to dive into the past/present clash going on. The author has done a really good job describing the characters and making them believable which is a difficult task in this genre of book. Even the setting where the action sequences are taking place have enough body to them that you can almost imagine yourself there watching the drama unfold in person. Rejean Giguere has given us a very well written story that gives twists and turns as it roller-coasters it’s way through your mind.

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 5 stars {5 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase Jackfish Reborn for $0.99!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft), Kim Foster {$4.61}

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Description of A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft):

Everyone has a talent. Some are just more legal than others. Cat Montgomery steals jewels for AB&T, the premier agency for thieves in Seattle. Career perks: good pay, great disguises, constant adrenaline rush. Drawbacks: the possibility of jail time…or worse. Now she’s taken on a lucrative side job—recovering a priceless Faberge egg for an alleged Romanov descendant.

Though Cat is working solo, there are plenty of interested players. Her FBI ex-boyfriend is nosing around, as is her former mentor-turned-nemesis. Then there’s the charming art thief helping—or is he hindering?—her mission. If her luck holds out, this could be the case that allows Cat to retire with her conscience and her life intact. If not, it’ll be her last job for all the wrong reasons…

 

Accolades:

If you are a reader who enjoys thrills coupled with well-developed characters, pick up A Beautiful Heist. Not only will it have you on the edge of your seat at times, it will also give you a character who promises to only get more interesting in future installments. (Tia Bach, Mom In Love With Fiction)

Kim Foster’s debut novel is an enjoyable, convoluted and action-packed caper. It’s a nonstop ride from the first chapter until the very end. Full of schemes and betrayals, human sacrifice and treasure hunts, this new but capable author captures her audience in a tightly-plotted and intricately set up first-in-series. A complicated plot, likeable but imperfect characters, and Foster’s clear style of writing lend for an easy, entertaining and fast-paced read. A Beautiful Heist is less than three hundred pages, but the author manages to contain an interesting, complex, and original plot within those few hundred pages. (Jessie, Ageless Pages Reviews)

Cat herself proves to be more nuanced than I expected…A Beautiful Heist is a fun read–light, fast-paced, yet with enough character development to deepen the reader’s enjoyment. It’s got a good balance of action and suspense with real-life choices and implications. It’s a great summer read. (Elizabeth, 5 Minutes For Books)

A Beautiful Heist is a satisfying caper novel, with lots of twists and turns in the plot and plenty of glamour in the settings and the characters. There’s enough romance and suspense for readers of romantic suspense, but the complexity of the story and the characters lifts it from the genre. It’s a gripping novel and would make a great movie. (Rebecca, More Than A Review)

Reviews:

A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft)  currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 3.8 stars from 11 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft):

Everyone breaks the rules eventually. It’s just that some of us make a career out of it.
Lingering by the bar, I sipped my Veuve Clicquot and, with the utmost subtlety, tugged at the short neoprene wetsuit concealed beneath my cocktail dress.
The warm September evening air swirled with lush jazz; the chime of crystal mingled with the laughter of socialites and millionaires. It was a graceful affair. But I, for one, was far from relaxed. My eyes roved the party restlessly and my nerves sizzled with anticipation. And fear.
My safety that evening hinged on my skills of deception. On my ability to conjure the illusion that I belonged at this party. Whether I got my assignment done, however, depended on an altogether different sort of talent: the particular skill-set I happened to be born with.
As always, I needed to keep my fear in check and stay focused on my goals. Do the job, Cat. Make it out of here alive. Don’t get arrested.
I tucked a short lock of my platinum blond wig behind my ear. A saltwater breeze teased the hem of my black Dolce & Gabbana gown. The party occupied the lido deck of a 280-foot luxury yacht moored in Seattle Harbor. Which should explain the wetsuit. Rule number one for every professional thief: always have as many getaway options as possible.
Now—before you judge too harshly, consider this: everybody in this world is guilty of something. Everybody has dirty truths they keep tucked in linen closets and shoe boxes, secreted away in diaries and letters and the dark alcoves of their minds. Maybe yours isn’t anything all that grievous. Maybe you just cheat a little on your taxes. Maybe you sneak into a different movie once you’re inside the theater. Or, perhaps your dark secret is something worse. The point is, sooner or later, everyone behaves badly. Some of us are just better at it than others.
I curled my way through multitudes of rich and beautiful people who were busy rubbing shoulders and sundry other body parts. My muscles were coiled tight as a librarian’s bun, my face was impassive. I watched for signs that someone suspected what I was up to. The people at this particular party—and their hired security staff—would not react well knowing someone like me was in their midst. Weapons would be drawn. Blood would be shed. This was a state of affairs I preferred to avoid. Just thinking about it made the hairs at the nape of my neck curl with sweat. My mouth felt dry; I took another sip of champagne.
Maybe this was a mistake. I glanced at the exit points. Should I really be attempting this tonight? It was risky pulling a job on the night of a gala.
But no–I was prepared. Besides, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity—it meant too much to me. I had to do this. I couldn’t back down now. This could be the job that would finally banish the shadow.
I selected a vantage point on the upper deck and wrapped my palms around the cold chrome handrail. Stars dazzled in a tuxedo sky high above, reminiscent of the shimmering gowns and sparkling flutes of champagne below.
I kept my face expressionless and methodically scanned the glittering party below me. Glamorous young things lounged on curved banks of white tufted leather sofas, orchids spilled out of crystal vases, hundreds of fairy lights twinkled along the sleek lines of the yacht.
I was scouting for telltale signs: the distracted expression of someone listening to an ear-receiver, unusual body language, a waiter or a musician who looked strangely uncomfortable. Markers of a person who could interfere with my ability to do my job tonight, be it security staff, FBI, or—worse—one of those damned concerned citizens.
Then my stomach tightened: was that red-haired man by the oyster bar watching me? I narrowed my eyes and slid to my left, concealing myself behind a post. There was something odd, something furtive about the small actions of his hands. He was standing beside a woman, his date or girlfriend, but he seemed to be avoiding her gaze. Very strange. The set of his jaw betrayed a degree of anxiety. I bit down on the inside of my cheek. Then, I saw him reach into his jacket pocket and a small Tiffany box appeared in his hand.
Ah. I rolled my eyes and focused my attention elsewhere. He was going to propose tonight. Fine. Not interesting.
I continued raking the crowd of partygoers. But as I did so, I must confess to a small twinge of envy. As they sipped their mojitos and nibbled their canapés, everyone looked so, well, relaxed. I glanced back at the couple by the oyster bar.
For a moment I considered stuffing this assignment and simply enjoying myself, perhaps trying my chances at meeting my own Prince Charming equivalent, of which there appeared to be plenty.
No, Cat. I scolded myself and pushed those thoughts firmly from my mind. That was not for me. I had to get this job done. Besides, the truth was, people like me were not destined for storybook endings. Dreams of the moon belonged to much worthier people; I’d abandoned those hopes a long time ago.
No. This girl didn’t deserve the fairy tale. It wasn’t usually the villain who got the happily-ever-after.
A white-gloved waiter approached and, after mentally clearing him as a non threat, I accepted a divine smoked salmon crostini from his silver tray. I smiled at him, confident in my disguise: the wig, of course, plus chocolate-browncolored contact lenses and painstakingly applied theater makeup conveying much sharper cheekbones than I myself, sadly, possessed. I took a mouthwatering bite of the crostini and allowed a small shiver of delight. Another fringe benefit to the job.
On the surface, becoming a crook is an ill-advised choice. I get that. Very few people would see the appeal and, fair enough, it’s not a way of life that would suit everyone. But let me assure you: it’s a thrill like no other. And isn’t that what we all want, ultimately? A life purpose that we’re good at, and that we love?
Of course I’m making it sound like I had a choice in the matter. As if being anything other than a criminal was an option for me. It wasn’t. The universe made it clear, long ago, that being a thief was my role in this life. Bucking that fate was not only futile, it brought dire consequences. I know. I had tried it.
At the party, I popped in one last bite of crostini and was on the move again. I buried myself in the crowd and wove my way to a less populated area of the party on the aft deck. I needed to choose my moment precisely. It was a matter of sharpening my awareness of other people’s attention. I needed to have a clear perimeter in my peripheral vision, to know there were no eyes directly on me.
But although the crowd here was thinner, there were still a lot of people. I experienced fresh anxiety about doing this job tonight. It was never my first choice to do the actual heist on the night of a gala. Too many potential complications. Most crooks will tell you: parties are better suited for reconnaissance.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have an option. Davis Hamilton Jr, the steel magnate, sailed the Elysia into Seattle this morning and he was staying one night only. The next morning he would sail down the coast for California and I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity. I had done that before; it would never happen again.
Then, I noted that in the nearby knot of people a man was entertaining the group with an anecdote. I readied myself–this would be my chance. As he wrapped up the story and delivered the punch line, the group was laughing and distracted. That was my moment. I made a sharp right turn, melted into the shadows, and dove down the steps leading belowdecks.
The corridors were dark, narrow, and quiet. The ceiling hung low. The layout of the yacht and its suites was firmly etched in my mind, memorized from the blueprint. Fourth door on the left, just after the corridor took a sharp right turn. I was skulking along when a large, lumpy man suddenly emerged from a doorway and lurched out, smashing into me. Damn.
I’d have to bluff it. “Oops!” I giggled, stumbling against the wall. “Where’s the little girls’ room?” I said with an intentional slur. The man possessed an unfortunate physique: slopy shoulders and barrel torso. His small eyes were too close together, his teeth tiny and spaced apart, like those of a third-grader.
Unfortunately, the man moved closer. And started leering. “Hey, sweetheart, what’s your hurry?” A hot cloud of liquor-spiked breath floated my way. And now I had a problem.
Memo to self: Take a moment, next time, to size up your audience before knee-jerking into drunk, giddy female bit.
“What’s your name?” he said, taking another step closer. I cringed. Even an expensive suit couldn’t minimize the impact of hair like a Brillo pad. Why, oh why, was it always this type? Why couldn’t this be that Hugh Jackman-lookalike I noted by the Jacuzzi upstairs? I was sure I wouldn’t have been quite so irritated.
This was exactly the sort of thing I was afraid of. I should have aborted the job, right then.
But I didn’t.

A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft) is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $4.61

Connect with Kim Foster:

Website: http://www.kimfosterbooks.com

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DrKimFoster

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR (A Thomas Gunn Thriller), AFN CLARKE {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR (A Thomas Gunn Thriller)

The Orange Moon Affair - by the bestselling author of CONTACT - is the first book of a compelling new thriller series, an action-packed conspiracy with a hero and heroine you hold your breath for. If you enjoy the action of Robert Ludlum, the intensity of Brad Thor and the international intrigue of Daniel Silva, then this book’s for you!

Ex-British Special Forces soldier Thomas Gunn is drawn back into his old life of international intrigue and danger following the murder of his billionaire father. The deeper he digs the more complicated the puzzle becomes until he finds himself working for MI5 uncovering a global conspiracy that puts the freedom of the western world at grave risk. His unlikely accomplice becomes his girlfriend Julie who constantly surprises him with her loyalty, insight and abilities and whose actions directly affect the outcome of the plot in a significant and unexpected way.

While traversing the globe being shot at, shot down and losing loved ones – a haunting question tears at his soul – was his father really at the heart of this evil conspiracy? Or was he a pawn in a larger more insidious game that even he could not control?

Seeking the final answer could cost Thomas dearly, ripping from him all that he most loves and cherishes and leaving him questioning his past, his future and what kind of person he is or wants to become. The final outcome depends on him. Or does it?

As a former Captain of Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment and son of an MI6 operative the author brings his own unique and eye-opening experiences to the character and exploits of Thomas Gunn, as well as an unsettling blurring of the lines between fiction and reality when exploring the ruthless abuse of power and position for personal gain.

Don’t miss the book trailer:
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AFN Clarke is the author of the bestseller Contact as well as CollisionsAn Unquiet AmericanDry TortugasThe Book of Baker Satire Series (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon; Genesis Revisited) and The Orange Moon Affair, the first of the Thomas Gunn series with more coming soon. Please visit afnclarke.com for more information and to leave your email address for further updates.  Deep appreciation for any reviews you post for this or other AFN Clarke books.

 

Accolades:

Brian 5 stars.
The Orange Moon Affair is a suspenseful cloak and dagger thriller. The book is well-written, containing unforeseen twists and turns as well as characters you find yourself cheering for. It is the first in a series of novels featuring Thomas Gunn. I look forward to those works as I really enjoyed this story very much. 

5 Stars Ric Down. Absolutely magnificent. 
AFN Clarke is a writer who can really pull you into a story. Is it his writing style? Is it his characters? Is it his captivating plot? Whatever, it grabs you by the collar and never lets you go until the end.

Thomas Gunn looks to be a runaway success as a character and hero, and with it being just part 1 of a series, it could be mega. It has “make me into a movie” written all across it, and you can’t help wondering if its just a question of when not if it happens. Clarke is one talented writer, and I already await his next novel.

4 Stars, giri. The pacing and weaving of the story is marvelous.
The author does a good job of slowly twisting and revealing just enough of the story to keep you wanting to learn more about the main character Thomas Gunn and how he has got himself and girlfriend Julie into such a difficult situation. 

The intensity of the action also compels you to read on. Mr. Clarke manages to make the stakes high, then raises them further. This is a master storyteller at work who keeps your adrenaline pumping along much of the whole way. I was not surprised to learn he is already a Best Seller author through his earlier novel Contact.

Reviews:

THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR (A Thomas Gunn Thriller) currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.7 stars from 39 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR (A Thomas Gunn Thriller):

THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR by AFN CLARKE
In Memory of my Brother-in-Arms, Terry Forrestal

© 2013 by AFN Clarke. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author and publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. All characters appearing in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This eBook edition published by Clarke-Books LLC in 2013. ISBN: 978-1-938611-12-4

ONE

Mojave Desert – October 2012

Flying a helicopter requires a clear mind, concentration, balance and a delicate touch.
Flying a helicopter you are unfamiliar with, in the dark, with two nasty bullet wounds in a body that has not slept in thirty hours, is an exercise in surreal survival. I had ten hours flight time in this model MD 902 Explorer, so it wasn’t total guesswork.
I made sure Julie was strapped in tightly and flipped on the switches. There wouldn’t be enough time to sit and let the engines warm up completely. We needed to get airborne before the local police showed up. In the distance beyond the factory building, where the car exploded in the arroyo, a pall of smoke billowed into the moon lit night sky.
Once I got the machine off the ground, stabilised and then flying on the heading Danny had given me, I asked Julie to call him and write down the co-ordinates of the destination, then talked her through entering the figures into the GPS navigation system while I concentrated on the instruments. All I had to do was make sure I didn’t hit anything flying at an altitude of fifty feet across the desert, following the route on the EFIS from Mojave to Desert Rock airstrip, wherever the hell that was in the vast expanse of the Nevada desert.
As we flew, the rising sun glimmered just below the horizon to our left. Dark sky turning light blue just before the sun appeared as an orange-white ball throwing shadows across the desert. The distant terrain rose in craggy rock mountains, rising ever higher to about five thousand feet, and I had to fly the aircraft through the narrow gorges maintaining the pretence of a special operations training flight at ultra-low level.
“Can you see if there are any sunglasses in the side pocket,” I asked Julie, feeling my left arm begin to stiffen.
“Here you go.” Her voice sounded strangely distorted in my headphones. Or perhaps it was just my mind beginning to shut down as my body leaked valuable blood onto the seat from the wound in my side.
“Thanks.” I tightened the lock on the collective and flexed my left arm, ignoring the pain, just trying to get some feeling back into it.
Estimated flight time was just under an hour and a half, and I wasn’t confident of being able to last that long.
“I’m sorry I got you into this,” I said stupidly, as if what I said would make any difference.
“I could have said no.”
“But you didn’t.”
“Nope. Don’t ask me why, but I didn’t.”
“Did you get the bug into the computer before they ambushed us?”
“I did.”
“Well at least one of us accomplished something today. How’s your head?”
“Hurts like hell. How’s your…?” she paused looking across at me. “Everything?” She laughed. A desperate sound hurled against a bleak outlook.
We hurt more than either of us could describe.
We didn’t know what the future held for us, but we laughed anyway as the sun rose across the desert, and I banked the helicopter into the first of the rising mountain ravines.
After an hour throwing the helicopter through the narrow canyons and rocky gorges, I could feel my strength and concentration ebbing slowly away. But that seemed inconsequential in the surreal experience that was the excuse for reality.
Julie massaged her temples, and when she spoke her speech was slow and slurred. I knew she was concussed and slipping into shock.
By ‘red-lining’ the helicopters engines I could force more speed, but as the sun came up the temperature would rise, and everything could go very wrong very quickly.
But there was no choice.
I inched up the collective, dropped the nose and advanced the throttle a touch, watching the gauges creep toward the danger zone.
Waves of nausea blurred my vision, so I used the only tool I had to sharpen my mind.
Pain.
By wriggling in the seat I could press against the wound in my lower abdomen, not too much, but enough pain to sting my sagging consciousness into wakeful concentration. Now was not the time to sink into peaceful, blissful oblivion. I had a precious cargo to deliver, a woman I loved more than my own life.
At any other time, flying low level through the desert canyons as the sun rose above the horizon, would have been an extraordinary experience. One of those almost vivid adventures that stays in the memory forever. But I wanted this experience to be over as soon as possible.
Every part of my body and soul willed the airstrip into view.
Flying is a slow inevitability.
You know you’re going to get there, and yet the more desperate you are to arrive, the more time drags.
Another rising ridge after fifteen minutes of undulating desert, and the sweat dripped down my face, arms and back, seeping into the wounds and causing more pain as my body salts stung raw flesh. I glanced quickly at Julie who sagged forward against the seat harness, semi-conscious, head flopping as the helicopter rose, fell, and banked through the ravines. I just wanted to take her in my arms, hold her and tell her everything was going to be fine, but now was not the time to drift into sentimentality, there was still the task of getting this machine on the ground.
The gauges swam in front of my eyes as I struggled to pick out the speed dial. That and the vertical speed indicator were my guides as we crested the ridge and Desert Rock airstrip lay in front of us just beyond a dry lake bed.
Was it a lakebed or a mirage?
I dropped the collective and pulled back slowly on the cyclic, slowing the aircraft down, establishing an approach to the runway. The speed bled off and I nosed down a little to keep the aircraft’s forward speed at forty knots, but my eyes refused to focus properly, and darkness appeared at the corners of my vision as if I was looking through a telescope at an image that kept getting smaller. No matter what my mind was telling my body it wasn’t responding, running out of blood and slowly shutting down.
But not before I got this machine on the ground.
Only a few more feet.
Maybe twenty-five, maybe thirty-five, maybe….
I didn’t know anymore.
Then I saw the FIM-92 Stinger ground-to-air missile spearing up toward us from a far ridge.
My reactions were slow and for a fatal moment I watched the white smoky trail from the rocket motor arc its way through the sky. I pulled on the collective and kicked the anti-torque pedals to port, almost escaping the oncoming death, but the rocket slammed into the tail boom.
The earth spun in a lazy arc as the helicopter arched over backwards at fifty feet above the rocky desert as I lost control, spiralling to the ground, pieces flying in all directions, the only section remaining relatively intact being the forward cockpit, saved because the main rotor head deflected the impact.
There was no pain, just a smashing, grinding, splintering sound. I felt a violent lurch as my head slammed into the side door, then silence. Almost lying on top of me, held by her seat harness, Julie stared into my eyes, blood dripping from her nose and ears, trying to speak.
“Julie,” I gasped trying to reach up and touch her face, but my arm wouldn’t move.
Car engine noises.
Voices.
I was struggling with consciousness.
With reality.
Where was I? What had happened? I didn’t know.
Images from the past flashed through my mind.
My father’s dead face.
Julie naked on the catamaran.
Julie. My Julie.
Then nothing.

TWO

Belfast – Six Weeks Earlier

It was an odd experience to look down on the dead face of the man who had once been my father. Not that I was unfamiliar with seeing dead bodies, I’d seen too many in my previous job, it’s just that I never expected I would be staring at him.
A single shot to the forehead had killed him instantly.

 

THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR (A Thomas Gunn Thriller) is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with AFN CLARKE:

Author Website: http://www.afnclarke.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFNClarke

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AFNClarkeInc?fref=ts

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Paris Secret, Angela Henry {$2.51}

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Description of The Paris Secret:

Less than twenty-four hours after fleeing to Paris, Maya Sinclair is the prime suspect in a brutal murder—and targeted by the real killer. When she’s viciously attacked in the gardens of Versailles, Maya barely escapes with her life thanks to sexy French journalist Simon Girard.

Simon has been investigating the mysterious death of his brother, an art forger with ties to the woman Maya is suspected of killing. Still healing from heartbreak of his own, Simon reluctantly joins forces with Maya, who has awakened feelings within him he thought long dead.

Their search for answers uncovers the existence of a secret society, and puts them on a quest to find a missing crucifix rumored to hold the key to everlasting life. Together, Maya and Simon race through Paris one step ahead of a killer who will do anything to ensure some secrets remain buried forever…

86,600 words

 

Accolades:

“This book has it all—a phenomenal setting, long-buried secrets, a present-day murder mystery and a dash of paranormal intrigue, not to mention a cast of characters that leap off the page. And while it is so much more than a romance book, the two main characters are absolutely unforgettable.”
—The Romance Reviews Top Pick (Nominated for Best Action Adventure Romance of 2011!)

“The Paris Secret by Angela Henry grabbed me from the first paragraph and kept me turning pages long into the night. The novel offers the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, and romance. The pace is swift, the characters likable, and the mystery rich and interesting, without being too complex or detailed. The blend of history and intrigue in Paris was irresistible.”
—Night Owl Reviews Top Pick

Reviews:

The Paris Secret currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 3.9 stars from 15 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from The Paris Secret:

I looked around for a place to put in the extra batteries I had packed. The few stone benches in the garden were taken. I went past the statues lining the walkway to the Apollo fountain and noticed an entrance to the garden hedge maze. Hoping there might be someplace to sit in the maze, I ducked inside. It was cooler and quieter there. Nobody else was in sight. I didn’t have to walk far before coming upon an open gate, through which I could see a pond.

In the very center of the pond was a large golden statue of a man struggling to free himself from the pile of black rocks. One golden, muscled arm reached out toward me. He was holding something in his hand that I couldn’t make out. A quick peek at the brochure I picked up inside the palace identified it as the Encelade Fountain depicting the fall of the Titans.

Something sailed over my head and landed with a loud splash in the pond. I jumped and bumped into someone.
“I’m so sorry—” I began before I saw it was the cop from the train. My blood started to boil. He dropped the large pebbles he’d been holding.

“Look, you can follow me around all you want but you’re wasting your time. I didn’t kill Juliet Rice and I don’t know what happened to the damned corkscrew. So you can tell Bernier and Bellange to kiss my ass.”

“Where’s the crucifix, Ms. Sinclair?” he asked, shocking me more by the fact that he was American than the fact that he knew my name.

“You’re American? I thought you were with the French police.”

“I’m not going to ask you again.” There was an edge to his voice that made me uneasy. I hadn’t realized just how isolated the spot we were in was until that moment.
I decided to play it cool and just walk away. But he grabbed the strap of my bag and yanked if off my shoulder, knocking me off balance. He shook the bag upside down, emptying the contents on the ground.

“Hey! What the hell is your problem? Give me my bag back!”

He dropped the bag and stood His brown eyes were cold and hard in the bright sunlight. After shoving up the sleeves of his polo shirt, his hands curled into fists. That’s when the small red mark on his arm jumped out at me. It wasn’t a birthmark. It was a tattoo of coiled snake, a cobra. I suddenly realized there could be another reason why he would smell like he’d spent time at the police station, and it wasn’t a good one.

“Who are you?” Every hair on my body stood up in alarm.
He didn’t answer. Instead, he punched me hard in the stomach. The pain was immediate and intense. I doubled over, clutching my stomach. He grabbed my throat and slammed me up against the side of the lattice walkway. Leaves, vines of ivy and the hard latticework pressed into my back.

“Where’s the crucifix?” Tattoo Man hissed at me, bathing my nostrils with his funky breath.

“Wha…what?” was all I could get out. Between the pain in my stomach and the tight grip of his hand around my throat, I could barely breathe, let alone talk. I struggled to free my hands, which were trapped between our bodies.

“Don’t play games with me! I know Juliet gave it to you. It wasn’t in the hotel room! Where is it?” He shook me by my throat like a rag doll.

“I barely knew her,” I gasped. “She never gave me anything. I swear. Please…don’t hurt me anymore!”
I managed to press myself back just enough to free my right knee and drove it toward his groin.

But he anticipated the move and deflected it by turning sideways, then spun me around pressing my face against the latticework as he tugged my arms up painfully behind me.

“You barely knew her, yet you shared a hotel room! You barely knew her, yet you showed such concern for her when you saw her being harassed by that Frenchman on the bridge.”

“Please! We didn’t know each other! We didn’t!” How did he know about what happened on the boat?

“Don’t lie to me!” he screamed in my ear and pulled my arms up higher. It felt like they were about to break.

“I’m not lying. Please! Please, stop!” Tears streamed down my face and snot ran from my nose.

“I followed you yesterday. I know you didn’t have the crucifix then. She must have given it to you after she got back to the hotel.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I swear!”
“What I did to Juliet Rice is nothing compared to what I’ll do to you if you don’t give me what I want! Where is the crucifix?”

The world started to spin. This was the man who took my bag. This was the man who took my key card and used my corkscrew to kill Juliet. My legs gave out and I slid down his body to the ground. He jerked me back to my feet, turned me around to face him and punched me again, this time in my right side. The explosion of searing pain caused me to fall to the ground and curl into a ball. He grabbed a handful of my hair and jerked my head back.

“Tell me!” he screamed.

My vision began to blur. My attacker let out a grunt. The last thing I heard before passing out was the sound of fists on flesh.

When I came to, I was lying on my back. The most intense pair of green eyes I’d ever seen stared down at me. I’d seen those eyes before.

“Are you okay? Can you stand?” asked the man with the green eyes.

His English was tinged with a French accent. Sunglasses poked out of the front pocket of his faded jean jacket. His white shirt was ripped and his pants were smudged with dirt. This looked like the guy I’d bumped into when I’d arrived earlier. But those eyes made me realize that hadn’t been the first time I’d seen him. This was also the man who’d seen Juliet arguing with on the Pont de la Concorde. What was he doing here? I struggled to my feet and felt a wave of nausea wash over me.

“Easy.” He reached out to steady me. I pushed his hand away and took long, deep breaths to keep from throwing up.

“We need to get out of here before he comes to.” He gestured toward my unconscious attacker lying inside the latticed walkway who had started to groan.

“Come on! Let’s go!” he commanded impatiently, grabbing my hand. I pulled away.

“No! We need to call the police! What’s the number?” I fumbled around on the ground for my cell as I tossed as much of my stuff as I could back into my bag.
Tattoo Man groaned again, louder this time.

“Are you crazy? He’s coming to! We’ve got to get out of here!”

“It’ll only take a minute!” I tried to turn my cell phone on. But my hands were shaking so badly I could barely push the buttons.

“We don’t have time. Come on!” He grabbed my hand again.

He took off running, pulling me behind him. I tried my best to keep up but the pain in my side slowed me down. A bullet whizzed past my head and another hit the fencepost near me. Tattoo Man was firing a gun as he staggered behind us.

“He’s got a gun!” I screamed at my rescuer.

“No shit! Shut up and keep running!”
We emerged from the maze to see an old, beat-up maintenance truck parked about ten feet away. A workman stood on a scaffold cleaning a nearby statue.

“Get in!” Green Eyes shouted, shoving me into the truck on the driver’s side. I scooted over and he jumped behind the wheel. There was no key in the ignition and he slapped the steering wheel in frustration.

“Merde!”

The man on the scaffold, yelling at us in French, began to climb down. Tattoo Man lumbered out of the maze and ran smack into the scaffold, sending it and the statue cleaner crashing down. While the two cursing men tried to extricate themselves from each other and the wreck of the scaffold, Green Eyes frantically looked for the keys in the glove box and under the floor mat.

“Don’t just sit there! Help me!” he yelled, jolting me into action.

I checked the ashtray and under the seat, then reached over and pulled down the driver’s sun visor. A set of keys fell into his lap. He started the truck just as the back window exploded. I screamed. Tattoo Man was back on his feet and about to fire again.

“Get down!” Green Eyes shouted, pushing my head down as another bullet whizzed through the truck and shattered the front windshield.

He threw the truck into reverse. Thud! I sat up and turned to Tattoo Man on the ground. His gun had been knocked out of his hand. We sped off at top speed and minutes later were on the highway.

“You okay?” he asked, squeezing my shoulder. I wasn’t but I nodded yes anyway.

“You were on the bridge with Dr. Rice yesterday, weren’t you?”

He looked at me and gave me a disarming half smile, but didn’t answer. I had the feeling he used that smile to his advantage quite often. And I bet it worked most of the time.

“Aren’t you even going to tell me who you are and what the hell is going on?”

“Aren’t you even going to thank me for saving your life?” He smiled at me in an infuriatingly smug way.

“You first.” I glared at him. He laughed.

“All in due time, Maya. But first things first.” How the hell did he know my name?

“What do you mean? Where are we going?” I demanded while carefully picking shattered glass out of my hair and shaking it out of my clothing.

“Back to Paris. You’re not the only one needing answers,” he replied cryptically.

 

The Paris Secret is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $2.51

 

Connect with Angela Henry:

Author Website: http://www.angelahenry.com/paris-secret.php

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MystNoir

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paris-Secret-Novel/117737431624494?ref=hl

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Girl From Long Guyland, Lara Reznik {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of The Girl From Long Guyland:

-Includes Reading Group Discussion Questions-     

Ranked the #1 spot in both Suspense and Contemporary Fiction, during it’s Amazon kindle select promotional days.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

MEMOIR MEETS THRILLER:  

Laila Levin enjoys a successful marriage and a thriving career as an I.T. executive in Austin, Texas, but she can’t quite shake her lifelong sense of not truly belonging anywhere.When her company announces a major layoff, Laila finds herself caught between an unscrupulous CEO and her promiscuous boss. Then news of her college roommate’s suicide stirs up a dark secret involving three devious friends from her past. One has betrayed a vow, another wants to rekindle their romance, and the third is out for revenge.Suddenly for Laila, it’s 1969 again. She’s only seventeen, and she’s left her sheltered home in Long Island for college in Connecticut. Amid protests of the Vietnam War, she’s tempted by the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll that rule her generation. Laila gets swept up in a deceptive love triangle with two older locals and initiated into their unethical hippie family. Too late she realizes her search to belong has led to tragedy.

Laila must now juggle the demands of her perplexed husband and her baby boomer past forcing her to make choices that endanger her survival and challenge her conscience.

She learns that the lines between right and wrong are often blurred, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.

 

Accolades:

“In Reznik’s debut novel, a woman confronts long-buried secrets when an old college friend commits suicide. . . . While effective as a page turner, the novel also tells a timeless, universal tale of a woman’s journey toward self-acceptance. An exciting tale of past crimes and dangerous friendships.” –-Kirkus Reviews

★★★★★ “I love a mystery and I love stories about the late 60′s/early 70′s and this book has both! Really fun read.” –Barbara Gaines, Executive Producer, The Late Show with David Letterman

★★★★★ “Lara Reznik masterfully creates a story that brings the past and present together seamlessly. . . . I can honestly say it is not often that the plot of a book surprises me the way this one did. This book is truly timeless. I would recommend “The Girl from Long Guyland” to anyone who likes to read no matter what their preferred genre.” Katherine Bennett, Reviewer, Readers Favorite

Reviews:

The Girl From Long Guyland  currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.1 stars from 196 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from The Girl From Long Guyland:

CHAPTER ONE

Lost in Texas

Austin, Texas, 2012

A couple dozen stars and the eye of a yellow moon pierce light through a sky filled with smoke. I look out the broken window to the ground below. Crumpled in the weeds is a lifeless body with red-flecked eyes, a bushy mustache, and sweet smile.

Vapor seeps into the room. I can barely breathe. Ben wraps his arms around me as I weep. Denise lies in a catatonic state perched on the bed. Why is she only wearing her bra and panties?

Chris stumbles inside the room. His eyes glow like diamonds. He cranes his head out the window. “We gotta do something, man.”

“I’ll call for an ambulance,” I say. Ben gulps, “That’s not a good idea.” “We have to,” I insist. “For Godsakes.”

He’s dead, Laila,” Chris says.

Tears sting my eyes.

WITH A JOLT, I awake whimpering. The nightmare has infested my dreams for years. It may be time to see a shrink.

The anxiety subsides when my husband Eduardo arrives with a cappuccino and the morning paper. “Are you okay? It sounded like you were crying.”

I clear my throat. “No, no, I’m fine. Just a dream, I guess.” I’ve never discussed these recurring nightmares with him. Eduardo’s got his own problems. He was recently laid off in a corporate downsize and refuses to talk about it. There’s lots of tension in our home right now. Maybe we should both see a shrink.

From our king-size Tempur-Pedic bed, I sip the coffee and stare at a cloudless sky and the sapphire water of Lake Travis. The serenity of the moment is interrupted by the sound of NPR news blaring from my alarm clock. Time to go to work. I shower and dress for a managers’ conference forty miles away.

AN HOUR LATER, I enter a pavilion filled with mounted animal heads and good old boys, and wonder how this counter- culture Long Island girl ended up in Texas. Yes, it’s Austin, home of tree huggers and music lovers, but I’m mystified by the path my life has taken.

The Hobbs brothers, proud owners of the Burnet County Landfill and Exotic Park where LBJ Electric holds its annual manager retreat, greet me with toothy Texas grins and matching Stetson hats. “How y’all doing today, darlin’? Welcome to our home.”

I flash a smile but it pains me to know these men are the proud hunters of the dead animals in the hall. It gives me pleasure imagining their heads mounted next to the trophies.

As I head to a long pine table and retrieve my white-sticky badge with the letters LAILA LEVIN printed in magic marker, Darlene McIntire, dressed business-gorgeous in a navy suit and cleavage-leaking blouse, approaches me and waves. Darlene is an upper-level manager who advocates for women in the company and played a key role in my promotion from Database Analyst to I.T. Solutions Manager two years ago. “Meet me in the little girls room at break, hon,” she whispers. “There’s something I want to share with you.”

During the morning, two hundred LBJ managers and I feign interest in long-winded corporate presentations. One of the executives reminds us that DIVERSITY is one of our company’s “Foundation Values.” Right. As one of only twelve women in the room, I try to look at the bright side: short lines to the ladies room.

A bald guy grabs the microphone and informs everyone it’s time for a break. Conversations revolve around Longhorns and Aggies, and of course, the beloved Cowboys. Go Tony Romo!

With nothing of substance to add to these discussions, I dash to the ladies room where I find Darlene at the mirror applying a fresh coat of mascara. She smiles at me. “Nice outfit.”

“Thanks.” My reflection reveals a contrast of wild curly hair with the Ralph Lauren suit and high-heeled boots I bought at Dillard’s yesterday. Like most in I.T., my preference is jeans and sneakers.

Three coats later, Darlene pops the mascara back in her purse and turns to face me. “Can you keep a secret?”

“Of course.” “John is going to announce his retirement.” John Bell is the LBJ Chief Executive Officer. Rumors of his impending retirement have been rampant for weeks. “I’ve heard talk.”

“That’s not the secret. Bob E. is the heir apparent. Not to be announced today, but it’s pretty much a done deal. And he’s promised me V.P. of Corporate Services.”

I look away hoping she didn’t see my eyebrows jump to my hairline. “Congratulations.” Darlene is important, but not that important. This promotion is a big leap from Human Resources Manager. Certainly not done often in a company like LBJ. “Wow. Didn’t realize you had the seniority.”

Darlene blushes. “Succeeding in the boardroom is not the only way to get ahead.”

Oh my God. She’s sleeping with Bob Englewood, a.k.a. Bob E., the biggest flirt alive. Darlene has a great-looking husband and two kids. Makes no sense to me. But then I’m not that ambitious.

I’m trying to think of a good response when the buzzer goes off over the building’s loud speakers indicating the end of the break. I produce a weak smile and head back to the conference area with images of Darlene and Bob E. spinning in my head. Why did she share this with me?

I take a seat at my assigned table. John Bell, a short, stocky man sporting a bolo tie and a fine pair of ostrich boots, stands onstage tapping the microphone. “Good morning, LBJ managers. It’s good to be here at our annual meeting. I have
we haven’t spoken in ages. You sound so British.”

“I lived in London for a couple years, but I’m back in L.A.
now. You better sit down.” Katie B., always the drama queen. I sit in an antique rocker and stare at the pale blue Texas sky.

Katie clears her throat. “Denise committed suicide yesterday.”

I try to speak but my mouth feels like it’s full of marbles. Finally, I gasp, “My God.”

“She was never right after—” “Don’t say it. Remember the pact,” I whisper.

“I remember it.”

I suck in my breath. “It’s kept us safe.”

“We’re gonna have to talk about it. Denise left a suicide note,” she whispers.

Fear fills the membranes of my eyeballs. “Oh, Jesus.”

“I just got off the phone with Chris. A private detective
showed up at his house in Tucson.”

“I can’t believe that son of a bitch lives in Tucson. My sister has lived there for years.” It’s been four decades since I’ve seen or heard of Chris, yet his name causes goose bumps to parade up my arms.

“I’m surprised you’ve never run into him,” Katie says.

“Tucson’s a big place.” Would I even recognize him now?

“He googled me and found my phone number. He and Ben think we should go to the funeral.”

“Ben. You spoke to him, too?”

She laughs. “Yes, Jesus still lives.”

I blush at the sound of his name. “What is he like?” “I don’t know. Same old Ben, I guess.”

“Did they find . . .?”

She swallows. “No one knows what they’ve found or what she wrote in her note.”

To think just five minutes ago I was worried about my job, trophy animals, and Darlene and Bobby E. doing the deed.

Katie takes a deep breath. “We could all go to efing prison.”

 

The Girl From Long Guyland is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Lara Reznik:

Author Website: www.larareznik.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/lara.reznik.1

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Dangerous Past, A. Ebbers {$0.99}

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Description of Dangerous Past:

Airline Captain Frank Braden is being stalked by unknown assassins who have a deadline to make his death look like an accident or a suicide. Braden and his wife, Nicole, don’t know why he is being targeted. They don’t realize that they stand in the way of a deadly conspiracy. After several attempts on his life, Braden receives a message warning him not to attend a Senate hearing in Washington. If he agrees he will will receive a million dollars and his wife’s life.

Dangerous Past is a story of a man who must choose between doing what ought to be done or keeping his family alive.

 

Accolades:

Kirkus Reviews: “The author writes with breezy energy and is at his best when describing scenes of suspenseful intrigue. Frank and his wife, Nicole, emerge as a heroic pair. These two steal the show. Spirited, readable debut with extra points for plot and pacing.”

“A gripping page-turner to the very end.”–Midwest Book Review.

“Dangerous Past is a mystery-thriller in the spirit of both Scott Turow and Ernest K. Gann.” Military Writers of America Review.

Amazon Reviewer: “A fast-paced thriller that kept me guessing at every turn! My interest never waned once as I was reading, and I struggled to put it down” — Ruth Hill.

 

Review Ratings:

Dangerous Past currently has a review rating of 3.9 stars from 55 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Dangerous Past is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

An excerpt from Dangerous Past:

It was nine at night, when the FBI agent watching Frank’s house decided to drive down the road to get a cup of coffee. He figured it would take no longer than twenty minutes. Inside the house Nicole made some coffee and gave a cup to Frank to take outside to give to the agent.

Frank went out the front door and looked for the agent’s car. He peered into the darkness and started to cross the street when he heard a voice from the side of the yard.

“I’m back here.”

Frank turned around and walked into the dark beside his house.

“Over here.”

Frank thought the voice now came from the back yard and he continued toward the rear of the house. When he got to the rear yard, Frank still couldn’t see the agent. “Hey, where in the devil are you? I got some hot coffee.”

“I think I saw someone run into the foliage near the lake. You better go back inside where it’s safe while I have a look around.”

“No, I’ll help you search. Wait a minute.” Frank jogged towards the voice that seemed to be closer to the lake now.

Standing in the shadows, John smiled. For whatever reason, whether his victim was a macho know-it-all type or just naive of the danger, many of the men he had killed had swallowed that bait. He also figured from the fax sheet he had received, that the Austin police had taken Frank’s .38-calber revolver. Under the new waiting law, John knew it was impossible for Frank to get another weapon so soon unless his intended victim wasn’t a law-biding citizen. And John was counting on Frank to be a law-abiding sort.

As Frank neared Town Lake, he wished he had brought a flashlight. He couldn’t see the agent at all. So he went toward the shrubbery where he last heard the voice. “Hey, fellow, where are you?” Frank said. He felt foolish that he didn’t know the agent’s name.

“Here, right behind you.”

The voice startled Frank and he whirled around to face a well-built man wearing all black as though he was on a Special Forces recon night team. I’m in trouble, Frank thought, as he looked down the silencer barrel of a 9mm pistol. God, this guy is really good. “Did you kill the agent that was watching me?”

“I wasn’t paid to do that. Now, Frankie boy, let’s me and you take a walk to the shoreline.”

 

Dangerous Past is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99


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THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: AN UNQUIET AMERICAN, AFN CLARKE {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of AN UNQUIET AMERICAN:

In this provocative political thriller an ex-British SAS officer goes up against powerful conspirators who are about to regret they ever met him! Readers call it riveting, thought provoking, can’t put the book down reading; a masterpiece of psychological warfare; superior storytelling and liken it to the best of John Le Carré.
Rufus Reed, ex-British Special Forces is kidnapped, falsely accused of terrorism and taken to a secret CIA “Black Site” for questioning. He’s not only up against his captors, but dangerous elements at the top levels of government who intend to use him as part of a plan to ensure “their man” wins the Presidency of the United States. Seeking power at all costs, they set in motion a global conspiracy of unthinkable proportions.
Yet nothing is quite what it seems, and Rufus is no ordinary prisoner.
As he slowly plants seeds of doubt in the minds of his captors, related events explode on the world stage racing with unnerving twists and turns from Hong Kong, Jordan, Italy, Latvia and the USA to the highest levels of the CIA, the Knesset and the Vatican.  What’s at stake is not just Reed’s survival, but that of democracy and freedom as we know it!
And just as you think you know what’s going to happen, three powerful figures – a high-profile Iranian Muslim woman, a former Israeli Intelligence Officer, and a Catholic mining billionaire – reveal their true intentions and propel the story to a riveting and unexpected conclusion!

This web of intrigue draws on bestselling author AFN Clarke’s own experiences in the military and as the son of a British MI6 operative living in different countries, cultures and political systems around the world. It is set against the background of a U.S. Presidential election and creates dramatic tension through its politically explosive premise and controversial analysis of decisions in history that continue to impact the world today. An exciting, emotionally stirring and thought-provoking book, it reveals both the power of greed and corruption and the power of the human spirit to rise above it.

AFN Clarke is the best selling author of CONTACT (non-fiction), and various works of fiction: An Unquiet American, Dry Tortugas, The Book of Baker Series (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon; Genesis Revisited), Collisions and The Orange Moon Affair, the first of the Thomas Gunn thriller series. For more on the author visit afnclarke.com and leave your email for new release updates.  Deep appreciation for any reviews you post on this or other AFN Clarke books.
Book length 365 pages.

 

Accolades:

An Unquiet American is riveting, thought provoking, “can’t put the book down” reading. AFN Clarke’s writing draws me in and keeps me captivated until the very end. Intense, passionate, intelligent writing. Don’t miss this! Rebecca Fisk 5 Stars

This political thriller is superbly written and for much of it the reader could be forgiven for thinking he or she had picked up the latest from Le Carré. Certainly the main character, Rufus Read, is pure Le Carré. His toying with his captors is brilliantly written and his reminiscences packed with fascinating and very disturbing facts. As someone who has spent many years in Hong Kong, I can certainly attest to the accuracy of the parts of the book located there. As for the overall message regarding the manipulation of the US government, again, fascinating stuff well backed up with modern/historical fact. If you like thrillers with a difference, ones that make you think long and hard about the modern world, An Unquiet American is well worth reading.
I am very pleased to have discovered Tony Clarke’s work (for the conspiracy theorists who think every 5Star review is a plant, he is, I should add, no relation!) and I shall certainly be reading more. All strength to twitter where I first came across his name. David George Clarke, 5 Stars

Kept my intererst from the first page. I am looking forward to reading previous novels I have missed! I recommended it to a retired Army career person who is also enjoying the read. Mary Moret, 5 Stars

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

AN UNQUIET AMERICAN currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 3.7 stars, with 11 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

AN UNQUIET AMERICAN is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Excerpt from AN UNQUIET AMERICAN:

DAY 3 – MARCH 2008 FCTIS INTERROGATION CENTRE – ROOM 2

Rufus Reed stared at the light as if trying to assimilate it into his soul. To become the light and block out every other stimulus that had been flirting with his sanity. The after effects of the drug they had given him had finally worn off, leaving a lingering feeling of disconnect with the real world.
‘What difference would it make in the totality of time?’ he thought idly as the light burned deep into his mind, shining onto memories that had long been left in the dark recesses of a life few people would ever know. ‘This is an interesting experience and what matter if I should die as a result? I’ve lived well, loved deeply, fought hard…’ he paused his thinking and sighed. ‘But perhaps I haven’t been the father I should have been.’
Normally he was not given to reminiscing about the past, except perhaps to enhance the quality of his work, because the future always had so much to offer in the excitement of the unknown. Besides, he knew that a few unforgivable mistakes, some bad behavior and two ill-advised marriages, had no redeeming qualities under the harsh light of introspection.
‘Just what kind of ridiculous truth serum did they give me,’ he thought, knowing that the drugs were more successful in novels than in real life. ‘Except that stuff the Russians were supposed to have come up with, Litvinenko called it SP-117 before he was killed by radionuclide polonium-210. And he should have known because he said he used it himself when he was working for the Russian Federal
Security Service. Ah well, no matter, my life’s an open book.’
The silly reference to his job as a novelist made him smile as tried to clear his head. He had no memory of anything from the moment he felt the needle in his neck, just glimpses of shadowy figures and the boring murmur of his own voice, until yesterday when he began to emerge from his drugged state.
He tried to remember the events from the time of the attack in Marin to this moment, but only saw ghostly images in his mind as if he was caught in a living dream. ‘Perhaps if I can go with the dream I can piece together the puzzle. Figure out what I said, or didn’t say,’ he thought, rationalizing that fighting the remembered images and trying to sort them into a logical pattern would not reveal the truth.
The CIA was well versed in truth serums, the use of LSD, and hypnosis from their experiments during the 1950s, but what other chemical tools were in their box-of-tricks. Reed was sure he had caused his interrogators a great deal of frustration, which was why they were letting him drift back to reality so that they could progress in a more traditional way.
‘This is combat,’ he thought as his mind slowly cleared. ‘There is always a certain feeling of inevitability about combat, a feeling that you are already dead, and that surreal conviction helps get through the fear, the terror of killing and watching friends die.’
And like combat, there were certain tactics, manoeuvres and tricks that could keep the enemy guessing. It didn’t necessarily change the outcome, but it made their job much more difficult.
Rufus Reed liked that tiny sense of control, that rebellion against the inevitable.
‘According to Sun Tzu,’ he mused, ‘All warfare is Deception and If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant’.
Reed wondered if his tormentors had read ‘The Art of War’. He had been in this position before, and the training of so many years ago stood him in good stead, but he idly wondered why he should
fight instead of just succumbing to their wishes.
“You wrote that you ‘knew’ that Saddam Hussein did not possess nuclear weapons. How did you know?” The voice was as reasonable and insistent as always.
“I was born….” Rufus began.
“Answer the question,” the Interrogator interrupted impatiently.
Rufus sighed disappointedly, held the Interrogator’s gaze and allowed a slight smile to twitch his dry lips. “….Differently.”
“Really. But that still doesn’t answer my question.”
Rufus looked away from the light at the face in the shadows. It took a little time for the face to come into focus as the effects of the drug had slowed his reactions. When it did, it was a caricature American Military face; a clean-cut face with fleshy lips, and an impossibly chiseled jaw.
Rufus smiled inwardly. ‘An amateur posing as a professional,’ he thought with a glimmer of satisfaction. ‘A True Believer. Patriotic to the core, but under-educated and inexperienced. Why is it that the most Powerful Nation on Earth is politically and diplomatically the most ignorant?’
As he studied the face behind the light, his peripheral vision took in the rest of the cell. The Interrogators euphemistically called it a room, but it was a cell and each day he formed a more cohesive picture of what might be outside these walls.
The room was obviously East European. Rufus could smell the mould in the rough cheap wall plaster tinted with ageing colors of green and pale yellow, and idly wondered why Government interior designers the world over, seemed to think that two tone wall colors were in any way desirable.
Perhaps he was in a Russian satellite country.

‘No not Russia, a former Russian province.’
The window behind him was narrow and quite wide, punctuated with two cheap heavy galvanized steel bars that rusted in the damp winter, beyond the bars mildew formed on the concrete that blocked any view there might have been. The heavy steel door in front of him, was set into the rotting walls, and he smiled inwardly at the thought that perhaps the people who constructed this prison imagined that the door itself was deterrent enough for a determined prisoner. But then maybe this had been the house of an aristocrat long since deceased as the Russian revolution swept across Eastern Europe. The mildew was a clue, and he smiled at the thought that the room was in a cellar and the bricked up ‘window’ was a bluff.
‘It is going to be very undignified, dying in a foreign cellar at the hands of sadistic amateurs.’ He brushed the musings away.
“You have the rudeness and arrogance of youth, and none of the finesse of experience,” Reed said quietly. “I was born in a foreign land, just after the Second World War…”
“We know that. Kowloon, Hong Kong.”
The Young Interrogator felt secure in the knowledge he had digested for four days before starting the interrogation and that he had control. The experimental drug they had injected Reed with produced nothing more than garbled reminiscences, so now it was time to move to the next phase of interrogation. It was difficult because the man opposite him, this ‘Master Terrorist’, had the ability to shut him down with a few, well-chosen, words. He could feel the sweat beginning to pool in his lower back and soak through his underwear, and feared it would appear as a small ‘V’ shaped stain on his immaculately pressed pants. It was a fear he had never been able to shake. An irrational fear based on the thought that anyone he met was secretly scrutinizing him in detail and would surely notice that telltale sign of his lack of confidence.
Rufus Reed leaned forward and stared into his eyes, and saw the uncertainty.
“You know nothing,” Rufus said slowly. “You only know what you think you know, but you know nothing. You have a list of dates and times, of names and places but that tells you nothing. Only that I existed in those places at those times. You do not have the thoughts, the emotions, the smells, the experiences of touch and sensation. You do not have the ability to understand why something happens…..,” he paused again and waited, watching the young man’s eyes until they flickered down to the table, “…differently.”
The Interrogator tried to smile, feeling that maybe he could fool Rufus Reed into thinking that he was playing with him.
“We have everything you ever wrote,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “We’ve studied your books, emails, everything.” He leaned forward as if explaining to a child. “We know you. We have all the facts,” he whispered and leaned back again smiling smugly, feeling a little more confident.
“The facts,” Rufus Reed said quietly. “What facts? Do you know what a man is thinking when he stares at a woman’s breasts? Could it be that he is a sculptor thinking of Venus, a predator thinking of rape, or a homosexual thinking of his mother? Or do you assume he is thinking what you would think and what you want him to think? What do you know when a man writes satire that is interpreted as literal truth? Fiction that is interpreted as fact? Know me? You know nothing. I can tell you more about yourself right now than you will ever know about me.”
There was a sudden fear in the young interrogator’s blue eyes. An unconscious flicker that Rufus was looking for, and the impossibly square cleft chin thrust forward antagonistically.
“I doubt that,” the younger man said aggressively.
“You were born in the mid west, your accent gives that away,” Rufus carried on smoothly.
“Your father was probably a middle manager for a local company, Westinghouse maybe, and your mother a pillar of the PTA. You were a High School quarterback but failed to make a college team so you went into the military. After all, your Daddy was a cook in some training camp, maybe in Biloxi, never saw combat and voted conservative no matter what the issues were because that’s what ‘Good ole country boys do’. And whatever America did in the world was a-okay, providing it kept the dollars flowing in and you didn’t have to think about the poor Blacks down the road and starvation in Bangladesh, or that fact that you were ripping off the resources of the oil producing countries as fast as the tankers could sail. That’s what this country’s all about. Overthrow a democratically elected Government, put a Dictator in power and bribe him to give away his country’s wealth for a Swiss Bank Account and an apartment in the Big Apple. This is a pale copy of the Roman Empire with all of the self-centred, militaristic arrogance and yet none of the art. We let the Government do anything it wants as long as we don’t have to think about the consequences as we wallow in luxury.”
The Interrogator’s eyes widened before he recovered and attempted a weak smile that was supposed to impart denial. Rufus Reed allowed himself a moment of smugness before he went back to staring at the light, but not before he looked directly at the mirrored wall behind and to the right of the Interrogator.
“You want to know me, then listen. But I fear that you will not hear. It’s not in your nature. Any of you.” His eyes flickered back to the light.

 

AN UNQUIET AMERICAN is available for purchase at:

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THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Eyes Die Last, Teri Riggs {$2.99}

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Description of The Eyes Die Last:

The Las Vegas Mayoral race is heating up, and the incumbent doesn’t have a prayer. Wealthy real estate speculator Nick Campenelli, who wants to legalize prostitution in Clark County, and former pastor Louis St. Louis, running on a ‘clean-up-Vegas-by-getting-rid-of-the-whores’ platform, are the front runners.

They’re also front runners on the suspect list for a string of murders. Kennedy O’Brien, four-year detective with cop blood running in her veins, and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James, a veteran, are determined to find the man who’s murdering prostitutes who work the wrong side of the street, and they don’t care how important or politically active he is.

The killer is a man with a mission. He stalks the women before he kills them, leaving a “BEFORE” photo on their bodies, and sending an “AFTER” shot to the local news hound. Ed Hershey, an aging newscaster with just the right amount of grey in his hair, is determined to turn this story into a network gig, and his interference, along with the LVTVS legal team, are making Kennedy and Wilder look bad. Campenelli’s good looks and charm, and St. Louis’ vitriolic hatred of prostitutes are muddying the waters too, and now the killer seems to have taken a liking to Kennedy.

So the big question remains. Can she get him before he gets her?


Accolades:

Great concept in a title. Do the eyes really die last? Do they reflect the last vision? This book has suspects, from the “can’t be him, He is too obvious” to the ‘well, it might be ….” with others in between. There are suspects that you can dislike and hope they are the villain and others that you like and hope they haven’t crossed that line of control.
The author takes the time to build up each of the major characters so you can get to know them and empathize with them. Strong characters that have human flaws that makes it easier to identify with them. Bring on more of these books. -Suzy

 

Reviews:

The Eyes Die Last currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.1 stars from 9 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

The Eyes Die Last  is available for purchase at:

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An excerpt from The Eyes Die Last:

The calm midnight sky did little to lessen the brutal and unrelenting Las Vegas heat that engulfed him as he stood watching from the shadows. Sweat, mixed with anticipation and fear, made his cotton dress shirt stick to his back. Adrenaline pulsed through him, blurring the flashing neon lights in his peripheral vision into distorted, iridescent streaks of color dancing across the sidewalks. He rubbed his clammy palms together as he watched a woman step from a Mercedes onto the littered curb.
With a quick tug on the rough denim, she straightened her tight, micro-mini skirt and, placing a hand on each side of her jewel-trimmed halter top, jiggled her size double-D‟s into position. Smiling, she tucked a wad of bills into her tiny purse and waved as the dark sedan sped away.
His heart pounded an erratic rhythm in double-time against his chest wall and small beads of perspiration dotted his forehead. He wiped his moist hands on his pants and approached her, head down, shoulders hunched.
“How much for twenty minutes?” He tipped his head in the direction of the alley. “Over there, standing up.”
Her eyes widened, bright purple eye shadow sparkling in the light of a passing car. “Standing up? You like it a little dirty, do you?”
He eyed the creamy breasts overflowing from her halter top. “Don’t we all?”
The woman shrugged, and for a few seconds he could see the boredom in her gaze. She looked down at the sidewalk and back up at him. Then she smiled.
“You’re in charge, boss. Twenty minutes, fifty dollars. Cash up front and I have a strict policy about condoms. I only use my own. A girl’s gotta protect the merchandise.”
He closed his eyes, savoring the moment that would propel him into greatness. When he opened them again, he could tell by the look on her face she thought he was mulling over the price. He’d go along with it. “Fifty dollars up front?”
“Take it or leave it. Hooking this side of the county line is illegal, you know. I‟m taking a risk.” She ran her hands slowly over her double-D‟s and wiggled her ass. Her voice purred, “As you can see, I’m not a damn blue-light special.”
He looked down one side of the street, and then the other. He studied the alley for a moment, and then looked her over again, slowly.
“I‟m worth every penny.”
Did the whore actually think he’d find that sexy?
“Yes, love. I can see how much you’re worth.”
“Well then make up your mind.”
He pulled a fifty from his pants pocket and handed her the cash. “Of course I‟ll pay you what you deserve.” Pushing past her, he walked into the dark alley, rolling up the long sleeves of his once neatly pressed dress shirt.
“Thanks, sugar.” She folded and then tucked the cash into her purse.
He looked over his shoulder at her. “So how about you get that sweet, fifty dollar ass of yours over here?”
She followed willingly and when they stopped, stood face to face with him. The stink of cheap perfume smacked him in the face and his stomach muscles tightened. His voice roughened.
“Turn around. I want to do you from behind.”
She turned slowly and snuggled her ass up against him.

The Eyes Die Last  is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

Connect with Teri Riggs:

Website: www.teririggs.com

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Twitter: @TeriLRiggs

Kaleidoscope World, Tomica Scavina {FREE!}

A collector of kaleidoscopes and lousy relationships, Dahlia Kasper leaves her possessive alcoholic mother and moves from New York to Barcelona. In search of lost bits of her childhood, she starts living in an apartment where her father was murdered when she was four. As soon as she enters the apartment, strange things begin to happen.

Her favorite kaleidoscope becomes a gateway to another dimension where she encounters a ghost of a famous physicist from the 19th century who tries to persuade her that reality is like a moth-eaten sweater – full of holes. He needs her to help him plug up these holes and save the world from vanishing, while the only thing Dahlia really wants to save is her sanity.

This is just a part of Dahlia’s problems. An elderly cello-playing neighbor turns her emotional world upside down and her longing for lost home takes her further than she ever imagined she could go. To collect all the scattered kaleidoscope-bits of her life together, Dahlia needs to go through an intense inner transformation that takes courage and a sharp sense of humor.

What readers are saying:

“This is a brilliant mind-questioning page-turner with a unique plot and some amazingly surprising turnouts, filled with humor and fresh writing style.”

“One of the best books I have read in a long, long time, and I am really looking forward to reading the next creation of this writer’s mind.”

“You could tell that she knows and truly understands her characters’ deepest fears, flaws and needs.”

The average Amazon reader review rating is currently 4.9 stars, with 18 reviews.

Click here to read more about and purchase Kaleidoscope World  for FREE

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