Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on March 19, 2017

 

Synopsis

I’m a wanted jewel thief.

He’s FBI.

What’s that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer.

Being married to a federal agent certainly has its perks.

  1. I just love the way that man looks in a suit.
  2. This way I always know what the enemy is up to.

Spending my days lifting jewels and my nights tracking the Bureau should have been a genius plan. But the closer I get to Grant Emerson, the more dangerous this feels. With two million dollars’ worth of diamonds on the line, I can’t afford to fall for my own husband.

It turns out that the only thing worse than having a mortal enemy is being married to one. Because in our game of theft and seduction, only one of us will come out on top.

Good thing a cat burglar always lands on her feet.

A sexy, fun, cat-and-mouse chase that hooked me from page one!”  —JENNIFER PROBST, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Marriage Bargain

 

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Excerpt

“You have good taste in friends, I’ll give you that,” Grant said as soon as they moved out of earshot. “I like her.”

So did I. “I hope your partner can be trusted with her. He seems…” By the book? Straitlaced?

Unpleasant? “Serious.”

Grant twisted his head to look at me. “He is serious. But he’s also been my partner for a long time. I can safely promise you that no harm will come to her through his hands.”

Much as I hated to admit it, I would have to trust this man enough to take him at his word. Of course, that didn’t mean I failed to notice that he fully reserved the right to cause harm through his own hands. I wasn’t stupid.

I smiled to show my blessing. Grant smiled back to accept my blessing. And that was that.

“Excellent,” he said and turned his attention to the bar. “I’ll have what the lady’s having. And get her another.”

“Make mine a double this time, bartender.”

The bartender winked at me and carefully poured out two glasses of tonic water. Grant took his in hand with an almost perplexed look on his face.

“Sorry to ruin your big moment,” I said. “But I don’t drink.”

“Ever?”

“Not since I was about eighteen years old.” I shrugged an apology and set to work squeezing my lemon. It behooved me to tread lightly moving forward—especially regarding my tales of the past—but if I wanted to get answers out of this man, I would have to open up enough to keep him interested. Give and take, push and pull. Nothing in this world was free. “I drank a lot of malt liquor and bottom-shelf vodka when I was young—and I mean a lot.”

“Fake ID?”

“Five-fingered discount.”

Grant’s eyes flashed in an expression of interest, the same way they always did when I surprised him with the truth. “Ah, youthful dissipation. I know it well.”

Somehow, I very much doubted that. “Oh, yeah? You hit up a lot of liquor stores when you were a kid, Agent Emerson?”

He laughed and loosened the knot of his tie, just like every other lackey in the place. Unlike everyone else, however, there was a sensuality about the action, a man allowing himself to come undone at just the throat. A flash of that vulnerable spot, taut with muscles and sprinkled with hair, was all that he released to me.

Oh, dear God. It was enough.

“I wasn’t always an officer and a gentleman. I had my fair share of youthful shenanigans.”

“If you called them shenanigans, I promise you had no such thing.”

This time, his laugh was a rumble, that force of nature not even his massive strength could hold back. “You’re a fascinating woman, you know that? The stories I bet you could tell…” He had no freaking idea.

Or maybe he did.

“You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here.” I changed the subject with a smile, fishing around in my bag. My fingers sought the peace offering I’d brought with me. “I came to apologize for storming out on you the other day, and to give you this.”

“This?”

I handed over a carefully wrapped box the size of his palm. “I’ve got a few connections. It’s probably better if you don’t ask.”

His face revealed absolutely nothing as he took the gift in hand, but I could tell he was surprised. Three times I’d encountered this man, and I was already beginning to figure him out. His laughter was genuine, his smile devastating, his sense of humor perfectly intact. He was also phenomenally good at hiding any emotion other than that. Amusement and interest were allowed to run free, but the rest of it—the suspicion and the alarm, the fact that he genuinely thought I just handed him a stolen piece of jewelry or drugs in the middle of a federal agent’s bar—was quashed before it had a chance to surface.

He was good. He was very, very good.

But I was better.

About the Author

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.j

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, Romantic Suspense on March 4, 2017

Synopsis

Forty-year-old, never been married stage and TV actress Kelly Lawson returns to her Texas home to choreograph and star in the Glenview Theatre summer season. Kelly’s mother has made a hobby of trailing out every new man in town for Kelly’s inspection, hoping she’ll fall in love and use Glenview as her home base, especially now that Kelly’s father has entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s . Two years ago, Kelly broke off an engagement shortly before she discovered her former fiancé dead, a gun in his hand and a hole in his head. Reason enough to guard her heart.

When Kelly accuses a Glenview police officer of harassing two of their gay actors, Police Chief Josh Kincaid, her mother’s candidate for this trip, becomes involved in the investigation. Incidents pile up, making it clear someone has it in, not only for the theatre, but for Kelly as well. Josh searches for clues to the person behind the attacks and the reason for them, all the while trying to ignore his developing feelings. How could he trust his heart to a New York actress?

Review

I really enjoyed this romantic suspense novel. It home on a few levels – set in Texas close to where I live and 2 of the men have Alzheimers (I have known many that had this including my own dad).

I like that while Kelly may be an actress and famous, she is very down to earth and has some of her own issues to deal with as well. Josh hasn’t had the easiest life either but he knows what he wants when he meets Kelly.

This is a suspense novel so there is only a slight bit of a mystery at the beginning about who is causing some problems. It is all revealed as to who the culprits are, but it still takes a while for them to be discovered and brought to justice. There are a few tense nail biting moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

There are some slightly graphic love scenes but much tamer than you find in other books. I tend to skim over those parts, but that is me.

All in all a good book and worth the read.  We give it 4 paws up.

 

About the Author

I’ve worn many hats during my life. I’d thought the writing hat was of recent vintage. Then going through some boxes, I stumbled over plays and short stories I wrote in 6th and 7th grades. The hat is older than I recalled.

For many years, I wore the hat of an activist PTA mom and volunteer. Then I added a campaign hat and served on the Fort Worth school board for eight years. A task I never could’ve undertaken without the full cooperation of my husband, an attorney . He’s supported me in everything I’ve wanted to do.

Then I went back to teaching high school theatre, a fun hat to wear. They paid me for doing something I loved. After that, I morphed into an elementary school administrator. Sometimes the hat fit well. At other times, it pinched. Joyous, but exhausting work. Ever since retiring, I’ve concentrated on my writing career. As I said, lots of hats.

Our grown children live near us and have given us the best of the best: grandchildren. I’ve turned into your stereotypical grandmother believing these little jewels are the most beautiful, handsome, and brilliant in the world!

My favorite season is fall, and I’m never happier than when we travel to New England. We’ve been fortunate to visit many beautiful parts of the country, some of which find their way into my books.

I’m working on book three of The Second Chances Series, ACT OF BETRAYAL..s series. Newest release is THE THEATRE October 31, 2016.

I’ve recently joined Sisterhood of Suspense, a blog made up of 16 authors all who write romantic suspense. Much fun.

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Posted in e-books, Romantic Suspense, Sale on February 8, 2017

★ SALE ~ All 4 Books – $2.99 ★

Rebecca Rohman’s Box Set Collection

Lose yourself within the pages of Rebecca Rohman’s Box Set Collection featuring her four novels: A Problematic Love, Love M.D., Love, Lies & The D.A., & Uncorked.

All four full-length novels are standalones. However, because Love, Lies & The D.A., Love M.D. and A Problematic Love share some of the same characters they can be read together. If you’d like the read them in order, Love, Lies & The D.A. was released first, then Love M.D. and A Problematic Love was the last.

Expect loads of suspense and steamy love scenes.

A Problematic Love

Eight years after her fiancé was murdered, attorney Megan Kole has fully reconciled two areas of her life: her intelligent son, who never knew his father, and the thriving law practice that is her late father’s legacy. The remainder of Megan’s world stalled in a paralyzing grief that she effectively compartmentalized until a transfer to Seattle brings a handsome, mysterious billionaire into her life.

Daemon Ros has been an outcast since the day he was born. His parents’ lavish but emotionally-vacant lifestyle prompted him to assert his financial independence at a young age. His ailing brother is the only connection he allows to penetrate the vault he has built around his heart, until a devoted mom and her precocious son introduce him to the true meaning of family bonds.

But a chance legal encounter where Megan acts as mediator in a Ros family business dispute leads to far more than either expected. When a shocking truth leads to a love affair between Megan and Daemon that is forbidden in every conceivable way, the barely-restrained chemistry that scorches between them threatens an injunction on everything and everyone they hold dear. As pasts cross, memories threaten, and lies surface in a trial far more deadly than anything inside a courtroom, an arbitration of the heart could prove the only way for them both to make it out alive.

Love M.D.

As an accomplished interior designer in San Francisco’s Bay Area, Zoë Jenkins is used to transforming empty spaces into masterpieces. She leaves little square footage in her personal life for anything outside of her thriving business and a renewed relationship with her twin brother. After a decade spent ripped apart by circumstance and an entire ocean’s distance, she depends on no one but him. Until a sexy surgeon walks into her life.

Although Zoë can’t deny her attraction to the charming and benevolent Morgan Drake, he’s on her mental list of everything she should avoid. Past experience taught Zoë that dating clients compromises business. Add a not-yet-dissolved marriage to the mix and Doctor Hottie is definitely Doctor Off-limits.

Dr. Morgan Drake is surprised at the undeniable chemistry he feels when he’s in the same room as Zoë. The strikingly beautiful and solitary designer he hired to fill his new-start, new-city home makes it abundantly clear there will never be anything between them. But twelve years of medical school breeds persistence. He sets out to persuade the pants off Zoë Jenkins and show her what her empty spaces are missing.

Intense passion and amazing sex have a way of masking secrets-secrets that unravel a dangerous web of fraud, corruption and conspiracy that turn Zoë’s quiet spaces into a world where nothing is as it seems. With her life on the line, the good doctor responsible for her fiercest betrayal might just be the only one worthy of her finest interior masterpiece-this time, of her heart.

Love, Lies & The D.A.

Jada McLean is about to get married in nine days, when she walks in on her fiancé in a little more than a compromising position. Days later, she’s on a trip that she intends to be relaxing and a prelude to her fresh start, when she runs into the rude, obnoxious, but gorgeous Jonathan Kole.

Jonathan Kole is San Francisco’s newest District Attorney. When he finds himself deeply attracted to a stunning beauty, he has no idea that she’s about to get into BIG trouble with the law—and he’ll be the one presiding over her trial. To make matters worse, his father is the lawyer representing her in the high-profile case.

When a series of events force them together over New Year’s weekend, Jonathan’s feelings and ethics will come into question, while Jada comes to terms with the fact that she is falling for the man that will be responsible for attempting to put her behind bars… Little do they know, they’re both about to fall into a whirlwind so deep, it will send both their lives spiraling out of control.

Uncorked

A Contemporary Romance with Elements of Suspense

Chella Noon’s life isn’t her own. Her success as a Marketing Executive in the cosmetic division of an international conglomerate is overshadowed by a series of tragic events from a decade ago. With no family, few trusted friends and years spent on the run, she opens herself up to the possibility of a future with a sexy new real estate investor despite escalating threats from a psychotic ex determined to torment her.

Mitch Mariani never met a deal he couldn’t close. So when Chella walks into his life, he will stop at nothing to prove he is worthy of her trust. But as Chella’s past catches up to them and danger exposes his well-guarded secrets, his heart may not be the only thing at risk of a tragic end.

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Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Review, Romantic Suspense on November 21, 2016

pistol-fanny

Synopsis

Never fall in love with a bank robber.

Especially if she’s the one who robbed your bank, took you hostage, and dumped you unconscious at the local convenience store. And definitely not if you are the assistant district attorney of Tupelo, Mississippi.

This is the advice Hank Huckleberry Rivers would have given himself, back when he was a man who vowed to always walk on the right side of the law. The same law that had seemed sacrosanct ever since the day he and his friends watched as two men were murdered right below their tree house.

Falling in love with a dangerous criminal can have life-altering consequences, though. And when the past and the present meet head-on, Hank finds himself in more trouble than he ever bargained for. He must run to save his life, daring to find answers to the questions threatening his safety and his heart, as the killer below the tree house comes after Hank—and his pistol-wielding bank robber.

It’s a simple case of love in the first degree.

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Artist: Jaime Buckley

Wanted Hero

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Excerpt

Even so, these mystical women in heels who were robbing and donating continued to make headlines, and banks across the states had never been busier. Men were lining up, never taking such an interest in where their money was stashed, all in hopes of catching a glimpse of them.

Posters were made, memes popped up like mushrooms in a wet field online, and a comic strip was dedicated to these women.  Pistollette was bigger than life, her legs spread apart, a pistol in each hand, looking down on the world. That exaggerated smile on her face, those brown blinking eyes.

Her sisters were right beside her, blowing things up, winking and playing the boom box, tap dancing by a door, flipping on counters. Close to their hairlines, a zipper, and a clear thin line that separated their two sides. The good and the bad. The zipper was the key to their true identity. And below them all were men, amplified cartoon hearts floating from their chests, stars in their eyes, and lust in their smiles.

The slogan for these women—not only do they steal your money, they collect interest on your heart.

The entire world knew who they were. Headlines read: Maybe coming to a bank near you.

Propaganda hung in alleys, on fences, above urinals, and below in underground train stations. They were up in pool halls, in dive bars, and on the walls of the swankiest clubs in New York. They had become art. Modern day sophisticate meets old lawless ruggedness. A huge billboard hung in Hollywood, showing the girls appearing out of smoke: Stealing the hearts of the rich guys, giving to the poor ones. Pistollette and her Sirens will take you by storm! They were for the good guys of the world who cared enough to figure it out.

They were elusive and mysterious, and there was a reward for any man who would dare remove any of their masks. The world was sure underneath the masquerades were the most beautiful faces any man had ever seen. No one ever tried. They were too stupefied in their presence. They were truck drivers’ and bikers’ dreams, doctors’ and lawyers’ fantasies.

The hoopla went on and on.

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Review

This book took a long time for me to read and I’m a fast reader. It started off great with what the boys see when they are young, but then it took quite some time for that to come back and fit back into the story.

I thought the book was slow in many parts and sometimes I felt like some scenes were drawn out way too long. There were also times when I had no clue what was going on and who characters were and if they were people we already knew or not.

The story does explain everything and tie it all together.

I’d give this about 3 paws.

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About the Author

Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California).

Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.

When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. Deciding on a whim to hitch up those same wagons, Annie currently resides in Texas (where everything is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).

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Posted in excerpt, Review, Romantic Suspense on November 20, 2016

 

secrets1Love, Lies & A Bleu Christmas
A Follow-Up Novella to Love, Lies & The D.A.

Release Date: November 15th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Pages/Words: 257/47,000
Format: EBook & Paperback

Synopsis

love-lies-a-bleu-christ-kWhen Bleu Resorts owner, Jada Kole decided it would be a good idea to keep a secret from her husband, it never once occurred to her that he might have an even more stunning secret than hers.

The last year of Jonathan Kole’s life has been marred by complications, pressure and is beyond stressful both at his law firm and at home. Jada being overseas for an extended period doesn’t make things any easier to deal with.

But secrets have a way of getting out. Add a sultry blonde and a child to the mix and Jada and Jonathan’s happily married life quickly turns into a very dark shade of bleu. As things fall apart, it turns from bad to worse when one of them ends up on the wrong side of the law and something ominous enters their lives.

With Jada and Jonathan battling problems inside their marriage and things disintegrating in every direction on the outside, will San Francisco’s biggest power couple be able to get their lives in order? Or will it bring about the demise of their world and their child’s?

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Excerpt – Opening Scene (SPOILER ALERT)

“Vous avez un cancer du sein.”

Translation: “You have breast cancer.” Four words no woman wants to hear.

It was on the night of the grand opening of my Paris hotel one week ago and after a long day, while taking a shower, I felt a small lump in my right breast.

After several tests and a biopsy, Dr. Benneteau, the oncologist called…

Days later, I still can’t get over the shock.

As I stare at the gray clouds that cover the Eiffel Tower, my phone rings, snapping me out of my thoughts. My husband Jonathan’s face illuminates my screen.

“Hey, baby. How are my two favorite men in the world?”

“Overwhelmed. I just had a break and I wanted to be sure I checked in with you. Any idea when you’re going to be home?”

Not anytime soon.

“Apart from seeing your handsome face and my sweet son for a couple days, I really can’t rationalize flying across the Atlantic for two days. I have to head over to Austria to make sure everything is on schedule with the property there.”

“I miss my wife, and Jordan misses his mom.”

My chest aches at the sound of his words. “If you really want, I’ll come home but it would be so much less pressure on me if I just stayed.”

He sighs at the end of the line and mumbles a disgruntled, “Okay.”

“It’s not like you’d have time for me either if I came, is it? You couldn’t even make the grand opening of Paris Bleu. All you’ve been telling me is how crazy it has been trying to get everything in place at the various branches of the firm.”

“That’s true. I just miss you that’s all. Things just seem so much easier to handle when you’re here.”

His words warm my heart. “I miss you too. I’ll be home as soon as I am able, I promise. In the meanwhile we always have FaceTime. But don’t you ever forget how much I love you.”

“I love you too, babe. I have to go. I’ll be in touch soon.”

I end the call.

I may not have gotten over the shock of my diagnosis, but from the moment I found the lump, I’ve spent all my time researching it, and I have another appointment with the doctors this afternoon.

Jonathan’s been overwhelmed of late since his sister Megan moved to Switzerland and his right-hand man, Cooper, lost his wife after a battle with—breast cancer. I don’t want to worry him. Besides, it’s just stage two breast cancer…or at least that is what I continue to tell myself.

I have already made up my mind about what I’m going to do—handle it on my own. Have a double mastectomy so this never ever resurfaces again and tell my husband when I get home. That way, the problem will be handled; they’ll see that I’m healthy and we can all just move on with our lives. I’ll be saving them the agony of going through this anyway…

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My Review

Disclaimer – This book does contain explicit sex scenes and f* bombs

There are two parts to this book that captured my attention. The first is the suspense (of course!) and trying to figure out who is framing Jonathan for murder. While you don’t have to have read the other books to enjoy this one, it might help explain the relationship of the “bad guys” and why they were doing what they were doing. The author does a good job of filling in the gaps and explaining the ties and I’m not sure if there is more detail in the other books.

The other is Jada’s emotions and mindset when she finds out she has breast cancer and dealing with the situation. I too am a breast cancer survivor so this hit home. However, how we handled the situations were polar opposites. Jada thought she could do it all on her own and didn’t want anyone to help her. She found out soon enough that perhaps that was not the right way to go about dealing with the cancer. I did like her speech at a dinner for cancer and what she learned about dealing with cancer and what to do or not do.

Overall I enjoyed the book and will admit I flipped past the sex scenes. There were only 1 or 2, but wasn’t in the mood to read those kinds of scenes. But that is my preference and no way says anything about the book.

 

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Love, Lies & A Bleu Christmas Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Love, Lies & The D.A. – Book #1 In The Series

Love, Lies & The D.A. NEW COVERJada McLean is about to get married in nine days, when she walks in on her fiancé in a little more than a compromising position. Days later, she’s on a trip that she intends to be relaxing and a prelude to her fresh start, when she runs into the rude, obnoxious, but gorgeous Jonathan Kole.

Jonathan Kole is San Francisco’s newest District Attorney. When he finds himself deeply attracted to a stunning beauty, he has no idea that she’s about to get into BIG trouble with the law—and he’ll be the one presiding over her trial. To make matters worse, his father is the lawyer representing her in the high-profile case.

When a series of events force them together over New Year’s weekend, Jonathan’s feelings and ethics will come into question, while Jada comes to terms with the fact that she is falling for the man that will be responsible for attempting to put her behind bars… Little do they know, they’re both about to fall into a whirlwind so deep, it will send both their lives spiraling out of control.

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About Rebecca Rohman

Rebecca Rohman is a wife and designer currently living in the northeastern United States. She was a sales manager for a tourist magazine, and for many years prior, she was involved in marketing for a jewelry company and fine wine distributor.

About fifteen years ago, she started writing her first romance novel purely to entertain herself. In early 2012, she decided to complete and release it. Since then, she has released three additional novels and one novella. Love, Lies & A Bleu Christmas was released in mid-November 2016.

6-booksTitles by Rebecca Rohman

Love, Lies & A Bleu Christmas | A Problematic Love | Love M.D. | Love, Lies & The D.A. | Unravel | Uncorked

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Connect With Rebecca

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Posted in Book Release, excerpt, Romantic Suspense on October 25, 2016

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Title: Water Under the Bridge

Author: Britney King

Release Date: Oct 25, 2016

Synopsis

My whole life I’ve wanted nothing more than to fit in.

Only, my whole life I’ve done anything but.

That’s probably because I’m anything but average. After all—female serial killers seem to be a minority in today’s society.

And that’s ok—because I’ve longed for a change for quite some time now.

Which brings me back around to fitting in.

You know what one has to do to fit in?

I do.

One has to blend.

Which is great news!

Because I realize my clock is ticking, so to speak, and now I want a family. Luckily, I’ve always been good at getting what I want.

So I figure what better place to blend than suburbia?

All that stuff I did before—it’s water under the bridge now. I just hope it’s not too late to change my ways. Here’s to hoping for suburbia’s sake, too.

I mean, what are the odds I could be the girl next door?

Apparently, they’re better than you might think.

==============================

Your whole life you’ve wanted to fit in.

Only your whole life you’ve done anything but.

That’s probably because you’re anything but average— you’re a killer— but, then so am I.

You say you’ve longed for a change for quite some time now.

This is good because, well, me too.

Your clock is ticking, you want a family, but you waste so much time.

I know because I’m watching, waiting, blending.

What you don’t realize is if you want me, and I think you do, then you’ll have to change your ways because sometimes hunters become hunted.

But what are the odds of that happening in suburbia?

Apparently, they’re better than you might think.

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Excerpt

You told me by candlelight last night that your real name is not Ryan as it said on the dating site, as you said at dinner. It’s Jude. I wasn’t surprised. We all become someone different online. As you ran the tips of your fingers across my cheek, you promised you were sorry for lying, and then you showed me when you touched my scars with your lips. You asked for the truth about them, but I didn’t give it to you. You don’t get to be the only one who lies. Which is why I haven’t told you exactly who or what I am.

It isn’t time for whole truths about anything.

Speaking of names, it took a lot to pry Amy’s last name from your lips, and you see… you do still keep her close to your heart. You’re protecting her. This is how I know. It’s dangerous, Jude. She is dangerous, and you need closure, you really do. It’s too much to go around carrying the weight of her, believe me, I know. Morris was the answer you gave when you finally relented—but you lied. Your jaw did this twitchy thing, and that’s how I knew. We all have our tells, and apparently, that’s yours.

“No doubt, she’s married now,” you add, to cover your tracks, to conceal your lies, and you are still in denial, still protecting her, and it’s okay because, luckily, I know how to hunt people.

Later, I withdrew in your lies, and you sensed me pull away.

I started slowly at first, retreating into myself and then I left and didn’t speak to you for four days. You let me have my space, at first. I’ll give you that. But the thing you need to know about women is that it isn’t space we want, not really. We want a fight. We want a man willing to burn for us—someone willing to put it all on the line. We want to go to war.

I know you have it in you, I do. This is why I don’t return your calls. This is why I play hard to get when the truth is I miss you. I miss the way your arms feel around me, the way your eyes bore holes into my soul—all the ways you seem to know me even though you don’t. So on the fourth day, when you show up at my door, this is why I practically leap into your arms. You aren’t confused like most men would be. Not you. You come bearing gifts that aren’t flowers. You come bearing breakfast and plane tickets, and you are a warrior, Jude, you are.

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About the Author

britney-king-authorBritney King writes modern love stories for mature audiences. She also enjoys suspense and often finds her sweet spot penning a good mixture of the two.

Britney is the author of seven novels and is currently at work on number eight.

She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children, two dogs, one ridiculous cat and a partridge in a pear tree.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight on October 8, 2016

in-safe-hands-coverSynopsis

He was her hero,

But one wrong move ended their future before it could begin.

Now he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe,

Even if that means turning against one of his own.

As a member of the Field County Sheriff’s Department, Chris Jennings is used to having it rough. The Colorado Rockies aren’t for the weak-of-spirit, but he’s devoted his life to upholding the law—and to protecting the one woman he knows he can never have. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

Daisy Little has lived in agoraphobic terror for over eight years. Trapped within a prison of her own making, she watches time pass through her bedroom window. Daisy knows she’ll never be a part of the world…until the day she becomes the sole witness of a terrible crime that may finally tear the Search & Rescue brotherhood apart for good.

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It was worse than she’d expected.

“None?” she asked.

“No fresh boot prints anywhere around the perimeter of the house,” Sheriff Coughlin confirmed.

“It was windy last night. Maybe the drifting snow filled in the prints?” Even before she finished speaking, the sheriff was shaking his head.

“With the warm temperatures we’ve been having, the snow is either frozen or wet and heavy. If someone had walked through that yard last night, there would’ve been prints.”

Daisy hid her wince at his words, even though they hit as hard as an elbow to the gut, and struggled to keep her voice firm. “There was someone walking around the outside of that house last night, Sheriff. I don’t know why there aren’t any boot prints, but I definitely saw someone.”

He was giving her that look again, but it was worse, because she saw a thread of pity mixed in with the condescension. “Have you given more thought to starting therapy again?”

The question surprised her. “Not really. What does that have to do…?” As comprehension dawned, a surge of rage shoved out her bewilderment. “I didn’t imagine that I saw someone last night. There really was a person there, looking in the side window.”

All her protest did was increase the pity in his expression. “It must get lonely here by yourself.”

“I’m not making things up to get attention!” Her voice had gotten shrill, so she took a deep breath. “I even said there was no need for you to get involved. I only suggested one of the on-duty deputies drive past to scare away the kid.”

“Ms. Little.” His tone made it clear that impatience had drowned out any feelings of sympathy. “Physical evidence doesn’t lie. No one was in that yard last night.”

“I know what I saw.”

The sheriff took a step closer. Daisy hated how she had to crane her neck back to look at him. It made her feel so small and vulnerable. “Do you really?” he asked. “Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable.  Even people without your issues misinterpret what they see all the time. The brain is a tricky thing.”

Daisy set her jaw as she stared back at the sheriff, fighting the urge to step back, to retreat from the man looming over her. There had been someone there, footprints or no footprints. She couldn’t start doubting what she’d witnessed the night before. If she did, then that meant she’d gone from mildly, can’t-leave-the-house crazy, to the kind of crazy that involved hallucinations, medications, and institutionalization. There had to be some other explanation, because she wasn’t going to accept that. Not when her life was getting so much better.

She could tell by looking at his expression that she wasn’t going to convince Coughlin of anything. “Thank you for checking on it, Sheriff. I promise not to bother you again.”

Although he kept his face impassive, his eyes narrowed slightly. “If you…see anything else, Ms. Little, please call me.”

That wasn’t going to happen, especially when he put that meaningful pause in front of “see” that just screamed “delusional.” Trying to mask her true feelings, she plastered on a smile and turned her body toward the door in a not-so-subtle hint for him to leave. “Of course.”

Apparently, she needed some lessons in deception, since the sheriff frowned, unconvinced. Daisy met his eyes with as much calmness as she could muster, dropping the fake smile because she could feel it shifting into manic territory. She’d lost enough credibility with the sheriff as it was.

The silence stretched until Daisy wanted to run away and hide in a closet, but she managed to continue holding his gaze. The memory of Chris telling her about the sheriff using his “going to confession” stare-down on suspects helped her to stay quiet.

Finally, Coughlin turned toward the door. Daisy barely managed to keep her sigh of relief silent.

“Ms. Little,” he said with a short nod, which she returned.

“Sheriff.”

Only when he was through the doorway with the door locked behind him did Daisy’s knees start to shake.

About the Author

katie ruggleWhen she’s not writing, KATIE RUGGLE rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado Mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-the-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

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Posted in excerpt, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight on October 6, 2016

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Synopsis

Cursed with a terrible gift…

Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

A gift that threatens to engulf them

Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.

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Death twined around Isleen Walker’s body, whispering over her naked flesh, coiling around her heart and lungs, hugging the last sparks of life from her. Twenty-five years of being alive distilled down to a wish. A wish that death would hurry up and grant her its promised relief.

“I’m dying.” She tried to warn Gran, but the words came out quieter than a breath. Her gaze roamed the room—their prison for the past eight years. It was just big enough to contain her and Gran and an overflowing waste bucket, but now it felt too small, too fragile to contain Isleen. Soon she would transcend this space, and no matter what Queen did, she wouldn’t be able to tether Isleen here.

Gran slept, face tucked into the corner. Safety was an illusion—beating after beating had proven that fact—but still, they always gravitated to the corners. Gran’s once-supple flesh sagged from her bones. Her spine protruded sharply in a pathetic row of spikes.

“…tobesaved. Not die.…protectordiedtoo?” Gran spoke in a smear of barely distinguishable words. She’d been a sleep-talker for as long as Isleen could remember—even before they’d been abducted.

She used to wake Gran from her dreams, but had long since decided it was a mercy to let her stay inside them for as long as they hosted her. Maybe in her dreams, Gran still possessed her wits and all her faculties, and lived somewhere beautiful where nothing bad ever happened.

Footsteps pounded down the hall and stopped outside the door. The sound of the key in the lock scraped across Isleen’s heart. Was today going to be a feeding day, a beating day, or a bleeding day? It didn’t really matter. It was too late for food; a beating would finish her off; and she had no more blood to give. But there was Gran—

The door rasped open. Queen. Always Queen and only Queen ever entered their prison. If ever a name didn’t fit a person, it was hers. Nothing about her was royal or regal. She was no whimsical fairy-tale ruler; she was a twenty-first-century reality. A simple-minded, delusional woman who took pleasure in domination and torture. Under a different set of circumstances, Queen would have been passing her days in a psychiatric hospital, medicated to the point of drooling.

Without even looking, Isleen could smell Queen’s stench. Cigarette smoke so stale and foul and thick that Isleen could taste the bite of it in her mouth, feel the burn of it in her eyes. The pungency of flesh that hadn’t been washed in years snuffed out the oxygen in the air.

Queen kicked her in the thigh. “The Dragon has not yet died.”

A small gasp, not of pain, but of being startled escaped Isleen’s throat. For as long as they’d been held captive, Queen had referred to her as the Dragon.

Queen cleared her throat. Mucus snapped and rattled. She hawked up a wad of nasty and spit it on the floor. “King decreed that if the Dragon shall linger—”

“You will suffer for everything you’ve done.” Gran crawled out of the corner on all fours. “Her protector is on his way.”

Queen’s hunched shoulders straightened. “I am your Queen. Bow before me.” It was all a part of Queen’s delusional mind—she was a queen and they were her subjects and the objects of her torture. Especially Isleen.

Gran didn’t bow, didn’t move, didn’t understand.

“You will be punished.” Queen opened and closed a giant pair of scissors. Shkk. Shkk. Shkk.

Dread burned a hole through Isleen’s shrunken stomach. “It’s not her fault. She doesn’t understand.” She tried to move, but her body was too weak, her limbs too emaciated.

“Your Majesty, I am sorry. I have committed the gravest of errors.” Gran executed a bow of supplication, arms spread out, forehead to the floor. “Please accept my humble apology and know that I will never again speak in such a manner to one as powerful as you.” Before Gran had lost her mind, she’d been fluent in kiss-up-to-the-fake-queen language.

Gran must be having a rare moment of clarity.

“Very well. I grant you a pardon. Know this—though I am a merciful queen, I will not tolerate such treasonous behavior again.” She pointed a fat, stubby finger at Gran. “You have been warned.”

Gran kept her pose. Good decision.

Queen turned her grotesque gaze to Isleen. She went through the same disgusting process of clearing her throat and then spoke as if she were making a proclamation. “King has decreed that on the sixth day, if the Dragon shall linger, I am to thrust my sword into its side.”

Thrust my sword into its side. Isleen understood Queen’s words; she just didn’t fear them. No matter what Queen did to her now, it would be nothing—absolutely nothing—compared to the agony of living. A calmness nestled into her bones, curled up in her guts.

Gran lifted her face from the floor and challenged Queen’s authority by looking directly at her. “You don’t have the power to kill her.” Insanity warped Gran’s tone.

Queen’s attention snapped to Gran. “You were warned. Now, you shall be executed.”

Isleen thrust words from her heart, words she’d always wanted to speak but never dared until now, when she needed to divert Queen’s attention away from Gran. “You’re not a queen. You’re psychotic. You’re a bitch. You’re evil and stupid and mean. And…and…you smell bad.”

Queen’s wide-spaced eyes nearly bulged out of her block-shaped head. Her fat lips snarled back, revealing teeth so neglected they were the same color and texture as Fritos. She switched her grip on the scissors, fisting the handle, and stabbed the blades at Isleen.

She watched the scissors descend, heard the whisper and swish of them piercing her flesh. Felt only a vague pressure and presence of something foreign inside her body. Smelled sweetness in the air and tasted salt on her tongue.

Queen yanked the scissors from Isleen’s body and held them up. Blood dripped from the blades, sending red streamers down Queen’s doughy arm.

Warmth oozed from Isleen’s side, the heat comforting her cold skin.

“Tomorrow, if you are still alive—off with your head!”

Gran waited until Queen locked them back in the room, then scooted next to Isleen. There were no bandages, no cloths, no tissues. Nothing to stop the bleeding.

“Hold on, baby girl. Just hold on. He’s coming. He’s got to be coming. He will release you. Save you.” The worst of Gran’s mental breakdown was the delusion that someone would find them. In Isleen’s most desperate of moments, she had allowed herself to believe Gran. Not anymore.

“Your dreams will come true. All of them. Remember the dreams about him. How you loved him and he loved you. Remember the dreams of sunshine on your face and the cabin you shared. Remember…”

There was nothing to remember. It had just been dreams. Silly dreams. No more powerful than Gran’s sleep-talking.

You’re not coming. You’re not going to save me. Because you don’t exist. Never have. I believed in you. Thought you must be real—Gran swore you were. But you were nothing more than hope’s fatal dream. We’re going to die, and no one other than Queen will ever remember we existed.

A rainbow of colors swelled in front of her eyes. Colors she hadn’t seen in years. Colors so brilliant and bright and beautiful that her eyes watered. Death was an alluring kaleidoscope.

 

 

About the Author

By day, ABBIE ROADS is a mental health professional known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark emotional novels, always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. Her novels have been finalists in RWA contests, including the Golden Heart. She lives with her family in Marion, OH.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Romantic Suspense on September 30, 2016

Title: When the Storm Breaks

Author: Avery Hart

Cover design & Photography by: Marisa-rose Shor @ Cover Me Darling (https://www.facebook.com/covermedarling/)

Release date: TBD (October 2016)

Genre: Romance/Suspense

Synopsis

Claire Scott is at an all-time high in her life. After landing her dream job and marrying her best friend, James, she knows that life can’t get much better. Unfortunately, what should be the happiest time of her life suddenly changes when a traumatic event tears her world apart.

Mason Brady never planned to be a part of Claire’s life. In fact, he avoided her as much as possible, but fate works in the most mysterious ways. When he finds her broken and scared, he knows that he needs to do whatever he can to help her heal.

As her world continues to crumble around her, no one in Claire’s life is safe. With someone on a mission to hurt her, Claire knows that her only option is to run. However, there is a problem. How can you run when you don’t know who it is you’re running from?

One wrong move may cost Claire the lives of those she loves most, but, when the storm breaks, who will be left to pick up the pieces?

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Posted in excerpt, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight on September 27, 2016

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Eugenia

Title: Eugenia: Destiny and Choice
Author: GEÓRGEOS C. AWGERINØS
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 280
Genre: Romantic Thriller

Synopsis

Debut novelist Georgeos Constantin Awgerinøs paints an epic love story and political thriller in EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE. The title character, Eugenia “Jenny” Corais, a Columbia University graduate, is an idealistic young feminist and intellectual who charts her destiny against such volatile backdrops as cabaret-era Berlin, America during the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, and the violent final days of colonial Africa.

With its potent combination of politics and romance, EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE resembles  Erich Segal’s LOVE STORY, coupled with a tale of political intrigue that would fit comfortably in the novels of Graham Greene, John Le Carre or Stieg Larsson, and historical developments reminiscent of James A. Michener.

Awgerinøs’s title character, Eugenia, is complicated. Her idealism and social consciousness, the author notes, is tempered with “a compulsive curiosity for the weird, unusual, or forbidden. She aims at the light but she cannot resist the temptation of the darkness.”

Jenny’s co-protagonists include Dietrich Neuendorf, a charismatic and unyielding German human rights attorney haunted by his family’s past and his country’s history. He and Jenny quickly fall in love.

A third character, Desmond Henderson, attracts Jenny’s darker side. Despite his humble origins and abundant charm, Henderson has a deeply dark core. A former British colonial officer, he is the head of South Africa’s military industrial apparatus, linked to the high echelons of international corporate elite and secret intelligence. He is an immense figure who designs mass murder and forced relocations on spreadsheets and is involved in some of the most defining political acts of the 20th century.

But in this novel, even the most invincible have an Achilles heel. As Awgerinos puts it, “EUGENIA doesn’t romanticize power; rather, the book demystifies the powerful by exposing the intimate, vulnerable and disowned aspects of human psyche.”

Jenny, Dietrich, and Desmond cross paths and embark on a perilous journey together in an exotic African country, a wonder of nature that faces massive winds of historical tide and a catastrophic revolution.

“Through my characters and their interaction, I try to convey another view on love and sexual conflict, society, human nature and beyond-natural, democracy and collective mind control,” says Awgerinøs. “I also try to offer a historical account about a very volatile era in a turbulent region, Southern Africa.”

Awgerinøs hints that he is working on a sequel to EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE. Meanwhile, EUGENIA shows great potential to be adapted as an exciting and thought-provoking feature motion picture or TV movie.

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“Mr. Prime Minister, I urge you to reconsider your decision.”

The South African prime minister, a tall and imposing man with silver hair and a wide smile, dismissed the warning of his national security advisor.

“Dr. Duplessis, our republic is under imminent threat from within. I will never allow this country to be hijacked by a shadow government. In one hour, I will reveal to the parliamentary caucus what has been going on behind closed doors.”

“Never before has a public exposure of such marquee names come before the legislative assembly. This unorthodox approach is unheard of in the history of political affairs,” Dr. Duplessis commented, in his distinctive Wallonian inflection. He was a long-skulled, pale-skinned man of average build, no taller than five foot seven, with close-cropped gray hair, an icy stare, and robotic mannerisms. He listened as the prime minister went on with his rant.

“South Africa didn’t gain its independence from the British crown in order to subordinate itself to its military industrial complex. Apartheid was meant to protect the racial order in this country, not to become a self-destructive debt-spiral ploy.”

“Independence means the freedom to choose your own masters, Mr. Prime Minister, and racial order is a costly agenda.”

“This is the South African Republic, not South Africa, Inc.”

“It is the South African Republic, Inc. All states are corporate entities, monsieur, one way or another; this country is not an exception. With all due respect, presidents, prime ministers, even absolute rulers are the stage protagonists in the theater called politics; they are neither the writers, nor the producers of the show. This is a friendly reminder.”

The premier was aware that South Africa had become a “republic” because of Dr. Duplessis’s gerrymandering and intricate offstage diplomacy. He owed his prime ministerial chair to Dr. Duplessis’s byzantine machinations, but he would not yield to his trusted policymaker’s insolent innuendo and skillful pressure. When he spoke again, it was apparent that he had removed from his mind the last shadows of hesitation. The tone of his voice was conclusive.

“Dr. Duplessis, alea jacta est-the die is cast. The security operations units are on alert. The disarming of the Armée-Gendarmerie and the arrests of the Concession’s board members will begin once I commence my speech.”

“As you wish, monsieur.

The PM relaxed his tone with his advisor; he became genial as usual.

“On Thursday, I will turn sixty-five years young. I have a family gathering at home. You will be there, Fabien, you promise?”

“Of course Hendrik, I will,” Dr. Duplessis responded.

The prime minister watched his advisor retreat. As he sat alone he stared at the antique clock across from his oak-paneled desk. He checked once more the printed page of his speech, which he had placed on the desk. Today he would make an announcement signaling a shake-up in modern history, and in the process he would settle some old scores. For a few seconds he visualized the reaction of the caucus: a standing ovation for his daring initiative. Pleased with this thought, he approached the window and watched the midday bustle of Cape Town, his beloved city.

Nestled in the southwest corner of the African continent, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, with glistening coastlines and breathtaking views of Table Mountain, Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa, is a thriving metropolis with Dutch architecture, wide boulevards, colorful parks, and a flourishing business district. The city’s rich history contains an intriguing mix of European sophistication and Cape Malay exoticism that dates back to the seventeenth century, blended with subtropical African beauty.

Picturesque and prosperous though it might have been, Cape Town was not a paradise for all. The eye of the conscientious traveler in 1966 would observe, from stores to parks to the sandy beaches, two signs, in Afrikaans and English: “Slegs blankes/whites only” and “Slegs nie-blankes/non-whites only.”

Seven miles into the sea across the panoramic Table Bay was Robben Island. It appeared a tiny idyllic islet, which one might have guessed was a fisherman’s retreat; but such was not the case. Once a leper colony, Robben Island was one of the most infamous penitentiaries on earth. And yet, it hosted no penal convicts but instead, civil rights activists, some of them with world-renowned names: Govan Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, Jacob Zuma.

Just ten miles to the east of the majestic capital there was another world that most Capetowneans did not know existed: a district for natives only, which no whites except the police could enter. There, the neighborhoods of Langa, Nyanga, and Guguletu resembled more a massive dumpster than a sprawling suburbia. Newly built project buildings that reminded one of barracks sat beside wooden shacks with tin roofs. African women washed their clothes in rusty bins with boiled water outside their slum dwellings. Their children, most barefoot, played soccer with tin cans in dirt alleys with numbers for names, such as NY1 or NY4, which stood for native yards, as the city called these dusty, unpaved lanes.

It was 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, 1966, when the prime minister of the South African Republic made his entry to the House of Assembly to deliver his speech.

While he took the podium, a man with Mediterranean features dressed in a messenger’s uniform entered the building. He crossed unchecked through the heavily guarded lobby and approached the podium. Within seconds, the messenger pulled a dagger out of his jacket and stabbed the prime minister four times in the chest. Parliamentary members rushed to pin the assassin to the ground, while the PM’s blood gushed from the gaping wounds in his chest. An ambulance rushed him to the Groote Schuur Hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Later that day, television and radio stations around the world announced the staggering news. From nations opposed to the apartheid regime came lead stories declaring: “Demetris Tsafendas, the son of a Greek immigrant and an African woman from Mozambique, assassinated Dr. Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, the prime architect of apartheid.” Conversely the local media stated: “A mentally disturbed extremist assassinated the father of white South Africa, motivated by hatred and rage.” The African underground press was jubilant: “Tsafendas inyanga yezizwe—Tsafendas, the healer of the nation!”

That evening witnessed an unusual commute in front of the ministerial houses below the campus of the University of Cape Town. Cars carrying government officials and parliamentary members came and went. It was after midnight when the gates of a palatial mansion opened, and three stretch limousines with black-tinted glass made their exit. The convoy moved slowly down Belleview Road, encountering little traffic. Police patrols created a strong presence that night. In the second car of the motorcade, two men sat in the back of the limousine. One was a short, plump gentleman in his sixties. After looking nervously at the car following them, he reached for the limo’s bar and took a bottle.

“Thirty-year-old Glenfiddich, Mr. Henderson? I know it’s your favorite,” he said and poured some into a shot glass.

“I’ll have tobacco instead, Minister,” his companion replied with a conspicuous English accent. He was a towering man with broad shoulders, a wide face with a prominent jawline, and a thick mustache. He resembled a nineteenth-century British colonial military officer. Oddly, he wore a safari pith helmet, like a jungle explorer ready to hunt his prey. He lit up and silently puffed on his cigar. He sat comfortably, apparently enjoying his smoke. At one point, he too glanced back to face the limo that was following. The headlights illuminated his face, showing a man in his late forties with harsh features and piercing dark eyes.

“What a night, Mr. Henderson.”

“It was a great night, Minister,” the big man with the pith replied, puffing his fat Havana.

“Now that the obstacles have been removed, the door is open for the government and the Southern African Development Concession to sign the agreement. The armaments production executive board will be replaced, and within a week the shopping list will be on your desk, Mr. Henderson.”

The Englishman stared outside the dark window, momentarily in thought.

“Minister, the signing of agreements is not enough. The Concession is part of South Africa’s apparatus, and we need our territory secured. We cannot intervene every time some careless bureaucrat in your administration oversteps or defies our initial arrangements.”

“What do you have in mind, Mr. Henderson?”

“The Southern African Development Concession needs ironclad legislation that secures our role in this country’s future. You did it with the Oppenheimer gold and diamond cartel; you will do it with us too.”

“That was the situation five decades ago, when this part of the world was the Wild South. This is 1966.”

But the Englishman didn’t seem in the mood to brook refusals.

“Rhodesia and South Africa will always be the Wild South. Africa is made by monopolies for monopolies; the Concession would have to refuse anything less. Without the Southern African Development Concession, apartheid will fall swiftly like a shack in a gale. You know that as well as I, Minister.”

The driver continued moving on the barren road. His burly build and crew cut made apparent his role as secret security rather than a mere chauffeur. Henderson puffed his Havana contemplatively while he rolled past the closed stores of Belleview Road. The South African minister of defence and national security refilled his glass.

“Are you sure you don’t want some malt?”

“I never mix liquor and business; and this is business, Minister.”

“I’ll make the arrangements tomorrow morning. Be assured that from tonight we enter a new period of friendly cooperation for both sides.”

Henderson seemed pleased with the minister’s conclusive reply. He looked at his watch.

“It’s already one o’ clock. I need to be back in Rhodesia in two hours, but I enjoy myself every time I am in the Cape, especially tonight.”

About the Author

Georgeos C. AwgerinosGeórgeos Constantin Awgerinøs, author of EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE was born and raised in Athens Greece. He lives in New York City.

www.EugeniaNovel.com * www.EugeniaTheBook.com *  www.EugeniaDestinyAndChoice.com * Twitter

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