#Featured “Faithless Elector” by James McCrone

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Everyone thought the election was over…but six weeks is long time in politics.
A young researcher uncovers a series of mysterious deaths among Electors and must race against time and a secret, deadly efficient conspiracy.

In an era characterized as cynical and paranoid, Faithless Elector poses a creditable threat to the integrity of the electoral process and the selection of the president. A timely, compelling novel for turbulent times.

99c

(Check price before purchase!)

AMAZON

~~~

#ReleaseWeek “The Injection” by DL Jones, Devante Cresh


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Thriller (Medical thriller, Action thriller, suspense)

Date Published: Oct 20 2020

Publisher: 43Ten Press

The only thing to save two old friends from death may also be what kills them.

Mr. Peters is a successful business owner. Other than dealing with a recent rash of break-ins, he lives a very satisfying life. That was until a childhood friend and brilliant scientist paid him a visit.

While the two friends had a troubled past, not speaking for ten years, the reunion was a happy one. That happiness quickly took a wrong turn as their lives are threatened.

Now held captive, the use of an experimental drug was the only option. A top-secret drug that enhanced a person’s will and physicality is the only thing giving them a fighting chance.

However, there are deadly side effects. Along with enhanced abilities comes a decrease in mental stability. Moreover, there is more to the kidnappings than first thought.

Will the two childhood friends maintain their sanity long enough to survive?

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Excerpt from Chapter  2

The lab environment was huge. There were tables and equipment everywhere; it was a spotless room with a lot of testing and sample stations in different areas. Michael and Trey got off the elevator and walked over to two large tables at the back of the lab. Each of those tables had a maze set-up that spread the length of them. Next to the tables were cages. One cage held about twenty little white mice. Trey stood by the table looking at the mazes.
“I don’t get this new set-up,” Trey said.
He pointed to one table and commented on how that maze wasn’t really a maze, but just a straight line to the end. Then he looked at the maze on the other table and pointed out how there were a lot of branching paths going in all different directions.
“Yes, sir! That is exactly what you are looking at. The table with all the branching paths circles around the cheese. If you notice, there is no access to the cheese in that maze,” Michael explained.
Michael reached in and grabbed a mouse from the cage. He held it dangling it by his tail. With his other hand, he held a piece of cheese in front of the mouse, almost teasing it. The mouse reached out while swinging back and forth, trying to grab at the cheese. He then put the piece of cheese in the middle of the maze. He put the mouse at the beginning of the maze and let it go.
The mouse sniffed around for a moment. Once it got a whiff of the cheese, it ran into the maze. It kept running through all the branching paths of the maze and ended up running around the path that circled the cheese. The mouse could smell the cheese but had no path to get to it.
“So, the mouse knows the cheese is there, and he just keeps circling it. Seems like typical behavior,” Trey said.
“It is indeed typical behavior. That’s the control, the mouse acts as it is expected. This maze here with the straight line to the finish is the test,” Michael said, pointing to the table as if he was displaying a prized showcase.
“Okay, that’s a single hall to the cheese. But it’s still blocked—”
“Yes, the cheese is blocked off,” Michael interrupted.
Michael reached down and picked up the little wooden block that ended the straight line on the table. He handed it to Trey, and Trey examined it. He noticed that the block was slightly heavier than what these mice could physically move. Michael then walked back over to the cage of mice and grabbed a different mouse. He took a syringe from the table and injected the mouse.
“Well, mice have been known to gnaw off their own limbs to escape mousetraps,” Tracy said. “Is that the idea here?”
Trey watched as Michael dangled the mouse in the air. He then took another piece of cheese and held it in front of the mouse. The mouse seemed to get excited trying to get at the cheese. The mouse viciously grabbed at the cheese, trying to bite it while dangling. It even bit Michael a few times.
“Damn, that mouse seems a lot more aggressive than before,” Trey said
“Take a look at this…Oh, just so you know, this is the thirty-seventh time we have done this today,” Michael said.
Michael took the weighted block from Trey and placed it back in its spot at the end of the maze. He then took the piece of cheese and put it behind the block. Trey examined the maze, which was just a straight line to the weighted block with the piece of cheese hiding behind it. Michael walked to the front of the maze and placed the mouse at the starting point.
The mouse immediately ran toward the maze’s finish at a speed beyond that of the fastest mice they’d seen in the lab. The mouse ran to the end of the maze and slammed head-first into the weighted block. The block moved, just a fraction of an inch. The mouse then viciously clawed and bit at the block.
“Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that before. That mouse seems to be really determined, to the point where it completely ignored the pain from slamming into the block at that speed,” Trey said.
The mouse then ran in the opposite direction, back towards the beginning of the maze. It turned and sprinted back to the block at an even faster speed than before, slamming its head on the block once again.
“The mouse isn’t ignoring the pain. The brain stopped registering it,” Michael said.
The mouse repeated this act several times, moving the block just a fraction each time. After a few minutes of this display, the block had moved just enough for the mouse to slide through the opening. The mouse did so and ate the cheese.
“My research stated that this would happen, but I didn’t think we could achieve it this soon,” Trey said.
“Well, the last set of changes you proposed to the formula seem to put us at the almost there state. As you can see by the speed of the mouse, the brain is able to tell the body’s muscles to perform at levels above normal. The mouse’s skin seems to go into a protective mode and harden, just a tad, to brace for impact,” Michael explained.
Michael reached into the maze and removed the weighted block. The mouse continued to eat the cheese.
“So, we have created a near invincible mouse,” said Trey.
“No, the mouse is still completely vulnerable, but it will be the toughest mouse you have ever seen…for a short period of time.”
“How long?”
“Well, it’s hard to say with other specimens, but with the mice we have, and the dosage we have been giving them, it lasts about five minutes. The other problems we have had are still there with prolonged use, so we have been using a new mouse each time,” Michael said. “There is one problem…”
Trey looked at the maze and noticed the mouse was lying limp on the floor beside the cheese. The lab tech walked over and picked up the mouse as if it was dead, and put it in a second cage filled with a different set of mice.
“Did the mouse die?” Trey asked.
“No, it didn’t die. All the benefits of the formula are fueled by a goal, which in this case is getting to the piece of cheese. Once the goal is accomplished, the hypothalamus realizes it has delegated functions beyond the body’s safe capabilities. Tries to normalize the brain functions in a hurry. Thus, the mouse passes out,” Michael explains.
“Hmm…new problem,” Trey said.
“Yep, new problem. The passing out seems to have no effects on the mouse. Just looks like it’s a way of the brain returning to normal in a hurry. But it’s something you must be mindful of. Nothing we can do about it now.”
Trey looked over at the mouse cage to see the once-limp mouse running on the pinwheel like nothing had happened.
“That was fast. The mouse is back to normal again.”
“Yeah, they seem to be resilient… but it’s a mouse, and it is a very small dose that they receive.”
“I don’t remember sleeping that long,” Trey said.
“You slept for two days, Tracy. We almost took you to the hospital,” said Michael.
“Okay, yeah, you are right, it was a long time. Was some good sleep,” Trey said. “But this is a different formula. Improvements have been made, as you said.”
“Yes, that’s true. But even though you passed out, that never happened with the mice until the new improvements.”
“Something to think about,” Trey said.
“Something to think about indeed,” Michael echoed.


About the Author

DL Jones is a Writer, IT Professional and Tech Enthusiast.

DL Jones was born in Brooklyn NY, grew up in Newport News VA and has spent the last 8 years in Charlotte NC. He has served time in the US Army and works as an IT Professional. His first love has always been tech, well computers and the web specifically, which has led to a lot of writing.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram

Bookbub


RABT Book Tours & PR

#BookPromo “The Trial of Joe Harlan Junior: (Talion Series, Book 0)” by JK Franko

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WITNESS THE EVENT THAT TRIGGERED J.K. FRANKO’S SHOCKING FIVE-STAR THRILLER – EYE FOR EYE

“TWO WRONGS MAY NOT MAKE A RIGHT – UNTIL YOU’VE READ THIS PREQUEL !” – Reader’s Group 

“AN ABSORBING PAGE-TURNER OF A NOVELLA” – Reader’s Group .”  What would you do if the law failed you?

A college Halloween party. A night of fun, dress-up, and laughter. But for Kristy Wise, it quickly became a night of horror.

Now, Joe Harlan Junior, entrepreneur and son of a prominent senator, is at risk of losing everything as he stands accused of a crime he insists he did not commit.

Yet the facts are undisputed: Kristy was drugged, and she did have sex with Joe.

But was it consensual?

Read the story. Listen to the testimony. Is everything that happens next justified?

YOU decide.

THE TRIAL OF JOE HARLAN JUNIOR IS THE PREQUEL NOVELLA TO J.K. FRANKO’S SHOCKING THRILLER, EYE FOR EYE 
 
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE STORY
Now, for a more immersive experience, read the book, watch the series and then cast YOUR vote.
GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY?
YOU decide.

KINDLE UNLIMITED

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU


#BookReview “Everywhere to Hide” by Siri Mitchell

on Tour October 1-31, 2020


5/5 stars!

Leaving her barista job one afternoon, Whitney Garrison finds a man lying on the ground in the alley, blood oozing from his head. Shocked, she glances around, seeing no one until she looks up and sees a man with a gun on the roof.  Before he can aim at her, a garbage truck rambles down the alley and the man disappears.

It isn’t long before a mass of law enforcement is on the scene investigating and asking questions. What did she see? Did she know the dead man? Can she identify the killer? Though she has the dead man’s blood on her hands from trying to rouse him and she saw the gunman on the roof, Whitney can’t identify either man. Not because she doesn’t recognize them, but because she can’t… Whitney has prosopagnosia—face blindness.

Having just left a relationship where she endured emotional and physical abuse, Whitney’s nerves are already frayed. She works two jobs while studying for the bar exam and stresses over the massive student loan and credit card debt she amassed. The police investigation only adds to her burden, especially when a connection is found between the murder and an internship Whitney had done for a congressman who chaired the House Financial Services Committee.

Whitney finds kindness in Detective Leo Baroni, the case’s lead investigator, but when it’s discovered Whitney has a stalker and he’s escalating, turning her life upside down, Leo’s interest becomes personal.

This was an excellent read with a great plot device! First-person POV is not my narrative of preference, but author Siri Mitchell nails it. With a protagonist who doesn’t even recognize herself, the story is still engrossing as Whitney has to rely on hairstyles, clothing, voices, and journal notes to identify people around her.

A killer with surprising motivations contributes to a nice, twisty ending. Readers of thrillers and suspense will love this one and the attention to detail!

Enjoy!


Synopsis:

How can she protect herself from an enemy she can’t see?

Law school graduate Whitney Garrison is a survivor. She admirably deals with an abusive boyfriend, her mother’s death, mounting student debt, dwindling job opportunities, and a rare neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing human faces.

But witnessing a murder might be the crisis she can’t overcome.

The killer has every advantage. Though Whitney saw him, she has no idea what he looks like. He knows where she lives and works. He anticipates her every move. Worst of all, he’s hiding in plain sight and believes she has information he needs. Information worth killing for. Again.

As the hunter drives his prey into a net of terror and international intrigue, Whitney’s only ally, Detective Leo Baroni, is taken off the case. Stripped of all semblance of safety, Whitney must suspect everyone and trust no one—and hope to come out alive.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense

Published by: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: October 6th 2020

Number of Pages: 352

ISBN: 0785228640 (ISBN13: 9780785228646

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com® | Goodreads


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Siri Mitchell. There will be 3 winners. Each winner will receive one (1) physical copy of Everywhere To Hide by Siri Mitchell (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through November 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 


#BookTour “Everywhere to Hide” by Siri Mitchell

on Tour October 1-31, 2020

Synopsis:

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell

How can she protect herself from an enemy she can’t see?

Law school graduate Whitney Garrison is a survivor. She admirably deals with an abusive boyfriend, her mother’s death, mounting student debt, dwindling job opportunities, and a rare neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing human faces.

But witnessing a murder might be the crisis she can’t overcome.

The killer has every advantage. Though Whitney saw him, she has no idea what he looks like. He knows where she lives and works. He anticipates her every move. Worst of all, he’s hiding in plain sight and believes she has information he needs. Information worth killing for. Again.

As the hunter drives his prey into a net of terror and international intrigue, Whitney’s only ally, Detective Leo Baroni, is taken off the case. Stripped of all semblance of safety, Whitney must suspect everyone and trust no one—and hope to come out alive.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense

Published by: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: October 6th 2020

Number of Pages: 352

ISBN: 0785228640 (ISBN13: 9780785228646

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com® | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

The door was difficult to open. The tropical storm had transformed the alley into a wind tunnel, funneling the muggy air from one side of the block to the other. I raised a hand to pull my hair off my face and turned into the wind to keep it there, quickly turning my ponytail into a bun. As I stepped away from the door, I was surprised to see someone sprawled on the pavement in front of me.

He was lying face up. A red puddle had formed a halo around his head.

He wasn’t— was he— he wasn’t— was he dead?

As I stood there trying to process what I was seeing, the wind sent a recycling crate skidding across the cracked pavement.

I jumped.

I glanced up the alley, then down. Nothing was there. Nothing but the wind. And a dead man staring up at the cloud- streaked sky.

Behind me, I heard something scrabble across the low, flat roof.

I pivoted and glanced up. Saw a form silhouetted against the sky. Shock gave way to panic as I realized he had a gun in his hand. As I realized that he had also seen me.

I should have lunged toward the door.

But a familiar numbness was spreading over me. The prickle on my scalp, the sudden dryness in my mouth. I was living my nightmares all over again.

As I had done too often in the past, I reverted to form. I froze.

Please. Please. Please.

My thoughts latched onto that one word and refused to let it go.

If I could just punch my code into the keypad, I could slip back inside and pull the door shut behind me.

But I couldn’t do anything at all.

My fingers wouldn’t work.

Please. Please. Please.

I willed them to function, but they had long ago learned that in a dangerous situation, the best thing to do was nothing. Any movement, any action on my part had always made things worse.

And so I just stood there as my thoughts stuttered.

Fragmented.

***

Excerpt from Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell. Copyright 2020 by Siri Mitchell. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

 


 

Siri Mitchell

Author Bio:

Siri Mitchell is the author of 16 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo.

Visit her online:
www.SiriMitchell.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 


 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


 

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Siri Mitchell. There will be 3 winners. Each winner will receive one (1) physical copy of Everywhere To Hide by Siri Mitchell (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through November 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 


#BlogTour “Hiding Cracked Glass (Perceptions of Glass Book 2)” by James J. Cudney

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HIDING CRACKED GLASS

BY JAMES J. CUDNEY

Series Name: Perceptions of Glass

Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter

Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass

Publication for Book #2:

Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020

PreOrder

AMAZON US    AMAZON UK

Goodreads

~~~

About the Book

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.

~~~

Q and A banner

… with author James J. Cudney

I’m happy to welcome author James J. Cudney aka “Jay” to Nesie’s Place today. Jay is an active blogger and book reviewer on his blog, This is My Truth Now, as well as a busy author who’s latest release, Hiding Cracked Glass, goes live in two days.

Welcome, Jay!

Thank you so much for this opportunity. You’ve been a wonderful friend over the last several years and I’m grateful to know you.

Right back at you, my friend. Team work makes the dream work! 🙂

Hiding Cracked Glass is a continuation of Watching Glass Shatter. What inspired the story? Did you know it would be more than one book?

 Truthfully, I didn’t know it would be more than one book when I began writing it in late 2016. I first surmised it had potential to be a series when the reviews began arriving. Others felt an immediate connection with the members of the Glass family, and I knew I’d created a compelling cast of characters. During the blog tour for Watching Glass Shatter, I committed to writing short stories about each of the brothers and a future sequel. I’d targeted them from 2018 and 2019; unfortunately, I became focused on my Braxton Campus Mysteries and never published the short stories. All five brothers have an outline written, and I do plan to finish it off at some point.

 Luckily, the sequel was easy to outline and write. I knew it needed to match the same style and tone as Watching Glass Shatter, e.g. switching POV by chapter for each main family member and ending with a bit of a cliffhanger or shocking moments before forcing readers to wait 5 chapters until revisiting that character again. It’s kind of the way the Glass family works. That said, I also knew the secret had to be about a letter just like the first book, only it couldn’t be about which brother it revolved around… instead, it had to be who was the blackmailer and what exactly did they know! I’m more interested in mystery and suspense these days, so I amped up the plot to be more of a thriller / suspense in terms of family drama as opposed to the emotional kind. It’s still very heartfelt and painful, but it’s also a way to show growth in several of the family members.

 Do you have a favorite character in the story?

In Watching Glass Shatter, it was a toss up between Olivia and Ethan. In Hiding Cracked Glass, I think it falls to Teddy and Caleb. Teddy is such a strong personality to deal with, but at the same time, he’s been defined by a series of emotions that were more cardboard and black-and-white. He’s got a wider spectrum, and when I explored those elements, he began to grow on me. People change, and he’s the perfect candidate for a blank slate in the future. Caleb has always been an extension of me, in lots of ways. He does things I wish I had done years ago, and so I can live through him… in Watching Glass Shatter, he was an innocent boy, for the most part. Now, a cloud hovers above something he’s done in the last few months. Like Teddy, he also has many facets to explore.

What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

I have a full-time job, which pretty much keeps me busy until 5:30 pm each day. Thankfully, I finished writing the full draft of this book the day before I started this new job. Editing was the big piece from March through July. It wasn’t easy, and I have two full-time jobs because I edited this at the same time as I wrote my next book, a co-written drama with Didi Oviatt entitled Weathering Old Souls. Between marketing my existing books, editing Hiding Cracked Glass, and writing Weathering Old Souls, I spent 40 hours per week on top of 40 hours of technology project management. Add in a personal life, daily blogging, and reading… I do nothing except work! Since we were quarantined during the last 6 months, I hardly saw anyone else… we had several Zoom calls with friends, but for the most part, any non-sleeping moment was fully booked with my literary life!

When did you write your first book?

2016. I finished working my previous job that summer and began writing an outline and my blog. Watching Glass Shatter, my debut novel and the first book in the Perceptions of Glass series, took about 6 months to write, then 6 months to edit. Watching Glass Shatter was published on October 8th, 2017, and Hiding Cracked Glass will be published on October 8th, 2020, the three year anniversary of my debut novel being published.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

As of this latest one, I have nine books published: Father Figure, two books in Perceptions of Glass, and six books in the Braxton Campus Mysteries. I’ve also co-written my tenth book, Weathering Old Souls, which will release in 2021. Didi and I are networking with a few publishers and possibly an agent or two, but we do plan to launch this amazing novel soon. It’s a story about a woman’s past lives… very metaphysical, emotional, suspenseful. It has a serial killer, genealogical mystery, twisting of elements, and a bunch of heartbreaking moments. I love the story so much, and it might be my favorite of all ten so far. Of the published one, Father Figure would be my top choice. It’s my second book, and I learned so much in terms of writing style by the time I drafted it. Also, the dual timeline and the way in which one chapter finishes and connects to the next chapter is truly astonishing. I still struggle to believe what I was able to accomplish with that one, but at the same time, I see several things I would do differently to make it stronger, if I could. But I can’t! 😊

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’d say it’s a hybrid. Next Chapter calls themselves a rapid release publisher, which essentially means they work with you to release quickly, and they split some responsibilities… but they function much more like a traditional publisher. They handle all the formatting, setting up and marketing on Amazon, and partnering with audio narrators, foreign language translators, and merchandisers. I handle editing and social media. They are amazing to work with, and after 3 years and 9 books, there are ~50 formats available: hard cover, book store print, large print paperback, pocket book paperback, regular paperback, audio, and German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian translations.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Cook, Garden, Read, Blog, Watch TV. I’m a homebody. Even before quarantine, I only liked going out to see friends once a week… not because I don’t adore them, but I am not a social creature by nature. I like hiding behind the Internet wall for a reason most people don’t realize. I am a major multi-tasker… so, when I can text and email to keep up with friends and family at the same time as I’m writing or editing or reading or any of these other activities, I get so much more done. But I still treasure all the in-person time with those I’m close to… quality not quantity is more of my approach. Usually visit my parents every other Sunday, friends for dinner on Fridays or Saturdays, and calls with long-distance friends and family every month or so.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?Baxter

Baxter is a two-and-a-half-year-old Shiba Inu dog. He’s black-and tan and was born in Kansas. He and I often discuss whether he should visit there again, mostly when he’s stealing socks, eating plants, biting his leash, or growling at me when he wants to be left alone. He’s kinda like me in that respect! He is a character in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, so I suppose he inspires me too!

As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up? 

Architect. I built houses with Legos all the time. I also liked to trace my roots, so I wanted to be a genealogist but I didn’t understand enough at the time. I wish I could go back to change that career…

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

Personally, I could 100% live without it. As an author, I must make it a natural part of my day. I can’t stand all the venting and ranting, especially about politics, news and religion. I’ve unfollowed so many friends because of it. To me, social media is an escape from reality. I like connecting with people around the world to talk about books. I don’t need to see what Trump said yesterday, listen to Democrats and Republicans pick one stupid line out of hundreds and make it seem like that was the entire intent of a message, or hear people screaming about protests and whether COVID is a hoax. I get that it’s an outlet for some people… but for me, it just makes me shake my head and say “Find something to make you happy. Stop complaining about others and exacerbating the problem.” I know this might offend some… and I’m not against the valuable messages in some of social media’s content… but I don’t need to get into fights about it. I will always help those who are suffering injustice. I donate money and time to causes that help better people’s chances and promote goodness. Social media is not the method I choose to share about it though, which is why I don’t say a lot on my blog or social media to publicly support certain things. I include diverse characters in my book, where they shine and are amazing examples of wonderful people. They might also be one of the villains too, as it’s about balance. But in general, I stay away from the controversial stuff because I’m not one to engage in conflict 99% of the time.

Here’s a sample from Weathering Old Souls, my collaboration with author Didi Oviatt.

Together, the two girls open their boxes, revealing beautifully shining quartz stones. Each one is a perfect match to the other. The stones are slightly smaller than the ones in Abigail’s dreams, and the chains they hang from are skinnier, more elegant. As Abigail retrieves her gift from the box, she sighs and rolls it around in her fingertips. The same feeling of peace that comforted her while staring at Boris’s bowtie this morning returns, filling her all the way from her legs to her armpits.

At first, it’s just a minor change, but as Abigail holds the quartz necklace longer, an inexplicable explosion begins to ignite inside her body. The quartz burns against her skin, making Abigail feel as if a flame is about to burst from within her chest. She wants to pull the necklace away from her flesh, but within seconds a waterfall of coolness flushes over her. In its wake, her throat feels as though it fills to the point she cannot breathe. Her persistent cough flares up and steals her remaining breath. Just as she’s about to grab Margaret’s hand to beg for help, a blast of wintery air wafts through the front yard and kicks up several clouds of dirt around them. When it finishes, Margaret and Abigail fiercely cling to one another.

“Did you feel that too?” Abigail inquires, releasing her grip on Margaret’s forearm. Suddenly, everything seems calmer than it’s ever been before.

“Yes, it was certainly strange, huh?” Margaret clips the chain’s lock behind Abigail’s neck and places her own on just the same. “Must’ve been some static charge in the atmosphere. All better now!” 

“Yep. Much better. Ready to go inside?”

Together, hand in hand, they skip into Margaret’s home, ready to face the future of Mr. and Mrs. Staunton’s relocation as a team, as a family. It’s all Margaret can think of doing to protect her little friend. Margaret decides not to share her concerns with Abigail that something about the necklace is going to be a powerful game-changer. She had the same feeling the day Oliver and Nadia moved in, when the darkness had begun to creep closer. “At least I hope it’s all better now.”

 

My thanks to Jay for stopping by the blog today. Remember to scroll up and order your copy of Hiding Crack Glass! Release day is only two days away! 🙂

~~~

G I V E A W A Y

Author James Cudney is giving away ebooks, print books and an Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win a great prize!

E N T E R

 ~~~

Author BioJay_suit

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website   |    Blog   |    Amazon   |   Next Chapter

Social Media Links

Facebook       Twitter

Facebook      Facebook

Pinterest      Instagram

Goodreads      LinkedIn

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

paperback

GOODREADS BOOK LINKS

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

 Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

      Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

    Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

    Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

  Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

~~~

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#Featured “Every Reasonable Doubt (Vernetta Henderson Series Book 1)” by Pamela Samuels Young

When attorneys Vernetta Henderson and Neddy McClain are tapped to take on the biggest case of their careers, they are less than thrilled about working together. Their strained relationship, however, is the least of their problems. Their socialite client—charged with the brutal murder of her husband—is demanding an immediate dismissal of the case. But a ruthless prosecutor is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen. Forced to fight a common enemy, the two women close ranks and, in the process, develop a bond that sees them through the uncertainties of trial, the pain of betrayal and pressures neither could have imagined.

FREE AT TIME OF POSTING!

AMAZON


#BookTour “Angel Flight: A Novel” by R.D. Kardon

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STANDALONE NOVEL AND Book #2 of THE FLYGIRL TRILOGY

Suspense Action Fiction/Women’s Action & Adventure/Women’s Fiction

Date Published: September 8, 2020

Publisher: Acorn Publishing LLC

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Two women. The men they love. One desperate plan.

Pilot Tris Miles is finally getting the recognition she deserves. She is a trusted captain and confidante to her boss at Westin Charter Company, and mentor to her young, ambitious co-pilot Bruce. Tris is offered a coveted promotion and the opportunity of a lifetime—to fly a prestigious “angel flight,” transporting a critically ill woman from a remote town in northern Canada to the US for medical treatment.

But Tris needs more than professional success. Still alone almost three years after her lover Bron’s death, Tris meets Mike, a local pilot with a secret past he refuses to discuss. Their budding relationship stumbles when Mike gets hired by Westin Charter to compete for the promotion Tris was promised.

As Tris & Mike’s professional battle intensifies, their personal relationship deepens.  Life is getting a whole lot more complicated for Tris, and it’s about to get worse as the angel flight embarks. No one could imagine what awaits them in Canada, and how each will have to fight for their lives on this mission of mercy.

 

Love. Loyalty. Obsession. What propels YOU?

Purchase Links

  Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Universal Book Link (From Draft2Digital)


About the Author

Award-winning author Robin “R.D.” Kardon had a twelve-year flying career as a corporate and airline pilot. She holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and three Captain qualifications. Her travels took her all over the world in every type of airplane from small single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737. Robin earned her B.A. in Journalism and Sociology from NYU and J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law. A native New Yorker, Robin now lives in San Diego, California with her beloved rescue pets.

Her first novel, Flygirl, a work of fiction inspired by her own aviation experience, is Book #1 of The Flygirl Trilogy. It is a #1 Amazon Best Seller.

Angel Flight,  Book #2 of The Flygirl Trilogy, examines the personal and professional pressures faced by Captain Tris Miles as she plans and executes a critical “angel flight,” designed to carry a critically ill woman from a remote area in Canada to the US for medical treatment while struggling with a new relationship.

To learn more about Robin, visit her website at http://www.rdkardonauthor.comRead about Robin’s writing process and early influences on BooksByWomen.org.

For podcast appearances, visit http://www.TrailBlazersImpact.com and hear Robin’s interview on the Nan McKay Show and The Dear Discreet Guide podcast.

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Goodreads

Instagram

Bookbub

 


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#BookReview “Life for Life” by JK Franko

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020

cover

~~~

5/5 Stars!

I was ready for confessions, courtroom drama, and clean-up in book three of the Talion series.

Silly me!

JK Franko adds new characters, more murders, and a sneaky plot twist that made me sit up and grin! I re-read the scene three times, shaking my head. I was prepared for something, but nothing even close to what actually happened! Well-played, Mr. Franko! Kudos!

As the police work to build a case against Roy Cruise, karma hangs around the story’s periphery, ready to jump in with a gotcha… and boy, howdy!

The story’s narrator, the therapist who treats Roy and Susie, is more present in book three, and just as messed up as everyone else. There are no good people in this story. Some are simply more desperate than others. It makes me wonder if a young girl had lived instead of died at summer camp thirty-plus years ago, how different these lives would be. Or would they?

In Additional Content after the story, the author says he’s working on BOOK FOUR, so even though loose ends are tied and there is some form of closure, the Talion series is far from over.

Franko does a superb job with character development and powerful personalities leap from the pages. (That trial judge! Whew!)

For me, Life for Life is the best of the series so far because the consequences of prior actions hit hardest with a ripple effect. I recommend this read but strongly suggest reading the books in series order or the relevance of a guy named Slipknot, an empty syringe, and a penis nailed to a front door will be lost on you!

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

Life for Life is Book Three of the Talion crime thriller series which begins with the Eye for Eye Trilogy.

Eye for Eye

Tooth for Tooth

Life for Life

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko.

~~~

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal

Published by: Talion Publishing

Publication Date: July 31st, 2020

Number of Pages: 396

ISBN:978-1-9993188-2-6

Series: Talion Series, #3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be Six (6) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $10. Amazon GC. Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (Print ~ US and Canada Only) and Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 


#BookTour “Life for Life” by JK Franko

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020

Synopsis:

Life for Life by JK Franko

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

Life for Life is Book Three of the Talion crime thriller series which begins with the Eye for Eye Trilogy.

Eye for Eye

Tooth for Tooth

Life for Life

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko.


Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal
Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: July 31st, 2020
Number of Pages: 396
ISBN:978-1-9993188-2-6
Series: Talion Series, #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Death is always several seconds and a few footsteps away. Look around you, wherever you are right now. How many things are there within five feet of you that could kill you? An improperly grounded electrical outlet plugged into your tablet. A slippery, wet bath tile that sends your head smashing into the side of the tub. An invisible virus silently multiplying in your lungs.

From the moment of conception, we fight to cheat death. The majority of what parents do for most of a child’s life is simply keep them from dying. And much of what parents teach kids, from avoiding strangers to keeping their fingers out of their mouths, is about staying alive.

Although the odds are stacked against us, we get very good at cheating death. So good that, maybe out of misplaced pride or just to maintain our sanity, we tell ourselves that death is far off.

But it never is. And it comes for us all.

Given my profession, I have always feared death at the hands of a patient. For years, I imagined an unhinged, unmedicated client lashing out at me. Hopefully with a gun, not a knife. When I met Susie and Roy, that changed somewhat. I feared death at their hands not because they were unstable, but because I was expendable.

I must say that after the murder of former Congressman Getz, I believed that I finally had that situation under control. Susie, Roy, and I—and all of our incentives—were finally aligned. We were on the same team, so to speak. I foolishly believed that my life could simply return to normal.

But as I look back on everything now, with twenty-twenty hindsight, I can see that even as Roy was drowning Jeff Getz in the Bay of Pollença in Spain, the rough outlines of our tragic ending had already been sketched—all of the pieces were in place. Death was watching, and planning.

As you must appreciate by now, my story is inextricably intertwined with the stories of others. This is, of course, fundamental to the human condition. We are all part of a larger whole. Seemingly unrelated people and events, distant in time and location, weave their way in and out of our lives like the threads of a tapestry.

I have told you two stories from the past that directly impacted me, Susie, and Roy. I shared with you the tragic tale of little Joan’s death and how she was finally avenged. And, I shared with you the evil done to Billy Applegate and how Jeff Getz paid the ultimate price for that crime.

To complete the circle, for you to understand everything that happened to us, and so that you can take from all this the same cautionary lessons that I have learned, I need to share one final story with you. It is about a woman whose life was irreversibly impacted by our actions.

It is a story about love and death. And, in this case, depending on your point of view, you might even say that her story had a happy ending.

PART ONE

Rebecca Forsyth Turks and Caicos 2020

My work as a therapist requires imagination. To help someone, to really get inside their head, you have to have some sense of what they are going through. If you haven’t experienced what your patient is suffering firsthand, you must imagine.

For example, I have never had a panic attack. But then, only five percent of humans will experience a panic attack during their lifetimes. A pretty low number. So, how can I relate?

I must imagine.

From what my patients tell me, a panic attack closely resembles the feeling of claustrophobia. This is something that I have experienced. What gets me there instantly is that scene from Kill Bill—the one when the heroine Beatrix is buried under six feet of dirt in a coffin and left to die. Do you know it?

Indulge me.

Imagine that you wake up and open your eyes, but you can’t see anything. It’s pitch dark. So dark, you’re not sure your eyes are even open. You’re lying on your back. The air you’re breathing feels warm and slightly humid, the way it does when you’re sleeping with your head under the sheets.

You don’t know where you are, but you don’t hear the usual sounds you would hear in your bedroom. No ceiling fan. No A/C blowing. Everything is silent around you. Muffled.

You try to sit up and immediately feel a thump as your forehead hits something. Your hands automatically react and reach up, discovering that something dry and smooth—heavy, immovable—is laying on top of you, just inches above your body. Right above your face, your torso, your legs.

You try to stretch your arms out to either side, and you feel the same barrier just inches away from your elbows, from your shoulders. You move your legs, spreading them apart and lifting them up. They are able to move only inches before, again, you feel something boxing you in.

Your nose itches, but you can’t reach your face to scratch it. You clear your throat and can hear that the sound doesn’t travel. It’s close to you, stifled by the box you’re in. The box is made of wood. There’s maybe six inches between you and the box, all around your body. It’s so close you can smell it. Damp wood. You can also smell soil.

You’re in a box that’s been placed in a hole, six feet deep. On top of it, and on top of you, are six feet of dirt. That much dirt weighs over two thousand pounds. One ton.

The weight of the dirt prevents you from opening the box. The lid won’t budge. And even if you could break out of the box somehow, the dirt above you would fall into it, suffocating you before you could dig your way up to air.

There is no way out. No hope.

As you realize this, your heartbeat accelerates—firing more rapidly. Your breathing speeds up. You struggle to take in air. You’re not sure if you’re already running out of oxygen or simply panicking. You can feel the silent, blind weight of two thousand pounds of earth above you crushing down onto your body. Your legs are tight, anxious. Your body fights for more space… to move, to stretch out, to stand, to run. But on every side you are closed in. You know that out there, everywhere, there is air, freedom. A universe of wide-open space.

But not for you.

You scream. The sound is muffled by the box. The only one who can hear it is you, and you know it. And you remember, as you scream, that there is a very small supply of oxygen in the box. With each breath, you are depleting it, converting it into CO2.

You’re going to suffocate. And there is no way out.

That feeling of being closed in, of paralysis, of heart-racing suffocating hopelessness, is what a panic attack feels like. Just like being trapped in a coffin.

My patients say that this is how you will feel when you’re about to die.

When I try to imagine how Rebecca must have felt, 120 feet underwater with an empty scuba tank strapped to her back, I draw on this image.

* * *

Rebecca Forsyth was floating, weightless. Free as a bird. The feeling was otherworldly. And the view was breathtaking. Above her in every direction stretched a majestic canopy of bright blue. Looking heavenward, her eyes traced dancing beams of sunlight up and away until they converged into a round disc of shimmering white firmament. As she gazed downward, the world fell away from her—the bright blue and the light fading, everything becoming darker the further she looked. The only sound she could hear was the too-close, too-loud in-and-out of her own breathing, which she tried to control—relaxing, breathing slowly.

In: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. Out: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

She reached up, pinching her nose, and gently blew, equalizing the pressure in her ears—the Valsalva Maneuver.

Scuba diving was something Rebecca enjoyed, to a point. She was no expert, though she was open water certified and dove several times a year. She loved the feeling of weightlessness. And she liked being able to explore the ocean without having to bob up and down for air. She’d never quite mastered using a snorkel—she always had trouble clearing it of water. Scuba was much more convenient. No bobbing up and down. That being said, she had not done many deep dives.

Today was different.

Alan, Rebecca’s husband, had talked her into diving a wreck. A sunken ship. It was all perfectly safe. Alan was an extremely experienced diver. A certified instructor. He had spent numerous summers working as an instructor and had logged hundreds of hours. In fact, he was the one who had gotten Rebecca into the sport.

The plan was for Rebecca and Alan to follow standard protocol and stay close to one another, buddy diving in case of an emergency. As Rebecca floated about 40 feet underwater, Alan was signaling for her to follow him down toward the wreck, which at its deepest was 165 feet below the surface. They weren’t planning to go down that far. The bow of the ship was at about 110 feet.

Although Rebecca wasn’t crazy about diving so deep, she reluctantly followed. They were on vacation, trying to relax. Trying new things to reinvigorate their marriage. After five years married, they’d hit a rough patch. They’d had some issues. Nothing insurmountable, she would have told you.

Part of their problems stemmed from the way they approached things. Rebecca was more conservative in her thinking. Alan was more of a risk-taker. Of course, for her to have chickened out of this dive would only have served to underscore the differences between them.

She checked the air pressure in her tank and noticed that it was dropping a little faster than normal for her, given the amount of time they’d been underwater. But, she knew that she was stressing over the fact that they were going to dive so deep, and she was breathing a little more rapidly than usual. She reached up and slightly reduced the buoyancy of her BCD, then gently frog-kicked her legs to conserve energy and air, following her husband down into the dark blue depths.

Rebecca swam about ten feet behind Alan and a bit to his left. The bow of the wreck still lay another 70 feet below them and hadn’t come into view. Rebecca couldn’t see it yet. She also couldn’t see that, in addition to the bubbles that drifted up and away from her each time she exhaled, a stream of tiny bubbles trailed behind her. Air was escaping from her scuba tank through a small leak in the line to her backup regulator. As she descended into the depths, the water pressure around her grew, increasing the rate at which air was bleeding from her only tank.

Rebecca followed after Alan, taking in the immensity of the ocean floor that lay before her. The vastness of it was almost overwhelming. She tried to focus on keeping pace with her husband, and on breathing slowly.

In: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. Out: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

She scanned beyond him, hoping that the wreck would soon come into view as she gently kicked and followed. As they descended, they were following the natural slope of the ocean floor off the coast of the island. The seabed was spotted with seagrass, kelp, small fish, and here and there a lobster. She saw several lionfish as well.

Rebecca enjoyed fish-watching. Although, for her it was always secondary to keeping an eye out for sharks. The Caribbean is home to a great many species—nurse sharks, lemon sharks, reef sharks—which are generally harmless. But now and again, you will see more aggressive bull sharks and hammerheads.

Rebecca followed behind Alan, staying close, but she couldn’t help being entertained admiring the seascape. She regularly pinched her nose to clear her ears. After what felt like just a few minutes, a shape began to take form ahead of them. Alan stuck his arm out to his side and gave her a thumbs-up. It was the wreck. A few more kicks, and she could clearly see the silhouette of the freighter sitting on the ocean floor below.

It was a tranquil day and the water was clear. There was still very good visibility as they passed 100 feet, though at that depth the water filtered out most of the reds and yellows in the color spectrum. Everything was draped in shades of blue and green.

Rebecca and Alan were diving just off the coast of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The wreck they were approaching was the W.E. Freighter, a 100-ton ship that was purposely sunken just north of Turtle Cove to create an artificial reef. The plan for the reef had been for the ship to settle in somewhat shallow waters to create an attraction for recreational divers. The ship had unfortunately ended up much deeper than intended and required a bit of expertise to reach.

Once at the bow of the freighter, Alan stopped and gave Rebecca the “okay” sign. She responded in kind, indicating that she was fine. She checked her depth gauge and saw that they were at 110 feet, just what the guidebook had promised. Alan and Rebecca had agreed on the surface not to go inside the vessel. There was always danger of collapse or of getting trapped due to gear catching on something. There was also the risk of getting cut since what remained of the ship was decaying metal that tended to be sharp and jagged. A cut meant blood in the water. And blood in the water attracted sharks.

They hovered for a moment by the bow of the wreck.

As they looked about them, a small school of fish swam out of the boat through a hole in the hull. They were silver with what appeared to be yellow fins and tails, though the color was muted and dull due to the depth. Most were about two feet long. Rebecca recognized them as horse-eye jacks. They shimmered in the water as they swam past the husband and wife, less than three feet away. Alan reached out and touched one of the fish as it went by. It didn’t seem to notice or care.

Rebecca watched the school of fish briefly, then her focus shifted. Always scanning for sharks, she’d seen a shadowy movement not far from them—maybe forty feet. Whatever it was had whipped its body and quickly disappeared into the dark, murky distance. She kept scanning as the small school of fish swam away from them.

Suddenly, her peripheral vision registered a rapid movement coming from their left. She focused just in time to see sparkling glints of silver—a large barracuda rocketed in from the murkiness and sank its teeth into one of the jacks as the remainder of the school scattered. Thin wisps of black blood trailed behind the barracuda as it swam off, chomping and chewing on its prey. In the wake of the attack, the remaining jacks re-grouped and continued on as if nothing had happened.

It was not the first time that Rebecca had seen a predator make a meal of another fish. It never ceased to amaze her how an underwater scene could turn from completely tranquil to suddenly violent and bloody, and then return once again to the prior calm as though nothing had happened. She turned to Alan, who was shaking a hand back and forth as if to say, “Holy crap!” She gave him a thumbs-up in reply.

Rebecca continued to scan. Now there was blood in the water. And she was nervous—looking for sharks. As she looked around, Alan drifted a bit deeper examining the wreck. Rebecca was about to follow when a strange shape on the seafloor caught her eye. She felt her belly tighten and reached for her dive knife. She froze and watched carefully. Her patience was rewarded.

A sludgy-looking grey rock, which had apparently been laying low waiting for the barracuda incident to pass, decided that the coast was clear. Rebecca marveled as the rock changed color and texture, turning back into an octopus. The little guy half-swam half- crawled away, in the opposite direction of the barracuda. Rebecca smiled to herself. She loved those smart, creepy, eight-legged mollusks.

The octopus gone, she turned and saw that Alan had drifted about twenty feet away from her, deeper, exploring the hull of the wreck. He looked back at her and waved her towards him. Apparently, he’d found something of interest. Rebecca gave him a thumbs-up, and as she began to move, she looked down at her depth gauge.

Still at 110 feet.

They had agreed not to go below 130 feet, which was the official cut-off for recreational divers. Realizing it had been a while since she’d checked, she also took a look at her air pressure gauge.

Red.

A cold claw of panic squeezed Rebecca’s chest when she saw that the needle was in the red zone, between 200 PSI and zero. Almost empty. The gauge had to be wrong. She and Alan had both checked her tank in the boat. It was full then. And they’d not been diving that long—certainly not long enough for her to have used up a full tank of air.

She tapped on the gauge with a gloved finger. The needle didn’t move. Still red.

She carefully reached back behind her head with one hand to make sure the tank was fully open. Sometimes a not fully open tank would give a bad reading on a gauge. She turned the air valve in one direction and the flow of air stopped. Then she turned it in the other direction, fully opening the valve, and air flowed. She checked the gauge. Still red.

Rebecca looked up and saw that Alan had swum farther away from her, about thirty feet. And he was still moving. She fought down the panic and breathed out slowly: one-two-three-four-five-six- seven-eight-nine-ten.

Then in: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

She had two choices.

She could try to ascend. If she did, she’d be abandoning Alan—leaving him at risk. She also had no idea if the air in her tank would get her to the surface. If it didn’t, she’d have to make a “controlled emergency ascent.” She remembered from her training what that meant. Possible decompression sickness. Possible pulmonary barotrauma—essentially her lungs exploding. And, of course, she could drown.

Her other option was to get Alan’s attention and return to the surface using his backup regulator—an “alternate air source ascent.”

She had to choose quickly. Given her options, Rebecca decided she had to get to Alan. She frog-kicked gently, trying not to accelerate her heart rate or breathing, conserving air, swimming down deeper into the cold sea after her husband. As she swam after him, she removed her dive knife from its sheath and used the metal ball on the end of the hilt to bang on her tank, making a high- pitched metallic clink clink clink hoping to get Alan’s attention.

Alan continued to descend. He was too far away to hear her.

She was still breathing. She still had air.

But her brain began to work against her. Fear gripped her throat like a noose slowly tightening. As Rebecca swam deeper into the sea, the ocean began to collapse in on her. Tunnel vision. Panic began to rise in her belly. She felt boxed in.

Trapped.

She fought the fear, trying to keep her breathing slow. Kicking gently, trying to get to her husband. He had air. He was only thirty feet away.

Life was only thirty feet away.

She began to feel desperation. To lose hope.

Is this it?

Is this how I die?

Alan didn’t hear the continued and more desperately rapid clinking of her knife on her tank. He wasn’t turning. He was swimming deeper, and she was barely gaining on him. She began to kick harder, knowing that her heart rate would increase. And her breathing as well. She had to get to him. He was still too far away.

Rebecca kicked and breathed. Kicked and breathed.

Kicked and…

…she breathed in, and three quarters of the way through the breath she hit a wall—it was like she was sucking on a rubber hose that was closed at one end. There was nothing. She was out of air.

She couldn’t fight the panic any longer. Sheer panic.

The feeling of being closed-in, of paralysis, of heart-racing suffocating hopelessness hit Rebecca Forsyth like a brick wall.

***

Excerpt from Life for Life by JK Franko. Copyright 2020 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

JK Franko

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:
jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookbub, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be Six (6) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $10. Amazon GC. Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (Print ~ US and Canada Only) and Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours