Dreaming in the Pages

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Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Friday, March 21, 2014

#Action #Excerpt from Will Shakespeare & the Ships of Solomon by Christopher Grey @GreyAuthor

The air in the cavern whispered as soft, dripping echoes crystallized around them. Will couldn’t see a thing. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his lighter, hoping the wick wasn’t completely ruined and quietly cursing about having burned out the flash light on the way over. The cavern would have torches, but he’d have to find them without setting off traps. Dorothy’s shimmering face lit up under his orange flame. Although her eyes were darting to all corners of the cavern, she didn’t look scared. It seemed she took this sort of activity in stride.
The lighter cast delicate shadows on the cavern’s walls. The ceiling was about twenty feet up, and stalactites hung with aged precision and in some cases came all the way down to the hidden harbor. Taking a survey of his surroundings, Will tried to recall what Sinclair’s document said. It was less about discovering the correct path as it was about avoiding the wrong one. Stepping foot on the wrong shore of this cave could be very dangerous.
He treaded water for a moment and then noticed a darkened shadow off in the distance. Remembering a haphazard sketching in his mind, he figured that it must be where the staircase was. And where the stairs were, torches were. Light was the most important aspect of this part of the mission; without it, he could end up killing them both.
Gently taking Dorothy’s hand under the water, he began back-kicking toward the crevasse. When they got near, Will saw steps ascending from the water up into a hand-carved hallway no bigger than six feet across and twelve feet high. This was the place.
They landed on the stairs and slowly walked up them without a word. Will ran his finger along the wall until he felt the expected shape of a torch. There were four more down in the hall and five on the opposite wall. They would just need one. He ran the lighter on top of the torch, and it immediately sparked into life. Even after six hundred years the torches worked. It was no wonder—handcrafted mahogany with a silver head and wick. They were built to last indefinitely.
Their scope of vision was much broader now, but not broad enough. The cavern took form around them. It was a semicircle encased in stone. Will knew that in the time of Prince Henry, this was merely a cove. They’d built walls up around and constructed a false beach above.
The trick was that this cavern was well under the water level. Will was astounded when he read the trap Prince Henry had built. The Money Pit was an ingenious way to drain the cave. It was dug farther than 200 feet down. Flood channels were constructed leading to this cavern and then beyond up to Smith’s Cove. When the ninety-foot marker was breached, the flood channel was opened and this cavern was effectively drained into the Money Pit. It wasn’t a booby trap at all but a key into the cavern. The only reason the cavern wasn’t completely drained was because they stopped digging in the Money Pit. Had they gone deep enough, they’d be standing on the floor and not treading water.
The reason no one had found the cavern was because no one bothered to swim down the flood channel and up into the passageway that led to the cavern. Will wondered why the Poor Fellow-Soldiers never interrupted the treasure hunts, but assumed it was because they didn’t want to arouse suspicion about the island by cutting it off.
Now they stood in the hallway where it had all begun. This was the holy of holies, where the treasure was kept. As Will lit the torch, he spotted another ingenious diversion across the cavern. Sitting protected in a niche were eleven sealed chests. Another chest on top of them was wide open, with an explosive pile of gold coins, statues, gemstones, and jewelry piled on all sides of the chests. It was a flood of brilliance, especially reflective under the torchlight.
The sound next to him was that of Dorothy losing her breath.
Then there was another sound far more serious than that. Will at once realized he’d left his gun in the car.
In the fall of 1947, Will Shakespeare saw the world collapse around him. Shakespeare, a secret soldier for the Knights Templar, barely escapes the slaughter of his entire knighthood at the hands of a rogue militant arm of the Vatican in a small Montreal church. With orders to escort Templar business associate Dorothy Wilkinson back to her home in Bermuda, Will must locate and rescue the most important secret treasure in human history before it is devoured by a hurricane in the watery caves beneath her father's property. The spiraling quest sends Will and Dorothy into uncovering dark secrets that make up the origins of the knighthood as they confront the traps and puzzles that masterfully protect the world's most coveted treasure.
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Genre – Action, Adventure
Rating – PG
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Connect with Christopher Grey on Google+ & Twitter

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

#Author Spotlight on J.D. Ferguson (#Fiction #Historical)

Do you find the time to read?
Absolutely!  While engaged in writing fiction, however, I never read fiction, only fact.  I just finished Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer and Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson.  Just starting A Synopsis of American History by Charles Sellers and Henry May.  So it goes.  Until I finish the book I am working on – probably another 12 months – I will read no fiction.
Last book you purchased?  Tell us about it.
I received Things That Matter for Christmas.    It is a compilation of articles written over the last thirty years by Pulitzer Prize author Charles Krauthammer.  His writings for newspapers and magazines during that period covered major issues from his unique perspective.  It is a very insightful look at history and politics.
Who do you admire?
There are many people that I respect but none that I admire.  I know so very little about individuals and their inner most thoughts and feelings, that I am suspicious that most lead different lives at different times or under different circumstances.  So, while I might admire their actions or their actions’ results, and respect their efforts for good, I hold my admiration in abeyance.
When and why did you begin writing?
When very young, trapped by poverty and winter snows, and without escape as provided by Tom Swift or Sherlock Holmes, I would try to put feelings to paper, mostly in the form of poetry.  I came to realize, without fully understanding, that what I did was somehow special and could take me away, if only for a little while, to other worlds and let me breathe freer because it that.
How long have you been a writer?
I have been writing for about 15 years.  Writing as defined by doing so with any commercial aspirations; though, until this past year, I never took the effort seriously enough to be considered dedicated to it.  I did it early on as a spare-time hobby for mostly personal satisfaction.  The more I did it, however, the more I felt there was the possibility that I could achieve more than just the personal satisfaction, and might be able to actually do it for a commercial reason, also.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I must distinguish here between writer and author.  I always suspected, quite naively and perhaps even childishly, that I had it within me to write.  But anyone can write, dependant of course on how extensively or successfully.  A writer that gets published is an author.  That part of the effort adds much more challenge.  I still do not know if I can be a successful author.  That is a work in progress.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Historical fiction is my bent, I feel.  I do best writing about what I know and/or instinctively understand.  I can draw from my life experiences, innate intelligence, and vivid imagination and pull together very captivating yet plausible scenarios set in the past. Whether I chose distant or recent past is a matter of preference and the result of research.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Yes, it did.  It taught me that releasing inhibitions, especially those most intense or personal, is sometimes necessary to be true to the storyline, time period and characters involved in your work.  You are, after all, unless you are writing an autobiography, engaged in telling a story of other people.  You cannot be true to the character or the action unless you leave yourself out of it and proceed through another’s mind, emotions and will.  Where appropriate, you can deliver words of wisdom or philosophical insights with which you agree, as long as it is not alien to the character.
How did you come up with the title?
Holderby’s Landing is the true first name of that area now known as Huntington, WV.  Since my book is set in that area and peopled with real and imaginary inhabitants, I felt it was not only apropos to use the name but actually necessary.
Can you tell us about your main character?
Justin Thorne is a young man of privilege in pre-Civil War Virginia.  He has grown up so insulated that his naiveté is a primary part of his personality.  Through circumstances beyond his control he is thrown into the frontier life along the western edge of Virginia, at that time the Ohio River, and through a series of adventures is forced to grow up, and quickly.  He is aided along the way by his Father’s good friend Osman Treat, a secondary but fundamental part of the story.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
The characters came naturally enough, once I understood the story I wanted to tell.  They are part and parcel of people I have known or experienced through personal contact, study, and imagination.  Initially, I directed their actions through the necessary plot twists to get the story going, but after I became comfortable with them the action developed on its own accord because of the characters and their individual traits.  I just followed the logic.

When Justin Thorne, coddled student and heir apparent to Sylvan Springs Plantation, is forced to find his heritage, his manhood, and his destiny, in the space of one brief spring, all hell breaks loose on the banks of the Ohio River. His Virginia of 1836 is a time of transition and enormous growth. Northern industrial might and southern aristocracy, abolitionist movements and slave cultures, collide in turmoil and lay bare the raw needs and desires of those intrepid spirits confronting the frontiers of the antebellum South. Coming of age is an expected result of time and circumstance. It happens to all who live so long, but to each within the dictates of their own lives. The process is on-going and ever dynamic. Every person is a precious product resulting from the effects of nature and nurture. 
One's ancestry, culture, and environment collude in myriad ways to make us; all as different as each life's story, and as singular as snowflakes. This theme is played out over-and-over throughout the world and throughout history, in millions of places like Holderby's Landing; as similar and as different as each human is to the other. Holderby's Landing is a single glimpse in time at the coming of age of a land, a community, and a few determined souls thrown together in love, strife and chance. What they make of the time, the opportunities and themselves is the story told and the living breath of this book.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with J. D. Ferguson on Facebook

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Flash Bang by Kellen Burden #Thriller #Mystery #AmReading

Days go by. I do a few passes on our next bust’s Myspace.
Making cookies. Yum! 2 days ago.
Almost my birthday! Going out to Dave and Busters! 2 weeks ago.
His site takes me to his mother’s, his brother’s, his sister in Winnipeg’s, his best friend in Aurora’s. I jot down the asshole’s address from a post a few weeks ago in which somebody wanted to drop off a futon, and his phone number from the information section of his page. I also add any pertinent notes: “The old trick knee acting up on me again” or “My Car broke down”
Outside, the storm has passed. Snow like icebergs piled along the streets, frozen in clumps in the shade. Saw a bird in a tree on Friday, and yesterday, I shit you not, I think I saw the sun. It’s Monday now. Normal people catching buses to their nine to fives, jogging at ungodly hours. I sit in my hobo tower and look at them over my nose, wake up at 11:45, shower, throw a bagel in the toaster, and turn on my TV, because I live alone and it’s either that or buying a cat and talking to it. The Channel 9 morning news is cycling: tensions over oil prices, debates over fracking on the Western Slope and, after the break, another stabbing outside of a local nightclub; and then the weather.
It creeps into me like a sickness. One of those moments that you forget about later. One of those moments where you knew, knew, your life was changing, but it doesn’t matter after the fact because you couldn’t do anything about it. I toss back the bagel, take a drag off my coffee, pull the notepad with the shit I jotted down about Orenthal in front of me, and take the safety off the pen. Two movie trailers, a Kia commercial, and a Doritos ad, and I’m back with morning anchor Mick Reynolds, broadcasting live from in front of the Stampede. I’ve written:
No Witnesses.
No I.D. on the victim.
No suspects.
No fucking reason to keep writing.
Body was found this morning by some poor bastard who fell asleep in his car the night before and wandered out to take a piss. Found the kid in a bush. I look down at my notes and can’t figure out why I’m writing them. Won’t until later.
Weather comes on: cloudy today, cloudy tomorrow, highs in the 40s. I turn off the TV, grab my SIG Sauer off the table and cram it into the paddle holster. Throw on my Carhartt, and hit the lights on my way out.
Outside I hook it right down to Colfax. On Colfax I stop and wonder where the fuck I’m going.
Nine hours later finds Harkin and me beneath the flood lights in Congress Park. It’s cold. Frost on the grass like shards of broken glass, crunching beneath us as we grapple, striking open-handed, rolling, spitting, clawing, choking. Steam curling off our labored breath like white fire, the unremarkable thumping of our fistfalls, the quake of our bodies on the frozen ground.
We don’t do disciplines. We don’t do dojos. We train to overwhelm, to debilitate, to survive. I feign a jab, shoot for Harkin’s waist. He stuffs me, leg sweep, and we go down, but I roll to side control, try to sink a key hole lock on his strong arm but he comes underneath, rolling with it, and finds my back and even though I protect my throat from the rear naked choke, he plants an arm triangle hard, fast, and deep. I wiggle around for a few seconds, but we both know I’m fucked. This particular choke takes about 90 seconds to put you down, though, so I ride it to the end of the tunnel, and finally tap out when the darkness starts creeping in on my periphery. Lying on our backs beneath the white light, Harkin asks, “Got much on the Orenthal thing?”
“A bit.” I’m not all there yet. Say: “Stacy?”
He makes a noise that sounds like: Ugh. Then he says, “Tonight.”
The blackout recedes, darkness fading into colorful bugs of light that float through my line of sight. On 8th, cars drive past, and if anyone were to look right they’d be confused. So far nobody’s called the police yet, though, and we’ve been fighting in public like this once a week for the last year. City living for you: a family drives by in their Range Rover, kid says: Mommy look at those two men fighting. Mom says: Those are called hobos, honey.
The first time I ever fought Harkin he tried to kill me. We were in boot camp, Army Combatives 1, and I had been living on the streets for a while, so I had been in a few fights. Harkin had been living in the woods. He joined the army like this: Harkin used to live with his dad on a farm in Virginia. His mom had been out of the picture for as long as Harkin could remember, and when he 13, his dad kicked the bucket from a combination of hard living and a .45 caliber bullet in his brain that had started in a box, found its way into a clip which had wandered into the handle of a 1911 that had been pressed against his dad’s temple while his dad was holding it. The bank repossessed the farm, and the police tried to take Harkin in as a ward of the state, except nobody could find him. His house was situated on about 600 acres of heavily wooded Virginia deciduous, and Harkin just kind of disappeared into it for about four years. The bank sold his land to a rich family, who decided to build a golf course on it. Nobody knew what happened to the quiet kid who used to live there until somebody started shooting skeet with golf balls in midflight. When they finally caught Harkin, they closed the case of the exploding golf balls and the broken-into Walmarts in one fell swoop. A thoroughly impressed judge asked him what he wanted to do with himself, and Harkin said “Sir, that’s up to you, but I personally wouldn’t want me doing it in this country.” Rangers lead the way. Two years of GED classes and foster care later, Harkin was on the bus to Fort Benning.
Which is where he tried to kill me. We were sparring, and I threw one of my patented, hobo-tested sleeper holds on him. Long story short: he went all Rambo on me, and then I went all Rambo on him, and then we both went all Rambo on the drill sergeants who tried to break up the melee, and then we both did a shitload of pushups. We’ve been best friends ever since. We made it through basic together and swore we’d kill for one another, got deployed to Iraq and proved it. When we both promoted, he to Ranger Battalion and I to Criminal Investigations, we kept in touch, and when Harkin finished up his enlistment, he found me here in Denver.
Sweat freezing to my face in the moist grass, say, “You heard about those kids getting stabbed out in front of clubs?”
Harkin says, “Heard about the one last night.” Then, “Kids?”
“Yeah, read about a different one a few days before. Out in front of the Rose.”
“Didn’t know they were related.”
“I don’t know for sure, either. Just weird.”
The night stretches around us, cars passing on 8th like a meteor shower.
“We shouldn’t be training tonight,” I say.
“Why not?”
“You’re gonna need everything you got for when Stacy kicks your ass—”Harkin open-palms me in the face, and we’re fighting again.
Sebastian Parks is drowning in a flood of his own creation. Dishonorably discharged from the Army, he's wracked with night terrors and an anger that he can't abate. Unemployable and uninterested in anything resembling a normal job, Parks makes his living in fugitive apprehension, finding wanted felons on Facebook and thumping them into custody with his ex-military buddies John Harkin and Eric "Etch" Echevarria. When the body of a teenage Muslim boy is found in front of a downtown Denver nightclub Parks, Harkin and Etch are called on to do what they do best: Find bad men and make them pay. 
First-time author Kellen Burden serves up edgy humor, brutal action and characters you can't get enough of. Flash Bang will keep you turning pages until the end.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller, Mystery
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kellen Burden on Facebook

Message of the Pendant by Thomas Thorpe #Historical #Thriller #Mystery

After a few moments, a low voice resonated behind them. "Have you got the message?"
Startled, they turned to face the dark outline of a man’s stocky frame, shorter than Francois.
"What are you talking about?"  the boy, Francois answered.
"Minister Fouche sent me to make sure you reach your destination. Is it secure?" the dark form spoke softly.
Francois relaxed a bit. He reached unconsciously into his pocket and felt the metal object. "I assure you it's safe."
"May I see it?" the man persisted.
The lad hesitated. The man sounded legitimate and seemed to know about his mission. He wanted to do his duty and show them he could be trusted. Since the real message was safe, he decided to show the pendant. In darkness, Francois did not see a thin smile forming on the man's lips as he withdrew the object.
"Here it is!" he announced with satisfaction.
In an instant, the man grabbed Francois’ wrist. With his other hand, he swung a fist into the young man’s stomach. Nina screamed, paralyzed with fear. The seaman wrestled the pendant loose and drew his arm around the lad's neck. The surprised youth could barely struggle as he was dragged toward the rail. In one swift motion, Jean Noire lifted the young emissary over his head and heaved him into the darkness.
Nina cried out once more. He turned from the rail, but sounds of voices warned that others were climbing onto the deck. The man paused for an instant, then ran off toward the stern.
Nina lunged to the side, but could see only blackness beyond their vessel. She called his name without reply. She began to sob uncontrollably as other passengers arrived. A man put his hand on her shoulder. "What is it girl?"
Between gasps, she managed to say: "Francois! Overboard!"
The ship was brought about, but no trace was found of the young man who wanted to be a hero.

William Darmon and wife Elizabeth were powerful figures who in 1818 set society's pace from expansive grounds known as Mayfair Hall. When a family member is murdered, a mysterious pendant is found containing a long lost request by Napoleon Bonaparte for an American mission to burn down Parliament buildings. The couple sets out on an action filled pursuit of the killer. While interviewing Henry Clay in post-war Maryland about the failed mission, they uncover evidence of a conspiracy to free the Emperor from exile. The Darmons infiltrate the cadre, but a shipwreck off the coast of Scotland, a firestorm at the Darmon's Manor and a harrowing assault on the Island of St. Helena loom before the mystery can be unraveled.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Mystery, Historical, Thriller
Rating – PG
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Forty 2 Days (The Billionaire Banker) by @GeorgiaLeCarre #romance #excerpt #bookclub

Billie is right.  My position is untenable.  In his eyes I must be the worst kind of slut.  Ahead lies only more misunderstanding and pain for both of us.  The pain has already begun, a physical ache.  It fills my chest.  I can never tell him the truth.  In his mind I will always be his bad romance.  Lady Gaga singing, ‘I want your ugly.  I want your disease.’
‘I’m sorry, but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement,’ I say, with the full knowledge that without the truth he will always despise me.  I lean back in my chair feeling soiled.  I will never again be clean in his eyes.  And there is not a damn thing I can do about it.   The waiter returns with more whiskey.
‘I know you’re angry but—’
‘Shut the fuck up.  You have no idea,’ he grates through gritted teeth.
I close my mouth.  I have never seen him so openly angry.  He is always so controlled, so smooth.  Even when he was once angry with someone on the phone his fury was so tightly leashed, so frighteningly quiet that I stood stock still behind the door listening.
He shoots his whiskey aggressively, and turning the empty glass on its edge rolls it on the tablecloth.  ‘Do you want more food?’
I shake my head miserably.  This is turning out to be nothing like I imagined.
A muscle in his jaw twitches.  He calls for the bill.
Someone in a suit comes rushing to his side.  ‘Is anything the matter?’ he enquires worriedly.
‘Everything is fine.’  He looks at me hard and deep.
‘But your main course…’
Blake does not take his eyes off me.  ‘I have unfinished business to take care of, Anton.’
I flush badly and Anton slips away with impressive speed from that which has nothing to do with him.  Another waiter, his face schooled into impassive professionalism, comes bearing the bill.  Blake signs for it, unfolds himself out of his chair and comes to stand by me.  I get to my feet and he leads me out of the restaurant.  We do not touch except for his hand splayed on the small of my back.  Possessive, the way only a husband’s hand should be.
Not a word is spoken by either of us in the car, but every cell in my body is responding to his nearness.  My desire for him is such that my hands are clenched tight against my thighs and my sex is actually throbbing.  In fact, the need is so excessive it is almost violent.  I sneak a look at him.  He is staring ahead, the chiseled cheekbones like stone, but that muscle in his throat is ticking like a time bomb.  I know that tick.  It tells me what he cannot, how hard and deep he wants to fuck me.  He is well and truly snared inside his bad romance.
‘What happened to all the clothes I left behind?’ I ask in the lift.
‘You enquire about last season’s fashions?  What about the people you left behind, Lana?  Why don’t you enquire about them?  Me for instance.’
‘How have you been, Blake?’
‘You’re just about to find out,’ he replies with a nasty grin.
Beyond the seductive power of immense wealth lies... Dark Secrets
Devastatingly handsome billionaire, Blake Law Barrington was Lana Blooms first and only love. From the moment they touched his power was overwhelming. Their arrangement quickly developed into a passionate romance that captivated her heart and took her on an incredible sexual journey she never wanted to end.
The future together looked bright until Lana made a terrible mistake. So, she did the only thing she could... she ran.
Away from her incredible life, away from the man of her dreams, but she should have known a man such as Blake Law Barrington was impossible to escape. Now, he's back in her life and determined that she should taste the bitterness of his pain.
Shocked at how rough the sex has become and humiliated that she is actually participating so willingly in her punishment, she despairs if she will ever feel the warmth of his touch--the solidity of his trust again? And even if she can win his trust, loyalties are yet to be decided, and secrets to be revealed--secrets that will test them both to their limits.
Will Lana be able to tear down the walls that surround Blake's heart, and break him free of the brutal power of immense wealth?
Can Blake hold on to Lana's heart when she discovers the enormity of the dark secrets that inhabit the Barrington family?
Lana has always believed that love conquers all. She is about to test that belief...
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Erotic Romance
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Georgia Le Carre on Facebook & Twitter