Category Archives: Thriller

The Lonely Mile by Allan Leverone

The Lonely Mile

Join Allan Leverone , author of the thriller novel, The Lonely Mile (Stone House Ink), as he virtually tours the blogosphere September 5 – October 28 2011 on his second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About Allan Leverone

Allan LeveroneAllan Leverone is a three-time Derringer Award finalist as well as a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction. The Lonely Mile, released by StoneHouse Ink in July, is Allan’s second thriller, following Final Vector from Medallion Books in February. He has been hailed as “the successor to Michael Crichton” by bestselling author Vincent Zandri, and bestselling author Scott Nicholson calls The Lonely Mile “a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy.”

Learn more about Allan at his website at  www.allanleverone.com.

Visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/allan.leverone.

 

About The Lonely Mile

The Lonely MileWhen struggling hardware store owner Bill Ferguson stumbles upon a kidnapping in progress, he does what we all like to believe we would do – he steps in and breaks up the crime, saving a young girl from a horrific fate.

The perpetrator, a serial kidnapper/murderer known as the I-90 Killer, escapes and vows revenge, focusing his twisted obsession on Ferguson’s family. When Bill’s daughter disappears soon after, the frantic father forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful FBI investigator leading the search for the I-90 Killer.

But there are forces at play which go much deeper than Ferguson realizes, and the danger may go far beyond one kidnapped girl. Bill Ferguson knows he must risk everything to save his child – the question is, will he be too late?

Here’s what critics are saying about The Lonely Mile!

“Allan Leverone delivers a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy. A serial-killer thriller with a heart.”

– Scott Nicholson, bestselling author of Liquid Fear and Disintegration

“Thriller fans will enjoy Allan Leverone’s new book, The Lonely Mile, which will carry readers along as a daughter is stolen by a vengeful serial killer and we follow her father’s determined efforts to rescue her at all costs.”

– Dave Zeltserman, author of Pariah and Blood Crimes

Book Excerpt:

May 28, 4:12 p.m.Bill thanked God or karma, or maybe just plain old luck—it was about time he got some—for the noise of the storm. Between the crashing of the thunder, the keening of the wind whipping through the trees and around the house, and the splattering of the windswept rain against the windows, the racket was practically deafening. It prevented him from hearing anything on the other side of the door that connected the garage to the house as he pressed his ear against it, but he figured the opposite would also be true—the constant noise would mask the sound of his approach as he made his way through the house.
He was sure Martin Krall was home, since there was a car parked in front of the garage. Maybe he was right on the other side of the door, six feet away, gloating about his successful kidnapping of Carli Ferguson and how he put one over on, not just the FBI and the New York and Massachusetts State Police, but on Bill Ferguson himself.
Bill flicked the safety off the Browning and grasped the tarnished brass doorknob with his right hand. He was sweating like he had just done fifty pushups. Another crash of thunder sounded outside, and the resulting flash of brilliant lightning illuminated the garage like Fenway Park during a night game. He turned the knob, opened the door, and cautiously peered inside, then walked through the door into an empty kitchen.
Dirty dishes littered a single-basin sink as well as the kitchen table, which was located next to the garage entrance. The dingy green and white tiles of the linoleum floor were way overdue for a good mopping. But the thing that drew Bill Ferguson’s attention immediately upon entering the kitchen, as soon as he had determined no one was present and about to shoot him, was the terrifyingly large bloodstain splattered all over the floor and halfway up the wall of a hallway running adjacent to the kitchen. It looked as though someone had died a violent death here. Recently.
A surge of fear and anguish coursed through his body. A mental picture of Carli lying on the floor mortally wounded, leaking blood from a serious wound while the I-90 Killer watched in amusement, sprang unbidden into Bill’s mind. He set out to check out the rest of the house, hurrying, moving as fast as he could without alerting Krall to his presence.
The remainder of the home’s first floor was just as deserted as the kitchen, although signs of habitation were everywhere. A dirty pair of white gym socks had been tossed haphazardly onto the living room floor next to a sagging green couch in front of the television. An opened newspaper covered the messy coffee table. Dirty drinking glasses were scattered around the room, some still half-filled with liquid.
But there were no people, injured or otherwise.
Bill bolted up the stairs and quickly searched the second floor, once again finding plenty of evidence that Krall lived here, but nothing whatsoever to indicate the presence of Carli or any other kidnap victims.
Bill realized that, if she was here at all, Carli must be in the basement. He hoped the I-90 Killer hadn’t created his own private little dungeon there, like the portable one in the back of his truck, or worse. Bill raced down the carpeted stairway to the first floor and into the kitchen.
Adjacent to the entryway was a wooden door, identical to the one from the garage, located to its right as he faced it. This had to be the doorway that would lead to the basement and, hopefully, to Carli.
Bill allowed himself a pleasant, momentary vision of Krall off somewhere else, like he had thought before, at a job or shopping or even searching for another victim. In this scenario, Bill would waltz down the stairs, find his little girl safe and sound, untie her, and bring her home. He would be more than happy to let Special Agent Angela Canfield handle the job of hunting down and arresting Martin Krall.
It was a nice dream. But Bill knew it was an unrealistic one as well.
He repeated his exercise of a few minutes ago, leaning up against the door and pressing his ear against it, straining to hear voices or footsteps or any other sound that would give him some indication of whether anyone was there or not, and if they were, what they might be up to.
He could hear nothing but the relentless pounding of the wind and rain against the house and the occasional terrifying crash of thunder and lightning. Once more, he grasped a brass doorknob with a sweaty hand and eased the door open, praying to God that his luck would hold.
Bill exerted a steady upward pressure on the knob, hoping the added tension would prevent the door’s hinges from squeaking excessively and alerting Krall, if he was there, to his presence. The door slipped open, revealing a wooden stairway disappearing into the gloomy semi-darkness of the basement.
These stairs, like everything else in the home, appeared badly in need of repair. One tread, about halfway down the stairs, had come loose and been thrown haphazardly onto the riser. He’d have to be careful not to trip on that or some other loose tread on his way down.
He took one step, then two, then a third, and slowly descended into the stifling humidity of the cellar. Shadows moved below, and Bill knew he had been right. Whatever was happening in this house was happening down here.
One more step, and Bill’s eye level was finally below the first floor joists, allowing him a view of the entire basement. He stopped in his tracks, horrified. Chained to a bed, lying on a ratty, filthy mattress, was his little girl. Dried blood crusted one side of her head, running from her scalp, creating a mass of hopelessly clumped and knotted hair, down her face and onto her Avril Lavigne t-shirt. Her jeans were a filthy mess, stained with dried blood and urine. But all he cared about at this moment was that she was alive! She’s alive! Carli’s alive!
A man—undoubtedly Martin Krall, although his back was to Bill, so he could not say for certain—approached Carli from the left of the stairs. His right arm was swathed in bandages and Bill flashed on all of the blood he had seen on the kitchen floor. Was it possible Carli had inflicted that injury on Krall? His heart swelled with pride for his gutsy child.
Krall knelt next to the cot as Carli cringed back against the grungy black iron bars of the headboard. Her eyes were screwed shut and her mouth drawn down in a grimace of fear and disgust. The man fumbled with her belt buckle and unsnapped her jeans, mumbling to her in a low voice. Bill could just make the sound out over the noise of the storm, although he couldn’t tell what the man was saying.
Every fiber of his body was screaming at him, Shoot! Shoot him! Do it now before he turns and sees you! Before he does any more damage to your little girl! Bill raised the Browning Hi-Power and sighted down the barrel, then shook his head in mute frustration. Krall’s body was positioned directly in front of Carli. If he took the shot and Krall moved at the last second, or if Bill missed—his hands were shaking badly, it was a definite possibility—or if he hit Krall, but the round went through his body, it would strike Carli. There was no question about it.
Bill wanted to scream, and would have, if there was any way to do it without alerting Krall to his presence and giving up the advantage of surprise. He moved down another step and then another, somehow remembering in the tension and fear to step over the faulty stair tread. In a few seconds, he had reached the bottom of the stairway. Krall still hadn’t heard a sound.
He took two steps and reached a position immediately behind Krall as the man was unzipping his little girl’s jeans. Bill lifted his gun to blow Martin Krall to Hell and—

divider 13

The Lonely Mile Book Publicity Tour Schedule

divider 13

books kkMonday, September 5

Book spotlighted at Virginia Beach Publishing Examiner

Tuesday, September 6

Guest blogging at The Book Faerie Reviews

“When I decided to follow my dream of writing—and selling—fiction, I was just (barely) smart enough to realize I was totally ignorant. I was brand-new to the writing thing and I figured, what could be so hard? You write entertaining stuff and then you sell it. Simple.”

Wednesday, September 7

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

“That vision, of an evil person using highway rest areas as a staging point for creating mayhem, must have been an especially unsettling one for me, because it stuck with me for the next thirty years. When I began writing seriously as I approached fifty years of age, one of the first thriller scenarios I envisioned was of a sociopathic kidnapper using highway rest areas to steal young women, and Martin Krall from THE LONELY MILE was born.”

Thursday, September 8

Book reviewed at Cafe of Dreams

“Absolutely amazing and brilliant!  Those are the first words that pop into mind when describing The Lonely Mile.  Allan Leverone gives readers a compelling, engrossing and impossible-to-put-down scream-ride from beginning to end.”

Friday, September 9

Guest blogging at The Book Bin

“In place of “How to get published,” a more timely question might become, “How do I know when my book is ready to be published?””

Monday, September 12

Interviewed at Blogcritics

Tuesday, September 13

Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

“On my end, in addition to undertaking a blog tour in support of my book, I’ve worked very hard at seeking out book reviews. I believe one of the best ways to get my book in front of potential readers is through reviews, and I’m confident enough in the quality of my work to believe most of the reviews will be positive. So far, that’s been the case.”

Wednesday, September 14

Book reviewed at Ashley’s Bookshelf

Thursday, September 15

Book spotlighted at The Plot

Friday, September 16

Guest blogging at The Plot

Monday, September 19

Book reviewed at WV Stitcher

Tuesday, September 20

Book reviewed at Martha’s Bookshelf

Wednesday, September 21

Book reviewed at Book Reviews by Molly

Thursday, September 22

Book reviewed at Life in Review

Friday, September 23

Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

Monday, September 26

Book reviewed at Book Reviews by Elizabeth White

Tuesday, September 27

Guest blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 28

Book reviewed at Donna’s Blog Home

Thursday, September 29

Book reviewed at Celtic Lady’s Reviews

Friday, September 30

Chat with Allan at Pump Up Your Book Live! September Chat/Book Giveaway (link coming soon)

 

divider 13

 

Advertisements

Final Vector by Allan Leverone

Final Vector

Join Allan Leverone, author of the thriller novel, Final Vector, as he virtually tours the blogosphere February 1 – March 25 ‘11 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

Allan Leverone

About Allan Leverone

Allan Leverone is a three-time Derringer Award Finalist whose short fiction has been featured in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, Shroud Magazine, Twisted Dreams, Mysterical-E and many other venues, both print and online.

His debut thriller, titled FINAL VECTOR, is available February 2011 from Medallion Press.

For details, please visit www.allanleverone.com or his blog at www.allanleverone.blogspot.com.

 

About Final Vector

Final Vector

Air traffic controller Nick Jensen’s life is in a shambles. His wife Lisa has died following a horrific automobile wreck and the authorities suspect foul play. He finds evidence suggesting Lisa, a Pentagon auditor, had discovered potentially treasonous material on a fellow employee’s computer, a man who also winds up dead.
Desperate to escape the pain, Nick throws himself into his work and is on duty at the radar ATC facility serving Boston’s Logan Airport on the night U.S. President Robert Cartwright is scheduled to fly into Boston. Armed terrorists storm the facility, killing the security staff and taking Nick’s fellow controller hostage as he works.
Nick escapes capture, but with time running out, must use the information from his murdered wife to unravel the terrorists’ plot and stop an assassination while outnumbered, unarmed and on the run…

 

Read the Excerpt!

Jackie piped up, his normally high-pitched voice rising a couple of octaves. “So we’re going to use these Stinger missiles to shoot down an airplane?”“That is exactly correct,” Tony answered. “But not just any airplane. The president is flying into Logan International Airport in Boston very early next Sunday morning. We will be removing him from office. Permanently.”

“The president? The president of what?”

“What do you think?”

Stunned silence filled the room as the significance of Tony’s statement began to sink in.

“The president of the United States?” Joe-Bob whispered. “We’re going to shoot down Air Force One?”

Tony’s eyes glittered like hard black diamonds as he turned his cool smile on his small band of revolutionaries—the group that was about to change the course of history. “That is correct. President Cartwright is scheduled to celebrate the reopening of a historic church in Boston. I have learned that he will be flying into the airport around 5:00 a.m. next Sunday in order to arrive at the church in time to attend a sunrise service. He is then scheduled to lunch in the city with some of his major political contributors before flying back to Washington in early afternoon.

“Of course, as we now know, he will do none of those things, because he will be dead, lying at the bottom of a smoking hole in the ground just shy of Logan Airport. With a little bit of luck, perhaps people in the city will be killed as well, but that remains to be seen.”

Chaos erupted and then died down immediately when Tony held up a hand to silence his men.

Brian shook his head. “But how will we know where the plane is going to be and when to fire the missile? It’s a big sky out there.”

Tony smiled again. “We’ll know because we’re going to tell the pilot where we want him to go.”

Here’s what critics are saying about Final Vector!

“Allan Leverone raises the stakes with every turn of the page in this can’t-put-down tale of ruthless terrorists and cold-blooded betrayal.”

~ Sophie Littlefield, author of the Anthony Award–winning novel A Bad Day for Sorry

“Written with edge-of-your seat suspense and precise detail that can only come from a writer who did his research while on the job, Final Vector kept me, a white-knuckle flyer, in awe from the very first sentence. The successor to Michael Crichton has landed. And his name is Allan Leverone.”

~ Vincent Zandri, author of Amazon Top 100 “Hot New Release” The Remains

Talion by Mary Maddox

About Mary Maddox

Mary MaddoxMary Maddox grew up in Utah and California. A graduate of Knox College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she now teaches composition and literature at Eastern Illinois University.

She lives in Charleston, Illinois with her husband, film scholar Joe Heumann. Her interests include riding her horse, Tucker, and playing club and tournament Scrabble. Mary’s short stories have appeared in a number of magazines including Farmer’s Market, Yellow Silk, and The Scream Online. Her writing has been honored with awards from the Illinois Arts Council.

Talion, her debut novel, is available at Barnesandnoble.com as a trade paperback and at Amazon.com as both a paperback and a Kindle book. You can visit her at her Web site www.marymaddox.com and follow her blog at http://blog.marymaddox.com.

About Talion

TalionThe dying body has a thousand voices, and all of them speak to Conrad (Rad) Sanders. Fifteen-year-old Lisa Duncan has no idea she has attracted Rad’s interest. At a mountain resort in Utah, he watches as vivacious Lisa begins an unlikely friendship with Lu Jakes, the strange and introverted daughter of employees there. Lu enters his fantasies as well. He learns she is being abused by her stepmother and toys with the notion of freeing her from her sad life and keeping her awhile as his captive. Lu seems like an easy conquest who could be persuaded to act out his fantasy by turning against her new friend.

But someone else is watching over Lu.

Talion appears to Lu as an angelic vision. He offers her love and counsel, the courage to defend herself from bullies at school and a way to free herself from her stepmother’s violence. He seems to know beforehand what will happen. But Talion’s true nature is unclear. His guidance leads Lu into dark places, moving her inevitably closer to the world inhabited by Rad. When she and Lisa are thrust into that darkness, will Talion come to her aid? Or will he become the killer’s ally?

Read an Excerpt

Every so often something happened that scared Norlene into trying to change her ways. She clubbed Daddy with a lamp once. Blood poured over his face in sheets, so much blood she thought she’d killed him. Another time the neighbors got sick of the screaming and called the cops, who threatened to arrest her and Daddy both. Her most recent wake-up call was a hangover that kept her vomiting and running a fever for three days running. “I can’t go on like this,” she said to Daddy. “It’s gonna be the death of me.” From now on, she promised, things would be different. No more running around. No more partying. She began limiting herself to three or four beers every night, snuggling with Daddy as they watched American Idol or Survivor. Daddy was stupefied with bliss. Every time it happened, he acted like the Fairy Godmother had touched his world with her magic wand.
It never lasted more than a week or two. Norlene began chaining Marlboros. Her hand shook, scattering ashes everywhere except the ashtray choked with smoking butts. She banged pots in the sink and slammed cabinet doors. Every other day she hurled something to the floor and then screamed at Lu to sweep it up. She kept her frustration bottled up while Daddy was home, but once he was gone Lu couldn’t tiptoe through the livingroom without drawing wild monkey shrieks from her stepmother. But Norlene never beat Lu during her attempts to change. In her own pathetic way she was trying.
In the end she always snapped. She picked up some loser at a bar, cleared out the checking account and ran off for a week or ten days – long enough to raise Lu’s hopes she was gone forever – then called up, alone and broke, and begged Daddy to take her back. “Have Milo come get you,” he said. But he drove to Moab or Evanston or Grand Junction and brought her home. He stayed mad, reminding her over and over how deeply she’d hurt him, squeezing every bit of advantage from the situation. When Norlene couldn’t handle it anymore she put on one of her suicides.
The last was Memorial Day weekend, only a month ago. Norlene got drunk and gulped a bottle of sleeping pills. Staggering from the bathroom, she collapsed onto the couch and stared upward with bloodshot eyes that reminded Lu of uncooked eggs. Her platinum hair was smudged at its dark roots. “I took some pills,” she croaked. “Call your daddy.”
Lu put down her book. “Where’s the phone?”
“In there on my dresser.”
She had a feeling and took off her glasses.
Norlene was surrounded by Them. Black Claw floated against the ceiling. Outside, with nothing to confine her, Black Claw’s wrath would have carried her higher and higher until the endless blue sky swallowed her up. She gazed at Norlene with the empty smile of a Sphinx. Two shadowy nameless figures knelt at Norlene’s feet, almost erased by the incandescence of Talion, whose hand rested on her forehead as though taking her temperature. Lu almost missed Delatar. He embraced Norlene so intimately they seemed melded together. He had one ear pressed against her heaving chest, listening for a heartbeat. His eyes mimicked the raw egg of hers. His swollen eyelids closed as she passed out. Then his face shriveled to ashes beneath the tanning-bed bronze, and saliva frothed from his nostrils and slack mouth.
What’s he doing? Lu asked.
Showing you how the monster dies. Talion smiled as though nothing could be simpler.
I should save her.
In there on the dresser, Delatar said in Norlene’s voice.
Time passed, Lu wasn’t sure how much.
Is it killing? If someone is going to die anyway? Black Claw’s whisper was like paper burning, gone so quick you couldn’t be sure you’d heard anything.
Bring a pillow from her bed.
Lu went to fetch the pillow. The cell phone lay on the Norlene’s dresser, plugged into its charger. She hesitated only a moment walking past it. She set the pillow on the coffee table like an offering.
Bring a wet towel, Black Claw said.
What for? Lu wondered, but she took a hand towel from the bathroom closet and soaked it in the sink. The towel was white with pale strawberries along the edges. She wrung it enough so it wouldn’t drip as she carried it to the livingroom. She looked at Black Claw, awaiting orders.
You know what to do, Talion said. If this is truly your wish.
Braving the silver depths of his eyes, she tumbled into swirling light and sweet darkness she hoped would never end. I love you, she said. Released, she thumped to her knees by the couch. Black Claw began to whisper. Lu spread the towel over Delatar’s face and listened as his breathing became the last drops of a strawberry milkshake sucked through a straw. She positioned the pillow over the towel and pressed with both hands. Her heart was galloping, carrying her to a place she’d never been.
Not so hard, said Black Claw. Let nature take its course.
Then she heard Daddy’s car. She stuffed the pillow under Norlene’s head and began wiping her face with the towel. That was how Daddy found them. Later, in the hospital waiting room, he patted Lu awkwardly on the arm. “I know you love your momma,” he said. “Deep down.”
She’s not my momma.
Nor is he your father. Talion glistened like silk in the bleached glare of the waiting room.
Lu felt a strange hope. Who is?
He’s dead now, Talion said. Like your mother.
Stay with me forever, she begged him.
Sometimes you have to be alone, he said.
A flower of ice unfolded its ruthless petals in Lu’s chest. She knew it would be there whenever Talion wasn’t.

What Reviewers Are Saying

In spare unflinching scenes, Mary Maddox’s offers up a bold and haunting debut novel with her Talion. Without doubt, there will be readers that will be genuinely disturbed by the cruel and sinister elements of the yarn that focuses on such themes as madness, murder, obsession, sadism, and lust. Nonetheless, after putting the book to rest, I had to admit that it does reflect some of the shocking elements of human nature that, unfortunately, are fundamentally present in our society and are often attributed to the darker side of human nature.

The tale is jump-started when Conrad (Rad) Sanders, using the pseudonym Jonathan Myers, checks into the Hidden Creek Lodge in the fictional town of Deliverance, Utah. Debbie and Hank Darlington are the owners of the lodge, and their beautiful teenage niece Lisa is visiting with them. While Lisa checks out the lodge’s surroundings, she meets Lu, who lives in a trailer with her detestable step-mother Noreen and her alcoholic father, Duane. Lu is depicted as being inept and gawky, who is prone to delusional episodes, where she imagines herself communicating with eery creatures that she names Delatar, Black Claw and Talion. In addition, Lu wishes her step-mother were dead. Duane, who was down-and-out, was hired with his wife to do cleaning and odd jobs around the lodge by his old buddy Hank, who felt sorry for him.

As the story shifts to Rad, readers are exposed to the workings of a deranged and depraved character in all its complexity, who has committed horrendous acts. One caveat, if you are squeamish, I doubt if you will be able to stomach Maddox’s detailed graphic and ghoulish descriptions of unspeakable acts that are not exactly suitable for polite everyday conversation. The boundaries of the noir with its mournful, gloomy and depressive elements are pushed almost to the edge of darkness. On the other hand, I have to admit that the novel’s two hundred and eighty-eight pages are never dull or boring, as Maddox skillfully creates a shocking mix of the bleak atmospheric tones of the macabre with the supernatural, while holding onto the page-turning exhilaration of a real thriller with its superb tension and suspense. This is one haunting read that is sure to give you nightmares!

Mary Maddox teaches composition and literature at Eastern Illinois University. She has dedicated her book to her husband and who, as she states, had faith in her work even when she did not. I would tend to agree with her husband and I hope to read more from this fine author.

-Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor Bookpleasures

Mary Maddox’s tightly woven thriller is a smooth read, with clear vivid narration and fully formed characters. A sadistic serial killer follows his chosen, teenage victim to a remote lodge in Utah, where she is spending the summer with the owners, her aunt and uncle. When Lisa meets Lu Jakes, the abused and timid daughter of an employee at the lodge, the stalking killer decides that two victims could be better than one. Lu Jakes is particularly interesting to him because she is already dazed and down-trodden. He considers her easy prey. Little does he know that Lu sees things others do not – shining ethereal creatures called Delatar, Black Claw, and Talion. Are they angels, demons, or the hallucinations of a mentally ill girl? Whatever they are, they are the one thing the killer does not expect from his victim.

Despite the teenaged protagonists, this is an adult thriller, with violence on par with Thomas Harris, and not for the squeamish. It was fast paced, compelling, and yes, frightening. Particularly horrifying to me was the easy way the killer gathered information about his intended victim through online surveillance. I thought the supernatural element in the story could have been more fully developed, but overall, this is an exciting and satisfying suspense novel.

– D. Salerni – Amazon Reviewer

I could NOT put this book down! The novel’s beautiful prose lures you into the rush of true suspense thriller. If you think you’re going to stop reading and get back to your work “as soon as I finish this chapter,” Maddox’s perfect timing will have you deciding “to hell with it” and reading the next chapter, and the next, and the next…. Add to the stunning writing and truly frightening plot a lovely, complicated, heartbreaking protagonist, and you have a novel that’s well worth losing a day’s work over.

– Breton – Amazon Reviewer

Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension by DCS

DCS in fedora

About DCS

DCS was born in Alexandria, Virginia. She graduated high school in Huntersville, NC and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte intent on earning a degree in Political Science and becoming a lawyer.

She instead eventually turned to writing. DCS is currently attending the American Institute of Holistic Theology to earn her PhD in Metaphysical Spirituality.

You can also hear her live every Saturday evening on BlogTalkRadio’s In the Mind of DCS. Show starts at 7pm Central Standard Time.

Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension is her second novel, and four more are scheduled for release.

Synarchy Book 3: SVT and Synarchy Book 4: The Black Widow are the next in the series due out in 2011.

About Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension

DCS BOOK COVER_v5A lifetime ago, Stefano Vasco Terenzio saw one way to maneuver his family into a game of betrayal against an unbeatable enemy; walking into a bullet.

A generation later, what started with one man’s ego will determine the fate of the whole word.

For centuries The Brotherhood and their Gods, the Anunnaki have hidden in plain sight among us. For centuries they have lied, sacrificed man by the thousands, and manipulated humanity into their service.

As the clock ticks closer to December 21st, 2012, they will stop at nothing to keep their control of planet Earth.

In the thrilling sequel to Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening, the end is only the beginning. Secrets emerge that will challenge the core of everything you think you believe.

All the while a team of scientists must make sense out of the fantastical, and the tenuous link holding together the one family that can save humankind, shatters.

Read an Excerpt

“We’re villains, as much as we are capable of being heroes. When the moments come that we can we soften the blow of our sins, we’ve got to take them.”
-Stefano Vasco TerenzioPrologue

December 20, 2012- 11:44 PM
Vacherie, Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

It came down in thick heavy sheets, bulleting from the sky, drenching the ground that could only absorb so much before it leaked up from the grass, and quickly became the swamp that was so common in the area. The glare of headlights cut through the rain, illuminating the porch of the antebellum mansion that was now empty.

Caesar climbed out of the car, whistling. He snapped open the trunk and stared with vicious glee down at Vasco, whose hands Caesar had taped behind his back. Caesar reached inside and hauled the other man out, half dragging him through the puddles of water, and shoved him in front of the stairs, facing the house. “I thought you‘d want to see it one more time before you died.”

Vasco’s eyes traveled slowly over the elegant, old fashioned structure. It had once been her home, before she—

His jaw hardened. A lifetime ago, he had made love to her against those columns, often after he’d shot a few people out among the centuries-old oaks. For a fleeting moment, his eyes softened at the phantom images.

“You know, she and I had some good times here after you got popped.” Caesar grinned at his own memories.

Vasco’s eyes narrowed, jealousy and fury coiling hotly in his gut. His fingers fisted around the piece of glass hidden in his palm, and sharp edges cut into the tape and his skin, the blood washing away with the force of the rain.

Caesar turned him around so they were facing each other. “I don’t get you, Vasco.” He took a step back, pulling the gun out from the waistband of his pants. “Why? Out of all of them, I never thought you would choose this.”

The hatred in the depths of Vasco’s eyes was unhidden as he regarded Caesar. It was their destiny to be enemies, their agreement for this lifetime. He was fully committed to honoring that agreement. “Choice, Caesar,” Vasco said over the noise of the storm. “I never made anyone do anything. They always had a choice. You—Them—you take the fun out of the game when you take that choice away. But the better, less noble reason is I just don’t like you. Or your masters. I never have.”

Caesar shook his head. “I’ll never understand you Terenzios. I won’t miss you, either.” The thunder growled, a flash of lighting exposing the malevolent gleam in Caesar‘s eyes as he pressed the muzzle of the gun against Vasco’s temple.

The Last Track by Sam Hilliard

About The Last Track

Imagine if being late meant a child disappeared forever. That is the fear that drives Mike Brody—the man you want when the one you love is missing.

In The Last Track, a police detective recruits Mike to help find an asthmatic boy lost in the dense woods surrounding a dude ranch in Montana. An unwitting murder witness, the boy burrows ever deeper into the rugged terrain, fearful of being found. As Mike and a local officer search for the boy, the killer follows them.

While the investigation expands, Mike’s ex-wife, a well-connected journalist, uses her contacts to unravel the truth behind the murder.

Her discoveries threaten to snare them all in a treacherous conspiracy . . .

About Sam Hilliard

I was born in the Midwest in 1973. I was three weeks late and my mother had begun threatening to name me Valentine if I wasn’t born before February 14th. I made it under the wire with just minutes to spare.

I was baptized on five different occasions—once in the back of a speeding Dodge Satellite—before reaching the age of six months. The last was the official ceremony in a quiet Midwestern church. Those who had taken matters into their own hands had feared my father’s procrastination and daredevil driving would lead to my demise in a fiery car crash before he ever got around to dressing me in white and taking me to church.

My childhood after the first six months was somewhat more normal. Our brand of normal meant combining a mother who served books like they were warm cookies with a kid who had abysmal eyesight and even less athletic ability. The result was a slightly introverted boy who spent a lot of time inside reading, looking terribly pasty. Not saying that was me. Only that it was someone who looked a lot like me. But that did not last forever, and cleared up around age twenty-seven. I still avoid the sun, though.

My parents had the sort of jobs that required frequent moves. Those relocations happened often enough that I thought saying good-bye forever to friends was just something one did for fun.
Along the way we lived in Hannibal, MO, where Mark Twain wrote some of his finest work, plus a collection of towns in Missouri, Kansas, Southern California, Utah, New York, Maryland and New Jersey. Looking back, maybe we were actually in the witness protection program. Sorry, Mom and Dad, if I just blew your cover after all these years.

In high school, I earned the distinction of being the student who cared the least about being there, yet had the most anxiety ever recorded about doing well. That skill continues to work for me in life. Now I care so little about ever having attended that particular high school, I notified the alumni office of my death. To my knowledge, no one has ever convinced an alumni office to stop contacting them—or their parents—as quickly as I did.

Fortunately there was life after age eighteen. I played bass and drank a lot of beer. Changed majors in college a few times. Drank some more beer. Learned to take black and white photographs. Then one day, as a sophomore in college, I locked myself in the study lounge and came out with a ten page story. I hadn’t felt that alive in a very long time. I promptly drank some more beer and forgot about that for several more years.

About a year before finishing college, my family moved to Red Bank, New Jersey, which at the time was rated the hippest town in the Garden State. I worked in a convenience store and sold cigarettes to Kevin Smith. He wanted a carton of Marlboro Lights, and we only had six packs. At that moment I knew what kind of writer I wanted to be: the sort who never admitted he lived in New Jersey.

I graduated. I worked a bunch of jobs, got married and divorced. Suddenly I was back in that dorm study lounge, (OK, it was really an apartment) and somehow a book came out of it. Roughly one out of every four waking hours for the next two years was spent writing The Last Track. The feeling from college came back. That and a lot more empty beer bottles.

Now I live outside New York City with my girlfriend and an army of four cats—one feline under the legal limit. When I’m not jumping out of airplanes, I’m the Director of IT at an all-girl boarding school so I know about world class drama first-hand. It’s also the reason I study Krav Maga and Tai Chi.

SamHilliard.com

Interview with Virginia Correo Rodriguez from More than Conquerors by Kathi Macias

More than Conquerors

Q. Virginia, when we first meet you in More than Conquerors, you are living near a little village in Southern Mexico called San Juan Chamula. Is that your original home?

A: Oh, not at all! My home is in Tijuana, where I grew up, married, and raised my children. Though my husband left me when the children were young, I stayed on in Tijuana, and that’s where my grown children and my grandchildren now live.

Q: Then how did you end up in such a remote part of the country? Isn’t San Juan Chamula considered Mayan country?

A: It certainly is. In fact, Evangelicos like me are not very welcome there. But God planted me in Chamula with a poor but loving family who took me in and allowed me to stay with them in their tiny little home. I have only a corner in the main room where I sleep and store my few belongings, but I’m happy and content there because I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

Q: But don’t you miss your family back in Tijuana? At sixty-three, you should be bouncing your grandchildren on your lap and enjoying the fellowship of your family, shouldn’t you?

A: I would love that, of course, and there are times I miss all that terribly. But our commitment to God must always come first, even ahead of our love for our families. When my children were young, I stayed home to care for them, and by God’s grace I was blessed to see them grow into strong believers with godly families of their own. But now God has called me elsewhere, and whatever hardships that call might include, I must go.

Q: Would you do any of it differently if you had the chance?

A: No. Being in the center of God’s perfect will is the greatest joy we can ever experience in this life. Nothing else compares.

Q: But aren’t you afraid?

A: When I sense fear trying to take hold of me, I concentrate on God’s great love for me. It is that perfect love that drives out all fear. I know I am safe in the nail-scarred palm of His hand—no matter what happens.

More than Conquerors by Kathi Macias

More than Conquerors

Join Kathi Macias, author of the Contemporary/International Thriller, More Than Conquerors (New Hope Publishers, April 2010), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in May 2010 on her fifth virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

About Kathi Macias

Kathi MaciasKathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer and radio show host who has authored 30 books and ghostwritten several others.

A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs.

Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet.

Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

You can find Kathi online at http://www.kathimacias.com/ and at her blog http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com.

More than Conquerors

About More Than Conquerors

With violent crime on the rise and the political climate changing throughout Mexico, the opportunity for open Christian witness is rapidly decreasing in many areas. Hector Rodriguez pastors a church on the outskirts of the once-peaceful and tourist-popular border town of Tijuana. He has also visited other small churches in the remote and not-so-Christian-friendly towns of Chiapas state, delivering Bibles and ministering to those in the most persecuted areas.

Hector’s mother accompanied him on one of those trips and stayed behind to teach reading—using the Bible as her primer—to a handful of Christian converts living among the Mayan population in San Juan Chamula, where superstition and paganism run rampant, and resentment of outsiders runs deep. In a reaction to that superstition and resentment, Hector’s mother pays a serious price for her unwanted presence—and Hector must then choose whether or not to continue his work in some of the most dangerous areas of Mexico.

Read an Excerpt

ProloguePastor Hector Manolo Rodriguez sighed with relief, as his dilapidated, once-blue station wagon crawled and chugged through the final inches of the hour-long event known as a border crossing. The international station between San Diego and Tijuana saw the heaviest traffic of any crossing in the world, with about 300,000 people making the trek every day—some to work, some to play, some to shop or visit relatives, and some to conduct illegal activities of various kinds. For Hector, it was strictly a venture of love, one he made regularly and yet was relieved when it was over.

It wasn’t that Hector didn’t appreciate the beauty and modern conveniences of his sister city to the north, but he preferred the slower, quieter pace of his humble home on the outskirts of Tijuana, even now in 2008 when crime increasingly encroached on the peace of their existence. He had lived there his entire thirty-eight years, the middle child in a family of nine offspring, and had later married the beautiful Mariana Lopez, who had grown up right next door to him. That she had even noticed Hector never ceased to amaze him, and that she had agreed to marry him was nothing short of a miracle. Now, still living in the same neighborhood where they grew up, they did their best to feed and clothe the three children God had given them, as well as minister to the fifty or so members of their beloved Casa de Dios congregation. To supplement their income, Hector worked part-time in his younger brother Jorge’s shoe repair shop. Though their financial situation did not allow for luxuries, it did provide a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.

It was a good life, Hector thought, as he coached and prayed the twenty-five year old car through the undisciplined crush of traffic on Avenida Revolucion, the main drag in this burgeoning city of nearly one and a half-million people. As always, Hector was anxious to break away from the city’s hub and escape to a quieter, more navigable thoroughfare. Though the quality of the roads would deteriorate the farther out he went, he would be glad to leave the hustle and bustle of the Tijuana tourism trade behind.

He would also be glad to leave behind the sadness that seemed to cling to him each time he crossed the border. And yet he knew his need to continue making the trip would end far too soon….

Then, of course, there was the situation in Chiapas, which seemed to grow more desperate and dangerous by the day. And his sixty-three year old mother, Virginia Correo Rodriguez, was living right outside San Juan Chamula, right in the middle of it all.

Read the Reviews!

“Kathi Macias writes from the heart of faith and hope. In More than Conquerors, she weaves together the lives and faith of people who meet not by chance, but by divine appointment – and at a cost. She reminds us we all have a part to play in the arena of faith, and that God sometimes calls us to places that require us to count fully on Him in order to be more than conquerors. Curl up with this book, and let Kathi Macias take you to that place.”

Bonnie Grove, Author of Talking to the Dead

“Once again, author Kathi Macias delivers a powerful novle that explores the tension faced by those who seek to honor Christ but who live in a world marked by violence and despair…From the first page to the last, More Than Conquerors, reminds us that even when circumstances appear to be at their most desperate, God is at work in and through all things.”

Shelly Beach, Christy Award-winning author of Hallie’s Heart and the sequel, Morningsong

The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens

the-devil-can-waitThe city of Chandler, Massachusetts is plunged into terror when the bodies of three local teenagers wash ashore. While homicide detective Sam Harper hunts down the guilty, a sinister plot emerges overseas. From the Vatican to the jungles of South America, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers find their unfortunate way onto Harper’s turf.

Enthralled by the ring’s story and a front-page spread, newspaper reporter Jennifer Blake agrees to pick up the ring at a local pawnshop for her former college professor. When she does, unforeseen events shoot Blake to the top of Harper’s prime suspect list. Soon, the seemingly unrelated cases converge and the heat is on for Harper to expose the truth behind a Vatican secret and stop the self-righteous man who does the unthinkable in the name of God.

About the Author:

Marta Stephens is a native of Argentina who has made Indiana her home since the age of four. This mild-manner lady turned to crime with the publication of the first in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, SILENCED CRY (2007) which went on to receive honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Festival and top ten in the 2007 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. The second book in the Harper series, THE DEVIL CAN WAIT, will be released by BeWrite Books (UK) on November 3, 2008.

Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) where she is employed in human resources. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer’s Workshop.

Stephens believes learning is a life-long adventure. Aside from her writing, she is trained in graphic and web design. She co-designed the award-winning book cover of her debut novel, SILENCED CRY with friend Scott Parkison (IN), created the book trailer, and designed/administers her website, www.martastephens-author.com, her personal blog, http://mstephens-musings.blogspot.com, and the authors’ blog, MURDER BY 4 http://murderby4.blogspot.com.

I’m Watching You by Mary Burton

A killer is on the loose. Lindsay O’Neil discovers the first victim in the yard at Sanctuary, the shelter for battered women that she runs in Richmond, Virginia. If that’s not bad enough, the detective who arrives on the scene is recovering alcoholic Zack Kier, her ex-husband. That brings his partner and her long-time friend, Jacob Warwick, into the picture as well.

It could have been a one time reunion, except for some reason Lindsay keeps being thrust into the middle of the investigation. That means Zack is way too involved in her life and he and Jacob are way too interested in her personal business.

She also can’t get TV news reporter Kendall Shaw off of her trail, which is a problem because Lindsay has her own secrets—including that she’s providing shelter at her own home for Nicole Piper, a friend on the run from her abusive husband.

As the killing continues it becomes shockingly clear that Lindsay is being stalked by an enraged murderer—and that she and those she loves are targets.

You can buy this book by clicking this link.