Tag Archives: suspense

The Trelor Sect Killings…

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He was saving them. He was gathering them unto his spiritual flock, and he would shepherd them there. He was protecting them from the evil materialism and godless destruction of nature that had become the modern world. How long would it be until the end of humanity was brought about in nuclear devastation? This was the way to peace and salvation, Warren Trelor reasoned as he depressed the trigger and discharged a bullet into the back of Star’s head.

The woman’s bloodied hand slipped from the door handle, and her body slumped with her head coming to rest against the door frame at an odd angle. Her eyes were wide but life had abandoned them. Her mouth was open, and there was a strained gurgling sound, then her body convulsed softly in a final nervous spasm.

Trelor met the eyes of his daughter as they lifted from the woman’s face. “She’s in a safer place now, Summer,” he said. “Lock the door now and wait till I come for you.”

Summer didn’t quite close the door. She watched through a tiny crack as the woman’s body was dragged away. There had been sounds of fighting and screaming, and there had been other gun shots. She understood that the adults were being executed. She had been told to stay in the room with the children, and they were all huddled on a bed in the corner with tears dripping from their faces and snot dripping from their noses. They were past crying, though. She had soothed them, and they were all calm in their trust of her.

There had been single gun shots at short intervals. The massacre had been in progress for only ten minutes. There had been two more shots in the time since Summer had closed the door. There was another, and then another that sounded like it came from the back of the house.

She peeked from the curtain to see Joel Dixon lying in the doorway and her father stepping over his body and stalking away toward the kombi van.

Summer knew what was planned. She needed to get to her aunt and make her stop her father from killing the children. She snuck from the door, tip-toeing along the edge of the narrow hallway to avoid stepping in the trail of smeared blood. She looked in the living room where the adults were all lined up against the wall, dead. She saw her Aunt May sitting on the floor in the kitchen. Her head was slumped forward, her arms by her side. Her hand moved, and she made a sound with her head lifting a little then rocking forward again.

“Aunty, you have to wake up!” Summer implored. She was on her knees beside the woman. “You have to wake up and stop him! You have to stop Daddy,” the young girl pleaded, crying and trying to hold her aunt’s head upright.

There was a loud yell from outside. Summer recognised the voice of her friend Bert Dixon. She crawled past the prone man lying in the doorway and snuck with her back pressed against the side of the house until she could see around the corner. It was her father fighting with Bert. She watched the two men thumping and trying to strangle each other, hoping and praying Bert would win, but her dad was strong.

***

It had been only a week since Summer’s eleventh birthday. There had been a party where the women had dressed her up. They were all dead now, those women. They were lined up against the wall in the living room covered in blood with their eyes and mouths open. Summer could smell the blood. It was a thick, syrupy smell like sour milk and lemons.

The men had all bathed and combed their hair for her birthday party. They were nice men. They played guitars and sang. They were all dead now too. They were all lined up against the wall with their eyes and mouths open and blood all over their shirts.

“Summer! Now put that down!” Trelor commanded, but Summer depressed the trigger of the rifle she had picked up off the ground and discharged a bullet into her father.

She had been taught how to use the rifle by her aunt. She had been shooting targets since she was eight.

She fed another bullet into the chamber and worked the bolt forward and down. She pulled back the hammer until it caught. Then she lifted the rifle to her right shoulder and looked through the sight on top of the barrel.

Her father was sitting on the ground holding his stomach. He looked up from his bloodied hand and met his daughter’s eyes. Bert Dixon staggered to his feet and swayed there against the kombi van. He held out his hand to Summer, motioning for her to give him the rifle.

“It’s okay now, Summer.”

His voice was strange. He was struggling to breathe, but it was more than that. It was as if he was in another dimension or something, and Summer didn’t believe him—that it was okay now.

She aimed the rifle at her father’s chest, at the left side, imagining where his heart would be, and she depressed the trigger, discharging another bullet that made his eyes pop open and seem to focus on the far off distance.

The rifle was then taken from her grasp and she was led back into the house and into the room with the children. She was told to stay there, and she did. She waited until she heard someone sneaking along the hallway, and she peeped out to see her aunt edging along the wall toward her room. And a while later there were police lights and people everywhere. And Summer made sure to collect her shoulder bag as she was taken out through the back of the house and placed in the police bus.

In her shoulder bag she had her makeup and jewelry, her small beaded purse with her money, and a bone handled hair brush that she took out to brush her hair….

****

The Children’s Room is a romantic suspense novel featuring two of the children who survived that massacre. The setting 35 years later…

Preview The Children’s Room on  Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon AU

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A little bit quirky…

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BOOK REVIEW: This sharp, quirky little story is kind of like the lead character in it. You don’t really have a choice – you just have to go along with everything you’re being told. It’s hypnotic. It’s fun and really interesting. I’d defy anyone to read a few pages of this and stop reading. You absolutely have to know what’s going to become of the emerald eyed thief girl… What does become of her – where this story goes – is a total surprise. The writer tackles a subject here that is always kind of strange and confusing, but she keeps it simple and does it very well. I always loved the Twilight Zone series. This little story would fit right in there and be one of the best of them.

Preview Terrible Me on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: Terrific imagination and very easy reading style. This is a strange, foreign, alternate reality where you feel right at home and quickly pick up what’s going on. Cool, quirky characters and an interesting story that may have only just begun… A very enjoyable read.

Preview Engines of Empathy on Amazon

 

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BOOK REVIEW: I liked this. What a weird story. It’s very cleverly constructed and intriguing from start to finish. There’s something so simple and true about The Pusher. I’m wondering why I can so easily relate to him, lol… It’s a short read – definitely worth your time.

Preview The Pusher on Amazon

“Out here, though. Not in bed,” she whispered…

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David grabbed the bag of Chinese food and hurried home. Clair was still in the bath, and he built a fire to take the edge off the evening chill. He set up in the lounge with the food and some beers and turned on the television. The steamy, perfumed air was drifting down the hall, so he figured bath-time was over. He waited, and she emerged from the hall in a short flannel bathrobe and sheepskin slippers. She sat beside him on the lounge.

“That was nice,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a rain-water bath before.”

“Part of the service, ma’am,” David quipped. “That’s special fried rice and that’s boiled,” he added.

She seemed a bit different. He wondered about that as he filled his plate and she filled hers. Everybody Loves Raymond was on the television.

“I can’t believe what you did with Mandy. Brent was gob-smacked,” David started, breaking a silence.

“Mandy’s beautiful. I didn’t have to do much.”

“That’s true—she is beautiful. But that was some dress!”

“It’s not really. It’s just slinky and cut low.”

David chuckled. “I noticed it was cut low. So did Brent.”

“Well, he’s supposed to notice,” Clair shot back, giggling along and seemingly beginning to relax.

They watched that old episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and the next one, sharing some laughs and chatting about what they each liked on television in general, and agreeing on comedy but splitting on sport versus true crime and craft or cooking shows.

The food had been set aside, and Clair had her legs up on the lounge. David was touching a bare knee and edging his way forward and closer to her. She was leaning in a bit too.

He met her lips once, then again, more forcefully. “Is it my turn yet?” he said.

“Hmm—is it your turn,” she repeated calculatingly. “I’m not so sure about this.”

“Not sure about what?” he had taken another kiss. She was responding. He could see where the bathrobe was opening below her waist. She had on a shiny sky-blue negligee beneath it. Maybe it was satin, he thought. It was short.

“I’m not sure about what we’re doing here,” she said. “What do you think we’re doing?”

David drew on his new code. “We’re having fun… No strings.”

“Are we?”

“I’m having fun,” he said, going for her neck and biting it, making her giggle and squirm back against the arm of the leather lounge.

He was then lying beside her and tugging at her robe tie. She allowed that, and he opened her robe to find her body lightly veiled in a thin wisp of satin. He had decided it was satin. He could see the impression of her navel and her nipples, and that of a thin strip of pubic hair. His hand was upon her hip, and there was no under-garment beneath the negligee that he could feel.

He kissed her again, rubbing up from her hip to feel a breast. She moaned into his mouth, and he pinched her nipple, and her warm, slender body undulated against his side as he rolled half on top of her.

She turned her head away, though, and pushed against his chest. David lifted from her, giving her room. She looked at him, calculating again. “No strings, though, right?”

“Yeah, or we could watch more Raymond instead,” David answered, grinning and thumbing back at the television that was running another old episode with the volume turned down.

She frowned at him, but it looked deliberate.

He bent to her lips again and kissed her while holding her eyes. She was still calculating. He could see her mind ticking over. He tilted his head the other way and kissed her again, still holding her eyes in question as to whether or not he should back off. He didn’t want to back off. His hand was upon her hip once more, and he gripped her there as he moved to her neck then her ear. “My turn now?” he whispered.

She had taken hold of his head, hugging it as he squeezed her hip and pulled her upward against his thigh. “Out here, though. Not in bed,” she whispered hotly back into his hair.

She then kept hold of his head as he kissed his way down to her chest, nuzzling between her breasts while he gripped her other hip as well and found the bottom of her negligee. He peered up at her face as he kissed her hot skin, but her head was turned away, so he accepted that and nibbled a nipple through satin. He bit and held it while her body undulated again, and he lifted the satin garment and exposed her breasts. He then closed his eyes and took that nipple into his mouth, claiming it gently between his teeth and softly sucking on it.

David’s mind was all-consumed with the sheer beauty of the woman virtually quivering beneath him. Her body was taut yet delicately smooth and tender. Her skin was radiating pure sexual energy and the sweet perfume of the bath-oils she had been soaking in. He wanted to eat her alive and couldn’t contain that notion as he moved to the other breast and sucked and bit on it.

He had worked his way between her legs, or they had parted and were guiding him as he responded to her hands still in his hair and kissed his way down her belly. He peered up again, but her head was still turned away and had flung back as well. She was pushing him lower, impatiently. He kissed her pubic hair. It was short and neatly trimmed. He kissed his way down as her moist scent overpowered the sweet aroma of her bath and tingled the hair on the back of his neck, lifting it and setting off an instinctive surge of animal passion that made him want to growl when he ate into her.

She let out a deep, sensual moan and gripped his hair and ground herself against his mouth. He still held her hips, and he parted her from beneath with his thumbs, holding her up off the lounge and feasting on her. The quivering of her flesh had intensified into spasmodic convulsions as she writhed upward, jamming her head into the cushion to support herself, with one hand still pulling David’s hair and the other arm flung back over the arm of the lounge.

David took his turn. He took it, and didn’t stop taking it until Clair was panting away with an arm over her face and her thighs clamped together, and her hand still in his hair as he kissed her little strip of fur and tasted her belly again.

He kissed his way up to her satin covered breasts and nuzzled beneath her arm to kiss her face. He met her lips, and she felt for his firmness as she kissed him back. “Do you have something?” she asked, squeezing him in her soft little hand.

She slid her hand inside his track-pants, closing her fingers around his erection. He had a condom in his pocket. He had that open as she freed him from his pants. He rolled it on while she turned and pressed back against him. She felt for him and guided him as he moved in behind her. She still had hold of his head, and she gripped the back of his neck and ground herself onto the thrust of his pelvis.

“No strings,” she whispered into his ear, biting it as the animalistic passion surged within his back and thighs, propelling him into her heat and wetness. “No strings,” she uttered again, but her voice ended in a moan, and David was beyond thinking or caring.

He had one arm lowered and his hand pressed to the floor to support his weight. He held her body with his other arm, her breast in his hand as he slapped his body loudly against her until she cried out, writhing and moaning. He thrust into her one last time and cried out too, bucking and grinding against her.

He receded from within but kept hold of her, and she relaxed against his chest, swivelling around to fiddle with his t-shirt.

“Tarzan,” she said, peering up with a smile.

David did a mock Tarzan cry.

She giggled.

“I’m hungry again,” she said……

***

Short excerpt from the romantic suspense novel AKA Candy Weston. Preview on  Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon AU

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December 2010: Goran Vale…

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G’day, folks. Stu Magoo reporting for HPCI. It’s pelting down here. I just passed the Goran Vale is a Tidy Town sign. Rolling into the deserted little village now. There’s the Timber Town Motel on the left. Maybe I should check in, but hopefully I can find these characters and get the heck out of here before night.

There’s a parking spot just past the clock tower. Lots of spots in fact. This joint really is a graveyard. I saw someone standing in the doorway of the gift shop back there – probably the old woman Edna, or maybe it was Margaret. She looked nosey, or it could be I’m the first car to pass through town today.

Damn it’s pouring down. I have to make a run for it. Hope my recorder doesn’t get wet. If this comes out crackly you know what happened.

Aw heck. Aw heck… Whew! Made it. The Clock Tower Café. The joint’s empty of customers. This rather attractive middle aged woman would have to be Gwen.

Me: G’day, ma’am. You would be Gwen Harrington?

Gwen, eyebrow raised: Yes. Do you want to dry off?

She hands me the roll of paper towel she was using to wipe the counter.

Me: Ta. You look just like I imagined.

Gwen, eyebrow lifting again: Oh?

Me: From the book Beauty Skin Deep?. Or books actually. I see you get a brief scene or two in The Children’s Room and a short cameo in Ever Since April… I’m Stu Magoo by the way – reporting for HPCI.

Gwen: Oh, of course. Mr. Magoo…

She fixes her hair. Must be thinking the recorder I’m drying off has vision. Being from her future, anything’s possible, but no – no vision, sorry, Gwen. Although, I’m supposed to be interviewing the main characters from this story, but what the heck…

Me: So, Gwen, say hi to all of your readers. Everyone thinks you were one of the coolest characters.

I hold the recorder up.

Gwen speaks into it, blushing a big smile: Hi, readers!

Me: So, Gwen, twenty years as a psych nurse and four husbands – how has that been?

Gwen: All kinds of crazy – that’s how it’s been. And three husbands, not four, thank you very much. There won’t be a number four.

Me: Oh?

Gwen, scoffing: Pfft. Silly men. Who needs one fulltime? I get asked out often enough. Bert’s trying to work up to asking me to go on a cruise to Tahiti. He’s mentioned wanting to go a few times. I’m thinking about my wardrobe – what I’ll need to buy. I’ll need new evening wear.

Me: A cruise is a fine venue for popping a question.

Gwen: Nope. I’ve mentioned never getting married again more times than Bert’s mentioned the cruise.

Me: Hmm. I see. And what about your daughter – how is her marriage going?

Gwen: Kate and her dreamboat policeman are going wonderfully. Now there’s a marriage that will last. There’s a man who knows how to take care of his woman.

Me: Oh yeah?

Gwen, sighing: Oh yes – if only…

Me: If only you had found a man like that, eh?

Gwen, scoffing again: Pfft. Wasn’t to be, and I ain’t complaining. I live with a wonderful man these days. Not romantically, but I get spoiled rotten at home.

Me: Ah yes – Bobby Ray. And how is the big guy getting on after all that drama he went through in the book? Readers are always asking after him.

Gwen: Well, the readers might be happy to know that Bobby Ray now has a steady girlfriend. Veronica is a lovely lady – a few years older than him. She lost her husband in a traffic accident some years ago and was left with a vegetable farm to run. Bobby went to work for her when the Cosgroves retired and sold up last year. Technically, he’s her workman, but he often stays for dinner, and just this week he’s stayed the night twice.

Me: Some would say you were brave to take Bobby in all those years ago. You never doubted him – feared for your safety?

This question causes Gwen some pause. She stirs her tea. I sip the coffee she has placed on the counter in front of me.

Gwen: Yes, I had doubts in the beginning. Bobby had lost a chunk of memory and I never knew what he had been through – what he was capable of. And he was a big man. He was scrawny when he was admitted to the institution, but he got healthy and grew strong. I would be lying if I said I never feared him a little back then. But it was the unknown that was disquieting, not the man himself. The kindness in his heart was always obvious to us. He was like a big lovable puppy – one who had been mistreated.

Me: And you wouldn’t have known the extent of this mistreatment, or what it would have engendered in him?

Gwen: No. Except his doctor believed Kate and I were perfectly safe. And it very quickly became the case that he was not just a puppy – he was a guard dog. Our guard dog.

Me: He became your protector? This was the incident in 1998 when he put those men in hospital protecting Kate?

Gwen: Yes – that was one incident. There were others too. One other in particular when a man I was seeing raised his voice at me and ended up pinned to a wall by his throat. But we never told anyone about that.

Me: I see. And about Kate as a teen – she found out about her medical problem at what age?

Gwen: Fifteen. There were tests, but we knew right away that she would never bear children.

Me: And that changed her? It must have been difficult for a young woman to deal with – to accept.

More cause for pause. Gwen gives the counter a wipe, her jaw set, her eyes a little watery.

Me: Sorry. Forget that question, ma’am. I’m sure readers would have come to appreciate the portent of that from the story.

I click off my recorder and pocket it. My coffee is almost cold. I drink it and reach across the counter to place the empty mug with several others.

Me: So, Gwen, do you know where I might find either your daughter or her husband? Maybe I should check in for the night. Does Bernadette still run the motel?

Gwen: You should talk to Bernadette. She still has her motel. Don’t worry about these young pups. They’re all dreamy in love. You can’t get any sense out of them half the time. Bernadette though – now there’s a lady with a story.

Me: Yes, we know. Drug addict mother who died virtually in her arms when she was six years old. Father was a crazed murderer who she shot dead when she was eleven. Yeah, I guess I could speak with Bernadette while I’m here. Although she’s not scheduled until after the end of the series.

Gwen: Is that your old bomb Volkswagen across the road there? Is that what you get around in?

I join Gwen at the door. The rain is still pouring down outside.

Me: Yep, that’s my transportation, ma’am. It gets me where I need to go.

Gwen: Hmm. They say you can travel through time in it. I don’t believe that.

I shrug: What year is this? It’s on my trip computer but I can’t remember. Is it 2012?

Gwen: 2010. December.

Me: Oh. Well my next appointment is down south – a town called Everly Cove, and in the winter of 2005. It would hardly be possible to get around and interview all of you story book characters without the means to travel through time, don’t you think?

Gwen, shaking her head: So you’re saying you could take me back to 1970 and I’d be young again?

I chuckle: Um – no. It doesn’t work that way. First of all, you would still be the same age you are now. There’s no fountain of youth, I’m afraid. And second of all, no passengers allowed. Sorry.

Gwen: Hmph – figures. But you could go visit yourself?

Me: No, that would be too weird. Plus I’d get in trouble off my boss for wasting company time and resources.

I lift my kit bag and place it on top of my head: I think I’ll make a run for it. This rain isn’t going to let up…  Nice to meet you, Gwen. Thanks for the chat and coffee…

Flawed characters – great drama…

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BOOK REVIEW: Julia’s life is not extraordinary, but it is fascinating. She steps off a plane, returning from an unplanned trip away, and is faced with a whole bunch of problems that have sprung up in her absence. It’s a scene easily related to – everything falling apart at the same time. Everyone who has lived a bit of a life has experienced this… What are the decisions and incidents that shaped your life and brought you to that point? Well, in this story, Julia is a flawed character. Reading through the chapters of her life, there were times I didn’t particularly like her. But she is human – brilliantly depicted as such. And I found myself cheering for her in the end. The real heroine in this story, to me, is her best friend. Raz is mysterious… strong. We don’t spend much time inside her head, but that adds to the story, lending a depth of dimension that exist in all of our lives… This is a captivating read. Authentic.

Preview The Secrets of Julia Hawke on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: Actually, I’ve been to the beach house, metaphorically. Any place with important personal history is the beach house. It’s horrible when you drive past somewhere you remember fondly from some life event years ago and find it’s been re-developed. It’s gone… This is a wonderfully uplifting read. The many stories, brilliantly intertwined, are so real and inspiring… If you’re an Aussie you will probably like this book. If you’re not an Aussie you will probably like this book.

Preview The Beach House on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: True to life characters and an outback Aussie road trip… this is a touching and shocking human drama, the telling of which begins in turmoil and takes us on two journeys. One is the road trip – onward into discovery and hurt. The other is a series of flashbacks that lead us to our starting point and an expertly crafted reveal. Wonderfully written – mesmerizing… this is a terrific novel.

Preview In Conversation With Strangers on Amazon

Jilted drunk guy meets the hot new girl in town…

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David was feeling good. He planted his empty beer glass on the bar and did a little air-guitar as his song finished. “Catch-ya Luce!” he called to the barmaid. Lucy was her name. She gave him a high-five, and he spun, strumming his imaginary guitar. “Vic!” he said, shaping up to Victor Turak, a fisherman friend who shaped up in mock readiness to box. The two men shadow-boxed each other but David’s shadow boxing morphed back into an air-guitar solo as he left his friend and spun toward the door of the bar, almost bumping right into his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra.

“Cassie! Oh shit!” He pulled up, grinning and switching his air-guitar to air-drums.

“Hello, David. Had a few, have you?”

A man stopped behind Cassie. It was her boss, Reece Norman, the man she had dumped David for. He placed his hands upon her shoulders. “Hello, David.”

David dropped the air-drumsticks, raising his hands in an exaggerated surrender as he steadied himself. He had had one too many beers. His mind was kind of numb and swaying this way and that.  He tried to focus, though.

“Reece,” he said, shaking his head and waving a finger. “You know, Reecey, you’re looking sharp, man… Looks like a million bucks, eh, Cass?” he slurred. “A million fucking bucks, eh?”

David focused at the last and eyeballed the other man. He then met Cassandra’s eyes, which had watered up a bit. “Sorry, Cassie,” he said to her sincerely. “I’m a bit drunk.”

He passed the two of them, glancing at the other man again, then moving on out the door and across the car-park to the street. He had left his car at home, planning on having a few beers and being over the limit. He sat down for a while, watching the evening strollers along the foreshore and trying to sober up for the walk.

He sat for an hour before moving on and up the street to his house, where he heard laughter emanating from the living room. His mind had sharpened. He was still a bit drunk but was thinking clearly. He walked into the house to find his sister and some other woman laughing hysterically.

They both pointed at him and laughed louder.

“What the hell?” he said. “What’s so bloody funny?”

The other woman was hot. David sort of recognised her. He remembered the new girl at the B&B and had placed her.

“Actually, his shirt is tucked in a bit.” Clair looked at Amanda. “It looks like it was tucked in.”

One side of David’s shirt was secure, the other side had worked its way free of his jeans. It was still tucked in a bit at the back. He walked through the room with the two women still laughing at him, sharing a joke he had no idea of. “Crazy chicks,” he grumbled to himself, and when he got to the kitchen and opened the fridge, he called back to his sister, “Is there anything to eat?”

“In the oven!”

David found his dinner there and sat at the table to eat it. The two women joined him. They had wine.

“David, this is Clair,” Amanda announced. “She’s from the Gold Coast.”

“Hi,” Clair said, smiling.

David nodded. “Hi.”

“Except David’s not like the others,” Amanda said to Clair.

“Oh—how so?” Clair replied.

“He’s more like a girl.”

David frowned but kept eating. He was hungry.

“In that he..?” Clair prompted.

“In that he’s the one who always falls in love.”

David frowned harder. They were too giggly to argue with, though. Plus the other chick was hot, he reasoned again. He wouldn’t want to argue with her.

“Do you?” she said to him.

“Do I what?”

“Do you fall in love?”

He shrugged. “Nope! Love’s bullshit.”

“Oh, you do so!” his sister scolded. “And it is not bullshit.”

“No, I agree with your brother,” Clair said. “Love is for movies and fairy tales. All you need is sex!”

“Yes!” David agreed, cheering. “What’s your name, again?” He examined Clair closely.

“Clair.”

“And how do you two—um..?” he motioned between the two of them.

“We met at the mansion. She’s going to ask the widow who killed her husband,” Amanda clarified as a matter-of-fact.

“Oh? But she killed him, didn’t she?” David queried.

“That’s what I’m hearing,” Clair agreed.

“And you’re..?” David prompted.

“I’m doing a paper for my college course. Oh, and some big old copper is going to show me the file tomorrow. I showed him some boob and he couldn’t say yes quick enough!”

“Clair!” Amanda scolded.

“You showed him some boob?” David questioned with interest.

Clair thrust her boobs forward, showing off her cleavage. “You guys are easy.”

“True,” David agreed, earning a more genuine smile. “Tell her!” He pointed to his sister. “Tell her to show Brent some boob or something.”

“No!” Amanda said. “It’s not like that with him.”

“Bullshit! He can’t get his eyes off the barmaids down at the Grill on a Saturday night. He’s no different to the rest of us.”

“Oh really?” Clair challenged Amanda. “The barmaids..?” she questioned David.

“See-through—boobs on show!” he explained. “And Brent with his tongue hanging out just like the rest of us.”

“Yeah, well, you can hardly blame him for that,” Amanda defended. “If girls are going to go topless!”

“Hey!” Clair exclaimed in mock indignation.

“Oh… Sorry… Not that there’s anything wrong with girls going topless.”

David was confused, looking at the two women for some clarification.

“I’m a stripper,” Clair explained. “You know—pole dancer—lap dancer.”

David grinned.

“Yeah, suck your tongue back in!” his sister said, giggling.

“Private dances?” David queried jokingly.

“A hundred bucks a song,” Clair replied, also jokingly. Although she got up and wiggled around David to get some more wine from the fridge.

“Your food’s getting cold,” his sister informed pointedly, raising her eyebrows at his stupid grin.

Clair brought the wine bottle back. She topped up Amanda’s glass. “Do you want to try it on?”

“Okay.” Amanda stood to go with her new girlfriend.

David questioned them, but was left there alone without explanation. They returned after a while wearing each other’s dress. Clair was wearing Amanda’s house dress and Amanda was in Clair’s slinky little woollen number.

“Well?” Clair said to David, presenting his little sister.

Amanda had a great figure, which was accentuated by the skin-tight dress. She never offered cleavage but was at the moment. “Damn!” David exclaimed. He was taken aback.

“See!” Clair said to Amanda.

David found himself looking Clair over too. The house dress had transformed her just as much, and what it had transformed her into had David’s heart pounding a bit. Although he consciously pushed that notion aside and pictured Clair lap dancing again.

The girls then vanished, and David gravitated toward the television and a rugby game that was on. Amanda came from her room a few times for more wine, but he never saw Clair again before going to bed…..

***

AKA Candy Weston is a steamy love story and a cold case murder mystery. Clair is the link between the mystery and romance. Something has brought her back to the small fishing village she used to visit as a child. The Widow Mulvane’s secret holds the key… On sale this week at   Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon AU

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High octane suspense…

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BOOK REVIEW: This book has deep down grunt that gives the storyline a rich and meaningful foundation. Corporate greed. The making of a psychopathic killer. Corruption. Murder. Cruelty. Love and loyalty. An epic idea in the suicide seed technology…. Everything builds inch by inch. Slowly and relentlessly. Like multiple angles to the same force that explodes in the final chapters…. An intriguing setting in 3rd world Africa. Great characters, both the good guys and the bad. And a wonderful dog hero that is worth the read on his own…. But above all, there’s a latent power here that I also noticed in a previous read of this author. Fry writes real, gritty stuff.

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BOOK REVIEW: It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.

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BOOK REVIEW: The feel of this book takes me back to the musty halls of the Hermitage Museum and the iron curtain mentality of the real Russia that still smoulders today. We are expertly pulled into this mood chapter one and never really get to crawl up out of it. The characters and plot – the mystery of Brodsky – kind of tumble in on top of us, abstract and disjointed at first, building and tightening as we crawl through the maze (walk the endless corridors of The Hermitage, the towering portraits of lives past eyeballing us)…. Yes, I found the setting here to be tremendously powerful. The mystery itself is classy and intelligent, and develops into a killer of a finale…. Try this one if you like your art-heist thrillers to be gritty, real, and steeped in history.

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Lives up to the promise…

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BOOK REVIEW: She is going to die and she knows it. Genre aside, that right there is a powerful and intriguing story idea. No one has threatened her or anything. She has simply seen her own funeral. Brilliant. The big question to be answered here is laid out plainly in the title, and within a page or two of reading, we’re in. We’re going to need to know how and why she dies at the end…. So now we have a clear and simple yet powerfully intriguing question, but do we have a story journey to back it up? Definitely! The setting is a tangible paranormal world with interesting relationships between the different species and plenty of historic complexity. Certainly 3 dimensional. And the tale of who our heroine is and how and why she dies is rich and captivating storytelling…. For mine, this book is every bit as good as the title.

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