Blog Tour - Iquitos, The Past Will Kill by John R. Beyer

0
COMMENTS


IQUITOS: THE PAST WILL KILL by John R. Beyer, Mystery/Thriller, 353 pp., $15.49 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)


Title: IQUITOS: THE PAST WILL KILL
Author: John R. Beyer
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 353
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders team up to solve a string of murders, starting with the intentional and fatal bombing of a local coffee shop in downtown Riverside—a usually calm city in Southern California. Dozens are dead after an explosion rips apart the Coffee Grind, leaving dozens of others gravely wounded. Frank soon finds himself up to his elbows assisting the bombing victims, especially when he discovers that Jonas was walking to the Coffee Grind to meet up with his fiancée, but he never made it. In an instant, all their lives are thrust into a trail of death and destruction carried out by an unknown psychopath.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon






PROLOGUE


Jonas Peters grinned at the slightly older man standing on the second step of the entrance to the brick building while reaching out his right hand. “Thanks for the help on the case.”
Frank Sanders shook his head. “I should be the one saying ‘thank you’ a few times, as many cases you’ve helped me on.”
“How’s business, seriously?” Jonas asked.
     “It’s good, Jonas. Some cases really make me some money, and some just pay the bills. Sure, I miss the days when you and I would bump into each other at the department on a juicy murder or burglary, but those days are gone. Retirement pay isn’t substantial, but this gig gives me plenty of traveling money.”
The two men had spent the previous forty minutes in Frank’s office on the second floor of the Wright building just northwest of the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside, California. They had been going over the final paperwork on a joint case they had been working on together, albeit somewhat apart.
Frank had gone from a crimes-against-persons detective to private detective when he retired from the Riverside Police Department. Jonas Peters had gone from homicide detective to falling into a bottle of Jack Daniels and then re-surfacing to finish a case which cost him a dear friend, along with many innocents. Fortunately, that story had a happy ending, with the killing of Zachary Marshall, the psychopath who had started it all. It should have meant the release of the demons Jonas had felt for so many years, but instead, it just reinforced the negativity of the world in which he had lived for so long. He wanted out, but did not know how to exit.
Jonas had turned in his badge for the Riverside Police Department where he worked, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, believing his life might take a one-eighty. It hadn’t. Jonas eventually found himself on a pension, living on twenty acres of desert near a small town named Phelan in Southern California and working a few cases here and there as a private detective. Not a glamorous job but one, like Frank had responded, that helped make the financial side of life a bit more comfortable.
Jonas also liked the solitude of the High Desert. Seemed fewer ghosts circled there.
He also liked to cry where no one would see him.
“How’s your life really going?” Frank asked while stepping down a step and looking his friend squarely in the eyes.
Frank had known Jonas for over two decades while working at the Riverside City Police Department but had never gotten to know the man very well. Jonas had always been friendly enough, but to dig into his personal history was not a door a fellow officer ever tried to venture through.
Jonas had always been somewhat aloof. Not aloof like a head-in-the-sky sort of fellow but one who always questioned himself and thus never allowed anyone from the outside to look inside.
“Actually, Frank,” Jonas stated. “Things are looking up for me recently. The cases I take are ones that I want, and the ones I don’t, I don’t.”
Frank nodded his rather large square head. “Any women?”
Jonas smiled. “There was in Scottsdale for a while. A great lady by the name of Samantha—I called her Sam—and we hit if off well after I retired from the force. You know, after Steve’s murder, I just had to get out of here, but after a year or so I needed to come back. This is where I grew up and all I really know.”
“You know, John Steinbeck wrote that you can never truly go home.”
“Yeah, well, he was right. That’s why I live out in the boonies in Phelan. Just me and my three dogs.”
Frank grinned. “I like dogs.”
“You have any?”
“Nope, I’m just gone too much to feel like it would be fair to them.”
“That makes sense.”
“What happened to Sam?”
Jonas shifted his weight from the left to the right. “She could sense I wanted to move back near here, and we sort of went our own ways. We reconnected a few months back—you know, sort of a long-distance affair with texts, phone calls, and the like. She called me the other week to let me know she would be in Riverside on business. It coincided with my meeting with you.”
“Serendipitous, I would say.” Frank clapped Jonas on the shoulder while giving him a wink.
Jonas smiled in return. “Yes, we’ve spent the last couple of days together, and things were just like they were. We may even try the relationship again—even if it means some traveling for both of us for now. I truly love that woman, Frank.”
“And I’m sure she feels the same way about you.”
“I hope so,” Jonas said. “Well, I gotta get going. I promised to meet her at the Common Grounds in a few minutes. Thanks for helping me on the case.”
“And vice versa.” Frank held out his hand and shook his friend’s. “Go and enjoy your cup of coffee.”
I hope she does love you, Jonas—you could use it.









John R. Beyer spent nearly ten years in law enforcement in Southern California as a street cop, a training officer and a member of the elite SWAT team. After leaving the force, he continued in public service entering the field of education. During his tenure, he served as classroom teacher, school administrator and district administrator, and was an integral part of the gang and drug force in San Bernardino. While in both worlds he earned a Doctorate in School Administration and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

During all those years, he never gave up the passion for writing – both fiction and nonfiction. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and the like for decades, writing on a variety of topics. His latest short stories in the past year can be found in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (2016) and GNU Journal (2017). He is also the author of three highly praised internationally known novels – Hunted (2013), Soft Target (2014) and Operation Scorpion (2017).
He won the ‘Write Well Award’ in October of 2018 from the Silver Pen Writer’s Association for a fictional short story.

His newest novel, ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’, was released in November of 2018 by Black Opal Books bringing two of his protagonists together for their first investigation. Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders will work hand in hand with an international incident which left undetected could cause a catastrophic issue for the United States. They are friends and they are good at they do. Catching the bad guys.

Website Address:    http://johnrobertbeyer.weebly.com/
Blog Address:  https://jandlresearchandexploration.blogspot.com/
Twitter Address: @Drjohnrbeyer

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Interview: Richard Hacker, author of Die Back: Book One of the Alchimeia

0
COMMENTS

I don’t want to move, but I’m not in control. Up and over the mud wall of a trench, the weight of a pack straining my back, the rifle heavy in my hands. A man to my left flies backward as if jerked by a cable, his cry muffled by explosions, his chest ripped open, organs spilling into the muck. I, we, plod forward through mud. A rhythmic takka-takka-takka, tat, tat, tat in the distance and more explosions vibrating through my feet.”
–From Die Back: Book One of the Alchimeia by Richard Hacker
Richard Hacker is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas who now writes and lives in Seattle. His writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In addition to his writing, he provides editing services to other writers and is the editor of an online science fiction and fantasy journal, Del Sol Review. His three published humorous crime novels ride the sometimes thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. DIE BACK, his first fantasy thriller novel, has been published by Del Sol Press.


Book Description:
In 272 AD Egypt, an enemy thwarts an attempt by League Inkers, Thomas Shaw and Nikki Babineaux, to obtain the Alchįmeia, a document holding alchemical secrets. Sensing his impending death, Thomas secures Nikki’s promise to keep his son, Addison, from the League, an organization defending the time continuum. After his father’s death, Addison inherits a mysterious pen,
accidentally inking himself into the consciousness of a man who dies on a muddy WWI battlefield in France. Hoping to make sense of his experience, he confides in Nikki, his best friend and unknown to Addison, an Inker. Keeping her promise to Thomas, she discounts Addison’s experience.

Fixated on the pen, Addison inks into a B-17 bombardier in 1943. The pilot, whose consciousness has been taken over by someone calling himself Kairos, gloats over killing Addison’s father and boasts of plans to destroy the League. As Kairos attempts to wrest Addison’s consciousness, Nikki shocks Addison out of the Inking. She confesses her knowledge of  the League. When Kairos threatens to steal aviation technology, she she sends Addison and his partner, Jules, to an Army test of the Wright Flyer in 1908. Believing they have succeeded, they return to find the continuum shifted and Nikki knowing nothing about the League.

Inking back to his father’s mission in Alexandria, Addison and Jules hope to get his help in returning the time continuum to its original state. Instead, Addison’s father gives him the Alchįmeia to hide in a crypt at the Great Lighthouse on Phalos. On their return to the present a Kairos agent murders Jules, her consciousness Inked into the past. Addison follows the clues, Inking into Pizarro in 16th century Peru. He finds Jules in the child bride of the Inca emperor. His plan to find the technology and save Jules without destroying the Inca civilization is thwarted by a fleet of Inca airships. Captured, he is taken to Machu Picchu. With Jules help, they find the stolen schematics, but are confronted by Kairos. He stabs Addison, forcing Addison’s consciousness back to the present and traps Jules in the 16th Century. Addison returns to another altered world. Nikki no longer exists, the world is at war with the Inca, and Manhattan lay in ruins.

Addison Inks his father, learning the origins of the League. Thomas urges Addison to uncover their enemy with the help of his colleague, Maya. Putting suspicion on another inker,  Cameron, she insists he must be killing Inkers and acquiring Pens. In a final attempt to stop him, they entrap Cameron, only for Addison to discover Maya is Kairos, his enemy.  She kills Cameron, also wounding Addison.  He chases Maya, who intimates that she holds his mother’s, Rebecca’s, consciousness. Confused he delays, giving her time to scrawl a name with her pen before shooting her dead.
Inked away when Maya died, Kairos finds himself, not in his intended host, Hitler, but in a German infantry soldier POW in the Ardenne during the Battle of the Bulge, WWII. Hoping to repair the shift in the time continuum, Addison brings the League Pens together with the fate of the world and everyone he loves at stake. He awakens to a dissimilar world, but Jules and Nikki exist. And with life there is always hope.

Interview:

Welcome, Richard!  Your new fantasy/thriller series sounds thrilling! Can you tell us how you came up with the idea?
Richard: This might sound odd, but Dieback started with a fountain pen. I was holding a fountain pen one day and my mind wandered to the power of words. Human beings have been naming things since the beginnings of language. It’s how we find our place in the world and in some cases I think, gives us a sense of control. Or at least the illusion of control. So, what would happen if a character had a pen filled with alchemical ink that when he wrote the name and a date for someone living in the past, his consciousness would be transported into that person? What would he do with that astounding capability? And as with most technology, what if someone decided to use the alchemy to acquire power and control time itself? How would the protagonist fend off this attack on the time continuum and reality as he knows it? And then I put the fountain pen down, pulled at the laptop, and started writing.
Can you tell us a little about the main characters?
Richard: The protagonist, Addison Shaw, is a complicated guy. He has a deep guilt and sense of responsibility for the death of girl friend when he rolled their car on a mountain road in a snowstorm. He carries the scars of that night, emotionally and physically with a damaged knee requiring him to use a cane to walk. He went from school athlete to disabled loner. As the story progresses he will face even greater challenges and will have to find a way to heal himself enough to move forward. He’s also a bit of a smart ass, a little compulsive, more shy than he’d like you to think, and willing to act even when he’s terrified.
His parter and off and on girlfriend, Jules McCullough, is a strong and courageous woman, full of life. When Addison first meets Jules, her presence intimidates. Her ebony hair swept tightly back from her face, exploding into a Mohawk of red-tipped spikes. She had piercings in her eye brows, a silver nose ring, and white bone spiraling through her ear lobes contrasting against mocha skin. A tattoo ran the length of her right arm, a twisting vine of green leaves and yellow, orange, and pink flowers, disappearing into the short sleeve of a black Ramones tee shirt. She wore a khaki utility kilt with a silver studded belt slipped over her hips and black combat boots. She looked like a woman from another time and place—a fierce female Maasai warrior from the Tanzanian Serengeti. They will live…and die, many times over to protect the time continuum.
Cuthbert Grimwalde, a 15th century scryer and mystic befriends Tobias Faryndon, the founder of the League and the perfecter of its alchemy. But Grimwalde’s dark heart soon turns against Faryndon as the scryer realizes he can use the alchemy to not only change the past or the future, but to control and master the world for all time. By the time Grimwalde encounters Addison, he has sojourned across a thousands of years and has taken the name, Kairos. He considers himself the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Master of the Space Time Continuum.
They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?
Richard: Several points come to mind, but I think readers will have a difficult time putting the book down during the Inca encounter. Ethan Inks into the consciousness of the 16th century conquestador, Pizarro, in a desperate attempt to save his partner, Jules. Attacked in the present, she inks into Cuxirmay, the child bride of the Incan Emperor Atahaulpa. Addison struggles to maintain control of Pizarro and the passions and violence of both Pizarro and Atahualpa. If he succeeds, both Jules and Addison live to fight another day and the time continuum remains stable. If he fails, Jules will be trapped in 16th century Peru, the outcome of Pizarro’s encounter with the Inca is altered, and the future will change in a thousand unknown ways. And I think the outcome will surprise you.
Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
Richard: Both. I always proof and edit my work, but at some point, I’ve been standing in the forest for so long, all the trees look the same! It’s remarkable how I can read something a hundred times and in my mind, I’ve corrected the typo, but on the page, the typo remains. So I always have others comb through the manuscript. They’ll point out typos and grammar issues, as well as continuity issues, and make suggestions. And then I make decisions based on their feedback.
Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
Richard: Absolutely. These days, most people are shopping for the next read online, which means they’re looking at a thumbnail image of the book. The cover needs to be something that catches the eye and then draws the reader in for a closer look. The title, which gives you pause, is easy to see in thumbnail. The image of a young man floating upward captures the idea of both the inking—when he uses the pen to enter the mind of someone in the past—and the dieback—when he dies to re-enter his own body. I think the publisher did a great job taking that image and then designing the front, spine, and back. Hope you think so too.
What did you want to become when you were a kid?
Richard: Well, like a lot of kids I wanted to be many things. The first time I saw Louis Armstrong on the Ed Sullivan Show (okay, I just dated myself!) I wanted to be a jazz musician. When I was in the third-grade I started writing short stories which I read to the class for show and tell. Why I did that, I’m not so sure. My squirrel skeleton in a shoebox had been a hit, but I think having the class respond to my stories got me hooked on writing. And then in high school I gravitated towards medicine. As an adult, I dabble in jazz, I know how to rip open a bandaid wrapper, and I write novels.
Do your novels carry a message?
Richard: When life looks hopeless, when everything seems to be turned upside, the people who make a difference are not super heroes, but people like you and me, who persevere in spite of the odds.
Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?
Richard: Thanks so much for providing this opportunity to share my work with your readers. I hope they enjoy reading Dieback as much as I enjoyed writing it. For fun, go check out the trailer for the book. https://youtu.be/qesyHscyzNM And I’d love to hear from you. Visit my website, www.richardhacker.com and drop me a line.

Blog Tour: The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson

0
COMMENTS

THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION by Mark H. Jackson, Adventure/Thriller, 288 pp., $18.22 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)



Title: THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION
Author: Mark H. Jackson
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Pages: 288
Genre: Adventure/Thriller

A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



 

Chapter Twenty-Nine
Mato Grosso, Brazil, 1939

Himmler paused, bending to examine a black, broken piece of rock
discarded on the forest floor. He turned it in his hand, frowning as
he swept a finger over its impeccable, marble-like finish. It must have
been chipped from a statue or pillar. It was impressive workmanship
and Himmler doubted even the largest construction companies
in Germany would have done any better, even with their modern
machinery and tooling techniques. He slipped the fragment into his
pocket, a tingle of childlike excitement building in his stomach.
After years of ploughing Nazi resources into the Ahnenerbe, he was
at last on the verge of completing his quest. If the papers found in
Tibet by the short-sighted idiot, Ernst Schafer, were to be believed,
then it wouldn’t be long before he possessed the evidence he craved:
solid, indisputable proof linking Aryan Germany to prehistory’s
greatest lost empire, the kingdom of Atlantis. Armed with this knowledge,
Himmler was convinced the Aryans of Europe would rally
under the Nazi banner, joining forces with the Fuhrer to form an
unstoppable alliance tasked with reclaiming the lands and legendary
technologies of their ancestors.
Tibirica barked a command in Himmler’s direction, snapping him
out of the daydream. There were still several steps he needed to tread
along this path and he needed to focus on the present. Proving his
doubters wrong would have to wait. A month earlier, Hitler himself
had dismissed the Ahnenerbe as mere folly and the criticism still
smarted his ego. Luckily for him, his reputation ensured the majority
of Party members were still happy to indulge the quest. Himmler
wasn’t a man anyone wanted as an enemy, and the Party viewed their
support as an easy way to appease his infamous temper.
Up ahead, Tibirica swept aside a dense section of foliage and signalled
for Himmler to follow. He disappeared through the gap with
his son and the vines dropped back in place. Himmler looked down at
the diminutive translator. His hate for the man welled inside his gut.
He despised the reliance his current predicament demanded he place
on such an insignificant being. Back in occupied Europe he would
have ordered the creature’s execution without even batting an eyelid.
But out here… He shook his head. Out here this dirt-encrusted man
was irreplaceable.
‘You go first and tell me if it’s safe,’ said Himmler.
‘W-w-what if it t-t-trap?’ stuttered the petrified translator.
‘That is why you are going first.’ Himmler shoved him in the small
of his back and propelled him through the foliage, sending him crashing
into whatever lay beyond. With a bone-crunching thud the translator
hit something solid and yelped in pain. He staggered backwards
and lost his footing, returning through the greenery and landing at
the feet of his employer. He whimpered and pulled a mucky rag from
his pocket, pressing it against his broken and bloodied nose.
‘Well?’ asked Himmler, suppressing laughter. ‘How did you get
on?’
‘Wall… Wall on other side.’
Himmler frowned and slipped a hand through the thick, leafy
foliage. His hand barely cleared the flora when it met something solid,
something sharing the same smooth surface as the strange flake of
rock in his pocket. Himmler’s eyes widened in anticipation. Could he
really be touching the walls of the lost city? It was an incredible feat
of engineering. He couldn’t have been closer, and yet, if it weren’t for
Tibirica, he and his men would have walked on by, never knowing
how close he’d come to his goal. Not for the first time, he offered up
a quick word of thanks to Lady Luck. This information alone more
than made up for the loss of life inflicted on his Gruppe.
Himmler forced the rest of his body through the tight opening.
The greenery dropped in place behind him and his world plunged
into darkness. Surprised and a little disorientated, he stumbled forwards,
both hands slapping hard against the rock wall. An eerie echo
bounced back and forth through the oppressive, airless atmosphere.
Torrents of perspiration snaked his body, drenching his already moist
uniform. He battled to keep it from his eyes and cursed his decision
to wear the black SS uniform. One of his men had advised otherwise
but Himmler had refused to heed the advice, stubborn in his belief the
officer concerned was testing his authority.
Himmler took a moment and regained his composure. He groped
for the torch strapped to his belt and flicked it on. The thin beam
penetrated the gloom, casting ghostly shadows and exaggerating the
size of the obstacles littering the overgrown path ahead. With a sense
of foreboding and familiar feelings of claustrophobia creeping up on
him, Himmler waved the torch to his left, illuminating the black wall
of rock holding his weight. It seemed to stretch on forever. He stroked
its surface and moved forward a few steps. There weren’t any breaks
or cracks anywhere, the wall’s surface seamless in its construction. No
joins, no cement holding it together, in fact no discernible clues as
to its construction at all. He smiled, marvelling at the thought of his
ancestors possessing such advanced skills in engineering. The Reich
had so much to learn from this ancient people.
Himmler froze as the torch registered movement up ahead, the
beam picking out the shadow of something hidden in the undergrowth.
He cocked his handgun and held his breath, poised and ready
to react to the merest hint of hostility. A male voice split the tension.
Tibirica’s son called out to his father. The two tribesmen must have
realised he was no longer following and retraced their steps. Himmler
lowered his gun and reached for his translator, grabbing his hair and
forcing him to take point. He wanted to trust Tibirica but his instincts
advised him otherwise. Trust was a luxury a man in his position could
little often afford to give freely. He prodded the translator in the back
with his gun and shoved him towards the two tribesmen.
‘Tell them to stay where they are,’ he said. ‘If they disappear again,
we’ll never find them.’ The translator repeated the order, his speech
muffled by the cloth still pressed to his nose. A minute later, after slipping
and sliding their way down the rocky passage, Himmler arrived
alongside his two guides. They flanked him and prodded the torch,
both fascinated by the magical shaft of light it emitted. Himmler
kept them at arm’s length, making a mental note of the greed in the
younger man’s eyes.
‘Ask them where we are headed,’ he ordered, trying to distract
them.
The translator obliged, and Tibirica’s response sounded curt.
‘Well?’ said Himmler.
The translator frowned. ‘He say we walk through wall. I ask where
door. He only repeat same words and point at wall.’
‘I don’t pay you to question what he says, just do your job and
translate.’ Himmler shoved him aside and raked the torch beam across
the wall, searching for evidence of an entrance.
The proximity of the magical light source suddenly became too
much for Tibirica’s son. In a mix of lust, greed and perhaps revenge
for his broken nose, he lunged at Himmler. Catching him unawares,
he shoved Himmler’s gun arm behind his back and punched him in
the kidneys. Himmler tensed his muscles and flung the elbow of his
free arm into the Brazilian’s gut. The blow connected, but found little
purchase on the boy’s greasy stomach. A thick forearm snuck around
his neck, while the other made a grab for the torch. The attempt failed
but the force of the attack was enough to knock it from his grasp and
send it crashing to the ground. Himmler grimaced, grinding his teeth
as the bulb shattered on impact, engulfing the passage in darkness.
The sudden disappearance of the light took the young warrior by
surprise and his grip slackened. Himmler whirled on the ball of his
foot, simultaneously smashing the palm of his hand into his attacker’s
already broken nose. The Brazilian didn’t even have time to scream,
dying where he stood as numerous splinters of bone penetrated his
brain. Himmler shoved the corpse aside and smoothed the creases
from his uniform.
‘Translator, please inform Chief Tibirica to proceed. His son has
met with a little “accident” and I wouldn’t want a similar one to befall
him.’ The translator didn’t respond. Himmler clenched his fist. The
little bastard must have made a bolt for it. He stared into the darkness,
his index finger hovering above the Luger’s trigger as he searched for
a target. The silence was deafening – even the birds appeared to have
abandoned this long-forgotten piece of forest. The Nazi shuddered,
straining his ears for the merest hint of sound. His life was in danger,
and he knew it. A faint clicking sound, two or three metres to his left,
disturbed the silence. He turned to greet it, gun levelled and ready to
open fire.
‘Translator? Is that you?’ Himmler whispered. ‘Answer me or I’ll
shoot.’ A bead of blue light flickered in response, illuminating a small
clearing up ahead. Himmler tensed as a large shape loomed into view.
It was Tibirica. He stepped forward, only to see Tibirica raise an arm
and halt his progress. The chief extended a long finger and pointed at
Himmler’s feet.
Himmler crouched and scanned the ground ahead. There was
something blocking the path. His arm snaked towards it, tentative but
determined to confirm his suspicions. He scowled as his fingers met
the soft, warm flesh of his stricken translator. How would he understand
the bloody chief now? He pulled the old man onto his back and
recoiled at the brutal efficiency of the kill; the head ripped clear of the
neck. It was a sight that left Himmler in no doubt of the suppressed
rage Tibirica must be harbouring. To break a man’s neck was easy,
but to rip it clean from the spine took a strength and skill rare in a
world where the gun ruled the battlefield. He looked up at the chief.
Did this mean they were even again? An eye for an eye and all that?
The stoical Brazilian nodded and jabbed a finger at the glowing
light in the wall. The result was as immediate as it was spectacular.
A semi-circular shaft of light shot from the rock and illuminated the
clearing brighter than the midday sun. Himmler raised an arm to
shield his eyes and staggered backwards. What black magic was this?
Tibirica sniffed and wiped a smattering of blood from his face. He
turned away from Himmler and ducked his head, sliding his ample
frame through the newly formed gap in the wall. Himmler scrambled
up the slope to join him and darted through before the thing closed.
He didn’t have a choice; his life was now in the hands of the chief and
he knew it. He stepped from the makeshift doorway, buoyed to find
natural light on the other side. His elation was tempered as Tibirica’s
massive hand clamped around his shoulder, hauling him through the
gap as it closed behind him. He yelped in pain, feeling a rib crack as he
landed on something solid. He pressed his chest. No harm done, just
another bruise to add to his ever-growing collection. He pushed himself
upright. Where was he? It almost looked like a gutter of a paved
road. The corners of his mouth twisted upward into a tight smile and
he glanced at Tibirica.
‘If this place is what I think it is, Untermensch scum,’ he whispered,
‘then you have assured my place in history.’
If Tibirica understood the German language, he’d have killed
Himmler then and there. Instead he managed only a look of puzzlement.
For the sake of his son, the chief could do little more than pray
Himmler was the messiah his tribe were expecting. Himmler’s smile
widened. Luck was indeed on his side.







Mark H. Jackson is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.

Website Link: https://markhjackson.com/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDeception/

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Blog Tour - Slay Bells by T.C. Wescott

0
COMMENTS

SLAY BELLS by T.C. Wescott, Mystery, 230 pp., $4.99 (kindle)


Title: SLAY BELLS (A CHRISTMAS VILLAGE MYSTERY)
Author: T.C. Wescott
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Cozy Mystery

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!

Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring-

Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.

When the Inn’s guests begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But can she unmask the phantom killer in time and save Christmas?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon







PROLOGUE

Night settles in over smoking chimneys and snow-capped rooftops.

A potpourri of pine, holly, and cinnamon swirls in the breeze over white pastures and along sleepy lanes as festive decorations left hanging on each street lamp and along every thoroughfare dance upon its passing.

Winter birds offer up their sing-song as the rows of cottage windows blink out their goodnights.

But for many in the happy hamlet of Christmas Village, the night will be a short one, made restless with excitement for the morning when they will rise early to prepare for the inaugural day of the annual Christmas Festival.

The festival, running the full week before Christmas Eve, is the last great hurrah of the year, barring the ringing of the new year bells. It is no exaggeration to say that the best hope one has of experiencing something more glorious is to return the following year for the next Festival.

So, it is with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts that every soul in the village, farmer and squire alike, closes their eyes in anticipation of sunrise.

One among them will not live to see the sun.

Something moves among the birds, along the snowy lanes, skirting the light in favor of shadow.

In Christmas Village, this night, a creature is stirring.




T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

The Christmas Village Mystery series launched in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.

Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as many essays and articles.

His latest book is the cozy mystery, Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery).

Website Address: www.tcwescott.com
Twitter Address: www.twitter.com/MousetrapBooks
Facebook Address: www.facebook.com/BetterMousetrapBooks
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com