Rich and Gone by W.F. Ranew

Welcome to Tirgearr Tuesday! This week, we’d like to introduce you to W.F. Ranew’s latest release: Rich and Gone.

RichandGonebyWFRanew500

ASIN: B07QTC145M
Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU

 

Blurb:

PI Red Farlow is on the hunt to find $300 million a Florida insurance executive has bilked out of family and friends.

Woody Cunningham stashed the money in safe havens around the world before disappearing. Has he been done in by one of his enemies? Or did he skip town with his girlfriend to live off the ill-gotten wealth? If that’s the case, where is he?

Farlow must quickly learn how and why people hide their money in offshore accounts if he’s to find out what happened to Cunningham.

When a tough guy from Farlow’s past resurfaces, wanting to settle an old score, Farlow discovers he also has links to the missing man. Clues lead him across Georgia and Florida, and Europe, to find the answers.

Is Woody Cunningham dead, or just rich and gone?

Extract:

We stopped and got out of our cars. Water oak leaves scattered over the ground. A gentle breeze rustled the fennel, sending its pungent odor into the air. I remembered yanking up the fennel weed from days spent on my uncle’s farm. If the cows ate it, which they rarely did, their milk would taste sour. This day, sunny and mild with fall in the air, made me imagine stomping around the fields with a shotgun.

“We received a missing person’s report on two people who were headed up here last Friday night,” Tom said as we huddled near the gate. “No one has seen them since. We also got a disturbance call in the vicinity of where they visited in town.”

Tom kicked some rocks. “One caller mentioned Cunningham and a lady traveling with him. She’s Wanda Ramirez. Then we heard from his company. He didn’t show up at his office on Monday, Tuesday, or today. He missed a big meeting with shareholders yesterday morning.”

“Anything on the disturbance?” I asked.

“We sent someone over there to check into it. They found nothing out of the ordinary. We confirmed it was at the home of Wanda’s mother, a Mrs. Gonzalez.”

Tom waved to a deputy, who ambled over. “Willis, this is Red Farlow, a private investigator. We’ve known each other for a few years.” Willis nodded and shook my hand.

“Tell us about the car,” the sheriff said.

“Hit’s a Mer-say-deez Benz.”

“Any signs of any other vehicle?”

“Nawsir. Nothing. We wus careful not to mess anything up. Just looked’s all. No sign of anybody. We did check out the car.”

“ID in it?” I asked.

“Yessir. Car’s registered to the Oceans South Life Assurance Company. We found an insurance card on the floorboard. Florida.” The deputy held up both documents.

“Who is he?” Tom asked.

Willis squinted as he stared at the card. “Name is Woodrow Cunningham of an Ortega Boulevard address down in Jacksonville,” he said.

“Sure confirms the missing person’s name,” Tom said. He wrinkled his brow and looked at me. “Thoughts?”

“Yep. Two things. Old South, deep pockets, well-heeled,” I told them. “Ortega is a chunk of prime real estate, juts out along the St. Johns River, and upon which sits one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Duval County. No, the wealthiest.”

“And the other?”

“Cunningham’s wife is my client.”

Tom nodded. “Quite a coincidence. I want to hear more about it. It appears this was the couple’s last stop. Given what we have or don’t have here, I’m calling in the state crime scene analysts. No telling what those guys can turn up.”

It’s never too early to assume the worst.

“Do we know anything else about the Wanda woman yet?” I asked.

“Only that she and Cunningham stopped in Badenville to visit her mother,” Tom said. “I’ll talk with Mrs. Gonzalez when we leave here.”

We straddled barbed wire in a low-slung section of the fence and tramped toward the cabin pitched above the languid, black-water river, stained dark by tannins of vegetation. Along its banks, the sugar loaf knees of cypress trees rose up out of the water. An idyllic spot, if you loved pines, mossy oaks, solitude, and an occasional water moccasin basking on a stump. Lord, it was quiet out here. A quiet broken only by the gently moving stream, birds chirping, and fish jumping. In the distance, a mourning dove sang its song of lamentation.

The dark brown chink-log cabin looked rustic enough. Upon closer inspection, modern accouterments stood out. A roof-mounted satellite dish turned up to the southwestern sky, and a surveillance camera pointed in our direction. A deck had been added at some point and wrapped around the original structure. One section, with a hot tub, hammock, and rocking chairs, extended over the riverbank.

Cunningham owned an expensive collection of shotguns for his frequent hunting trips on the property. Had he kept them in this house? Probably not. He was an insurance executive after all.

The car grabbed my attention. A relatively new, big, executive model Mercedes-Benz S class 550. Its steel-gray exterior complemented dark-blue leather seats. There was no better ride for Cunningham than this German-made automobile, which conveyed luxury and smooth driving—the man’s castle on wheels.

I stopped short of going any closer to the structure so as not to disturb any possible evidence. There were footprints of more than one person in the sandy soil around the car and the cabin’s front porch.

At this point, calls to Tom and me indicated people close to Cunningham thought something amiss. One thing for sure, a man had disappeared, and possibly a woman, with no indication what happened to them or where their bodies might be.

I gazed over at the bank and watched the river winding downstream. Possibly a stretch, but a river search could be in order. I had to remind myself of my unofficial status. All this together posed a mystery. The kind you do not usually get in rural South Georgia.

Whatever happened to Cunningham on that fall evening differed little from the fate of a lot of people who disappear. Such events raise a lot of questions and concerns. Where did Cunningham go? How did he leave the place, assuming he arrived there as the car’s presence indicated? A planned vanishing act or murder? Did he flee the country after socking away millions of dollars in the Caymans? Or did an enemy orchestrate a plot to get him out of the way? Finally, was he alive or dead?

Soon enough, some of the answers unfolded, leaving ample room for even more speculation, and revealing more about Wanda, too.

Crime scenes take time to evaluate and analyze for evidence. As I’d done my share of waiting in my years as a law officer, there was no need for me to remain at the site. Before returning to Badenville, I spoke with Tom, and we agreed to meet at Mrs. Gonzalez’ home in an hour. He gave me her address.

It wouldn’t take long for word to get around Cunningham had disappeared. Some luck, Gloria’s call, and my good friend Tom Weltner allowed me to stumble onto this early. Of course, a missing person often hasn’t gone missing at all. His family or friends just don’t know where he went. Considering it had been only five days, the sheriff and others assumed he might show up in the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours. He didn’t.

Driving away, the cabin receded in my rearview mirror. Someone had left on the porch light.

About the Author:

W.F. Ranew is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and communication executive. He started his journalism career covering sports, police, and city council meetings at his hometown newspaper, The Quitman Free Press. He also worked as a reporter and editor for several regional dailies: The Augusta (Ga.) ChronicleThe Florida Times-Union, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ranew has written two previous novels: Schoolhouse Man and Candyman’s Sorrow.

He lives with his wife in Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Ga.

• • •

• Find W.F. Online •

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#TirgearrTuesday: Silent Mayhem by Sue Coletta

Released: April 2019
ASIN: B07PNK7SL6
Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU

Blurb:

Some things in life defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Or deadly.

When a familiar crow drops a cryptic scroll at Shawnee Daniels’ feet, she’s compelled to open it, even though everything in her power warns her not to. Mr. Mayhem—the most prolific serial killer the North Shore has ever known—claims her life is in danger. He “claims” he wants to help her, but just last year he threatened to murder everyone she loves.

While Mayhem taunts her with oddly-placed feathers, like The Creator left at his crime scenes, an interstate killing spree rocks Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A madman is decapitating men and women, dumping their headless corpses on two area beaches. But what Shawnee soon uncovers shatters all she’s ever known, her memories shredded, the whispers of the past in shambles on the ground.

Can she find the strength to move forward, or will the truth destroy her?

SilentMayhembySueColettaFACEBOOK

Extract:

Monday
Midnight

“As you take your final breath, let the tears rain down from the heavens, a silent mayhem whispering the sins of the past.” In the bunker, an ornate lair several feet below ground, Mr. Mayhem leaned toward Mary Rowlandson’s face, her bloody nose an inch away from his. Gazing into her watery eyes, he listed his head to one side. “Will you scream for me? Oh, how I miss the sound of raw emotion.”

She screeched, “Why are you doing this?”

“You don’t know?” He jerked away from her, laying splayed gloved-fingers to his chest. “My apologies. I was under the impression that you’d been fully informed.” His gaze fled over his shoulder to Chayton, his protégé. “Is there some reason you withheld the truth from Ms. Rowlandson?”

Chayton bowed his head, staring at the concrete floor.

“By doing so, you’ve missed the mark, my dear boy. Look at me.” He waited for the young executioner to look up. “This message is important. She needs to know…to understand…she must feel her shame.”

With an intent stare into Chayton’s eyes, he strode toward him. “Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart…”

“It knows,” replied Chayton.

“Indeed, it does.”

He gave a knowing nod, and young Chayton swung the sword.

In one swift motion, Mayhem snagged a fistful of Ms. Rowlandson’s fair hair before her decapitated body crumpled to the concrete. Raising the severed head toward the dome ceiling, he proclaimed, “With this one brave act, the tears shall fall. Your reign has begun, my son. Make us proud.”

About the Author:

Sue Coletta is a Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Grafton County Series and the Mayhem Series, which won the Best Mystery/Thriller/Heist Award and Readers’ Choice Award in Mystery/Thriller. Sue also writes in the Kindle Worlds, where she hit #1 in Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense. Sue’s had short stories and flash fiction published in Out of the Gutter Flash Fiction Offensive magazine and numerous anthologies, and InSinC Quarterly featured her forensic articles.

In 2017 & 2018, her Murder Blog won Feedspot’s Top 50 Crime Blog Award. She’s also the communications manager for Forensic Science and the Serial Killer Project, both groups founded by cold case expert, Detective Sergeant (Ret.) Joe Giacalone. As a way to help fellow crime writers, Sue created a team of crime experts (detectives, coroners, police captains, etc.) and founded #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband/best friend. When she’s not writing or reading, you might catch her feeding circus peanuts to her beloved pet crows, who live free.

Find Sue Online:

Website – http://www.suecoletta.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SueColetta1
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/SueColetta1
Blog – https://suecoletta.com/murder-blog
Blog – https://killzoneblog.com
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/SueColetta
StumbleUpon – http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/SueColetta1
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/suecoletta1
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/sue-coletta/a0/1b9/161
Tirgearr Publishing – http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Coletta_Sue

Release Blitz: The Change by C.V. Leigh

DEBUT URBAN FANTASY NOVEL RELEASED

#urbanfantasy #fantasyauthors #werewolf #WolvesofFaolHall #debutnovel #kindle #kindleunlimited

 TheChangebyCVLeigh500

On 8th May 2019, Somerset-based fantasy author, C.V. Leigh will release her debut urban fantasy novel ‘THE CHANGE’ on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited through traditional Irish publishers, Tirgearr Publishing.

Book Blurb:

Kincaid pack Alpha, Alistair, has called his family back to their ancestral home in the Scottish Cairngorms. His wife, Megan, is losing control of her ability to shift and it has him rattled. When it comes to light that Nathan Trevell, Megan’s ex and the lycanthrope who turned her, has travelled from the States and is in the UK, closing in on his family, Alistair is even more determined to keep everyone safe.

Nathan isn’t deterred by the Kincaid pack. He’s in the UK for a very specific reason, a reason that threatens to turn the lives of the Kincaids upside down – and possibly endanger them.

Being cooped up together in Faol Hall only serves to highlight the differences between the Kincaids, and fighting soon breaks out. Can they put aside their issues and present a united front, before it’s too late?

Extract:

 

Faol Hall, Cairngorms

Alistair Kincaid watched helplessly as his wife was taken over by the beast that lurked beneath her skin. She trembled in his arms, her teeth chattering, eyes rolling back until the dark green he longed to gaze into had been replaced by pure white. Her mouth relaxed and opened, her canines elongated and tapered into a sharp point.

“Shit. Hold on, Megan.” He rocked her back and forth, smoothing his hand down her long, brunette hair, still damp from where she’d been in the shower. Strands clung to her face and arms. Sweat beaded on her forehead. She clawed at his bare arms, leaving long scratches.

He looked around the large bathroom, desperately searching for some way to help her. The shower head still spewed into the cubicle. Water splattered against the tiles, droplets raced down the glass screen. A green pouch sat on top of the medicine cabinet, taunting him. Megan needed the drugs inside it, but she needed him to hold her steady as well.

“Jacob!” He could only pray his brother hadn’t gone for a run. “Shit… it’s okay, Megan, it’s okay… I’m here.” He stumbled over the words, each one catching in his throat.

“N-n-n…” A sound, nothing more, tumbled from her lips. “Nay-n-n-nay…” She repeated it over and over again. Coarse, dark brown hairs began to push through the smooth skin of her arms. She released an agonising cry that tore through him, leaving his heart in tattered shreds.

“Jake!” he called again.

“I’m here.” His younger brother filled the doorway, as wide as he was tall; a wall of pure muscle and brute strength. “Fuck.”

Megan’s bones cracked. Bile rose in Alistair’s throat. “Get the sedative,” he said, nodding at the cabinet.

Jacob pulled the little bag down, along with the amber pill bottles that had been stored next to it. A bottle snapped open, and tiny tablets spiralled towards the drain. “Fuck, I’m sorry.” Jacob fumbled with the bag’s zip.

“Just get the damn drugs,” Alistair snapped, spittle landing on his bottom lip. Sweat dripped down his brow. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold her–how much longer it would be before she was taken over completely, lost to him.

Jacob found the syringe. He attached a needle, then plunged it into a vial and withdrew the clear liquid. He knelt beside his brother and grabbed Megan’s naked leg, then tugged it towards him. After sitting on her ankle to stop her from wrestling away from him, he stabbed the needle into the thick muscle of her thigh.

The animalistic growl Megan released was enough to curdle blood, ripping from her throat and filling Alistair with dread. Her eyes were wide, the usually-green irises now burning chartreuse, flecked with gold and amber. She grunted and groaned, panted for breath. “F-fuck… y-you…” Her voice was low and gruff, cracked by the venom coursing through her veins. Her sights fixed on Jacob, watching his every movement.

Jacob stood, syringe in hand.

Buy Links:

Pre-order for 99p / 99c on Kindle!

Links to THE CHANGE can be found on the publisher’s website:

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Leigh_CV/the-change.htm

PROFILEPIC2

About the Author:

Originally from the Nottingham/Lincoln borders, C.V. Leigh now lives in Somerset with her family and pets. She comes from a long line of natural witches, and spent her childhood learning to read tea leaves from her grandmother and Tarot from her mother, so it’s no surprise that she has a love for the fantastical and paranormal.

When she’s not creating new worlds, C.V. enjoys reading with a hot cup of tea, or exploring the beautiful countryside that Somerset has to offer.

C.V. Leigh’s favourite authors include Kelley Armstrong, George R.R. Martin, Douglas Adams, Grant Naylor, Terry Pratchett, and Roald Dahl.

Social Media Links:

 

Website: https://authorchoward.wixsite.com/cvleighauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CVLeighAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CVLeighAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cvleighauthor

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.V.-Leigh/e/B07Q5JNXTJ

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19009631.C_V_Leigh

 

Slaughtered by K.A. Lugo – an extract #tirgearrtuesday #mystery #crime

This week, I’d like to welcome K.A. Lugo to Tirgearr Tuesday:

Slaughtered is available to download through Kindle Unlimited & in print

Kindle US, Kindle UK

Amazon USAmazon UK

The Texter

Fallen homicide detective, Jack Slaughter, closes the door on the home where his perfect family has been brutally snatched from him. Moving across the city, he works as a private investigator to fund his own investigation into what happened to his family—who killed his little girl, Zoë, and where is his wife, Leah?

Every three month for the last three years, Jack receives a simple text telling him where he can find his missing wife. There’s a body at each location, but none of them are Leah.

Jack hates missing person’s cases, but they’re his bread and butter. He only takes the case to find Carl Boyd’s missing wife because the details of her disappearance closely match Leah’s. He hopes by finding Bonnie Boyd, he’ll find his own wife.

The Butcher

Following the leads in the Bonnie Boyd case, Jack discovers someone has been killing women all over the city for the last three years, a fact Jack’s ex-partner and still best friend, Ray Navarro, has neglected to tell him. The city has a serial killer and officials haven’t been able to find a single lead on the person they’ve dubbed The Butcher.

Could Bonnie Boyd’s disappearance be linked to The Butcher? More important, was Leah one of The Butcher’s victims? Could he have gone so far as to murder a child?

With every clue Jack weaves together, the more his own life unravels.

Excerpt:

San Francisco, California

Wednesday

“Is it her? Is it Leah?”

Jack Slaughter’s heart hammered a hole in his chest as he watched the rail-thin form of the newly-made detective, Paul Travers, stride toward him. If he could read the man’s expression and body language, Travers seemed more amused by Jack’s presence than annoyed.

When Jack started lifting the crime scene tape to duck under it, Travers pushed him back with a firm hand on his shoulder.

“You gotta stop turning up like this, Jackie.” Travers’ flippant voice grated on Jack, almost as much as the man’s ruddy complexion and brassy hair. His voice edged on being just a bit too high and too nasal to want to listen to for long. Jack didn’t know how his best friend and former partner, Ray Navarro, could stand it.

With a hand still on his shoulder, Travers nudged Jack back. He made a shooing motion with his other hand. “Why don’t you just go on home and let the professionals do their jobs?”

Travers’ condescending tone made Jack want to punch him in the throat.

“Where’s Ray?” He followed Travers’ gaze over the man’s shoulder and saw Ray standing over the victim’s body several yards away. It appeared to have been positioned at the foot of a tall pine at the dead-end of the road. “I want to talk to him.”

Travers caught his gaze and looked back. “Go home, Jackie. You don’t belong here.” He emphasized the word you. They both knew why Jack was no longer Ray’s partner, nor on the force.

Ignoring the little pissant, Jack shouted over the man’s shoulder. “Ray!” His friend looked up and gave a quick wave to acknowledge he’d seen Jack. He finished up with a CSI, then made his way over.

“What are you doing here, Jack?” When Ray reached up to shake hands, Jack palmed his cell phone into Ray’s.

“I told him to go home . . . partner.”

In Jack’s opinion, Travers seemed to take every opportunity to rub it in that he now occupied Jack’s former position. It didn’t escape his notice that Ray also cringed at the word partner. Jack knew his leaving the force had been a blow to his friend too.

He gazed directly into Ray’s eyes, trying to keep the anxiety he felt from his voice. “I got another one.”

“Jack—” Ray sighed, gazing down at the phone’s screen to the open text—Spreckels Lake.

Since the very first text he’d received—You’ll find your wife in the Panhandle—there had never been anything more than the next location. The texts came every three months, as if on schedule. Every one of them led Jack to a body, but none of them were Leah. If the texter was trying to drive him crazy, it was working. But he couldn’t risk that the guy was crying wolf. Even after three years, Jack still showed up . . . just in case.

Ray handed back the phone then threw his hands onto his hips. Jack could almost hear the gears working in his friend’s head as he gazed around Spreckels Lake with obvious concentration.

This was a beautiful location. Jack remembered bringing his family here, but pushed the memory from his mind. He gazed away from the water, trying to breathe. He knew the answer, but he had to ask it anyway. “Is it her?” Even he heard the waver in his voice.

“You gotta let me do my job, man. You gotta trust me. If this was Leah, you know I’d tell you.”

“I know, but—”

“No buts, Jackie,” Travers cut in, edging up closer to him as if posturing. “You’re not a cop anymore. You don’t belong here. Go home.”

Jack starred at Travers with a look he hoped said, go ahead and touch me again, pissant, I dare you. He must have got his point across because Travers hesitated before stepping away, his back noticeably erect.

“I’m sorry. Paul’s right. You don’t need to be here. It’s not her.” Ray’s voice remained calm. Jack knew the tone, as he often used it to try defusing situations with suspects and distraught families.

“You’re just a distraction, Jackie.”

“Paul!” Ray’s warning tone made Travers jump, as it did those around them.

In his heart, Jack knew when a victim’s family turned up on a crime scene, or tried insinuating themselves into an investigation, it only disrupted the process. More times than he could count, the time he’d spent dealing with the family would have been better served on the investigation.

Jack shrank away from the crime scene tape, his energy evaporating. “You’re right, Ray. I’m sorry. I just can’t risk that the one time I don’t respond to the text, it really will be Leah.”

“I know, Jack. I know.” Ray put his hand on Jack’s shoulder this time, drawing Jack’s attention. “But this isn’t her. Go ho—” Ray stopped short, both knowing Jack hadn’t been home since that night three years ago. “Go back to your place. I’ll stop by after my shift. We’ll talk then, okay?”

Jack looked past Ray’s shoulder to the lifeless body. He watched as technicians carefully placed a protective tarp over the victim, telling him the CSIs had retrieved all the scene evidence they needed and now waited for the coroner’s removal.

Dumping the body at the lake had been a bold move. Even at this dead-end in the road, Golden Gate Park attracted a huge number of people, homeless and visitors alike. Someone had to have seen something.

“Can you use an extra hand?”

“Sorry, Jack. You know I can’t. I gotta get back. I’ll see you later, at your place.”

“Don’t bother.” Jack didn’t have to look back to know Ray watched to make sure he was leaving.

From behind him, he heard Travers ask, “What’s with that guy?”

“Lay off, Paul,” Ray said. “You’d react the same way if your daughter had been murdered and your wife was still missing.”

Meet the Author

K.A. Lugo is a native Northern Californian who grew up in Carmel-by-the-Sea, part of a larger community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. Over the years, she’s worked with several Carmel notables, but it was in 1997 she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was during this time she met the man she would marry, and relocated to live in Ireland.

While always writing since a very young age, K.A. earned her keep in Ireland as one of the country’s foremost travel consultants who also wrote travel articles about Ireland.

Since 2005, K.A. has published fourteen titles in genres including romantic suspense, erotic romance, cozy mystery, and now thrillers.

Slaughtered is the first in the new highly acclaimed Jack Slaughter Thriller series, set in San Francisco, a city close to K.A.’s heart.

K.A. loves hearing from readers and promises to reply to each message. Please visit her socials to stay up-to-date on this exciting new series.

Social Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
BookBub

Out Now—THE ANTHEM TRILOGY BOOK 3: ANTHEM OF SURVIVAL By Thom Collins

AnthemofSurvival_9781786516992_Ebook_1500x2400.jpg

The Anthem Trilogy:

  1. Anthem of the Sea
  2. Anthem of the Dark
  3. Anthem of Survival

Anthem of Survival

Will they ever escape the past?

Revenge casts a long shadow.

Following two prior attempts on their lives, Daniel and Elijah are together and stronger than ever. Their relationship has weathered the toughest elements and survived. Physically and emotionally scarred, the bond between them can’t be broken. One year on from the devastating events in Anthem of the Dark they have reassessed their priorities and want to spend time out of the spotlight.

Elijah has quit his stand-up career to focus on his new passion: training to be a chef. But for Daniel, there are too many questions he desperately needs answers to. Like who orchestrated the violence in Blackpool a year ago? Whose hatred of him runs so deep they’re ruthlessly prepared to hurt innocent by-standers? He teams up with journalist Keeley Rank to uncover the facts.

Though the truth is well hidden, it is closer than anyone thinks. Someone wants revenge. Someone intent on destroying Daniel anyway she can. When Daniel and Elijah attend a fundraising gala for a victim support charity they are unaware they are about to face their most perilous situation yet. Vengeance is a deadly game and not everyone will survive.

Available in ebook and Paperback

BUY LINKS:

Pride Publishing: http://ow.ly/2EIj30myQPQ

Amazon USA: http://ow.ly/J2nk30mTNMC

Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/iXQc30mTNIb

AnthemofSurvival_PromoSquarePP_outnow.jpg

Excerpt:

Daniel Blake, sitting on a shaded terrace in a pair of sun-bleached shorts, strummed a melody on his guitar. The afternoon sun blazed in a cloudless sky and, despite the protective canopy above him, the heat was intense. Beads of sweat ran down his neck, tracking over bronzed skin to the dark mass of chest hair. It glistened on his top lip as he gently chewed the bottom. With his eyes closed, he progressed through the strings. A moment later, he smiled, finally satisfied, and put down the guitar. He reached for the weathered notebook that had been his constant companion all summer and wrote in an eager, untidy hand.

Daniel had been working on the song for two days, both music and lyrics, and, at last, it was done. He had nothing left to add.

He lifted his gaze to the sky and inhaled full into his lungs. Across the terrace, the blue water of the Ionian Sea reflected the white light of the sun, its expanse an ever-changing collage of sapphire and diamond colors. Down the coast, the outline of Corfu Island was a hazy mirage in the heat. This perfect view had been his for six amazing weeks. The idyll would soon be over, but not yet.

Daniel lay back on the lounger and lengthened his arms above his head, stretching the stiffness in his neck. He’d been so absorbed in the song, ensuring every chord and every word were right, he’d ignored his own comfort and now his body ached. A few weeks earlier, he’d made the mistake of writing beside the pool, in the direct glare of the sun, and paid the price. Two painful days in bed with sunburn. Since then, he’d stuck to the shade while working on his music. He lost himself so much in the process it was easy to burn.

Daniel studied his body as he lay there. He’d never looked so good or been this tan before. There’d been no time to sunbathe in the past, he’d always thought it a waste of time. He had had too much to do, too much to achieve, to spend his days lying around a pool. But he’d realized this summer that a tan didn’t just suit him, it helped him feel better.

It wasn’t just the sun. Daily sessions in the pool and long walks on the beach kept him in shape. Coming off Lady Lynda, he’d had every intention of letting his fitness routine go a little, if only for the summer, but it hadn’t worked out that way. He was in better condition now than when he arrived, in mind as well as body.

His legs were strong, muscular and tan. He hardly recognized his own body. He inched down the top of his shorts to admire the contrast in color between the creamy skin below his waist and the coppery tones above. The villa was private and he could have bathed naked if he’d wanted to, except he wasn’t that kind of guy. Besides, tan lines were sexy. He’d always thought so. Who needed to risk a burnt butt and balls?

The one thing that marred the bronze color of his torso was the scars between his hip bones and ribcage, sustained the night Oliver Gill had stabbed him, and from the lifesaving surgery he’d gone through afterward. Before coming to Corfu, the pale scars had been almost unnoticeable on his white skin. His dark body hair just about concealed them. But as his tan deepened, the scars stayed white, becoming more pronounced, forcing him to look at them, to acknowledge them.

Daniel traced his fingers along the lines and indentations. Had he made peace with the disfigurement? No. But as the summer came to an end, he’d learned to accept them.

Daniel sighed and basked in the heat. Life was not so bad, considering what the last two years had thrown at him. Better than that, things were good. Not perfect, too many questions remained unanswered for that, but his optimism grew every day.

The glass doors of the terrace opened behind him and Elijah Mann stepped out, offering him a cold bottle of water.

“It’s hotter than hell out here,” Elijah remarked, shielding his eyes against the sun to gaze across the sea.

Daniel swung his legs over the side of the sunbed and sat up. He drank the chilled, sparkling water and looked with admiration at Elijah’s chunky thighs. While the sun had turned Daniel’s white-boy skin an appealing shade of bronze, Elijah, with his Greek heritage, had gone nut-brown. The beige shorts and blue open-neck shirt he wore today complemented his tan. God, he’s gorgeous. Daniel never had to remind himself what a lucky guy he was.

Elijah dropped onto the other sunbed, knees spread wide, and looked straight at him with soulful brown eyes. His thick blue-black hair fell in an untidy wave across his brow and a three-day beard darkened his jaw. With his natural Greek coloring, Daniel wondered if Elijah had ever looked more handsome. Even more important, he looked happier and healthier than he had in a long time. Less than a year ago he’d been in hospital, fighting for his life. Daniel wouldn’t ever forget how close he’d come to losing him. Those long, terrible hours beside his bed, praying he would recover. Hoping for the best, afraid of the worst.

“How’s it going?” Elijah asked, nodding at his guitar.

“I’m finished,” he answered, smiling.

Elijah’s eyebrows raised. “Really?”

“Absolutely.”

“Don’t keep me in suspense. Let me hear it.”

“What’s for lunch?” Daniel asked, feigning indifference.

Elijah leapt forward, grabbing Daniel’s bare waist, tickling the sensitive flesh around his middle. Daniel yelped and fell backward, giggling. Elijah followed through, lying on top of him, fingers still working his waist. Daniel laughed, squirming against his hard body.

“No lunch today,” Elijah said, his face on top of Daniel’s. “Not until you play me your song.”

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Thom Collins Bio

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, Gods of Vengeance and Silent Voices with Pride Publishing. The Anthem Trilogy is out now from Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

He is currently working on a new novel.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.

Links:

Blog: http://www.thomcollins.co.uk

Twitter:   @thomwolf     and  @realthomcollins

Instagram: thomcollinsauthor

Pinterest: Thom Collins

Email: thomcollinsauthor@aol.com

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