Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kobo Paranormal Mystery at it's best! $.99 for a limited time.

Love paranormal mysteries?  Catherine Mans takes you into the darker side of mind.



Current $.99 at KOBO

PROLOGUE


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me…

But He wasn’t with her.

She leaned against the cold steel door, her eyes closed in prayer. “Father, why have you forsaken me? What sins have I committed that you would punish me this way?”

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood.

“Fiank-o!” she screamed.

Her eyes flew open, and she spread her hands in front of her. Blood rimmed her manicured nails. Out of the corner of her vision, she saw the blood-soaked blouse plastered to her chest. So much blood for such a tiny body.

Ripping at her blouse, she mewed like a wounded animal. “Then take my eyes, so I no longer see the blood of my child on my hands. Take my ears, so I no longer hear the shrieks from below, the clanging of the chains.”

Silence met her cry. God was no longer listening. She sank to her knees and ripped at her hair, bordering on madness. How could they do this to her? Had she not served them well for more than ten years?

“You know what you must do, Aggie. I have seen the feux-folet. She is the child of Diablo, and she has cursed you.”

For a moment, rage blocked the pain squeezing her heart. “You!” Her eyes filled with hatred, fists clenched at her side. “You brought this upon us with your superstitions and your curses.”

“Mwen pòv zanj pèdi—you know I speak the truth. I was here when she was born without life, her body blue, her soul already beyond this world. Five years have come and gone. As she grows, so does the evil. They warned you this day would come.”

The old woman’s words washed over her like a river of ice, extinguishing the fire of her rage, leaving only a cold, still emptiness.

“I begged them, Mother. Begged for her life as her blood seeped through my fingers. I have served God, and I have served the spirits. But they have forsaken me.” She raised tortured eyes to beseech the old woman, her efforts met with stony silence and beady eyes filled with accusation. “I begged them!” Her voice tapered to a whimper. “She is only five. I have lost Catherine. Must I lose Mary also?”

The old woman knelt beside her. Taking her right hand, she pried open the fingers and closed them around the cold steel of the knife. “You can’t cure a mad dog, Aggie; you can only put it down. You disobeyed. You have been punished. Now pick up your cross, and carry it.”

The silence in the room was broken only by her whimpers; the old woman had left as quietly as she’d come. The knife lay heavy in her hand, just as the task before her lay heavy on her heart.

She rose and opened the door to the basement, ignoring the shrieks and clang of the chains. Her feet descended the steps slowly, the old woman’s words echoing inside her head: You can’t cure a mad dog, Aggie; you can only put it down.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A gift that keeps on giving - Fabulous Crime/Mystery/Thriller series.

Looking for a gift for the mystery lover in your life? Love character driven fiction that keeps you on the edge of your seat and cheering for the good guys? You'll love the Justice Series.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Two of my favorite quotes from New York Times bestselling author, M. A. Comley, and two free books!

Trapped – that’s what she was whether she liked it or not. #Quote M.A.Comley Evil in Disguise

She dreamt of faraway beautiful places with a faceless man who treated her like a princess. #Quote M. A. Comley Evil in Disguise






Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Sample - WIP - Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

Coming soon! Hopefully in October - Beyond A Reasonable Doubt


CHAPTER ONE

Jenna scanned the courtroom, anxious to get started and get it over with. Closing arguments were the part of her job she loved the most, and the part she was good at. The evidence had all been presented to the jury. Next, the defense would weave their story, shining a different light on the proof and twisting testimony in the hopes of creating doubt. All they needed was one juror. Her job was to make sure they didn't get that—to close all loopholes and leave the jury with only one choice: Travello was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. She'd practiced her closing argument, and she was ready.

Her gaze fell on Aran Travello. He grinned at her, causing a deep, nagging feeling to gnaw at her gut. She shook it off. The evidence was all in her favor. No jury in its right mind would find him innocent.
Grant Benson slid into the seat beside her and handed her a file. “Here's the PSIR."

Jenna scanned the presentencing investigation report, her eyebrows knitting together. Travello's previous crimes included everything but murder, and most of the crimes were nonviolent. "Damn it, there has to be more, something everyone missed."
Grant smiled, showing even, white teeth. "Patience, you’re showing your true colors.”

Jenna laughed and closed the file. Her father had wanted to name her “Impatience,” but her mother had balked. Two months early and weighing only two pounds, Jenna Patience James had burst into the world with gusto, screaming and kicking and fighting for life—just as she’d been doing ever since.

A quiet hush fell over the courtroom. Jenna turned, watching as Conrad Merced sashayed through the doors. She heard the quick intake of Grant’s breath as a blinding pain started just behind her right eye.

“What the hell is he doing here?” she whispered. “There’s no damn way Travello could afford to hire him.”

Jenna rubbed her right temple, soothing the pain as she continued to watch Conrad stroll down the aisle. He always reminded her of a clown, dressed in a dark-blue Armani suit, bright-red bowtie that matched his flaming-red hair and, of course, his trademark white shoes. Travello couldn’t even afford the shoe shine.

Grant shrugged and stood up. "Don't worry about it. I'd say you've got this one in the bag, even with Merced on his side."
Jenna raised an eyebrow. Grant was the new law clerk at the DA's office and had yet to try his first case. He had no clue just how many things could go wrong in a trial, especially a trial with Merced. His confidence in her ability wasn't exactly comforting.

Jenna continued to rub her temple as she slipped her feet into her three-inch heels, which gave her a respectable five-foot-five-inch height. Going up against Merced, even that felt short. Why hadn't Michael told her Merced was entering the case? She glanced to the back of the courtroom, and he shrugged, his lips lifting in a sympathetic smile.

Merced stopped at the prosecutor's table and dropped a motion in front of her. "There's been a slight change in Mr. Travello's representation. I'll be doing closing arguments. I hope you won't object as I'd hate to see a mistrial called on a technicality."

Jenna glanced at the motion. Merced knew damn well she wanted to object. Under other circumstances, she would have objected. Conrad Merced had never lost a case. Well, today wasn't going to be his lucky day. Pasting on her sweetest smile, she met the stony black gaze. "No objection, counselor."

She took some pleasure in the knitting of his bushy brows as the bailiff entered the room.

"All rise. Judge Raymond Carter presiding."

Jenna continued to smile as she stood. Merced was known for his courtroom drama, but Carter would squash him like a bug if he started that.

"Counsel, approach the bench, please."

Jenna held her smile as she stood before the bench, meeting the judge's sympathetic look. Damn him, he'd buried her already.

"Miss James, I have a copy of Mr. Merced's motion, do you have any objections?"

"No objections, Your Honor."

Carter eyed them both over his glasses. "All right, counsel, you may proceed with closing arguments. Mr. Merced, there will be none of your usual shenanigans."

"Strictly by the book, Judge. If Miss James has no objections, defense will go first, alleviating the need for rebuttal by counsel."

Jenna eyed him warily. Clearly, he had something up his sleeve. "No objections, Your Honor."
Jenna returned to her seat as Merced addressed the court. The gnawing feeling inside her gut grew to almost a physical pain as she listened to him go over the evidence, creating loopholes that could, if believed, create a reasonable doubt in the jury's mind. Fortunately, the loopholes were minor, but Merced's lack of courtroom drama and droning voice created a new fear inside her. Was he setting up an appeal defense for incompetent counsel?

"Miss James?"

Jenna stood and walked around the table.

"Your Honor, counsel, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard the testimony. The evidence is clear and precise. Mr. Travello not only butchered but reveled in the death of a homeless immigrant. All for a bottle of cheap wine." She knew her blue eyes were flashing as she delivered condemning words with precision. She didn’t flutter or wave her hands at the exhibits. Instead, she gripped them as weapons, walking slowly in front of each juror as she met their eyes, dropping her voice and making it soft and sensuous. “Perhaps Mr. Travello thought no one would care. Ladies and gentlemen, I care. This was someone’s son. Someone’s father. Someone’s best friend.”

~ ~ ~

Michael Elkins took his gaze from the jury for just a moment to admire the young woman delivering the scathing closing argument. She wasn't as pretty as the women he normally dated, but she was cute, and eventually he would change the things he didn't like. He studied the black curls that surrounded her face, already beginning to frizz on the edges. His gaze traveled down the slender frame. The breasts were a little too small, but implants would take care of that. He sighed. Her legs had almost become a deal breaker. He liked them long and shapely. Unfortunately, there was little he could do about her height.

He shook his head as the jurors averted their eyes from the gory picture she held in her hands. She was one of the best prosecutors in the state of Texas, and in another year to two, she'd be the new district attorney. That made her valuable to his career, which was all that really mattered in a relationship.

Shrugging his shoulders, he met the gaze of his partner, Scott Harman, who had taken his place on the case when Jenna was assigned as prosecutor. Their relationship wasn’t exactly public knowledge, but there was no way he would risk his career for a lowlife like Travello. He'd known Travello was guilty the first time he talked to him. He didn’t need to stay to hear the jury’s verdict. Travello had lost the second she dropped her voice and whispered those soft words, “someone’s son... someone’s father... someone’s best friend.”

He turned his attention back to Jenna. She was going to be pissed that he hadn't told her about Merced. Of course, he could feign ignorance. Scott had called him last night to tell him Merced was doing closing arguments. He hadn't asked why. Truth be told, he didn't care one way or the other. If Jenna won, he would take her for a celebration dinner. If she lost, he would console her.
Rising, he caught her eye as she returned to the prosecutor’s table to wait for Judge Carter to deliver the jury instructions, then to wait longer for the verdict and, if he was found guilty, sentencing. He caught her subtle wink, the slight lifting of the corners of her mouth.

Michael raised his hand, running his fingers through his thick, blond hair in a silent salute as he headed for the courtroom door to answer the cell phone that had been vibrating incessantly for more than five minutes.
He cleared security, heading for fresh air and a much-needed cigarette before he returned the call. The Honorable William Jefferson Elkins had summoned—six times. He wasn’t going to be happy about Michael’s refusal to answer the phone, even if he had been in court. Lighting a cigarette, he took a deep drag and scowled. His father hadn’t called him in over six months, and now he’d called six times in the space of a half hour. Hitting the Redial button, he threw the unfinished cigarette into the street.

“Hello.”

“Maria, it’s Michael. My father has been trying to reach me.”

The silence on the phone was deafening, and Michael felt the first tremors of foreboding.

“Hold, please.” The words were whispered with an underlying note of compassion and pain.

“Where the hell have you been? I’ve been calling you for hours.” Judge Elkins bellowed into the receiver.

“I’ve been in court, dad.” Michael didn’t bother to correct him that it had only been a half hour. No one ever corrected Judge Elkins—at least, no one that still had a bar license.

“There’s been an accident.” Anger still riddled the old man’s voice. “Your mother’s dead.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Coming Soon - Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - Warning - strong language.

Coming soon! Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - this was one of my favorite chapters. Right now in the hands of the editors, so it could change before the final publication, but I love Harry Redmond and Jake Savior.




CHAPTER THIRTY FIVE

Marcus poured another drink and glanced at Gregory. "Thanks to Miss James, we have a little over thirty-six hours to find that evidence and set the stage. The house should be empty except for the maid. Don't kill her unless you have to."

Gregory sipped his scotch. "What about James and those two cops? They could be a problem if they connect you to Elkins."

Marcus smiled and lifted his glass. "If all goes as planned they won't have time to connect me to either of the Elkins. Except as their lawyer, of course." He downed the bourbon and wiped his lips on his sleeve. "Don't look so disappointed. I do have a job for you. I believe David Garcia is soft where Miss James is concerned. He needs a little lesson on where his loyalty lies."

Gregory grinned. "Leg or arm? Or both?"

"I think an arm will be fine. He needs to be able to walk tomorrow."

~ ~ ~

Harry parked in front of the house, picked up the arrest warrant for Michael Elkins and handed Jake the one for William. "Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll resist arrest."

Jake tossed his cigarette out the window. "JJ might be upset if she doesn't get to take these bastards to trial." He opened his door and stepped out. "Of course, if there's nobody else here, who's gonna know they didn't resist?"

Harry joined him on the sidewalk. "I've got scratches and you've got a busted nose. Looks like the bastards resisted to me."

Jake shook his head. "I know you want to kill the guy for what he did to JJ, but he had a heart attack recently. We want him alive long enough to enjoy the fruits of being behind bars. He's cute remember. Cute guys are always popular."

Harry's lips compressed into a tight line. "All right, but I get one punch."

Jake slapped him on the back. "One punch it is partner."

Harry knocked loudly on the front door which was opened by the maid. Her eyes widened and her hands immediately started fluttering. "Can I help you?"

"We have a warrant for the arrest of William Elkins and Michael Elkins. Where are they?" Harry asked.

The hands fluttered even more wildly. "I do not understand. You're going to arrest Mr. Elkins?"

Jake gave her his best smile. "That's the plan, honey. Where is he?"

"The judge is in his study. Mr. Michael is upstairs in the shower."

Jake tapped Harry on the shoulder. "We'll do the judge first." He turned to the maid. "Why don't you show us where the study is, then you can go get Michael and bring him down."

"Yes, sir. Please follow me."

They followed her down the hallway to huge oak doors. She knocked and waited.

"Come in."

Jake grabbed her arm as she reached for the door. "Go get Michael. We'll take it from here."

Harry drew his gun as Jake opened the door and stepped into the room. Elkins glared at them from behind a huge mahogany desk.

"What the hell are you doing here? Get out of my house."

Jake moved slowly. "William Elkins, you're under arrest for the murder of Olivia Elkins. You have the right to remain silent."

Elkins reached for his drawer and Jake drew his gun and pointed it directly at judge's chest. "I wouldn't do that if I were you. I don't need much of a reason to pull this trigger."

Elkins let his hand fall away and Jake grinned. "As I said, you have a right to remain silent. If you give up that right anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." He rounded the desk, holstered his gun and jerked the judge to his feet. He pulled an arm behind the judge's back and slapped on a cuff. "You have the right to an attorney." Grabbing the other arm he wrenched it around and cuffed it. "If you can't afford an attorney one will be appointed to you." He turned the judge to face him. "Do you understand your rights, sir?"

Elkins spit on him before bellowing, "You're dead you son-of-a-bitch."

Jake wiped off the spittle and glanced at Harry. "I do believe the judge just threatened me, Harry. What do you think?"

Harry leaned against the wall never taking his eyes from the open door. "Sounded like a threat to me."

Jake eyed the old man. He wanted to hit him. Maybe break a few bones. Instead he smiled maliciously and pulled him in close. "I've waited twenty eight years to get you. So you know what I'm gonna do, Judge? I'm gonna spread the word around the jail that you're a former judge. Prisoners don't like judges. With that information making the rounds, even an old ass like yours is gonna see some real action. You've spent your whole life fucking people. Let's see how you like it." He pushed him toward the door just as Michael Elkins came sauntering through it.

"Don't worry, dad, I called Marcus and left a message. He'll have you out before they even finish the paperwork."

Harry stepped forward and handed Michael his warrant. "Michael Elkins you're under arrest for conspiracy, tampering with evidence and transporting a dead body across state lines."

Michael glanced at the warrant. "That little whore put you up to this?" He smiled at Harry. "She's pretty good in bed, isn't she?"
Harry's right fist came up hard and fast, catching him dead in the lips. He grabbed him before he could fall, pulled his arms behind his back and cuffed him. "You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent anything you say can and will result in me beating the shit out you."