Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Night Tease - A Sneak Peek at Shadows of Doubt


Kerri studied the notes she’d added to the diary, comparing them to the ones before. The writing was close, but a handwriting expert would see the subtle differences. She would eventually have to recopy the entire book just in case it was ever found. His legacy had to live on without blemish.
“But what about your legacy?”
She ignored the voice. She would have her legacy in time, but not until Simone’s work was finished, and not until the world was ready to recognize her talent.
She closed the book, picked up her glass of wine, rose and went to study the paintings lining the den wall. It had taken her a year and over a half a million dollars, but she was ready now. She had more money that she needed, and the ability to make more as long as no one found out the truth.
A deep rattling cough came from behind the bedroom door. Her shoulders slumped and the hand holding the glass started to shake as emotional pain ripped through her like a thousand tiny paper cuts that throbbed and ached. It was their fault Simone had been hurt. He’d been upset because the job wasn’t finished. Like an artist when the painting was incomplete or an author when the book was only half written. No true artist could live with that. It ate away at your soul until you slowly starved to death.
She opened the door slowly, watching the sheet covering the withered, scarred body for any signs of movement that would signal he was still breathing. It rose slightly as another rattling cough shook the bed. She blew him a kiss and closed the door, leaning against it for just a moment to steady herself. The figure no longer bore any resemblance to the man she’d fallen in love with, but his essence was still in there somewhere struggling to survive. That was one of the things she’d loved about him.
She poured another glass of wine and went back to the paintings. This was the beginning of her legacy. They were all guilty, and they would all die. She stared into the grey eyes of Clifford Beaumont. A somewhat ugly bloke, but he was the most dangerous of them all. The rumors of his mob associations were true and his political power was immeasurable. He would be a formidable enemy, and she would enjoy every moment of it. She wanted him to suffer the most. Without his interference none of this would have happened. While she watched her lover die, he was enjoying a new grandchild. She wanted the images of her first kill to become firmly planted in his head, making it impossible for him to sleep or close his eyes without seeing those images of his spoiled brat daughter, Kamela, or the baby. She shook her head and chuckled. How wicked of her. She hadn’t thought about using the baby. Of course she wouldn’t kill her, but for Beaumont to think she would, would drive him insane.
She moved to the second painting. Jake Savior, Corpus Christi police officer. A handsome rebel that always got his man. She took a sip of wine and gazed into the deep blue eyes. Married but no children. He would be her second biggest challenge. A real hothead, but she knew how to take the steam out of him. She should probably disable him first. Drive him into the same madness she had lived with for the last year. That would put the fear of God into the others. She would work slow, stretching out their fear, their desire to keep their loved ones safe. She would make them suffer as they watched the people they loved die, just as she had suffered.
She moved to the third painting. Harry Redmond, Corpus Christi police officer. Choctaw Indian. No wife, but a relationship with Jenna James. There was also his cousin, Loki Redmond. Shivers ran through her as if someone had just walked over her grave. She would have to be careful around that one. So what would upset Harry more, losing Jenna James or losing Loki? She wasn’t sure and until she was sure she wasn’t going to make a move on him.
The fourth painting vexed her the most. Jenna James, Corpus Christi District Attorney. She was the glue that bound the group together. Strong, intelligent and devoted to her job. Something Kerri admired in any woman. And like her, James had no family. It truly was a shame to kill her. She would discredit her first. There was no rush in making up her mind. Perhaps destroying her in the eyes of her adoring public would be enough.
A soft smile played around her lips as she moved to the fifth painting. Marcus Dade, high powered defense attorney. A very handsome devil. She’d actually developed an affinity for Marcus. The two of them had so much in common. He reminded her of Simone. She would leave him until last. Maybe she’d even let him live.
She raised the wine glass. “To the victor goes the spoils.” She would start with Savior and see where the chips fell.

A loud moan came from behind the closed door followed by another rattle. She glanced at the syringe and bottle sitting on the coffee table. The doctor had told her the time would come when his suffering would become unbearable. Picking up the syringe and bottle she walked slowly to the door. It was time for his suffering to end and theirs to begin.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Excerpt - Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

Clifford Beaumont was one of my favorite characters to write. A man with a past. A man with stories to tell. A loyal friend, but formidable enemy.

EXCERPT - Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

Closing the door, he headed down the stairs. He’d kept his hands clean for a long time, but before that night was over, blood would flow.

Clifford returned to the library, downed a quick glass of wine, replaced the gun in the drawer, and pulled out his switchblade. He opened a panel behind the bookcase, stepped through, and closed it behind him before flipping on a light switch and descending a set of stairs. The room below had taken months to build to his specifications. The contractor had thought him crazy when he’d stated he wanted it totally soundproof. That night was the first time he’d had to use it. His hands clenched at his sides. Depending on what the bastard told him, it wouldn’t be his last.
Travis had already secured the man, his hands and feet tied to a chair, and he’d removed the black hood. “He’s awake, sir, but not very talkative.”
Clifford smiled. “Let’s see what we can do about that. Put down some plastic, Travis, he looks like a bleeder to me.”
Clifford took his time unbuttoning his shirt, folding it, and placing it on a table against the wall. Next he removed his shoes and socks and placed them on the table. He undid his belt, stepped out of his pants, folded them neatly, and placed them with the shirt. He’d saved the best for last. Hooking his fingers in his underwear, he slipped them off and tossed them on top of the shoes. He flexed his shoulders and rolled his head from side to side until his neck made a cracking sound before he picked up the switchblade. The only thing more intimidating than a huge, hairy man approaching with a blade was a huge, hairy, totally naked man approaching with a blade.
“I ain’t talking,” the intruder said. Clifford slid the knife inside the neck of his black T-shirt and slowly ripped it from top to bottom. “Why don’t you tell me your name?” He nicked him just below the collarbone, letting the knife glide across his chest, a small trail of blood appearing along the line. “Or better yet, tell me who sent you here.”
“Told you, I ain’t talking.”
Clifford reached up and grabbed his face, holding it tight as he looked him straight in the eyes. “They all say that, son. But everybody talks. All you’ve got to decide is how much blood you want to lose before you do it.” Clifford smiled and lowered his voice. “Eyes, tongue, fingers, or toes?”
“I’m gonna start cutting. Being the nice guy I am, I’ll let you choose where I start.”
“You’re crazy.”
The fear in the man’s light-blue eyes pulled at Clifford’s primitive side, that side of human nature that made one more of an animal than a man. He’d buried that side for a long time. An image of Kamela lying in bed, her blond hair spread out on the pillow, flashed through his mind, and he let the knife slide across the intruder’s bare chest again, that time going a little deeper. “You tried to hurt my daughter. If I were crazy, I wouldn’t let you choose. Let’s start with fingers. Travis, bring me a board.”
Travis picked up a board and approached the chair. “Right or left, sir?”
Travis grabbed the right hand and strapped it to the board. “Want me to gag him?”
Clifford shook his head and, with one fluid motion, chopped off the pinky. A scream filled the room as the chair rocked. “Who sent you here?”
“I ain’t talking!”
Clifford swiped at the blood that had sprayed across his chest and grinned. He raised the knife. “Suit yourself.”

Grab your copy now for just $.99/99p 

Amazon – all sites
 Apple iBooks 
B & N
Page Foundry