Archive for the ‘excerpt’ Category

The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey Banner

The Crushing Depths

by Dani Pettrey

on Tour July 1-31, 2020

Synopsis:

The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.

Book Details:

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Published by: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0764230859 (ISBN13: 9780764230851)
Series: Coastal Guardians #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook| Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Late September

Thirty-eight miles off North Carolina’s coast

Greg Barnes clinked along the grated metal steps, his boot heels rasping with each shuffle as he headed topside for a much-needed breath of smoke. Thrusting the door open with a resounding creak, he stepped out into the night air. A litany of protestors’ chants mimicked the shrill whining of cicadas. He glanced at his watch. 1930. Didn’t those eco-nuts ever give it a rest? As if the cursed rig wasn’t enough—they had the dang relentless protestors going practically day and night. Exhaling, he rubbed his thumb along the smooth surface of the tarnished gold lighter in his pocket. His tight muscles seized, making his movements stiff. He shook his head. Those people needed to get a life. Edging around the far corner of the main separator facility, he pressed his back against the structure’s cool outer wall. Generators whirred across from him, finally drowning out the clatter. He scanned his surroundings and exhaled in relief. Finally, alone. His leg twitched. Just one drag . . . maybe two. It’d been an awful day, and that was the gentleman’s way of putting it. With unsteady hands, he pulled the plastic-wrapped pack from his shirt pocket. It crinkled beneath his hold and the sweet scent of tobacco wafted beneath his nose. He tamped the cigarette in his palm and slid it between his cracked lips. Just one drag. Tugging the lighter from his pocket, he flipped it open, then rolled the pad of his thumb across the ignitor. A spark flashed and fire roared, hissing over him in a sizzling cascade of torment.

Chapter Two

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Rissi Dawson sat at the long table on Dockside’s waterfront deck, gaping at Mason Rogers. He turned to look at her, his green eyes illuminated in the bright pole lights lining the wooden structural beams. She averted her eyes as heat rushed up her throat, spreading across her cheeks. He’d caught her staring again. Embarrassment drenched her. It’d been three days since his arrival, and she still couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact he was actually sitting next to her. The boy she’d had the biggest crush on as a teen was back in her life. And on her Coast Guard Investigative Service team. He handed her the basket of hush puppies the restaurant served instead of bread to start everyone off. His hand brushed hers with the movement, and her heart fluttered. “Thanks,” she said, keeping her gaze fixed on the red basket as she pulled two balls of fried cornmeal from it. She plopped the still-warm puppies onto the round plate to the right of her Coke. Get it together, girl! The whir of a boat’s motor dropping to an idle sounded over the deck’s edge. A teen jumped out of the white outboard and onto the pier, tying her up to the cleat. Rissi loved living in a place with a boat drive-thru. Noah raised his glass of iced tea. “Everyone . . .” The team lifted their glasses in response to their boss’s prompting. Noah dipped his chin. “Welcome, Mason. Happy to have you on board.” The team clinked their glasses together, even Caleb who sat brooding to her left. Observant as he was, there was no chance he missed the way she looked at Mason. In recent months, he’d developed feelings for her, so it wasn’t surprising he’d bristled at Mason’s arrival—especially after learning she and Mason shared a past, though he didn’t know the half of it. Only that they spent time in a children’s home together for a handful of months as teens. The opening riff of “Sweet Home Alabama” emanated from Noah’s jean pocket. He hitched up as he extracted his phone. “Rowley,” he answered. “Yes?” Standing, he headed down the ramp toward the restaurant’s pier. “Rockfish tacos,” the waitress said, placing the plate in front of Rissi. The sweet, tropical scent of the mango slaw swirled in the air. The waitress handed out plate after plate to each of them, setting Noah’s burger at his spot while he continued to pace the pier. Caleb bit into his Carolina BBQ pork sandwich, the scent of vinegar wafting in the night’s gentle breeze. Finn Walker did the same with his crab cake sandwich. He and Noah, who was from Maryland, had argued for months over which state had the best crab cake. Finn had been convinced it was North Carolina, right up until Noah had crab cakes flown in fresh from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Baltimore. It took two bites for Finn to concede the win. “Sorry about that, folks,” Noah said, retaking his seat. “Everything okay?” Emmy Thorton asked. Rissi looked forward to seeing the quirky angel every day at the station. “Rissi, Mason.” Noah lifted his chin in their direction. “I’ve got an assignment for you.” Her and Mason? They’d worked a case his first day on the team, but Finn had joined them for most of the investigation. This would be the two of them . . . alone. A mixture of elation and fear sifted through her. “Great.” Mason set down his lemonade. “We’ve got a death out on the Dauntless.” “The offshore oil platform?” Mason asked, swiping a drop of lemonade from his bottom lip. Stop staring, girl. So he’s jaw-dropping gorgeous. So you share a past. Still, staring is plain rude. Despite not having a mother to teach her, Rissi knew or, at least had come to learn, her manners. Noah laid his napkin across his lap. “You two need to determine if the death was an accident or if foul play was involved. Helo is leaving from Textra Oil’s copter hub in forty-five. I need you both on it.” Mason pushed back from the table. “No problem.” “Great,” Noah said. “You’ll be joining the head of operations, a commercial diver, and the deceased’s replacement on the company copter.” Rissi took one last bite of her taco before setting it down. She dabbed the corner of her lips with a napkin. “They aren’t wasting any time in replacing the deceased.” “The deceased’s name is Greg Barnes. I talked to the head of operations, Bob Stanton, and he said they needed to replace him ASAP.” “Must be an important position.” She reached for her glass and took a final sip. “You’d think,” Noah said. “But Bob said the main reason they need to replace him fast is they’ve been working with a skeleton crew.” Mason’s brows pinched as he stood. “Why?” “Several guys didn’t show up for their three-week rotation transport out,” Noah said, popping a fry in his mouth. “I know why they didn’t show up for that copter ride out there.” Tom Murphy leaned toward them from his table situated to their right. “Why?” Mason asked, moving around to the back of Rissi’s chair. He held it out for her as she stood. She glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled. “Thanks.” He nodded. Tom, one of Wrightsville’s most colorful fishermen, crooked his index finger, drawing them in. “That rig’s cursed.” “Cursed?” Caleb chuckled. “You can’t be serious?” Tom waggled his finger. “It’s no laughing matter, young man.” “I’m sure it’s a good story, Tom,” Rissi said. No reason not to be polite. “But I’m afraid we’ve got to catch a copter ride.” Tom shrugged and turned back to his food. “It’s your lives at stake.” “What do you mean?” she asked before they passed his table, unable to stem her curiosity. “You’ll see.” He smiled, his right incisor missing. “Henry’s curse is real.” “Henry?” Why was she letting herself get sucked into this? Tom let out a high-pitched chuckle. “Oh, you’ll learn all about Henry.” “Shall we?” Mason said, gesturing to the wooden ramp leading down to the gravel parking lot. Excusing themselves, they moved down the ramp. Mason leaned in. He smelled of the ocean and warm spice. He whispered, “Did that guy seriously just cackle?” She nodded, strangely curious about the old man’s ghost story. “I thought people only did that on Scooby-Doo.” She let out a slip of laughter. “I wouldn’t be laughing,” Tom called after them as they rounded the ramp on his side of the deck. “You two be careful out there, you hear? It’s a dangerous place to be. Just ask the men on board.” *** Excerpt from The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey. Copyright 2020 by Dani Pettrey. Reproduced with permission from Dani Pettrey. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Dani Pettrey

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.

Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, Publisher’s Weekly, and Amazon #1 bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.

Catch Up With Dani Pettrey: DaniPettrey.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

07/01 Guest post @ Quiet Fury Books

07/02 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

07/04 Showcase @ Just Books

07/06 Interview @ BooksChatter

07/07 Review @ sunny island breezes

07/08 Review @ Reviews by Marthas Bookshelf

07/08 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS

07/09 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads

07/10 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods

07/12 Showcase @ La libreria di Beppe

07/13 Guest post @ Nesies Place

07/14 Guest post @ Its Raining Books

07/14 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres

07/15 Review/Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

07/16 Showcase @ Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

07/17 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook

07/18 Review @ FUONLYKNEW

07/19 Showcase @ Eien Café

07/20 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner

07/21 Review @ Thats What Shes Reading

07/23 Review @ Bring on Lemons

07/24 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

07/27 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs

07/29 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

07/31 Review @ Teatime and Books

08/19 Podcast w/Fran Lewis

08/19 Review @ Just Reviews

Enter To Win!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Dani Pettrey. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each win THE CRUSHING DEPTHS by Dani Pettrey (Print ~ Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 1, 2020 and runs through August 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

How My Years of Experience Developing Screenplays Has Influenced My Work Writing Novels

How did I come to eagerly want to write character driven thrillers?

It began years ago when I went to Hollywood.

I came to Hollywood in 1975 to produce feature films. I was 26 years old, I didn’t know anyone in the movie business, but I’d stumbled onto a timely idea — I was going to work with, and most importantly, back screenwriters. That is to say, stand behind their work — and I say this with hindsight — protect them from being rewritten, include them in the process of choosing a director, casting the picture, all of the decisions that go into making a feature film.

At that time, the Writers Guild minimum for a high budget screenplay was $9,600. No, I’m not leaving out any zeros. You could hire the most accomplished screenwriter, if he or she agreed to work for the minimum, for $9,600. Also, screenwriters were at the bottom of the Hollywood food chain. Their screenplays were often rewritten at the whim of a star or a director or a studio executive. They weren’t often consulted about most of the important choices that go into making a movie.

Finally, it was a golden age in Hollywood — filmmakers were taking risks and studios were giving directors free reign to make daring movies. In this creative context, writers were eager to work on exciting projects, especially if they could stay with the project as it moved toward becoming a film.

In Chicago, I’d learned filmmaking working on educational films. I was the first one on and the last one off — doing everything from writing, to cinematography, to directing actors, editing, etc. But it was a big jump to producing feature films in Hollywood, so I went to business school and raised a small amount of money (less than $100,000) to go to Hollywood to finance screenplays.

I was young, optimistic, and emboldened by the films being made. I approached writers that I loved and made unconventional deals. I was successful enough developing screenplays, and attracting actors, that early on, studios were financing the screenplays I wanted to develop.

Early in my producing career, I had the privilege of working with author Ross Macdonald, a legend in crime fiction, on his only screenplay. Working with him, I began to see how characters could drive plot.

This was the New Hollywood (1967 -1980), and I worked with writers whose work grabbed viewers viscerally, not with explosions but with multi-dimensional characters that would draw you into a deeply moving story. I spent countless hours working out the stories and shaping the people in them. I worked with the following screenwriters, with some of their most famous works noted in parentheses: Frederick Raphael (“Two for the Road”), Alvin Sargent (“Ordinary People”, “Julia”), Andy Lewis (“Klute”), Joe Esterhas (”Basic Instinct”), Ron Bass (“Rain Man”), Stewart Stern (“Rebel Without a Cause”). William Wittliff (“Lonesome Dove,” Raggedy Man”), Larry D. Cohen (“Carrie,” “Ghost Story”), etc. These writer’s film credits are for identification purposes with the exception of  “Raggedy Man” and “Ghost Story,” as I did not work on these films.

Working closely with these great screenwriters was a rare opportunity to learn how to create complicated characters and to see how these complex people enriched storytelling.

As I had some success, I began developing screenplays working directly with actors including: Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Sally Field, and Jill Clayburg. I had a memorable trip to NYC to read a Frederic Raphael screenplay I had worked on with Diane Keaton and Al Pacino.

As I reflect, I can see how working with fine actors helped me later — I was able to draw complex, conflicted characters without being too heavy handed.

I am a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and, as such, I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes good movies work.

I left Hollywood in 1987 — the golden age was over and I wanted to write. To me, the best screenplays I’d worked on never got made. Nevertheless, it was a great experience. As a producer developing a screenplay, you learn to look for stories with strong, complex characters and a “rich stew” — that is to say a situation with conflict, emotional intensity, and the potential to evolve in unexpected ways. That is exactly how I approach the books that I write. I learned how to do that as a producer working on screenplays.

I am now 71 years old and I continue to write character-driven thrillers, including my latest novel: Danger in Plain Sight.

Burt Weissbourd is a novelist and former screenwriter and producer of feature films. He was born in 1949 and graduated cum laude from Yale University, with honors in psychology. His forthcoming book, Danger in Plain Sight, will be published on May 5th 2020 and is the first book in his new Callie James thriller series. His earlier books include Inside Passage, Teaser, Minos, and In Velvet, all of which will be reissued in June 2020.

Danger in Plain Sight

by Burt Weissbourd

on Tour June 1-30, 2020

Synopsis:

Danger in Plain Sight by Burt Weissbourd

It took fourteen years to construct a safe world for her and her son–and only one night for her ex to unravel it.

Celebrated Seattle restaurateur Callie James is more than a little thrown when her ex-husband, French investigative reporter Daniel Odile-Grand, shows up after fourteen years asking for her help. Even more disturbing: as she throws him out, Daniel is deliberately hit by a car, hurled through the front window of her restaurant–broken, bloody and unconscious. He flees from the hospital and breaks into Callie’s apartment, where he passes out. Reluctantly, Callie hides him. When she gets back to her restaurant, two assassins walk in, insisting that she find Daniel for them by tonight or pay the consequences.

Overwhelmed and hopelessly out of her depth, Callie hires the only man she knows who can help her: Cash Logan, her former bartender, a man she had arrested for smuggling ivory through her restaurant two years earlier, and who still hasn’t forgiven her.

The assassins blow up her restaurant. It’s Callie’s nightmare. And the worst is yet to come as she and her unlikely, incompatible ally discover that the most perilous dangers are far closer to home than they’d imagined.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Blue City Press
Publication Date: September 8th 2020
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1733438211 (ISBN13: 9781733438216)
Series: A Callie James Thriller, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

It was 1:15 a.m. when Kelly and Gray returned. They must have been watching, because they came in as the last patron left. Will showed them to the bar, where Callie was waiting at her table. They sat facing her, different suits this time. Gray wore a thin gold square-link chain around his neck and a matching gold earring—stylish and expensive. Kelly wore a similar gold necklace with a floating diamond solitaire pendant. As Will was asking where their suits had been made, Callie interrupted. “A drink?”

“Another time,” Gray said, all business now. “Have you found Daniel Odile-Grand?”

“No, as I said before, I have no idea where he is.”

“That’s unacceptable,” he said matter-of-factly. He turned to his partner, who nodded, regretfully smiling her agreement.

Callie was prepared. Cash had told her to hit her “ice mode” button—a phrase he’d coined for her chilliness when irritated—at any sign of trouble. He’d recognize that and take it from there. “I beg your pardon?” she replied, classic subzero. She sipped her tepid San Pellegrino with lime.

“As I explained, urgent matters are at stake.” Gray waved his hand to include the dining room downstairs. “I’m told this fine restaurant is underinsured.”

“Yo, Callie.” Cash had materialized behind her, carrying chips and guacamole for the table. “I thought you said we were well insured.”

“We are, in fact, well insured,” she agreed.

Cash leaned in. His physical presence didn’t seem to faze these people. “So we don’t need insurance, then, we’re fine,” he pointed out.

Gray leaned in, too, measuring Cash, finding him wanting. “Listen carefully, cowboy, this is not your concern.” He said it slowly, advising a dim-witted child.

Kelly shook her head and spoke for the first time. “No, surely not.”

Cash’s eyes locked onto Gray’s. “Then this is your unlucky day, pardner. From now on, to get to the lady, you go through me.” He flashed a shit-eating grin. “Did you call me Cowboy?”

Gray grinned ever so slightly. Kelly smiled, picture perfect.

“Cowboy?” Cash repeated, frowning now as he emptied the bowl of guacamole on Gray’s cream-colored silk suit.

Gray was up, going for his gun. He fell to the floor, writhing, when Andre planted his metal prosthetic in the hit man’s groin. Cash already had Kelly’s arms pinned at her sides. Andre took her gun from its shoulder holster and trained it on Gray, who was on the floor, covered with guacamole.

“Let this go,” Cash told Gray. “You don’t want a war. Not with me.”

“Nice suit,” Andre added, and lifted Gray’s gold necklace with the black metal toe of his prosthetic leg. “Love the bling.”

More from Danger in Plain Sight

Cash closed his eyes. He had to do something to divert his mind from these horrific insects. He turned away, stretched his sore arms, flexed his tense back, focusing on Callie. Callie James . . . Okay, it was working. Picturing her face, the corners of his mouth turned up and his spirits soared.

Callie James . . . Why did he feel so wholly in love with her?

He stood, arms extended behind him, as he considered his on-again, off-again history with women.

Women found him attractive, and he’d been with many of them. His relationships, however, rarely lasted as long as he expected. There was some part of himself that he held back, and women sensed this and eventually moved on or asked for more of a commitment than he could make. Over time, he realized that it wasn’t a part — like a piece — but rather some portion of his unusual intensity. He understood that he was very accepting of other people and only offered as much as a woman looked for — some essential emotional minimum — to sustain the relationship. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was a strong, keenly sensitive person’s way of protecting a partner from unwanted, possibly unsettling intensity. It’s who he was. Everything that he did, he did well but sparingly. So in some way he didn’t understand, he was choosing women who were less intense than he was.

Callie was the first woman he’d ever been with who demanded one hundred percent at all times. She was relentless, and even when she wasn’t aware of it, every bit as intense as he was. He didn’t hold anything back with her — yet she always wanted an explanation, an elaboration, an argument, or an answer to a difficult question. She’d never idealized him, that’s for sure. And he never pretended with her. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but the out-of-the-blue way this had happened between them, the strength of it, was something entirely new for him. Did he trust it? Yes, unequivocally. Did he know why? Yes, unequivocally again — it was because Callie James could never be untrue to herself.

Cash sat down, and turning back, he watched the horrible insects squirming in the jar.

No, he couldn’t lose her. Not now.

More from Danger in Plain Sight

He opened the back door and then led Christy up the stairs to apartment 2D. Will opened the apartment door, held it for her. Christy came through the door into the living room. Will closed the door behind her.

“Christy,” Callie called from where she’d been standing behind the door.

When Christy turned, confused, Callie whispered, “You miserable bitch,” and she fired two barbed, dart-like electrodes from her Taser into Christy’s chest. The electrodes created a circuit in the body, essentially hijacking the central nervous system, causing neuromuscular incapacitation.

Christy fell to the floor, writhing in uncontrollable muscle spasms. When the writhing stopped and she’d curled into the fetal position, Callie and Will cuffed her hands behind her back.

When they were able to get her on her feet, Callie said, “We’re trading you for Cash Logan and Amjad Hasim.”

“What are you talking about?”

Callie slapped her, as hard as she was able. The blow tore Christy’s lower lip, drawing blood, and bruised her cheek. Callie hadn’t planned to do that—it was her second time, and she’d never hit anyone nearly so hard in her life—but red-hot rage was coursing through her veins. She was trembling, though her ever-present anxiety had receded, and she sure as hell didn’t feel helpless.

“Are you crazy?” Christy cried out.

“Don’t even try that. I know what you and Avi have done—to Daniel, to my restaurant, to my friend Doc. You almost killed us all on the boat. And now you have Cash, damn you!”

Christy’s face changed; she got it—Callie had somehow put it together. “You low-life skanky cunt, I’ll kill you myself.” Christy spit in Callie’s face.

Callie slapped her again, a fierce crack, astonished, yet again, by the rage she felt welling inside. And in that moment, she understood that her usual internal restraints—her rules and regulations—were no longer in place. It was as if an anvil had been cut loose from around her neck.

Blood dripped from Christy’s lip, her left eye was partially closed, and tears streamed down her face.

Callie stepped closer. “If anything happens to Cash, if you hurt him again, I’ll kill you, Christy Ben-Meyer. I swear that on my son’s life.”

Five minutes later Christy was standing on a stool in the center of the room. Her hands were cuffed behind her back. Her feet were bound. Her mouth was covered with duct tape. There was a noose around her neck that was tightly tied off to the pair of sturdy eyehooks that Will had screwed into the ceiling beam earlier. Christy’s head was tilted back and up; the rope was that tight. Another rope was tied to the leg of the stool. If the stool were pulled out from under Christy’s feet, she would hang.

Callie held a handgun to Christy’s kneecap.

Will was shooting a video with Callie’s iPhone.

Callie spoke to the camera. “Avi Ben-Meyer, I promise you that I will shoot out Christy’s left kneecap in fifteen minutes if you haven’t arranged the exchange with Itzac by then. In thirty minutes, I’ll shoot out her other kneecap and hang her. Believe me on this — if Cash Logan is hurt in any way, I’ll torture her without mercy before she dies.” Callie nodded, done. She walked to a corner of the room, fighting for breath. Dear God! What had she just said? Torture Christy? Damn it, if they hurt Cash . . . She gasped — she’d never even known that she could have feelings like that.

Will placed a calming hand on her back, and he gave her the phone. Callie noted the time, then sent the video to Itzac.

More from Danger in Plain Sight

The martinis arrived, each one with an extra inch of refill in a glass tumbler. “The angel’s share,” Cash explained. He raised his drink, a toast. “To you, Callie, to what you could become.”

She clicked his glass with hers. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

“You have a shot at extraordinary.”

“You think so?”

“Possibly. But it’s an entirely different kind of extraordinary than turning-me-over-to-the-cops-for-smuggling-erotic-netsuke-into-your-restaurant extraordinary.”

“I deserve that. Jesus what an unforgiving, righteous gal I was.” She raised a palm. “Your words. And you were right. I’m sorry.” She touched his arm. “I was mean-spirited, foolish—just plain wrong — and I’ll always regret that.”

“Suppose we let that go.” Cash raised his glass again.

She touched her glass to his. “Thank you.”

“Speaking of regrets, honestly, I never anticipated that this past week would be so difficult—the anxiety, hiding Lew, the mace, the damage to your restaurant, the explosives on the boat . . . It was especially hard to lose Doc . . .” He let it drift.

She nodded, found his eyes. “I misjudged you early on . . . Conventional thinking sometimes blinds me—how you look, how you dress, what your job is. Long story short, you’re not at all what you seem. I listened carefully to you with Detective Samter today. You’re so smart, so able in the world. And in your way, though you’d never admit it, you try to get it right. Yes, you present whatever you’re proposing as practical, a calculated, opportunistic thing. What I’m learning, though, is that with you that’s also, as you see it—after carefully weighing pros and cons—the best for all involved. Or as I would say it, theright thing. How you get there is often confusing to me, but you do get there, way ahead of me, and, well, I admire you.”

“Thank you . . . That’s a two-way deal.” Cash watched her, surprised by her expressiveness. “Truthfully, this past week, I underestimated you. You’ve been right there, as hard as that must have been for you. You kept defying my expectations. Just when I was ready to give up on you, you did the smart thing, the hard thing, under protest, but you did it. And now, I’m watching you in the eye of a serious storm, just when I’d expect you to cave in, fall apart. But no, you manage. You even stand tall. Callie, you have a fine, strong heart.”

She smiled. “I’m a restaurateur. I never knew what to do outside my restaurant. I was always afraid.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“It took a lot of work and a huge amount of energy to accomplish that deception. I mean you can’t imagine what it was like for me to find you — ask for your help — at the Dragon. It was all I could do to look at you, to keep even a semblance of composure.”

“And that’s changing?”

“Yes, I think so. I hope so.”

“How did this happen?”

“It’s you, Terry.” She looked at him, eyes serious. “In your tenacious, patient way, you dragged me—kicking and screaming—out into the world, step by baby step, and though it’s every bit as frightening and even more unsettling than I imagined it, I’m okay with it. Yeah, I’m even getting my sea legs.”

“Bravo, then, Callie James. To both of us.”

She raised her glass. They toasted silently.

“Truthfully, Cash, at times I even like it out here.”

“Well, it suits you.” Cash watched her smile.

“I even like talking with you . . . And I was never a talker.”

“I’m guessing we have some great, contentious conversations ahead of us.”

“I like the idea of that.”

“Likewise.”

“Cash and Frosty, tête-à-tête.”

He took her small, delicate hands in his big, busted-up mitts.

Their kiss was tender, sweet, Cash thought. After, there were tears in Callie’s eyes.

***

Excerpt from Danger in Plain Sight by Burt Weissbourd. Copyright 2020 by Burt Weissbourd. Reproduced with permission from Burt Weissbourd. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Burt Weissbourd

Burt Weissbourd is a novelist and former screenwriter and producer of feature films. He was born in 1949 and graduated cum laude from Yale University, with honors in psychology. His book, Danger in Plain Sight, published on May 15th 2020, is the first book in his new Callie James thriller series. His earlier books include Inside Passage, Teaser, Minos, and In Velvet, all of which will be reissued in Fall 2020.

 

 

 

Catch Up With Burt Weissbourd On:
BurtWeissbourd.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


06/01 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
06/01 Showcase @ Ilovebooksandstuffblog
06/02 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
06/03 Guest post @ Its Raining Books
06/04 Interview @ Reading A Page Turner
06/05 Interview @ BooksChatter
06/07 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods
06/09 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner
06/10 Review @ Jane Pettitt Reviews
06/10 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
06/11 Showcase@ La libreria di Beppe
06/16 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
06/16 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge
06/17 Review @ Nesies Place.
06/18 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
06/18 Review/showcase @ Avonna Loves Genres
06/19 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
06/21 Showcase @ EienCafe
06/24 Guest post @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
06/25 Showcase @ Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
06/26 Guest post/showcase @ CMash Reads
06/27 Review @ The World As I See It
06/28 Review @ sunny island breezes
06/29 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa de Nikolits Banner

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution

by Lisa de Nikolits

on Tour March 1-31, 2020

Synopsis:

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa de Nikolits The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about a couple experiencing a crisis. The husband, Lyndon, loses his job as editor of a financial magazine. Neither are happy with aging. Lyndon has gotten by with charm and frozen emotions. The wife, Margaux, has no idea how angry she is with him for his detachment. It is her idea to sell the house and just travel. But he is not coping well with retirement, so he simply walks off a ferry in Australia and leaves her. He steals a cat (well, he steals an expensive SUV that happens to have a cat onboard) and he flees Sydney, ending up in Apollo Bay, a few hours south-west of Melbourne, where he falls in with a group of anarchists and punk rockers in a tattoo parlour, planning revolution. Meanwhile, Margaux sits tight in Sydney with no idea of where her husband might be or what happened. She moves into the red-light Kings Cross area, befriending the owner of the hostel, a seventy-year-old ex-cop drag queen from Saint John, New Brunswick, and waits to hear from her husband. When she learns that her husband is fine, she is consumed by wrath and she invokes the angry spirit of an evil nurse, a key player in the terrible Chelmsworth sleep therapy in which many patients died (historical fact). While Lyndon gets in touch with his original career ambition to become an artist and wrestles with anarchism versus capitalism, Margaux learns to deal with her rage. A serio-comedic thriller about a couple who embark on an unintentionally life-changing around-the-world adventure, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how love and passion can make a difference, at any age.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller Published by: Inanna Poetry & Fiction Series Publication Date: September 30th 2019 Number of Pages: 300 ISBN: 1771336498 (ISBN13: 9781771336499) Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Margaux My husband has fallen overboard into the black sea of the Sydney Harbour. Panic stops my breath as if a cork has been shoved down my throat and I run from one side of the ferry to the other and back, but, just like the last time I checked, he’s not there. It’s close to midnight and the Sydney Harbour is a tar pit of roiling waves, churning and chopping. I lean over the railing, trying to see him in the water, searching for an out-stretched arm but the ferry is moving too quickly. Half a dozen people onboard look at me curiously and I can see them thinking nuts, she’s nuts, don’t make eye contact. I can’t breathe for panic and I am panting like a dog, making horrible sounds. I grab the deckhand by the arm. I try to form words but I can hardly talk and all I can say is husband, gone, must have fallen overboard and I point towards the thick molasses water. The deckhand is kind. He doesn’t call me a raving lunatic. He helps me check the ferry from stern to bow, starboard to port, not once but twice. He asks for my husband’s cell phone number and he dials it on speaker. It goes straight to messages. I’ve already tried, with the same response. Hiya, Lyndon here, do the necessary or forever hold your peace. “He’s fallen overboard,” I say. “We have to send out a rescue party. We have to find him.” *** Lyndon I’m driving on the wrong side of the road. Except of course for them, it’s the right side. I am driving a stolen car and I must concentrate, I can’t afford to get into an accident. For the most part, this car just about drives itself. I got lucky, what kind of idiot leaves a brand-new Jeep running while she gets a coffee? I was standing there, about to sip my skinny flat white when this rich suburban ditz comes along, parks right in front of me, leaps out and rushes into the coffee shop. It’s not like I was looking for a car to steal, of course not, but when she showed up, I knew what I had to do. I sidled around the car, opened the door and shot into the driver’s seat, quickly pulling the door closed. The air con was an arctic blast and I was chilled in seconds. Where was the off-switch? But more importantly, I had to get the hell out of Dodge. I pulled out into the traffic, bracing for sirens, flashing lights and my imminent arrest but there was just the usual Sydney gridlock. I threaded in between the cars, glancing in the rearview mirror and looking for a furious blonde in hot pursuit, shaking her fist and dialling 911 but there was no sign of her. I fumbled with the car’s buttons and levers, driving with one hand, and I managed to turn off the air con. I opened my window and let the warm summer wind blast into the car, washing it clean of the cold, burnt air. But where was I going? A quick decision was necessary. I called up a map of Australia in my mind. I’d studied it long enough before this trip, losing myself in the tongue-twisting Aboriginal names like Woollara, Woolloomoolo and Wollongong and wishing that I didn’t have to go at all. But, here I was, and I had a choice. I could go north east or south west. But the north east Gold Coast sounded cheap and nasty so Melbourne won the coin toss. I was about to take the turnoff for the Hume highway when I realized that highways might have cameras, whereas the smaller roads would not and I decided to navigate by the compass on the dashboard and stay off the radar as much as possible. I had the sudden worry that the car might have a tracker but I figured that if it did, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I felt strangely free and yet resigned at the same time. I checked the gas tank. Full. I didn’t have to worry about that. In fact, for the first time in ages, I didn’t have to worry about anything at all. I was free. Free from all the societal and familial shackles and manacles. I pounded the steering wheel with my fist and I grinned a Jack Nicholson crazy-man smile – yes, I’m doing the Jack-man proud! I’ve been bowed and beaten and nearly broken but not for one second longer! I’ve finally taken control. I released all the windows in the car to get the full volume of the sweet-scented, hot Australian summer and I leaned back in my luxurious seat to savour my moment of triumph. I didn’t let the bastards grind me down! I reached for my skinny flat white and took a satisfying gulp. Say what you will about the Australians, they make great coffee. I took another slug and nearly choked because at that moment, a scream pierced my eardrums and my scrotum clenched so far back in my body I was convinced I’d lost my balls for life. I choked down the mouthful of coffee and shoved the cup into the holder. Another ungodly ear-piercing howl filled into the air and I nearly swerved off the road. I white-knuckled the car into submission and tried to steady my heart which was pounding so hard that my eyeballs were popping. What in god’s name was that? There was a demon in the car? Oh my god, don’t tell me it’s a baby. I stole a car with a baby in it, didn’t I? I glanced into the back, fully expecting to see a baby staring at me with accusing eyes. It’s one thing to be a car thief – which, I’ll have you know I am not – but a kidnapper? My insides sloshed back and forth as if I’d swallowed the green mush that Margaux made me eat instead of breakfast, hoping to get my weight gain under control. I have that same bitter taste in my mouth now as I prepare to meet the gaze of the stolen baby. The baby strapped into the car seat, pursing its little Chuckie-doll monster mouth and getting ready to let loose another of those horrifying screams. But there is no baby. There is no car seat. No Chuckie. Relief washes over me and my balls ungrip a millimeter. At least I am not a child thief, I am not a kidnapper. I can breathe again. Thank god. There is, however, a large grey box on the back seat. A cat box. I take my eyes off the road for a moment and swing around to look at the box. Yes, it’s a cat box. I have kidnapped a cat. I have catnapped. I am a cat-thieving felon. I am sixty years old and I am a cat thief. It is one thing to steal a car, but it is quite another to steal a cat. You do not steal cats. Top of the range Jeeps, yes, that is somewhat acceptable, although of course, I am not a car-thief by profession or nature although deep down, I must be one, since I appropriated the car with such natural ease. I have been a car thief for my entire life, only I never knew it until now. But I am not, nor ever will be, a cat thief. Thoughts fill my mind like dust devils and whirling dervishes and I force my eyes back onto the road. I must focus. Self-recriminations and internal philosophical debates are of little use to me now, I must think. But another eardrum-destroying howl fills the car, as if a hundred geese are being mauled by a pack of wild dogs. And then, pigs are tortured and they squeal and honk and attack each other in a frenzy and it’s all I can do to keep the car moving in a straight line. My hands are shaking and sweat pours off me and I am stuck to the leather seat I was admiring only moments before. What in the blazers is that box? Is a cat even capable of making sounds like that? I need to pull over and dump the box. Nothing in the world should make a noise like that, not even Lizzie Borden’s family as they were chopped up by her nasty axe-wielding little hand. And why is the cat suddenly so distraught when it was utterly silent when I made off with the car? Why is it howling now, a good half an hour later? I scramble for solutions, which is pretty hard to do when devilish sounds are turning the mushy insides of my bowels to ice despite the summer heat which is flooding the car. Ice… which in turn which makes me recall the air con – the car was like a refrigerator when I took it – could it be that the creature wanted the air conditioning back on? Another yowl fills the tiny area and I’m about to pull over and pitch the box out but there are cars in front of me and behind me and I can’t stop – where did all this traffic suddenly come from? Pulling over is not an option. I fumble with the buttons on the steering wheel and manage to close the windows. I punch the air con up to the max, full blast. The cat is still squealing and hissing and I pound the steering wheel with my fist. “Shut up, shut up, shut up, cat,” I shout into the back of the car and I give a low growling moan, trying to quell the beast into submission. I can’t count the years since I’ve raised my voice. I’ve never raised my voice to my children, or my wife and certainly not my staff members. “Shut up! Shut up!” I increase the volume of my chant and my growl turns into a scream which sounds rusty at first, a bit squeaky and I’m certainly no match for the cat who is still putting me to shame. “Shut up! Stop it, eyyyyyyy yayyyyy!” I put some force behind it and soon I am reaching down into my lungs and my gut and it feels fantastic and I grin like Jack while I scream. It takes me a while to notice that the cat has gone quiet and the only sound in the car is coming from me. Feeling remarkably stupid, I stop shouting and all I can hear is frigid air blasting into the confines of the car. I am covered in goose bumps but the cat is silent. I was correct. The cat loves the air con. I clear my throat and readjust my body in the seat and try to reorganize my thoughts and myself after my unexpectedly exhilarating screamfest. I wonder if I should carry on screaming for the fun of it but I have lost momentum. The car is as cold as mortuary’s freezer. That’s why the woman left the car running when she went to get her coffee. To keep the cat happy. That must be some cat. *** Excerpt from The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by xx. Copyright 2019 by Lisa de Nikolits. Reproduced with permission from Lisa de Nikolits. All rights reserved.
 

Guest Post:

Why Should Readers Read The Occult Persuasiona and The Anarchist’s Solution?

Why indeed? This is perhaps the best question out there!  Well, to start with, it’s a one-of-a-kind punk-themed suspense thriller that combines the winning elements of many bestselling novels. It’s a picaresque thriller with elements of punk rock, combined with domestic thriller intrigue, aspects of esoteric spirituality, unexpected adventures and a brand new cast of unique, hilarious, and relatable characters.

And the book came about under most unusual circumstances! On a trip to Australia, I thought my husband had fallen overboard into Sydney Harbour. In fact, I missed the ferry stop! But I truly thought he was gone. And in that moment, a hundred scenarios flashed across my mind. None of them made it into the book but the seed was sown and I reaped it with all my might!

On the same trip, we visited Balmain and it was there, at the abandoned Rozelle Asylum for the Criminally Insane, (ironically now home to the Sydney International Festival of Authors, among other things), that I felt the presence of the evil Nurse Nancy.

Research into the asylum led to the discovery of the Chelmsford Sleep Therapy which tied in perfectly to the book.

Add to that the fact that I’ve always loved Sid Vicious (who doesn’t?!) and have always wanted to write about him, I studied tarot, focusing on Liz Worth’s book (with her permission), Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot

Also, I wondered about the statue of the Virgin Mary at Coogee for many years and I’ve wanted to work that into a story, as well as the lives of the drag queens in Kings Cross. I lived in Sydney for two years and I wanted to use the city as a backdrop for quite some time.

I also tried to research throwing a roll of toilet paper off the Sydney Harbour Bridge but, contrary to my work of fiction, there are cameras and steel fencing everywhere you look! So me and my roll of toilet paper didn’t get to actually try the experiment but I did the math and the toilet paper protest could, in theory, work!

And I wondered in as store full of anarchists, in Newtown – they frightened and fascinated me!

I figure all of that makes for a really fascinating read and that’s why I think readers will love this book!

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog and I very much hope your readers will pick up a copy of The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution today!

 

Author Bio:

Lisa de Nikolits Lisa de Nikolits is the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning author of nine novels: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, No Fury Like That, Rotten Peaches and The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution (all Inanna) No Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo. Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various anthologies and journals across the country. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers. Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Catch Up With Lisa de Nikolits On: LisadeNikolitsWriter.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lisa de Nikolits. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2020 and runs through April 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway  

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours