Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Available Now: Silent Mayhem by Sue Coletta

The Mayhem Series, #3
Sue Coletta



FREE on Kindle Unlimited

(99c through Sunday 28 April)
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?

• • •


“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.”

• • •

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.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Available Now: Missing Pieces by Susan Clayton-Goldner

Susan Clayton-Goldner



99c/p through Sunday 21 April
Lillianna Ferguson has spent the last twenty years pretending her father is dead. She moved to Oregon—far away from her childhood home in Delaware—changed her name from Emma to Lillianna and vowed never to go back.

When her brother, Greg, phones, begging her to come home to care for their father who has been diagnosed with a dangerous, aortic aneurysm, she is adamant in her refusal. When did he ever take care of her?

But Greg is equally stubborn in his arguments that she return, as the surgeon at Johns Hopkins won’t repair the aneurysm without first amputating their father’s infected leg.

Calvin Miller, a disabled WWII veteran, survived a grenade that killed his best friend. It took off most of his right hand and left him with osteomyelitis in his leg, a bone-destroying infection, that refuses to heal. His surgeon believes his only chance for survival is amputation. The irony that his body is about to experience another explosion does not escape Lilianna.

Calvin, who has fought more than fifty years to save this leg, is adamant he will die the same way he lived—with both legs. Greg believes, if anyone can convince their father to have the amputation, it will be Lillianna.

Will she leave her safe life and reenter the minefield of her childhood?

• • •

Williams, Oregon
Thursday, September 21, 1995

“You know he’s fought hard for more than fifty years to keep his leg.”

Lillianna Ferguson paced across the kitchen of her Oregon ranch house, stretching the coiled phone cord to its limits. But she couldn’t escape the slam of guilt her brother’s words brought. Their mother had told her about the way, against all the odds, her father had learned to walk again in the corridors of Valley Forge Military Hospital.

“Can’t you find someone else? A nurse or caregiver? Maybe the Veterans Administration can help.”

“Doctor Willingham claims he can’t fix the aneurysm without amputating. And the way it is now, Pop won’t agree to the surgery. With the size of that bubble, it’s just a matter of weeks before his aorta blows. The VA is paying his bills at Johns Hopkins. Come on, Em—”

“The name is Lillianna, Greg. It’s only been eighteen years since I changed it.” She sighed. Why couldn’t her brother or anyone in her extended family accept the fact she was no longer Emma Miller? That name was a constant reminder of everything she wanted to forget. “The VA has rehab facilities.”

“I checked out a couple, and they’re pretty depressing. Besides, they bring

back things. Things he’d rather forget. You’re his daughter, and he hasn’t seen you for years.”

A dose of guilt she refused to swallow. “Since when does he care if he—?”

“For crying out loud. Let it go. He’s an old man, and he needs you. He… He…” Greg’s voice broke.

Lillianna swallowed. Greg, though three years older, had always been the soft-hearted one, the caretaker, the boy who’d tightened her roller skates with a key he kept on a string around his neck.

“He what? He needs me to take care of him? Is that what you’re saying? Well, when did he ever take care of me?” Despite her attempts at control, her voice cracked, and she gripped the phone receiver in her sweaty hand. She glanced at the clock on the microwave. Her husband, Steve, would be back from feeding the horses soon and dinner was almost ready. She didn’t want to be in the middle of an argument with her brother when her husband returned.

“Hell… he didn’t take care of me either,” Greg finally admitted. “But he’s our father. And he’s been through a hell of a lot. He’s not the man you remember. Pop stopped drinking after Mom died. I’ve tried to put the past behind me and be there for him in spite of…”

She dragged her left hand through her hair and clutched the phone a little tighter with her right. “And I haven’t? Is that what you’re saying? Don’t you ever get sick and tired of seeing his side? Don’t you want to stand up and tell the truth about him for once?” She bit the inside of her cheek. Tears stung her eyes. Her brother was right. She hadn’t been there for their father. But that didn’t mean she had to start now.

“No,” Greg answered softly, then sighed. “I’m not even sure I understand what the truth is anymore. And even if I did, it doesn’t matter.”

“You’re a saint, all right. I acknowledge it. Shall I Federal Express you a halo?” She laughed bitterly.
“Forget the halo. Just tell me you’ll come. Agree to help me out, if not him. He’ll be in the hospital for weeks. I can’t take that much time away from the business. It’s my busiest season. Besides, this may be your last chance.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel guilty?”

“It’s a fact. Somebody has to convince him to have the amputation. I tried. He won’t listen to me. Please, Sis, help him see there’s no choice. His doctor isn’t the one to do it.”

“He’s a stubborn old fool,” Lillianna said, her voice almost a hiss. “What makes you think he’ll listen to me?”

“Because he really wants to see you. Whenever I talk with you on the phone, he questions me. How is she doing? Does she sound happy? Did she say anything about coming back home? If anyone can convince him, it’s you. Come on. I’ll pick you up at the airport in Baltimore. There’s a hotel right next to the hospital. I’ll even pay the bill, for God’s sake. I’ll be there on weekends to give you a break. Please. It would mean a lot to him. And to me.”

“I have a life, too, you know. Ranching is hard work. And I’m not sure Steve can manage twenty-six horses on his own. Besides, even if I don’t go into an office every day, I’ve got deadlines to meet.”

“I’ve thought about that. You can bring your laptop. And I can hook you up with a printer if you need one. Don’t let your writing be an excuse not to see him. If you do…” He paused, and his voice grew faint. “I’m afraid you might regret it once he’s gone.”

After agreeing she’d think about it and get back with him in the morning, they said their goodbyes and hung up. Lillianna stared vacantly out the window at a gray squirrel as it sifted through the needles, bark, and pine cones under the conifers. A late September sun lingered over the trees and left a bright shadow on the ceiling.

There was something about autumn that roused her affection and sadness—the way the pastures turned golden and the apples along the drive dropped to the ground in fermenting mounds. She wanted to talk to Steve, but already knew what he’d say. He’d tell her to go, her father wouldn’t be around forever, and someday she’d be sorry. And maybe he’d be right.

Without any warning, young Emma floated up inside her until she was back in Mrs. Ward’s first-grade classroom on the early June day they’d invited dads to their Father’s Day play.

• • •

Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers' Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count.

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Available Now: Bones by Ainsley Cole

Black Dove Security seies, #1
Ainsey Cole



99c/p through 7 April
FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Braedon “Bones” Roberts is used to getting his own way. As leader of Black Dove Security, he runs an efficient and often deadly team of operatives who specialize in keeping the rich and famous safe. There isn't a situation in the world he can’t tackle and come out on top of...until he meets Witty and smart Doctor Abigail Baker, the lead scientist who's tasked with discovering the cause of mass bleeding deaths in the Kenyan desert.

Abigail grinds on Bones’ nerves with her forthright honesty, but he can’t keep her out of his mind and his dirty fantasies, and before long, they're closing in on becoming more than colleagues in a dangerous realm.

When the local militia find out who Abigail is, the hunt is on, and the Black Dove Security team leap into action. Their primary goal is keeping Abigail on the move and away from the militia is going to be harder than they hoped.

Bones has a decision to make—keep Abigail in Kenya to find out what is causing the disease, or flee from the militia and protect her life.

Either way, he’s playing with fire, and at the center of it all, she's a woman he’d lay down his life for.

• • •

Inhaling, he closed the door, shutting off the sight of the women getting intimate. Following the hunkering man down the hallway of the hotel, he skipped a little, trying to keep up with him. “Hey, has Wolf told you anything?”


“Do you know where we’re going?” The man didn’t answer, and Bones frowned, stepping up next to him, waiting for the elevator. Reaper didn’t look at him. “Is everyone else getting the VIP pick-up, too?”


“Is it because I’m the boss?” Bones asked, chuckling, doing the belt up on his jeans.

Reaper turned his head, raising an eyebrow. “No, it’s because you’re the only one who won’t show up unless someone comes to get you.”

The doors to the elevator pinged and he stepped inside, leaving Bones on the landing.

“Not true. What about Queenie?” Bones stepped into the elevator, the doors slid closed behind them, and he looked at the big man.

“He’s already waiting in the car.”

Pushing his hands through his hair, Bones screwed his nose up. Damn the Greek for being on time for once.

The trip down the six floors was silent, the whir the only sound.

Heading out of the elevator, a dark Humvee waited at the front of the hotel for the pair.

It would be full of the rest of his team.

Ethan ‘Wolf’ Whitefeather.

Bastian ‘Apollo’ Phoenix.

Milo ‘Queenie’ Price.

They’d all be sitting in the vehicle, chuckling to each other, as he did the walk of shame. While they were all prone to their moments of passion with the fairer sex, Bones seemed to be the only one who hooked up with the wrong type of woman.

Usually, ones who liked to take off with his wallet.

Stepping out into the chilly air, he opened the door of the car.

Reaper took up his customary position in the front and Bones climbed into the back.


Shifting his gaze to the driver, he nodded to the blond. The man's blue eyes flashed with amusement in the rear-view mirror.


The Humvee started off, taking them away from the hotel and the two women Bones had been with. Pity. He had been enjoying himself.

“So, what’s the mission?” he asked, turning his attention to the man by his side.

Wolf turned his head. Dark chocolate brown eyes staring at him.

Wolf handed him a folder, close to the thickness of his little finger.

Taking the folder, Bones looked at the cover. “Waterford Bio Medical? Who the hell are they?”

“They’re a small medical research company out of London,” Wolf explained. “We have to take three doctors into a small village and bring them back out. Alive.”

“Why just three?” Opening the folder, Bones flipped through the contents.

Documents of incidence. Infection reports. Photos of the victims. Group bios.

“They will only be there to seek out the incident of infection and report back to the WHO if they deem it necessary.”

Bones flipped over the bio sheets, coming face to face with a pair of doe brown eyes. “Oh, hello there, beautiful.”

“Doctor Abigail Baker. She is the one who is assigned to be the leader of the group, and the woman you have to deal with.” Wolf took the file and placed it on his lap. “Try to keep it in your pants.”

Bones acted offended, screwing his nose up at the man beside him. “Hey. When I am working, I happen to be a very professional man.”

“It’s only when you’re not working, you become an animal,” Queenie quipped, looking around Wolf to his boss. “How many did you leave back there?”

Bones’ face heated, and Reaper held up his hand, two fingers wiggling in the air.

“Only two? Wow. Why not more?”

“I have one dick and one mouth, Queenie. I can only do so much.”

The whole car erupted in laughter. Once it had died down, Bones tipped his head back, looking up at the roof lining of the vehicle. “So, when do we leave?”


Bones had a feeling it would have been the case. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have come and gotten him. He would have been left to have fun with the women and called later in the day. “My things packed?”

“Of course. Apollo saw to it,” Wolf replied.

“Thanks, Baz,” Bones said, earning a wink from the driver. They were more than team-mates. They were adopted into the same family as kids. Bastian was the only one who had a key to his house, knew how he lived. He would have only had to walk in a couple of feet and picked up the bag from the last mission and walk out. Bones was like that.

Didn’t even like to live in his own house. “And the gear?”

“Reaper’s already seen to it. It’s all waiting at the base.”

“Good.” The scenery flashed by, the vehicle’s occupants falling silent. “So, where we off to?”

No-one answered, and Bones turned his head. “Wolf?”

The Native American by his side blinked, turning his head, lips pursing. “Kenya.”

The pit of Bones’ stomach rebelled, and he gripped the handle on the car door. The scar which ran from the middle of his forehead, down around his right eye, ending at the corner of his mouth—itched. Burning as memories flashed through his brain.

“How much are they paying?”


“Yes,” Bones replied through clenched teeth. They wanted him to go halfway across the world. To a place which brought back bad memories. There’d want to be fucking good compensation.

“One million.”

One million.

After paying for the trip and equipment, flights and other costs—each member would pocket $150,000. A few days in Kenya to make more than what most people could in a year? He could deal with that if he had to. He’d gone to hell and back for less.

“One million to take a group of doctors to Kenya and back?”


Bones’ eyebrows scrunched together as he looked out the window and the vehicle fell silent again.

Now he knew why Reaper hadn’t told him where they were going.

Everyone knew why Bones hated that country so much.

The scar on his face itched again, and he lifted his hand, rubbing at it.


One of the last places on earth he wanted to revisit.

But he had a company to run and a reputation to uphold. There wasn’t a place they wouldn’t go or a person they wouldn’t protect—for the right price.

Grinding his teeth together until his jaw ached, Bones’ day went from bad to worse.

He didn’t want to go to Africa.

• • •

Ainsley Cole lives in a tiny coal mining town in Australia. She lives with her soul-mate and the four little beings they made together. Writing since she was only 11, she has a few books under her belt under different names. In her spare time, (when not being a busy mummy) Ainsley likes to garden, play video games and marathon Marvel movies.

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