Thriller Feature: No More Heroes by Roo I MacLeod @rooimacleod


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Thriller


no-more-heroes

A murder on the streets of Ostere isn’t headline news
A vagrant robbing a body is common place
But the police want a word
As do the killers
Ben Jackman, 20 year old vagrant by day, hunter of road kill by night, isn’t the man to take the fall
Proving his innocence-obvious
Finding the killer-Not so easy
So Ben needs a gun, a big gun, because the streets of Ostere have a new breed of criminal and they aren’t looking to take prisoners.

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Excerpt:

No More Heroes
Chapter One
Of snow, Christmas & Trouble

 

At three pm the clock in our town square chimed four deep tolls. Festive faces turned to the town hall looking at the clock in confusion. The juggler dropped his blades, the girls behind the veils stopped with their gyrations and Santa’s Ho became a Ha as his bell fell silent.

I retreated into the frigid dark of Smelly Alley and collided with old Fred the fishmonger. His large metal ring of keys fell with a sharp clatter to the worn cobbles and he stumbled against his shop window. I grabbed his arm and steadied his gait. He hauled a gold watch from his waistcoat, shook the time piece and placed it to his ear.

‘Yer making me late, you good for nothing pup.’

Seriously? Pup? Late? How could he possibly know? The silly old bugger walked with a white tap-tap-tap stick and the town hall clock was arse up.

The wind rattled at the drawn shutters and litter cavorted with the folk heading for the celebrations in the square. I stooped to retrieve his keys and he snatched them from my hand.

I pulled my coat tight and brushed at my hair. I was eager to enter the town square and chance a meeting with the bar maid from the Old Poet public house. The butcher’s boy blocked my path. He carried a dead pig across his narrow shoulders and seemed intent on sharing his burden with me.

‘Easy, eh?’ I said. ‘You closing early?’

I sidestepped his blood stained apron, alarmed by the manic look in the dead pig’s eyes.

‘It’s anniversary, isn’t it,’ he grunted. As he turned into his shop he tried to smack me with the dead pig’s trotters.

What bloody anniversary?

A shout greeted the fish monger’s entrance into the square, causing me to flinch, jump even. Man I hated random noises. My nerves were pretty crap to be honest. My mate Tommy said it was my diet being inadequate. He reckoned living on cigarettes and vodka had to play havoc with your nerves. Tommy was no intellectual but my diet did lack fiber for sure.

I pulled the hood over my head and followed the old boy’s steps. Fairy lights shone in the afternoon gloom. Sad droopy loops of tinsel glittered between the stalls. Vendors in Santa hats called out their wares and folk traipsed the frozen dirt bartering for a deal. In the corner beneath the video screen carol singers armed with a battery of flat sounding tunes shared their festive bliss. Faces beamed with Yuletide cheer, welcoming the snow bloated clouds lumbering across the sky. The weatherman had promised all good citizens a merry and white Christmas.

‘Bugger their perfect bloody Christmas,’ I muttered. I was well aware my tatty coat and I stood no chance of surviving the festive season if snow dumped on our town.


About the Author:

roo-1

Roo I MacLeod was born in Croydon, Australia on an excessively hot, humid day and fought three doctors, two midwives and the utilities type person against his entry into the world. This desperate attempt to remain womb bound, according to his mother left him with the ugliest mug yet to have graced the austere corridors of Nan Org Bush Hospital. Roo offers attached images as proof that his mother might be exaggerating, and finds it difficult to believe they’d let a utilities type person loose with a set of birthing forceps.

Time was served at a variety of schools before it was suggested he give living and working in the real world a go. So began his long sojourn trying to find the best and cheapest means of living. The Volkswagen beetle proved cheap, but uncomfortable for a man of such tall stature. In Darwin he found solace in a one bedroom house with 18 travellers (more commonly known as a squat) but found cohabiting with his own deranged thoughts hard, but 18 tourists caused neurotic tics, a dependence on alcohol and prescribed drugs and left him wandering the deserts of Australia totally unhinged.

A two man tent offered independence, until a tribe of angry locals burnt it to the ground. No one took the blame but Roo suspected the lads living in the dry river bed. They’d thrown rocks at him late one night when he wouldn’t share his hooch.

No More Heroes was conceived in a quaint English church when he took shelter from the rain. He stumbled into a funeral and found he’d doubled the mourners present. The vicar, a friend to this day, invited him to pray and sing a few tunes, and he, Roo and the young lady in black chucked dirt on the deceased come the end of the ceremony.

He now lives in West Sussex UK and has spent the last couple of years volunteering at homeless centers. He is barred from two of the five pubs in town for the same attitude that wreaked havoc in his school days and vows to antagonize the remaining four pub Landlords by the end of the year.

He is a passionate supporter of the Richmond Tigers, The Arsenal and any sport Australia are participating in. He has a partner, who doesn’t read or write or support any of the above teams.

He has two children from a previous unsuccessful attempt to cohabit.

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Post-Apocalyptic Feature: Lethal Seasons by Alice Sabo @Alice_Sabo


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Scifi / Post-Apocalyptic


lethal-seasons

 A Changed World Book 1

In the near future, a virus has whittled down the human race. The remaining population struggles to survive in a world ravaged by extreme weather. A reticent government provides food, vaccines and keeps the ultra-fast trains running. Cities are empty, farms deserted, factories abandoned. The world is running on a skeleton crew.

Nick lives at High Meadow med center. The people there stay hopeful as they work toward self-sufficiency. He counts survivors for Angus’s research. He wants his life to stay as normal as possible in a world he barely understands.

Wisp is a fugitive. He lives off the land, moving from town to town, hiding his extrasensory skills. He is a Finder and will accept the right kind of job. Silence and subterfuge keep him alive.

Lily is a young girl with long brown hair and eyes the color of ripe cherries. She is searching for her brother. They were separated while fleeing armed men. She is part of something that started before her birth.

When these three lives intersect, a chain reaction of death and violence will change the course of the future and impact the very survival of the human race.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“In what we would come to call Year Zero, a deadly virus was released in early fall by a madman. The records for that year are suspect, but the number of dead appears consistent with my own observations. Approximately 40% of the population died worldwide. We were not equipped to handle such a broad scale calamity. Nor were we prepared when it returned the following summer.”

History of a Changed World, Angus T. Moss

Nick grabbed his gear and headed for the shelter cubbies. High Meadow was one of the older style stations, built just as the world was coming to grips with climate change. It was barely far enough underground to remain in operation. Despite the thick walls and storm proofing, Nick could hear the howl of the wind and the pounding of the rain. But no thunder. He breathed a sigh of relief. Probably no tornados tonight

The cell-sized room was immaculate and smelled of antiseptic. The National Train Authority people were very thorough. Proud to have jobs in a world that had no industries left. He tossed his bedroll on the shiny metal shelf that passed for a bed, hoping the waterproofing held. It was a relief to be still for a minute. He’d been traveling for six days and the ultra-fast trains took a toll. He peeled off his wet clothing and dried off with the towel he carried in his pack. The clothes probably wouldn’t dry tonight, but he draped them on the row of coat hooks that lined one wall anyway.

He sat on the shelf with a groan. He’d been gone longer than planned. There’d been some unexpected complications. Things that he wasn’t sure he wanted to talk to Angus about. Nick had been gathering information for Angus’s history book for the past three years. It gave him a purpose. A reason to go out into the world and talk to people. He was a man that needed those things—purpose, reason, order. Without them, he was too easily lost in regrets and sorrow for all the people he’d lost. Whenever the ghosts and darkness came calling, he got out his pack and bedroll and went searching for new communities. The world had shattered, and Angus was trying to knit it back together with cobwebs and good intentions. It was a cause he could easily support.


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About the Author:

alice-sabo

Alice Sabo is the author of the post-apocalyptic series A Changed World, the space fantasy series Transmutation and traditional mystery series Asher Blaine Mysteries. She lives in Asheville, NC, where she gardens and tries to outwit the squirrels.

For more information on upcoming books see her blog: www.alicesabo.com

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Thriller Feature: Second Sight by Toryn Chapman @_toryn


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Thriller


second-sightCampbell Mackenzie is a young lawyer with a perfect winning record and a reputation for always knowing what to say next – until a tragic accident reveals that he doesn’t just know what to say next, he actually knows what will happen.

Reluctant to believe he can see the future, he is nevertheless drawn to Hong Kong to save the life of a beautiful woman he sees killed in a dream. But she has secrets of her own and Mackenzie needs to rely on his poorly understood skill just to survive.

From glittering Hong Kong to outback Australia and the underbelly of Tokyo, Second Sight is an unrelenting pursuit where fate is always one step ahead.

Reader comments:
“A fantastic, stylish, fast-paced read”
“Hooked since the first chapter”
“Something at the turn of every page or around every corner. Highly recommend this book, do yourself a favor and get lost in it for a while”

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Excerpt:

The highway curved around a small, flat-topped hill ahead of them, its long shadow falling across both lanes. As they followed the bend through the shade Mackenzie spotted a huge kangaroo, at least six feet tall, standing alert by the roadside. Spooked by the car’s noise and speed, it shied into a crouch then took a mighty leap in front of them.

“Cam!” Natasha screamed, as Mackenzie swerved and stabbed his foot on the brake.

Tires squealed and he knew the thirty-five-year-old vehicle was in danger of skidding. He released the brake and counter-steered quickly, but a wheel clipped the edge of the tarmac where the gravel had been washed away. The impact wrenched the steering wheel sideways and the back of the car followed. As though in slow motion, they began to tip.

Mackenzie thrust an arm protectively over his wife and child as the car rolled onto its roof, before it bounced up and spun sickeningly, then crashed back to earth off the side of the low road embankment.

Glass shattered and flew through the air while they were flung about madly, and his head was thrown forwards, spearing into the point of the sun visor, now swinging freely. Pain lanced through his mind. Baby toys and bottles of water shot through the cabin like missiles. Natasha screamed again, a heart-rending cry of agony, as Liam was torn from her hands and vanished through the gaping windshield.

Still the car rolled on, the horizon tumbling outside while metal screeched and the engine screamed. It stopped only when what was left of Natasha’s door smashed into a half-buried boulder, but there was no airbag to stop her head also smashing into the rock, through the broken window.

Campbell Mackenzie watched it happen. At last he screamed too.

And flung the sheets off. He was halfway out of bed before he realized where he was. Soaked with sweat, he looked back. He could just see Natasha in the darkness. Sitting up, she moved to slip a comforting arm around him.

“It’s all right, Cam,” she said soothingly. “Are you okay?”

Mackenzie shuddered, but drew a deep breath. “Just a nightmare,” he said with difficulty, the terror still fresh in his mind.

“It’s okay, babe. Lie down with me.”

She pushed him gently onto the bed and spooned up behind, an arm draped over him reassuringly. Lulled by the touch of her warm skin on his, Mackenzie fell back to sleep. By morning, it was forgotten.


About the Author:

toryn-chapman

Toryn Chapman was given the idea for his second novel by a reader of his acclaimed first novel, The Grey Cat. “I wouldn’t want to know the future,” she said. What started as an idle reflection on that simple statement developed quickly into a story that begged to be written, and Second Sight is the result.

When not writing, Toryn can be found wrangling three children, four chickens and a beehive.

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