Category Archives: Mysteries & Thrillers

Murder in Middleton by Charlotte Gerber @CatsPajamasNote (Mystery, Paranormal)


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Genres: Mystery/Horror/Paranormal

Shannon O’Reilly is a teenager with a problem – she can see her ancestors’ ghosts, and they want her to solve their 100-year old murder mystery. Annabelle and Lily Edmonson have been waiting a long time for someone to see them so that they can tell their story of betrayal, and finally reveal their true killer.

When Shannon begins researching the murders at the local library, someone takes notice. She begins receiving threatening notes and photographs taken of her without her knowledge. An explosion at her home takes away what she holds most dear – her parents.

A secret society steps in and offers to help Shannon fine tune her psychic abilities and to assist in protecting her from those bent on eliminating her. Someone is willing to pay any price to keep the truth, as well as her ancestors, dead and buried.

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Excerpt:

Shannon held her breath for a moment and waited for her mother to join her. A loud explosion erupted from the rear of her house. She started to run around to the side of the house, but huge flames were shooting outwards and upwards from the area where her back porch had been.

“Mom, Dad!” she screamed into the night.

Shannon couldn’t see anything in the wreckage and she almost caught herself on fire trying to get back into the house when a man’s arms grabbed her from behind.

“Stop!” he yelled in her ear. “The fire truck will be here any minute!”

Shannon tried to wrestle her way out of the man’s arms, but he held on to her tight and pulled her backwards away from the house.

A crowd started to form near the Opportunity Shop and the sound of sirens could be heard from where Shannon stood. They whined louder and louder until they appeared on the street before her house. It seemed like total chaos had broken out as the firemen raced with their hoses to the rear of the house.

Another fireman ran to the front of the neighbor’s house and attached the hose to the fire hydrant. In a few moments the men had a large fountain of water pointed at her back porch and they wrestled the snake of a hose in an effort to control the blaze.

The sheriff wasn’t very far behind and he arrived with the lights on the top of his car flashing. Thankfully, he had his siren off and the growing crowd moved to allow him to park his car close to the house.

“Where’s the O’Reillys?” he yelled to the fire chief above the chaos.

Shannon stared at him and knew he would be turning to face her any moment.

“I don’t know where the other two are,” and he nodded towards Shannon.

She knew the two men were talking about her parents. Her mind started to race and she thought it just wasn’t possible that they were actually in that fire. It wasn’t possible to have this many bad things happen in rapid succession.

The chief pointed at Shannon and the sheriff made eye contact with her. He purposefully strode up to her and the man who was now holding her close.

“I’ll take it from here Fred,” the Sheriff said.

The man who had been holding her was their next-door neighbor, Mr. Bickham. He slowly let go of her and turned away with tears filling his eyes. Shannon was left standing alone in the side yard of her house staring at the blaze as if in a trance.

“Shannon, what happened here?” the fire chief demanded, not quite believing himself that their house had exploded.

Shannon could only manage to shake her head. Tears slowly began to roll down her bright pink cheeks. The sheriff got down on one knee and took her hands in his.

“I’ll find someone to help, it’ll be okay,” he said unconvincingly.

A woman forced her way through the crowd and said boldly, “I’ll see to her.”

Shannon didn’t even bother looking up to see who her champion was. Nothing mattered anymore; she felt completely alone.

Myrtle Green helped Shannon to her car and buckled her into the front passenger seat. She knew not to ask Shannon any questions; there would be plenty of time for that later. They drove back to her house having not said a word.

Myrtle got out of the car and then went around to Shannon’s side and unbuckled her from the seat like a small child. She held out her hand and helped her out of the car. Shannon stared ahead blankly and allowed herself to be led through the now familiar gate and walkway up to the house.

The smell of cookies and chocolate still hung in the air when they opened the front door. Tears started rolling down Shannon’s face again when she realized it had only been a little while since she had left a happy little party in this house with her mother. Now her parents were gone and they weren’t going to come back. Ever.


About the Author:

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Charlotte Gerber began her writing career after becoming disabled in 2004. Since then she has been a writer and editor for LoveToKnow.com, and most recently covering disability issues for the New York Times on their About.com website.

Murder in Middleton, the story of a psychic teenager trying to solve a century’s old murder mystery, was her first book. A holiday novella, A Very Merry Middleton Christmas, is scheduled for release during the holiday season this year. I Dream of Zombies, the story of Rose Lee, a zombie social worker, will be released on Halloween this year.

A third book, Curiosity Killed the Cat, is scheduled for release in early 2014.

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Medical Mystery: A Jealous God by Dee Wilbur


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Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Medical Mystery, Beach Read

Compellingly told from multiple points of view, A Jealous God follows Emma on her labyrinthine journey in search of the truth at all costs. A brilliant attorney with unflappable focus, she becomes consumed with learning who is responsible for several similar birth defects originating in her hometown. Her quest introduces her to a number of colorful characters. One of these is Jon, the local attorney whose largest client—Hays Chemical—is the target of Emma’s investigation. Jon embarks in pursuit of answers of his own, only to come to the realization that the suffering heaped upon these children dates back far further than he, Emma, or Hays Chemical could have ever imagined. It was, in fact, foretold in the oldest book of all.

A Jealous God … dishes up a fast-paced mix of mystery and intrigue.”
New York Times best selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh

“A thought provoking formula that will haunt your daydreams.”

Herman W. Brune, national award winning author

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Excerpt:

After a few minutes, Emma re-entered the room. She was wearing a blue negligee of the thinnest silk Jon had ever seen. Jon looked at her perfectly formed breasts through the silk. All Jon could think was Ol’ Doc Coleman certainly got his money’s worth. The negligee stopped short, leaving her long graceful legs uncovered. It was all that Jon could manage to set his beer down without dropping the bottle. He hoped that he wasn’t actually drooling. He stared and tried to remember that she was a woman with a mission, not a table dancer.

Emma whispered softly as she sat next to him on the couch, “I’ll do anything to get that information, anything! You don’t have to show me the files, just tell me. Talk to me, Jon.” She ran a beautifully manicured finger up and down his thigh. Jon’s pulse doubled, then kicked up again. He closed his eyes briefly and then turned to face her, putting his hand over hers to still it.


About Dee Wilbur:

Beatrice Dee Pipes and Charles Wilbur Yates, Jr. write under the pen name Dee Wilbur, a combination of their middle names.

Both are Texas natives and both graduated from Rice University. Ms. Pipes runs And Take Names, a company that assists other companies with marketing, project management, and other tasks. She has been married to her husband Bryan for thirty-five years. They reside in Houston. Charles Yates is retired after thirty years in the practice of radiology. He has been married to his wife Sally for fifty years with four children and eight grandchildren. He tends his garden in Richmond, Texas.

Connect with Dee Wilbur:

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Thriller Spotlight: ICE by Kevin Tinto @kevintinto


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Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction


ice by kevin tinto

Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson Thrillers Book 1

125,000+ Sales, 1,550+ Amazon Reviews, Amazon Bestseller Debut Selection: Prime Reading. Archaeologist Leah Andrews stumbles upon something inexplicable in southwestern New Mexico: inside a dark cavern lies an undiscovered, Native American cliff dwelling abandoned for 800 years. While twisting through one of the narrow underground passageways, Leah’s flashlight illuminates the remains of a violent massacre.

Ancient human remains—all slaughtered in a long-ago massacre—cover the cavern floor, along with a number of brilliantly colored, granite crystals. The rare crystals are native to only one place on earth: a frozen mountain range in central Antarctica.

Could Native Americans have traveled to the frozen continent of Antarctica 800 years prior to the first known human exploration? If so how? And why?

There’s only one person who can get Leah to those mountains in Antarctica: her estranged husband and climbing guide Jack Hobson.

At their destination they make a stunning discovery that will change history and science forever. But Leah’s team is far from the only interested party.

As her secret makes its way to the highest levels of government, a race to seize the Russian-claimed Antarctic territory brings the world to the brink of nuclear conflict.

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Excerpt:

Southwestern New Mexico

CHAPTER 1

“Just one more step and you’re gonna get a real good look at the bottom of the canyon,” said Garrett Moon.
Dr. Leah Andrews pulled the binoculars away from her eyes and watched as the toe of her boot slid over the edge of the cliff. A spray of sand floated toward the green valley floor hundreds of feet below.
“I know where I’m standing.”
Sand and gravel cascaded down the rocky slope behind them, followed by a giant who wore his hair in a short ponytail over a three-day-stubble beard. Only a well-placed sandstone boulder prevented his 280 pounds from barreling over the cliff.
“Delicate as ever,” Leah said.
Juan Cortez wiped a mixture of sweat and dust from his face. “The coast is clear, but I’d wager those park rangers are sniffing around nearby.”
“What’d you expect?” she asked, grinning despite the risk. “We are trespassing illegally in the middle of a national park.”
“She smells a cliff dwelling,” Garrett said.
Juan looked over the ledge and shook his head. “A monkey couldn’t climb that face without modern equipment.”
Tall, anvil-shaped clouds began rolling in from the southwest, signaling the beginnings of a late-season thunderstorm. The winds preceding the storm kicked dust up in flowing red curtains.
“That’s a hint of things to come,” Garrett said. “You want to be dangling from a rope when that hits?”
“Speaking of rope, where’s our climbing expert?” Leah asked.
“Resting on his climbing gear near the top of the mesa, last I saw,” said Juan.
“Figures.” Leah hoisted her backpack into place. “I’ll wake Sleeping Beauty.”
Juan took another peek over the cliff. “You’d think a couple of relatively intelligent guys would have more sense than to rappel down a sheer wall in the middle of a thunderstorm.”
Garrett grinned and pushed strands of black hair away from his face. “Yeah, but who else would look after her?”
“Don’t let her hear that,” Juan cautioned, “or we’ll both be sporting black eyes.”
“You two better not be whispering about me,” Leah called back as she climbed the slope.
“We’re just a pair of lowly, underpaid archeologists,” Garrett answered. “Our discussions are purely of a scientific nature.”
Leah was still shaking her head when she came upon Marko Kinney leaning on his climbing gear, listening to audibly heavy metal through his ear buds.
Leah poked at the shaggy young man with the toe of her boot until he killed the music. “We’re checking out a wall crack.”
Marko looked up and pointed toward the billowing clouds. “Mr. Thunder Bumper’s headed this direction, and he’s looking worked up.”
“Meet me on the other side of the rock bridge with your gear.”
The rock climber shook his head in disbelief, then gathered his gear and chased her across the rock arch toward a gnarled but sturdy-looking pine tree growing near the mesa’s edge. He dropped the pack, pulled out a nylon-anchoring sling, and wrapped it expertly around the pine tree’s trunk. Marko secured the slings, removed two 165-foot climbing lines from the backpack, and tied them together with a double fisherman’s knot.
Juan and Garrett joined them while Leah fitted herself into a padded climbing harness and fastened the metal waist buckle. Marko fed the doubled line through a standard figure-eight descender, triple-checked all the connections, and patted her on the shoulder.
“You’re cleared to fly,” he shouted over the rising wind.
She nodded and stepped to the cliff face. As sloppy as Marko looked, he was a fanatic about safety. Because of his attention to detail, Leah felt at least some peace of mind. If her dad had enjoyed the same kind of attention, he’d have been alive today.
Marko climbed into his own harness and threaded another line through the anchoring rings. He’d feed rope as she rappelled in a classic belay technique taught at most climbing schools. If she suffered gear failure, he would serve to break her fall, at least in theory.
Garrett dug out his own harness, peeking over the edge at Leah’s descent.
“I know you guys are the experts at finding cliff dwellings,” Marko said, “but I’m not thrilled about roping down that cliff face with lightning cracking around my ass.”
“Chances are she’ll shine her flashlight into the crevice, find a dead end, and we won’t be climbing down anyway,” Garrett said.
The line slackened, and a moment later Marko felt three distinct tugs on the belay. “You were saying?”
Garrett glanced up at the sky. “I guess we’re climbing down.”
Marko yanked up the freed belay. “Okay, you’re next, G.”
A minute later, Marko had a hesitant Juan in his harness and ready to join the others. “They’re waiting for you, Juan.”
The big man hesitated, then took a deep breath and leaned over the brink of nothingness. All that separated his ample posterior from a three-hundred-foot freefall were two thin strands of high-strength climbing line.
“Down you go,” said Marko.
As Juan descended, an unexpected gust of wind twisted him around, causing his face to scrape across the sandstone wall, shaving skin off his right cheek. Thunder cracked in the distance as he attempted to gain position against the rock.
“Come on, Juan,” Leah shouted encouragement from the ledge below.
Juan pushed off and rappelled until his shoes touched the ledge.
“Was that so hard?” Garrett secured him to the ledge.
“Still gotta climb back up that mother.”
Marko slid spider-like down the line and noted with quiet satisfaction that Leah had already inserted a removable locking-cam inside a weathered crack in the cliff. He crouched to examine the narrow opening. “It’s less than a meter high. How are you gonna get inside?”
“Seriously, Marko?” Leah asked. “Lie down like you’re taking a nap.”
Garrett winked and patted the young climber on the back. “You’re doing fine. Don’t let her bully you.”
Leah pushed Marko aside and dug a small flashlight out of her gear bag. “If you want something done….” She slithered quickly through the scar-like blemish in the rock cliff. Once inside, she switched on the steel penlight and crawled along on her hands and knees through the confining passageway. Ahead, the tunnel opened into a larger chamber.
“Garrett,” she called back. “You got the big light?”
Garrett crawled in behind her and handed over the high-powered halogen flashlight. Leah fumbled with the switch and then lit the chamber ahead.
“Oh, my God,” she whispered.
A massive subterranean cavern at least 50 meters high stretched far beyond even the powerful beam. The light did a fine job of illuminating the pristine remains of an 800-year-old Native American city hidden in the depths of the Gila National Wilderness.


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About the Author:

kevin tinto

Check a movie trailer for ICE at www.writingthrillers.com

Kevin Tinto is based in Tiburon and Lake Tahoe, California. He has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Reno Gazette Journal, Bike Transamerica, Scuba Diver Magazine and more.

He is an avid mountaineer, skier, scuba and free diver, Private Pilot and adventurer.
Kevin is a Level II Certified Ski Instructor and you can often find him teaching at Northstar, California, when not testing the Palisades at Squaw Valley.

Editor-In-Chief of www.slidingonthecheap.com with more than 50,000 subscribers.
He is currently working on the final edit to the second in the Jack Hobson, Leah Andrews Adventure/Thrillers titled: ICE GENESIS! Due out fall 2016.

READ TWO TWO CHAPTERS OF ICE GENESIS AT: http://www.writingthrillers.com


Featured Thriller: 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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Mystery Feature: In the Graveyard Antemortem by Stephen Stromp @StephenStromp


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Mystery, Suspense, Horror, Young Adult


in-the-graveyard-correct

“An engaging, creepy mystery packed with emotion and heart. A fun novel with just the right amount of darkness.” - Scream Magazine

Winner of Amazon’s reader-powered Kindle Scout program. Seventeen-year-old Lisa Jacobs is determined to solve her father’s gruesome murder. But before she can investigate in her own small town, she is forced to spend the summer with her Uncle Clayton, the owner of Grand Hallow–a massive funeral and mortuary operation the size of a small city. Her move to Grand Hallow only deepens the mystery as she begins to suspect the strange and chilling occurrences there are linked to her father’s death. With the help of her acid-tongued best friend and deadbeat brother, Lisa must unravel the secrets of Grand Hallow–before it’s too late. In the Graveyard Antemortem is a mystery/suspense novel with a healthy dash of horror.

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Excerpt:

Without warning, I felt a hand grasp my shoulder. “It’s the morgue,” said a deep voice directly behind me. Startled, I spun around to see a man who looked remarkably like my dad. The resemblance took my breath away. He smiled cautiously. It was my dad’s smile, the one that formed into a mischievous smirk no matter if any mischief was in fact intended. He had his same soft facial features, his salt-and-pepper hair, and his hazel eyes. It was uncanny. It was as if I were looking at my father all spruced up for a graduation or wedding, wearing a suit and clean-shaven. Only it wasn’t him. Just some pieces of his DNA. He held out his hand. And as I shook it, life came back to my stunned lungs. “Hello, Lisa. I’m Clayton.” He cleared his throat apprehensively. “Your Uncle Clayton.”
“Hello,” I replied meekly. “Thank you for all of this. I mean, taking care of my dad’s funeral.”
“It’s the least I could do,” he said while wringing his hands.
“You’re telling me,” snapped Tina. “A room next to the morgue?”
“I do apologize about that. If you and your friend would be more comfortable—”
“It’s fine,” I assured him. He adjusted his collar and looked down the hall behind him as if someone were watching from the shadows. He was pleasant, yet seemed preoccupied, his eyes shifting every which way. It could’ve just been his nerves. I imagined he was just as nervous meeting me as I was meeting him. Yet it also could’ve been because he was simply incredibly busy with the responsibilities that came with running such an enormous and complex place.
“So.” Tina couldn’t help herself. “Why did you want Lisa here so bad? She was just fine in Ruthsford, ya know.”
“Tina!” I protested, secretly wanting to hear his answer.


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About the Author:

stephen-stromp

My stories tend to have a dark twist. And I like to mix different genres depending on where the story takes me. I wrote a short novel titled ‘Cracking Grace,’ a dark fantasy that explores relationships, loss and spirituality. ‘In the Graveyard Antemortem’ is a mix of mystery, suspense and horror. Join my email list at www.stephenstromp.com to keep up-to-date on my new releases.

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