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Posts Tagged ‘book blast’

 

The three volume set of Fantasy/Horror Author Dylan Doose’s SWORD AND SORCERY SERIES is available now! You can find out about all three books below!

 

Title: FIRE AND SWORD
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 332
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Condemned to hang for their crimes, they’ll march instead to perish as heroes, or live as free men.
A broken nation in need of a savior – ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. Three will rise to save the beleaguered land. But will they be enough?
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a heretic monk turned sorcerer, imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, and a legend in his own mind.
When the kingdom of Brynth is threatened by a far greater evil, the unlikely trio must make a choice — seek to escape this land that cries for their execution, or find the true heroes within themselves. And then, armed with fire and sword, march together against the forces of darkness. But can three such disparate warriors ever prevail?
**Fire and Sword received an Honorable Mention from Library Journal 2016 and a Shelf Unbound Magazine Notable 100 for 2015**
Don’t miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘gritty, fast-paced and compelling’—get your copy of Fire and Sword today!

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the Book:
Title:
CATACOMBS OF TIME
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 59
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
In a world where the Rata Plaga and ghouls feast on the dead, doctor Gaige De’Brouillard believes science, not magic, conquers all.
Even death is just an equation to be solved.
When De’Brouillard is called upon by the Lord Regent to cure a curse and save one of the damned, he must battle for his career, his faith in science, and even his life. In the darkest slums and deepest catacombs, the doctor finds himself staring death in the eye with no scientific solution at hand. Has the doctor finally come across a question
that science cannot answer, and will he pay with his life?
Don’t miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘visceral,’ ‘fantastic,’ and ‘intriguing’—get your
copy of Catacombs of Time today!

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the Book:
Title:THE PYRES
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 268
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Once again, three unlikely heroes must band together in a fiery conflict between gods and demons.
A country ravaged by civil war, now threatened with evil unleashed by rivers of blood. Three must rise again to save the beleaguered land and thwart a dark prophecy.
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
Theron Ward, Aldous Weaver and Kendrick the Cold must band together and fight again. This time, they are caught in the timeless clash of gods and demons, and led by the dark prophecy of dreams.
A ruthless warlord, the Dog Eater, rises out of the rivers of blood from civil war. As friend and foe reach out from futures past, the three will see a city of white stone turn black with ash… and the only way forward is through the fire. One thing is certain, none of them will ever be the same. And one will be transformed in ways he never dreamed. Dare the three depend on the blood ties of the past to carry them through this terrible night?
Don’t miss the next thrilling installment in the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘gritty, fast-paced and compelling’—get your copy of The Pyres today!

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Book Excerpt from FIRE AND SWORD:

The thing left a trail of thick black blood and green pus. More a stream than a trail, if Theron Ward, hunter of monsters, wanted to be precise. It was wounded and wounded horribly, but not dead.
Grimmshire was not the only town ruined by the plague. As far as Theron knew, the whole country had a piece of it. The rats came with those terrible black boils. Rats larger than dogs. In the beginning, they came in swarms. Now they appeared alone or in small roving packs, as if a once powerful tether that bound the group had been weakened.
Four years ago, they had come and spewed their filth into the town. Two days was all it had taken until half the town was crawling and squealing with the rats, puking up pus and bursting black boils. The other half of the town became the swarm’s feast.
Those who didn’t turn simply couldn’t. The priests said that only the sinners turned, that the pious were protected from the plague. Theron doubted that, for he was not a pious man and he knew a thing or two about sin—sins of the flesh mostly—and he had been exposed to enough plague to wipe out a city.
Yet he had not turned.
Theron suspected something more sinister than nature, or the work of gods and devils to be the villainy incarnate that had unleashed such wickedness upon the land. He suspected something more human, or slightly more than human. Unpopular opinion, but his opinion nonetheless.
It was midday, but it was dark in the ruined town. The clouds shrouded the sun, gray and threatening, but not a drop of rain. The once green pastures were yellow as far as the eye could see. Once this had been a bustling, happy little town. Now there were just the colors of pus and piss and ash all around, beneath those
suffocating gray clouds.
There came a rustling sound from the chapel, the one building in the town not entirely burned to the ground. It had been painted white when it was built, and painted black with soot and ash when death had come to its town. The stained glass windows were shattered, shards of the vibrant panes scattered round in the dirt and the yellow grass.
Theron burst through the door. His skin crawled at the sight of the wounded thing within the chapel; they always made his skin crawl, though he had killed over a hundred. He could kill over a thousand and still his skin
would crawl.
Theron was a beast hunter, had been for nearly a decade, but the rats had always disturbed him the most, more than any creature or demon.
What made the things so terrible was not the giant, rotting buckteeth that burst from the mouth. It was not the boils or the tufts of matted fur. Not the long tail or the brutish muscles, not the naked, sagging female breasts or the male parts dangling, filthy and crusted.
It was the eyes, for the eyes remained entirely human. And so, Theron was certain that a human being was still left in there, with no control over what it had become and begging for its torment to end.
This one had been a woman once, perhaps a mother, a lover, a sister, a daughter. For a dreadful moment he pictured his own sister taking the form of the wretched thing before him.
About the Author:

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Writer. Sculptor. Bad fitness advice. In between writing books, award winning fantasy author Dylan Doose fills his not-so-busy schedule with martial arts, mountain biking, paddle surfing, weight lifting, and of course HBO, PS4 and increasing the size of his beloved personal library. Dylan’s Fire and Sword received an honorable mention from Library Journal in 2016 and was a Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2015.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

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We’re happy to host Dani-Lyn Alexander’s BATTLE FOR CYMMERA Book Blast today! Dani-Lyn is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Enter
below!
Title: Battle for Cymmera, Kingdom of Cymmera Book Three
Author: Dani-Lyn Alexander
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington
Pages: 226
Genre: YA Fantasy
With Chayce Maynard on the run, Ryleigh and Jackson can finally begin rebuilding their kingdom. But when a cryptic message suggests Chayce was seen in Argonas, chaos creeps back into Cymmera once more . . .Jackson knows Cymmera will never be safe until Chayce, guilty of treason, is detained and executed. After ordering
Cymmeran guardsmen to scour the land, he and the Death Dealer team brave wild Argonas in search of the informant who spotted his foe. And in his absence, Jackson not only leaves the throne empty, but the kingdom vulnerable to attack. . .As a vicious army descends on Cymmera, Ryleigh is forced to flee to an uncharted realm with a small group of survivors—a place Jackson has no chance of discovering. Alone, but for the few people she was able to save, Ryleigh
must decide whether to reclaim her kingdom or remain in the new realm forever, forsaking all she left behind . . .

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

As she slid past her throne, Ryleigh’s sword caught on the
arm, and she took a step back and untangled it. She’d never get used to wearing
the stupid thing everywhere she went. If not for Jackson’s
insistence, it’d probably be stuffed under her bed beside the baseball bat she
kept hidden there.
She pulled open a drawer on the side table behind her throne
and rifled through the papers she’d stuffed in there in search of her leather
appointment book. If she couldn’t find answers, may as well get some work done.
It was either that or dwell on Jackson’s
mission and the terror it brought. She pressed a hand against her heaving
stomach. No. She couldn’t think about that. She had more immediate problems she
might actually be able to do something about.
Several meetings had to be scheduled, and without writing
them down, she’d never keep track of where she was supposed to be. Especially
with her mind so jumbled with images of Jackson
going up against Chayce.
She snatched the book, shoved the drawers shut, and turned to
leave.
Ryleigh’s vision blurred. The air shimmered in the center of
the throne room, and her ears popped.
She ripped her sword from its sheath even as the portal
opened.
A seven-foot-tall beast built of solid muscle tore through
the portal. A triple headed flail swung from one massive hand.
About the Author

 

Dani-Lyn lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her
family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores.
Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac, and she has an addiction to chocolate.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

            Giveaway Details:

Dani-Lyn Alexander is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight November 22.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

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We’re happy to present to you Lena Gregory’s DEATH AT FIRST SIGHT Book Blast today! Lena is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Enter below!

 

 

Title: Death at First Sight
Author: Lena Gregory
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that something’s
not right on Bay Island…
Since she left her psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic
shop in her hometown on Bay Island, Cass Donovan has given her fair share of
readings to conflicted customers. But what she sees in Ellie Callahan’s future
doesn’t bode well.

When Ellie’s mother, Marge, publicly confronts Cass about the reading, the
embarrassment makes her want to curl up and die. And when she later stumbles
across Marge’s body—and is a suspect in her murder—Cass is suddenly the star of
Bay Island’s
rumor mill.

Cass is determined to prove her innocence and save Ellie from meeting the fate
in her unfortunate vision. But even with the help of her friends Bee and
Stephanie, Cass will have to channel some serious sleuthing instincts to find
the real killer…

Amazon| Barnes& Noble

Book Excerpt:

Cass sucked in a breath, the gasp audible in the silence of the small room. Oh no . . . The walls pressed in on her, loomed over her, threatened to suffocate her. This cant be happening again.
Is everything all right?
Umm . . . sure.” Darkness encroached, tunneling her vision. She forced itb ack, counted to ten, took deep breathsanything to fight back the blackness. She struggled against the urge to push the glass ball away from her. “Sorry. I must havez oned out for a minute.
She averted her gaze, hoping the other woman wouldnt catch the lie.
The womans eyebrows drew together, a frown creasing her forehead.
Are you sure youd idnt see anything bad?
Cass forced a laugh as she shoved her chair back, stood, and moved away from the table. “Of course not. I told you I would only allow good spirits to enter.Liar.
About the Author

 

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.  When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

* * *  GIVEAWAY * * *

Lena Gregory is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight November 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on December 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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About the Book:
Title: One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging
Author: Beth M. Caruso
Publisher: Ladyslipper Press
Pages: 358
Genre: Historical Fiction
Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America’s first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647.
This event and Alice‘s ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut‘s Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years. Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather’s written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.
The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

NEW WINDSOR, BERKSHIRE,
ENGLAND, 1615
The infant was soon to enter the world. Alsie’s increased labor pains and a sudden wave of panic made a swift announcement of her baby’s imminent arrival. Gwendolyn, the midwife, motioned with a wise smile and nod to Alsie’s cousin. Mrs. Mary Merwin Tinker and her daughters were to make the final preparations for the newborn. The lines embedded under Gwendolyn’s eyes, eyes still bright after many years of life, were a testament to her wisdom and experience.
“Girls. It’s time. Quickly…Sarah, bring the rest of Gwendolyn’s supplies to the bedside table. She’ll need the string and knives shortly. Little Mary, come and support Alsie’s back. You too, Ellen. Assist Mary. Margaret, make sure the linens are warmed and everything else is ready for the babe! We must all give our support to cousin now,” spoke Mrs. Mary Tinker, their mother.
“Yes ma’am,” they replied in unison as some sisters hurried about making sure everything was in place for the birth, and the remaining sisters stayed at Alsie’s side to comfort her.
Despite the excitement inside, a branch softly and hypnotically continued to hit the leaded glass window of the thatched cottage in a steady cadence. Alsie had already been in a trance for the past hour, the trance a woman’s body and soul become held in toward the end of labor.
About the Author

 

Beth M. Caruso grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent her childhood writing puppet shows and witches’ cookbooks. She became interested in French Literature and Hispanic Studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She later obtained Masters degrees in Nursing and Public Health.
Working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, she helped to improve the public health of local Karen hill tribes. She also had the privilege to care for hundreds of babies and their mothers as a labor and delivery nurse.
Largely influenced by an apprenticeship with herbalist and wildcrafter, Will Endres, in North Carolina, she surrounds herself with plants through gardening and native species conservation.
Her latest passion is to discover and convey important stories of women in American history. One of Windsor is her debut novel. She lives in New England with her awesome husband, amazing children, loyal puppy, and cuddly cats. .

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

 

 

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We’re thrilled to be hosting Michelle Bellon’s RESTLESS Book Blast today!  Pick up your copy!

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Title:
Restless
Author: Michelle Bellon
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Pages: 204
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
You grow up. You get married. You have a family. At least,
that’s what Malea Winters believes she’s supposed to do. So why is it that
every time she comes close to finding that happily ever after, she runs?When she meets Garrett Taylor, she warns him that she’s not the marrying type
because history has shown that long-term relationships are not her forte. She
has a tendency to leave when things get too serious; the direct result of being
raised by an emotionally detached mother and a stepdad with philandering ways.
So she swore off men and surrounded herself with her best friends; three
quirky, funny women who are facing challenges of their own.

But Garrett is everything she’s ever looked for; charming, successful, fun, and
sexy. Despite her better judgment, his persistence pays off and she finds
herself falling for him.

Learning how to love and be loved will be the hardest lesson she’s ever faced.
The question is, will her relationships survive that lesson?

For More Information

  • Restless is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

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As I walk down the aisle, avoiding eye contact with my
husband-to-be, I remember the dream and feel the need to run.
I clutch the bountiful bouquet of flowers, red and white for
our Christmastime wedding, and feel the sweat on my palms collect in the
center. I want to rub them down the front of my dress.
But that would be unacceptable. My grandma has lovingly sewn
every stitch, carefully placed every pearly bead, and worked every delicate
piece of lace. It’s a work of labor and love.
Today, I am supposed to be a princess.
But as I look around at familiar faces, friends and family,
watching me take this enormous step into life as a wife, as a life partner, I
feel anything but princess-like.
I feel the lie. I feel the relentless pursuit of truth. Both
follow me down the aisle, tapping on my shoulder and reminding me that I have
no ability to live up to this responsibility.
I am quaking in my white heels. My knees are shaking. But
still I march forward on the arm of the only male in my life I’ve ever thought
of as a father. He isn’t really, but he’s the only man my mom brought home over
the years to whom I formed any real emotional attachment before they’d split
ways. Due to his philandering ways, he was out of our life more than he was in
it. But when he was around, something
inside of me recognized something inside of him, and I cared for him.
I swallow down my fear. It’s only nerves. It’s normal. This
is the natural order of things: you grow up, you get married, you have a
family. That’s how it’s done.
Then what?
I finally make eye contact with Garrett and search
for…safety? Love? Answers?
Only my own fear reflects back. He can see the hesitation,
the anxiety, the angst. He smiles cautiously. He’ll never admit what we both
know.
Just before we reach the altar, I take one last look around.
The gathering within the small church is there for only one purpose: to watch
us get hitched.
I could run right now. This is my last chance. I could just
turn around and make a run for it.

 

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About the Author

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Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four children and boyfriend, Seth. She loves coffee
and has an addiction to chapstick.
She works at a surgery center as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. She writes in the
genres of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards to include making finalist in the New Age category in the USA Book Awards for her latest release, The Fire
Inside. 
Her latest release is the contemporary romance, Restless.
For More Information

 

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We’re thrilled to be hosting DuffyBrown’s BRAKING FOR BODIES Book Blast today! Pick up your copy!

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Title:
BRAKING FOR BODIES (Book 2 Cycle Path Mystery Series)Author: Duffy Brown

Publisher: Penguin Berkley
Prime Crime

Pages: 304

Genre: Cozy Mystery

No one knows why Peephole Perry came all the way to Mackinac from LA, but when he winds up dead things are looking bad for Evie’s BFF who once worked for the jerk. Now Evie has to gear up and get a grip on the truth if she wants to clear her friend and find a
killer.
It’s murder and a mystery weekend on Mackinac Island for the rag reporter, his mistress and the wife who wants them both dead.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
“What’s going on?” A guy called down from the porch above us. “Is somebody there? Did somebody fall?”
Sutter and I exchanged uh oh looks and a woman on the porch squealed. “Ohmygoodness! It’s a body! This is
fantastic! I know what this is. It’s one of those murder mystery weekends right here at the Grand Hotel. The victim’s right there, I can see him all sprawled out on the ground. Oh this is so much fun.”
“Look, lady,” Sutter shot back.
“This is no mystery weekend party this is a real crime scene here.”
“Of course it is,” she squealed again. “You all are great actors, this is amazing. What a fantastic surprise right here on Mackinac Island.”

 

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About the Author

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While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy Brown longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. Today she is a National Bestselling author and conjures up who-done-it stories for Berkley Prime Crime. She has two series, the Consignment Shop mysteries set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries on Mackinac Island.
For More Information

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Giveaway!

Braking for Bodies Tote


Duffy is giving away 20 BRAKING FOR BODIES Cinch Totes & Notepads!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Twenty winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one Braking for Bodies Cinch Tote & Notepad
  • This giveaway ends at midnight on April 3.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on April 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The CIA International Thriller Series Book Blast Banner

We’re happy to be hosting R. Lawson’s THE CIA INTERNATIONAL THRILLER SERIES Book Blast today! Existential Threats is Book 4 and The Carrington Prophecy is the latest and is Book 5. Pick up your copies of this fantastic thriller series!

Existential Threats

Title: Existential Threats (Book 4 of The CIA International Thriller Series)
Author: R. Lawson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 345
Genre: Thriller/Espionage

The CIA’s incoming Director of Counter Terrorism, Biff Roberts, is inheriting a multitude of challenges. For starters, there is the existential threat of a nuclear Iran. Added to that, the Middle East has become enmeshed in a surge of radical religious extremism ranging from fanatical Muslims of the Islamic State to the Taliban, groups who commit unspeakable atrocities using violence to pursue their atavistic goals. Syria’s civil war could result in Assad’s weapons of mass destruction getting into the hands of the splintered groups of Islamic Jihadists fighting there. This radical ideology has now spilled over into Africa with furious intensity.
And as if these international problems were not enough imminent threats to confront, Iranian mullahs have issued an Islamic death warrant fatwa on Biff, and those hoping to see it through are chasing him to the ends of the Earth.
Things move closer to home when CIA intelligence discovers that Iran has dispatched Mahmoud Abu Javari, the notorious IED bomb maker to the U.S. Biff now faces a Homeland threat of 9/11 proportions and has to thwart a bomb plot in San Francisco without knowing the target or timing for the planned act of terror.

For More Information

  • Existential Threats is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, ITALY

New Year’s Day

The assassins hid behind a huge boulder above the timberline, giving

them an excellent view of the ski slopes below.

 

“In the red parka at the top of the Tofana piste,” the handler, Rashid,

said, spotting the target first. He spoke in Arabic with a distinctive French

inflection, his calm voice belying his excitement. “Look to the right side of

the slope. He’s just inside the tree line, leaning on his ski poles and talking

with the woman and her children. See him?”

 

Beside Rashid, Mustapha frowned as he peered through the scope of his

rifle. “Your binoculars have a wider field of view,” he complained. His accent

was foreign to Rashid, an African version of Arabic that fell heavily on

Rashid’s ears. In addition to disliking his accent, Rashid found Mustapha’s

facial tattoos—tribal markings apparently—distasteful. But Mustapha had

a reputation as a skilled shooter and he seemed dedicated to their mission.

 

“Big guy, blond hair,” Rashid said as he laid his Bushnell binoculars

on the hood of their snowmobile and pointed. “About six hundred meters

down to the right. Use my binoculars if you can’t spot him.”

 

“Okay, now I have him,” Mustapha said, grinning. “He’s much bigger

than I imagined, good target. But there’s a tree branch in the way

now. I’ll wait until he skis out to the first mogul, then I’ll have him in my crosshairs.”

 

* * *

Biff Roberts stopped at the top of the Tofana run, enjoying the rest and

the magnificent early morning view of Cortina below. The gondola had

dropped them off at over ten thousand feet, and after traversing over

to the piste, they were even higher. It was easy to get winded at this

 

“Let the youngsters go first, Patricia,” Biff said. “I doubt we can match

their pace.”

 

“Okay, Biff,” Patricia said, smiling warmly. Patricia DeBartola was

in her fifties, but Biff thought she looked better than most women thirty

years younger. Like him, she kept herself in great shape, another reason

they were a great match.

 

Biff was enjoying a rare break from work before the next big step in his

career. After four decades in the CIA, he was about to take on his most challenging

role yet—as the head of Langley’s clandestine Counterterrorism

Division. He was looking forward to getting started, but first he wanted to

spend time with Patricia and get to know her kids better.

 

“Watch out for ice on the downside of moguls at this hour,” Patricia

told him. “It’s so easy to catch an edge when you check and turn downhill.

And although it’s a black diamond run, it’s really not too difficult if you

control your speed. That’s essential. Rest if you start to tire.”

 

Patricia could see from Biff’s smile that he didn’t mind her advice. But

she realized she might be overdoing it.

 

“Don’t do anything crazy trying to impress me, okay?” She smiled to

try and hide her concern. “I know how you are sometimes.”

 

Maybe I do worry too much, she thought. But she was an expert skier

and this was a challenging slope. Biff was strong and athletic, and he’d

told her he could ski, but could he handle this steep hill? She didn’t want

to jeopardize their holiday vacation with an injury. In retrospect, maybe

she shouldn’t have brought him up here, but the Tofana chute was her

children’s favorite run, and the view was absolutely spectacular. She would

just have to watch him closely.

 

“You got it, lady,” Biff said. “I promise to take it nice and easy.” Biff

didn’t want her worrying about him today. Biff’s work meant he was

often in danger, but this was time to relax and get to know her family

 

Patricia glanced at her daughter. “Alessandra, I suggest you go first, in

case you fall. Your brothers will follow to pick you up.”

 

Her daughter remained silent, not taking the bait.

 

“Right, Enzo and Donatello?” Patricia added. “You’ll look out for your

baby sister? She might be a bit rusty.” Alessandra had given birth last year

and missed the ski season. “Be sure to keep a close eye on her, okay?”

 

“No problem, Mom,” Enzo replied without hesitation, smiling widely.

 

Unlike his sister, Enzo appreciated his mother’s sense of humor, which

was often half in jest, half in earnest.

 

“Same old predictable Mom, looking out for her brood,” Donatello

said quietly beside Enzo. Donatello leaned on his ski poles, raring to go.

They had both heard that refrain for years, to look out for their baby

 

“Yeah, right, Mom,” Donatello said loudly. “No problem.” He replied

like a good son should, no matter his age. Their dad had disciplined

them well.

 

“Doubt we’ll keep up with her, though. She’s definitely the

best downhiller in the family, maybe the town,” Donatello reminded

her, as if she wasn’t cognizant of that well-established fact after all these

 

‘Baby sister’ had been a top notch ski instructor on this mountain

and the winner of many alpine competitions before she married ten years

ago and started her family. Now the mother of three, Alessandra still

had a cult-like following of aspirant young female skiers in Cortina who

stopped her on the streets for her advice on training exercises and hints

on succeeding in timed trials.

 

At Donatello’s remark, Alessandra just politely smiled, shunning the

time-honored family banter, and pushed off. She checked adroitly on the

first mogul and swiftly weaved her way gracefully down the fall line, starting

the five-thousand-foot vertical descent to the Dolomite village in the

valley below.

 

Biff watched her glide effortlessly down the steep slope, darting

through the moguls like a rabbit, changing direction unpredictably but

 

“The whole scene is definitely like an edited Warren Miller ski clip,”

Biff observed. “Good show.”

 

“She’s a talented skier,” Patricia replied. She was clearly proud of her

family, especially her daughter, and rightfully so.

 

“She doesn’t look a bit rusty to me,” Biff complimented.

 

“She’s still got it at thirty, hasn’t lost a move.” She nodded to her sons.

“OK, boys. Go catch her, if you can.” Patricia laughed delightedly, realizing

she hadn’t been this happy in years. She had been nervous about

having the kids meet Biff, but everything was going wonderfully.

 

The brothers immediately set off after their sister, laughing. They were

strong, athletic skiers but lacked their sister’s grace as she short turned in

the fall line, taunting them to catch her.

 

“A classic display of sibling rivalry?” Biff suggested. “You raised some

great kids, Patricia. Look at them go, having a ball.”

 

“Thank you. This is always a big part of our family New Year’s tradition.

They’re trying to make an impression. They intend to test you out as

a prospective stepfather, so heads up.”

 

“Natural thing to do, I suppose.” Biff smiled down at Patricia. “You

sure scored impressively with my family last week.” Patricia had gone to

Arizona with him for Christmas festivities. “You turned Caroline’s life

around, thank God.”

 

Patricia smiled, pleased. “She just needed some motherly TLC. I

understand what she’s going through.”

 

“You gave her helpful insight, dear,” Biff said. “It’s been a whirlwind

experience introducing our kids, judging if they’ll accept our relationship.

Like you said, so far, so good.”

 

Less than a year ago, Biff’s wife and childhood sweetheart, Mary Beth,

had been gunned down by an assassin, in place of Biff. Many years ago,

Patricia’s husband, the Italian ambassador to Israel, had been assassinated

by Hamas while visiting Gaza on a peacekeeping mission. It was that

shared experience of traumatic grief that had brought Biff and Patricia

together so quickly and so intensely. His children, rather than angered at

his finding love again so soon, seemed to understand all the more that life

was short and precious, and should be lived to the fullest. Patricia’s kids

seemed to want the same happiness for their mother.

 

“We better catch up with them,” Patricia said. “I see them waiting

downhill for us, joking around. Look, they’re waving to us to come on.

Let’s go. Try and keep up.”

 

“Keep up with them?” He grinned. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

 

“Well, let’s try and not let them out of sight. You’re next, I’ll follow.”

She smiled, thrilled at the positive start to their vacation and family

introductions. After her family tragedy, she’d doubted if she’d ever be

deeply happy again. Yet in Biff, she’d found someone to spend the rest

of her life with, someone who had experienced a similar misfortune.

Empathy drew them together, and the whole was greater than the parts

that bonded them.

 

“Be patient,” Biff said. “It’s been a while since I last skied at Tahoe.

And I’m not in your kids’ class, believe me. But it’s just like riding a bike,”

he added, smiling. He took off, bouncing off the first mogul, trying to

imitate her kids’ skillful execution of a check turn and hot-dogging it.

 

Despite Patricia’s warning, he immediately caught an edge on the

mogul’s icy downhill side. Biff lost his balance and began to fall.

 

His fall was a fortunate event as it turned out. Just as he began to slip, a

.223 caliber bullet ripped through his left shoulder, sending red fragments

of his insulated parka flying. Groaning in pain, he crashed head over heels

downhill between the steep moguls.

 

Patricia noted the muffled sound of a gunshot fired through a suppressor

from uphill an instant before Biff fell. Despite the silencer, the rifle’s

resonance followed instantly through the clear mountain atmosphere. She

had heard that unforgettable “bap” sound before, and her years of association

with Mossad conditioned her response. She glanced furtively uphill

at the ridge. She saw no one, but suspected more incoming fire.

Had the shot caused Biff’s awkward spill? It all happened too quickly

for her to tell.

 

“Biff!” she called as she immediately skied to his assistance, not fearing

exposing herself to danger. He could be shot, and she had to help him.

 

The Carrington Prophecy

Title: The Carrington Prophecy (Book 5 of The CIA International Thriller Series)
Author: R. Lawson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 298
Genre: Thriller/Espionage

Biff Roberts, the CIA’s counterterrorism director, receives actionable intelligence that a rogue regime is planning a sneak attack with the goal of exploding a nuclear device above the United States, triggering an unnatural Carrington Event.

The cosmic storm of the Carrington Event’s electromagnetic pulse waves released by the explosion would cripple all electronic systems and power grids in the U.S., leaving the homeland defenseless and vulnerable to conventional warfare.

With North Korea looking to be the most likely suspect, Biff is tasked to intervene and prevent this attack without triggering a global world war. Collaborating with NIS, the South Korean Intelligence Service, Biff and his team work to thwart the impending disaster, while also leaving the CIA with plausible deniability.

For More Information

  • The Carrington Prophecy is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Andrews AFB

After brief conversation, considerable reflection, and two bottles of vintage champagne, Biff Roberts and the other members of the CIA’s counterterrorism team finally slept for the remainder of the flight from San Francisco back to Andrews Air Force Base. It had been a long, harrowing week that thankfully had ended in averting a national disaster. They had successfully aborted an Iranian terror plot, one potentially of 9/11 dimensions that could have killed thousands.

Upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Biff noticed the CIA’s DCI Admiral Delaney, his attaché, and an entourage of Langley officials and security guards were waiting to greet them on the tarmac. As the CIA G-4 taxied to its designated parking spot, many in the crowd waved excitedly. Biff also noticed the DCI had a large dossier under his arm.

That’s usually not a good sign, Biff thought. Something’s brewing — something big.

Biff and his team descended from the plane into the smiling crowd. They received a combination of applause, thumbs up, and salutes as acknowledgement of their lead role in thwarting the terrorist plot in San Francisco.

“Fine job, Biff,” the admiral said. “Welcome back.” They shook hands and exchanged pats on the back.

Admiral Delaney was sincere in his admiration of his top field operative, recently promoted to Director of the Counterterrorism division. Even after all the long hours and stress of his work in San Francisco, Biff seemed as sharp as ever. His energy and appearance were the envy of many younger men. His six-foot-four athletic frame was still packed with muscle well into middle age, and his thick, wavy blond hair belied his age.

“Extraordinary how you pulled it off, Biff. Impressive tactics,” Delaney said as they walked toward a line of waiting cars. “You never cease to amaze me. That Switchblade drone/flash bang caper will become a classic in our CIA annals.”

“Thank you, sir. I had some good help.”

“Word is Javari will talk at GITMO,” Delaney said. “They’re confident they’ll break him. Another good move, whisking him offshore as an enemy combatant. We’re sure to get some blowback, but what the hell. I’m certain we’ll get valuable intelligence from him that will outweigh any misguided liberal bellyaching about enhanced interrogation.” The admiral shook his head. “They can’t fathom the distinction between harsh interrogation and torture. They should take a sabbatical in the Middle East and observe the prisons there. Their methods are torture. And when they’re finished with you, they cut your head off.”

“Jihadists and terrorists don’t fall under Geneva conventions,” Biff said. “The treatment at GITMO is harsh, but humane. I’ve personally observed the methodology.”

“Enough of this interrogation method talk,” Delaney said. “I’ll manage the blowback… Back to your San Francisco exploit. Job well done, my good man, glad I made you a director. You’re making me look good. After that Snowden NSA fiasco, we needed to score some points. Our NSA colleagues over in Fort Meade caught a lot of flak over that security lapse.”

“They sure did,” Biff said. “I appreciate your comments, sir.”

Biff and the admiral reached the line of cars, pausing in front of a limo.

“I want you to spend a week at Rose Hill with Patricia. You deserve a good rest.” The admiral gestured toward the vehicle beside them. “Our limo will drop you off.”

“Thank you again, sir. Glad to be home.”

“I bet. Listen, when you get a chance, please review this information carefully and let me know your thoughts. It’s very important to get your input before I advise the Chiefs of Staff next month with our intelligence estimate about how we should manage this grave situation.”

The DCI handed the dossier to Biff like a hot potato, as if he couldn’t wait to get it out of his hands. This was more than a homecoming reception. As Biff had anticipated, something big was brewing, and Biff sensed he’d soon be in the middle of it.

Biff noted the thick folder was marked CARRINGTON EVENT – Classified: Top Secret – B.C. ROBERTS V’s copy (# 2 of 5)

“Know anything about this subject?” The DCI asked as Biff looked at the cover title.

“The Carrington Event?” Biff said. He paused, probing his memory. The subject did ring a bell, setting off his remarkable recall, a trait that had distinguished him at Yale and contributed to his successful CIA career.

Biff nodded. “A cosmic event involving the sun’s electromagnetic pulses, a flare or burst of gamma rays. A major solar storm occurred in the mid-1800s. The Carrington Prophecy says that the event may recur every 150 to 180 years or so, as a natural catastrophic event.”

“Your recall is incredible, Biff. Actually it was September 1, 1859. A solar super storm hit the earth with the flare power of a billion atomic bombs exploding. Night became day. Telegraph systems went down worldwide and electrical outages occurred nearly everywhere, resulting in general chaos. That geomagnetic interruption was like a dirt road compared to today’s information superhighway. Our almost total dependency on electronics in modern life makes us frighteningly vulnerable to another solar storm of that magnitude.

“Think about the ramifications of a foreign attack generating a massive electromagnetic pulse,” the admiral added, “a form of sabotage that would elicit a similar catastrophe.

“It’s a scary scenario, Admiral, very threatening. Not sure I want to go there.”

“I like your choice of words, Biff. But I’m concerned we will have to go there. Consider a nuclear device detonated in the stratosphere over the U.S. That scenario would make the Carrington Prophesy come true, maybe much sooner than a natural occurrence. It would paralyze all of our power grids, bringing all electronic communication and basic functions to a halt. It would pitch our IT-based society into perpetual night, vulnerable to attack.”

The admiral’s expression was grim. “That’s our next existential threat, Biff. It’s essential for us to avert such a doomsday scenario.”

“You’re thinking of an ICBM attack?” Biff asked. “Iran? China? North Korea?”

“Who’s got the craziest leader, the loose cannon?”

Biff didn’t have to think long about that one. “Kim Jong-un.’’

“Precisely. Come up with a plan. You’re our Counterterrorism Director.”

 

About the Author

R. Lawson

R. Lawson is a retired vascular surgeon and served as a captain in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon. With over 120 academic works under his belt, he moved into the fiction genre and began writing thrillers with a focus on terrorism, cyber spying, national security and more.

He hopes that you enjoy his CIA International Intrigue series featuring Biff Roberts, veteran CIA agent, as he travels the globe thwarting threats to the United States and its allies.

His latest books are Existential Threats and The Carrington Prophecy, Book 4 & 5 in The CIA International Thriller series.

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