Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 5)

Blood Games – Episode 8



This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

MY HANDS WERE CLENCHED in fists as I watched the fire burn. People were sure to die just as they had during the Market Street and old Diggon headquarters bombings. It was with grim satisfaction that I thought of how I’d foiled Reed’s plans for Reading Market.

I wished I could have figured out his plan today and somehow stopped it. I was too limited in what I could do alone.

Reed had been going out of his way to minimize the death count but one person more would have been too much. There wouldn’t be just one death today. I feared dozens would lose their lives. I could see ambulances on the other side of the fire. 

It fanned the flames of my rage, making me wish I had Reed at hand so I could throttle him until he no longer breathed. He would use this fire just like he’d used all the other incidents to further cement the children to him and his cause.

Once I caught up to Margaret and Benji, it was going to be difficult to get them to recognize Reed had been behind all this death and mayhem. I doubted they ever would. They weren’t going to take that message from me.

What did Reed hope to gain from all this destruction? Why turn his focus to his own company? At first, I’d thought he’d just been trying to prove his value to Peck. After taking down the old Diggon headquarters and giving Peck a black eye for his refusal to turn over any information on me before the Reading Market incident, I’d decided he’d been trying to drive down the price of Diggon’s shares. He’d been successful for a time, but that was short lived because Spectrum downloads had shot to the top of the charts. 

It didn’t make any sense for Reed to target DataRader. I figured Reed was insane but had thought there would be a method to his madness.

 

Blood Games – Episode 7



This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

AS I WALKED AWAY from Kris, I noticed that the people on the street seemed quieter than normal. I pulled out my smartphone which–was still on, even though I knew better–to see if Spectrum had noticed my presence and sent out an alert.

It had not. I was in the clear.

Most people were still talking while going about their business but they also kept looking about as if expecting something to happen.

It was a sign of our times that word of the threat had spread so quickly. It hadn’t been more than ten minutes since Jolene had walked in with the video, but it seemed everybody knew of it. Or had at least picked up on the increased tension of those around them.  

I passed a bench with people waiting for a bus, several of whom were viewing the video on a phone with the sound turned all the way up. Others had crowded in from all sides to see what it was about. As I looked away from them I tried to keep the fear from showing on my face but it was difficult.

There was little more than makeup, a few strips of latex, and a hat keeping me from being recognized.

I was surrounded by people who had a fresh image of my face in their mind. As I passed a man who stood with his back up against a light post I noticed he’d just opened the Spectrum app. He hadn’t looked at me so I figured I was in the clear, he was just checking.

Peck’s network of ears was growing exponentially because of the new threat.

Blood Games – Episode 6



This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I WENT TO THE conference room door intent on getting out of the building as quick as possible. Why was Reed taking aim at his own company? He had just changed his strategy, and I needed to figure out why.

The statement from the fake me that DataRader had been naughty made me think Reed was about to aim a terrorist attack at his own company. It was a bold move that made me wonder about his motives.

I had assumed he had targeted Diggon to push down the price of their shares to leverage a better deal for the acquisition. Which made sense if they’d planned to pay him in stock.

He was upping the ante by attacking his own company. Was he trying to direct suspicion away from him? The thought resonated with me. If I were him, it was what I would do if somebody were getting close to figuring out what I was doing.

His efforts hadn’t worked on me. And I hadn’t even done him damage. That meant I might not be the only person who was on to him. If there were somebody else that suspected Reed, they’d hopefully be smart enough to see through the ruse.

Or maybe he’s trying to get some free publicity of his own? I wondered. I’d have to check the popularity of his FaceRec app. This could just be an effort to goose lackluster downloads.

I liked to think there was somebody else out there working on getting at Reed. If I could team up with such a person, we’d have a better chance of taking him down.

All I have to do is get close enough to put a bullet in his head, I thought as I grabbed the door handle. 

“Who’s behind this, Jake?” Kris asked, latching onto my arm and trying to pull me back into the room. I shook her off me. “I don’t know.”

“You have your suspicions,” Maxine said. It wasn’t a question.

 

Blood Games – Episode 5



This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

KRIS GAVE ME A toothy smile that lacked even the hint of an apology for the deception. Not only that, she was enjoying the moment. Every single time she’d referred to her boss she had always acted as if she were speaking of a man. Even right before we’d come into this office, Kris had still been intent on maintaining the lie. I had noticed a slight hesitation but had thought it was nothing.

“You should have told me,” I muttered under my breath.

“What difference does it make?”

I frowned, looking her in the eyes. “How can I trust somebody who lies to me?”

Why would Kris do this? Had she thought I’d be less likely to come if I’d known she worked for a woman? I hadn’t wanted to come at all, it wouldn’t have mattered if her boss was a circus monkey who flipped pancakes. 

“Don’t be angry with her, Jake,” the woman said. “Kris did as I wanted. There are reasons for the deception, I assure you. She was following orders.”

I shook my head, not sure what to say or even what to think.

“I don’t like being lied to. False pretenses don’t sit well with me.”

The woman smiled. “I wanted to force you to come in. Kris talked me out of it.”

“Smart,” I said. “You would have had to disarm me. That’s when I’m at my most dangerous.”

Kris kicked my foot, and I caught her muttering something about pointless macho bravado. That had nothing to do with it. I was telling the truth. Put me in a corner, and my claws came out. Lucky for them I still had my weapons. And they hadn’t tried to take them away.

 

 

Blood Games – Episode 4



This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE SILENCE IN THE car became awkward while I decided how to respond to Kris’ demand. I wasn’t surprised she was using my current situation as leverage but I could have avoided it altogether. It had been a mistake to get into her car but I’d been presented with an easy option. I’d taken it before I had a chance to consider all the consequences.

The driver looked at me in the rearview mirror, trying to gauge my reaction to her words. He had blonde hair and was pushing fifty. The muscles of his arms bulged when he turned the wheel. He had thirty pounds on me.

I checked behind us to make sure we weren’t being followed. Everything had happened so quickly that I’d expected to see a black Suburban behind us.

“Do you have real plates on this truck?” I asked. “Are they going to track you?”

“Don’t worry, Jake. We’re not a fly by night organization.” She gave me a wry smile. “You weren’t able to track me, were you?”

If I would have known you would take advantage of me, I thought, I would have tried much harder. My attempts to follow her had not been thorough. I’d done it to see how well she protected herself as much as anything.  

I spent several minutes focusing on my breathing to keep my anger at bay, it was swarming in my chest like a hive of bees that had just been kicked over. Most of it wasn’t directed at Kris. A portion was aimed at myself but the rest was for Reed and how close his people had come to me.

Still, after everything that had happened, he was trying to persuade me to join him. It didn’t make any sense; especially, considering how he was using fake videos of me to manipulate public opinion.

New Series Announcement and Cover Reveal

The time has come to reveal the new series I teased in my most recent newsletter: Dead Man’s War, featuring the first novel, Dead Man’s Game!

Dead Man’s Game will be published on May 23, 2019.

Stay tuned. As we get closer I will share sample chapters.

Blood Games – Episode 3



This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

IT SEEMED AS THOUGH an eternity passed while I considered how to respond to the cop’s order, but it wasn’t more than a second or two. I wouldn’t say I’d become used to walking past police officers, but my disguises had allowed me to do that multiple times.

Part of my hesitation was because I was surprised he’d stopped me. He had his hand on his holstered pistol but hadn’t yet removed it. Perhaps he didn’t have a reason to suspect me and was just being cautious. 

I dropped my bag and raised my hands. My heartbeat thudded inside my chest, and sweat trickled down the small of my back, but I thought I was doing a skillful job of keeping it all from reflecting on my face.

“What’s wrong, officer?” I allowed a little bit my alarm to creep into my voice but stamped down the rest. A regular citizen in this situation would be concerned, but he hadn’t pulled a gun or made any accusations. “Is everything okay?” I nodded to the bag. “Please feel free to look inside. I’ve got nothing to hide, just headed home from work.”

Nothing but my disguises, pistols, a grenade, and the ammo to go with it, I thought. If the cop did decide to go through it, I’d have to respond quickly. Even with my newly found boundaries, I wasn’t going to hurt innocent people. If I couldn’t hold myself to that, then I was no better than Peck or Reed.

“Can you remove your sunglasses?” he asked.

I did and gave him a weak smile, trying to look non-threatening. Goofy even. He shook his head. “Okay, you can go.”

I had expected him to take my picture and submit it to FaceRec.

“You don’t want a look in my bag?” I made no move to pick it up, making sure to sell it.

“Negative. Be careful, we have a known terrorist in the area. You see anything suspicious, give us a call.” He left before I could respond.

I allowed a small smile to creep onto my face as he disappeared into the park. The makeup may have been a pain, but this made it all worth it. As soon as I could, I would duck into another restroom, and make a few subtle changes to my face. I wore a long sleeve shirt, so if I took off my jacket, I wouldn’t look out of place in the cold.

Wanting nothing more than to run, I forced myself down to a fast walk. The officer had said a terrorist was in the area so a quick pace away was what an average person would do.

I snorted. An average person would run, but I didn’t want to risk it.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 28

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I WENT TO JOIN HIM, scanning the rest of the area as I did. I didn’t see anything to cause alarm.

I joined him beside a table where he was bent over a cardboard box. When I saw that he’d slit it open with a knife, I cringed. If it were me I would have still been opening it, making sure I wasn’t about to cut a wire that would set off the bomb.

He folded back the flaps of the box. Inside, a mess of dynamite and wires was connected to a sinister looking jar of liquid. It looked to have been assembled haphazardly. The jar had tape around it, presumably to keep it in place.

I knelt and moved the wires. It didn’t have a timer that I could see but there was a cell phone taped to the side of the box that had wires running from it.

“Careful!” Deon said, kneeling on the other side.

“How far out is the bomb squad?” I asked. I’d overheard his conversation requesting them as I’d approached.

“Five minutes. Maybe ten.”

“We don’t have time,” I said, walking over to a trash can and dumping the garbage on the floor. I brought it back and handed it to the cop.

“The explosion will rip it apart,” he said.

I shook my head. “That’s not what we’re going to do.”

Dark Spectrum – Episode 27

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Sam didn’t appear to notice the terrified looks he received from those around him. He glanced at me before looking at Deon. I saw recognition in his eyes. He knew it was me.

How did he know? My current disguise was among my best.

“He has a gun! He has a gun!” I didn’t see who screamed but everybody in the dining area focused on Sam. Those who weren’t in front of him ran for the exits.

Sam’s finger twitched on the trigger as I tackled Deon. We crashed into a table and chairs, sending them flying. Bullets screamed above us, the hissing sound of the silenced gunfire audible in the emptying room.

“He’ll have no mercy,” I said, shouting to be heard over the din. “Shoot to kill or you’ll regret it.”

The cop grunted as he brought up his pistol. He moved fast but his hand was shaky. He also glanced back at Earl. I was afraid Deon might hit a bystander if he took a shot.

I grabbed his arm and pulled him to a large metal beam that I put between Sam and us. It wasn’t much cover but with the congestion between him and us, we had a few seconds.

“Let go of me!” Deon snarled. He needn’t have bothered, I had already done so as bullets hit the overturned table where we had been moments before. One hit the cement floor right where I had been and made a ricocheting sound as it spun away.

“He killed Earl.”

Dark Spectrum – Episode 17

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

“YOU’RE A MURDERER, JAKE!” Cherry yelled through my earpiece. My finger tightened on the trigger of my Glock. My headset was on mute so she hadn’t heard Mike’s words coming through my microphone. “You took away the only father I had.”

Frank laughed as if in response to what she’d said.

I should have felt anger at Cherry’s betrayal but couldn’t summon the energy. I’d known the risk but I’d still come. I felt sorry for her. She was a decent person who like Jim, was another one of Beltran’s victims. So much waste. Her words danced in the back of my mind, as I scolded myself for being a fool.

Mike snarled. “Drop your gun, murderer!”

I kept my pistol up, pointed straight at his head. It was the reason I wasn’t dead yet. I was tired of people calling me a murderer. Beltran had deserved to die for all the lives he’d ruined. If he’d got the rifle first, he would have taken the rest of us out. Cherry had been there, she’d seen him run for it.

I growled, more at myself than at them. One of the things I wish I’d thought about before killing Beltran was the fact he’d made it his life’s mission to train killers. This wasn’t the first time during the last six months I’d had an old recruit of his seek me out for revenge.

I choked back a sarcastic comment as I took a deep breath to calm my racing heartbeat. Speaking out of turn was a good way to wind up dead, I didn’t want to provoke them.

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