Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Exclusive Excerpt: DEMON OF VENGEANCE by Brenda Huber
Excerpt / July 21, 2016

Exclusive Excerpt for Fresh Fiction: “Please, please, do not tell me I just missed her!” The balding little man behind the counter jumped at Sebastian’s tone. Sweat beaded the clerk’s brow as he fidgeted with a stack of travel brochures. “Well, I’m sorry, but you have.” He hitched a thumb over his shoulder toward the window behind him. “In fact, there she goes now.” The edge of the countertop cracked beneath Sebastian’s fingertips as he watched the twin engine Cessna taxi down the runway. He’d chased that double damned woman all over this Godforsaken town. Port August, Michigan had become his own personal version of limbo from which it seemed he could not escape. A never ending loop of always being one step behind the cursed woman and never lucky enough to quite catch up. The storm brewing inside him boiled closer to the surface as the front wheels of the plane left the tarmac. Breathe, Sebastian reminded himself. And there she went, slipping through his fingers.Again. A red haze winked over his vision for a moment. The little gnome took a cautious step back, sweat streaming down the sides of his smooth forehead now, his eyes wide as saucers…

An Excerpt from IN THE LINE OF FIRE
Excerpt / July 18, 2016

He hadn’t taken it well at all when she’d told him “it’s not you, it’s me.” This had to be the tenth text she’d gotten from him since last night. Give me another chance. Just tell me what you want from me, and I’ll give it to you. Seriously. He was too freaking perfect. But not for her. She’d known almost from the beginning things weren’t going the way they should. She’d kept putting off ending it because she didn’t want to go back to being lonely. But if she was honest with herself, being with Charlie hadn’t made her feel any less alone. She’d just been alone with someone else along for the ride. Staring at the large saguaro cactus in front of the window then the mountains beyond, she sighed and clicked off the message, slipping her phone back into her handbag and picking up her plate. As usual, her record for choosing men who weren’t suitable for her, one of whom had later turned into a husband, held true. The first serious relationship with a boyfriend had gone two years and come with an engagement ring she’d given back when she found him in bed with another…

An Excerpt from ALARUMS
Excerpt / July 18, 2016

Professor Trueblood watched from the door of Wesley Hall as they hurried down the concrete stairs. Once away from him, they walked slowly side by side. They walked through the warm night in silence. Then Melanie asked, “How’s your nose?” “It’ll live.” He sniffed. “I think the bleeding’s stopped.” “I’m sorry I hurt you.” “It’s nothing.” He looked at her. “Are you going to tell me what happened?” “Oh, Bodie,” she whispered. Her arm slipped around his back, her small hand warm on his hip. “It’s something terrible.” “I know. I saw.” “Not that. I mean…what I saw.” “What you saw?” “My dad. It must’ve been Dad. Or my sister.” Her hand tightened on Bodie’s hip. “God. He…he must be dead. One of them, anyway. I…damn it.” She sobbed. “I don’t know which one. But Dad, I think. When it happened last time, it was Mom.” Bodie stopped. He turned and stared down into her glistening eyes. Her sorrow made a thickness in his throat and a tight hurt in his chest. But her words… What was she saying? He tucked the handkerchief into his pocket and gently took hold of her shoulders. Too late, he realized he had blood…

Exclusive excerpt DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery
Excerpt / July 12, 2016

“A glove’s important, Mom.” “I know it is.” “I really need a new one.” Rachel didn’t doubt that. Josh was basically a good kid. He didn’t whine, he didn’t ask for a lot. His passions were simple—anything sports-related and the occasional computer game. That was it. Christmas and birthday presents revolved around whatever sport most had his interest. As they had for the past three years, spring and summer meant baseball. Los Lobos didn’t have a Little League team, but there was a county league. Josh insisted they sign him up the first hour they could, something she was happy to do. He was eleven—she figured she had all of two, maybe three years before he became a raging male hormone and then all bets were off. “Dad said he would buy it for me but I had to check with you first.” At least she was driving and had an excuse not to look at Josh. Because she couldn’t—not without him seeing the rage in her eyes. Damn Greg, she thought bitterly. Of course he could afford to buy his son a new glove. Greg only had himself to worry about. Her ex-husband made a good living as a…

Excerpt: PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY by Donna Russo Morin
Excerpt / June 30, 2016

Excerpt from PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY by Donna Russo Morin Viviana stood near the front of the congregation beside the Conte and Contessa, for once as enthralled with Fiammetta’s rank as Fiammetta always had been. She forgot any and all earlier concerns; her slippered feet—her best pair, though worn—tapped upon patterned marble, her thumbs twirled around in the clasp of her hands. It was the best attempt at quiet reverence she could manage within the multitude of distractions. The Gothic vaults of the central nave towered above, guarded by the columns and round arches of ancient Rome, so high only birds could reach its apex, set aglow by the sweet light streaming in through the mammoth clerestory windows. It was a cave of wonders built by the hand of man, a hand guided by God. Viviana aimed her eyes forward, on the priest standing in wait, small and encapsulated within the chancel and the cupola over it. “Where is our Lapaccia?” Fiammetta leaned close to whisper, and Viviana could merely shrug in ignorance. They had planned to be together on this special occasion but the woman and her son were nowhere in sight. Mass was often no more than an…

EXCERPT: The Dead Don’t Bleed by David Krugler
Excerpt / June 30, 2016

THE DEAD DON’T BLEED by David Krugler: Chapter 1 The alleys of Washington, D.C., are unlike those of any other city. Small carriage houses, one after another, abut the cobbled or clay backways. Within certain long, wide blocks, the alleys intersect, creating labyrinths as complex as a casbah. Here the two-story dwellings—woodframed and sorely in need of paint—pitch and lean, like a drunk who has stood up too fast. Stray cats slink along weed-choked walls, the stench of shit wafts from outhouses. Residents slump in rickety chairs and makeshift benches, drinking, throwing dice, sleeping. Here and there, scattered signs of neighborly pride. A vegetable garden tucked away, a whitewashed fence, a woman scrubbing her two-step stoop. Washingtonians who live streetside rarely venture into these slums pocketed dark and dank between the city and the capital. Why would they? “Maybe rolled?” suggested Terrance. His listless tone could hardly hold up the question mark. “Here?” I flicked my hand at the open windows of the dilapidated houses lining the alley south of M Street and west of Second Street, SE. Two young Negro boys watched us from a corner yard, thumbs hooked shyly at the corners of their mouths. Curtains fell back…

Excerpt of DIRTIEST SECRET by J Kenner
Excerpt / April 28, 2016

1 The King of Fuck Even by Southampton standards, the party at the nine-­thousand-­square-­foot mansion on Meadow Lane reeked of extravagance. Grammy Award–­winning artists performed on an outdoor stage that had been set up on the lush lawn that flowed from the main house to the tennis courts. Celebrities hobnobbed with models who flirted with Wall Street tycoons who discussed stock prices with tech gurus and old-­money academics, all while sampling fine scotch and the season’s chicest gin. Colored lights illuminated the grotto-style pool, upon which nude models floated lazily on air mattresses, their bodies used by artisan sushi chefs as presentation platters for epicurean delights. Each female guest received a Hermès Birkin bag and each male received a limited edition Hublot watch, and the exclamations of delight—­from both the men and the women—­rivaled the boom of the fireworks that exploded over Shinnecock Bay at precisely ten P.M., perfectly timed to distract the guests from the bustle of the staff switching out the dinner buffet for the spread of desserts, coffee, and liqueurs. No expense had been spared, no desire or craving or indulgence overlooked. Nothing had been left to chance, and every person in attendance agreed that the party…