Monday, May 22, 2017

Would You Kill To Save Your Child?


SEIZED BY DARKNESS is one of my favorite suspense stories that I've written to date. It's filled with passion for life and for love, mystery and thrills, and whole thing; plot, characters, setting came to me while I stood in my local post office. A picture of a missing
teenaged girl hanging on the bulletin board sparked the idea. I knew immediately that I didn't want to just write a kidnapping story. I wanted to write a story about a girl, now a woman, who not only survived her captor's reign over her, but triumphed over him. I wanted this story to be a lesson on how strength and character is built while enduring the most horrid situations. My readers seem to agree that I accomplished what I set out to do. It is a passionate love story. One you will remember for a long time.

SEIZED BY DARKNESS is sale Tuesday May 23 and Wednesday 24, 2017 for the ridiculous price of $.99. Two days only! So grab your copy. Tell your friends. Share my Facebook and tweeter posts and if you feel so incline, please leave a review. AMAZON BUY LINK

I hope you enjoy! Autumn


EXCERPT From SEIZED BY DARKNESS (Copyrighted material) Please respect my ownership.

“I told Gorgon a thousand times that woman would be the death of him. I could see it in her eyes. She is the devil’s bitch.” The heels of Yegor Novokoff’s Italian loafers slapped the vinyl flooring like rapid gunfire as he stalked through the halls of the local hospital with his bodyguard close behind him. “Would he listen to me? Nah. Gorgon always thought he was a smart boy. He’s an idiot who thinks with his dick. Tonight he’s proven me right.”

His own use of the past tense and the very thought of his son dead, strangled his rant. He fought to keep the pain attacking his heart at bay. He was the head of the Novokoff family, and needed to be strong and think clearly about the revenge the family would take against the attacker of his eldest child.

Rounding the corner, he entered the puke green cubical known as the emergency waiting room and pulled up short. The optimistic view he clung to fell into the burning acid churning in his gut. Sofia, his wife, sat hunched over, leaning against her sister. Tears streamed down Sofia’s thin cheeks and her complexion was washed of the ivory tone he loved. The smiling green eyes he looked into every night over the past forty years, before he closed his own, were dull and erased of any Sofia’s witty humor.
His Sofia, she seemed to have aged twenty years since this morning when he’d kissed her goodbye and left to take care of a business matter gone awry in Atlantic City.

Yegor drew a quick breath, trying to calm the tremor that quaked the morrow in his bones. He had to be strong for the dozen or so family members that had gathered, and for his Sofia.

He stepped forward and Sofia’s red-rimmed eyes lifted from their study of the space beyond the commercial carpet.

“Yegor, our boy.” She pushed from the chair and teetered toward him.

Yegor rushed to her and gathered Sofia into his embrace just as her knees gave out. He held her up. Her breath warmed the hollow of his neck and he found comfort resting his cheek against her silky, brown hair. He rubbed her back. She felt thinner than he remembered. He loosened his hold, thinking he might break her brittle bones if he cradled her too tightly against him.

Sofia’s tears moistened the breast of his golf shirt. “Shhh, my love. You gave me a strong son.” He planted a reassuring kiss on her temple and continued to rock her for a moment longer before he peered up at the stone-like expression of his man, who’d stood guard over his son tonight.

Marco blinked.

What had gone wrong? He would question the man soon, but not now. Not in front of Sofia. Not until he knew his son would live. And God help Marco if he’d screwed up. “What say the doctors? Are they the best?”

“Ya. I made sure they understood. Only the best.” Marco glanced at his wrist. “They’ve been in surgery for almost two hours already. We should know soon whether—”

Yegor cut him off with a glare. “Go find a nurse, someone who can give us news.” He waved Marco off and then turned to his wife.

Her soft hands cupped his face as she stared up at him. “This is not supposed to happen, Yegor. A mother is not supposed to bury her children. They are to bury her.”

Not only a mother, he thought. Yegor bit back his own fears, grasped her by the forearms and said, “Don’t talk as if Gorgon is already with his maker. Sit. We will know soon when we can see our son.” He helped his love to the same chair she arose from a moment earlier.

Yegor thanked his sister-in-law when she vacated her chair, allowing him to sit next to his wife. He nodded his appreciation of support to the family members who filled the room and who witnessed his and Sofia’s pain. Did he look as frightened as they?
Sofia sought his hand and gripped it so hard he felt the circulation to his fingers dwindle. “You must have faith in our Lord,” he whispered.

“The doctor said Gorgon’s chances were very small. The stabbing had done much damage and Gorgon—” she sobbed. “He had lost too much blood.”

“The doctor doesn’t know what a fighter our son is. Gorgon will live to seek his revenge. Mark my words.”

“And if he doesn’t?” Sofia’s fingers tightened around his and she stared deeply into his eyes. “What will you promise me?”

“His murderer will know our revenge.”


*******
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE CREATIVE EYE

A few years ago, I stopped in at my son’s house. He and his wife had just bought the 1940 bungalow style situated on a picturesque acre. He proudly showed me around the property and while doing so pointed out several trees which he intended to take down. Unless trees are dead or diseased I hate to see them removed, especially trees that are home to a spirit. And one of the trees was exactly that. He had a tree with a face.

When I told him what I saw, he told me I was nuts. He couldn’t see the face. His wife couldn’t see the face. My own dear husband couldn’t see the face. None of them could see the spirit until I pointed it out in detail. It was a tree similar to the one in this picture.

I see objects in many things; a paneled wall, a cloud, a mountain, a leaf, etc. etc. My grandson throws a string of beads up in the air and then he sees objects in the outline, but many people don’t. Do you?

Now for fun and to test you, can you find twelve faces in this tree?



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Stephanie's Story

HIS WITNESS TO EVIL **********************************************************************************Last week, I shared John's backstory. Now, I'll share Stephanie's.



Startled by a crash, Stephanie woke and fell from the couch to the floor. The boom reminded her of the episode last winter when a car skidded into their front porch taking out a corner post. Gripping the leather cushion, she sat up, swept her hair from her face and stared into the darkness that was her living room. The red display of a digital clock on the entertainment center read three forty-two.

Another thump vibrated the floor seconds before the door which lead to the garage burst open. Light spilled across the carpet. Gene was home, finally.

“Damn kids.” His words were slurred and the alcohol he’d consumed over the last six hours while at his weekly poker game preceded him by about twenty feet.

More rattling.

“Stephanie, I’m caught. Get this damn thing off of me or I’ll—“

“Will you keep it down?” She scurried to her feet and hit the switch to the high-hat lights above the fireplace. “The kids are sleeping. They have to get up for school in two hours.”

“This is my house and I’ll yell at them for leaving their freakin’ bikes lying in front of the door anytime I want.”

Em’s bike had been parked against the wall where. Gene probably knocked it over making his not-to-steady way inside. Arguing with him while he was in this state of mind would do her no good. He’d only get more boisterous and eventually wake the kids just to scold them for something that was his own fault. God, she was tired of Gene’s partying. He was married and a father. Would he ever grow up?

The sadness which filled her cemented the truth in place. He never would.

Gene fell forward and she grabbed him under his arms before he hit the floor. As he struggled to free his foot from between the railings of Em’s bike, he leaned on her. “My, God. How much did you have tonight? You didn’t drive home, did you?”

Em’s bike clattered against the garage’s concrete floor. “Damn straight I did. “

“You’re drunk.”

“So. “

Over his shoulder, she caught a glimpse of their wedding portrait and wondered where that happy, young couple went wrong.

Disgusted, she pushed Gene away. “So you’re a cop.”

“Yeah." He shrugged and then scratched his stomach, pulling his tee shirt up over the flat abs he worked hard to maintain. "Don't worry. The guys won't ticket me.”

She folded her arms across her chest in order to keep from reaching out and strangling some sense into him. “What about hurting yourself, or God forbid, someone else?”

“I didn’t, okay.” With dithering steps, he made his way into the kitchen and flipped on the lights. “What’s to eat?” He barked over his shoulder. “I’m starved. Rosie got pissed with Tony and threw the pizza we ordered at him. ”

Steph raced after him hoping he wouldn’t reach the pots and pans before she could block him. His buddies probably ordered the pizza after midnight and the delivery guy woke Rosie’s seven-year-old twins. Poor Rosie.

She stepped between Gene and the stove. “Why don’t you go get a shower and I’ll—”

His frown turned wolfish as he grabbed and pulled her close, grinding his hips into hers. “You’re hoping I’ll fall asleep aren’t you?” He nuzzled her neck. The strong smell of beer turned her stomach. “After I grab a couple eggs, I’ll be ready to take care of you, babe. Why don’t you whip them up for me?”

Not in the mood to be manhandled, she pulled away from his clutch. “Stop it, Gene. I’m not in the mood for your games.” Stephanie turned only to be stopped by the bite of his fingernails on her arm.

His eyes narrowed. “I said I’m hungry.”

“And I want a divorce.” She yanked her arm free. “See who gets what they want first.” ******************************************************************************************* Will Stephanie find love again?

FLASH SALE AT AMAZON MAY 15 THROUGH MAY 17, 2017. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

ALex's Killer Pasta Sauce & Flash Sale

I love pasta and this is one of my favorites recipes. So much, I used it in His Witness To Evil. I hope you enjoy.

Alex’s Killer Pasta Sauce






Sauce:
2 cans (2lbs 3oz ea.) of Italian Tomatoes
2 cans (6oz) of Tomato paste
1 pound of ground beef
½ cup of chopped onion, green pepper, & celery
2 garlic cloves minced or 2 tsp. garlic powder
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teas. of ground pepper, salt, parsley fennel seed, oregano and basil (I prefer using fresh oregano & basil but dried is okay.)
½ cup of combined Parmesan &Romano cheese
4 Tbl of butter

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic and tomatoes. Simmer until liquid evaporates. (You can chop or puree the tomatoes before adding, if you purchased or prefer whole or fresh tomatoes.) (picture shown w/ hot sausage)

Meanwhile mix ground beef with salt, pepper and cheese, and then brown. Do not drain. Add meat to the tomato mixture. Add the remaining spices and tomato paste. Simmer for one hour. Enjoy over your choice of cooked pasta!


**********

“That’s not fair to Em. She’ll sit and watch us all enjoying pasta while she eats what? Lettuce? She can have my homemade sauce, right?” Alex pointed to the pot simmering on the stove.

“Yes. She’s fine with all the ingredients.” Maybe she’d misread Alex, thinking the woman was a cold agent. Mosely actually seemed concerned about Em. Alex had a heart after all.

“Isn’t there a type of pasta she can have?” Alex rooted in the kitchen’s small desk tucked in its corner.

“Yes. But it has to be wheat free and milk free.” From the corner of her eye, Stephanie saw John cross the lawn. Relief washed over her. A second later her breath caught. He carried another priority mail package—a larger one this time.
Bobby ran up to him, probably asking his hundredth question of the day. The attachment forming between the two worried Stephanie. If Victor’s picture was in that box, they could be leaving here as early as tomorrow.

Pangs of loneliness gripped her heart. She shouldn’t be feeling heartache over a man she’d only known for a few days, but she did. Something had happened between them last night. They had grown closer and not because they’d shared their bodies.
Something more.



FLASH SALE $.99 Monday May 15 through Wednesday 17, 2017 Grab your copy today!

Happy Mother's Day

Our first steps were probably hard to take. Remember that moment. We clung to a stable element. We looked out into a world where thousands of new adventures waited for us. Our hearts fluttered with exhilaration like a Hummingbird’s wings. Our knees trembled. We hesitated. Our feet felt like they weighed more than our entire bodies.

A quest as old as mankind called again.

We drew a breath and let go of the safe haven. The first shaky step made us hesitate, but we didn’t stop. We sat our jaws, focused and took another—more stable this time. With each step our confidence grew and showed in our smiles. We started our journey. We made one of our dreams come true and we’ve been working at others ever since.

Whatever your dream has been, remember one of the people who played a huge part in encouraging you to step onto the path.

Happy Mother’s Day.
AJ

Thursday, May 11, 2017

John's Story

A look into John's past.

John Dolton crashed to his knees in front of the inferno that consumed his life.

His heart pumped against his sterum with strong, wild vibes, but his brain felt starved for oxygen. How could that be?

Heat like tiny flesh straved piranhas gnawed at his skin. He gulped against the pain. Roasting air seared his lungs, expanding them until his chest felt as if were about to explode.

He didn’t care.

“Damn, John, snap out of it.”

He blinked and focued on the face in front of him.

“Come on, man. You’ve got to get back.” He heard his partner’s cry but Luke’s voice was diffused, coming at him from several directions.

Something looped under his arms and yanked him upward, lifting his dead weight off his knees—the ones that had given way when he’d seen his life gone. The heels of his boots marked the tarmac with duel tracks as he was drugged away from the wreckage. He didn’t fight. He couldn't. Every muscle in his body had died. His gaze remained on the windows of what once was his SUV.

Staring beyond the flaming bizarre tongues licking at the vehicle’s roof, he saw his wife and little girl as he had left them only ten minutes ago. Happy. Laughing. Anticipating a long overdue family vacation.

“Why?” A screamed like that of a savage, wounded animal rivaled sirens.
He searched the faces staring at him. Wide-eyed, brow ceased, sad faces stared back.
Had the horrendous cry come from him?

Julie.

Katie.

He had to save them.

Adreline surged through his veins and John pulled from the force that pulled him back.

Luke’s grip tightened.

“Let me go. I've got to try.” John twisted and swung a fist at his partner’s jaw, but Luke ducted in time.

Pain ripped through John's shoulder as Luke grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back.

“They’re gone, John. You can’t save them.”

The agency’s emergency response team raced around the inferno, but John knew in his heart they were too late. He was too late. He had failed to keep Julie and Katie safe.

John caught a glimpse of the smothering arm lying on the sidewalk against the store front a moment before a fireman covered it with a white plastic sheet. A silver band encircled the tiny wrist.

Julie.

John swore a fiery rod stabbed his gut. He clutched his ribs and a second later, he hurdled the egg-muffin he'd consumed an hour ago.

“We’ll get them. I promise you.” Luke’s voice shook as he held John. “I swear. I will die before they get away with this.”

They?

John fell to the sidewalk. Cold laughter mingled with the taste of vomit in his mouth. Luke nor he knew who they were.

They had taken his reason to live. When he found them, they would wish this day had never happened.


FLASH SALE at AMAZON ON MAY 15 through MAY 17, 2017.