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The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew meet World of Warcraft in our Kindle Nation eBook of the Day, The Crimson-Eyed Dragon by D.M. Trink! Sample it right in your browser!

Time for the teens and tweens in your life to make the transition from gaming to reading on their new Kindles? They can’t miss with D.M. Trink’s modern-day take on classic young adult mysteries!

Here’s the set-up for D.M. Trink’s The Crimson-Eyed Dragon:

School is over for the summer!

All Jared wants to do is sleep, swim, and delve into as many computer and video games as possible. Life has other plans for him.

Everything transforms one fateful afternoon when Jared accompanies his mom to an antique shop. He is inexplicably attracted to a magnificent silver dragon statue with eyes that glow like precious rubies.

When Jared brings the statue home, he initiates a chain of events that catapults him and his friends Griffin and Chase into a great adventure solving the mystery of the crimson-eyed dragon. Joined by Chase’s sister Amber, the teens discover that the statue holds a vital clue to the previous owner’s life.

They embark on an innocent quest, but the secrets that unfold lead them into unimaginable danger that could ultimately destroy all of their lives.

Reviewers said: “Written in a colloquial style, you enter the mysterious, private, active and dramatic world of contemporary teenagers. Follow the mystery of the dragon and its clues leading into danger! Feel the warmth of friendship and the kindness of parents in this feel-good story of summer.”

“The Crimson Eyed Dragon by Ms. D.M. Trink was a great story with several twists and an intriguing mystery. I would highly recommend this book to younger readers with an interest in mysteries and dragons. (It doesn’t hurt to have some World of Warcraft knowledge in your back pocket as well!)”

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample:

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert, Tuesday, January 4: Four Brand New Young Adult Freebies! plus … a perfect match for readers young and old in Treasure Lost by R.G. Cordiner (Today’s Sponsor)

The great news about those Kindles we got for our children and grandchildren? With Kindle Nation Free Book Alerts you can fill them up with great Kindle reads, like today’s brand new listings for teens and tweens, for a song! Grown-ups will also find a historical romance featuring “a female bounty hunter with a chip on her shoulder” right near the top of today’s 200+ Free Book Alert listings….

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

“If you came for treasure it lies within,
if you did not, what you treasure lies beyond your grasp.”

Two brothers get a big lesson in adventure on their whirlwind trip of betrayal, daggers, self-discovery and a giant reticulated python!

Treasure Lost
by R.G. Cordiner
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.

“If you are a child (10+) or even an adult who dreamt of pirate adventures as a child — THIS IS YOUR BOOK!!!! ” –Anne Marie

Here’s the set-up…

What do you treasure and how far would you go to find it?

Peter and Farren are two brothers who think adventure is sneaking into a pub or going rabbit hunting. Little do they know! Soon the youths are on a whirlwind trip of betrayal, daggers, self-discovery and a giant reticulated python!

Somehow they have to find a way to stop fighting with each other, avoid a sadistic Navy Admiral and a mysterious cloaked pirate captain, whilst remembering to tap the biscuits on the side of the ship – maggots are never good for breakfast!

What the reviewers say
Although the obvious audience for Treasure Lost is probably 8-12 year old boys, this rollicking journey has something for everyone. What boy isn’t up for a little swashbuckling adventure? When I read this I was looking for something entertaining and a lighter read than a typical adult novel, which it was. Yet the story was still engaging for an adult. As with the author’s previous book, Candy Wars: The Tooth Fairies vs The Candy King, there are valuable lessons and morals hidden in the story – things that even adults can stand to be reminded about.

Another talent the author has is the ability to communicate action with sound rather than description. This technique has to be seen (or read) to be understood. Young readers have a great time reading these sounds aloud while they unknowingly practice their teacher’s admonitions to “sound it out”. Just when you’re convinced that “Treasure Lost” couldn’t possibly come to a satisfying ending a few loose threads come together for the perfect conclusion.

–Big Al
“Treasure Lost” by R.G. Cordiner is an adventure story about two young brothers who find themselves in possession of just a fragment of a clue about where a treasure of pirate plunder is buried. Unfortunately, there are other much less savory characters who want that fragment of a clue, and the kids find themselves thrust into a life-or-death quest in which they are pursued through the Caribbean by mean-spirited pirates with a stunning secret and a British Navy Admiral who is as relentless and cruel as Moby Dick’s nemesis, Captain Ahab.

The action and situations develop and change at a non-stop pace, and the vocabulary and plot are far and away lively and intriguing enough to hold the attention and interest of the cliché ‘children of any age.’ An especially unique treat is Mr. Cordiner’s phonetic rendering of sounds; it goes well beyond being merely onomatopoetic and is hilarious while being quite convincing. You can feel the PLLSH! from a cannonball as it plunges into the waves next to the wisp of a boat you’re clinging to for dear life.

R.G. Cordiner has written a book that is reminiscent of the tales I devoured and fantasized about when I was young, but it was thoroughly entertaining to me as an adult. I read this story and relived some of those fantasy afternoons of my youth without being made to feel like I was trespassing into a realm meant only for younger people. I would not hesitate to recommend it for kids and ex-kids.


Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire…these boys certainly know how to do that. This is a fast moving story that should hold a kids attention. It’s long enough to get into but not so long that they’d want to do something else. Good for several reading sessions I would think.

About the author
R.G. Cordiner is a teacher and author residing in Australia. Treasure Lost was his first book. He has subsequently released Candy Wars: The Tooth Fairies vs The Candy King, Bug Island and is now writing Candy Wars II: Sweet Revenge. He is married with two step-children and three psychotic cats.

Click here to download Treasure Lost (or a free sample) to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android-compatible, PC or Mac and start reading within 60 seconds!

Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.
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Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.

Free Contemporary Titles in the Kindle Store

Just use the slider at right of your screen below to scroll through a complete, updated list of free contemporary Kindle titles, and click on an icon like this one (at right) to read a free sample right here in your browser! Titles are sorted in reverse chronological order so you can easily see new freebies.

Would you brave “65 Below” for a chance to win a free Kindle? FREE KINDLE NATION SHORT – 1/4/2011 – An Excerpt from 65 BELOW by Basil Sands, plus a chance to win a free Kindle!

By Stephen Windwalker
Editor of Kindle Nation Daily ©Kindle Nation Daily 2011
If you’ve been a subscriber to Kindle Nation for a while you already know you can discover some great reading with our generous Free Kindle Nation Shorts excerpts.

But this week we are taking things one giant step further. In addition to offering us a riveting 20,000-word excerpt from his extreme adventure page-turner 65 Below, author Basil Sands is giving away free Kindles!

First, let’s talk about a great, suspenseful read from a fearless storyteller:

After twenty years hunting terrorists under orders to “render harmless”, USMC Master Sergeant Marcus Orlando Johnson, Mojo to his friends, settles into a quiet rural retirement on his childhood home in the Alaskan backwoods. But the idyllic retirement is shattered when Marcus comes across soldiers of America’s staunchest enemy who are about to unleash a nightmarish biological weapon on the world from the most unexpected of places. With the help of his ex-fiancee, State Trooper Lonnie Wyatt, and his old special operations buddy Harley Wasner they race to stop a potentially devastating terrorist attack with worldwide implications but even nature is against them as the temperatures plummet to 65 below.

Originally only available as a podcast audiobook, 65 Below developed an audience of tens of thousands of listeners around the world. The text version includes new scenes and additional characters not in the original audio.

“Basil Sands has a knack for blending action and intrigue in an all-too realistic setting. In Karl’s Last Flight, the future is reminiscent of our recent past. I just hope there are heroes like Basil’s heroes fighting on our side. “
-Evo Terra, founder of Podiobooks.com

“Sands is fearless in his storytelling, and tireless in his quest to connect directly with his audience. Big Publishing? Watch out for this guy.” Scott Sigler, NYT Bestselling author of Infected, Contagious, and Ancestor

“Basil Sands is one awesome writer, penning stories pumped with enough adrenaline that you’ll suffer from insomnia until you read the last word. This is one writer not to be missed.” – Jeremy Robinson, author of PULSE and INSTINCT

Scroll down to begin reading the excerpt

Click here to purchase the entire book from Amazon.

65 Below

by Basil Sands
Kindle Edition

List Price: $2.99

Buy Now

And while you’re at it,
don’t miss this opportunity
to win a brand new Kindle!

Author Basil Sands is giving away Kindles!

Here’s the set-up, as he provided it to us:

Buy 65 Below in between January 1st and March 31st 2011 and be entered to win a new Kindle WiFi reader! For every thousand initial entries I’ll be giving away a brand new Kindle 3 eReader! No limit on how many I will give away!

To enter the contest email a copy of your Amazon order number to kindle@basilsands.com.

Want more entries?
Get up to 10 extra entriesin the drawing. After the initial entry do the following:

4 extra entries: Go to http://www.basilsands.com/ and from the comment page send a comment with the answer to this question:

“What military organization was Temebe a veteran of?”

4 extra entries:

Get four extra entries for leaving a review or comment at the purchase pages:




And three more for leaving a comment at my website


That makes for up to 11 entries in the contest to win a free Kindle 3 eReader! What are you waiting for?

–Basil Sands

excerptAn Excerpt from

65 Below
A novel by Basil Sands

Copyright © 2010 by Basil Sands and published here with his permission.

Chapter 1

Suburban Neighborhood
Seattle Washington
June 16th
19:25 Hours

The knife was razor-sharp. Shock morphed into terror as Michael realized first that he could make no sound, then that he could not breathe. There was no pain, but he knew something was very wrong. He reached up to grab his throat. When his hand touched his neck, his head flopped at an awkward angle. Blood jetted upward in two powerful streams, spattering against the ceiling and walls with rhythmic pulses that left abstract patterns, symbolizing his quickly draining life.
From Nikola’s perspective, Michael stood upright for a long time, longer than he had thought possible. He had slit many throats in his life. Most grasped their throat and collapsed, or just crumpled and died. Nikola stared back in amusement.
“Don’t look at me like that, Michael. You killed yourself,” Nikola said. “Did you actually think I would let you lead the infidel here, then just allow you to walk away?”
Michael’s lips moved in a soundless response.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.”
His eyelids fluttered in rapid spasms. Blood spurted in a final massive geyser. The dying man’s eyes rolled back and at long last he collapsed to the floor. Blood continued to ooze from his half-severed neck, soaking into the fabric of the old carpet. Seconds later, red and blue strobes of police and FBI vehicles flashed on the street outside. Nikola called out to the other men in the house.
“Now is your time, brothers!”
The response came with the sound of shattering glass. A moment, later a burst of automatic weapon fire exploded from upstairs. Nikola glanced out the window toward the mass of police cars. An officer rose from behind a patrol car to shoot. His skull burst in a cloud of red, spraying goo on the men behind him. His body tumbled backward onto the pavement. A medic ran to the downed officer, and all hell broke loose on the house. Every weapon in the mass of police officers and FBI agents exploded to life at once.
Nikola reached for a black box on the coffee table. He picked it up and set it on the dead man’s chest. With two flicks of a finger, he armed the high-explosive magnesium bomb. It would leave almost no trace of the bodies, and incinerate everything it came in contact with. Wood, flesh, glass, even metal. The houses on either side would likely also be destroyed. In sixty seconds, the other men in the house would join the legions of martyrs who had gone before them, whether they realized it or not.
Nikola stepped into the kitchen and entered the pantry. He yanked a metal handle on the floor and lifted the crawl space access, then ducked into the darkness. Dust and dryer lint scratched at his throat and forced a sneeze out of his nose. He scurried toward the outer foundation wall on his hands and knees. The gravel surface cut into his palms. He found the small escape tunnel and slithered in on his belly. The narrow space was barely wide enough for his thick frame. He fast-crawled ten meters until reaching the Seattle sewer system access tunnel. The air flew from his lungs as a jolt of hot compressed air shot him out of the tiny tunnel, slamming him against the far wall of the sewer. His ears screamed against the blast of sound.
Heat waves seared his clothes as he sprinted through the barely lit tunnel. He scrambled up a ladder, loosened the access cover, and climbed out onto a seldom-used bike trail, then vanished into the evening twilight.

Chapter 2

Richardson Highway
East of Fairbanks, Alaska
17 December
16:00 Hours

“Damn! When it gets dark out here, it’s dark as death.”
Eugene Wyatt drove as fast as conditions allowed down the Richardson Highway in his beige Ford F250 Crew Cab pickup, with the Tanana Valley Electric Cooperative logo emblazoned on the doors. It was only four in the afternoon, but the late December sun had already long descended, leaving the land in total inky blackness. His three-year-old Golden Retriever, Penny, sat on the passenger side of the wide bench seat. She turned and stared out the window apparently not into the conversation. The dog’s breath shot a burst of steam onto the frigid glass a few inches away every time she exhaled. Her tongue hung limply over the teeth of her open mouth.
On any typical evening, there would have been brightly lit signs atop tall poles in front of the gas stations. He’d usually see neon beer advertisements pulsing blue, red, and yellow from within the windows of busy bars as he passed through the small city of North Pole, then the even smaller town of Moose Creek. Tonight, only the glow of candles and oil lamps flickered dimly between the curtains of the scattering of homes along the highway. The power was out, everywhere.
Eugene looked at Penny, who stared transfixed out the truck window. The frost from her breath created a ring of ice crystals on the glass she appeared to be studying. The weather had warmed up significantly in the past few days after an unseasonal cold snap that held the land at negative fifty for several weeks. The red mercury line on the thermometer now hovered at a livable zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Eugene remembered the line a comedian had used on TV the night before.
If it’s zero degrees, does that mean there’s no temperature?
The humor of the line dissipated fast. There had never been an outage like this in Eugene’s thirty years in Alaska’s electricity business. At first, the authorities thought it was a local failure within the Tanana Valley Cooperative area. It wasn’t long before they discovered it was much bigger.
The phone company went out at the same time. Cellular towers failed. The whole of the Interior region of Alaska, an area the size of New York State, was thrown back into the 19th century in an instant.
The only places that had not gone completely dark were the hospitals, airport control tower, and the Public Safety Emergency Operations Center. Those systems had automatic physical disconnect from the main power lines, taking them completely off the grid until the main power returned.
Once the Tanana Valley Electric Cooperative technicians had gotten established with satellite phones and were able to communicate with public safety and the other electrical utilities throughout the state, they were surprised to discover that the outage covered nearly a third of the land mass of the state. Every city on the shared power grid had gone dark at about four-thirty that morning.
The problem, the technicians agreed, was somewhere in the Tanana Valley area, since the outage had started there. Anchorage, four hundred miles to the south, went dark nearly five minutes after the lights turned out in Fairbanks, the Golden Heart city.
Eugene scrunched his eyebrows in contemplation as he went back over the details for the hundredth time that day.
Every city on the grid goes out all at the same time, and we can’t find a single point of failure. The talk radio guys are going to eat us alive on this.
The previous summer, several of the most popular AM talk radio hosts had “prophesied” that just such an event would occur if the state went through with connecting the “Electrical Intertie” system. Now they had fodder to boost their ratings for the next six months. Such talk would no doubt fuel massive amounts of legislation and investigation, and probably lawsuits without end.
Penny turned and looked at Eugene. She cocked her head sideways, as if she was trying to read his mind. Then, in apparent exasperation at the enormity of it all, she sighed and lay across the seat, putting her head on his lap.
An unusual number of consecutive disasters had wracked Alaska in the past year. A late spring thaw meant that crops were not put in until the end of June, resulting in a scant harvest by the time September’s temperatures dropped back to freezing. A particularly busy forest fire season in July was followed in August by a major flood along the Tanana River. Then there was the Halloween earthquake.
A 9.1 on the Richter scale, it was centered about one hundred miles north of Salt Jacket. That massive tremblor had turned the ground into Jell-O for almost thirty seconds while kids were out trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Buildings swayed as far as Japan and Siberia. The shock waves rocked seismographs in Chile and South Africa. A few weeks after the earthquake, there came an unexpected deep freeze, which gripped the Interior in its icy fingers six weeks earlier than usual.
Eugene gently stroked Penny behind the ears. The dog’s golden brown hair shimmered reflectively in the pale green glow of the dashboard lights. He spoke his thoughts aloud in hopes that something he heard himself say would make sense.
“All systems were fine. No icing anywhere. No lines down. No surges reported anywhere on the grid. No earthquakes or abnormal aurora activity. Not even a brown-out. The crazy thing just turned off. Well, puppy, I have no idea.”
The whispery soft sound of the dog’s breath drifted quietly from the seat beside him. She had fallen asleep. He continued to the small wilderness community of Salt Jacket, forty miles east of Fairbanks.
Although sparsely populated, Salt Jacket was home to one of the largest, most powerful electrical substations in the Interior Region. It transferred electricity that powered huge sections of the pipeline and funneled thousands of watts to a series of military training facilities at the backside of Eielson Air Force Base.
Even though two other TVEC crews had checked it earlier in the day, as maintenance chief for the second largest power company in the state, Eugene felt obligated to recheck each of the four largest stations himself. More than anything, the drive to the last station in Salt Jacket gave him time to think things over again.
Eugene turned north from the highway onto Johnson Road, a bumpy, twisting chip-and-tar paved road which wound back nearly thirty miles until it abruptly ended in the vast wilderness of the Eielson Air Force Base training area. The substation was only seven miles up the road, near the pipeline’s Pump Station Eight.
A mile past the pump station, a chain link fence marked the end of the civilian-owned portion of Johnson Road. Signs restricted access to the back section of the Air Force Base. It was not much of a restriction, though, as the gate generally stood open, frozen in deep piles of plowed snow.
As Eugene rounded a sharp bend in the road, a sudden bright flash of headlights blinded him. Another vehicle straddled the centerline of the road, barrelling toward him. He pulled the steering wheel sharply to the right to avoid hitting the oncoming truck that lurched hard to the other side of the road. Penny leaped up in surprise from his lap and slid uncontrollably to the floor in front of the passenger seat.
In the split-second when the side of the other truck crossed in front of his, Eugene saw the Tanana Valley Electrical Co-op emblem on its side and a large black number 48 on the fender panel just in front of the driver’s door before the truck sped off into the night.
“Whoa! Good Lord!” Eugene exclaimed, his face reddening as he processed the knowledge that he was nearly killed by one of his own employees. “Who the hell was driving that thing?”
He considered chasing down truck number forty-eight to fire the driver on the spot, but decided it would be wiser to find out who it was first. He reached for the satellite phone that hung from a peg on the dashboard and hit the speed dial for his main office. A young man’s voice answered, “TVEC control center.”
“This is Chief Wyatt. Who the hell is driving number forty eight?” he shouted into the receiver. His Oklahoma drawl was still strong after three decades in the North. “That idiot almost drove me into a snow bank out here on Johnson Road.”
“Uh, sorry sir, I don’t know who’s driving forty eight. Give me a second to look over the log real quick.”
There was a pause on the line. The young man came back.
“Sorry, Chief, nobody’s driving number forty-eight. It’s still right here in the yard, according to the logbook. No…wait…there’s a note here that says it’s at Magnuson’s Body Shop, getting some work done on it.”
“Who is this, Franklin?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Son, you’d better check on that thing and make sure it’s still at Magnuson’s. And if it ain’t, call the police and report it stolen, because I swear, it was number forty-eight that almost hit me head on just now.”
“Aye, aye, sir…I mean, yes, sir,” Franklin replied.
“And knock off that Navy talk, son. You’re back in the real world now.”
“Sorry, Mr. Wyatt. Six years of it kind of grew on me.”
There was a loud “beep beep” in Eugene’s telephone handset.
“Yeah, well, check on that vehicle for me ASAP. Let Andy know that I’m here at the Salt Jacket station and will call back in after I get a look around. My batteries are getting low and I left the car charger in my office, so I’m going to get off now. Out here.”
Damn. It’s a good thing I didn’t chase them yahoos. They might have been a couple of doped up gangbangers who would have killed me for kicks.
The tires of the F250 crunched on the snow as he pulled off Johnson Road and up to the entrance of the Salt Jacket substation. Eugene’s headlights illuminated the heavy gauge chain-link fence. It appeared to be securely locked. He shut off the engine and opened the door of the truck.
Before he could step down, Penny leaped over him. She landed on the ground with acrobatic lightness. Eugene stepped down after the dog. Penny took several steps, then spread her hind legs and peed on the ground a few yards from the truck. Once finished, she took off at a full run into the woods.
“Hey!” he shouted after the dog. “Don’t get lost! We’re only going to be here a few minutes.”
Eugene pulled the fur-trimmed hood of his parka over his head to hold out the biting cold that nipped at his ears. His cheeks stung from the cold. The temperature had dropped since he left Fairbanks.
Eugene approached the fence. He put his hand out and tugged at the handle. It was securely locked. He reached up to press the silver metallic buttons on the battery-operated combination pad. Just as his finger touched the first number, an unexpected deep whir and throb made his heart jump.
The security lights of Pump Station Eight exploded to life on the other side of the tall trees that obscured it from view. It had been so dark in that direction that he had forgotten how close the pipeline was. Eugene regained his composure and finished punching the combination into the keypad. The gate slowly clanked open. He entered the compound and was heading for the small control shed when a firm voice called out behind him.
“Can I help you, sir?”
He turned to see the bright beam of a flashlight pointed at his face. Below the beam, Eugene made out the shape of the muzzle of a weapon.
“Who are you?” he called back.
“Pipeline Security. Show me some ID or you are going to have to leave.”
He unzipped the top of his parka and pulled out the ID card strung around his neck. These guys were not stereotypical shopping mall security rent-a-cops. Doyon Services, who held the contract for pipeline security in perpetuity, only hired the most professional and potentially most dangerous guards to fulfill their role in protecting one of the country’s most valued resources. Most of these were former military police, and many had served as Marines or Special Forces. They were paid almost as much as the “security consultants” the government used as mercenaries in the war on terror, and they were worth every dime of it.
The guard moved forward, shining his light on Eugene’s badge. Once he was close enough to read it, he said “Good evening, Mr. Wyatt. I’m Officer Bannock, Watch Corporal tonight up at Eight.”
A single mercury lamp on a tall pole above the substation started to hum. It slowly began to glow to life, but still provided almost no light.
“Do you mind if we step into the shed and I turn on the switch in here?” said Eugene.
“Sure, go ahead.”
Bannock pointed his flashlight to the door so Eugene could see to put his key in it.
Eugene opened the door and stepped inside. He flipped a switch to the right of the door as he entered. A bright fluorescent light flickered to life. The ballast inside the light fixture added another layer to the increasingly loud hum of the station’s massive copper coils and the room’s numerous devices.
The back wall of the room was a mass of gauges and switches, set in floor to ceiling gray steel casings. Whenever Eugene walked into one of these rooms, he thought of the fifties science fiction movies from his childhood in which such devices lined the wall of Buck Rogers’ spaceship. A table and two chairs that looked like they were probably WWII surplus sat in one corner, and a small desk with a LCD computer terminal was crammed in the opposite corner.
Once inside the lighted room, Eugene turned to see the guard’s face. Bannock was a tall, muscular man in his early forties, retired military by his demeanor. An MP5 submachine gun hung over his shoulder from a black nylon strap. He wore it comfortably, as if it were a part of his body. The long, black Maglite had been placed back in its holster on his pistol belt.
“I guess those other two technicians must’ve fixed the power just before you got here, eh?” Bannock asked.
“You saw them?” Eugene responded. “What’d they look like?”
“Yeah, I saw them. Two white males, in their late twenties or early thirties. They showed valid looking Tanana Valley ID cards. One was named Adem, the other was Nikola.”
“Did you see what they were doing?”
“Negative. I heard the noise over here during our shift change and came by just as they were closing the gate. I heard them talking, but I was too far away to understand the details of their conversation. They weren’t speaking English at first, but when they heard my boots on the snow, they switched immediately.”
“What language were they speaking?”
“Albanian?” Eugene asked. “How the hell would you know it was Albanian?”
“I retired from the Special Forces three years ago. Knee injury. I did several years in the Baltics, and had a lot of contact with northern Albanians among the Kosovo Muslim Militias.”
“Muslim Militias?” Eugene replied. “Are you saying these guys are terrorists?”
“I didn’t say that specifically. But I wouldn’t rule it out.”
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Eugene said. “What else was suspicious about them?”
The guard paused for a moment, and then said, “It’d be easier to list anything not suspicious about them. There was serious bad tension around them. They had just left and I was heading back to the pump station to make a report to send in to the troopers when I heard you pull in. I had thought it was them returning, so I came back.”
“Yeah, they almost ran into me head-on down the road a ways,” Eugene said.
Bannock nodded in reply. “Well, Mr. Wyatt, I’ve got to be getting back and file a report of contact. Everything I mentioned to you the hard facts, that is will be in my log back at the station, if you want to see it.”
“Thanks. I’ll be gone in five minutes.”
Officer Bannock turned around and started to open the door when Eugene called out.
“Hey, Bannock, could you do me a favor?”
Bannock turned back. “Sure, what do you need?”
“If those men return, or for that matter, if anyone comes in here for the next week or two, could you let your guys back there know to give me a ring on my cell phone?” He handed Bannock his card.
“No problem,” the officer replied. “You know, we could do even more than just call you. We have some pretty good surveillance gear at our disposal. With your station being in such close proximity to the pipeline, I could justify monitoring your property for our own security reasons. All I need is your permission, and we can set up round-the-clock electronic surveillance.”
“Thanks. That’d be greatly appreciated,” Eugene replied. “If your boss gives you a hard time, tell him to call me. Me and him go back a ways.”
“Have a good night, sir.”
Bannock raised his fingers to his forehead in a relaxed salute and walked out into the darkness.
Eugene logged onto the computer on the corner desk and accessed the systems report in hope of finding something that would give him any clue. The last line before the system went down showed everything running normally at the half hour checkpoint. The next lines, which had been appended upon system reboot, read:
Abnormal Shutdown 0430 hrs 081217
Error Code: 000 Unknown Source Disrupt
What the hell? The computer doesn’t even know what happened.
Eugene printed the report and rose from the desk. He zipped his parka back up, turned off the lights, and then headed out the door into the now brightly lit area outside. The mercury lamp had finally reached its full intensity and cast a pale white glow onto the building and equipment around him. White steam billowed from his nose and mouth as he exhaled in the frozen air.
From where Eugene stood, he turned to gaze around the yard. He saw no sign of physical damage. If there had been a transformer fire, it would have been on the report. Even if it weren’t, he would be able to smell the tell-tale odor of burned electrical equipment, which he did not.
As he walked toward his truck on the other side of the gate, Penny slowly trotted back from the woods and waited beside the door of her master’s vehicle. She sat down and her tail wagged happily, sweeping the snow behind her in a doggy version of a snow angel.
“My goodness, that’s a good dog. You came back without me calling” he said aloud to his canine companion.
Chapter 3
Phantom-like wisps of white steam rose from the thickly insulated tan canvas fabric of the Carhartts coveralls, Alaska’s most common winter outer garment, which hung on a peg protruding from the log wall. Heat waves like tiny translucent serpents wriggled in the air from the surface of the black iron woodstove in the corner. From within the dull, black metallic box crackled and popped the arrhythmic music of old-fashioned warmth. In a fairly new leather recliner, the only sign of modern comfort in the cabin, a man slowly awakened from a heavy slumber. The muscles in his bare arms rippled beneath a sheath of brown skin as he brought the chair to an upright position and stretched like a lion rising from the shade to hunt.
Marcus Johnson was but one member of a small community of rural Alaskans who lived partway between the old-fashioned frontier lifestyle and the 21st century.

Read a free sample of our eBook of the Day, Beneath The Surface of Things by Kevin Wallis, without leaving your browser!

“Over two dozen tales of exceptional terror.”

Here’s the set-up for Beneath The Surface Of Things:

In 25 short stories in the “dark fiction” mode, author Kevin Wallis shows by example how to look at the alternate possibilities that your day-by-day routine might—just might—obscure. If you dare, look Beneath The Surface of Things.

A homeless man trapped in a hell of his own making finds a reason to hope in “Redemption Song.” A camping trip turns into a race for survival after the discovery of a bizarre artifact in “The Taking of Michael McConnolly.” A man begins to question his sanity as patrons at a cafe begin to vanish one by one in “Charlie’s Lunch.”


“An impressive, often unnerving, and always gutsy collection, Beneath the Surface of Things easily marks Kevin Wallis as a writer to Beware of with such stories as Redemption Song and No Monsters Came That Night. Every story showcases Wallis’ determination to break through the so-called boundaries of dark fiction and explore disturbing and sometimes even eye-opening new worlds, some without, but most within. You owe it to yourself to look Beneath the Surface of Things.”– Gary A. Braunbeck
(Braunbeck is the Bram Stoker and World Horror Guild Award winning author of To Each Their Darkness and A Cracked and Broken Path.)

His imagination brings you to the edge of sanity and then kicks you straight in the pants, knocking you over the line. If you need a quick read whilst traveling abroad or just need an entertaining read whilst looking for a broad, you can’t go wrong with Mr. Wallis. Give ’em a try, but be on your guard, his stories infiltrate your mind and live there like an evil squatter with an axe to grind. –Todd Banks

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample:

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert, Monday, January 3: Steam up your Kindle screen with Rough Cut, plus over 200 more contemporary free Kindle titles, and … Lose yourself to love, French wines, and art in Daphne Coleridge’s Purple Lake (Today’s Sponsor)

“When the screen fades to black, all that remains is love” for the hero and heroine of the title that sits atop this morning’s listing of over 200 Free Book Alert listings….

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

Come with us to France in this new novella by Daphne Coleridge….
See the art, drink the wine, but most of all, find love….

“A lovely book for those times when you want something positive to read.”

–Christa Polkinhorn, Author of Love of a Stonemason

Purple Lake
by Daphne Coleridge
4.5 out of 5 stars 2 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.

Here’s the set-up…

Amelia tries to escape from the bitter fragments of a relationship into the charming French countryside in search of peace. What she finds is Alain Traynard, whose tragic past has thrown him into the solitary life of an artist. But are two weeks enough to restore the vitality and passion to more than just their paintings? Enjoy the scenery of Normandy and the Kentish countryside as Amelia follows her heart.
About the Author
“I am a writer and artist living in Kent, England. I write romances set in the lovely countryside of England and France with an artist’s eye of the world. I mostly paint alla prima, taking my easel and oil paints out to create spontaneous landscapes. The cover of Purple Lake is based on a watercolour of a Brittany sunrise at five o’clock one August morning.”

–Daphne Coleridge
What the reviewers are saying
Purple Lake is another one of Daphne Coleridge’s charming novellas about art and love. Heartbroken Amelia escapes from a love gone bad and tries to find peace in a village in the French countryside and devote her time to painting. Across from her cottage, the French painter Alain lives an isolated life after a past of loss and pain. Their common interest in the arts brings them together and soon the feelings they develop for each other go beyond friendship. But, as in all true romances, there are all kinds of complications. Amelia and Allain are flawed but lovable and convincing characters. Their feelings are vividly portrayed and we can relate to them and sympathize with the characters. As in The Artist’s Model, Coleridge’s earlier novella, the authors greatest strength lies in her beautiful and lively descriptions of the French and English countryside, which allow the reader to see the environment through a painter’s eyes. Purple Lake like The Artist’s Model shows Daphne Coleridge’s passion for painting and the arts. A lovely book for those times when you want something positive to read.”

–Christa Polkinhorn, Author of Love of a Stonemason

This is a lovely novella-long romance set up in the French countryside. It’s atmospheric, rather than plot-driven, and offers to the reader an accessible world, easy to approach and recognize. Purple Lake offers glimpses in an artist’s mind and heart, and allows you to feel Daphne Coleridge’s passion for painting and art in general. This is a pleasant read and a great choice for a quiet weekend when you have time for yourself and can spend time in the company of two enjoyable characters, Amelia and Alan.
–Gabriela Popa, author of Kafka’s House

Visit Amazon’s Daphne Coleridge Page

Click here to download Purple Lake (or a free sample) to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android-compatible, PC or Mac and start reading within 60 seconds!

Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.
Authors and Publishers:
Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.

Free Contemporary Titles in the Kindle Store

Just use the slider at right of your screen below to scroll through a complete, updated list of free contemporary Kindle titles, and click on an icon like this one (at right) to read a free sample right here in your browser! Titles are sorted in reverse chronological order so you can easily see new freebies.

Rough Cut
By: Mari Carr
Added: 01/01/2011 4:01:12am

Time for a new trilogy? Read a free sample of our Kindle Nation eBook of the Day, Portal, by Imogen Rose, without leaving your browser!

Finished with Lisbeth and Katniss and ready to move on? Meet Arizona in this free sample and you’ll soon have The Portal Chronicles in your queue!

Here’s the set-up for Imogen Rose’s Portal:

“Come Find Me Two Years Ago…”

Six words that propelled ice hockey-playing tomboy Arizona into an alternate dimension.

She suddenly found herself in the past. In one moment she went from being an ice hockey playing teenager in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California. She found herself transported from a happy life with her dad, Dillard, to a new, strange one living with her mother whom she hates. Apparently it’s a life she’s always lived in.

Everyone knows her as Arizona Darley, but she isn’t. She is Arizona Stevens.

As she struggles to find answers she is certain of one thing- that her mother Olivia, a brilliant physicist, is somehow responsible. .

PORTAL is the story of the repercussions of Olivia Darley’s attempt at creating a perfect world for herself and her children. Arizona’s quest for answers threatens to undermine the seemingly perfect world that her mother has so carefully constructed.

PORTAL is the first book of the Portal Chronicles. Fans of time travel, romance, and the supernatural will enjoy Arizona’s quest for answers right through EQUILIBRIUM (Portal Chronicles Book Two) and QUANTUM (Portal Chronicles Book Three).

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample:

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert, Sunday, January 2: Can You Fulfill Your 2011 Resolutions Without Dieting? Find out in the latest addition to our 200+ Free Book Listings! plus … Discover Lindsay Buroker through her brand new novel The Emperor’s Edge (Today’s Sponsor)

Is it a free book, a free lunch, or both? You can find out without spending a dime on this morning’s latest addition to our 225+ Free Book Alert listings….

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

It doesn’t matter whether it’s steampunk, noir, sci-fi, or literary fiction. What Kindle Nation readers love are great characters, great storytelling, and relationships that are full of promise and possibility.
Which is why The Emperor’s Edge has future bestseller written all over it….

The Emperor’s Edge
by Lindsay Buroker
5.0 out of 5 stars – 2 Reviews
Kindle Price: $2.99
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.

Here’s the set-up:
Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

About the Author
I’ve been writing fantasy novels and short stories since I was seven. I’ve been finishing them since… well, that’s a more recent development.

I’m a professional blogger for my day job, and I live in the Seattle area (“area” is code for ‘I couldn’t afford a house within twenty miles of the city limits and my neighbors have alpacas’). I have two vizslas who are as spoiled as most people’s kids. Occasionally they let me leave the house to play tennis, go to the coffee shop, or take a yoga class.

My Goblin Brothers short stories are available on Amazon, and the first novel featuring those characters will be out in 2011. I have two more fantasy novels coming for the Kindle. Check back!

What the reviewers are saying
“The Emperor’s Edge is a unique blend of steampunk and warrior caste fantasy with a dash of feminism. Amaranthe is one of the first women allowed in the Emperor’s guard, and is eager to prove she has what it takes. But a chance meeting with the young emperor also draws the attention of the head of the guard, who sets her an impossible task in exchange for promotion–kill the world renowned assassin, Sicarius. Her attempt fails, but not before she realizes the task was meant to be impossible, and part of a bigger threat to the empire. Now Amaranthe is on the run, with a price on her head, and she turns to the one man who might be able to help–the assassin who spared her life. Backed with a motley crew of misfits, Amaranthe seeks to find out the truth and clear her name.

“With tight, clean writing, crackling dialog and a lot of spunk, Buroker’s tale is fun, fast-moving and engrossing. The characters are well-drawn, the world intriguing. With a hint of magic and romance, The Emperor’s Edge is an entertaining read.”

“This is a mystery/adventure fantasy novel in an urban setting that reminded me of an 1800s London or New York. I wouldn’t call it steampunk or swords & sorcery but it has elements of both. The story is fairy fast-paced and there isn’t a ton of the world-building you often see in the fantasy epics (religion is only lightly touched upon and magic is mostly in the hands of the enemies so it’s not a big part of the story), but I didn’t mind. The characters were what made this an enjoyable read for me. I was pleased when I read the epilogue because it was clearly setting things up for future novels with these guys (this works fine as a standalone story though).

“Amaranthe, the main character, started out as something of a goody-two-shoes, quoting regulations at the criminals she was arresting, but she grew a lot as the story went along, and she was the one leading the team and coming up with the schemes in the end. I liked that she was a strong female character but not boringly so (no uber skills that let her hack down legions of soldiers single-handedly). She can handle herself in a fight, but she’s just as likely to scheme her way out of trouble.

“Sicarius, the other main character, is everything you’d expect from an assassin, but he felt quite original as well, and I was even more intrigued by the mystery surrounding him than the main plot mysteries. One of the big questions about him does get answered by the end of the book (I was close with my guess, but didn’t get it quite right), but it left me with new questions that better be answered in following books! The author did a nice job making me like him and sympathize with him even though he’s arguably still more of a villain than a hero in the end.

“The relationship between these two was what I really enjoyed. I have to admit I was hoping for a kiss by the end, but if things are going that direction, it’ll have to be in a future book.

–Amber Miller

Visit Amazon’s Lindsay Buroker Page

Click here to download The Emperor’s Edge (or a free sample) to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android-compatible, PC or Mac and start reading within 60 seconds!

Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.
Authors, Publishers, iPad Accessory Manufacturers:
Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.

Free Contemporary Titles in the Kindle Store

Just use the slider at right of your screen below to scroll through a complete, updated list of free contemporary Kindle titles, and click on an icon like this one (at right) to read a free sample right here in your browser! Titles are sorted in reverse chronological order so you can easily see new freebies.

Lose Weight WITHOUT Dieting (Animal Kingdom Workouts)
By: David Nordmark
Added: 01/01/2011 4:01:28am