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KND Kindle Free Book Alert for Tuesday, February 28: 239 BRAND NEW FREEBIES in the last 24 hours added to Our 2,800+ FREE TITLES Sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Nadia Scrieva’s DROWNING MERMAIDS (Today’s Sponsor – .99 cents and Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library)

PLEASE NOTE: Powered by our magical Kindle free book tool, here are this morning’s latest additions to our 2,800+ Kindle Free Book listings. Occasionally a title will continue to appear on this list for a short time after it is no longer free on Kindle. ALWAYS check the price on Amazon before making a purchase, please! If a book is free, you should see the following: Kindle Price: $0.00
But first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor
Wonderful, Amazing, Breathtaking! There are just too many adjectives to describe this novel. The work that was put into it is apparent. Can't wait to read even more!
Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath)
by Nadia Scrieva
4.6 stars - 13 reviews
Supports Us with Commissions Earned
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Deep under Arctic waters lies an ice kingdom carved into a glacier. Those who dwell within it possess magnificent biological secrets. Due to the dangers of impending war, the Princess of Adlivun is forced to flee her undersea utopia and regroup with her sisters in Alaska.

Captain Trevain Murphy is a successful king crab fisherman who has spent his life building his empire above the sea, and knows nothing of the empire beneath it. When he meets a mysterious woman in a strip club, he extends kindness towards her, unaware of her unique genetics and royal lineage.

Trevain's attraction to the enigmatic Aazuria Vellamo will involve him in dangerous designs that will forever change his life, and his perspective on himself and his world. He embarks on perilous journeys in which he will need to release all of his insecurities and inhibitions in order to survive.
One Reviewer Notes:
I've gotta say, I was kind of down before I got this book. I was looking for a distraction, and boy did this ever do the trick. I was just blown away by the intense storyline. When I stopped reading I felt a sense of satisfaction and hope. The story began calmly, letting you get to know everyone, then BAM! It's like one thing happens after the next. It's suspenseful, and mysterious, and halfway in you will be flipping pages like crazy trying to find out what happens next.
UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath)
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KND Kindle Free Book Alert for Tuesday, February 28: 239 BRAND NEW FREEBIES in the last 24 hours added to Our 2,800+ FREE TITLES Sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Nadia Scrieva’s DROWNING MERMAIDS (Today’s Sponsor – .99 cents and Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library)

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal — Tuesday, February 28 – Save 88% on Maggie Stiefvater’s adventure fantasy drawn from Celtic faerie lore, Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception, plus … D. E. McCourt’s NOTES FROM THE FIREHOUSE (Today’s Sponsor)

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

Notes from the Firehouse

by D. E. McCourt
5.0 stars – 24 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.
Here’s the set-up:
A memoir from a retired firefighter about firefighting, rescue calls and life around the firehouse. It’s not all about fire – that’s lesson number one.
No, it’s a collection of things: assisting an injured person at three o’clock in the morning, calming a child in a traumatic situation, saving the belongings of a family from the ravages of a fire, seeing people in every heartbreaking situation imaginable and trying to help them, while not losing yourself in the process.
And it’s about the insanity found in the firehouse – to the author it’s the Cracker Factory – and the politics and pettiness that try unsuccessfully to steal the joy from the job.
This book is the blue-collared view of a career firefighter. The seventeen stories in Notes from the Firehouse take the reader on a journey with the everyday firefighter from his first days as a rookie to his last fire that prematurely sends him into retirement.
Each day’s Kindle Daily Deal is sponsored by
one paid title on Kindle Nation. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.


and now … Today’s Kindle Daily Deal!

Lament: The Faerie Queen's DeceptionKindle Daily Deal: Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception

At 16, the gifted musician Deirdre Monaghan discovers she’s a cloverhand, one who can see faeries. Her strange new ability and musical talent threatens the sovereignty of the Faerie Queen, who pulls the shy human deep into a centuries-old faerie war. This engaging adventure-fantasy draws on authentic Celtic faerie lore.

Yesterday’s Price: $7.96
Today’s Discount: $6.97
Kindle Daily Deal Price: $0.99 (88% off)

Kindle Nation Daily Digest – February 27, 2012 — Brief Tips, Freebies and Bargain Updates

Back by popular demand!



Kindle Nation Daily Digest


Brief Tips, Freebies and Bargain Updates
February 27, 2012

Please note that this is the daily digest for Monday, February 27, and many of the free and bargain ebook offers noted here are on offer only until midnight PST tonight.


A Brand New Kindle Fire Giveaway Sweepstakes Starts Now!


Let’s open the doors wide for a brand new Kindle Fire giveaway sweepstakes, starting right now! This week’s sweepstakes is sponsored by novelist Eileen Cruz Coleman and — how cool is this! — her novel SWEETWATER AMERICAN is absolutely FREE just for today at http://amzn.to/y6HBnN !!! Once you’ve downloaded the free novel you can go straight to http://on.fb.me/jQJZZY for your chance to win a new Kindle Fire!

And meanwhile, congratulations to our past week’s winner, Billye Thomas of Fort Smith, Arkansas, who we just introduced as the winner of a brand new Kindle Fire sponsored by novelist Emlyn Chand, author of FARSIGHTED.


New to the Kindle Nation Daily Family


A Brand New Addition to the Kindle Nation Family! Now, a Brand New Site to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Kindle Fire … or to Help Your Decide if You Should Add a Fire to Your Personal Kindle Family http://bit.ly/x7m6BJ


Kindle Daily Deal


Today’s Kindle Daily Deal – Monday, February 27 – Save 75% on J. Gregory Smith’s top-notch thriller A NOBLE CAUSE, plus … Don’t miss David Kazzie’s THE JACKPOT (Today’s Sponsor) http://bit.ly/wm1KIF 


eBook of the Day


Monique Domovitch’s SCORPIO RISING is Our eBook of the Day at just $4.99, or Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library, with 4.5 Stars on 20 Reviews, and Here’s a Free Sample! http://bit.ly/AcRpqc 


KND Free Book Alert


KND Kindle Free Book Alert for Monday, February 27: 344 BRAND NEW FREEBIES in the last 24 hours added to Our 2,600+ FREE TITLES Sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Edie Melson’s FIGHTING FEAR (Today’s Sponsor – $4.95 and Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library) http://bit.ly/zqLEos 


50,000 and Counting!


Congrats to Katrina Mcghee, who has just become the 50,000th member of our wonderful Kindle Nation Daily community on Facebook!

We hadn’t announced a door prize or anything, but Katrina, if you’ll shoot us an email at kindlenation@gmail.com we’ll send you a little Kindle jingle gift card. 


4 Brand New Kindle Freebies – Just for Today


Four Brand New Kindle Freebies to Get You Through The Work Week! Eileen Cruz Coleman’s SWEETWATER AMERICAN, Donna Marie Lanheady’s WHERE SECRETS LIE, Suzanne Anderson’s MRS. TUESDAY’S DEPARTURE and Steena Holmes’ SEXY AS SIN http://bit.ly/y6tGCu 


Contemporary Romance Bargain Book Alert


Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert! Kathy Dunnehoff’s THE DO-OVER (A ROMANTIC COMEDY) – 40 out of 46 Rave Reviews – Now Just $2.99 and Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library http://bit.ly/zy1JQ8


A Free Excerpt from Our Thriller of the Week!


Like a great thriller? Then you’ll love this free excerpt from our brand new Thriller of the Week: From John Locke’s Mystery Thriller MAYBE (A Donovan Creed Novel) – 33 out 43 Rave Reviews and Just 99 Cents on Kindle! http://bit.ly/A69fuK 


250+ Free Books for Kids!

Sponsored by our Kids Book of the Week



Kids Corner Free Book Alert for Monday, February 27: 250+ FREE KINDLE KIDS TITLES Sorted by Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … D. Robert Pease’s Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Today’s Sponsor – $2.99 cents and Currently FREE For Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library!) http://bit.ly/ztgrWi


New from Cowboy Jimmy, Just 99 Cents


Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert! Cowboy Jimmy’s THE TALES – Just 99 Cents and Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library http://bit.ly/xwDTRU



Hope you’ve found at least one item of value here, and we’ll check in again tomorrow. Thanks, as always, for being part of the Kindle Nation community.

Candace Cheatham 


Associate Editor 

Kindle Nation Daily


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Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert! Cowboy Jimmy’s THE TALES – Just 99 Cents and Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library

The Tales

by Cowboy Jimmy

Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Written out of sudden flash of imagination The Tales is a set of ten satirical short stories that take on the current economic struggles and demise of the American auto industry. The dialogue packed comedy series takes us to Blueberry, a town centrally located within Blueberry County that is famous for bad quality air and “nocturnal activities” detrimental to the community. Economic hardship has taken its tool on this town. Small businesses closed, unemployment has been high for years while young and career oriented have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Only the gas station with adjunct small truck rest next to the interstate has remained unharmed. We follow lives of recently married Billy and Martha who hang on the bottom of the social ladder while trying to work on perfect marital harmony. Each episode boils in pulp humor par excellence until it all erupts at the end. Cleverly written. Hilarious. You’ll laugh hysterically. These stories are not just an ordinary clash of marital opinions they are humorous duel of ridiculous versus insane.

Info on Blueberry County:
The Blueberry County is surrounded by Danbury, Sandwich City and the largest one of them the city of Greenville. In the struggling industrial area where strong winds are the only tourists to visit, regional attraction remains Famous Diesel truck stop on the outskirts of Greenville.

The Blueberry Observer, the local daily newspapers with now famous motto “Buy a Copy To See Why Nobody Reads Us.”
The Lonely Trucker Magazine, the monthly magazine for truckers, “Ultimate Guardian Of Your Marriage.”

Famous People:
Kate “Interstate” Rogers – Struggling singer/discount prostitute
Lynn “Engine” Johnson – Singer
Marvin Jones – Truck driver, two times winner of the Annual Trucker Challenge

About The Author

Howdy folks. Cowboy Jimmy’s here. I hope you had a chance to read some of my works. I have published my short stories “The Tales” at the beginning of the 2012 although I fully completed them at the end of 2008. The Tales is a set of 10 short stories but I have written even more. If you’d like to see “The Tales Volume 2” please say so in the comments.

Also I’ll publish a short novella “Cheeseburger” soon. This will be a humorous yet bizarre story of culture and generational clash in contemporary USA. Unlike “The Tales” this novella is R rated, absolutely politically incorrect and the humor is mostly aimed toward male readers. I’d like you to know that.

Have a nice day and God bless you.

(This is a sponsored post.)

Four Brand New Kindle Freebies to Get You Through The Work Week! Eileen Cruz Coleman’s SWEETWATER AMERICAN, Donna Marie Lanheady’s WHERE SECRETS LIE, Suzanne Anderson’s MRS. TUESDAY’S DEPARTURE and Steena Holmes’ SEXY AS SIN

With hundreds of new books turning up free each day now in the Kindle Store, it can be tough to hone in on books that you will actually want to read. And most of the new free books will be free for just a day or two at a time, so we are working hard to make sure that you do not miss the ones you want!

Here are a couple of books that have just gone free by authors who have already proven to be favorites with Kindle Nation readers. Please grab them now if they look interesting to you, because they probably won’t stay free for long!

Important Note: This post is dated Monday, February 27, 2012, and the titles mentioned here may remain free only until midnight PST tonight.

Please note: References to prices on this website refer to prices on the main Amazon.com website for US customers. Prices will vary for readers located outside the US, and even for US customers, prices may change at any time. Always check the price on Amazon before making a purchase.

*  *  *

Sweetwater American

by Eileen Cruz Coleman


4.2 stars – 13 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Special Notice: Sweetwater American includes Eileen Cruz Coleman’s Young Adult debut, Taker of Light, a post-apocalyptic speculative fiction story.

Set in Washington, D.C. and El Salvador, SWEETWATER AMERICAN is the story of an orphan and would-be filmmaker who is sent to live in a cursed town in El Salvador with her godmother, a woman whom she has never met and who may hold the secret to breaking the town’s curse.

Through Sandy Rodriguez and Elena Martinez, the two main characters, we are led into a different, haunting and magical world, where people test their faith every day and hold true to what they believe: that hardship and darkness can be overcome if one finds a reason to live.

While living in El Salvador, after a film crew comes to her town to film a movie, Sandy realizes she wants to be a documentary filmmaker.  When she returns to the States, she attends George Washington University where she meets Elena, a sixty-something-year-old woman who serves peas and mashed potatoes in one of the school’s cafeterias.

Sandy, intrigued by Elena, decides to ask her if she would be willing to share her life story with her. Elena, whose past still haunts her, agrees to tell Sandy her story.

During the interview, Sandy is forced to come to terms with her own past and she begins to understand what the term, Sweetwater American, really means.

*  *  *

Where Secrets Lie

by Donna Marie Lanheady

3.4 stars – 14 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Where Secrets Lie is an exploration of one family’s reliance on secrets, how those secrets affect their relationships and alter the directions their lives take, and where those secrets all began.

Sara is the older of two sisters. Her marriage is in trouble, and she only has herself to blame. Everyday Sara takes a birth control pill even though she and her husband, David, are trying to have a baby. When David finds the pills and confronts her with them, Sara must face her own unresolved guilt about a pregnancy David knows nothing about.

Katie is Sara’s younger sister. Her girlfriend, Emily, is tired of pretending they are just roommates whenever they are around Katie’s parents. After all, they are candid about living together as a couple with everyone else. Enough is enough. Problem is, Katie cannot muster up enough courage to defy her mother’s behavioral boundaries. That is, at least, not openly.

Sara and Katie’s mother, Lee, spends her life deploying secrets in order to protect her loved ones not only from difficult truths, but also from the prejudices they elicit. In spite of the torment her own secret laden past causes her, Lee raises her daughters to repress inconvenient truths.

Set in Colorado, Where Secrets Lie shifts between the unique foothills community of Boulder, the mile high city of Denver, and the majestic Rocky Mountains as it moves from the sisters’ stories to their mother’s story weaving them all together and merging each woman’s past with her present circumstances.


*  *  *

Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure

by Suzanne Anderson

4.4 stars – 8 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Now faith is
the substance of things hoped for…

Hungary’s fragile alliance with Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children’s book author, and her family out of harm’s way for most of the war. Now as the Führer’s desperation grows during the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie’s younger sister, Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in peril; Natalie’s twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.Ilona and her husband take the last two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and Mila from the encroaching danger. Anna’s paranoid explosion at a university where was once a professor, sparked by delusions over an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape. Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make; which of her family will she save?An inspirational story of faith and family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure demonstrates the power of faith to light even the most harrowing darkness.

… faith is the evidence of things not seen.

*  *  *

Sexy As Sin (Nephilim Arise)

by Steena Holmes

Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

There’s evil in the town of Redemption and has its sights trained on one man. Supernatural powers are at work to bring Nathan to his knees and there’s nothing he can do about it. He’s a Nephilim and doesn’t know it.

The only one who knows is Eva Sine – Nathan’s best friend and mate. Another thing he doesn’t know about. Eva is tasked with revealing his true nature – along with some crows, but she wants Nathan’s heart to be true – and at the moment he’s torn between remaining true to his dead wife, caring for sweet and innocent Rachel and having sinful thoughts towards Eva. Sinful thoughts she can deal with. Caring for the sweet and innocent – not so much.

And when a fallen angel decides he wants to rule the world, no one can stand in his way. Not even his own son or his son’s mate.

*Sexy as Sin is a 20,000 word Novella and is a retelling of “Devil Unknown”, part of the Bandit Creek Series. Sexy as Sin is book one of the Nephilim Arise Series.*

(This is a sponsored post.)

Like a great thriller? Then you’ll love this free excerpt from our brand new Thriller of the Week: From John Locke’s Mystery Thriller MAYBE (A Donovan Creed Novel) – 33 out 43 Rave Reviews and Just 99 Cents on Kindle!

Just the other day we announced that John Locke’s suspense-filled Maybe (A Donovan Creed Novel) was our new Thriller of the Week and the sponsor of thousands of great bargains in the thriller, mystery, and suspense categories: over 200 free titles, over 600 quality 99-centers, and thousands more that you can read for free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime!

Now we’re back to offer our weekly free Thriller excerpt, and we’re happy to share the news that this terrific read is still just 99 cents for Kindle Nation readers during its TOTW reign!

Maybe (a Donovan Creed Novel)

by John Locke

4.1 stars – 43 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

When an angry, unemployed chemist unleashes a bio-terrorist attack against women and children, the president of the United States asks Donovan Creed to get involved. It’s just one more thing on Creed’s plate.

New York Times Best Selling Author John Locke was the 8th author in history to sell more than one million books on Amazon/Kindle. His books sold more than 1,720,000 copies in 2011.

Reader Comments
6-stars. Amazing read! I can’t believe I didn’t buy this on the day it came out (I used to check every week till November but then stopped). These are my favorite go-to books (I re-read books all the time). I hope there are >20 more in the series.
– Vidur Singhal, Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars
The master has done it again! I can hardly believe this guy how he changes a story and things happen you would never think of! he makes you laugh out loud sometimes! His wit and insight make you want more, more, more! After nine or ten books I’ve read John Locke has became my favorite author without a doubt! Check out all his books when you get a chance, you wont be regret it! Good going John! what your going to do next God only knows!
– Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars
And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:

*  *  *


Miles Gundy.



Sunday, last week of May, Derby City Fair, Louisville, Kentucky. Food and people everywhere. Rock bands. Tents. Roaring rides, rumbling roller coasters.

…People are screaming.

Not from rock bands or rides.

People are screaming!

Women’s hands. Babies’ faces and children’s hands are suddenly…melting.

The Derby City Fair is under attack.

But from whom?

And how can the attack be isolated to babies’ faces and women and children’s hands?

Within minutes, hundreds of cell phones call 911. Hundreds more record the victims and post the videos on YouTube.

The system designed to work swiftly does so. 911 operators contact police, police call the FBI, the Feds call Homeland Security, and by the time Miles “Mayhem” Gundy pulls his late model Honda Accord onto 1-65 South, Homeland Security has Lou Kelly on the phone. Homeland patches the president into the call, along with several members of the Pentagon, who have assembled in the War Room at the White House.

“Where’s Darwin?” the president asks.

“We couldn’t find him,” a man says.

“Who’s Lou Kelly?”

“Associate Director, Sensory Resources.”

“Mr. Kelly,” the president says, “What’s happened to Darwin?”

“I have no idea, sir,” Lou says. “But I stand ready to help.”

“Good man. Mr. Kelly, you’re on the phone with Sherm Phillips, Secretary of Defense. Sherm, tell Mr. Kelly what you told me. We need to know what we’re up against.”

Sherm Phillips does, and Lou tells the president of the United States to hold while he calls Donovan Creed.


Donovan Creed.


My daughter, Kimberly Creed, and I are visiting Callie Carpenter at her Las Vegas penthouse. I just told Callie that Kimberly’s on the team.

Callie looks amused.

“That seems funny to you?”

She looks at Kimberly. “Mildly so.”

I run a group of assassins for a branch of Homeland Security called Sensory Resources. Darwin’s my boss. Callie’s my top operative. We also do freelance hits for the mob.

Callie says, “When you called from the airport you said Lou Kelly killed Darwin.”

“That’s Lou’s story.”

“Seems unlikely,” Callie says.

“I agree. But why would he lie?”

“Well, he did try to kill you recently.”

“True,” I say.

Kimberly’s eyes grow wide. “I don’t understand. Why would Uncle Lou try to kill you or your boss?”

Lou isn’t related to us, but Kimberly’s term of endearment shows how close he’s become to our family. I don’t mind her calling him uncle, though like Callie said, he tried to kill me last year. That incident set our relationship back somewhat, but Lou’s a valuable asset, best in the world at what he does, and he’s gotten me out of some tight spots over the years. What I’m saying, when he’s not trying to kill me, I trust him with my life.

Sounds crazy, right? But that’s the type of business I’m in.

I give Kimberly the short answer. “Last year we conducted a sting operation. Large sums of money were involved, and Lou saw a chance to make billions if he could kill me. He couldn’t, but I gave him a second chance. To prove his loyalty, Uncle Lou killed Doc Howard, who he claims was my boss, Darwin. He said Darwin was trying to kill me.”

Callie says, “What part will Kimberly play on the team?”

“Believe it or not, she’s an accomplished assassin.”

Callie looks dubious.

“Remember Jimmy T?” I say.

“The one who guarded Kimberly last year?”

I nod. “He quit the business and became a professor at Viceroy College. His real name was Jonah Toth. Kimberly put him down in the men’s room.”

Callie arches an eyebrow. “I’m impressed.”

Most people would ask why Kimberly killed Toth. Not Callie. She could care less why. That’s what makes her the world’s best assassin, aside from me.

“Including Toth, she’s got nine notches on her belt,” I say.

“You must be so proud,” Callie says, with more than a little sarcasm.

“From now on, we’ll call her Maybe. Maybe Taylor.”

“I like it,” Callie says.

Maybe says, “And I should call you Creed, like everyone else.”

“Good point. No sense in broadcasting the fact you’re my daughter.”

From the kitchen Gwen Peters yells, “You’re ignoring me again!”

Gwen is Callie’s current love interest. I dated her first, but Callie stole her from me. Kimberly—I mean, Maybe—has met Callie before, but this is her first exposure to Gwen.

“Every time that man enters our house you completely ignore me,” Gwen pouts.

Callie smiles and says, “That man.”

I smile and say, “Our house.”

Callie says, “That man is worse than our house.”

I agree.

“Hard to imagine how quickly I’ve sunk so far,” I say. “What’s she doing in there, anyway?”

“Burning cupcakes.”


“She’s the world’s worst cook.”

“Maybe I should tell her you said that.”

“Maybe I should tell her about Rachel.”

My phone buzzes in my pocket. I check the screen.

“It’s Lou,” I say.

Callie turns to Maybe and says, “Let’s go salvage the cupcakes.”

As they walk from den to kitchen, I say, “What’s up, Lou?”

“Donovan, I’ve got Homeland Security on the phone, several members of the Pentagon, and the president.”

“Hello, Mr. President,” I say.

A voice says, “This is Sherm Phillips, Secretary of Defense. The President’s monitoring the call, so I’ll cut to the chase. We’ve got word of a bio-terrorist attack at the Derby City Fair in Louisville, Kentucky.”

“How can I help?”

“Lou Kelly says you understand terrorists better than anyone in the country.”

“I won’t argue the point.”

“He says you understand how they think. We’re blind on this one, and need to know what’s happened.”

I get a whiff of burnt cupcakes from the kitchen, put my hand over the phone, and yell, “Are you frosting them?”

“We are,” Maybe says. “You want one?”

“Chocolate, if you have it,” I say.

Back on the phone I ask Sherm, “What do you know for certain about the attack?”

“No bombs detonated, but people’s hands and faces have been affected.”

“Affected how?”

“The flesh is falling off their bones.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“People’s hands, babies’ faces—appear to be melting.”

“How many victims?”

“Somewhere around twenty.”

My mind starts racing.


“That’s right.”

“Their entire face or just the lips and cheeks?”

There’s a pause. “Lips and cheeks. How’d you know?”

“You said people’s hands. Is it mostly women and children?”


“When you say their flesh is falling off the bone. Which side of their hands is worse, the palms or the back of the hands?”

“Does it matter?”

“What do you think?”

“Hold on.”

Sherm clicks back on and says, “It’s worse on the palms.”

“Hand sanitizer,” I say.

“Excuse me?”

“Ask if they have plastic hand sanitizing stations at the fair.”


“My first guess? This is an urban terrorist, acting alone. He’s putting a chemical agent in the public hand sanitizers. Some type of acid. Mom pushes the plunger, foam comes out, she rubs her palms together, then the top of her hands, then pumps some more and rubs it on her baby’s hands and cheeks. She can’t leave the toddlers out, so she pumps again and wipes their hands. For some reason the acid effect is delayed. But after a time, it starts burning holes in their hands and cheeks.”

I hear Sherm in the background. He’s on another line, asking if they have hand sanitizing stations at the fair.

Callie, Maybe, and Gwen enter the room. Gwen places a tray of cupcakes on the coffee table. Each lady has her own unique style of attack, but when Gwen licks her frosting the temperature in the room goes up five degrees.

A new voice comes on the line.

“Mr. Creed.”

“Yes, Mr. President?”

Callie arches her eyebrows.

“You asked if they had plastic hand sanitizing stations at the fair. Why plastic?”

“Plastic resists acid erosion.”

There’s another pause. Then the president says, “There are two stations on the midway, two in the exhibit buildings. All four have plastic reservoirs. I think you’ve done us a great service.”

“Thank you sir.”

He says, “It terrifies me to know there are people like you in the world.”

“Rest easy, Mr. President. I’m on your team.”

“That’s what frightens me.”

I say, “You understand this is just the beginning?”

“What do you mean?”

“You need to get the word out to all airports, public buildings, private businesses, anyone who uses plastic dispensers in bathrooms or work spaces. Especially Louisville, and the surrounding cities and towns.”

“You’re joking.”

“Not remotely.”

“You said it’s one man, acting alone.”

“That’s what makes him so dangerous.”

“We need to catch him.”

“Good luck with that.”

He pauses. “Could you catch such a man?”

“If he continues attacking? Yes. But it’ll take time.”

“How much time?”

“If he stays busy? Days or weeks.”

“Then catch him.”

“I’ll need the full cooperation and resources of government and law enforcement.”

“Excuse me?”

“I’ll need the highest possible clearance.”

“You’re joking.”

“Total access, Mr. President. Nothing less.”

He says, “I wouldn’t give a man like you access to a dog turd.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

The line goes dead.

Maybe says, “You were talking to the president just now?”


“Of the United States?”

Gwen makes a face and says, “Bullshit. He was just trying to impress me. He’ll say or do anything to get in my pants.”

She looks at me and says, “It won’t work.”

Her tongue flicks at the frosting again and again, and I see she’s making little sculptures on her cupcake. Callie catches me staring.

“Down boy,” she says.




“Good call on the hand sanitizer,” he says.

“Any deaths yet?”

“No. But they’re going to be permanently disfigured.”

“That bothers me.”

“Me too. Wait. Which part?”

“The acid should start burning mom’s hands immediately. But there’s a delayed reaction of what, ten, maybe fifteen minutes? Possibly longer?”

“You’re trying to guess how long it would take him to put acid in all four sanitizing stations?”

“I am. Ask the Louisville PD how far apart the stations are, from first to fourth.”

“Will do.”

“And ask the geeks how he managed to delay the effect.”

Lou’s geek squad possesses the finest computer minds and researchers on the planet. It’s one of the reasons I keep him on my personal payroll.

“I’ll run it by them,” he says. “Anything else?”

“I want to know every victim’s name. I want to see their before and after photos.”

“Even the babies?”

“Especially the babies.”

“This will help you find him, somehow?”

“No. But it’ll help me want to. And Lou?”


“When the scientists isolate the chemical agent, we need to learn who manufactures it, who distributes it, and how our urban terrorist got hold of it.”

“What type of person are we looking for?”

“A chemist.”


“Yes. Or a high school chemistry teacher, college professor, or grad student with a chemistry major.”

“That’s a pretty wide range.”

“First cut.”

“What do you mean?”

“Everyone with a chemistry background has survived the first cut. As Felix continues terrorizing people, we’ll narrow the possibilities accordingly.”


“We need to call him something besides the urban terrorist.”

I hang up and tell Callie and Maybe about Felix and what he’s done.

“Sounds like a kid’s book,” Maybe says. “Felix at the Fair?”

Callie says, “I thought we were going to war against Darwin.”

“We are. If he’s alive.”

“Then what’s all this about finding Felix?”

“We’re a long way from finding Felix. But it’ll keep Lou busy while I try to figure out if Darwin’s still alive.



Sam Case.


THE GOVERNMENT FACILITY at Mount Weather, near Bluemont, Virginia, includes an underground bunker called Area B, which is the size of a small city. Area B was built to withstand repeated strikes from nuclear weapons. More than 600,000 square feet in size, Area B contains a hospital, crematorium, dining and recreational facilities, self-contained power plants, and is equipped to broadcast TV and radio signals.

Area B is where Sam Case lives and works for the government, developing a synthetic cure for the Spanish Flu, a virus so deadly it decimated one-third of the earth’s population in 1918. The thing about the Spanish Flu, there’s no cure. First time around, it nearly wiped out the planet.

Next time it’ll be worse.

And there will be a next time.

Like many government employees, Sam’s in no hurry to solve the problem he’s been hired to solve. But Sam’s motivation isn’t about steady employment. It’s about self-preservation. Sam’s life is in jeopardy, and Mount Weather is the only place on earth his enemies can’t get to him.

What you want to know about Sam Case, he’s one of the world’s most brilliant people. More than a year ago he had a thriving business and a hot wife, Rachel. His business involved moving billions of dollars electronically from bank to bank, all over the world, twenty-four hours a day, effectively hiding it for the world’s most ruthless dictators and criminals. The modest fees he charged earned him millions of dollars, and life was good.

Enter Donovan Creed.

Creed also parked a sum of money with Sam, but unlike the others, he saw an opportunity to cash in. He broke into Sam’s house, lived secretly in his attic, and eventually breached Sam’s security and stole billions of dollars from Sam’s clients.

He also stole Sam’s wife, Rachel, who’s certifiably insane.

She’s also one of only two people in the world known to possess a gene that’s resistant to the Spanish Flu.

Rachel also lives in the underground bunker in Area B.

But not by choice.

Government scientists are holding her captive, harvesting her eggs, and hoping to create a generation of children who will inherit the gene. Until Sam or some other scientist can create a synthetic response to the Spanish Flu, Rachel must remain there.

Sam considers Donovan Creed his arch enemy. Such is his hatred for Creed, he’d give ten years of his life to make Creed suffer a day.

Sam measures his life in terms of victories he’s won over Creed.

His first was separating Creed and Rachel. He orchestrated Rachel’s capture, and manipulated scientists into letting him live and work in Area B so he could be near her. Sam’s sperm is being used to create the new children from Rachel’s eggs. Having sole access to Rachel, and being the man responsible for creating children with her, Sam hoped, over time, to win back his wife’s affection.

Not that he wants the bitch. He only wants to sleep with her. And only because it would be another way to punish Creed.

Pretty sad when the victory you hope to claim over your arch enemy involves sleeping with your own wife.

But Rachel has no interest in sleeping with Sam, so that part—that one small part—is another victory for Creed.

Worse, Creed doesn’t seem overly broken up over the fact his girlfriend is stuck in Area B for what could be years.

Sam’s second victory involves Creed’s daughter, Kimberly.

Sam’s been fucking her.

What makes it particularly sweet, he’s manipulating her into loving him.

And Creed, the deadliest assassin on earth, hasn’t a clue.

The man who made this revenge possible is another of Creed’s enemies, Doc Howard. For all practical purposes, Kimberly is Sam’s car, and Doc Howard gave him the keys to her ignition.

Doc Howard expects to be compensated.

For starters, he demanded that Sam locate the Bin Laden death photos. These, like many of the world’s most sensitive documents, are stored in the underground vault at Area B.

Sam has no idea what Doc Howard plans to do with the photos, but it’s best to stay on Doc’s good side. He’s a very dangerous and powerful man in his own right.

Sam used his hacking skills to locate and copy the digital files.

He’s looking at them now, with mild interest. When he’s finished looking, he encrypts the photos, and types a code to bypass computer security for twelve seconds while he forwards them to Doc Howard’s email account.

Doc gets some stupid photos, Sam gets Kimberly Creed.

He presses a button on his cell phone.

Kimberly answers, using her alias.

“Maybe Taylor.”



Maybe Taylor (Kimberly Creed).


“HI MAYBE,” SAM says. “How’s tricks?”

“I can’t talk now,” she whispers. “I’m with my father.”

“In Vegas?”

She works her way out of the den, onto Callie’s balcony. “Okay, I can talk now. Yeah, I’m in Vegas.”

“I miss you,” Sam says.

Maybe smiles. “That’s ridiculous. It’s only been a day.”

“Seems like forever.”

She likes being the one with power in the relationship. It lets her be cool, lets her say things like, “Don’t fall in love, Sam.”

Which forces him to say, “Sorry. Too late.”

“Are you still planning to divorce your wife,” she says, “or was that something you said to get in my pants?”

“We’re definitely divorcing. The papers are being drawn up this week. She’s already agreed to sign them.”

“Don’t do it hoping to marry me,” she says.

“Why not?”

“We’re never going to be a couple.”

He changes the subject. “I’ve found a guy to do your boob job.”

She laughs. “I hope it’s a doctor and not just some guy.”

“Don’t worry. Your boobs will soon be in the hands of a highly-skilled surgeon.”

“Odd way to put it,” she says.

“It seems insane to pay another man to put his hands on your body. He should pay you for the privilege.”

“Hmm. Maybe I should charge you next time!”

“If that’s what you want, I’ll gladly pay.”

“Assuming there’s a next time,” she says, then smiles, noting his silence. Maybe loves being able to manipulate him for a change. For the past year he’s been a demanding, judgmental father figure. Now, after one night in the sack, she’s turned him into a lovesick puppy. Sam spent a year scrambling his voice, manipulating her over the telephone, and all that time he thought he was in charge. Now he’s met her, had sex, and his power has crashed and burned. He’s fallen head over heels for her, and she loves it.

He says, “There has to be a next time.”

Maybe can hardly contain her joy. In truth, she expected he’d probably never call after getting what he wanted. That’s happened more than once with boys in the past, so she assumed a grown man would be even more aloof.

Especially a married man like Sam.

But as it turns out, she has the power to make him happy or sad. It’s an amazing feeling, one she’s never experienced.

Sam says, “I have to have you again.”


“Excuse me?”

“What’s the big deal?”

He sighs.

She loves it when he sighs. He’s frustrated, working hard to win her affection.

“You’re the best I ever had,” he says.

“The best what?”


She smiles and says, “That can’t be true.”

“I’d take a lie detector test on it.”

“You’re older, wealthy, and married. This is all about you getting a little strange on the side. You probably fucked me, thinking of your wife.”

“That’s not true, Kimberly.”

“Wrong name, Sam.”


“You expect me to believe I’m the best you ever had?”


“Have you forgotten my sexual issues? You had to inject my vagina with Botox to get it open. I felt nothing. It can’t have been a pleasant experience for you.”

“It’s not just the act, it’s the whole experience. It’s being with you, holding you, touching you. Helping you achieve sexual comfort. I know it sounds absurd, but I’ve never felt this way in my life. If you don’t like me calling it love, I’ll call it passion, though it’s love, passion, and a hundred other things combined. I’m not trying to push you, honey. But I have to have you. And yes, you’re the best I ever had.”

“The best what?”

“I already told you.”

“Say it again. Be vulgar.”

“The best fuck.”

“Say it again, with feeling.”

You’re the best fuck I ever had!

“Thanks, Sam.”

She feels something warm and exciting stirring within her…

And likes it.

“When can I see you again?” he says.

“I’m not sure. I’m working for him.”

“Who, your father?”


“Have you told him about me?”

“He still thinks you’re a post-Rapture pet salesman.”

“Have you told him my real name?”

“He asked, but I refused. We’re still calling you Chuck.”

“If he demands to know my name, what will you say?”

“I’ll tell him to fuck off.”

“He’s your boss now,” Sam says.

“I freelance. I work for him, I work for you. If someone else comes along, who knows?”

“Prove it.”

“Prove what?”

“That you work for me.”


“Kill him.”

“Who, my father?”


She laughs. “I’d kill you before raising my voice at him.”

“I know. I was just kidding. But I think I’ve made my point. You obviously don’t work for me.”

“I’m not sure you understand what free-lance means, Sam. It means I get to accept a contract if I want it.”

“But if you work for me…”

“As I said, I work for both of you. But he comes first.”

Maybe smiles, knowing he’s pouting. Sam’s got it bad for her. It’d be so easy to take advantage of the situation.

She says, “Give me another way to prove my loyalty.”

“Kill someone for me.”


“I don’t care. As long as it’s someone your father knows.”

“He knows Doc Howard.”

Maybe notes the complete absence of sound on the other end of the line.

Finally, Sam says, “Did you say Doc Howard?”


“You think you can kill him?”

“He’s already dead.”


“One of my father’s people killed him. I just heard about it. Apparently he was far more than a skilled surgeon. He was one of the most powerful people in government. My father called him Darwin. He was my father’s boss.”

More silence.

And still more.

Finally Sam says, “Kill someone else your father knows. I want details.”

Maybe removes the phone from her ear and stares at it a moment while frowning. Is he serious? She puts the phone back to her ear.

“You seem to have forgotten the financial component,” she says.

“It’s all about the money to you.”

“That’s right.”

“Pleasing me means nothing to you?”

“Don’t pout, Sam. It’s a turn off.”

He sighs again. Then says, “Fine. Pick out a victim. Someone your father knows. Tell me who it is, and the connection, and I’ll formulate a price.”

Creed, Callie, and Gwen are sitting in the den, talking. Maybe watches them through the sliding glass door, and allows her gaze to settle on Callie. Creed certainly knows Callie. But Callie’s as deadly as Creed. And anyway, she likes Callie. She’s beautiful, smart, and cool, everything Maybe wants to be. Callie’s not a candidate for killing. There’s still too much to learn from her.

Gwen, on the other hand…

She looks at Creed, looking at Gwen.

Maybe’s not jealous of Gwen, doesn’t mind Creed looking at women that way. She wants her father to be happy, and bedding sexy women seems to make him quite happy.

If he’s happy, she’s happy.

She’s also not jealous that Gwen’s prettier and sexier than she is, and has great hair and a better body.

What she doesn’t like about Gwen is her disrespect.

Callie and Creed deserve to be respected. They’re elite killers. Gwen’s a twenty-year-old widow and former stripper. She’s got no right to disrespect Callie or Creed.

And yet she disrespected both of them.

Earlier, in the kitchen, Gwen made a nasty remark about how Creed tricked her into having sex with him. Callie’s eyes narrowed, and Maybe could tell it was a sore subject, though Gwen hardly seemed to notice or care.

Gwen cheated on Callie with Creed.

On the phone, Sam says, “You still there?”

“Yeah. Wait a sec.”

Maybe watches Gwen working it for them, licking the frosting off her fingers and lips like a porn star might do.

She’s center stage, full of herself.

Thinks she’s hot shit.

It’s disgusting.

Maybe didn’t notice it before, but Gwen’s wearing a particularly revealing outfit. Creed noticed. He’s noticing it now.

You know who’s a better match for Callie? she thinks to herself.


Callie’s prettier than Gwen, and tougher, and she and Creed are in the same business. They work together, respect each other. Callie’s sexy, but doesn’t throw it all over the place like Gwen. With Gwen out of the way, Creed and Callie might find happiness, despite Callie’s apparent preference for women.

Maybe imagines holding a gun on Gwen, forcing her to her hands and knees.

Bark like a dog! she’ll say, and Gwen will bark.

Louder, bitch! and Gwen will howl.

Kiss my feet! she’ll say, and sexy, hot-shit Gwen will kiss Maybe’s feet.

“I’ve got someone in mind,” Maybe says.


“Gwen Peters.”

“Never heard of her.”

Maybe stares at her phone again, in disbelief.

“Why would you know her?”

“I wouldn’t. Who is she?”

“My father’s girlfriend.”

“You’re sure about that?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“No reason. I’m just surprised to hear he has a girlfriend.”


“I don’t know. Forget I said it. Are they currently dating?”

“My father had sex with her a couple of times.”


“What do you care?”

“Humor me. I’m trying to come up with a price.”

“I don’t know the first time. Second time was a few days ago. She’s Callie’s girlfriend.”

Maybe notes a distinct pause on the other end of the line.

Then Sam says, “Who’s Callie?”

“She works on our team.”

“Callie’s an assassin?”


“Your father fucked Callie’s girlfriend?”


“I bet that caused problems.”

“I suppose.”

“Tell me.”

“I don’t know much about it. And anyway, what do you care?”

“How old is Gwen?”


“Just like you.”


“Is she pretty?”

“I suppose.”

“Are you jealous of Gwen?”

“Of course not!”

“You’re okay with it? Her having sex with your father?”

“Why wouldn’t I be? Oh, wait. I see. You think I want to fuck daddy. That’s ridiculous to the point you’re about to piss me off. That whole thing about how you made me call you Daddy last year? I told you before, it’s creepy as hell. And disgusting. You’re lucky I ever let you touch me, and I probably won’t, ever again.”

“Sorry. You’re right, of course. Still, you’d like to see Gwen suffer, wouldn’t you?”

Maybe can tell Sam’s trying to get in her head. She knows how to deal with him.

“Tell you what. I’ll pick someone else.”


Maybe smiles.

Sam says, “I’ll pay you a hundred grand to terminate Gwen. But I want details.”

“She’s close to Callie and my father. You’ll have to provide the weapon. Something foolproof. If Callie finds out, I’m toast.”

Sam goes quiet a minute. Then says, “I’ve got something in mind. When can we meet?”

“You’ll come to Vegas?”

“I can be there tomorrow night.”

“Let me know when you get here.”


Click on the title below to download the entire book and keep reading

Maybe (a Donovan Creed Novel)

by John Locke

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