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Enjoy This 5-Star Free Excerpt From Richard L. Noble’s Master of Uncertainty, KND Thriller of The Week

On Friday we announced that Richard L. Noble’s MASTER OF UNCERTAINTY is our 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:

Master of Uncertainty

by Richard L. Noble

5.0 stars – 2 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
A timid, sixteen-year-old orphan, Mark Acanth, comes to Manhattan with a promise to be considered for priesthood under Pope Pius XIII. In search for records of his birth, Mark discovers a hidden passage and a mysterious book. No time to puzzle them through, he finds that he is at the center of a massive global conspiracy, hunted by the Hierarchy, an ancient secret society within the Catholic Church, which believes he may be a messiah.

And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:

Prologue:

 

 

The infant screamed from within the tiny coffin.

The sound was so desperate, even the trees seemed to shudder, losing more of their leaves to a singular, almost life-like wind that picked up suddenly. This current of air morphed somehow and grabbed the newborn’s wail, protecting and nurturing it in the eddies of the skies. Soon a great chorus of a storm rose up from behind to amplify and then next to drown out the fragile sound, concealing it as though in a blanket, in low grumbles of thunder.

It was three middle-aged professors that had first heard the call and who were now frantic in their search beyond the school’s grounds for the crying that had miraculously carried unexpected distances to reach them. The oldest of the three stopped to listen and cocked his head to the side, straining to gauge direction and distance. He turned his portly frame to his two companions to shout over the nearly horizontal rain. “We need to hurry,” he cried. “It’s coming from there.”

“The cemetery?” asked his dark-haired colleague.

“Lord, I hope not,” the first said, unsuccessfully wiping rain from his brow with the muddied sleeve of a raincoat that only minutes before had been a crisp, bright yellow. “If so, we might be too late.”

“Too late for what?” a third academic panted as he caught up. “Why are we even out here?” Barely able to keep his balance climbing the muddy hill, he had to press down on his knee with every step. “We’re not trained for this. We should go back to the school and get help. Carl or Philip would be much…”

“There’s no time-,” the oldest interrupted, glancing back down the dirt trail that now ran like a river toward the centuries-old school. All the leaded windows were dark, confirming that no one else had heard the call. “–if it is what we think.”

“It can’t be,” the dark-haired one said, “The storm would have drowned it out. It has to be a radio. Or a machine.”

Just as the words finished leaving his mouth, as if summoned, a great web of bolts in the clouds flashed to illuminate the metal gate to the graveyard.

For a few brief seconds they huddled closer to one another before the third, tallest companion threw his arms in the air. “If we’re doing this, let’s get it done. I have exams to grade and  students to…” The sounds of his voice trailed away as  he went to the spiked portal and swung it open with a pitiful screech.

“Should have grabbed a flashlight,” the dark-haired one muttered before following.

“No time,” the oldest said as he caught up to them both standing before a weathered tombstone, apparently knocked over in the squall.

“You can’t be serious?” the tallest asked, shivering as the horror dawned on him. “Buried? Impossible.”

Suddenly, shimmering movements in the mud around the toppled headstone caught their eyes. They jumped back when they realized three giant snakes, thick and many feet long, were coiling in upon themselves as if marking the borders of a triangle. Their tongues flickered lazily in the downpour.

“Dear God!” the tallest and thinnest said. “Snakes!? Here?”

“Death Adders,” the second breathed, hugging his raincoat tighter.

“Bigger than usual,” the oldest said, “but definitely adders.”

“They’re native only to Australia.” The thin one raised his voice as the deluge worsened. “They shouldn’t be able to survive in this cold.”

“Besides, snakes hate rain. They’re cold-blooded, they–” His companion moved toward the serpents. “Careful, they’re extremely poisonous.”

The second man faltered. “How poisonous?”

“One of the most in the–”

The slicing, pitiful cry pierced the night again–the sound that had lured them into the foul weather.

“Who would do something like this?”

“Some sick devil.”

“Wait, there in the middle,” the second rattled through clenched teeth while his finger danced toward the headstone. “See it?”

“Yes, something’s buried there.” The oldest stretched his neck and wiped at his glasses with a sleeve. “I see an edge in the ground.”

“That’s where the sound is coming from, but how do we get past them?”

The snakes, acting as if they heard, suddenly softened and moved aside. Their fully extended bodies were sluggish and rippling while creating an opening for the professors to approach.

“Unbelievable,” they all said together, crossing themselves in unison.

The oldest took a faltering step and as he advanced, the adders continued to retreat as if giving their permission to approach. “I don’t know how or why,” he said, turning back to his companions, “but I think we’re safe.” His eyes were suddenly haggard, sullen, rheumy.

The other two inched closer too, but stayed wary, glancing at the reptiles. The oldest dropped to his knees and scraped at the wet earth to reveal a stone sarcophagus. “Watch the snakes,” he called back, “while I open this.” His arthritic fingers gripped hard on the lid of the chest, his muscles straining at the weight, slipping from the wetness.

“Need help?” the tallest asked, bending forward, but not too far, his eyes darting to the slithering creatures and their vigil only a few feet away.

“I think,” he grunted, “I’ve almost…got it.”

The stone lid raised enough to scrape off and land in the mud with a wet thud. Inside, nestled in a bundle of straw, was a baby with a ring on a leather cord around its neck.

It was now silent.

* * * * *

At the same time, half-way around the world, another man’s every step disappeared into two feet of white powder. The blasting winds of the frigid terrain, though, quickly obliterated the sunken holes as if nature wanted no life here, not even its impressions.

He too, searched for something.

All around him, in every direction, there was nothing but pasty drifting plains, reddened by the sun dangling at the edge of the horizon as if pressed by the sky to disappear forever. He knew he should have brought warmer clothing, but he had been too eager, too quick to find out about the boy. Besides, the world itself had nagged at him suddenly to come here.

Forced to abandon his shoes miles ago, frostbite had swelled his feet to darkened, purple pineapples. They would surely need to be amputated when he got back to Rome.

Such a nuisance, he thought.

The traveler was no longer careful with each step because he knew he was close. He could feel that the lair was nearby so he no longer bothered to tuck his blue-tinged hands beneath his armpits to keep them warm. Instead, they dangled with every step, plunging carelessly into the snow, coming out like white-frosted mitts, becoming as black as his feet, just as frostbitten, the physical sense of touch in them long gone.

He didn’t relish the pain he would endure when they warmed back up–the shattered cells of his skin and muscles would be like microscopic glass daggers cutting at the now fractured nerve endings. If he could find the place soon, perhaps he could still save his arms and legs.

“This damn body, so frail,” he mumbled as he stopped to scan and get his bearings. It had been many years since he’d been here last, the birthplace of the Aryans–the superhumans who had retreated to this frozen landscape after being defeated during the Second World War.

Now they waited patiently until summoned to fight again.

It became clear to the traveler that there were no points of reference here. The shifting environment changing minute by minute let alone since he’d last traveled here in 1935. He knew relocating the subterranean temple would be difficult–part of the reason it lingered in human mythos and was never discovered.

“Hyperborea,” he breathed as if willing it to be near him.

The sun would be setting soon and he didn’t want to have to search in the dark for the secret sanctuary built long before humans roamed this Earth. He was too anxious to wait. Besides, those damn stars grated on him–sleeping under them–clear and festive as they twinkled, reminding him how alone he was on this planet…

Wait, he thought. A rumbling.

He cocked his head at it. He had been too preoccupied to notice that indiscernible thrum that he knew to look for. He twisted his extended arms out in front of himself as if dowsing for the sensation that belonged to the crystals themselves, pulsing in their place, calling out as they always did.

The slightest taste of a smile brushed against his lips. Not far now. He only had to find–ah, there it was. A depression in the snow.

Using his bare hands, he clawed at the many layers, some soft and fresh, some hard as concrete, packed by time. Hours later, the sun finally gone for its winter hibernation, he carved out a stone door with a black, faintly luminescent swastika emblazoned in its center.

The swastika instantly brought back fond memories of glory.

He grimaced as he remembered his failures, recalling that he had been too overzealous, too brazen that his former prodigy was the One. He was sure that he would fulfill the prophecy, he had all the qualities–charisma, adept with the use of Vril, willing to torture and execute without thought or remorse–except one.

How could he have been so wrong?

The explorer turned a levered handle and the door swung inward. He cursed as a patch of skin tore away from his palm with a sound like pulled Velcro as it stuck to the metal . With a final jerk, the flap ripped free, dangling from the hardware, the gash exposing muscle beneath, blood too frozen to flow.

Because of that one costly mistake with his student, it all ended, he thought to himself. This time he had to be sure. He had to be cautious. The Cardinal’s new boy, he looked so promising, but looks were oftentimes deceiving. No, he wouldn’t let thousands of years of work be for naught because he was eager. He’d waited this long.

Stepping through the doorway, the crashing winds abated. The subzero cold still attacked him, though he didn’t really care. At least he was here–

Hyperborea.

As he traversed the place of worship that he knew so well, he contemplated lighting a candle to find his way before getting the generators running. No, he would be fine in the dark. He enjoyed the dark.

And it wasn’t until after passing through a maze of countless rooms and passages, arriving at his destination, that the traveler finally decided that he wanted to see this place with his human eyes. He brought match to wick and the séance chamber flickered to life.

It was so–untouched, he thought. Exactly as he had left it over sixty years ago. No dust, no movement, the cold hindering even the idea of decay. Adorning the yellow plaster walls and rough-hewn table were numerous banners emblazoned with their beloved symbols–the swastika, the sig rune, and the sonnenrad–each of them all-important to the Hierarchy and the Lord of Light.

Beyond the table was the door to his private laboratory and as he walked toward it, a spring in his gait hinted at a joviality to his demeanor, uncommon for him. Not that he was incapable of happiness–he just didn’t quite understand its significance or appeal. This was the closest he could ever come.

In the center of the portal, he flattened his hand into an impression which, as swollen as it was, had still obviously been formed to match his own. The explorer’s shoulders lifted when he heard the click that meant the mechanism still worked after all these years–the sound only his hand could create–and the portal swung open to where he had created the master race. Where, after thousands of years, and countless mistakes, his labors had come to fruition.

He inhaled and remarked how after all this time, the smells still draped the room–boiled bodily fluids, scorched organs, embalming liquids. And there was that something else, driving him to near-frenzy–

The stench of fear.

The participants–he liked to call them that–they had all been afraid. Every single one. Without fail. Perhaps they collapsed under torture at differing times, but they always succumbed whether from the mere mention of the knife or the actual sawing and hacking of their limbs.

Yes, they had always cried out.

The traveler stepped down into his laboratory and lit more candles–if it wasn’t for these damned eyes, he thought. How he couldn’t wait to be free–when the Lord of Light ruled this Universe.

He retrieved a pair of pincers from the wall and scraped a blackened fingernail along its edge, closing his eyes, breathing deep as bits of his last victim caught under his nail. He set it down. No, he wasn’t here to reminisce. The boy, he reminded himself. That’s why he was here. The Cardinal’s boy.

From the center of the workbench, he cradled the object they had unearthed in the Second World War. He wished he could tune in with it the way the Prophesied One was supposed to be able to–its melody almost perceptible to him. He knew its full power would be magnificent, especially when both were brought together. He acknowledged that his disciple hadn’t truly failed. At least he had delivered them this.

The man carefully wrapped the object in green metal foil before placing it in the knapsack lying next to it. If what he suspected of the boy was true, they would need this soon. He would bring it back with him and then they would search in earnest for its counterpart.

From an ebony cabinet imbued with an unnatural polish like wet obsidian, he withdrew a square mirror and set it in a stand on his desk. In moments, the mirror took on new form–a shimmering mercurial plate–like viscous silver. A crackling hum filled his human ears as the liquid metal contoured into the vague outline of a face lacking any substantive details but hinting at masculinity. When a mouth moved, a thunderous voice reverberated throughout the chamber as if harmonizing with itself.

“YOU HAVE COME. GOOD.”

“Master?” The traveler bowed his head. He hadn’t expected the Lord of Light to be waiting for him. “The Cardinal has been training a boy.”

“I FEEL A NEW PRESENCE IN YOUR WORLD.”

“The Prophesied?”

“PERHAPS. PERHAPS NOT. I AM INTRIGUED. THIS SOUL IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO HAVE STRUCK ME HERE.”

“The crystals will lead me to him?”

“YES. AND WHEN YOU FIND HIM WATCH HIM. TEST HIM. FIND OUT WHAT HE IS. THIS IS MOST UNEXPECTED.”

“Then the Cardinal’s Italian boy, he isn’t the One?”

“I KNOW ONLY THAT OUR CHAMPION HAS FINALLY ARRIVED, THOUGH YOU MUST DETERMINE WHO THAT MIGHT BE. REGARDLESS, YOU WILL MAKE THE CARDINAL THE THIRTEENTH PIUS.”

“So it is time? We are ready?” He would have liked to have been giddy, but not in front of the Lord of Light, even if he knew how.

“WITH THE THIRTEENTH YOU CAN TRULY MANIPULATE THE HIERARCHY AND THE SECOND GUARDIAN WILL SOON FALL. HE AND HIS MALAKIM WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO COME OUT OF HIDING TO FACE HIS BROTHER.”

He bowed his head. “I will do as you command.”

“GOOD. OUR VICTORY HINGES ON YOU.”

“I will not fail.”

“NO, YOU WILL NOT.”

The sheet of liquid metallic glass went placid then, resuming its mirror-like state, leaving in its wake a lingering reverberation before going stiff.

The explorer was noticeably bothered. There were two out there in the world? He hadn’t expected this. It had taken him months to get here for this cryptic, short conversation?

Shaking his head, clearing his thoughts, he focused on what the Lord of Light had commanded of him. He sat down at the desk to write the letter that would ordain the Cardinal, the thirteenth Pius. The twelve before had been experiments, shadows of this culmination of leadership. The thirteenth would be the Hierarchy’s pinnacle achievement. He had been all but ready to bestow the thirteenth in the 40’s, but their failures saw an end to that.

Finishing the letter, he stamped his sigil into melted wax. Below it, he began to sign Dietrich Eckart–but then reeled back his bloated, bruise-colored hand. He had given up that name when he faked his own death in 1923 to further the Nazi cause without hindrance.

“Fool,” he sneered. “You have a new name now.”

For a moment, his previous name begged him to lament how his greatest student could have been the Prophesied, could have ruled the world. But ultimately his disciple had failed him, had failed them all.

For shame. Such talent, now gone from this world. The man pressed his pen back onto the document and signed the new name to go with his new body–Clementi Boole.

Chapter One:

 

 

Mark awoke.

He glanced at the clock on the nightstand. It was three in the morning and it was time. Everyone would be asleep. He exhaled, sat up and rubbed a hand on top of his buzz-shaven head, his calluses catching on jet-black stubble.

Here he was, finally in New York with his dreams laid out before him, yet he still couldn’t shake that sense of unease that he was the fish about to nibble on the delicious hook. He’d been brought to New York after his graduation to be further tested–

Or so they had said.

Chewing a fingernail, Mark wondered if he should really go sneaking about. St. Peter’s was the seat of the most prominent Catholic diocese in the nation and its Records Room was rumored to house secret files on the Kennedy Assassination and Roswell and Area 51. He couldn’t simply go in there, besides, if he was caught, he’d lose forever this opportunity. Here he could make a difference. Here he could be somebody. Did he want to throw all of that away?

Setting a robe around his shoulders, he winced as his bare feet touched cold stone and he walked to his sink to question himself in its mirror–

In the center of his boyishly handsome face, his sapphire eyes were bright and intelligent, but with a softness at their edges that told they were still untested, unproven. It was as if he had the potential to do incredible things but lacked the wisdom to know how. He leaned in closer, groaned when he saw that they were also weighed down by a curiosity that prodded him to do what he was about to.

He turned away, embarrassed by his own reflection, to glance down to the ring he always wore on his left hand. He thought it was lead when he bit into it. Couldn’t be though, since he never removed it and his lead levels were normal–the lab technicians downstairs had tested for that too. Father Gregory had said the ring was from his parents–his only connection to them–parents he’d never met.

Mark pulled down on his cheeks, stretched down his eyes. Unfortunately, he could no longer tolerate the strange experiments they were conducting on him–that’s why he had to do this. He splashed water on his neck, wiped his hands on a washcloth, took a breath and sneaked from his quarters to the hallway beyond.

St. Peter’s Cathedral in central Manhattan with its gothic architecture had made Mark uneasy since he and Father Gregory had first arrived a month prior, but even more so since the arrival of the new Administrator, Clementi Boole. Mark hadn’t met the man yet, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to.

It felt like–dread–hung in the church now.

Mark was aware of something newly macabre about the place, as if he was being watched all the time, not by the clergy, but by the building itself. The cathedral had become cold and dreary all of a sudden, colorless, as if haunting specters had taken up residence. Even the normally spiritual torchieres were now casting demonic shadows along the soot-draped corridors.

He shivered, told himself it was only in his head, but he broke into a run anyway until he reached the electronic keypad. He hastened to check both directions. Hurry, he told himself, swallowing as he stared at the glowing numbers.

It hadn’t been particularly difficult for Mark to figure out the code. Only four numbers were covered in fingerprints and stains–9, 8, 5 and 1. And after a few hours of research, putting together all the clues, he learned that construction on St. Peter’s Cathedral began in 1859.

With shaking fingers, Mark reached out to punch in the digits, but then reeled his hand back. He noted the inscription above the door:

At its portals, the world seems left behind and every advancing step brings Heaven nearer and deepens the soul’s union with Divinity.

What would God think of this?

“God,” he said to himself. “I have no choice.” He took a breath, steeled himself to jab in the sequence. With the final beep there was a soft rush at the lock.

Stepping inside, he saw books along one wall and a boxy, mahogany desk sitting squarely in the center of a Persian rug and a third wall housed filing cabinets from floor to ceiling. A tapestry covered most of its opposite.

He scanned the filing cabinets he’d come for. Opened one–A-Ammerman–rifled through to–there it was. A fat folder–the biggest in the drawer–on him, Mark Acanth. As he spread it on the desk, he hadn’t realized he was so important.

Since he and his mentor, Father Gregory, had arrived from Saint Francis School for Boys in Vermont, things had seemed a bit suspicious. He truly believed a conspiracy lurked in his latest life in New York, especially when he was more likely to see white lab coats and clipboards than cassocks and bibles. Perhaps this folder was proof.

Why would a cathedral have a medical laboratory anyway?

There were pictures of him taken every year since he was born. School and what looked like surveillance photos. A piece of his hair was taped to the binder. There was a close-up shot of the splotchy birthmark around his navel, a form of the vascular skin disease, port-wine stain. He fingered it beneath his shirt as he read, self-conscious that his namesake was being so scrutinized.

He found lists of his grades, his exam scores, his teachers. His aptitudes, his proficiencies. There were charts and graphs with notes and questions. Someone had made a note, concerned he was learning too fast, that everything was too easy for him.

Jesus, he thought, he was an experiment.

He found a piece of paper with a hand drawing of a sideways eight within a circle. Then he found a fact sheet with three headings: parents, birth date and place of birth. All three were blank. The pain bit instantly and he was reminded again that he had no identity. That was what he’d come to find. A name. Maybe an address. Some connection to his past.

Yet, now he was puzzled at how extensive this file was, but no information on his parents or his birth. Something must have happened. Murdered? A cover-up? A fact sheet stated how much he weighed each year, how much he grew over time. Somebody was going through a lot of trouble to have monitored him for his entire life.

Reading on, it said he was an introvert. He had social anxiety. That he liked apples and had no friends, never met a girl. That he had never left Saint Francis School for Boys before coming here. He aspired to become a priest. That last entry was circled with a giant red exclamation point next to it.

They knew more about him than he did.

Within his folder, there were three subfolders, one with Father Gregory’s name and two others–Rajeev Umashankar and Spencer Freeman. All three had been teachers at Mark’s former school. And then, on the last page, written in an edgy, angular script that hinted at the author’s frustration, ink pooled at the corners of the letters–

IS HE THE ONE?

Mark slammed the file closed. Let out a ragged breath before putting it back in the cabinet. Wiping his hands on his pants, he realized that he was more confused than he had been before. He should’ve left things as they were. He mimicked his mentor’s Irish accent, recited one of his favorite quotes–

“In much wisdom is much grief–and he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow.”

As he turned to leave, Mark found himself turning toward the tapestry. It nagged at him, and he couldn’t help staring at the scene of a church nestled amongst gnarled trees. He leaned in. There was a dark-robed figure there with a face hidden in shadow, pointing to the moon at the edge of the fabric.

Was it pointing it at the moon, he wondered or something behind it?

He pulled back a corner of the weaving and barely made out a slight deviation in the wall as if there might be a doorway behind. He traced a finger along an edge.

“Where is the catch?” he breathed..

He let the wall-covering fall back into place, to slide and pivot books. He ran his hands up the legs and underneath the desk. He swept inside drawers, moved the lamp, turned knobs. Yanking open the filing drawers, he traced the insides with stretched fingers.

Nothing.

Maybe there wasn’t a secret door at all. Could be where a painting hung at one time or a foundation was repaired.

“You’re doing this to yourself,” he whispered. “You want there to be something special in your life.”

Then Mark saw it. The silver candelabrum that had been converted to hold an electric bulb had fingerprints all over its base and burned onto the sepia-colored glass. With a careful twist of the sconce, the murmur of moving stone stewed from behind the wall-hanging. He shook his head with a flat smile.

When the secret wall opened entirely what he found was nothing more than a closeted bookshelf and another doorway which he inched open to a dark tunnel that ran straight well beyond the reach of the room’s light source. His eyes flicked to either side and noticed that there was no light switch.

He’d explore this later, he thought. When he had more time. He wasn’t afraid, he told himself. Besides there was no light and he didn’t have a flashlight.

He turned instead to examine the books. He found one on ancient Assyrian catacombs, another on medieval weapons and torture devices. He grimaced. Who would read these? Why were they hidden behind a secret door, he wondered.

Soon he came across a jet-black tome with no title. Turning it over he found no words or pictures, nothing but again that strange circle circumscribing a sideways number eight embossed in the center of its cover, drawn in a coppery red. This symbol had to mean something. Twice now he’d seen it.

The book’s aged leather was coarse like callused skin, cut crude unlike any he had handled before, as if the tanner had been rushed. Carefully opening it, Mark saw that the pages were faded and worn, containing hand drawn words and pictures. The writing was characteristic of the quill and ink sort, yet fluid, written in a combination of Egyptian hieroglyphics and…was that…Hebrew?

Every other page, on the left side, contained a picture. Flipping a few, he thought they might have been done with both watercolors and ink, appearing crisp almost like a photograph. The artist was skilled. Very skilled. The pictures however were fantastic. They represented the artist’s view of another world or another time.

Some were of mysterious gardens with unearthly plants and vegetation. Blue trees with giant orange crystalline pods. Strange alien buildings. Human-like figures wearing exotic clothes and heavy armor, riding dragon-like beasts to fight giants. Creatures that were half animal and half man.

Others, however, were horrible scenes of death and war. Beams of light shot from the clawed fingertips of grotesque beings as they destroyed structures and burned fields. Odd, horse-like creatures burned in pools of liquid fire. Men and women were locked in battle with unknown weapons. Fields of lifeless bodies were sorted by the survivors.

Flipping through, Mark was mesmerized. He wanted to go to this place, explore this world. It felt real. The pictures were so clear, so vivid, so wonderfully crafted.

So alive.

This was a land of magic and he wished he could be there, to live an adventure. His life was so boring. He wanted to be a hero, to fight for good, destroying evil, aspired something bigger out of life.

As he continued to turn pages, a piece of parchment fell to the floor. He brought it to his nose and it smelled like ripe mushrooms. Creases tore as he unfolded it carefully, the paper old and brittle. Hundreds of years old, he guessed, for it to be that fragile. On it was written a message:

November 12

Weird. That was today’s date.

Mark-

Someone reading this, perhaps a century ago, with his same name? He pursed his lips as he nodded. Even stranger.

The time has come for you to know who you are. You are one of them now. The transformation is complete. The end is near and I’m afraid you must find it soon. I can help you as much as I can but you must provide your own awakening, this book is only the key.

The signature at the bottom was blurred by a reddish-brown stain that punctuated the paper in a random pattern. It flaked as he scratched at it with a fingernail. Was that…dried blood? He could only make out the last part of it.

–zarus.

Then, suddenly, the morning bell rang throughout St. Peters and Mark nearly dropped the tome, been here longer than he realized. He folded the note as hurriedly as he could without it tearing and shoved the volume back on the shelf. Only after putting everything back the way it had been did he head for his room, puzzling where the secret passage led and what the note had meant by the one.

Continued….

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

Richard L. Noble’s MASTER OF UNCERTAINTY>>>>

Contemporary Christian Romance Novel, Nickels by Karen Baney – Over 30 Rave Reviews

Nickels

by Karen Baney
4.2 stars – 39 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Niki Turner has finally arrived. Her career as a Software Engineer is soaring–she has just been offered the company’s most sought after account, Helitronics. Life would be perfect, if she could stop her roommate from playing matchmaker.

Then Kyle Jacobs mysteriously re-enters her life. As painful memories resurface, his presence turns her life upside down and threatens to waylay her career. She must find a way to work with him–after all, he’s the helicopter flight consultant for the new flight control system she’s coding.

Can she forget the past and see him as the new man he has become? Or will her resentment keep her from finding what she has always been searching for?

This contemporary Christian romance novel is an upbeat and compelling story set in the Phoenix Metro Area. Karen Baney shows a new side to her writing with great wit and banter between the main characters. Inspired by her love of romance and of computers, this story takes readers on a journey filled with laughter and tears.

Reviews

“Karen Baney weaves a wonderful and enjoyable romance with realistic and believable characters you will grow to love as family. Nickels is an intriguing story that will capture you in the very first pages and keep you engrossed until the end.” —Readers Favorite Reviews 

“Very well written. Light & sweet romantic story. Nicely flowing. You don’t want to let go. The characters are light & fresh. This is my first book of this author & I’m definitely looking forward to read the rest of her books.” – Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars

About The Author

KAREN BANEY, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, works as a Software Engineer. Spending over twenty years as an avid fan of both genres, Karen loves writing stories set in Arizona. Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. She is active in various Bible studies throughout the year. Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
(This is a sponsored post.)

Kindle Nation Daily Mystery Readers Alert! R.S. Guthrie’s Black Beast: A Detective Bobby Mac Thriller (Volume One) – Over 55 Rave Reviews!

4.6 stars – 63 Reviews
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Decorated Denver Detective Bobby Macaulay has faced down a truckload of tragedy over recent years. The death of his partner; the loss of his own leg in the line of duty; the companionship of his beloved wife to cancer; his faith in God to his inner demons.

After the man who ruined his leg and killed his first partner is executed, Macaulay becomes the lead detective investigating the Sloan’s Lake murders. The method of killing in this double-homicide is so heinous it leads Macaulay and his partner down an ever-darkening path–one that must be traversed if they are to discover the evil forces behind the slaughter.

Just when Bobby Macaulay is questioning the very career that has been his salvation, he will discover a heroic history buried within his own family roots: The Clan MacAulay–a deep family lineage of protectors at the very core of a millenniums-long war against unimaginable evil.

“Black Beast” is the first in a series of “Clan of MacAulay” novels–a stellar first outing for new author R.S. Guthrie. The book is a page-turner that avoids meandering, written with tight prose that keeps the action flowing. The reader is taken inside the heart and mind of a common hero who will make you believe in good again–Macaulay is a believable, flawed character with whom each of us can relate and for whom each of us will cheer.

Reviews
“Kudos to R.S. Guthrie!! I started reading Black Beast and from the first chapter I couldn’t wait to find out where the story would lead — a real pager-turner full of suspense and intrigue.” – Becky Illson-Skinner, Mystery Writers Unite

“R.S. Guthrie is a marvelous storyteller…The development of his characters is awesome. You feel you’ve known ‘Bobby Mac’ all your life.” – Kathleen Hagburg, co-author of Getting Into the Zone, a Course and Workbook For The Mental Game

“[Black Beast] establishes Guthrie as a bona fide talent.” – Beth Elisa Harris, author of the literary blockbuster Vision

About The Author
R.S. Guthrie grew up in Iowa and Wyoming. He has been writing fiction, essays, short stories, and lyrics since college.

“Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel” marked Guthrie’s first major release and it heralded the first in a series of Detective Bobby Macaulay (Bobby Mac) books. The second in the series (Lost) hit the Kindle shelves December of 2011.

Guthrie’s “Blood Land” is the first in the Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series and represents a project that is close to his heart: it is set in a fictional town in the same county where he spent much of his childhood and still visits.

Guthrie lives in Colorado with his wife, Amy, three young Australian Shepherds, and a Chihuahua who thinks she is a 40-pound Aussie!

Readers can catch up with what’s new with R.S. Guthrie at his official site, http://www.rsguthrie.com , or discussions related to writing at his blog, Rob on Writing (http://robonwriting.com).

(This is a sponsored post.)

Five Freebies to Choose From on New Years Eve! Download These Free Kindle Titles Now

Here are a few 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, December 31, 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.

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The Aspen Account

by Bryan Devore

4.5 stars – 24 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

After a colleague at Denver’s top accounting firm dies in a mysterious skiing accident, Michael Chapman is assigned to replace him on an audit of software behemoth X-Tronic. At the same time, rookie journalist Sarah Matthews of the Denver Post starts nosing into rumors that may connect X-Tronic to her brother’s death. And the reclusive Aspen billionaire who founded X-Tronic thirty years ago begins to fear that events unfolding at his company will finally make him pay for a past he would love to forget: when he sold out friends and neglected family in his single-minded pursuit of success. Soon all three will discover just how much they are willing to risk to uncover the truth behind a conspiracy that will shock the world.

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Deadlocked

by A.R. Wise

4.4 stars – 212 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they’re safe?

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Children of the Fog

by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

4.4 stars – 344 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO MAKE A DECISION: Let A Kidnapper Take Your Child, Or Watch Your Son Die. Choose!

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4.7 stars – 19 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
When hungry aliens begin their ‘rain’ of terror, break out the umbrellas–the aliens can’t eat you with an umbrella shoved in their huge mouths.

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5.0 stars – 6 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
This book is written for those inspired by the musical and movie versions of Les Misérables who have not yet tackled Victor Hugo’s 1200-page masterpiece.

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Looking For Free YA Titles? Check Out Kids Corner @ Kindle Nation Daily!

(This is a sponsored post.)

Kindle Free Book Alert for December 31: 490 brand new Freebies in the last 24 hours added to Our 4,350+ Free Titles sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … L. A. Matthies’s Surviving Curtis Hall: The Lure of Blood (Today’s Sponsor – $9.99)

Powered by our magical Kindle free book tool, here are this morning’s latest additions to our 4,350+ 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
This book was a pleasant surprise, it was exciting and hard to put down. My favorite part was the unexpected and suspenseful ending.
Surviving Curtis Hall: The Lure of Blood
by L. A. Matthies
5.0 stars - 3 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Attempting to avoid the violence and drugs at Hibernia High, sixteen-year-old Tristen McCoy and his friends have transferred on a sports scholarship to the elite Curtis Hall boarding school. Hometown lacrosse heroes, the boys are tested as they attempt to assimilate into a student body where excelling is the norm.

Tristen hones his leadership skills and sense of humor while finding his way in this new environment. He and his friends must rise to the challenge of competing with peers whose skills equal and perhaps surpass their own. Tristen’s attention is soon captured by the beautiful and alluring Marcella Venier. Despite their different origins and upbringings, the two are drawn to each other. Marcella, compelled to live a clandestine life with dark secrets and a covert research mission, struggles with her desire to further her own designs and still remain in Tristen’s world.

Events spiral out of control, and a student is lost in the subterranean tunnels beneath the school’s campus. Tristen and his friends stand accused of foul play, and in an effort to make things right, he enlists Marcella’s help in organizing a search party. During the perilous rescue attempt, danger threatens to not only sever the bonds of friendship of the group, but take their lives as well. They hope they can survive until graduation.
One Reviewer Notes:
This book was fantastic! I could not put it down loved the format and writing style. I could relate to almost all of the characters and could not believe the plot twists!!!! all in all you should really give this book a chance. coming from a teen who didn't know how good it would be i am happy to say that i wasn't disappointed.
Bianca
About the Author
L. A. Matthies worked in a career in hairdressing and cosmetology. She and her husband have three children and live in New York. Surviving Curtis Hall is her debut book. L. A. Matthies worked in a career in hairdressing and cosmetology. She and her husband have three children and live in New York. Surviving Curtis Hall is her debut book.
UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
Surviving Curtis Hall: The Lure of Blood
Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.
Free Contemporary Titles in the Kindle Store
Welcome to Kindle Nation’s magical and revolutionary Free Book Search Tool — automatically updated and refreshed in real time, now with Category Search! Use the drop-down menu (in red caps next to the menu bar near the top of the page) to search for free Kindle books by genre or category, then sort the list just the way you want it — by date added, bestselling, or review rating! But there’s no need to sort by price — because they’re all free!
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Rayne's Mother is a ruthless Fae hunter. So she was kept hidden from the magical world for her safety. But someone has exposed her. And now, its open season on Rayne......
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Do you feel like a squirrel trapped inside a spinning wheel? Then you simply haven’t met Jack Hansen yet! Jack is an alright guy, but he’s always betrayed by his bad luck. His neighbor, Garry, is always hooking up with yet another stunner. His co-worker, Bill, is constantly pursuing a brunette...
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Dan and Brenda Stevens finally planned a night out without the kids, and were able to find a babysitter at the last minute. Brenda's friend Karen's daughter Susan happened to be free for the evening because her boyfriend was sick, so instead of being stuck home all night with nothing to do her...
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It’s never too late to give love a second chance. . . even for a hard-working cowboy.From USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield, an emotional, sweet romance with a beautiful happily ever after.Callan Matthews awakens one day to the realization her husband has taken a nose dive off the...
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Head back to Pride Oregon to find out what some of your favorite Jill Sanders’ characters are up to.Sara Jordan has finally been given the chance to run The Golden Oar, a restaurant that’s been in her family for generations. But the sexy know-it-all carpenter that her uncle hired to make some...
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A Dash of Love (Pride Oregon Book 1)
By: Jill Sanders
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Welcome to The Faerie Race—an epic adventure through a realm as compelling as it is deadly…Fame. Fortune. Your most extravagant wish granted. These are the prizes promised to the team that wins The Faerie Race, the first and only reality television show to venture into the dangerous realm of...
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Colleen O’Hara’s friend is playing matchmaker. Not only is her friend tossing her a bridal bouquet, but she has the perfect man in mind for her to marry. All she needs is Colleen’s permission to give Mr. Perfect her email address. And Drake Reed sounds wonderful. So wonderful, in fact...
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Online Proposal
By: Ruth Ann Nordin
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This open access book is an overview on CT/X-ray contrast media designed for radiologists and other medical specialists who use contrast media in imaging and interventional procedures as well as related scientists on the use and pharmaceutical aspects of X-ray contrast media. The overall goal of...
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You live in a spinning tube of metal.Ash-mixed whips of air rise to Center Sky. Looking up, you think you see the soft green fields through the filth. The white lattice of wealth sprawled along the verdant curve of Bright Side. Families and love live there. The seats of power. But for you that...
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Cupid (Part 1 of 5)
By: Joseph Turkot
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From Ninie Hammon, the sorceress of psychological suspense, comes her long-anticipated and thrilling new series. Black Water — a book that won’t stop squeezing your book-loving heart before the final page.Bailey Donahue was supposed to stay dead...After witnessing her husband's murder...
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Black Water (Through the Canvas Book 1)
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Kindle Free Book Alert for December 31: 490 brand new Freebies in the last 24 hours added to Our 4,350+ Free Titles sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … L. A. Matthies’s Surviving Curtis Hall: The Lure of Blood (Today’s Sponsor – $9.99)

Kindle Daily Deal For Monday, Dec. 31 – 4 Kindle Book Deals Including Daily Romance And Science Fiction & Fantasy Deals, plus Calculator App From 7 Dragons (today’s sponsor)

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

Calculator

by 7 Dragons

4.1 stars – 19 Reviews
Here’s the set-up:

Now a calculator can be with you wherever you travel. Use Calculator for Kindle to make those quick, every-day calculations like computing sales discounts, double-checking an invoice, or computing a restaurant tip.

In addition to basic math operations, Calculator also includes Square Roots, percentages and exponents, and the trigonometric functions Sine, Cosine, and Tangent. You have standard calculator Memory Functions, and you also get Calculator History; in which the last 10 items and last 10 calculation results are saved for later reference.

Calculator offers keyboard shortcuts to help you work quickly, and a last function undo and digit by digit undo functions to help you correct errors. Help pages explain each feature, and a Shortcuts List page clearly lists all shortcuts.

Now you can do all your calculations on Kindle.

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!

Kindle Daily Deal Romance Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal Our Best Book of 2011, Chad Harbach’s fiction debut is a masterfully paced narrative that explores relationships and the unpredictable forces that complicate them.Deal Price: $1.99

Learn more

Kindle Daily Deal Stranded on a deserted island, Anna and TJ–two very different people at different stages of their lives–find a love that even hard-to-please romance fans will fall for.Deal Price: $1.99

Learn more

Science Fiction & Fantasy Daily Deal Teens Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love the first book in this popular series featuring detective Thursday Next and her adventures in an alternate reality.Deal Price: $2.99

Learn more

Kindle Daily Deal An Amazon Best of the Month Book from June, 2011, this spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography will delight teens, adults, and adventure fans of any age.Deal Price: $1.99

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Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert: Lori Williams’ Stop Thinking About It! Winning the Emotional Battle Surrounding Food and Weight Loss is Our eBook of the Day at just $2.99, with 4.7 Stars on 6 Reviews, and Here’s a Free Sample!

In Stop Thinking About It, Lori shares a simple, candid view of her experience with the emotional burden that food, diets, and a critical self-image often bring. Having traded this burden for good health and peace of mind, she is compelled to share her lessons learned with hope that those who identify with her years of frustration might also find hope and, ultimately, lasting peace.

This is not a diet book, nor is it a weight loss book although dropping weight once and for all is a great side effect. It’s about how you, regardless of your size, can be free of the ever-present emotional battle surrounding food, weight, and a critical body image.

It all begins when you STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!

From the reviewers:

“Her unfailing supportive tone complements the easy-to-follow program . . . the relatable anecdotes freshen up the decidedly gloomy prospect of self-improvement. Readers will feel like they’ve just had a pleasant chat with an honest, knowledgeable friend, instead of a lecture by yet another self-described diet expert.” – Kirkus Review

“Refreshing! Stop Thinking About It! provides simple, easy to follow steps that free your mind of the daily obsessions centered around food and dieting.” –Andrea friedman, former NFL cheerleader and founder of bootcampbabes.com

“There’s nothing out there like Stop Thinking About It! A huge number of people will relate to this book.” –Nathan Seaman, D.O.

“Stop Thinking About It! has an extremely important message that I agree with wholeheartedly, and it has made a positive difference in my life.” –Fay K.

“These concepts are liberating. I no longer feel trapped.” –Sarah H.

“I couldn’t put it down! With its honest, light style, Stop Thinking About It! delivers a powerful lesson without the text book feel.” –Randall Grant, founder of Divine Nature, LLC

Visit Amazon’s Lori Williams Page

Lori A. Williams has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and lives with her husband and six children in Mesa, Arizona.

As a youth she became critically aware of what she believed she needed to look like in order to be happy and, up until about six years ago, felt the emotional burden that food, diets, and a critical self-image often bring.

Having traded this burden for good health and peace of mind, she is now compelled to share her lessons learned.

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of STOP THINKING ABOUT IT by Lori Williams: