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A spine-chilling tale of a girl imprisoned for more than a century, and the terrifying events that put her there… The Girl in The Locked Room: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Her long-lost friend begs her to prove his innocence. But what if he’s a killer? The Fractured Man by Lisa M. Lilly

When Piper Townsend fell to her death twelve years ago, she took Trey’s secrets with her. He’s never trusted another woman. Until now… USA Today bestselling author Allie Boniface’s FINDING YOU

Annie must decide: Is another shot at happiness worth the risk? Camille Pagán’s ingeniously witty novel: This Won’t End Well

Grow your business with this definitive guide to driving growth and success: Marketing For Entrepreneurs and Small to Medium Businesses by Kelly A. Mahoney

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A time travel mystery adventure with modern twists: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

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Titus uncovers a plot to attack the nation’s capital with chemical weapons… Don’t miss Three Weeks in Washington: A Titus Ray Thriller by Luana Ehrlich

Lucie is thrown into a criminal conspiracy straight out of a gangster movie. If she isn’t careful, she could end up… sleeping with the fishes! Dog Collar Crime by Adrienne Giordano

Have you ever wished for a “How To” book on life? Wisdom Speaks: Life Lessons From Proverbs by Tim Riordan

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Free Book Alert for April 30: Five Bestselling Freebies Just For Today! Plus The Best Kindle Deals Anywhere … Sponsored by Beverly Gray’s Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers (Today’s Sponsor – $2.99)

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

“Beverly Gray nails both sides of the complex Corman, the tame and the wild, the cheap and the generous…” Chuck Griffith, screenwriter for Little Shop of Horrors

<%title%>
4.7 stars – 15 Reviews
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Roger Corman reigns as the godfather of independent filmmaking. Since 1954, Corman has produced four-hundred-plus movies on shoestring budgets, making a profit on nearly every one. Filling his frames with blood-sucking vampires, rampaging biker gangs, vigilante strippers, and abducting aliens, he has shown the world how to blend action, sex, humor, and social message into hip entertainments. He has also demonstrated an uncanny eye for talent, jumpstarting the Hollywood careers of Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, and James Cameron, to name just a few. Over the past half-century, Corman has evolved into as a role model for independent-minded filmmakers. Thanks to a campaign spearheaded by alumni of what’s often called “The Roger Corman Graduate School of Film,” he was honored with an Oscar statuette in 2009. It was an fitting valedictory, but Roger himself is still going strong, churning out monster movies and updated versions of old-school exploitation flicks.

Beverly Gray, Corman’s story editor for nearly a decade, learned from the master how to tell a lively tale. Through far-reaching conversations with over one hundred of her fellow Cormanites, she takes you behind the cameras for an insider’s look at the man and the mogul. The result is a rich portrait of this soft-spoken showbiz giant, whose genial manner masks a complex psyche.

The new ebook edition of Gray’s now-classic Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers has been fully updated, bringing the Corman saga into the present day. Previously suppressed material has been restored, and a new collection of photographs enhances this edition.

One Reviewer Notes:

Gray’s sensitive combination of scholarly detachment and firsthand observation have made [Corman] come alive in all his wily brilliance.

L.A. Weekly
About the Author
Beverly Gray’s long tenure with Roger Corman gave her extraordinary access to many of his former associates. Ms. Gray has been an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California and an instructor for UCLA Extension’s screenwriting program. She is currently a freelance journalist for several publications including the Hollywood Reporter. She resides in Los Angeles.

UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
Authors and Publishers: Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.

And Here Are Five Free Kindle Titles – Just For Today!

Prices may change at any moment, so always check the price before you buy! This post is dated Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 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.

*  *  *

3.5 stars – 51 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

They don’t know it yet, but their paths will cross… And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again. Welcome to The Shadow of Black Wings, a steam-powered romp across the land of dragons, wizards and samurai. It’s big, it’s fast, it’s been compared to Tolkien in terms of world-building, it has strong female characters and lots of carefully researched detail. You will meet the Royal Marines sailing mighty ironclads and Chinese walking machines; mysterious warlords and crazy inventors; you will discover dark prophecies, family secrets and blood-thirsty demons. And all that in just the first volume!

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3.9 stars – 14 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Sara’s life is drastically changed the moment a convoy of horse-drawn caravans enters the quiet Reidenburgerstrasse where she lives with the people she thinks are her parents.

*  *  *

Poe (An Alexandra Poe Thriller)

by Brett Battles, Robert Gregory Browne

4.8 stars – 13 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
After losing her mother to a terrorist attack, Alexandra Poe was devastated when her father–disgraced and accused of treason–disappeared from the face of the earth. Now, over ten years and a stint in Iraq later, Alex is approached by a man who has information about her father and wants to help her find him.

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The Grimm Chronicles, Vol. 2

by Ken Brosky, Isabella Fontaine

4.8 stars – 8 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
For 200 years, the hero’s magic pen has been passed on from generation to generation. The newest hero is Alice Goodenough, an 18-year-old junior from Washington High School. While her friends spent their summer working and having fun, Alice found herself doing battle with creatures most human beings don’t even realize exist. A giant snake. A blood-sucking prince. A terrifying half-man, half-hedgehog. Dastardly dwarfs intent on mind-controlling everyone.

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4.0 stars – 2 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
When a young woman is attacked, her rescuer reveals the hidden Faerie subculture right under her nose. But the same forces that saved her life are protecting her would-be murderers. Can she and her savior track the bad guys down in time? Or will she be the next to fall under a hail of silver bullets…

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Check out our Free Book Search Tool for a boatload of free books

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Internationally Acclaimed Suspense Thriller Covert Dreams by Michael Meyer – Watch Captivating Trailer Here & Then Download For Only $2.99 or Free via Kindle Lending Library

Covert Dreams

by Michael Meyer

4.2 stars – 50 Reviews
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

THIS INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED SUSPENSE THRILLER by Michael Meyer has been compared to Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series, and the writing style has been compared to that of Dean Koontz. #2 on Recommended Thriller/Suspense list at Goodreads.

Imagine waking up remembering intimate details about a country in which you have never traveled and fluently speaking a language that you have never spoken. B.J. is living the ideal life. He has a great wife, a wonderful job. And yet he is experiencing life-like vivid dreams of Munich, a city he has never visited.Stan Halsey is a professor in Saudi Arabia, who sends for his wife to join him. She arrives, and, in the blink of an eye, she vanishes, leaving no trace of ever being alive in either the United States or in Saudi Arabia.COVERT DREAMS is a fast-paced international suspense thriller that moves from Munich to the burning sands of Saudi Arabia. What is real, and who is responsible for the terrifying nightmare?

EXCERPT

The Munich all around her was bustling with activity. She could hear it from all directions. Munich was a wonderful city, a fun-loving place, the live and let live ebullience of the city emanating from its every nook and cranny. She had had a lovely stay here. All of it had been so adventurous, so new, so unlike life back home in Arizona. She could vividly recall the first time she had ventured into a Munich beer garden, where the liter mugs had been so huge that she had had to lift hers with both hands, and the giggles, from him, until he too had had to use both hands.The fumbling noises he had been making came to an abrupt halt. He began stroking her cheek again. Gus looked so happy, so young, so full of life. It was so hard to imagine that he could be so heavily involved in all this horror.

Gus smiled at her once more. His eyes were soft, so gentle, so caring, so loving.

Maybe this was some kind of huge mistake. Maybe he wasn’t going to kill her after all. Maybe everything would turn out happily ever after. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

But then suddenly she saw it clearly. It was no fairy tale. There would be no maybe. This was real, as real as the mixture of sadness and fear that now flooded her brain.

And then she died, with her eyes wide open, challenging, piercing his to the end.

Watch Trailer

Reviews
“I highly recommend this book to all readers who like to be totally captivated and swept away.” – Marilou George, THE KINDLE BOOK REVIEW

“Don’t start reading this book on an evening when you have to get up early the next morning, because you’re going to find it hard to put down!” – Nick Russell, author of BIG LAKE

“This story will not disappoint as it sucks you right into these lives from page one and doesn’t let go until the last page is turned.” – D. Everetti, author of PUNISHING

Covert Dreams is “I got captured”-reading, as opposed to “escape”-reading.” – George Wier, mystery and crime writer

Covert Dreams had me from the gripping opening scene to the satisfying conclusion.” – Dale Roberts, author of IRREFUTABLE

About The Author

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction

I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia (where COVERT DREAMS is set), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (where DEADLY EYES is set). I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.

I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as COVERT DREAMS and DEADLY EYES was born. I am particularly proud of the fact that these two international suspense thrillers are rated #1 and #2 on the Goodreads Recommended Thriller/Suspense list.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two adorable rescue cats.

You can follow me at my Facebook writer’s site: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife

Be sure to check out my Pinterest writer’s page:
http://pinterest.com/temmike/#

I thank you for your interest in my work.
Mike

(This is a sponsored post.)

Kindle Daily Deals For Tuesday, Apr. 30 – New Bestsellers All Priced at $1.99 or Less! plus Angela White’s The Survivors: Book One (Life After War) – Free Today!

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

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

 “This is Safe Haven Refugee Camp. Can anyone hear me? Hello? Is anyone out there?”

“The End of the world has given us a harsh, merciless existence, where nature tries hard to push mankind to the very brink of extinction. Everything is against us, between us…

“Untold miles of lawless, apocalyptic roads wait for our feet, and the Future, cold and dark, offers little comfort. Without CHANGE, there will be no peace. Only Survivors.”

Set along the lines of The Stand and The Postman, this is a chilling vision of the collapse of all society in the year 2012 and the rebirth of a nation by those who survived. It’s so much more than just another fantasy series.”  -The Review Shop

From dangerous trips into dark, apocalyptic cities, to patriotic rescues and furious revelations, Life After War is an action packed fantasy series where those left alive must come to terms with their mistakes in the old world, while fighting for a place in the new one. It’s the apocalyptic fantasy series that Stephen King fans have been searching for. This way, please…

Summary in 20 words or less
An action adventure quest, with a supernatural romance, and many other subplots, set during the aftermath of the apocalypse.

So what’s really in this series? Here’s a short list:

*The End of the World, right-up-close and full of apocalyptic horror.
*A government conspiracy that caused the apocalypse.
*An adventure into the wastelands to find family, supplies, and safety.
*A supernatural romance with a dangerous secret about a child’s parentage and a love strong enough to survive the end of the world.
*An invasion, ambushes, attacks from Nature and man – guns and magic.
*A refugee camp with very different laws, picking up those who’ve survived.
*A Hero you’ll love, even as you ponder the secrets that could lose him leadership.
*A Witch, a Doctor, a government Storm Tracker, a TV Star, and three Marines struggling to keep their people alive and together as they prepare to defend themselves against Cesar’s Slavers.
*A constant battle for survival that includes deadly trips into decaying American cities, insanity, relics of the past, and ghosts that stalk their every move.

Life After War. Magic and Reality blended into a post-apocalyptic fantasy series that you won’t ever forget.

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!

Click on the image below

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Today’s Kindle Nation Daily eBook of the Day:

Three short sizzling novellas in one volume including the Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Humor, from bestselling romance novelist Shadonna Richards, author of the Kindle #1 Bestseller in Romance An Unexpected Bride

The Billionaire’s Whirlwind Romance (Books 1 – 3)

by Shadonna Richards
<%title%>
4.2 stars – 5 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

 

Here’s the set-up:

From the author of the Kindle #1 Bestseller in Romance ‘An Unexpected Bride (The Bride Series)’THE BILLIONAIRE’S WHIRLWIND ROMANCE (Whirlwind Romance Series Books 1-3)

Three short sizzling novellas in one volume including the Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Humor ‘Accidentally Married to the Billionaire.’

  • Accidentally Flirting with the CEO
  • Accidentally Married to the Billionaire
  • Accidentally Falling for the Tycoon

More About the Author

Shadonna Richards

#1 KINDLE BESTSELLING ROMANCE AUTHOR

Bestselling author Shadonna Richards enjoys reading and writing about the magic of romance and the power of love. Born in London, England, she has a B.A. Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Nursing. She is the author of the non-fiction books, A Gift of Hope and Think and Be Happy: 365 Empowering Thoughts to Lift Your Spirit (an Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Meditation). Winner of Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2010 Day Two Challenge, she is also a member of Romance Writers of America. An Unexpected Bride, a contemporary romance, is her first novel and an Amazon Bestseller in Romance. It has sold 40,000 copies in its first seven months on Amazon Kindle. She’s a proud mommy and wife and lives in Canada with her husband and son.
www.shadonnarichards.blogspot.com

SOME INTERESTING FACTS:

* She has sold over 200,000 copies of her e-books
* Three of her Bride Series novels simultaneously occupied the Top 5 Hot New Releases in Romance Anthologies in May 2012

* Five of her Bride Series novels were simultaneously listed in the Top 20 Bestsellers list in Romance Anthologies in May 2012

* Her novels: The Matchmaker Bride, His Island Bride and The Bride Series (Novels 1-4) made the Top 100 Most Wished For list in April 2012 & May 2012 in the top 10 spots

* All of her romance novels (as of May, 2012) have hit the #1 spot in their categories

* Author of five novels and two non-fiction books, she is hard at work on her next romance novel

 

* * *

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of The Billionaire’s Whirlwind Romance by Shadonna Richards:

100% Rave Reviews For Renee Carlino’s Romance Women’s Fiction Novel Sweet Thing – Currently in Top 100 in Kindle Store – Don’t Miss This Bestseller!

Sweet Thing

by Renee Carlino

4.9 stars – 62 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Mia Kelly is a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old café, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.

Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.

A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.

5-star acclaim from Amazon readers:

Brilliant! 5+ stars
“What a wonderful find! It is rare and hard to explain when you find a story that speaks to you intimately the way this one did to me. …It has that “something special that you can’t quite put your finger on” about it …

Divine
“Absolutely wonderful! What an unbelievable first book…. The storyline is perfect, the characters are so well developed that you feel like they are part of you. The way the author combined many forms if art, from music, to poetry, to visual arts all added to the depth of the story. I didn’t want it to end.”

Charmed, and then some!
“A rare one indeed! You had me at Prologue!… what a beautifully written story! … the dialogue (impeccable writing), character development ( flaws and all), and most importantly, strong story line ( believable)…this book has it all. Love, heartbreak, love, and heartbreak, and ahh,love again – Love of all kinds – Romance, friendship, parental, animal. Bravo!”

Amazingly unexpected!
“Let me start by saying this book was nothing like I was expecting. It was sweet perfection. …it made me laugh, cry, smile and made my heart FEEL for these characters…”

About The Author

Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies starring Molly Ringwald
for that.She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. This is her first novel.For more about Renee Carlino and her work, please visit her website.

(This is a sponsored post.)

Summer is Right Around The Corner And so is Love in Today’s Romance of The Week Free Excerpt From When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek) by Award-Winning Author Brenda Novak – On Sale Now – $1.99 For a Limited Time

Last week we announced that When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek) by Award-Winning Author Brenda Novak is our Romance of the Week and the sponsor of thousands of great bargains in the Romance category: 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 Romance excerpt, and if you aren’t among those who have downloaded When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek), you’re in for a real treat:

4.6 stars – 84 Reviews
On Sale! Regularly $6.99
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek)
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:

One day, Callie Vanetta receives devastating news…

She needs a liver transplant. But her doctors warn that, in her case, the chances of finding a compatible donor aren’t good.

Determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she keeps the diagnosis to herself and moves out to her late grandparents’ farm. She’s always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn’t been worked in years and she begins to fear she can’t manage it, that she’ll have to return to town.

One night, a stranger comes knocking at her door…

He’s an attractive and mysterious drifter by the name of Levi McCloud, and he offers to trade work for a few nights’ shelter. Callie figures she doesn’t have anything to lose. He needs a place to stay until he can fix his motorcycle; she needs an extra pair of hands. The arrangement seems ideal until what was supposed to be temporary starts to look more and more permanent. Then she realizes she does have something to lose—her heart. And, although he doesn’t yet know it, Levi stands to lose even more.

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

The barking of her dog dragged Callie Vanetta from a deep sleep.

Rifle, the German shepherd her parents had given her for Christmas, was only two years old, but he was the smartest animal she’d ever known, certainly savvy enough not to make a racket in the middle of the night without reason. Despite all the critters that scurried around the place after dark, he hadn’t awakened her like this once in the three months since she’d moved to the farm.

So if he thought she had something to worry about, there was a good chance she did.

Despite the warm June night, chills rolled through Callie’s body as she lay on her back, blinking against the darkness. She’d always felt so safe in her grand­ parents’ home. They’d passed away five years ago, but the comfort of their love and the memories created here lingered on. Sometimes, when she closed her eyes, she could almost feel their presence.

But not tonight. Fear eclipsed all other emotions, and she wondered what she’d been thinking when she gave up the small apartment above her photography studio downtown. She was out in the middle of nowhere, her closest neighbor over a mile down the road, with her dog sounding an alarm and scratching at the front door as if some menace lay beyond it.

“Rifle?” She whispered his name as loudly as she dared. “Hey!” she added, making kissing sounds.

He charged into her room, but he wasn’t about to set­ tle down. He circled in place, whining to let her know he didn’t like something he heard outside. Then he darted back to the front door, singularly determined to show her where the trouble was.

She thought he might try to rouse her again. He obvi­ ously hoped to get her out of bed. But she was so fright­ ened and undecided about what to do she couldn’t move. Especially when he quit barking and emitted a deep, threatening growl—one that told her he’d laid back his ears and bared his teeth.

The hair rose on Callie’s arms. Her dog meant busi­ ness. She’d never seen him like this. What had him so upset? And what should she do about it? She’d watched too many true­crime shows not to realize what could happen. But, given her health, getting murdered would be too ironic. Surely, this couldn’t be leading there.

She’d just decided to call the police when a heavy knock sounded and a male voice carried into the house. “Hello? Anyone home? Sorry to wake you, but… could a man come out here, please? I need some help.” A man? Whoever was at her door wasn’t from Whis­ key Creek. Her family had lived in the area for genera­ tions. Everyone knew that this was the Vanetta farm, that the aging Theona and Herbert had died within

months of each other and she was living here alone. “Hello?” the man called again. “Please, someone an­

swer me!”

Should she respond? Letting him hear her voice would tell him she was a woman, which didn’t seem smart. But she had her dog to defend her. And she had a pellet gun she used to scare off skunks and raccoons and any other animals that might have rabies or get ag­ gressive.

Problem was she couldn’t remember where she’d put it. The screened­in porch that overlooked the outbuild­ ings in back? The mudroom off the kitchen? She might even have left it in the barn. Until now, she hadn’t felt any need for self­defense. All the wildlife she’d encoun­ tered seemed more afraid of her.

Still, she should’ve kept that gun close. What good was it otherwise? She wasn’t going to scare anyone away with her camera.

“Open up!” Bang, bang, bang.

Drawing a shaky breath, she called 9­1­1 on her cell phone, which had been charging on the nightstand, and, speaking as low as she could and still be heard, told the operator that she had a stranger at her door. The opera­ tor advised her to sit tight, a squad car was on its way, but she slid out of bed and groped through the dark­ ness for some clothes. Summer had come early this year. With the weather so mild, she hadn’t worn any­ thing to bed except a pair of panties. In case her visitor tried to break in before the police arrived, she wanted to get dressed.

“Can someone help me?” the man hollered.

Wearing a T­shirt and blue jeans, and armed with the knowledge that someone from Whiskey Creek’s four­ man police force would soon arrive, she crept toward the door. What was wrong?

Despite the ruckus her dog was making, her visitor didn’t seem to be giving up. His determination lent him a degree of credibility, even though she knew her rea­ soning was flawed. His persistence didn’t necessarily mean he was telling the truth. If he had a gun and was capable of using it, he wouldn’t have to worry about getting bitten.

So…was he really hurt? If the answer was yes, how’d he get that way? And how did he come across her prop­ erty, tucked away as it was in the Sierra Nevada foot­ hills? She couldn’t imagine some random individual driving these back roads at one in the morning, espe­ cially midweek. She encountered plenty of strangers during tourist season, which was upon them, but always in town. Not out here.

“Shit,” he grumbled when he got no response. Then something hit the door harder than a knock, as if he’d crumpled against the wooden panel and was sliding to the porch floor.

A flicker of concern warred with Callie’s fear. Maybe he really was hurt. Maybe he’d run his car into a ditch or a tree and injured himself so badly he was about to die… .

She snapped on the porch light. Although it went against her better judgment to let him know she was home, he’d managed to convince her that he might really need help. Some of the TV programs depicting real home­invasion robberies also showed innocent victims who were unable to get help because of other people’s fear.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

A swiping sound suggested he was using the door to steady himself as he clambered to his feet. She peered through the peephole, hoping to catch a glimpse of him, but even with the porch light on she couldn’t see much—just a man’s head covered in a hooded sweat­ shirt.

“Thank God,” he said.

She might’ve thought it was one of the Amos brothers. Although they’d calmed down in recent years, a cou­ ple of the younger ones still caused problems, from drunken ­and­ disorderly conduct to selling crystal meth to fighting. But they lived down by the river on the other side of town, they’d never bothered her before and she would’ve recognized the voice.

“Who are you and what do you want?” she called out over Rifle’s barking. The dog was even more ex­ cited now that he had the support of his master in tak­ ing on this interloper.

“Name is Levi, Levi McCloud. I need a first­aid kit, some water and rags.”

She ignored the second part. “I don’t know a Levi.” “I’m just…passing through, ma’am.”
He was leaning too close to the door for her to dis­ tinguish his features. Was he doing that on purpose? The idea that he could be made her more nervous

than before. “But you decided to stop here?”
“No choice. My motorcycle…broke down a mile or

two back.”
“That’s how you got hurt?”
“No. It was a…a couple of dogs. They ran out and

attacked me…for no reason…while I was pushing my bike. Got me good, too.”

The way he forced his words through his teeth sug­gested that he was in pain, but maybe he was faking it. Maybe he was planning to rob her, rape her, possi­bly kill her.

Where did this happen?” she asked.

He attempted to laugh but the sound died almost immediately. “Hell if I know. I’ve never been around here before.”

“Then what made you come now?”
“Heard it was pretty country.”
That was it? He was out on a joyride? Alone? His

response didn’t seem particularly plausible, but the scenario he gave wasn’t inconceivable. Out here in the country, dogs weren’t always penned up or put on leashes. He could’ve been attacked, as he said.

She was tempted to open the door, if only to verify his story, see his injuries. But she couldn’t take the risk. “How’d you get away?”

“Listen…” He dropped his head against the door, covering the peephole entirely. Now it was impossible for her to see anything. “I don’t mean to frighten you. Is there…is there a man in the house? Someone else who…who might not…be afraid of me?”

She didn’t want to let on that she was alone. But if a male didn’t take command of the situation soon, he’d know, anyway. Perhaps he’d said that to confirm what he already suspected. “Tell me how you got away from the dogs.”

“I…convinced them I wasn’t…anything they wanted to mess with.”

Meaning he’d hurt the dogs as much as they’d hurt him?

She wondered whose pets they were, and if the inci­dent had really happened. “How badly are you hurt?”

“Hard to tell in the dark, but…it’s bad enough to make me bother you, which isn’t something I wanted to do.”

She wiped sweaty palms on her jeans. “Okay, just… stay where you are. I’ve called for help. The police will be here soon.”

“The police?” Instead of reacting with relief, as she’d expected, he cursed and shoved away from the door. “Are you serious? They won’t do anything for me.”

“They’ll get you the medical attention you need,” she said, but he wasn’t listening. He was leaving. She could hear the porch creak under his weight.

“Where are you going?” she yelled.
He didn’t answer.
After hurrying to the window, she dropped to her

knees in an effort to catch a glimpse of him before he could move out of sight.

For just a moment, she could make out the broad shoulders of a tall, spare man wearing jeans with that hoodie.

Why was he taking off without the help he needed? And why had he acted so averse to meeting up with the police? Was he wanted? A known felon?

Possibly. He had to have some reason for avoiding the authorities. But seeing how obviously he favored one leg, she believed he really was hurt.

She checked the time on her cell phone, which she’d brought with her. How long could it take to get a cruiser out here? She didn’t want to be any more vulnerable than she already was, but she also didn’t want to be responsible for the death of a lonely, injured stranger.

“Come on, come on,” she muttered, but each minute felt like an hour. When she couldn’t wait any longer, she sprang to her feet and ordered her dog to silence.

Reassured by this show of strength, Rifle stared up at her, tongue hanging out and tail wagging eagerly. He seemed to be asking, “What now? What are we going to do now?”

“We’re going to see where he went,” she told him. She wasn’t sure he could comprehend her words, but speaking calmed her, and he certainly understood her intention. He barked once to confirm that he was ready.

Holding him by the collar, she slowly, cautiously, opened the door a crack and peered outside. The porch was empty, just as she’d assumed. She couldn’t hear or see any movement, didn’t know where the stranger had gone.

Rifle struggled against the grasp she had on his collar. Then he nudged the door open wide enough to squeeze through and pull her along with him. He even tried to drag her down the steps. Clearly, he wanted to go after the man.

She wasn’t up for that. But before she could insist they go back in and lock the door, she stepped in what her dog had probably smelled—something dark and wet smeared on the floorboards of the porch.

The second she realized it was there, she knew what it was. Blood.

The police had come and gone, and they hadn’t found a thing—no tall, dark stranger hiding on the premises. Not in the old tack shed. Not in the barn. And not in the cellar. They attempted to follow the blood that led down the steps of Callie’s porch, but the trail disappeared in the grass and dirt about ten feet away.

They poked around for over an hour, hoping to dis­ cover what had happened to her guest, but they didn’t have any search dogs with them and Rifle wasn’t trained to track. They tried using him for the first thirty min­utes, but he was so distracted and excited by the two officers who’d come to help, she eventually had to shut him up in the mudroom, where she kept his food and water.

In the end, the police couldn’t figure out where the injured man had gone, which left Callie as unsettled after they drove off as before. She couldn’t help won­ dering if they hadn’t found the stranger because he didn’t want to be found. She didn’t think he’d had time to go far, not injured as he was. So how had he just… disappeared?

Maybe he hadn’t. Maybe he’d reached a neighbor’s property. But if that was the case, why hadn’t anyone else called to report a bloody, hood­wearing stranger? And why hadn’t the cops been able to find his motor­ cycle? Was there a motorcycle? And was it really bro­ ken down?

Exhausted in a way she’d never been before she’d been diagnosed with non­alcoholic fatty liver disease, she finished cleaning up the blood—she didn’t want to see it when she woke up—and went into the house.

Rifle barked and scratched at the mudroom door, whining to be let out. But even now that everyone was gone, he was too excited. She didn’t want to deal with an agitated dog after what she’d already been through. She’d found her pellet gun in the barn, felt that would offer her some defense if the man came back. So she called out a good­night to Rifle, promising she’d take him for a long walk in the morning. Then she used the bathroom off the kitchen and checked all the doors.

Once she was satisfied that the house was as secure as she could make it, she took a final peek through the window, dragged the heavy pellet gun to her bedroom and peeled off her jeans. She was too rattled to sleep almost nude, like she’d been doing earlier, but she knew she’d never get comfortable in fabric as stiff and heavy as denim.

It wasn’t until she’d propped the gun against the wall next to her headboard and crawled beneath the blankets that she heard a noise. She wasn’t sure what it was; it had been too slight. But when it came again her fear returned.

She looked around—eyes wide, breath held—and realized her bathroom door was closed.

She rarely shut that door. It was in the master bed­ room and she lived alone. There was never any rea­son to.

But that wasn’t the only thing that made her heart race. The light was on in there. She could see it through the crack near the floor.

2

Several thoughts went through Callie’s mind at the same time. She had the pellet gun and her cell phone, but her dog was shut in the mudroom. Should she slip out, free Rifle then call the police?

She had to have some way to defend herself until help could arrive. A pellet gun, even a high­powered one, wasn’t the best weapon with which to stop a man. Thanks to a deluge of adrenaline, her limbs felt like rub­ ber. She doubted she’d have the strength to effectively use any weapon, especially a heavy one.

That said yes to the dog. But she wasn’t sure she could stomach what a struggle between Rifle and the intruder would entail. If she’d been told the truth, her visitor had already been attacked by two canines—and he’d beaten them off. She didn’t want to risk Rifle’s life, didn’t want anyone hurt if she could avoid it. Life had become too precious to her. Since her diagnosis, she considered every moment a gift, and she felt that way not just about her own life but everyone else’s.

At least now she understood why her dog had con­tinued to strain at his leash and wouldn’t calm down when they were searching. She’d chalked his behavior up to youth and inexperience, but that wasn’t it at all.

He was the only one who could smell, probably even hear, that they still had company.

Sneaking into the house while she and the police were searching the outbuildings was a bold move—so bold she’d never seen it coming. Why had the stranger taken such a risk? Was he so badly hurt he’d had no choice?

Could be.

Or he was determined to gain whatever he wanted from her.

The memory of his blood on the porch, on her bare foot when she stepped in it, weighed heavily on Cal­ lie’s mind. If he’d given her AIDS, there wouldn’t be much point in continuing to search for a liver donor… .

Sweat poured down her body as she once again slid out of bed and pulled on her jeans. She’d simply va­ cate the room, take her phone and her gun and barri­ cade herself in the mudroom with her dog while she called the police.

But then she heard a curse, a clatter and a crash that was so loud, her dog started jumping against the door clear on the other side of the house.

What had happened? If Callie had her guess, the man had fallen.

“Hello?” she called out, hesitating midway across the room. She was holding her phone as well as the gun, which made it difficult to use either one.

There was no answer. No sound or movement, either.

Had he hit his head and knocked himself out—or worse?

“Oh, no,” she murmured. In order to lift and aim the gun, she had to put down her phone. She hated to do that, but she was quickly growing more worried than scared, so she set it on her dresser close by. “I know you’re in there.”

“I pretty much…figured that…at this point.” He sounded tired. No, more than tired. Drained. That was hardly what she’d expect from someone who meant her harm. But she’d never encountered a psychopath be­ fore—not knowingly, anyway. She had no clue how one might act.

“I’ve got a gun!” she warned.

“Unless you plan…on shooting me for no reason… I don’t really care,” he said. “Just tell me the police are gone.”

Why would she admit she was alone? “They’re not. They’re right outside. I can call them in if necessary.”

There was another long silence.
“Did you hear me?”
“Let them go and I…I’ll leave. I just…needed some

soap and water. That’s all. Some gauze would’ve been nice. But you don’t have that. What kind of woman doesn’t have a first­aid kit?”

“I have a first­aid kit. But I don’t keep it the medi­cine cabinet.”

“Too bad. It would sure…make a nice send­off pres­ent, if you…could…forgive my intrusion.”

What condition was he in? He was slurring his words. Talking at all seemed a struggle for him. “How’d you get inside my house?”

“Wasn’t hard. You and those…two officers…” “Yes?”
He made an attempt to rally. “You were so intent on

trying to use your dog to follow my trail I just…circled around behind you. I could tell where you were at all times. Until you brought him in.”

“How’d you keep from dripping blood all over?”

“I wrapped my sweatshirt around my arm…hoped that would help.”

It had done the trick. The trail of blood had dis­ appeared completely. “Sneaking in here takes a lot of nerve,” she said.

“Lady, sometimes you…have to do…what you have to do. What else can I tell you.”

Lady? That made her sound old. She thought of her good friend Cheyenne marrying Dylan Amos just four months ago, right before the doctor had given her the bad news about her liver, and winced. She’d wanted a husband, a family. She’d never had a hint of health problems, no reason to believe she wouldn’t eventu­ ally have kids. Now chances were that she’d die before summer’s end.

There were more noises. These Callie couldn’t fig­ ure out. “What’s going on?” she asked, worried again.

“I’m trying to get…the hell out of…your bathtub.”

She was beginning to believe this whole night really had been about his injury. “What’s wrong? You can’t?”

“It’d be easier…if I wasn’t so…damn dizzy.”

What was she going to do now? She wasn’t sure she had the heart to call the police on him again. It wasn’t as if he’d waited in her bedroom and attacked her. “I don’t understand why you wouldn’t let me get you some help,” she said. “I tried.”

“No, you called the police.”
“Same thing.”
“Not quite.”
She inched closer. She still held her gun at the ready

but she was feeling more and more confident that she wouldn’t have to use it. “Why are you so afraid of the authorities?”

He didn’t respond for a few seconds. Judging by the noise, he was once again trying to get up. “Why do you think?”

“You’re wanted?”

“Not for anything serious.” He cursed as though he’d done something that hurt.

“Are you okay?”

He didn’t answer. Instead, he reverted to the ques­ tion she’d asked before. “I have a few…unpaid speed­ ing tickets.”

That sounded far too innocuous to explain his reac­ tion. Surely it couldn’t be the truth. “You’re lying,” she said. “Why would that make you afraid of the police?”

“We don’t get along.”
“Meaning…”
“I’ve had…a few run­ins with them. They don’t like

vagrants. Besides, a warrant is a warrant. Whether it’s for a speeding ticket or…or whatever else, they’ll take you in. I can’t let that happen.”

He’d called himself a vagrant, but he didn’t sound like one. Although she could tell he was in considerable pain, he was mostly coherent. Articulate, too. “Where are you from?”

“Does it matter? Look, if you’ll…help me a minute, I’ll be…on my way.”

“Where?”
“Wherever the road takes me.”
She crept right up to the door. “I thought your mo­torcycle broke down.”
“I’ll fix it. Believe me…I want to leave as badly as you want me gone. I have to get to my…my ride before someone else comes across it.”

Including the police. No doubt they’d impound it.

She listened for movement but didn’t hear anything. “Are you coming out or not?”

“I think…you’re going to have to come in. Just… whatever you do…keep that dog of yours away.”

“He’s in another room. But I can get him in here pretty darn fast if I need to,” she added.

“I won’t hurt you. Give me some bandages. Then I’ll go.”

Lifting the barrel of the gun so she could reach the knob, Callie pushed the door wide.

Sure enough, the man she’d first spotted on the porch was in her tub. He must’ve stumbled and fallen while trying to clean himself up, because he’d broken the shower curtain rod on the way down. The curtain lay on the floor, stained with blood. Blood speckled the vanity, the floor and the bath mat, too. But that wasn’t what concerned Callie. He didn’t look good. He’d man­ aged to get to his feet, but he was huddled, shivering in nothing but a pair of bloodstained jeans in the corner, where he could use the walls to hold himself up.

Callie felt her jaw drop. “Look at you.”

He seemed to summon what strength he had left. “About that first­aid kit…”

“You need more than a Band­Aid.” About her age, maybe a little younger, he had blood smeared all over him as if he’d swiped here and there to staunch the flow. The hooded sweatshirt he’d been wearing was tied around one arm; his bloody T­shirt lay on the floor not far from the shower curtain. She couldn’t ascertain the injuries on the arm that was covered, but she could see he’d been bitten several times on the arm that was bare. “You need painkiller, maybe food, a good doctor—

and a heck of a lot of sleep.”
He didn’t respond. There was a gray cast beneath

his tanned skin. That was probably new. But Callie suspected his gaunt, ravaged look wasn’t. This man was accustomed to living a hard life. His cheekbones were pronounced, testament to the fact that he was too thin, especially since he had such wide shoulders and big hands. And yet…he wasn’t unhandsome. Some­ how his rawboned features gave him a rebel air and enhanced the impact of his hazel eyes, which regarded her with the wariness of a wild animal cornered be­ cause of injury.

He didn’t trust her any more than she trusted him, she realized.

Lowering the gun, she set it aside. Maybe dropping her guard was the wrong thing to do. Maybe it put her own safety in jeopardy. But she no longer cared in the same, fearful way she had before. Without a function­ ing liver, she was going to die soon, anyway.

But maybe she could save him.

The woman was small, even for a woman, and curvy. With platinum­ blond hair and big blue eyes, she had a certain…bombshell look about her. Thirty or so, she was wearing a pair of jeans and a T­shirt with no bra. The no­bra part was unmistakable.

“Come here.” She stretched an arm toward him. “Let me help you out of the shower.”

Levi shrank against the tile. There wasn’t any reason for her to touch him. She’d only get blood on her clothes, and he’d caused her enough trouble for one night. “I just need—” he fought the dizziness that made it almost im­ possible to stay on his feet “—your first­aid kit.”

Somehow he had to stop the bleeding so he could see how bad his injuries were. He could tell that both arms were chewed up, especially his right, which he’d swaddled in his sweatshirt. He’d also been bitten on the back of the neck, his shoulder and his leg in two places. He didn’t know much about the dogs that’d attacked him, wasn’t sure of the breed—it’d been too dark and things happened too fast. The only thing he could say for sure was that he hadn’t been able to outrun them, even after he ditched his bike. When sharp teeth sank into his flesh, he’d been forced to fight. After that it had been a blur of snarling, lunging and gnashing teeth— on his part and that of the dogs.

Fortunately, he’d won. Or they’d all lost. One dog had finally taken a hard enough kick that he didn’t want any more and the other had followed him when he limped away, whining. Levi had done his share of limping, too. It hadn’t been a minor encounter for any of them.

The woman with the smooth complexion and soft, round features still had her hand out. “I’m afraid it can’t be that simple, Mr. McCloud. You need a doctor. Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital.”

“No.” He had no permanent address, no insurance and very little money. Everything he owned was stuffed into the backpack he’d left with his bike, except for the clothes on his back and the wadded­up bills in his pocket. Maybe twenty bucks at the most, it was just enough to buy food until he found his next odd job.

Worry tightened her voice. “How many times were you bitten?”

“Several.” Closing his eyes, he rested his head against the wall. “I’ve never seen animals so intent on tearing someone to pieces.” He winced at the memory. He’d been chased by a few dogs since returning from Afghanistan. Being out on the streets left him vulner­ able. But he’d never been attacked. He’d made it through six years in the military, fighting in some of the worst hot spots in the Middle East without taking a bullet, only to be mangled by dogs in his own country.

“My arms took the brunt of it,” he explained. “They wanted the front of my…neck, my jugular, but I kept blocking them. I would’ve been…better off with my leather jacket on. But I’d worked up a sweat pushing my bike and…had taken it off. Bad luck.” He chuckled, but the thought of his bike, his jacket and his pack brought back the concern he’d been feeling earlier. He had to re­ trieve his belongings before someone stole them or the police came by. He’d had to leave his motorcycle right there on the side of the road, couldn’t continue to push it after the attack. It was too damn heavy.

“Okay, well, at least sit down. You’ll only hurt your­ self more if you don’t.”

“I’ve gotta go.” He tried to step out of the tub, nearly toppled over and had to let her help him down onto his ass. Muttering something he couldn’t quite make out, she rolled up a towel she got from a cupboard and put it behind his head. Then she brought in a heavy blan­ ket and covered him, right there in the tub. “Stay put,” she ordered as she tucked it tightly around him. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

The decisiveness in her voice made him lift his head. “Where are you going?”

“To get the first­aid kit, since that’s all you’ll accept.”

Relieved, he let his head fall back. If she was going to call the police again, she wouldn’t have braved coming in. Surely that meant he’d soon be bandaged up and on his way. He’d walk his bike to the small gold­rush town a few miles back where he’d had dinner and find the necessary parts and tools to make the repairs. Maybe he could offer his services to an auto shop for a few days in trade for what he’d need. He’d done that before. He could fix any kind of engine, had been in charge of the heavy equipment for his platoon in Afghanistan.

Trying to keep his mind off the pain, Levi concen­ trated on the gas station with the repair bays he’d no­ ticed in town before settling on a café. But he must’ve drifted off despite his efforts to remain lucid, because when he opened his eyes there was another man in the room. He was easily in his seventies, his hair completely gray, and he had a hook nose, full beard and paunch that hung over his belt. He’d removed the blanket that had kept Levi warm, which was what had disturbed him.

The woman who’d covered him was now wearing a bra under her shirt. She wrung her hands as she peered over the old man’s shoulder. “Is he going to be okay?”

Levi didn’t give him a chance to respond. “Where’s the first­aid kit?” he asked, calling her on the deception. She had the grace to look abashed. “I’m sorry. I was

afraid you were going into shock. You need a doctor.” The other man glanced up at her. “I’m not a doctor.” She sent Levi an apologetic grin. “But he is a vet­erinarian.”
“Who’s mostly retired,” the guy said with a note of

exasperation.
“Still good at his craft.” She patted his shoulder with

obvious affection. “This was my grandfather’s friend and next­door neighbor. Now he’s my friend and neigh­bor. Godfrey Blume, meet Levi McCloud.”

“So what do you think?” Callie shooed Rifle out of her way so she could pour the coffee she’d put on a few minutes earlier. Levi McCloud was asleep in her bed, but Godfrey was sitting at her kitchen table.

Every time her neighbor yawned she felt bad about waking him in the middle of the night. He was near­ ing eighty. But she hadn’t expected providing Mr. Mc­ Cloud with medical attention to take several hours. She’d been so caught up in helping to wash and ban­ dage his wounds, she hadn’t noticed the passage of time until she saw the break of dawn. Now her rooster was out in the yard, crowing for all he was worth.

She couldn’t help smiling when she caught sight of the old bird strutting past her kitchen window. She loved early mornings. They reminded her of summers with her grandparents and awaking to the smell of frying bacon.

“I did what I could,” Godfrey said. “But I wish he would’ve let us take him to the hospital. Or even to a real doctor. I’ve never seen an attack like that.”

And her neighbor had worked with animals his whole life! She frowned as she set the sugar and cream on the table. “We did what we could.”

“Mr. McCloud is a surprisingly stubborn man, given the extent of his injuries.”

Once Godfrey had ascertained the large number of stitches their patient required, they’d both tried, once again, to get him in her car. Godfrey could only offer him a topical analgesic to ease the pain—and Tyle­ nol. But there was nothing they could do to overcome

Mr. McCloud’s resistance. He tried to leave on his own power when they insisted, and would’ve done so if they’d pushed it any further. At that point, Godfrey had relented and agreed that some care was better than none.

“We should report the dogs to animal control,” she said. “They need to be restrained before they hurt some­ one else—a child, for instance.”

“I plan on looking into it.” Her neighbor had been the only veterinarian in town for most of his life. He’d offi­ cially retired three years ago, when the newly licensed Harrison Scarborough opened his practice. But some people still brought their animals to Godfrey.

“Do you have any idea whose pets they might be?” she asked while pouring herself some cranberry juice. She was on a strict diet that precluded alcohol, salt and coffee, among other things.

He smoothed his shirt over his belly. “My bet? There’s a couple of pit bulls down the road, around the bend.”

“Really?” Callie had never seen any, but she’d been pretty preoccupied of late. Adjusting to the shock of her diagnosis, especially since she’d never consumed much booze, hadn’t been easy. She’d thought only alcoholics had to worry about cirrhosis. “You think it’s them?”

“I can’t imagine what other dogs it could be. I know all the rest of the animals in the area, and they wouldn’t do something like what we saw.”

“Whose pit bulls are they?”

“Belong to a couple of young men, maybe twenty­ eight or twenty­nine, who are renting the old Gruper place. They’re here for the summer, doing some pros­ pecting.”

Gold panning and dredging had become popular pas­ times. A lot of tourists visited “the heart of gold coun­ try” to relive the history of the ’49er. Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, was an hour away, but the entire area had been rich in ore. At 5,912 feet, the nearby Kennedy mine was one of the deepest gold mines in the world.

“So you’ve met these men?” she asked.

“Just last week. I was selling my gold dredge. They saw my flyer on the bulletin board at the diner and came over to buy it. I guess they weren’t finding anything using the panning method.”

“Did you like them?”

“Not a bit.” Godfrey spoke with his usual candor, but she’d already guessed his feelings from his sour expression.

“Why not?”

“They’re unruly braggarts with big mouths and no respect. If I hadn’t known better, I would’ve thought they were related to the Amoses.”

The Amoses weren’t as bad as they’d been imme­ diately after their father went to prison. As a matter of fact, she really liked Cheyenne’s husband. But she didn’t mention that she now knew Dylan and cared about him. She didn’t want to veer off topic. “I’m surprised they didn’t hear their dogs growling and barking. You’d think they would’ve gone out to see what was going on.”

He shrugged. “They were probably passed out, drunk.”

“They’re big partiers?”
“That’s the impression they gave me.”
“Great.” She rolled of her eyes. “Just who you want living so close—and with a couple of unsafe pit bulls, too.”

He acknowledged her sarcasm with a tip of his cup. “Fortunately, it’s only for three months.”

Rifle brushed up against her, wanting some atten­tion, so she bent to scratch behind his ears. “Short­ timers or no, they still have to keep their dogs from biting people,” she said. “Mr. McCloud could’ve been killed.”

Godfrey sipped his coffee before responding. “I plan on heading over there later.”

Knowing he’d do whatever needed to be done, she changed the subject. “Will Mr. McCloud be okay?”

Her neighbor’s hands were oversize, like her injured guest’s, except that Godfrey’s were also thick. When he was stitching up Levi’s bite wounds, Callie had been impressed by how dexterous his sausagelike fingers could be.

“As long as those bites don’t get infected, he should be. He’ll have a few scars, but I made the stitches very small. That’ll help. In my opinion, he should get a tet­ anus booster, but he claims he was in the military, that his shots are current.”

“They make sure soldiers stay up on that sort of thing, don’t they?”

“They do. If he was really a soldier.”

Apparently, Godfrey was taking nothing for granted. The people of Whiskey Creek could be suspicious of outsiders. But Callie believed at least that much of Mc­ Cloud’s story. He had a tattoo on one shoulder depicting an eagle with the word Freedom. A tattoo on the other arm said R.I.P. Sanchez, Williams, Phelps, Smith. The names were in different fonts, as if they’d been added as he’d lost friends.

She preferred not to consider how hard that would be to cope with.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help, G.,” she said, using the nickname her grandfather had given him. Poppy had coined a nickname for everyone. It was usually a shortened version of that person’s first name but Godfrey became a little tricky. Only his wife sometimes teased him by calling him God.

“Happy to help. You know how much Mina and I care about you.” Although his words were kind, he shot her a warning look from beneath his hairy eyebrows that indicated she might not like what was coming next.

“But…” she said, giving him the opportunity to speak his mind.

“But I’m going to stick my nose into your business and tell you that I think you should send this man on his way.”

“I will, of course. As soon as he’s better.”
“I mean as soon as he wakes up.”
Rifle wandered off as she sat down at the table. “G.,

he just got over a hundred stitches!”
“That’s okay. In a few hours he’ll be able to walk

well enough to vacate the premises.”
But how far would he have to go? Godfrey had men­tioned infection as if it was a serious concern. Certainly heading off into the wild blue yonder wouldn’t mini­ mize that risk. And what if Levi couldn’t find his mo­ torcycle? For all she knew, the cops had impounded it. Even if the bike was exactly where he’d left it, it wasn’t running. That was the whole reason he’d been in a po­sition to be attacked in the first place. “He needs time to recover.”

“We don’t know anything about him, Callie. We don’t even know if his version of what happened is true. Having him here might not be safe.”

Callie sipped her juice. “But he has no home.” And he had no mode of transportation. “Where will he go?”

“Wherever he was going before he met you.”

His protectiveness wouldn’t allow him to consider any mitigating factors, so she didn’t argue further. “I’ll send him off as soon as I can,” she promised.

Godfrey finished his coffee and got up to bring his cup to the sink. “I’d better go. I’m sure Mina’s wonder­ing where on earth I am.”

“Of course. Thanks again.” When she ushered him out, she put Rifle into the fenced part of the yard so he could get some exercise. Then she returned to the house and stiffened in surprise. Levi McCloud was no longer asleep. He was coming out of her bedroom.

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Here's the set-up:
BOBBY PINKER hates his humdrum corporate job. He only has one friend at work, a comedian named Ron. Just as their friendship starts to blossom, Ron is found dead in the office parking garage.

The police rule Ron’s death a suicide, but Bobby becomes convinced one of his coworkers murdered him. He starts snooping around the office, slipping voice-activated tape recorders under desks, breaking into the HR filing cabinet, and tailing people home.

Bobby’s investigation will likely get him fired. It will possibly get him arrested. And if he isn’t careful, it just might get him killed.

CUBE SLEUTH is a dark comedy and an amateur-detective murder mystery.
A tragedy told with comedic timing.
And a raunchy tale of a twenty-something bachelor whose libido leads him down a dangerous path.

If you like mysteries with richly developed characters, crisp dialogue, bizarre twists, and boner jokes, this is the book for you.
One Reviewer Notes:
I became absorbed in this book. The numerous references to movies, actors, songs were intriguing. The relationship between the detective and Bobby enchanting. You see the main character grow, and you cannot put the book down until the murder (or, was it a murder) is solved. You keep guessing throughout the book, until.....
Keyser Soze Andre'
About the Author
Hi, I Hi, I'm Dave Terruso. I'm 33 years old and I live on Earth. (I wrote this in March of 2013, so depending on how many years later than that you're reading this, add numbers to how old I am.) I am a novelist/screenwriter. I studied creative writing under Justin Cronin, PEN/Hemingway Award-winner and author of The Passage. I am also a stand up comedian. I work at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia, where I have opened for acts including Gilbert Gottfried, Dana Gould, Charlie Murphy, and Richard Lewis. I am also also a sketch comedian. My sketch comedy duo Animosity Pierre have been praised by TIME Magazine. We were official selections of the 2010 Chicago Sketchfest and the 2010 San Francisco Sketchfest. I co-founded Philly Sketchfest, a national sketch comedy festival now in its fifth year. I also co-founded Comedy Month, the largest festival in Philadelphia dedicated solely to comedy.
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Cube Sleuth

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4.6 stars – 103 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
In the late nineties, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide detective Marty Singer got to watch as the murderer walked out of the courtroom a free man.

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4.0 stars – 27 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Pack your bags for the wild side and hang on tight! Stamp your passport for adventure and enter an exotic world where animals have evolved side by side with humans. Prepare to be transported into an Indiana Jones style adventure and taken on a globe-trotting trek from the vast open plains of Africa, to the breathtaking beaches of Key West and Fiji, to the mysterious jungles of South America, before finally landing inside the gates of Sin City itself – Las Vegas, Nevada. Suspend belief and lose yourself in this roller coaster of a sci-fi thriller that has been called a cross between Planet of the Apes, The Hunger Games and Indiana Jones.

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3.9 stars – 14 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Sara’s life is drastically changed the moment a convoy of horse-drawn caravans enters the quiet Reidenburgerstrasse where she lives with the people she thinks are her parents.

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5.0 stars – 5 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Working mothers of the world, your voice has arrived. Trying to preserve her last few precious shreds of sanity while working and raising children, Romi Brenner has come to terms with the fact that sometimes you have to turn a blind eye to the fashion whims of a four year old, that you can never underestimate the power of a phone with a working mute button, and that pedicures just aren’t for everyone.

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The Survival of Thomas Ford

by John A. A. Logan

4.6 stars – 41 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver has no intention of ever letting himself be identified, not to mention what his father’s intentions are…or those of his girlfriend, Lorna, the hospital cleaner.

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4.0 stars – 7 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
An evil witch places a curse on Alana Cullain, turning the once beautiful woman into an ugly hag. Chased from her village, Alana seeks sanctuary in the dark forest. There she finds a strange cottage, one she had never seen before, and makes her home there.

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