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David Prever’s Gripping Political Thriller The Blood Banker is Featured in KND Thriller of The Week Free Excerpt!

On Friday we announced that David Prever‘s The Blood Banker 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:

The Blood Banker

by David Prever

4.0 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Former #1 in Political Fiction, #4 in Political thrillers
#5 in all books – Thrillers, and #3 in the Kindle Thrillers Chart.

The body of a French banker lies under a train on the London Underground: the first of three of three ‘banking suicides.’ A tragic result of the economic downturn.

Former tabloid reporter, turned blogger, Danny Lightfoot needs a story. And something about the tube death doesn’t add up… When a second banker takes his life, then a third, he’s certain of wrongdoing.

In a race to reveal the truth, Lightfoot uncovers a laundered money trail that leads, via Hong Kong and the world’s largest online criminal cartel, to the heart of British government: Number Ten Downing Street – and a man who will stop at nothing to achieve the power he craves.

But with a hired killer watching his every move, can Lightfoot banish his demons and face down the evil that threatens his life?

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

Chapter One




Sebastien Flement had often wondered about taking his own life. He was curious enough to have read an internet article on the subject and knew that, according to statistics, most suicides happen on a Wednesday. It was unusual, then, that his death occurred on a Sunday morning, with one hundred and fifty tons of electrified steel hitting the side of his head at forty miles an hour.

Clean-shaven with a mop of dark hair, Flement stood over six feet tall with a build that was lean and well toned; regular long runs along the Grand Union Canal had shaved close to a decade off his forty-six years. Even on a Sunday, he looked sharp in the dress-down weekend uniform of pressed beige chinos, blue button-down shirt and tailored overcoat. Clutching the weekend papers and his briefcase, he walked the one hundred yards towards Warwick Avenue station, took his last ever breath of what passed as fresh air in London and descended the long escalator, inhaling the Tube’s trademark mix of tunnel dust and stale heat.

Alone on the platform, he walked towards the tunnel and ignored the raised bumps that served as a warning to stand back from the edge. A red triangle with a zigzag arrow alerted the passengers: Danger – electrified tracks. In the distance, he heard the familiar rumble of an approaching train, accompanied by a drop in temperature. Above his head, six CCTV cameras recorded every movement on the platform. Scanning his newspaper, he didn’t notice as one by one the rectangular boxes lost power and shut down. At the same time, an error message appeared on the southbound platform monitor in the ticket office upstairs: System software failure: error reported.

The Sunday headlines were bleak, with reports of record national debt. His own exposure was minimised but there were still some losses, meaning changes to the family lifestyle. They had moved from Paris three years ago when the twins were just two and just before Cecily was born. Lured by the charm of Little Venice, the canal boats and cafes, the Victorian property had seemed a good place to call home. The house had taken two years to finish and was almost rebuilt by the time the last bulldozer left. The project had been Madeleine’s baby and worth every penny of the half a million pounds it had cost to control her homesickness. The money didn’t matter; he’d do anything to keep her happy. His consolation was a basement cinema room, a bolthole where he could switch off his worries and watch endless sports coverage until, beaten by exhaustion, he’d drag himself upstairs for a few hours sleep.

Flement read the message on his Blackberry again. Sunday, 9am – Emergency meeting. Attendance critical. Weekend meetings had become the norm. Stock markets had closed the week at a record low. Trading would start in the Far East at midnight, London time, with more panic selling expected. As finance director with CAI Asset Management he had seen the banking crash coming and should have warned the board that markets were overheating. They wouldn’t have listened. Nobody wanted to hear bad news, including his boss. Even now his warnings fell on deaf ears. Friday’s meeting had ended badly. The ultimate danger, he believed, was that sooner or later the government might not be able to meet its loan repayments and markets would drown overnight. At one point he’d raised his voice and declared, ‘You can’t solve a drunk’s alcoholism with a bottle of whiskey.’ The statement had been met with tumbleweed silence around the room and some awkward throat clearing from the chairman. Sir Charles Lloyd believed that more, not less, spending would rescue the country. His silent co-directors had fumbled with their notepads; pointless show ponies hired to nod on cue.

The dot matrix sign flashed an update: Next train five minutes. His punishing weekday schedule had rolled into the weekend again. He felt no better than a functioning drunk and craved a nap. A double-espresso, his drug of choice, would have helped. The boss couldn’t abide poor punctuality. His fix would have to wait.

Railwayman Jack Field took a sip from his flask of tea, waited for the green starter signal and then eased his train out of Maida Vale station into the dark tunnel. The driver struggled to adjust his failing eyesight as the train reached its maximum forty-five miles an hour. He was close to retirement age with another medical due in a few weeks.

The cabin lurched to the left and then again to the right. He shifted the handle anticlockwise and applied the brakes. Aging rails scraped against forty-year-old rolling stock, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Jack Field knew every inch of the track, but the noise was still unsettling. There was another sharp turn and a tiny circle of light emerged in the distance: the platform at Warwick Avenue.

The cab radio squawked a message about delays at Waterloo; the rest of the service was running well. The circle of light was growing bigger, almost filling the cab window. He passed another green and could see the platform now, just around a final bend. On a weekday morning it would be full of passengers, but today it looked empty. His shift would be over by midday. Perhaps he could fit in a couple of pints at the union social club before Sunday lunch.

Flement stared at a poster across the tracks: a golden beach with clear blue water and the seductive slogan, Less than three hours away, what are you waiting for? In a light trance, he didn’t hear the robotic voice announce the next train. And he didn’t pay attention to the man in a reflective orange vest walking towards him, pushing his bucket. An invisible worker, carrying out menial duties for minimum pay. Flement felt calm and in control for the first time in months. His worries were behind him now: the stress of the last few weeks would be wiped out in a second; the children’s future different to their carefree life in London, less affluent, but secure.

The decision was made. He’d take Madeleine to dinner this evening. That new place, by the canal. They needed to talk, away from the chaos of family life. He would explain the files he’d seen. Information in black and white confirming his worst fears. She would understand his plan. He knew what had to be done.

A mouse scurried under the track, dragging a half-eaten burger. In a light trance, he watched the rodent disappear into the tunnel. The man was closer now, behind him, washing the famous London Underground sign. As the rails started to vibrate, he turned and landed the wet mop between Sebastien Flement’s legs.

‘Sorry, mate, an accident; didn’t meant to do that,’ he said in an Eastern European accent.

Unnerved by the sound of the approaching train, Flement turned and lost his balance, slipping on the soapy platform. His reaction was instinctive. As he clawed at the air he noted tiny details of the man’s appearance: cropped hair, pale skin and a diagonal scar etched across his square jaw. In the time it took to memorise the information he realised, with perfect clarity, that the details were pointless. His ankle twisted under the mop. He reached out again, but there was no hand for support, only a clenched fist followed by a sharp nudge in his taut chest, a sudden blast of warm air, two bright white headlights and the cab window of Jack Field’s train bound for Elephant and Castle silencing his scream as it thundered from the dark tunnel.


Chapter Two




‘What’s your name, pal, want to tell me your name?’ A trickle of blood dripped from the driver’s nose onto his lip. Archie Drew handed him a stained handkerchief from his pocket.

‘He hasn’t said a word yet, Inspector, shall I stay with him?’

‘If you would, local units are on the way. Does he look as though he might tell you what happened?’

‘I don’t think so, not for a while. I’ll call you if he does.’

He replaced the phone. Ten minutes earlier, Archie Bell had led the train’s passengers up the escalators and closed the station gates. He stared at the CCTV monitor. What if the passenger is alive, still breathing? he thought. There should have been at least two staff on duty, but his guard had phoned in sick, suffering from a recurring weekend hangover. On any other Sunday he could have coped on his own, but with a body under a train it was about to get busy.

The image flickered. Black and white lines danced across the screen. He thought he saw an arm move under the front of the driver’s cab, or was it a leg? His mind was playing tricks. Archie Bell gave the monitor a thump.

His first aid training was meant to help in situations like this, but he didn’t recognise the driver’s symptoms. Blood had drained from his cheeks and, worst of all, a foul stench was beginning to spread around the small, airless room. The supervisor guessed that the driver had soiled himself.

‘What did you see, mate? Do you want to tell me what you saw?’ he asked again.

There was still no reply. The handkerchief dropped to the floor. The man, who must have weighed at least sixteen stone, tried to lift himself up. Falling backwards into the chair, his shaking hand fumbled for a glass of water, spilling the contents over Archie Drew’s desk.

Inspector Kevin Walters sat at the Top Table, the command area of the British Transport Police Force Control Room, London, and surveyed his surroundings.

The low-ceilinged room was no bigger than a tennis court and looked like any other call centre – faded green, peeling paint, coffee-stained floor tiles – except the staff were wearing police uniforms. Twelve communications officers sat at their workstations on the tenth floor of the art-deco building above St James’s Park station, controlling British Transport Police movements in an area spreading from Norwich down to Southampton including the London Underground. Opposite the Top Table two TV screens attached to a pillar displayed CCTV images and Sunday Worship on BBC1.

Until ten minutes ago, Inspector Walters had been passing the time reading through the list of incidents from an uneventful Saturday night, the usual mix of post-match football incidents and disorderly drunks. Then, at eight thirty-five, one of three permanent lines from the London Underground had flashed red, indicating an incoming 999, the first of the morning. An officer had patched the call through to her boss. The rest of the room had snapped into a slick drill, despatching local units.

Now, the inspector took off his headset. ‘The driver won’t speak, can’t speak apparently. Station supervisor says he’s not making any sense. Sounds like shock to me.’

The sergeant sitting next to him tapped the buttons on the ICCS system, the Integrated Command Control Screen, to bring up the latest status report.

‘We’ve two units on the way. Do you want to send a duty sergeant?’

‘We should do, see who we’ve got upstairs. Sounds like a non-suspicious – the supervisor says the platform was empty – but best be certain.’

Three local units had already been called to attend. Sergeant Alan Manning, sitting alongside Inspector Walters, was weary and his shift had only just started. With twenty years of experience he knew that the same old battles were about to begin.     And here we go again, he thought. Three quarters of an hour, if we’re lucky, to sort this out. It was policy to have the Tube running again within forty-five minutes. Forensic evidence would be contaminated. The witnesses and suspects, if there were any, would have been evacuated and sent home, with no details taken. He called through to the London Underground Network Operation Centre next door to confirm that paramedics and undertakers had been notified.


The Cleaner had watched Flement leave his house, on time, from the safety of his Range Rover on Clifton Gardens and followed him underground. Leaving the station had been easier than he’d anticipated. With no staff on duty he’d jumped over the gate, unnoticed. Back in the car, he reached under the seat and brought his laptop to life. The station’s CCTV screens had switched back to active, just as he’d planned. Hacking into the settings had been easy enough. All recordings for the last fifteen minutes would be missing and blamed on poor service contracts. The ticket office window was still shut. He switched cameras. Another grainy image showed a cross section of the southbound platform, with an unmanned train that looked as if it had parked halfway down the track.

The Emergency Response Unit – the Underground’s dedicated team of rescue specialists – arrived first, followed by an ambulance and motorcycle paramedic. Boxes would be ticked, due process would be followed. Flement stood little chance of surviving the six hundred and thirty volt rail, but suicide attempts sometimes failed.

A keen Sunday jogger and an elderly dog walker with a ragged terrier had formed the beginning of a small audience, braving light rain to watch the local drama unfold. Two British Transport Police officers manned the station entrances, cordoned off by blue and white incident tape wrapped around lampposts.

‘Bloke chucked himself on the track. Bloody selfish. Some poor sod’s gotta go down there ’n’ scrape him up,’ said the old man.

The Cleaner wound down his window and listened to intermittent police conversation from an officer’s airwaves radio. A row was underway as to who had communications priority. Only three radios could work at the same time underground. A paramedic emerged from the station steps demanding a stretcher. The Cleaner relaxed in his seat, enjoying the chaos.


The southbound track was a mess of hot, twisted metal. The driver’s cabin was lifted to a twenty-degree angle and looked like a jet about to take off. An officer from British Transport Police took photos for his report, struggling with the focus. The camera’s flash lit up the track, causing a firefighter to drop his wrench and slip off the rail.

‘For fuck’s sake, do you have to do that? It’s not a bloody wedding.’

The officer ignored him and released the shutter a couple more times. A blinding white flash bounced off the tunnel walls.

Two undertakers from P. Alfred & Sons Funerals – one grey-haired and gaunt, the other little more than a teenager – waited on the platform with a black body bag. The man had already been certified dead by one of the paramedics. As soon as the train was lifted they could remove what was left of Sebastien Flement and deliver his remains to the mortuary near the river Thames. The coroner on call would have been woken by a buzzing pager. A file would be opened; medical, pathology, psychology and police reports would help the coroner rule sometime in the next three months that, beyond reasonable doubt, Sebastien Flement had taken his own life.

A worker in an orange vest heaved himself off the track and onto the platform, wiping away sweat and black grime.

‘The body is still intact, but his head’s smashed to bits. You can’t recognise the skull.’

He was holding a clear plastic bag with the dead man’s belongings including the contents of a wallet: half a dozen credit cards, some cash and a picture taken on holiday of a woman with three children, all young girls. A local police officer would be given the task of telling her that the girls’ daddy wouldn’t be coming home today, or ever again.

Another worker was untangling Flement’s jacket, still caught up in the train’s wheels. ‘Looks like he was dragged along the track,’ he said.

As the body came loose, the young-looking undertaker, three days short of his twenty-first birthday, stepped down onto the rails to help, telling himself it was just a job and this was just another body.

‘Your first “one-under” is it, son?’

The undertaker nodded as he stood in the so-called ‘suicide pit’ and lifted Sebastien Flement’s blood-stained leg off the track before realising it was held in place by his trousers and no longer connected to his hips.


At street level, the airwaves radio sputtered an update: ‘Deceased being removed now. Incident is non-suspicious. Driver is male, early fifties, disorientated, no verbal communication, suffering post-traumatic stress, signs of cardiogenic shock. We’ll take him to St Mary’s?’

The Cleaner didn’t wait to look at the casualty. He collected a holdall from the boot and walked towards Little Venice, under the Westway and into Paddington Basin alongside the Grand Union Canal. Narrow boats decked with dead plants, washing and bike spares fought for space and a prime mooring. The peace and tranquillity of the waterway clashed with the roar of the dual carriageway above.

Behind him, he heard the siren and smiled as the ambulance came into view on the flyover, heading towards Bishops Bridge Road. Accident and Emergency would be quiet this time of day; the driver would be admitted and rigged up to life-saving tubes and machines. Walking along the cobbled pathway, he could see the top floors of St Mary’s Hospital in the distance. Reaching inside the bag, he traced the outline of the pen-injector. In the front pocket was a stethoscope.

He had an appointment with his patient.





Chapter Three


Jack Field pulled at the hospital’s nylon sheets. He was desperate to rub away dried mucus from the corners of his eyes, but his arms felt like lead weights. Less than an hour ago he had been in the cab of a Bakerloo Line train; now he was lying on a gurney, surrounded by a blue curtain. There was a needle sticking into the pinched skin below his wrist. A long tube was looped over a drip stand, pumping essential liquid into his body, keeping him alive. The smell of chemical disinfectant was overwhelming.

From beyond the doors, he heard the clank-rattle-clank of a trolley followed by a cockney-sounding male voice.

‘Piece. Of. Crap.’

The trolley moved off again with the sound of clattering metal fading into the distance, followed by more expletives.

He could remember the first part of the day in vivid detail.

He’d booked an early turn on duty, on time at Stonebridge Park at seven twelve, taking the train out to Elephant and Castle at seven twenty-three, returning again at eight thirty-eight. After ten years on the Bakerloo Line he knew the timetable by heart. Filling his flask with fresh tea, he’d been off again. Harlesden, Willesden Junction, Kensal Green, Queen’s Park, Kilburn Park, Maida Vale, he remembered, repeating the stations over and over in his mind and then… nothing. A complete blank. Some people were talking to me in the ticket office, the ambulance and… A surge of pain spread across his chest. Another thin hollow tube, this time hanging out of his neck, was wired to a box by the side of the bed. It whirred into life, stopped for a few seconds and then printed his vital data onto a slip of paper, like an old-fashioned telex machine.

Sleep came again within seconds, but lasted just a few minutes. He opened his eyes; a nurse and two men in shirtsleeves were standing at the bottom of the bed, one older than the other.

‘Cardiogenic… intra-aortic… sedative… shock… monitor for the next hour… post-traumatic stress…’ The older man looked down at a clipboard and hooked it onto the end of the bed. The nurse said something and smiled at them both. He struggled to connect the words.

The older man moved towards him, leaning in so close he felt his breath; the strong smell of coffee and cigarettes was enough to make him wretch. If he’d had the strength.

‘Mr Field, I’m Richard Wayman… consultant… nasty shock this morning I know… problems with your heart that you didn’t know about… going to keep an eye…’ The man continued to speak, but Jack Field couldn’t listen any longer, each word fading as the drugs and shock dragged him back to sleep.


St Mary’s Hospital towered over the A40. Various outpatient departments and offices spread into neighbouring streets and buildings, competing for land with Paddington mainline station next door, a monument to bad planning rather than clever design. The Cleaner walked alongside several portable office cabins and turned left into South Wharf Road.

The sign for Accident and Emergency pointed to a curved pedestrian ramp that led to the first floor. He reached inside his jacket and felt for the stethoscope, placing it around his neck. With six hundred beds spread over twelve floors, this was the easiest place in London to go unnoticed. If anyone asked, he was a consultant in A&E.

The automatic doors at the top of the ramp opened into a small, drab waiting room with plastic chairs facing an old-style portable TV hanging from the ceiling. A young mother sat in the corner with a teenage girl, her arm wrapped in a blood-drenched towel. Two police officers stood by the coffee machine, trying to follow the instructions. He recognised them as British Transport Police officers.

A stern, pale-faced receptionist sat behind ceiling-height glass. The Cleaner approached the desk and smiled, before looking down at his mobile phone. Behind her, a wipe board listed recently admitted patients. There were two names scribbled in red ink: Mrs Annette Turner and Mr Jack Field. Alongside both were the initials CDU.

The receptionist noticed the stethoscope and managed to find time for the tall consultant staring down at her. His square jaw, with an impressive scar beneath Sunday morning stubble, won her attention and she pushed her paperwork to one side.

‘Morning, Doctor, can I help you?’ Her voice whistled through the intercom grill.

‘I’m fine, thank you, Mrs…’

She replied before he had time to read her name badge, shouting through the broken speaker. ‘Frazer, Ms Frazer.’ The noise was worse this time. Her cheeks blushed as she fumbled with the volume. ‘I’m sorry, so sorry, how can I help?’

The Cleaner pretended not to hear the question. A high-pitched tone filled the waiting room again as the handsome man turned to face the double doors, and was gone.

A wide corridor led to the main lifts, with hospital directions on every available space. A sign, in five different languages, pointed to CDU – Clinical Decisions Unit, immediately to his right. As he was about to open the door, two doctors appeared from a side room and went in ahead of him. Avoiding eye contact, The Cleaner kept walking towards the disabled toilet. Locking the door behind him, he noted the time, sat down on the seat and waited.

After only a few minutes, he heard footsteps on the other side of the door, followed by a frustrated hand turning the lever one way and then back again, trying to force it open.

‘Anyone in there? Hello, anyone in there?’ the woman said in a cockney accent.

He ignored her. She waited, then walked away. And then the handle moved again. She was back.

‘My son needs to go. What are you doing in there?’

The Cleaner didn’t like too many questions.

‘Must be bloody broken. Come on, we’ll find somewhere else.’ The sound of a child’s sobs faded down the corridor, with the mother moaning about inefficient hospitals and broken facilities.

The Cleaner had no way of telling whether the doctors had finished their ward visit. He thought of the lesson taught to him at the National Defence University in Warsaw: When a man is in a hurry, the devil is happy. He sat back and emptied his mind, as he’d been trained to do during the endless hours of interrogation training.

After thirty minutes, The Cleaner opened his eyes, took some overalls from his holdall and pulled the uniform over his clothes. He then extended the telescopic handles on a fold-up mop. The fee was fifty thousand euros with no complications. The man lying in the ward next door was a complication that had to be dealt with. He checked in the mirror and adjusted his sleeves. He was ready.

He listened for any sign of noise and slid the lock to the right. The corridor was empty. Ignoring the sign to ‘Disinfect hands and save lives’, he pushed at the swing doors leading to the CDU and entered a ward with eight beds. There were no flowers or personal touches from concerned relatives. This was a holding bay for casualties before they were dispatched elsewhere. An old woman was asleep by the window, high on medication. The other occupied bed was surrounded by a curtain.


Jack Field strained to open his eyes. Someone was moving around the cubicle, wiping the floor. He tried to focus on the man’s face. He’d lost all sense of time. How long had he been lying here? The man was holding a clipboard, studying his notes. He looked up and smiled.

‘Mr Field, how are you feeling?’ he said.

The railwayman tried to reply, but his throat was dry and the words wouldn’t form. He rolled his tongue over his lips, hoping to find some moisture. Trying to form a sentence, he lifted his head and coughed up a word before falling back into the pillow.

The man smiled and continued to wipe around the bed. ‘I understand, no need to reply. You won’t be here long, I’m sure. The doctors are very good,’ he said.

Jack Field thought again about the lost morning. On time at Queen’s Park, a couple of passengers boarded at Maida Vale and then? Still nothing.

Why couldn’t he remember Warwick Avenue?

The man squeezed his hands into a pair of latex gloves, lifted up the blanket covering the patient’s legs and held his left foot, pulling the big toe to one side.

‘This won’t take long,’ he said. Reaching inside his pocket, he pulled out a fat tube that looked like a marker pen.

‘Just just a small sedative, a top up. Won’t cause you any pain at all.’

Why is a cleaner giving me injection? What is he doing? he thought, but was too weak to ask.

The Cleaner took hold of the webbing between the patient’s fat, callused toes and held the pointed end of the injector against the skin. He heard the ward doors opening and a nurse calling out to the other patient. He didn’t have long. If she found a stranger administering drugs, security would be called. Depressing the end of the injector with his thumb, he sent the human insulin powering into the railwayman’s veins.

As the liquid entered his bloodstream, Jack Field remembered the dull thud against his carriage window as the train turned a corner, left the darkness behind and arrived at Warwick Avenue. He recalled the split second sight of a man’s face hitting his cabin and the sound of something underneath the carriage before he slammed hard on the brakes. There’d been another man on the platform too. The man who was standing at the end of his bed, smiling as he placed the empty tube back in his pocket.





Chapter Four




The twenty-three most powerful men and women in the UK poured out of the Cabinet room in respectful semi-silence. Most of the ministers rushed towards the famous front door; a few chose to linger and trade small talk.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Bernard Sterling was the last to leave. He was one of the few Cabinet members to have experience outside of public life. His publishing empire had made him a millionaire by the time he was thirty-five, a fact he liked to remind his colleagues of with annoying regularity. It was also no secret that he was impatient for a bigger job. But there was no vacancy sign, yet, above the door at Number Ten Downing Street.

Lunch appointments had been cancelled for the second week in a row. The Cabinet meeting had lasted twice as long as usual; a three-hour trawl through every aspect of the financial crisis, ending with a report on the UK Finance Fund. Led by private sector chairman Sir Charles Lloyd, the UKFF had been formed to control government investment of over eight hundred billion pounds in thirty British banks and building societies.

Weaving his way around those ministers who’d lingered to chat, Danny Lightfoot walked towards the main staircase. After four weeks in the job, he still felt a thrill from working in the office of the British prime minister. An opportunity to observe the Cabinet meeting was a real privilege, even if it wasn’t really where he wanted to be.

At eighteen, Lightfoot had arrived at the East London Echo as a rookie reporter. After three years on the local beat, writing about car crime and planning rows, he’d resigned to join The Washington Mail on a trainee scheme. It took him less than a week to realise that Capitol Hill had nothing in common with the back alleys of East London. With an empty contacts book, Britboy, as he was affectionately known, had found the new life tough. An expanding black book of one-night stands kept him busy; the girls liked his English accent. His thin handsome face and muddy-brown eyes helped. But he missed home: the familiarity of angry cabbies and restless misery. Londoners liked to talk about leaving, but never did. Lightfoot had made the big leap oversees, and then – in his mid-twenties – he wanted back in.

            Washington DC had felt like an overgrown head office and the call to return home and follow in his father’s footsteps at The Courier, the UK’s biggest daily newspaper, was difficult to resist. After five years of hard work and a run of exclusives, Danny Lightfoot had been made senior investigative reporter at the national title just before his thirtieth birthday. But his career had halted, without warning, six months ago, when over half the newsroom was made redundant before lunch.

He’d passed each day in denial, sitting in cafes until the lights went out. Sending emails, surfing the web and pretending to work. He was convinced the phone would ring. It didn’t. Newspaper revenues were down and nobody wanted to know. The empty hours were punctuated by endless coffees with friends and former colleagues, including Mark Day, a BBC reporter he’d met in Washington, now responsible for digital communications in Downing Street. When Day offered him part-time work on the Number Ten website, he’d accepted without hesitation.

The new position provided what every journalist looked for – access. He felt like a successful bank robber with nowhere to spend his cash. Headline grabbing exclusives landed on his desk each morning. And had to stay there, until they found a way onto his blog. Insider-said.com had started as a hobby; an anonymous diary populated with news and gossip overheard around Westminster. The site had a strong following, with some of his stories picked up by the press. Nobody knew he was the author. With privileged information, he was treading a dangerous path, but took the view that a nuisance blogger wasn’t a Code Red national security threat for MI5.

‘Mr Lightfoot, good to see you’re working hard again.’

James Kelly, a reporter on The Courier, was heading towards him.

‘And you too, James. Here to see the PM?’

‘I am, lots to ask him, plenty of questions. Like whether he’ll still be here at the end of the month.’

Lightfoot ignored the comment. James Kelly had more enemies than friends and a reputation for doing what he was told rather than writing what he believed, meaning he’d kept his job.

The journalist was led up the famous staircase by a secretary. Lightfoot followed behind the squat reporter and turned left on the first floor landing. James Kelly shot him a smile that said I’ve got the job you wish you still had and we both know it, before being shown into the Terracotta Room.

Lightfoot walked back to his office, past Mrs Thatcher’s old study. Seeing Kelly had shaken him up. Since leaving school, Lightfoot had plotted his future: junior and then senior reporter, followed by a deputy editor position and then his own newspaper to edit. Why is that moron interviewing the PM, not me? he thought. And why have I ended up at thirty-seven years old writing copy for the web that nobody reads?

            Kelly was right, though: the PM was in trouble. He picked up his messenger bag and made his way out of Downing Street, past the armed protection officer, turning left towards the crowds and Trafalgar Square.

The febrile atmosphere in the office was too good not to share. He crossed over Whitehall to The Clarence pub, ordered a large Americano and sat at a table in the far corner with his back to the wall, waiting for the screen on his laptop to warm up. The buzz of being first was a natural high that he couldn’t resist.

Adrenalin flooded his veins as he clicked on ‘new entry’, typed a heading and began to write the story.



Insider-said has learnt that the chancellor will call for the prime minister’s resignation as early as this afternoon. The challenge will come as a surprise to those who expected Bernard Sterling to wait another few weeks before deciding to make a move. It’s understood that Sterling and the PM had a heated exchange at Cabinet this morning, arguing over the power of the UKFF, which manages British investment in the new nationalised banks. The PM is said to be unhappy with the powerful role held by Sir Charles Lloyd, former chairman of the Royal Alliance Bank; another breakdown between the two most powerful men in the UK? A number of candidates are expected to throw their hats into the ring. The chancellor would easily win a leadership contest. We can expect an announcement soon.


He reread the copy. The leak could have come from anyone who had spoken to a government minister in the last hour. With a swig of the remaining coffee, he slammed his finger down on the enter key, updated his Twitter status with a breaking-news strapline and hit send.


Lightfoot left the office around six pm after an uneventful afternoon writing a report on the prime minister’s engagements for the week ahead. The tube journey from Westminster to his flat in Notting Hill Gate was thirty minutes door to door, but the Circle Line was suffering from delays again. He fought for elbow space in the cramped carriage and busied himself with The Evening Standard.

The picture was a family snap from a beach holiday, a young girl sitting on a man’s broad shoulders and twins playing in the sand by his feet. According to the paper, the prominent banker had committed suicide over the weekend. The forty-six-year-old from Paris had jumped to his death in front of a train on Sunday morning, leaving a widow and three young children. Lightfoot closed the paper. From his time on the news desk he knew that most cases of passengers jumping under trains didn’t result in death, unless the train hit you at a decent speed, of course, in which case you stood no chance. The man had been unlucky.

He was still thinking about the Evening Standard report as his train crawled into Notting Hill station. Halfway up the escalators, his Blackberry picked up a signal and began to bleep like a broken vending machine.

The display showed the name Mark, Downing St. He had to answer.

‘Got you at last. That was a clever move then?’ Mark said.

‘What do you mean?’

‘Nice try. But not very convincing. I’ve been told you’re responsible for this blog.’

Danny paused, baffled that he’d been found out, then replied in as steady a voice as he could manage, ‘How did they know?’

‘It must have come up during your security vetting and sat on someone’s desk until now. A leak from a Cabinet meeting is serious stuff. It didn’t take long to trace the source. What were you thinking?’

He knew that the Civil Service vetting process was thorough, but hadn’t expected them to find out about the blog. The website had been registered using a pseudonym and a fake address. He wondered what else was on his file; past relationships, professional contacts, even conversations in which he’d criticised the government and police. There were stories in the bars around Westminster that GCHQ, the government communications agency, sometimes eavesdropped on staff conversations. He’d dismissed the rumours as idle fantasy. Now he wasn’t so sure. His grip tightened around the phone. He wondered whether an agent was listening to their call now, huddled over his work station, making notes.

‘Where are you?’

‘Whitehall. I couldn’t call you from the office. The PM is thrashing around, waving the OSA at everyone, the usual routine.’

The Official Secrets Act was taken seriously by civil servants. Lightfoot hadn’t signed, but knew that it made no difference. The act was a law, not a contract, and he could be prosecuted either way. His boss knew too, but was playing games, trying to scare him.

Mark Day raised his voice above the traffic. ‘I can’t have you back here, you realise that?’

‘I need this job.’

‘I’m not sure you do. Maybe you should try to get back into print.’

He knew he’d been stupid and let the smell of an exclusive get the better of him.   ‘I’ve got to go. I’ll be in touch.’ Before he had a chance to shout a reply, his now former boss was gone.


His flat was only ten minutes from the station, a basement conversion near to Portobello Road that he’d bought at the top of the market. The property was now worth at least twenty thousand pounds less than he’d paid for it. Stumbling over the junk mail and slamming the door behind him, he pulled the curtains shut, fell onto the old sofa and powered up the laptop. The once white walls were waiting to see the insides of four sample paint pots balanced on the mantelpiece. Takeaway menus and empty pizza boxes were stacked on his parents’ old glass coffee table, alongside week-old supplements from the Sunday papers. A vast plasma-screen sat on a table in the corner, the only sign of modernity in an otherwise grim bachelor pad.

He switched on Sky News and watched the weather, then was shocked to see his own face staring back at him, an old by-line photo from The Courier, followed by his girlfriend Natasha talking about him in the third person. Stock footage of Downing Street and the chancellor played behind her commentary. The surreal experience of being spoken about in a news story was amplified when his girlfriend’s name started flashing on the phone.

‘Hey, I’m just watching you talking about me,’ he said.

They had been together for six months. Natasha was smart and ambitious. His ego had taken a battering when the paper made him redundant and she had been the perfect girlfriend, keeping his self-confidence in check, encouraging his work on the blog. Now she was reporting on her boyfriend’s exclusive story as though they were strangers.

‘And you think it’s amusing, do you?’

He was often dismissive of her role as a ‘pretty talking head’, even referring to her once as an ‘auto-cutie’, the derogatory name for female TV newsreaders, moving out of the way just in time to avoid a flying vase.

‘Sweetheart, I didn’t expect this.’ He tried to sound like an innocent victim.

‘Then what did you expect? How could you be so stupid? This was a good job.’ She paused, then added, ‘The least you can do is give me a quote.’

‘Are you serious?’


There was an uncomfortable silence on the line. He’d need her help to get through this.

‘You don’t want to interview me, do you?’

‘Are you joking? I couldn’t look you in the eye and keep a straight face. They’re pushing me to get you on The News at Ten. Just give me a sentence or two, or I might have to make it up.’

Lightfoot knew he had to say something, but what?

‘How about something like… Lightfoot says he felt it was in the best interests of democracy, openness and the spirit of the internet that the facts were in the public domain rather than waiting for the spin doctors to work their dark arts?’ There was another pause.

‘You’re full of crap, you know that?’ she said.

‘Which is why you love me.’

‘I don’t remember saying that.’

Their relationship was at that difficult stage where one of them would soon have to declare their real feelings. Natasha was in a crowded newsroom and wasn’t about to start whispering sweet nothings down the phone.

‘This is serious, you know. The papers will be pissed off that the story broke online, on your blog. And Number Ten are already muttering about the Official Secrets Act.’

‘I know, I just spoke to Mark. I never signed, but it makes no difference.’

A voice in the background, probably her editor’s, called out her name.

‘I’ve got to go. I need to rewrite this for the three o’clock.’

‘Let’s talk about it later.’

She didn’t reply; the line was already dead.

He stared through the screen. The ticker-tape headline played on a loop: NUMBER TEN ADVISOR SACKED FOR WEB LEAK.

The pain was familiar this time. And unless The Courier called and invited him back to his old desk, he was unlikely to feel better any time soon.


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Woohoo! Freebies! Here’s Your KND Kindle Free Book Alert for September 30: Ten Bestselling Freebies, Just For Today! Plus The Best Kindle Deals Anywhere, All Sponsored by David Scott Milton’s Iron City (Today’s Sponsor – $0.99)

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"David Scott Milton can write like an angel... a writer hell bent on fulfilling the legacy of John Steinbeck, carrying on the tradition of James Jones and exploring his own heights."
Iron City
by David Scott Milton
3.7 stars - 26 reviews
Supports Us with Commissions Earned
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Frank Kalinyak, disgraced ex-cop, returns to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, "Iron City", his hometown, from Tucson where he has been living a desperate existence since the death of his young daughter. He has been summoned home by Bobby Mack, an Assistant D.A., to find out who murdered an old high school friend. Kalinyak is swept into a whirlpool of bizarre killings, religious fanaticism, church duplicity, hustlers, cops, junkies, old friends gone bad. Amid the fractured landscape of Iron City, rusting mills, rotting industry, he struggles to find sense in his life. Ultimately he must ask: who is he and can he survive?
One Reviewer Notes:
"David Scott Milton is that rare contemporary American writer whose body of work represents an honest and authentic study of the mysteries of the human heart. In Iron City he creates a fast-moving and original plot, and a lead character whose pain and passion haunt the reader long after the story's end."
Gina Nahai, author of Caspian Rain
About the Author
David Scott Milton started as an early member of Theater Genesis alongside Sam Shepard, Leonard Melfi, and Murray Mednick. His first plays, "The Interrogation Room" and "Halloween Mask," were produced there. Later plays, "Duet" and Bread," were done at the American Place Theatre. "Duet," starring Ben Gazzara, went on to Broadway. Milton David Scott Milton started as an early member of Theater Genesis alongside Sam Shepard, Leonard Melfi, and Murray Mednick. His first plays, "The Interrogation Room" and "Halloween Mask," were produced there. Later plays, "Duet" and Bread," were done at the American Place Theatre. "Duet," starring Ben Gazzara, went on to Broadway. Milton's play "Skin" won the Neil Simon Playwriting Award. His screenplay, "Born to Win," became Ivan Passer's first American film and starred George Segal and Karen Black. He has published six novels. "Paradise Road" was cited by the Mark Twain Journal "for significant contribution to American literature." From 1977 until recently, he taught playwriting and screenwriting at USC. For thirteen years, he taught creative writing to men at the maximum security prison in Tehachapi, California. He wrote an article about the prison for the Los Angeles Times, and he created a one-man show, "Murderers Are My Life," which was nominated as best one-man show by the Valley Theater League of Los Angeles.
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Iron City

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And Now, 10 KND FREEBIES – Just For Today!

Prices may change at any moment, so always check the price before you buy! This post is dated Monday, September 30, 2013, and the titles mentioned here may remain free only until midnight PST tonight.

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Ghost Guard

by J. Joseph Wright

Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Never before have living agents been teamed up with ghosts on such a level. Never before has a paranormal crew been equipped, trained, and specially assembled to hunt ghost hunters, face angry mobs bent on otherworldly revenge, or do battle against ancient immortals from the stars. Never before has the spirit realm seen anyone like Rever Ott and Abby Rhodes. Only problem is, Rev and Abby don’t know whether to fight the enemies of the supernatural, or fight their love for each other.

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Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability

by Pandora Poikilos, Bruno McGrath

4.0 stars – 35 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

This ebook points out the surrounding issues of genetically modified fruit and vegetables that consumers are unaware of. While several parties defend the use of technology to create food, it appears that little is being done to increase awareness about this matter to the end consumer.

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4.0 stars – 100 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Mother, wife, private investigator…vampire. Six years ago federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and mother, your typical soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happens, an attack that changes her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire. Now the world at large thinks Samantha has developed a rare skin disease, a disease which forces her to quit her day job and stay out of the light of the sun. Now working the night shift as a private investigator, Samantha is hired by Kingsley Fulcrum to investigate the murder attempt on his life, a horrific scene captured on TV and seen around the country. But as the case unfolds, Samantha discovers Kingsley isn’t exactly what he appears to be; after all, there is a reason why he survived five shots to the head.

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Here’s the set-up:
On September 29, 2010 my brother, Mark Forester, was KIA while fighting terrorist in Afghanistan. His heroic legacy of being shot down while preparing to rescue a fallen teammate began long before this tragic day.

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4.3 stars – 18 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Margarita Williams escaped death at a young age, but its shadow has followed her all her life. Now, amidst the chaos of a new Australian roommate and mysterious, menacing neighbors, Death has set the puzzlemaker a puzzle of her own. Someone is killing her fellow geocachers, one by one.

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by William Van Winkle

4.6 stars – 9 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Twelve-year-old Nyshell has more than her share of challenges, but that’s why she received an implant. By having built-in tutors and other tools piped into her brain, Nyshell and those like her have a shot at succeeding alongside the wealthy kids who easily afford such enhancements. Normally, parents control the installation of implant apps, but in a near-future society still much like our own, parenting can slip. Things happen that shouldn’t. And when all a girl wants is to have one friend, even if that friend exists only inside her head, that desire may change the lives of millions…if it doesn’t destroy her first.

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4.5 stars – 64 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
At forty, Lady Cecilia Evangeline Stone thinks she has everything a woman could ever want. A title, a fortune, and four children who make her proud. After a marriage of convenience that was anything but convenient, she has no desire to complicate her life by including a man in it again. When her eldest son announces his engagement to a Russian actress in Saint Petersburg, Cecilia sets out to do what any good mother would do: stop the wedding. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans.

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4.3 stars – 177 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Grateful Knight isn’t looking for love when she moves into a rent-free house on the edge of a graveyard. At twenty-two, all she wants is to recover financially so she can move back to the city where she belongs.

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4.0 stars – 23 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of The Reluctant Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons)
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:
The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior. But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don’t, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons. Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.

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4.5 stars – 190 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery #1)
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:
For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

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Think “Star Trek Meets Indiana Jones” … Edward Miller’s Sci-Fi Space Opera Cadets, Now Just $2.99!


by Edward Miller

4.2 stars – 89 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of Cadets
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:

On a remote training planet, hotshot Earth Defense Fleet Cadet Ryan Thompson and his peace loving ex-girlfriend Amanda Williamson can’t agree on anything. But when news comes of an alien invasion of Earth–the first in human history–they are thrown together on a deadly, unauthorized mission to face an unknown enemy. What they find is beyond their wildest expectations. A discovery that changes everything they thought they knew…about their hostile adversaries–and mankind.

With a trail of riddles and mysteries, epic space battles and journeys to the far corners of Earth, this “Star Trek meets Indiana Jones” Sci-Fi Adventure from Author Edward Miller should appeal to fans of Sci-Fi Space Operas and Young Adult Science Fiction. Edward Miller’s debut novel with co-author J.B. Manas, The Kronos Interference, was named to Kirkus reviews best of 2012 and received a Starred Review from Kirkus, which called it “Impressively original” and a “Tour De Force.”

“With clever ideas and agile prose, Miller builds a world reminiscent of Star Trek: Ryan is a rebellious young Captain Kirk who knows that “sometimes going by the book [isn’t] the best course to take.” Amid the pop-culture references to Star Wars and comic books, Miller’s believable, motivated characters shine, as Ryan’s brashness conflicts with Amanda’s search for peaceful solutions. A tightly written, fast-paced prose supernova.” KIRKUS REVIEW

“Exciting Fast Paced Space Opera. I read all the reviews before purchasing the book and I must agree completely with the majority. The story has many twists and turns and is a Page turner. The story has it all. Action, angst and some nice space battles.” 5-Star Amazon Review

About The Author

Edward Miller is the author of the YA space adventure, Cadets, and co-author of The Kronos Interference, which was named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012. As chief editor for a sci-fi simulation website for over fifteen years, he has crafted hundreds of stories designed to take readers to new places and immerse them in mind-bending situations.

Just an update for my readers. I am currently working on a sequel for Cadets. I am hoping to finish it within the next 4-6 months.

In a former life as a musician, Edward toured the United States with such acts as Foghat, The Allman Brothers Band, Edgar Winter, 38 Special, and others. Edward resides in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania with his wife and family, along with their dog, Lady.

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3.9 stars – 509 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of Caribbean Moon (A Manny Williams Thriller, Book One)
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:

Small-town detective/workaholic, Manny Williams, is thrilled with the prospect of finally taking the long-awaited vacation he had promised his wife, Louise.

The couple’s exotic getaway begins in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, by attending the June wedding of a fellow Lansing police officer, followed with an incredible week-long Southern Caribbean cruise on the glamorous Ocean Duchess. Tropical paradise appears to be a perfect recipe for desperately needed R and R…until the first dead body.

A bizarre, seemingly random murder in their posh San Juan Hotel, and the heinous cruise ship deaths of two of Lansing’s law enforcement family, brings Manny, and his unique skills, out of cruise mode and head-long into the FBI-led investigation. Manny soon discovers that in this killer’s twisted perception nothing is off limits, prompting a race against time that could cost him everything.

If you like edge-of-your-seat thrillers laced with humor, you’ll love this!

One Reviewer Notes

“A new standard has been set for thrillers. In Rick Murcer’s debut novel, Caribbean Moon, he’s mixed the perfect ingredients to lock in readers, starting with the opening witty banter between Manny and Sophie. From there, the book takes off like a run-away roller coaster. Murcer knows just when to slow the pace and when to hit the gas. He’s created a twisted mystery, with infectious characters and an unfathomable ending. Manny Williams might be the new Jedi of investigators, and Murcer is a Spielberg-like creative powerhouse. Caribbean Moon is absolutely magnetic!”  – John W. Mefford, Best-selling suspense author of COMMITTED

About The Author

I live in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University. I’ve been married longer than my wife likes to admit, and have two grown children, three beautiful grandkids, and a blind black Lab named Max, who serves as my “writing” dog. He pushes me hard to get to the writing room each morning so he can snore on his rug while I do all the work!

I’m an older writer. I started about eight years ago and got the first story I ever wrote, Herb’s Home Run, published in Writer’s Journal. I’ve been hooked since then.

I lost my real job three years ago and after 600 resumes with no luck, decided I was going to make it as a writer, and here I am. Caribbean Moon was a labor of love, and writing it taught me more about myself than I cared to know. (My wife thinks I should keep my mind a secret!)

I’ve finished the second book in this series, Deceitful Moon, and the third, Emerald Moon. The fourth, Caribbean Rain, is now available as is the fifth, Carolina Rain. Plus my first venture into the horror realm, 413 is available as a short story. We’ve also published an anthology, The Killing Sands with six other best-selling mystery authors.

I’ve not made it yet, but we’re on that road, and I want to be a living example that with hard work and God’s blessing, you can do anything.

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of Caribbean Moon by Rick Murcer:

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4.7 stars – 161 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

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4.3 stars – 100 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Here’s the set-up:

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~ Robert Frost

*Evie’s family has been holding out on her …Big time.On an unexpected visit to her grandparents’ house in New Hampshire’s secluded North Woods, the sixteen-year-old literally runs into the truth of the long-hidden family secrets, and finds herself thrust without warning into the clandestine world of the Great North Pack—a wild and exhilarating world of rugged beauty, heart-pounding adventures, and long nights running under a sea of stars … but as she’s set to discover, a world also fraught with potential dangers lurking in the shadows.
5-Star Amazon Reviews

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KND Kindle Free Book Alert for September 29: Eleven Bestselling Freebies, Just For Today! Plus The Best Kindle Deals Anywhere, All Sponsored by Diane Owens Prettyman’s Thin Places (Today’s Sponsor – 99 Cents)

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But first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor
Thin Places is an intriguing story with lovely descriptive language. The main characters grapple with some of life's biggest challenges, and the reader soon becomes "hooked" on learning how the plot will resolve.
Thin Places
by Diane Owens Prettyman
4.1 stars - 39 reviews
Supports Us with Commissions Earned
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Just days before his execution, Calvery Thomas has reason to believe in thin places. He looks at the world through the eyes of someone who has already passed on. When he promises Finn Tully a reward to find his daughter and prove his innocence to her, Calvery knows the request is unreasonable. He also knows Finn needs his help, and Calvery's daughter needs the money. Finn is clean, sober, on the downside of a prison term and not about to get swallowed up in Calvery's problems until a series of unexplainable events propel Finn into the middle of the mysteries surrounding Calvery's execution. When Finn finds the daughter, Chloe, in Clam Harbor, Washington, he soon realizes she is in danger. Chloe is a tough, no-nonsense charter boat captain involved in a smuggling operation with the very man who framed her father. Finn and Chloe join forces to find the truth behind Calvery's execution and, in the process, discover the power of a father's love and the miracles of the world beyond this one.
One Reviewer Notes:
A fine debut novel, and the only one I've read that combines the best aspects of a thriller, the depth of character of the highest-order literary fiction, and the sublimeness of the most memorable spiritual writing (without knocking a reader over the head with a message), and doing all in a voice so unique that her readers would recognize it instantly should they be given an anonymized sample of her much-anticipated second novel. Go Diane!
About the Author
Diane Owens Prettyman is the author of two novels: Thin Places, which won first place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Manuscript Contest and Redesigning Emma, which won the Colorado Romance Writers Heart of the Rockies Contest.
In their review of Thin Places, Kirkus Reviews stated:
" ...the dialogue between Chloe and Finn rings true. Their story is refreshingly free of the sort of trumped-up incidents that often throw male and female leads together, and Prettyman intriguingly finds resonance in the fact that Chloe and Finn each harbor secrets. ...engaging romance/mystery with a hint of the otherworldly."
Prettyman has also written for many publications including Oxygen, Texas, Oregon Coast and The Austin American Statesman. She lives in Austin, Texas. Diane Owens Prettyman is the author of two novels: Thin Places, which won first place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Manuscript Contest and Redesigning Emma, which won the Colorado Romance Writers Heart of the Rockies Contest. In their review of Thin Places, Kirkus Reviews stated: " ...the dialogue between Chloe and Finn rings true. Their story is refreshingly free of the sort of trumped-up incidents that often throw male and female leads together, and Prettyman intriguingly finds resonance in the fact that Chloe and Finn each harbor secrets. ...engaging romance/mystery with a hint of the otherworldly." Prettyman has also written for many publications including Oxygen, Texas, Oregon Coast and The Austin American Statesman. She lives in Austin, Texas.
UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
Thin Places

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And Now, 11 KND FREEBIES – Just For Today!

Prices may change at any moment, so always check the price before you buy! This post is dated Sunday, September 29, 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.

*  *  *

Breaking TWIG

by Deborah Epperson

4.3 stars – 492 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Set in rural Georgia in the 1960s, BREAKING TWIG is a coming-of-age novel about Becky (Twig) Cooper, a young woman trying to survive the physical and emotional abuse of her mother, Helen, a beautiful, calculating woman who can, with a mere look, send the meanest cur in Sugardale, Georgia running for its life.

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The Blood Banker

by David Prever

4.0 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
The body of a French banker lies under a train on the London Underground: the first of three of three ‘banking suicides.’ A tragic result of the economic downturn.

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City of Blaze (The Fireblade Array)

by H.O. Charles

4.5 stars – 43 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
The city is crumbling beneath a mountain of its own indulgences. Its army abuse the castle’s servants, confident that deadly wielders have been exterminated; wars are fought to encourage otherwise absent mortality; countless people suffer from the terrible pangs of nalka, the hunger for intimacy; and all the while its king concerns himself with choosing which of his disappointing concubines to execute next. The duty falls upon his emotionally withdrawn son, Morghiad, to restore the city’s strength and the army’s purpose. In his attempts to do so, he uncovers darker horrors and encounters a young servant who could either be his greatest ally or his greatest hindrance.

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4.0 stars – 202 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Down on her luck, nursing student and full-time waitress Kara Foster gets a massive blow to her already desperate financial situation that will surely find her living on the streets. Needing nothing less than a miracle to save her, Kara gets rescue from an unknown, unlikely and overwhelming source. Billionaire Simon Hudson makes her an offer that is impossible to refuse, but terrifying to accept from a man that she’s never met. Will the handsome, alpha billionaire really be a solution to her problems, or will he end up being a major complication and a danger to her emotional sanity?

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4.5 stars – 71 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
The good girl has become the big bad wolf… Rylie survived a werewolf bite. She’s moved to her aunt’s ranch to enroll in a new school and continue her life–except now she transforms into a monster every moon and struggles to control her murderous urges.

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4.1 stars – 104 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Claire Martin is an empath. She’s lived her entire life as a slave to a constant barrage of emotions that weren’t hers. Off to college, she hopes simply to blend with the crowd where she can best hide her curse. Within her first few weeks at school Claire meets Stephen Andrews, a small, fragile looking boy who changes her life forever.

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4.5 stars – 464 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of Angels Watching Over Me (Shenandoah Sisters Book #1)
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:
Book 1 of SHENANDOAH SISTERS. Two young Southern girls, one the daughter of a plantation owner and one the daughter of a slave, barely survive the onset of the Civil War and the loss of both their families. When these tragic circumstances bring them together, they join forces to discover if they can make a life for themselves. As their preconceptions give way to experience, they gradually learn to value their contrasting and complementing strengths and skills as they face the formidable task of keeping body and soul together in the aftermath of this devastating war. But is it possible the Lord they have come to know has something bigger in mind for the plantation than either of them can imagine?

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4.4 stars – 851 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of Maid for Love, The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:
Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island, a place that has brought her only bad memories and ugly rumors. Then she’s knocked off her bike on the way to her housekeeping job at McCarthy’s Resort Hotel by Gansett’s “favorite son,” Mac McCarthy. He’s back in town to help his father with preparations to sell the family resort and has no intention of staying long. When Mac accidentally sends Maddie flying over the handlebars, badly injuring her, he moves in to nurse her back to health and help care for her young son. He soon realizes his plans for a hit-and-run visit to the island are in serious jeopardy, and he just may be “maid” for love.

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4.9 stars – 13 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Why can’t salesmen sell? And why won’t prospects listen? We offer great products to prospects. We say great things to people. We share our vision and passion with others. And they don’t buy, they don’t believe us, and they don’t share our vision and passion.

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4.4 stars – 102 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Heather Meadows lost the only love she’s ever known. Her perfect, yet ordinary life was turned upside down the day her 38-year-old husband died. Her happily ever after was gone in the blink of an eye. Heather’s life becomes the subject of scrutiny and pity as she tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered world and raise her three children on her own. In the midst of suburbia and gossipy neighbors, Heather tries to re-build a normal life. Little does she know she’s about to trip into a new adventure. An adventure she could never have imagined. Where will her misstep take her and how will Heather handle the prying eyes of those around her?

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by D.W. Ulsterman

4.5 stars – 133 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
The United States is no more…and hidden away within the isolated wilderness of Alaska’s interior resides the tiny community of Dominatus. There lives a small but diverse group of people seeking out simple lives of personal liberty and freedom, but who now face termination under the oppressive and deadly regime of the New United Nations. They will fight and if need be, die for an America that once was. An America before being swallowed up by the monster of tyrannical global governance. An America before the mandates. An America before the government drone killings. An America before the New United Nations…

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