Thursday, June 18, 2020

GRAVE CONSEQUENCES



Grave Consequences (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery) by Lena Gregory

 Grave Consequences

Grave Consequences (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery) Cozy Mystery 5th in Series Publisher: Beyond the Page (May 21, 2020) Print Length: 194 pages Digital ASIN: B0881XMPB2
Cass Donovan is reminded that you can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes from the dead . . .
 
When stories begin circulating of a centuries-old ghost haunting the Bay Island lighthouse, Cass is caught up in mystical happenings of her own, with countless voices from the beyond all clamoring for her attention with dire warnings. But before she has a chance to learn whether there’s a connection between the rumored ghost and her restless visitors, the lighthouse keeper mysteriously falls to his death, and Cass’s reputation for communing with the dead lands her right in the middle of the police investigation.
 
Cass knows the victim was no saint, as he made little effort to hide his philandering ways from his wife or anyone else, and often acted out with no thought for the feelings of others. But had he finally gone too far, or were there more menacing motives behind his murder? As Cass begins building a list of suspects, including the man’s supposedly grieving wife and a mysterious new woman in town, she also turns her ear to those otherworldly voices, hoping for a clue. And as she begins to close in on the culprit, she realizes too late that if she’s not careful, she’ll soon be communicating with the dead in person . . .


 Building upon previous books in this series, you can red this as a stand alone but it will be best appreciated if you have some exposure to Cass, Bee and Stephanie. Trust me, you will love the previous books in this series. Author Lena Gregory has created one of my favorite series.
Beast adds some needed lightness to the dark topics covered.
Cass can't control the voices in her head. She can not help them all and can't help the most important ones if they all speak at once! Plus, she knows there is something important someone is trying to message to Cass regarding her best friend Stephanie.
It helps to know tha Stephanie and husband, Tank, a police officer, have been trying to adopt a baby. They are turned down because the birth mother is afraid Tank's job has the potential to leave Stephanie a young widow and single mother.  Stephanie is heartbroken.
Meanwhile, there is a new ghost tour business in town. Could this mean another source on income for Cass? There is something strange about the woman running the tour company, a woman whose husband disappeared under suspicious circumstances. She has psychic abilities of her own and has ties to Amanda, from the local lighthouse.
Speaking of the lighthouse, is there really a treasure hidden there, from pirates long ago?
True or not, someone seems to be haunting the shoreline. Cass, Bee and Stephanie are in the wrong place at the right time as the lighthouse keeper, Fred, falls to his death upon the rocks.

Filled with tension and swirling emotions, this episode of the series will keep you on the edge of your seat. Not all mysteries and problems can or will be solved within these covers!

About Lena Gregory


Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.
 Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs.
Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking.
Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night.
 She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

  Author Links
  Newsletter: http://lenagregory.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9765d0711ed4fab4fa31b16ac&id=49d42335d1.
  Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/
  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986
  Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts
  Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03
  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

  Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
  June 8 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  June 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
  June 9 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
  June 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
  June 10 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – GUEST POST
  June 11 – MJB Reviewers - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
  June 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
  June 12 – eBook Addicts - SPOTLIGHT
  June 12 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
  June 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
  June 13 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  June 14 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW
  June 14 – Baroness' Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
  June 15 – Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER GUEST POST
  June 15 – Diane Reviews Books - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
  June 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
  June 16 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
  June 17 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  June 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
  June 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  June 18 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
  June 19 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
  June 19 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
  June 20 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
  June 21 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW
  June 21 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

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A SECRET LIFE by James S. Juliana

Join us for this tour from June 15 to June 26, 2020!




Book Details:

Book TitleA Secret Life: Enduring and Triumphing Over OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by James S. Juliana
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 176 pages
Genre:  Self-Help, Mental Health
Publisher:  Self-Published
Release dates:   October 2019
Tour dates: June 15 to June 26, 2020
Content Rating:  PG. This self-help book deals with adult subject matter of mental illness.

Book Description:

Are you one of the millions who reside within a secret life, a life which constantly feels out of your own control: Are you plagued by repetitive thoughts and/or actions which interfere with your daily activities? The author lived for more than 40 years with an undiagnosed form of mental illness, a phobia now known as OCD: obsessive-compulsive disorder. His emotional pain and suffering were at times almost unmanageable. In his mid-sixties, the author, a loving husband, father and accomplished high school teacher and athletic coach, discovered a unique psychologist within the Denver therapeutic community who utilizes a radical but highly successful treatment that's allowed the author to control his OCD symptoms almost 100%. "A Secret Life" is one of the few books written by an OCD sufferer and descries in detail the pain and chaos living with this illness can cause not just the victim, but those closest to him. This story doesn't stop there, but provides readers with options and advice dealing with OCD from someone who broke the curse of living a secret life. Now he's ready to share his story in order to help others.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads




Who has been most inspirational in your coaching/teaching career?

The two teachers most influential in my professional career have been Vince Lombardi, the great NFL football coach and John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach.
I have read several books about their teaching and coaching careers and I have tried to emulate their most positive values and attributes. From Coach Lombardi I learned the importance of having pride and discipline within his program and from Coach Wooden learned the attributes of organization and compassion.


Do you have an inspirational song?

For several years our teams enjoyed playing the Rocky movie theme song, “Eye of the Tiger.”
As a life-long fan of Naval Academy football, I have always enjoyed the Academy school song, “Navy Blue and Gold”.


What was the funniest thing that ever happened to you?

On a weekend visit to a college in New England, attended by numerous former teammates from my high school, in the middle of the night my good friends dumped several buckets of ice water upon me while sleeping and subsequently dumped my bed on top of me.  Needless to say, they all considered this prank hilarious.


If you could go back in time where would you go?

I would like to go back to the time of the Civil War and work for President Lincoln in order to abolish slavery.


What is the most difficult thing you have ever done?

The most difficult act or decision I ever had to make was to place our only son into a lock-down rehabilitation facility for three days of observation as a result of his abuse of drugs. I will never forget the pain that decision caused both him and me. In retrospect that decision was one of the best decisions I ever made.




Meet the Author:

Jim Juliana was a hard-working family man with a devoted wife and adoring children. As a teacher, he taught numerous subjects over a 28-year career, was an assistant principal/athletic director for three years and mentored generations of youngsters in the classroom and in athletics. Juliana was a coach for forty years at the high school level. Coach Juliana has been a part of two state championship teams, a city championship team and several league title teams. He spent two years as a college instructor and football coach. But Jim Juliana had a secret life, one over which he had no control. For most of his life, he also fought - and eventually defeated - an embarrassing and almost debilitating OCD. OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that effects three to five million adults in the US each year. OCD involves irrational fears or repeated thoughts or obsessions that drive an individual to engage in repetitive behaviors or compulsions. Jim Juliana's life was finally changed when he found a therapist whose treatment all but eliminated his OCD incidents. A Secret Life chronicles Juliana's battle against his OCD and gives readers options and information for treatment based on his experiences.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Facebook

Tour Schedule:

June 15 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 15 - Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
June 16 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 16 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
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June 17 - T's Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 18 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
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June 22 – Books for Books – book spotlight
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

GRAVE CONSEQUENCES




GRAVE CONSEQUENCES
By Lena Gregory
Cozy Mystery

Cass Donovan is reminded that you can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes from the dead . . .

When stories begin circulating of a centuries-old ghost haunting the Bay Island lighthouse, Cass is caught up in mystical happenings of her own, with countless voices from the beyond all clamoring for her attention with dire warnings. But before she has a chance to learn whether there’s a connection between the rumored ghost and her restless visitors, the lighthouse keeper mysteriously falls to his death, and Cass’s reputation for communing with the dead lands her right in the middle of the police investigation.

Cass knows the victim was no saint, as he made little effort to hide his philandering ways from his wife or anyone else, and often acted out with no thought for the feelings of others. But had he finally gone too far, or were there more menacing motives behind his murder? As Cass begins building a list of suspects, including the man’s supposedly grieving wife and a mysterious new woman in town, she also turns her ear to those otherworldly voices, hoping for a clue. And as she begins to close in on the culprit, she realizes too late that if she’s not careful, she’ll soon be communicating with the dead in person . . .

BUY LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0881XMPB2/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=lena+gregory&qid=1588623125&sr=8-6
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grave-consequences-lena-gregory/1136968677?ean=2940162632931
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/grave-consequences-10
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1019948



Building upon previous books in this series, you can red this as a stand alone but it will be best appreciated if you have some exposure to Cass, Bee and Stephanie. Trust me, you will love the previous books in this series. Author Lena Gregory has created one of my favorite series.
Beast adds some needed lightness to the dark topics covered.
Cass can't control the voices in her head. She can not help them all and can't help the most important ones if they all speak at once! Plus, she knows there is something important someone is trying to message to Cass regarding her best friend Stephanie.
It helps to know tha Stephanie and husband, Tank, a police officer, have been trying to adopt a baby. They are turned down because the birth mother is afraid Tank's job has the potential to leave Stephanie a young widow and single mother.  Stephanie is heartbroken.
Meanwhile, there is a new ghost tour business in town. Could this mean another source on income for Cass? There is something strange about the woman running the tour company, a woman whose husband disappeared under suspicious circumstances. She has psychic abilities of her own and has ties to Amanda, from the local lighthouse.
Speaking of the lighthouse, is there really a treasure hidden there, from pirates long ago?
True or not, someone seems to be haunting the shoreline. Cass, Bee and Stephanie are in the wrong place at the right time as the lighthouse keeper, Fred, falls to his death upon the rocks.

Filled with tension and swirling emotions, this episode of the series will keep you on the edge of your seat. Not all mysteries and problems can or will be solved within these covers!

Other Books by Lena Gregory





A worn book sat on a stand beneath a glass case. A card beside it read “Kitty Garrison’s Journal—the life of a lighthouse keeper’s daughter.”
“It doesn’t look like much.” Bee crossed the rope barrier set up to keep patrons from getting too close, then leaned close to the glass and squinted.
“It looks like a diary.” Cass tilted her head to try to read what was inside the book but to no avail.
Bee opened the case.
“What are you doing, Bee? You can’t open that.” Stephanie shot out a hand and pushed the small door closed.
“Well, then, how am I supposed to know what’s in it?”
“Easy,” Stephanie said. “You wait for Amelia to come back and ask her if she’ll let you read it.”
“Yeah, but your way, she might say no. At least my way I can just apologize after the fact. And then we would have seen the inside of the book, maybe gained valuable information on how to find the treasure.” He grinned. “Much better to apologize later than to ask permission now.”
“Is that what this is about, Bee?” Cass wouldn’t mind having a peek in the book, either, but she wasn’t about to upset Stephanie. “You want to find the treasure?”
“You bet I do.”
And somehow Cass had a feeling Levi had counted on that when he’d shared the story. “Question is, if Fred is trying to find the treasure, what does Levi have to gain by making sure everyone under the sun—or at least those living on and probably visiting Bay Island—know about it?”
Bee shrugged off her concern. “Maybe he doesn’t want to see Fred find the treasure? Not that I can blame him. Fred DiCarlo is not a nice man.”
“I suppose, but still.” Cass looked in the direction Levi had gone.
Voices carried into the museum, and Bee deftly hopped the security rope, then propped a hand on his hip and leaned against the railing, possibly going for a nonchalant pose that ended up looking more like I just got caught doing something I shouldn’t have been doing.
When the group headed past the museum entrance and up the stairs, presumably toward the third floor, Cass tugged Bee’s arm. “Come on, we’ll climb the lighthouse before it gets too late. We can always come back here afterward, if there’s time, and talk to Amelia. Maybe she’ll let you read some of the book once everyone’s gone.”
Bee stared longingly at the journal, then sighed. “Sure thing. Whatever you say, Mum.”
They headed out of the museum and followed the concrete walkway toward the lighthouse. The salty sea breeze rustled the bushes lining the path. The mild wind carried the softest hint of a whisper, tantalizingly close, yet just out of reach.
Cass paused. An illusion created by the wind funneling along the walkway? It had to be. It’s not like she was giving a reading, and that’s the only time the voices called to her, assailed her as they competed for her attention. At least, that’s the only time they’d reached out to her so far.
Stephanie looked over her shoulder. “Are you coming, Cass?”
Bee stopped and turned, then frowned. “Is something wrong?”
Shaking off whatever apprehension had stopped her, Cass moved on. “Sorry, daydreaming, I guess.”
“It’s a beautiful day. I bet you’ll be able to see for miles.” Stephanie dug through her bag and pulled out her phone.
“Oh, definitely.” Bee pointed past the bushes and over the choppy waters of the bay. “Look, you can see the south fork of Long Island from here.”
The height of the bluff the lighthouse stood on offered an amazing view across the bay. A foghorn sounded from somewhere in the distance, seagulls circled and dove, occasionally coming up with a prize, and the ferry chugged toward Long Island, only about half full from the looks of it.
They entered the tower and started up the circular staircase, the clang of their shoes against the iron steps echoing off the sandstone walls.
“Not what it seems . . .”
“What do you mean?” Cass studied Bee’s back as he climbed a few steps ahead of her, though how he did it in his signature platform shoes was beyond her.
He paused and looked back at her over his shoulder. “Huh?”
“You said something, but I didn’t quite catch—”
“Stop.” The man’s voice seemed to come from all around her at once.
This time she’d been staring straight at Bee, and he’d been in the middle of saying something else when the male voice had interrupted him.
A woman’s voice joined the man’s. “Why don’t you . . .”
A chorus of voices answered in unison.
Cass shook her head, willing the voices to retreat. “Nothing, Bee. Sorry, I thought you said something.”
Though the scowl remained firmly imprinted on his features, Bee turned and resumed his trek up the stairs, seemingly content to ignore whatever was happening with her. Probably for the best, anyway. If he thought for one minute ghosts haunted the lighthouse, he’d probably plow both Cass and Stephanie over in his haste to leave.
“Watch . . . go . . . stop . . . please . . .” The voices continued unsolicited, demanding, insistent.
“What do you want?” Cass yelled and covered her ears.
Bee stopped again and looked back. “Are you sure you’re all right?”
“Yes, please . . .” She lowered her hands, taking a firm grip on the railing to steady her shaking hands. “Just go.”
Bee shook his head and picked up the pace.
Fear skittered along Cass’s spine as she tried to open herself up, make sense of what the voices wanted from her. She focused intently on one voice, that of a man, more demanding that the rest, just a bit louder. “. . . lighthouse . . . rocks . . . look . . . back . . .”
Look back? Look back where? Did he mean literally? She glanced over her shoulder at Stephanie bringing up the rear. She seemed okay. Maybe figuratively? Look back. But at what? The past? The story of the lighthouse keeper, maybe. Is that what the voice was trying to tell her?
They stepped onto the observation deck, the wall of windows opening up an even more incredible view than offered from the bluff. She closed her eyes and concentrated.
“You know,” Bee said, “you could try to block the voices out, ignore them. That’s what I do when I don’t feel like hearing what people are saying.”
“Bee!” Stephanie’s mouth dropped open.
He held up a hand, his eyes wide, as if just realizing what he’d said. “Other people, I mean. You know, when I don’t want to hear what other people are saying. Never you two.”
Stephanie pointed a finger past Cass at him. “That had better be what you meant, buddy.”
Bee grinned and held up both hands in a gesture of surrender. “Of course that’s what I meant.”
“Uh-huh.” Eyeing him out of the corner of her eye, Stephanie returned to admiring the view. She snapped a few pictures with her phone.
Cass tried to ignore the bickering. She massaged her temples. If she didn’t relax, she wasn’t going to get anything.
Bee continued offering advice. “And if ignoring the voices doesn’t work, you can try doing what I do when I walk into the diner, or the deli, or Tony’s Bakery when there is an undeniable undercurrent of excitement rippling through the air, and I know before I take another step there’s really good gossip to be had.”
“What’s that?” At that point, she’d try anything to shut them up.
He turned his back to the view, leaning against the railing that would keep anyone from falling through the circular wall of windows. “Narrow them down one at a time, eliminating those that don’t seem to know anything, those who are just hanging out trying to make sense of what’s going on the same as you are, and continue to whittle away at them, ignoring those you dismiss in favor of those who seem to have knowledge, then focus in on them until you get the message.”
Cass moved to the railing lining the circular platform and leaned her hands on it. Choppy waves battered the coastline, washing up onto the large boulders lining the bluff and beach, sea foam bubbling over between crevices.
“Lighthouse . . . away . . . back . . . push . . .”
She couldn’t grab it. Something, though, so close. Like something just at the edge of her awareness, something she should be able to . . . She closed her eyes, allowing the voices to wash through her.
“Stay . . . back . . . stay away . . .”
Her eyes shot open. “I’ve got it. I know what the voices are trying to tell me.”
Bee folded his arms over his chest, no doubt over any talk of the paranormal. “Oh, and what’s that?”
Cass tried to swallow, her mouth gone to paste, and glanced from him to Stephanie and back again. “Stay away from the lighthouse.”
Bee groaned and returned his attention to the view of the bay.
Stephanie studied her. “Do you think—”
Movement in her peripheral vision caught Cass’s attention. Her gaze shifted to the third floor of the keeper’s house just as someone tumbled out the window toward the rocks below.
A silhouette backed away from the window, barely noticeable, a shadow among shadows as it slid away into darkness. Was the vision real? Or was she witnessing some past tragedy that had played out time and time again over the past couple of centuries? Hadn’t Levi said Samuel Garrison had been found dead on the rocks below the lighthouse, the very same jetty someone had just fallen from the keeper’s house onto?
Muffled screams in the distance assured her the man lying on the rocks was real enough, but what of the silhouette she’d seen as the man fell?



















Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.
Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

To learn more about Lena and her latest writing endeavors, visit her website at http://www.lenagregory.com/ and be sure to sign up for her newsletter http://lenagregory.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9765d0711ed4fab4fa31b16ac&id=49d42335d1.



WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts



http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Danger in Plain Sight

Danger in Plain Sight

by Burt Weissbourd

on Tour June 1-30, 2020

Synopsis:

Danger in Plain Sight by Burt Weissbourd
It took fourteen years to construct a safe world for her and her son--and only one night for her ex to unravel it.

Celebrated Seattle restaurateur Callie James is more than a little thrown when her ex-husband, French investigative reporter Daniel Odile-Grand, shows up after fourteen years asking for her help. Even more disturbing: as she throws him out, Daniel is deliberately hit by a car, hurled through the front window of her restaurant--broken, bloody and unconscious. He flees from the hospital and breaks into Callie's apartment, where he passes out. Reluctantly, Callie hides him. When she gets back to her restaurant, two assassins walk in, insisting that she find Daniel for them by tonight or pay the consequences.

Overwhelmed and hopelessly out of her depth, Callie hires the only man she knows who can help her: Cash Logan, her former bartender, a man she had arrested for smuggling ivory through her restaurant two years earlier, and who still hasn't forgiven her.

The assassins blow up her restaurant. It's Callie's nightmare. And the worst is yet to come as she and her unlikely, incompatible ally discover that the most perilous dangers are far closer to home than they'd imagined.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Blue City Press
Publication Date: May 5th 2020
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1733438211 (ISBN13: 9781733438216)
Series: A Callie James Thriller, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

It was 1:15 a.m. when Kelly and Gray returned. They must have been watching, because they came in as the last patron left. Will showed them to the bar, where Callie was waiting at her table. They sat facing her, different suits this time. Gray wore a thin gold square-link chain around his neck and a matching gold earring—stylish and expensive. Kelly wore a similar gold necklace with a floating diamond solitaire pendant. As Will was asking where their suits had been made, Callie interrupted. “A drink?”
“Another time,” Gray said, all business now. “Have you found Daniel Odile-Grand?”
“No, as I said before, I have no idea where he is.”
“That’s unacceptable,” he said matter-of-factly. He turned to his partner, who nodded, regretfully smiling her agreement.
Callie was prepared. Cash had told her to hit her “ice mode” button—a phrase he’d coined for her chilliness when irritated—at any sign of trouble. He’d recognize that and take it from there. “I beg your pardon?” she replied, classic subzero. She sipped her tepid San Pellegrino with lime.
“As I explained, urgent matters are at stake.” Gray waved his hand to include the dining room downstairs. “I’m told this fine restaurant is underinsured.”
“Yo, Callie.” Cash had materialized behind her, carrying chips and guacamole for the table. “I thought you said we were well insured.”
“We are, in fact, well insured,” she agreed.
Cash leaned in. His physical presence didn’t seem to faze these people. “So we don’t need insurance, then, we’re fine,” he pointed out.
Gray leaned in, too, measuring Cash, finding him wanting. “Listen carefully, cowboy, this is not your concern.” He said it slowly, advising a dim-witted child.
Kelly shook her head and spoke for the first time. “No, surely not.”
Cash’s eyes locked onto Gray’s. “Then this is your unlucky day, pardner. From now on, to get to the lady, you go through me.” He flashed a shit-eating grin. “Did you call me Cowboy?”
Gray grinned ever so slightly. Kelly smiled, picture perfect.
“Cowboy?” Cash repeated, frowning now as he emptied the bowl of guacamole on Gray’s cream-colored silk suit.
Gray was up, going for his gun. He fell to the floor, writhing, when Andre planted his metal prosthetic in the hit man’s groin. Cash already had Kelly’s arms pinned at her sides. Andre took her gun from its shoulder holster and trained it on Gray, who was on the floor, covered with guacamole.
“Let this go,” Cash told Gray. “You don’t want a war. Not with me.”
“Nice suit,” Andre added, and lifted Gray’s gold necklace with the black metal toe of his prosthetic leg. “Love the bling.”
More from Danger in Plain Sight
Cash closed his eyes. He had to do something to divert his mind from these horrific insects. He turned away, stretched his sore arms, flexed his tense back, focusing on Callie. Callie James . . . Okay, it was working. Picturing her face, the corners of his mouth turned up and his spirits soared.
Callie James . . . Why did he feel so wholly in love with her?
He stood, arms extended behind him, as he considered his on-again, off-again history with women.
Women found him attractive, and he’d been with many of them. His relationships, however, rarely lasted as long as he expected. There was some part of himself that he held back, and women sensed this and eventually moved on or asked for more of a commitment than he could make. Over time, he realized that it wasn’t a part — like a piece — but rather some portion of his unusual intensity. He understood that he was very accepting of other people and only offered as much as a woman looked for — some essential emotional minimum — to sustain the relationship. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was a strong, keenly sensitive person’s way of protecting a partner from unwanted, possibly unsettling intensity. It’s who he was. Everything that he did, he did well but sparingly. So in some way he didn’t understand, he was choosing women who were less intense than he was.
Callie was the first woman he’d ever been with who demanded one hundred percent at all times. She was relentless, and even when she wasn’t aware of it, every bit as intense as he was. He didn’t hold anything back with her — yet she always wanted an explanation, an elaboration, an argument, or an answer to a difficult question. She’d never idealized him, that’s for sure. And he never pretended with her. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but the out-of-the-blue way this had happened between them, the strength of it, was something entirely new for him. Did he trust it? Yes, unequivocally. Did he know why? Yes, unequivocally again — it was because Callie James could never be untrue to herself.
Cash sat down, and turning back, he watched the horrible insects squirming in the jar.
No, he couldn’t lose her. Not now.
He opened the back door and then led Christy up the stairs to apartment 2D. Will opened the apartment door, held it for her. Christy came through the door into the living room. Will closed the door behind her.
“Christy,” Callie called from where she’d been standing behind the door.
When Christy turned, confused, Callie whispered, “You miserable bitch,” and she fired two barbed, dart-like electrodes from her Taser into Christy’s chest. The electrodes created a circuit in the body, essentially hijacking the central nervous system, causing neuromuscular incapacitation.
Christy fell to the floor, writhing in uncontrollable muscle spasms. When the writhing stopped and she’d curled into the fetal position, Callie and Will cuffed her hands behind her back.
When they were able to get her on her feet, Callie said, “We’re trading you for Cash Logan and Amjad Hasim.”
“What are you talking about?”
Callie slapped her, as hard as she was able. The blow tore Christy’s lower lip, drawing blood, and bruised her cheek. Callie hadn’t planned to do that—it was her second time, and she’d never hit anyone nearly so hard in her life—but red-hot rage was coursing through her veins. She was trembling, though her ever-present anxiety had receded, and she sure as hell didn’t feel helpless.
“Are you crazy?” Christy cried out.
“Don’t even try that. I know what you and Avi have done—to Daniel, to my restaurant, to my friend Doc. You almost killed us all on the boat. And now you have Cash, damn you!”
Christy’s face changed; she got it—Callie had somehow put it together. “You low-life skanky cunt, I’ll kill you myself.” Christy spit in Callie’s face.
Callie slapped her again, a fierce crack, astonished, yet again, by the rage she felt welling inside. And in that moment, she understood that her usual internal restraints—her rules and regulations—were no longer in place. It was as if an anvil had been cut loose from around her neck.
Blood dripped from Christy’s lip, her left eye was partially closed, and tears streamed down her face.
Callie stepped closer. “If anything happens to Cash, if you hurt him again, I’ll kill you, Christy Ben-Meyer. I swear that on my son’s life.”
Five minutes later Christy was standing on a stool in the center of the room. Her hands were cuffed behind her back. Her feet were bound. Her mouth was covered with duct tape. There was a noose around her neck that was tightly tied off to the pair of sturdy eyehooks that Will had screwed into the ceiling beam earlier. Christy’s head was tilted back and up; the rope was that tight. Another rope was tied to the leg of the stool. If the stool were pulled out from under Christy’s feet, she would hang.
Callie held a handgun to Christy’s kneecap.
Will was shooting a video with Callie’s iPhone.
Callie spoke to the camera. “Avi Ben-Meyer, I promise you that I will shoot out Christy’s left kneecap in fifteen minutes if you haven’t arranged the exchange with Itzac by then. In thirty minutes, I’ll shoot out her other kneecap and hang her. Believe me on this — if Cash Logan is hurt in any way, I’ll torture her without mercy before she dies.” Callie nodded, done. She walked to a corner of the room, fighting for breath. Dear God! What had she just said? Torture Christy? Damn it, if they hurt Cash . . . She gasped — she’d never even known that she could have feelings like that.
Will placed a calming hand on her back, and he gave her the phone. Callie noted the time, then sent the video to Itzac.
The martinis arrived, each one with an extra inch of refill in a glass tumbler. “The angel’s share,” Cash explained. He raised his drink, a toast. “To you, Callie, to what you could become.”
She clicked his glass with hers. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
“You have a shot at extraordinary.”
“You think so?”
“Possibly. But it’s an entirely different kind of extraordinary than turning-me-over-to-the-cops-for-smuggling-erotic-netsuke-into-your-restaurant extraordinary.”
“I deserve that. Jesus what an unforgiving, righteous gal I was.” She raised a palm. “Your words. And you were right. I’m sorry.” She touched his arm. “I was mean-spirited, foolish—just plain wrong — and I’ll always regret that.”
“Suppose we let that go.” Cash raised his glass again.
She touched her glass to his. “Thank you.”
“Speaking of regrets, honestly, I never anticipated that this past week would be so difficult—the anxiety, hiding Lew, the mace, the damage to your restaurant, the explosives on the boat . . . It was especially hard to lose Doc . . .” He let it drift.
She nodded, found his eyes. “I misjudged you early on . . . Conventional thinking sometimes blinds me—how you look, how you dress, what your job is. Long story short, you’re not at all what you seem. I listened carefully to you with Detective Samter today. You’re so smart, so able in the world. And in your way, though you’d never admit it, you try to get it right. Yes, you present whatever you’re proposing as practical, a calculated, opportunistic thing. What I’m learning, though, is that with you that’s also, as you see it—after carefully weighing pros and cons—the best for all involved. Or as I would say it, theright thing. How you get there is often confusing to me, but you do get there, way ahead of me, and, well, I admire you.”
“Thank you . . . That’s a two-way deal.” Cash watched her, surprised by her expressiveness. “Truthfully, this past week, I underestimated you. You’ve been right there, as hard as that must have been for you. You kept defying my expectations. Just when I was ready to give up on you, you did the smart thing, the hard thing, under protest, but you did it. And now, I’m watching you in the eye of a serious storm, just when I’d expect you to cave in, fall apart. But no, you manage. You even stand tall. Callie, you have a fine, strong heart.”
She smiled. “I’m a restaurateur. I never knew what to do outside my restaurant. I was always afraid.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“It took a lot of work and a huge amount of energy to accomplish that deception. I mean you can’t imagine what it was like for me to find you — ask for your help — at the Dragon. It was all I could do to look at you, to keep even a semblance of composure.”
“And that’s changing?”
“Yes, I think so. I hope so.”
“How did this happen?”
“It’s you, Terry.” She looked at him, eyes serious. “In your tenacious, patient way, you dragged me—kicking and screaming—out into the world, step by baby step, and though it’s every bit as frightening and even more unsettling than I imagined it, I’m okay with it. Yeah, I’m even getting my sea legs.”
“Bravo, then, Callie James. To both of us.”
She raised her glass. They toasted silently.
“Truthfully, Cash, at times I even like it out here.”
“Well, it suits you.” Cash watched her smile.
“I even like talking with you . . . And I was never a talker.”
“I’m guessing we have some great, contentious conversations ahead of us.”
“I like the idea of that.”
“Likewise.”
“Cash and Frosty, tête-à-tête.”
He took her small, delicate hands in his big, busted-up mitts.
Their kiss was tender, sweet, Cash thought. After, there were tears in Callie’s eyes.
***
Excerpt from Danger in Plain Sight by Burt Weissbourd. Copyright 2020 by Burt Weissbourd. Reproduced with permission from Burt Weissbourd. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Burt Weissbourd
Burt Weissbourd is a novelist and former screenwriter and producer of feature films. He was born in 1949 and graduated cum laude from Yale University, with honors in psychology. His book, Danger in Plain Sight, published on May 15th 2020, is the first book in his new Callie James thriller series. His earlier books include Inside Passage, Teaser, Minos, and In Velvet, all of which will be reissued in Fall 2020.

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BurtWeissbourd.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!




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