The holidays approach and a lot of friends and family will be getting Kindles as gifts. Need to feed those Kindles? How about sending them the first 3 books from the Wallis Jones series? Send me an email that says who you gave the start of the series to as a gift (one, two or even three books) and I’ll send the recipient a personal thank you note, Happy Holidays and welcome to the series!

CALLING ALL REVIEWERS! Thank you to all of the fans who have left reviews at Amazon – greatly appreciated! If you’re knee-deep in the conspiracy and can’t get enough of the page-turner, CLICK HERE to leave a review for either The List Conspiracy or Traitor’s Revenge. That really helps out other readers looking for a new thriller series to get their heart racing! While you’re there, let me know which characters you’d like to see more of in future stories…

The new app that you’ll be able to play on your phone (Android) or computer will be out just weeks from now. More is coming in the next newsletter with a sneak peek! Fans of The Wallis Jones series will be able to pick the next twist in the story and get different endings. Want to see a different ending? You can play it again, and follow the action down a different path. Who lives? Who dies?

SHOUT-OUT! A couple of holiday shout-outs for a fellow author doing some cool work with adult coloring books. If you have someone who could use a little interactive meditation, or a crafter who loves to embroider, check out Books by Lawson. I’ve picked up a few to give as gifts (okay, keep one of them for myself). Shhh, don’t tell my family…

Now for a snippet from The Keeper Returns – now on pre-order and goes on sale December 22nd – just in time for the holidays… Keeping this one short to make sure there are no spoilers. Enjoy!

“Go!” Biggs practically yelled it into the radio. Parrish was coming down the alley, exactly where Ralph had said they would find him. He was on his way to make some pickups for Mac. There were always a few people every week whose old debts had come due. Tuesday was when Parrish would go hunting for them. Ralph had learned the usual route from hanging out with Parrish.

The same people were always getting into the same trouble, every Tuesday. Parrish had perfected scaring most regulars into paying up on time without having to do that much anymore but there were some stubborn holdouts who seemed to believe that somehow this week would have a different ending for them. Ralph not only knew where the debtors were but when Parrish would pounce.

Ralph talked too much as a rule but he wasn’t worried about the two detectives busting up Parrish for the numbers. No one got in the way of Mac’s business. Too many people benefited one way or the other from what Mac was doing whether it was from the chance to win a few dollars or get paid off with a few more. It wasn’t even something that too many judges would be happy to see on their docket. Best to pick a different battle. It never occurred to Ralph there might be something more and that made him chatty.

He coughed up the address and was relieved when the two detectives let him go on his way. His day was going pretty well.

Biggs insisted they swing by the little bungalow on Malvern, over Buster’s complaints about getting mixed up in any of it. They were supposed to be heading over to Queen’s to ask the owner some more questions. Buster was always more pragmatic and didn’t see the point of getting that far into other business.

That is, until they went inside the little bungalow. That changed Buster’s mind for good. It just wasn’t right.

Biggs covered the few steps to the fire escape in seconds. The radio crackled and spit. He could hear his partner breathing hard and the sound of running footsteps. The detectives were using walkie-talkies they had gotten from a local big box store in order to keep their chatter to themselves.

Parrish was in one of his trademark skinny-leg suit and ties, swinging his briefcase. He even looked like he was dancing just a little.

Biggs took the thin, metal steps down the side of the building as fast as he could, each step rattling and shaking from the heavy thuds as he threw his weight forward. He wanted to get to Parrish ahead of Buster for the privilege of pitching him on the ground.

He came spinning around the corner, sliding to a stop just as Buster got to the end of the alley, staying just out of view. Parrish stopped in mid-stride and cocked his head to one side. The two men were well acquainted. Richmond was a small town, after all.

“Detective Biggs,” said Parrish, nodding his head.

Biggs took a step forward and Parrish straightened up but made no move to run or turn away, until he saw Buster step out into the open holding a weighted flapjack.

Something about the way they were moving seemed to let him in on all of it. They weren’t going for their guns or pulling out handcuffs right away. If they were there to arrest him, that would be only an afterthought.

No one was going to be able to protect him in this alley, either. They had stopped on Malvern Avenue at the little bungalow.

In one graceful move he swept the briefcase up, under his arm and turned to run, already in mid-stride. Surely, with his short, lean frame he could outrun two old bulls.

Biggs was on him before he had gotten very far. He even lifted Parrish a little in the air before he shoved him hard into the solid, stone pavers.

His head gave a nice bounce, thought Biggs.

The detective felt the anger rise up in him again and fought the urge to lift Parrish back up over his head, to see if he could crack him in two against the pavement. He sucked the air in between his teeth, trying to calm down as he thought about the case. Narrow area, owners all belong to the same men’s club, planned jobs, no fingerprints. It wasn’t helping.

He watched Parrish’s teeth rattle and clack together. It was a good hard tackle, worthy of what was surely going to follow for the detective from taking down Parrish.

Parrish finally lay still, his hand clutched around the briefcase. Buster came around Biggs, shaking his head. “Don’t know if it’d be better if he was alive or dead.”

Biggs kicked Parrish hard in the ribs and Parrish groaned but didn’t move.

“He’s alive.”

The dead body flashed through his head. He kicked Parrish again, hard.

By the time the two detectives had gotten to the little bungalow what blood there was, was already congealing.

The front door was locked, no sign of forced entry. But Parrish had a style and was considered the best at breaking and entering without ever leaving a single clue. Anyone who had a reason to get tangled up with him knew that about him.

People who were robbed by him generally didn’t even know they had been robbed. He was very good at cleaning up after himself.

Biggs looked in the window, cupping his hand around his eyes with his face pressed up to the window pane, hoping to see anything that would give him probable cause for what he knew he was going to do anyway.

There was nothing, and in the end he told himself that was the reason. Everything appeared to be exactly where it was supposed to be and who really lives that way. He broke a couple of the small panes in the narrow window that ran alongside the front door and pulled his sleeve tight around his hand so he could reach in and unlock the door. He still managed to nick one of his knuckles on broken glass.

 

 

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