Fedelta Book 2: Hardball

Fedelta 2 Second Excerpt

Meanwhile across town, Detective Amato was back in his cubicle with the other detectives in the financial crimes unit.  It was his own personal nightmare, a desk job  he had to do from a shoe box but at least he had a job.  In the last year, he went from fugitive, to being welcomed back into the fold and it was all a complete mystery to him.  Well not really, he knew that someone called in a favor and he was let back into the force through the cat flap.  Amato managed to keep his nose to the grind and keep out of trouble but it was secretly killing him.  He wanted more and Amato wasn’t even sure if this is how he wanted to live his life.  Looking at spreadsheets and nitpicking over ledgers was not what he dedicated himself to at the academy.  It was pathetic, he didn’t even have a gun anymore.  The last time he discharged his firearm was when he was taking the marksmanship test.  He felt like a dog that had been neutered, a ball-less wonder.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t the gun that was bothering him so much.  Maybe it was the fact that he knew that the only reason why he was back on the force was because of Cassandra Fenetti.  The woman who he owed his newly resurrected career to and the woman he wanted dead for betraying him.

With blurry eyes, he did his best to read the rows and columns of financial data that graced the screen.  His job was to flag any inconsistencies and send the documents off to his supervisor.  Rinse and repeat, all the day long.  It was soul crushing for a man who was used of being out in the field taking risks and chasing bad guys.  He didn’t know how long he could take this, in fact, he had already started looking for another job in another town.  There had to be someone, somewhere, who needed a cop?  As his mind wondered off, his boss, Agent Nicholson, yelled from his office, “Amato, get in here.”  Startled, he nearly tripped over his own feet trying to exit his work station, God he couldn’t wait until this day was over.

Once in the office, he noticed Supervisory Special Agent Cohen from the Organized Crime Unit was sitting across from his boss’ desk.  “Shut the door,” Nicholson ordered.  Doing as he was told, Amato shut the door and approached the desk.  Pointing to a folding chair, his boss commanded, “Take a seat.” Once seated, Cohen addressed Amato, “There was a hit this morning on Columbus Avenue and 96th Street.  Double homicide, both males.”  On the desk was a folder which he reached into and pulled out several photos of two men in a vehicle, shot multiple times.  Handing them over to Amato, he asked, “Recognize, the vics?”

Stunned, Amato answered, “Yes, the male behind the wheel is Lucus Hobbs, driver for Stephano Rimaldi, the very dead gentleman in the backseat.”

“Right,”  Cohen said as he pulled out a tablet and handed it to Amato, “Press play.” Doing as instructed, a grainy surveillance video played the final moments of the unlucky occupants in the car.  “This is overkill” Amato remarked as he saw four men shooting at the vehicle.  He watched as the assassins fled the scene and the patrolman approached the vehicle.  Pressing stop, Cohen corrected him saying, “No, keep going.”  Not certain as to what he meant, Amato pressed play again and watched as Cassie appeared in camera range.  “Recognize the female?”  Cohen asked.

Hesitantly, Amato answered, “Yes, it’s Fenetti, Cassandra Fenetti.  She’s the fiancé of Rimaldi.”

“Interesting,” Cohen said staring at Amato.  “Those of us in homicide would appreciate any assistance you can offer in our little investigation.”

“Of course,” Amato replied.

“We’re looking for the female suspect,”

“Suspect?”

“She couldn’t have done this.”

“No, we don’t believe she’s the mastermind of the hit, but she did threaten an officer with a weapon and we would like to talk to her.”

Chuckling, Amato answered, “Good luck finding her, let alone getting her to talk.”

“Yeah about that,” Cohen said sitting back in his chair, “We want you to lead the fugitive task force.”

“Wait, what?” Amato exclaimed, “This is the wrong way to approach the case.”

Smirking, Cohen looked at Amato, “It’s not your call.”

“I’ll provide intel but I’m not leading any task force.  It’s a waste of time.”

“Why?”  Cohen asked.

“Because she’s probably halfway to Timbuktu already.”

“Are you saying you can’t do it?”

“I’m saying she’s one of the richest women in this town and it will be a million times harder to trace her than she was before.”

Questioning his loyalty Cohen asked, “Why should we believe you?  Word is you had a relationship with Fenetti during your excursion away from the force.”

A rush of heat hit Amato’s face from the insinuation that he was protecting some girlfriend.  Nonetheless, he took a deep breath and as calmly as he could, Amato responded, “I stepped in to protect a witness when our agency was unable.  There was never any inappropriate relationship between myself and Miss. Fenetti.”  He kept referring to her by her last name to keep his distance emotionally but also to show that he was not on friendly terms with her which, at that point, he wasn’t.

“If you don’t trust me, then find another agent to do the job.  Problem solved,” Amato said, calling Cohen’s bluff.

“I don’t like your attitude, no wonder they put you in the shitter.”

“Hey!” Nicholson interrupted, “I run this shitter and right now I’m flushing you right back to OC (Organized Crime).”

Without a word, Cohen stood up and gathered his tablet as well as his folder and walked out of the office.

“God, I hate those guys.” Nicholson said with disgust.

‘Yeah, me too.”

“You’re dying to get back in OC ain’t ya?”

“Yep,” Amato said as he stood up.

“So what was all that, I’m not the guy for the job shtick?”

“I’m gonna make them beg.”

Rolling his eyes, Agent Nicholson said, “Get the hell out my office.”

Fedelta Book 2: Bitter Destiny

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Warning: Language

Stephano quickly returned with her shawl and his jacket which he draped over his arm.  Fortunately for them, the gala was held on the first floor of the hotel so Cassandra didn’t have to endure the elevator.  God only knows what would happened there.  As they got to the front door, their Bentley Bentayaga was already waiting for them.  While Stephano opened the door, she noticed a man who looked out of place, he was wearing faded jeans and a white t-shirt.  With a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, Cassandra figured he was just of the hotel employees, a poorly dressed one at that.  Nothing to look at here she thought to herself until, he gave them the side eye.  Okay, so he was a badly dressed hotel employee with an attitude problem.  However, Cassandra’s gut told her there was something more to this perceived slight but she wasn’t feeling well and figured she wasn’t thinking straight.  Maybe it was the wine?

As the driver opened the passenger door, Cassandra happily got in while Stephano followed.  Once they pulled away from the curb Cassandra started to relax knowing they were only ten minutes from their apartment.  When they pulled up to a red light, Stephano remarked about the lack of traffic and just as he made that statement, the car behind them turned up their high beems, blinding the driver.  Cassandra’s heart stopped as she realized what was going on.  Looking at Stephano, she grabbed his arm but before anything came out of her mouth, several men approached the car from the front as well as the side.  Two of them pulled out guns, and started shooting, “Oh God!” she gasped as a hail of bullets started showering the car.  In an act of utter selflessness, Stephano pulled her down to the floor and covered her with his body.  Though it only lasted seconds, it felt like an eternity for the shooting to stop.  Shaking to her core, Cassandra said not one word as she heard footsteps approaching the car.  Hearing the driver’s door open, she heard a raspy voice announce, “Yeah, they’re dead.”  Listening as the others approach, Cassandra had to fight the urge to shake.  Closing her eyes, she controlled her breathing and lied as still as she could. “Good job fellas,” said one of the men.  This voice she recognized, it was Danny Marchesi, Stephano’s best friend.

“Dump the car and the bodies in the river,” Danny instructed one of the henchmen.  However before they could follow through, Danny groaned “Aw shit!” Listening closely, Cassandra heard several footsteps running in the opposite direction of the car.  As she remained motionless, she heard a car slowly pulling up and to her relief it was an elderly couple who stopped when they saw the driver slump over the wheel.  Thinking he was having a heart attack, they called 9-1-1 and within minutes, a patrol car arrived.  When the officer assessed the scene he knew immediately he was not dealing with a motorist in distress, this was a shooting.  Cautiously, he approached the car, and as he inched closer, he drew his weapon just in case the perpetrators were nearby.  Observing the driver, he nudged him with his hand and asked, “Sir, are you alright?”  After two attempts to communicate with the driver, he stepped back and noticed a black heap of clothing in the back seat area.  With his weapon still in hand, he opened the back door and realized it was yet another male.  Again, he repeated the proper procedure and tried to make contact with the male.  When he nudged Stephano, Cassandra popped out from under him.  Pulling back in fear, the officer nearly fell backwards into the street.  Drawing his weapon on her, he demanded, “Hands in the air.”  However, instead of complying, Cassandra pulled out her Glock 26 and yelled, “Fuck off!”

As the officer took cover behind his car, Cassandra got out of the passenger door and without taking her eyes off the guy, she retreated to a nearby alley.  Calling for backup, the officer could only watch as Cassandra disappeared from his range of vision and when assistance finally arrived, it was already too late, she was long gone.

 

 

Miss Mary Mack: My Latest Um…Novel?

Miss Mary Mack Cereal Authors

 

The sound of little girls giggling and playing a hand clapping game could be heard all the way up to Old Man Oscar’s porch: “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack…All dressed in black, black, black….She wore her buttons all down her back, back, back…”

“Whacha know ‘bout Miss Mary?” said the old man rocking while the children clapped along. Looking at him one of the little girls answered, “It’s just a song, there’s no Miss Mary!”

“Girl hush! I tell y’all it’s true, there was a Miss Mary and she used to run that ol’ orphanage near LaGrange road.”

Thinking these were just the ramblings of an old man, the girls continued to play on. Meanwhile a skeptical little boy asked, “Oh yeah, how come I ain’t never heard of no Miss Mary?” Seeing a little bit of himself in the boy, the old man answered, “Befo’ yo time boy.” As he slowly rocked back and forth in his chair, the memories began flooding back. Having caught their attention the children came closer to the porch. Noticing he had an audience, the old man took a knife to a scar on his arm and pointed, “You see that there, those is boins (burns) I got fo eating befo’ sayin’ Grace. She grabbed a lit candle stick and just pressed it into my arm like it whattin nuthin’.” The children gasped in horror and now that the old man had their undivided attention, he felt obligated to finish what he had started.

Chocking up as he remembered the dust from old dirt road that led up to the ancient manor. Old man Oscar pulled on his collar feeling the blazing Alabama sun as he recalled the hard labor he was forced to do for the demanding matron, Miss Mary. Finding it hard to breathe, he began to take deep breaths as his hands shook, from the trauma at the hands of that unforgiving serpent. Hearing the sound of her leather strap as it whipped in the air before making contact with his skin, he had no choice but to take another sip of gin from his flask so he wouldn’t lose his composure in front of the children who were now demanding to know who this Miss Mary was.

Unlike most people old Man Oscar, considered the memory loss that old age bestowed upon him a blessing for a hard and sorrowful life. He had lost so many friends, and family over his 70 years, but it seemed God himself would not allow Oscar to completely forget Miss Mary, so reluctantly, he began the tale…

He was around 8 years old when his mother brought him to the orphanage ran by the First Apostle Church of Morecliff Hills. As she led him up the stairs Oscar’s mother promised, “Now, don’t fret I’ll be back for ya. This is only for a little while.” When they reached the top of the final step of the porch, she hugged him. Holding on tightly Oscar pulled on her blue cotton shawl, tears streamed down his mother’s eyes as she instructed him, “Now you be good for Miss Mary, she’s gonna take care of ya.” As on cue, a woman appeared from the porch door, as though summoned by all the sadness.  Clad in a black dress covering all her flesh, the woman looked like a ghost emerging from the shadows. Peering down at Oscar she asked, “The people ‘roun here call me Miss Mary, what’s your name?” as though she didn’t already know. What little Oscar didn’t understand was that this arrangement had been in the works for almost a year. Though Oscar’s mother promised to be back, Miss Mary knew she wouldn’t, most parents never returned. A few guilty ones might write a few letters but eventually, all contact would cease. This was why Miss Mary felt it was important to build a rapport with the children in the beginning to make the transition easier so she smiled and spoke sweetly to the young boy to keep him calm as his mother walked out of his life.

Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books.  Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad.  She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person.  😉

In The Wyverian Wilds By Crimson Kildare And Kat Marlow (An Excerpt)

Excerpt of In The Wyverian Wilds for, “The Fantastic Blog Hop!”

In the Wyverian Wilds by Crimson Kildare and Kat MarlowThe Village of Drysor Y Ddraig was laid out at the foot a large, sloping hill. The back end of the hill and the far edge of the village were bordered by a rushing river that flowed over the edge of a cliff. It was a lush, green land full of trees, plants, wild life and small insects. A view filled with beauty and tranquility.

Jamie sat on the lawn behind the house of Yates looking out over the cliffs at the roaring water of the falls. He was lost in thought when the older man, Henry, who’d come with the visiting dignitaries walked over and sat down beside him. He looked up and offered him a small smile. His eye wandering over to see Idris still deep in conversation with Charles and …Val…Val was walking down along the edge of the cliffs on the far end of the lawn. He really, really needed to talk to Val, but where to begin?

Henry watched Jamie for a few minutes and then chuckled. “You’ve so many things on your mind at once you can’t form a single coherent thought about any one of them can you young one?”

“No, I guess I can’t. I…I just have so many questions…” Jamie answered.

“May I ask what sort of questions?”

“About how I got here to begin with…I mean yeah I was frozen and they thawed me out, okay…but how is that possible after all this time, without…any kind of medicine or science…with nothing to help them but a fire?

Henry looked at Val and then at Jamie and gave him a smile in return. “This is where you wish to begin? Talking with me, about the nature of things?”

Jamie spared a guilty look for Val whose back was turned to him in that moment. “I…I…yes, because I don’t know how to begin…anything else…”

Henry nodded as he errantly picked a few blades of tall grass and began to weave them in an intricate pattern as he considered the concerns mentioned.

“You have old knowledge Jamie, compared to what is known to most now. However compared to what I know and more importantly what Thera knows it is the knowledge of the young, of a child. Long, long ago, before the times your people were able to map out and attempted to explain with their analysis and sciences there was another world, another people. These people, they were the first ones, the first of all peoples, of all beings.

They were not like you or I or anyone you’ve ever met. They were beings of…possibility. They took form as it pleased them, from them came all the variety of life that has ever existed from the smallest to the largest, from the most benign and powerless to the most clever and powerful. These people had knowledge to be sure, but their knowledge did not come from learning or analysis, but from the source of all things. They were born knowing. They also had healing and power, but theirs was made of the essence of all that is. You would call this magic. They did not have medicine, science or tools, because they did not need them. They had will. There came a time when some of these first ones grew to like physicality, to favor various forms and they chose to take on these forms permanently. This is where life on this world as we know it now and as you once knew it came from.

Now I could explain this all in much greater detail, as I used to do for Charles and his brother Cedric when they were young, but my point is that Thera, the land, the earth herself she knew what was coming. She is part of all that is and is connected to it still. She knew that great rock in the sky would come and hit her. She knew the cataclysm it would bring, the harsh reality that would be brought to bear on the peoples on her surface. So she spoke to the Great Mother and together they began to make preparations…they began to rework the nature of the people so that they might survive. They rewove the power of their will for them, giving them back the magics they had abandoned long ago…

“Okay, okay whoaaa Nelly! So what you’re telling me, is that the Earth, who you call Thera, and the Great Mother…by which you mean the spirits of all nature and the planet re-engineered the DNA of the people to give them magic, because they would be robbed of all their tools and sciences?”

“Exactly.”

“Okay…And even “IF” I choose to believe that, it explains what happened to me how?” Jamie asked.

“Easily. You are sitting on the ground in the land of the Lords of Wyveria, a people who can slip their skin and become Dragons. A people who can cast spells and affect the elements, who can speak to the wee creatures and you find my explanation what…too farfetched? How does it explain you? Do you not listen when others speak to you Logan? Did you not yourself hear Idris say he felt you in all that ice, sensed you were there, that you were pulsing with life. Does that not ring any bells for you, as it were?”

“Are you saying that I…have some sort of…magic?” Jamie asked.

“As you said yourself, you were frozen in a block of ice for many thousands of years and yet you thawed out whole and undamaged, not even the biting of frost upon your fingers and toes. What else would that be, but a great ability to heal oneself?”

Jamie blinked, “You mean I can…regenerate?!” he asked startled.

Henry merely nodded and smiled. Then he looked at Val again. “You have it in you to be a great healer Jamie Logan, go start now. Heal with words, heal with your heart.” He said nodding toward Val and gave Jamie a small shove.

How I Turned My Starter Novel Mess Into Success!

Starter Novel Mistakes
Embarrassed by your own work?
By Madeleine_Via Flickr

Last month while bracing for Hurricane Sandy, I came upon an early version of my vampire novel Eternal Bond.  Not only was I shocked by how old it was, but I was really shocked by how bad it was!  Eternal Bond was my starter novel which I abandoned in 2009.  What was so wrong with it you ask?  Well, everything!

  • I used first person, a difficult viewpoint for a rookie to write in.
  • There was no clear antagonist or protagonist.
  • It was set in the 21st century.
  • Too many flashbacks.

I got so lost, I abandoned the project.  It wasn’t until last year, that I picked it back up and literally started over.  Opening a new Word document I began from scratch and literally changed everything.

  • I Used third person.
  • Had a few villains and heroes.
  • I Placed the story in 16th century Europe.
  • I didn’t use hardly any flashbacks.

Here’s what I came up with: The new and improved Eternal Bond Chapter 1

Eternal Bond By Rachel Rueben
Coming this Dec.