The Dead Girl’s Stilettos

 

Title: The Dead Girl’s Stiletto
Author: Quinn Avery
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
 
Blurb:
Nearly a decade after moving across the country, journalist Bexley Squires returns home when one of Hollywood’s brightest stars makes her an offer she can’t refuse. After all, it’ll take more than the chump change in her bank account to find her missing sister.
But the elite seaside community of Papaya Springs has become more corrupt than she imagined, and she soon stumbles into a web of twisted games played by the rich and famous. With time running out, can she save her sister before it’s game over?
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QUINN AVERY is a bestselling and award winning author from the Midwest with 27 novels published under various pen names. The Bexley Squires Mystery series is the first mystery/thriller novel under the Quinn Avery pseudonym.
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Prologue
She knew the game was over—she was about to die. She could feel it in her bones. The young woman wept as she staggered across the main deck of a super yacht near Papaya Springs, playground for the filthy rich and famous. A crisp breeze sent a violent chill racing through her body. She was naked apart from a pair of high heels. She was also badly bruised, and utterly baffled. The moonlight cast a sinister glow on the dark water surrounding the vessel. The boat gently rocked beneath her with the ocean’s swells. Where was she? How did she get there?
Her chest heaved as she continued to stumble ahead. Pain radiated through her skull, and her forehead was covered with something warm that also saturated her eyes and blurred her vision. She swiped the sticky substance with a trembling hand. Blood coated her fingertips. Had someone hurt her? Did she have an accident? She remembered a fight…
Nausea sloshed through her stomach. She knew she should yell for help. In the deepest depths of her cloudy memory, she also knew no one would come to her rescue. They were after her. Her throat filled with bile.
She didn’t understand why her thoughts were so muddled. Had she taken something? Heart pounding an erratic beat, she continued to scurry across the teak wood. Her lungs burned. Panic set in. There was nowhere to hide.
Then she saw him emerging from the shadows. She limped into his open arms.
“I’m scared!” she cried. “What’s happening?”
Gentle hands caressed her back. Warm lips swept over her shoulder. His familiar scent instantly put her at ease.
But there was something off. The woman sensed it with every nerve in her body.
“Shhh…there’s no need to cry,” he cooed. “Everything’s going to be okay.” The words were a contradiction to the sorrow wavering in his voice.
“Noooo,” she slurred with a sob. She backed away until something was pressed against her shoulder blades. A railing. There was nowhere else to go. She was trapped. “Please…don’t let them do this.”
The woman’s cries came in agonizing howls. She wanted her mom and dad. She wanted to go home.
She knew his face was the last thing she would ever see.
* * *
Twenty-year-old Eric O’Neil sprinted across the sandy shore, his feet leaving deep indentations in the fine powder. Multimillion dollar yachts skimmed across the glittering Pacific Ocean less than a mile away. Hulls sparkled like diamonds in the sweltering sun. Crisp masts snapped in the warm wind. Speakers blasted whatever gangster rap was currently dominating the charts. Even on an early holiday afternoon, it was an opportunity for the wealthy to play in SoCal, exposing their sun kissed shoulders without a care in the world. A moderate amount of sunbathers dotted the majestic shoreline, generally those too poor to be among those playing in vessels on the water.
Generally only two types were known to be residents of the swanky community: those with unfathomable wealth, and those paid to serve them. It was common knowledge to locals that illegal drugs ran rampant, and everyone went out of their way to keep their secret, fearing their source of income would disappear along with their customers. It was rumored some establishments even had secret rooms where they could relax amongst luxurious amenities while ingesting white powder and popping pills. Eric had hoped he’d come across one of those places, but he was merely stoked he’d scored primo weed from a high-end dispensary using his fake ID. They didn’t have anything like it back in Detroit. He was higher than the blue skies above his head.
He yelled over his shoulder to his girlfriend, “Try to keep up!” He was slated to be Papaya Springs College’s best baller this season, having broken his state’s high school records two seasons in a row for most points scored by one player. The moment he stepped on the basketball court he was a true god, destined for a pro team after college. There had already been a handful of recruiters vying for his attention with under-the-table bribes of trips involving drugs and hordes of female companions.
It gave him an even greater sense of pride when Tehya Jensen—unquestionably the hottest and richest chick he knew—literally chased after him. Her parents owned a string of hotels all over the world, and they had invited Eric to spend Thanksgiving at their $20 million condo. He never imagined he’d be privileged to that kind of lifestyle. His parents had teetered on the edge of poverty ever since the automotive plants began to shut down. He’d only been able to afford college because of the athletic scholarship.
“Seriously, my limbs are too heavy for this!” Teyha whined from far away. “Slow down!”
Laughing manically, Eric rounded the corner, stumbling across a sand dune. He lost his footing, long limbs sprawled around him as he face-planted onto the beach. With a long grunt, he flipped around to his back and started to move his hands and legs at his sides.
“Look at me…I’m a sand angel,” he muttered before releasing a nasally chuckle.
Then the back of his arm connected with something firm, wet, and exceptionally clammy. Eric rolled to his side, blinking heavily at the sight before him. A naked woman with giant knockers was fast asleep where the tide had recently gone down in the sand. Dark, wet hair covered her face, and her arms and legs were spread out around her like she had just made angels in the sand too. In fact, one of her legs was crooked at an unusual angle. Wait, Eric thought to himself, she’s not naked. She’s wearing heels.
They weren’t just any pair of heels, either. They were a luminescent gold with rhinestones—hell, maybe even diamonds. If the water hadn’t ruined them, they could be outrageously expensive. Since Eric didn’t have two spare pennies to rub together after covering expenses not included in his scholarship, he would have to get creative in finding someone as rich as Tehya an impressive Christmas present. He didn’t want to screw up the chance of getting invited back to her parents’ condo.
Eric peered over his shoulder, ensuring Tehya wasn’t close before he went to work in removing the woman’s shoes. The suction of her wet skin made removing them more difficult than he had anticipated. Either that or he was still seriously tripping from his last hit of the primo joint. Tongue trapped between his teeth, Eric pulled and pulled until the unconscious woman’s feet gave up the fight.
Just as he was contemplating copping a quick feel of the woman’s perfect tits (he was dying to find out if they were real), Tehya’s muffled scream pierced the warm air. He twisted around to find his girlfriend holding both hands over her mouth, eyes as wide as a cartoon character’s. She wore a skimpy little dress that made her father’s face as red as a cherry when they came down from her room after a heated make out session. Warmth spread through Eric’s groin when he recalled how many times he had violated that sweet little body in the condo with her parents nearby.
“Ohmygod! Eric, what are you doing?”
All at once remembering he was holding the woman’s shoes—Tehya’s present—he clumsily moved them behind his back. “It’s fine, babe. She’s sleeping.”
A funny little noise slipped from Tehya’s throat. “She does not look like she’s sleeping. Look at her head!”
Eric stretched back to the woman. Now that he paid a little closer attention, it did seem like there was something terribly wrong. Was that her brain peering back at him? He crawled backwards on his hands and feet in the sand like the crab they’d tried to give a hit to earlier while getting high. Eric laughed at the memory as he climbed back up to his feet.
“This isn’t funny!” Tehya scolded, her voice becoming even more annoying with every syllable. “Were you stealing her shoes?”
“If she’s really dead, she’s not gonna need them anymore,” he insisted, lifting them in the air for emphasis. “They’d look hotter on you anyway.”
“No way I’m wearing shoes you stole off a corpse!”
Eric rolled his eyes. Women were never satisfied. He tossed them back by his feet. “Happy now?”
“You can’t leave them here! We have to call the police, and they’ll think we were somehow involved if they find your fingerprints! Ohmygod we’re totally going to jail! Our lives are over! You’re going to get kicked off the team, and—”
“Babe, stop!” Eric demanded, bracing a hand over her warm lips. “The weed is making you paranoid. We’re not going to jail, and they’re not kicking me off the team. We’ll take the shoes with us, then we’ll call the cops from somewhere far away from here.”
Eric scooped the incriminating evidence off the sand before taking his girlfriend’s hand and leading her away. He wasn’t going to prison because of some stupid shoes. Besides, if they were really as valuable as he suspected, then maybe there was a way they could bring in some money.
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Never Enough

Never Enough

By Isabella Adams

Detective Sean Malone always thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps. Some roads, however, are better left untraveled.

Patrick Malone had everything he ever wanted. A career, a family, and the respect of his community. Until one night on the beaches of Clearwater, it was all taken away.
Now, twenty years later, his son Sean is in the same position. In love with Andie Markos, he is about to become a father. About to realize all of his dreams.
About to lose it all.
What happened twenty years ago threatens to happen again. As the deadly secrets that should have died with Patrick Malone rise, ready to capture his son and everyone he knows in a web of addiction, doubt, and betrayal, Sean will discover that some family secrets never truly die.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M77QLL6/

After Midnight

Title: After Midnight
Author: Kindra Sowder
Genre: Erotic horror/ psychological thriller
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
Blythe’s world is changing. She has finally accepted who — or what — she is. Hyde’s keeping to their arrangement. Blythe can now move forward from all she endured including a new romance with Emmett. Not only does he make her feel normal but helps her see a possible future.
But what of the elusive Adam Burnside? The man who could be her equal in not only state of mind but also body. With Cyra handing over journals filled with clues to her origins, Blythe needs to make sense of the new information within.
Blythe realizes her past is unforgiving, and now a detective has started to nose around her personal life. Will she find the answers before he gets too close? What about this mysterious invitation to Adam’s masquerade ball? Her dark past has weaved an intricate web just as entangled as the life she longs to have.

 Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.

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Played

COVER REVEAL

BLURB

I’m a man who has two sides. The first side is sarcastic, devious, and self assured. That side can’t be rattled. But then there’s my dark side, the side that kills.

The police are desperate to find ‘The Silent Butcher’ who’s killing people across Hollywood. The Silent Butcher is the name they’ve given my dark side, the side that kills for comfort.

Yet, here I am, playing myself on a stage for the world to see. They’ll never suspect that the man playing the killer is actually the killer they’re hunting.

Irony at its very best – Desmond.

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Unbreakable Mind

Title: Unbreakable Mind
Author: Bryan Tann & Kindra Sowder
Genre: Dystopian Sci-fi/Political Thriller
Cover Designer: L. Bachman Designs
Editor: Edd Sowder
Publisher: Burning Willow Press
Publication Date: December 22, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
 
Blurb: 
You just can’t keep a good man down. Especially when he has a Queen in his heart…
After a napalm explosion takes him to his most primordial base, his formidable powers must regenerate him from near nothing.
Now, with nothing left to lose John pulls himself back up following the devastating loss of one of his most trusted friends, he has vowed revenge against his creators. In doing so, John must also reunite Gaia Hunter — the sister of the enemy of the state, Mila Hunter — with the Fallen Paradigm; the rebel group dedicated to stopping President Emerson King at any cost.
Can John keep Gaia safe from outside forces? Can Gaia help him find his purpose? Will the Paradigm be able to accept him as a soldier and no longer an assassin? In this explosive sequel to Invincible Heart, John must ignore his self-doubt in where he fits in the world because…
…the time for WAR has come!

Buy Links:
Invincible Heart: https://amzn.to/2S7Pkz3
Unbreakable Mind: https://amzn.to/2GGC83g
Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.
Author Links:
Hello, my name is Bryan A. Tann and welcome to my little section of Amazon!
I am the author of The Path of Redemption series. The first book, ‘The Enforcer’ is available now in Kindle (KU) and Print formats. ‘The Hunted’ is available now in Kindle (KU) format. Print coming soon.
The Path of Redemption tells the story of vampire Enforcer, Bryce Kreed, and his quest to save his soul while trying to protect Mistress Enya Blake from the hands of a vicious sect leader that wants to take her power for himself.
I am also the author of the spinoff of Kinda Sowder’s groundbreaking Permutation Archives series titled ‘The John Baker Chronicles’. This Permutation Archives Division’s first novel, ‘Invincible Heart’ is available now in Kindle (KU) and print formats. Book 2, Unbreakable Mind, coming December 22nd, 2018.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Invincible Heart: https://amzn.to/2S7Pkz3
Unbreakable Mind: https://amzn.to/2GGC83g
 
 

Unbreakable Mind

Title: Unbreakable Mind
Author: Bryan Tann & Kindra Sowder
Genre: Dystopian Sci-fi/Political Thriller
Cover Designer: L. Bachman Designs
Editor: Edd Sowder
Publisher: Burning Willow Press
Publication Date: December 22, 2018
 
Blurb:
You just can’t keep a good man down. Especially when he has a Queen in his heart…
After a napalm explosion takes him to his most primordial base, his formidable powers must regenerate him from near nothing.
Now, with nothing left to lose John pulls himself back up following the devastating loss of one of his most trusted friends, he has vowed revenge against his creators. In doing so, John must also reunite Gaia Hunter — the sister of the enemy of the state, Mila Hunter — with the Fallen Paradigm; the rebel group dedicated to stopping President Emerson King at any cost.
Can John keep Gaia safe from outside forces? Can Gaia help him find his purpose? Will the Paradigm be able to accept him as a soldier and no longer an assassin? In this explosive sequel to Invincible Heart, John must ignore his self-doubt in where he fits in the world because…
…the time for WAR has come!
 
Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.
Author Links:
Hello, my name is Bryan A. Tann and welcome to my little section of Amazon!
I am the author of The Path of Redemption series. The first book, ‘The Enforcer’ is available now in Kindle (KU) and Print formats. ‘The Hunted’ is available now in Kindle (KU) format. Print coming soon.
The Path of Redemption tells the story of vampire Enforcer, Bryce Kreed, and his quest to save his soul while trying to protect Mistress Enya Blake from the hands of a vicious sect leader that wants to take her power for himself.
I am also the author of the spinoff of Kinda Sowder’s groundbreaking Permutation Archives series titled ‘The John Baker Chronicles’. This Permutation Archives Division’s first novel, ‘Invincible Heart’ is available now in Kindle (KU) and print formats. Book 2, Unbreakable Mind, coming December 22nd, 2018.
Author Links:
 
 

Carbon Replacements

Title: Carbon Replacements
Author: Reily Garrett
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publication Date: September 9th, 2018
Blurb:
The killer held a knife to her throat—the ultimate decision locked within a dark and deviant gaze.
Determined and dedicated, forensic pathologist Remie Tallin validates her talent by detailing a victim’s last moments of life. Returning to Portland signified her new beginning where a psychopathic stalker designates her a pawn in a seductive game of intrigue.
The lines between predator and prey blur in hunting a medical genius bent on resetting the laws of nature. Evidence has never failed to point Remie in the right direction, yet conflicting discoveries mock the legal system and defy the scientific arena for clarification.
Detective McAllister’s return from leave includes a new assignment along with a partner well versed in subtle sarcasm and innuendos. Discovering the new medical examiner unconscious at the scene of a grisly murder forces him to unite with his brothers against a world of chaos where reality shifts according to a psychopath’s desire.
Reily is a West Coast girl transplanted to the opposite shore. When she’s not working with her dogs, you can find her curled up with a book or writing her next story. Past employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction.
Over time, and several careers, many incidents have flavored the plots of her stories. Man’s cruelty and ingenuity for torment and torture is boundless, not contained by an infinite imagination. Witnessing the after-effects of a teenager mugged at knifepoint for a pair of tennis shoes, or an elderly woman stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver for no apparent reason, left an indelible impression that will forever haunt her subconscious. In counterpoint, she has observed a woman stop her vehicle in severe, snowy weather to offer her own winter coat to a stranger, a teenager wearing a threadbare hoodie. Life’s diversities are endless.
Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.
In reading, take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four-legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.
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Buy Link:
Digital Velocity: https://amzn.to/2wwz8yO
Bound by Shadows: https://amzn.to/2C3PiEV
Inconclusive Evidence: https://amzn.to/2PSOHsA
Carbon Replacements: https://amzn.to/2NDUgJQ
“Wendy, I’m t-tellin’ you, the man’s a serial killer. He has the body of a Greek God, but his mind is full of squirming maggots.” Gena stifled a sob with a shaking hand, her body wedging back against the driver’s door after twisting to face her roommate beside her. “He’s more depraved than any fucker we’ve ever crossed, and he’s going to find me.” Aftereffects of the adrenaline rush magnified tremors in her fingers and lips while increasingly shallow breaths expelled carbon dioxide faster than her body could produce it. No doubt, the by-products of dizziness, cramps, and weakness crept into her awareness. Fear-sweat on her forehead glistened from distant flashes of lightning.
“Hey, slow down. Take a deep breath. You’re new to this and easily spooked. Just because men are pigs doesn’t mean they’re murderers. Take the money he gave you and don’t see him again. Change your number. Lay low for a bit.” Wendy startled with the repetitive crash of thunder reverberating in the Honda’s dark and eerie confines. “Can I at least see what’s got your panties in a twist?” She reached for the black cloth covering her friend’s evidence only to be pushed away.
“Oh God, Wendy. I shouldn’t have dragged you and Remie out here tonight. The creep knows I’m a sophomore, but I didn’t tell him which college. I don’t want him to find either of you.”
“Shit, Gena. I may be a student, but I can take care of myself.” A note of uncertainty snaked through Wendy’s voice.
From the back seat, Remie contemplated the wind’s increasing fury, so like her own, sweeping, all encompassing, erratic. Parked along a deserted back road hours before dawn didn’t equate to a tranquil setting when listening to accusations of murder. I should’ve brought my dog. Buckeye would’ve waited in the SUV. She’d just moved back to Portland and lacked the normal discreet channels of investigation derived from time-developed working relationships. Not that I’ve figured out what the problem is yet.
Small raindrops pattering the passenger window progressed to a heavy deluge that silvered with the dashboard’s ambient light. It was a perfect night to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and a scary book. Living the scenario brought the rancid taste of bile scalding Remie’s throat.
“Girls, you know I’m a doctor, not a cop, right? What happened to toning life down to live like normal human beings? No more adrenaline junkie. Gena, it’s not like you need the money for tuition. Jesus, if your parents knew what you were doing for thrills, it would kill them both.” Years of schooling in forensic pathology aged Remie decades in the eyes of college girls too naïve to avoid such foolish and dangerous behavior. More than ten years difference thrust her into the role of adopted mentor to the neighborhood wild child with crazy tattooed on her brain.
“Jesus. I’m so sorry, Remie. You spent a night in the hospital last week after wrecking your car. You don’t need this.” Unspoken recriminations gathered around Gena like a smoldering blanket, the flameless combustion withering her resolve.
“I’m fine. The few scrapes and bruises have already healed.”
“I figured a few tricks for kicks, no harm. It’s not like I don’t use condoms, and we’ve only done it a couple times.”
“The harm is that there are real nutjobs out there. Deranged people you do not want to meet. Trust me. I see the results of their work every day during necropsies. It’s what I do… remember?” Visions of Gena lying on a cold slab while an ME separated the upper part of her cranium to create a removable skullcap strengthened Remie’s determination to see the situation resolved.
“Roomie, what makes you think he was a killer? Did he threaten you? Did you see a gun?” Wendy laid a calming hand on her roommate’s arm. “Hell, everybody has guns these days. I’ve got a .357 stashed in my bedside table. Let some psycho come to my dorm looking for easy targets—he’ll get a hollow-point surprise.”
Gena, the cute little kid from the farm next door with wide hazel eyes and curly brown hair had grown up with a nose for trouble, yet usually lacked affiliation with high drama. With the start of the spring semester, the risky escapades should’ve ceased.
 “While he was in the can, I picked the lock on his briefcase, thinking he was some kind of lawyer or something.” If not for the frightened gaze bouncing between the proof clenched in her fingers and the nebulous woods on either side of the lonely road, Gena could’ve been any college student recounting a dicey hazing ritual. The tone and pitch of her voice increased when she unfolded the fabric covering her stolen treasure. “I saw syringes full of something, along with empty containers, and these. I also found alcohol swabs and betadine solution. Who carries betadine in a briefcase?”
“You stole from a John? Are you crazy?” Wendy snatched the wooden box with a huff and a groan.
Detailing around the container’s top edge included an intricate inlay bearing a darker grain. Similar designs decorated urns. “You better hope we can return them before he notices they’re gone. Where did you hook up?”
Wendy slid the lid back on the six-by-six inch square. The smooth glide on concealed grooves further testament to the boosted prize’s value.
Shadows shielded the contents from Remie’s view.
Wendy’s high-pitched scream rendered the burgeoning storm to white noise, instinctual awareness hurling the box’s contents against the windshield. Their arc proved too fast to visually track. Two pink lumps, small and irregularly shaped, formed the basis for a new nightmare.
The rattle and thump of the container ended when it landed perched on the steering wheel, upside down.
“Fuck! What the hell are those?” First medical school, then forensic pathology, enlightened Remie to evil’s worst-case scenarios. Her mom once said that after indoctrination, nothing new would appear under the sun. Whoever created this mayhem transcended anything evolved from humanity’s convoluted gene pool.
A sudden gust of wind and rain blew in as the driver’s door flew open. Gena lurched forward and hunched away from the torrent of slashing storm riding the invading cool blast. Her descent into hell included a flash of silver and guttural laugh.
 

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