Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bargaining with the Billionaire Bodyguard by Lisa Weaver


BARGAINING WITH THE BILLIONAIRE BODYGUARD by Lisa Weaver, Romantic Suspense, 288 pp., $2.99 (kindle)


Title: BARGAINING WITH THE MILLIONAIRE BODYGUARD
Author: Lisa Weaver
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 244
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Having miraculously survived the bombing that blasted his private jet out of the sky, billionaire Donovan White has dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice. Now a covert operative for the Sentinels Agency, he is closing in on the man responsible for the crash. When his mission is nearly botched by a spunky reporter with a score of her own to settle, he reluctantly strikes a bargain with the one woman who just might be capable of decimating his love proof armor.

Reporter Madison Tremaine will do anything to nab the exclusive she must write to secure the promotion she desperately needs—even if it means bargaining with a devilish billionaire. Once burned, twice shy, she has serious reservations about partnering with Donovan, but there’s more than a career upgrade at stake. Her ability to unearth the truth surrounding a newly discovered family secret hinges on the sexy billionaire.

When their quests collide, will their dangerous deal lead to love or will it cost them more than either of them bargained for?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon






Chapter One

She was going to self-combust. She was sure of it.
Downing a gulp of strawberry spritzer from the chilled glass in her hand, Madison Tremaine resisted the urge to fan her face to cool the heat rising there. It was bad enough she was the only woman at the bar in this glitzy nightclub without a date, the last thing she needed to do was draw more attention to herself.
Against her volition, her gaze drifted back to the stranger who was responsible for setting her aflame. Those piercing blue eyes, though! And the man’s perfection didn’t end at those show-stealing, mesmerizing windows into his soul. From the top of his head of stylishly-tamed curls to the tips of his Ferragamo shod toes and every millimeter of chiseled muscle in between, the dark-haired guy standing alone at the far end of the bar was the epitome of scrumptious.
Too bad she was on a strict yumminess-free diet, courtesy of her ex-fiancĂ©’s betrayal. She’d adored Eric, but he’d thrown her love for him back in her face and turned her heart into a crime scene.
She was over him, now. Her days of treading the serious relationship path were over, too. But if there was ever a man worth breaking her love embargo over it was this one. Thankfully, common sense roadblocked her driving inclination to get to know the sexy stranger. She couldn’t afford that indulgence. She was here for business tonight, not pleasure, and Mr. Dreamy Eyes would only splinter her focus.
Actually, ‘splinter’ was putting it mildly. She was quite certain the handsome stranger was capable of blowing said focus to smithereens.
As though he knew exactly what she was thinking, the owner of those deliciously sexy peepers raised his glass in salute, shooting her a grin that had her hormones whimpering in eager surrender.
Reluctantly tearing her gaze away from the intriguing planes and angles that made up his sculpture-worthy face, Madison shoved aside the driving compulsion to explore where the blatant interest his body language was telegraphing might lead. There was no way she could go there. Both professionally and personally, there was too much riding on the assignment she was here to carry out.
A reporter for the Daily Commentator, she was here tonight to secure an interview that could very well be career defining. Her shot at landing the promotion she so desperately needed hinged on convincing one of the state of New York’s most speculated about billionaires to share the story of his rise from abject poverty to rolling-in-it riches. She was here to track that billionaire down, but Mr. Dreamy Eyes made her want to back-burner the task at hand and skip directly to playtime.
She promptly stamped down the urge to take him up on the invitation simmering in his gaze. No one on her paper’s payroll—or any other paper’s for that matter—had managed to garner a sit-down with media-shy business mogul Alan Sonetti. She had every intention of succeeding where they hadn’t.
For her brother’s sake, she had to.
Alan Sonetti had ignored her fellow reporters’ attempts to connect with him via phone calls and e-mails, so she was employing a different tactic to try and secure an interview with the elusive playboy billionaire. If the mountain wouldn’t come to her, then she would go to the mountain.
The only downside to her plan was that this particular mountain happened to reside in a mansion that was more secure than most fortresses, and his corporate headquarters was a stronghold, as well. With zero chance of getting face-time with him at either location, she decided to seek him out at the flagship of his chain of clubs where it was rumored he surfaced on rare occasion.
After getting a tip that tonight might be one of those rare occasions, Madison had shared her plan with her editor, Felicia, who had given her stratagem her wholehearted backing.
More than just her boss, Felicia was also a good friend. Earlier today, Felicia had called her into her office and handed her a shopping bag emblazoned with the logo of a high-end retailer.
“A little something for you to wear tonight when you visit the club,” she’d announced, looking immensely pleased with herself.
A peek in the bag had revealed a slip of black silk nestled in a bed of tissue paper. “A scarf?”
“Very funny. It’s a dress.”
“There’s not enough yardage here to qualify as a dress.”
“You can dispense with the eye rolling. Trust me on this. Senetti’s caters to the silver spoon set, and designer micro-minis are de rigueur there. Besides, if you want a face-to-face with the man himself you need to get his attention. I guarantee he won’t be able to take his eyes off you in that outfit.”
“But…”
“There is no but. Just wear the dress. That is unless you don’t want the promotion?”
Oh, she wanted it. She’d never wanted something so badly in her entire life. The new position would super-size her paycheck, which meant she’d be able to help Matt. Since she was the reason her brother was in a bind in the first place, failure wasn’t an option.
It was that drive to succeed that had her shimmying into the wispy garment that was the polar opposite of her usual office armor of tailored slacks and blouses, and joining the crowd queued up to gain entry into the nightlife hotspot that carried Senetti’s surname as well as his personal stamp of posh.
It wasn’t until the doorman ushered her inside that it struck her just how far out of her element she truly was. Felicia’s gift served as terrific camouflage, but it didn’t prevent her from suffering from one mega case of fish-out-of-water-itis. Sonetti’s catered to the rich and famous, a demographic she was light years away from meshing with.
It was some consolation that she wasn’t the only square peg trying to fit into this round hole of a nightclub. Even though this realm of the mega-rich might as well be the planet Mars in her book, she’d bet her last dollar the real-life Artemision bronze at the bar was as much of an outsider here as she was.
It wasn’t that Mr. Dreamy Eyes didn’t fit in with the clientele here when it came to net wealth. His clothing and demeanor were the epitome of refined and urbane, and he carried himself with an easy grace and sophistication that spoke of a bank balance that matched or exceeded those of the affluent partiers in this exclusive hot spot. His smoldering gaze, however, telegraphed something altogether different. Something primal, dangerous, and untamed—something that made it clear he wasn’t cut from the same cloth as the others.
She found that something irresistibly compelling.
Shaking her head, she reminded herself that she wasn’t here to get this sexy stranger’s story. It was Alan Sonetti she was after. Unfortunately, she wasn’t making any progress towards that end. If Alan was here tonight, she’d yet to spot him.
Curling a strand of her hair around her pinkie, she tried to ignore the bitter disappointment burning a hole in the pit of her stomach. Her deadline was looming. If she didn’t land this story soon, she could kiss any chance she might have of earning that promotion goodbye.
Resuming her search with renewed determination, she scanned the club for her quarry. Moments later, her gaze inadvertently tangled with the sexy stranger’s again.
The accidental eye contact sent a bolt of impossible-to-ignore chemistry zipping between them, and a wave of heat rushed to her cheeks. As the sensual pull of attraction wove through her, it struck her that tonight wasn’t the first time she’d seen this man. 
Drinking in the details of his perfect features, she only grew more certain she’d seen those high cheekbones and that classically aquiline nose before. But where?
She’d discounted half a dozen possible reasons why he seemed so familiar when her cell phone chimed, announcing an incoming text from Felicia.
“Find him?” the text read.
“Not yet, but I will.” she texted back in reply.
“That’s the spirit. R U behaving?”
Madison’s mouth curved in a cat-caught-the-canary smile as she keyed her response. “Sort of. Might be guilty of indulging in an eye candy fest.” Discretely using her cell phone to snap a photo of the visual treat in question, she sent the picture off to her friend.
“OMG,” Felicia texted back.
“I know, right?” she typed in reply.
Felicia’s response pinged back immediately. “Do you know who that is?”
“He looks familiar, but…?”
“He’s a billionaire, just not the one you’re chasing down. He made headlines two years ago. Plane crash.”
Felicia’s prompt was all it took for the ‘ah ha’ moment to dawn. Small plane crashes rarely became the focus of national news, but when the disaster involved a private jet piloted by one of the inamoratos of the rich and famous the story definitely merited prime billing. The newsworthy-factor doubled when word leaked that the only other person on board the plane was a popular young Hollywood actress, Vanessa Ashcroft.
Madison’s fingers quivered with excitement as she keyed her reply. “Donovan White!”
Her editor’s enthusiastic confirmation flashed across the phone’s screen. “Yes!”
Madison couldn’t believe her luck.  She’d come here in pursuit of one story and another one had quite possibly just fallen into her lap. Donovan White hadn’t been spotted in New York since shortly after his accident two years ago. When his aircraft had gone down over the ocean near a remote Brazilian jungle, rescue crews hadn’t been able to locate the wreckage. It had been assumed there were no survivors, but a last-ditch search effort had led to the billionaire’s discovery on an uninhabited island miles from the presumed crash site.
Donovan White had miraculously beaten the odds. Vanessa Ashcroft hadn’t been so fortunate.
After attending Vanessa’s funeral, Donovan had retreated from the social scene he’d held court over and left New York. From that point on, the billionaire playboy who’d once featured regularly on almost every society page had pulled a vanishing act. Rumor had it he’d joined in the operation of his family’s California vineyard.
Then why, after withdrawing into utter seclusion, had he suddenly surfaced here at the apex of the social spotlight he’d abandoned? Madison had a feeling if she could answer that question, she would have the makings of a scintillating headline.
∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Donovan White rubbed at eyes that were gritty from too much caffeine and too little sleep. Two years ago, clubbing had been one of his go-to pastimes. He’d reveled in the throbbing beat of the music and fed off the energy of the crowd.
He wasn’t that man any longer.
Now the strobing lights, ear-drum-busting din of the band, and the obnoxious clashing of a myriad of warring designer perfumes only grated on his nerves—nerves that were already stretched thin by the dire nature of the mission he was here to carry out.
A covert operative for the Sentinels Agency, he’d invested countless hours over the past few months knitting together a tenuous bridge to Alan Sonetti. It was believed that Sonetti was doing business with master mobster Lawrence Mendacci, and the bridge he’d cobbled together just might bring the agency one step closer to putting an end to Mendacci’s reign of terror.
Gaining Sonetti’s trust hadn’t been easy, but he’d managed to convince the man he was every bit his match when it came to treading in the gray. He was here to rendezvous with the club owner after being granted his first face-to-face meeting with him.
So far he’d been left cooling his heels.
He despised waiting. It gave him too much time to think about things he wanted to keep tucked away in the ‘do not disturb’ section of his mind—too much time to dwell on the way lives had been irrevocably changed in the aftermath of the crash he’d been unable to prevent.
He was determined to do everything in his power to prevent future tragedies. Tonight’s meeting would open the door to doing just that. Liz Meyers, the dynamo at the helm of Sentinels who’d recruited and trained him, had tasked him with entrenching himself within Sonetti’s organization. He wasn’t about to let her down.
And so he would wait. He could be patient if this temporary inconvenience brought the Sentinels Agency one step closer to quashing Lawrence Mendacci’s blood trail and bringing an end to the mobster’s reign of terror.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that his wait came with an unexpected reward—an enticing distraction from the tedium of being on Sonetti’s stand-by list in the form of a blue-eyed, ebony haired angel at the bar. The pulse-stutteringly beautiful woman practically vibrated with barely suppressed energy. She’d captured his attention the instant she’d swept into the club.
He wasn’t the only one who’d taken notice of her. Despite the fact that he and the bartender were the only men in the establishment without a woman hanging on their arm, that didn’t stop the other male patrons from checking the sexy siren out. 
And who could blame them? The beauty wore a flashy designer mini dress that highlighted her curves, paired with sky-high stilettos that accentuated her long, shapely legs. Her stunning face was framed by a cascade of dark hair that glinted with burgundy highlights.
The urge to thread his fingers through those seductive strands of ebony silk flared hot and insistent, surprising in its intensity. He chalked the craving up to not having had a woman in his life since Vanessa, but he knew it was more than that. There was something about this woman that called to him. She looked like she was here on a mission, and he couldn’t help but wonder what her quest might be.
Noticing his interested perusal of the beauty, the bartender quirked an eyebrow in masculine solidarity. “Not hard on the eyes, is she?”
“That she’s not.”
“Why don’t you do yourself a favor and buy her a drink?”
It was a shame he didn’t have time for such a pleasant distraction at the moment. If he did, he wouldn’t need the bartender’s urgings to connect with the woman. 
“I would if I wasn’t here on business,” he replied. “I’m waiting to meet with Alan Sonetti.”
“Business, huh? Too bad.” Rubbing the teak countertop with his polishing cloth, the bartender paused mid-swipe and regarded him intently.
Donovan saw the exact moment recognition dawned.
“Say, you’re Donovan White, aren’t you?”
Nodding, Donovan took a swallow of his drink in preparation for the volley of questions he knew would inevitably follow.
“It was a miracle you made it off that jungle island alive. I imagine it couldn’t have been easy being stranded in the middle of nowhere, not knowing if or when you’d be rescued.”
“It wasn’t. It’s an experience I don’t like to rehash.” A half-hearted smile took the bite out of his response.
Not at all dissuaded, the bartender ploughed on. “A shame about that actress you were dating. Tragic that she didn’t survive the plane crash.”
“Yes,” he agreed, taking another drink in hopes of anesthetizing the sharp sting of guilt. But the bite of the brandy couldn’t dispel the painful memories, and the world’s supply of alcohol wouldn’t ease his crushing despair over what had happened in the aftermath of the accident. Nothing could.
Leaving the bartender’s curiosity unquenched, he steered the conversation back to the topic at hand. “The woman…is she a regular?”
“First time I’ve seen her. A lot of purebred peacocks gather here, but this one is a ray of sunshine. I just wish she wasn’t here poking around looking for trouble.”
“Trouble?”
“She was asking about Mr. Sonetti, earlier. Not to disrespect the boss, but nothing good ever comes of that. Beautiful women are in here all the time, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. He’s got that RHS factor, you know? Rich. Handsome. Single. On the rare occasions one of them is lucky enough to find him, they inevitably throw themselves at him hoping he’ll fall for them. He doesn’t throw them back—just uses them until he tires of them. The relationships all end the same, and it’s not with him putting a ring on their finger.”
Donovan raised an eyebrow at the man’s candor. “I see. Well, I’ll be keeping your boss tied up with business for a bit. Maybe she’ll get tired of waiting.”
For her sake, he hoped she did. Alan Sonetti was into shady up to his neck, and he’d hate to see her get mixed up with the man. If the bartender was right, and the dark-haired beauty was on a hunting expedition to bag Sonetti, odds were good she had no idea she was tracking dangerous game.










Lisa Weaver’s love affair with all things literary was sparked the moment she opened the cover of her first book and The Pokey Little Puppy captured her heart. Her tastes have matured since then, but whenever she delves into the pages of a new novel she experiences the same thrill of discovery. Every book is a glorious safari into a world of endless possibilities and inexhaustible inspiration. Since romance is Lisa’s favorite genre to read it was inevitable that, when she was bit by the writing bug, she would choose to pen stories of strong, sexy heroes and bold, beautiful women finding their happily ever afters. She thinks of her stories as fun and flirty romantic romps—like decadently rich cupcakes, heavy on the frosting. She hopes her readers will find her novels every bit as satisfying as dessert.

When she isn’t reading, writing, or plotting more romantic treats, she can be found behind the lens of her camera, in front of a canvas with a paintbrush in hand, or spending time in her garden. She also loves exploring her beautiful home state of Maine. Lisa loves to hear from readers! Please drop by and visit her anytime at her website, www.lisaweaverromance.com. You can also keep in touch with the latest Weaver Romance happenings via her Facebook and Twitter pages.

Lisa’s latest book is the romantic suspense, Bargaining with the Billionaire Bodyguard.

Website Address:    https://www.lisaweaverromance.com
Blog Address:    https://www.lisaweaverromance.com/blog
Twitter Address:    https://twitter.com/Dreamweavings7
Facebook Address:    https://www.facebook.com/Dreamweavings

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Book Blast: The Holy Spirit Will Deliver You by Patricia L. Loranger



 

Inside the Book:


Title: The Holy Spirit Will Deliver You
Author: Patricia L. Loranger
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Religious
Format: Ebook

Does it seem you just cannot win the battle over the devil? Are you battling the temptation to sin or hiding secret sins from your church and family? Do you find it difficult to participate in church groups or struggle to pray and read the Bible?
When we think of deliverance, we think of salvation, but this is only the first step. Deliverance is receiving freedom, and many Christians need freedom from their loaded baggage of sin. We say the sinner’s prayer and we think that’s it—we’ve got our deliverance. But this is just the beginning. Some Christians struggle their whole lives with temptation; they need deliverance, and there are so few deliverance ministries out there. The Holy Spirit Will Deliver You offers hope and guidance toward relief and redemption. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, author Patricia L. Loranger undertook two lengthily spiritual deliverances, in which she cast a large number of evil spirits out of herself. She knows that through the aid of God’s Spirit that dwells within, all believers can set themselves free from the chains that bind them.
Based on one woman’s personal experiences and grounded in scripture, this guide provides Christians seeking deliverance with answers and steps to take toward their ultimate freedom.

Purchase Here

Meet the Author:
Patricia L. Loranger is also the author of Child of Woe, Child of Sorrow. She currently lives in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

Giveaway

Patricia is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins December 10  and ends on December 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on December 22.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Interview with Hope Waters, Author of Twelve Days


Hope Waters has been writing romance for over thirty years, traveling the globe but finally finding true love and now lives in Florida with her family.

Website Address: http://www.hopewaters.net




Q:  How did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Wow, this book was a trip back in time. I had written it almost two decades ago and the original version showed it was very much born in 2000, from how the characters spoke to the way they dressed. I had a few changes to make, along with a few facepalm moments over how tragically hip the characters were. It still had a great love story that captured my attention when I pulled it out and read it over.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It wasn’t hard at all to work on this book. I adored Mack and Zoey’s love story. They were the cutest couple. Writing an ensemble cast can be very busy and all over the place, but I love doing it. I love all the hopping around to characters, with each book being a separate couple, but still getting the whole story of all the characters, as tension builds between future couples.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’ve worked with publishers in the past but I decided I wanted to self publish this book. I had some alternating viewpoints that I felt a publisher would want me to change when it flowed very easily. 

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

Look for the sequel to Twelve Days - Home For Christmas coming very soon! It focuses more on Josh and Nia’s story. Then a future book featuring the other members of Hartbreakers along with a re-release of a previously published book.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

I turned down a contract 17 years ago for it because I didn’t like the terms. I felt like I was giving up too much.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Love can conquer all during the holidays.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes! Thanks for having me by!

About the Book:

Zoey Blake is having a perfect holiday season. Finals are over and it's time to head home for Christmas, but when she wins the Hartbreakers True Love contest to join them on their tour, she has a chance to follow her favorite band for twelve days -- and twelve steamy nights.

Mackenzie has been a player since and joining Hartbreakers has only edged up his game, that is until he meets Zoey. She's turned his world upside down and only she can make it right. Now all he has to do is convince her to stay with him forever. For a guy like Mack, that shouldn't be too hard but it's gonna take all he has and twelve days to win her true love.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

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The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson


THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION by Mark H. Jackson, Adventure/Thriller, 288 pp., $18.22 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)



Title: THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION
Author: Mark H. Jackson
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Pages: 288
Genre: Adventure/Thriller

A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



 

Chapter Twenty-Nine
Mato Grosso, Brazil, 1939

Himmler paused, bending to examine a black, broken piece of rock
discarded on the forest floor. He turned it in his hand, frowning as
he swept a finger over its impeccable, marble-like finish. It must have
been chipped from a statue or pillar. It was impressive workmanship
and Himmler doubted even the largest construction companies
in Germany would have done any better, even with their modern
machinery and tooling techniques. He slipped the fragment into his
pocket, a tingle of childlike excitement building in his stomach.
After years of ploughing Nazi resources into the Ahnenerbe, he was
at last on the verge of completing his quest. If the papers found in
Tibet by the short-sighted idiot, Ernst Schafer, were to be believed,
then it wouldn’t be long before he possessed the evidence he craved:
solid, indisputable proof linking Aryan Germany to prehistory’s
greatest lost empire, the kingdom of Atlantis. Armed with this knowledge,
Himmler was convinced the Aryans of Europe would rally
under the Nazi banner, joining forces with the Fuhrer to form an
unstoppable alliance tasked with reclaiming the lands and legendary
technologies of their ancestors.
Tibirica barked a command in Himmler’s direction, snapping him
out of the daydream. There were still several steps he needed to tread
along this path and he needed to focus on the present. Proving his
doubters wrong would have to wait. A month earlier, Hitler himself
had dismissed the Ahnenerbe as mere folly and the criticism still
smarted his ego. Luckily for him, his reputation ensured the majority
of Party members were still happy to indulge the quest. Himmler
wasn’t a man anyone wanted as an enemy, and the Party viewed their
support as an easy way to appease his infamous temper.
Up ahead, Tibirica swept aside a dense section of foliage and signalled
for Himmler to follow. He disappeared through the gap with
his son and the vines dropped back in place. Himmler looked down at
the diminutive translator. His hate for the man welled inside his gut.
He despised the reliance his current predicament demanded he place
on such an insignificant being. Back in occupied Europe he would
have ordered the creature’s execution without even batting an eyelid.
But out here… He shook his head. Out here this dirt-encrusted man
was irreplaceable.
‘You go first and tell me if it’s safe,’ said Himmler.
‘W-w-what if it t-t-trap?’ stuttered the petrified translator.
‘That is why you are going first.’ Himmler shoved him in the small
of his back and propelled him through the foliage, sending him crashing
into whatever lay beyond. With a bone-crunching thud the translator
hit something solid and yelped in pain. He staggered backwards
and lost his footing, returning through the greenery and landing at
the feet of his employer. He whimpered and pulled a mucky rag from
his pocket, pressing it against his broken and bloodied nose.
‘Well?’ asked Himmler, suppressing laughter. ‘How did you get
on?’
‘Wall… Wall on other side.’
Himmler frowned and slipped a hand through the thick, leafy
foliage. His hand barely cleared the flora when it met something solid,
something sharing the same smooth surface as the strange flake of
rock in his pocket. Himmler’s eyes widened in anticipation. Could he
really be touching the walls of the lost city? It was an incredible feat
of engineering. He couldn’t have been closer, and yet, if it weren’t for
Tibirica, he and his men would have walked on by, never knowing
how close he’d come to his goal. Not for the first time, he offered up
a quick word of thanks to Lady Luck. This information alone more
than made up for the loss of life inflicted on his Gruppe.
Himmler forced the rest of his body through the tight opening.
The greenery dropped in place behind him and his world plunged
into darkness. Surprised and a little disorientated, he stumbled forwards,
both hands slapping hard against the rock wall. An eerie echo
bounced back and forth through the oppressive, airless atmosphere.
Torrents of perspiration snaked his body, drenching his already moist
uniform. He battled to keep it from his eyes and cursed his decision
to wear the black SS uniform. One of his men had advised otherwise
but Himmler had refused to heed the advice, stubborn in his belief the
officer concerned was testing his authority.
Himmler took a moment and regained his composure. He groped
for the torch strapped to his belt and flicked it on. The thin beam
penetrated the gloom, casting ghostly shadows and exaggerating the
size of the obstacles littering the overgrown path ahead. With a sense
of foreboding and familiar feelings of claustrophobia creeping up on
him, Himmler waved the torch to his left, illuminating the black wall
of rock holding his weight. It seemed to stretch on forever. He stroked
its surface and moved forward a few steps. There weren’t any breaks
or cracks anywhere, the wall’s surface seamless in its construction. No
joins, no cement holding it together, in fact no discernible clues as
to its construction at all. He smiled, marvelling at the thought of his
ancestors possessing such advanced skills in engineering. The Reich
had so much to learn from this ancient people.
Himmler froze as the torch registered movement up ahead, the
beam picking out the shadow of something hidden in the undergrowth.
He cocked his handgun and held his breath, poised and ready
to react to the merest hint of hostility. A male voice split the tension.
Tibirica’s son called out to his father. The two tribesmen must have
realised he was no longer following and retraced their steps. Himmler
lowered his gun and reached for his translator, grabbing his hair and
forcing him to take point. He wanted to trust Tibirica but his instincts
advised him otherwise. Trust was a luxury a man in his position could
little often afford to give freely. He prodded the translator in the back
with his gun and shoved him towards the two tribesmen.
‘Tell them to stay where they are,’ he said. ‘If they disappear again,
we’ll never find them.’ The translator repeated the order, his speech
muffled by the cloth still pressed to his nose. A minute later, after slipping
and sliding their way down the rocky passage, Himmler arrived
alongside his two guides. They flanked him and prodded the torch,
both fascinated by the magical shaft of light it emitted. Himmler
kept them at arm’s length, making a mental note of the greed in the
younger man’s eyes.
‘Ask them where we are headed,’ he ordered, trying to distract
them.
The translator obliged, and Tibirica’s response sounded curt.
‘Well?’ said Himmler.
The translator frowned. ‘He say we walk through wall. I ask where
door. He only repeat same words and point at wall.’
‘I don’t pay you to question what he says, just do your job and
translate.’ Himmler shoved him aside and raked the torch beam across
the wall, searching for evidence of an entrance.
The proximity of the magical light source suddenly became too
much for Tibirica’s son. In a mix of lust, greed and perhaps revenge
for his broken nose, he lunged at Himmler. Catching him unawares,
he shoved Himmler’s gun arm behind his back and punched him in
the kidneys. Himmler tensed his muscles and flung the elbow of his
free arm into the Brazilian’s gut. The blow connected, but found little
purchase on the boy’s greasy stomach. A thick forearm snuck around
his neck, while the other made a grab for the torch. The attempt failed
but the force of the attack was enough to knock it from his grasp and
send it crashing to the ground. Himmler grimaced, grinding his teeth
as the bulb shattered on impact, engulfing the passage in darkness.
The sudden disappearance of the light took the young warrior by
surprise and his grip slackened. Himmler whirled on the ball of his
foot, simultaneously smashing the palm of his hand into his attacker’s
already broken nose. The Brazilian didn’t even have time to scream,
dying where he stood as numerous splinters of bone penetrated his
brain. Himmler shoved the corpse aside and smoothed the creases
from his uniform.
‘Translator, please inform Chief Tibirica to proceed. His son has
met with a little “accident” and I wouldn’t want a similar one to befall
him.’ The translator didn’t respond. Himmler clenched his fist. The
little bastard must have made a bolt for it. He stared into the darkness,
his index finger hovering above the Luger’s trigger as he searched for
a target. The silence was deafening – even the birds appeared to have
abandoned this long-forgotten piece of forest. The Nazi shuddered,
straining his ears for the merest hint of sound. His life was in danger,
and he knew it. A faint clicking sound, two or three metres to his left,
disturbed the silence. He turned to greet it, gun levelled and ready to
open fire.
‘Translator? Is that you?’ Himmler whispered. ‘Answer me or I’ll
shoot.’ A bead of blue light flickered in response, illuminating a small
clearing up ahead. Himmler tensed as a large shape loomed into view.
It was Tibirica. He stepped forward, only to see Tibirica raise an arm
and halt his progress. The chief extended a long finger and pointed at
Himmler’s feet.
Himmler crouched and scanned the ground ahead. There was
something blocking the path. His arm snaked towards it, tentative but
determined to confirm his suspicions. He scowled as his fingers met
the soft, warm flesh of his stricken translator. How would he understand
the bloody chief now? He pulled the old man onto his back and
recoiled at the brutal efficiency of the kill; the head ripped clear of the
neck. It was a sight that left Himmler in no doubt of the suppressed
rage Tibirica must be harbouring. To break a man’s neck was easy,
but to rip it clean from the spine took a strength and skill rare in a
world where the gun ruled the battlefield. He looked up at the chief.
Did this mean they were even again? An eye for an eye and all that?
The stoical Brazilian nodded and jabbed a finger at the glowing
light in the wall. The result was as immediate as it was spectacular.
A semi-circular shaft of light shot from the rock and illuminated the
clearing brighter than the midday sun. Himmler raised an arm to
shield his eyes and staggered backwards. What black magic was this?
Tibirica sniffed and wiped a smattering of blood from his face. He
turned away from Himmler and ducked his head, sliding his ample
frame through the newly formed gap in the wall. Himmler scrambled
up the slope to join him and darted through before the thing closed.
He didn’t have a choice; his life was now in the hands of the chief and
he knew it. He stepped from the makeshift doorway, buoyed to find
natural light on the other side. His elation was tempered as Tibirica’s
massive hand clamped around his shoulder, hauling him through the
gap as it closed behind him. He yelped in pain, feeling a rib crack as he
landed on something solid. He pressed his chest. No harm done, just
another bruise to add to his ever-growing collection. He pushed himself
upright. Where was he? It almost looked like a gutter of a paved
road. The corners of his mouth twisted upward into a tight smile and
he glanced at Tibirica.
‘If this place is what I think it is, Untermensch scum,’ he whispered,
‘then you have assured my place in history.’
If Tibirica understood the German language, he’d have killed
Himmler then and there. Instead he managed only a look of puzzlement.
For the sake of his son, the chief could do little more than pray
Himmler was the messiah his tribe were expecting. Himmler’s smile
widened. Luck was indeed on his side.







Mark H. Jackson is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.

Website Link: https://markhjackson.com/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDeception/

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