Thursday, May 28, 2015



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Read the First Reader Review here -
(with an interesting observation about Amazon's "algorithms"
that sensor reader reviews)

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     When they reached the door to Lorenzo’s ill-gotten treasure stash Jonathan turned and smiled at his guard while poking a finger at his own chest. “Jonathan.” Putting on his best boyish grin, he motioned the plodding man to follow him in. When the man shook his head, he pointed again at his chest, “Jonathan,” and then added, “Your mother’s a whore.”
     After what felt like forever, the pardoned killer from Isla Margarita shrugged his shoulders and nodded receiving a grateful thumbs-up in return. …
… Despite her delight of seeing her husband come in Naunet looked up from her notes and calmly waited until Jonathan reached her desk.
   “How nice to see you,” she said. A quick sideways glance at B. Stiff hunkered down on one of the packing grates warned Jonathan they were not alone.
   “I just wondered how you were getting along. Anything on these tablets about Crete?” Jonathan asked emphasizing the last word.
     “I gleaned some hints about it,” Naunet answered with slightly arched eyebrows. “Though definitely not Minoan.”
     “I remember something from the Book of Samuel.” Again Jonathan pronounced the last word slowly. “It spoke about hope being afloat. Or, as we say in Spanish,” he grinned as if he were saying something funny, “La esperanza está a flote.”
     Naunet stared at her husband guessing more than seeing him nod. She ventured, “I don’t think Samuel wrote anything about Crete. As I recall, he wrote about the Arc.”
     “Good old Samuel,” Jonathan nodded, this time openly. “It is possible he followed the Arc to Crete.” He saw Naunet’s eyes grow wide and answered her unspoken question with another slight nod.
     “What are you two blabbing about?” B. Stiff was working his way toward them when the ship suddenly lurched forward. …
     The sudden movement threw B. Stiff off balance. To prevent from brushing against a large painting to his left, the little man grabbed onto the nearest handhold. It turned out to be the protruding penis of one of the prone Greek statuary he was supposed to be looking after—besides spying on Naunet. With an audible crack, the shiny marble phallus detached itself from its curly base.
     “Oops,” Jonathan grinned, “I guess even the magic of your name won’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.” …
     “You clumsy oaf!”
     None of them had heard Jabari slide into the huge room. “What have you done! This is a priceless relic!”
     The look on the man’s face as he held the ancient artifact at arm’s length was priceless in itself and both Jonathan and Naunet tried hard not to burst out laughing.
     Jabari, on the other hand, found no humor in the situation and continued to berate the man. As with his former self, Dr. Jabari El-Masri’s explosive anger produced the desired effect. The grinning guard had just time enough to step aside as a terrified B. Stiff, clutching his precious penis, yanked the door open and fled out into the corridor.
   Jabari motioned to the Wilkinses. “What a lucky break, if you pardon the pun.” He bent over Naunet’s desk pretending to look at some of the photographs. “We need to talk. As you know, we are all in the same boat …”
     “No kidding,” Jonathan challenged.
     “We need to trust each other and exchange ideas how we can survive this ordeal together.”
     “Sure we do.” Jonathan’s sarcasm was not lost on Jabari who chose to ignore it.
     “I mean it, Jonathan.” He waved an impatient hand at the handsome American wondering how best to tell them what was on his mind. “We need to trust and help each other, and protect each other’s back. You have to back me up.”
“Against any wall in particular?” Whatever scheme the Egyptian had in mind, Jonathan was not ready to let him off so easily.
“Jonathan! We don’t have time for your jokes. I beg you. Please, both of you, listen to me.” …
“It’s about Crete.” Jabari said. “Or rather what I told Lorenzo about the Ideon Cave.”
“Are we back to your belief you sprung from Zeus’s loins?”
“Jonathan, this is serious. And, no, I did not tell him about that. Well, not all of it, anyway.” Jabari turned to Naunet. “It’s about the crystal you wore around your neck when you boarded this ship.”
“I would hardly put it that way, Jabari. I didn’t exactly board this crate voluntarily,” Naunet snapped.
“I am truly sorry, my dear. But tell me. Do you recall anything special about the crystal when you handled it? Perhaps when you touched it for the first time?” …
She decided not to say anything until she found out what Jabari was up to. “Special? In what way?”
“Perhaps peculiar would be a better word. A certain property. A strong light or a variance in temperature.” Jabari too was testing the waters before giving too much away.
“I think you better let us know what you have in mind. No telling how long we’ll be left alone in here.” Jonathan glanced at the guard leaning against the door. He gave the man one of his thumbs-up and called out, “Your mother’s a whore.”
The guard nodded happily before going back to looking bored.
“I beg your pardon!” Jabari stiffened.
“Just making sure the guy doesn’t understand English,” Jonathan grinned, not altogether displeased with himself despite Naunet’s quiet ‘Jon!’  …
* * *
For once, Jonathan itched to get back to the tunnel to tell Bill about the new developments.  Before he did so, he felt the need for fresh air. He had always done his best thinking staring out at the sea. Through sign language he made his ever-present burly guard understand. Once outside, he leaned over railing and gulped salt air into his lungs. It took him a moment to feel the guard behind him standing so close they almost touched. Good God, don’t tell me this prison rat has designs on me. He turned to get his rear end out of its danger zone.
Now, the two were face to face and the guard poked him hard in the chest. “Jonathan!” Then the man touched his own chest. “Vergil.”
“Vergil. Well, what do you know. The man has a name,” Jonathan grinned. As pleasantly as possible he added, “And your mother’s still a whore.”
The guard grinned back. “That maybe so. But next time I’ll throw you overboard.”
If there was ever an oh-shit moment, this was it. Jonathan was so shocked to hear an unmistakable New York accent all he could manage was, “Brooklyn?”
“The Bronx.” Vergil was obviously enjoying the moment.
Not for the first time, Jonathan noticed the height of the man, unusual for someone he had taken as a native Venezuelan; still, there was a swarthy Latin look about him.
“So why were you in a Venezuelan prison?”
The man’s lips stretched into a wide grin. “For raping my mother.”
Jonathan pushed himself away from the railing and inched his back against the peeling superstructure. “Shit, man. You might have told me.”
”That I’m a rapist? Or that I know what’s going on?”
“Preferably both. By the way, what is going on?” It was worth a try. Anything to stave off real or imagined attention from a sex-starved jailbird.
“You’ll find out.” The man put his dinner-plate hands on Jonathan’s shoulders and spun him around as if he were a child’s dreydel. Sphincter-clenching time again! To Jonathan’s relief, his guard laughed, “Relax, man. I only do women. Besides, we wouldn’t have time to enjoy it. I need to get you back to your tunnel before we both get in trouble.”
When they reached the vault, the guard ratcheted the lock. Before he pulled the heavy door open he stabbed a hard finger into Jonathan’s chest. “Jonathan,” he grinned and nodded in the imbecilic way he used to. “You were right. My mother was a whore. From Puerto Rico. Perhaps that’s why she named me Vergil. She told me it means rod bearer. I am sure her interpretation and mine are quite different.” He gave his hips a couple of forward thrusts. “But I didn’t rape her. Lucky for me, she died before I got interested in sex.”
“That’s comforting,” Jonathan coughed. “So, what were you in for, really?”
“You could call it bad timing. Being too impatient.”
Was there a wink? Jonathan couldn’t be sure.
“We were getting so good at stealing, me and my buddies got sloppy. That’s how we wound up in that shithole of a jail.”
Jonathan tried to figure out why Lorenzo might have had this guy released from Isla Margarita’s notorious San Antonio prison. He decided to take a stab at it. “So, you were stealing art for Lorenzo?”
“No, man,” Vergil laughed. “We let him think we were ruthless killers. Well, sometimes, you could say we were. He hired the lot of us.”
The man stepped again uncomfortably close toward Jonathan who expected anything but what came next.
“We weren’t stealing art. We were stealing ships. Containers, trawlers, yachts, even a tanker or two. Twenty-five years we got, for what their crappy court called piracy on the high seas. And here we are, stuck on another stinking rats nest without women.” A disturbing gleam stole into the man’s eyes. “Say, how would you consider giving your new friend a break?”
“Afraid I don’t do men,” Jonathan said through his teeth.
The guard broke into laughter as if he had just heard a great joke. “Not you, dummy. I was thinking of your woman.”
It took all of Jonathan’s willpower not to hit the insolent bastard in the face. Instead, he gave the door such a violent push that he literally tumbled into the ballast tunnel. Half embarrassed and five times as furious, he shoved the heavy steel shut with his foot slamming it into the guard’s face. At least, the swine had the decency not to follow.
Bill stood in front of their work table delicately filing away at something he kept turning around in his hand. Jonathan assumed it was a new thick bolt for the metal frames. As he went closer he saw it was B. Stiff’s guillotined piece of marble. At that instant, what had just transpired outside the tunnel hit him squarely in the nuts.
“God-damn-it, Bill! Stop playing with your dick! We’re sitting on a powder keg here.”
The imperturbable Dr. William Jefferson Browning gently laid the exquisite penis down. He then carefully positioned his flat file in front so it would not roll off the table. Looking over the rim of his bifocals he put an arm around his younger colleague’s shoulders.
“In that case, my friend, I strongly suggest you get a longer fuse.”
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Cover Reveal:

The Crystal Curse

Book 4 - Legends of the Winged Scarab

(scheduled for publication in June)


Deep beneath Hawara, a site near the Fayum Oasis, there sleeps an enormous complex known as The Lost Labyrinth of Egypt. While the mysterious compound is said to have once been comprised of over three thousand rooms, the origins of this ancient palace are shrouded in the mist of time. Some believe its builders came from an ancient civilization and those ruins predate Egypt’s earliest cultural awakening by several millennia.
     Swirling on the winds of the khamsin are the legends about a mythical beast living deep within these tunnels. As the dunes shift under the capricious updrafts, the remnants of a chamber might be laid bare only to be reburied by yet another layer of sand.
     A few even tell of wondrous crystals growing within this complex, insisting that gold and precious stones await those who brave the stifling maze. For a brief moment, awestruck whispers turn into speculation. But thoughts of plunder are quickly doused as the legends warn:
No one escapes the crushing coils
of El-Hanash, the Crystal Snake.
For such is The Crystal Curse.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Christoph Fischer’s Newest Novel

Cover Reveal

Writer Christoph Fischer has turned Gambler!
At least, with his newest novel

Coming June 1, 2015
Ben is an insecure accountant obsessed with statistics, gambling and beating the odds. When he wins sixty-four million in the lottery he finds himself challenged by the possibilities that his new wealth brings.

He soon falls under the influence of charismatic Russian gambler Mirco, whom he meets on a holiday in New York. He also falls in love with a stewardess, Wendy, but now that Ben’s rich he finds it hard to trust anyone. As both relationships become more dubious, Ben needs to make some difficult decisions and figure out who’s really his friend and who’s just in it for the money.
Look for The Gamblers on June 1st

The book is available on Pre-Sale now on  Amazon:

Reading Fischer's Books is one Gamble that'll make you a Winner!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kay Hadashi’s Hawaiian Island Breezes

Back in 2013, I introduced Kay Hadashi’s start of a new historical thriller series of Old Japan.

Kay tells me that Bugeisha Dreams has since evolved into a
stand-alone book with a new cover.

However, Kay’s delightful heroine, June Kato, was much too good to let go. Kay came up with the new Island Breeze Series. These novellas follow June in her transition from top LA neurosurgeon to Maui transplant (no pun intended I am sure as June Kato is, after all, a neurosurgeon).
     Among tropical flowers and old legends, June finds a husband and starts a family. Of course, nothing is ever simple for this exotic beauty; she finds life on the tropical island of Maui comes with a price. Even though her life has become simpler in some ways, there is plenty of adventure around orchids and pineapple plants, and Pele, the fiery goddess of Haleakala.
     The stories include Hawaiian legends (and maybe a few ghosts), promising to be smashing hits with Kay’s readers who, I think, will be as fascinated by these exotic fables as I am.

Kay has written many other exciting novels, novellas and short story collections.
Check them out here: