Friday, January 11, 2019

Taking Back His Bride by Madison Faye

Title: Taking Back His Bride

Author: Madison Faye
Genre: Standalone Second Chance Romance Novella

Cover Design: Coverl├╝v

Photo: Sara Eirew
Release Date: January 14, 2019


We vowed forever. What we got was two years.
But now I’m back to take back what was stolen from me.
She’s mine to have, and mine to hold.

A filthy oil-rig
roughneck like me had no business with a wife like her. She was the pretty
little flower I never should have put my dirty hands on. But Leanna was my
everything. My heart. My obsession. And one year ago, they told me
another man took her away from me.

…I just found out
that was bullshit. And now, there’s going to be hell to pay.

Her family never
thought I was good enough for her. The wrong side of the tracks, and too rough
and savage for their sweet, innocence Leanna. They lied to keep me from her,
and her from me. But now that I know the truth?

Well, now I’m coming
back for what’s mine.

I’m twice the man I
was before—harder, fiercer, and even more obsessed. For richer or for poorer?
Well, she had me poor and loved every second of my rough hands pinning her to
our marriage bed. I’ve made my fortune since, but I’m ready to throw it all
away to get her back in my arms where she belongs.

The bastards that
took her from me think they can keep us apart.

…They’re dead
fucking wrong.

A year ago, I
thought I lost her. Two days ago, I learned the truth. And tonight, I’m taking
back my bride.

And I’ll burn the
whole world down to get her if I have to.

Looking for a
ridiculously over the top alpha hero completely obsessed with claiming his one
and only? You’re in the right place! This one’s equal parts sweeter than
sugar and hotter than sin, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to eat it right up

As with all my
books, this standalone is safe, with no cheating, and a HEA guaranteed.

Author Bio

USA Today and #1 bestselling contemporary romance author
Madison Faye is the dirty alter ego of the very wholesome, very normal suburban
housewife behind the stories. While she might be a wife, mom, and PTA organizer
on the outside, there's nothing but hot, steamy, and raunchy fantasies brewing
right beneath the surface!

Tired of keeping them hidden inside or only having them come out in the
bedroom, they're all here in the form of some wickedly hot stories.
Single-minded alpha hero, sinfully taboo relationships, and wildly over-the-top
scenarios. If you love it extra dirty, extra hot, and extra naughty, this is
the place for you! (Just don't tell the other PTA members you saw her here...)

Join the newsletter reader group for author updates, special prices, and two
FREE books!

Author Links

From Frights to Flaws by Sunayna Prasad

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Middle Grade Fantasy
Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions, Book 1
Publisher: S.A. Prasad Publishing
Published: October 2018

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An Adventure of Modern Magic

Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy longs for a better life. She lost her parents at age seven and her aunt at nine. Her uncle also enforces unfair rules. But Alyssa discovers something she has never thought existed before… magic. A wicked sorcerer hunts her down. He kidnaps her from her ordinary New Jersey town to Yanowic, an enchanted island in Fiji.

Alyssa is trapped in the country due to a giant shield covering it. She must defeat dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and enchanted technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed?

Originally published in 2013, the book has been updated to its full potential with edits, while keeping the storyline the same.



Rain banged against the window. Alyssa looked up from washing her lunch dishes and stared at it. At least she could daydream while no one else noticed. After all, how else would she spend life without family fun—or even love? Her uncle enforced strict and unfair rules. Alyssa longed for the kind of life she’d lived before her parents had died in a car crash five years ago. She’d only been seven at that time, and now she couldn’t experience things like many children her age. Unless . . . she could find her godfather’s phone number and secretly call him. She hadn’t talked to him ever since she’d also lost her aunt three years ago. But she recalled his kind attitude. Her parents had even designated him as a legal guardian. But something seemed off with the raindrops. They turned grayish blue and darkened into black, looking as if ink fell from the sky. Alyssa leaned closer, squinting to determine the shapes it formed on the window. The rain formed—letters. No. That couldn’t happen. But a message formed as the rain plopped on other parts of the window. Nature couldn’t change its laws, right? Yet, the message finished putting itself together. Alyssa gasped at what it said.

 Your life will never be the same again, Alyssa McCarthy, as magic will interfere.

 What? Alyssa had never believed in magic. She’d been told at a young age that it hadn’t existed. Everyone on Orion Street was ordinary—at least, Alyssa had thought that ever since she’d moved here, right after her parents’ deaths.   Turning around, she saw her babysitter, Mrs. Hutchinson, examine the kitchen floor. Alyssa’s eleven-year-old cousin, Hailey, watched the progress. Hailey had mopped the floor. Would she earn a break now? Ever since her uncle, Bruce, had hired Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson had admired the way Hailey had done her chores more than Alyssa.  “Hailey, you can take a break until your next chore,” said Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, get back to work. You’ve been staring at the rain for too long.”  “Okay.” Alyssa turned back—only to see the message gone and the rain back to its normal transparency.   “What did I say?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.  Alyssa sighed. “Fine, I’ll finish washing the dishes.”  She scrubbed her dish and glass with soap under warm running water. Her eyes focused on just those. No way would she want Mrs. Hutchinson to catch her looking out the window again. Mrs. Hutchinson was only in her sixties, but she’d sometimes seem to forget that was 2010 and not 1960 with her guidelines. Yet, it had taken Alyssa a while to realize that she wouldn’t even tolerate the mildest kind of nonsense, such as getting distracted by a windowpane when having to perform chores.  Now that she finished washing her dishes, Alyssa put them to the side and grabbed some paper towels to dry them.  “What do you think you’re doing?” Mrs. Hutchinson asked.  Alyssa stopped. “I’m just—”  “The last few times I was here, you left little bits of food on your dishes.”   “But they were stuck.”

 “Let me inspect them. Also, if something is rubbery, you have to wash it again.”  “Why?”  “Because clean dishes aren’t supposed to be rubbery. And boy, did you do such a sloppy job. Look at that stain on your sweater.”  Alyssa looked down.  “That looks like chocolate.”   Alyssa blushed and arched her eyebrows.  “Hey—it’s just water.” She covered the stain at the bottom of her sweater’s V-neck.  But Mrs. Hutchinson waved her index finger. “Don’t you ‘hey’ me, Alyssa. That’s rude. In my days, kids respected their elders. We never would dare talk to them that way unless we didn’t mind them smacking our bottoms.”  “Things change.”   “Not when I’m here, they don’t. Now let me do my inspection.”  Great—an inspection! How long would Mrs. Hutchinson take? She might spend a couple minutes or maybe twenty. Alyssa crossed her arms and tapped her foot. She wanted her break now. She wished to read, rest, do a small craft, like lanyards—anything but wait for Mrs. Hutchinson to finish her task.  “Mrs. Hutchinson?” Alyssa asked.  “Whatever you need to say, wait till I’m done,” she said.   Alyssa sighed. She continued to watch Mrs. Hutchinson run her finger down the middle of the front of the dish. She then rubbed it back and forth. When she put it down and nodded, Alyssa figured out that the dish had nothing on it.  Mrs. Hutchinson spent a few minutes of running her finger down the glass. She put it down and turned to Alyssa. “You’re good. Now what did you want to tell me?”  “Um . . . if I tell you, can you not give me a hard time?”   “Okay.”  “There was writing on the window.”  Mrs. Hutchinson pursed her lips and tilted her head. “Really?”  “Yeah.”  “Nonsense.”   “No, really, it was there.”   “There was nothing there when I came, and there’s nothing there right now. So don’t tell me stories.”  “But it’s not a story.”  “I don’t want to hear any more. Now it’s time for your next chore.”  “Aw, but I wanted my break.”  “Too bad. You have to go vacuum the living room.”  Alyssa dragged her feet toward the living room and took the vacuum from the corner. She cleaned and thought about that writing as well as how Mrs. Hutchinson wouldn’t believe her. Would a nicer babysitter have believed her? Mrs. Hutchinson had watched her and Hailey for three years, and not once had she smiled or assisted with anything.   After vacuuming the carpet for about five minutes, Alyssa decided that she had tidied the floor enough. So she stopped and put the vacuum away.  “Hailey, you and Alyssa need to go get the mail now!” Mrs. Hutchinson called, facing the staircase.   “Coming!” cried Hailey.

Another rule Uncle Bruce had placed on Alyssa and Hailey was they could only go outside together. He worried about people taking them or something, even though Alyssa would turn thirteen next month. But that rule had been placed because a few months ago, Uncle Bruce had heard about a seventeen-year-old boy who had been shot while skateboarding in his neighborhood. Violence could even happen here in Bursnell, New Jersey.  Hailey and Alyssa headed to the closet and put their raincoats on until Mrs. Hutchinson said, “It stopped raining outside.”  “Already?” asked Alyssa.  “Yes.” Mrs. Hutchinson went to the bathroom.   The girls walked outside toward the mailbox. Alyssa pulled the mail and headed back toward the door. But mud bubbled from the ground near the house. It piled up, looking like horse manure, and grew as more soil emerged. Alyssa dropped her jaw and stared at it.  “Alyssa, what’s going on?” Hailey asked.   “No idea,” said Alyssa.  The dirt stopped piling up, but it continued to bubble, and the effects spread throughout the whole pile. The bubbles stopped popping up and down. Alyssa and Hailey gasped as they expanded. They kept their mouths open as the bubbles merged together, each one attached to another, forming a single bigger shape. Alyssa and Hailey stepped back as the now giant bubble swelled. And it . . . popped! Particles of exploding mud landed on the girls. They shrieked.  The front door opened to reveal a glowering Mrs. Hutchinson. “What the heck have you two been doing?”   “T-the mud . . . it e-exploded,” said Hailey.   “Nonsense!” growled Mrs. Hutchinson. “Get inside!”  The girls returned inside, pulling and wiping the mud out of their hair. Alyssa could spot the mud in her straight pale-blonde tresses, unlike Hailey, who likely needed more patience to search for globs in her elbow-length red locks. But Alyssa’s hair fell a few inches past her hips, so cleaning out the mud would take longer, even with the shorter layers in the front.  “How could dirt explode?” Mrs. Hutchinson stomped.   “I-I think it was magic!” exclaimed Alyssa.  “There’s no such thing as magic!” screamed Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, you’re twelve years old. You’re too old to say things like that!”  “But nothing else can make mud explode!” Alyssa said.  “Mrs. Hutchinson, we swear it did!” whined Hailey.   “Enough!” snapped Mrs. Hutchinson. “You and Hailey—go upstairs and take showers!”  Alyssa followed Hailey up the stairs and heaved a sigh. How else would the mud have splattered all over them? Mrs. Hutchinson couldn’t have thought they’d play in the mud like small children.  “Alyssa, can I shower first?” asked Hailey.   “Sure,” said Alyssa.  As Hailey strode into the bathroom, Alyssa walked into her room. She scratched more mud off her skinny jeans (the only jeans she’d worn ever since they’d come into style) and the back of her hand. She stood by her bed since she wanted to keep it clean.  She considered the writing on the window and the exploding mud. Someone wanted magic to interfere with her life, but who, and how come?

 Also, why hadn’t she ever seen wizardry before? Why would her parents and others tell her that it hadn’t existed? Did sorcery just start on earth? Had it hidden somewhere? There had to be some reason why no one had ever believed in it.  Alyssa thought about the possibility that maybe magic might only interfere if she stayed here in her uncle’s house. Maybe if her godfather could arrange with his lawyer to let her move in with him, sorcery would hopefully leave her alone. However, unlike science, anything could occur with magic, which meant that it could follow her wherever she went.   The sound produced by the bathroom’s running water ended, which let Alyssa know that Hailey had finished. Now she could have a turn.  After about five minutes showering, Alyssa stepped out and headed back to her room. She put on leggings and a long shirt. But she gasped at something appearing out of nowhere on her bed. Now that had to have come from . . . magic.  Approaching it, she saw that it was a folded piece of paper. She opened it and read it. Hello Alyssa McCarthy, You must be wondering about the writing on your window, the exploding mud, and the note that appeared here. Who was responsible for them? You’ll find out at some point. Anonymous

 Anonymous? How dare someone create incidents and not say his or her name! Alyssa needed to know his or her identity in order to report him or her. She didn’t want strange, magical occurrences to keep happening.  Regardless of that, now she had proof to Mrs. Hutchinson that the writing and exploding mud had occurred. Mrs. Hutchinson had seen her write before, and this looked nothing like hers. She handwrote in a half-print and half-script style. This, however, was pure print. Alyssa jogged down the stairs and carried the note. “Mrs. Hutchinson, I have something to show you.”   “Not right now, Alyssa.” Mrs. Hutchinson left the kitchen. “You and Hailey have to go wash my car.”  “But it’s quick.”  “You can show me after you’re done with my car.” Mrs. Hutchinson turned to Hailey, who emptied the dishwasher and put dishes away. “Are you almost done?”  “I think so,” said Hailey.  “How many dishes do you have left?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.  “Uh . . .” Hailey looked at the top rack. “Four.”  “Okay, hurry up.” Mrs. Hutchinson turned to Alyssa. “Why don’t you go put that piece of paper away?”  “But this is what I need to show you.”   “Do I have to repeat what I said before?”   “But—”  “Alyssa, do as you’re told.” Mrs. Hutchinson pointed to the staircase.  Alyssa sighed. This note contained so much crucial information. Only that paper itself had evidence to show that those incidents had occurred.

 After putting the note back in her room, Alyssa headed down the stairs and walked with Hailey toward the garage. The two grabbed sponges, buckets, and soap for washing cars. They filled the buckets with water and scrubbed Mrs. Hutchinson’s car.  “I wish we had another babysitter,” muttered Alyssa.   “What was on the piece of paper?” asked Hailey.  Alyssa told her.   “Who wrote it?”  “There was no name on it. Just ‘anonymous.’”  A girl whistling turned Alyssa’s attention away from the car. She leaned her head toward the sidewalk and saw her friend from grade school, Madison Jennings, riding her scooter.  “Hi, Alyssa,” said Madison. The wind blew her long dark-brown waves across her face. She stopped at Alyssa’s driveway, and her hair went limp. Hailey and Alyssa ran up to greet her and ask how she’d been.  “I just moved onto Draco Drive a few days ago,” Madison referred to a road off Orion Street.  “So how do you like the middle school?” asked Alyssa.   “Oh, I go to Catholic school now,” said Madison. “What about you?”  “Hailey and I are homeschooled now,” said Alyssa. “I never got to tell you.”  “That’s okay,” said Madison. “So you guys want to come over to my house on Saturday?”  “What time?” asked Alyssa.  “I’ll ask my mom and let you know,” said Madison. “Okay, bye, guys. Nice seeing you again.” She rode back in the direction she’d come from as Hailey and Alyssa waved goodbye to her.  After washing the car for another ten minutes, Alyssa and Hailey cleaned up and walked back inside. A snore suggested to Alyssa that Mrs. Hutchinson slept. Huh? She never napped while babysitting.  Alyssa strode toward the living room and saw Mrs. Hutchinson asleep on one of the couches. Hailey followed her. “Why is Mrs. Hutchinson sleeping?”   “I don’t know,” said Alyssa.  “Can you show me the note?”  Alyssa nodded and led her up the stairs. She opened her door but gasped at what she saw. The note that she’d left on her bed was gone.  “Where’s the note?” asked Hailey.  “It was right there,” Alyssa pointed to the bed.  But another piece of paper appeared onto the mattress. Alyssa picked it up and read it.

Hello again, Alyssa,

I have put your babysitter to sleep to reveal magic to you. You’ll find out why she is sleeping later. Anonymous

 “Not again,” mumbled Alyssa. “Why won’t they say their name?” She showed the note to Hailey.  “Let’s go call my dad before anything happens,” said Hailey.

 How much worse could this get? Alyssa thought as she followed Hailey down the stairs.

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About the Author

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Sunayna Prasad has published a few books between her late teens and her mid-twenties. She has won a Pacific Book Review Award for her novel, Wizardry Goes Wild, which will return as a new edition, like From Frights to Flaws. Sunayna also has a blog on different creative and entertaining topics, including writing and fiction. It is called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Aside from writing, Sunayna also likes to cook, do art, and watch videos online. She has graduated from college in May 2017 and is looking to continue more writing as well as hold a graphic design job soon. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.

Contact Links

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson

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


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.



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
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
greatest lost empire, the kingdom of Atlantis.
Armed with this knowledge,
Himmler was convinced the Aryans of Europe would
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
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
‘W-w-what if it t-t-trap?’ stuttered the petrified
‘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
‘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
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
‘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
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.

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