Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word KNIFE

New TT imageAs I get ready to go and attend a family wedding, I found the time to post this week’s Tuesday Tales, the on-going weekly blog where books are born. Each week, we post a short excerpt based on a word or image. This week the word is KNIFE.

I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage, Book Two in the Canadiana Series.\

Enjoy.

Guy rubbed his chin. “I’ve sent men beyond Quebec and down to the region controlled by the Abenaki and Micmac. According to official records, in the colony itself, there are more than a dozen seigneuries controlled directly from France. My friend Nicolas Denys, the governor of Canso, assures me all of his men and those in the area are loyal to the colony, as are those in Acadia. Rumor has it, the French will reclaim that land within a year or two. Loyal Frenchmen have no desire to support the English should a battle occur, and as long as rumors of an Iroquois Confederacy joining the Abenaki are false, there’s no danger there. My concern is with men nearby, like those you mentioned and those whose lands are near des Courts’ estates. My scouts will check on those when they return in the spring. My other worry is rooted in the tall tales of rich furs and gold far to the south and west of the colony. Men down on their luck will believe almost anything if they think it will lead to untold wealth.”

Remi pursed his lips and reached for the knife on the table to cut a chunk of cheese from the block his wife had brought in earlier.

“I was afraid to mention those, but now that you have, a greedy man with no ties to the colony—no wife, no children, no land—will indeed be tempted, and since those are the very men we need to farm the land and defend us, you have every right to be afraid.”

Knowing his friend wasn’t finished, Guy waited, his fingers tapping on his glass as Remi, popped the chunk of cheese into his mouth and chewed as if by doing so the morsel helped him organize his thoughts.

“Whoever is spreading those wild stories is doing so faster than a skunk can poison the air. Two of my engagés whose debt will be repaid come the spring have already mentioned they would like to join an expedition going west to search for this mysterious treasure trove. Has De Courcelle authorized such an expedition?” He narrowed his eyes. “My men are good, strong workers who believe the governor-general is behind this.”

Guy clenched his teeth. “The governor-general has ordered no such expedition. Participating in such a venture is a crime against the colony.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

 

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Posted in Special days

Monday Musings: Return to Gilligan’s Island

Mitch and IvanGood morning. Well, summer is definitely here and this weekend we had the pleasure of spending time with my sister and brother-in-law at their riverside home.  Thanks to the glorious weather, we went out on their pontoon boat and enjoyed the cool breezes off the St. Lawrence River.  Food and company were awesome.

On Saturday night, we joined them at a neighborhood themed costume party. Mitch and I spent the morning scouring dollar stores and Value village for the right accoutrements to match our costumes.

Gilligan's Island originalWho remembers Gilligan’s Island? The show ran in the early sixties, but was popular in syndication for years afterwards.  The characters included the skipper, Gilligan, his first mate,  the millionaire and his wife, Thurston Howell III and Lovey, a movie star, Ginger, a farm girl  Maryann, and the high school teacher known as the professor. Each week, the cast dealt with issues, many of which involved other people washing up on their island or crash landing there. Funny thing was, at the end of the episodes, the newest castaways always managed to escape the island leaving our bumbling group behind. The professor could create all manner of living conveniences from bamboo, but couldn’t build a decent raft.

The theme of the party was Gilligan’s island. People were encouraged to come costumed and bring a “drinking vessel.” Our little group of six decided to go as the skipper, Gilligan, the Howells, Maryann, and a “handsome stranger” washed up on the beach. We had a great time. In the foreground, you can see my wooden bowl and pitcher,and the top of my can of coconut milk–Maryann did look after the food preparation. Gilligan's island party.

Best of thanks to those who hosted the party and to my sister for housing and feeding us all weekend. Another great summer memory.

Do you enjoy role play parties? What’s the most unusual role you’ve ever taken on?

Looking for something to read this summer? Check out my books.

https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4

vimavail-series

 

Posted in Midweek Tease

Midweek Tease: Another Taste of Fire Angel

MWTease15Good morning. Happy Fourth of July to all of those celebrating today. Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease, made possible by Angelica Dawson. As I prepare to take a couple of weeks off, I leave you with the rest of the opening scene from Fire Angel, Book Two of the Vengeance Is Mine Series.

All of the books in the series are now available from all Amazon stores. 

Cracking open a third bottle of beer, he sipped it, alternating with drags on the cigarette, letting the smoke fill his lungs and the nicotine and alcohol add to the calming effects of the drug he’d taken. His two-pack a day habit was becoming problematic, especially with all the laws against smoking in public places. Hell, soon a man would have nowhere to smoke … not even in his own damn house. The worst taste in the universe—even worse than his mother’s cooking—had to be that nicotine gum he was forced to chew at work to keep his cravings in check.

As the fire burned, the tension within him slowly seeped away. Exhausted, he finished his beer and placed the empty in the back seat with the other two. Taking one last look at what was left of the cabin, he noted the fire beginning to shrink in on itself now that there was nothing new to consume. It would burn a while longer, but he was sated. Drops of rain splattered on the hood of the van. Right on time.

“Soon, darling, soon,” he spoke to the dying flames. “I’ll let you out to play again.”

Putting on his rubber gloves once more, he pulled the cellphone he’d used to set up the buy out of his jacket pocket along with Bandit’s, tossed them on the floor of the jerk’s van, then got in and started the engine. The smoke hung like fog in the darkness. It clung to his hair and to his clothes. He would dump the vehicle, go home, shave, shower, and do a load of laundry. He had to be at work early tomorrow.

* * *

Jake McKenzie dropped onto the sofa. Having the opportunity to prove to himself and others that he was as good as he’d ever been might be rewarding, but it was exhausting, too. After three weeks in a hotel, he was glad to be home, even if home was an apartment attached to an inn.

The flight from Regina to Toronto had been a long one, but the roughest part had been the commuter plane from Toronto to North Bay. The alternative, a flight to Ottawa, wasn’t practical since his sister-in-law would insist on picking him up. Making her drive the more than six hours to the city and back again was a bad idea, especially at this time of the year when the deer and moose were more active. Thank goodness his niece was spending the night at her friend’s house. He couldn’t deal with an exuberant five-year-old right now. The phone rang disturbing the silence of the room.

“Jake,” Minette called from the kitchen. “It’s for you.”

Picking up the receiver on the end table, he frowned. He’d barely been home an hour. Who could possibly be calling on a Thursday night at this time? It was almost nine.

“Hello?” he asked, leaning back on the sofa and propping his leg on the ottoman.

“Jake, it’s Ev Lewis. Sorry to intrude so soon after your arrival. How was Regina?”

Everett Lewis was Paradise’s Chief of Police. He’d been after him for months now to consider doing some freelance profiling for them.

“It was good. With my help, the RCMP arrested a man and closed three files. There are still far too many First Nation’s women missing, and that barely touched the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a start. They offered me a job. I turned them down. Maybe after David gets home and can take care of his family, I’ll consider it, but for now, I’m staying put.”

“That’s good. Listen, I know we’ve been down this road before, and you keep telling me it’s not something you can handle right now, but I really need your help. How much do you know about pyromania and arson?”

He frowned. “As much as any profiler, maybe a little more since arson often goes hand in hand with terrorist attacks.” He’d seen a few examples of that in Afghanistan.

“I think we’ve got one on our hands here, and he’s escalating. There’ve been six fires in a little over a year. The first three could just be coincidence, but my gut says the last three aren’t. Of those, the first one took place June third and the last one between August twenty-third and September fifth. Jake, I’ve tried to keep the wraps on this but there was a body found at that one.”

Damn. That could mean anything from an accidental death to premeditated murder.

“How did you keep Lynette from spreading that little tidbit?” he asked. The feisty redheaded dynamo who ruled the detachment with an iron fist and boxes of homemade cookies kept everyone on their toes, especially the chief. If there was something you wanted to know, all you had to do was ask Lynette. The only thing she couldn’t do was keep a secret, so if you wanted everyone to know something, you told her, and she would take care of the rest. She would’ve made one hell of a town crier.

“She was in Florida visiting her parents when it happened, and I’ve kept most of the information quiet, but others are privy to the news now. Did you see Willard’s article in yesterday’s In the Know?”

Ralph Willard was a self-proclaimed editor whose newspaper was devoted to what he claimed was exposing the truth.

“No. I don’t usually read that crap.” Min probably had one somewhere. Willard made sure to send a few copies to the inn whenever he published a new edition. “Save me the trouble. What’s he got to say this time?”

“He claims these fires are the work of the devil. Not blaming witches and warlocks exactly, and he’s careful not to name names, but he might as well. Apparently, the night of the fire, August thirty-first according to him, there was a rare celestial event—a blue moon. When I asked him where he got his info, he claimed it was an anonymous source, and went on and on about freedom of the press. Jake, the coroner couldn’t be that specific about the date, how could he?”

“Relax, Ev. You don’t know he’s right, do you?” Jake asked, trying to calm the man whose blood pressure had to be way up there. “What difference does knowing the exact date make? It doesn’t change the facts any. There was a fire and a man is dead.”

“I suppose, but you know Willard. Every damn thing he prints has a kernel of truth in it. Other than the son of a bitch who set the fire, who could be his source?”

“I don’t know,” Jake admitted, puzzled by the idea. “Maybe some Good Samaritan saw the fire, but doesn’t want to get personally involved. Think about it. Why would the arsonist want everyone to know the exact date? What’s the point?”

“To prove how dangerous he is? To create fear? Panic? You choose. I checked the calendar. If we accept he’s right and that fire occurred on the thirty-first, then two of the previous ones were on the night of the full moon, too,” Ev continued. “If you have an out-of-the-way place, you could be the next target. I sure as hell don’t believe witches and warlocks are involved, but if the moon means something in all this, then we’ve got just over a week to stop him. He’s got everyone in the department on tenterhooks. I don’t want to find another corpse next weekend when the moon shines bright. I need to know who I’m looking for, and I need to know yesterday.”

Fire Angel is available for only 99 cents USD or can be read free with KU.

Don’t forget to check out the other great teasers.

#MidWeekTease July 4, 2018


Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word Worn

New TT image

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Tales, the blog that takes you inside a book as it’s written. Each week we add a scene based on a word or picture prompt. This week’s prompt is WORN.

I’m continuing with The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadiana Series picking up the conversation between Guy and Remi from last week.

“Why would a man choose to live in a tropical paradise?” Guy asked, leaning back in the chair. “Because, above all else, it’s an incredibly rich and fertile volcanic island. It may be home to the fer-de-lance, poisonous snakes, but with good sturdy boots and vigilance, they aren’t an issue. Saint Pierre is well fortified and capable of fending off any attack from the English, Dutch, or Spanish, all vying to establish colonies there. I’m considering taking Izzy and our child to winter there once this threat of war and rebellion is over, but I would miss the beauty of the other three seasons far too much to make it my permanent home. Guyenne is also an attractive place, one that’s even warmer I understand. The ship we sailed on has taken up a post there to protect it from the Dutch and Portuguese. It’s on the mainland of South America. You might consider that, too, but I would miss you. This colony needs good men like you.”

“You have a point. Perhaps wintering there would be sufficient—as long as it controls the pain and makes life bearable.” He stood. “Would you like another drink while we wait? The others should be here soon.” He reached for the carafe on the table.

Guy crossed his feet shod in worn leather boots. “Thank you. Perhaps we should bottle this and sell it in France.” He chuckled. “The cognac and wine are readily available. All they would need is our maple syrup. Who have you invited to join us?”

Remi refilled Guy’s glass and his own then resumed his seat by the fire.

“I’ve sent runners to the eight estates around me, and all of them have agreed to come for an evening of cards. My wife and the servants have been cooking and cleaning all week, getting beds ready although, some who live nearby may opt to return home if the weather holds.”

“And how many do you think are on our side?”

Remi rubbed his chin. “I’ve no doubt the six men who were part of the regiment support our cause. One of them has already renamed his estate Trois Érables. The two who concern me are Charles de Michel and Sylvain Archambault. They were granted their seigneuries by  the company itself. They’ve been here many years, but the estates are poorly developed, their wealth dependent on the fur trade alone.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

 

Posted in Special days

Happy Birthday, Canada. For 151, you look good.

purple red white and orange fireworks display
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Happy Canada Day to all of my friends and readers who have the honour and privilege of calling this great nation home. We may not be perfect, but we put 100% into everything we do. We open our hearts to those in need, and we care about peace, the environment, equal rights for all regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Be proud to be Canadian. I am.

Posted in Special days

Saturday Surprise: Why Authors Need Reviews

deerWelcome to the last day of June, 2018. Summer has finally arrived bathing my part of Canada in sweltering heat. Am I complaining? No way. Winter lasts long enough in this part of the world that summer days are welcomed, but it is a mite warm today!

Usually at this time of year, we go camping. Alas, my camping days are behind me as the reality of a body full of arthritis makes sleeping outdoors an unpleasant chore, far outweighing the pleasures of the great outdoors. Instead, I’ll sit and relax in my own backyard and enjoy a campfire–yes, we have a permit–and then sleep in my own bed. No fuss, no muss, but I will miss seeing the deer.

I’ve decided to cut back on my writing over the summer and catch up on my reading and reviewing, as well as do some editing for another author, and take some ‘me’ time.

Yesterday, I released the last book in my Vengeance Is Mine Series.  It felt good to accomplish that task, even better when I saw that there were sales made, even if it did take me a couple of weeks longer to do it than I intended.

Just because I’m cutting back on the writing doesn’t mean I’m stopping. I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off to attend a family wedding out west, and then I’ll be back at work on The Price of Courage, posting in Tuesday Tales each week. I also have another book to release this summer. If you follow Tuesday Tales, you may recall Same Time Next Year, the book within a book, reminiscent of The Notebook that I started last year. I’m hoping to release it on August 1, 2018, and pray it’ll get the reviews it needs.

Books need reviews? They do. They need them as much as books need sales and pages read. Why? Because Amazon promotes books based on reviews as well as sales. You might choose a book without reading its reviews, but a lot of people use the reviews to help them select what to read. Good covers are essential, as are good blurbs and category choices, but more than anything, a book needs reviews. Unfortunately, getting them is as hard as herding cats.

As much as it tears an author’s heart open to read bad reviews, in a lot of case, those sell books, too, since people like to decide for themselves about things. More importantly, all reviews go toward the magic number needed to be able to advertise your books on the best platforms for maximum visibility.

Seriously? Advertisers don’t just grab your money and run? Not the best ones. Those have standards and people who pick and choose the books they want to promote. A spot with them can make or break an author, especially a new one like me.

So, the next time you finish a book, either a paperback or a kindle, consider leaving a review on Amazon–yes, they are a biggest e-book retailers with the most clout, and while they haven’t monopolized the industry yet, they’re damn close!

Reviews don’t have to be long. Amazon even offers guiding questions. You don’t have to summarize the plot, just focus on what you liked, or didn’t like about the book. You don’t even have to leave your name!

Don’t want to leave a review on a public platform? How about using a private one. My website has a space for reviews just waiting to be filled.  Check it out! Maybe you’ll find a book there to interest you. https://mhsusannematthews.ca/

Have a great weekend. Stay safe and hydrated, and remember, if you’ve read it, please take a minute to leave a review!

Posted in Friday Reads

Friday Feature: Vengeance Is Mine Series Is Complete!

vim-seriesIt’s done! It’s finished! It’s here! Three of my books have been revised, re-edited, and released. They are better than ever with great new scenes, and more thrills and chills than ever before.

Good morning!

The series started in May with On His Watch.

On His WatchYou can’t outrun the past.
On leave from the FBI, Special Agent Jason Spark is enjoying some welcome peace and quiet when he’s called on to help the local sheriff’s department check out a 911 call. Expecting a prank or misdial, he unwittingly steps into a horrifying bloodbath straight out of a Hollywood slasher movie, complete with clues scrawled on the wall.
Nikki Hart’s husband and son are killed, but she survives, badly beaten and barely clinging to life in a coma. When she awakens, she doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. Terrified, and unsure of whom to trust, she clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments.
The investigation turns up a prime suspect: The Butcher, an elusive hired assassin for the Sicilian mob. As the news of Nikki’s recovery spreads, putting her in this ruthless killer’s sights again, Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love.
Nikki’s beginning to believe Jason might be the angel who protected her in her dreams. But when she learns about the secret role he played in the worst day of her life, can she ever forgive him?

It continued in June with Fire Angel.

Fire AngelEverything happens for a reason.
Criminal profiler Jake McKenzie returned from Afghanistan minus a leg, determined never to let anyone get close enough to hurt him again. When his old friend asks him to help with a serial arsonist case, he jumps at the chance to prove his worth, but as the bodies pile up, he realizes he needs help. He convinces the chief to bring in a fire investigator, stunned to discover that the woman is none other than the girl who vanished from his life twenty years ago.
Alexis Michaels fled Paradise and an abusive uncle only to almost die in a fire that left her scarred not only on the outside, but on the inside, leaving her with psychic abilities. With that gift, she’s climbed to the top of her profession. Her abilities may be the only thing that can find and stop the Fire Angel, a pyromaniac turned revenge arsonist serial killer who’s slowly turning a peaceful town into Hell on Earth. The problem is, to do the job, she has to return to the one place where she swore she would never set foot again.
Faced with confusing emotions and a killer who’s made it clear he wants her to stay out of his business, Alexis must deal with the past before she can move on. But things may get too hot even for her as the Fire Angel moves toward the final act in his revenge drama.

And now, in July, it ends with In Plain Sight

In Plain SightThere’s a price to pay for everything you do.

Widowed, her dream of starring on Broadway in ashes at her feet, Misty Starr yearns for a happy, healthy, normal life for herself and her four-year-old daughter, Debbie. Settled in Pine Falls, New York, a sleepy little town filled with friendly people, she believes she’s found it and feels safe enough to sing in an amateur theater revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. She’ll do anything to keep this life even if it is built on lies, because revealing her secret is impossible. When Nick Anthony joins the cast as music director, Misty is attracted to the man who stirs up feelings she thought long dead, but can love grow on a bed of deceit?

A former concert pianist and secret CIA courier, Nick lives in darkness ever since the accident that killed his wife. The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with his vision, so why can’t he see? Hiding from his former life, he reluctantly agrees to help with the musical and is drawn to the young singer with the voice of an angel. When a mysterious fire destroys her home, Nick vows to keep her and her daughter safe. After one suspicious event leads to another, Nick is determined to protect them from an unknown assassin, but in order to do that, he needs to know her secrets. With his money and connections, he’ll do whatever it takes to save the woman he loves, but does she love him enough to reveal the truth?

Here’s a sneak peek at the opening scene from In Plain Sight.

“What the hell’s taking so long?” Ryan Spencer mumbled, shivering in the front seat of the limo. November was one of those months when either Lady Autumn was in charge or Old Man Winter flexed his muscles. Today was the latter, and his joints reminded him that while he was no Methuselah, he was no longer a spring chicken either. At least it hadn’t snowed yet, something for which he was grateful.

The diamond motif streetlights came on, and he clenched his teeth. How long before that police cruiser he’d seen fifteen minutes ago made another pass? If it did, they were bound to stop and ask questions. He glanced at the glove compartment knowing the gun inside it would be a problem if someone got nosy. It wasn’t his, but would that matter?

He’d been Kerry Doherty’s driver for more than twenty-five years, taking the old man and now his son—and whoever else he was told to—wherever they wanted to go, waiting patiently in the vehicle until he was needed to drive away again. He knew some of those activities, like today’s, were illegal, but he was well-paid to keep his head down and his mouth shut. He also knew when something wasn’t going according to plan.

At the moment, the acid in his stomach burned a hole in his gut. He needed a cigarette in the worst way, but since the old man had been diagnosed with lung cancer, smoking inside the vehicle was strictly forbidden. He should quit—he’d tried, but…

Flexing his cold fingers, he waited, afraid to run the engine. He kept his head down low, trying not to attract attention, but a car double parked on Diamond and Jewelry Way at six o’clock on a Friday evening—even if it was a chauffeur-driven Rolls—was bound to be noticed.

Money flowed down this street like a damn river of gold, but not everyone got their fair share, and that included Samuel Hershel, the disgruntled nephew of Abraham Hershel, the richest of the diamond merchants, and the one responsible for making him freeze his ass off here watching and waiting. As the youngest nephew, Samuel got the leavings, the dregs of his great uncle’s attention and business, the lion’s share going to Isaac, his eldest brother, something he didn’t think was fair.

Hand shaking, Ryan popped a piece of nicotine gum into his mouth, hoping it might assuage the gnawing inside him, knowing it probably wouldn’t. What kind of idiot had invented leather gloves that didn’t even attempt to keep your hands warm?

Damn kids with their sense of entitlement. Liam, the boss’s son, was the same. No brains, no patience. Get rich quick and be done with it. He didn’t give a damn about how he did it, or who might get hurt in the process. No, he needed to make his own mark on the bloody world, just like his new friend who’d dragged them into this mess.

After working for peanuts for years, Samuel had looked for other opportunities to make money, hanging out at O’Toole’s in Hell’s Kitchen and getting cozy with Liam Doherty, heir-apparent to the Green Shamrocks, currently the most powerful of the Irish mobs in the United States. Six weeks ago, he’d presented baby-boss with what he’d claimed would be the perfect robbery. Ryan had tried to talk him out of it, suggesting he wait until the old man got back, but Kevin O’Hara, Liam’s right-hand man and Kerry’s golden boy, had put him in his place, reminding him that he wasn’t indispensable.

“You’re not the only man who can drive this, boy-o. You can easily be replaced.”

He’d shut his mouth.

Kerry Doherty was back in Ireland visiting Kay, something he’d been doing more often these last few months. Few people knew Liam was a twin, but just after the babies were born, Siobhan Howard, Doherty’s wife, always a fragile woman, had left him, taking the girl with her and leaving him the son. She’d died within the year, but Kerry had honored her wishes, leaving the girl with maternal grandparents who’d taken over her care, raising her away from the Green Shamrocks and the mob. Kerry had stayed away until their deaths five years ago. Since then, he’d worked hard to reestablish himself in his daughter’s life, something Liam hated. Now that he was sick, he wanted to reunite his family, but Liam was dead set against it. With this heist, the boy hoped to prove to the old man that he could handle things on his own.

Ryan had met the girl when he’d accompanied Kerry to Ireland last year. She managed McHale Shipping, a legitimate business with ties all over the world. Her only weakness was that asshole Kevin O’Hara. Kerry had brought him back to the states with him and set him up as Liam’s right-hand man—no doubt to learn the ins and outs in case he decided Liam couldn’t handle things on his own. Why the old man thought that hot-head would keep Liam in line was a mystery. The man had a bellyful of secrets, and when they came out, it would be a sight to behold. He would give anything to be a fly on the wall when Kevin explained about the little wife and the bun in the oven. The man would be lucky to walk away with his balls intact.

Glancing at his watch, Ryan frowned. He’d been here more than twenty-five minutes. Had that schmuck Samuel screwed up in some way? If he had, the 30 percent he was supposed to net from this would be zero in no time, and he’d be lucky to stay out of the East River. It was none of his business—he was just a driver as Kevin kept reminding him—but he had a really bad feeling about this. Now that he looked around, he realized the street was too quiet for a mid-November evening. Where were the early Christmas shoppers? Even the patrol car should’ve been back by now.

Nerves frayed, unable to stand the craving a second longer, he spat the gum into the ashtray and got out of the car, leaning against the vehicle, his breath teasing him with smoke-like puffs, as his frozen fingers fought to pull a cigarette from the pack.

Where was everyone? For days, he, Kevin, and Liam had cased the building, driving along 47th Street, walking the block-long sidewalk, checking out the storefronts, rubbing elbows with youths in yarmulkes, older bearded men in black suits and black hats, women, heads covered, dressed as if it was still the fifties and not the twenty-first century, and of course, the Hasidic Jews with their long curls, the pe’ah of the Bible, the injunction against shaving the corners of their heads, hanging proudly beneath their round, fur shtreimels.

Samuel had chosen the date and time to coincide with Shabbat. Abraham and Isaac never missed Temple and had started leaving him in charge of the skeleton staff at work about two months ago, after the store’s longtime manager had retired—not the promotion he’d wanted—a definite step down from assistant diamond merchant to glorified clerk, and the insult that tipped the scale. He would get what was rightfully his, one way or another. The old man might not even report it. Hell, according to Samuel, half the damn stones were of questionable origin anyway. You didn’t get as rich as Midas by playing by the rules.

Kevin, with Samuel and Liam’s help, had worked out the supposedly perfect plan. Liam had gone into the store, dressed to the nines, with his “bodyguards” standing beside him as if he had need of protection, to look at diamonds. Samuel had assured them that Abraham might be torn by the sight of the rich foreigner with money to spend, but as was his custom, he would leave him to see to this new customer after the traditional mazel and brucha handshake promising to deal with him personally next time.

Samuel should’ve unlocked the vault as soon as the men left, removed the tray of stones, and Liam would’ve pulled the gun on him, forcing him back to the vault where he, Sean, and Kevin would’ve cleaned it out before pistol whipping the ungrateful little bastard and locking him inside along with his clerks. When Samuel didn’t make it home, someone would come looking for him.

The little schmuck would be all over himself apologizing, and if he fooled his uncle into thinking he had nothing to do with it, things would go well indeed. Who wouldn’t want a diamond merchant in his pocket? And as Ryan had heard Kevin and Liam discuss, if anything were to happen to Isaac or Abraham—Liam could be looking at the goose who’d laid the golden egg.

Ryan had just finished his cigarette when the sound of gunfire erupted from the building.

“Son of a bitch,” he cursed, tossing the butt on the ground.

Get your copy for 99 cents USD or read it free with KU. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F413TJH

 

The Vengeance Is Mine Series is available along with all of my other books on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00DJCKRP4

Have a wonderful weekend. Summer is here!