View Full-Size Image
A Novel by: Joylene Nowell Butler
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Release: November 4, 2011
Editor: Christine I. Speakman
Line editor: Valerie Haley
Cover artist: Suzannah Safi
* Mild sexual content. * Some violence. * Coarse language. * 18 or over.
Valerie McCormick is a wife and mother from small town Canada. While visiting Seattle, she becomes the only witness to the brutal seaside murder of two FBI agents. When she flees to the nearest police station to report the crime, she becomes caught up in a web of international intrigue and danger. Suddenly, she and her family are in the sights of ruthless criminals bent on preventing her from testifying against the murderer. Even with FBI protection, Valerie is not safe. Whisked away from her family and all that is familiar to her, Valerie fights back against the well-intentioned FBI to ultimately take control over her life with every ounce of fury a mother can possess.
A long, narrow building beyond the small shed blocked her view. Valerie inched past a rusty engine leaning against the hut and peeked around the corner. Two men in black T-shirts and black pants stood at the stern of the sleek cabin cruiser docked at the wharf. Three more men stood on the pier: one young, one old, one dangerously attractive. Facing her, she could see he was perfect, in fact. Except, why was he wearing a long, tan raincoat? Maybe she wasn’t the only unprepared foreigner.
No way would she interrupt their business.
Two of them walked away. Mr. Perfect, the handsome Latino in the tan raincoat, smiled after them. His sensuous, slightly accented voice broke the silence. "Gentlemen, please. It has been my experience that even in times of indecision, a solution exists." His arms spread wide as if to embrace them.
The two men stopped and turned back.
Still smiling, the Latino reached inside his raincoat and pulled out a gun.
Valerie gawked at him. She heard a pop.
The older man fell backward onto the wharf.
Pop. The young man's head exploded.
The man in the tan raincoat leaned down and fired a third bullet in the older man's head. The body twitched and then lay still.
Valerie's stomach lunged to her throat. She looked at the bodies, the blood, and at the man in the raincoat. Without looking around, he climbed aboard the cruiser.
The two men in black walked down the gangway carrying buckets. Valerie couldn't move. She couldn't blink. She stared with such focus, her eyes burned. She watched them tie something to the men's ankles. Watched as they rolled the bodies into the water and splashed the bucket contents across the wharf; watched as they returned to the cruiser. One man disappeared under the fly bridge. The other climbed to the helm.
She inched backward, holding her breath. Her foot dislodged an empty oil can; her leg barely touched the motor—Crash!
She jerked forward. The camera dropped to the ground.
The man at the helm turned. He yelled something in Spanish and pointed down at her.
The man from the helm slid down the ladder from the bridge, vaulted over the side of the cruiser, and landed with a thump on the wharf.
Her feet, obeying, scrambled backward, the toes of her running shoes dug into the grimy blacktop, and with a burst of adrenaline her body accelerated.
She heard a pop and felt a bullet zing past her head.
She ran, ran as hard as she could, passing the next vacant building, cornering left. Open water. A dead end.
Valerie spun around. Raced back to the warehouse. Footsteps pounded on the asphalt behind her, rapidly gaining ground, closer. Closer.
She ducked around the building and spotted a broken two-by-four lying next to her. Grabbing it she listened, gauging his steps, heard his panting, and swung.
Before he hit the ground she was gone, racing toward the next building, dodging behind another, crossing the yard.
She reached the path leading up to the highway. Gaining the crest of the hill, her legs throbbed, her lungs blazed. She dared a backward glance, heard him yelling, and saw him reach the last corner.
Another pop and a bullet whistled past her head.
She ran into the middle of the four-lane highway and waved frantically. "Stop!"
Two cars swerved around her, horns blaring.
The third screeched to a halt. She ran to the passenger side. The door was locked. She tugged at the door handle and gasped for air. "There's a man after me," she stammered. "Please."
The middle-aged driver stared at her. She glanced back toward the hill and then at the driver. Her eyes pleaded. He stomped on the gas and sped away as her fingers grazed the paint on his car. She felt the panic rising in her chest, swung around, and ran toward the skyscrapers of Seattle. She couldn't see the bus stop, couldn't risk running all the way back to find it. Traffic zoomed by. She zigzagged into the oncoming lane. Tires squealed.
A taxi pulled over. "Better jump in." The driver laughed. "Before you get yourself killed."
"Thank you, God," Valerie whispered and climbed into the back. "Please hurry."
The words police station stuck in her throat. Did she have a choice? "Uh—Downtown. Please."
The taxi rolled forward, waiting for an opening to join the traffic. She twisted around, peered out the back window, and saw her pursuer reach the sidewalk at the top of the hill. She couldn't see his gun.
He slumped forward and pressed his hands to his bent knees, his chest heaved. He scanned every direction until his eyes locked on her cab. Her heart leaped. A semi-trailer moved between them.
The taxi darted in behind a car. The driver glanced over his shoulder at her. "You okay?"
Valerie trembled, thought of undoing the windbreaker around her waist, but couldn't exert the effort. "Sure," she said, slouching in her seat, while images of the two dead men flashed before her. She nudged their images aside and folded her hands together on her lap. And gagged.
As the story progressed, I kept myself up past my bedtime to simply see her through the end of each chapter! I highly recommend this if you like thrillers with meat AND heart. 5Star Review - Amazon Reader
Joylene Nowell Butler, Metis, began writing in 1984 after the death of her father. Her first novel Dead Witness, published in 2008 is distributed across Canada by Sandhill Books. Her current WIPs include a political thriller, a children's book, a suspense thriller, and the sequel to Broken But Not Dead. Joylene, her husband, four stray cats and their Siberian Husky Bandit live in Cluculz Lake in central BC. In her spare time, she teaches T'chi.
In Stock: 99
Usually ships in:
Customer Reviews:EParzefall (Friday, 27 January 2012)
You may also be interested in this/these product(s)
Teachers Guides (15)
SHORT STORIES (93)
List All Products
Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF
Adobe Digital Editions for Epub
Mobipocket Ebook Reader for Prc
New Muse e-books released on the first of each month!
What is an e-book?
It’s an electronic file that can be read on your computer or a handheld e-reader.
Why purchase an e-book?
You get immediate download satisfaction at affordable prices. With an e-reader you can carry hundreds of books with you instead of lugging only a few print books.
The Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec
All materials on this site © 2010-2012 MuseItUp Publishing and its imprints.
MUSEITUP E-BOOK CLUB
MuseItUp authors span worldwide and are eagerly waiting to meet you in our readers groups. Be the first to get a glimpse of their upcoming books, excerpts, author interviews, advance notice of any upcoming contests, time sensitive discount coupons…and have an all-around fun time!
Why not join one of our two groups today!
Facebook (Interaction and discussions)
Facebook (Discover our authors and books)
Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review