It’s release day! I’m so excited! I can’t wait to hear what readers think about Deadly Shadow, the first book in the pulse-pounding Assassin Chronicles paranormal thriller series. Deadly Shadow is available in eBook.
Free to read with KindleUnlimited!
Available in trade paperback this weekend. Coming soon to Audible!
Read Chapter One
Within the hour, Derrick Lynn would kill his next target, a popular radio host known as ‘Big Mouth’ Bullington. He didn’t want or need any specifics about the target, only who and when. He’d learned a long time ago to keep that distance to make his job a lot easier to deal with. Never women or children. Never a non-target—which at times took an incredible amount of self-control. More than anyone could imagine.
Like his grandfather and father, he could move about in real-time, watching people and events while his physical body remained asleep. The paranormal freaks called it etheric travel. But his real gift was psychokinesis, a gift very few in the world had. He used his mind to move objects. It came in damn handy, turning anything and everything into a deadly weapon.
For over twenty years he’d evaded the authorities—in particular FBI Agent Victory McClane. And he was hell-bent on keeping it that way, no matter the cost.
In the large soundproof bedroom, Derrick laid on his back in his king-size bed, looking up at the ceiling with his hands clasped behind his head. Silk sheets covered his legs and, barely, his groin. The only light in the room came from the eerie glow radiating from the cell phone cradled in its charger on the nightstand next to his laptop. He glanced at the studio headshot of Eddie Bullington filling the phone’s screen as the podcast of the man’s radio show played at mid-volume.
“… and while it’s a bunch of bull that Republicans work to keep the Black man down…”
His eyes shifted to the bathroom doorway to his dinner companion, Alessandra, a thirty-something runway model with long blonde hair and voguish features. She straightened her white blouse over her black skirt then put her hoop earrings back on. Alessandra shot him a soft smile and grabbed the silver faux-fur coat laying on the end of the bed. Before leaving she bent and kissed him, her lips warm against his. Derrick closed his eyes as Bullington’s podcast droned on.
“… if you think the Dems are squeaky clean then I’ve got some prime Louisiana property for you. Those Limousine Liberals keep their boots pressed against the back of our necks, pretending to be on the side of equality and justice…”
He inhaled and exhaled slowly a dozen times and visualized his target’s bedroom. His body felt light, floating. Before losing consciousness, he jerked himself awake, then let himself go under again. Deeper into a half-sleep state, he felt as if he were bobbing in a boat. As the rocking intensified, high-pitched ringing sounded in his ears and his limbs vibrated and buzzed like a bee’s nest. He left the physical plane, his astral body flying.
Eddie Bullington stood in the shower. Steaming hot water pulsated hard against the back of his shoulder blades. The “God Bless America” Muzak-like ringtone blasted from the phone sitting on the counter next to the double sink. He shut the water off, stepped out of the shower stall, and grabbed his regal-looking red and gold bathrobe from the back of the door. He quickly slipped it on and answered the call.
“Let me guess, Sid. You want to talk about last week’s show.”
“Sure do. Ratings are down five-percent from last quarter. That’s a cause for concern.”
“Just relax, okay? Anything else or are you going to keep on complaining about the same old thing?”
“Five percent is a big deal, Eddie.”
“Go to bed, Sid. I got this. I’ll be in a little earlier than usual for the show.” Eddie disconnected and shook his head.
His producer, Sid Moller, was a pain on a good day. Eddie didn’t feel like dealing with the man’s silliness. His ratings were fine. He was still the top radio host in the United States, his shows syndicated on four continents.
With the phone clutched in his hand, he strolled barefoot into the spacious antechamber located next to his bedroom and flopped down into the extra-wide recliner. After setting the phone on the end table he picked up the TV remote, along with a half bag of Cheetos. He flicked on the TV to watch the latest episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and dug into the snack bag.
Derrick’s eyelids fluttered. Blackness. Then a long, dark tunnel emerged and grew wider. Sounds, natural and alien, came and went as a frantic rush of lights, faces, and places blazed toward him. He bobbed and weaved. Images, some distinct, others not, warped and flew toward him, through him, past him. The sounds and images intensified. Then they stopped. He was in Bullington’s bedroom.
Derrick stood behind Eddie, his naked body blurry and silhouetted in shadow. The room was filled with over-stuffed antique furniture, gaudy gold and green patterned drapes, and a Victorian rug in various hideous shades of red and pink. A mounted rhinoceros head glared down at it all.
His eyes shifted to the end table, then to Eddie’s phone. He trembled. Sweat dripped from his forehead and ran down the sides of his face. His gaze moved to the colorful ad for gold on the TV screen while the male announcer excitedly implored viewers to act now because there has never been a better time to buy. Derrick directed his energy at the end table drawer. It quietly eased open. Inside was a Baby Glock. He concentrated harder, staring, focusing as much energy as he could at the weapon.
The gun twitched. And turned. And rose from the drawer. The barrel moved within an inch from Bullington’s right temple.
Eddie twisted his head as if sensing something was about to happen. “What the—”
An angry gunshot cracked.
Blood, bone, and brain matter splattered and sprayed across the room. Various colored fluids and small lumps ran down the TV from a splotch at the top of the screen.
Derrick grunted. The gun traveled back to the end table and the drawer slammed shut.
Derrick’s physical body and astral body snapped together like strong magnets, slamming him back into the bed. His body jerked. Intermittent banging and dinging invaded his head. Then the familiar headache kicked in. Like an elastic band tight around his forehead, traveling down the base of his skull. His eyes jolted open. He stared for a long moment, disoriented, before slowly sitting up in bed. Bullington’s podcast continued to play.
“… oh, yeah. Give them freedom then lock them up in prison cages for years. That’s all I’m saying. Thanks for tuning in.”
Once he got his bearings, Derrick grabbed his laptop from the nightstand and opened the lid. The brilliant screen illuminated his tense face as it booted up.
He opened a new email and typed “task completed”, encrypted the data, then tapped the “send” button. It would only be a matter of seconds before he received confirmation that the payment had been transferred to his account at the Panama National Bank under the name, Miles McGrath. A million dollars. Not bad for less than two hours work including surveillance. A soft beep. Then a message popped up on the screen.
With a couple of keystrokes, he ran the special decryption software he’d been given, and within seconds the garbled message became readable.
Fee transferred. Face-to-face requested
He shut down the laptop and wondered why his contact had requested meeting in person. His face reflected on the black screen, yet his blue eyes shone.
©2018 Kim Cresswell (P) 2018 KC Publishing
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“A deeply emotional romantic suspense that starts bold and holds you captive to the very end.” — New York Times Bestseller, Dianna Love
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What one word best describes you?
What are you passionate about these days?
Nathan: “What I have been passionate about most of my life. Genetics and cloning. I do not understand why people recoil at the idea of human copies—healthy manufactured humans.“
You were one of the first companies to clone animals almost thirty years ago. Would you consider cloning humans?
Nathan: “Of course if it was legal in this country. Hopefully, it will be one day.“
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Nathan: “I was Las Vegas Man of the Year six years running and made the cover of Time magazine twice.“
You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you’d buy?
Nathan: (Glances at the wall clock) “Apparently, you haven’t done any background on me. If Miss Steel was conducting this interview, at least she would have done her homework first. I own ShawBioGen, a seventy-five billion dollar Biotech company. The last thing I need is money.”
Who should play you in a film?
Nathan: “John Malkovich. Brilliant actor. I heard he gave a stellar performance portraying serial killer, Jack Unterweger, on stage in Vienna.“
Who is your favorite author?
Nathan: “Elmore Leonard. I enjoy his realism writing style.“
Do you play any sports?
Nathan: “No, I run a couple miles daily to keep in shape.“
What would we find under your bed?
Nathan: (Glances at the clock again) “If you are going to continue with this silly line of questioning, we are done here.”
Ok, then…what is something you want people to know about you?
Nathan: That I have done a lot of good in my life. I’ve donated millions of dollars a year to food banks and homeless shelters around the country and will continue to do so. I’ve also put millions into healthcare and scientific research.“
Tell us about your greatest achievement.
Nathan: “There have been so many but I can’t discuss my greatest at this point. Instead I will say…developing medications that cure diseases and improve lives. In particular, genetic illnesses and recessive disorders that devastate families. Apparently, you didn’t read my company’s press kit. You really do remind me so much of the lovely, Miss Steel.”
What was the scariest moment of your life?
Nathan: “When my sister died of Menkes Syndrome, a dreadful disorder that affects copper levels in the body, leading to copper deficiency and extensive neuro-degeneration of the brain and eventual death. Like most children with Menkes, they die within the first decade of life, usually infancy, as Katherine did. She’s the reason I began my research work into genetic disorders.“
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
Nathan: “The first rule of business. Employees are replaceable.”
If you could apologize to someone in your past, what would you say?
Nathan: I don’t apologize. I have nothing to apologize for. I do, however, have a message for FBI agent, Blake Neely, and the lovely, Miss Steel.”
And what’s that?
Nathan: “Don’t get too comfortable…you are replaceable.”
That sounds like a threat.
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*RomCon’s 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalist (Romantic Suspense)
*InD’tale Magazine 2014 Rone Award Finalist (Suspense/Thriller)
*UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013)
*Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004)
*Honourable Mention in Calgary’s (RWA) The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006)
Lunch with the ex-husband is not always a fun thing especially when bullets start flying and reporter Whitney Steel finds herself in the middle of a human cloning story that will rock the world…providing she lives long enough to get her byline.
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