Tag Archives: Mafia

Writing “The End” ~ LETHAL JOURNEY

Writing “The End”

For me writing “The End” is always a mixture of excitement and sadness.

I originally wrote Lethal Journey in 1996. It’s a novel inspired by my fasination with the Mafia combined with my love for action-packed thrillers.

It was a story I tucked away after a wonderful author I’d met online passed away from cancer. Christina Harris was a friend, my writing mentor and a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist. Unfortunately, she died before I finished writing my debut romantic thriller, REFLECTION.

In 2006, Lethal Journey was a finalist in From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW) Golden Gate Contest -Romantic Suspense category.

Since 1996, Lethal Journey has evolved from being a romantic suspense to a intricate thriller loaded with intrigue and action and I’m glad I decided to rewrite the story. I think Christina would be very proud.

Lethal Journey

Lethal Journey
A Short Novel Thriller

PRE-ORDER at Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and SAVE $3.00

Release Date: December 1, 2013

A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting.

Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.

For three decades, Gino Valdina has led New York’s Valdina crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in turmoil, appalled by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife, Madelina. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself.

But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target…and anyone she’s ever loved.

FINALPRINTCOVEReabb3-addtogoodreadsreflection200x300You can still grab a copy of my award-winning romantic thriller REFLECTION for $2.99 (reg.$5.95)!

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

 
 
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Excerpt ~ Lethal Journey: A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting.

Coming in September!

Lethal Journey 400

Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.

For three decades, Gino Valdina has led New York’s Valdina crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in turmoil, appalled by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife, Madelina. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself.

But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target…and anyone she’s ever loved.

Excerpt

Eric slowed the Mustang to a crawl and searched the street for his informant, Jimmy Flame. This part of Brooklyn had it all―garbage, graffiti and gangs―a snake pit where debts were paid in blood. As it turned out, he spotted the lanky twenty-something-drug-dealer strolling up the sidewalk.

Eric didn’t trust the scar-faced kid dressed in clothes three sizes too big, but Jimmy knew the streets and somehow stayed clear of the gangs. A real miracle. He also knew Jimmy would be discreet, if he knew what was good for him.

Eric pulled the car over and stopped. Jimmy looked him square in the eye, turned, and kept walking.

Eric got out of the car and snatched the back of Jimmy’s shirt. “We need to talk.” He whirled him around.

“Hey, you promised you’d only come around at night.” Jimmy scanned up and down the street clearly worried someone might see him with a cop.

“It’s important. Get in.”

Jimmy hopped in the car and scrunched down low in the passenger seat.

Eric started the car and glanced at Jimmy’s low riding jeans. “How the hell can you wear those baggy-ass pants? They should be outlawed.”

“What man? You don’t like my gear? These pants are sick.” Jimmy ran his hand over his knee. “What’s so important?”

“Heard anything about prosecutor Stephen Taylor or the new district attorney?” Jimmy kept one hand clutched on the door handle.

Convinced the kid might bolt if he had the chance, Eric sped up.

“I ain’t heard nothing on the DA, but―”

“If you know something, spit it out. I’m not in the mood for games.” Eric glanced at him,

Jimmy’s shaved head glistened with sweat in the early morning sun.

“Man you’re gonna get me killed.” Jimmy sank back into the seat, his fingers tightened around the handle of the door. “Some dude was looking for someone to put the scare into Taylor and the DA. I never saw him, but one of my boys told the guy to hit the road. The deal didn’t smell right. Something was way off.”

“How did Paul Cassico end up dead?”

Jimmy lit a cigarette and took an extra-long drag. “Cassico is a small-time bookie, you know, neighborhood shit, horse races and fights. Valdina learned the guy would be cooperating with the feds so Valdina had one of his crew take him out.”

“Did Cassico ever mention who killed my father?”

“The stupid shit went around flappin’ his gums. Said he knew who shot the cop in the warehouse drug deal. He also said he’d make a large stash when he went to the cops.”

Eric’s heart pounded. “Did he give a name, Jimmy?”

“Nope.”

“I need to find the shooter.”

“I don’t wanna get involved with Valdina’s boys. You’re talking Mafia. Man, I’m too young to die.”

Eric could tell by the quiver in the kid’s voice, he was scared. Something he’d never seen before. “Has someone threatened you?”

“Not yet. They will as soon as I start asking questions.”

“You’re smart. You’ll find a way to get the info.” Besides, you piss me off, I’ll drag your drug-pedalling ass off to jail. You understand?”

Jimmy remained silent for a moment. “Man, you’re a hard-ass.”

“Find out what you can.” Eric steered the car into an empty parking lot and tossed fifty bucks at him. “I’ll be back in a couple of days and watch your back.”

As Eric pulled away, he heard Jimmy call him an asshole. Okay, he deserved that. And yeah, he was tough on the kid when he needed to be. It was all part of the job. He liked Jimmy, but he’d never admit it. From what he just witnessed, Jimmy was scared shitless and that worried Eric even more.

(unedited version) Lethal Journey © 2013 by Kim Cresswell

Lethal Journey “A killer lurks in the shadows…waiting.” @kimcresswell #comingsoon

Lethal Journeyfinal

Lethal Journey is coming in September!

A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting.

Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.

For three decades, Gino Valdina has led New York’s Valdina crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in turmoil, appalled by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife, Madelina. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself.

But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target…and anyone she’s ever loved.

In the meantime, you can still grab a copy of REFLECTION for 50% off–Now $2.99! (reg. $5.95) Only on sale until August 31st!

reflection200x300eBook on sale at a special price for a limited time at the following retailers!

MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

LETHAL JOURNEY ~ Excerpt

lethaljourneyfinal-333x500A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting. A district attorneys’ journey into the past makes her a target and anyone she has ever loved.

COMING SOON!

Excerpt

September 1997

Rain pounded down.

Lauren squinted through the windshield, a backwash of water battered the glass. She flicked the wipers on high, and then tightened her hands around the steering wheel. With a quick glance in the rear view mirror, headlights inched from behind. Miles had gone by since she’d seen another vehicle on the dark road.

The vehicle appeared to speed up, fall back, and speed up again.

Her muscles tensed. “That driver behind us seems to be in big hurry.”

Her father leaned forward in the seat and peered into the side mirror. “He’s all over the road. Might be drunk or something.”

“He’s crazy driving like that in this weather. I’m letting him go by.” She downshifted the Jaguar and steered off onto the side of road and rolled to a stop.

As the van raced by, a giant wave of water pelted across the side of the car.

“Christ, he’s really flying.”

Taillights flickered and quickly faded ahead into the blackened night.

With a quick glimpse in the mirror, Lauren steered the car back onto the road, her grip relaxed around on the wheel. “That’s better.”

Her father repositioned himself in the leather seat and stretched his legs. “The Law Society’s dinner is next week. You going?”

God, the dinner. She’d bought a four hundred dollar dress for the occasion, a navy blue Lagerfield, and even toyed with the idea of having her long hair cut into something more
sophisticated―polished for a New York district attorney. “I’ll have to check my schedule.”

“Not good enough. I want you there, Lauren. My chance to show you off. Do some bragging, big time.”

She couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, dad. Okay.”

“And don’t forget to bring a date for protection. There’ll be dancing after dinner. Don’t want a bunch of drunken seedy lawyers groping you on the dance floor.”

Her smile faded as she remembered the annual dinner years before. She’d never forgotten a single detail of that night―how Eric held her in his arms, his lips gentle against hers, how his mouth devoured her willing lips, then pulled away and left her mouth burning for more…

“What else did you hear about Eric?”

“Not much. Christ, can’t even remember where I heard the news. Thought you didn’t want to talk about Brennen?”

“I don’t. I just wondered when he got back.”

She noticed her father straightened himself in the seat, his jaw tight. “Don’t know.” His voice turned hard. “Just heard he’s back.”

Probably nothing more than just a rumor.

He’d begged her to come with him and start a new life in Florida. She didn’t have the courage to start over, leave her father, leave her job. At the time, her career was at a crossroads, ready to take off.

Now three years later, she was taking on the most important case of her career—prosecuting Gino Valdino, boss of New York’s Valdino crime family, just like her father had done a decade before.

The heavy rains turned into drizzle. The sky split, lightening lit the road ahead.

In the distance Lauren eyed the exit sign to Hyde Park.

The whining squeal of an engine roared from behind.

She glanced over her shoulder.

“God, that van is back.” She clicked on the turning signal, slowed and steered the car onto the off ramp. Her eyes darted back to the side mirror.

Headlights raced behind them, close, swerving from side to side.

She grasped the wheel with a shiver of panic.

“I’m calling the police.” Her father grabbed his cell phone out of the glove box and turned it on. “Damn it, I can’t get a signal.”

“Keep trying.”

From the mirror, she watched.

The driver gunned the engine.

The van’s grill came into view, massive and powerful.

Close. Too close.

Metal connected, scraped against the bumper.

The van shoved the Jaguar ahead on the road.

Hit the brakes.

Useless.

The car pushed forward under the van’s control.

They had to escape. Somewhere. Anywhere.

High-beams blinded her.

Lauren blinked and turned her head. Her fingers dug deeper into the steering wheel.

The van rammed the back of the car.

Metal popped and squealed as the back window disintegrated into the back seat.

The seatbelt snapped across her shoulder, her head slammed back on the head rest, then forward. “Oh my God!”

The cell phone flew from her father’s hand. “What the―”

“Dad!” Like a sling shot, the Jaguar shot down the slick road.

She slammed on the brakes. The car slid a half circle, then spun out of control. A massive tidal wave of water washed over the car roof.

Her father grabbed the dashboard. “Watch out! The tree!”

Wood splintered. Metal buckled, popped and cracked. The air bag stuck her body like a fist, and smacked her head against the side window. She shoved at it, viciously. With every move, fiery pain shot through her face, down her neck.

The sickening sweet stench of gas and smoke filled her nostrils. Her head clouded. The world darkened.

Lauren heard her own voice, pinched and muffled, cry out. “Dad!” until her words drifted into silence.

Lethal Journey © 2013 by Kim Cresswell