Treasure of Saint-Lazare: A Novel of Paris

John Pearce

Treasure-of-Saint-Lazare-Cover-EBOOK-180K

 

There was only one witness, and he was not a good one — the busboy at a new restaurant in the nearby arts colony walking back from the bank. He heard a sudden shout and wheeled just in time to see a large black car accelerate around the corner – “kind of a big SUV, but not as big as a Hummer, maybe a Lincoln” was what he told the patrol cop who first responded to his 9-1-1 call. “It hit the old man right in the center of the front end and sent him flying.”

The old man, Roy Castor, had not been thrown far and with luck he might have survived if he’d been thrown the same direction as his hat, which flew left onto the grassy median. But the impact tossed him to the right like a broken stuffed toy and his head hit the curb with a sickening hollow thud.

“Man, I dropped a melon on the kitchen floor last week and it sounded just like that,” Arturo said, adding his view that the old man was dead when he hit the curb. In fact Roy didn’t draw his final breath for another hour, in the cold and remarkably empty emergency room of Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

“The dude went by real slow and looked at me, ” Arturo told the detective who arrived later. “I don’t think he saw me until after he hit the old man, then he just floored it and screamed around the corner to the right and he was gone. That’s when I ran down to the old man and called you guys.”

Thom Anderson, the Sarasota police detective who had drawn the case, thought it a straightforward hit-and-run. An overpaid and overeducated punk kid, Thom figured, with a job selling insurance or houses or stocks, had run over an old man crossing in the middle of the block, panicked, and fled. He would probably turn himself in the next morning, ashamed and completely lawyered up, maybe with his equally overpaid father beside him.

His moment of panic would cost him a fine and a few months of probation and might cost him the fancy job. Thom had seen it more and more often as Sarasota had gentrified, and he didn’t like it any better this time than the last.

In Your Face

Emisch Oghma

In Your Face: What's Yours Saying About You?: A modern guide to determine anyone's character and emotional history by [Oghma, Emisch]

 

Chapter One – What do we know about the face?

When we look at a face, what do we see?

We see the shape of the face and its features – eyes, ears, nose and mouth – and maybe an expression appearing glad, sad or mad. Maybe they are excited to be there with you!

But what if there is much more you could be reading in that face? This book will help you interpret a person’s character and emotional history – and life potential – simply by looking carefully at the shape, features and expressions of their face. That’s the promise behind
Siang Mien (translates to face reading), a Chinese Ming Dynasty system of interpreting faces.I have created this easy-to-use guide with a modern, Western audience in mind. Read on and learn what your face is saying about you….

How did the Siang Mien masters do that?
That is a very interesting question. The elaborate Siang Mien system was created over many centuries of observations
and practice. The masters were certain the human face records every emotional reaction you’ve ever had, from birth. Emotional responses to situations – for example, think of a smile or a frown – create muscle memories that over time create deeper facial lines. The stronger and more pronounced the line, the more often that emotional reaction has occurred in that person. The masters also taught that certain birth characteristics indicated karmic (previous life) patterns. So each person’s face reveals a combination of pre destined and acquired character and potential. Siang Mien masters isolated the facial features and contours into categories inspired by the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. After many centuries of observations, they could attribute a meaning or pattern to each facial characteristic.

The Last Road Home

Danny Johnson

The Last Road Home by [Johnson, Danny]Maybe it wasn’t true. “Come on, Junebug, it’s all right, don’t be afraid.” Grandma took my hand. Inside the house, a late afternoon shadow stretched like a long rectangular arm across the living room carpet. The Coke bottle Daddy used for an ashtray was stuffed with cigarette butts, and sat on the coffee table. Momma’s rocking chair waited for her; I pushed on the painted wooden arm to hear it squeak.
Two applejacks left over from Friday sat in a plate on the kitchen stove; this time of day the house should smell like fresh made sweet tea and supper cooking. I looked on the back porch, but nobody was there either. In the bathroom, I touched the last pencil line where Momma marked my height every year on my birthday. In their bedroom, I lay on the pillow to smell her. My head knew they were gone, but my eight-year-old heart didn’t yet.
Grandma sat beside me, tears rolling down her face; she’d cried a lot in the last two days. “Let’s go find what you want to carry home.”
In my room, I got the cigar box from my closet while Grandma packed clothes in paper bags. When her arms were loaded, she stood at the door. “Ready to go?”
“In a minute.” I went back to Momma and Daddy’s room, looked in her jewelry box and found the silver gum wrapper necklace I’d made for her in school. “Okay.” I stopped at the bottom of our steps and picked one of the red roses Momma had planted in the spring.

The Lost Heir

Andi O'Connor

The Lost Heir by [O'Connor, Andi]“All of the preparations are complete,” the sorcerer said after boldly striding into the cramped room. “Derran is securely established in the village and is waiting for your arrival. As we discussed, he’ll remain with you until we have stabilized our borders and it’s once again safe for both of you to return to Mystandia. He’s an extremely competent swordsman as well as a Master Sorcerer. There’s no other whom I’d entrust with your safety. You may rest assured you are in good hands. I’ll contact you as often as I’m able and will keep you updated on our situation here in Mystandia.”

An uncomfortable silence engulfed the room as the sorcerer’s deep voice rumbled to a close. He studied the young woman huddled forlornly by the fireplace. She was dressed in a tattered brown traveling dress and a dark-green overcoat that had been patched more times than could be counted. Her shoulder length golden hair glistened in the firelight as she stared into the crackling flames. Giving no sign to acknowledge the sorcerer’s words, she absently turned a small purple and silver glass orb in her left hand.

“It is time, Haeleena,” the sorcerer murmured softly. He’d put the journey off as long as he dared. She couldn’t linger any longer.

Haeleena looked up at him as a tear glided down her heavily freckled cheek. The war had destroyed both her home and her family, and it was now forcing her to flee from the only world she’d ever known.

The Obstacle

Lionel Boucher

Chapter 1

The light summer rain that had been falling all morning ceased only moments ago, leaving everything dripping and sparkling in new sunlight. The gunmetal sky was clearing, uncovering a brilliant blue, and the imported palms whispered as a cool easterly breeze brushed their long, sensuous fronds in a tender caress. On this bright August afternoon in 1992, a Sunday, a young man and a woman were making love in a hotel room in New York City.

It was hot in the room, and clothes were strewn all over the red-carpeted floor as the couple lay naked across the double bed, his body moving rhythmically on top of hers, making her moan with pleasure. Her eyes half-closed, she ran her fingers through his hair as his mouth left hers to rain kisses on her chin, her throat, her breasts. His mouth traveled up against hers again, and as he gently caressed her breasts, he excited her more and more until she gave a loud, ecstatic cry of total satisfaction. The mutual climax seemed endless, and when they finally stopped, she lay weakly in his arms. They were both covered in sweat, and he ran his fingers through her hair. Her breath was uneven as she looked up at him and smiled, her look inviting an answering smile from him.

He reached for the half-empty bottle of champagne on the bedside table. “Would you like a glass?” he asked.

“No, thanks,” she replied. “I’ve had enough champagne for now. But a cup of tea would be lovely.”

As he nodded, she brought her lips against his, then reached over and picked up her creamy silk peignoir, wrapped it around herself, and walked across the room to sit by the large window. A minute later, having called room service for tea, he joined her. From here on the ninth floor, the view of the city stretching out before them was incredible.

Frank Dawson, a tall, muscular man with light brown eyes and dark hair that hung down across his forehead, looked to be in his early thirties, but was in fact twenty-four. He had an attractive, sophisticated face with an expression that suggested he had already seen a lot in his life.

Christine Barkley, who was nineteen, also looked older. She was tall and slender, with blue eyes and long blonde hair that framed a face of finely boned, perfectly proportioned features.

The noise of the traffic below was barely audible as they sat in silence for a moment.

“Thanks for the wonderful, romantic weekend,” he finally said. “Usually, this kind of thing comes with a small gift and a letter of apology, saying that you’re sorry for never telling me that you were actually a lesbian.”

She smiled gently at his little joke. “Very funny.”

“I’d still love you just as much even if you turned out to be a lesbian.”

She crossed her bare legs on the big couch. “Oh, stop it!”

He laughed shortly. “We can go for a ride,” he said. “The rain’s stopped.”

“Now?”

He looked at his watch. “It’s still early.”

“I know, but I’m having quite a good time right here.”

“Well, then, I suppose you don’t mind at all that we’ve been stuck here in this hotel room since Friday afternoon?”

“Not at all.” She moved to sit in his lap. A loose strand of hair came down over her face as she leaned closer to him and gave him a quick kiss on the mouth.

He rolled the stray lock of hair round her ear, and then wrapped his arms around her waist. “I wouldn’t mind being stuck here with you forever.

“The feeling is mutual.” She looked at him affectionately as she stroked his face with her hand. “We hardly spend enough quality time together. I just want us to make the most of every moment we share right now. No people, no joyrides, no restaurants. Just you and I, enjoying each other’s company.”

He gave her a questioning look. “Apart from talking and all the board games we’ve been playing for the past two days, what else do you suggest we do for the rest of the afternoon?”

She gave him one of her big smiles, warm and seductive. “Well, how about we go back to bed and continue what we were doing a few minutes ago?”

“Now that sounds like a very good idea.”

She giggled.

“Come here.” He took her hand and they walked back to the bed. “You’re so irresistible,” he murmured against her throat as he slid her peignoir down to her waist. Then he bent to kiss her breasts. Her hands in his hair, she began to moan, but then there was a knock on the door.

He sat up. “Damn!”

“Room service,” a man’s voice called from outside.

Frank stood up while Christine hastily pulled up the peignoir. Then he picked up their clothes from the floor before he went to open the door. The waiter came in with his tray of tea and its accompaniments. Frank pointed to the bedside table.

“Put it over there.”

The smiling waiter set down the fine china teapot and cups, sliced lemon, sugar, and some cookies and slices of fruitcake. After Frank signed the bill, the waiter inclined his head and left.

Christine poured the tea. “I think I should give my father a call,” she said. “He’s been back from London since yesterday.”

Frank squeezed some lemon into his tea. “When you do, please give him my love,” he joked.

“And give him a heart attack?” She sipped her tea.

“The man who produced you must be worthy of affection…even if he doesn’t approve of me.”

“That’s not funny,” she said, her expression suddenly solemn. “My parents still think I’m nine years old and that they can bully me into submission.”

“Relax! No one has a clue where we are. Not even the paparazzi. And they seem to follow you everywhere you go.”

She frowned. “See? That’s the problem. I’m tired of the secrecy! I want my parents to know about our relationship. We can’t go on like this.”

“Hey.” He looked at her thoughtfully. “Where’s all of this coming from all of a sudden? We promised each other we wouldn’t let anything spoil our weekend.”

“I’m sorry.” She made a frustrated gesture. “It’s just that I don’t want this. We love each other and being scared about it is not right.”

“Look, I know it’s hard, but everything will be okay. Just give it some time.”

“I’m just so tired of all the sneaking and lying. I’m tired of pretending that we’re merely friends. I want my parents to know that we’re in love. Only that way can we truly be happy and get married.” Her eyes had taken on a faint sheen of tears.

The subject of her parents was a sensitive one and they had talked very little about it.

“I know that’s what you want, but we can’t lose focus now,” he said. “I haven’t said we’re going to keep our relationship a secret forever. It’s just that now isn’t the right time.”

“Sometimes I wonder if the right time will ever come.” She looked away as she wiped a tear from her eye.

“Christine, look at me.” She did, and he touched her cheek. “Do you understand? We can’t let your parents find out about us now.”

“No,” she replied in a tremulous voice, “I don’t understand. Why does this have to be so complicated for us? Why can’t we be like other couples?”

 

Click here to buy The Obstacle on Amazon

A reading from “These Thy Gifts” by Vincent Panettiere

BooksGoSocial

These Thy Gifts is a forbidden love story spanning 50 years between a priest and the widow of a mobster. It encompasses history, mystery, comedy, gangsters, beautiful women, war, and religion.

2006 is a tumultuous year for the Catholic Church. Reports of horrific sexual abuse are becoming widespread. Monsignor Steven Trimboli is troubled. He worries for the future of the church—and rightly so. A new crime will soon reverberate throughout his church and hit closer to home than he ever imagined.

As Trimboli examines his faith, he must also examine his past. This poignant new novel takes readers back fifty years to meet Trimboli as a young and passionate priest, ready to tackle the world. The church, however, has other plans and exiles him to a small town in New York State. It is there that he meets the intriguing and beguiling Rosalie LaMarca. The two will form a connection that will have lasting consequences for both their lives.

Trimboli’s adventures will take him to the front lines of Vietnam and back. He will encounter abuse in his time serving the Catholic Church, but he will also bear witness to moments of unimaginable grace. Follow Trimboli as he confronts his past, his choices, and what it means to be a man of God.

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