Monday, July 4, 2016

Incendiary for 99 cents

Jake always thought bad things happened in threes. If so, he wondered what would round out the trio.
     The arson counted as number one. Tim Hagerty on his doorstep might be number two. They’d parted as friends when he left, but a lot of years passed since then. Jake had spoken to him for the first time three weeks prior to his return to Biggin Hill. In fact, he wouldn’t be back except for Tim’s offer.
     “Tim, come in.”
     “Just wanted to see how you’re settling in.”
     Jake led Tim back to his kitchen. He didn’t know what to expect of this visit. Or what to think about it. “Beer?”
     He opened two imports and handed one to his old friend. Silence ensued as Jake took a swig.
     “So, you glad to be back?”
     Jake frowned. “Not sure yet”
     Tim sat on a metal chair and placed his beer on the table. “I know it’s only been a few weeks.”
     “Not much has changed.”
     “Not much does in a small town. A few more houses built. That’s about it.”
     Jake sipped his beer. “It feels right to be back here.”

     “Does that have anything to do with Chelsea?”
     The sound of her name kicked his heart’s beat off rhythm. “I haven’t really talked to her.”
     Tim’s eyebrows shot up. “No? I would have thought she’d be your first stop. Then maybe Brad’s reaction to your relationship with her might stop you.”
     Jake rubbed the back of his neck. He ignored the comment about Brad. The two old friend’s hadn’t parted on the best of terms. “I’m not sure I’m on her A-list.”
     “True, considering how you left.”
     A stab to the heart. Was Tim after Chelsea? His hand found his chest. “Ouch.”
     Tim shrugged then lifted his beer. “Truth hurts.”
     His friend had never been the most tactful person. “So what’s your interest in her?”
     A grin broke out on his face, or a leer. “What any red-blooded American male would want.”
     “Really?” His heart hurt. “Does she return the interest?”
     Tim retained some unrequited love for Chelsea when they’d been younger. So the torch still burned.
     “I think she plays it close to the vest.”

     Jake couldn’t deny that when it came to men, Chelsea didn’t broadcast her feelings. At least she hadn’t to him. Maybe she hadn’t felt anything for him.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Blonde Demolition for 99 cents

Booth leaned against the wall in the firehouse, his gaze glued to the beer trailer. When the contract had come down, he hadn't believed whom he would have to kill. She couldn't look any more harmless.
She did know how to defuse bombs.
Go figure.

The kill would be easy. Still, he hadn't been given the go ahead yet. He'd practice his shot until it was time.
Even if that wasn't how he'd kill her.
For a moment his heart wasn't in it. He tamped that down. It was unprofessional. Exactly what they'd feared would happen.
He shook his head. No. He'd do the kill.
Shifting his shoulders to ease the tension, he wondered if he was getting too old for this life. He longed for a beach somewhere. The millions he'd stashed away would work for him for many years.
Just one more, he kept repeating to himself.
One more dead body and he was free.
He could feel the sun on his face already. There'd be beautiful women to attend to him. There were no virgins in heaven for him and he was fine with that. He wanted his reward in this life.

He rubbed a hand down his face. The door to the beer trailer opened.
His mark stepped out.
Time to put on his concerned face.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Incendiary On Sale

As she trudged to answer the door, she attempted to shake off her bad mood. She hoped her public face would cover the emotions churning inside of her. Taking a deep breath, she plastered a smile on her face and opened the door. "Tim?"

He leaned against the doorjamb as if he owned the place. His gray suit and brown wingtips screamed banker. His paisley tie sat loose and crooked on this neck. He didn't look rakish, just unkempt.
A smile blossomed. In the right light it resembled a leer. "Chelsea."
She hung onto the door tighter than she needed to. "What can I do for you?"
He pushed his way in and swaggered to the office. "This is a friendly call."
She bit back an oath. "Oh?"
He turned to face her. "Can we talk? Somewhere private?"
She motioned back to the office.
"You first."
Shrugging, she brushed past him, plopped into the chair behind the desk then picked up a magazine to fan her face. The air conditioner hadn't gotten up to speed yet.
"I'd offer you coffee, but we don't have any."
"How are things?"

Chelsea restrained her eyes from rolling. "Cut to the chase, Tim."
He settled himself on a chair and picked lint off his trousers.
She put her hands behind her back, instead of what she wanted to do. Wouldn't he be surprised if she grabbed his lapels and demanded to know what the hell he was doing here?
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Friday, July 1, 2016

A HUMAN ELEMENT for 99cents

by Donna Galanti

Two loud cracks shot out over the howling wind. The hands on him fell away. He let out a huge sigh, dizzy from holding his breath.

Ben opened his eyes and craned his head around to see what had happened. Under the bright moonlight the outline of the two big Samoans rose up from the overgrown road. They didn't move. The wind whipped the giant leaves of the banyan and guava trees about like sails on a great clipper ship. The buzz of traffic from the new Pali road carried up to him from below. He scanned the area. What had happened? Who else hid out there? He pulled at the stakes. His hands shook as he tried to break free.

"Forget it, kid, they're held down in cement," a deep voice said. "These stupid locals make up these playgrounds just to mess with us haoles."

Ben swallowed the saliva stuck in his throat and focused on his surroundings. There stood the green-eyed man, hidden in the swaying banyan trees. His black outfit blended into the dark forest. He moved toward Ben and holstered his gun, then popped open a switchblade from his back pocket.

"I am not here to hurt you," the man said when Ben shrunk into the rock. "I'm going to cut the ropes."

In a few swift movements he slit the ropes binding Ben, who staggered back. The man caught him and held him up, then ripped off the duct tape.

"Who are you?" Ben's body trembled from the rush of fear and a fierce headache pounded in his temple.

The man didn't answer. He bent over one of the dead Samoans and pulled out a wallet. He looked inside and threw it at Ben. "It's yours." Then the man led him by the arm down the overgrown road where he handed Ben his clothes from the brush. He tried to put them on but his hands shook so bad the man had to help him. He winced from the whip marks brushing against his jeans and shirt.

"Come on," the man said. Ben looked back at the dead men sprawled face down. They oozed like two fat walruses sunning themselves in the moonlight. "Don't worry about them. I'll dump them later, somewhere they'll never be found."

In a daze, Ben followed his savior up the rough road, stumbling behind him in the dim moonlight. Those men had carried him unconscious down this road.

"I'll take you back to base then you're on your own," the man said once they reached his car, parked off the main road. "Don't speak of this to anyone. Understand?"

Ben nodded and climbed in the car. He looked over at the stranger in black who had saved him.  "You were at my foster mother's funeral. Why are you following me? Why save me?"

"I'm an interested party. Leave it at that."

"I can't. I would have died up there for sure."

The man didn't respond.

"Thank you."

The man looked at Ben. His green eyes glowed in the moonlight that filtered into the car. "Someday you might not thank me. Someday you may not survive."

About A Human Element:
Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.

Praise for A Human Element:
“Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born.” –M.J. Rose, International bestselling author
An elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart.  Highly recommended.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author

About Donna:
Donna Galanti is the author of A Human Element and A Hidden Element of The Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Visit her at and

Purchase A Human Element, book 1 in the Element Trilogy, here: