Thursday, December 31, 2015

Journey Beyond the Trauma Book Blast

We're happy to be hosting Dr. J. Denee and her JOURNEY BEYOND THE TRAUMA Book Blast at As the Pages Turn today!

Title: Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilence for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Author: Dr. J. Denee
Pages: 99
Genre: Self-Help

Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse goes right to the heart of the issues related to abuse. It shares the impacts of abuse and offers simple, yet, practical strategies and information to help survivors reclaim and restore their lives. Dr. J. Denee' guides readers through a 30-day journey to jumpstart their innate resilience. Journey Beyond the Trauma helps survivors to:

· Take responsibility for your healing and your life

· Transform into your authentic self 

· Identify and manage triggers

· Turn emotional pain into progression

·  Develop self-acceptance and reclaim self-worth

· Embrace resilience as a way of life

For More Information

  • Journey Beyond the Trauma is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

About the Author

Juanita D. Ashby-Bey, PhD, known as Dr. J. Denee’, is a sexual abuse speaker, author, and resilience expert who specializes in helping women survivors of sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. A survivor of sexual abuse herself, Dr. J. Denee’ has been dedicated to the prevention, intervention, and recovery of sexual abuse issues and other traumas for the past 10 years. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University.

After coming to an understanding of the extent to which the sexual abuse and trauma she suffered as a child had profoundly affected his life, Dr. J. Denee’ traveled her own personal road of recovery and resilience, and made a firm decision to help build awareness about sexual abuse and to empower and support other sexual abuse survivors and the professionals who engage with survivors along the path to recovery. 

As an educator, Dr. J. Denee’ spent many years researching and applying intervention strategies to help people transform themselves and discovery new possibilities. Leveraging her 15 years of experience as an educator at the collegiate and K-12 school levels in the capacities of administration, accreditation, evaluator, professor and teacher, Dr. J. Denee’s approach includes practical and research-based intervention strategies that are designed to produce results that guide women to more loving relationships with themselves and others. She helps women to tackle feelings of powerlessness by finding their voice, build emotional muscle to manage anger and rage, rebuild and establish healthy relationships rather than sabotaging them, and to learn how to effectively establish, respect, and protect personal boundaries for themselves.

Dr. J. Denee’ is an acclaimed speaker who is available to conducts seminars, workshops, keynote addresses, and panel discussions. She empowers her audience to tap into their internal ability to persevere, recreate themselves, express their individuality, and welcome and manage life’s simple and complex challenges successfully. With an interactive and inspirational delivery, Dr. J. Denee’ provides her audience with an effective toolkit of strategies that help women survivors of sexual abuse transform their lives and create authentic happiness, joy, and progress. 

“Beyond the Trauma… Living Triumphantly” is the ultimate goal that Dr. J. Denee’ desires for all survivors. Dr. J. Denee’s upcoming, inaugural book, Beyond The Trauma – Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse is available for pre-sales and will be released in September 2015.

For More Information

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Guest post: "Horror? Not Scary at All," by Russell James, Author of 'Q Island'

You really won’t believe it, but I discovered a nice group of people. In a world where everyone seems mad at everyone else, where manners seem to have gone out the window, and where everyone is out for himself, I fell in with a great bunch of folks.
The horror community.

Now if you aren’t part of it (yet) then it may seem hard to believe. They must all be weirdoes and psychopaths, reading all that twisted stuff and watching all those gory movies, right? Not even close.

When I became a horror author, several years ago, I was baptized into the community at a Horrorfind horror convention, the first con I’d ever attended. I was surrounded by people in pretty sick, scary costumes. I quickly learned that the people inside them were having a ball, sharing their natural love of a good scare with similar folks. Positive, outgoing, excited, friendly. Amazing. The opposite of what most would expect.

Then I met some horror authors. And then I met some more. Surely the minds that spend months dwelling on demonic possession and savage machete-wielding nut jobs must have a screw loose themselves. I mean, it takes one to know one, right? Wrong again. Young to old, experienced to rookie, horror writers are really stellar individuals. Tremendously open to sharing insights about the writing craft, thrilled to just chat about the genre, uniformly gracious to other writers and especially to fans. As a new author learning the ropes, there couldn’t have been a better group to guide me.

And horror people have big hearts. I’ll point to horror and zombie author Armand Rosamillia and his Authors Supporting Our Troops drive that delivers hundreds of books per year to troops around the world. All the books are donated by the authors, and the packing, shipping and postage is paid out of Armand’s wallet. There’s also Scares that Care, an organization that puts on a charity horror convention each July in Williamsburg, VA. This week they cut the donation check that put the total assistance they have provided to needy families at over $100,000, money from the hearts of the horror community.

It seems that the people closest to all that scary horror stuff are the least scary people of all. Who would have known?

About the Author
After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, Russell James now spins twisted tales best read during daylight. In addition to two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, James is the author of seven paranormal thrillers:  Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, Dreamwalker and Q Island. His next novel, The Portal, is slated for release in 2016. Visit him at

Interview with Mark McCullough, author of 'Vienna's Will'

Mark McCullough is the author of the true story, VIENNA’S WILL. He began writing his story over twenty years ago and was encouraged by family and friends to complete the book. “Since its release, I have bonded with others who have had similar experiences and have found that the concept of perhaps helping someone else is not only an amazing feeling, it has helped with my own growth and understanding of what is truly important as well.”

Mark worked in the pool and spa industry for eighteen years then turned to his true passion of helping others. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys spending time with his dog and going to the movies or the local pizza joint with his daughter, Vienna.

For More Information

Can you tell us what your book is about?

VIENNA’S WILL tells a story about a man forced to face his own personal demons. Through the love of a child, he faces issues and events from his past that he thought would stay hidden away forever. A good portion of the story was written while the main character is locked up in the seclusion
ward in a federal prison. The book covers subjects that can be uncomfortable to speak about at times, issues like depression, addiction and even the ultimate choice of considering taking ones’ own life are discussed but without opening up about these topics, they will never lose the stigma attached to them.

Why did you write your book?

I got very ill a few years ago and felt I needed to share some of the past I had guarded so passionately from my family for almost 40 years.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

 In the case of VIENNA’S WILL, it was all about real people because it’s a memoir. My second book, which is purely fictional came mostly from my imagination.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I’m very conscious of it. I think laying everything out even if it’s a memoir is extremely important. If you don’t plot out where everything is headed, you are going to get stuck somewhere in the process. That doesn’t mean you won’t discover something new along the way, but you need to have some type of ‘blueprint’ to be successful.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

For sure. A good portion of it takes place in prison so bringing the reader there and describing the environment I found to be very important.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

The main character, Mark, is 20 years old at that time, and away at college. He is waiting on line in the cafeteria when he is confronted by a man who terrifies him and who feels Mark betrayed him.

Is it hard to get a memoir book published?

With the growth of self-publishing, it’s not hard to get published, but it can be difficult and frustrating at times to get noticed.

Is it hard to promote a memoir book and where do you start?

It is hard to promote a memoir. Everyone has their own unique story to tell and with the ease of self-publishing they are doing it. Really though, I think it’s hard in general especially if you are doing it on your own. The best way to start is social media and trying to build some type of foundation with potential readers.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I really haven’t yet. I try to do as much outlining and preparation as I can so that the actual writing process is the easy part.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

My wife probably wouldn’t like this answer, but I would play an extra few holes of golf.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Without question, it would be Thanksgiving. The memories from childhood seeing my mother and sisters up early cooking and getting ready for the days’ festivities never ceases to bring a smile to my face.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

I would probably grab a couple sandwiches and head to the beach.

What do you like to do for fun?

A fun day for me typically involves our dogs and a park near our house.

Can you tell us about your family?

Just an amazing group of people. I am the youngest of five and feel very blessed to have them for siblings. I am also married with one daughter. Her name is Vienna and she was the inspiration to write the book.

What do you like the most about being an author?

The creativity. I am a terrible artist, I can’t sing or draw at all, so this is my only way to express that side of myself.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

When he or she decides they are actually going to follow through. No more thinking about it or kicking it around, when they just go ahead and say, “I am a writer.”

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

To keep at it. Actually sitting down and finishing a whole book can seem like such an impossible goal to reach at times, but it is so worth the positive mental and emotional state of mind it brings. Also, just try to break it down if it seems like too big of a task. Pick a number of pages or chapters you want to finish in a week or a month and make it an attainable number. You should be doing it for the enjoyment of it, so why put unreachable timeframes on it? Slowly pick away at it, and before you know it, you’ll have a finished book.

Blog Tour: Interview with Piers Platt, author of RATH'S DECEPTION

Piers Platt is the New York Times bestselling author of "Combat and Other Shenanigans," a memoir of his year-long deployment to Iraq as a tank and scout platoon leader. Piers grew up in Boston, but spent most of his childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. He joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty.

When he's not writing or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, Piers works as a strategy consultant in
New York city.

His latest book is the sci fi/thriller, Rath’s Deception.

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Rath’s Deception
Author: Piers Platt
Publisher: Piers Platt
Pages: 350
Genre: Sci Fi/Thriller

On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can’t anticipate. It’ll certainly cost him what’s left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.

For More Information

  • Rath’s Deception is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Can you tell us what your book is about? 

Rath’s Deception is a sci fi thriller about a young orphan boy (Rath) who gets picked to be an assassin for a shadowy corporation (The Janus Group) in the distant future. The deal is called ‘Fifty for Fity’: he gets fifty percent of his earnings (millions of dollars)…but he has to complete all fifty kills in his contract first. And that turns out to be a challenge, not least because he’s being tracked by a very smart detective!

Why did you write your book?

Mainly because I love to write! I had the story in my head, and I wanted (needed??) to see it on paper. But Rath’s Deception is also based on a short story called Last Pursuit [available for free wherever ebooks are sold, here’s the Amazon link:] that I wrote some time ago – Last Pursuit is the same concept / setting, it just focuses on a single mission for one assassin. Readers really enjoyed the story, but many said they wished it was longer…so I expanded it into a full book…and then a trilogy!

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I’m aware of where my characters are going to start, and certainly where they’re going to end (I love twists and big climaxes), but I don’t always know how they’re going to get there. For those middle scenes, I’ll usually have a general idea for the content of each chapter (Rath gets assigned a tough mission and barely squeaks by, e.g.), but I often like to let my imagine fill in the details.

Is it hard to promote a sci fi book and where do you start?

I think it can be a challenge to promote any book, regardless of genre – with so many new titles each month, getting yours seen is tough!  Where I start: here!  Blogs like As the Page Turns are a great way of reaching out, and I really appreciate the opportunity to find new readers. I also have a mailing list for fans of my work – everyone who signs up gets a free copy of Combat and Other Shenanigans, my NY Times bestselling Iraq War memoir. Sign up at

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I would spend some more time with my 4-year-old daughter. We love reading together, and as an author, it’s so rewarding to see her learning to read and soak up new stories (even if it’s just Goodnight Moon, for the thirtieth time!). She likes to act out The Little Mermaid with her toys, too – so I know all of the lines by heart, and sing a pretty decent rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls.

What do you like to do for fun?

My wife and I love to ski and scuba dive. We’re slowly crossing things off our “scuba bucket list” – so far the highlights have been the Blue Hole in Belize, a whale shark off of the Great Barrier Reef, and we also love Bonaire and Grand Cayman, where pretty much every dive site is breath-taking. It’s fun seeing the big animals (sharks, sea turtles), but we really enjoy finding the little critters most – cleaner shrimp inside a big grouper’s mouth, picking their teeth clean, or a frog-fish under a rock ledge (Google them, they are really hard to spot!).

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Decide up front what your goals are, and then learn everything you can about how other authors reached those goals. There are no wrong answers (it’s okay to have whatever goals you want), and no one’s path is going to be exactly the same to each goal, but there’s a wealth of information out there on writer’s forums and blogs today, so take advantage of it. Then make a plan, start working on it … and create the best possible book(s) you can.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

In the Spotlight: The Howling Heart, by April Bostic


Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.

Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv---wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.

Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.



April Bostic is a New Jersey-based, Adult Romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled "A Rose to the Fallen".

Her first short story, "Right Here, Right Now", released in January 2012, is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled "Eros, My Love", and a sexy romantic comedy entitled "Love Addiction".

After five years, she released her second novel, "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods. To end her busiest year in publishing, April also released her fourth short story in December 2013, a historical paranormal romance entitled "A Dark Scandal".

Brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Blast! Her Billionaire Bodyguard Bridegroom by Lisa Weaver

We're happy to be hosting Lisa Weaver's HER BILLIONAIRE BODYGUARD BRIDEGROOM book blast today!

Author: Lisa Weaver
Publisher: Kindle Press
Pages: 173
Genre: Romance

His assignment to protect her places their hearts in the line of fire...

The one and only time covert bodyguard Luke Reynolds allowed the line between duty and desire to blur, pleasure came at too high a price. Despite his vow never to become emotionally entangled again, when he discovers a lovely interloper on the grounds of his private estate he's captivated. When the woman disappears from his life as quickly as she entered it, he knows he should be relieved. So why isn't he?

For More Information

  • Her Billionaire Bodyguard Bridegroom is available at Amazon.
Book Excerpt:

As a motivational speaker, words were Brianna’s livelihood. She had never been at a loss for them. Until now. Her tongue seemed to be paralyzed. Distracted by the impossibly broad shoulders and the taut, six-pack abs currently permeating her line of vision, she somehow couldn’t pull a single cohesive sentence together.

His musky cologne, a perfect counterpoint to the scent of the pine forest surrounding them, teased her senses. The heat radiating from his water-droplet-bejeweled body drew her closer, making her forget all about her initial desire to flee.

Common sense dictated she didn’t belong in a secluded lake with a complete—if albeit sexier-than-sin—stranger. But when she made the mistake of looking into his eyes again, that common sense executed an abrupt U-turn. Her heart did a free fall from her tonsils to her toes, taking all of her good intentions right along with it.

The eyes locked on hers were heated. Hungry. She’d thought she’d been melting earlier, when she’d pitted her body against the brutal terrain on her mountain bike, but that was nothing compared to the way this man’s presence ratcheted up her body temperature. Not surprising—he was hot enough to melt an Arctic ice cap.

He extended a tanned hand. “Since we’ve established you have my permission to enjoy my lake, I think introductions are in order. I’m Luke Reynolds. And you are . . . ?”

Surely it would be polite to answer him, but she hesitated all the same. She was in the middle of a secluded forest. The man certainly didn’t look like an ax murderer, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t one. And as for her name . . . well, it had recently been splashed across every newspaper from Maine to Hawaii. As soon as she uttered it, there was little doubt he’d realize his trespasser was none other than “the Reluctant Heiress.”

Brianna cringed every time the media bandied around the moniker they’d coined for her when the truth surrounding her paternity had leaked. She’d taken this vacation to escape notoriety for a while, and she wasn’t ready to give up the blissful anonymity she’d found here.

Fortunately she bore little resemblance, now, to the picture the papers had dredged up to accompany the story. Keeping one arm wrapped firmly against her chest, she tentatively reached out to shake the stranger’s hand.

“Heather. Heather Wright.” Amazingly, the fictitious name rolled smoothly off her tongue—despite her stuttering insides.
His eyes narrowed for a moment as he regarded her, and she was afraid he could see right through her lie. But then his warm fingers wrapped around hers.

“Welcome to my lake, Heather. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

About the Author

Lisa Weaver loves living in Maine, although she occasionally fantasizes about moving to a state with milder temperatures. On the upside, the long, cold winters give her plenty of time to plot her next romance.

Lisa also loves books, and can't imagine a world without the written word to enrich us, inspire us, entertain us, and touch our hearts. She's thrilled to make a small contribution to the treasure trove. She began her writing career penning articles and short stories, but it has long been her dream to write romance novels. Thanks to the Amazon Kindle Scout program, that dream is now a reality.

Lisa is the first to admit her romances aren't serious literature. She thinks of her stories as fluffy, fun, romantic romps--like decadently rich cupcakes, heavy on the frosting.

She loves to hear from readers! Please drop by and visit her anytime at her website,  You can also keep in touch with the latest Weaver Romance happenings via her Facebook and Twitter pages.

Her latest book is the romance novel, Her Billionaire Bodyguard Bridegroom.
For More Information

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In the Spotlight Justice is for the Lonely by Steve Clark

Author: Steve Clark
Publisher: Rorke Publishing
Pages: 430
Genre: Suspense 

In JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY, the stunning new suspense novel by author Steve Clark, Kristen Kerry, a smart, attractive, young lawyer faces the dilemma of trying her biggest legal case while attempting to fulfill the less than moral demands of her client and boss. Kristen’s malpractice case has the potential to be the largest verdict of its kind in Texas legal history. She must juggle her strong legal skills with a heavy load of insecurities stemming from a traumatic childhood. The book, which Midwest Book Review says is “exceptionally well written and engagingly entertaining from beginning to end,” features action-packed scenes; complex multidimensional characters; and compelling subplots.

Kristen Kerry made partner at Wright and McGee in six short years. During that time, she worked obsessively and spent most of her personal time alone or slamming punching bags in martial arts training. The “Layne” malpractice case is Kristen’s opportunity to prove she is a trial lawyer equal to any male. Tammy Robberson, a tough talking, morally deficient insurance adjuster handpicked Kristen to represent the defendant hospital in the lawsuit, certain that Michael Stern, senior partner representing the doctor would see the attractive young attorney as another potential conquest. To win the case, Kristen is expected to be competent, wily, and a team player, even if it means sleeping with attorneys her firm is supposedly collaborating with during the malpractice case.

After Kristen fails to charm information out of Tony Caswell, Stern’s associate representing the doctor, Tammy instructs her to focus on Stern himself. She is told to do whatever it takes to gain his trust then betray him so the doctor ultimately bears the liability rather than the codefendant hospital and nurses. Michael Stern who is an attractive, masterful attorney, is also a known philanderer. His wife Diana is a Dallas socialite from very old money. Teaming up with Stern is a risk for Kristen that shakes up her professional and personal worlds. Despite her disgust over the assignment, Kristen finds herself attracted to Stern after she sees him in his role as father of a teenage daughter, but she still knows he might double cross her.

As the case progresses, Stern’s wife, a member of the Texas Pardon and Parole Board, becomes responsible for the release of Leonard Marrs, a sexual predator, who is violent and disturbed, yet very charming. After leaving prison, he becomes obsessed with Diana. When Caswell, whom Stern removed from the Layne case, discovers secrets about Kristen’s past, he teams up with Marrs for revenge against both attorneys. And what better revenge than implicating them in murder?
Clark was inspired to write JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY as a means of showcasing story lines and characters from some of his own dramatic cases. He has encountered many fascinating people during his years of private legal practice. Clark states, “While there are many legal genre books, the vast majority involve the criminal system and none, to my knowledge, explore the nasty business of malpractice litigation, particularly its effect on troubled characters.”

JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY is much more than a novel with thrilling legal action, gripping subplots, and romance. It offers readers a story of the transformation of a shallow, self-absorbed man who finds love and an adult child of alcoholic parents who overcomes her inability to trust anyone.
“I think almost everyone, including men will identify with Kristen and her insecurities, her loneliness,” Clark says, “they will cheer on her courage, even her recklessness, and will be heartened by her integrity and hopefully eager to follow her future adventures.”

For More Information

  • JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

Tony Caswell somehow reached his car, bent at the waist and gasping, fearing each step would be his last. This posture helped keep the jewels from being jostled. Kristen’s blood-chilling martial arts scream echoed in his head, only matched by reverberations of his wail. He leaned against the Targa door, trying to breathe.
His normal hand fumbled inside his pants for the key. Even this small movement reinforced the agony. He wasn’t sure he should -- or could -- drive, but didn’t want to collapse in the street.
He caught his reflection in the window glass. His face looked purple, and it frightened him. Am I going to fucking die in front of this whore’s house?
He realized the blow to his crotch may have hit the vagus, the cranial nerve that wandered all the way to the gut. It was sensitive enough that bowels, lungs, everything could shut down.
The courtyard around Kristen’s townhouse swirled.
He had to get a grip.
After a minute, Tony opened the door and tried to sit in his Porsche without his balls touching the seat. That proved impossible. The pain shot from his groin into his belly. He feared he might throw up all over the beautiful leather, so he faced his head out the window.
His throat threatened to close. The spit he tried to swallow stayed mostly in his mouth. While his good hand held up his smashed balls, his bad one searched around his Adam’s apple. The worst pain seemed left of dead-on. He probably wouldn’t die. Probably. Some air reached his lungs, but the distress made him retch. He coughed out something disgusting, but somehow managed to start the car with his left claw.
As he did often when he had to use his left arm, he cursed his parents, in Jakarta chasing oil deals when Tony was born, leaving the delivery in the hands of an incompetent Indonesian obstetrician. Erb’s Palsy they called it, meaning the shoulder got stuck in delivery. Pulling his head out of the birth canal had ripped nerves from his spine. He hid his atrophied hand, when he could, and blamed his greedy parents, too busy to fly to Australia for a real doctor.
More retching carried a disgusting mix of booze, gastric juice, and coffee. He spat, tried not to swallow, but feared he could aspirate crap into his lungs. A pulmonary arrest outside a hospital would be fatal. Even if he didn’t quit breathing, he could get a nasty pneumonia. With his luck it would be resistant staph and he’d die of sepsis next week. At this point, almost something to look forward to.
After a few more breaths of dry Texas winter air, his brain cleared enough to weigh his options. Crawl back to Kristen’s door and beg for help? More likely she’d hammer him again just because he’d seen her tits. Or find an emergency room? Methodist Hospital wasn’t far, but they would ask questions. Lots of questions.
The truth could eventually get him charged with attempted rape. She had said “No.” And he sure didn’t want to complain about getting beat up by a girl. If that got out, he’d be a laughing stock for years.
 The ER would call the police, regardless of the story he invented. Even if he claimed to have been mugged in some random parking lot, the cops might press him for details, where he’d been, who he had been with. A hospital sounded like a bad idea.
He could drive home, ice his nuts, and hope tomorrow would bring some relief. If she hadn't called the police and they showed up at his door. Her torn bra and the scratch on her ear might be enough to get him arrested or at least questioned. Again not good for the rep.
One more alternative. His sister, a nurse at Texas Medical Center. She might have a drug stash. She lived way up the Central Tollway, north of the LBJ. It would take half an hour, but she’d be with him, if things got worse.
Jennifer was the only reason he stayed in Texas. Whenever her brother got knocked down, she was there to pick him up. His mom chased gigolos in exotic lands. Dad had returned to Britain after churning money in Houston. England had been the low point of Tony’s life. Boys at Harrow, sons of earls and MPs, had teased him without mercy about his hand and ineptitude at sports. More than one had pulled his pants down and bent him over. College in Houston was better only because he knew nobody and kept to himself.
He managed to hit the number for Jennifer on his phone. Voice mail. More crap burbled up into his throat, scaring him. He wasn't able to choke out a message. He could drive there anyway, but if she wasn't home it would be a waste of time.
The downstairs lights went off in Kristen’s townhouse. She was going to bed while he flirted with death. The thought of hiring some gangbangers to rape her in a parking garage floated by. Squeezing off a clip from the Beretta he kept in the glove box sounded like fun. Right through her living room window, but he would be suspect number one, since he’d flapped about his hot date to everyone in the firm. Too bad.
He tapped the gear paddle into drive, still unsure what to do, where to go. Sometime between blows he had figured out she was just using him to get info -- likely been told by Pete McGee to go out with him. Polite rejection would not have been surprising. She had every incentive to string him along, but why go raving nuts over a little tit-grabbing? "Little" certainly applied to the bitch. An A cup for sure, though she had nice erect nips. She had looked like a crazy Amazon warrior, all buff and topless. The image and the sound replayed in his head caused a shiver along his spine.
He decided to head home. Call it a temporary setback. Two hundred bucks down the drain. He’d taken the bitch to the Mansion on Turtle Creek, had bragged to the guys at the firm about his anticipated conquest. And it had been quite a boast, since nobody he knew had had any luck with the standoffish, loner Kristen Kerry. Assuaging a twinge of guilt, he assured himself the lonely girl would’ve been disappointed if he hadn’t tried something.
From his firm, Tony only got trash nobody wanted to do. Kristen had already made partner at McGee’s. She tried cases on her own. She was a rising star. But Caswell figured she had sucked her way to success and was too stupid to appreciate his sophistication. Tony doubted she’d even been to Paris, let alone lived on the Left Bank. Still, if things had sparked, it would have been a coup to have Kristen next to him in the bars frequented by lawyers after work.
He loosed a half-smile. Had Tony seduced Kristen, the joke would have been on her. Although he was the senior assigned associate on the case, Tony had no idea about Stern’s plans on Layne. Stern treated him like a dog begging for scraps, blocking his partnership.
Caswell had noticed Stern eyeballing Kristen at the first Layne hearing, licking his chops. That over-dressed redneck thought getting laid as important as winning the case. If Stern nailed Kristen, Tony would be humiliated. Glancing at his deformed hand, he wished he was Stern -- tall, rugged, and confident.
He coughed up coffee and stomach acid he’d already aspirated. Crap, his chest hurt. Like somebody had performed an esophagus exam with barbed wire. Maybe he should get to a hospital.
Tony pushed the car faster. He tried to concentrate on something other than his distress. Perhaps the Layne case offered the opportunity to hammer both Stern and Kristen without risk to him. A crushing loss would take the shine off their careers. Feed inside information to the plaintiff’s lawyer? Or he could even conduct his own investigation into the disastrous night Brook Layne spent at Adventist Hospital. Dr. Galway’s story made no sense, although obviously Kristen’s nurses were guilty. They had put Layne in a coma by their negligence. But he had practiced law long enough to know not to believe your own client.
He made it another mile when the burn in his balls worsened. He hadn’t thought that possible. His bladder demanded relief. Tony pulled behind a dark Safeway. Unable to get out -- at least not quickly -- he rotated in the driver’s seat and eased the zipper down on his slacks. His crotch screamed. He aimed just outside the door frame. The first squirt felt like a red-hot nail driven up his urethra. To his horror, piss streamed a dull red.
Shit.  I could lose my testicles.
Caswell hacked another blob of gunk, zipped up, swiveled back in, slammed the car door, and tapped the shifter. Despite the torment in his crotch -- or maybe because of it -- he jammed the accelerator and sped for Methodist.
He’d read every Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie story. The perfect murder long intrigued him. He often thought he would’ve made a great detective, strolling the streets of 1930 L.A. or the villages of Devon.
Every criminal makes a stupid mistake. One stupid mistake that gets him caught.
But Tony was smart.

About the Author 

Steve Clark has practiced medical law for over thirty years. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Steve was an English and history major at the University of Oklahoma, where he also earned his law degree. “I’ve always been a voracious reader and lover of books that I buy faster then I can read them.” The author has attended the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference in Marin County and taken writing classes at the University of Central Oklahoma and Rose State College.

Steve is currently working on the next two books in the Kristen Kerry suspense series.

His latest book is the suspense novel, JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY.
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