Chicago, the Roaring Twenties. Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco's moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, Cecilia becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city's elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco.
Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison and bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee's bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle.
By Louis Barr
Film star Diana Danning hires private eye Clint Steele to find her son, Shane, after he vanishes like smoke in the night. LAPD Captain Hal Flynn suspects Shane disappeared by choice; until Clint and Diana receive a late-night call from Jud Tucker, the most under-the-radar serial killer since Patrick Bateman. Tucker demands five million dollars within twenty-four hours, or nobody will ever find Shane's body.
With no time to lose, Clint turns to his former West Point barracks mate and best friend, Mars Hauser, to lend his cyber espionage and digital black ops skills to the case. As Clint, Mars, and Captain Flynn race against time to rescue Shane and bring Jud Tucker to justice, their greatest threat may be much closer than they know.
By Julian Lopez
This compilation of short horror stories is certain to frighten, but also seduce. From the alluring handsome stranger disguising his true identity as the Grim Reaper to the ancient Egyptian elite returning after centuries to cause mayhem, and spine-tingling tales of the full moon, vampires, werewolves, and other lurking creatures. The Eiffel Tower is only a short distance from the circus, with its sinister freaks coming out to play. Antique Venetian masks serve as optical instruments to see the seducing spirit others cannot, a mariachi is in search of his deceased lover Adrian, and a queen of hearts card promises more is at stake when the odds are just right. All are part of the pleasure of horror in this compilation that delivers like the horror classics…good ole tales of terror.
An anthology of short fiction featuring the finalist selections from the 2020 Saints+Sinners Literary Festival.
By Lee Patton
Determined to record every summer day, young history teacher Luke Devlin starts school vacation imagining he’ll describe backcountry adventures in the Rockies and sun-splashed days home in Denver. But all too soon the season veers into crisis, when his older brother faces life-threatening illness and Luke becomes entangled in a love affair that’s as fast-moving and possibly as fatal as his brother’s diagnosis.
As Luke manages the household for his absent parents and struggles with the constant pressure of his unfinished master’s deadline, his fling with a Wyoming rancher grows serious just as his brother’s crisis overwhelms him. Luke’s love of his native ground and his search for romance collide with the hard realities of mortality and loss during an unexpected summer.
I know what you are. Five words scrawled on a note, and Heath knew his life was now in jeopardy. He had no choice but to confront the blackmailer and find out what proof he had. But what then? Pay up and risk demands for future payments? Or not give in and throw his life away?
The decision’s made for him when the blackmailer turns up dead. Is Heath a murderer? Even he isn’t sure, thanks to several double martinis. Other suspects include a voluptuous neighbor, a smarmy grocer, a ruthless gangster, Heath’s cousin Liz, who was once married to the blackmailer, and Miss Caldwell, a wily librarian who has eyes for the blackmailer’s current wife, Alice. Heath tries to read between the lines to solve the case of a death overdue before he’s arrested for the crime.
By St John Karp
Andre met his best friend Amy on a night like tonight. The way Amy tells it she had to stop him from climbing over the bar at Aunty Bob’s to punch the bartender, though if you ask Andre he’ll say, “What? That never happened. I don’t even know what you’re saying to me right now.”
Now Amy is worryingly missing in action, and Andre goes to Aunty Bob’s on a quest to find her. No sooner does he walk in with his depressingly heterosexual date than his best hat is spirited away by a lesbian in the throes of breaking up with her girlfriend. She in turn has it stolen from her when she starts a fight with two twinks at the bar. The hat makes its way around Aunty Bob’s from one head to another, giving glimpses into the dozens of stories playing out at the same time, unaware of each other but colliding in catastrophic ways. Can Andre find Amy before this party devolves into a nightmare of broken hearts, malevolent drag queens, and spontaneous human combustion? Or has it always happened this way, every night, at Aunty Bob’s Quake City Club?
By Jane Kolven
Sometimes it takes everything going wrong to make you see how right things are.
Dana Gottfried is a stressed-out Jewish lesbian who’s just quit her job and wants to get home to see her grandmother. When her car breaks down in Indiana on Christmas Eve, Dana is stranded—until she’s rescued by Charlie, a pig farmer who doesn’t identify as male or female. Although they come from different worlds, Dana is intrigued by Charlie’s sense of humor and kindness. Despite her better judgment, Dana says yes when Charlie offers a ride.
But the journey home is paved with detours. From car accidents to scheming ex-girlfriends to a snowy and deserted Chicago Loop, everything that could go wrong on their road trip does, but it leads Dana on a path of self-discovery that just might end in love.
Dylan Prescott has all the answers, even when she doesn’t know the questions. She’s in her element cruising the singles scene and crushing cases as a newly minted NYPD detective. Equal parts free spirit and thrill seeker, catching bad guys and charming good girls are what she was born to do.
Briana Logan doesn’t play. A successful Assistant United States Attorney with several convictions on her résumé, she’s a commanding presence in the courtroom. In any room, to be honest. Smart and sexy, she’s got her work-life balance down. It’s simple: career first, everything else second. That is, until Dylan Prescott is assigned to the team investigating a sophisticated narcotics ring.
Their chemistry is undeniable, but the complicated NYC criminal justice system doesn’t leave room for real feelings. Keeping their emotions in check isn’t easy. Where the heart is concerned, no one is bulletproof.
As a baron’s youngest son, Hector Somerville has no real prospects. He will not inherit, and he’s overshadowed by two perfect brothers. While searching for ways to improve his situation, Hector finds respite in an invitation to a country estate—and has a second chance at rekindling his illicit affair with Viscount Wentworth, captain of HBMS Dragon. The upcoming fortnight could be everything Hector dreamed of since their disastrous parting.
Wentworth has forsaken love, and yet, memories of guilt and heartache resurface. He loved a boyhood friend once, Hector’s older brother William, until the man left him, trampling his heart in the process. Years later, he wonders if he ever fell out of love. Is his heart bound by William, or can he create a life with Hector?