Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fear is Louder Than Words...first two chapters

                                                  Fear is Louder Than Words
Romantic Suspense
First Two Chapters: 
                                                                To release: Dec. 2015





CHAPTER 1
Christmastime is near
Happy time of year
But Princess … you deserve to die
A mouthful of hot mocha spewed from Rochelle’s mouth, burning her chin and bathing the counter. Fingers tense, she set down her cup then shredded the note into file thirteen.
The guy was no Thoreau. Another wacko. The city was full of them and a great many had found their way to her door, her email, and her Twitter account.
She grabbed the edge of the counter, smoothed the long, blue sweater over her leggings, and forced a smile. Did her phony calm fool their receptionist or resemble a bad imitation of The Joker?
Behind Stella’s desk, a cheerful Christmas carol on WNIC mocked Rochelle—contradicted the fact she’d been threatened—again. Six letters now. She should call legal.
“What is it?” Stella looked up through thick bangs, a wavering grin on her frightened-little-mouse face. Had Rochelle ever looked that young? That na├»ve? No, she’d jumped from sixteen to ninety the day her folks died.
“Which favorite fan is it this time? Are you all right? What did it say?” Stella nibbled the edge of her nail.
Rochelle laughed a little too loud to squelch the sick feeling snaking through her gut. “That I deserve to die.” She mopped at the counter with a wad of tissue and then waved her hand. Bye-bye.
“Say what?” Stella’s jaw dropped.
“Aren’t you glad all my fans don’t feel that way? So long ratings.”
Stella chewed her cheek and nodded while Rochelle debated how to best spin this.
“Don’t give the crazies a thought, Stell. I have enough of those letters to paper an entire room. Just sayin’. First one nut job, then another.” Had she sounded sincere? No one ever really got accustomed to the vicious comments.
Rochelle dropped another strained smile, but the girl’s huge, almond eyes appeared ready to cry. “Understand one thing, Stella. They all think they’re your favorite fan. And can say whatever they like.” Her thumb rubbed over the other envelopes.
“I’m sorry you got that letter. Will you be all right? I’m so sorry about the fave fan and all. I can call security. Do you want someone to walk you out, Ms. Cassidy? It’s getting late. It won’t be a bother. I promise. My coat’s right here.” She fingered the jacket sleeve.
Stella’s anxious rambling wasn’t helping to put the letter to rest. There was nothing to set aside the hateful venom that seemed to come so easily to another person’s lips. And for the life of her, she didn’t understand why.
“I’ll be leaving in a while, and it’s Rochelle, not Ms. Cassidy. And, no, I don’t need anyone to walk me out.”
Rochelle caught her breath and dropped the rest of the mail back in her slot, not intending to read any more tonight. Perhaps never.
Clearing the lobby, she scrambled for the safety of her office. Instead of tears, she closed the door, slammed her shoulders against the heavy wood, and sucked back an unsteady breath. Too many high-profile stories of late had the sting of a bull’s-eye. The darts pierced between her shoulders.
Why, again, had she taken this job?
Oh, yeah. Pay off the mortgage and student loans.
The intercom buzzed. Rochelle flinched, bringing up the spicy soup from lunch into her throat. She leaned forward and flipped the switch on the intercom. “Yes?” With a one-handed tug on her desk drawer, she searched for a tin of antacids as her teeth worried her lower lip.
“A man to see you.” Stella lowered her voice. “He said you need to sign for a package. And don’t worry. I checked his credentials. Driver’s license and all.”
Yeah, like a man would have I’m bad stamped on his license. Right next to organ donor. Rochelle smiled. Where had the station found such a sweetie?
“What package? Never mind. Send him over.” Ignoring the nervous sound of her voice, she smoothed her top again, tugging at the edges.
Pen clutched in her hand like a weapon, Rochelle waited outside her door. A man too old and tired-looking to be suspect turned the corner.
She exhaled. “May I help you?”
“Cassidy? Rochelle?”
She nodded, and he stuck out his hand, tapped at a blank line.
“Your John Hancock.”
She scribbled her signature. “What is it?”
A scowl formed as he scrutinized her signature. He popped the signed receipt in a black folder. “Don’t know. Don’t care. Here.” Then he shoved a manila envelope in her direction and disappeared the way he’d come.
“Merry Christmas to you, too.” She hated to link Christmas with sarcasm, but sometimes it fit. Ho-Ho-Ho.
Her fingers grasped the thin envelope to her chest. Calm down. Can’t be a subpoena, he wouldn’t have needed a signature. She backtracked to her desk, never stealing her gaze from the packet. Surely her favorite fan wouldn’t go to this much trouble.
Would he?
Rochelle laid it on her desk. Staring didn’t help. She sat down. Maybe she should call legal before opening it. Another search through the drawer uncovered not only the mints but a pewter letter opener.
Raised letterhead … Blackwell, Merriweather, and VanHume. Daniel VanHume. That name. Where did she know it from? Fingers shaking, she withdrew another paper.
A letter and … a check?

CHAPTER 2
A city bus rumbled past, a bigger-than-life photo of Rochelle Cassidy defiling the side.
Smoke belched. Kyle punched the air and flipped his finger toward the back of the bus. Like he needed a reminder of the princess.
Every other day this week, she’d left the building hours before now. What kept her today? Reading his card. That’s it; she was reading his card. Wondering if he was watching.
That must be it.
But he didn’t like waiting.
Not for anyone. Or anything.
Darkness fell in sketchy outlines. He smirked. Even the weather was on his side, but still, he shivered.
Some stiff bumped him, dropped a box as he rushed past.
“Hey! Watch where you’re going. Here.” Kyle kicked the box. “You forgot something.”
The guy didn’t make eye contact. Just grabbed the package and ran like the little girl he was. Kyle laughed.
Anxious for some action, he bulleted a gaze at his dollar-store watch and slapped his arms against a jacket that had been an uncle’s hand-me-down. Uncle Rory.
His throat tightened. His gut clenched. He’d have ripped the jacket off but for the cold.
Kyle refocused. A little after five.
Where was she?
Worrying that he was looking for her?
The vision of her slender fingers opening his note drove the ice from his veins, filling him with warmth.
Tonight, he’d do more than watch.
Another shiver, this time from the thrill, riveted the thin jacket to his spine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Methuselah Project Interview and Giveaway!



INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, RICK BARRY: THE METHUSELAH PROJECT
If you like suspense, romance, historic: you’ve gotta read this one!
How about a giveaway! YES!

How about two giveaways…even better…

1-Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was in fifth grade the first time I seriously thought about writing a novel. I recall wanting to pen a mystery in the style of the Hardy Boys. I sat at Dad's desk, took out a sheet of paper, made up two boys' names and jotted a couple paragraphs before hitting the wall. I had no idea what should happen next. So, I concluded I must not be the writer type and wadded up that piece of paper so no one would see that I'd "failed." Of course, I started too young for such an ambitious undertaking, but I continued to absorb books as I grew up.
In college I studied French and expected to become a language teacher. Instead, I was offered a job as a textbook editor, which I did for 5 years. From there, I moved on to studying Russian and became Assistant to Georgi Vins, a Russian pastor who was exiled from the USSR to the USA in a dramatic prisoner exchange in 1979. My wonderful wife Pam also worked in that ministry as the bookkeeper. Along the way, in my spare time I began penning articles and short stories for various publications. To this day, I work in a Christian ministry active in Eastern Europe and use my Russian every day. Yet, in my not-so-secret alter ego I continue to write for publication.

2-Where did you get the CRRRazy idea for The Methuselah Project?
You know, I can't exactly recall exactly how that appeared. The kernel of the idea was that I wanted to bring a character from World War II into our present time, still looking young, but without any sort of unbelievable time-travel gizmo. The more I mulled over the idea, the more answers to questions appeared out of nowhere and fell into place.
There was a funny moment when I was driving down a highway and suddenly realized why the main character had grown up in an orphanage and never knew his own parents. Excited, I phoned my wife and blurted, "I just now found out what happened to Roger Greene's parents!"
Silence on the line. Then, "Who is Roger Greene?"
"He's the main character in the new story I'm writing!"
Another pause, and then my wife replied, "Uh... Okay...." Obviously she was not as excited as I was.

Well, Rick, we can’t always expect our spouses to be as excited about our work as we are.

3-Who was your fave character and why?
The main character, Roger Greene, is definitely my favorite. He's a P-47 pilot in World War II. His three main goals in life are to fly fast airplanes, to serve his country, and to find the perfect girl to love. But when two German fighters jump on his tail during a mission, it looks like Roger will never achieve any of those dreams.

4-Which character was most like YOU?
Lol! A number of these characters are dedicated members of the Nazi Party, so that rules them out automatically. I'd have to confess that, even though there are many differences between Roger Greene and myself, I poured a lot of myself into the mixture as I molded him.

5-What is it about the historic portion that you enjoyed the most?
I've been fascinated with the World War II years since 7th grade. In that year I was at a relative's house when someone turned on the TV and started watching The Great Escape. I sat down and watched too. I figured it was all just a made-up story until the conclusion, when they rolled the words explaining the film was dedicated to the 50 escapees who had been captured and then executed. I was stunned. Of course Hollywood embellished the details for cinematic effect, but the essence of the story is true. That compelled me to read more non-fiction accounts from the war years.

6-Any ideas for future books in this genre?
Definitely. Although my Russian ministry and some other short writing projects have slowed me down lately, I'm planning a sequel to The Methuselah Project.

7-Anything else you'll like to share with your readers?
Yes. As I've attended book signings for my previous WW II story, Gunner's Run, many faithful readers have encouraged me to write another adventure based a war hero. I want to thank the many who asked for one and waited patiently. This is it. Thank you, everyone!

LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN EBOOK COPY OF THE METHUSELAH PROJECT! DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE IT!