Books

PUBLISHED:

The Edge Of The Blade (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #6)
Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - April 2014

Between Good and Evil, The Line is Thin and Dangerous. 
Jax Marlin has vanished. Missing for almost two years. Is she hurt? Is she dead? Questions hound Special Inspector Pedroni as he suffers in silence, wondering what has become of his vigilante. Of his Jax. Unable to resist, unable to turn a blind eye, unable to accept that Jax would turn her back on the world, Pedroni resorts to the one thing that he swore he would never do. Take the law into his own hands. Can he maintain balance as he treads the dangerous line between good and evil? Can he live with it or will his conscience burn and eat him from the inside out? Or will he receive salvation from the most unlikely source?


Excerpt:

A year and a half, Jax Marlin was missing. Seventeen month, twenty-three days, to be exact. Christmas 2400 was a mere month away. It was the new century, where many made resolutions or scratched their slate clean to start anew. But like rollover credits on his relay, he'd been chasing Jax for nearly three years and was still no closer to capturing her than he was when the case first landed on his lap. Seven more days and it would be an even eighteen months...

He wasn't counting, but he wasn't forgetting either.


The Devil Inside (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #5)

Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - December 2013

Death Comes To Us All
When her inner demon screamed, Jax Marlin set it loose upon the world’s criminals. When the demon wanted blood, she gave it like an offering.


Special Inspector Pedroni chases his foe—always a step behind. This time, with heavy heart, unable to believe his Jax has become a common murderer.


After the events with the Necromancer Killer, after having to set her prey free, Jax struggles to come to terms with her decision. Her inner monster, one she’s kept at bay for years, surfaces in outrage and goes on a rampage. Can she stop in time before her sanity is lost? And can Pedroni come to terms with what she’s become?


Excerpt:
Dead man’s punch!
Jax Marlin pivoted her body like a matador, right elbow raised high over her head just before she delivered a powerful blow into the man’s chest.
Like a bull grunting, the man let out a gust of breath. He crumpled inwards then teetered sideways, falling heavily on his side. Jax imagined his heart fibrillating from the trauma; his system would soon go into shock. Leaning over him, she drew her arm back, poised to hit him again in case the first blow didn’t take.
She waited.
Red-faced, his eyes rolled up into his head as his breath came out in strained gasps. All over his naked body, welts and bruises covered him, some bleeding. His face displayed an impressive collection of red, swollen lumps. From his mouth, blood seeped, staining the few remaining teeth. One eye was swollen shut, the other barely open.

“You will die,” Jax stated calmly. “No one is coming to save you. Do you understand? No one wants to save you. You beat women up because that’s the only way you can get your disgusting dick up. You rape them repeatedly, then you kill them.”



Jax Marlin: Triple the Action (To Catch A Marlin #2-4)

Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - November 2013

Novella Collection:
Purged in Fire #2
The Marlin Strikes Again #3
The Necromancer of the Avon #4

Follow the futuristic exploits of beautiful but deadly vigilante, Jax Marlin, and her dogged pursuer, Special Inspector Michael Pedroni in this compact 3 in 1 collection.






The Necromancer of the Avon (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #4)

Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - November 2013


Can You Kill A Ghost?
On board the Avon, a derelict battlecruiser, lurks a hideous danger--a phantom menace that revels in the gore of death. Special Inspector Michael Pedroni is once again taken into the depth of space to solve the mystery of a gruesome massacre. The vigilante, Jax Marlin, is also on board--to capture her prey, the Necromancer Killer.

Vigilante and Inspector lay differences aside to aid each other, but while death for punishment is on Jax's mind, Pedroni has other ideas. Can Pedroni allow her to kill the killer? Will Jax show mercy and stay her hand? And can they both come to terms with that stolen kiss in the darkened shadows of a crawlspace?

Excerpt:
A clammy shiver ran down Special Inspector Michael Pedroni’s spine. He looked over his shoulder to make sure nothing lurked behind him. The disturbing sensation that something vile and evil watched made the back of his neck prickle with discomfort.
Pedroni and his two Marine escorts entered the main passageway of the old battlecruiser. The bay doors closed behind him with a grinding noise and while he looked around the cavernous space, his suit pinged, indicating the ship’s pressure had equalized and oxygen now flooded the area. He removed his helmet, hearing the hiss as it unlatched from his suit.
The cold was bearable; it nibbled his face pleasantly and refreshed him from the mugginess of the space suit. The Marines had assured him the link chute, which connected the abandoned ship to their war cruiser, had been sorted and safe to travel through. Their idea of safe didn’t quite mesh with Pedroni’s version. The damaged seals to the bay door still allowed the vacuum of space rush in, deeming it a ‘suit-zone’ with zero G’s.
While the Marines might be used to swimming weightless through a vacuum and wearing the cumbersome suits, Pedroni was not. It was nothing short of claustrophobic—and obviously made for someone bigger and muscular in mind and not for his small, lightweight frame.

The Avon, a derelict battlecruiser, stank of stale air and corroded metal. Somewhere midway in the layers of scents accumulating in the old ship, the unmistakable stench of death spread its vile tendrils.




The Marlin Strikes Again (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #3)

Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - March 2013


You Get What You Deserve...
Beneath the shiny exterior of a quaint university town, danger and sordid deed lurk. The vigilante, Jax Marlin, sets her sights on a pedophile and gives him all that he deserves. His deeds, so filthy, for once, Jax is glad her Special Inspector is not around to lay witness. Some things are better handled privately.

Excerpt:
Maybe I need friends.
Jax dismissed that thought faster than a war-class cruiser jumping into the fold. Vigilantes didn’t need friends.
With a shift of her body, she dismissed the trendy intellects in the room and focused on the task at hand. Thinking of her copper always made her melancholy. Sweet little Special Inspector Michael Pedroni. Dull as a doorknob, but endearing as a rain-soaked puppy. She eased back in her banquette seat, hearing the faux leather upholstery creak under her, and stared out the window. It afforded her the perfect angle to spy on the non-descript building across the street.
Amid the chatter of patrons and the high-pitched sucking sound of the cappuccino maker, a voice pinged her brain—the human waitress, delivering the slice of apple crumble she’d ordered and a shaker with extra cinnamon to dust over. It seemed this coffee house preferred human service staff as opposed to service bots. Jax didn’t care either way; she just wished the server would turn it down a notch.
The waitress trilled out some more happy noises, attempting to converse, and to Jax’s horror, refilled her mug. She would never drink it all, and no amount of cinnamon could kill the bitter taste of black coffee.

As the waitress walked away, nonplussed, Jax eyeballed another table. Two waif-thin men were in a serious discussion about bio-fusion technology. They drank some frothy looking beverage. If this surveillance gig lasted much longer, perhaps she would have one of those. She did like the extra wide mug it came in and the crazy tribal motif that was the coffee shop’s trademark. She was tempted to nick one.




Purged In Fire (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #2)


Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - February 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For...
When every wish you desire is granted by the benevolent AI, be careful to ask for only what you can handle. The vigilante, Jax Marlin, finds herself back in the abysmal depths of space on a pleasure dome sinfully named the Ring of Fire. Hot on her heels, the copper, the dogged Special Inspector Michael Pedroni.

Jax's desire is to stop a cold sadist in his tracks, doling out the kind of punishment he gives his victims. And Pedroni's wish? To be able to capture the elusive Marlin - but he would settle for a kiss.


Excerpt:


Jax Marlin had slipped through his fingers yet again. The repetition of this predicament was embarrassing enough that Special Inspector Michael Pedroni found many reasons not to submit regular status reports to his superiors. Not that they were particularly interested in his on-going investigation into the vigilante.
In the last eight months, he had traveled to almost every corner of Earth, skipped across to the Bacchus Dome, and to numerous space stations and ports betwixt and between. In the two months since Bacchus, Jax had been suspiciously quiet. Pedroni could only surmise that she needed time to recover and recoup from her ordeal. He also suspected a lot of it had to do with her emotions, like it had been for him, rather than the physical hurts she had sustained.
After Bacchus, and the mountain of report filing and damage report claims that needed sorting, Pedroni himself had been buried with the dull admin side of investigative work. His Chief Inspector Aoki ordered him to take a two-week holiday, one he gladly took. Call it a sabbatical, call it self-preservation, but Pedroni found the break helped him sort out his feelings towards the bane of his existence. The answer, he was still as uncertain about where he stood with Jax Marlin as he ever was. The only difference being that he’d now come to accept it.
He and Jax would always have an attraction towards each other, but she was a criminal, and he a cop.







Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - October 2012.

What wouldn't you do to catch a criminal?
In the tail end of the 24th Century, Special Inspector Michael Pedroni pursues a beautiful and elusive vigilante, Jax Marlin, in a wild cat and mouse chase that will take him from Earth to the Bacchus Dome and beyond.

Jax Marlin is not your average criminal; she seeks out evil-doers and law-breakers, doling out justice in whatever way she sees fit. But lately, she finds she's been gift-wrapping criminals specially for her favorite copper.

Four of the world's leading criminals are determined to form an alliance. Jax is determined to stop them. Hot on her heels, Inspector Pedroni finds himself questioning the difference, if any, between her justice and his. More than that, he wonders why, when he'd had her in his grasp, he was unable to slap on the restraints and bring her in.

Both want the same thing--to stop criminals. But the growing attraction each has toward the other becomes a dangerous hindrance.


Excerpt:

Vancouver, British Colombia—July 6, 2398
      “Pedroni!”
Special Inspector Michael Pedroni peered up from writing his report to find Chief Inspector Aoki briskly walking towards his desk. The CI looked irritated, which meant something crawled up his aft orifice and laid eggs. And now he was about to hatch them all over Pedroni.
      CI Aoki dropped a memory sphere and a flimsy report folder on Pedroni’s desk. “The El Sayed case. It’s yours with an upgrade.”
      Pedroni narrowed his eyes. “The kidnapping case? I thought that was Boucher’s.”
      “Well, the ever-efficient Boucher decided he’d rather have a burst appendix.” Aoki fussed with his tie, a favored habit when something bothered him. “Bulletin on the case. It’s no longer a kidnapping.”
      Pedroni’s stomach clenched, hoping it hadn't turned into a murder case. These high profile kidnappings never ended well. El Sayed was a wealthy woman from Cairo, and from what he heard of the case, ICSP had her stalling in paying up the ransom so they could establish the boy’s location.
      “The El Sayed boy’s been retrieved. Found him in Austria—
the mother’s about to raise hell. Some vigilante-styled ninja woman got the boy, shot up the place he was held and dropped him off at the mother’s front door.”
      “The boy’s unharmed?” Pedroni reached for the file, about to open it.
      “Yes, yes.” Aoki flapped a hand impatiently. “Boy’s fine— had the time of his life and won’t shut up about his adventure. The mother’s ranting and raving about the ICSP dragging their ass about and—” he ground his teeth together. “Look. El Sayed is saying we’re a bunch of idiots who couldn’t find our own asses with two hands. Some ninja woman tracked the boy, retrieved him, brought him home safe. You tell me who’s looking better in this case. El Sayed just made a press release and we just looked like the class fools.”
      “She hire this vigilante?”
      “El Sayed claims not. But you never can tell with these mega-billionaires. HQ thinks she’s telling the truth and Boucher’s tap on the comms can back it up. She’s clean. Your case is the vigilante. Now get your ass to Austria and find this ninja lady. Asap!”
      “What about the murder-suicide I’m on?”
      “Give it to Boucher. They’re dead, aren’t they? They’re not going anywhere. I’m sure they’ll keep until Boucher’s recovered.” 



Ring of Fire - Short Story Sampler Vol. 1 (Anthology Collection):


Published by Ring of Fire Publishing - June 30, 2012
To Catch A Marlin - Purged in Fire
A cop, a beautiful vigilante, & the worst kind of criminal.
This teaser to the full length novel, To Catch A Marlin, follows the tale of Special Inspector Michael Pedroni and the sexy vigilante, Jax Marlin as the venture out into the depths of space to a hedonistic space station to bring down a horrible criminal.

Excerpt:
Jax Marlin had slipped through his fingers yet again. The repetition of this predicament was embarrassing enough that Special Inspector Michael Pedroni found many reasons not to submit regular status reports to his superiors. Not that they were particularly interested in his on-going investigation into the vigilante.
In the last year, he had traveled to almost every corner of Earth, skipped across to the Bacchus Dome, and to numerous space stations and ports betwixt and between. Now, he’d come to the Ring of Fire pleasure station, way out in the fringe colonies of Jupiter, which, in his opinion, was no better than Bacchus with its in-your-face, sexually charged atmosphere. 
It was just his luck to be thrown into uncomfortable situations. On Bacchus, he’d nearly had to strip down to nothing in order escape the clutches of an overly amorous woman. Here on Ring of Fire, the patrons were not as sexually aggressive, but the resident AI was seen and heard throughout the station, making sure all needs were met, and all wishes granted. Pedroni’s only wish was that he’d finally lay his hands on the elusive Jax Marlin.

********************* THE LANCASTER TRILOGY IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE.  THE RIGHTS HAVE BEEN RETURNED TO ME, AND EACH NOVEL IS UNDERGOING SOME TWEAKING BEFORE BEING REBRANDED AND RELEASED AGAIN.  April 30, 2014*****************************************************************************


The Lancaster Rule

The Lancaster Rule, the first in the trilogy, published April 2010 (Champagne Books)

The year is 2332, when two renowned pod-hunters resuscitate her. To save her life, Josie Bettencourt’s father tricks her into sleeping in his secret life-sustaining pod.

The world loathes her kind – pod-survivors. When death is certain, an ex-military and friend to the pod-hunters, Lorcan, saves her life. Josie becomes smitten with him, but he is still in love with his dead wife. She is soon arrested and taken straight to the Citadel, the heart of the Lancaster regime where they have ruled tyrannically for over fifty years.

Now, young John is in power, hoping to make a change, to erase the wars, famines and unimaginable terror. When Josie meets the frighteningly powerful John Lancaster, she has to ask, is he really the so-called tyrants’ spawn? She soon discovers who the true tyrants are by unravelling a deadly plot to take over the world. And, she realizes that her life in this new future are indelibly linked to the one she left behind.

Excerpt:
"How long are you planning on letting her sit there and wait?"


"As long as I feel like," World President John Lancaster replied tersely. His lips compressed, and he glared intently at Josie's slight figure slumped against the wall. She was staring vacantly before her. He had his hands clasped behind his back. The sight of her disturbed him. He could not understand why. He stood this way for nearly ten minutes. Simon had argued against his involvement, but he insisted. He was still in charge of all military and police matters, and he had been, after all, once the head of counter-terrorism.


Simon moved slightly into John's line of sight. He cocked a red brow in his usual nonchalant way; a mixture of annoyed bother and mischief touched his face briefly as he looked to his long-time friend. Then, he sighed, audibly. He didn't have to speak. They had known each other long enough, had been through enough that words, sometimes, were not necessary.


"Stop that," replied John in a low voice after a moment, frowning in displeasure. Finally he turned to look at Simon. "Fine, I'm going."


When the glass door slid open and John Lancaster stepped in, Josie jerked with shock. The last person she expected to see was the president of the United Europe and Americas himself, and without conscious reason, she scrambled to her feet and backed up against the wall. The ledge she was sitting on knocked the backs of her knees so she flopped ungracefully back down again. With a hoarse yelp, she straightened and regained her footing.


Lancaster gave her a quizzical look and raised a brow. Yes, he thought, she really does not look like your typical terrorist.

Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey (or click here)

(For Reviews on The Lancaster Rule, click here or the 'Review' tab on the main page.)


The Master Key - Part 2 in the Lancaster Series (published July 2011)
-->

All is not idyllic as Josie begins her new life in the future as wife to the world president, John Lancaster. A dangerous man from her past returns — Michael Ho — to wreck more havoc and destruction. With him, Ho brings a hostage, Margeaux, who turns out to be Josie's great-niece, seven times removed! He demands a trade off — a keycode for the life of her niece.


As revelations of Josie's past, three hundred years ago, begin to unfold, every question she has ever asked is answered. Together with John, and head of security, Simon, they head to the Scrap Yard, a cybernetics space station where they battle it out with Ho who is hell-bent on taking control of the world.

Can Josie save the life of her new-found niece? Will learning the truth of her past and family really be enough to put the ghosts to rest?


Excerpt from The Master Key:
-->
“She’ll never make an operative.”  Simon propped his arm companionably over John’s shoulder and watched as Josie sheepishly recovered from a stumble.
“She’s my wife, not one of yours.”  John clamped his mouth into a line and rolled his eyes, a habit he seemed to be borrowing lately from Josie.  “But you’re right.  An operative she will never be.  I’m just glad she’s learning to hone her skills at defending herself.  Clumsily, but still…”
“There’s that,” Simon agreed with a shrug then suppressed a chuckle.  “And now, thankfully, she looks more the part so her cover will stand.”
Simon had to admit, he did like her.  She was a bit crass, rude, nosy, and childishly naïve, but she had somehow managed to tame his best friend’s turbulent heart and re-awaken his humorous nature.  And, she had the uncanny ability to make John swoon like a girl, something that was practically unheard of until she came to live within the Citadel.
“At least now she won’t second-guess her own strength and abilities,” Simon continued.
At best, she and Simon resorted to a friendly banter of words and insults that sometimes erupted into violent outbursts of temper.  But generally, they enjoyed the insults and would never openly admit—to themselves or others—that they were actually quite fond of one another.
With a final twist of the torso, a pivot and a lunge, Josie completed a rather difficult counter-attack kick on the sparring droid, successfully upturning it.  Then, rather childishly, gave it a final below-the-belt kick, not that it mattered much to the droid.  She huffed off and strode determinedly toward the two men who watched.
“Temper, temper.”  Simon clicked his tongue, not quite masking the impressed nod of approval as he mentally rated her performance.
***
-->
Josie had never been in space.  To be perfectly honest, she wasn’t even sure if she was going to like it, either.  Aside from countless tiny dots that were stars, it seemed riddled with endless bits of junk.  Lots of junk—scrap metal and bits of flotsam and jetsam from centuries of man polluting the great vast ocean called space.  Every so often, the shuttle would jerk slightly to avoid these floating bits of junk; larger crafts would simply repel them off with their shields, or blast them away with their guns.
And then, getting there, or through it, was tedious enough.  Hours upon hours with nothing but endless blackness around you—strapped into a small, uncomfortable chair with nothing but a nagging husband for company.  She could think of a hundred other things she’d rather be doing than sitting here now, next to him.
Granted, he wasn't particularly nagging at the moment.  Just being overly polite and concerned, that it drove her ape-shit mad.  He treated her as if she were made of very thin glass.

(For Reviews on The Master Key, click here or the 'Review' tab on the main page.) 

Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey (or click here)  


The Eternal Knot - Part 3 in the Lancaster Series.
(Published January 02, 2012)

Unable to resist the lure of finding her niece, Josie picks up the crumbs of clues left behind.  With her old friend and saviour, pod-hunter Quin Aguilar at her side, she seeks out Fern Betterncourt who is assumed to be sleeping for over a hundred years.

From an unlikely source, Fern’s location is discovered, and together with her husband, Josie seeks out her last link to her past.  Will Fern want to be found?  And will finding Fern be enough to bury the ghosts that haunt Josie?  Can Josie bring herself to destroy her last remaining family in order to save herself?

The Eternal Knot, the final chapter in the Lancaster trilogy: Every question answered, every truth revealed.  Will Josie finally rest in peace in the new future she lives in?
 


Excerpt from The Eternal Knot:
 
-->
Josie snorted as she ignored Simon’s last comment about her hair cut.  She had put off dealing with her hair for nearly a year, and it had gotten far too long for her liking.  So she had her stylist chop ten inches off, bringing her hair to scrape just under her jaw line.  The stylist’s suggestion of a wispy and whimsical fringe was ignored.  Instead, she opted for a jagged layering to give her dead-straight hair the flick-factor.  Happy with her decision, she strode into her husband’s offices, flicking her newly trimmed brown hair with a wide grin.
John had just finished speaking to Simon about some security matters, when the long, lean frame of his wife sauntered into the room.  She never failed to mesmerize him.  She exuded charm and personality, granted, it was old-world charm with subtle crassness.
Her beauty, though it was not overly beautiful, always managed to trip his heart, as did her smile.  Her face was small, neat and narrow with a short, straight nose.  Her mouth was full and just wide enough to be considered sultry.  What came out of her mouth was another matter, though, he was becoming used to the amount of swearing she did.  After all, she came from another time.  But it was her eyes that always stopped a person in their tracks.  Slightly large, widely set, and in the most vibrant shade of emerald green one could imagine.  It drew you in to stare into them, and into the bright marigold yellow centres that contrasted wildly with the black of her pupils.  Framed with a dark forest of lashes and neatly arched brows, it finished her look of someone who was innocently young while secretly hiding a wicked sense of humour.  And those eyes, they saw everything, whether they wanted to or not.
Josie strode up to Simon, gave him an aloof up and down stare then regarded him with a dead straight look in the eye.
“You’re just jealous that you don’t have fabulous hair like I do,” she batted her eyes for effect.  “I know all about how much time you spend in front the bathroom mirror, worrying over that receding hairline.”
“At least I’ve got a mirror to look at,” Simon countered with a half-roll of his startling blue eyes.  “You cracked yours with your hideousness.”
Josie couldn’t stop the slap of insult from washing over her face in time.  Even John had to suppress a laugh; her expression was priceless.
“Uh!” she snorted again.  “Are all red-heads so ill-mannered and, and…”  Scratching her head for something appropriate to say, she found none.  Instead, she dismissed him as one would a fly and leaned across John’s desk to plant a kiss on his mouth.
“Found that funny, eh?” she asked him with mock sincerity.  “See if you get lucky tonight.”

Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey (or click here