"Last Call"

3:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 17 Comments

Last Call
By Sarah Ballance
A sensual romantic suspence from For the Muse Publishing
In a perilous game of trust, a shocking betrayal deals a dangerous hand.
An accidental witness to a murder-for-hire, ex-cop Rhys Clark becomes the target of ruthless killer—one determined to silence her at any cost. Playing dead seems to be the most likely way to stay alive, but when her protection comes in the form of mega-sexy former adversary Nick Massey, Rhys can think of  a few fates worse than death.
Nick Massey may have walked away from his troubles, but he never got past wanting Rhys. Once paired undercover, they’d been nothing but fireworks until a botched assignment ended her career, sending his into a tailspin. Now a mysterious client threatens Nick’s life if he doesn’t keep Rhys safe, but it isn’t until fate takes a critical turn that he realizes the devastating truth: he’s been her greatest threat all along.

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, andSmashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.
An Excerpt from "Last Call"
Rhys Clark swore and jerked her foot from the murky puddle that had just claimed one of her new running shoes. Perfect. The day was now officially perfect.
She blamed Nick Massey.
Blaming him was easy enough. She didn’t know which required more nerve on his part—leaving town or crawling back—but both events left her bitter and raw. And wet, she grumbled inwardly. With the sky spitting rain and the occasional pellet of sleet smacking her face, she should have skipped her evening jog. The street was little more than a concrete alley of shuttered businesses, and the bleak weather amplified the emptiness. But tonight, with Nick hot on her mind, running through the cold was her last ditch effort to return to her senses.
It hadn’t worked.
Another blast of icy air howled through the narrow street. If she hadn’t been standing still, she probably wouldn’t have heard the shouting that followed.
A few months ago, an altercation wouldn’t have been unusual in this part of town. But the whole area was under reconstruction. Local crime dissipated to nothing with the razing of several apartment buildings, and until now Rhys had long found her route to be a place of solace. She glanced around as the voices drew closer and more intense. Rapid footsteps smacked the wet pavement. Then the echo of a gunshot cracked the night.
Where fear left her paralyzed, instinct insisted she get out of sight. She looked around and found an unbroken expanse of concrete wall offering few options. Heart pounding, Rhys ducked into the recessed doorway of a vacant storefront and hoped the deep shadows would keep her concealed.
Terrifying seconds passed. The sound of her own suppressed breath roared in her ears.
Voices came, clearer this time. Close.
“If we screw this up…” The words, terse and hushed, were encapsulated in panic.
“Shut up,” demanded a second voice. “No one messed up. He’s as good as dead.”
“You think you’re going to sell that without a body? We didn’t get paid to lose him.”
“He took one to the gut. He won’t get far. We’ll find him.”
“He’s leaving a trail. Blood. We got the big bucks for a clean—”
Shut up.”
A hit? Rhys shuddered, fear scaling her spine. A professional hit would have been silent—something not accomplished by the gunshot or the ensuing conversation—but in this game, experience wasn’t always a prerequisite for willingness to pull the trigger. Two years of undercover work had taught her as much.
So had a bullet.
Rhys froze, waiting for the voices to pass. But luck was not on her side. Rather than drawing away, the footsteps ceased.
“Well, well, well,” said the confident one. “Looks like our little game of hide and seek is over.”
Hope crumbled. The voice was far too close. Had they seen her?
She dared not move. Through her lashes, she saw nothing in her narrow view of the dimly lit street but dirty puddles and the occasional bit of trash plastered to wet pavement. She prayed they didn’t look her way should they walked past.
Grunts erupted nearby, followed by the sound of sneakers scuffling on concrete. Then two shots fired, and all sounds of struggle gave way to profane celebration.
In the same instant, a man fell to the sidewalk in front of Rhys. His eyes, sightless and familiar, bore into her.
She choked a gasp.
A man stepped into her line of sight, his weapon at the ready. Before she could stop herself, she locked eyes with him. Big mistake. The decision threw her into a cloud of emotional shrapnel, the past flying at her in shards. She’d been shot once before.
It hadn’t ended well.
The gunman opened his mouth and formed an ugly grin, his breath coming in visible puffs through yellowed teeth. “Looks like a double header tonight, T,” he said, never taking his gaze off Rhys.
“Whaddya mean?” came the reply. The voice . . . she blinked until the second man shifted into focus.
She knew him. From where? She couldn’t think.
She glanced to the dead man, and her vision wavered. Panic shifted her world into a screen of jarred pixels, the flashback jagged and severe.
Rhys! Stay with me, Rhys. Do you hear me? Rhys!”
Blood. So much blood.
“Nick.” She touched his face, feeling stubble beneath her fingertips. Then the weight of her arm was too much; as gravity won he slipped away. The world twisted into a sickening spiral until all that was left was his voice, the desperation in his tone bringing warmth to the darkness.
Motion jarred her to the present.
The gunman gestured. “Our witness here is about to have an unfortunate accident.” He raised the weapon, aiming for the kill.
It was a short view down the barrel at point blank range. She expected that.
What she didn’t anticipate was the speed with which he pulled the trigger.
Or how quickly the pain hit.

And don't forget!

Totally taken from Peggy Eddleman's blog:

A call for help from one writer to all the others!!

We have comrades in need: 

Chad Morris.

While Chad's book is launching, he's not busy marketing...he's fighting along side his nine-year-old daughter as she battles a brain tumor. 

(I can't even imagine. The very thought takes my breath away.)

Chad can't be all over the net right now, but WE can!!!

Here's the basics: 
*for more, go to Peggy's blog HERE

 Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don’t read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn’t around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar.

Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twin siblings Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather’s inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins begin following a trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.

Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather’s greatest secret–a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.

About Chad:
Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids. Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall.

Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies.

Where to find him:
Blog         Facebook       Twitter    Website

Also, this beautiful book never got to be held by its author :(

Second: Bridget Zinn

Bridget's debut novel, POISON, releases a week from tomorrow. Sadly, Bridget died from cancer in May of 2011, and never got to hold her book in her hands. Being published was her dream, and her husband and friends would love some help putting the finishing touches on her dream. Her husband has set up a website that talks about all the ways you can help. It's a pretty awesome thing. You can find his plea for help HERE
Help spread the word with tweets and posts.  #poison

Bridget Zinn


  1. Thanks for highlighting this book and showing us its yummy...er...intriguing cover. And here's to Chad and Bridget and our writing community.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I know, it has been ages since I left one of my um highly collectable comments :)

    I think it's very good of you to bring awareness of all these books. You epitomise the ideals of a sharing, caring community.

    I see that's a photo of me on "Last Call". Okay, I was kidding. All the best and well done to the authors mentioned.

    Be well, Elizabeth.

    Your starstruck fan,

    Gary :)

    1. Ah Gary! I just cut and pasted and put it in my scrap book. Your comments are always keen and most certainly collectible.

      I hope you got paid well for that photo. You are about to be harassed by chickies like Bieber at a grade school!

    2. Ah Elizabeth, I had a hunch you would copy and paste my comment into your scrap book. A lady of unquestionable intelligence!

      Gosh, Justin Bieber, you know that Canada is denying all knowledge that he's Canadian. Oops, what have I done....

    3. Gary, I hope you'll show off that (er, your) cover to all your friends, LOL! ;c)

    4. Copy and pasting that too! Evidence ;)

  3. Thanks so much for featuring my book today, Elizabeth! I'm thrilled to be here. ;c)

    1. Thrilled to have you Sarah! Best of luck on your launch!

  4. You're doing such a wonderful thing highlighting these books. Last Call looks like an interesting read, and I hope to read Chad and Bridget's books.

  5. I am a total fan-girl when it comes to Sarah Ballance. I love her writing!

    1. I'm going to have to read it. It's totally my genre!

  6. I won a book from Sarah once,she's really nice. Great that you highlighted these authors.

  7. @Brinda ... *dies* I can't tell you how flattered I am. Thank you so much! (And the feeling is completely mutual!)

    @Sheena-kay ... I hope you enjoyed the books. Thanks so much for your kinds words!


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