Excerpt From BURNING HEARTS ~ Check it out!!!

Below is the entire first chapter of BURNING HEARTS.

I hope you enjoy it and would like to finish reading the novel.

Burning Hearts Chapter One

Long Island, New York

September 1946

Erica Brogna hurried down Hill Street, eager to sketch her new design, a forest green taffeta dress with a swirling skirt for a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary — her first significant assignment. She paused to inhale the salt scent on the ocean breeze, and her gaze lingered on a copse of red, rust, and gold maples near Ada’s house and dress shop.

She smiled, pulling her cardigan tight around her, and dropped the newspaper Poppa asked her to bring to her mentor and employer. She retrieved the paper and saw Bess Truman smiling as she entered Walter Reed Army Hospital. With the war over, the First Lady visited broken soldiers in long-term care. Erica slapped the paper closed before rage and depression overtook her. So many boys had not come home.

Chin jutted out, she smoothed the pleats of her skirt and marched toward Ada’s house. She’d think on pleasant things and hand the paper over without a fuss as she did every morning. Nothing would ruin this day.

She climbed Ada’s wooden front steps and opened the door.

Smoke filled the living room Ada had turned into a fabric shop. Erica waved a hand in front of tearing eyes. Gray vapors, like swirling fog, partially obscured bolts of fabric stacked against the opposite wall.

“Ada! Ada, answer me please.” Dropping the newspaper, Erica rushed toward the stairs, trampling Bess Truman’s image. “Ada can you hear me?”

Coughing, she grabbed on to the cutting table in the middle of the room, steadied herself, and reached for the phone — no dial tone. Perhaps the fire melted the line.

She yanked the collar of her blouse over her nose and mouth against the smoke. The stairs loomed before her, seeming as impossible to scale as Mount Everest. She lunged forward, gripping the baluster, and thrust herself up two steps. Since Ada wasn’t outside, she had to be upstairs.

As Erica climbed, the smoke thickened and swirled around her. It was darker with each step.

One hand clasped the rail and pulled, and she advanced a few more steps. Heat blasted against her skin from above, and soft crackling sounds drew her gaze to the upstairs landing. Squinting into the smoke, she lost her grip on the banister, missed the next step, and fell backward tumbling to the bottom.

The back of her head smacked against the baluster, and wooziness followed sharp pain. She tried to stand but couldn’t get her bearings.

Will triumphed over ability. She hoisted herself, ignoring the dull throb at the back of her skull. Her palms stung, the skin scraped off during her fall. She took a deep breath, and a coughing fit seized her. Shallow breaths were the better alternative.

Planting her penny loafer on the bottom step, Erica began her climb again, shaken but with new resolve. If she could reach the top of the stairs, she could also make it to Ada’s bedroom.

Halfway up, the scratches on her palms pulsated as the temperature rose. So did her knees — must’ve scraped those, too. The pungent smoke shrouding her darkened, and grit clung to her skin. She couldn’t see the banister or the top of the stairs and each breath took effort.

Poppa’s lectures on fire drills flashed into mind — stay low in a fire to get fresh air. She dropped to her knees and crawled, ignoring her pain. A sickening smell made her stomach lurch.

Inch by inch she crept, now three quarters of the way up. Hot, putrid air assaulted her windpipe, and she doubled over, her insides trembling.

Heaving herself forward, she maneuvered up one more step, but the smoke pushed back, choking her. She sobbed, knowing she couldn’t make it to Ada, and scrambled down, hoping she could find help.

REVENGE by Mark Young, a review

If you want a surprise ending, as in one you really can’t figure out no matter how your try — even if you create charts and graphs — then Mark Young’s debut novel, REVENGE is for you!

Travis Mays, a former northern California police detective now teaching criminology in college, is trying to escape his painful past. The guilt of having sent Michelle Scarborough, a beautiful snitch to her death — the woman he loved.

Five years later when visiting his weekend/summer cabin on the Lochsa River in Idaho he meets up with feisty Jessie White Eagle, a Nez Perce white-water rafting guide whose brother Tommy has gone missing. She pleads and Travis gets roped into helping with the case. And thus, the reader plunges headlong into a story with a multi-faceted plot. One that will keep the pages turning.

Author Mark Young does well with character descriptions. I loved the one of Frank White Eagle, Jessie’s dad and the Nez Perce police chief…”his face seemed weathered by life without too much erosion.” The chief is one of the few Christians in the novel and he represents the faith well.

Tribal deputy, Baptiste, had a chip on his shoulder. Clay Lafata, a FBI special agent with jurisdiction issues, is running what turns into a murder investigation when Thomas White Eagle, Esq.’s body is found. Either one of these two lawmen could be playing both sides of the fence and could’ve provided information to the killer that got Tommy’s friend, a person of interest, eliminated.

Travis is unexpectedly called back to Washington State University, where he teaches, because there’s going to be a security audit of the campus and the college higher ups want him to meet with John Ares, the school’s new security consultant. Ares, who moves with the agility of a cat, raises Travis’s hackles.

Just when I thought I had things figured out, another twist is thrown into the mix. Out of the blue, an old northern California police associate and an FBI special agent show up at WSU to warn Travis somebody might be out to kill him. As it turns out Frank Lafata was the FBI supervisor who insisted Michelle Scarborough go back into the criminal cartel to get more information resulting in her murder. Being a former lawman, Mark Young pays special attention to accuracy in presenting police procedure. Something I appreciate in a crime fiction novel.

The novel is primarily one of suspense, but there is a subtheme of romance. I love the way Travis catches himself thinking about Jessie, having to admit she’s disturbing his well-arranged life, pulling him out of hiding, and that most of the time she’s mad at him.

Creasy is one of a wall of aliases the killer uses as he takes out, one-by-one, everyone associated with that painful event in Travis’s past…the case in which the beautiful snitch died. Last on his hit list is Travis Mays.

REVENGE is available on…

Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Travis-Mays-Novel-ebook/dp/B004NIFD0C/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Barnes & Noble. http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=EBOOK&WRD=revenge%2c+mark+young&box=revenge%2c%20mark%20young&pos=-1&ugrp=2

BURNING HEARTS ~ Now Available on Amazon and B&N

What a delight to see my very first novel up on Amazon. Then I got another thrill when Desert Breeze Editor in Chief told me it was up on Barnes & Noble as well.

I immediately clicked on the link she provided and there it was. The thrills and chill kept coming.. I was speechless. Highly unusual for me.

Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Point-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0050PJSTY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1305462328&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sanctuary-Point-Book-One/Nike-Chillemi/e/2940012411747/?itm=1&USRI=nike+chillemi