In The Wingman, veteran Midwestern reporter Jack Sharpe has made it big thanks to the deep-rooted voter-fraud conspiracy he uncovered in The People’s House (the first of the series). At his new perch at Republic, one of America’s flashiest and fastest growing news networks, life is good—until it’s not. Following his beat reporter’s gut, he catches a whiff something rotten is taking place in the Democratic Presidential primary, and ultimately discovers an elaborate scheme to put a corrupt and dangerous politician in the nation’s highest office by any means necessary. Dark money, drone technology, paramilitary government contractors, neglected veterans, kompromat—we see these issues in the news every day. But in The Wingman David Pepper shows that if shadowy entities with enough incentive and resources were to connect and exploit these issues, the American people would be largely powerless to stop them. Jack must risk his life and reputation to get to the bottom of the story before the disturbing plot he and his team have uncovered becomes reality.
Early Praise for The Wingman:
“A labyrinthine political thriller that details a plot to steal the American presidency. …Energetically paced…A cinematic and dramatic story full of delightful twists.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Another tour de force…Like The People’s House, I loved this book. Pepper is a phenomenal writer, with great dialogue, intricate plot, subplots, and characters. And with his unique perch, Pepper deftly wraps the real issues and frustrations of modern-day politics into captivating story lines. I can hardly wait for the next one.” —Jennifer Granholm, former Governor, Michigan
“Pepper does it again! Believable and entertaining—just like the real news these days. What’s fake and what’s real?” —Jack Markell, former Governor, Delaware
“The Wingman by David Pepper takes readers on a rollicking ride…There are the kinds of surprises readers long for and characters they will remember long after the last page is turned.
Well-researched and beautifully crafted, The Wingman is a thrilling read, a story that brilliantly depicts the political atmosphere leading up to the primaries….The characters are superbly conceived and developed to appear like people in real life….David Pepper is a master storyteller.…”
The Wingman by David Pepper is an exceptional political thriller…The book is well-written, interesting and, above all, suspenseful, and is therefore recommended to any reader, not just fans of political thrillers.” —Readers’ Favorites, Reviews
Other Books in the Jack Sharpe Series:
The People’s House
Jack Sharpe, Book 1
Publisher: St. Helena Press
Release Date: October 2017
It doesn’t take long to discover why the Wall Street Journal crowned “The People’s House” the “sleeper for political thriller of the year,” or why a former Governor said she almost missed her connecting flight because she couldn’t put it down.
Youngstown political reporter Jack Sharpe is logging time at the tail end of a disappointing career — jaded about politics and stung by personal hard knocks in a struggling part of Ohio. But after an odd election result in the Ohio Congressional district he covers, Sharpe stumbles across voting irregularities that spur him to dig deeper. The story takes him far beyond his corner of Ohio as he discovers an international plot that strikes at the heart of American democracy. His reporting leads to a showdown with a philandering Congressman and Presidential contender, and an eccentric but deadly Russian mogul. In order to save himself and the country, Sharpe must rekindle his old fire to navigate a treacherous journey through danger, betrayal, and atonement.
And yes, it was all written before eerily similar events occurred in the 2016 election.
That’s when I noticed. With the cameras still pulled back to the wider shot, and the studio audience sitting well behind me, my guess was that I was the only one seeing it.
Bravo’s eyes. His dark brown eyes.
They widened, then darted ever so slightly.
Then he looked at me. Directly. Impatiently. In a way no one else could have seen.
He was eager to move on. Desperate to move on.
His words may have been moving, his delivery powerful. But those eyes told the real story—they always did. As my high school coach had drilled into me as a young quarterback, “It’s all about your eyes, Jack. The best players are watching your eyes, and if you’re not careful, they’ll betray you every time.” I’d long ago learned that Coach’s lesson applied way beyond football. A man could mouth whatever words he wanted, lie or tell the truth. He could smile or frown, gesture wildly or sit perfectly still. But his eyes told the real story. If he wasn’t careful, and if you paid attention, the eyes told all.
Now, Bravo’s eyes signaled that something was off. Discomfort, at a time when discomfort made no sense. Maybe it was a painful memory. Or maybe something about the story was not quite right. Or maybe there was more to it. Whatever it was, Bravo wanted to change topics.
And since he had saved my debut, I returned the favor, moving onto the final question of the night. But because of those eyes, I also jotted down a simple reminder on the notepad in front of me: “Check out Bravo war story.”
About the Author
David Pepper has served as Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party since January 2015. He was first elected to public office in 2001 when he served on the Cincinnati City Council, and was reelected for a second term in 2003. In 2006 he was elected to the three-member Hamilton County Commission, serving there from 2007-2010. David earned his B.A. from Yale, and later his J.D. from Yale Law School. In 1999, he clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also has taught election and voting rights law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Born and raised in Cincinnati, David is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian. He and his wife Alana have two sons, Jack, 3, and Charlie, 1.
After sexy bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he decided he was done with love, done with people, done with pretty much everything. One woman has him rethinking his whole strategy.
As his boss, Shayla is off-limits, so Grant keeps his feelings for her under wraps until…the attraction doesn’t seem so one-sided. Grant takes a risk and lays a piece of his heart on the line. When things get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders–will some of his darker desires be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he’s kept hidden for so long?
A reporter who covered the bombing Shayla survived three years before is convinced the only reason Shayla survived is because she’s some type of bionic medical experiment or superhuman freak. When the reporter ropes Shayla’s angry ex, Hunter into the mix, Shayla’s business and her life are on the line. Can she and Grant trust in each other and find a way to slay all the obstacles that stand in their way?
Other Books in the Stranger Creatures Series:
Stranger Creatures, Book 1
Release Date: September 2016
Taking risks, especially risks of the handsome male variety, is currently out of the question for Sydney Reid. She will make no exceptions for tall, gorgeous Derrick Porter. Never date a player–it’s rule number one in Sydney’s book, and the charming lawyer constantly devouring her with his eyes is every inch the reason. Despite her best efforts to keep Derrick in the friend zone, sparks fly between the two of them, and Sydney isn’t entirely sure she wants to throw water on the flames.
Can Derrick convince the shy, sexy Sydney to give him a chance, something more than her elusive “maybe”? More importantly, should he? Derrick has a few secrets, the least shocking secret being that he can transform at will into a powerful wolf. He’s still trying to forgive himself for being at the wheel during the accident that killed his son. Losing Sydney when she learns the truth might break him, but he’s pretty sure not having her would be just as bad.
And with an obsessed stalker on their tails, more than their hearts are at issue.
Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on… No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile wiped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself.
Shayla had really wanted to hug Grant that morning after seeing him look so frustrated but decided that it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him that there were a few people on his side. Watching him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch Grant pretending to be fine, but all Shayla could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. Shayla cared. Because he’s a friend. Just a friend.
Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In Grant’s dark eyes she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. They both looked away. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and Shayla did her best to ignore it. Grant might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense.
Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to remember that things could never go any further than a panty-melting look, and behave.
About the Author
A few years ago, I read my first romance novel and I was hooked, so much so that I decided to give the idea of writing a story a chance. Love, courage, hope, and second chances are a few of my favorite themes. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, usually hiking or swimming or finding a new place to explore. While I love the great outdoors, I will not hesitate to kill a spider.
Austin MacKenzie shares a passionate relationship with Liz Carlisle, a union rooted in mutual respect and honesty. A feat complicated by the vow of purity handed down by his Scottish forefathers and the ire of his scorned ex-girlfriend. When a series of tragedies rock their worlds, the couple must fight for their relationship and lives.
A woman about to discover the mystery of her past…
Liz Carlisle has led a challenged life. The survivor of a childhood stained by drug addiction and poverty, Austin MacKenzie’s love is helping to mend her heart from the inside out. But echoes from the past threaten to destroy her newfound happiness.
With music as a common bond…
Fate brought them together, but music remains the centrifugal force tying Liz and Austin to one another. With the popularity of their Indie rock group growing, Cupid’s Crush prepares to join alternative rock sensations, Justice Denied, on the European leg of a worldwide tour that promises to catapult them to mega stardom.
Austin no longer thought of the condo loft as his space alone. More than happy to share the dwelling with Liz, he considered it their space. Extending both arms toward her, he murmured, “Come out on the terrace and dance with me.”
“I’ve never slow danced before. We don’t even have music.”
“Neither have I,” Austin confessed. “It’ll be the first of many first times for us. I just want to be near you.” He placed his hand in the center of her chest. “The beating of your heart is all the music I’ll ever need.”
Liz took his hand and allowed him to lead her out of the glass double doors into the magnificent night. “This is some backyard you have here, Texas.”
“We have. I want us to build a life here. And I’m fairly certain you feel the same.” Austin approached her from behind, reverse bear hugging her against his body. She was soft and warm, her flesh effortlessly matching each part of his. “I want to move all of your things from next door—to make us official.”
“I’d really love that.”
Their beings rocked, imitating the ever-imminent motions of love.
“I don’t think I’d be alive were it not for music,” Liz admitted, the weight of her words more profound with her head flush against his chest. “I was a mess right after the Perry situation. Then, I spent some time in therapy because I attempted suicide. Aunt V sending me to that summer program for young musicians literally saved my life. When I play, it’s like I’m outside of myself and I can see everything so clearly. Is it like that for you?”
“Yeah. Sometimes, I toss my pick and play bare-fingered. There’s something about the feel of the rough strings that’s cleansing—damned near cathartic—even when the tips of my fingers are bruised and covered in bandages. I guess I’ve always had the aptitude for music. It was something my father felt strongly about. He didn’t push Carol and me to do much of anything, but he was adamant that we learn an instrument. The Brat has a lovely singing voice and she plays piano just as well as I do—maybe better.” Austin felt himself swelling with pride. As far as little sisters went, Carol was a keeper.
“When did you know that music was something you seriously wanted to pursue?”
“Oh, that’s easy. The visual of Jimi Hendrix pouring lighter fluid on his guitar and then setting it on fire—man that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Looking back, I think eleven was probably too young for me to witness the Monterey Pop Festival. No pun intended, but seeing the energy on that stage lit a flame in me that has burned my entire life.”
“What was it about Jimi Hendrix?”
“He just had this way of making a guitar sing. Each note and gesture told its own story. Prince is the only other artist who could hold a flame to Jimi, in my opinion. I must’ve watched that footage at least a hundred times. I think my dad was afraid that he was raising a closeted pyromaniac. I tried hard to emulate him before I found my own voice and style. What about you?”
Liz laughed. “There wasn’t a particular artist that brought me into the realm. I’m a huge fan of girl groups. I love seeing women rock out.”
He knew Liz would be one hell of a rocker. She possessed a rare, raw talent that few artists could claim. Her talent, stage presence, natural beauty, and undeniable sex appeal were qualities that would make Liz Carlisle a star. Recalling how she’d belted out the songs for their demo session, Austin felt a sudden surge of satisfaction. He was so proud of her for realizing one of her dreams. Strength was something he admired about the woman he loved. Given her rough start in life, Liz could have easily folded and let her disadvantages take her down. Instead, she was on the cusp of super stardom and a nursing degree—things she’d sought and earned through sacrifice, hard work and grit.
Austin parted the halves of her silk robe, his hands caressing the tender mounds underneath. He lifted her hair, kissing the bend of her neck. “There was always this emptiness…this overwhelming need in me. I couldn’t pray it away or study it away. Nothing I did filled the hollow ache deep down in my heart. I felt trapped…like my life was on a path that led to nothing but pain and misery.” He twirled her, kissing her when they were face to face, his bottom lip slowly enveloping hers. “That all changed the moment I laid eyes on you. When I saw you my heart was so full.”
Liz swooned, her eyes heavy as she stared up at him with something close to admiration mixed with a heavy dose of love. “Full of what?”
“Love. Lust. Hunger.”
“I thought I was dead the first time I saw you. I looked into your eyes and wondered why such a beautiful man was even wasting his time with me.” Liz rested her head against his chest, her face nuzzling into his bare skin. “I used to dream about what it would be like to live on your side of the mountain. For the first time in my life, I feel like I belong. It’s weird being surrounded by powerful people and actually feeling like I’m a member of the club.”
“Growing up rich isn’t exactly charmed. Sometimes, I still don’t feel like I belong.” Austin nestled his nose into her flowing locks. “I mean, sure you don’t have to worry about the money part but there are other things. The pressure to measure up to your family name. The expectation that you’ll marry well and have kids you’ll raise to be carbon copy cutouts of yourself. That was my biggest fear, I think.”
“I feared fading into the crowd and becoming like everyone else.”
“Oh, Texas.” Liz’s lips puckered against his pectoral, the intimate caress bringing with it a peace that calmed Austin straight to the soul. “Trust me, there is no way you’d ever be lost in a crowd. You’re different than all of them because you have the purest heart.” Her arms tightened around his waist. “You saw me—really saw me for the first time in my life. No one like you ever took the time to look past my circumstance and just see the woman underneath. That makes you special. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with you.”
“And you’re beautiful—inside and out.”
About the Author
Ashlynne Laynne is the author of contemporary romance and the award-winning erotic paranormal romance succession, The Progeny Series, as well as an accomplished songwriter and poet. She’s an avid horror movie fan, admitted vamp groupie, and lover of all things Celtic. A hopeless romantic, she’s always had a thing for the fanged ones and hot guys in kilts.
Ashlynne writes on the edge and combines erotica and romance in sensual tales that always feature heroes with heart. A flexitarian, Ashlynne enjoys cooking vegetarian recipes that support a healthier lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes to read, watch crime shows, and spend time with her family. Ashlynne juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write exclusively in the future.
Ms. Laynne is an advocate of autism research and is always looking for projects to benefit the cause. She lives in the southern United States with her husband and son.
Favorite Music Genres: Alt Rock, 90’s Grunge, Pop
Favorite Musical Acts: Maroon 5, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Imagine Dragons, Florida Georgia Line, Adele, Rob Zombie, Robin Thicke, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Drake, Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Eminem, Evanescence
Favorite Movie Genre: Horror
Favorite Television Shows: Family Guy, Outlander, Deadly Women, Wives with Knives, American Horror Story, Bate’s Motel, Grey’s Anatomy, Orange is the New Black
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Authors: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, Sylvia Day
Book Boyfriends: Gideon Cross from the Crossfire Novels, James Fraser from the Outlander Series, Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Favorite Literary Heroines: Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games Series, Claire Beauchamp from the Outlander Series
Brody Kent retired from music after the death of his girlfriend during the heyday of his rock band, The Savages. Now, he’s persuaded to take his alter-ego Savage Saban back into the limelight in front of a different audience.
Brody’s new girlfriend, pop icon Skylar Samuelson is preparing for the domestic part of her World Tour, where together they hope to merge their fan bases.
Grappling with the fame that his notoriety brings once again, Brody reluctantly takes the stage. On his first night performing he returns to his dressing room to find a message written in red lipstick on his mirror.
Could Kimberly Heart, his dead ex-girlfriend, really have written it?
Blotting out the possibility, Brody continues with the tour, but his relationship with Sky begins to suffer as his old band members turn up at the fourth concert and criticize him for selling out.
And then he receives another, chilling message.
As Brody’s life and relationship with Sky begins to implode, he finds himself pushed to the very brink by someone he never expected. He now stands to lose everything he holds dear.
Is there any way back for Brody and Sky?
About L.V. Lewis
Growing up, L.V. Lewis wanted to be an internationally known rock star, but unfortunately, lived in the wrong part of the country to pursue that career (and neither American Idol nor The Voice were available then). An early love for the written word gave her the plan B she sought. Her career as a contract manager was not creative writing by a long shot, but it didn’t require her to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars required for a law degree. It does pay the bills while she dabbles in the publishing world as an author on the evenings and weekends.LV lives in Florida with her husband. They are the parents of four children, three of whom don’t think they need their parents anymore, so they share their home with a sweet female German Shepherd and an alpha male Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix who thinks he rules the world.
Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.
LV is the winner of the AMB Ovation Award for Outstanding Debut Author in Urban Literature 2014 for her novel, Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever (2013). Her novel, Exit Strategy is a finalist in the 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown Contest.
Learn more about L.V. Lewis at www.lvlewis.com.
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A fae Knight’s life belongs to the monarchies, but for Finn of the Morrigan, his life comes second to his heart. And his heart belongs to his ladies.
The changeling princesses of the Springtime elves share a unique bond with their Knight—a bond that must remain perfectly secret. When the Queen of the Elves discovers their passionate love, she curses and exiles Finn from the elfin lands forever. With their guardian sent away to a lifeless wasteland, the royal changelings have no defense when the unseen enemies of the Four Courts attack, and the House of Elves falls.
To save his loves, Finn will need to break out of prison, undertake a perilous journey across the lands of Thairy, face wicked creatures, rogue Knights, and one of the most dangerous monsters in the fae world.
The enemy will soon learn what it means to provoke a true Son of War.
I spun at the note of dread in Nineva’s voice. Her eyes gone wide, she stared at me. The flower dropped from her fingers, unnoticed. “You have to go back,” she said in a harsh whisper. “Back home…to the apartment. You have to go now.”
I tightened my arms around Neri. “What do you mean, lass? I don’t aim to go anywhere until you and Nerissa are well!”
“We will be fine, our Knight! In Tír na nÓg we will recover, but you must go!”
Neri twitched in my arms. Whatever spooked Nina, she caught onto it now too, and she turned her face up to me. “Finn, she is right! You must go, quickly, before—”
I glanced up, distracted from her by a sudden discordant hum, somewhere up above us. It drew my focus for a brief instant, but then seemed to fade.
“I’m sorry, milady,” I mumbled. “What did you say?”
Nina was practically shouting at me, and Nerissa’s fingers grasped at my collar. I blinked at them, confused. Then the damned humming snagged my attention again. I glanced up and around in agitation.
“Can you stand, Neri?” I asked in a low tone. I eased her down to her feet, all the while keeping an eye on the sky. The sound never increased in volume, but all the same it intensified. My instincts bristled along the back of my neck. Sidling a bit to keep both girls behind me, I sunk into the simmering heat of my magic, letting it bubble and boil up through my limbs. Ready for attack.
“Girls,” I murmured, hardly noticing Neri’s small hands tugging at my arm. “When I say so, you must go back through the circle and close it.”
“Finn, no!” Neri squeaked. “Ignore them! She is distracting you!”
“Knight, you must run!” Nina pleaded. “Please, you must!”
“We’re about to be ambushed,” I explained. The humming surrounded me. It resolved itself, turning into…
“Wasps,” I grated, and I whipped around to shoo the princesses back through to Connlas Hall.
I realized then that I’d been trapped.
About the Author
When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours pencilling naughty, sexy illustrations in her secret notebooks.
Brantwijn has two romance series currently in-progress with Champagne Books. She’s also had short stories published in several small press anthologies. She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories and audio readings occasionally pop up her website, www.brantwijn.com.