Tag Archives: Suspense

Debt Bomb Virtual Book Tour

 

Thriller/Suspense/Spy Fiction/Political Fiction

 

Date Published: July 1, 2021

Publisher: BQB Publishing

China hungers to take the United States’ place as the global hegemon.

And it is plotting to use America’s $40 trillion national debt to do it.

Only one person stands in China’s way: suburban accountant Andrea Gartner.

For years she has dreaded the day of America’s reckoning about its national debt. She’s gotten involved in local politics. She’s run for Congress. But the debt marches remorselessly higher.

Rejected by her party in her congressional race, she joins the insurgent presidential campaign of Congressman Earl Murray. When he wins in an upset, he defies all Washington convention and names Andrea his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The Washington rookie finally has her chance to solve America’s debt addition.

But China has other plans, engineering financial crises and military confrontations designed to bankrupt and collapse the United States. Wars rage overseas as America’s health care system, schools, and social fabric disintegrate. Desperately coping with these existential threats to America’s very existence, Andrea finds herself enmeshed in vicious Washington infighting with belligerent military brass and ruthless politicians, including the powerful and complicated Congressman Lewis Mason and his chief of staff Frank Palmer. Chinese agents lurk in the shadows, threatening Andrea’s life and family, as she struggles to keep the country afloat.

No aspect of American life is spared as the country teeters on the brink of financial collapse. Can Andrea stave off China’s assault and ensure the United States survives? Or will the Red Chinese flag fly over the American Capitol?

Debt Bomb is a sobering fictional account of a future facing the United States if it fails to control its debt and get its financial house in order.

 

Debt Bomb banner

EXCERPT

After nearly two decades as an accountant, Andrea Gartner had fatally wielded ledger books more times than she cared to remember. She was well acquainted 

with watching entire lives unravel before her, tears streaming down the faces of grown men annihilated by simple balance sheets charting their financial ruin in ink redder than blood. 

Today, she found herself in that painfully familiar spot once more. 

She fixed her eyes on the man sitting opposite her, Cam Davis, owner of the largest chain of furniture stores in Columbia, South Carolina. She was the only thing standing between him and the end of his financial life as he knew it. His devil-may-care attitude—

the source of so much of his business success—had now left him teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy. 

“You have an existential debt problem,” said Andrea. 

Telling the cocksure, self-styled Mattress King of South Carolina he was flirting with financial ruin was terrifying, but what Andrea truly feared was him ignoring her dire warnings. She prayed she wasn’t about to watch another client whistle past the graveyard of fiscal reality. 

“A what problem?” asked Cam incredulously. “Come on. I sold more furniture last year than my next two competitors combined.” 

“I’ve been through your books,” she replied. “Your finances are a house of cards. You’re a hair’s breadth from complete bankruptcy.” 

Cam didn’t act like someone about to go broke. Everyone in Columbia knew he was one of the most generous people in the city. Every Christmas, he donated hundreds of mattresses to homeless shelters. When his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, made the playoffs in any sport, he’d give away free sofas to the first fifty customers in his stores the next day. He sponsored Little League teams and 5K races for charity. His heart was big. 

His wallet was even bigger and seemingly always open. 

She glanced out the window. The Mattress King’s red Ferrari with “MTRSKNG” vanity license plates was parked next to her battered ten-year-old Toyota Camry. His thousand-dollar sports coat and Rolex contrasted sharply with the peeling wallpaper and army surplus furniture of her office. Even his cologne smelled expensive. 

“You can’t be serious,” said Cam. “I’ve got twenty stores in Columbia. And twenty more across the rest of the state. If I need cash, I’ll borrow it. No bank is going to turn down a loan application from the Mattress King.” 

Here we go again, she thought. He’s not getting it, and I’m not getting through to him.

About the Author

Michael E. Ginsberg

Michael E. Ginsberg is an attorney in Washington, DC practicing in the field of national security law. He spent a decade in private practice at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC and then worked several years in the U.S. government as a Senior Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he served as legal counsel for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). He currently is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at a Virginia-based defense contractor.

Ginsberg has also served in senior leadership positions in the Republican Party of Virginia and is the co-founder of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition.

A 1997 graduate of Harvard College and 2002 graduate of Harvard Law School, he also holds a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University (1999). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ginsberg lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

 

 

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The Disposables Virtual Book Tour

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The Disposables cover

 

The Obscurité de Floride Trilogy, Book 2

 

Suspense

Date Published: Jun 1, 2021

Publisher: Épouvantail Books, LLC

 

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In the jungles of coastal Mexico, twelve-year-old Kazu Danser is on the run, his bloody past haunting and attempting to be his ruination. Hot on his heals is journalist Carson Staines, a deadly madman full of blood thirst and greed, determined to first chronicle Kazu’s criminal life – and then end it. Staines must nail him down, dead or alive; the boy being worth a huge payoff.

Making a perilous crossing of the border into the States, Kazu fights for his life, desperately heading east. Entering sunburnt Florida, he teams up with a gang of Floridian street urchins, known to the authorities as, “The disposables.”

With Staines not letting up on the chase, Kazu and the other youths go on the run, fighting for their lives.

Can the Disposables and Kazu survive?

What will they have to do to stop the murderous and resourceful monster mowing through them to get to his reward?

The second part of the book takes place in the shadows of Florida, where street urchins fights every day to survive, both bodily and in spirit. In contrast to the tropical beaches and teeming vacationers, the children will do anything necessary to keep their heads above the perilous deep waters.

The Disposables tablet

EXCERPT

Chapter One 

Leaving the Hotel Or 

In Mexico, there’s plenty of wet work for an innocent-looking boy with a 9mm. For the smart ones, there was a world of new clothes, game systems, and a bedroom door with a lock. For the smartest, there were bank accounts and dreams of living without blood-splattered shoes. 

Kazu was on the run, his last job gone ugly, as in kicking-a-mound-of-fire-ants ugly. The twelve-year-old had escaped the Hotel Or with a policia dragnet reaching out to snag his heals. 

Sitting forward in the driver’s seat so his boot toes could reach the pedals, he kept the speedometer buried past 140km per hour, racing down Federale 200, running south from Puerto Mita. 

He had escaped the resort hotel with nothing more than his backpack and his life, taking advantage of the chaos by driving away at a forced, leisurely pace. In his rearview mirror, he watched a swarm of policia vehicles turn into the hotel road. 

When the last policia truck with sweeping lights and siren swung into the hotel grounds, Kazu buried his boot toe on the accelerator. 

The two-lane highway began its swaying turns through endless miles of green jungle and forests. Thirty kilometers along, he slowed up and rode in the draft of a six-wheel cargo truck, a gold tuna and ‘Fish de Jo y Maria’ painted on the rear steel door. Knowing he had to ditch the car, he stayed in the queue forming on the highway, a farm truck running behind. 

“Run it to empty,” he decided, leaning forward, the steering wheel inches from his chin. 

He had paid cash for the stolen and re-plated Buick at the Or Petrol y Restaurante adjacent to the Hotel Or. 

“Get distance.” He wiped a skim of sweat from his brow and neck. 

Federale 200 continued south for fifty clicks before heading eastward, away from the coast. The lush green jungle walls brushed along both sides, and over time formed tunnels of cooler but dank air of ripe rotting vegetation. He dropped all four windows, the air conditioning having died the week before. 

When the fuel needle sank under the E, he drove the grass shoulder, letting the trucks and cars behind him pass. With the stretch of highway to his own, he turned the Buick from the road. 

Foliage brushing the roof, the car bounced and jolted downhill. He worked the wheel as trees and rocks cracked the sides, undercarriage, and bumper. Thirty yards in, the car was invisible from the highway. 

Kazu climbed out with his backpack shouldered. Hiking halfway back up the hill to a green and shaded clearing, he kneeled in the wet soil, where patchy sunlight had dried out the vegetation. 

The heat and stagnant humidity were pushing down on him. 

His skin was dank with sweat. Scooping up two handfuls of dirt and dust, he rubbed the front of his black t-shirt. Same with his Pirates baseball cap. He ground dirt and leaves into the front of his black shorts before standing up and looking himself over. The results had transformed him into an everyday, poor Mexican street urchin. 

Pulling the cap low to shade his foreign, almond-shaped eyes, he climbed halfway back to the road through the brush and rocks. 

“Steal a pair of sunglasses,” he said, looking south, knowing he would come upon a village or city eventually. 

Walking in the vegetation often high overhead, he paralleled the highway, standing still with his breath clenched when trucks or local buses went by. 

He walked and climbed and crossed streams for the next two long hours. Sticky green vines repeatedly tried to grab and trip him up. The afternoon sun was lowering into the trees when he stopped. The highway sign up on the shoulder told him the town of Colomo was off to the east, and he headed that way. 

“Get a ride. Then a Pepsi with lots of ice,” he said, pushing through green clinging limbs and leaves. He was approaching a scatter of small and worn residences. When he came up upon the first few cinder-block houses, he took to the pavement, the heat from the crumbled pavement pressing into each step he took. He entered the first side street, seeing no one about, hearing only a dog barking and a radio blasting Mexican disco a few houses up. 

His next ride was parked alongside a station wagon on the dirt patch of a front lawn. The house was still and the windows dark. After drinking from a garden hose, he circled to the passenger side of the Ford pickup resting on its dirt tires. He looked in before opening the door. 

The keys were on the dash, the passenger side of the bench seat cluttered with food wrappers on top of newspapers. Before climbing in, he checked out the truck bed. A five-gallon can of petrol was bungee-strapped to the side. He gave it a shake, and it sloshed and felt heavy. Opening the toolbox behind the cab, he swiped a roll of Gorilla tape and from the clutter in the bed grabbed two cuttings from a fence post among the other scraps of wood and aluminum. 

With blocks taped to the two pedals, he turned the key and dropped the transmission into reverse. A half-hour later, he was a good distance away, up Highway 54, heading north and east. 

Icons and beads swung back and forth from the mirror. Mary Magdalena was glued to the dash. She had a bubble compass embedded in her belly. 

“Mary, right? Nice having someone to talk to,” he said, trying the windshield fluid knob. 

It was empty. 

Digging through the glove box, he pushed aside papers and food wrappers, coming up with a cashew tin full of green tobacco and some tissue papers. There was nothing to eat. He took out a sun-bleached folded map. 

The miles rolled by, the road taking him through the outskirts of Guadalajara. The sun was low in the western sky when he passed through Zacatecas, where he braved a sleepy gas station to fill the tank, using forty of his one hundred ten dollars of cash. The soda icebox inside the station didn’t have Pepsi, so he bought two chilled bottles of strawberry Jarritos and two bags of chips. 

“Help me find a place to hide?” he asked Mary on the dash. “Somewhere with cell service and a shower?” 

The bubble compass in her mid-section appeared to bob and nod encouragement. 

Four hours later, he pulled off the road on the north side of Saltillo. A dusty driveway ran to a simple row motel. A large and tired man sat behind a desk in a bowling shirt, television running to his left, radio playing to the right. Before saying a word, Kazu took out fifty US 

dollars from his backpack and laid it out. 

“Una habitación para uno, por favor,” < A room for one, please>  Kazu said. 

The man didn’t even pause in renting a room to a short twelve-year-old boy. The entire fifty dollars was exchanged for a room key. Minutes later, Kazu parked the truck behind the motel instead of the parking lot and entered room six. 

After locking and chaining the door, he got out of his black boots, stripped off his clothing, and took a long cold shower. He left the room one time to go out to the truck to pry the Mary Magdalena compass off the dash. After a dinner of chips and the second bottle of strawberry soda, he opened his backpack on the bed. Digging through his few belongings, he took out his old and battered gray Nokia flip phone. 

He placed a single call to his former employer. Hitting voicemail as expected, he left a message. 

“Lamento tu mala suerte en el Hotel. Necesito un trabajo. Cerca de la frontera.” < Sorry about your bad luck at the hotel. I need a job. Near the border.> After a second cool-down shower, he took out pens, pencils, and pastels and his current image-novel. With his pad of hard bond drawing paper leaning on his raised knees, he drew and shaded until his eyes began to close involuntarily and his chin bobbed on his chest. 

Waking an hour before dawn as usual, he pulled on his clothes and took a third shower since arriving, rubbing out the dirt stains. Checking his Nokia, he saw he had no new messages. 

With his backpack on his shoulder, he walked up the street to a market. 

In the parking lot of the local Supermercado ,  a combination hardware and grocery store, he watched a thin and very short man push a shopping bag into the rear basket on the back of a motorbike. As the man started the bike, Kazu studied each movement of his hands and shoes on the throttle, clutch, and gears. The man toed the shifter into second gear as he sped away up the road. 

Finding shade under a dusty tree, Kazu sat and waited. An hour passed before he saw what he needed. A man rolled in on a seriously old Honda 90 trail bike, once red and white, then different hues of oil stains and dirt. The rider got off, leaving the keys, and did a cowboy walk into the market. A dust devil also spun into the parking lot, a brown whirlwind crossing right to left. Corralled by the gap between two farm trucks, it spiraled slowly to death. 

Kazu stood and crossed to the spinning residue, not bothering to wipe the dust from his dirty face, eyes on the key. 

After scanning the cars and trucks and the store’s doorway, he climbed onto a dirt bike for the very first time. Minutes later, he was running up the highway in the slow lane, the wind cooling his skin even as the sun blasted down.

About the Author

Greg Jolley

Greg Jolley earned a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco and lives in the very small town of Ormond Beach, Florida. When not writing, he researches historical crime, primarily those of the 1800s. Or goes surfing.

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He Goes Out Weeping Blitz

 

He Goes Out Weeping cover

 

Mystery, Suspense

 

Published: May 2021

Publisher: New Harbor Press

Evil stalks John Book; violence tracks him. Can he escape his pursuer?

Someone has murdered the internationally famous professor of theology at Graf Divinity School. Who would want to kill a harmless, old theologian? Is it the same person that stalks one of the students and threatens harm to him and his fiancee? As layer after layer of mystery unfolds, as intriguing characters one after the other enter, and as more surprises rise up to frighten, readers confront evil–both in others and in themselves. He Goes Out Weeping is for mystery lovers who want a little theology with their chills.

He Goes Out Weeping tablet


About the Author

David A. Fiensy


David A. Fiensy taught religion for forty years in colleges and churches. He is now semi-retired and engaged in speaking for special events and in several writing projects.

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Debt Bomb RELEASE Blitz

 

Debt Bomb cover

 

Thriller/Suspense/Spy Fiction/Political Fiction

 

Date Published: July 1, 2021

Publisher: BQB Publishing

China hungers to take the United States’ place as the global hegemon.

And it is plotting to use America’s $40 trillion national debt to do it.

Only one person stands in China’s way: suburban accountant Andrea Gartner.

For years she has dreaded the day of America’s reckoning about its national debt. She’s gotten involved in local politics. She’s run for Congress. But the debt marches remorselessly higher.

Rejected by her party in her congressional race, she joins the insurgent presidential campaign of Congressman Earl Murray. When he wins in an upset, he defies all Washington convention and names Andrea his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The Washington rookie finally has her chance to solve America’s debt addition.

But China has other plans, engineering financial crises and military confrontations designed to bankrupt and collapse the United States. Wars rage overseas as America’s health care system, schools, and social fabric disintegrate. Desperately coping with these existential threats to America’s very existence, Andrea finds herself enmeshed in vicious Washington infighting with belligerent military brass and ruthless politicians, including the powerful and complicated Congressman Lewis Mason and his chief of staff Frank Palmer. Chinese agents lurk in the shadows, threatening Andrea’s life and family, as she struggles to keep the country afloat.

No aspect of American life is spared as the country teeters on the brink of financial collapse. Can Andrea stave off China’s assault and ensure the United States survives? Or will the Red Chinese flag fly over the American Capitol?

Debt Bomb is a sobering fictional account of a future facing the United States if it fails to control its debt and get its financial house in order.

About the Author

Michael E. Ginsberg

Michael E. Ginsberg is an attorney in Washington, DC practicing in the field of national security law. He spent a decade in private practice at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC and then worked several years in the U.S. government as a Senior Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he served as legal counsel for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). He currently is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at a Virginia-based defense contractor.

Ginsberg has also served in senior leadership positions in the Republican Party of Virginia and is the co-founder of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition.

A 1997 graduate of Harvard College and 2002 graduate of Harvard Law School, he also holds a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University (1999). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ginsberg lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

 

 

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Debt Bomb Teaser Tuesday

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Debt Bomb coverThriller/Suspense/Spy Fiction/Political Fiction

Date Published: July 1, 2021

Publisher: BQB Publishing

China hungers to take the United States’ place as the global hegemon.

And it is plotting to use America’s $40 trillion national debt to do it.

Only one person stands in China’s way: suburban accountant Andrea Gartner.

For years she has dreaded the day of America’s reckoning about its national debt. She’s gotten involved in local politics. She’s run for Congress. But the debt marches remorselessly higher.

Rejected by her party in her congressional race, she joins the insurgent presidential campaign of Congressman Earl Murray. When he wins in an upset, he defies all Washington convention and names Andrea his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The Washington rookie finally has her chance to solve America’s debt addition.

But China has other plans, engineering financial crises and military confrontations designed to bankrupt and collapse the United States. Wars rage overseas as America’s health care system, schools, and social fabric disintegrate. Desperately coping with these existential threats to America’s very existence, Andrea finds herself enmeshed in vicious Washington infighting with belligerent military brass and ruthless politicians, including the powerful and complicated Congressman Lewis Mason and his chief of staff Frank Palmer. Chinese agents lurk in the shadows, threatening Andrea’s life and family, as she struggles to keep the country afloat.

No aspect of American life is spared as the country teeters on the brink of financial collapse. Can Andrea stave off China’s assault and ensure the United States survives? Or will the Red Chinese flag fly over the American Capitol?

Debt Bomb is a sobering fictional account of a future facing the United States if it fails to control its debt and get its financial house in order.

Excerpt

Andrea Gartner, South Carolina. Why are you running? And why should we endorse you?”

Andrea hesitated and took a sip of water, followed by a deep breath to steady her nerves. She leaned into her microphone.

That’s a fair question, Congressman Mason. I’ve been a leader in the South Carolina Republican Party for years,” she said, unnerved by the entire Debt Rebel Gang staring down at her. She couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. They were nothing like what she practiced. “This is my first time running, but I’ve gotten a lot of campaign experience from my leadership positions in the local and state party organizations. Professionally, I’m an accountant with a degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. I’ve been in private practice for fifteen years and I’ve been married for ten years with two children . . .”

She could see from the Gang members’ bored expressions she was getting nowhere. She took another sip of water. You’ve got this, she told herself. Stay focused. She felt a wave of control, of inspiration, of her spine stiffening. She took a breath. Now she was ready.

Mr. Mason, Gang members, honestly, I’m running for one reason only.” Her voice was firm now. “The United States is utterly dependent on members of the public and foreign countries to buy our debt. If they decide they don’t want to loan us money and we can’t finance our debt, the country goes broke. We won’t have a dime to spend. No Social Security. No Medicare. This thought terrifies me. And we’re doing this on the backs of our kids and grandkids. If we don’t cut our deficits and pay down our national debt, they will be paying for all the things we’re spending money on now. No one is speaking for them. I want to be their voice. Believe me, Congressmen, I have lived this. My father died when I was young and left my family in a pile of debt. I don’t want other families to go through the same hardships. This country needs financial help. I have two kids at home, and I’ll be damned if I saddle them with debt they have to pay tomorrow so I can get free government goodies today. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—I hate in this world more than ruinous debt.” Andrea began gesticulating for emphasis as she built momentum. “You’re the only people who have raised this issue. You inspired me to run. I’m an accountant. Balancing books is what I do. With me on your side you’ll have as credible an ally for debt reduction as you can possibly imagine.”

The Gang members had no reaction whatsoever.

What am I doing wrong? she wondered. Cutting the debt is these guys’ calling card. Their raison d’être. What gives? Keep going. Maybe they’ll come around.

Congressmen, if you—”

Thank you, Ms. Gartner, but I’m afraid we can’t endorse you this election cycle,” interrupted Mason.

The words sent a shock through Andrea’s body. She’d barely gotten two minutes to state her case and the Debt Rebel Gang had already rejected her. And the way Mason emotionlessly dismissed her only added to the shock. All those years of helping candidates who were worried about the debt, and she got three sentences in before these guys rejected her?

Come again?” Andrea said.

We’re endorsing Dan Morgan.”

Seriously? Dan Morgan? That ridiculous opportunist?

She’d known Dan Morgan from her local Republican work.

When cutting spending was all the rage, Dan Morgan was a deficit cutter. When Republican-controlled Congresses were spending like drunken sailors but conservatism demanded absolute support for President Roberts, Morgan was there. You could always count on Dan Morgan to get a double dip of the Republican flavor of the month.

Ryan and Cam were right. Politics was a dirty business. And once again, she’d gotten the short end of the stick.

Mason continued, “Dan Morgan has been an unwavering supporter of the Roberts Agenda. You spent your time blasting the debts and the deficits at a time when President Roberts needed all the support he could get. We need a team player, not a Johnny-one-note. Dan’s reliable. You aren’t.”

But reducing the debt was your signature issue. You all inspired me to get active and fight to reduce spending and debt. I’m here because of you,” Andrea said, her voice rising to a crescendo. “I’m an accountant, and what America needs right now is an accountant!”

About the Author

Michael E. Ginsberg

Michael E. Ginsberg is an attorney in Washington, DC practicing in the field of national security law. He spent a decade in private practice at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC and then worked several years in the U.S. government as a Senior Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he served as legal counsel for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). He currently is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at a Virginia-based defense contractor.

Ginsberg has also served in senior leadership positions in the Republican Party of Virginia and is the co-founder of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition.

A 1997 graduate of Harvard College and 2002 graduate of Harvard Law School, he also holds a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University (1999). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ginsberg lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

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