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The story begins on a stormy morning in February of 1959. The front page of the morning paper is dominated by news of the plane crash which killed rock ’n roll stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens.
Private Eye Sam Slater is hired to perform what he thinks is a routine two-day job as a favor for a friend. However, it all goes terribly wrong when a young San Francisco policeman is gunned down while sitting in a parked car with Sam.
The murder sets off a chain of events which will pull Sam and his wife and partner, Amelia, into a dangerous web of intrigue in the dark, shadowy alleys and back rooms of San Francisco’s Chinatown.
In the winter of 1959, Amelia resigns as a TWA stewardess and is now Sam’s full time partner in the private eye business.
Sam and Amelia inadvertently come in conflict with the San Francisco mob boss after helping a crusading newspaper reporter who is working to expose corruption in Chinatown. Now a mysterious dark car follows the Slaters every where they go. Sam and Amelia discover a hidden world of corrupt cops, gambling parlors, brothels and human trafficking exists right under their noses.
At the same time, a rising California politician hires Sam and Amelia to find his daughter who disappeared without a trace three years earlier. The search is prompted by the sudden appearance of a letter from the woman, who was presumed dead.
As Sam and Amelia pursue these cases, they discover that all the clues lead them back to Chinatown. The Slaters want to avoid taking on the San Francisco crime lords head-on. However, when Amelia is kidnapped in an alley during the Chinese New Year’s celebration, Sam plunges himself into danger desperately searching Chinatown to find her before it’s too late.
The reader will be drawn into fast moving events which culminate in a harrowing conclusion as Sam Slater races against the clock on a foggy night in Chinatown.
“Shadows In The Fog” is the fifth book in the the award winning Sam Slater Mysteries Series but is a stand-alone thriller in the tradition of great whodunits.
Baby-faced San Francisco Police Detective Charlie Young sat at dusk in Golden Gate Park in his 1955 light blue Ford Fairlane awaiting the arrival of private eye Sam Slater.
Charlie’s boyish face reflected his angst as he absent-mindedly bit his lower lip and clenched his jaw. Young unfastened the top button on his white shirt and loosened his tie. He felt like he was choking to death.
He bounced his right leg in a kind of jitterbug move as was his nervous habit. Charlie was like a coiled spring ready to explode as he sat in his car parked at the curb on the winding two lane road outside the Conservatory of Flowers.
The sun began to disappear into the Pacific Ocean, which was not visible but just a few miles to the west of the park beyond the trees. Long shadows fell on the park and in a few minutes it would be dark.
Clenching and unclenching his fists, Charlie scanned the area for any suspicious people lurking in the fading light. He had a nagging feeling, in spite of the precautions he had taken, that out there in the darkness, someone was watching. His eyes darted from side to side as he checked the rear view mirror for any sign of Sam. The sidewalks and the lush lawns surrounding the landmark conservatory were largely deserted at this hour on a winter evening.
He glanced at his watch. Sam should arrive at any minute.
Then without warning, Charlie was temporarily blinded by some headlights in his rear view mirror as a car emerged out of the darkness.
Sam pulled his red and white 1957 Chevy in behind the cop’s car and killed the headlights. Charlie blinked his eyes to try to adjust to the reduced illumination.
Sam opened the passenger side door of Young’s Fairlane and slid into the front seat.
“Hello Mr. Slater, thanks for meeting me here,” Charlie said in greeting.
Sam seemed unnerved. “Why are we meeting here? I don’t like meeting on a dark street in the park.”
“I understand sir, but I’m afraid I’m being watched. I thought it was best that we meet under the cover of darkness. This is an isolated area of the park and I can see in both directions.” Sam disagreed and looked askance at the skittish cop sitting behind the wheel fidgeting and obsessively checking his rear view mirror.
“We could be sitting in my office in complete privacy with the door closed—safe and sound, but you refused…whatever…let’s just get this over with.”
Sam was anxious to rid himself of Charlie Young and his problems. He hadn’t wanted to take this job anyway. The troubled young cop was worried that his wife was seeing another man. Sam hated these kinds of jobs and took it only as a favor to his friend, San Francisco Police detective, Vince Marino.
“What did you find out, Mr. Slater? I mean what’s going on with Eve? What’s she doing all day?”
“I really don’t think you have anything to worry about concerning your wife,” Sam began, but the cop didn’t seem to be listening because he was distracted by a slow-moving car that suddenly flashed its high beams into the Charlie’s car. As the car drew closer, its headlights blasted into their eyes obscuring their vision.
Sam shielded his eyes to try to see the car, which veered out of the traffic lane and pulled up so close to the cop’s car that the driver’s side doors almost touched. Sam would later recall that the cop acted like he knew the person in the car because Charlie began to roll down his window. It was as if they were planning to talk.
Charlie only partially lowered his window before a hand holding a gun emerged from the approaching car.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
An explosion of gunfire riddled Charlie’s car, shattering the windows.
Five shots rang out in rapid succession. The young cop took the brunt of the gunfire and convulsed as the bullets slammed into his head and upper body. Sam scrambled for cover and tried to dive onto the floor of the car, but he didn’t fit, so he opened the passenger side door and rolled out on the damp grass by the curb.
Sam heard the squealing of tires as the gunman’s car drove away into the darkness. He never got a look at the assailant from his position on the grass next to the car.
Sam’s face and overcoat were covered with blood and he felt sure that he had been hit. He sensed it. Sam had seen a lot of men shot during the war and his own time in combat terminated when he was wounded in Germany.
He was a bloody mess and there had been bullets ricocheting all around the car. He pulled open his topcoat and feared the worst when he discovered blood splattered all over his suit jacket. Sam frantically looked for the source of all the blood in the faint light provided by the streetlight and the interior light of the car.
It was then that he found a bullet hole in his bloody raincoat just over his heart.
He pulled back his raincoat and saw a similar hole in his suit coat. He had taken a bullet but he was puzzled to see very little blood on his white shirt.
Sam paused to brush away some blood that trickled down into his eye as he reached into his vest pocket to pull out the silver cigarette case that Amelia had given him for Christmas. The cigarette case was dented by a round from the assailant’s gun and had potentially saved Sam’s life.
Sam collapsed onto the damp grass and breathed a sigh of relief. He had escaped a potentially life threatening shot by just inches and a twist of fate.
Sam peered into the young cop’s car which was covered with blood. Charlie was slumped on his side and not moving. Sam crawled on his hands and knees to try to re-enter the car to see if he could help Charlie but it was obviously too late.
The cop had been shot in the jaw on the left side of his face and Sam could also see a wound in his neck gushing blood. Charlie’s glassy eyes stared into the darkness. He was already dead.
“What happened here?” a voice said, startling Sam said.
He turned to find a man in a raincoat and hat standing on the sidewalk behind him.
“This man has been shot. He’s a San Francisco Policeman. I need you to call the cops and an ambulance.”
“Are you all right?”
“I’m not sure. Just hurry!”
The man in the raincoat hustled toward a phone booth just outside the observatory. Sam was bewildered by the sudden turn of events. It was supposed to be a routine report about the cop’s wife.
Sam never got to deliver good news for the Charlie Young. His wife wasn’t cheating on him. The sudden violent attack was the last thing Sam expected at the rendezvous in the park.
Sam felt something wet running down his forehead into his eyes. He swiped at it with the back of his hand and discovered it was blood—the cop’s blood which had been splattered all over Sam in the shooting.
Sam wondered what he must have looked like to the man in the raincoat.
The interior of the car was a gory mess with blood dripping from the interior roof of the car, the driver’s side window shot out and blood splattered on the windshield. Sam looked over his shoulder and saw the man in the raincoat in the phone booth. The police should arrive at any time.
Sam rose to his feet and leaned on the open car door. He tried to clear his head and comprehend what had just occurred.
He was spooked just seconds before the shooting when he saw the car heading towards them with the high beam headlights on. Sam was surprised that the paranoid young cop seemed unfazed by the approaching car. It was like he recognized the car. Suddenly Sam felt a little woozy and tumbled back onto the grass, reclining while he awaited the arrival of the police. He pulled his silver cigarette case out of his pocket and attempted to wipe it clean with his hand. The inscription on the case was “To My Dearest Sam. All My Love, Amelia.”
Sam’s thoughts turned to Amelia. He felt so lucky to be loved by her and the inscription reminded how much he cherished his life with her. A life that nearly ended just moments ago.
The word “Dearest” had been obliterated by the round dent from the bullet. Miraculously, Sam Slater was not lying dead in the front seat next to the young cop.
We’re happy to be hosting William R. Leibowitz and his Miracle Man Book Blitz today!
About the Book:
Title: Miracle Man
Author: William Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Genre: Cross-genre Thriller
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REVERED REVILED REMARKABLE
The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero.
Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.
So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history. But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?
As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect. Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.
Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal. But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.
A tall figure wearing a black-hooded slicker walked quickly through the night carrying a large garbage bag. His pale face was wet with rain. He had picked a deserted part of town. Old warehouse buildings were being gutted so they could be converted into apartments for non-existent buyers. There were no stores, no restaurants and no people.
“Who’d wanna live in this shit place?” he muttered to himself. Even the nice neighborhoods of this dismal city had more “For Sale” signs than you could count.
He was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened. Life was already hard enough. He shook his head incredulously. She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life. Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone? She should have had some control.
He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.”
But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either. He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it. She was adventurous and creative beyond her years. Freaky and bizarre. He had been enthralled, amazed. The higher she got, the wilder she was. Nothing was out of bounds. Everything was in the game.
And so, they went farther and farther out there. Together. With the help of the chemicals. They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation. How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city. They were so far ahead of all the other kids.
He squinted, and his mind reeled. He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was. And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated. And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources.
He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face. He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved. It didn’t. He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him. He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs.
The puddle-ridden deserted street had three large dumpsters on it. One was almost empty. It seemed huge and metallic and didn’t appeal to him. The second was two-thirds full. He peered into it, but was repulsed by the odor, and he was pretty sure he saw the quick moving figures of rodents foraging in the mess. The third was piled above the brim with construction debris.
Holding the plastic bag, he climbed up on the rusty lip of the third dumpster. Stretching forward, he placed the bag on top of some large garbage bags which were just a few feet inside of the dumpster’s rim. As he climbed down, his body looked bent and crooked and his face was ashen. Tears streamed down his cheeks and bounced off his hands. He barely could annunciate, “Please forgive me,” as he shuffled away, head bowed and snot dripping from his nose.
About the Author:
William R. Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years. He has represented numerous renowned recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses. At one point, he was the Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest ‘indie’ music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group).
William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University. He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George.
William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times – when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero –and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man.
For More Information
We’re thrilled to have here today Caleb Madroc from Donna Galanti’s new paranormal suspense novel, book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element. Caleb is 25 and an Elyon Community cult member living in the wilds of Oregon in a secret community his father created.
It is a pleasure to have Caleb with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Caleb. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
I am not as saintly as the author makes me out to be. I train our community to kill people with their minds, and I cannot save all the lost souls hurt by my father’s oppression. I should do more to escape his evil rule, and stop him! He believes I’m weak and I can never be as strong as he, and I think he may be right. But I should still try to stop him, even while he threatens to kill my sons if I don’t obey him! And I know I’m weak, because I’ve never tried to stop my father’s hateful leadership because he is my father. Even while I hate him, part of me still loves him and yearns for his fatherly love that I once had as a child.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I help others in my community. I save them from severe punishment, and even death, and in doing so put myself in the position to be punished by whipping. I can stand the whippings—if it means sparing the punished some pain. Those scars I can bear. The scars of my lost love, Rachel, and not knowing my sons sear my heart forever.
Not having the strength to fight my father and stop him from his evil oppression of our people. I fear he will kill my sons if he does.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
Sam Winchester from Supernatural! He is strong and tormented and on a dangerous mission like me, yet has a full heart ready to give away if he only had the chance.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
In my community we are forced to breed as dictated by my father. This sickens me and so for years I pretended to be impotent, but lost my will just once at nineteen. She had been such a beautiful, sweet female. Rachel was her name and she pleased me across a sea of soft nights. I fell in love with her from that first night, possessing her body, soul, and mind. But our bond was soon severed. She was sent to mate with another…and then another and another. But she was already pregnant then with our twins I would never know, raised by a community of women. And I would never get to touch her again, until the day I led her to her death. You can read about my first love interest before I came to Oregon in The Dark Inside.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
When I was betrayed by an evil whore, my father was taken away, and I thought I’d lose my sons forever. I grew so weary of helping everyone else and never helping myself. All seemed lost.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really want to be and why?
Ben Fieldstone. He and I are very much alike. We both are willing to sacrifice all for our families, and for love. Yet he’s lucky as he got to be a father to his son, unlike me who’s been separated from my own sons. He also gets to love Laura, who is beautiful inside and out. I will always keep close in my heart the secret night I spent with her where we were forced together in an intimate space. We did not betray Ben, though it was difficult to not make love to her. My desire for her was – and is – very strong.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Torn. I get a sense of hope, but what I also know about normal society drives fear in me that all may not go well. I am afraid of going from one prison to another prison of a different making.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?
Please give me someone to love of my own choosing. Live has been so full of ugliness and loneliness these past few years. And let me watch my sons grow to become the amazing men I know they will become.
Thank you for this interview, Caleb! Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I am hopeful I can assimilate into regular society and that the world can accept me, even with the terrible things I’ve been forced to do. Don’t judge me by what I’ve done through oppression rather judge me for what’s in my heart.
ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?
PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
“Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall
“Fascinating…a haunting story…”—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath
“Will keep you up long past your bedtime…a pulse-pounding read.”—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector
Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.
BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
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