Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NetGalley Review: The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea

34196403Title: The Girl Who Was Taken
Author: Charlie Donlea
Published: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 320
Genre: Murder, Mystery, YA
Review: ARC ebook provided by NetGalley and publisher
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t—and the forensics expert searching for answers.
Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.
A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.
But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

ARC Review: In the Presence of Knowing (Secrets of Windy Springs, #1) by Valarie Savage Kinney

34601833Title: In the Presence of Knowing
Author: Valarie Savage Kinney
Published: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Self
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Page: 198
Review: ARC provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Keisha is pregnant and on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend. Hiding out at Windy Springs Renaissance Festival, she discovers a world of magic.
Stepping into new and unfamiliar territory, she finds herself among people different from any she’s met before. Though she feels she’ll never fit in, Keisha finds hope when she meets Rogan, who plays the troll. As friendship blossoms into romance, she soon discovers that Rogan, as well as others at Windy Springs, have abilities beyond the average individual – abilities that the child growing within her shares as well. When danger comes to Windy Springs, she’ll need the combined powers of Rogan and his friends to keep her and the baby safe.
In the Presence of Knowing is the first book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series. Grab your copy today and find out what mysteries await within the magical forest at Windy Springs.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NetGalley Review: Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen

31828590Title: Gone Without A Trace
Author: Mary Torjussen
Published: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Review: ARC ebook provided by publisher and NetGalley
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk

No one ever disappears completely...
You leave for work one morning. Another day in your normal life. Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared. He hasn't been at work for weeks. It's as if he never existed. But that's not possible, is it? And there is worse still to come. Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY: Mine, Forever and Always by Tammy L. Bailey

 photo Mine Forever and Always Banner.png

 photo Mine Forever and Always.png
Title:   Mine, Forever and Always
Author:  Tammy L. Bailey
Published:  March 17th, 2017
Genre:  Historical Romance
Content Warning:  Some kissing and intimate scenes but no sex.
Recommended Age:  18+

  Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend’s brother, Henry Dalton.
It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.
Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Guest Post: Kelli A. Wilkins author of Ultimate Night's Delights

34509713New Release: Ultimate Night’s Delights – Hot Historical/Fantasy Romance
By Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi Everyone,

Today I’m sharing an “inside look” at the third book in my super-hot erotic fantasy trilogy, Naughty Nobles. The series includes Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights. Although the books are connected, each stands alone as an individual read.
In previous blogs, I wrote about Midsummer Night’s Delights and Midwinter Night’s Delights. Midsummer introduced readers to repressed newlyweds, Julian and Annabelle. They are strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

The second book in the series, Midwinter Night’s Delights, picks up six months after the last story and follows the continuing sexual adventures of Annabelle and Julian. (And yes, this novella is just as hot – if not hotter – than the first one!)

Ultimate Night’s Delights is the third and final novella in the series. I never intended to write a trilogy, but the characters kept popping up in my head, and I knew they had more stories to tell! Readers and reviewers fell in love with the characters and the storyline, so I decided to write one more book that wrapped up the trilogy.

However, when I started thinking about the plot, I wasn’t sure what direction to take. I knew there had to be something interesting (beyond a naughty “anything goes” ball) that raised the stakes for everyone, and I thought about blackmail. From there, I developed the idea of the “Black Duke” and his mission to destroy Vincent. Then of course, I had to devise a clever way to tie it all together at the end.

I also enhanced a storyline and shared some insight on two secondary characters, Lono and Lobo. (Readers were briefly introduced to them in the second book.) In this story, I explain how they came to be employed by Vincent and Sabrina and what’s ahead for them in the future.

I think fans of the first two novellas will find this book to be a satisfying conclusion to the series.

Ultimate Night’s Delights
Julian and Annabelle are back for the final ball!
The Midsummer and Midwinter Balls changed Julian and Annabelle forever. Vincent, the Marquis of Demby, and his wife, Sabrina, introduced them to a world of erotic pleasures. Freed from their inhibitions, they now help other shy couples explore their sexual urges and hidden desires.
But life on Vincent and Sabrina’s estate is anything but tranquil. The notorious Duke of Blackwell has discovered the secret about the naughty balls and is out to destroy the marquis.
Vincent refuses to deny the rumors about the “anything goes” parties he hosts, and turns to his friends for assistance. Together, they devise a plan to defeat the Black Duke… and still find time for a few wicked games.

Guest Post: Kelli A. Wilkins author of Midwinter Night's Delights

34317971New Release: Midwinter Night’s Delights — Hot Historical/Fantasy Romance
By Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,
Today I’m highlighting the second book in my Naughty Nobles trilogy, Midwinter Night’s Delights. The series includes Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night's Delights, and Ultimate Night's Delights. Although the books are connected, each stands alone as an individual read.
In a previous blog, I wrote about Midsummer Night’s Delights. This novella introduced readers to repressed newlyweds, Julian and Annabelle. They are strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

The second book in the series, Midwinter Night’s Delights, picks up six months after the last story and follows the continuing sexual adventures of Annabelle and Julian. (And yes, this novella is just as hot—if not hotter— than the first one.)

In the sequel, we discover that Annabelle and Julian have taken what they’ve learned and gone wild. Ever since the Midsummer Ball, they have been overindulging in all sorts of lewd activities. Instead of being shy and repressed, they are more than eager to give in to their desires whenever (and wherever) the mood strikes—even if it’s at a formal dinner party. Needless to say, Julian’s father sends them back to Vincent’s estate to be disciplined and learn self-control.

Although they have been invited to the Midwinter Ball, there’s a catch. Before Sabrina and Vincent allow them to participate, they need to learn how to control their insatiable appetites and undergo certain “punishments” along the way.

So, how did this sequel come about? At the end of Midsummer, I left the door open to a follow-up story, hoping that readers would want more. And they did! Readers and reviewers were interested in learning more about the characters and seeing what other erotic escapades awaited them.

Some people wanted a prequel—a story devoted to how Sabrina and Vincent met and where they learned to play their wicked games. Others wanted a follow-up story to find out what happened to Annabelle and Julian and wondered if they would still play games with Vincent and Sabrina.

This story satisfies both camps. I let Sabrina explain her sexual history and how she became educated in playing naughty games. Julian and Annabelle learn about self-control as they become Vincent and Sabrina’s submissives and take their “punishments” in stride.

Midwinter Night’s Delights is more intense than the first book. From the outset, readers know that Julian and Annabelle are learning lessons and being disciplined—but it’s all for their own good. I even sprinkled in some BDSM throughout the story to make things very interesting.

And what about the third book? At the end of Midwinter, I saw the potential for another, final, chapter in the saga. I’ll share more about Ultimate Night’s Delights in another blog, so stay tuned.

Midwinter Night’s Delights
Julian and Annabelle are back for another naughty ball!

The Marquis of Demby’s Midsummer Ball transformed Julian and Annabelle forever. No longer shy about satisfying their sexual urges, the young newlyweds give in to their wanton desires whenever—and wherever—the mood strikes. Anything goes in their open marriage, and they’re not ashamed to share their passions with others.

But everything changes when they are sent to Vincent and Sabrina’s estate to be disciplined. Before they can participate in the Midwinter Ball, they must learn self-control. Carnal punishments and sensual lessons are just a few of the erotic surprises awaiting them… before the ball even begins!

Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the third book in the Naughty Nobles trilogy: ULTIMATE NIGHT’S DELIGHTS.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

ARC Review: A Case of Magic (The Wildes Chronicles #1) by Dominika Waclawiak

34746035Title: A Case of Magic (The Wildes Chronicles #1)
Author: Dominika Waclawiak
Published: April 8, 2017
Publisher: Self
Pages: 207
Genre: Fantasy
Review: ARC provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Ex-Cop turned PI Mabry Wildes is no stranger to rough waters, but this time she might be in over her head.

A water Fae shunned by the witches and sneered at by the Fae; her professional reputation shredded by the head of the LAPD, Mabry uses her powers to champion for those hardest hit by the Unveiling: the humans.

The human ghettos are emptying and no one knows why. Worse, no one in power seems to care. On the run after accidentally killing two vampire cops who tried to bring her in on seriously murky ground, Mabry thinks things can’t get worse. Then her former LAPD colleague turns up dead and Mabry is plunged into the center of a case that threatens to kill everyone she holds dear.

ARC Review: Juvenile (Resistance Book 1) by Perrin Briar

34823278Title: Juvenile (Resistance Book 1)
Author: Perrin Briar
Published: April 7, 2017
Publisher: Self
Pages: 208
Genre: YA, Zombies
Review: ARC provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Riots have broken out across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Disturbing news footage floods the cable news channels. People are running scared, terrified. Frightened.

Dana is oblivious. She’s in her final meeting with Miss Jenkins, her caseworker. Dana’s juvie record is an inch thick, a catalogue of misdemeanors. She’s destined to spend her life behind bars.

Stressed out and looking for some much-needed distraction, Max turns up at her boyfriend’s apartment. But something is wrong.

Darren is not alone.

He’s in bed with another girl. Eating her, and not in a good way. He attacks Dana with savage violence. She puts him down, but not before his blood-stained teeth tear into her arm.

The world is falling apart. Fearing the worst, Dana rushes to the only person who’s ever mattered to her, her younger sister Max. Dana promises she will protect her forever, keep her safe. No matter what.

Betrayed by those meant to protect her, Max is taken.

Can she find her sister before she turns into the very monster she wishes to protect her from? Or will she be too late?

This is the first tome in a brand-new groundbreaking series, a tour-de-force in thrills and excitement.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NetGalley Review: Shallow End (Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery #4) by Brenda Chapman

29977284Title: Shallow End (Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery #4)
Author: Brenda Chapman
Publisher: Dundurn
Published: March 11, 2017
Pages: 384
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Review: ebook provided by NetGalley and publisher
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.com 

Teacher, mother, wife, and convicted child molester Jane Thompson makes parole after losing everything — her husband, her children, her career, and her reputation. But just as she begins trying to build a life out of the public eye, the bludgeoned body of the student she abused four years earlier is found on the shores of Lake Ontario. Sergeant Rouleau assigns officers Stonechild and Gundersund to head up the murder investigation and Jane quickly becomes their prime suspect.
Meanwhile, Stonechild’s niece, Dawn, has been skipping school and running into trouble in foster care. Gundersund is more trapped than ever in his failing marriage, and Rouleau struggles to come to terms with the death of his ex-wife. But all their problems take a back seat as the investigation picks up steam. Stonechild and Gundersund wade through buried secrets to find the truth, which will take them on a twisted journey to the heart of cruelty. The question is — who will come out alive on the other side?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Never Kiss Me Goodbye (Vampires of Nirvana #1) by Ranay James

26239344Title: Never Kiss Me Goodbye
Author: Ranay James
Published: Nov. 25, 2015
Publisher: Self
Pages: 407
Genre: Murder, thriller, paranormal
Review: ebook provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Kari Ransom’s career as a journalist is on a steller trajectory. She’s making a name for herself by exposing some pretty heavy hitters in the political arena for serious crimes and shady dealings. But that rise to the top is cut short when she's grusomely murdered by a professional killer leaving very few clues behind for the authorities to follow.

Her sister Kristen knows there is something more going on under the surface and to find the culprits she enlists the help of homicide detective Slade Jericho. Kristen also senses that there is more to Slade than he’s letting on. But what could that be?

Slade has seen his share of murders in his years on the Phoenix police force. And, his gut’s telling him that Kristen is in serious danger from the same heartless killers who executed Kari. He calls in the best to help him keep Kristen alive and when Chase McKinnon, from the extrodinary McKinnon clan, steps in to lead the security detail, things start to get really dicey.

Will Chase’s past work for or against them as that past is leading them straight into the vampire collective. Will Slade and Kristen find the killers before they are both murdered for the information now in Kristen’s possession?

If they can unravel this twisted web of lies, love, and deception, they will be free to give in to fate and see how perfect they are for each other even against the odds.

This paranormal romance will keep you on the edge of your seat, rooting for the good guys and wondering what's going to happen next.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Spotlight: Covert Kisses by Jane Godman

Author: Jane Godman
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Coincidence? The beauty who washes up on Mayor Cameron Delaney's private beach eerily resembles his dead girlfriend, Carla. But Laurie Carter, Carla's lookalike cousin, is actually an undercover detective. She's on the job, investigating Cameron's connection to a human-trafficking ring. Laurie knows she must keep her cover—but she's struggling to deceive the man she finds irresistible… 
When Cameron discovers why Laurie is in town, he's furious to realize he's being framed—and stunned at his sudden feelings for the lovely agent. But as they uncover the traffickers, a savage serial killer targets Laurie. Can Cameron save the life of the woman he's come to care for…and unmask the threat haunting his family and Stillwater? 


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Take his breath away.
That was her one and only aim for this first encounter, and Laurie Carter had three things working in her favor as she kept the target in her sights.
First, there was the understated designer swimsuit that molded itself to her curves, while also cleverly drawing attention to the length of her legs.
Then there was the fact that she was wading ashore onto his private lakeside property. As he sprang to his feet from the rock where he had been sitting gazing out across the water, no doubt he was about to point that fact out to her. Laurie did a rapid check, reconciling this man’s physical attributes with the photographs she had carefully memorized. Dark, wavy hair, swept back from a broad brow and worn slightly long so that it curled onto his neck. Deep-set eyes above high, Slavic cheekbones. A hawk-like nose and lips that were contrastingly full. She had the right man. There was no mistaking him. Tall and powerfully built, he moved toward her with the grace of an athlete, a frown line pulling his dark eyebrows together.
Judging the distance between them to perfection, Laurie waited until he was close enough. As she fell into a pretend faint, she saw shock and something more register in the hazel depths of Cameron Delaney’s eyes. Advantage number three was always going to be the one that clinched it. As his reflexes kicked in and he scooped her up into his arms, Laurie let her head flop back, allowing him a clear view of her face.
His exhalation was an audible hiss. Mission accomplished. The fact that she was trespassing on his land had been the thing that made him notice her. The swimsuit had drawn his attention to her curves and kept him looking. Neither of those things had succeeded in driving the breath from his lungs. That had been achieved for one reason only…because she was the mirror image of his dead girlfriend.

Jane Godman writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Swerve, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and steamy historical romance for Samhain Publishing. 
Jane also writes erotic romance as Amanda Stewart.





Monday, April 3, 2017

Spotlight: GIL by Darin Gibby

Title: GIL
Author: Darin Gibby
Publisher: Keohler Books
Pages: 301
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Baseball

Some gifts come with a price.

Twenty years before, high school coach Gil Gilbert gave up his dream to play professional baseball so he could marry his pregnant girlfriend, Keri. When he miraculously discovers that he can pitch with deadly accuracy and speed, he must choose between his successful career and comfortable family life or his chance to play with the Colorado Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil stuns the pitching staff with 100 mph fastballs and is offered a contract.

After joining the Rockies, the world soon learns that Gil is a supernatural phenomenon and the Rockies keep winning. But Gil soon faces stiff opposition, including a frivolous lawsuit, a father who feels his son’s calling to pitch is to save souls, and threats from the striking players. As the season progresses, Gil discovers that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death. While Keri supports his decision to keep playing, she is fearful about her husband’s bizarre health condition.

Gil must decide what price he is willing to pay to live his dream.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

GIL HURLED THE baseball as hard as he could at the
backstop. He needed to blow off steam and calm himself before
he did something stupid, or regrettable. He picked up another ball
from the fluorescent-orange five-gallon bucket, and concentrated
on his form.
He was consumed with frustration, and was venting with the
baseball instead of with his fists or mouth. He tried concentrating
on his form instead of his woes. Gil could control his pitches,
but not his destiny. He was good, but not good enough. At age
forty-four, Gil knew he was well past his prime and was trying
to accept the inevitability of unfulfilled dreams.
He reached again into the bucket beside him on the mound
and grabbed another ball. Focusing his form, he hurled another,
and then another. Arm back; elbow bent, he told himself. He
threw once again, then he looked up, and saw his buddy and
assistant coach, Peck, making his way over to him from a series
of disjointed brown brick buildings, the campus of the Prairie
Ridge High School Coyotes.
“First strike I’ve seen you throw all night. What gives, Gil?”
Gil kept his foot lodged against the rubber on the pitcher’s
mound then stooped down and plucked up another baseball.
With a quick windup, another of his pitches cut the thin Colorado
air and hammered the fence.
“Okay,” Peck interrupted, stepping between the mound and
home plate. “That’s enough, Gil. We need to talk before you ruin
a whole bucket of balls—and your arm. With these budget cuts
we’ll be lucky if we get enough for the season.” He turned and
made his way to the backstop, tugging on two balls lodged in the
wire lattice. Peck yanked one out and ran his fingers across the
torn leather.
“Holy crap,” he muttered to himself, shaking his head.
Gil flippantly tossed the ball back into the orange bucket.
“What’s got you so pissed off?” Peck asked.
Gil slid the back of his worn leather glove across his brow.
“I’ve got my reasons.”
“All my life I’ve worked so hard, tried to do the right thing,
and look what it’s gotten me.”
Peck lifted up his ball cap and smoothed back his brown
wavy hair, letting his burly hand glide over his six-inch mullet.
“Are you kidding me? You’ve got the hottest wife this side
of the Mississippi, two of the most well-mannered kids I’ve ever
met, and you’re one of the most highly respected high school
coaches in the state. And you’re still playing ball—and coaching
it. Most guys your age gave it up long ago. What’s with the selfpity?”
“My age, exactly,’’ Gil huffed. “What I’ve really got is some
loser job that is going nowhere fast.”
“Shoot, Gil. I’m your assistant. What does that make me? A
double loser?’’
Peck made his way to the mound, his tattooed arms folded,
like a coach ready to talk some sense into his rattled starter, or
else make a decision to yank him before the other team could do
any more damage.
“How so?”
“We don’t need to go into this, not now.”
Peck continued rolling the ball in his hands, digging his
fingernail into the sliced leather. “Oh, I think we do. You know,
with the strike, all the major league teams are looking for
replacement players. You could try out for the Rockies.”
Gil grunted. “That’s not going to last. The owners will cave
before the season starts and all those replacement players will
be back on the streets. Besides, I gave up that dream—and I’m
too old. All I’ve been doing is messing around in the rec leagues
for years. I’d get creamed, even by replacement players.”
“Not from what I’ve seen. You can still throw in the eighties,
and you have a big breaking ball. I’ve seen it. No way, I bet you
were just firing at least eighty-five,” said Peck, looking at one of
the scarred balls he plucked from the fence. “That’s better than
most minor leaguers.”
“You never told me why you didn’t try to play professionally,”
Peck continued. “You must have had one rocket of an arm when
you were younger.”
“Unlike you, I didn’t stand a chance,” Gil snapped back.
“That’s not what I heard. And not with what I just watched
you throw. What gives?”
“It’s really complicated.”
“Try me.”
Gil hung his head and breathed out deeply.
“Well, when I was playing for ASU, a lot of scouts were
looking at me. I had to make a decision.”
“Being a responsible adult and finishing my degree, or being
flighty and chasing some harebrained idea that I was good
enough to play professional baseball.”
“I take it you were offered a contract?”
Gil nodded.
“You never told me that. So why didn’t you sign?”
“Some things came up, and getting a degree seemed like a
better choice than wasting my life away in the minors.”
“Easy there. Remember who you’re talking to.”
“You had a real chance, Peck—if you hadn’t had those elbow
problems. Not so with me. Do you know how many twenty-yearolds
can throw a ninety-mile-an-hour fastball?”
Peck shrugged.
“A whole bunch.” Gil adjusted his cap. “It’s water under the
bridge. My life is in the history books. I made my bed and all
that stuff. I’ve lived a very mediocre life. Four years of misery
to get a physics degree. I was too much of a loser to even try to
get a masters degree. I took a job as a lousy high school teacher
making fifty thousand a year, coaching on the side. What kind of
loser career is that?”
“Again, Gil, consider your audience. At least you are the
head coach. Look at me. I’d kill for your job.”
Gil spit and covered up the spittle with a kick of his toe. “You
know I didn’t mean that.”
“But seriously. How can you say it is a loser job? With all
the talk of your science fair this year—and another season in the
playoffs—you could easily get teacher of the year. How many
people can brag about that? And the kids here love you to death.
You are the coolest teacher ever. How many high school students
beg to have their science teacher play at their prom? You can
sing Sunday Bloody Sunday better than Bono.”
“When I get to play him! The only gigs I get anymore are
overplayed country songs about some guy finding religion. Have
I ever written one of my own?”
Peck shrugged. “I’ll bet you have.”
“Well maybe, but you’ll never hear it on the radio. Just good
ol’ Gil. Friend to everyone, foe to no one. That’s all I am.”
“Well tell me this, if teaching is such a loser job as you say,
then why did you choose it?”
Gil shook his head. “I don’t want to go there.”
Peck hopped up beside his friend and shoved him back,
enough to dislodge Gil’s foot from the rubber. “With the energy
you were putting into that ball, I think we need to go there. Come
clean with me. How long have we been together?”
Gil’s jaw muscles clenched, and he slapped his glove against
his thigh then looked up into the fading sky. “Alright, I’ll tell
you, if you really want to know. I did the honorable thing and
married her, then dumped any dream of playing pro ball. I took
a teaching job to pay for the baby. Would you believe that I
met her at a frat party? You know when you go to those dinner
parties and everyone has to tell how they met? I couldn’t do it.
I made up some story about how I picked her out of the crowd
when we were playing UCLA.”
“Whoa, wait a minute. Way too much information. I didn’t
mean to pry like that.”
“She was pregnant. My plans for baseball were over. And
don’t you ever mention it to anyone—my kids don’t know.”
Peck reached out and put a hand on Gil’s broad shoulder.
“How was that a bad thing? Look at what it got you.”
“Yeah, a beautiful family that I can’t even support. Not
now—not now that I am going to lose everything.”
“Gil, what exactly are you talking about?”
“The little turd is suing me, that’s what.”
“Are you drinking, man?”
“Do I ever drink? I am the clean-cut all-American parent.
Except that now I am getting hauled into court.”
“For what? Wait, for when Zach was screwing around after
practice and thunked Shaila in the head?”
“Yes, they’re suing the school and me personally. Two
million bucks. Claiming the ball cracked her skull and caused
brain damage.”
“If you ask me, the ditz already had brain damage.”
“Yeah, well tell that to a jury. They are going to wipe me out.”
“They can ask for anything, you know that. Besides that, the
school district is required to defend you.”
“That’s what I thought, but it’s not that clear. What if they
don’t? I can’t afford a lawyer. You know how much I make. What
am I going to do?”
Peck also spit and shook his head. “I see now.” Then he went
and fished a catcher’s mitt from the equipment bag. “Okay, at
least throw the rest at me so we don’t destroy any more balls. And
don’t worry, they won’t fire you. Can you imagine the protests?
You’ve had a winning season for fifteen straight years.”
Gil went into a full windup and whipped the ball at his catcher,
each pitch slamming into the glove with a loud smack. Peck bolted
up and tossed down the mitt, shaking his stinging hand.
“Holy crap! What is going on here? You taking some kind of
performance cocktail? Your gut is gone, your chest looks like a
bulldog’s, and you are solid as a rock.”
A hint of a smile crept onto Gil’s weathered face. “Drugs?
Never did them—not being the son of a preacher.”
“Then what? You don’t just all of the sudden hurl like that.”
“Mid-life crisis is all. Lots of stress builds the physique… and
I’ve been working out some.”
“No, man. What kind of drugs are you on? I’ve caught for a
lot of pitchers, but nothing like this. You gotta be throwing in the
nineties, pushing a hundred. I’ve got to get a speed gun on you,
Gil. What is the record these days?”
“The fastest pitch? Some say Bob Feller threw a one-hundredand-
seven-mile-an-hour fastball, but who knows? Most of those
guys were full of themselves. That was before radar, so it is all
“You are the science guy. You should know.”
“Since modern speed guns came around, there has been a few
clocked at one hundred and four, and in 2010 Aroldis Chapmin
was officially measured at one hundred and five. But it’s hard to
say. Feller thought Satchel Paige was the fastest pitcher alive.
So, could he throw faster than one hundred and seven?”
“What were you in college?”
“Fastest was ninety-one.”
“Then that confirms it—you are all screwed up my friend.
A forty-four-year-old man can’t throw like that, not without a
whole lotta dope.”
“No drugs, man. You’re just getting old. Bad eyesight and
soft hands. Still getting those manicures?”
“Hey, the last time was with you. Come on Gil. Let’s be
honest here. This is crazy stuff. Those balls I pulled out of the
fence—the leather was completely torn through. Let’s try one
more, just as a sanity check. Let me have it. Get really pissed off.
Imagine you are throwing at that lawyer’s face.”
Peck backpedaled to the plate and pounded his fist into his
glove. “Give me all you’ve got.”
This time the ball whizzed into Peck’s glove with the same
familiar smack. Peck removed his hand from the glove. The
palm was red.
“I think that confirms it,” he said, shaking his head.
“Tomorrow I am going to make a few calls.”

In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend (www.kilpatricktownsend.com). With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest drug delivery systems to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system.  His second book, The Vintage Club, tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever. His third book, Gil, is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death.
With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.
An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife, Robin, and their four children.