by Jacqui Jacoby
Dead Men Book 1
by Jacqui Jacoby
by Jacqui Jacoby
by Jacqui Jacoby
Hollywood…The land of dreams where one man will turn into her worst nightmare.
A man raised in the Hollywood lifestyle, Sean Branigan wanted to try something other than parties and high maintenance way of life. With the birth of his son, Adian, Sean walked away from the glitz to try something new. He developed a television show that would keep him in one place long enough to raise his kid right.
Beth Hardwick has worked on the set of Snap Shots since its premiere episode five years ago. A writer by hobby, a reader by trade, she knew her all about her boss’s reputation and his pretty ladies and never thought twice that he would look in her direction.
Just getting out of a short-term, tepid warm relationship, Beth never expected trouble from her ex. She certainly never expected she would have to turn to Sean for help.
As the ex refuses to back down, each threat he throws escalates until fear is the only reaction. Its not only makes Beth a target, but Sean and Adian, too. Under guard and terrified, they will have to trust each other to get them all to their new life.
Genre: ThrillerBystander Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Crime, Holidays, Hollywood
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Bodycount Productions
Excerpt, Magic Man, Dead Men Play the Game & More
Sean Branigan downshifted as he hit the light, his Audi R8 Sport sliding to a stop he didn’t want to be at. The GPS was set to Miles Criswell’s condo, but it wasn’t Miles Criswell he wanted to see.
He looked at his watch, noting twenty-two minutes had passed since he’d received the text from Beth Hardwick. Apparently, Beth wasn’t having all too good a night and calling Sean was her only recourse.
He turned off the radio’s rendition of a Jingle Bells commercial even though it was only four days until Thanksgiving and pulled up at the place the GPS said, parking next to a fire hydrant at eleven o’clock night, facing the opposite way. It was the only available spot and with the nerves he carried, he figured he would fuck a ticket or a tow.
She was in trouble.
Getting out, he reached Number 15 at the same time Allonzo arrived. It wasn’t a bad idea to bring your six-four-and-a-half, two-hundred-twenty-five-pound, special-op trained security guard to a black op rescue mission.
Sean looked at his watch again.
“She called twenty-seven minutes ago.”
“What did she say?” Allonzo asked.
“Sorry,” Branigan said squeezing his eyes tight. “She texted. There’s trouble.”
“And boss man wants to play superhero, huh?” The smile cracking the dark face was more annoying than infuriating.
“Do I pay you extra for unnecessary sarcasm or is it included?”
Allonzo smiled. “Number 15. Right there.”
Branigan walked up the mildly overgrown walkway while Allonzo stayed a little way back.
Sean knew both Miles and Beth. Both worked for him, both were great people, but the kiss Branigan had been dying for from Beth for months, should have waited. Today was too soon.
Sean knocked on the door, heard several muffled words, a loud shhh and then a ‘get the fuck back’.
The door pulled open and Miles, beer in hand, leaned against the jamb. Judging by the look on his face now, he wasn’t the good guy Sean had thought him to be.
“What do you want? It’s after hours.”
“Yeah, I know,” Sean said. “We were heading over to get a drink and thought you might like to join us. Guys night out.”
“Who is he?” He motioned with his beer.
“Oh him? That’s Allonzo. You’ve seen him around.”
“Who the fuck is Allonzo?”
“You know the studio. Slapping security on for no reason. He gets thirsty, too. Why are all the lights out?”
Miles leaned on the doorjamb. “She doesn’t live here anymore.”
“Go, run,” an urgent, breathless voice called. “You need to go. He’s got a gun.”
“I think maybe she does.” Sean looked over his shoulder. “Allonzo, can you make sure he doesn’t have a gun?”
Allonzo smiled and moved up the walkway. “Sure.”
Sean saw Miles go for the weapon, but Allonzo moved faster, getting Miles into a body lock and slamming him against the door before yanking the weapon from Miles’ hand.
“It’s a .45,” Allonzo said, “but it doesn’t feel full enough.”
Sean walked past the two into the living room. Even with the shadows, he could see her curled up on the end of the couch. He walked over to the end table, turning on the light, tilting his chin as he looked down at her.
She looked away, not meeting his gaze. Her thick, long blonde hair was a mess, her make-up smeared. The dress she was wearing this afternoon torn at the sleeve. With her legs pulled up, it rode high on her thighs, but she didn’t seem to notice. The tears were only partially dry on her bruised face.
He put a finger under her chin and pulled her face forward so he could see the deep hand prints on one cheek before pushing away to see the ones on the other side.
He knelt in front of her.
“He was in the warehouse,” she said softly
“I kinda figured that out,” he said.
“He heard what you said.”
“What did I say?”
“About being jealous. He wanted to show you what jealousy looked like.”
He tried to smile but guilt edged his gut. “I’ve actually seen jealousy before and it doesn’t look anything like this.”
She smiled a little but it was strained.
“When you sent the text, did you call the police?”
“I didn’t send the text.”
He thought with pursed lips for a moment, his hands clasped in front of him. “He took your phone?”
“Um…humph,” she said.
“He wanted to get me here?”
“It’s probably a good thing I called Allonzo, then.”
“What’s with you pretty boys?” Miles said from behind him.
“See,” he said smiling up at her. “I would have to disagree with him right there. Never thought of myself that way.”
He stood up and started to turn.
“Exotic,” he heard her whisper.
He looked down at her. “I like that.”
“You have everything you want,” Miles said. “The parts, the money, cars, super models in your bed. Why the fuck do you have to come sniffing around my average piece of shit?”
Sean blinked and pursed his lips again. “Average piece of shit? You call her nice names like that and it might explain why it was so fucking easy to get her to look twice.”
Miles made a move and Allonzo slammed him against the door.
“You want to call off your dog and really discuss this?”
“No,” Sean said. “Nothing to prove.”
“Check her phone,” Miles snapped.
“Where is it?” Sean asked.
“My back pocket.”
Allonzo retrieved it and tossed it to Sean.
“Don’t,” she said leaning forward, grabbing Sean’s arm.
“Why not?” Sean asked.
“You walked right into it,” Miles said. “She’s been a fan for years. Watched all the movies. You could have done her right there in the warehouse. She’s always been hot for you.”
“I haven’t done a film in twelve years and I made them so people could watch them, genius.”
“Look at the phone. She’s got your picture all over it.”
“I’ve got pictures of you on my phone,” Sean said. “We took them at the picnic.”
“Not like these. These are movie and promo photos, showing you off.”
“I’m kinda flattered.”
“That’s not fair,” she said, leaning forward. “It’s the book. Remember I told you I was doing this book?”
“Yeah,” Sean said. “I remember.”
“The character. He’s with the CIA. I was working on him and he reminded me of you. I mean, not you, but like you. I have tons of photos on my phone for stories. Puppies and weapons and clothes and characters. I have Orlando Bloom, too.”
“Now I’m really flattered. Allonzo, call 911.”
He knelt down and picked up her hands, turning them palm up.
He raised her wrists toward her. “And these?”
She looked away, tearing up. He squeezed her hands a little.
“Allonzo, the cops will be here in a few. Do you think you can hurt him bad without leaving a mark so we all can deny it when he accuses us?
“Sure,” Allonzo said smiling.
Bystander Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
by Jacqui Jacoby
A distant spell from Celtic myth unites two lost lovers as they reclaim their future…
Detective Peter Mackenzie knew crime and knew his job. With The Cemetery Man schedule to leave the next body on the next grave Peter doesn’t have time for the puzzling Alexandra Madison. Her wild stories of a stolen life and family and friends who don’t remember her. Her last resort, she tells him is him and the relationship they shared. Peter doesn’t need this nonsense and his eccentric father walking in only irritates him more. Until his father utters the name everyone forgot, giving hope to Alexandra for the first time.
Time is their enemy as the weekend grows closer and on Sunday, Peter knows another body will be waiting.
What he doesn’t know, what he couldn’t know, even with Alexandra delving deeper into his father’s past, the victims are not random. They are chosen with reason and the monster who takes them is not done. She is coming for one of them.
Genre: Paranormal Romantic SuspenseMagic Man Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Detective, Thriller, Supernatural
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Publisher: Bodycount Productions
Magic Man Excerpt:
He worked his jaw back and forth. “Are you saying I should know you?”
She nodded, her arms coming away from her body, jerking with frustration. “I tried everyone else. Everyone I could think of. I didn’t want to come to you. Not after—.” She cut herself off and bit her lip again. “But you’re it," she said. “If you don’t—”
“You think I know you?”
“You have to.”
“And why would that be?”
She scratched her forehead, her eyes closed tight, her chin tilted.
She didn’t answer him.
He searched the recesses of his memory and came up empty. He had never heard the name before, never seen that face. “Why do you think I would know you?”
Her hand dropped away and she stared at him. It was in her eyes. She was scared. Of him. Of whatever she had to tell him.
“Why?” he snapped.
Her voice was almost inaudible, her gaze fixed on the donuts. "We lived together for four years.”
Peter heard her. He couldn’'t believe she had said what she said, but he heard her just fine. Now he just had to figure out how to get the hell out of here without crushing that last bit of hope in her eyes.
“O-k-a-y,” he said, planting both his hands on the edge of the table and standing up.
“No,” she cried, moving faster than he had seen her move. She was in front of him, her hands on his forearms.
“Please. I’m not crazy. I swear to God I’m not crazy. We lived together. For four years.”
He broke her grip and took a step back, choking out a laugh. “I think I might remember that.”
“Your house. In La Canada. We bought it together. When I got transferred to Seattle eight months ago, I signed it over to you.”
Peter’s gaze snapped to hers as personal data became a chip in the pot.
“How the hell do you know where I live?”
“Because I lived there, too. Please,” she begged. “Please remember.”
“You know, I know what I said before, but I think we might need to talk to somebody. A specialist.”
She shook her head. “I’m not crazy.”
He reached up and cupped her cheek and she looked up at him. “I think we may have been wrong,” he said.
She shook her head again. This time hard. Jerky.
“You need help,” he said.
She took two steps back, pushing her fingers through her hair in desperation. “I know I need help. But not that kind. I’m not crazy. I’m lost and I’m alone and there is no one who will listen. Ah shit, Peter, you don’t even believe me.”
He looked at her face, now almost pure white, tears on her cheeks. He felt something for her—something he couldn’t put his finger on. It wasn’t a memory, though. That much he was sure. Peter kept his voice soft. “What you’re saying. It’s not possible.”
“I know it. Don’t you think I know it? But it’s happening. God, Peter, it’s happening and I don’t know what to do.”
“I'll get you help—” he reached for her, but she darted out of his reach, toward the back of the room by the coffee pot.
“I know you have a birthmark on your left hip,” she whispered. “I know your mom died when you were four. Shit, Peter, you take your coffee with milk in the morning. You like your eggs scrambled and hate them fried. Doesn’t that mean something?"
He nodded. “Yeah. It means you might be dangerous, too.”
She knew about his birthmark? His mom?
The sound she made sounded something like despair and she turned away from him, her face lowered.
The door behind him opened and Peter turned, his jaw dropping.
Kenneth Mackenzie stood in the doorway, the knob still in his hand.
Peter stared at him. "What the hell are you doing here?”
“I thought I might be needed,” Kenneth said in his calm voice, the touch of Scotland still lining the edges.
Peter shook his head in disbelief. What he didn’t need now was his eccentric father walking in on the show. “Not now, Dad.”
Peter looked back at the woman in the far corner, she hadn’t turned toward them. He didn’t have time for her. He didn’t have time for his father. Wasn’t there a serial killer he was supposed to be catching instead of dealing with this shit?
Kenneth stepped into the room, closing the door behind him.
“Alexandra?” he said.
The woman spun so fast, Peter was shocked she didn’t tumble over. Peter saw her eyes go wide, her mouth hanging open as the words formed almost silently on her lips.
“You know me?” she whispered.
How the hell had his Dad done that?
Kenneth ignored his only son and walked over to her, talking as he went. "Of course I know you.”
He spread his arms when he reached her. She didn’t even hesitate to step into them and fall against the old man’s chest. Peter just stood back and watched her crumble. When her knees gave way and the sobs racked her body, Kenneth went with her to the floor, holding her tight, rocking her as the pride completely evaporated. Peter stared blankly at them both.
Magic Man Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
by Jacqui Jacoby
Dead Men Book One
For a hundred years, Ian Stuart has fought the monster controlling his life. Living as a human among humans, he wants to fill the void that has followed him from one empty, lonely relationship to another other.
Ashley Barrow is working the worst murder case in Davenport, Oregon's history. She needs a drink to forget the detailed images in mind.
When she walks into Ian's pub, Ian knows their lives are about to change, if only for a short while. Vampire and human, their relationships can only last so long.
But an enemy from Ian's past has his own agenda about their future. His sadistic revenge changes Ashley forever, leaving Ian and his long time friends — Travis, Jason, Quinn, and Evan — desperate to ease her into her new life and find a way to defeat their enemy.
Genre: Paranormal RomanceDead Men Play the Game Purchase links:
Content/Theme(s): Vampires, Suspense, Thriller
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Publisher: Body Count Productions
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Dead Men Play the Game Excerpt:
She got three steps when the figures appeared in front of her on the walkway. Two men. One blond. One dark. One shorter than the other, both smiling at her with smiles defying reality and eyes a weird shade in the dark.
She stopped and stared at them.
“Hey Stuart,” the blond said.
She took a step back as they came forward and felt alone and defenseless.
Behind them, several friends came in the gate creating a barrier of what looked like bad.
Ian’s hand slammed down on her shoulder, yanking her back further than she could imagine, shoving her behind him.
“Walter?” Ian gasped. His tone said shocked. “Max?”
“You will never guess who I ran into while I was in San Francisco,” the dark man said. “Had all sorts of questions.”
“Oh, you son-of-a-bitch,” Ian said, moving backwards, forcing distance between her and them.
“That is one damn fine looking broad,” Max said. “Where the hell did you pick up something with that kind of class who can give blow jobs, too?”
Ash paled. Ian took steps back, forcing her to move with him.
“Fuck,” Ian muttered. “So you’re new best friends. How sweet. Looks like you might have something on your mind. Want to say it and go?”
“Their faces,” she whispered.
“I know, honey,” he said, touching her hand as he moved backwards slowly pushing her toward the house. She looked over her shoulder. They were never going to make it.
The man out in front spoke. “Friends is a strong word. Once you get kicked in the balls by the best you had, you look at what comes next at little more leery.”
Ian spoke to the crowd while moving them back. “Maybe what you had isn’t what you thought because I can guarantee you never had anything that you think you did and I couldn’t have made it more obvious at the time if I tried. But Max, it didn’t work out but when you left, you left a friend.”
“Ran out of money. He’s got lots.”
The man he called Walter sniffed the air.
“She’s human,” Walter said.
Ian backed up further. He was bigger than her, blocking her view with his wide shoulders.
“What the hell is going on?” she whispered.
“Right now,” Ian said, talking slow. “There are a shitload more of them then there are of me and we’re fucked unless someone inside looks out a window.”
“Shit,” she mumbled.
Looking down, she noticed the bulge in his back jean pocket. Smiling a little hope, she pulled out his cell phone and speed dialed three. Speed dial three was Travis. And a second later, she heard Travis answer. She whispered soft against Ian’s shirt.
“What?” Travis asked.
“Now,” she whispered and the phone went dead.
“Who are these people?” she asked, peering around Ian.
“Guy on the right is Walter Bennett. Asshole. Guy on the left, Max Garcia. Also an asshole. The rest, who gives a fuck?”
“Hi,” the dark haired man—Max--said. He wore round tortoise shell glasses that actually would have looked good on his handsome face if she didn’t hate his guts already.
“We haven’t met formally, but I hear you hang out here a lot.” He looked up at the house. “It was always nice here. My room was in the basement but it wasn’t bad. I liked it.”
“What?” Ash gasped.
“Is she on the menu?” the man to Walter’s right said. “We haven’t had a bite all day and could sure use a little pick me up.”
“She’s mine,” Ian said surprising Ash. Break-ups tended to relinquish possession. “Want to try to get near her?”
“Yeah,” Walter said. “Planning on marrying her from what I understand. You finally found someone to match up to that idiotic list that kept you dateless for decades.”
“What are you talking about?” Ian said.
“You remember a pretty face,” Max said. “You told her you were going to marry Ashley.”
“Not an idea I’m opposed to but I never said that,” Ian said.
A woman walked into the backyard by the same gate, moving slow to stand by Walter, a hand on his shoulder.
“Sharron? Miss Monte Cruz?”
“Yeah,” Max said.
“Picked her up in Phoenix, if you can believe that. Can you imagine living down there with our skin condition?”
She purred in Ian’s direction. “We could have had so much fun. Goodnight Kisses are so sweet.”
“A trap, Walter?” Ian snapped. “You set a fucking trap for me?”
“Yeah, should have known better. Pick-ups never worked.”
“What the hell was supposed to happen? Me go back to the hotel and then what?”
Walter laughed. “You never would have made it to the hotel.”
The backdoor slammed back against the house. Ash looked to see Travis charge through the yard with Quinn and Evan. There was no denying the balance of power shifted.
Travis grabbed her by the arm rough, yanking her away from Ian and tossing her at the stairs, away from the crowd. “We got this. Get in the house, Ashley. And close the door.”
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More Jacqui Jacoby on Cover Reveals
Be on the lookout for Jacqui Jacoby's future release(s): Dead Men Seal the Deal coming Feb 2016
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