The Extraction List by Renee N. Meland

Excerpt:

Sometimes a killer can save a life. In this case that life happened to be mine. I

wish I had met him before the whole mess started. Maybe he could have saved more of

us.

Maybe he could have saved us all.

I met the man who saved my life exactly one month after he killed his twentieth

person. Of course he didn’t call it “murder,” he called it surviving, though sometimes I

thought he should try to explain the difference to the people buried in the ground. To me,

one label didn’t necessarily cancel out the other.

***

One of my teachers used to say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Trust me, I knew all about it; I called that road “mother.” That teacher never mentioned

what the road back was made with. I figured it was because nobody’d ever found one.

Hell sort of struck me as a one-way-ticket kind of thing.

The night the Taskforce showed up on our doorstep, my mom screamed. After

my brother Aidan’s death, then Dad leaving, hearing her carrying on like a crazy person

wasn’t exactly new and different. I didn’t even flinch at first. I figured maybe she was

missing my dad all the way to the bottom of a tequila bottle—again.

After a couple minutes though I slammed my copy of Crime and Punishment shut

and left my room. I took my sweet time going downstairs to see her, hoping to hold on to

the little bit of normal I’d had just seconds earlier. I stopped by the bathroom and grabbed

a giant bottle of aspirin. Just in case.

Then I decided I was kidding myself. I knew better. There was no way she

wouldn’t need aspirin.

“Riley! Get your stuff! We have to leave right now!” I ducked as Mom greeted me

with a scene full of flying paper, jackets, and a few photo albums. They seemed to spin

like a paper and plastic tornado, twirling through the air and landing unevenly in a giant

duffel bag spread open at her feet. Even in the chaos I paused for a second to wonder how

Mom’s hair managed to stay fastened perfectly in place. The image in front of me looked

almost ordinary, a beautiful blonde woman in a fitted black skirt, white blouse, and hair

pinned back in a bun, with a briefcase resting just inside the door.

Except this woman had thrown half our living room into orbit.

“Mom, what’s going on? What happened?”

Mom grabbed me by the shoulders and stared right into my eyes. “We need to

leave right now, okay? I need you to not ask questions and just go pack a bag. You

need to just trust me and do what I tell you, okay? And do NOT come downstairs

until I say so.” Mom didn’t blink. I remembered the last time she didn’t blink during

a whole conversation: When she told me that she and Dad needed to “work on their

communication.” I found out later that was Mom-speak for “Dad’s about to abandon us

and slam the door for the last time.”

I suddenly wished for the empty tequila bottle.

“You are my life.” Mom kissed my forehead, and I ran up the stairs. I didn’t come

down again until I heard the gunshots. At fifteen, I was all too familiar with the sound.

A person was never too young to know the snap of a gun anymore. But it was different

coming from our house, like a firecracker going off inside my brain.

When I got to the entryway, a pool of blood belonging to a man in a gray suit

tried to hold my shoes to the floor. The sticky mess grabbed the soles of my sneakers

and smelled like raw steak fresh out of the plastic wrap. I winced as I stepped through it

toward my mom. A pink piece of paper rested on top of the pool, slowly flooding with

the dark red liquid. Bo, my mom’s best friend, had appeared too. Pistol smoke swirled

gently from the tip of his weapon.

It wasn’t the blood, but the paper that made me scream. I felt the color drain

from my cheeks, and I wondered if I looked as white as the dead man lying on our floor.

“What the hell is going on? Is that pink paper what I think it is?”

Mom ignored my question. I hated being ignored more than anything, especially

by her. But since there was a dead body involved, I figured I’d make an exception.

“Oh my GOD—you KILLED him!” Mom screamed, and in all her stick-thin

glory started flailing her arms, hitting Bo with the strength of a flightless bird. Her bony

fists bounced off his body as if his chest were made of rubber. If it hadn’t been a murder

scene, it would have been kind of funny.

“Are you SURE? I saw him push you and I panicked. Maybe he’s just wounded.”

Thank God Bo didn’t panic more often.

Mom took a deep breath and stepped through the blood. She gently picked up

the man’s hand and placed two fingers on his wrist. When she released it, her fingertips

were stained red. “Yes. He’s dead.” She made a grand gesture, starting at his head and

finishing toward his feet. “That’s what dead people look like. What are we going to do?”

My hands shook, partially from fright and partially because no one would tell me

why there was a dead guy in the entryway.

Or why he had the pink slip of paper.

Bo grabbed Mom by the shoulders and held her still. “Claire, we’re going to grab

Riley and we’re going to get out of here before more people come looking for this guy.

I’ll tell you the plan on the way.”

Mom scoffed at him with wide eyes. “Plan? I don’t need your plan. I’m going to

go straight to President Gray about this and he’s going to fix it. He has to.”

A twinge of hope rose inside me, working its way up from the tips of my toes to

the top of my head. Maybe we wouldn’t have to leave our home after all. Maybe our little

visit was just a really complicated, really messy misunderstanding. “Yeah, Mom’s right.

I’m sure he’ll fix this. I can’t actually be on the Extraction List, right, Mom?”

“Of course not. There’s no way.”

Mom started toward the door, but Bo stepped in front of her.

“Claire, you saw the paperwork with your own eyes. Gray knows all about this.

His signature is there.” He pointed to the guy on the floor. “This guy was going to grab

your daughter. We need to go right now.” Bo took Mom by the hand and dragged her out

the door.

I hesitated, frozen in the growing pool of red. Sweat broke out on my forehead,

and it wasn’t because of the crippling D.C. heat. If I was on the Extraction List, I was

supposed to end up like all those other people from my class, the ones who the Taskforce

grabbed right from their desks. Those were the ones who disappeared. Since Mom had

written the law that the Taskforce was responsible for enforcing, I never thought that I

would ever be a target. Politics was all about protecting its stars, and there was no bigger

star than my mother.

But that little pink piece of paper could only mean one thing. I forced myself to

look down at it. I searched the document, eyes falling on the bottom right corner. It was

faded, stretched by the blood into an unnatural shape, but it was there—the President of

the United States’ signature.

I grabbed the bag Mom had been trying to pack and zipped it shut. I swung my

own bag over my shoulder and followed Mom and Bo out of our house, hoping that I

would someday be able to come back. But deep down, I knew we were about to drive

away forever.

 



The Extraction List
Book 1
Renee N. Meland
Genre: Dystopian, SciFi Thriller
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Date of Publication: April 7th, 2015
Number of pages: 216
Word Count: 54,000
Cover Artist: Redbird Designs
Book Description:
When fifteen-year-old Riley Crane finds out her best friend Olivia is being abused at home, she knows just who to turn to: her mother Claire, writer and spokesperson for President Gray’s Parental Morality Law. Under this law, Task Force Officers remove children from their homes if their parents do not meet certain guidelines, taking them to government-run boarding schools. Once they arrive, supervisors rehabilitate them, turning them into productive members of society. Or at least that was how it was supposed to work…
Now, after a government official threatens to make Riley the law’s latest victim, Riley and Claire must rely on Cain Foley, a gifted killer with a tongue as sharp as the knives he carries, to get them out of America alive. Though he slices through men’s necks as if they are warm butter, Riley can’t seem to keep her cheeks from flushing every time he speaks. But when they stumble upon a deserted boarding school, Riley sees that escaping the country is only part of their problem. Together, Riley and Cain figure out that a killer can save a life, and a mother can damn a nation

 

Available at Amazon
About the Author:
Renee N. Meland lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite obsessions are Rome, learning new recipes, and exploring the world around her. She is an avid reader of speculative fiction, and believes that telling stories is the best job in the world.
Twitter @reneenmeland
Facebook:

Duke by Candace Blevins

 

Duke
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club
Book 1  
Candace Blevins
Genre: Motorcycle Club, Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Excessica
Date of Publication:  April 24, 2015
Word Count:  105,000 words
Cover Artist:  Syneca Featherstone
Book Description:
Book one of the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club…
Duke’s friend’s little sister had been off limits when they were growing up, but Gen is all woman now, with the sexiest curves ever. However, bringing her into his life now, as the new Rolling Thunder chapter establishes itself as a powerhouse in Chattanooga, would put her in danger.
Gen has no idea she already knows one of the bikers until she arrives to show them some downtown properties they’re looking to buy.
They live in different worlds, and despite being a successful businesswoman, Gen has led a sheltered life. She wears couture, while Duke wears Levi jeans and his MC colors on a black leather vest. Not to mention, he’s a werewolf and she’s a blissfully unaware human. Can two people, so different, possibly work?
Warning: Graphic sex, and a controlling, drop-dead gorgeous werewolf who happens to be president of a motorcycle club.
This book is also part of the Kirsten O’Shea Universe,
but reading the other series in Kirsten’s Universe is not  necessary in order to enjoy the Motorcycle Club books

 

About the Author:
Candace Blevins lives with her husband of 17 years and their two daughters. When not working or driving kids all over the place she can be found reading, writing, meditating, or swimming.
Candace writes BDSM  Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and a smokin’ hot Motorcycle Club series.
Her Safeword Series gives us characters who happen to have some extreme kinks. Relationships can be difficult enough without throwing power exchange into the mix, and her books show characters who care enough about each other to fight to make the relationship work. Each book in the Safeword series highlights a couple with a different BDSM issue to resolve. Books are standalone and can be read in any order, with the exception of the two Davenport books, and the four Matte books.
Her urban fantasy series, Only Human, gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, three different species of vampires, as well as a variety of other mythological beings exist.
Candace’s paranormal romance series, The Chattanooga Supernaturals, is a sister series to the Only Human series, and gives some secondary characters their happily ever after.
You can visit Candace on the web at candaceblevins.com and feel free to friend her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/candacesblevins  and Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/CandaceBlevins .
You can also join www.facebook.com/groups/CandacesKinksters  to get sneak peeks into what she’s writing now, images that inspire her, and the occasional juicy blurb.
Newsletter signup — http://eepurl.com/W_Cij
Feel free to join Candace’s Kinksters — https://www.facebook.com/groups/CandacesKinksters/

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Hour 18 Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Challenge

read-a-thon2

Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Hour 18 Mini-Challenge!  I hope that you are having a lot of fun with the read-a-thon and glad you decided to come by for a break and fun!  So without further ado…The challenge for the hour is to share some of your best from your reading year and why.  The idea is to pick at least 3 of the categories below and share your favorites and why.  Hopefully, everyone will discover a new author..book…or maybe even genre.

Best Book of Your Reading Year

Best Romance Book of Your Reading Year

Best YA Book of Your Reading Year

Best New Adult Book of Your Reading Year

Best Mystery Book of Your Reading Year

Best Non-Fiction Book of Your Reading Year

Best Sci-Fi Book of Your Reading Year

Best Fantasy Book of Your Reading Year

Best Children’s Book of Your Reading Year

Best Fiction Book of Your Reading Year

Best Main Character of Your Reading Year

Best Author of Your Reading Year

Best Supporting Character of Your Reading Year

Best Cover of Your Reading Year

Best Character You Love To Have of Your Reading Year

Best Setting of Your Reading Year

Best Story Line of Your Reading Year

Best Indie Author of Your Reading Year

Or anything else your want to tell us the Best of Your Reading Year

Be sure that you share the book title and author.  Share as much or as little as you want.  Come back here and post the link to your answers in the comments.  If you do not have a blog, just leave your answers here.  This mini challenge will run through hour 21 so think about it and have some fun with it!

A randomly selected winner will be chosen from all of the entries.  The winner may choose a prize from the main site: http://24hourreadathon.com/. The winner will  fill out the form noting that they are an hourly challenge winner and the name of the challenge.

 

So get out there and get sharing!