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Ghost Agents: Revelations Excerpt

Excerpt from Ghost Agents: Revelations

“I know those men,” Aaron said from behind Claire as they entered the room. His voice was barely above a whisper. “They’re the Syndicate operatives I’ve been working with the last few weeks. The big one is named Draper and the other one is Galvan.” He frowned at Claire. “They’re bad news.”

Claire studied the two men. There wasn’t anything particularly menacing about them or their demeanor. If it wasn’t for the oily feel of the projection energy surrounding them, Claire wouldn’t have known there was anything unusual about them at all.

“Miss Abelard,” the man named Draper said. “We were hoping you’d find your way here tonight.” 

Claire kept her distance. “You’ve been waiting for us?” 

The other man nodded. “Well, we’ve been waiting for you.” He smiled at Aaron. “Thank you for bringing her to us.”

Claire whirled around to face Aaron. “You ass!” she hissed.

Aaron threw his hands up in a defensive gesture. “I swear, I didn’t set you up. I had no idea they were going to be here.” He motioned to the Syndicate operatives. “Draper, tell her!”

The two men looked at each other. “As much as I hate to let this little weasel off the hook,” Draper said, “it’s true. He didn’t know anything about our plans tonight.”

Galvan smirked. “And that wasn’t by accident.” He looked at Aaron. “We knew once you had made contact with her, it would only be a matter of time before you led her to us.” 

“Beyond that,” Draper added, “you’re really of no use to us whatsoever.”

Aaron glared at him. “I told you everything I know about the Bureau.” 

Draper laughed. “You don’t even know enough to know how much you don’t know about the Bureau.” 

Aaron looked confused, but he didn’t have long to figure out what the man meant. Claire watched in horror as Galvan removed a handgun from a shoulder holster and shot Aaron in the stomach.  

Claire gasped. Drew took a step toward the two men but stopped short when a half dozen translucent forms floated into the room. It was Jean Lafitte and his pirate crew. Their energy carried that oily feel Claire was becoming accustomed to, and their vacant expressions confirmed they were clearly under the influence of Beguiling Acuity. 

“Well, we wanted to find Jean Lafitte,” Jeff said unenthusiastically.

“Their energy is gray,” Drew said as he took a step back so he was standing directly next to Claire. 

“And you must be Drew,” Draper said, his eyebrows raised. “We’ve heard about you as well. Not as gifted as Miss Abelard, I think, but potentially still useful in your own way.” The man turned his attention to Jeff. “This one, however, is of no use to us.” 

Without any warning, Jean Lafitte floated across the room, closing the distance before any of them could react. He wrapped his hands around Jeff’s neck and began to squeeze. Jeff had no way to defend himself against the attack.

“Jean,” Claire yelled, hoping her years of friendship with the pirate would somehow get through to him.

Jean didn’t loosen his grip. He didn’t even respond to Claire’s voice.

She tried to use Beguiling Acuity, but quickly realized it was no use. Whatever they had done to him, she couldn’t reach him.

She turned her attention back to the two Syndicate operatives. “Stop it!” 

The two men simply smiled at her, clearly enjoying themselves. 

She took a step toward Jean but stopped short when the remaining pirates began moving in her direction. They slowly encircled her and Drew but didn’t attack. Without needing to speak, she and Drew instinctively stood back-to-back, the best way to keep their eyes on all the pirates.

“I’m going to try to manipulate Jean’s energy,” Drew whispered over his shoulder.  

Claire nodded. He had been able to free Bettie from Vogel’s control at Ashton Villa. She prayed it would work now. 

Drew extended his hand slightly in Jean Lafitte’s direction. Claire could sense the moment he made the connection and for a brief instant she felt hope that they could get Jean back. Her hopes were quickly dashed, though, when Drew doubled over in pain. 

“Drew!” She bent down next to him, careful to keep her attention on the pirates slowly closing in around them. “What is it?” 

“There’s something wrong with their energy,” he told her through gritted teeth. 

She reached out to touch him but pulled her hand away quickly once she did. The malevolent chill that went down her spine told her all she needed to know. “You can’t manipulate it.” 

Drew shook his head. “Not without it affecting me, too.” 

Claire didn’t ask him to elaborate. He didn’t need to.

She glared at the two Syndicate agents. They seemed almost amused by the scene playing out in front of them.

She looked across the room to where Aaron was lying against the wall, a dark crimson pool forming on the wooden floor beneath him.  

A wave of anger began building inside her. 

She looked at Jeff, slowly having the life choked out of him by Jean Lafitte. 

She looked at Drew, who was now on one knee, doing his best to fight against whatever effects the strange energy was having on him. 

Finally, she looked back at the two Syndicate agents with their smug expressions.  

A familiar sensation began to stir inside her. This time, she was prepared for it. Remembering the advice Vogel had given her only days before, she closed her eyes and allowed the emotions and adrenaline to flow through her.

A warm glow began in the middle of her chest and grew.

Claire embraced it. She allowed all of her fear and frustration to well up inside of her until finally it forced its way out through every cell in her body…

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God’s Paper Boy: The Scott Nute Story

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“When God calls you to be an evangelist, you can’t do anything else…”

As a young boy delivering papers in a small town in Missouri, Scott Nute had no idea God had an amazing calling for his life.
Growing up as the child of an alcoholic father and as the victim of childhood sexual abuse, Scott searched for ways to numb his pain. His adolescent years saw him engaging in self-destructive behaviors before coming to Christ as a freshman in college. After a short stint as a minor-league baseball player, Scott surrendered to God’s call to be an evangelist, dedicating his life to sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As an adult, Scott has spent more than two decades working through the pain of the emotional and psychological wounds he suffered as a boy. Though the recovery process has been long and difficult, God has been faithful to bring Scott to a place of healing. As a portrait of redemption that only God can paint, Scott’s wounds have become an integral part of his ministry as he reaches out to help others who are hurting.
Scott’s story of redemption and recovery serves as a vivid reminder that God often chooses to use broken lives so His glory can shine more fully through the scars.

Now available in hardcopy and Kindle format from Amazon.com

Purchase God’s Paper Boy on Amazon.com

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ABNA update – Made it to Round 2!

I just found out that Project Lachesis made it to Round 2 of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in the category of General Fiction! Click here to check it out if you want to see the results!

The first round was based on the pitch (which you can read under the “Fiction” tab on this website). The next round will be based on an excerpt of the first 4000+ words of the novel. Now I just have to wait until April 14 to see if we’re moving on to Round 3.

If I make it, you can believe that I will start shamelessly promoting my entry! In Round 3, readers are asked to go to the website & download any of the entries they want, then post a review and rate the entry on a scale of 1-5. Based on these reviews, only 5 entries in each category will advance to the Semi-final Round.