CHAPTER BLITZ: THE MURDER COMPLEX by Lindsay Cummings

MurderComplex

Today we are revealing chapter one from THE MURDER COMPLEX by Lindsay Cummings. For a very limited time, you can get THE MURDER COMPLEX ebook for just $1.99!

 

 

BOOK SUMMARY:

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

 

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Chapter One

MEADOW

It is the key to survival, the key to life. My father’s old dagger.
“Peri!” I call out over the waves to my little sister. An old can bobs up and down in the water, mesmerizing me for a moment. Beyond the Shallows, the sea is packed with boats. Some of them are still afloat, with their masts stretching like arms to the sky. Others are half-submerged, shipwrecked and covered with moss.
Among the boats are other things. Old tires, half of a rusted car, plastic. A body lies facedown in the waves, her hair spread out like seaweed.
Behind me, in the city, the Night Siren wails. It starts low, then whoops higher and back down again. Everyone on the beach hurries into the shadows, knowing all too well what happens when the sun goes down.
It isn’t safe anymore. I call out to Peri again. “It’s time to go!”
She holds up a tiny hand and gives me the signal: two grubby little fingers held high above her head.
Two minutes. It is always two more minutes with her.
The sun is sinking, a massive orange ball melting into the sea. It sets fire to the sky, and everything is dancing in colors. Reds, oranges, yellows. It reminds me of blood, it reminds me of my mother.
Peri comes running up to me, kicking a spray of sand behind her. “I found a periwinkle!” she squeaks, sounding like a startled seagull. “Like me!”
“Yeah? Let’s see it.” I cast a glance over my shoulder, at the few people who still litter the beach, before kneeling down to her level. Peri’s big gray eyes, the color of sea foam, widen as she places the tiny shell in my outstretched palm. It’s twisty and fat, with a sharp point at the top. A mollusk sticks out. Though it has barely enough meat for anyone to eat, I’m still tempted to shove it into my pocket. But somehow the Initiative would find out. As sure as the tide comes and goes, the Initiative will always discover our secrets.
“It’s a good one,” I say, smiling down at her. “But we can’t keep it.”
The thick black numbers tattooed onto her forehead crease in frustration. 72050. Peri’s Catalogue Number, just one number different from mine. Our barcodes show the Initiative where we are, who we are, every moment of our lives. As Peri grows, it will grow, and it will never fade or wrinkle because of the healing nanites we all have in our blood.
“Tell you what.” I point the tip of my dagger toward the shell. “We’ll mark it. That way, next time you find it, you’ll remember.” I etch a small heart into the side of the shell. It’s crooked, and hardly legible. I drop the mollusk on the sand, let the waves take it away. Peri smiles triumphantly. She’s a miniature version of me. Silver hair that hangs in loose curls to her waist. Like our mother’s.
“Okay, time to go.” She grabs my hand and tows me along the sand, humming the tune to an old lullaby under her breath. Soft, so no one but the two of us can hear it. Peri knows the value of silence in the Shallows.
At the far end of the beach, a jetty of large rocks juts out into the ocean. Waves crash on the rocks, and we get soaked, but it doesn’t matter. The heat of the summer clings to me like fog.
Peri goes first, clambering on hands and feet up the jetty and over to the other side. I climb down after her and my breath catches in my throat.
Pirates.
They’ll do anything for extra Creds. The Initiative pays them to guard the shore and take care of minor problems, as well as find and report the citizens who break the four Commandments of the Shallows.
Commandment One: Honor the Initiative.
Commandment Two: Thou shalt not attempt to cross the Perimeter.
Commandment Three: Honor the Silent Hour.
Commandment Four: Thou shalt not harbor useful items from the days Before.
“Pay up,” one of the Pirates says. He stands from his spot by a blazing campfire. They are cooking fish.
We could never afford an entire fish. Whatever we gather is sent to the Rations Department, and mixed and pureed with other nutrient-rich foods for distribution.
“We don’t want any trouble tonight,” I say. I press Peri closer to my side. “We just want to get to our boat.”
The Pirate laughs, and the two men with him join in. They are all covered in tattoos. One of them has an Initiative tattoo—an open, unblinking eye—on his neck, just below his chin. “You want to go to sea, little girl, you gotta pay.”
My hand finds the dagger on my thigh. There are only three of them. If I were alone, I could end this at once. But Peri tugs on my shirt, and I see the fear in her eyes. I cannot risk her safety. Not now, when the Dark Time is so close. And I have nothing to give the Pirates, nothing to buy us passage.
But Peri does.
She wears a pair of too-large tennis shoes, and the laces are still intact. Something like that is precious, and it kills me that I will be the one to take them from her.
“I’ll give you the laces,” I tell the Pirates, pointing at Peri’s feet. “Then you’ll let us go.”
The largest man lets out a whistle. His breath is rotten. “I’m feeling generous tonight, little girl. Next time, you better come prepared. Understood?”
I nod my head. “Next time you might not get away with your life.”
He thinks it’s a joke.
I stoop to untie the laces. Peri frowns, but does not cry.
She’s strong, my little sister.
The Pirates snatch the laces and go back to their fish, laughing. Peri and I pass safely and run down the beach. We yank the palm fronds and seaweed from our boat. It is a tiny dinghy, large enough for only two people. I quickly untie the line, push the boat into the waves, and we leave the shore behind.
“Meadow? Will we eat tonight?” Peri asks me as I row, weaving through the maze of waste and litter. The wind blows her hair back from her face, and I notice how her cheekbones stick out, how her eyes are slightly sunken. She’s losing more weight.
“Yes.” I nod, looking away. The way she’s studying me, as if I am the only thing in the world worth loving, makes my heart fill with guilt. If she only knew what I do to make sure she can eat. To make sure that all of us survive.
Two miles from shore, I stop and stare out at the black sea, feeling my shoulders burn from the effort of rowing. The dinghy bumps up against our houseboat. It is quiet here, a still night, the waves lapping the boat, the same way they always have. When my mother was murdered, I thought the world would end with her. But it goes on.

MurderComplex_SALE

PURCHASE LINKS:

MurderComplex

THE MURDER COMPLEX ($1.99)

Amazon:  amzn.to/1O7lTno

B&N: bit.ly/1CHXvls

Kobo:  bit.ly/1O7m3ee

iTunes: apple.co/1Ev62OH

 

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20960464

THE FEAR TRIALS (The Murder Complex, #0.5)

Amazon: amzn.to/1aKBRqK

B&N: bit.ly/1FOpAfu

Kobo: bit.ly/1zaAQhF

iTunes:  apple.co/1FGQXef

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22836576

THE DEATH CODE (The Murder Complex, #2)

Amazon:  amzn.to/1FGQokN

B&N:  bit.ly/1FOpbtC

Indiebound: bit.ly/1zaAwPY

iTunes:  apple.co/1yoKHWc

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

LindsayCummings

Lindsay Cummings is the 24-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX series from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, can’t get enough of her two pesky German Shepherds, wolf cub, and two horses. She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on twitter @authorlindsayc

Author Links:
Blog: http://www.lindsaycummingsbooks.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorlindsayc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindsay.cummings.758
Author Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5805483.Lindsay_Cummings

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On Sale: UNTIL YOU FIND ME by Amber Hart

UNTIL YOU FIND ME by Amber Hart is on sale for a limited time only – be sure to grab Raven & Jospin’s story now for just .99c!

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About UNTIL YOU FIND ME: 

In this steamy, electrifying novel, Amber Hart pushes contemporary romance to its wildest limits as a young woman travels halfway across the globe—and discovers the place where her heart belongs.

Raven has no idea what to expect when she travels to Africa in search of answers about her family’s past. A twenty-year-old college student from Michigan, she’s never seen anything like the beautiful, treacherous jungles of Cameroon. But nothing takes her breath away like Jospin. As soon as Raven meets the charismatic and intense young hunter, she’s instantly hooked.

Clever, rugged, and fearless, Jospin makes his living from the perils of the jungle. But falling in love with Raven could be the most dangerous thing he’s ever done. The heir to a powerful poaching empire, he holds the key to unlocking the secrets of Raven’s legacy. If she asks the wrong questions, his answers could get them both killed. And yet each and every moment spent holding Raven in his arms is worth the risk.

Raven’s getting closer to the truth. Jospin’s at the point of no return. Their chemistry is out of control, and when they forge a bond that goes beyond blood, desire will take them into uncharted territory.

Add it to Goodreads here!

About Amber Hart

Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of the Before & After series (BEFORE YOU; AFTER US), and the Until You Find Me series (UNTIL YOU FIND ME; CAPTURED BY YOU). Rep’d by Beth Miller of Writers House. 

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Marie Force’s The McCarthys of Gansett Island Series #1-3 Box Set Sale

Holy moly we hope you’re ready for this sale. Get your one click trigger finger ready because this sale is for The McCarthys of Gansett Island Series. The McCarthys of Gansett Island is a New York Times Bestselling Contemporary Romance series, and this deal is phenomenal!! The McCarthys of Gansett Island #1-3 Box Set is on sale for just $.99 for a limited time only!   That’s right all THREE books for just 99 pennies!!

McCarthys Boxed Set Cover

About The McCarthys of Gansett Island #1-3 Box Set:

With more than 1.5 million ebooks sold since Maid for Love debuted in 2011, the New York Times bestselling McCarthys of Gansett Island Series has become one of the most beloved romance series available today. Read the first three books in the series: Maid for Love, Fool for Love and Ready for Love in this special offering.

Book 1: Maid for Love
Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island, a place that has brought her only bad memories and ugly rumors. Then she’s knocked off her bike on the way to her housekeeping job at McCarthy’s Resort Hotel by Gansett’s “favorite son,” Mac McCarthy. He’s back in town to help his father with preparations to sell the family resort and has no intention of staying long. When Mac accidentally sends Maddie flying over the handlebars, badly injuring her, he moves in to nurse her back to health and help care for her young son. He soon realizes his plans for a hit-and-run visit to the island are in serious jeopardy, and he just may be “maid” for love.

Book 2: Fool for Love
Joe Cantrell, owner of the Gansett Island Ferry Company, has been in love with Janey McCarthy for as long as he can remember. At the same time, Janey has been dating or engaged to doctor-in-training David Lawrence. When things go horribly wrong between David and Janey, she calls her “fifth brother” Joe, one of the few people in her close circle who lives on the mainland. Janey decides a few days with Joe is just what she needs before she goes home to the island to face her parents and family with the news of her broken engagement. It was bad enough for Joe loving Janey from afar, but having her in his house is pure torture. Will he take advantage of this opportunity to show her what they could have together? And what will Joe’s best friend and Janey’s protective older brother Mac have to say about it?

Book 3: Ready for Love
For four of the best summers of his young life, Luke Harris was in love with Sydney Donovan, a wealthy seasonal visitor to Gansett Island. Then Sydney went off to college and never came back. She married another man and had two children while Luke remained on the island, working at McCarthy’s Gansett Marina and wondering what had gone wrong between him and the only woman he ever loved. Fifteen months after Sydney suffers the tragic loss of her husband and children, she’s returned to Gansett to figure out what’s next, and that may very well be a rekindled love affair with the one man from her past she’s never forgotten. But is she ready for a second chance at love?

The story picks up with Book 4, Falling for Love, with eight other Gansett Island stories available in the series and more to come from the island!

“With the McCarthy’s of Gansett Island, Marie Force makes you believe in the power of true love and happily ever after. Over and over again.” Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Serendipity series.

 

McCartthys Boxed Set Teaser

Order your copy of McCarthys of Gansett Island Boxed Set now!

US
Kindle  |  Nook  |  iBooks  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  

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UK
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Australia
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Author PhotoABOUT MARIE FORCE:

With more than 3 million books sold, Marie Force is the New York TimesUSA Today andWall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author of more than 30 contemporary romances. Her New York Times bestselling self-published McCarthys of Gansett Island Series has sold more than 1 million e-books since Maid for Love was released in 2011. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press, as well as the Treading Water Series and numerous stand-alone books. All You Need is Love, book 1 in her new Green Mountain Series from Berkley Sensation, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller in February. The second book, I Want to Hold Your Hand, will be out in June, and the third book,I Saw Her Standing There, is coming in November. In 2014, Marie will have eight mass-market print releases—the first five Fatal Series books from Harlequin and the first three Green Mountain Series books from Berkley. While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie.

                                                             

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Courtney Cole’s GUARDIAN Release Day Launch

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We are absolutely over the moon excited about the Release Day Launch for Courtney Cole’s GUARDIAN!!! GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance, and a book close to Courtney’s heart. Not only is this fabulous book back in a big way, it’s Courtney’s birthday! To celebrate all of the awesome she is making a few select titles only .99 TODAY ONLY! Grab them all and thank us later.

Guardian

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GUARDIAN Synopsis:

Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real. 

My name is Whitney Lane.  I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think.  There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t.  I don’t know what to think anymore.  I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

 Guardian Available now

 

Excerpt:

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real. 

Happy birthday to me. 

I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life.

It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me.

I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket.  Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.

My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion.

3:00 a.m.

As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.

In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.

I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.

As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.

Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it.  And there are no trees near enough to brush against it.  It was just a dream.

It was only a dream.

I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.

A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature.

I notice because I can see my breath.

Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air.

Holy crap.  Oh my God. 

What the hell?

The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.

Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall.  They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move.

My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move.   I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it.  Something terrifying.

With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed.

The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow.

I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat.  Because that’s the only explanation.  I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down.

But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction.

74 degrees.

It must be broken.  It has to be broken.

My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants.

My fear isn’t logical.  I know there’s nothing here.  I’m the only one in this room.

Or am I?

The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real.  Something unseen.

My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight.  I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor.  I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down.

The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance.

I struggle to focus, to see what it is.

But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20.

Twenty degrees?

The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe.

All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me.  It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules.  It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black.

Something is here.

With me. 

“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff.  Because what else could it be?

I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision.   The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain.

Then there’s nothing.

 To celebrate the release of GUARDIAN and Courtney’s birthday the following books are on sale for .99, today only!

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GUARDIAN
Confessions of an Alli Cat
Dante’s Girl
Mia’s Heart
The Minaldi Legacy
Soul Kissed
Soul Bound

HeadshotABOUT COURTNEY COLE:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

 

 

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