Sneak Read #2 of The List Conspiracy (and keep reading to the bottom for more news on the giveaway and when you can pre-order book 2!)
The conspiracy is exposed…
Caught in the crosshairs of two warring shadow governments with deep-rooted origins and far-reaching plans, Wallis soon realizes that she must uncover the hidden meaning behind the names on the list known as the Butterfly Project, or risk the lives of countless people.
Sneak Read #2 –
Ray was flipping through channels during a commercial when the doorbell rang.
He had hesitated and thought about calling out to Lily to get the door before he remembered she wasn’t living here anymore. A momentary pang of sadness came to rest in his belly. He wasn’t used to being alone and hadn’t tried very hard to get past it.
“Okay,” he muttered, slowly getting up from the couch, pushing up and out of the sagging middle to go look out the front window. Not too many people came by at night.
He pulled back just enough of the gauzy curtain in the family room to get a glimpse while checking to make sure the long strands of hair were in place on the top of his head. Three men in long coats bundled up against the cold stood on Ray’s front step, their gazes fixed on the front door.
A shiver went down Ray’s back shaking him hard enough to let go of the curtain. He took a step back trying to decide what to do as the doorbell rang again, this time accompanied by a sharp and rapid knocking.
“It can’t be,” he whispered.
He walked quickly to the front hall and reached inside the drawer of the small table for the key to the back door, scooping up the small thumb drive in the shape of a race car with the number three on the side. The knocking grew more insistent.
One step away from the door was the loose floorboard. He pried it open just enough to let the long thin USB device roll in and drop between the two layers.
Thank goodness, I was too lazy to fix that, he thought, gently pushing the board back into place until it was level with the rest of the floor.
He looked at the key still in his hand and considered scaling his back fence. The neighbor’s dog would quickly give him away.
“Who is it?” he called out, buying a little time to think.
“F.B.I., sir. Are you Ray Billings?”
Ray felt a sense of relief wash over him. It’s not them, he thought.
“Yes, just a second.”
Ray peered out of the peephole at the fish-eyed view of the men’s heads.
“Can you show me some I.D.?” he asked. The short man in front deftly reached inside of his coat and pulled out a thin leather wallet, flipping it open to reveal a gold badge.
Ray let out the breath he’d been holding and unlocked the front door. He stepped aside as the three men pushed past him into his house.
It wasn’t until the door shut that the first blow hit him. They hustled him quickly to his office, his feet barely touching the ground, before securing him to a chair.
“Where is it?” asked the shorter man who had shown him the badge.
“Are you really with the FBI?” Ray asked. It had never occurred to him that the list could spread that far. Another blow came swinging down.
“What did you do with it?” The little man didn’t seem to be angry; wasn’t yelling or gesturing at all. He asked the question quietly and gave Ray a moment to answer before hitting him with the butt of the gun again. It went on like that for minutes.
How long will this take to be over, he thought. His tongue darted to the corner of his mouth. Blood.
Ray knew his life was coming to an abrupt end. He let his arms sag against the ropes and let out a deep sigh.
An unhappy wife, too many bills, an occasional twinge that made him wonder what might be going wrong just underneath the surface of his skin. It all seemed so pointless now. All that wasted time.
The butt of the gun swung down again, landing neatly against Ray’s right ear replacing the sounds of the three men ripping through the room with a round, expansive tone that rang in his head. The folds of his ear momentarily flattened out as his head snapped hard to the left, wrenching his neck.
His arms pulled hard against the ropes wrapped around his wrists holding him fast to the back of the dining room chair. His shoulders ached. There was a pause as the wooden chair teetered for a moment; his right foot taped to the leg that was hanging in the air before gravity pulled it all slowly, back down to rest.
He grunted, sweating hard to right himself back into a normal position, head on straight, chin up, shoulders down.
His eyes opened briefly, the lids barely raised, taking in the orderly trickle of red hitting his favorite shirt. It was soaked in large patterns of sweat and blood. A small white button, its face upturned where his belly hung out over his belt, held a drop of blood that was slowly seeping through the four tiny holes, staining the white threads.
Round, even drops fell onto the neatly pressed pocket from the tip of a long lock of misplaced brown hair. It bothered Ray to know he’d be found with his bald spot exposed.
Panic came over him again, bile filling his throat. He tried to focus instead on all the times he had worn the shirt, putting himself in another room with different people.
He took in another deep breath and let it seep out between his lips, surprising himself. Something inside of him let go and the panic subsided.
It’s almost done, he thought.
Knowing he was at the end was making it a little easier. He stopped trying to figure out when things might get a little better. It was all a downward spiral from here.
There’s a certain satisfaction in that, thought Ray.
The pain in his head momentarily subsided as Ray took another quick inventory of his body, squeezing his eyes shut so he wouldn’t see the end coming. He was sure the moment was upon him and he didn’t want to know the precise second there would be no more chances, nothing left to worry about or hope he might get someday.
Ray silently counted the seconds between each blow, trying not to throw up. Another minute passed. Poor Stanley, he thought, as he watched the blood continue to trickle down his shirt. But I can’t let it happen to the others.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
One of the other men looked up at the small man before going back to pulling out drawers and shaking books.
“You know he had it with him,” said the little man.
“Yeah, then find it. You’ve had your fun, move on.”
Ray let out a small nasally whimper, his mouth quivering as he tasted the blood dripping from his swollen lips. “The Lord is my Shepherd,” he whispered, as he raised his head and opened his eyes for a moment just before a pillow exploded, its contents flying as his head slumped.
Can attorney, Wallis Jones find a way to uncover the truth and expose the real powers before more lives are lost? Or will she lose the one case that matters most?
Follow Wallis Jones in my heart-racing, oh my God, what if it’s true, new political thriller, The List Conspiracy – first in the Wallis Jones series! If you’re a fan of Dan Brown, Andy McNab, or Robert Ludlum then you’re not going to want to miss The List Conspiracy!
Check back on Wednesday to find out how to get a free download of The List Conspiracy and get started before the December 1st release date! Or sign up for the newsletter and get the link one day early on Tuesday, November 30th. Starting December 1st, order The List Conspiracy or read in Kindle Unlimited (KU) and pre-order The Traitor’s Revenge – Book Two in the series and keep the pages turning!