Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Excerpt and Giveaway Shadowed by Ken Hughes


He can hear a whisper a block away… and can't remember why.

Open your mind, to a city where mystery chases up and down office back stairways, turns brother against brother, and plays out on frozen sidewalks where lives may be shattered if the enemy even looks at the ragged man passing by in the crowd—and even that man cannot guess what memory will be next to batter his mind.

Paul was no detective, no thief, only a student trying to get some distance from his father and brother. When he found himself marked by the power to enhance his senses, he had only that treacherous gift and what few tricks he dared to teach himself, to search for some explanation—or at least the chance to give it meaning by exposing a few petty corruptions.

Paul thought if he lived in poverty to keep his existence secret from the world, at least nobody could force him to use that gift as a weapon against others. But just when he thought he was untouchable, the last thing he expected shakes his world and drags him into the perils of his family, his power, and two women who each have a different claim on his life.

As Paul begins to play cat and mouse with enemies he can't even name, he must break every rule that's kept him alive, in every frantic chase and every gamble he makes to break his family free. And all the while, he knows his greatest enemy may still be what lies behind his own secrets.

If you think you know everything a paranormal thriller can do, take a closer look.


The pigeons moaned. It was the only word for their frantic cooing from the cardboard box he’d crammed them into. Even winter had its uses, at least it made the birds desperate enough for food that he could net half a dozen within walking distance of Quinn’s building. And as that brick shape came in sight, Paul stopped to pour more seed into the box to quiet the birds again.

He left the cooing box halfway up the block, in the alley behind the buildings, and moved forward to Open and study his target again. Same dog, same window and alarm, and he waited until he could just make out the guard still patrolling inside.

Alright then.

First, he walked under the window and along the alley, back and forth, scuffing his feet around until the still-light layer of snow looked as if a whole gang had marched through it; a clumsy camouflage, but he could hope the guard wouldn’t look too closely. And with any luck, this would be finished before enough snow fell over those to make his later tracks clear.

Then, he hefted the biggest discarded bottle he’d been able to find, and flung it straight through Quinn’s window.

An alarm shrilled and the dog exploded into barking, both sounds ringing down the streets through the window’s broken pane. The dog fell silent again, almost at once… too well-trained to keep going when nothing more was happening.

When the alarm cut off and Paul could hear the guard moving inside again, he darted up the block with the box of pigeons. Then he waited in the cold until the guard had made his sweep around the building and settled back inside. I thought some of those wires were in case someone broke the window. But that’s all I need for now.

He poured another helping of seed into his cardboard pigeon-coop and began easing the four-way overlap of the top flaps open. With all the care he could manage, he parted them just enough to reach both hands in—wishing he could use his thicker winter gloves when they pecked at him—and pulled out one struggling bird before closing the top again. He placed that pigeon in his second, smaller box, and carried it under his arm to the fire escape and up.

The dog stood right under the window, a brown and black brute that looked like a Doberman but seemed a bit heavier than most. It growled but didn’t bark yet, and for a moment Paul wondered if his plan would work.

Then he raised the box up to the high window-pane he’d smashed, and popped the pigeon through the hole.

The dog went mad. The bird beat its wings to catch itself in the air and fluttered around the room with the dog chasing it and barking in a frenzy. The animals hopped from one desk to another as the pigeon circled but couldn’t turn tightly enough to stay airborne within the walls…

Paul slid back down to the alley and ducked around the corner. He strained his hearing to focus past the barking and the echo of his memory, praying that the trick would work.

About the author:
Ken Hughes dreams of dark alleys and the twenty-seven ways people with different psychic gifts might maneuver around each corner. He grew up on comics and adventures before discovering Steven King and Joss Whedon, and he’s written for Mars mission proposals and medical devices, making him an honorary rocket scientist and brain surgeon. Ken has created the Unified Writing Field Theory and the Power Plays guide for characters and readers to manage paranormal abilities. Don’t get him started on puns.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


love to read said...

It sounds like a book that will make you think but tell a really good story at the same time

Unknown said...

Great giveaway :)

collenga said...

Sounds like a unique, exciting plot!