New Short Story Published on Amazon: Silent Warehouse

Jake Ramsey is on the run. At every turn, he has people who want to kill him.

After narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, Jake chases his attacker to a warehouse. Even though he suspects a trap, he follows the man inside. As Jake comes face to face with his would-be assassin, he is forced to decide how far he is willing to go to save his own life.

And how much destruction he’ll leave in his wake.

Jake looks into the abyss of his soul as he fights his way through. If you enjoy thrillers with twists and turns, this short story is for you. Pick up your copy today!

Sneak Peek

THE LIGHTNING ILLUMINATED THE alleyway before me as rain trickled from my hair, down my neck, and onto my back. For a moment I saw the way in front of me clearly, a trash bin to the left and empty pallets to the right.

Then it was gone, plunging into darkness as I wrapped my hand around my pistol, my finger itching for a target.

I stepped up against the wall to hide my profile while my eyes adjusted to the lower level of light.

I wouldn’t have been able to see at all if there hadn’t been a dim light halfway down the alley.

Keeping my pistol up, I used my shoulder to wipe away the rainwater from my face.

My instincts told me to flee, but I ignored them, knowing it was my paranoia doing the talking.

I shuffled forward, not caring that I went through a puddle as cold water seeped into my shoes. They were soaked anyway; I didn’t feel a difference.

I could see through the pallets and was certain Gary wasn’t hiding there. I was shortly on the other side of the trash bin and cleared that as well.

Where had the man gone? I wondered. How had he found me?

New Short Story Published on Amazon: Silent Warehouse was originally published on DAN DECKER

New Short Story: Red Survivor

The Red Survivor is on a critical peacekeeping mission to deliver an ambassador to negotiate the end of a war that has humanity on the brink of extinction.

When Captain John Marchant orders the ship to respond to a distress call, First Officer Nick Williams immediately challenges the captain’s order. Nick struggles to persuade Marchant that the effort is futile and they are best served by staying on course to deliver the ambassador.

Ships explode, tempers flare, and their vessel is put in danger as the two square off.

In the Red Survivor universe, this is a standalone space opera short story that focuses on the inherent tension between Marchant and Williams. Buy your copy today!

Sneak Peek

“Starships can’t slow from above the speed of light in the time you’re demanding.” I kept my voice even and calm, though I was explaining something any first-year cadet would have known. “Is it possible, sir, that you’re letting your feelings get in the way of your impeccable judgment?”

He usually responded well to flattery, but it only served to further agitate him. He moved to take a swing. I stepped back and brought up my arms to protect myself.

The blow never landed.

His fist stopped midair.

“You’re relieved of duty, Commander,” Marchant said, his voice bristling with emotion like a hot blade thrust into a cold bath.

New Short Story: Red Survivor was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 24

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

I ALMOST DROVE RIGHT past the mall and kept going. It would have been better for Kris if I did. She was way too involved as it was. But I thought of the kids, and that was what kept me going forward. 

I needed additional resources if I was going to track them down. Besides, I needed to ditch the car anyway because the drone had recorded everything that had happened and was following me. I’d turned my driver’s side mirror up to spot it but so far hadn’t had any luck.

I drove around the mall one time before I pulled into a parking garage. I’d never forgive myself if something happened to Kris. But I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t rescue the children. It was simple math, two lives against one.

My burner phone beeped as I pulled into the underground parking. Once I had parked, I saw I’d received a text from a number I didn’t recognize. It just said one word. Sorry.

I assumed it was Shannon texting me from a phone Diggon knew nothing about. Even though she’d made it obvious what she was doing, I didn’t know what to make of her apology.

The wound was too fresh. I supposed I should have been grateful she’d warned me but I wasn’t in the mood to think that way. Maybe once things had calmed down, I’d feel differently, but I was still trying to work my way out of the mess that she’d created for me.

Not bothering to respond, I left my car window unrolled and placed the keys on the dashboard. With a little luck, somebody would swipe the vehicle and throw DataRader off my scent for a few hours.

Blood Games – Episode 24 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 23


This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

I CAME TO A halt as soon as I turned. It was a dead end. Muttering a curse, I flipped around and saw the car had pulled up right outside the alleyway and that the front doors were opening. 

Rushing towards the driver I grabbed him by the arm, yanking him all the way out and ramming him up against the car while putting my pistol to the side of his head.

“Back away if you want him to live,” I said to the woman getting out of the other side of the car. 

Because it was Diggon chasing me, I had expected to recognize them from my time with Black Brick, but I did not.

The man I held at gunpoint looked familiar, but I was having a difficult time placing him. He hadn’t worked at Black Brick, I was certain of that, but I couldn’t say how I knew him.

“Back off,” the man said to the woman with a frown on his face that didn’t show much fear. He looked me in the eyes. “It doesn’t have to go this way.”

“Who are you? What do you want?”

“Easy,” said the dark-haired woman as she moved to come around from the other side of the car, thinking she was gaining something by getting closer to me. She had her hand at her side as if it rested on a holstered pistol. “Just calm down.” Her voice sounded familiar, so I took a closer look while jabbing my gun into the man’s neck.

“You’re the woman who almost chased me down.” She’d had blonde hair back then. The darker color suited her far better. The blonde had looked fake, and while she’d been attractive before, she was now stunning. It was a struggle to take my eyes off her even while she glared at me.

Blood Games – Episode 23 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 22


This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

IT WASN’T UNTIL AFTER I’d walked several blocks that I realized I’d never done anything about the wound on my arm. I hadn’t even thought about the possibility I might have left blood in the Suburban.

Cursing, I punched the brick wall of a store I was passing, which of course made things worse. After examining my hand, I determined I was lucky to not have broken any fingers. Several of my knuckles were bleeding, but that was a small price to pay for such a loss of control.

I was on edge and I knew it.

I wasn’t prone to such outbursts, but this was the second time in just a few minutes. Perhaps it was a good thing I hadn’t returned to Reed’s place, who knows what other mistakes I might have made? The pain helped cut through the thickness I felt in my mind.

Maybe I had at least slowed down the police by wiping away my fingerprints, but the possibility of leaving behind DNA was a serious oversight.

Growling to myself I put it from my mind as I ducked into a McDonald’s bathroom. My makeup was almost gone, so I washed off what little was left and went into a stall so I could work on my new disguise without interruption.

My smartphone rang. It was Kris, but I didn’t answer. Perhaps I would never take a call from her again. That would be for the best. She and Maxine might think they have things together, but when Maxine had split from her former partner, any degree of operational competence had gone with him.

It would be reckless for me to allow them to be part of this. Without me pushing they would remain on the outside of the action. And that was where they belonged.

Blood Games – Episode 22 was originally published on DAN DECKER

The Hikers: Chapter 2

2

I grabbed Jessica’s hand, pulling her off
the trail and behind some bushes. She was so surprised she didn’t protest or
bat away my hand. I released my hold once I was certain we were hidden from
anybody who might come down the trail.

I had initially thought
the gunshot had come from above us on the mountain, but I now doubted that
assessment.

We had mountains on all
sides of us. Their presence could have masqueraded the original direction of
the sound, and it didn’t help that I thought I could still hear an echo.

I decided to trust my
initial instinct and act as if it had come from up ahead but remain open to the
possibility it had come from another direction.

“It isn’t hunting
season,” Jessica said, her mouth right by my ear. The warmth of her breath sent
a shudder down my back that I was unable to repress. I tried to pretend like it
hadn’t happened as I studied the incline of the mountain. Even if it had been hunting
season, the car we’d parked beside had been a regular sedan. A shiny black
Chrysler with dark tinted windows. It was also clean as if it had been recently
washed. I had a difficult time seeing the owner of the car strapping a gutted
buck to the top.

“Might just be somebody
doing target shooting,” I whispered, but I doubted this would be a popular area
with shooters because it was too wooded.

“Then why drag me into
the bushes?” Her eyes were big, and she panted for breath. “You aren’t trying
to take advantage, are you?”

I noticed she was still
whispering, so she must have known how ridiculous the idea sounded.

“The gunshot came at a
perfect time.” I gave her a wry smile. “Chances are there’s no danger. Just
somebody doing some shooting. Let’s give it a few minutes and head back down if
there aren’t any more shots. We’ll come back for the view another time.”

“There isn’t going to be
another time.”

“Yeah, sure. We’ll give
it a few and then leave.”

Do you know how awkward
it is to be crouched in the brush right beside a woman who has just broken up
with you? So close that your bodies are touching and you can feel her breath on
the back of your hand?

It’s the very definition
of awkward.

I glanced at my watch
after only a few minutes had passed, and wished it had been an hour. I wanted
to just get up and go, particularly considering how we were both doing our best
to not make eye contact, but I wasn’t at all confident we were safe despite my
words to Jessica.

The black sedan made my
skin crawl the more I thought about it. I hadn’t thought to look at the license
plate, but I was beginning to wonder if maybe it was from out of state. If it
had been a large truck or SUV, I wouldn’t have been so worried.

But the black car was
all business, and the gunshot had been close. 

After a few minutes
passed, we made eye contact, but neither of us moved. I could tell she was just
as worried as me.

“How about we wait five,
ten more minutes and if we don’t see anything, we head back down? We can’t be
too careful.”

She nodded. “No funny
stuff while we wait.”

“How do you mean?”

“No more hand-holding or
affection of any kind. I mean to carry through with it this time.”

This time?

She’d never broken up with
me before. There was one night I could tell she had been bothered by something,
but she’d been fine the next time I’d seen her, so I hadn’t thought anything of
it.

It sounded like she’d
been struggling with her decision for some time. It made me sad because I’d
thought things were going well.

But I wasn’t going to
tell her that, not now.

“I want to make sure we
both get down the mountain safely. After that, I’ll drop you off and you’ll
never see me again.”

She didn’t respond,
which I took to mean she agreed. Something about the expression on her face
gave away her confusion as if she were having second thoughts.

This decision had not
been easy for her. If I were to try, I might convince her to give it another
go. Perhaps that was why she’d wanted me to know why she was dumping me. If she
had this much uncertainty, I wasn’t about to tip the scale. It would be better
for us to both move on. But if it helped her get some closure, I was willing to
bite the bullet.

“Why—” I stopped what I was about to say when two men walked down the trail. They both wore suits.

Pick up your copy today!

The Hikers: Chapter 2 was originally published on DAN DECKER

War of the Fathers Series on Sale This Week

All four books of War of the Fathers are on sales this week. The first book, War of the Fathers, is free. Lord of the Inferno, Enemy in the Shadows, and Blood of the Redd Guard are $0.99 but just for a very short time, then the price steps up a $1.00.

All of these books are also in Kindle Unlimited.

Links to each are below.

War of the Fathers Series on Sale This Week was originally published on DAN DECKER

The Hikers: Chapter 1

1

I smiled awkwardly at Jessica as the wind
blew through my hair, making me want to shiver. I kept it from showing by doing
some exaggerated stretches. My grin wasn’t as confident as the one I’d given
her when I’d first picked her up. She seemed about to break up with me, and I
figured I should let her know I knew something was wrong, but also still show
her some affection in case I was reading the situation incorrectly.

“How much further?” she
asked, not returning the smile while avoiding eye contact by looking further up
the trail.

“A couple miles, maybe
more. We should start climbing soon.” The hike had been mostly flat, but I knew
from online that the last several miles were steep. I had been looking forward
to seeing the honeycomb caves and the view from the top, but if she really were
going to end things with me, I’d prefer she did it now and got things over
with. I could always come back some other time when the situation wasn’t so
emotionally charged.

“Let’s get going.” Her
voice was resigned, and I wondered what she was waiting for. Why didn’t she
just go ahead and rip the band-aid off already? 

“As you wish.” Something
caught my attention in the grass. I bent down and picked up a worn leather
wallet. “Suppose I’ll have to find the owner when we get back,” I muttered,
sliding it into my pocket without looking for who it might belong to, something
I probably would have done if I hadn’t already been feeling uncomfortable.

Jessica nodded as she
glanced at me. I smiled, this time forcing myself into a full grin, but she
still didn’t return it, making my insides colder than ice.

I knew that look so
well. I’d seen it a few times before and even remembered giving it to others.

And just when I was
starting to think she and I really had a future. 

I reviewed the morning,
trying to think of what I might have said or done to cause such a shift in her
thinking, but I couldn’t come up with anything.

Things had started out
well enough. When I’d picked her up, she had greeted me with a hug and kiss, as
warm and affectionate as any she had given me during the two months we’d been
together.

At least she hadn’t
asked to go to a public place. It was unlikely anybody out here in the
wilderness would be audience to what I was expecting. We hadn’t seen anyone on
the trail all morning, and I would have assumed we were alone on the path had
it not been for the other car parked at the trailhead.

“Are you ready?”

I could tell by the way she
asked she was no longer enjoying the hike and she was just trying to get
through it. Perhaps she’d been unsure before we’d started but as we’d gone on,
she’d firmed up her decision.

I tried to think of
something I might have said but couldn’t come up with anything. Our
conversation had been pleasant and friendly.

“Yep,” I said, wiping
away the smile and giving her a serious look, racking my brain for anything
that would give me a clue about what she was thinking. “I really think we’re
going to like the view.”

She muttered something I
couldn’t make out as she pushed on ahead, hiking up the trail with a renewed
sense of purpose.

We shortly came to a
bend and began to climb the mountain. It was steeper than I planned on, I
wasn’t as active as I had been two years ago. I needed to lose ten pounds
before I would be comfortable again.

I followed after, giving
her a safe distance so if she were to fall down the steep incline, I’d have a
warning before she hit me.

The climb was strenuous.
I soon found myself distracted by the strain. And if she was determined to
finish this hike, I was glad to have something else to focus on instead of
stewing about what was coming.

Ten minutes later she
stopped and pulled a water bottle out from a pocket on the outside of her
backpack. She unscrewed the lid and took a long pull.

I put the mouthpiece of
my water reservoir to my lips and took a sip.

Even though we’d been
hiking for more than an hour, you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. If I
looked closely, I might have spotted a drop of sweat on her forehead or some
moisture on her neck. I, on the other hand, had sweat forming around my armpits
and on my chest. My back was slick, especially where my pack made contact with
my shoulders and waist.

“This is pointless.” Jessica
put her water bottle away and finally met my eyes. “I’m breaking up with you.”

Even though I’d been
expecting it, her timing took me off guard. Perhaps she had meant to finish the
hike but had become impatient. I studied her and then slowly nodded, giving it
some thought before answering.

“Sure, no problem.”

“That’s it? That’s all
you have to say?”

“I could tell you were
going to do it. No biggie.”

My response surprised
her, but I’d been down this road before and had learned it was best to let
somebody go if that was what they wanted to do. I wouldn’t gain anything by
trying to convince her to stay. I’d only look weak. While I preferred that we
didn’t break up, nothing I could say would change her mind.

“I’m not playing
around.” Jessica’s eyes narrowed. “I’m quite serious.”

“I understand.” When I
saw her skeptical look, I went on. “I’m not saying I’m happy about it, but if
you’ve made up your mind, I’m not going to change it. I know better.”

“Aren’t you curious
why?”

I didn’t answer for
several long moments. The question felt like a trap, and I wasn’t so sure I
wanted to spring it.

“If you feel the need to
tell me I’ll hear you out—”

“Hear you out?” She
frowned. “You have got to be kidding me. Look you’re a nice enough guy—”

A gunshot cut through the late morning air. It came from just up ahead.

Pick up your copy today!

The Hikers: Chapter 1 was originally published on DAN DECKER

New Short Story: The Hikers

I have a new short story out on Amazon today, The Hikers:

Tim gets dumped by his girlfriend Jessica in the middle of the wilderness and then hears a gunshot. Fearing the worst, they hide in the bushes. Moments later serious-looking men in business suits come traipsing down the trail. 

While Tim and Jessica try to decide what to do next, the men return, looking for a missing wallet. 

Just when Tim thinks they have figured out a safe path from the forest, they are caught at gunpoint. He must think fast and speak well; otherwise, there will soon be three bodies instead of just one.

If you enjoy thrillers with a witty hero that end with a twist, this short story is for you. Fans of Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child will enjoy this yarn. Buy your copy today!

Sneak Peek

Jessica shuddered. A cold feeling swept over me. Something was wrong. Men don’t hike in suits. Ever. I all the sudden wished we’d just turned and ran down the mountain when we’d heard the gunshot. My instincts had been to go for cover, but now those men were going to get down to the road and see that they hadn’t been alone out here.

A bead of sweat dripped into my eye, but I ignored it. I hadn’t given it a second thought when I had parked my Toyota Corolla right by their car. Would they care? Would they become suspicious when they saw my car but didn’t run into us on the trail? Or would they wait to see if we knew something?

As we waited for the men to pass, I noticed Jessica’s hand was touching lightly against my own. I wanted to yank it away but did not. It felt good, but at the same time, it filled me with bitterness.

“Wait here,” I said once they’d disappeared down the trail. “I’m going to see if I can figure out what they were up to.” It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I needed some distance between her and me, otherwise, cracks might start to form in my ambivalent exterior.

“Nope, we’re going down. We just need to give those men plenty of time—”

“Perfect, wait here. I won’t be long.” I walked in the opposite direction of the men, checking every step to make sure they weren’t coming back up the trail. 

Get it today!

New Short Story: The Hikers was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 21

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:  

MY HEART BEAT IN my ears and my head hurt as the final image of the man I’d shot hung in front of my eyes, threatening to distract me from the road. My hands would have been shaking if it hadn’t been for the way I clung to the steering wheel.

His hand had moved for his pistol while he begged. He’d been about to kill me, hadn’t he?

I replayed the event in my mind, wondering if there’d been another way out of the situation. His face had changed right before I’d fired, when he’d brought up his gun and thought that he’d had the upper hand. He’d thought he’d played on my emotions.

But I couldn’t get the image of what the bullet had done to him from my mind. It was a struggle to keep my focus on the road. Each breath was a battle.

He’d meant to kill me. I’d known it and had shot first. It had been my only option.

When I reached an intersection, I took the corner faster than I should have. The wheels on one side left the ground and I was afraid the vehicle was about to roll. In my hurry to leave I hadn’t put on my seatbelt, so I gripped the steering wheel even harder and jammed my feet up under the pedals, hoping I would survive.

When the tires slammed back onto the road, I exhaled. I pushed my foot onto the gas pedal, making the tires squeal. The potential accident had distracted me from my thoughts, but now that it was over, they came swirling back like a hurricane, threatening to uproot my sense of self and reality.

It had been him or me. I knew it. He had known it. If he’d put his hands in the air and surrendered he would still be alive. But knowing that didn’t make it any better.

Blood Games – Episode 21 was originally published on DAN DECKER