Hi, everyone! This guest post and giveaway comes from crime writer David Rohlfing.
He’s doing a really awesome giveaway that I’m sure will interest you. Five signed copies of each of his books! There’s an offer you can’t refuse. Check out the details below.
So, without further ado, let’s hear from our guest, who’s provided an excerpt from Cold Consequences, his latest novel. Plus the giveaway details! 🙂
I’m David Rohlfing, the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series author. The first book in the series, Deliberate Duplicity, was published in January 2021, followed by the second book, Cold Consequences, released in late 2021.
I’m also giving away five signed copies of both books and will randomly choose five (5) email addresses for individuals who send an email to me at email@example.com. The random winner’s email addresses will be drawn from a hat, and I will email each of the five winners asking for their mailing addresses. Each winner will receive one signed copy of each book.
Entries must be received within thirty (30) days from the date of this post to be eligible for the drawing. Only one entry per email address. Drawing results are final.
I hope you enjoy reading a few pages and the first chapter of Cold Consequences below.
A Detective Sasha Frank Mystery
“When you endeavour to decipher the mind of a killer, you willingly
and consciously enter the world they exist and will, without taking
extreme measures and caution, become who they became. You must
therefore be of strong enough mind to ensure that you do not
succumb as we all possess an inner madness.”
—Doctor Ephraim H. Kahn (1832–1911)
In March of 2019, my wife, along with a 911 dispatcher, a police officer,
paramedics, and an amazing group of medical personnel at Carle
BroMenn Medial Center, brought me back to life after being down for
fifteen minutes without a pulse when I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. If it
were not for the heroes listed above, I would not have been alive to write Cold
Consequences. I thank God for the miracle that I survived.
I also want to thank my editors and publisher at Greenleaf Book Group.
They helped me learn while writing and editing this book that less is often
more. I have greatly appreciated their help in my journey as a writer.
FEBRUARY 9, 2013
It had been almost two years since Ashley Cummins had graduated from college and returned to live with her father in his home. She’d played NCAA Division I soccer and had been selected to first-team all-conference before suffering a concussion, along with neck and upper back injuries, when she’d been blocked hard into an unpadded goal post during a regional semifinal game her senior year. Ashley had recovered quickly from the concussion, but the other injuries had ended her childhood dream of making the Olympic team and going pro.
Ashley’s doctors had prescribed her pain killers, but after she’d been on the meds for a number of weeks, they had become concerned she was developing an addiction and refused to write additional prescriptions. Instead, they told her she would require long-term pain management protocols. They tried to convince her to go to physical rehab and a pain clinic to help her find longterm solutions to control her constant agony, but she preferred the immediate relief drugs provided. She tried getting them from other doctors but found buying them on the street a much easier way to keep her growing addiction secret from both family and friends. A new friend she’d met when she returned home had introduced her to Danny Williams, known as D, who had become a reliable source for Ashley’s opioids.
It was almost 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning when Ashley drove down the dark street on Bloomington’s west side in the BMW 3-series convertible her father had given her as a college graduation gift. She was on her way to meet D to buy an opioid known on the street as “beans.” She parked near the intersection where the dealer had instructed her to wait.
A few hours earlier, she’d texted D that her need was desperate. He let her know he couldn’t meet her then at the Uptown Normal bar, their usual meeting spot, but he could the following night. Ashley texted back that she needed her pills now, so he agreed to meet her at a street corner near his home.
She’d never been to this part of the city, and she hoped D wouldn’t be late. As she waited, she turned down her radio, lit a cigarette, turned up the heater, and cracked the driver’s side window. Besides being addicted to pain killers, she’d also developed a pack-a-day habit and drank too much vodka every night. Not a good combination, and it was beginning to take a toll on her mind and body.
Because of her increased drug use the past few months, she’d been arriving late to work several times a week and sometimes missing it entirely, but she wasn’t too concerned since her father owned the company. Charlie Cummins Luxury Home Builders had a reputation throughout Illinois for the exceptional quality of residences built exclusively for the well-to-do. Ashley was supposed to be learning the business so she could take over as president of the company when her father retired.
She’d been waiting about five minutes when out of the corner of her eye, she saw D angling across the street toward her car. He was wearing a heavy overcoat with a hood and leather gloves. As he walked toward her, Ashley hit the down button on the driver’s side window and tossed out her cigarette.
“Come on, D,” she said.
D nodded, walked past the front of the convertible, and opened the passenger door.
Across the street, two men standing in the shadows watched as the drug dealer got into the late-model BMW. Big G whispered to Sticks, “Who’s that?”
“Danny.” Sticks didn’t like Danny because the dealer was always flaunting his success, making sure everyone else in the neighborhood knew how much money he had. Sticks and Big G supplied most of the dealers in the area, but Danny got his from someone in Chicago, bypassing the two of them. “It’s either a booty call, or he’s pushin’ his beans,” Sticks said. Danny had a reputation as a big-time player in the college bars in Bloomington and Normal, selling high-end drugs to rich students. Sticks hadn’t really seen him on the streets much since Danny’s girlfriend, Hallie, had given birth to his daughter a couple of years ago.
D slid into the front seat and closed the door. “Hey, little girl. Sorry I couldn’t get to the club tonight. Kayla is sick.”
“Sorry to hear that, D. I hope she feels better soon.”
“Thanks. She’ll be fine. I just needed to stay home tonight to help Hallie take care of her.” D knew Ashley didn’t care how his two-year-old daughter was feeling. He reached into his right front coat pocket and pulled out a plastic vial containing ten beans.
Ashley opened her purse and took out seven hundred dollars in cash.
D handed her the vial and took the seven bills from her. He’d never used drugs, and he couldn’t understand her addiction to the little, round, green, 80 mg pill that cost her several hundred per day, but she never offered to trade him sex for drugs like some of his customers did. Ashley had money, and that was the type of customer he preferred.
She popped the top off the vial and took one of the pills, quickly washing it down with water from the light blue aluminum bottle she always carried.
“Thanks, D. We done?”
He smiled to himself. “Yes, we are, Ashley. Have a nice night.” As he started to get out of the car, a man shoved a pistol into his chest and started pushing him to the ground. D dropped to his knees immediately.
Sticks then pointed his SIG Sauer 9mm in Danny’s face. “Don’t say nothin’.” He tapped the barrel on the bridge of Danny’s nose. “Understand?”
Sticks found nothing in Danny’s pants pockets other than some keys and a billfold, but then he found the cash from the deal in his right-front coat pocket.
Another man crammed himself into the front seat and closed the door. Inside the car, Big G smiled at Ashley as he waved his Glock back and forth over the center console. The big man pointed his gun at her chest. “What you got for me, girl?”
Ashley had never been held at gunpoint, and she was unsure what she should do next. “What do you want?”
Big G laughed. “Now, what do ya think?” He grabbed her purse as Ashley pushed back up against the driver’s side door.
Ashley screamed and swung her fists at him as she tried keep ahold of her purse, but she was no match for Big G, who easily shoved her away. Inside her purse were a few hundred dollars, credit cards, her driver’s license, and the remaining pills she’d just bought, which was her main concern. She tried scratching him, but he was wearing leather gloves and a winter coat. He laughed at her as she tried to fight back. He reached across the console with the Glock in his right hand and tried hitting her with the pistol’s barrel.
“Bitch!” he shouted.
Sticks turned to see what was going on inside the car, and Danny took the opportunity to shove him backward into the side of the car. Sticks hit his head on the passenger door window and fell to the ground, dropping his gun. Danny got up and quickly and started running back toward the safety of his house.
Momentarily stunned, Sticks reached for his gun and started to get up just as he saw a bright flash and heard the sound of a muffled gunshot. He turned to see Big G pushing open the car door, saying, “We outta here.”
Sticks peered inside the car and saw that Big G had shot the girl in the face just below her right eye. She stared blankly back at him, and he knew she was dead. He slammed the door shut and ran after Big G.
It took Danny less than a minute to run the few blocks back to the house he and Hallie rented on West MacArthur Avenue. He realized his keys had been stolen and knocked on the front door. As he waited for Hallie to let him in, he found that he also didn’t have his billfold or the cash Ashley had paid him for the drugs. “Crap!” He knocked again. Whoever had robbed him now had his IDs. They probably already knew who he was, even though he hadn’t been selling in the neighborhood since Kayla was born. He didn’t want to contribute to the drug problem where his daughter would be growing up.
Hallie flicked on the porch light, looked out, and opened the door. “What are you doing? You’re going to wake the baby.”
Danny stepped inside and quickly closed and locked the door. He turned off the porch light and the lights in the front room of the house. He crossed to the window and looked out to see if anyone followed him. It didn’t seem anyone had. He’d just started telling Hallie what had happened when they heard the first police siren.
+ + + + + + + +
Sticks and Big G entered through the back door of Sticks’s mother’s house, nine blocks from the crime scene. Sticks reached into the refrigerator in the kitchen and pulled out two cold cans of beer and tossed one to his partner.
“Damn it, G!”
“That bitch wouldn’t stop trying to scratch the hell outta me.” Big G took a drink of beer, “I kept trying to hit her, but she wouldn’t stop coming at me.”
“You certainly paid her back, big time. That girl is stone-cold dead.” Sticks reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the bills, billfold, and keys he’d taken from Danny. “But look what we got.”
“At least we jacked the pusher,” Big G said. “How much is that?”
Sticks counted out the money.
“Cool. Do you think he knew who we were?”
“Maybe,” Sticks sneered, “but I think mostly all he saw was my SIG Sauer.
Scared the crap outta him, man.”
Big G laughed. “No doubt.”
“What did you get from the girl?”
Big G tossed over the purse. “Check it out.”
Inside, Sticks found a cell phone, which he immediately turned off. Next, he pulled out a vial of pills, the girl’s ID, a debit card, and couple of credit cards. He counted out over three hundred in cash and smiled. “Not bad, G. Not bad.”
“Plastic is useless with her dead.”
“True. We’ll dump anything with her name on it. Still a good night. We’re not gonna see Danny sellin’ on our turf again.”
They heard sirens in the distance, and the two stopped talking and looked at each other. Big G took another drink. “We need to stay low for a while.”
Sticks nodded, and they clinked their beer bottles.
After a long business career that allowed him to travel to all but one continent and countless countries around the globe, David decided to write his first novel, Deliberate Duplicity, published in January 2021. The second book in the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series, Cold Consequences, was published in late 2021. He is currently working on the third book in the series.
David lives in Illinois with his wife. He spends as much time as possible with his wife and family when he’s not writing and working on his golf game. If you’d like to learn more about David, please visit his website at www.davidrohlfing.com, where you can sign up to receive updates on future book releases.