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5:45 to Suburbia

by Vin Packer

There were two Charlie GibsonsOne rode the 5:45 to Westport and was met at the station by his charming wife who dressed in impeccable tweeds and mixed a wicked martini. He also had a long-legged, lovely daughter whom he admired. He was second in command of a vast publishing house and, what's more, he got there without being a hatchet man. Everybody had respect for him; almost everybody liked him.That was one side of Charlie Gibson.The unhappy side.One spent every spare minute in the apartment of Marge Mann. She was beautiful and flamboyant and she loved Charlie with passion. It was she who gave him the ideas that took him to the top of the publishing world - although Charlie never realized it. Every minute he spent with her was like being under the influence of a strong drug. He was addicted to Marge and didn't want to break the habit.That was the other side of Charlie Gibson.The happy side.

The Damnation of Adam Blessing

by Vin Packer

It is the story of the strange, private world built by a man of many faces and as many distorted passions, and of the women who dared enter that world.

Corpus Delectable

by Talmage Powell

Give her five minutes more, I thought . . .More than an hour had passed since Jean Putnam's voice had promised on the phone that she would be there. As I started back to my office I gave a final look down the corridor, and suddenly she was there, framed in the stairwell. She was dressed in a very fetching pirate costume, the purposely ragged bottoms of her scarlet pants reaching to just below the hips. Her legs were bare from there on down to black oilcloth boots. She hadn't moved, and a new sensation blew cold across the back of my neck. As I lunged for her she crumbled and fell backwards down the yawning stairwell. When I reached her on the next landing I saw that not all the redness was in her costume. A bullet had struck her in the back.

Murder Mistress

by Robert Colby

Driving to Miami, Scott Daniels paused to rescue a lady in distress. She was in a road house, abandoned by her date, and so Scott offered Valerie a lift. No sooner had they started off, then they spotted the boyfriend's car smashed in an accident. Valerie begged Scott to save her good name by salvaging her suitcase from the wreck before the cops could find it. But no sooner had he done so, then he learned that instead of being filled with pink unmentionables, it was loaded with green negotiables - hundreds of thousands of them.Curiosity being stronger than caution, Scott kept his eye on Valerie after dropping her off in Miami. And thus found himself the only element remaining between a gang of ruthless criminals and the perfect crime.

Kill Me a Fortune

by Robert Colby

For Ross Elliot the summer held no promise. With his teaching duties over until fall, he found himself facing boredom, with time on his hands. Which was why he didn't hesitate to involve himself in the affairs of one Barbara Erickson, ex-student and accused murderess.As far as Elliot was concerned it simply wasn't possible for one so young - and so lovely - to be capable of such a horrendous crime. And what if he was the only one who believed in her innocence? A couple of months playing private-eye would be just the change of pace he needed.But after he had started poking around a little, Ross Elliott began to wonder if he really was a very good judge of character. And when someone started taking pot-shots at him, he knew he still might be bored that summer - right through the heart with a .38 bullet!

Little Monster Hell

by Freeman Hall

There is no wrath like a Hellspawn scorned . . .They scream. They cry. And they're worse then just miniature versions of their entitled, rude, and too-often crazy parents. They're Hellspawn.These child terrors didn't get their name for being cute. They have ransacked stores, turned on their parents, and tried to get employees fired. And the retail slaves that suffer their tantrums are tired of keeping quiet.In these 43 hilarious-and-true stories from RetailHellUnderground.com bloggers, little monsters like Pee Boy, Pony Girl, and the Little Ice Cream Devils give kids everywhere a bad name. But when Mouthy gets his smart-alecky due and the Screamer is offered an exorcism, you'll find yourself rooting for the Underground heroes in no time!

Coworker Hell

by Freeman Hall

Backstabbers and Slackers and Mismanagers, Oh My!On the battlefields of retail hell, sometimes your "allies" turn out to be your worst enemies . . . When managers can't run their stores and when coworkers refuse to actually work, shifts in retail go from bad to hellish and fast. There's no one to turn to when the customers get mean, and there's no one in to play defense when patrons complain.In these 28 hilarious-but-true stories, RetailHellUnderground.com bloggers pick their bones with the worst coworkers in memory - from lunch-stealing liars to power-hungry managers to snide corporate reps and more! It's time these retail slaves - and even the customers - gave them what they really deserve!

Discount Hell

by Freeman Hall

These Discount Rats want more than salesTo Discount Rats, the world should be free . . . and retail slaves are to blame when it isn't.These crazy customers show up with purses full of coupons and intend to leave with enough swag to impress a thief. They'll negotiate, scream, complain, and threaten - so long as the sale is in sight!These 33 hilarious-and-true stories of penny-pinchers and stingy shoppers are straight from the bloggers of RetailHellUnderground - and boy do they have some history with these misers! From the Meal Voucher Rat who needs an amusement park escort to find the right restaurant to the Credit Rat who gets a black mark in the customer database, these denied bargain hunters will have you in stitches!

Stolen Hell

by Freeman Hall

Greedy Grabbers, Privileged Pinchers, Shady Scammers, and More!Whether they're swiping merchandise or conning cashiers, Nasty Ass Thieves (NATs) can be retail's worst nightmare.Do they honestly think they can return merchandise they didn't buy? Or muscle their way out of a private chat with Loss Prevention? Or short-change drawers every time they shop?Apparently they do - or there wouldn't be these 36 hilarious-and-true stories from RetailHellUnderground.com bloggers about NAT run-ins of every shape and size. From food scammers to hulking shoplifters to the unthinkable tale of "Paint and Poo," these stories will make you look - and laugh - a little harder at your fellow customer.

Don't Rely on Gemini

by Vin Packer

It all started innocently enough in New York's Gramercy Park district. Archie Gamble, a Gemini, is writing a TV special on astrology under the expert but irritating tutelage of Anna Muckermann. The show's success depends on Archie's finding a set of astro-twins - two persons born at the same moment in approximately the same vicinity.So far, no luck and no astro-twins. The studio deadline is scorching Archie's neck, and, as Ms. Muckermann kindly explains to his wife, the fault is in Archie's stars. His signs are bad. Nothing but trouble can be anticipated.As unpredictable Gemini would have it, Archie's own astro-twin steps forth in the shape of a mild-mannered psychologist, Neal Dana. Actually, Neal doesn't step forward. He's pushed, by his very attractive wife, who has her own personal reasons for wanting him out of the house a couple of nights a week.And what Neal and Archie are thrust into is a star-crossed pattern of events - and their violent and intertwined destinies will send panicked readers scurrying after their own horoscopes.Don't Rely on Gemini is one of the eeriest spellbinders in many a full moon.

The Hare in March

by Vin Packer

A MURDER BEGINS AND ENDS this story of scandal and tragedy in a college town. You'll meet some memorable characters here - most of them hair-raising - as novelist Vin Packer spins out a sinister excursion with the cool, campy kids of Far Point College, New York.It's a wild, wild joyride - from Thunderbird to Bluebird, from classroom to Cheetah, with stops on the way at rent-by-the-hour motel rooms. You'll watch in horror as the Pucci-Plantagenet crowd burns up the roads, heading for that sickening, inevitable crash . . . that jolting confrontation with the reality they can't escape . . . with THE HARE IN MARCH.

My Life as a Haunted Hamburger, Hold the Pickles (The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle #27)

by Bill Myers

Everybody says the old house at the edge of town is haunted. But Wally has some major doubts. Unfortunately, in exposing the hoax he undergoes some of the craziest catastrophes and mass mayhem of his life. To name just a few, Wally experiences: falling into mirrors that others claim show the future; shorting the sheets on so-called ghosts; and supposedly being turned into a talking hamburger.All this as our young hero learns what God really says about sorcery, ghosts, and the supernatural.

Muzzled

by Michael Smerconish

Sick of the total BS of rampant PC? This brazen, furiously funny book is the antidote to today's poison of political correctness. With humor and chutzpah, attorney, commentator, and popular radio host Michael Smerconish takes on today's oversensitive culture with a collection of entertaining, outlandish anecdotes about PC gone wild-stories that are hilarious, horrifying, and unbelievably true. Why are sports leagues handing out trophies to losers? Why are little old grandmas hired to guard 200-pound prisoners? Why are newborn babies and old men with walkers singled out at the airport while likely terrorists are ushered through security with ease? This book shows through these absurdities that today's atmosphere of censorship and multiculturalism is paving the way for serious threats to our cultural identity and national security: "It's one thing for the forces of political correctness to muzzle our day-to-day lives here at home in the US, quite another when that same cancer metastasizes into the war on terror." We must eradicate the PC disease. Our sanity-and our very lives-depend on it. "Michael Smerconish talks the talk: If you say unpopular things, watch out! Using vivid examples of PC rubbish, Muzzled will lead you into a world that would terrify Rod Serling. An entertaining and provocative book." -Bill O'Reilly "Reads like fiction, too bad it's true." -Nelson DeMille, novelist, author of Night Fall and The General's Daughter "The PC virus is out of control . . . and it's worse than you think! In this entertaining and important book, Michael Smerconish chronicles just how mindless things have gotten in politically correct America. He tells fascinating stories that will make you laugh . . . right up until the time they make you scream. Thanks to the PC crowd, we are all living in The United States of the Absurd." -Bernard Goldberg, journalist and author of 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, Arrogance, and Bias "I really squirm whenever I find myself agreeing with Smerconish. (I know the feeling is mutual.) I did a lot of squirming while reading this provocative book. All true liberals and conservatives must agree with Smerconish that the PC muzzles must be removed so that people can decide based on the marketplace of ideas." -Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard and author of Preemption "I don't often find myself on the same side of the political barricades as Michael Smerconish. But Muzzled is a witty, provocative, and timely book. Even when Michael is wrong, which is often, he draws you in and keeps you reading." -Arianna Huffington, author of Pigs at the Trough and Fanatics and Fools "In Muzzled, my American Blood Brother of status-quo-obliterating defiance, Michael Smerconish, once again smokes out the cockroaches of political correctness . . . Muzzled is a great title for a book that I am convinced every American school kid should read and be tested on. If a new generation doesn't grow some intellectual balls, our Once Great Nation will continue to repeat horrific mistakes and pay the price . . . Read it. Live it." -Ted Nugent, rock star, author, television personality, and hunter extraordinaire

My Favorite Christmas

by Amy Hammond Hagberg

Readers will look back with fondness to their own favorite moments surrounding the Christmas season as they catch a glimpse into the humorous, lighthearted, and spiritually poignant memories of some of their favorite Christian personalities from all walks of life, including actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, and authors. The stories and anecdotes from contributors like Steven Curtis Chapman, Jimmy Carter, Natalie Grant, Jerry Jenkins, Nicole C. Mullen, Luis Palau, Kurt Warner and many others-will be a Yule time pleasure for readers. Amidst the rush and hustle of the season, My Favorite Christmas inspires us with down-to-earth and heavenly heartwarming stories from favorite celebrities-and helps us reflect on our own cherished holiday moments.

Alone at Night

by Vin Packer

On their first night Carrie had been nervous, and Slater had tried to think of some way to make it easier for her, to show her how fine and free it could be. But the moment they'd stepped into the cabin, she had undressed, matter-of-factly, a cigarette dangling from her lips. Her body was white and incredibly lovely, and Slater had felt desire engulf him. He had held her, hungrily, and hardly listed to the one thing she'd said. ''I don't think I'll be much good at this.'' She had been so cruelly right. And that, in a way, was what had killed her. That, and a beautiful woman named Jenny.

Intimate Victims

by Vin Packer

Somehow he'd ended up with someone else's coat . . . and that act could end Robert Bowser's life before it started.His hand trembled as he answered the phone.''Mr. Bowser?''''Yes.''''Mr. Bowser, my name is Harvey Plangman.''''Yes, Mr. Plangman. I have your wallet, and jacket, too, I believe.''''And I have yours.''''Why don't you drive over here? I could offer you a drink and we could reclaim our things.''''Mr. Bowser, were you planning on going to Brazil?''Was this really how the world ended?''You don't have anything to be afraid of, Mr. Bowser.''''I'd better come there.''''Yes, I think it would be better if you came here. You'll know who I am all right, Mr. Bowser. I'm wearing your coat . . .

The Twisted Ones

by Vin Packer

WHY DID THEY KILL?These were nice kids, model kids. They didn't wear leather jackets and roam the streets in "wolf packs"; they didn't steal and mug for dope. For kids, they were well mannered and quiet. They were attractive and nicely dressed. You'd have welcomed them as next-door neighbors.Yet...one rapedone murderedone killed by fireWhat got into them? What dark thoughts tormented them when they were alone at night?

The Evil Friendship

by Vin Packer

An exhilarating story from the author who mainstreamed lesbian pulp fiction The moment of truth... Mary Drew knelt down on the rug. She leaned forward, her mouth within an inch of Martha's. "l love you," she said. "I've loved you from the very moment we met. But I won't kiss you. I'm so close my lips are almost on yours, but I won't kiss you." Martha looked deeply into the other girl's eyes for a very long time. "l love you, too," she said. Then hungrily they fed on each other's lips. Martha grasped Mary Drew's hand. "Love me, will you? Not just kisses. Not any more."

3 Day Terror

by Vin Packer

She was hurrying past the field on her way home when the man stepped out from behind a tree and stood spraddle-legged in her path. Ginny Lee was uncommonly pretty, a small girl with unusually long legs for someone her size, good legs with finely molded ankles; and her breasts above the rounded hips and very thin waist were large and full, not in a way that gave her a top-heavy look, but a proud, feminine look. Ginny Lee was happy about her looks except for one thing: she needed glasses. She stood there blinking and squinting, trying to recognize the man who stood there so menacingly. "Who are you?" she asked, suddenly frightened. He laughed, took her roughly, and threw her down.

The Thrill Kids

by Vin Packer

The Lesson - According to Kicks . . .Heine pointed the knife at her. ''O.K., Lady Godiva, take off the blouse.''She stood motionless, unable to answer or move.''Go ahead,'' Heine said. ''Take that piece-of-nothing off.''The boy's shoulders slumped and he began to groan. ''Brace, mister!'' Bar shouted. He put a fist in the boy's gut, and the boy sank to his knees in the dirt, weeping helplessly. ''O.K., green-belly,'' Bar said. ''Stay there. Your turn comes next.''Dazedly the girl undid her blouse. Heine reached and yanked it off her shoulders. She stood there quivering, her pink slip plain and worn. Behind them, Manny began to cough. Johnny stood rooted to the place from where he watched.''Let the straps down,'' Heine said to the girl.''Please. Please . . .''''Do what I tell you.'' Heine held the knife menacingly. The boy began to pray softly in Spanish.She raised trembling fingers to her bare shoulders and slipped the straps over them. The top of her slip and her bra fell to her waist.''Let her go,'' Manny whispered. ''You ought to let her go now. Huh?''''Let her go!'' Bar shouted. ''What are you worried about, mister? We're just teaching these two juvenile delinquents a lesson. Don't you understand that, mister? We're going to teach these two juvenile delinquents a lesson they're never, never going to forget.'' He drew his foot back violently and kicked the boy in the groin. ''Isn't that right, green-belly?''The boy's scream of pain rent the air of the summer night.

Give the Girl a Gun

by Richard Deming

Manny Moon is back! (also published as Whistle Past the Graveyard)

The Gallows in My Garden

by Richard Deming

''The gallows in my garden, people say,Is new and neat and adequately tall.I tie the noose on in a knowing wayAs one that knots his necktie for a ball;But just as all the neighbors . . . on the wail . . .Are drawing a long breath to shout 'Hurray!'The strangest whim has seized me . . . After allI think I will not hang myself today.''--From G. K. Chesterton's A Ballade of SuicideYoung Donald Lawson was familiar with that poem . . . yet now his body hung dead on a crag. Murder or suicide, Manville Moon was already on the case, as bodyguard to Don's beautiful sister Grace. For Grace's life was threatened, too, and to protect it Moon found himself crossing fists and guns with hired killers, and fencing desperately with Grace's friends, family, and fiancé, anyone of whom might have wanted to kill her.

Start Screaming Murder

by Talmage Powell

My name is Ed Rivers.I live in Tampa, Florida, where I work as a private cop. I'm six feet tall, weigh in at about one ninety, and am forty years old.When I look in the mirror I see a heavy, bearish face, dark-tanned and creased, the thick lids giving the brown eyes a lazy look. Women either get a charge from that face or want to run from it. Men fear it or trust it to the hilt. It isn't a face that ever meets a neutral reaction.I'm not always happy about that, but it's my face and I have to do the best I can with it.

The Girl's Number Doesn't Answer

by Talmage Powell

Three people were dead, their heads bashed in, their bodies hacked with a samurai sword. All three victims were Japanese. The murder weapon was traced to Nick Martin, a veteran of Iwo Jima. Nick had spent fifteen pain-ridden years in and out of Army hospitals. He tried to drown his memories of the horror, but whisky only put him right back in the middle of that fierce battle.Nick drank a fifth the night of the killing.That's the kind of case the police call 'open and shut.' But Ed Rivers, a private detective, was a friend of Nick Martin's. And no one was shutting the door of a death cell on Nick - not while Rivers could still go after the real, fiendishly clever murderer.

Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas #6)

by Dean Koontz

The pistol appeared in his hand the way a dove appears in the hand of a good magician, as if it materialized out of thin air. "You think I won't do it right here in the open. But you'd be surprised. . . . You'll drop before you get the breath to scream." The truck driver is decked out like a rhinestone cowboy, only instead of a guitar he's slinging a gun--and Odd Thomas is on the wrong end of the barrel. Though he narrowly dodges a bullet, Odd can't outrun the shocking vision burned into his mind . . . or the destiny that will drive him into a harrowing showdown with absolute evil. DEEPLY ODD How do you make sure a crime that hasn't happened yet, never does? That's the critical question facing Odd Thomas, the young man with a unique ability to commune with restless spirits and help them find justice and peace. But this time, it's the living who desperately need Odd on their side. Three helpless innocents will be brutally executed unless Odd can intervene in time. Who the potential victims are and where they can be found remain a mystery. The only thing Odd knows for sure is who the killer will be: the homicidal stranger who tried to shoot him dead in a small-town parking lot. With the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock riding shotgun and a network of unlikely allies providing help along the way, Odd embarks on an interstate game of cat and mouse with his sinister quarry. He will soon learn that his adversary possesses abilities that may surpass his own and operates in service to infinitely more formidable foes, with murder a mere prelude to much deeper designs. Traveling across a landscape haunted by portents of impending catastrophe, Odd will do what he must and go where his path leads him, drawing ever closer to the dark heart of his long journey--and, perhaps, to the bright light beyond. ACCLAIM FOR DEAN KOONTZ AND HIS ODD THOMAS NOVELS "Koontz gives his character wit, good humor, a familiarity with the dark side of humanity--and moral outrage."--USA Today "This is Koontz working at his pinnacle, providing terrific entertainment that deals seriously with some of the deepest themes of human existence: the nature of evil, the grip of fate and the power of love."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Supernatural thrills with a side of laughs."--The Denver Post "The nice young fry cook with the occult powers is Koontz's most likable creation . . . candid, upright, amusing and sometimes withering."--The New York TimesFrom the Hardcover edition.

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