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Released: June 2020
ISBN: 9780463686379
ASIN: B088FWVLB5
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DARK ENERGY
Author: Addison Brae
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Price: $4.99
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Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.

Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend...until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life?

 

 

 

 


Listen to the author read chapter one

Excerpt
Car traffic and jets stir me awake. I stretch and don’t open my eyes since I haven’t slept enough after such a long, incredible day. Then I remember restaurant reviews may be out. Slivers of the May morning sunlight make stripes across my soft gray and yellow comforter. I grab my phone and open the news feed, page through the day’s headlines. Do I want to know?

A headline jumps out at me—New Uptown Bar Opens to Sell-out Lunch Crowd. It must be us, and most definitely not PinHead Preston’s review.

Uptown’s newest place to be seen is Pinkie’s Too, the satellite site to its sister bar in Dark Energy.

Yes! It’s a good one!

The trendy but chill invitation-only crowd lunched on a full menu with Creole cuisine and pizza as the bar’s specialties. The cocktail menu is creative but non-pretentious with options including the Creole Cosmo and Pinkie’s Old Fashioned.

As a Dallas cultural history buff, the most unique Pinkie’s Too feature is the tables—each custom designed to commemorate a musician with Dallas roots who carved notches in music history. Some of the tables I could inspect without interrupting patrons’ meals were dedicated to Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Demi Lovato, Edie Brickell, Michael Nesmith, Boz Scaggs, LeAnn Rimes, Steve Miller, and even Meat Loaf—the musician, not the food.

It’s a great reminder of Dallas’ diverse, deep music culture.

Today’s soft opening only covered lunch. Friday is the true grand overture with the doors unlocking in time for happy hour with an appetizer menu from open until last call. The highlight will be one of Dallas’ up-and-coming bands, ShowStoppers. Come back to the website this weekend for my review of the nighttime experience.

I point and flex both feet, doing my under-cover happy dance and continue flipping through other news. No sign of a Dallas Daily News review from Don Preston yet until I choke on my own breath. Doctors Clear Accused Murderer for Trial. My happy feet halt.

Two photos appear underneath the headline—one shows a dark-haired man with a deep tan teeing off at a charity golf tournament. A chill runs through me as it all floods back. The other is a mug shot, the usual sparkling dark eyes now chilling and full of hatred. The same hate I saw in Kyle’s eyes that night when he held the sharp, cold blade to my neck. The photos capture two of Kyle’s opposing sides.

I pull the covers tighter and squeeze my eyes closed to erase the vision.

Shattering glass.

The ear-splitting ring of the 9mm round going off outside my bathroom.

Kyle folding on the floor. Blood oozing from his shoulder.

My arms extended in front of me with my fingers frozen around the gun.

My resolve for no one to control me again. Ever.

The news brief says the judge threw out the venue change request. It also says the Dallas district attorney is withholding charging him for the attempted murder of his ex-wife and aggravated assault of another Dallas woman pending the trial outcome.

The “another Dallas woman” reference is me. It still seems like it was a different Gillian.

Last time I visited Kyle’s ex-wife, the stab wounds were healing, and she was walking better. No marathons for Daniella for now, but close to normal, physically at least. That night will always tie Daniella and me together. I promised her a job if she needs one when she’s well enough to work. I appreciate what it feels like to need a break. A do over. A new beginning.

Maybe after the trial, I’ll get my perfect little Kel-Tec P-11 back. The one I bought from Pinkie that likely saved my life. The one that luckily didn’t end Kyle’s. Now it’s trial evidence.

I never intended to shoot someone. I had to. And I have to live with the memory forever. The district attorney agreed it was self-defense, especially considering Kyle cut Daniella up and left her for dead the same night. At least Kyle only left me with one visible scar.

I’m already grateful to Pinkie for teaching me to shoot. The skill saved my life.

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