Sunday, July 19, 2015

BlackJack by Christine Donovan



Title: BlackJack
Author: Christine Donovan
Publisher: Christine Donovan Books
Pages: 336
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

Cole Jackson spends fifteen years in prison for a murder he did not commit, the murder of his wife, Lindsey.

His talent as a songwriter and an avid reader save him from the loneliness of the cold, dark and unforgiving prison walls. But as he joins the world of the free again, he struggles with his once again fame, because of his rock-n-roll band, of being a convicted killer and the fact that his self-esteem and self-respect were lost years ago. Prison will do that to you, not to mention drugs, alcohol and an unfaithful wife. He no longer has the drugs, the alcohol or the unfaithful wife. What he has is a tarnished reputation and the determination to find the true killer and restore his life.

Shannon Gallagher's hard work as a writer has finally paid off. She believes her life is complete living in her dream home on the ocean until she meets Cole Jackson. She idolized him at sixteen, cried at twenty-one when he went to prison. Now at thirty-six she meets him and falls instantly in love. But as Cole gets closer to his wife's killer, he puts Shannon's life in danger. Can he expose the murderer and keep Shannon safe?

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Book Excerpt:

Groping the wall blindly, hoping to steady his rubbery legs, Cole Jackson swore as he realized he was totally wasted. The hotel hallway seemed to sway violently like a ship caught in a serious gale—the kind small boats don’t survive intact.

“Shit,” he yelled as he collapsed to one knee then slowly raised himself up and continued shuffling toward the room he shared with his wife, Lindsey.
From a distant haze, voices pummeled through the buzz surrounding his brain. Faces blurred and flashed in and out and around the black spots plaguing his eyesight.

One person asked, “How’d the show go tonight, Mr. Jackson?”

“Great, just great,” Cole thought he replied. The words formed in his brain—he just wasn’t sure they managed to escape his mouth.

Another man remarked, “Do you need any assistance?”

“Hell no,” Cole muttered aloud this time as he tripped along mumbling to himself. Why did everyone assume he needed assistance just because he had a damn good buzz on? It was his life, wasn’t it? And if he chose to blur it with alcohol it was his business and nobody else’s.

Cole slid the stupid plastic key card in the door for the third time. “Damn, damn, damn.” He pounded the door with his fist. “I need sleep. All I want to do is crawl into bed. Come on, fourth time’s the charm.”

As he turned the knob, he prayed Lindsey slept alone. He’d stayed away as long as he could without passing out in the hotel bar. Not like he’d never done that before.

“What the hell,” he swore as he shoved the door open, banging it into something. Once inside with the door shut, he looked down, blinked several times, forcing his eyes to focus, and saw Lindsey lying on the floor. A deep red stain encompassed her chest and a potent metallic smell suddenly floored his senses. Cole swayed and tried to steady himself as blackness descended, swallowing him up. The last thing he remembered as he collapsed next to Lindsey was his hand landing in something warm, wet and sticky.


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