She can run in the night, but he knows her secret.
July 29 – 31, 2020
That’s right! Did you spot The Devil’s Luck Easter egg in Gallows Pole? The two stories happen in the same year, and a couple of the characters know each other. 😉
Still haven’t read about Emmat’s dangerous bargain with the hangman? The time is now! Get it cheap and filthy, just how you like it.
Available now on Amazon in eBook format AND, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read for FREE!
My apologies to readers who shop in an Amazon store other than US or UK, as those are the only stores on which Amazon allows the publisher to create sales. The book is still available in Kindle Unlimited in all participating Amazon Stores.
Brand Spankin’ New Blurb:
The hangman has no mercy.
He lives on the fringes where the people want him: where the stain of death can’t sully their happy homes.
His duty is the law, but the law can’t give him what he wants.
Others tried to bribe him. Others tried to beg.
And if Emmat Bird can’t find some way to stop the executioner, her brother will swing from his gallows.
Just like all the others.
Emmat tries to fool the hangman.
Emmat tries to fight the hangman.
Emmat makes a bargain.
She could run in the night, but the hangman knows her secret.
The hooded man knows who she is and what she’s done.
He can make things much, much worse.
Gallows Pole is a dark and filthy stand-alone novella set in the Skull & Crossbone universe, where dangerous men cross paths with determined women. Intense themes shade the pages in a tale only for readers who like their bad boys Very Very Bad.
A peek inside Gallows Pole:
It was one word, one syllable.
It was a trigger.
Everything happened at once.
Emmat drew the dagger she’d hoped not to draw. Peter leapt from the cart but, witless sod that he was, lost his balance with his arms pinioned and fell to the ground with a yell. The hangman lunged to put a boot on Peter’s back, but Emmat was on him with the dagger.
And then she wasn’t.
The man seemed to twist like a falling cat in mid-air, his body everywhere at the same time. A fist was in her hair while other fingers dug into her wrist and sent the blade spinning. Her brother shouted at the jolt of another well-placed boot in his ribs.
“So that’s the way of it,” the hangman said, latching into the laces of her stays at her back for a better grip while Peter groaned and curled tighter on the ground. A brisk, rough search cost her the second dagger in the side of her boot, as the hooded man transferred it from her person to his.
“Peter, get up!” she pled, not knowing how unhinged the executioner might become. Her brother struggled to rise, slipping and kicking like a grasshopper missing a leg. The clutching hand at her stays gave a yank and Emmat bounced backwards against the hangman. She blinked into the mist at the impact, and then down at her squirming sibling.
“Forged a letter from a judge. Interfered with a lawful execution. Stole a horse—oh yes, I can tell.” The rasp of the voice came low at her ear, scruffing her where she stood. The threat was there, even unspoken. As if Emmat needed more capital crimes added to her tally.
“Emmat.” Peter managed to sit upright, coughing.
“I’ve changed my mind about bargains today,” the hangman said, ignoring her brother’s whimpering. “It’s so godawful important to you this one don’t swing, I’ll make you a trade.”
Silence on the hill. One of the horses snorted and stamped a hoof, she couldn’t see which. Emmat knew what was coming.
“You for him. I’ll only ask once.”
It was a bargain the man had no authority to make, though it seemed a poor time to remind him of it.
Peter stared at her, unmoving as a petrified deer, his mouth hanging slack, copper hair sticking out in muddy disarray.
Come home with your brother …
At her back, she felt the hangman’s chest expand with his waiting breath. Her jaw flexed. Eyes bored through her wretched brother’s to a vision of her parents’ faces when she told them Peter was dead. She exhaled.
… or not at all.