FREE BOOK SUNDAY from Heart Beat Books!

FREE BOOK SUNDAY from Heart Beat Books!


is free on Amazon TODAY, May 1.

When the wife of a prominent political kingpin turns up dead and dismembered in a Louisiana swamp, small-town prosecutor Ben Harper investigates. Recently widowed and struggling with single fatherhood, Ben faces complications he never imagined when his investigation uncovers racially-explosive secrets that threaten a charismatic Black mayor's ambitious plans for New Orleans.

Check out the excerpts from Silhouette below.


I'd also like to welcome readers who've joined us via The Trouble, my latest book presently FREE at BookFunnel and StoryOrigin. Thanks for joining!



In Vanished, the crime and mystery author Clara Lewis brings us homicide detective Ava Locke, racing against time to stop a kidnapper snatching girls around the city. 

The case brings Locke--a tireless insomniac with a past as dark as her tired eyes--face to face with harrowing memories she couldn't wait to forget.

VANISHED IS FREE TODAY!  Here's what Amazon readers say:

"A page-turning, fast-paced detective narrative with likable characters, good dialogue, and distinctive locations."

"Detectives Ava Locke and Carl Weathers are caring and never-back-down partners."

"Ava's and Carl's kidnapping case exposes twists and turns, secrets and lies, deceit, turmoil, and how wealth decides which case is more important, leading to a shocker that will leave you on the edge of your seat."


"A short read, it packs a wallop with lots of action. Ava is a great series character, deftly drawn, warts and all.  She's tough, totally committed to her job, and still maintains a sense of humor." 

"It's a quick read and will have you on the edge of your seat!"

"Clara Lewis takes you on a wild ride."


Visit Clara Lewis:


Excerpts from my new book, Silhouette, FREE TODAY AT AMAZON.

“DID YOU KILL my little girl?”

“You’re a hateful sonuvabitch, Winnie.”

“Oh please. How could I hate the charming manipulator”—his voice

cracked—“who married my daughter for her money?”

“I loved Carm,” King responded. “You can say, think whatever the hell you want.”

“You were cheating on her. That little whore is young enough to be your daughter.” Winthrop turned to the window. “To think I once saw you as perfect for my darling girl’s happiness. It now appears you’ve taken her from me.”

King grabbed the armrest of Winthrop’s chair. “Don’t you connect me with her death. You’re the one who hurt her.”

“THEN WHY DID SHE get herself a Glock?” Marshall said. “You know she had a Glock? You know she knew how to use it?”

“That’s news to me,” King said.

“Bet her killer didn’t know, either. He got a mite lucky, wouldn’t you say, Mr. King?”

Marshall leaned close and spoke in a low voice Amanda could not make out. “How many,” he smacked his lips. “How many Black boys . . . ” He slowed his words and smoothed his tone. “ . . . been throwed out there? Those specially-nasty places nobody ever goes?”

King glowered at the detective, at his eyeglasses perched atop salt-and-pepper hair.

“Mr. King made clear he doesn’t know what you’re talking about and as his temporary counsel, I’m making it clear I don’t want him to speak,” Amanda said. “So why don’t you back off?”


“AM I UNDER ARREST?” David King asked Ben Harper.

“If you keep acting like you have something to be arrested for.”

“I came here alone,” he said, in Ben’s office. “No attorney. No Amanda.”

“I need that DNA sample.”

“I didn’t kill my wife. As for throwing bodies in swamps, who does that?”

“Nobody you know, right?” Ben said.

“Marshall’s a dinosaur,” King said. “Right out of a muggy movie about G-men and lynchings.”

“You and he have a history.”

“Sort of. WinCo wouldn’t hire his kid. He blamed me. Did some digging. Found some dirt, so he said.”

“Your wife know about this?”  

“Of course. First thing Marshall did was go to her daddy. Lorse exaggerated the story when he tried to push me out.” 

“That why your wife left you?”

King laughed. “I left her. Fell out of love.”

“I thought you said you still loved her.”

“Love is not the same as in-love, Mr. Harper. I know that sounds trite, but it’s true.”  

“Amanda seemed to think differently.”  

“She’s jealous.”  

“You guys an item?”   

“Not anymore. Broke it off six months ago. She, not me.”  

“How’d your wife take that?”   

“What? The start or the end?”

“The lover.”

“Not well.”

“I heard she was furious,” Ben said.

“Heard from whom? Her father?” King took a deep breath and sighed it out.

“Amanda told me not to come.”

“Why did you?”

“She said you were reasonable.”  

“She’s right. Do I need to get a warrant for the DNA?”

“You know, Mr. Harper, there’s an irony here. I’m being investigated for the murder of a White woman. The daughter of a prominent White businessman. Without a shred of evidence, mind you. At the same time, Sam Marshall said he could prove I was once part of a group that murdered Black men, women, and children. But never was I investigated over that. Not once did a cop or a Fed or a Sheriff or a prosecuting attorney knock on my door about my alleged involvement in a hate group. Now, here I am, under investigation because a White woman was murdered. Don’t you find that ironic?”

“You finished?”

King stood. “My lawyer will be in touch.”

Ben stopped him as he opened the door. “So were you?”

“Was I what?”

“Part of a hate group?”

“Ask Marshall,” King said. He closed the door behind him.


ON BEN HARPER’S TELEVISION at home, a newscaster narrated as a camera panned a Braun for Governor event.


“Gubernatorial candidate Gerald Braun’s appearance in Houma today brought protests from civil rights groups who oppose Braun’s support for mandatory voter ID and opposition to funding for the new diversity in rural education program. In Lafayette, a small street demonstration erupted into violence between opponents and supporters of New Orleans Mayor Jarman Martrell.”

“What are they fighting about?” Nine-year-old Jamara Harper stood behind her father in the living room.

“What are you doing up, Sundrop? You’ve got school tomorrow.”

She sat in his lap. “Couldn’t sleep.”

He caressed her hair. She cuddled up to him.

“Couldn’t sleep?” he asked.


“Hmm. Why not?”

“Nothing. Just couldn’t.”

“Anything you want to talk about?”




A few minutes passed. “Do you put good honest White folks behind bars?” she asked.

Ben caught his breath.

“Do you put good, honest . . . ?”

“No,” he said. “Only people who break the law. Doesn’t matter what color they are.”


Ben caressed Jamie’s hair. “No,” he said. “What have I told you about that?”

“Color shouldn’t matter.”


“But it does matter,” she said. “Right?”

“It’s not supposed to,” he said. “And why not?”

“When color matters,” Jamie said, “nothing else does.”





Thank you so much for reading!

Until next time,

Michael Martin

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