The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 9 (was part of Chapter 4 long, long ago, now modified slightly)

The Alibi – Chapter 9

Thorne let the Lady Eglesia‘s systems bring it into the harbor while she dozed on the deck, barely moving from where she slept through the night. She headed out to deep water after hallucinating being back home and visited by her people’s mythical water being, the Bunyip.

Those hallucinations were becoming more frequent.

Usually a quick trip home cured such things. She’d take AirCon’s corporate jet and be there and back in four day’s time. One day to get there, two days with her people, one day to get back.

But who to leave in charge?

Shaul. Not here next-in-command but capable never-the-less.

The Eglesia’s alarms sounded. A shoreside distress signal. Somebody breaking into AirCon HQ and caught in her team’s latest tech gadgets?

She sighed and her eyes fluttered open to the Boston skyline, the the morning sun at her back.

Something bobbed in front of her boat. It looked like a man in the water. It faced the same direction she did.

It turned towards the Eglesia as if suddenly realizing it was there. The sunlight shone off the water making it difficult to see.

Thorne shaded her eyes then opened them wide. “What the – ”

Her mobile alarmed.

The thing in the water dove and was gone.

Thorne read the message on her mobile. She shaded her eyes and looked towards AirCon HQ.

A cloud of gray smoke climbed the thirty story Innovation Square tower. Swirls of denser smoke pulled and pushed the cloud up the side of the building like some Wind Spirit King Kong waving its arms and legs.

Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery):

“LifePath Work” now on BizCatalyst360

The kind folks at BizCatalyst360 just published my LifePath Work, an excerpt from my forthcoming The Shaman.

The Shaman came about because a good number of people kept asking me about my background and training. I’d meant to write a book for years, and have a really poorly written manuscript dating from the late 1980s to prove it.

Several times I’d take that manuscript out and massage it. Into a different yet equally poorly written manuscript.

Finally, I took it out in late 2019 and asked myself, “What would make this an interesting story?”

That, and getting permission from one of my teachers (who spoke for all of them) was what I needed.

Originally entitled “Shaman Story,” the graphic artist who did the interior and exterior artwork mistakenly wrote “The Shaman” on the bookcover and Shaboom! it was done.

Previous excerpts from The Shaman include DeathSong and The Paraclete.


The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 8 (was Chapter 2 long, long ago, new stuff added…i think. definitely rearranged)

The Alibi – Chapter 8

Rexall Shaul stood quietly at the top of thirty flights of stairs. He held the door open for a moment, leaned over the railing, and peered down the stairwell’s center shaft. Music wafted up the from far below. He closed his eyes to concentrate on the sound.

So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears

He opened his eyes and softly sang along. “And Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, yeah.” He gazed down the center shaft again. “That’s an old one.”

The stairs descended from the art deco paneled hallway on AirCon’s corporate office floor to the garage underneath their building. There were many such buildings, some taller, some shorter, many shared, dotting Boston’s Incubation Square’s waterfront, and Shaul sometimes believed he could feel the waves scouring the building’s foundation piles buried deep into the landfill supporting the Incubation Square population.

He let go of the door and waited, quietly, meditatively, listening to the pneumatic cylinder ease the door shut behind him. The click of the latch served as his runner’s starting pistol.

His breathing slowed and he relaxed his still-lean body with techniques learned as a USAA level competitive gymnast.

Lift his arm to check his Omega Dark Side of the Moon watch?

Lifting his arm would raise his pulse a beat, maybe two.

The hesitation alone raised his pulse a beat or two and he wondered if he was losing his edge.

The sound of the pneumatic piston slowly increased as it reached the last moments of its transit.

Quick glance at the Omega. The door closed, the starting pistol sounded.


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Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery):

The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 7 (was Chapter 4, new stuff added…i think)

The Alibi – Chapter 7

Cisily Thorne lay naked on her stomach on a white and black checkerboard beach towel. The S/V Lady Eglesia‘s Volvo Penta IPS gently thrummed as the seventy-five foot power sail’s thrusters adjusted its position over its Boston Harbor anchorage. The low vibration transported Thorne back home; one or two elders clapping, others singing, and a didgeridoo throbbing in the background.

She missed being washed in the didgeridoo’s sound, of feeling the Old Ones take semi-human shape and walk towards the fire.

But that was thirty-five years and half a world away.

Today she let the sun warm her back and stretched out until her fingertips and toes touched the Lady Eglesia‘s teak foc’sle deck. Her left hand brushed past her mobile and she shoved it so hard it skidded to the fore-railing before banging to a stop.

She seldom took time off and when she did, it was understood – Nobody Bothers The Queen Bitch.

Cisily chuckled.

The Lady Eglesia served as her vacation while at work. A short dinghy ride from dock to boat and she could strip of her work clothes, close her eyes and be back home.

Her mind’s eye saw the brilliant magenta shield of Hamersley Range. She swam in pools of still, clear water, listening to the birdcalls of tiny white corella and pink galahs flying overhead. At night she would power out into deep water where the city lights grew dim. She’d shut down the Eglesia‘s running lights, lie on her back and watch the stars, so different from her northern Australia home, and remember the stories of the Panyjima, Yinhawangka, and Kurrama ancestors.

A passing launch tooted its horn. Thorne rolled sideways on the towel and waved, her movement revealing her milk chocolate breasts capped by their dark chocolate aureola. Boys lined the launch’s deck and applauded. She smiled, shook her head and lay back down. Both men and women still appreciated her late forties body. Long legged, full hipped, narrow waisted, and with just enough breast to keep a partner satisfied without getting in the way. Her skin glistened without needing oils or balms or ointments. A child of biracial birth, she grew up desired and hated, a dark skinned lubra in a white goddess’s body. People assumed she was the child of rape, their bigoted understandings incapable of recognizing her black father and white mother cherishing her and each other.

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Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery):

The new edition of my urban science fantasy Empty Sky is available – Care to review it?

  1. The updated version of my urban science fantasy Empty Sky is available and on promo (99¢ Kindle, $11.99 Print) until 30 May 2023.
  2. Would you like a free Empty Sky PDF ARC in exchange for a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub? You would? Then comment on this post or reach out via LinkedIn, Facebook, or Goodreads letting me know you’d like the PDF ARC and when the review will go up (Empty Sky is ~490 print pages). I’ll email the PDF ARC to you within a week.

The rest of this post is Empty Sky teaser material.
(nice when people are upfront about such things, isn’t it?


Amazon and Goodreads Reviews

“If you like inspiring, fantastic, elaborate stories, this is your novel. Rich in detail, beautifully written, whether it is from the point of view of a dog or the moon, the reader can identify with all of them. A real mind movie treat.”

“Let go of expectations because this book is trippy and multi-dimensional. The plot works well as a murder mystery or a detective story, or a fantasy/mythology/SF fusion. As well as insightful psychology, it entangles computer science, AI, and quantum physics. So, it has no boundaries but does have lots of suspense, a truly psychopathic villain, and what I felt was a satisfying conclusion. Carrabis books are not for the faint of heart or lazy readers.”

“This was an incredibly engaging, truly unique read. The story is a mix of sci-fi and urban fantasy with strong mystery and thriller elements and even a touch of horror. It’s got some very technical scientific elements too (and I learned several new terms), and wonderful philosophical questions and considerations with timely messages about despair and hope and dreams. There’s some heartbreak in the story, and plenty of wonder. The descriptions that set the scenes are often full of beautiful imagery, approaching the poetic.”

“A masterfully built world where sci-fi and fantasy fans can feel right at home with an engaging marriage of folklore and computer science. Yet, at its core, making up the immovable bedrock of an already solid foundation is a thought-provoking villain. Faint-hearted readers beware. A nightmare dwells within these pages and its presence is felt from beginning to end. Whether you are into thrillers, mysteries, or haunting tales, you’ll find a little of all three here and the details hidden within the narrative are just icing on the cake. Empty Sky ages like a fine wine and must be re-read to fully appreciate the flavor.”