Sneak Peek: The Housewife Assassin’s Ghost Protocol by Josie Brown

ghostJosie is hosting a contest to promote the release of The Housewife Assassin’s Ghost Protocol. Jump over to her website for details.

The Housewife Assassin’s Ghost Protocol by Josie Brown

Housewife assassin Donna Stone’ mission: investigate the resurrection of known terrorists who were thought to be dead and buried. But when vital intelligence leads them to a group of domestic-based terrorists who are planning major attacks throughout the United States, a political enemy of POTUS provides evidence that Acme is involved and President Chiffray has no other option than to initiate ghost protocol, dissolving the black ops organization. To save their lives and their country, Donna and Jack must go under deep cover to seek out the true spooks betraying America.”

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1
Drop Dead Gorgeous

Nobody wants to drop dead.

And yet, for some odd reason, the rest of us are all the more upset when someone young and gorgeous is “taken before her time.”

“Why her?” we lament. “She had her whole life ahead of her!”

True that…

Guess not.

On the upside, she also avoided wrinkling and withering into a little old lady—not to mention having her spouse leave her for some young chippy.

She will not feel dismayed on birthdays by those who patronizingly proclaim, brightly if not sincerely, “You don’t look a day over (fill in the blank) ha, ha! Everyone, let’s give her a big hand…”

 I purposely mix metaphors when I say “age before swine.”

Should you have the choice to either flame out as a bright young thing, or age honestly and gracelessly, do yourself a favor: choose the latter.

Truth is, the longer they know you, the harder it is to forget you—and that’s your true endgame, isn’t it?

Dying young is SO overrated.

*****

“Quit gawking.” I don’t have to move my sunglasses, let alone open my eyes, to chastise my husband, Jack.

“Why would you even assume I’m staring?” Hearing his deep chuckle, I suppress a grin. His question serves as a challenge.

Game on.

“We’re on a beach in Biarritz,” I remind him. “Of course you’re staring at someone. Someone who is more than likely topless.” With my eyes still closed, I point toward our left. “C’est-là.”

Jack shifts in his lounge chair so that he can lift the brim of my hat in order to stare down at me. “How the hell did you know?”

Before opening my eyes, I sigh, then remove my sunglasses and look left.

As I suspected, three comely filles, perhaps nineteen or twenty years old, lay on beach blankets a few yards away. One is on her back. Her naked breasts are already reddened by the glaring sun. Another is on her side. The plum of her comely backside, topped with a tramp stamp of entwined hearts and split by a thong, is pointed in our direction.

The third girl, a waifish gamine with white blond hair and a deep tan, is raised in a cobra pose on her beach blanket. Her naked breasts, now gravitationally erect, resemble over-inflated zeppelins flying in tandem.

Even our nineteen year-old cabana boy, Jean-Pierre, pauses the vigorous shaking of our mid-day martini in order to hear my answer.

In all honesty, I had a fifty-fifty chance that Jack was looking left as opposed to right. Luck of the draw. Not that I’ll willingly admit it. “Simple deduction. You’ve been too quiet for much too long. At the same time you haven’t turned a page in your book.”

“It’s Moby Dick. It takes at least an hour to fathom each damn paragraph.”

“Liar. You were reading—and I use that term lightly—the latest swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.” I glance in the direction of Jean-Pierre. “Admit I’m right, or else I’ll ask our manservant to give me another massage.”

“Busted,” Jack’s reluctant apology comes with a sly grin. “Sorry. Poor choice of words.”

“I’ll write it off to topless-of-mind awareness.” I lower my shades so that he can see my wink.

“You know, you could cut me some slack.” He too nods toward Jean-Pierre.

I don’t mind that Jack thinks the kid has a crush on me. But I know it’s because I’m a good tipper, so I shrug. “Done. I do concede, however, that prime beefcake trumps three cream puffs any day.”

Up until now, Jean-Pierre has been ignoring the girls. French society’s blasé attitude toward nudity has made him immune to their all too obvious attributes. But now that he’s taken a better look at them, his face turns bright red—to my relief, not because I’ve embarrassed him. “Merde! The one at the far end—she is Nicolette Beauchamp!”

“Who?” I ask.

“I am sorry.” He shakes off his anger. “She is…an old friend of mine.”

As red as his face just turned, I’m sure she is more than that to him still.

He answers my questioning eyes with a shrug. “A long time ago. We were merely enfants. In the meantime we’ve grown up, and apart.” He shifts his gaze in her direction. His longing is all too obvious. “Her mother is Martine, a chambermaid here at the hotel. Should she see Nicolette sunbathing sans un maillot de bain, she will be—how do you say…livid? Our hotelier looks down his nose on any impertinence from the staff or their families. The guests…” He bites his lips. “Well, one may get the wrong idea, n’est-ce pas?”

I nod. “To put it mildly. I know I’d feel the same way if it were my daughter.”

Jack picks up a pair of binoculars. “Looks like we have company.”

He’s right. Just beyond Nicolette yet another super-yacht is jockeying for position amongst the many that dot the calm turquoise waters just a few hundred feet from these golden shores. At four hundred or more feet in length and six bridges high, the ship could be mistaken for a small aircraft carrier, easily dwarfing the other behemoths around it. The bow of the lower bridge has been hollowed out, exposing a swimming pool surrounded by chaises and an outdoor bar.

Scrolled on the stern is its name—Divide and Conquer—and its homeport: Antibes.

Jean-Pierre frowns. I can barely make out what he mutters under his breath. However, the phrases “brûle en l’enfer,” “fils de pute,” and that classic standby, “merde,” are all recognizable.

I feel my brow arching. “I take it you know the yacht’s owner.”

Oui, Madame. He is a very wealthy Saudi Arabian.’” His sneer comes with an eye roll. “He built that monstrosity over there.” He points to a mansion on a cliff over a strip of beach on the right of us.

I shake my head in awe. “Interesting. And I thought that was just another hotel!” An honest mistake, considering that it is larger than any other structure flanking the beach.

“If only, Madame. The citizenry of our little town is…how do you say in English…‘up in arms’ because he has requisitioned the beach in front of it for his private use. He has an entourage of over a thousand friends and family.”

“It looks as if his security detail is a third of it.” Jack gazes at the empty wedge of beach sprawled under the rocky shoreline. A battalion of guards are lined up, perpendicular to the shoreline. If anyone attempts to go around them, they are shooed away with batons.

One of the girls—Thong—has also noticed the yacht. She nudges Nipples, who then sits up straight.

The tweet of a cell phone sends Nicolette rolling onto her back. She reaches for her beach bag and reads her text, then raises her sunglasses above her eyes in order to scrutinize the yacht’s crew as they ready the onboard helicopter for their boss, a broad-shouldered man in a suit. The whirlwind caused by the helicopter’s rotating rudders cause his keffiyah to flap around his shoulders, but it doesn’t deter him from texting on his cell phone.

Nicolette and he seem to tap off simultaneously. The reason for this becomes obvious when she waves at the copter as it hovers over her—and us—before alighting on the concrete deck adjacent to the cordoned-off sand.

She doesn’t rise to greet him. Instead, she waits for one of his cronies to fetch her and her friends. Before sashaying off, she tosses on a tight T-shirt. Then she turns and winks at Jean-Pierre.

He drops his head in defeat.

Nipples follows her. Thong, however, hesitates. She glances over at Jean-Pierre and blushes. Noting his scowl, she still blows him a kiss.

“She’s quite beautiful,” I point out.

“Gigi Marchand likes to pretend that she is in love with me,” Jean-Pierre mutters. “Nicolette and the other girl—Suzette Caron—encourage it.”

“And you don’t want to play along?” Jack counters.

A ghost of a smile alights on Jean-Pierre’s lips. Still, he shakes his head. “We all have our fantasies, eh?” His eyes are drawn to Nicolette and her lover.

So are everyone else’s on the beach, for good reason. Their embrace is so erotic that heads of passersby seem to pivot a full three hundred and sixty degrees.

The man finally lets her go in order to lead her and her friends toward the helicopter.

“They aren’t going into the grand villa?” I murmur to Jean-Pierre.

Jean-Pierre shakes his head adamantly. “He would not want his mistress to run into his wife. The yacht is his domain solely. ”

“What did you say his name was?” Jack asks.

Jean-Pierre mutters, “al-Sadah.”

Jack turns toward me. His stare mirrors mine. Salem Rahmin al-Sadah was a recent titular head of the Quorum, a terrorist funding organization.

He is also recently dead—thanks to moi.

Trust me, I had good cause to take him out. He’d plotted to infiltrate an anti-terrorism summit hosted by the president of the United States, Lee Chiffray, in order to murder those in his region who seek peace.

He also tried to rape me on the eve of my wedding. I’d say I owed him a very long good-bye.

Salem could not have survived it. I know, because I watched him die.

Jack lays his hand on my arm. “Probably a brother, or a cousin. Remember, it’s a big family.”

I shiver, not because of any chill—after all, the sun shines overhead—but because it felt as if someone walked across my grave.

Or crawled out of one.

Just then, the helicopter takes off. It swoops low over us before arcing back over the water toward the yacht.

In its wake, my sunhat flies off, skipping over the sand before landing in the tide.

It floats downstream, toward al-Sadah’s palace.

“Oh, hell,” I mutter. “It was my favorite. Now it’s ruined.”

Jack laughs as he takes me by my wrists in order to lift me off my chaise. “Don’t worry. I’ll buy you a new one—but not now. It’s siesta time.”

This is code for our afternoon delight. It is part of a daily ritual.

Our hotel was once a private villa. Its greatest feature is that it is small in comparison to the others along the beach, and that it has a handful of private cabanas staggered along the beach.

Ours juts out over the ocean. During high tide, when the waves slap against the pylons beneath our room, we feel as if we’re floating out on the sea.

A large round bed is centered in the room, which is glassed in on three sides. Two face either end of the beach, while the third affords us a straight-on ocean view.

Wall-to-ceiling drapes give us complete privacy from the beach sides, if that is what we desire. We’ve yet to open them. Needless to say, we’ve been sleeping like newborns, partying like co-eds during Spring Break, and making love like the newlyweds we are.

So then, why do I feel as if our honeymoon is over?

You can read the entire first chapter by following this link.
Ghost Protocol can be purchased at these retailers:
Amazon:  http://bit.ly/HA13GP
iBooks: http://bit.ly/HA13GPiB
BN: http://bit.ly/HA13GPBN
Kobo: http://bit.ly/HA13GPkobo

CONTEST:
Josie is hosting a contest to promote the release of The Housewife Assassin’s Ghost Protocol. Jump over to her website for details.

 

 

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