Book Review for HOWEVER LONG THE NIGHT by David Pereda

Title: However Long the Night
Author: David Pereda
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-1615725991

However Long the Night
by David Pereda

Book review by S. M. Senden

Old family secrets left unresolved have a way of creating problems for generations to come. Cid Milan heard his father’s death bed confession of events long ago that leave Cid with no choice but to return to Cuba, the land of his ancestors, and delve into the past. David Pereda has written an exciting tale layered with conflict and betrayal full of twists and turns that will keep you reading to the end.

S. M. Senden was raised in Winnetka, a north shore suburb of Chicago. From an early age reading and writing were passions as was travel. Senden has studied, lived and worked in the USA, Europe, the Mid-East and Africa, spending a number of years as an archaeological illustrator for various expeditions. S. M. Senden earned a Masters Degree and has studied creative writing, play writing and screenwriting.

Senden is the author of Clara’s Wish, Lethal Boundaries, and Murder at the Johnson and a number of ghost stories in various magazines.

Excerpt From “Twin Powers” by David Pereda

twinWhile vacationing with her mother in Havana, a ten-year-old American girl is taken by members of a child sex ring intent on selling her into forced prostitution. When the human traffickers avoid capture and escape the island, the father of the girl, surgeon Raymond Peters, decides to take matters into his own hands and intiates a worldwide investigation. The Cuban government assigns a lethal professional assassin named Marcela to help Raymond track down the culprits. The search for Stephanie takes the unlikely pair—a man who has taken an oath to save lives and a woman who kills for a living—to the Middle East in the hunt for the mysterious mastermind, Mohamed. Working against the clock, Raymond and Marcela must pull out all the stops to save Stephanie and flee Dubai before Mohamed and his thugs kill them.

Excerpt from Twin Powers:

The full moon reflected on the beach waters, multiplying itself like enormous gold coins with each gentle wave.

“Let’s go for a swim naked,” Marcela said, tugging at Raymond’s hand. “It’s a beautiful night out.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

They were sitting on the porch of Marcela’s house on a secluded beach in Havana. Raul Castro had been true to his word. Her old house had been intact and spotless. There were a lot of recollections in that house for her. Every room evoked a special memory for her. She had made love, and she had killed, in that house. She had been attacked and beaten, but she had survived.

The altar to Chango in the main room of the house had taken her fifteen years to build. Every object on it was special to her. The two-foot-tall statue of Chango in the middle she had commissioned from Cuba’s finest sculptor and paid for with contraband dollars. She had spent three years carving the huge figures of Oshe and Shere, Chango’s bodyguards, from the hardest and darkest mahogany. The antelope horns, symbolizing Oya, Chango’s wife, she brought from Africa. The jade miniature of twin little girls at Chango’s feet, she bought in Mexico at the Teotihuacan pyramids.

The secluded beach where she swam naked every day held countless reminiscences too; the feel of the sand itself; the salty waters where she once had an encounter with a shark; the training area behind the trees where she practiced four hours every day.

Everything in and around her house brought so many warm recollections to her. And now she was contemplating leaving her home and all her memories to go live permanently in Miami with Ray. She was split in two. Cuba and her home pulled her one way; Ray and her love for him pulled her another way. She had never been so indecisive in her life. One moment she was ready to pack and leave. Five seconds later, she was convinced she would stay. How could she even think of leaving her country, her house, and the only life she had ever known behind? And all because she was in love with one man, an older man at that, one who could be her father. A moment later, she would argue with herself that change was good and necessary when one felt too comfortable in one place. Change builds character, challenges you, and makes you learn new things. Her English wasn’t very good. She could perfect it in the United States, for instance.

All this thinking was giving her a headache. Her decision could wait. Now she needed exercise.

Ray was looking at her with that especial expression of his that always made her want to hug him so hard she could get inside his body.

“Hey, did you fall asleep on me?” he asked. “You’re kidding about going swimming naked, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m not kidding.”

She stood and peeled her clothes off.

“What about your neighbors?”

“What neighbors?” She started undressing him, beginning with his T-shirt. “Have you seen any neighbors? This is a secluded beach, kimosabe. There are no neighbors.”

“Hey, wait a minute,” Raymond protested as she started unzipping his shorts.

“Be quiet and don’t move!”

He did as ordered. When she finished undressing him, she stared appraisingly at his naked body, making a bit production of it. She could tell he was a little nervous.

“Do I pass inspection?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” she said in a serious tone. “You’re old enough to be my father. Gaining a little weight around the middle, losing your hair; your package is a little too small for my taste.”

“Ouch!” Raymond looked down at himself. “You really know how to make a guy feel good.”


“But what?”

“But I love you anyway.”

Marcela started running toward the beach, feeling the breeze on her face and smelling the salty scent of the sea. A moment later, she heard Ray’s footfalls coming behind her. A long time ago, she had learned that happiness consisted of relishing the little moments in life. She was happy.


DavidPeredaDavid Pereda is an award-winning author who enjoys crafting political thrillers and mainstream novels. His books have won the Lighthouse Book Awards twice, the Royal Palm Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and the Readers Favorite Awards twice. He has traveled to more than thirty countries around the world and speaks four languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, Pereda had a rich and successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others. A member of MENSA, Pereda earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned bachelor degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He loves sports and has won many prizes competing in track and show-jumping equestrian events. Pereda lives with his youngest daughter Sophia in Asheville, North Carolina. He teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College. Visit him online at: Other titles by David Pereda: However Long the Night Havana: Top Secret Havana: Killing Castro

Click here for an Interview With David Pereda, author of “Twin Powers”

Excerpt from A Spark of Heavenly Fire by Pat Bertram

ASHFborderStraight from today’s headlines! In the novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire by Pat Bertram, hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable disease called the red death. In an effort to stop the disease from spreading beyond the state of Colorado where the disease originated, the entire state is quarantined. In this dangerous world, Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover who unleashed the deadly organism and why they did it, until the cost — Kate’s life — becomes more than he can pay.


After an uneventful day at work, Kate hurried home through the silent streets. More than half the houses she passed had fluorescent orange dots splashed on their front doors indicating that someone had died within. Beside some of those doors were small shrines or memorials—artificial flowers, crosses, dolls, teddy bears. Other houses were unlit, mute testimony that entire families had died.

A white unmarked delivery van stopped in front of a house that already had one fluorescent dot on the door. When two men jumped out of the truck and ran up the porch steps, she knew that soon another orange mark would appear next to the first.

She could hear the men lamenting the loss of the Broncos while they waited for someone to answer their knock. It seemed strange that they spoke of such a prosaic matter. Shouldn’t they be crying, “Bring out your dead. Bring out your dead,” as their counterparts during the Black Death had done?

As she neared the house, she could see the door open. An old woman with bowed head and trembling shoulders stood aside to let the two men enter.

Kate had passed the house by the time the men emerged with their burden, but she could hear the thud of the body when they threw it into the van.

She thought of Greg and how he had cradled Mrs. Robin in his arms as he carried her down the alley and how he had gently laid her under a tree in the next block.

And how he had said he liked her, Kate, very much.


Until November 23, 2014, A Spark of Heavenly Fire will be available at 50% off from Smashwords, where you can download the novel in the ebook format of your choice. To get your discount, go here: A Spark of Heavenly Fire and use coupon code ST33W when purchasing the book. (After you read the book, posting a review on Smashwords would be nice, but not obligatory.)


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Excerpt From “The Knowledge Holder” by Harry Margulies

TKHFrontsmallGreg Simon is an ordinary man, a salesman, a father, a widower, who just happens to discover that he is “the Knowledge Holder,” the one person who knows a great secret the rest of humanity does not know, and with it comes a unique ability to help others. Nothing is standing in his way – except for a team of FBI agents who specialize in national security issues. Greg’s new-found knowledge, if unleashed on the public, would give life a new meaning, and change the world forever.

Chapter 1

The appointment unfolded with tiresome predictability. My client, wearing a finely woven pastel sweater and coordinating pinkish blush of anticipation, sat with an unsettled, erect posture across from me. She had just purchased a new home. With it came the standard new home backyard, which was nothing but dirt.

“Have you had a pool before, Ms. Becker?” A more clever opening I’m sure had not been discovered.

“No, but I’ve always wanted one, and I promised myself this would be the house.” This was really good for me to hear, as I not only had to design the pool but sell it as well. With her comment she was in fact assuring me that I had already closed the sale and that I’d have to be some sort of blockhead to screw it up. In sales lingo, this is known as a laydown. Losing a laydown sale is like missing your mouth trying to take a sip of water. Since my shirt had been soaked more than once, I proceeded with my usual professional presentation and hoped for the best.

Such is the life of a swimming pool salesman, or Design Specialist, as my business card so eloquently misrepresents. My office is situated along a quiet hallway in a medium-sized Phoenix homebuilder’s design studio, pressed between a landscaper’s botanically embellished space, and a lighting specialist’s optimistically luminous showroom. When a contract is written for a new home, the buyers are asked if they have any interest in adding a pool. A yes answer gets them a two-hour riveting sit-down with me, Greg Simon, Design Specialist.

Sales started to crumble for my homebuilder about a year ago, and seemingly the next day you could shoot a cannon through my leather-bound appointment book and not hit a drop of ink. Other reps in my company would have proclaimed impending doom and glommed on to an extra account or a part-time gig hawking suds at Chase Field by now. But fortunately for me, I had strung together a number of good years during the boom—very good years—and was quite content watching my workload atrophy into a part-time job. I wasn’t flush with cash or anything, but my intermittently functioning, fertile shard of brain somehow prevented quintessential me from squandering my hard-earned riches. A few good appointments a month and my wallet and I were both rosy with contentment.

In any case, Ms. Becker and I were getting along pretty well, as was her pool design. That’s when things took a turn.

I thought I was just as boring as hell, since she was nodding off listening to me ramble on about the virtues of an in-floor cleaning system. It wasn’t until she actually fell off her chair that I realized maybe it wasn’t just me.

I rushed around my desk to where she had been sitting, hoping she had just slid off during a mini lapse of consciousness. Who could blame her, with my monotone and all? Maybe it was the immediate change of the shade of her skin to something in the pallid family, or maybe it was the way her eyes were wide open while actually not looking at anything that tipped me off. She was dead. This was not the sort of laydown I was hoping for.

To my credit, I didn’t even consider the loss of a sale as I dialed 911. I was, I guess, more scared than anything. I had never seen a dead person before. I was sure though. As a big fan of television crime dramas, I’d had as much exposure to dead bodies as most detectives or old-timey, half-baked coroners.

It seemed that I had just finished my conversation with the 911 operator when the paramedics arrived. This was a good thing, as I was a little more than weirded out by the corpse on the floor of my office. Just before the cavalry appeared, my head was jumping with thoughts of what I should be doing. Was it appropriate or necessary to be thinking of CPR? Not that I knew how to perform this on someone, but again, you watch enough television you should be able to attempt almost anything. Once, I made chicken piccata after watching some Food Network show. It wasn’t bad really and not as hard to make as I thought it would be.

It turns out, the paramedics did all these things for me, or I guess instead of me and for Ms. Becker. After all was said and done, I was right. She was gone. She was packed up and rolled away. I was left with maybe even a more creepy feeling than I’d had when she was still lying there on my office floor.


harry mHarry Margulies has written about romance, money, women, and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about. The balance of his precious time is misspent as an internationally published cartoonist.

Harry is the proud father of two little girls, Jessica and Jill, who somehow are old enough to have graduated college. He resides in the desert city of Scottsdale, Arizona, where it’s imperative to stay hydrated. He lives with Joann, his wife of thirty years, which is the real reason he drinks.

Click here to buy: The Knowledge Holder

False World by JJ Dare

The second book in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy continues where False Positive ends as Joe continues his mission to destroy those who have destroyed his life. As the world changes, Joe’s search for justice takes on a global urgency and he races to find answers before deadly answers find him. 

Beginning in a secluded town in the middle of nowhere, it is not long before Joe is traveling across the country and, ultimately, across a collapsing world on his quest for vengeance. 

The world is not what you see. 

And neither is Joe.

False World is available from: Second Wind Publishing, LLC

Excerpt from False World by J J Dare: 

Joe felt more and more like Alice in Wonderland as the day passed.

When he walked into the Citizens’ Identity Office, his first thought was he had walked into Utopia. When the caseworker assigned to him asked him to roll up his sleeves, Joe just looked at him.

“Identifying marks, sir,” the office jockey said. “If you’ve been in the service, you’re granted carte blanche privileges within the scope of the new laws.”

Rolling up his sleeves, the worker looked at Joe’s military tattoos and smiled as he nodded.

“I could tell by you’re bearing, sir, that you were either army or marine,” he said as he filled out the paperwork for Joe’s new identity card. “I’ll have you out of here in just a few minutes, sir.

“If you’d like to register your firearms now, I could expedite that for you, too.” The worker looked sharply at Joe as he continued. “You do pack, don’t you, sir?”

Joe laughed as he told the desk jockey, “Hell, yeah.”

As the worker relaxed, Joe again wondered what rabbit hole he had dropped into. People required to carry firearms, military given prestige above non-military, and Texas the capital of the country.

Well, whatever psycho civilization he had wandered into, he liked it.

“Sir, this is your new identity card. If you lose it, you’ll be issued a new one and the old one will deactivate. All of your information is stored on a chip inside the card and in our database. As military, you already have five thousand credits, which equals roughly a dollar per credit.”

Holding up the Joe’s new identity card, the worker continued. “As a citizen of the new United States of the Americas, you swear to uphold the laws of the military and of the government. You swear to be vigilant and to protect yourself and other citizens against those outside of our nation. You swear to be vigilant and to protect your fellow citizens should the need arise.”

The worker looked at Joe and waited. Joe looked back at him.

“You’re supposed to agree, sir,” the worker said.

“Oh,” Joe replied. “I agree to everything.”

“Thank you, sir. Now, if you’d just sign your full name, Mr. Daniels, you can be on your way.”

Joe signed the papers, pocketed his new identity card, took back his guns, and left.

In the open air, he was waiting for someone to come after him. Of all the things he had imagined might be going on in the world while he was in seclusion, this was not one of them.

The world was not was it seemed. Now, the world he thought he had known was radically different. Climbing into his truck, he realized that, more than anything, the tattoos he wore carried more weight in this new country than anything in his pockets.

A month ago when he had gone with Liz into the survivalists’ camp, the United States had been a country pandering to too many special interests, too many foreign countries, and too many lost causes.

The country he had stepped back into was a far cry from the namby-pamby one he had known. It was now the United we’ll-kick-your-ass States of the Americas.


J J Dare lives in a small, sleepy town with family and pets. Having visited many parts of the country, Dare has woven these places into stories and these stories have been incorporated into novels. 

Writing since the age of seven, the love of the written word has kept Dare grounded in the curiousity-laden world of writers. Constantly thinking what if?, has given Dare the seed for many stories.

 The first stories published by Dare were written for Rutger Hauer’s website many years ago. Since that time, other short stories have been published academically and in mainstream fiction. 

Excerpt from IMAGES OF BETRAYAL by Claire Collins

Abandoned by her family, Tysan works as a waitress in a cheap diner. One cold evening, a beguiling, rugged young man barges into her life. He possesses the remarkable ability to take photographs of events that have not yet happened. Ty narrowly avoids a harrowing death in a disastrous explosion, only to be drawn into a dizzying cascade of conflicts involving a new family that takes her in, Walker-her apparent savior, David-her new admirer and her own family. Kidnapping, betrayal, obsessive love and courageous lovers co-mingle in this romantic thriller.


His eyes darted to the envelope on the table. He took a drink of coffee, swallowing too hard. When he turned back to me, his eyes were haunted. He reached out, grasped the envelope, and pulled out another picture. As he handed it to me, his words registered.

“You’re supposed to keep yourself safe.”

The photo I held was taken in the restaurant. I was standing behind the front counter, the picture taken from across the room. A man sat in front of me, only the back of his head visible in the picture. He was covered in soot and ashes. Pieces of his clothing were burned away and blackened. My skin was blistered and the remnants of my hair were singed. My uniform had burned to my body, sticking to me as I stood there, coffee pot in hand. The ceiling of the restaurant was behind me, or at least part of it. Grey, cloudy skies formed a backdrop where some of the ceiling and the wall to the kitchen used to be. The pieces of the restaurant in the picture were burnt; smoke still rising from the embers surrounding me.

The picture was dated two days from today.I dropped the picture like the paper itself was on fire. I didn’t want to touch it. In the photo, I stood there with a coffee pot in my hand, while everything around me and my clothes were in utter destruction. Walker snatched the picture from the table, dropping it back into the envelope.

“I’m sorry,” he said, taking my hand in his again. “Short of kidnapping you that day, I didn’t know any other way to tell you about this.”


Claire Collins resides in North Carolina and writes across many genres. She loves reading when she gets the time around her family and her work schedule. She currently has two novels available through Second Wind Publishing and is working on her third, Seeds of September. 


Click here to buy: Images of Betrayal

Excerpt From “Unauthorized Access,” A Thriller by Andrew McAllister

Young computer programmer Rob Donovan receives an emergency call from his boss at the First Malden Bank in Boston after the first successful cyberattack in American banking history scrambles thousands of account records. First Malden’s survival is on the line as furious customers and voracious reporters descend on the bank. Rob is part of the team trying to fix the damage, until the FBI charges him with the crime and brings his world crashing down. Facing prison time and the loss of his fiancée Lesley, Rob’s only chance of reclaiming his life lies in cutting through a web of mistrust and betrayal to uncover the startling truth behind the attack.

 “McAllister keeps the tension high with a new surprise on every page. A master of the genre, the realism screams from every chapter.” – Gary Ryman, Author of “Fire Men: Stories From Three Generations of a Firefighting Family”


Rob and Lesley sat on a bench by the Charles River Basin while seagulls wheeled lazily overhead. Pigeons squabbled and searched the paved walkway for tidbits.

The late-morning sun struggled to provide the heat it would so easily dispense during the afternoon. Lesley hugged herself to stay warm but Rob knew this was not the right moment to slide over and put an arm around her. The walk from the courthouse had been a silent affair.

Rob had never truly understood what freedom meant before. The on-again, off-again breeze felt fresher on his face than he could ever remember. The walkway stretched off into the distance along the river and he was free to walk the entire length of it if that was what he felt like doing. He could choose. No bars or guards prevented him from standing up and walking off. The simple fact of it was intoxicating.

He looked to his right, toward where the Charles River met the Atlantic. He pictured himself on the water, rowing. Long, effortless strokes that propelled him further and further east with each pull. Spray from the bow splashed on his back, soaking him, cleansing him. Freeing him. He could just keep going, never look back.

Or a quick plane ride. But to where? South America, maybe. Which countries had extradition treaties?

Right. As if.

No, in two short months he had to go back in a courtroom and face the possibility―the strong possibility it seemed―of going to prison. He felt a cold shiver shake his shoulders and run down his back.

Lesley interrupted his thoughts. “It was nice of your parents to give Mom a lift back to my place.”

“They’re heading back home to Worcester, and it was right on their way.” Rob shrugged. “And I think they could tell we wanted to be alone.”

She took a deep, raggedy breath.

“This is a nightmare,” she said without looking at him. “The whole thing. The engagement, Uncle Stan, the mess at the TV station. Even my mother. It feels like the whole world exploded and the pieces landed on us.”

“What’s wrong with your mother?”

“She’s upset,” Lesley said. “Doesn’t want me to get hurt.”

Rob felt himself deflate even more. “And she thinks I’m some big criminal.”

Lesley didn’t deny it, which was answer enough.

“Figures,” he said.

The hardening of Lesley’s jaw and the sharp flash of her eyes should have been a warning to Rob of what was to come. He was in no mood to read the signs, though, even those the size of billboards.

“It really ticks me off that everybody assumes the police are right about me,” he said. “This is hard enough without people jumping to conclusions.”

“Don’t lay your problems on her. She didn’t cause them.”

Rob scowled at her. “Oh, and I did, right?”

Her nostrils flared as she returned his glare. “You think this is easy for me?” she said. “I feel like I’m being ripped apart by chains pulling in ten different directions.”

“You’re not the one they want to throw in prison.”

“No? Yesterday the FBI accused me of being an accomplice. They asked about Monday night. Wanted to know if you used your computer while I was in the bathroom or if I helped you do it.”

Rob’s temples started to throb. “I didn’t go near the computer.”

“Somebody did, and nobody else was there.”

Rob leaned his head back, grabbed his hair with both hands and shouted at the sky.

“Great. This is just . . . perfect.”

A tiny dog happened to be walking by. It jumped and skittered away at the sound of Rob’s outburst. The elderly lady holding the leash quickened her pace and scuttled away, looking back at them over her shoulder.

Lesley crossed her arms and legs and looked away. Her foot started pumping in agitation.

“Do you think I’d create all these headaches on purpose?” Rob said. “Is that who you think I am?”

“No, but―”

“But what? But the FBI has a fingerprint. That should be enough to wipe out everything we’ve been through together, shouldn’t it?”

She turned her head away from him. He could see her jaw working from side to side in tiny, jerky movements.

“If I really did want to mess with the bank’s computers,” he said, “why would I be stupid enough to leave behind all that evidence pointing at myself?”

Rob felt the hurt sting his eyes when she didn’t respond. He stood up abruptly, took a few steps, and stood with his back to her, arms crossed, looking toward the water but not seeing. A vast emptiness seemed to open up in his gut.

“You don’t believe me, do you?” he said.

He waited, wanting to look at her but afraid of what he might see. No answer came.

“Fine,” he said, and started to walk upriver. He had no idea where he was going, only that he didn’t want to stay where he was.

Rob felt Lesley’s hand on his elbow. He stopped and turned back to face her. Tears ran down her cheeks.

“I want more than anything to believe you,” she said. “If someone had asked me a week ago if you were capable of this sort of thing, I would have laughed in their face. But how can you explain all the stuff that FBI guy talked about in court today? It just doesn’t seem possible.”

He wrenched his arm out of her grasp.

“I shouldn’t have to explain anything,” he said. “We’re going to be married, for crying out loud. You should trust me by now.”

Lesley raised her hands in exasperation. “How can we make wedding plans with all this going on? Oh, I know, we’ll get invitations made. Ceremony at three, reception to follow, if the groom isn’t in prison, that is. And we can tell the guests about the night we slipped the ring on me and the handcuffs on you.”

“If it’s such a problem for you, maybe we shouldn’t bother.”

“Is that what you want?”

“I want someone who believes in me,” Rob shouted.

“I did,” Lesley shouted back, “and look where that got us.”

“Fine. Just forget it.”

Rob turned and started to walk away again. Something small hit his back and landed with a tinkling noise on the walkway. He swung around to see Lesley running in the opposite direction.

The diamond ring lay at his feet.


Andrew McAllister writes both fiction and non-fiction, including the relationship advice blog To Love, Honor, and Dismay. He has a psychology degree and over twenty-five years of experience in the IT industry as a professor, consultant, and software company executive. In other words he can fix your computer software . . . but only if it really wants to change. He lives with his family in New Brunswick, Canada, where he is busy working on his next project, a relationship self-help book entitled “How To End The Housework Wars So You Both Win.”




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