Author: Diane Castle
Genre(s): Murder Mystery, Legal Thriller
Published: 2012 by Wishlist Publishing
Book Synopsis: The thing about cancer is it’s hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose—but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive.
Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to the bass-ackwards town of Kettle, Texas (human population: 4,000; gun population: 34,356). Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex employs half of Kettle’s population, and there’s no question the judge in the town’s got oil stains on his hands. It’s no wonder she’s been on a losing streak lately. She suspects she’s been litigating on an uneven playing field, but when her star expert witness turns up dead less than 48 hours before a make-or break hearing, she knows.
What she doesn’t know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret—one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiancé and a tantalizing new flame along the way.
I didn’t even know how to use a gun before yesterday, and I certainly hadn’t become a crack shot overnight. That didn’t bode well for my chances of survival at the moment — especially since I was currently staring down the wrong end of somebody else’s barrel. What was I supposed to do? Duck? Shoot first? Run? Maybe the decision would have been easier if I hadn’t loved the guy pointing the gun at me. I watched his trigger finger tense as the smoky, toxic air around us seemed to grow even thicker. Walls shook and the floor rolled beneath me as an explosion thundered through the building. The PetroPlex flagship oil refinery was fast on its way to becoming nothing but a memory.
The doorframe buckled before my eyes—my only means of escape. Sharp orange tongues of flame lapped at me from above, sending down a rain of fiery particles as acoustic ceiling tiles disintegrated overhead. That’s when I knew that gun or no gun, I was going to die.
“So what about you?” Nash asked. “How are you holding up?”
“I’m okay,” I said, feeling anything but. My career was falling down around me in flames, just like my house. I was alone in life, having loved and lost through no fault of my own. I had no money in my bank account and owned only the clothes on my back. Even my car would be repossessed if I didn’t figure out some way to make the payments soon. I had lost just about everything. On the upside, that meant there wasn’t a whole lot left to lose.
“I find that hard to believe, under the circumstances,” Nash said.
“Well.” I sighed. “There’s not a lot we can do to change the situation, so we might as
well accept it and move forward.”
Nash kicked a pebble off the road into the ditch absentmindedly. “You remind me of my wife in that respect,” he said.
Something inside me softened toward him. “How so?” I asked.
“She never let anything get her down. Even when it looked like my career was over, she stayed optimistic. She was strong, like you.”
I didn’t feel strong. I felt like a big ball of wuss that wanted to curl up in my bed and never get out. The thing was, I didn’t even have a bed anymore, so that wasn’t a viable option.
“Do you miss Chicago?” I asked.
“I miss the summers there. I miss walking by the lake with my wife.”
I fought the urge to reach out and grab Nash’s hand. I wanted to connect with him, to help him fill a part of his void and comfort him somehow, but I wasn’t sure how he’d react if I did that. I had just met him, and after all, yesterday our relationship was such that he was going to arrest me. What could possibly make me think he would even want comfort from someone like me? And why did I feel the need to comfort him in the first place? I was undeniably attracted to him physically, but I barely knew him. Maybe it was the lure of the strong, silent type. He was mysterious. And he was clearly a hero. He had carried me out of a burning building, for Pete’s sake. Maybe I was just feeling the natural affection someone would feel for someone else who saved a life. Or maybe it was the fact that Nash would be safe. He was honest and upstanding almost to a fault. I felt like he was not the kind of guy who would betray a woman the way Dorian had betrayed me. He was trustworthy. He was what I needed in a man.
Author Bio: Diane Castle is the pseudonym of a Texas attorney whose practice experience includes assisting plaintiffs with wrongful death and personal injury cases against Big Oil giants such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips. Ms. Castle has published short fiction under a different name, and she has also written a stage play that was translated into German, produced in a castle near Munich, and sold out three seasons. Prior to her career as an attorney, Ms. Castle was a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News. She also feels privileged to have been honored with two awards for humor and satire and one award for literary criticism. She lives in Dallas with her husband and three dogs: Gracie, Lucy, and Mouse.
Where to buy the book:
Amazon (Print): http://www.amazon.com/Black-Oil-Blood-Diane-Castle/dp/0974474223/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1332956708&sr=8-2
Barnes & Noble (Print): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-oil-red-blood-diane-castle/1038900640?ean=9780974474229&itm=2&usri=black+oil+red+blood
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Black-Oil-Red-Blood-ebook/dp/B00759NLLO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332956708&sr=8-2
Barnes & Noble (NOOK): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-oil-red-blood-diane-castle/1108931187?ean=2940013906297&itm=1&usri=black+oil+red+blood
Where to visit the author:
Facebook book page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Oil-Red-Blood/151731328271797