Hello, all! Tried & True is now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press! For those who prefer to pre-order from Amazon and other third party sellers, the Tried & True pre-order will be available on those sites closer to release day (usually about a week or so before).
When THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner—literally—would shake both their worlds. Now four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional… and fallen deeply in love. Now their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….
With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.
Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there come hell or high water….
Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday brings us a fun little snippet from Tried & True.
[Dex] grabbed the bowl of gummy bears and chucked one over at Calvin, intent on smacking him in the face with gummy goodness when Hobbs pulled a Matrix and snatched the little bear out of thin air. He tossed it up and caught it in his mouth.
He winked at Dex, and Dex peered at him. “Okay, hotshot. Think fast.” He threw one at Angel, and Hobbs caught it. Damn. Big guy got some moves. Dex narrowed his eyes. He whipped out a hand, the gummy zipping toward Rosa. Hobbs dove over three of their friends and caught it.
“Oh my God, my spleen,” Angel groaned. He glared at Hobbs. “Dude, have you forgotten you weigh a fuckton?”
Hobbs tossed the gummy bear into his mouth and waggled his eyebrows.
Calvin grinned at Dex. “Ten bucks says he can catch the next one no matter where you throw it from.”
Dex jumped to his feet. “You’re on, Summers.” They both removed ten dollars from their wallets and placed them on the table. “Who’s in on this?”
Everyone placed their bets, and Dex looked around the bar. “Okay.”
Hobbs stood, and Dex crossed the room, garnering the attention of several patrons. More heads turned, curious to see what crazy Dex was up to. He held a thumb up to Hobbs, who didn’t move from beside the table. Weird. Hobbs smiled and nodded, his hand going behind him. What was he up to?
Dex took a gummy bear from the bowl and tossed it high into the air. He stared stupefied as Hobbs snapped his wrist and one of Bradley’s aluminum plates streaked through the air, hit one pillar, flew across the room, hit another pillar, and then Hobbs dove forward, rolled, and popped up to snatch the plate out of thin air. Dex’s jaw hit the floor.
Hobbs winked at him, peeled the little bear off the plate, then popped it into his mouth. The bar went nuts cheering, and Hobbs bowed first in one direction, then another. Dex stopped in front of him.
“Dude, how the—” He gasped, then marched over to Calvin. “Ooh, you took me for a ride.”
Calvin counted his winnings, then gave half to Hobbs. “And what a sweet ride it was. You should have seen your face. Oh, wait, you can.” Calvin held his cell phone up to Dex, and Dex stared at the video of him and his comically stupefied expression.
Hello, all! The boys are back and ready for a night on the town. Join Dexter J. Daley and crew for Dex’s bachelor party. What could possibly go wrong? I think THIRDS readers know the answer to that. Filled with gummy bears, shenanigans, and smexy-times.
THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.
Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.
Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur betweenDarkest Hour Before DawnandTried & Truein the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read beforeTried & True.
Tony quickly checked the street before throwing his car door open, hurrying out, and slamming it shut. He darted onto the sidewalk, chucking his coffee cup into a trash bin he passed as he bolted down the sidewalk, John several feet ahead of him. Damn, but the man could run. Even without the head start, John would still be ahead of him. His best friend might be a smartass, but when it came time to get down to business, he was intense.
Two days they’d waited for their guy to show up, and finally they were going to bring him in. John was shouting at the guy to stop, but the bastard just bolted into the middle of the street. Tony cursed under his breath when John followed. Fucking idiot was going to get himself hit by a car.
They ran through the street, cars screeching as they skidded to a stop, horns blazing while the three of them dodged vehicles coming at them from all directions. He felt like the frog in that damn arcade game John loved to play. Here’s hoping none of them went splat. Tony’s heart almost stopped when a car headed straight for John.
John didn’t stop. Goddamn son of a bitch slid over the hood of the car and kept on running like he was the Six Million Dollar Man. Tony was going to kill him. If they survived this, he was going to strangle his best friend. No, he had a better idea.
“Stop!” John shouted, gaining on their guy when the he took a sharp left onto 5th street. Tony lost John for two seconds before making the turn and in time to see John disappear into a building. Tony was panting by the time he got there. He ran up the stairs into the converted brownstone when he heard the commotion above him. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
The door to the roof slammed open, and Tony reached deep to keep going. His chest was burning, and everything hurt. There was something off about their guy. Why wasn’t he getting tired? Tony made it out onto the roof just as they man jumped across to the next roof. Tony gaped after him. Then he saw John picking up speed.
“Are you fucking crazy!”
“Come on, partner!” John made the leap, and Tony’s heart jumped too, right into his throat. Oh, John was so going to get it. John landed in a roll before popping up and taking off full speed. This was insane. His partner was insane. He was not going to jump a damn building—
“Anthony, I need you!”
Tony let loose with every swear word he knew and then some, taking off before common sense could prevail. He said a quick prayer, and made the leap, landing hard on the other side, but rolling like they knew to do. He pushed himself as hard as he could to catch up to John, and just as he did, they dove for their guy, tackled him to the ground. The man was strong. Stronger than they were. John turned the guy over, and all the pieces came together. It was obvious by the reflection of light in his eyes.
“He’s a Therian,” John said. He reached for his cuffs, and the guy threw his hands up in front of him and curled up into a ball.
“Please don’t hurt me!” The man was genuinely terrified.
John slowly kneeled beside him. “Hey, it’s okay. We’re not going to hurt you, but we do need to bring you in for questioning.”
“I didn’t do anything. Please.”
“Why did you run?” Tony asked.
The guy looked from Tony to John and back. “I was scared. It’s not safe for people… like me. For… Therians.”
Tony let out a heavy sigh. He couldn’t argue with that. Ever since the May Day Massacre a few months ago, it felt like the world was coming to an end. The city was burning around them, citizens against citizens. There was so much death and destruction.
“What’s your name?” John asked gently, helping the guy sit up.
“Will, we’re not going to hurt you, I promise,” John said. “We received information that you might have information we can use to help solve a murder where a man was shredded to death.”
Will’s eyes went wide. They welled up, and Tony felt for the poor guy. He looked to be about in his thirties, which meant he’d been real young when he got infected.
“You a soldier?” Tony asked.
Will nodded. He lowered his gaze to his fingers. “That’s how I got infected. Doc says I… I probably won’t live to see forty.”
John cursed under his breath and shook his head. He gently placed his hand on Will’s shoulder. “You don’t know that, Will. I hear they got top scientists working on how to help Therians. Don’t lose hope.”
“Doesn’t matter. I’ll be in jail anyway.”
They helped Will to his feet. The poor guy had given up already. Tony couldn’t have that. “What kind of Therian are you?”
“Um, a wolf,” Will replied. He gave Tony a small smile. “Guess it fits. I’ve always been more of a dog person.”
“Well, we’re pretty certain our victim was killed by a Therian with really sharp claws.”
John nodded. “Plus, it happened three days ago, and after changing back, you’d be in no position to give us the run of our lives you just gave us.”
Will perked up. “That’s right. I try really hard not to give into the urge to change. The first time I changed back, the doctors said I almost died. I’m terrified if it happens again that I won’t survive.” Will let out a heart wrenching sigh, the tears rolling down his cheeks as his bottom lip trembled. “Doesn’t matter. I’m still going to prison. They don’t care if I’m not the right kind of Therian. The fact I’m a Therian is enough. It wouldn’t be the first time. Seems like it’s happening every damn day.”
John took hold of Will’s shoulders. “Now you listen to me. We’re not going to let you go down for a crime you didn’t commit. You come down to the station, let us take your statement, go over what you saw, and we’ll fight for you.”
Will’s jaw dropped open as he stared at them. “You—Why?”
John smiled warmly at Will and patted his shoulder. “Because you fought for us.”
God, he loved this man. Tony couldn’t help his dopey grin. “Trust me on this, Will,” Tony said, jutting his thumb at John. “If this guy knows you didn’t do it, he will move heaven and earth to make sure you get the justice you deserve.”
Will was silent for a moment before he nodded, a look of determination coming onto his face. “Okay.”
They escorted Will back to the car, and helped him get into the back. They didn’t cuff him. Something told Tony they weren’t going to need them. As Tony drove them back to the station, he could feel John’s eyes on him.
“What?” Tony grumbled.
“I can’t believe you jumped for me.”
Tony scoffed. “Are you kidding me? If I didn’t, Gina would tear me a knew one for letting you go off on your own like the damn fool you are. Which reminds me, if you ever do anything like that again, I will bust out Old Betsy. Do you hear me?”
John was looking too smug for his own good, and Tony knew just how to wipe that smile off his face.
“On second thought, I might just tell Gina.”
John gasped. “You wouldn’t.”
Tony arched an eyebrow. “You wanna try me, Daley?”
“Who’s Gina?” Will asked.
“His wife, who is currently balancing work and a little boy just like him who’s going through his terrible two’s.”
Will cringed. “Ooh, I would admit defeat if I were you, buddy.”
“Fine,” John huffed, folding his arms over his chest, and pouting.
Tony held a hand to his ear. “Fine what? That didn’t sound like a promise to me.”
“I promise I will not jump off buildings,” John said. The smug grin returned. “Especially since my best friend who loves me will jump after me. Because he loves me.”
“I don’t know how Gina puts up with you,” Tony grumbled.
“Because she loves me, yeah, yeah, yeah,” John sang.
“Oh God, and the singing begins. Sweet baby Jesus, help us all.”
John continued to sing, and Tony shook his head with a chuckle. His friend was all kinds of crazy, and all kinds of amazing. Tony wouldn’t change a thing.
THIRDS Thursday is on hiatus during the release months of October and November and will return in December with a holiday special!
Prompt:Can we see Tony and John during their detective days? Like maybe on a stakeout or something?
Damn, he hated these long-ass stakeouts. He needed a shower, and he missed his nice comfortable bed, not to mention food that didn’t come served in tinfoil or wrapped in cellophane. The driver’s side door opened for him, and he slipped inside behind the wheel with a grunt in thanks. He handed John one of the coffee cups, and closed his door.
“Thanks, Anthony.” John smiled that big boyish grin of his, and Tony let out a snort in disgust at his best friend.
“You are way too cheerful after two days of this shit.”
John shrugged. “Why wouldn’t I be? The weather’s beautiful, I’m here with my best friend, and now I have java. What’s not to be happy about?”
Tony merely grunted in response before taking a sip of his black coffee. He schooled his expression knowing what was coming. Three… two… one…
“Oh my God, I thought you said you were getting coffee,” John sputtered, his face looking like he’d just tasted a rank lemon or something. Tony congratulated himself on not laughing.
“That is coffee,” Tony replied flatly.
John shook his head. “No, it’s not. It’s foul. Like they took your dirty gym socks and soaked them in water for days, and then used that water to make this coffee.”
Tony gagged a little at the thought. “You’re a cop. Foul coffee comes with the badge.”
“I’ll keep the badge, but the coffee’s getting dumped into the river with the rest of the biological waste.”
Tony reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out a wad of sugar packets that he dumped in John’s lap. “There you go.”
“Oh, well, this changes things,” John said dryly. “Now it’ll taste like sweet toxic waste.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “They didn’t have any of that frou-frou shit you drink.”
John grinned widely. “Say frou-frou again.”
Tony flipped him off, and John cackled.
“How was that movie you took Dex to?”
John did his best to give himself diabetes as he poured packet after packet of sugar into his coffee. “He loved it. There were a couple of scenes that were a little scary, but when I asked him if he wanted to step outside, he shook his head, eyes glued to the screen. Gina took him shopping the next day, and he came back with a red zip-up hooded sweatshirt just like Elliott wears. She also bought him this tiny stuffed E.T., and he put in a basket that he made me tie to his tricycle.” John shook his head with a chuckle. His eyes went wide, and he turned to Tony with a very solemn expression. “If he gets on his tricycle and E.T. is in the basket, do not take your eyes off him. He keeps trying to make his tricycle fly. With him on it.”
Tony let out a snort. “Like I ever take my eyes of Dex when I babysit him. If he’s not tying his blanket around his neck and attempting to throw himself off the couch, he’s trying to use his jump rope as a whip.” Tony’s expression turned deadpan as he regarded his friend. “Congratulations, John, your kid’s just like you.”
“What? You mean charming?” John asked, wriggling his eyebrows.
John gave him a knowing smile. “Does that mean you’re not going to babysit him this weekend?”
Tony’s eyes went wide in horror at the thought. “Are you kidding? Like I’m dumb enough to stand between Gina Daley and Harrison Ford.”
John laughed. “Yeah, that would not be pretty. Now I know why she keeps suggesting I dress up like Han Solo for Halloween. Can’t say I blame her. Han is pretty hot.” John winked at Tony, and Tony chuckled.
“Man, I can’t wait to see you with a teenage Dex.”
John almost choked on his coffee. “What the hell, Tony? He’s two years old, adorable, and I can’t deal with the cuteness when he’s in his footie pajamas. It’s too soon to be thinking about mood swings, teenage boy smells, or having to purchase tissue boxes in bulk.”
Tony let out a bark of laughter. John glared at him, and Tony held his stomach as he laughed. He felt no sympathy for John. His best friend was finally going to get a taste of his own medicine, and it was going to be glorious. Tony did, however, feel for poor Gina. Having to deal with two Daley men.
“Then comes the dating,” Tony teased.
John narrowed his eyes. “Not happening.”
Tony cast him a sideways glance. “Yeah? Like you never dated? Pretty sure that’s how you ended up with Dex.”
“I ended up with Dex because I married the love of my life, and we had a beautiful baby boy that’s going to stay an innocent cherub forever.”
“Right. More like he’s going to be like his daddy before his daddy met the love of his life. Leaving a trail of havoc and broken hearts wherever he goes.”
John’s smile faded, and Tony frowned. He placed his hand on John’s shoulder. “Hey, I was just messing with you.”
“I know,” John said quietly, shaking his head. He sighed. “They’re going to break his heart one day, Tony. Some guy or some girl is going to come along and break his heart into little pieces. I think that’ll be worse than the teenage boy smells.”
Tony’s expression softened. “Well, when that day comes, we’ll buy a giant tub of ice cream, grab a bunch of spoons, and we’ll all cry into the ice cream along with him.” The thought formed a lump in Tony’s throat. If Dex really was like his daddy, he was going to wear his heart on his sleeve, and have a heart too big and too soft for all the ugly out there in the world. Tony placed his hand on the back of John’s neck, and gave it a squeeze.
“Dex has you, Gina, and me. He’s going to be okay. Besides, if some boy breaks his heart, his uncle Tony will grab Old Betsy, and pay the guy a visit.”
John burst out laughing. “And you’d do it too.”
“Damn right. Someone messes with my boy, they’re going to answer to me.”
John’s smile lit up his bright blue eyes, the same eyes he’d passed on to his little boy.
“Thanks,” John said softly.
“You’re welcome. Now drink your toxic waste.”
John chuckled, and shook his head. “Ass.”
Tony was about to take another sip of his coffee when several doors down, a guy bolted out from the building. “Shit! That’s our guy!”
Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday is a snippet of our dynamic duo Dex and Sloane, from Tried & True, the final book in the THIRDS main series which is out November 24th. Happy reading!
Sloane straightened, his heart pounding. “What is it? Did you find the agent?”
“No, but I found something even better. Dude, Mrs. Bauman’s into BDSM.”
“What?” Sloane let out a breath he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding.
“Mrs. Bauman. She has an entire closet full of leather stuff, paddles, whips….”
“Why are you searching Mrs. Bauman’s closet?”
“For our guy, or girl, agent.”
“And a highly skilled enemy agent is going to be hiding in Mrs. Bauman’s closet?” Maybe they were taking a page out of Dex’s book. Dexter J. Daley’s 101 Places to Hide If You Want to Get Caught. Number 1. Bedroom Closet. Sloane let out a snort at the memory of a naked Dex hiding from Ash in the bedroom closet back when they’d thought they were being sneaky about their relationship. Of course the closet was the first place Ash looked.
Dex let out a bark of laughter. “Oh my God!”
“What now?” Sloane was going to strangle him.
“Mrs. Bauman has a strap-on.”
“I did not need to know that.”
“Ooh yeah, get your freak on, Mrs. Bauman. Just goes to show you, you’re never too old to get jiggy with it. Man, I hope we’re this adventurous when we get to her age. We’re probably going to need a little something-something to help with the, uh, you know, gravity, but we can make it work. Shit. What if Mrs. Bauman is the agent?”
“Think about it, Sloane. She always happens to pop up when I’m either compromised or half-naked.”
“I think that says more about you than it does our elderly neighbor.”
“I bet her walking that tiny prehistoric dog—which I’m convinced is some kind of wingless pterodactyl—is her doing surveillance. She’s probably got all kinds of explosives hidden in her housedress. Have you seen how ginormous the pockets are?”
“Am I, Sloane? Am I really?”
“Fine, but when she springs out at you like the wrinkly ninja she is and tries to strangle you with her hairnet, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I bet those rollers are actually grenades.”