An Excerpt from the Thriller: LALA LAND by Malabar Cash

Cover page for LaLa Land
Cover page for LaLa Land

My new book, LaLa Land is now up on Amazon Scout and I’m hoping that all those who read the extract will nominate it for publication.  It’s a free download, so please click on

It goes like this:

In London, Ellis Hudson knew the ropes. In Los Angeles he is finding his feet – and stepping on toes. A wannabe Philip Marlowe, his client fits the bill rather too well. She’s dark, delectable and definitely dangerous to know. Penny Alvarez believes in sell-by dates, after which she will strip a man down, make him purr, and let him die happy. She’s the client, but Ellis Hudson has to call in the cavalry. He needs all the help he can get!

I’ve added an excerpt about Penny Alvarez.  She is what Ellis Hudson is up against!

It was going great.  Tony’s knees had buckled slightly as he heaved the sail bag up across his back, but he rallied with a word or two from Penny.  Both bags were transferred to the waiting boat, and Penny breathed a sigh of relief.  It was another step completed.

Her heart was beating fast.  She had disposed of inconveniences before, various modus operandi, but basically they had all been the same.  This time was…. well, it was different.  This was a culmination.  It was the end of a very long road.

Tony gunned the engine.  It fired.  They had noted the mooring and the boat would be returned to the same place.  Who was to know, as long as they got it back, that it had ever been part of an adventure?

They kept the throttle low.  Nobody had shown any interest; there were indeed not many people about.

‘How far out?’  Penny asked.

‘Ten minutes should do it.’

‘Make it fifteen,’ she said.

At last they puttered to a stop.  Tony was straight into action, wanting this over as much as she did.  It was no easy matter.  Both bags were heavy.  One bag would remain heavy, but the other must be weighted down permanently, it must not surface as time went by.  During the journey out Tony had unscrewed the guard rails.  The bags were on the cabin roof.

Tony continued masterful and in charge.

‘Keep out of this until I say so.  It’s too damned easy to become attached and go over with the rest.  Many a fisherman….’  He was getting his message across.  Penny wished he had always been like this…  Perhaps he had – she had loved him once.

She perched a safe distance away and watched him tie the bags together, wind more chain round the outside, until finally he sat back, satisfied.

‘You ready for the big push?   He asked.

‘I am.’

‘Check yourself over, no loose cords; no strings attached?  He grinned.  He was actually enjoying this, and transferring the mood to her.

‘I’m loose.’  A quick smile.

She got into position, braced her legs, made sure her arms could be easily pulled free.  He checked her again:  he checked the bags.  He was ready.

‘Heave!’ he said.

By God they were heavy, but the bags moved from the cabin roof.  The first one snagged on the deck and they heaved again to keep it going.  The second bag came down and they put their backs into getting the momentum to push it over.

All of a sudden they were gone, with an almighty Whoosh and a clatter!  Surely it had woken the whole of the near-by marina?

All was silent.

They stared at each other, and then Tony opened his arms wide and she fell into the embrace.

‘It’s over.’  He buried his head in her hair and drew a deep breath.

‘It’s over.’  She savoured the smell of him.

They laughed in unison.  ‘It is over!’

‘Let’s go home,’ Penny said.

The boat was returned to its moorings.  Yes, there were drag marks on the deck, but that could have happened at any time, and for craft that had been neglected it was only to be expected.

All they needed to do was drive away.

‘How about we take the pretty way?’  Penny asked.  ‘The coast road:  over towards Los Palos Verdes?’

‘You’re a glutton for punishment!  I’ve had enough excitement for one night.’

‘I just thought we might find a little place to lay our heads – when the inns open.  We could make it a romantic week-end.’

‘That’s different.  Now you’re talking.  I’ll go for that!’

The road was winding.  They were cruising, taking their time.  No hurry now.

Penny was running the caper over in her head:  no loose ends as Tony had said.  Nothing to trip them up.  They’d been way out to sea and nobody was watching them anyway.  Just tonight to organize now and that must be perfect.  She checked the road behind them in her rear view mirror.  No lights.  She drove around another bend, the road was climbing, and the view was fantastic.  Still no lights, they had the road to themselves.

‘Can you feel that?’  She asked, frowning, leaning towards him.

‘Like what?’

‘There’s something wrong, the car is wobbling.’

‘It’s the wind up here.’

‘It feels more like a puncture.’  She pulled the car to a halt against the cliff.  ‘You want to take a look?’

Tony sighed.  ‘I won’t be changing no wheels up here,’ he said.

‘I’m not asking you to do that, but I may have to call Triple A.  A wheel out of shape is dangerous.’

‘OK,’ he grumbled.

‘Make it quick.’  She said.

Tony got out.  ‘Front or back?’

‘It feels like the back.’

She waited, with the engine running.  She moved forward a little, causing him to shout.  ‘Hey!  Where are you going?’

She calmly put the Lexus into reverse, and hit him just enough to knock him over.

‘Hey!’ He shouted again – before she ran slowly over him.  Nothing dramatic!  Nothing had been enough to leave marks on her car.  In Drive she ran forward over him to make sure he was dead.  She wouldn’t put it past Tony to have survived!

She watched the road; still no lights.  The cars would come sooner or later.  Move fast now Penny – get away.  Your life may depend on it.

She had to reach the twenty-four hour car wash.  She would go through it twice.  There would be time to dispose of her overalls and definitely her shoes, somewhere up there.

Frankly, it had been a long night.  She would be glad to get home!

I really enjoyed writing this book.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  Quite apart from nominations, if you would care to leave a comment here, I’d love to hear from you.

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