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Iron Goddess

Iron Goddess

Book 1 of 4: Shea Stevens Outlaw Biker series

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What's It About?

Her niece is kidnapped and the clock is ticking…

Eight years after being released from prison, Shea Stevens has put her criminal past and her outlaw biker family in her rearview. She’s proud of the custom motorcycle business she’s built and of her relationship with a girlfriend who adores her.

But when Shea’s eight-year-old niece is kidnapped, her deep distrust of the police pulls her back into rural Arizona’s criminal underground. No matter the cost, she’s determined to save the girl and rain hell on those who took her.

Shea forges an uneasy alliance with her family’s drug-dealing biker gang, forcing her to confront the violence from her childhood. Brutal nightmares she’s tried hard to forget. And unless Shea acts quickly, history is likely to repeat itself.

Through a series of high-speed chases, shootouts, desperate bargains, betrayals, and narrow escapes, Shea risks everything to rescue her niece. All while confronting her family’s darkest secrets and even her own misdeeds.

Will Shea save the girl in time? And what will her loyalty cost her and the people she loves?

In her debut novel, author Dharma Kelleher delivers a groundbreaking thriller that is equal parts The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and Sons of Anarchy.

Curl up with Iron Goddess and join Shea on a white-knuckle, full-throttle, thrill-a-minute ride through the seedy side of Arizona's high desert that will touch your soul and keep you turning the pages into the wee hours.

Read Chapter 1 Now

Sparks exploded from the left footpeg of Shea Stevens’ motorcycle as it scraped against the pavement. She was going too fast through the curves that twisted up the south side of Sycamore Mountain. The road was dark—daybreak still an hour away. Getting up close and personal with an elk at sixty miles an hour would be disastrous. But Shea was in a hurry.

She tried to convince herself the call from the security company was another false alarm—a rat looking for a crumb, or maybe a glitch in the sensors. But she couldn’t shake the fear that someone had broken into the shop. If the three custom motorcycles they’d finished the night before were stolen, it would be a quarter-million-dollar loss.

Please, God, let it be another false alarm.

The cold air blasting through the vents in her jacket caused her teeth to chatter. In her rush to alleviate her paranoia, she’d thrown on her jeans and T-shirt from the night before. Didn’t bother with a bra. Her only precaution had been the .40-caliber Glock she’d slipped into a pancake holster at the small of her back.

Fifteen minutes later, her bike crested the hill and reached what the residents of Sycamore Springs, Arizona, called Olde Towne—a mile-long strip of locally owned shops including a café, a pharmacy, an antiques shop, and Iron Goddess Custom Cycles—her destination.

She screeched to a stop in front of the cycle shop, killed the engine, and ripped off her helmet. The pungent scent of creosote mixed with dead skunk made her nose crinkle. Moonlight reflected off the desert dust on the plate glass window, obscuring the Iron Goddess logo. Her gaze shifted left to the shop’s front door. Shards of glass clung to the doorframe like broken teeth.

“Fuck.” Her hands tightened into fists. She wanted to beat someone.

She climbed off the bike and scanned the street, hoping to spot the intruder skulking through Olde Towne. Fifty feet away at the Kokopelli Café, a Coca-Cola sign flickered on and off. Across the street, a security gate sliced the blue light of a fifties-era jukebox glowing from within the antiques shop. The rest of Olde Towne’s shops slumbered in darkness.

She dug a flashlight out of her tank bag and drew the Glock, turning her attention back to Iron Goddess. She crept onto the cement porch, paused outside the door, and listened for anyone who might be inside. Somewhere in the darkness, a pack of coyotes performed a predawn symphony of yips and high-pitched howls over a recent kill. Two delivery trucks roared past three minutes apart. But no voices or sounds of crunching glass came from inside Iron Goddess. If anyone was in there, they may have hunkered down when they heard her motorcycle. She had to find out for sure.

Drops of a dark liquid on the concrete caught her attention. Was it oil or blood? She brushed it with a finger, creating a crimson smear. Blood. Her pulse quickened.

She pulled on the door handle. It was unlocked. Thief must’ve reached in and unlocked it after breaking the glass. She scolded herself for not getting a double-cylinder lock.

After slipping in through the door, she scanned the place with her flashlight. Tiny bits of glass sparkled like jewels across the floor. A bowling ball–sized rock lay near the front sales counter. The familiar industrial smell of the showroom mixed with the organic tang of blood. Her fist tightened on the grip of the gun.

More drops of blood led off to the right. She considered turning on the lights, but didn’t want to blow what little stealth she had left. Broken glass crunched under her boots with each step. Moving slower didn’t make it any quieter.

She followed the trail of blood around the counter to where three custom-ordered bikes and several production bikes had been parked hours earlier; they were now gone.

Clothing racks for motorcycle jackets and pants had been cleared. Empty hangers lay scattered on the floor. Shelves that once displayed helmets, boots, and other gear had been stripped bare.

Shea felt sucker-punched. Her mind kept telling her it was a dream.

Her heart leapt into her throat when someone coughed and moaned. She ducked down until she heard it again. Her finger slipped onto the trigger. She swung the flashlight around and found a man lying on the floor in the motor oil aisle. She approached cautiously, ignoring the pulse pounding in her ears.

With the light on the man’s face, she recognized him as Derek Williams, one of her employees.

She slapped on the overhead lights. Derek was a scrawny guy, just shy of his twentieth birthday. His stubbly face was pale and clammy. Blood covered his shirt, pooling on the floor around his chest.

“Aw shit, Derek!” She holstered her gun and knelt down next to him.

He opened his eyes for a moment. “They made me,” he wheezed before coughing up blood.

“Who? Who did this to you?”

His eyes lost focus and closed.

She checked his pulse. Her own heart beat so fast she couldn’t tell if he had a pulse or not. She pulled out her phone.

“Cortes County 911—what’s your emergency?”

“I need an ambulance at Iron Goddess Custom Cycles, 8234 South Sycamore Highway. My friend is bleeding.”

“How is he injured, ma’am?”

“I . . . I don’t know. I just found him. He’s got blood all over his chest. I think someone shot him.”

“Is he breathing?”

“Uh . . . let me check.” She put her ear to his mouth and could hear shallow, gurgling breaths. “He’s breathing, but barely.”

“We’ve dispatched an ambulance. It’ll be there momentarily.”

Shea hung up the phone and checked his pulse again. It was there, but weak. Then it stopped. She struggled to remember the lessons from a CPR course two years earlier. She clasped her hands and compressed in the center of his chest. Blood gushed from his wounds. That wasn’t in the course.

She lifted up his shirt. His chest was smeared with blood. She wiped away as much as she could. Dark liquid oozed from two dime-sized wounds, one right above his heart, the other closer to his left shoulder.

“Shit!”

His shirt was soaked. Wouldn’t work to stop the blood, even if she could get it off him. Shea looked for something else to use. The nearby shelves were stocked with bottles of motor oil, industrial cleaners, and cans of chain lube. No shop cloths or clothing.

She scrambled out of her jacket, pulled off her shirt, and twisted it into a tight wad. She pressed it over the wounds and compressed his chest again. The T-shirt kept the bleeding to a minimum. She continued pumping his chest. “Come on, Derek. Gimme a heartbeat.”

After fifty compressions, she checked again. Still no pulse. She continued pounding on his chest, desperately trying to minimize the bleeding and hoping the EMTs would arrive before she ran out of energy.

Her back was beginning to cramp up when the silver bell on the front door jingled.

“Over here!” she yelled.

Two deputies rushed in, guns pointed at her.

“Sheriff’s Office! Get on the floor. Hands behind your head.”

When And How You'll Receive Your Book

Ebooks: Ebooks are delivered via Bookfunnel. You will receive an email with a link to download your book(s) onto your ebook device or app.

If you run into any problems, click on the Help link on the Bookfunnel page. They are experts in helping people get their content onto their device or app.

Signed Print Books (US. only): I personally sign and mail print books via USPS Media Mail. I usually fulfill the order within a day or so, and it usually arrives within a week.

Page Count and Other Details

  • Pages: 368
  • Print size: 5.5"x8.5"

Customer Reviews

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C
CJ Clark
Sometime a Girl Just Can't Catch a Break

It's been been about 15 hard years for Shea since we meet her in 'Boosted' but things are finally going her way... Never tempt fate by thinking that. Her bike shop just got robbed including 3 really sweet custom jobs for a band and one of her employees got shot during the robbery.
Now she needs to figure out who took her stuff and how she can get it back before the band shows up for their bikes. The story gets a little bloody in places but all in all it's a good read with a good plot line and well developed characters.