Book Excerpt: Infinity: Detroit Nights by Catalina Dubois

Infinity: Detroit Nights

Matthew is your average prohibition era teen until the moment he is kidnapped by gangsters and forced to brew illegal alcohol. The beautiful but deadly Sarah Brodeur is the girlfriend of a notorious mobster. Matthew locks horns with the femme fatale from the very start. She loathes the southern bigot and the feeling is mutual. As they fall prey to the dangers of the criminal underworld Sarah and Matthew form an attraction as deadly as it is undeniable…

Genre: Romance / Suspense

Paperback $7.99

You can read this story for free at https://catalinadubois.com/free-downloads/

Author interview

Book excerpt:

Prologue:

The Great Depression

Matthew still cringed at the memory of men leaping from skyscrapers during the Wall Street Crash, embracing their deaths at the moment they lost everything… the moment America lost everything. Matthew’s family was reduced to sharecropping after the economy swirled down the toilet. Sharecropping was barely a step up from slavery and a long staircase down from the affluent life they once had. It was sufficient to keep a moldy shack over their heads but their cupboards were bare.

Like many Louisiana natives, Matthew turned to the river for his dinner. He waded in the cool water, feeling for catfish holes. Noodling was an effective but at times dangerous way of fishing. Some noodlers lost fingers to snapping turtles. Others lost their lives to the alligators that stalked the Louisiana bayous. Matthew’s sister, Nicole, cautioned him against it but even at the tender age of fourteen, he was more concerned with feeding his family than his safety.

During this trip, he’d caught three fish the length of his arm. Matthew threw the fish to his older brother, Jimmy, who leaned and filleted them right there on the riverbank. Jimmy passed the filets to their sister, Nicole. She rolled them in seasoned cornmeal and deep-fried them over an outdoor flame.

Nicole had never been able to hear or vocalize words but she was a master of reading lips and speaking with her hands. Ignorant people saw her as bizarre and broken despite her breathtaking beauty, kind heart, and intelligence. Matthew never saw Nicole as inferior to the rest of his siblings. She had always been his favorite.

Nicole wagged a finger at two of the neighbor kids who were playing too close to her pot of scalding grease.

“Yes Miss Nicole,” they replied in unison.

She wrapped some fish in a paper bag and gave it to the children. The hungry kids thanked her graciously. A furious Jimmy snatched the food from them.

Nicole gasped at his appalling behavior. She began to tell him off with her hands.

“We ain’t running no charity! Times is tough!”

Jimmy reminded her.

Matthew yelled from the river, “Jimmy if you don’t give that food back to them youngins and apologize to

Nicole I ain’t catching no more fish for you!”

Jimmy grudgingly surrendered the food bundle and hissed at the children, “piss off!”

They fled and he gave the nearest one a kick in the rear.

Nicole shook her head at him and signed, “You’re so grouchy lately.”

“I’m sorry,” Jimmy replied with a sincere grin that reminded her of the brother she looked up to. Nicole forgave him with the understanding that he hadn’t always been this way. As the oldest of ten children Jimmy had an unbearable amount of responsibility, especially now that their father had passed away.

“Do you think the world will ever turn around?” asked Jimmy.

Nicole picked strips of fish from the sizzling oil. She assembled a po’boy sandwich for Jimmy and silently assured him, “There’ll be jobs again. We just have to weather the storm.”

Jimmy smiled at her optimism and sank his teeth into the sandwich. The well-seasoned crust and flaky interior made him forget all his woes. Nicole assembled a plate for Matthew. Jimmy gave him a shout. She covered the rest to bring home for everyone else.

“Just one more and I’ll get out!” Matthew shouted toward the bank. He shoved his arm in a hole. Adrenaline coursed through his veins when a fish latched onto his hand. This thing had a hell of a bite. Matthew was in for a fight. He gripped the behemoth with both arms and tried to wrestle it to shore.

They splashed and thrashed. It wasn’t long before Matthew realized he was in a losing battle. He hadn’t caught a fish. This monster had caught him and it wasn’t letting go.

“It’s too big!” Jimmy screamed. “Release it before it drowns you!”

“I can’t!” Matthew screamed between gags of water. “It’s got me!”

Jimmy and Nicole dove into the water. They swam as they’d never swam before. The three of them hauled the giant catfish to shore. It was longer than Matthew was tall and had a mouth the size of a dinner plate. Matthew and Jimmy were laughing hysterically and celebrating their victory. Jimmy punched Matthew in his badly bruised arm. There was a howl of pain followed by even more laughter.

Nicole was shaking in horror having nearly watched her brother die. She signed to him, “No more noodling!”

“That fish will feed us for a month,” Matthew reasoned with her.

“I don’t care,” she signed. “Promise to never do this again.”

“But Nicole…”

She waved her hands furiously, “I said promise!”

“I promise,” Matthew relented and performed his goofy victory dance until the smile returned to her face.

She rustled his wet locks. He pulled her into a headlock and rubbed his knuckles over her head while she

squealed in protest. Nicole had a brother who would rather die than see her go hungry. Matthew had a sister who would rather go hungry than see him die. There was nothing in the world more special than family, but not even the bond of blood could stop the pending catastrophe.

Catching that monster catfish would be the last thing Matthew and Nicole ever did together…

You can read this story for free at https://catalinadubois.com/free-downloads/

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