Bell, Gregg: Jamie’s Gamble


Jamie’s Gamble

by Gregg Bell

Release date: 11/12/13



Jamie Thompson is the perfect person. Her CEO father has made sure of that. She has the perfect manners, a perfect tennis backhand and a perfect life. Jamie has a silver spoon in her mouth—and she’s gagging on it.

She has to get away.

She’s come up with the perfect plan. A friend in a west Texas border town has lined up an accounting job for her, but when Jamie gets there the job has fallen through. But there’s a waitress position open at a bar and grill. The one thing Jamie knows is she isn’t going back to her father, and so, broke, sixteen hundred miles from home and alone for the first time in her life, she goes for it.

What she finds is a world of gun-toting cowboys, Mexican drug gangs, the occult and a string of brutal rapes and murders. And Ricky Benson, a flame-throwing baseball pitcher, fallen from grace, who she falls head over heels in love with.

But the violence escalates. A fellow waitress is murdered, and Jamie feels like she might be next. Then Ricky Benson is accused of murder.

Jamie can make one phone call and her father will send the company jet for her—or she can stay and face the life that confronts her and fight for the man she loves.

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Jamie ran far away in the hope that her father’s influence would no longer be the one thing in life that controlled her very existence. She had to go. . .leave it all behind to find herself, to prove herself, to herself!

Ricky’s life has been rolling downhill fast. It began when his shoulder was injured in high school, ruining his dreams of becoming a major league baseball pitcher. Drinking ruined his hopes, now it is slowly ruining his life. What will it take to prove to him that he

Their lives became entwined in a town filled with drugs, prostitution, death and corruption.

Gregg Bell has woven a tale of suspense and intrigue. His masterful story telling comes to the forefront of Jamie’s Gamble very quickly as this tale unfolds. I found myself immersed in wanting to know how he would manage to tie it all up in the few short pages I had left.

A masterful work by a true wordsmith. Jamie’s Gamble by Gregg Bell is a suspense novel I highly recommend!

3D 5 Gold Stars

~ Patricia, Room With Books ~ © May 15, 2014

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Ricky ran down the tracks. He ran and he fell and he ran, his heart beating triple-time, sweat gushing from his pores. William. Impossible but true. Ricky’s chest heaved. What now? What to do? Where to go? William killed Bubba Adkins. William killed him.

A light shined in the distance. A train? Ricky checked behind him. Blackness. He looked back at the light. No horn or locomotive. Big Iron already? Ricky looked behind him again. Still nothing. He slid down the mound of stones and hid behind a fallen tree. The light came nearer, but he could see now that it wasn’t very big. It was a flashlight, and it was closer than he’d thought. The sweat snaked down his chest. He could smell the decaying tree, feel its crumbling bark.

The person walking down the tracks wasn’t big enough to be Big Iron.



Jamie froze as if hit by an electric current. Her voice cracked. “Ricky?”

He threw a leg over the tree, slipped, tried again and climbed over. “Jamie, what the hell are you doing out here?”

“Looking for you.” She spun her fanny pack around, slid down the stones and threw herself into his arms. “Oh my God, I’m so glad you’re all right.”

Her body felt so warm. She smelled so good. But…they had to get out of there. William killed Bubba Adkins. And what did this embrace mean anyway? What did she want from him now?  First she’s leaving, then she’s dissing him, and now she’s messing with his head. And William killed Bubba. Oh my God. William killed Bubba. He pulled away. “Jamie, let me go. I gotta get out of here.”

“Oh.” She released him.

He hustled past her, up the mound of stones and onto the tracks. He looked back at her. “You need to get out of here too.”

“Where are you going?”

He sighed. “Jamie, there’s no time. Just follow me.” He started down the tracks.

She scrambled up the stones, pointed her flashlight at the ties and followed. “Ricky, wait. I’ve so much to say to you. Please don’t be mad.”

He picked up his pace but then slipped off a tie and fell hard. “Damn it!”

“Wait.” She helped him up. “I’m staying, Ricky. I’m staying in Langston. And I’m sorry for what I said at the Double D. I was out of line. Ricky, I really want to give us a chance.”

Life mocked him. That’s all he could think. He looked down the tracks toward Bubba Adkins’ and then at Jamie. It was dark but he caught a glimpse of her face, and her face was so passionate. And so pretty. But could he trust this, or was life playing one last trick on him?

“I know you were hurt before.” She leaned into him. “And I know I hurt you too. But I won’t ever hurt you again, Ricky. I swear it.”

Was this for real? But William killed Bubba. The sheriff and his deputies would be coming. Soon. Ricky peered down the tracks. He was wasting time. “I have to go.”

“No!” She threw her arms around his waist. “No, you don’t.”


“My God, Ricky, you’re trembling.”

“This has nothing to do with you, okay? Now let me go.”

“But why?”

It sounded like a firecracker went off in the distance.

He pulled her down off the tracks. “Kill the flashlight!”

Another pop. Another.

“Oh God, this is not good. Not good,” he said softly.

Another pop this time closer, and Jamie pulled the revolver from her fanny pack. “I’ve got this.”

Ricky grabbed the gun and flicked off the safety. A muzzle flashed down the tracks and he fired at it. He fired again.

People yelled. Could he have hit something? Someone?

Jamie clung to him.

“Got more bullets?”

She swallowed. “In the car.”

“Doesn’t matter. We gotta make a break for it.”

“Who do you think it is?”

Two more pops.

They leaned into each other. “I don’t know,” he said, “but we gotta go.”

“Won’t they shoot us if we do?”

“Probably. But if we stay, they’ll shoot us for sure.”

“Oh God.”

“You ready?”

She nodded.

“Let’s go!” Ricky fired three quick shots, grabbed Jamie by the hand and they started running alongside the tracks.

There was more shooting, yelling behind them. Ricky held Jamie’s hand tightly as they ran, but they tripped over some tree roots, and Jamie fell right on top of him.

“Oh!” she cried.

“Are you okay?” He brushed the hair from her face.

“I think so.”

It’s all over, he thought. Big Iron and his deputies would be on them in no time. He rolled Jamie off him so he was covering her. When they shot, maybe he could protect her with his body. He waited. And waited. And waited.

Nothing happened.

He looked over his shoulder. Nobody. “Let’s go.” He yanked Jamie up, and they ran to the Double D’s parking lot.

“Here.” He handed her the gun. “Stick this in the fanny pack.”

She did. “Ricky—”

“I can’t talk to you.” He could see her clearer now. “I have to go. Just get in your car and get out of here.”

“But where are you going? Can’t you tell me what’s happening?”


“Who shot at us?”

He shook his head.

She took a deep breath, then leaned up and kissed him on the lips. “Ricky, I think I love you.”

In his mind’s eye, all he could see was his brother’s face as his brother stood over Bubba Adkins’ bloody body.

“My God, Ricky, it’s like you’re not even here with me.” She touched the bandage on his forehead, then held his elbows. “What happened back there?”

He looked at her. “Jamie, believe me, you’re better off not knowing. Now I have to go.”


He looked over her shoulder at the tracks.

She slipped her arms around his waist. “I’m staying with you. Now please tell me what happened.”

“I told you, it has nothing to do with you.”

“No, but now if it has to do with you it has to do with me.”

“You don’t understand.”

“Make me understand, Ricky.” She took his face into her hands and kissed him again. “I’m on your side. Let me help you.”

He pushed her away. “Don’t you understand? I can’t!”

“But why?”

He looked down.

She angled her face under his and kissed him. He didn’t pull away, so she kissed him again. And again. Finally his lips pushed back a little. “Ricky, I love you,” she whispered, and when she did, his hand cupped the small of her back and pulled her to him.

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Fun Facts about Gregg Bell:

Fifteen things readers don’t know about me:

  • My middle name is Gerard because I was a difficult birth, and St. Gerard is the patron saint of difficult births (although I haven’t fact checked this!)
  • I got a hole-in-one playing golf
  • I was hit in the head by a golf ball (yes, it hurt)
  • I am a really good dancer
  • I am very ambidextrous
  • I’m a daily meditator
  • I do an Elmer Fudd sings Bruce Sprinsteen impersonation
  • I broke my wrist hopping a tennis net while streaking (not recently)
  • I once dreamed I was making out with Hillary Clinton
  • I have never been any good at blowing my nose in public
  • People often mistake my voice for a woman’s (it happened at the McDonalds drive-thru recently)
  • I found a stray deaf dog and adopted him (Champ)
  • I was dropped on my head as a baby (probably why I became a writer)
  • I can whistle really loudly
  • I am really glad to have completed these fifteen things!

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Author bio:

GreggBell231x249When I was ten a drunken guy almost drowned me in a swimming pool. It was in Miami Beach at the Chateau motel. The guy was a pool hand and he was wrestling (playfully, for the most part)with us kids. Then he said, “I’m going to show you a good hold” and he got me in a headlock and took me under. It was a good hold all right. He held me there and held me there and held me there. I struggled but this was a powerful man. There was nothing to do. I would either die or I wouldn’t.

That experience gave me an appreciation for life’s tenuousness. If you think about it, we’re only alive as far as our next breath will take us.

So I write novels and stories about characters like you and me with their heads underwater. (Figuratively speaking of course.) Characters under so much duress their brains are about to burst. They’re at the end of it all. No way out of this one. But I also write with a sense of humor. (You have to have a sense of humor, right?)

I was born in 1956 in Chicago. A lifelong Illinois guy. Married once. Divorced. No kids. No pets. Passionate about things: people, classical music, golf. And I always seem to be on the side of the underdog.

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