Mosh Pit (The Rose Garden Arena Incident, Book 1) by Michael Hiebert - Read Online
Mosh Pit (The Rose Garden Arena Incident, Book 1)
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Stephanie Banner is twenty years old the night Dakota Shane stands center stage while six bullets ring out through the stadium. Five deaths occur from those shots, although only four ever go on record. 

All four are women. 

It happens in Portland, Oregon, at the Rose Garden Arena. The show is a sellout. Twenty-two thousand seats gone in less than four hours. 

For the eight days leading up to the concert, a handful of disparate lives intertwine as their world unravels. Their sanity, their relationships, their work, their children, the law, and even death hangs in the balance. Among them are: the learning-disabled black kid from East St. Louis trying to move past having his little sister die in his arms when she and his Momma become collateral damage during a drive-by; the quick-witted black man who, after losing control of his car on his way to visit family in Portland, finds himself duct-taped to a chair, a hostage to a meth-addled lunatic wanted for a double homicide; the Latino son now desperately struggling to rise above his abusive father and help his mother and sister move on to a better life, while unable to let go of the tremendous guilt he bears over the fate of the other sister he once had; the slash-punk singer who manages to score her band the best gig of its career, only to learn she may not have a band left to play it; the Korean psychiatrist finally confronting how much of her life has slipped by her—how many years she lost—while focussing on far less important things; the ex-LAPD detective now working for the Portland PD finally facing the ghosts that still linger from the time of the Rodney King riots—a past that forced him to drag his family up out of LA; the bitter ex-wife of a disc jockey who still secretly listens to her ex-husband’s midnight radio show as she drinks herself into a whiskey coma; the out of control daughter having unprotected sex with strangers hoping that pregnancy might draw the attention of parents unable to see past themselves… 

And then, Dakota Shane: chart-topping superstar with a dark secret, caught in a media and tabloid frenzy full of rumor, speculation, and lies. She’s off her meds and grappling to find any semblance of herself that might still exist inside an identity forged over the past five years by an extremely successful record company’s marketing department. 

Each of these lives is a story and the stories collide with each other like silver balls bouncing off bumpers on a pinball machine. 

But in the end, The Rose Garden Arena Incident is a tale about passion, about bravery, about redemption, about fixing those things in the world that are fixable and learning to live with the things that are not—A heartbreaking story of tragedy, despair, and loss that still somehow leaves you with a glimmer of faith, love, and hope. 

The Rose Garden Arena Incident is a “serial thriller." The story takes place over seven separate books, each encompassing a full day or more leading up to the Dakota Shane concert.

Published: Dangerbooks on
ISBN: 9781927600092
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Mosh Pit (The Rose Garden Arena Incident, Book 1) - Michael Hiebert

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Book 1



Book 1

A Serial Thriller in Seven Part

Michael Hiebert




Friday, April 2

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Coming Up Next


Sneak Preview


About Michael Hiebert



Copyright © 2016 by Michael Hiebert.

All rights reserved.

Published by Dangerbooks, British Columbia, Canada.

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblances to persons living or dead is coincidental.

Edited by Dawn James Walker

Book and cover design by

Cover image © Andrea Izzotti

ISBN-13: 978-1-927600-09-2

ISBN-10: 1-927600-09-X

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Dangerbooks First Edition

First Printing, September 2016.


Also by Michael Hiebert

Sometimes the Angels Weep—Short Fiction

Nashville Beaumont (and The Hyperbole Engine)


Alvin, Alabama Mystery Novels

Dream with Little Angels

Close to the Broken Hearted

A Thorn Among the Lilies

Sticks and Stones

To Karen,

for being all the right kinds of crazy.


WELCOME TO MOSH PIT, the first installment of The Rose Garden Arena Incident—a serial thriller in seven parts. You’re coming in at the right place, this is indeed Book One.

This is a big story. It’s far and away the biggest story I’ve ever written. I also think, for many reasons, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. The original idea germinated about seven years ago, and I did indeed write that book back then. It was around 100,000 words when it was complete. Pretty much a standard size for a normal novel.

Everyone who read it told me the same thing: I hate it. I hate the characters. I hate the story. I hate everything about it.

Great. So much for that then.

But the idea wouldn’t let go of my brain. It kept gnawing at the back of it, usually late at night when I was trying to sleep. And the reason was because I knew the idea was solid. Somehow, I just managed to screw it up on execution. So, six months or so later, I decided to write it again, completely from scratch. The first time around, the book had three main characters. The second time, it appeared much closer to the way it does now, with about two dozen characters, at least half of which could be considered pretty central to the plot.

That second book barely even resembled the first one. And it was longer, too. A lot longer. It wound up at about the 140,000 word mark. Writing it was exhausting but also exhilarating because this time, I knew when it was going down that I had it right. This time everything fell into place.

And sure enough, when I gave it to the same readers who had so tactfully panned my first attempt (not), I got a much better response. Now the characters had voices that rang true to the readers. The story felt somewhat complete. And yet . . .

And yet, it still felt like there was something missing, like I’d managed to create life, but in doing so, I’d somehow forgotten a piece of the heart.

So I shelved it. Or, more precisely, I retired it to a directory on my hard drive. And there it sat for another six years while I went on to carve out stories about angels and craft boxes and young witches and tooth fairies. I wrote about Abe and Dewey and Brandon Harris and the whole time, The Rose Garden Arena Incident just waited, knowing one day I would get back to it.

I finally did, in the fall of 2015. I pulled it out, gave it a read through and thought, You know, it’s not half bad. But it was missing something. Something the less-experienced writer I’d been six years previous couldn’t put his finger on. Only now, it was so obvious. With great fervor I wrote a new outline and a bunch of notes that I’m now using to pen the final draft of the book, a story I anticipate will wind out around 180,000 words, more than twice as long as my debut novel, Dream with Little Angels.

I know the story I’m writing now is the final one. It’s complete. I’ve bounced the ideas off of beta readers—a few of which came back with some exceptional comments and ideas. Everyone so far has loved my final concept, although some definitely thought of ways to make it even better, to completely punch up the plot. And I listened to them because what they were saying made sense. So all those ideas have been folded into my notes and my working outline.

So, here I am in the summer of 2016, writing what is the final draft of The Rose Garden Arena Incident and doing it over seven parts. If everything goes as planned, the final two parts will be double the size of the rest. For now, I’m setting my sights at coming in between 20,000 and 25,000 an episode. From what I can tell, books six and seven should shape up to around 40,000 to 45,000 each. As I write this, it’s August, 2016. The pre-orders for both this book and the second, Media Frenzy, have just gone on sale. Marketing and promotion has just started, and I am working book three, currently called 80 Proof. So far, everything’s going as planned. The story’s coming together exactly as I expected: a big, twisty tale with lots of surprises and some of the most enduring and memorable characters I’ve ever written.

The books are being made available as e-books and audiobooks because both those formats suit the serial-structure. Remember, you don’t need to own a Kindle device to read a Kindle book, simply download the free app on your phone, tablet, or computer, and you’re good to go. Each book will come out roughly a month after the previous, with the final installment slated for March 19, 2017. Also, tune into at the beginning of each month for the title and cover reveal of upcoming books.

I hope you enjoy Mosh Pit, the first installment of The Rose Garden Arena Incident. I also hope you stick around for the upcoming books because each book is better than the last. Book three is a trip. The story’s completely taking off and things are going off the rails in every direction.

More important than any of that, though, is that I take the opportunity to thank you for reading my work. I get quite a