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Sierra Brave: Bridling Lucy (Contest)
Thursday, January 24th, 2019

A Spirited Girl. A Reluctant Dom. Fated Mates.
Bridling Lucy by Sierra Brave
Horse Mountain Shifters Book #3
Release Date: January 11, 2019
Genre: Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Spanking

Stubborn, prideful and self-disciplined, Chance Locklear believes his way is always right, and he doesn’t like hiccups is in his strict routine so when the matriarch of his equine-shifter clan saddles him with a spoiled, twenty-one-year-old brat from out-of-town, he’s none too pleased.

While growing up as a member of a rogue-shifter clan, Lucy Tate didn’t have the luxury of an easy or predictable life, but she’s learned to live with her parent’s self-centered behavior causing problems for her or leaving her in the lurch. When her step-father’s latest hijinks force her to abandon her job as a blackjack dealer and skip town, she resents having to live with a stranger and work as a maid while hiding out. To make matters worse, she’s been placed in the care of an arrogant but sexy game warden/werehorse who demands her respect.

The first time Chance pulled her over his lap for a spanking, she was shocked and angry, but her body reacted to his touch in a completely different way. Just as the two begin to give into their shared attraction and admit they are fated mates, outside forces show up to pull them apart. Will destiny, love, and amazing sex be enough to save their relationship?

Warning: Bridling Lucy is a smoking hot, stand-alone romance with graphic sexual language. If you are offended by corporal punishment/adult discipline or sizzling, put-you-in-the-moment love scenes, you might want to look for another book.

EXCERPT

“Doesn’t matter. Truck’s not locked.” He reached out and then opened the door. “Hop up and drive.”

“Whoo hoo!” Lucy jumped in the driver’s seat, and after bucking her seatbelt, she cranked the engine.

Chance had barely gotten seated and was still closing the door as she took off in reverse. “Good Lord, woman!” He slammed his door shut before he grabbed the handle by the roof, hanging on for dear life with one hand while fastening his seatbelt with the other.

Lucy put the car in drive before heading down the dirt path serving as a driveway. She rolled down the window and smiled as the wind blew through her hair.

“It feels amazing to be behind the wheel again.”

She glanced at Chance just in time to see him remove his hat and the tie holding his long, black hair back in a low ponytail. As she maneuvered along a curve, the breeze flowed through his gorgeous locks, and her heart skipped a beat as he glanced at her. His full lips pursed together in a smirk as he did his best not to laugh. “I’m glad you’re having fun.”

“Oh, I am. Mama was so stingy on the long drive here—she wouldn’t let me behind the wheel at all.” She turned on the radio, tuning into a station playing hip hop and then bobbed and swayed as she tore up the road.

“You’re going to need to take the next right.”

She glanced at him. “That’s not the way to Ms. Banks’ house. Are we going straight to your place?”

“Yeah.”

She frowned. “I’ve been working all day. I wanted to freshen up.”

“You look terrific and smell sweet. Please, let’s go to my place.”

“Alright then.” She flipped on the signal before making the turn.

Chance grabbed the handle again. “I can see why your mama wouldn’t let you drive. Would you slow down?”

She flashed him a toothy grin. “What’s the fun in that?”

“The fun is in not flipping my truck and killing us both. Plus, you have to turn again soon. Now be a good girl so I don’t have to spank your behind before dinner.”

Lucy’s couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but with her bottom still raw from the whooping she received that morning, she applied her foot to the break. For the rest of the drive to his house, she behaved, following his directions.

CLICK TO ORDER BRIDLING LUCY ( US)
ORDER (UK)
ORDER (Canada)

About the Author

Sierra Brave is a multi-published author of smoking hot romance. She writes across genres, dabbling in a little bit of everything, including ménage and BDSM. Her love of erotic fiction started in her last year of high school when she first read the sensual classic, Fanny Hill. She felt so naughty yet liberated with her copy tucked away in her book bag and hopes her work will have the same delicious effect on her readers.

AUTHOR’S LINKS
Website: http://sierrabrave.rocks/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Brave/e/B00YZEU9PI/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sierra-brave
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sierra-Brave-1422713414692067/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BraveSierra
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sierrabraveauthor/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFbGbBXRdOvfHOZ6i_Zg6Cg

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Genevive Chamblee: Pampering Self
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

 

So, in 2019, I find myself with extra time—not a lot of time, just extra time. It’s what some call “empty nest syndrome”, but I don’t have an empty nest exactly. It’s that weird area when I’m not needed as much as what Roseanne Barr termed “domestic goddess”, but I’m not free to do whatever I choose. Well, I suppose technically I could do anything, but I imagine that will lead to a plethora of problems. Quite frankly, I don’t have that kind of money for an attorney. Therefore, I’m better off just staying in my lane and ignoring that less traveled path of adventure.

I’m no longer on a strict timeline where I awake early in the morning and immediately start playing commander and shouting orders to get everyone where they need to be in the allotted time before hauling myself off to the nine-to-five. Likewise, I’m no longer rushed to be somewhere the minute I clock out and damned to leaving with my feet blazing. I can actually obey the speed limit now. After years of having nearly every second of my day dictated by someone else’s schedule, I have arrived at having me-time, and I love it. There’s only one problem. Who am I?

It’s so cliché that I don’t know the answers. How many stereotypic characters on television and books reach a certain point in their lives where they are so involved in their families that they have lost all sense of self. They are portrayed as drab, boring, and frustrated. And here is where I believe 80% of chic lit/women’s fiction bloom. There are countless tales of these types of women resurging into the world of horrid dating and oppressive bosses barely out of diapers.

The answer seems simple—pick up where I left off before I took on the role of adulthood. That’s the second problem. Most of those things that I did years ago no longer interest me. For example, I used to paint. I was never very good at it, but it occupied my time. Now, it seems more of a nuance—brushes to clean, clearing a space to paint, cost of art supplies, etc. I used to enjoy cross-stitching, but try finding a local craft store these days. The local Wal-Mart used to carry limited supplies but have discontinued. The closest craft store is 30 miles away. Yes, there is always online ordering, but I often like substituting the suggested colors with the prettier one I find. Buying online makes matching colors more challenging.

Another hobby I had was shopping. Honestly, it was more window browsing. I would look at furniture or antiques and imagine decorating my own home. Or I would create mental wish lists of my wardrobe. That was fun because everything was guaranteed to fit. But these days, the malls look more like mausoleums. Once bustling stores stocked with the latest trends now are empty spaces or shell of the former. In December, I visited a mall I hadn’t visited in several years due to moving from the area. I remember that mall opening and bragging about its sixty stores with more stores to come. Now, maybe twenty stores remain. The music is gone, making it ghostly quiet. The food court is non-existent. The high-polished floors have been covered by dark grey and purple carpet. To distract from the number of vacant stores, the fronts have all been covered with boarding the color of ashes. Basically, it has been transformed into one long hallway from one anchor store to another. The stores that remain have much of the same merchandise and limited stock.

Some hobbies I once had do not exist anymore. For example, I had a ritual of curling up on Saturday afternoon and reading my favorite magazines. And when I say read, I mean read. I would read cover to cover, although, not necessarily in order. I’d usually start with the cover articles followed by the advice columns, move onto the silly quizzes, and finish with the horoscopes. I had about six magazine subscriptions and a few others I would pick up while in the grocery store or bookstore. Most of those magazines are out of print. Others I grew out of. A few are online, but that’s not the same as the old kill a couple of tree ones. I’ve looked around for other magazines but none has stuck my fancy thus far.

A huge part of my free time was spent hanging out with friends. Let me say, there’s nothing quite like childhood friends. But with time, things change. Friends that I used to be closed to have moved or moved on. Others are still busy with their families and/or careers. (I could pause here and discuss career, but that’s a different topic entirely.) Sadly, many I keep up through social media only. It’s only fair that I accept part of the blame, too. There have been instances where I have not done my all to maintain friendships. Life gets busy, and I didn’t always make time. I forgot to return phone calls or drop an ecard for birthdays. There were other instances where I felt I was investing more in maintain the friendship than others and stop trying.

When I moved (several times), I didn’t always bond with neighbors. One neighborhood that I resided was very nice. However, it had a high turnover rate. One reason for that was because a large company leased apartments for their employees. But these employees usually were assigned to stay for six months (a year max). Due to the high costs, most purchased homes in other areas. With my work schedule, I was rarely home when my neighbors were stirring. That being said, I became very close to several of my coworkers. However, these weren’t people I hung out with outside of work. On rare occasions, we might have gone out to dinner.

Other activities, I’m not going to try—like roller-skating. In the day, old girl used to be the bomb on skates. Now, I’m sure, I’d bomb flat onto my butt. The same goes for biking. I would go swimming at the natatorium, but their business hours conflict with my work hours. I’ve never been an outdoorsy, woodsy person. My idea of roughing it is a hotel that doesn’t leave a mint on the pillow.

I could go on, but I think I made my point. My former life is just that … former. There’s no need for me looking back and trying to recapture it. Besides, I’m not sure that I want to be that person anyway. I’ve grown and matured, and hopefully, evolved into a wiser person. Therefore, I need to develop new hobbies. I considered the new diamond painting I’ve been seeing all over the internet, but I don’t have the surface space. Those small beads would be all over creation.

After much contemplating, I decided to blend several old passions into one: cosmetics.

Here’s my logic. I enjoyed painting. Applying makeup is painting a different canvas with a different median. When I was younger, I used to wear makeup regularly. Currently, my makeup routine consists of lipstick/lip gloss. I enjoy shopping and trying on new looks. Cosmetics will provide this for me. I like watching television. Welcome to YouTube Beauty. Yes, I’m hitting up beauty channels for tutorials and makeup suggestions. Like some apparel may not fit, some makeup may not work well with my complexion or skin. This will allow me to discover what I like and don’t like. There are tons of cosmetic brands and choices. Applying makeup is not likely to result in any serious injuries unless I have the misfortune of getting a chemical burn. It’s a solitary activity but one that I can also do with another person. It’s an activity that I can do regardless of the weather, and heaven knows, the weather has been very bipolar lately. It does not require any really strange equipment (and if it does, I’m not purchasing it). And in the end, if all goes well and I hold my mouth just right, I may look pretty.

Okay, now that I’ve discovered my new hobby, what’s next? Being an adult, it would seem I would know what to do. I don’t. Well, I didn’t. Thanks to MUA bloggers and vloggers I now have something of a clue. First on my agenda was to stockpile my makeup bag, which I won’t lie, was pathetic. There is a makeup company that created a line of products that was my go-to makeup for those rare, special occasions that I needed to do a full face. Approximately two years ago, the company discontinued the line. For months, I scoured the town for remaining stock until I realized it was a lost cause. So, off makeup shopping I went.

After viewing several beauty influencers, I decided to follow most of their beauty regiment and some of their product suggestions. Here is what I have decided I need to stock in my bag:

Moisturizer Brow pencil Lipstick/Lip gloss
Face Primer Eyebrow comb/spoolie brush Lip pencil
Eye Base/Eye Primer Eyeshadow Palette Bronzer
Concealer Liquid Eyeliner Blush
Color Corrector Mascara Highlighter
Setting Powder Eyeliner pencil Blending sponge
Foundation Eyelashes/Eyelash glue Finishing Spray
Brushes

I do have a few specific items that are on my list to purchase including Laura Mercier setting powder, Tarte Shape Tape, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow.

These are items are on my list because they have frequently been given positive endorsements by beauty reviewers. Frankly, I’m curious to know what the hype is all about.

So, what was my point in sharing all of this? Well, in the days old, they would say, “The moral of the story is…”

1. Find something that makes you happy. It may be small and meaningless to others, but that won’t matter if it brings a smile to your face and fills your time.
2. Revisit the past but don’t try to relive it. Memories are there for reflection but looking in the rearview mirror may cause you to crash ungracefully into what’s in front of you. Don’t miss out. The best is yet to come.
3. If old hobbies no longer fit your personality, don’t try forcing them.
4. Look at what was enjoyable in your past and transform it into something new.
5. Be a little selfish now and then. Accept that you are a person and not just a daughter, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, coworker, extraterrestrial, or whatever. You are more than a singular role.
6. If you don’t know who you are, it’s okay. You have time to learn.
7. Making mistakes is okay. Sometimes, it takes trial and error.
8. You’re not alone. Plenty of people have identity issues occasionally.
9. Your life is not a television show. Likely, finding all the answers will take longer than a half hour. There is no studio audience waiting to laugh on cue. Well, maybe, but let’s not complicate things.
10. If you may find picking up where you left off easy. You may still enjoy your old hobbies, even if they seem a little impractical or immature. That does not mean you can’t enjoy them. You’re an adult now and are allowed to do whatever you want as long as it isn’t criminal. You don’t have to ask or be granted permission.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given are due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.

Montana Bounty Hunters: ANIMAL is Out!
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

A reader-friend of mine mentioned recently that she thinks I have the most intriguing “meet-cutes”—you know, those scenes where the hero and heroine first meet. I think I might have outdone myself with Animal and Allie’s meet-cute!  You’ll have to let me know!

Animal is here! I’ve already started on the next bounty hunter! If you haven’t read the series, there are now eight Montana Bounty Hunters! I love them, and hope to write about new hunters and revisit those I already love in future stories. As well, those of you who follow the series have probably already figured out I’m spinning off a new series, but that’s for another day.

Today, we celebrate my big, grumpy, sexy ANIMAL!

Happy reading, y’all!

Animal

Animal

MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…

A rough-around-the-edges bounty hunter takes a nature photographer on a wild ride.

Former SEAL, Russell “Animal” Hathcoat, retreated to a remote mountain cabin after leaving the Navy. Haunted by horrific images that replay in his nightmares of his last mission with his SEAL brothers, he intends to renovate the dilapidated cabin as penance and therapy, and to avoid rejoining the world around him. But then, someone who understands what he needs better than he does arrives to offer him a job.

Allie Travers loves the freedom and solitude of being a nature photographer and journalist–until the day she stares through her lens at a charging black bear. With her heart in her throat, she can only stand watching in horror, knowing she’ll never escape in time. But rescue comes in the form of a wild man who risks his life to frighten away the animal.

Once the danger is past, she’s told by his team of bounty hunters that she has more to fear than any animal in the woods. A felon is on the loose, and she has to accompany them to safety. Seeing an opportunity, Allie shadows the team as they hunt their prey deep in a national forest. Much to Animal’s dismay, more than just his protective instincts are aroused by the pretty photojournalist.

Get your copy here!
Animal is FREE on Kindle Unlimited for a very limited time!

And if you haven’t already read the stories leading up to ANIMAL, just click on the covers below!

Dagger Reaper's Ride 
S*x on the Beach Hook Wolf (Montana Bounty Hunter)

Mary Marvella/M. M. Mayfield: Her Deception (Contest)
Monday, January 21st, 2019

I hope everyone is having a super January!

I’d love to share my 10th book, Her Deception. This is my second M. M. Mayfield book. Choosing a title isn’t easy as some folks think it is. My working title was Angel, since my main character adopts the name Angel when she leaves her husband to return to stripping. So now you know! I called this book my stripper book. That gets some curious looks. After checking Amazon for titles, I discarded The Stripper’s Revenge, Angel’s Revenge, Their Deception and Their Secrets. So here is Her Revenge, my stripper book.

Her Deception


The day Patrice heard her husband order a hit to be done quickly or his ass wouldn’t be worth anything, she knew she had to leave him. The only way she knew to investigate him and his people was by returning to stripping where she would meet the people who dealt in death, drugs, and prostitution. When she worked her way through college she learned more about crime than she ever wanted to know.

Why would anyone believe Hugh, the man who played golf with the mayor of the a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, who socialized with the chief of police in that town and respected business owner had a second life one involving crimes? Who would believe a former stripper over this man?

Excerpt…

By the time Patrice searched every surface of furniture in every room in the house, she felt drained. Tomorrow she’d make an appearance at her office, attend the staff meeting.

Tomorrow she’d clear out with resources to start a new life away from this house. She’d miss the things she’d done to change a sterile, fashionable showplace into a beautiful home. If she could get the goods on Hugh, he’d go to jail and everything would likely be confiscated.

Nothing she took must be traced back to her.

She grabbed Hugh’s car keys and searched his Mercedes. One slip of paper between the seats contained a combination of numbers and letters. These she copied. She dared not leave anything that would catch the attention of the car’s proud owner. She had actually seen her husband take out a monogrammed silk handkerchief and wipe a speck of dust from the dashboard. He’d notice any minor damage to the carpet or any lining or cover moved, so she had to stop her search.

Exhausted, but keyed-up, Patrice went back to the master bathroom upstairs and filled the whirlpool tub to soak. For the last time she poured her favorite bath salts, a gift from Hugh.

Climbing into the tub, she sank up to her neck in foaming water. Even over the noise of the water jets, she heard the hateful words echoing. “Get the job done before Friday or forget the price we discussed. If the man is alive to stand trial, we’re all dead.”

She didn’t want to hear them. Enough already, think about something else. Blue Atlanta skies, magnolia blossoms, fragrant honeysuckle, juicy ripe peaches, symphony music, the man who introduced her to the world of Atlanta culture.

Warmth melted her bones and moving water lulled her. “We don’t pay you to think. Just kill the man like we told you to. Make it look good, the way you always have. My employers don’t leave loose ends alive, you should know that.”

Patrice woke with a start in a tub of cold water. Was someone in the house? Had she really heard the hateful words or has she dreamed them? She stood shivering as she grabbed her towel from the warming rack and wrapped it around her body. She listened. No thumps, no footsteps. Surely her subconscious had awakened her to keep her from drowning in her bath.

Surely the noise had been her imagination, like the sound of Hugh’s voice moments ago. She yanked her soft robe from its hook on the door, then put it on. Grabbing her cell phone and the gun on the ledge of the tub – she had kept them within reach – she crept to her room.

The downstairs alarm hadn’t gone off, but a woman couldn’t be too careful. If Hugh had returned home early he’d have called out to her. He didn’t know she had heard him order a man killed.

Carrying her gun and cell phone she eased into the hall and searched. Her guilty conscience made her jumpy. Since there would be no sleep for her, she selected a few of her books and other items Hugh wouldn’t notice were missing.

She emptied jewelry cases into the bag with lingerie and sleepwear. The street-smart person knew to take salable things, so she filled an overnight bag with Hugh’s watches and rings. He’d think they’d been robbed, a false trail.

Once she’d moved that suitcase down to the garage, she selected her two most expensive furs. She lugged them down to the garage and put them in her car’s trunk.

Since she’d done everything, she went to her bedroom to rest. She mussed the bed. Her cook and housekeeper would believe this morning was just like any other morning.

For the few hours she dozed, she didn’t rest well. A memory made her bolt straight up in bed. Vacations. Foreign banks. Yeah, she and Hugh had visited one bank in the Bahamas and one in Switzerland. What had they been called? She didn’t sleep, but she did remember details about off shore banks.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Her-Deception-M-Mayfield-ebook/dp/B07HF4X5V2/

Contest

Comment for a chance to win a download of Write Dirty to Me.

Find Mary Marvella/M.M. Mayfield at:
https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Marvella/e/B008E1SJ32
https://goodreads.com/author/show/4909455.Mary_Marvella
https://www.facebook.com/ARomanceCaper
www.MaryMarvella.com
https://www.facebook.com/mmbarfield
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Marvella- Author/121044561311561
http://pinkfuzzyslippersauthors.wordpress.com
Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab
https://mmmayfieldauthor.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mm.mayfieldauthor

This and that…
Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Update! The entire family has decided that AQUAMAN is the best super-hero movie ever! We LOVED it! I will say, the dialog wasn’t the best (that honor goes to the two DEADPOOL movies!), but we loved the humor, the CGI-ocean scenery and creatures (I want a seahorse!), and the non-stop action! And of course, for all the girls, Jason Momoa WET for over two hours was a divine treat!

Just a reminder. ANIMAL will release a little after midnight tomorrow night! I hope you’ll keep it on you TBR-right now list! It’s fun and very sexy!

Oh, and I had another really weird dream last night. I know, like you care, right? But dang, I have to share anyway.

Last night, I dreamed that my dad was back in the hospital and scheduled for release. So, I got all domestic and made a stew that took me nine days to get right (I’m guessing that nursery rhyme “…in the pot, nine days old” was in my head). Anyway, he arrived home and I gave him the Christmas present I’d made him—a hand-painted ceramic head of Santa Claus (yeah, don’t know where that came from). He looked at it and put it aside. Said “that’s nice”, which told me he wasn’t impressed, and them my mom popped into the kitchen and brought him back a bowl of steaming…ramen. I was so pissed she hadn’t served him the reindeer stew I’d slaved over, especially given the fact that every time I went outside, Santa’s reindeer attacked me because Donner was in the pot!

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grindstone. I’m starting a new story, Big Sky Wedding, which will revisit Jamie and Sky from Big Sky SEAL. I’ll also be finishing up reading all those sexy Stranded stories, and working on edits for an author friend. So, busy, busy! Have a great week, y’all! ~DD

My gift to me!
Saturday, January 19th, 2019

I finished the book, so guess what I’m treating myself, and my family, to tonight?

 

I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!

Have you seen it? What is your favorite superhero movie?

Desiree Holt: Advance to the Rear (Contest)
Friday, January 18th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Sheryl Stark!
*~*~*


Want to win a tote filled with books from your favorite authors?
Want to find out ow Strike Force came to be?
Want to win a copy of UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER, Strike Force Book #1?
Leave a comment

In honor of the prerelease of ADVANCE TO THE REAR, Book #4, Strike Force, in my reader group I am running a contest for four more weeks. Each week we award one book but at the end of the campaign, on release day, February 12, some lucky person will win a Desiree Holt tote filled with signed books from some of your favorite authors, including the fabulous Delilah Devlin.

The concept of Strike Force originated from many conversations I was fortunate to have with a former member of Delta Force. He shared what he could of his experiences and patiently answered my tiring questions, so I could get it just right. In addition, I am so lucky to have become friends with a former member of one of the elite forces who is now in law enforcement. He has been invaluable in making sure my information is correct and that I don’t throw outrageous stuff into my books. In fact, he’s a fanatic about it, one of the reasons I dedicated the book to him.

The concept of ADVANCE TO THE REAR is, as they say, ripped from the headlines and is a very real probability.

Here is an exclusive excerpt.

Bang!

The explosion two streets over erupted in the night air. At the same moment, Slade detonated a small amount of Semtex on the back door and blew it open, the sound barely seconds behind it. Then they were in the rear room of the house, a room as barren as the one at Ibrahim’s. The two hostages, a man and a woman, huddled together in a corner, looking both terrified and bewildered. Both looked disheveled and each of them sported bruises on their arms and their faces.

Bile rose in Marc’s throat, as it always did when he saw how human beings had been unnecessarily been abused. Once out of here and back at the FOB, they’d get proper attention. Right now, though, the only focus was getting the fuck out of here.

This was always the hairiest part. They had scant seconds to pull this off. Slade held up a finger to his lips to signal silence, then mouthed “U. S. Army.” He and Marc pulled the hostages out through the back door, silent as ghosts. Beau and Trey had their guns out and ready to hit anyone who came through the door from the front of the house. In seconds they were all out in the alley behind the house where Ibrahim, good as his word, now waited in his cousin’s van. Seconds later they were all inside. Down the narrow street and around the corner. They stopped only long enough for Ibrahim to get out and melt away. If he was caught driving them he and his family would be annihilated.

Then Slade took over and they headed hell-bent for leather out of town.

The hostages sat silent and petrified in the middle seat, sandwiched between Trey and Marc. They clung to each other as if that contact was their only salvation.

“I know you can’t figure out what’s happening,” Trey said, his voice soothing. “All you have to know is you are with American soldiers and in less than thirty minutes we’ll all be out of here.”

Still neither of them spoke. Marc could imagine the treatment they’d suffered, the way their captors had terrorized them. But at least they weren’t screaming and trying to run away from the team, or doing anything else to hinder their departure. Beyond a cursory examination to make sure the two were mobile and didn’t need to be carried, the team had not questioned them.

“Still all clear back here,” Beau said from the third seat. He was on his knees, his rifle pointing out the window of the rear hatch door.

Marc knew he had one order to execute. If anyone came up behind them, shoot and keep shooting. Marc kept checking his watch, counting down to when the Night Stalker would be there. So far so good. They were out in the desert now, the driving slow going through the sand.

They were almost at the extraction point when Beau hollered back to them.

“Enemy vehicle on the horizon. Right on our tail.”

The MH-60 M Black Hawk zoomed in and hovered just past the van, skillfully handled by its Night Stalker pilot. Marc helped hustle the aid workers out of the van and into the chopper, handing them up to the two men crouched in the open doorway. Sand kicked up everywhere from the rotors, getting into even their eyes and teeth.

Beau was the last one in, crouched in the open doorway, positioned with his gun. Just as they lifted off, the four-wheel drive vehicle made it to the outskirts of Agadez and came plowing through the sand. The man riding in the rear began firing the vehicle-mounted machine gun while two other climbed out and started firing assault weapons at the chopper.

The pilot banked to the left, away from the line of fire, even as Beau fired steadily at the men below. And then they were out of range, rising higher until the desert was far below them.

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