THE BIG NEXT BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!
Now let me take a few minutes to tell you about the good thing.
I am very excited to introduce my next book in this blog post.
On May 19, 2015 my next book will be released in print, eBook, and Audible audiobook. The title of the book is BLOWN. It marks the return of Gregg Kaplan in the first of the new series. To get the gist of the story (and understand the title), read on…
His assignment is to stay off the grid when he innocently stumbles into a blown witness protection detail in Little Rock, Arkansas. He simply could not walk away from the impending mayhem.
After the dust settles, a mortally wounded Deputy U.S. Marshal makes him promise to personally deliver the witness to a U.S. Marshals Service safe site.
Not just a promise, an oath. A pledge between ex-Army Delta Force comrades.
A trust that could not be broken—Once in, never out.
Kaplan soon suspects the witness he vowed to protect has secrets of his own; secrets that go beyond his testimony for the U.S. government. When he discovers the witness is being tracked, Kaplan teams with a WitSec Deputy U.S. Marshal assigned to recover the witness, but soon realizes some merciless people are dead set on preventing the witness from reaching the safe site.
But the witness has a hidden agenda—One that could cost Kaplan his life.
Focus diminished with every blink. His eyelids grew heavy and his field of vision narrowed. Gregg Kaplan rubbed his eyes and shook his head in an attempt to clear the cobwebs. Anything to stay awake.
Sleep was not an option.
His forearm still throbbed from the crushing force of the Rottweiler’s bite. That damn dog was not man’s best friend. He would have rather been shot.
He studied the man next to him—his reluctant partner. The man had his massive hand clamped over the gunshot wound to his leg where, earlier, Kaplan made a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
It had worked.
“You know what they say about large hands, don’t you?” The man said while Kaplan was staring at his bloody pants leg.
“Yeah,” Kaplan replied with a snappy comeback. “Large gloves.”
Kaplan watched the big man feign a smile and then grimace. He was a tough son of a bitch and Kaplan knew the man’s pain was agonizing.
“Hurt much?” Kaplan knew it was a stupid question to ask as soon as the words left his mouth.
“Nah,” the man said with a sarcastic tone. “After I took the first bullet I thought to myself, hey, why not try this again. Kinda feels like someone sliced my leg open and poured hot sauce inside. You should give it a try.”
“You’re not telling me anything I haven’t experienced firsthand.” Kaplan did know what a gunshot felt like. And it had happened to him on more than one occasion. “All those years in Special Forces, I knew who the enemy was. Civilian life is different. The enemy is harder to recognize…and I still get dragged into gun fights.”
The big man winced and said, “How long have we been on this ledge anyway?”
The two men had gone almost forty-eight hours without sleep, and fatigue had taken its toll. Focus was fading. Only the impending threat of death kept them from drifting into a lethal slumber.
They made a pact to keep each other awake but now they sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the narrow ledge, leaning against each other, trying to keep the other from falling into the abyss below.
The abyss was the rocky shore nearly five hundred below. The ledge where they sat was barely three feet wide and retreated behind them in both directions. It was that lofty perch where they now sat, high above the western Atlantic listening to the angry waves crash against the rocks, a constant reminder of the danger below. Wind, which was relatively calm at first, now whipped and whistled around the cliff and buffeted against them, threatening to blow them to their deaths.
The adrenaline rush from earlier had turned against them. They were feeling the after-effects from that sudden increase of adrenaline into their bodies, a normal reaction after being thrust into their flight-or-flight environment.
Kaplan had experienced this decline before. Shaking, muscle weakness, rapid drop in blood sugar, and sleep inducing effects were all part of adrenaline washout. He had been trained on how to deal with its toll. He was a lot younger then.
The man had not trained in these types of survival tactics and the washout effects on him were profound. Kaplan saw his eyes blink and close. His torso waiver. Kaplan jabbed the man in his ribs and he jumped, almost falling off the cliff.
“What the hell? Are you trying to kill me?”
“Nope,” replied Kaplan. “Just the opposite. Trying to keep you alive.”
“By pushing me over the edge?”
Good, Kaplan thought. He had pissed the man off. That should keep him awake for a while.
Moments later, Kaplan heard sounds coming at them from both directions on the ledge. The two men looked at each other, and without a spoken word Kaplan knew the man realized it was decision time.
The man asked, “What do you think the odds are of us getting out alive?”
“I think we can both agree jumping is out,” Kaplan said. “We’re trapped in the middle and outgunned six or eight to two…I’d say the odds are in our favor.”
“That’s what I was thinking too.”
“Then let’s do this.”
They gave each other a nod, grasped their silenced weapons, and used the other to push themselves to their feet, a difficult task with almost no room on the ledge to maneuver.
Kaplan took one last look over the promontory cliff into the rocky abyss below and knew it held certain death.
What had boxed them in and was coming around the rocky walls brought with it the same certainty of death as well.
In retrospect, he should have done it another way. If he could only rewind time, at the crossroads, he would have chosen a different path. No telling where it would have taken him, perhaps to the same place he was now, in the same kind of danger. Or possibly somewhere else altogether.
Without all the bloodshed.
Without all the death.