Title: Fractured Steel
Author: T.J. Loveless
Release Date: February 15, 2014
Genre: Thriller/Contemporary Fiction
SynopsisAfter a bloody tour in Iraq, all Karen Barnes wants is a simple life, surrounded by horses and the mountains of Wyoming. But when a stranger tries boarding a famous horse worth millions at her stable, Karen grows suspicious that the horse has been stolen. When her worse fears are confirmed and her life is threatened, her instinct for survival kicks in. But things are far worse than she could have even imagined when she discovers that the theft is just a coverup for espionage. With the lives of those she cares for at stake, can she find the courage to fight one more battle, or will the violence and carnage tear her to pieces?
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ExcerptJohnny swung the M16 and pointed it at me, “Come here, honey.” He smiled, and I held back the waves of nausea. I knew the smile, what he wanted, knew if he got me out of here, I was going to hurt. “Stop shooting and I will.” I kept my feet planted, hoping the fear didn’t show. He turned and shot a man trying to crawl away. I flinched as blood and thicker things spread over the floor. “You don’t negotiate. Come here, Karen. We have unfinished business.” I took a deep breath, the smell of copper pennies and released bowels covering my nose and throat. Don’t cry, show no weakness. There are others that might survive. I took a step, followed by several more. If I managed to get Johnny and Jake out of here, they could lock down and call for help. Peripheral vision said at least seven survived. The good of the many outweigh the good of the few, or the one, I repeated in my head, remembering the line from the eighties movie, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan. I wasn’t brave like Spock, I was a coward, and couldn’t live with myself. Standing in front of Johnny, I released a punch, sending him reeling. I grabbed his M16 as he lurched to the left, and turned it on Jake. I hesitated, seeing his beautiful eyes, a dozen years of memories flashing in front of me. Shaking my head, I pulled the trigger. His body jumped and moved, eyes wide with pain and surprise. I turned the muzzle to a hunched over Johnny, “Look at me. For once, don’t be a coward, and face the person who is going to take your life.”
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