We left yesterday morning and drove up for a short trip to visit Kemah and stayed on the Boardwalk. I'll share some pics and adventures with you in a later post. Meanwhile, it is ALWAYS a pleasure to feature today's guest.
DiAnn Mills is no stranger to our blog. She has shared thoughts and treasures and been in our spotlight before - numerous times. Just use the search feature and find all of her amazing posts and books. This week she shares her latest release, Fatal Strike with us.
As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.
Excerpt: SPECIAL AGENT LEAH RIESEL scanned the headlines on her phone. A prosecutor from Galveston had been found murdered behind a construction site, the second apparent victim of gang violence in two days. Both deaths were caused by rattlesnake venom injections to the heart. Before she could pull up additional reports on the woman’s untimely death, Leah’s phone rang.
“Riesel, hostage situation in Galveston,” the SWAT commander said. “Grab your gear. The chopper takes off in five.”
“On it.” She took a last lingering look at the half-eaten blueberry donut and coffee on her cubicle’s desk.
Could this have anything to do with the two murders in Galveston?
Before most of the city began the workday, Leah boarded a 1 Little Bird helicopter beneath whirling blades and the pressure of a critical operation. Dressed in full camo and shouldering her sniper gear, she inhaled the rising temps. Feverish Houston. With the familiar air transport sounds ushering in memories of past missions, her adrenaline kicked in.
A pilot from the tactical helicopter unit lifted the chopper into the air for the twenty-minute ride to Galveston. She recognized him from previous assignments involving aircraft used to deliver SWAT and the elite hostage rescue teams to crisis incidents. This morning her focus eliminated any chitchat.
Leah grabbed sound- canceling headphones and contacted the SWAT commander already on the ground. “Riesel here. Special Agent in Charge Thomas briefed me on a home invasion that’s turned violent.”
The SAC would be watching the operation at the Crisis Management Operations Center.
“Negotiations have gotten us nowhere.” The SWAT commander’s voice rose above the chopper’s blade- snap. “Two unidentified men are holding two women and three children at gunpoint. Galveston PD estimates they’ve been inside the home for at least an hour. Demanding we leave the area after giving them five hundred grand and a gassed- up speedboat. Clock is ticking with forty minutes max. We’ve backed off as far as they know.”
Leah swiped through pics taken with telephoto lenses and sent to her phone. Each ski-masked man held a child as a shield. Leah detested the savagery and the horrific emotions the hostages must be feeling.
“We’re located on San Luis Pass Road on the western section of the island. Nearest house is five hundred yards away. Owners are in Europe. We’re in contact with the agency managing it.”
She didn’t need a key to access the home.
The SWAT commander continued. “One of the hostages is the owner of the home, Amanda Barton.”
“Is there a Mr. Barton in the picture?”
“Divorced. Lives in California.”
Unlikely the ex-husband was behind this.
“Agent Jon Colbert will be on scene shortly,” the commander said. “He had a deposition early this morning in Texas City and drove on to Galveston. Over the weekend, his SWAT partner had emergency knee surgery. Out for six weeks.”
And Leah’s partner had left the city yesterday on vacation. The luck of the draw meant she and Jon would be working together. “I’ll contact you as soon as we land.”
Jon Colbert, a sniper who had excellent marksmanship and a stellar reputation, also worked organized crime. But she and Jon had never worked together. The idea of teaming up with an agent she barely knew made her uneasy. If a sniper mission required a partner, she preferred an established relationship where she would know how the person processed information.
Shoving aside her doubts, she narrowed her thoughts on what lay ahead. The precarious situation and local law enforcement’s inability to negotiate added up to why she and Jon had been assigned to the case.
She grasped her backpack, lighter than usual with only a spotting scope, ammo, water, communication equipment, extra batteries, granola bar, and a handheld radio. Her Glock, as comfortable in her right hand as a toothbrush, found its spot in her back waistband. She touched her H-S Precision heavy tactical rifle.
The sooner she got to Galveston, the sooner she could provide intelligence and help neutralize the circumstances. Her priority was seeing the women and children freed from these ruthless men.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on: , , or any of the social media platforms listed atFatal Strike can be purchased at Amazon and other places you find great Christian fiction.
THANKS DiAnn for sharing your new release with us. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it.
Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight friends and that you'll check back weekly for more wonderful info from great authors on Wednesday Words with Friends and of course Saturday Spotlight.
Until next time, take care and God bless.