Monday, September 16, 2013

SEAL Under Siege by Liz Johnson



SHE'S NOT SAFE YET 


When Staci Hayes is rescued from a Mideast prison by navy SEAL Tristan Sawyer, she thinks the ordeal is over. But back in San Diego, a new threat arises. Staci has information that could prevent a hit on U.S. soil, and the terrorist will stop at nothing to silence her. 

Tristan insists on being her bodyguard, but his constant presence makes her long for things beyond her reach. Protecting Staci is the second chance Tristan needs to put the past behind him. Yet with a spy on the naval base, anyone could be a threat. Can he offer her safety…and love? 

Excerpt


Lt. Tristan Sawyer whispered into the mic that brushed the corner of his mouth. “Rock, are you in position?”
            Night hung over him like a blanket, wrapping up all of his senses, except his hearing, as he waited for the sound of his senior chief’s voice. “Affirmative.”
            Across the street Petty Officer Will Gumble lurked next to the window of a crumbling single-story home. The house—not even a mile from the Persian Gulf—had been cleaned out, probably weeks ago, and Willie G. had swept it again to make sure there wouldn’t be any surprises when they moved on their target.
            He took two short breaths and lifted his night vision goggles, giving the street another check. It was deserted except for the five stone-like figures hidden along the street. He spotted them only because he knew they were there. He’d scouted and scoped each location in preparation for this moment. He’d studied the maps and floor plans, packed his gear and prepared his mind.
            All for this moment.
            His blood began to pump harder, picking up speed. He tightened then loosened his grip on the weapon in his hand, forcing his breath into a steady rhythm and his heart into an even pattern.
            He was ready. But he had to wait for the signal that their boats were nearly in place at the extraction point. If they moved too soon, they’d recover the “packages”—three American hostages—but have no place to deliver them. If they waited too long, they left the inflatable boats open to discovery.
            Timing was everything, so he schooled his muscles, keeping them alert yet relaxed until the signal.
            A double click came through his earpiece.
            Time to rock and roll.
            “Let’s go.” Just like they’d practiced, he swung around the back of the building, where Senior Chief Matt Waterstone, also known as Rock, wrenched open a window on the basement level and slid into the darkness below. Tristan followed suit until his shoulder caught on the frame. He wiggled, his feet still not quite on the floor.
            The team was on radio silence for this part of the mission, but he didn’t need to see or hear his best friend to know Matt was laughing at him.
            After what felt like an hour suspended by the snagged shoulder of his battle dress uniform, he reached across his body and yanked on it until it let go with a tear.
            He dropped to his feet, squatting and squinting into the dark, his weapon at the ready. On the far side of the box of a room, the door cracked open, and light filtered in. The weak sliver of a stream made it only halfway across the floor, but it did illuminate Matt’s gloved hand on the edge of the door.
            Tristan moved forward, staying low. They’d done this enough to know the drill. He would move first down the hallway, Matt positioned at his six—covering his blind spot. Back to back, they’d sweep the basement, looking for the packages. Intel said there were two women and a man. They had been held here for at least three weeks, though word of their captivity had just reached the SEAL teams.
            Only God knew what the three had endured. At least two of them were in their sixties. The people of Lybania tended to respect their elders. As for the girl in her twenties…
            A shiver ran down his spine. He couldn’t think about that. He had to get her free and secure first. Once they were all safely out of this pit and away from men who kidnapped aid workers for no reason, he’d let the ones trained to deal with her situation handle it.
            For now, he’d do what he was trained to.
            Matt motioned for them to stop, opening a door with the toe of his boot. He must have encountered less resistance than he expected, since it flung open like a piece of paper on hinges, flapping against the opposite wall.
            Tristan shook his head at Matt, who shrugged a shoulder and offered a smirk by way of apology for the unnecessary noise. Luckily, the walls of the building could have been from the biblical era, all crumbling blocks that muffled errant doors and shuffling feet. Matt led the way into the room, clearing it before stepping back into the hallway.
            With two fingers, Tristan pointed toward the stairwell at the end of the hall. Matt nodded, taking the rear as they climbed from the dimness of the basement into relative light. It wasn’t much brighter than a full moon, but compared to the inky darkness below, the second floor radiated, removing any possibility of hiding in the shadows.
            His earpiece clicked twice, and he swung his fingers in a quick barrel roll at Matt. They had fifteen minutes to get the American prisoners and get them to the extraction point on the gulf. No time to waste.
            Matt nodded, held a hand to his ear, and motioned to the door on his left. At least two voices carried through the wall, their Arabic words getting louder.
            “Cards,” he mouthed. Apparently someone was cheating. If there was no honor among thieves, there was less among kidnapping terrorists.
            Tristan motioned that they should pass the door without incident if possible. Their mission wasn’t to take down this cell or alert anyone to their presence. Their only job was to snatch and go.
            The door to the room with the card game stood open about three inches, so he held up his hand, waiting for another argument as a diversion. They didn’t disappoint, tempers exploding like one of Matt’s C-4 bricks. In the fray the two SEALs bolted down the hall, passing three closed doors on each side.
            An empty chair sat outside the last door on the right, the guard most likely wrapped up in the card game they’d passed.
            Tristan jiggled the handle of the door, but it stuck in place. In a flash Matt was there by his side, his lock picking kit in hand.
            Tristan had known Matt since the first day of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training and in all that time, he had yet to see a lock his friend couldn’t pick. Man, it was a good thing Matt was on the teams. He’d be dangerous on the wrong side of the law.
            Tristan held his weapon at the ready, standing guard until the old lock popped, and the door swung in. He backed into the room, letting Matt take the first sweep and shutting out most of the noise and light from the hall with the closed door.
            The space was empty save for two figures huddled in the corner, hands clasped together. He held a finger to his lips as he squatted in front of the shadowed, grandfatherly man. “I’m with the United States Navy.” He whispered the words, which seemed intent on filling the entire room. “Are you Judith and Hank Timmons?”
            The man’s gray hair bobbed into the shard of light coming from the hallway. “Yes.” It seemed to take all his energy just to utter the single syllable, and he slumped against his wife.
            Tristan offered them both a reassuring grin and gently squeezed the man’s boney elbow. “We’re going to get you out of here. But I need you to move quickly and quietly and do exactly what I say. Do you understand?”
            The couple nodded in unison, their faces drawn and weary but their eyes alight with hope. For good reason.
            “This is my teammate.” He motioned to Matt’s towering shadow. “Ma’am, this is the senior chief. He’s going to help you up and out the window.”
            She shook her head, holding on to her husband’s arm with both hands. “I won’t leave him.”
            “He’ll be right behind you.”
            Matt squatted down in front of the woman and held out his hand. “I promise you’ll be okay. There are more of our team outside, waiting for you. You don’t want to make them miss the boat out of here, do you?”
            She frowned for a split second before Matt had her on her feet and shuffling toward the window. Mr. Timmons wasn’t going to let his wife out of his sight, so he pushed himself off the dusty floor, following closely behind.
            Tristan glanced over his shoulder toward the empty hallway before whispering into his mic. “Second story, northwest corner.”
            “Copy that.” Then a short pause before Willie continued. “We see you.”
            As Matt slipped a harness around Mrs. Timmons, she clutched at his flak vest, shaking him. “You have to help Staci. They took her last week.”
            “Do you know where they took her?”
            Mrs. Timmons looked out the window she was about to be lowered through. “No.”
            “It’ll be all right. Hang on tight and walk down the wall or you’ll scrape against it. Got it?” Matt scooped the nodding woman into his arms, sliding her feet-first through the window, lowering her on the rope that slipped expertly through his hands.
            The rope went slack for a moment, and then it was tugged twice, the signal from Willie G. that the package had arrived to them. Matt pulled it back up and immediately hooked it to a harness under Mr. Timmons’s arms.
            Tristan pressed his mic to his lip. “Second package on the way. The third has been moved. We’ll search the rest of the building and meet you at the extraction point.”
            Willie clicked his mic twice—roger that—as Mr. Timmons slid through the window with a little help from Tristan and Matt.

            Just as the rope went slack again, the door behind them cracked with the force of an angry kick. He and Matt both dove to the darkest parts of the room along opposite walls.



About The Author

By day Liz Johnson is a mild-mannered marketing manager for a Christian publisher. By night she writes wild stories of adventure and suspense and is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.

Purchase SEAL Under Siege at:




Liz Johnson is giving away a copy of SEAL Under Siege. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.



7 comments:

Patricia Bradley said...

Me!Me! hand waving. I want to win!! Great interview. Can't wait to read the book! pat at ptbradley dot com

Linda said...

This sounds like one great book! Looking forward to reading it whether I win a copy or not. Linda

squiresj said...

My second attempt to win this book. I want to get to know your work and review it. Also want to pass it on so others will know of you too. That is my ministry.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I love books that feature the military. Please enter me!
Brittany McEuen
kbmceuen(at)yahoo(dot)com

sam said...

Please enter me for Seal Under Siege. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Merry said...

I loved the peek at Seal Under Siege!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

bonton said...

Sounds like an exciting book with an unusual storyline! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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