Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hide and Seek by Harry G. Wegley

Back Cover Blurb:

A computer security breach within a US defense contractor’s firewalls leads investigators, Lee Brandt and beautiful, brilliant Jennifer Akihara, onto the cyber-turf of terrorists, where they are detected and targeted for elimination. Lee leads them on a desperate and prayer-filled flight for survival into the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Will Jennifer’s pursuit of truth about the conspiracy, and the deepest issues of life, lead her into the clutches of terrorists, into the arms of Lee Brandt, or into the arms of the God she deems untrustworthy?

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Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 1 Excerpt:
6:00 a.m. Saturday, March 18

Never practice unwise behavior.

Lee Brandt made that vow as a teenager the same year he swore off dating. Now, here he was thirteen years later parked on a secluded road with a member of the opposite sex.

I really hate irony. 

He glanced at the woman sitting in the driver’s seat. Jennifer Akihara was the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. She was also the most intelligent. Most guys would die to be sitting here on this Western-Washington mountain road with Jennifer. When he glanced into the passenger-side mirror, it appeared likely that he would.

A vehicle slowed on the highway, and a blast of air left his lungs.

Jennifer’s gaze froze on the rearview mirror and she gasped.

Those lights had pursued them most of the night. The vehicle turned toward them. That sent his heart racing. In an instant, their dead-end hideout turned into a trap.

Jennifer cut the engine and Lee took her hand. Despite the rising panic, awareness of their first touch etched an indelible mark in his memory. The early light of dawn revealed her wide-eyed fear mingled with something he couldn’t interpret. He refocused on her face. He had put her in danger, so he had to keep her alive, whatever it took.

He tugged on her hand. “Slide out on my side, Jenn. Don’t leave any obvious footprints. If they think we ran up the road, it’ll buy us a few minutes. We’re going up the mountain, instead.”

Lee released her hand and leaned out the open door. By standing on the door frame, he could peer over a small rise all the way to the highway. Towering above the car, he monitored the progress of the approaching vehicle, still nearly a mile away.

“Wait ‘til I’m over the console.”

Jennifer slid to her right. “I’m over it.”

“OK, let’s go.”

They leaped from the bullet-riddled sedan onto the grass beside the road and ran toward the steep mountain slope. In less than three minutes, the gunmen would reach her car. In another minute, the goons would probably find their trail. Then the race up the mountain would begin.

Chapter 6 Excerpt:

A short way down the lot he stopped, smiled, and gestured to their left. “There’s my car.”

Jennifer pivoted toward his car and stopped. Her eyes lit up and checked out his Mustang like a scanner digitizing an image. She smiled warmly at him. “A classic. Very nice, Lee”‛

It was the second genuine smile she’d shown him. What that smile did for an already beautiful face was incredible.

Good taste in cars.

I wonder about her taste in men. No, I don’t wonder anything about her.

Now in control, the right side of his brain turned a deaf ear and continued to savor the smile. “I’ll swing by your parking spot and lead you to a shortcut through a couple adjacent lots. And about National Aerospace Computing Security…have no fear, Lee is here.”

Even in the dimly-lit parking lot he could see the rolling eyes. She strode down the lot towards her car. In her presence he couldn’t turn a decent phrase. But he sure could turn a decent phrase into something stupid.

He pulled out his keys, stopped, and snapped his fingers. Jennifer’s visitor’s badge. Randy wasn’t in the gate shack and he forgot to return her badge.

When he glanced down the lot Jennifer was nearly to her car. He trotted towards her. “Hey, Ms. Akihara…Jennifer. I forgot—“

The area lit up like mid-day. A deafening boom sounded behind him.

The shock wave blindsided him with the force of an NFL linebacker, knocking him forward to the concrete. He stuck out his arm to protect his face. His body rode on his right forearm for several feet, while the rough concrete rasped off his coat sleeve and much of the skin underneath it. He lay sprawled out on the parking lot pavement. His mind struggled to comprehend what had happened. When he picked himself up, he shook his head to remove the cobwebs. There were too many of them. Blood ran down his right forearm. Pain brushed some of the cobwebs away. Explosion.

Arm burning and ears ringing, he looked for the source of the blast. It came from what had been his car—from what was now only a blackened shell.

The sense of loss hit him in his gut. He might never be able to replace that car.

He brushed away a few more cobwebs. The clearing of his mind brought a bigger worry. Better a bombed car than a bombed body. But the bombing attempt had failed, so…

The air emptied from his lungs and he drew a deep breath. His pulse quickened. The realization hit him like a stinging slap on the face. They were in big trouble, but the incoming flak wouldn’t be the kind that got one fired. It would be the kind that got fired at one—bullets from people who killed to keep secrets. Despite their delicate search on the infected computer their foray must’ve triggered attention and it wasn’t all coming from some hacker halfway around the world.

Jennifer stood motionless by her car staring across the parking lot at the blackened remains of Lee’s Mustang. He sprinted toward her. “Jennifer, start your car, now!” She jumped toward her car door, eyes wide with fear. A staccato stream of gunshots sounded from near the gate shack as Lee slid into her sedan.

A large, black SUV turned from the street. It sped past the gate shack and into the parking lot. The headlights swung in an arc, the light beams stopping on Jennifer’s car.

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About Harry:
H. L. Wegley served in the US Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. He is a Meteorologist who, while working as a forecaster and a research scientist in Atmospheric Physics, published extensively in the scientific literature. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked more than two decades as a Systems Programmer at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area, where he and his wife of 47 years enjoy small-group ministry, their grandchildren, hiking beaches on the Olympic Peninsula, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. Besides his scientific publications, he published one non-fiction work, Colby and Me: Growing up in the '50s, a humorous collection of the childhood adventures of an early baby boomer.

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HARRY is giving away a copy of HIDE and SEEK. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Rick Estep said...

Love a good suspense novel, especially one from a new-to-me author. Thanks for the review.

Librarybooks at religious dot com

Jackie McNutt said...

Hide and Seek looks like an intriguing story. Thank you

Deb R. said...

Gosh, if the excerpts have me on the edge of my seat, what will the rest of the book be like? cjajsmommy [at] gmail [dot] com

H L Wegley said...

Rick, Jackie, Deb,
Thanks for your interest and comments. Would it be a little more intriguing if parts of the story were true? Well, they are, but I'm not telling which parts. :)

Delia Latham said...

Sounds like a definite edge-of-your-seat kind of read! :)

Patricia Bradley said...

Great excerpt. If I don't win it, I'll have to buy it! pat at ptbradley dot com

Linda Kish said...

The book sounds exciting. I'd love to be the lucky recipient.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Holly Magnuson said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks!

Rose Milligan said...

This is a new book to me. It sounds interesting. Thanks for having the giveaway.


H L Wegley said...

Thanks for your interest, everyone. Here's a bit more about the heroine, Jennifer Akihara. She's a 5'2" 110-pound, stunning, Japanese-Hawaiian beauty who proves that dynamite does come in small packages. With an IQ and a temper both near 212, she can slice and dice you with her words or her laser look. She has been stalked several times and carries a .38 in her purse, a gun with one notch on it. Jennifer's a 24-year-old PhD candidate in computing security and a rising star in the field of Internet forensics. NSA and several other government agencies want her for an employee, a group of cyber spies and terrorists want her dead, and a guy named Lee Brandt just wants her in his life.

joye said...

I am always looking for new authors to read. Your book sounds really interesting. Will have to give it a try.

Cheri Swalwell said...

Looks like a great book. Thanks for the opportunity.

in Him,

Cheri :)

H L Wegley said...

Joye, I'm not an entirely new author, only a new novelist. But I doubt that my earlier books would interest you -- diffusion of radioactive effluents, airflow over complex terrain. An espionage thriller with romance has a lot more appeal, even to me. And it's a lot more fun to write. :)

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