Brand of Light by Ronie Kendig plus GIVEAWAY

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About the Book

Book:  Brand of Light

Author: Roni Kendig

Genre: Christian Fiction, futuristic, space opera,

Release Date: Decembeior 3, 201

Brand-of-Light-683x1024

There’s a price on her head, and it has everything to do with the brand on her arm.

Tertian Space Coalition has blessed every planet in the quadrants with high technology, save one: Drosero. But in spite of their tenuous treaty with the ruling clans, TSC has plans for the backward planet. And they’re not alone.

After a catastrophic explosion, Kersei Dragoumis awakens in a derelict shuttle, alone, injured, and ignorant of the forbidden technology that has swept her into a nightmare. The brand she’s borne since childhood burns mysteriously, but the pain is nothing to that when she learns her family is dead and she is accused of their murders.

Across the quadrants, Marco Dusan responds to the call of a holy order—not to join them, bubut+t to seek a bounty. Gifted—or cursed—with abilities that mark him a Kynigos, a tracker sworn to bring interplanetary fugitives to justice, Marco discovers this particular bounty has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with prophecy. One that involves the hunter as much as the hunted.

 

My THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Wow! I knew this had to be an awesome read because it is Roni Kendig, but this story is much more than i was expecting. The writing was phenomenal. And even though I usually don’t care for scifi at all, this one is so amazing I couldn’t put it down. The characters were amazing and so well written into the story. And they were so lovable and believable I quickly fell in love with them, and especially Kersei and Marco, I lovaZe their part in this book. And Roni Kendig

I will say i had a little trouble getting into b.c. the story, it was slow for me, maybe because this is my first book I’ve read like this. But its worth the slow ending for sure. You will be glad you stayed with and finished the book.

I love the vivid details throughout this book, I love when arthurs have suchg details in their story. And there is so much going on in this story that I could tell you, but it would take much longer to tell you. And I would be ruining the plot for everyone as well. This is one Scifi book that i really rcommend to Scifi people. And if you don’t enjoy this type of book, try this one. I sure hope you enjoy.

 

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

Click here get your copy!

 

About the Author

Ronie KendigRonie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of over twentytitles. An Army brat, Ronie lives a shot trairide from New  her husband, twin sons, and two fur-sons, VVolt N629, a retired military working dog, and )y her literary agent, Ronie has used her degree in psychology to write books that have won the coveted Christy Award, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion Award, and more. Her books have also hit the CBA Bestseller List multiple times.

 

More from Ronnie

In November 2005, I lurched into a story that started with one small element—what if a hero could literally smell fear? And so I delved into the story with the characters, and felt like I’d fallen into the vortex. I wrote over 90,000 words in one month, this story just gushing out of me.

But I was a very new writer. And if you saw the first draft that gushed out of me, you’d snicker. I sure have. It’s appallingly bad writing, yet the story’s bones are healthy and intact. So, I teased the story into shape over the last fourteen years. In 2012, I took a hard look at it and tried to shape up the writing. I’d even gotten to know Kathy Tyers, who wrote for the Star Wars franchise as well as the much-beloved Firebird series (*insert reverent pause here*), and I bravely asked if she would take a peek at the first fifty pages or so. Being gracious as Kathy is, she agreed to take a look.

Um, yikes. Haha. Make no mistake—Kathy is a brilliant writer, and I will never write like her, but I learned so much her feedback and took it to heart. Clearly, I still had a long way to go before that story was ready for the world, so I delved into honing my craft and deepening this story. Honestly, I was afraid show Brand of Light to anyone again, because I love this story so much and did not want to s9ee “her” fail. Nore correctly—I did not want to fail this story.

About three years ago, I sensed a deep conviction that it was time to stop hiding and, as an act of faith and obedience to what God had given me, to send Brand of Light out into the world. As I write this, she is still 1.5 months out from the release, and I’m scared. I want this beauty to be loved, but even if it’s not, *I love this story and know I honored God with my writing and sending her out. I can rest here for a long while, reveling in the gift God gave me with this storyworld and its characters. I’m excited to see her launch out into the deep now. As Marco and the hunters always say, For Honor.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, December 14

April Hayman, Author, December 14

Hallie Reads, December 14

amandainpa , December 15

Inside the Wong Mind, December 15

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 16

Wishful Endings, December 16

Pause for Tales, December 16

A Reader’s Brain, December 17

Faery Tales Are Real, December 17

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Mia Reads Blog, December 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 20

Betti Mace, December 20

Books, Life, and Christ, December 20

Just the Write Escape, December 21

Britt Reads Fiction, December 21

Blogging With Carol , December 22

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 23

The Artist Librarian, December 23

Emily Yager, December 24

mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 24

Bakerkella, December 25

Worthy2Read, December 25

janicesbookreviews, December 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 26

Just Your Average reviews, December 26

Inklings and notions, December 27

Splashes of Joy, December 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ronie is giving away the grand prize package of a Tinted Prose edition of Brand of Light, Galaxy Tumbler, “Kersei” Dio Adorable Candle, 3 Character Cards (to include Marco, Kersei, Tigo), and 2 Maps (to include Drosero and the planetary map)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f2e2/brand-of-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

Litfuse Presents….Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Raptor 6

by Ronie Kendig

Raptor-6

 

The Quiet Professionals series | Raptor 6

His team. His mission. A mission that comes at the highest cost!

Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean’s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option.

Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the U.S. military, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.

Find out more and purchase a copy at Ronie’s website

 

MY THOUHTS ON THIS BOOK

Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Captain Dean Watters and his team as they served in Afghanistan. I love the vivid amazing details Ms. Kendig gives  of the military scenes, the lives and personalities of each character made it all seem so real while I was reading Raptor 6. And I love the interaction of the characters that work so well together. I could just imagine in my mind they fellows as they played out their parts, wanting to help them out, and especially pray for them. And to weave in Zahrah and her help with the children was so touching and heartwarming! Zahrah was such an interesting and intriguing person. I hope we hear more from her in the coming books in this series. Weaving Zahrah, the missionary into the story with this team in Afghanistan was something that really grabbed my attention and kept it throughout the book.

Every book Ronie Kendig write just gets better and better. I loved her A Breed Apart series, and was surprise and pleased to see characters from that series would resurface in this series as well. I will patiently wait for the next book in this series, I just can’t wait to see what Ronie Kendig has for us in her future books!

I received this book from Litfuse to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married a veteran, and together their lives are never dull with four children and two dogs–a a Maltese Menace and a retired military working dog, Vvolt N629. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters. Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim.

Beowulf by Ronie Kendig from Barbour Books

Beowulf

by Ronie Kendig

Beowulf

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Beowulf—a hulky, brindle-coated bullmastiff—is the only “boy” for Timbrel Hogan. And she has a history to remind her why. But when Timbrel, a handler at A Breed Apart, embarks on a mission to detect WMDs in Afghanistan, she reunites with Tony “Candyman” VanAllen and her no-other-man philosophy is challenged. While tension mounts between Timbrel and Tony, the team comes under fire after Beowulf gets a “hit.” When tragedy threatens Tony’s career and Timbrel’s courage, they must maneuver through an intricate plot and a mission like no other. . . .

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I have really enjoyed Ronie Kendig’s A Breed Apart Series and I will miss the awesome stories of these unusual and amazing heroes! I enjoyed getting to know Candyman and Timbrel more in this book, and I especially loved getting to know Beowulf and following his journey of doing what he does so well! But the main focus for me in this book was the relationship between Candyman and Timbrel. There were so many differences and difficulties between these two, and I was rooting for them to finally find a way to get together.

Before this series I had never heard stories about Military War Dogs, and each story has amazed me in what these animals and their handlers can do. And I really like that Ronie Kendig writes about soldiers that have returned home for various reasons, and what their life was like after returning home. And Ms. Kendig’s writes the stories so well, throughout this series, I really felt like I was reading about the lives of real people. After each book, I felt like I had a new set of friends. As you can see, I loved Beowulf and as well as Trinity and Talon. And if you enjoy military stories, suspense thrillers, or just plain good, clean fiction, you will enjoy Beowulf and the rest of this series.

I received this book from the Barbour Books to read and review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronie KendigRonie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children and a Maltese Menace in Northern Virginia. Author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction. Ronie can be found at http://www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction), Twitter (@roniekendig), and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/RonieK).

TALON BY RONIE KENDIG……. FROM BARBOUR BOOKS

TALON 

Combat Tracking Team (A Breed Apart)

BY RONIE KENDIG

FROM BARBOUR BOOKS

talon

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Aspen Courtland is out to find her missing brother. Only his combat tracking dog, Talon, knows where to look. Problem is, after a brutal attack that separated dog and handler, Talon’s afraid of his own shadow. The search is on, but when one mistake means disaster, can Talon muster the courage for one last mission?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

After reading Trinity, I was anxious to read another book from Ronie Kendig. Aspen needed the help of combat tracking dog, Talon, but is he really up to the challenge? Ms. Kendig gives her readers another fast pace thriller with plenty of action that will keep you reading until the book is finished. I read Talon in a day, but the story stayed with me long after I finished reading. I really liked Aspen and her determination to find her brother made her even more likable. Along with Aspen’s search for her brother, there is a lot more issues weaved throughout the story that the author deals with so perfectly well with. But most of all, I loved Talon because his story is so amazing and entertaining I just wanted to keep reading more and more about him.

I love the way Ronie Kendig writes her dynamite action packed thrillers and adds the romantic tension that glues you to the pages. This is why I keep coming back for more of Roni’s fantastic fiction. If you’ve never read any of her books, you are missing a real treat! I encourage you to pick up a copy of Talon for hours of thrilling entertainment. And don’t forget to read Trinity while you are reading about these amazing dogs!

I received this book from the publisher Barbour Books to read and review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

ABOUT RONI KENDIG

Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children and two dogs in northern Virginia. Author and speaker, she loves engaging people through her Rapid-Fire Fiction. Ronie can be found atwww.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction), Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads.

Trinity …Military War Dog……by Ronie Kendig from Barbour Books

 

Trinity 

by Ronie Kendig

Trinity

Military War Dog

by Ronie Kendig

 

A year ago in Afghanistan, Green Beret Heath Daniel’s career was destroyed. Along with his faith. Now he and his military war dog, Trinity, train other dogs and their handlers. Though his passion is to be back in action, the medical discharge has forced Heath—and Trinity—to the sidelines. Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured while secretly tracking the Taliban. Only one dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her. Trinity. Only one man can handle Trinity. Time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.

 

 

Every book I read by Ronie Kendig just keeps getting better. In Trinity, I wasn’t sure what to expect because I knew nothing about Military War Dogs, but since I love all of Ronies other books, I knew it would but good. But it wasn’t just good, it was so awesome I didn’t put the book down until I finished it!

 

I can’t say enough about Heath Daniels and his military war dog. I was in awe of the relationship the two of them had and Trinity was just amazing! I grew to love that dog like it was my own! And as usual, Ronie Kendig throws so many twists and turns into the story that she keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire book. I guess you can tell, I love, love this book, just as I love anything that Ronie Kendig writes! I can’t wait for the second book in this series to come out so I can meet another K9 friend!

 

I really recommend this book to whoever likes fiction. If you enjoy dog stories, or stories about war, you will enjoy this one too! Go grab a copy of this one, and watch out for the others in this amazing series from Ronie Kendig.

 

I received this book from Barbour Books to read and review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronie Kendig

 

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children and two dogs in northern Virginia. Author and speaker, she loves engaging people through her Rapid-Fire Fiction. Ronie can be found atwww.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction), Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads.

FIRST Wild Card Tour……….Firethorn, Discarded Heroes #4***********Ronie Kendig

FIRST Wild Card Tour……….Firethorn, Discarded Heroes #4***********Ronie Kendig

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Ronie Kendig
and the book:
Firethorn, Discarded Heroes #4
Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)

***Special thanks to Ronie Kendig for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.
It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990. Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their four children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their three dogs in Dallas, TX.
Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has volunteered extensively, serving in a variety of capacities from coordinator of a national contest to appointment assistant at the national annual conference.
Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have been gained critical acclaim and national attention, including:
    • Finalist in Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards (Nightshade)
    • RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards in Romantic Suspense (Nightshade)
    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)
    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.
    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)
    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Blown and dismantled, Nightshade is ready to repay the favor.

Former Marine and current Nightshade team member Griffin “Legend” Riddell is comfortable. So comfortable he never sees the set up that lands him in a maximum security prison, charged with murder. How can he prove his innocence behind bars?

Covert operative Kazi Faron is tasked with reassembling Nightshade—the black ops team someone dissected. Breaking Griffin out of a federal penitentiary amid explosive confusion may turn out to be her last assignment. What will it take to convince the fugitive that whoever set him up has also dissected the Nightshade team? As Kazi and Griffin race to rescue the others and discover the traitor,

love begins to awaken in their hearts.

Can a covert operative and the felon she’s freed overcome their mutual distrust long enough to save Nightshade? Will anything prepare them for who—or what is coming?

Product Details:

 

 

  • List Price: $12.99

 

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602607850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602607859

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

To all American military heroes

At home and abroad,

Those who have gone before

and those serving today—

THANK YOU!

Because of you, we are FREE!

RECON CREED

Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me.

Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—The title of Recon Marine is my honor.

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.

Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit, and Heart.

A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.

Swift, Silent, Deadly
Chapter 1

The Shack

“It’s sad, really.” Marshall “The Kid” Vaughn trudged away from the thumping rotors of the helo that had deposited them back at the Shack, his pack almost dragging the ground. “Ya don’t realize how much a person adds until he’s gone.”

“Legend’s not gone.” Max “Frogman” Jacobs hoisted his rucksack into a better group, his mind locked on Sydney and their two sons waiting for him at home. Poor woman had to be going out of her mind with two of his Mini-Me’s running around.

“Yeah.” John “Squirt” Dighton hit the light breaker, then waited for the six-man team to clear the door. “He’s just temporarily detained.”

Lights sizzled and popped to life. Groaning bounced off the grimy windows as he hauled the door closed, locked it, then started toward the showers.

The Kid grunted. “Forty-years-to-life temporary.”

In the locker room, a depressive gloom hung over the team. They’d been on countless missions, hit just about every terrain and environment imaginable, but none had taken the toll the last couple had. And there was one reason—they were down a man. Griffin “Legend” Riddell. If Max could write the playbook, they wouldn’t do another mission without the guy. But with the man in federal prison for murdering a congressman, it’d be a long wait.

It was quiet. Too quiet. Max looked around the Spartan room. Walls of lockers, most unused. A few benches. A giant once-white bin for dirty duds. And the team. Six men, now. All very skilled. Good men. Even the one missing. Every man here knew Legend had been set up—he didn’t murder that congressman. But nobody could prove it. The evidence was damning. Justice—injustice was more like it—came swiftly. Lambert, ever the puppeteer, couldn’t pull the right strings to get Legend off.

“I’m heading up to visit him tomorrow. Anyone game?” Colton “Cowboy” Neeley slumped on a bench and ran a hand over his short, dark hair. His blue eyes probed the group.

“Nah, man. I’ve got a date,” the Kid said.

Squirt beaned him with a towel. “What girl would go out with you, mate?”

The Kid snapped the terry cloth back at the former Navy SEAL. “Your sister.”

Squirt froze. His jaw went slack. Then his eyes darkened.

Laughing, Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe rose to his feet from the corner. “You just proved his point by thinking your sister would actually go out with him.”

Squirt swallowed, his face drained of color. “I introduced them at a New Year’s party.”

Midas laughed harder. “Your mistake, mate.

Shuffling closer, Squirt pointed a finger at the Kid. “I swear, you touch her, I’ll shove a fist full of witchety grubs down your gullet.”

“Give me credit, dude.” The Kid raised his hands. “I’m a gentleman.”

Max grunted. “Right.” As he strode around the lockers to the shower well, he heard more threats and much more laughter from the Kid. Max shook his head. Would the Kid ever grow up, learn when to leave things alone?

As he tossed his oily, grimy duds on the bench, Max paused, thinking maybe he should send his report to Lambert now so he wouldn’t have to mess with it tomorrow. The mission had been simple enough, a snatch-n-grab of an Iranian doctor. It’d been nice and clean, in and out. The report wouldn’t take long. Then he could shower, bug out, and know he had the whole weekend with Syd and the boys.

Max jogged up the iron stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath his weight. Down the hall to the right. He punched in the code and entered the secure hub, the door hissing shut behind him. The most high-tech part of this dump-of-a-warehouse.

Shouts drew his attention to the blinds. He jabbed two fingers between a couple and spread them to peeked down into the main area. Squirt and the Kid raced into the bay and back the way they came. Squirt looked ready to kill. The Kid’s face revealed his fear. Max shook his head again. Man, he wanted Griffin back. The guy seemed to bring balance to the team. Badly needed balance.

Max powered up the computer. Hand propped on the warped wood, he waited for the system to boot.

More shouts. Loud thuds.

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Would they never—?

Tat-a-tat! Tat-tat-a-tat!

Instinct drove Max to his knee at the sound of gunfire. He scrambled to the window. Through the slanted blinds, he peered down into the slab of cement. His brain wouldn’t assemble what he saw. Gunmen. A dozen or more. Rushing into the Shack from the parking bay. Moving swiftly, as if. . .

They know the layout.

Max darted to the door and jerked it open. He sprinted down the hall toward the stairs. As his boot hit steel, he froze. A shadow emerged. Floated into the hall.

Too late.

Max jerked back. Pressed his spine against the wall.

By the showers, the Kid looked up. Max signaled to him. Then made his best and loudest Nightshade whistle, hoping it would penetrate the building, give the men warning to take cover.

The Kid threw himself back into the locker room.

Men swarmed the corner. One looked to his left, one right. His weapon slowly rose as he traced the stairs with his M16.

Max leapt backward into the darkness and into office. He closed the door. As the lock clicked, darkness dropped like an anchor over the entire building. Behind him, a glow screamed his location. The monitor!

Max spun. Lunged across the desk. Stabbed the power button. And paused with his hand still near the monitor. If someone was coming after them. . .accessing this computer. . .

On his knees, Max yanked the cords free. With the box, he moved to the window and reassessed the parking bay. Another van with a half-dozen men with AK-47s. They streamed into the warehouse.

Max’s gut wound into a dozen knots. They were screwed.

Think! Hand on the door, he considered going back downstairs. But that would get him captured. Killed. Yet he’d rather be with his guys than running like a chicken.

No, not running. Considering options, gaining the advantage. Planning. The invasion force was armed to the teeth. They knew who they were coming after. They’d brought weapons. And those guys moved with precision. Swift, deadly precision.

Though Nightshade had a stellar ops record, perhaps they had finally met their match. Still. . .two to one? Nightshade had faced worse.

A large black Suburban screeched to a halt in the middle of the parking bay. Two men emerged, both wearing trench coats.

Max cursed his luck to be up here, away from his gear, his weapons. Up here, without firepower. Thus, powerless.

Okay, enough. He was going down there. He eased the door open and slid across the hall. Bathed in darkness, he crouched at edge of the landing, using the wall for cover. A dozen men so far, rushing here and there. Quick, quiet chatter between the men.

A smirk slid into Max’s face. His team had taken cover and these goons couldn’t find them. If he could just get a weapon. . .

“Can’t find them.”

“They’re here. I saw them go in,” the man nearest the SUV shouted. “Find them! Lights!”

Light rushed through the building as headlamps from the vehicles stabbed the dusty, damp building. Max yanked back, out of sight. He needed to get down there, defend his men. His boot hit the landing.

Shouts erupted. A shot bounced off the steel rafters, taunting as it echoed through the Shack. Stilled, Max waited. More shouts. The sound of a scuffle. The half-dozen men waiting by the SUV lifted their weapons to the ready.

The locker room door swung open. A man walked backward, his AK-47 aimed at a large form filling the doorway. Cowboy. Arms raised, dressed only in his jeans, he stalked forward. Someone shoved him from behind, which barely moved the big lug.

Spine pressed against the wood, Max peered down into the bay.

“You move one wrong muscle,” the one in front of Cowboy growled, “and so help me God, I’ll kill you.”

“No you won’t.” Cowboy lowered his hands. “If you wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be out here.”

Ride ’em, Cowboy.

From the side entrance to the showers, three men dragged a shouting, cursing Kid into the bay. Max smirked that it took three tangos to wrangle the Kid.

Hand clenched, Max’s mind went into overdrive. What could he do? God. . .I need. . .something. What could he pray for? Intercepting the team was impossible. Twelve, fifteen armed tangos against one unarmed man?

He latched on to the hope that they’d only found Cowboy and the Kid. No Midas, Squirt, or Aladdin. Good. Maybe they could regroup and—

A man flew through the bay door from the showers and landed with a thud a yard from the others. Midas flipped over, scissored his legs, and swept the thug off his feet. The Kid seized the confusion to attack the men guarding him. And impressively. With a hard right, he dropped the first and used that weapon to disable the second.

Cowboy took a step back and rammed his elbow into the gut of the nearest guard. The gunman bent forward—straight into Cowboy’s meaty fist. The big guy pivoted, slapped the interior of the gunman’s wrist, effectively seizing the weapon and flipping the muzzle around. He fired at the guy.

Crack!

In the split second it took for Max to realize the sonic boom that rent the air wasn’t the report of Cowboy’s .45 MEU but of a rifle, Max saw the man in the black trench coat drop to the ground. A circle spread out like a dark halo.

“Sniper!” someone shouted.

The dead guy had fallen backward. Most likely shot from the front. Which meant. . . Max’s gaze rose to the rafters. With no light, it’d be the perfect hiding spot. But. . .who? Squirt? Aladdin?

Crack!

The man guarding Colton stumbled forward, then went to his knees before hitting the cement.

The man in the black trench coat nearest the SUV dropped. A pool of blood spilled out.

“There!” One guard swung and fired his fully automatic at the ceiling. Four others followed suit, firing at the bank of grimy windows on the southeast wall of the building.

Max followed their direction and watched. Waited, his breath caught at the back of his throat. Cracks and shattering glass blended with the staccato punches of the guns to create a wild cacophony of noise. Max tuned it out, praying whoever—Aladdin or Squirt—wouldn’t be hit.

But then he saw it. A shift of a shadow. Like someone rolling. . .

The gunfire petered out as a body plummeted the eight feet to the ground.

The thud seemed to have supernatural powers as it pounded Max’s chest and pushed him back. Away from the window but not far enough that he lost line of sight.

Silence dropped on the Shack.

“Where’s Max Jacobs?”

As the question streaked through the warehouse, Max registered a red glow in the far corner. Even as he noticed it, he heard a beep. Another. His gaze darted to the source of the noise. Two men were walking the perimeter, their M16s dangling as they raised their arms and pressed something against the supports. Arms lowered and the men stepped back revealing gray bricks with wires.

Explosives.

Gotta stop this. Do something. His gaze collided with Cowboy’s. The big lug gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

Max’s nostrils flared as he wrestled with what to do.

“Where’s Dighton?”

How do they know our names?

“Dead,” someone answered.

Pulled back into the shadows, Max clenched his eyes and bit down on his tongue. Dighton was dead. What about Aladdin—had he survived the fall?

Sirens wailed in the distance.

“Load ’em up.”

“What about Jacobs?”

“Outta time.” The leader left as the gunmen dragged the team out of the building.

Stealthily, Max held on to the box and sprinted the length of the hall to the side of the Shack. In the conference room, he plunged toward the window. Craned his neck to peek out. Three vehicles—twin white vans and a black town car.

The guys were loaded into the van and one into the car.

The leader shifted, held something out, then it wavered.

Detonator.

Max spun around, searching for an out. Doors. Only one way down—the stairs. But they led to the bay, which would be engulfed.

Windows. Overlooked the dock. The canal. It was January. The water would be brutal cold. His split-second assessment told him no matter what route he took, it’d be deadly. Despite his training, if he didn’t find shelter out of the water once he broke surface, he’d die an ice cube. If he stayed, he’d die a fireball.

Good thing SEALs are insulated against cold water.

Max vaulted toward the window, hurtling the computer through the window. The glass shattered as a violent force blasted through the air. It lifted him. Up. . .up. . . Flipped him. Searing pain sliced through his arm. Heat stroked his back and legs. Fire chased him out of the building. Into the night.

Boom!

Another wave slammed into him. Threw him backward. Toward the water.

Something punched his gut. Knocked the breath from his lungs.

Bright white lit the night. Blinded him. Then—almost instantaneously—black. Pure black. And he was falling. . .down. . .down. . .


Ro n i e K e n d i g
Firethorn
Discarded Heroes # 4

OTHER BOOKS BY RONIE KENDIG

Nightshade (Discarded Heroes #1)

Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2)

Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)

© 2011 by Ronie Kendig

ISBN 978-1-60260-0785-9

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

For more information about Ronie Kendig, please access the author’s Web site at the following Internet address: www.roniekendig.com

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683,

www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses.


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