Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
OUT OF THE NIGHT by GERI FOSTER
Falcon Securities Agent Tony Archuletta has lost his memory and a CIA operative is being held captive by a lethal group of terrorists out to destroy America. For Tony to pull off a mission this delicate and complex, he must have his memory, as well as every weapon at his disposal.
Abby Williams is an investigative reporter sent on a dangerous assignment. One of Falcon’s agents is being held in the notorious Lubyanka Prison where experimental drugs were used to make him break under integration. The agent is a man Abby has a painful history with. A man can never forgive her betrayal.
Can Tony and Abby race against time to save the CIA operative? Will Tony regain his memory only to learn that she is the only woman he’d ever loved and the only person he ever feared? Does love win this battle? Or do these two souls who are meant to be together take the safe road and part with just a handful of memories?
OUT OF THE NIGHT by GERI FOSTER
Abby Williams shuddered as she marched down the bleak corridor of Lubyanka Prison in the old KGB building that once reigned terror in the hearts and minds of every Russian citizen. Not a good place for an American to be.
The harsh surroundings of peeling plaster, grimy, gray cinderblock walls, and dim light shrouded her like a plastic body bag. A worn strip of unpainted concrete, created by thousands of footsteps, ran down the center of the passageway.
A chubby Russian guard named Boris Gurov ushered Abby to cell block number five where the Federal Security Service of Russia held Falcon agent, Tony Archuletta prisoner.
Her escort stood two inches shorter than her five feet nine and while he seemed pleasant enough, the place gave her the willies. His thin brown hair barely covered his skull. He appeared as nervous and uncomfortable as a druggie during a shakedown. By his jerky movements, Abby could tell he was as anxious as she to get this over with.
The hollow echoes of their footsteps along with the chilling sound of keys clipped to Boris’s belt pulled at the hairs on the back of her neck.
Abby planned to keep the guard so busy checking her out that he wouldn’t notice the obvious. She didn’t wear regulation military issued garb, her shoes were Nine West, and the papers on the clipboard in her hand weren’t legitimate. To solidify the charade, Abby flashed the guard a cheesy smile and hoped he didn’t wet his pants.
Boris eyed her carefully arranged cleavage like a kid would a lollipop. “So where are you taking the prisoner?” he asked loudly.
“I have orders to take him to GRU headquarters where he is to undergo further interrogation,” Abby spoke fluently in Russian.
The tubby guard grunted then puffed out his chest. “The Aquarium? That will do you no good. I know this American. Nothing can break him.”
“I have never seen a man who could not be made to talk.”
Abby stopped at the appropriate cell, pivoted with a military turn and faced the prisoners. She kept her features calm, her demeanor cool and eyes focused. Looking inside, she wondered how the Russian government got away with treating human beings like animals.
The stench of the place alone could gag a cockroach. Those poor men housed behind the steel bars looked more like prisoners of war than everyday run-of-the-mill criminals.
“Tony Archuletta, step forward.”
Falcon Securities CEO, Frank Hamilton, had sent Abby to retrieve one of their own from the Russians before he broke under interrogations.
Their plan was simple. She’d dress like a Russian military officer, put him in the car and deliver him to the American Embassy.
As an investigative reporter, Abby routinely pulled off undercover operations to gain information for her newspaper. Plus, the journalist in her wanted a look inside Lubyanka Prison, and they didn’t give walking tours.
She’d actually been on assignment with the American Embassy in Moscow when her boss called. This rescue mission would have originally fallen to a female Falcon agent, but she’d been wounded. Not fatally, but enough to take her out of action for a few days.
When the men in the cell continued to ignore her, Abby allowed her eyes to search the faces of the captives. She counted four, and they all looked ghastly. Filthy, open sores dotted bodies little more than skin and bones. Only soiled rags covered their frames. Abby choked back a sob of anguish at the horrific conditions these poor men suffered.
Soon her gaze fell upon the man she’d come to rescue. Her heart sped up and her breath froze in her throat. Hunger, excitement and longing caused her heart to pause for a second. She hadn’t seen him in eighteen months, two weeks and three days, but it felt like two lifetimes. His dark steely gray eyes cut deeply, holding her hostage while she struggled to keep her composure.
He didn’t appear to recognize her.
Or was he being clever?
At least she hoped he knew enough to get with the program and put on a good act. No one played a role better than Tony. At the young age of thirty-two, many considered him a legend.
If he’d recognized her, he knew enough to play along and not blow the mission.
“He does not understand Russian?” Abby asked, knowing Archuletta was an expert linguist.
“He understands everything. He is just being a shithead. That is all.” The guard took out his wooden stick and slapped it across the bars. “Don’t make me come and get you, Archuletta.”
The other cellmates hunched their shoulders and crept away as if distance might save them from the guard’s brutality. Even sitting, the Falcon agent appeared taller and more sinister than the others. Predatory and dangerous, he looked mean and calloused. Bare to the waist, he still had a warrior’s bearing.
Goosebumps sprinted down Abby’s spine as her skin prickled. The air around them slowed and the noise faded away. She hadn’t seen him in so long, yet nothing had changed, especially her feelings. Glancing aside, she blinked back tears she believed had dried long ago.
On the opposite side of the bars, Archuletta unhurriedly rose to his feet and snarled like a wild animal. He rolled his upper lip and spat at the guard.
Red-faced, Boris backed up then put his hand on the gun in his hip holster. “Do that again and I will kill you.”
The prisoner stood unfazed by the threat.
Grabbing the guard’s arm, her blood pumped harder and faster. Abby quickly intervened. “We do not want him dead.”
Had he lost his damn mind? If he continued being a smart ass, Tony could incite the guard to do something foolish. “He must be alive if we are to get anything out of him.”
Archuletta’s malicious gaze slid to her face like a wolf sizing up its prey. His strong, sharp features grew even harsher…colder.
A shutter raced through her. The anger on Tony’s face came as an unexpected surprise, and she stepped back, swallowing. “Come closer,” Boris ordered.
After a moment, the prisoner complied and put his hands through the small square slot in the bars. He’d probably been through the drill a dozen times. Earlier, Abby provided Boris with her handcuffs, and he now snapped them into place around the American agent’s wrists.
“Step back,” she ordered, hoping he wouldn’t refuse. Tony moved to a safe distance. Boris’s eyes narrowed as he cautiously unlocked the door.
The guard took out his gun and entered the cell. He jabbed Archuletta in the back and nudged him out. “The FAS might want you alive, but I tell you this. You *&ck with me and I blow your brains out.”
“Now, that would be a relief.” Tony let out a malicious chuckle.
Abby grimaced at Tony’s behavior. She wished he’d quit the wise guy act and cooperate. The sooner they escaped the better.
With the prisoner leading the way, they marched up the stairs. From behind, Abby noticed he still had that loose-limbed stride that bordered on a swagger. Rags and all, Tony had the sweetest ass on earth. At the top, Archuletta turned left, but the guard stopped him.
“You are not going back there. The GRU has a special treat for you, my friend.”
“Yeah, and I have a special treat for you, buska.”
Abby inwardly groaned and yearned to smack Tony in the head. He’d just called the Russian guard a pig. If he kept up with the wise cracks, in all likelihood, he’d get them both killed.
As long as she can remember, Geri Foster has been a lover of reading and the written words. In the seventh grade she wore out two library cards and had read every book in her age area of the library. After raising a family and saying good-bye to the corporate world, she tried her hand at writing.
Action, intrigue, danger and sultry romance drew her like a magnet. That’s why she has no choice but to write action-romance suspense. While she reads every genre under the sun, she’s always been drawn to guns, bombs and fighting men. Secrecy and suspense move her to write edgy stories about daring and honorable heroes who manage against all odds to end up with their one true love.
Links to GERI’s website, blog, books, etc.
THE FALCON SERIES
AMAZON: Out of the Night ~ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F1F7Q9M
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Geri will give away a copy of her release, OUT OF THE NIGHT, to one of her lucky readers who comments on either her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!! Winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday, September 16, 2013. Thanks, Geri, for sharing your story with us!