Shannon here: H.L. Wegley shares an excerpt from his latest Romantic Suspense novel, The Janus Journals. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of an e-book or printed copy for US and Canada. E-book for international. Deadline: April 13th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s H.L. :
Alisa (Allie) Petrenko has thanatophobia, a paralyzing fear of death. But the man who’s driving her across the country to escape an SVR assassin seems to be helping her with her fear. That help, and relief that the assassin didn’t shoot at them—it was only a blown tire—leads to the moment of their first kiss.
An excerpt from The Janus Journals:
Allie ended up on her back, scrunched into the tiny floorboard of the small SUV with her long legs draped over the console. Her fists clenched a wad of Grady’s shirt. “You’re not going out there.”
“I think we’re okay. If it was him, he would’ve shot me not a rear tire.”
“You don’t know that, Grady. Not for sure. Where are we?”
“About fifteen miles west of Fargo. It’s as flat as a tabletop here. Nothing but hay fields. No place for a sniper to hide.”
“It only takes one place. And he could see us for miles. I’ve heard they have guns that can kill you from a thousand yards away.”
“Where did you hear that?”
“It was in a movie.”
“You watch too many bad movies.” He raised his head and scanned the north side of the freeway.
“I seldom watch any movies, especially not bad ones.”
“Well, why did you watch that movie?”
“Because…” It was because of the man playing the lead role, but she couldn’t tell Grady that.
He looked down at her. “Who starred in the movie, Allie?”
She didn’t reply.
“So I was right. It was what’s-his-name. That Brad guy.”
Grady was right. He was also a lot hotter than that scruffy guy playing the lead in the film. But she couldn’t tell Grady that either.
He lowered his head. “Look, Allie, we can’t lie down in this little RAV4 forever. If it was him, which it isn’t, he would approach us and kill—”
“Don’t say it. I wouldn’t let him do that.”
“And how do you plan to stop him? Maybe you should let me in on your secret. Sounds like it might come in handy sometime.”
“I … I would fight him … so he couldn’t aim his—”
“Is this Allie Petrenko speaking, the woman who’s petrified of death?”
She didn’t reply.
“Well, is it?”
She wouldn’t answer, then maybe he wouldn’t keep—
“Allie, I’ve learned quite a bit about you in the last couple of days. But there’s one part that I haven’t quite figured—”
“Okay … I couldn’t let him shoot you.”
“Oh.” Grady’s mouth stuck in the shape of the letter he had pronounced.
Now he knew. And now she knew. Positive feelings in a person’s heart trumped fear. And she definitely had positive feelings in her heart.
And euphemisms in your mind. Girl, you need to let the truth out or you’re going to explode.
“Yeah.” He tried to sit up.
She pulled him down using all of her weight by hanging from the neck of his shirt. “If you have to get out, I’m coming with you, and I won’t take no for an answer.”
“You’re staying right where you are.” Grady pushed up from the seat with one arm.
She chopped the inside of his elbow with her fist.
The elbow collapsed, sending him sprawling across the passenger seat with his head nearly on the floorboard.
Allie circled his neck with her arms.
She had him in a crude headlock. Crude and unorthodox, because their foreheads were touching.
Now their noses touched.
“Grady, I …”
Their lips touched.
She wasn’t sure if she initiated the kiss, or not. But she was the instigator, and Allie was determined to finish properly what she had started. She relaxed her arms and cupped Grady’s cheeks, holding him in place.
He didn’t resist.
A few sweet seconds later, she pulled her lips from Grady’s and sensed that she was breathing even harder than during their scuffle. And there were other sensations completely new to Allie, but this was neither the time nor the place to explore them.
Half of the floorboard of a RAV4 wasn’t the place for much of anything, except a pair of feet.
Or my first serious kiss.
Grady’s hand emerged from their tangle of arms and heads. He cupped her cheek. “Allie, I vowed that—”
“Grady Jamison, if you accuse me of making you break another—”
He pressed his finger over her lips. “Allie, I promised I wouldn’t do what I just did … only with the girl I’m going to marry.”
“And you’re saying I’m the girl who made you break your word?”
“Well, technically, I haven’t broken it … yet.”
The look in Grady’s eyes that accompanied his thinly veiled hint gave Allie more new sensations to explore, a whole fluttering stomach full of them.
About H.L. : H.L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist at a national lab, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for twenty years before he and his wife retired near Seattle where they enjoy grandchildren, the rugged coast in the Olympic National Park and where he crafts his stories. He is an award-winning author of inspirational thrillers and high-action, romantic-suspense novels. Learn more and connect:
About the book – The Janus Journals:
Will probing the past, through her father’s secret journals, save her future?
For recent college graduate, Alisa (Allie) Petrenko, the Cold War never ended, and events set in motion years ago have endangered this innocent young woman. When her father is murdered, he left her with a warning, an assassin on her trail, and his secret history contained in a set of journals. As Allie tries to elude the assassin and read the journals, she learns that the loving father who raised her was not the man he appeared to be, and the man she must now trust with her life is someone Allie must never trust with her heart.
At strong safety, Grady Jamison could defend against opponents in the red zone, but he couldn’t stop the drunk driver who hit his car and killed his sister. Does Allie Petrenko’s call for help mean Grady has been given a second chance, a chance to do things right? Once again, he’s defending in the
red zone. And he must not let the world-class assassin score, because the goal line marks the end of Allie Petrenko’s life.
The Janus Journals, set in Virginia and near Lake Chelan in Washington State, is high-action romantic suspense at its best. The dual timeline will take you on an epic journey through the twilight years of the Cold War that reshaped one man’s destiny while creating deadly tentacles, reaching into the present, threatening an innocent young woman.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now! The Janus Journals – Amazon
Question for Readers: Have any of you or any of your family members served in any branches of the armed forces? Tells us about it along with where and when you or they served.