Title: Fractured Steel
Author: T.J. Loveless
Release Date: February 15, 2014
Genre: Thriller/Contemporary Fiction
After a bloody tour in Iraq, all Karen Barnes wants is a simple life, surrounded by horses and the mountains of Wyoming. But when a stranger tries boarding a famous horse worth millions at her stable, Karen grows suspicious that the horse has been stolen.
When her worse fears are confirmed and her life is threatened, her instinct for survival kicks in. But things are far worse than she could have even imagined when she discovers that the theft is just a coverup for espionage.
With the lives of those she cares for at stake, can she find the courage to fight one more battle, or will the violence and carnage tear her to pieces?
Johnny swung the M16 and pointed it at me, “Come here, honey.” He smiled, and I held back the waves of nausea. I knew the smile, what he wanted, knew if he got me out of here, I was going to hurt.
“Stop shooting and I will.” I kept my feet planted, hoping the fear didn’t show.
He turned and shot a man trying to crawl away. I flinched as blood and thicker things spread over the floor. “You don’t negotiate. Come here, Karen. We have unfinished business.”
I took a deep breath, the smell of copper pennies and released bowels covering my nose and throat. Don’t cry, show no weakness. There are others that might survive. I took a step, followed by several more. If I managed to get Johnny and Jake out of here, they could lock down and call for help. Peripheral vision said at least seven survived. The good of the many outweigh the good of the few, or the one, I repeated in my head, remembering the line from the eighties movie, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan. I wasn’t brave like Spock, I was a coward, and couldn’t live with myself.
Standing in front of Johnny, I released a punch, sending him reeling. I grabbed his M16 as he lurched to the left, and turned it on Jake. I hesitated, seeing his beautiful eyes, a dozen years of memories flashing in front of me. Shaking my head, I pulled the trigger. His body jumped and moved, eyes wide with pain and surprise.
I turned the muzzle to a hunched over Johnny, “Look at me. For once, don’t be a coward, and face the person who is going to take your life.”
Tears streamed down my face. Pain literally hurt my heart. Joy spread through me and I wanted to keep cheering Karen on! I was more than surprised by this story. It was so intense and extremely breath taking. Thank you TJ for touching on a serious, debilitating reaction to trama. It was personally touching and impactful. Many of us will hide behind the doors with lots of locks on it (figuratively and literally). Thank you for bringing Karen to the point of trying to live again! It was unlocking one lock at a time and one step at a time, but it felt real. Karen and Five Alarm made me so proud!! Even though this story was filled with horror and pain, it is so important that you showed the light on the other side of tragedy!!
About the Author
T.J. Loveless has been reading and writing stories since the fourth grade. A former copy/content editor at a medium sized pub house, she now spends her time writing and helping other authors reach for the stars through Cliffhanger Press, LLC.
She lives with The Writing Zoo, a Hubby who prefers her mood when writing, and a teenager who loves to tells stories of Mom on the floor trying to visualize “legs all akimbo” and the long, often yelling, conversations with the computer screen.
Purchase Her Other Books Today
$100 Visa Gift Card, Signed Paperback of Fractured Steel and an ebook of Going Thru Hell/Odd Number Five