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.”
Review by Angela
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I got this book by accident. I mean, I was given this book, but I have other reviewers that review for me. Somehow, this one got missed and wasn’t assigned. I read the synopsis and decided that it didn’t sound too far off from stuff that I normally read. I was just hoping it didn’t have any “sneaky” romance in it as I have been fooled by the synopsis of books before. I am SO glad I got to read this book!!
Karen Barnes is a bad ass; she just doesn’t know it yet. She had a horrific time in Iraq and just wants to be on her farm with her horses and forget about it. But, someone else has different plans for her. She is kidnapped, beaten, almost killed several times and betrayed by countless people. The amount of tragedy and suffering that she gets in this story is astonishing. The fact that she can still say her name and breath through half of this stuff is a testament to her courage and strength.
I know that PTSD is real. I wholeheartedly believe that not enough people are diagnosed with it nor do they seek treatment for it. I personally know people that have had it and didn’t want to admit it because they think they are going to be laughed at or not believed. They are afraid that they are going to be seen as less of a person or weak because they admit that this is happening. There have been so many needless deaths from people committing suicide from this. I am glad that T.J. wrote about this as it is a really big elephant in the room that deserves more publicity and less stigma.
I love all of the animal references in this book. Animals are truly cathartic and therapeutic. They are a great resource for people with mental, physical and developmental issues. I believe in the power of their love and innocence. The fact that they have pure, unbiased love for humans no matter what has got to be healing. Animals love you even if you are dirty, smelly, in pain, ugly, scarred, beaten…in any size, shape or form. If only people could learn a little of that from animals, the world would be a much better place. I give this story 5 books and can’t wait to read more from T.J. Loveless.
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