Rogue Soldier (Shadow Unit Book 2 )
Shadow Unit may have overturned the illegal arms cartel in Kuala Lumpur, but the harrowing undercover op left emotional scars on Sergeants Shawn Weller and Connor Finley. Slowly, patiently, they piece their partnership back together, closer now than ever before.
But the arrival of Julian Montgomery, Shawn’s former CIA handler and lover, threatens to tear them apart. Julian knows all of Shawn’s secrets as well as the past Shawn has kept hidden from Connor. Now the self-serving Julian wants Shawn back—with the CIA and with him. No one will get in his way. Including Connor.
When the joint Shadow Unit/CIA mission to stop the supplier of a deadly biological weapon goes sideways, Connor is captured, tortured, and used as a human test subject. It’s a race against time to save his life. But who can Shawn trust?
And who has gone rogue?
Missed Shawn and Connor’s earlier adventures? Read BROKEN SOLDIER, available from your favorite retailer.
All of Shadow Unit was well aware that if they didn’t take this last man alive they’d never get the intel they needed on the money man funding a terrorist cell of the United Jihad Council. They knew he was based here in the Kashmir region of northern India but not his name and exact location. There were four men inside the house when the op began. Now they were down to one. If they didn’t do something quickly there was a distinct possibility their target would kill himself instead of allowing himself to be captured.
Connor squeezed his eyes shut in frustration but then opened them again as a crazy plan began to form in his head.
“Bugger this,” he hissed, decision made.
He reached over and grabbed a flash-bang grenade off of Shawn’s tactical vest and pressed it into his partner’s hand. “Go on zero,” he instructed, then kept low and darted off into the darkness, hearing Shawn calling after him.
“Finn! What the fuck are you doing?!”
Connor smiled inwardly at the nickname only Shawn was allowed to call him, a split second before his partner’s angry voice was in his ear.
“Shadow Team, be aware that Shadow One is attempting a south side entry. Hold position. Wait for my signal then move in.”
“Shadow Three, copy that,” replied Sergeant Mandy Cho, followed by Sergeant Chloe Davis.
“Shadow Four, copy that.”
Assured that his teammates were ready, Connor crept silently to the back of the house, keeping his six-foot, two-inch frame as small as possible, sweating profusely in the humid climate with all of his heavy tactical gear on. What he wouldn’t give to be back home in cool and rainy London he thought as he wiped the perspiration from his face.
He made his way to the rear of the small, dilapidated house, pausing outside the door, which was partially open and barely on its hinges. He cautiously looked inside, peering around the edge of the door. The interior was just one open room. A kitchen sink and stove were to his left, a small table and two mismatched chairs to his right. Beyond that a mattress on the floor with a ripped and stained blanket thrown over it. And on the other side of the bed, a beat up recliner sat in front of an ancient television set sitting on a box.
The two windows had been shattered from gunfire and broken glass littered the wooden floor, along with three dead bodies, blood pooling all around them. Connor spied their last remaining target, who was partially turned away from him, casting furtive glances out one of the broken windows, his semi-automatic rifle clutched to his chest. The Indian man was breathing hard, shifting nervously.
Connor hooked the strap of his rifle around his shoulder, leaving his hands free, then whispered into his comm. “Shadow Team, I have eyes on target. Shadow Two, on my mark.” Connor reached out, silently and carefully easing the door open wider to fit his body through. “Three, two, one…zero.”
The flash-bang grenade sailed through the window and exploded at the exact moment Connor burst through the back door. Prepared for the smoke, intensely bright light and deafening noise, Connor did not let any deter him as he sprinted toward his target.
Caught completely off guard, the man turned away from the light and smoke – unfortunately right toward Connor. His eyes widened and he raised his rifle, firing as Connor charged forward, now mere steps away from him.
Connor saw the muzzle flash an instant before his head snapped to the side, blinding, white-hot pain tearing through his temple. He fell backward, managing to kick out and sweep the legs out from under his target. They both went down hard just as Shadow Team made entry. Connor got a glimpse of Mandy and Chloe subduing the man and then Shawn dropping to his knees beside him, clutching at his arm. He could see Shawn yelling, his partner’s face a mask of panic, but Connor couldn’t make out the words as his vision went red, then gray, then black…
Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?
That would be my husband, hands down. Though he doesn’t read what I write he has always been there for me, doing whatever he can to help me out.
What is one thing you wish your readers could understand about the writing process?
That it’s hard! LOL! But that can also be a good thing. I believe in challenging myself as a writer and taking chances. And that’s what I’ve done here with my Shadow Unit series. These books are dark and gritty, more romantic suspense than contemporary romance. I want people to constantly wonder if Connor and/or Shawn will survive to the end of the book.
This is a big change for me, and I hope that my regular readers will give this book a chance. Because even though it’s not my usual style, I am, and always will be, the Queen of Happy Endings. I will put my boys through hell, but love and dedication will always put them back together again. So give it a try! You just might like it!
When did you start writing and what was your inspiration?
I’d been writing short stories since I was a kid but didn’t get serious about it until I started writing fanfic in the mid-90’s. I got tired of hearing how bad all fanfic was, that fanfic writers had no talent. I took it as a challenge and decided to give going pro a shot. And what do you know, my very first book was accepted to a publisher on my very first try. Take that, fanfic haters!
Seeing more and more authors going the “self-pub’ route. Thoughts?
I’m all for self-publishing. All of my books except for one are self-published. But I’m lucky in that I can design my own covers and have my own editor, so I don’t have those added expenses that others might have to pay for out of pocket if not going with a traditional publisher. And I have no problem doing my own self-promotion, etc. But again, that’s not for everyone. For me, self-publishing has worked out great. I like that I have complete control over my work.
How much thought do you as an author put into your cover, cover models etc. And has that changed since you started writing. If so, have you or will you go back and re-do covers you’re no longer pleased with?
As a graphic designer, I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to design all of my covers except for one. I put a huge amount of thought into my cover art. Sometimes I’ll go through dozens of different designs and search through hundreds of pages of stock photos for models. Because in the end, a picture’s worth a thousand words if you want to get people interested enough to then read your blurb.
What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
I wrote a scene in Burnin’ for You where a school bus goes into the river. All of the firemen jump in and manage to pull all the children out but they’re too late and none of the children survive. That was very difficult to write. But also very realistic, what firemen and paramedics face in the aftermath of children dying.
When writing, what comes first? The characters or the plot?
Nine times out of ten it’s the plot for me. I suddenly think of some situation that I want to be the main focus of my book and the characters develop from there.
Do you ever write your own personal fantasies into your books?
Well if you count the fact that I’ve always wanted to be in law enforcement and that’s why I write about cops, then yes. J
How much if any of your story line comes from real life people or events?
A lot. It was my time spent in various citizen police and fire academy classes that inspired me to write nearly all of my books.
Do you have to look at the keys when you type?
Nope! And I have my parents to thank for that. I wanted horse back riding lessons for my 8th grade graduation gift. Instead they gave me a typewriter. LOL! Little did they know that thanks to a summer spent learning how to type it would aid me much later in life!
What are your two favorite 80’s movies?
The Empire Strikes Back and Cloak and Dagger.
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
Leave me a comment (AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS) for your chance to win a FREE copy of any of my backlist ebooks! Contest ends Wednesday, September 28th