Hide and Seek by Major (Ret) Jeff Struecker & Alton Gansky

August 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
Tags:

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card authors are:
Jeff Struecker and

Alton L. Gansky

and the book:
Hide and Seek
B&H Books (July 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson, The B&B Media Group, Inc for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeff Struecker was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. At age 18, he enlisted the US Army as an infantryman and retired as a Chaplain with over 22 years of active federal service. He currently serves as Associate Pastor of Ministry Development at Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, GA. Throughout his career Jeff has attended numerous professional military schools and has received many awards and commendations. His combat experience includes participation in Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Iris Gold in Kuwait, Operation Gothic Serpent, in Mogadishu, Somalia, and multiple tours in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jeff holds a Master of Divinity Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, a Bachelor of Science Degree and Associate of Science Degree from Troy University in Alabama. Jeff and his wife, Dawn, have five children: Aaron, Jacob, Joseph, Abigail and Lydia.

Visit the author’s website.

Alton L. Gansky is the author of 23 novels and 7 nonfiction works, as well as principle writer of 7 novels and 2 nonfiction books. He has been a Christie Award finalist (A Ship Possessed) and an Angel Award winner (Terminal Justice). He holds a BA and MA in biblical studies. He lives in central California with his wife.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Amelia Lennon no longer wears a uniform or carries a weapon. An Army trained Foreign Affairs Officer, she’s negotiating a dispute with the Kyrgyzstan government that threatens to leave the U.S. without an airbase in that region. She traded her gun for the power of words, but now she needs both. While following her government contact-Jildiz Oskonbaeva, the lawyer daughter of Kyrgyzstan’s president-Amelia witnesses an attempt to abduct her. She manages to prevent the kidnapping, but now the two women are on the run in a city that’s erupting into chaos.

Master Sergeant J.J. Bartley is the Special Operations team leader tasked to rescue Amelia and Jildiz. With two new members in his unit-one with a secret that could endanger everyone’s life-J.J. must soldier his unit through crazed mobs intent on overthrowing the government. Back home, his pregnant wife is misinformed that her husband and the team have been killed. But before this is over, Bartley will find out that’s the least of his problems.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

  • Paperback:400 pages
  • Publisher:B&H Books (July 1, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1433671425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433671425
  • AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

    43.050278°N
    74.469444°E
    Transit
    Center
    at
    Manas
    (formerly
    Manas
    Air
    Base),
    outside
    Bishkek,
    Kyrgyzstan
    June
    6
    The
    mess
    hall
    was
    deserted.
    Master
    Sergeant
    J.J.
    Bartley
    sat alone
    at
    a
    long,
    well-worn
    table
    that
    had
    seen
    thousands
    of airmen,
    soldiers,
    and
    marines
    pause
    from
    their
    work
    long enough
    to
    pound
    down
    some
    grub
    before
    returning
    to
    their duties.
    On
    the
    table
    rested
    a
    chipped
    plastic
    coffee
    cup
    and two
    file
    folders.
    The
    expansive
    room
    seemed
    twice
    the
    size
    J.J. remembered
    the
    last
    time
    he
    passed
    through
    the
    air
    base.
    Of
    course
    the
    room
    was
    full
    of
    hungry
    service
    men
    then,
    many headed
    to
    Afghanistan.
    That
    was Manas’s
    primary
    role
    over
    the last
    decade:
    the
    jumping-off
    spot
    for
    troops
    headed
    to
    hostile country.
    As
    an
    Army
    ranger
    he
    did
    two
    tours
    of
    duty
    in Afghanistan before
    being
    hand-selected
    by
    Sergeant
    Major
    Eric
    Moyer
    to be
    part
    of
    a
    unique
    spec
    ops
    team.
    He
    made
    several
    other
    missions
    into
    the
    country
    as
    part
    of
    that
    squad,
    including
    one
    he was
    sure
    would
    be
    his
    last
    moment
    on
    earth.
    As
    it
    turned
    out, a
    pair
    of
    F-18s
    came
    to
    the
    rescue
    of
    the
    six-man
    unit
    as
    they fought
    off
    overwhelming
    numbers
    of
    Taliban
    fighters
    advanc-
    ing
    on
    their
    position.
    The
    jet
    jockeys
    saved
    their
    lives
    by
    drop-
    ping
    a
    pair
    of
    ICM
    bombs
    on
    their
    location.
    The
    (Improved
    Conventional
    Munition)
    bombs
    exploded
    fifteen
    feet
    above
    their
    heads
    leaving
    the
    ground
    littered
    with
    dead
    Taliban
    and
    a ringing
    in J.J.’s
    ears
    that
    took
    a
    week
    to
    go
    away.
    That
    seemed
    a
    lifetime
    ago.
    Since
    then, as
    the sniper
    and
    explosives
    expert
    for
    his
    team,
    he
    traveled
    to
    a dozen
    different
    places
    on
    the
    planet,
    none
    of
    which
    he
    was
    allowed
    to
    name
    and
    carried
    out
    missions
    he
    was
    forbidden
    to
    speak about.
    “Stare
    all
    you
    want,
    Boss,
    but
    that
    coffee
    ain’t
    going
    to
    do any
    tricks.”
    J.J.
    didn’t
    have
    to
    look
    up
    to
    know
    Jose
    “Doc”
    Medina
    was approaching.
    He
    raised
    his
    gaze
    anyway
    and
    returned
    the
    med- ic’s
    smile. Jose
    was
    a
    solid
    man
    with
    a
    keen
    mind,
    quick
    humor,
    and
    a
    admirable
    steadiness.
    If
    the
    sky
    were
    to
    rip
    in
    half
    and
    a million
    aliens
    ships
    from
    another
    dimension
    appeared
    ready
    to take
    over
    the
    world,
    J.J.
    was
    sure
    Jose
    would
    look
    up
    and
    say,
    “Well,
    look
    at
    that.
    A
    man
    doesn’t
    see
    that
    every
    day.”
    J.J.
    liked the
    man
    for
    another
    reason.
    In
    addition
    to
    his
    being a
    superior soldier
    he
    also
    saved
    J.J.’s
    life
    after
    a
    gun
    battle.
    He
    owed
    the man
    several
    pizza’s
    for
    that.
    “Hey
    Doc,
    where
    you
    been?”
    They
    have
    a
    great
    rec.
    hall
    here.
    I
    was
    shooting
    pool
    with the
    Air
    Force
    guys.”
    He
    pulled
    out
    a
    chair
    and
    sat.
    All
    in
    the
    name
    of inter-service
    fun,
    no
    doubt.”
    J.J.
    lifted his
    cup.
    The
    coffee
    was
    cold.
    “Of
    course.
    You
    know
    I believe
    we
    should
    respect
    all branches
    of
    the
    military,
    even
    the
    inferior,
    less
    skilled
    ones.”
    “How
    much?”
    “Huh?”
    You
    heard
    me.”
    Jose
    shrugged.
    “Maybe
    a
    couple
    of
    twenties.”
    Total?”
    “Each.”
    Jose
    pretended
    to
    look
    guilty.
    “How
    many
    airmen
    did
    you
    fleece?”
    “Oh,
    who
    keeps track
    of
    such
    things?
    I
    was
    just
    killing time.”
    J.J.
    narrowed
    his
    eyes.
    “Okay,
    just
    four.
    My
    conscious
    was
    beginning to
    bother me.”
    “Lucky
    for
    them.”
    He
    put
    the
    cup
    down.
    “Seen
    Pete
    and
    Crispin?”
    “Not
    since
    Crispin
    gave
    his
    little
    demonstration.
    He
    did
    a good
    job.
    I
    was
    impressed
    and
    I’ve
    seen
    his
    tech
    kung-fu
    in
    the field.
    All
    those
    itty-bitty surveillance
    drones
    were
    a
    hit.
    Left
    the local
    tech
    boys
    drooling.”
    Yeah,
    I
    was
    there,
    but
    I
    haven’t
    seen
    them since.”
    “Do
    you
    need
    them. I’ll
    go
    round
    ‘em
    up.”
    “Nah.
    Just
    as
    long
    as
    they’re
    front-and-center
    when
    the
    new
    guys
    arrive.”
    Ah,
    that’s
    it.”
    J.J.
    cocked
    his
    head.
    “What’s
    it?”
    You
    look
    down,
    Boss,
    like
    you’ve
    lost
    your
    favorite
    girl friend.”
    “My
    favorite
    girlfriend.
    You
    know
    I’m
    married.
    Tess
    won’t
    let
    me
    have
    girlfriends.”
    Jose
    slumped
    in
    his
    chair.
    “Wives
    are
    funny
    that
    way.
    My
    wife
    won’t
    let
    me
    date
    either.”
    He
    paused
    to
    let
    the
    quip
    die before
    establishing
    a
    more
    somber
    tone.
    “I
    miss
    them too.”
    “I
    didn’t
    say
    anything
    about
    missing
    anyone.”
    “I
    was
    listening
    to
    your
    face.”
    “Sometimes
    you
    confuse
    me,
    Doc.”
    Jose
    chuckled.
    “You
    know
    what
    they say
    about
    Hispanics:
    were
    inscrutable.”
    “I
    thought
    that
    referred
    to
    Asians
    in old
    movies.”
    “Eh,
    Asians,
    Hispanics,
    whatever.”
    Another
    pause.
    “You’re
    thinking
    about
    Boss
    and
    Shaq.”
    They’re
    home
    safe
    and
    sound.
    I’m
    not worried
    about them.”
    Images
    of
    the
    team’s
    former
    leader
    and
    second-in-com- mand strobed
    in his
    mind. Last
    he
    saw
    them, they
    looked
    well
    and
    happy.
    He
    could
    hardly
    tell
    both
    were
    severely
    wounded and
    the
    latter
    lost an
    eye.
    Both
    retired
    shortly
    after the
    mission in eastern
    Siberia
    and
    took
    jobs
    with
    a
    civilian
    security
    firm.
    “I
    didn’t
    say
    you
    were
    worried
    about
    them.
    I
    think
    you’re
    worried
    because
    they’re
    not
    here.
    You
    went
    from
    team
    mem-
    ber
    to
    Boss
    in
    short
    order.
    There’s
    gotta
    be
    some
    psychological
    whiplash
    in that.”
    “Psychological
    whiplash?
    They
    teach
    you
    that
    at
    Fort
    Sam
    Houston?”
    “Nope.
    Medic
    training
    taught
    me
    many
    things
    but
    not much
    psychology.
    Life,
    on
    the
    other
    hand,
    has
    taught
    me
    a ton.”
    “Okay,
    Doc.
    What’s
    eating
    me?”
    Jose
    sat
    up
    and
    leaned
    forward
    on
    the
    table.
    “Nothing
    bad, Boss.
    You’re
    just
    being
    human.”
    “I
    don’t
    think
    I’ll
    ever
    get
    used
    to
    being
    called
    Boss.
    Every
    time
    someone
    calls
    me
    that
    I
    think
    of
    Moyer.”
    You’ll
    get
    the
    hang
    of
    it.”
    Jose paused.
    “Can
    we
    talk
    like
    a couple
    of
    old
    buddies?”
    That’s
    what
    we
    are,
    Jose.”
    Well,
    at
    least
    in
    here.
    Anyone
    else
    walks
    in
    this
    room
    and
    I’ll
    go
    back
    to
    being
    formal.”
    The
    corner
    of
    J.J.’s
    mouth
    inched
    up.
    “You
    have
    a
    formal side?”
    “Im
    nothing
    if
    not
    a
    model
    of
    Army
    decorum.”
    He
    inched
    closer
    to
    the
    table
    as
    if
    he
    were
    about
    to
    whisper
    a
    secret.
    His
    volume
    remained
    the
    same.
    “Okay,
    here’s
    how
    I
    see
    it.
    We
    are
    creatures
    of
    training.
    We
    enlist
    and
    start
    at
    the
    lowest
    rank.
    Time
    in
    service
    and
    experience
    lead
    to
    promotions.
    We
    have
    a
    good
    idea
    how
    that’s
    going
    to
    progress.
    You’ve
    just
    been
    pushed
    up
    the ladder
    faster
    than
    expected.
    The
    view
    is
    different
    up
    there.”
    True.”
    “So
    now
    you’ve
    be
    selected
    to
    take
    over
    for
    a
    man
    we
    admire
    and
    respect.
    He’s
    a
    one
    in
    a
    million.
    He’s
    got
    it
    all:
    brains, courage,
    loyalty,
    and
    a
    soldier’s
    sixth
    sense.
    He
    left
    under
    tough circumstances.
    Nearly
    lost
    his
    daughter
    to
    kidnappers
    trying
    to sway
    him
    in
    his
    mission.
    Took
    a
    beating.
    Nearly
    died.
    To
    hear him
    tell
    it,
    he
    did
    die
    and
    came
    back.
    His
    cover
    was
    blown
    so his
    usefulness
    as
    field
    operative
    was
    gone
    and
    that’s
    all
    he
    ever
    wanted
    to
    do.”
    “He
    is
    a
    great
    man.
    Taught
    me
    more
    about
    soldiering
    than basic,
    AIT,
    and
    Ranger
    training
    combined.”
    A
    wave
    of
    sadness ran
    over
    J.J.
    “I
    can’t
    be
    Eric
    Moyer,
    Doc.
    In
    my
    mind,
    he
    will always
    be
    Boss.”
    “But
    he’s
    not
    J.J.
    He
    was
    team
    leader.
    Now
    you’re
    the
    man.
    No
    one
    is
    asking
    you
    to
    be
    Eric
    Moyer.
    The
    Army—the team—wants
    you
    to
    be
    you.”
    “Is
    that
    enough?”
    Jose
    straightened
    and
    stared
    into
    J.J.’s
    eyes.
    “It
    is
    in
    my book.”
    “It’s
    not
    that
    I’m
    afraid—”
    You’d
    better
    be
    afraid.
    I
    don’t
    trust
    a
    man
    who
    says
    he’s
    not afraid.
    Such
    men
    are
    either
    liars
    or
    lunatics.”
    J.J.
    raised
    an
    eyebrow.
    “Really?
    And
    which
    am
    I?”
    You’re
    neither.
    I’ve
    seen
    you
    afraid
    and
    you’ve
    never
    been braver.
    You
    can
    do
    this,
    J.J.
    I got
    your
    six.
    You
    know
    that.
    Pete
    danced
    a
    jig
    when
    he
    heard
    of
    your
    promotion.
    At
    least I
    think it
    was
    a
    jig.
    The
    man
    has
    no
    rhythm.”
    J.J.
    laughed.
    “You
    got
    that
    right.
    First
    time
    I
    saw
    him
    bust
    a move
    I
    thought
    he
    was
    being
    electrocuted.”
    Jose
    chuckled
    then
    the
    grin
    evaporated.
    “Seriously
    J.J.,
    I’m
    proud
    to
    follow
    you
    into battle.
    Don’t
    doubt
    yourself
    and
    don’t
    doubt
    us.
    Besides,
    if
    you
    screw
    up,
    Moyer
    will
    kick
    your
    butt then
    turn
    on
    me
    for
    not
    straightening
    you
    out.”
    There’s
    a
    terrifying
    thought.”
    J.J.
    gazed
    into the
    black fluid
    in
    his
    cup.
    More
    than
    self
    doubt
    was
    eating
    at
    him
    but
    he endured
    all
    the
    pep
    talk
    he
    could.
    Jose
    seemed
    to
    sense
    it.
    You
    happy
    with
    the
    new
    guys?”
    The
    medic
    motioned
    to the
    personnel
    jackets.
    Yeah,
    as
    much
    as
    I
    can
    be.
    It’s
    hard
    to
    judge
    a
    man’s
    char- acter
    from
    notes
    on
    evaluation
    forms.
    Both
    are
    experienced and
    decorated.
    Seen
    lots
    of
    action,
    mostly
    in
    the
    last
    half
    of Iraq
    and
    in
    the
    wind
    down
    of
    Afghanistan.
    Both
    Rangers.
    One
    comes
    in
    at the same
    rank
    as
    me:
    Master
    Sergeant.
    He’s
    got
    six months
    on
    me
    as
    well.”
    “Doesn’t
    matter,
    J.J.,
    you’re
    team
    leader.
    He’ll
    know
    that.”
    “He’ll
    also
    know
    that
    I
    was
    frocked.
    I
    have
    the
    extra
    stripe
    but
    not
    the
    official
    promotion
    and
    pay.”
    “It’s
    just a
    matter
    of time,
    J.J.
    You
    know
    once
    there’s
    some head
    room,
    you’ll
    get
    the
    full
    promotion
    and
    maybe
    more.
    It’s
    all
    a
    numbers
    game.
    There
    are
    scores
    of
    soldiers
    work-
    ing
    at
    a
    higher
    rank
    than
    the
    Army
    is
    allowed
    to
    give
    them. Functionally,
    you’re
    the
    man,
    and
    I’ll
    fight
    with
    any
    man
    who disagrees.”
    You’re
    a
    pal,
    but
    you
    may
    want
    to
    hold
    on
    to
    the boast
    for awhile.”
    Why?”
    You’ll
    see.”
    The
    door
    to
    the
    mess
    hall
    opened
    and
    a
    skinny
    airman stepped
    into
    the
    dim
    space,
    saw
    them,
    then
    walked
    to
    the table.
    “Master
    Sergeant
    Bartley.
    I’ve
    been
    asked
    to
    tell
    you
    the
    transport
    plane
    you’ve
    been
    waiting
    for
    has
    touched
    down.
    It’s
    pulling
    to
    the
    tarmac
    now.”
    J.J.
    glanced
    at
    the
    rank
    insignia
    on
    the
    man’s
    upper sleeve:
    one
    strip
    and
    an
    Air
    Force
    star
    in
    a
    circle.
    “Thank
    you,
    Airman. I
    would
    like
    to
    meet
    the
    plane.
    Can you
    get
    me
    there?”
    “I
    was
    told
    to
    have
    a
    vehicle
    waiting.”
    J.J.
    stood,
    lifted
    the
    cold
    coffee
    to
    his
    lips
    and
    drank.
    He
    grimaced.
    “Where
    did
    the
    Air
    Force
    learn
    to
    make
    coffee?”
    The
    young
    airman
    remained
    straight-faced:
    “From
    the navy.”
    “Figures.”
    He
    set
    the
    cup
    down.
    “Gather
    the
    team,
    Doc.”
Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: