Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#Giveaway- Showcase The Consultant by Tj O'Connor

Those who know me know I love the small indie house Oceanview Publishing and today I'm showcasing  one of their recent thriller releases, The Consultant by Tj O'Connor. Plus Oceanview is sponsoring a #Giveaway.
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 9781608092833
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Release Date: 5-15-2018
Length: 432pp
Jonathan Hunter #1
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndieBound


ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:
A Rogue terrorism consultant.
His dead brother.
A beautiful Persian refugee.
Iran. Russian.
Terror. Fear. Prejudice.
America’s heading back to war. Someone has to stop it.
Jonathan Hunter, a rogue CIA consultant AWOL from his Middle East assignment, returns home to witness his brother Kevin’s horrific murder. For fifteen years, Hunter and Kevin were silent—until Kevin uttered his final words … Khalifah … Not Them … Maya …

Launched into the hunt for Kevin’s killer, Hunter stumbles into a series of horrifying terrorist attacks—all at the hands of Middle Eastern refugees—that spark a backlash across the country and threaten another war. In the shadows, Hunter’s mentor, the omnipotent Oscar LaRue, is playing a dangerous game with Russian Intelligence. All the while, neither Hunter nor LaRue understand that a new threat—the Iranian threat—has entered the game. As stakes rise, two shadowy players are one-step ahead of Hunter—Khalifah, a dangerous and terrorist mastermind, and Caine, a nomadic assassin who only dances with the highest bidder. As the attacks escalate and the country drifts toward another Middle East war, innocent refugees become the victims between the terrorists and the terrorized. Prejudice, hate, and fear vent everywhere—is this who we’ve become? Before the country explodes, Hunter must find Khalifah, learn the target of the next terrorist attack, and pray he’s in time to stop it.

Giveaway is one print copy of
The Consultant
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Read an excerpt:


CHAPTER 1


Day 1: May 15, 2130 Hours, Daylight Saving Time

East Bank of the Shenandoah River, Clarke County, Virginia

The gunshots took me by surprise and, without luck, might have killed me.
Th first shot splayed a spiderweb across my windshield before it whistled past my head, peppering glass needles into my face. Th second smashed my driver’s-side mirror. An amateur might have panic-braked and skidded to a stop—a fatal mistake. Th shooter hesitated, anticipating that decision, and readied for my failure.
Training. Muscle memory. Response.
I gunned the engine, wrenched the car to the left to put more steel between me and the shooter, and sped forward, looking for cover.
My headlights exploded and flashed dark. Bullets breached the windshield. The rearview mirror and rear window were gone. Had I not flinched, one shot would have found my right eye but shredded my headrest instead.
I careened to a stop at the bottom of the boat launch— vulnerable. The shooter was ahead in the darkness, likely maneuvering for another shot. A closer shot. The kill shot. He’d be closing the distance and finding a new advantage.

Luck had its limits, so I dove from the car and rolled to cover be- hind it. I fought to control the adrenaline and bridle my thoughts.
Easy, Hunter, steady. Listen—watch—survive.
I stayed low and crept along the side of the car, looking for better cover. Spring rain made the darkness murky and dense. The Shenandoah River was to my left some fifty feet. A blind guess. Overhead, two dark spans of the Route 7 bridge blocked what little light there was but provided some cover from the rain. The six substructure supports in front of me might afford me cover. They also afforded the shooter cover. He was hidden and waiting. Still, Kevin Mallory was nowhere to be seen. Under normal conditions—and normal is relative with me—I might have judged the shots’ origins. Driving headlong into an ambush on terrain I’d long ago forgotten, in darkness and rain, I was all but defeated.
Silence.
Easy, Hunter, easy. Count your breaths. One, two, three. Out there, somewhere, someone wanted me dead.
Worse. I was unarmed and alone.
Jesus. Where was Kevin?
The boat launch was just a small gravel lot tucked beneath the expanse of the Route 7 Bridge across the Shenandoah. At night it should have been empty. It was nearing ten p.m. and I hadn’t ex- pected to find anyone but Kevin. Yet, while we’d been estranged for years, under bad circumstances, I doubted he was hunting me.
Although, I do tend to bring out the worst in people.
Ahead, perhaps seventy-five feet, a dark four-door SUV faced an old pickup. The vehicles were nose to nose like two dogs sniff- ing each other.
No movement. No sound.
One, two, three. I ran to the nearest bridge support, stopped, listened, and bolted to the rear of the SUV.


Silence. Safety. But something else—a dangerous odor. Th pungent scent of gasoline. A lot of gasoline.
I got down on one knee and looked around. The dome light was on and the driver’s door was ajar. Something lay on the ground near the left front fender. A large, bulky something that washed an angry tide of flashbacks over me.
I’d seen silhouettes like that before. A body.
Bodies look the same in any country, under any dark sky. It didn’t matter if it were the rocky Afghan terrain or along a quiet country river. Their lifeless, empty shells were all hopeless. All forsaken. All discards of violence. The silhouette three yards away was no different. Except this wasn’t Afghanistan or Iraq. It was home.
I made ready.
No muzzle flash. No assassin’s bullet. I crept to the SUV’s rear tire, crouched low, and slithered to the front fender.
The body was a man. He lay three feet in front of the fender and precariously vulnerable beneath the spell of the SUV’s dome light. He was tall and bulky. Not fat, but strong and muscled.
No. No. God, no!
After fifteen years of silence and thousands of miles, I knew the body—the man. His hair had grayed and his face was creased with age and strain. The years had been hard on him. Years he was here while I was forever there. Always elsewhere. He’d built a life from our loss while I’d escaped—run away. He once warned me that my life’s choice would leave me as I found him now, alone and dead. The irony churned bile inside me.
Kevin Mallory.
“Kevin,” I blurted without thinking. “Kevin, it’s me. It’s Jon.”
My mouth was a desert and the familiar brew of adrenaline and danger coursed through me. In one quick move, I leaped from the


SUV’s shadow, grabbed his shoulders, and tried to drag him back to safety.
No sooner had I reached him when a figure charged from the darkness toward us. His arm leveled—one, two, three shots on the run—all hitting earth nearby. I threw myself over Kevin. An- other shot sent stone fragments into my cheeks and neck. The fig- ure reached the rear of the pickup, tossed something in the bed, fired another wild shot, and retreated at a dead run.
Lightning. A brilliant flash of light, a violent percussion, then a whoosh of fire erupted from the pickup. The flames belched up and over the side panels. They spat light and heat. The truck swelled into an inferno.
The heat singed my face. I gripped Kevin’s shoulders and dragged him the remaining feet behind the SUV. He was limp and heavy. The raging fire bathed us in light, and I finally saw him clearly. His eyes were dull and vacant. His face pale—a death mask. If life was inside, it was hidden well.
The truck was engulfed in flames, and the heat was tremen- dous. It reached us and felt oddly comforting amidst the spring dampness and dark.
“Kevin, hold on. Hold on.” I looked for an escape.
I saw the next shot before I heard it—a flash of light where none should be—uphill near River Road. Seasoned instincts threw me atop Kevin again. Glass crackled overhead and rained down. I grabbed for the familiar weight behind my back, but my fingers closed on nothing.
Dammit.
I hastily searched him. No weapon. All I found was an empty holster where his handgun should have been. Where was it? In a desperate move, I rolled off and snaked forward beneath the truck’s firelight and groped around where he’d been. It took

several long, vulnerable seconds. I dared not breathe or even look for the shooter, fearing I’d see the shot that would end me. Finally, my fingers closed on a wet, gritty semiautomatic.
As I retreated to the SUV, something moved in the darkness. I pivoted and fired two rapid shots, spacing them three feet apart.
Response. A shot dug into the gravel inches away to my left.
Rule one of mortal combat—incoming fire has the right of way.
Retreat. The flash was a hundred feet away. The shooter had withdrawn and angled south down River Road.
Should I take him? Could I?
One, two, three. Reason, Hunter, reason.
The shooter had fired at least fifteen rounds. Fourteen at me and at least one into Kevin. Had Kevin returned fire? How many rounds did his semiautomatic have left? I was on turf all but for- gotten, armed with a handgun that was perhaps near-empty. The shooter must have a high-capacity magazine with plenty of ammo to cut me to pieces. He’d already proven willing and capable of killing. He knew my location. I knew nothing.
Revenge would wait.
I sat back against the SUV’s tire and pulled Kevin close, keeping one arm around him and the other holding the handgun ready. The truck fire raged but was easing. The gasoline that had been splashed over it was consumed and only the paint and rubber were burning. Soon, though, the fire might breach the gas tank.
I pulled Kevin close and braced myself. “Kevin, wake up. It’s me—Jon. I’m here.”
“Jon?” His eyes fluttered and half-opened. “I . . . so sorry . . . Khalifah . . . he’s . . . find G. Find G . . .” He gasped for breath. “Khalifah . . . G . . . Baltimore . . . it’s not them. Khalifah . . . so sorry . . .
“Sorry for what? Who’s Khalifah? Did he shoot you?”

“Tomorrow . . . not them. G . . . Khalifah is . . .” His body went limp.
I shook him easily. “Kevin, I don’t understand. Tell me again.” “Find G . . .” His eyes fluttered again, and he clutched my arm
with limp, sleepy fingers. “Find . . . Hunter . . .” “Tell me who did this.”
“G . . . Jon . . . tell no one. Maya . . . Maya . . . Maya in Balti- more . . .” He fumbled with something from his pants pocket. He gasped for breath and pressed that something into my hand. “So sorry . . .”
I opened my hand. He’d given me a small, ripped piece of heavy folded paper with handwriting scrawled on it. I couldn’t make out the writing and stuffed it into my pocket. “Kevin, what are you saying? Hold on. Dammit, hold on.”
“Go . . . please . . . not them . . . it’s not . . .” He tried to breathe but mustered only a raspy gag.
“Kevin!” Silence.
His body shuddered. A long, shallow sigh.
No. No. No . . .
My fingers found warm, sticky ooze soaking his shirt. The rain had slowed to a faint mist and, except for the river’s passing and the grumble of fire, there was only silence. Then, somewhere along the highway miles in the distance, sirens wailed.
“Hold on, Kevin. They’re coming. My God, hold on.”
I checked his pulse and wounds. Both were draining away life. I pressed my hands into the ooze but couldn’t force its retreat. For a few seconds, I was fourteen again. The dull sickness invaded me as my parents were lowered side by side into the earth. The ache started in my gut and swelled until I spat bile and rage.
It was happening again.

The man who raised me—the man I’d abandoned—slipped away. The emptiness and loss attacked. I had to fight or it would destroy me again. This time, there was nowhere to run.
I closed my eyes and willed the anger in, commanding it to take hold and fill me.
I remember, Kevin. I made you a promise. I’m late, but I’m here. He was limp, and I clutched him. A rush of words filled me that I’d wanted to say for so many years. But before I could speak
just one, my brother was gone.

CHAPTER 2

Day 2: May 16, 0245 Hours, Daylight Saving Time

West Bank of the Shenandoah River, Clarke County, Virginia


A flash of car lights swept through Caine’s night vision, mo- mentarily washing the scene’s clarity with a greenish tint inside the monocular lens. Across the Shenandoah, a police cruiser pulled into the boat launch, and its headlights passed directly across his night-vision scope. Because it was designed for ex- tremely low light, the sudden brightness disrupted his view for the second it took the device to correct the light sensitivity.
Caine slipped the scope into a pocket and lifted the standard binoculars from around his neck. He refocused on the crime scene across the river. The enhanced night-vision images were clear and the line of police cars that poured light onto the scene made his job easier. He was only a few hundred yards away across the river, secreted behind a fallen tree and halfway up the wooded hillside. The darkness and spring foliage made his seclusion al- most guaranteed. But in his line of work, guarantees were not to be relied on.
That mistake had already been made. Across the river, hours earlier, there had been guarantees. Those guarantees were sup- posed to be a riskless transfer with no problems. Money for prod- uct. Betrayal for money. Simple.

There had been too many surprises. Too many mistakes. Too many bodies.
Caine studied the fi ure talking with the detective whom he knew by name. Bond. While he had never met the detective face- to-face, he knew that should they, the encounter would get com- plicated. But it was the other man—the surprise arrival—that un- nerved him. That man had materialized from nowhere. He drove into an ambush he shouldn’t have. He had responded like a profes- sional, someone accustomed to such violence, trained and skilled. He hadn’t panicked. Hadn’t retreated. He counterattacked.
He was a dangerous man. Was he part of this? A player not yet declared in the game? Had Khalifah failed to give him all the in- telligence he’d needed? Or, perhaps more to the point, had Khal- ifah been caught unaware, too?
An icy warning surged through Caine’s veins.
He tapped the earbud in his right ear and waited for the con- nection. The voice answered as it always did, in Farsi.
“Salaam.”
“Salaam.” Caine continued in Farsi. “There is a problem.” “What now, Caine? Have you gotten your arms around Saeed?” “I’m working on that.” Caine gritted his teeth. He didn’t like
being pressed on something so dangerous and difficult by some- one who was not taking the risk. “It’s something else. A witness.”
The voice paused before returning with an intensity framed with worry and the late hour. “A witness?”
“Yes. He literally drove into the cleanup.” Caine let it sink in. “He’s a pro.”
“A pro? Out here? This is rural Virginia, not Kandahar.” “I’m here.”
“You were invited.” The man paused too long. “I’ll find out who this pro is.”

This could disrupt the plan.” Caine took a moment to sweep the binoculars across the line of police cars and ambulances across the river. “If it does, we could lose the targets.”
Silence. “If . . .”
“I do not accept ‘if.’” The voice was hard, flat, without inflec- tion of concern. “You must deal with Saeed Mansouri and handle Khalifah’s targets. No one must interfere. No one.”
Caine already knew the answer, but he asked anyway. “The witness?”
“You may have to act.” “Again?”
Silence.
Caine didn’t like that answer. “That isn’t in the plan.”
“None of this was the plan.” The voice was gritty now. “Give me a day to take care of him.”
“If you can’t?”
“Then you’ll have to.”




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Meet Tj:
Tj O’Connor is the author of five published novels—four paranormal mysteries and his latest thriller, The Consultant, the first of The Jonathan Hunter Thriller series.
Tj began writing in grade school and continued to dabble through his career as a military federal agent with the Air Force OSI, where he was an anti-terrorism agent and investigator, and through his years as a senior executive and international security consultant. During that time, he penned nine novels but began his publishing career with Dying to Know, his first paranormal mystery, in 2014. Thereafter, he published two sequels—Dying for the Past and Dying to Tell, and a standalone paranormal mystery, New Sins for Old Scores. Dying to Know won the 2015 Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) for mysteries and it was a Finalist for both a 2015 Silver Falchion Award and the 2014 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Mystery Book of the Year.



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20 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway and this book and author has me very curious!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! I hope you get the story and enjoy it! Tj

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  2. An intriguing novel which captured my interest. Thanks for this feature and giveaway.

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  3. Oh yes, this sounds like something I would definfiely enjoy!

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  4. That sounds like an interesting premise for a story.

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    Replies
    1. Give it a try. Hunter is not your normal thriller-hero. Tj

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  5. That's intense! Definitely one I'd probably have trouble putting down.

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    Replies
    1. I think you will. It's a fast ride, has a little humor, and definitely a different type of thriller-hero.

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  6. Another thriller!!! This sounds fantastic with edge of your seat suspense! Hugs...RO

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