So…72 Hours will officially release tomorrow! (Although they usually go live on Monday nights…shhhhh.) It still makes me horribly nervous when a book is released into the wild, but Anne’s review on her blog definitely helped! Here’s a snippet:
In 72 Hours Shannon Stacey takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of suspense and well-drawn out characterization. I could not put this book down and found myself reading it from start to finish in one sitting. 72 Hours is a fast-paced story that had me captivated from the first sentence and had me turning page after page in anticipation of seeing what would happen next.
That totally rocks my world! :woot: Thank you, Anne!
And I’ve posted a new excerpt after the jump. Usually on the website or in a newsletter or whatever, I try to choose an excerpt that introduces a character or is an emotional high-point, but this one’s just for fun.
Grace bounced gently on the balls of her feet, clenching and unclenching her fists at her side. In brand-new khaki cargo pants and a tight-fitting, long-sleeved black T-shirt, with her favorite Nike crosstrainers on her feet, she was ready. To use a phrase from her youth, she was pumped.
And the waiting sucked. They were at rest on the far side of a neighboring island, waiting for the go signal. Carmen was monitoring and feeding Gallagher live satellite feed, and some of the finest agents in the world were now on standby, waiting for her eight-year-old son to have to take a leak.
The outhouse was a modern blue plastic job, and theyâ€™d watched the footage closely. When he went in, the indicator moved, showing heâ€™d locked the door. Then the two guys guarding him would relax, wander away and share a smoke. That lock would hopefully buy them the few precious seconds they needed.
She took a deep breath, rolling her shoulders, keeping her muscles warm and limber for the mission ahead. And yet again she visualized Gallagherâ€™s plan, walking mentally through the steps necessary to safely remove their extraction target.
And thatâ€™s what Danny was now. An extraction target. His picture was folded up in one of her pockets and the image of his scared eyes was seared across her heart. He was her baby, but now he was her mission.
She felt the adrenaline building and closed her eyes, welcoming the flow through her bloodstream. It had always been her drug of choice and for years sheâ€™d been a junkie. Waiting for the juice, riding the high. Coming down, usually on the waves of a shattering orgasm as Alex took her against the wall or a door or whatever hard surface was handy in an adrenaline-fueled frenzy.
But London had been her epiphany, motherhood her recovery program. Every day she denied herself that hit and buried the Grace sheâ€™d been just a little deeper inside.
When another mom made noises about volunteering with the drug prevention program, Grace didnâ€™t tell her sheâ€™d once shot a Columbian drug lord between the eyes from a distance the woman probably couldnâ€™t even see. She let Danny hang Mission: Impossible posters in his room and pretend to be Tom Cruise without ever letting on she could have kicked that Ethan characterâ€™s ass.
Sheâ€™d hung up her action-adventure gun belt and strapped on an apron. It didnâ€™t quite fitâ€”in fact it chafed like hellâ€”but it had seemed like the right outfit for the job.
Now Grace let the rush come. It was better than chocolate. Better than a good sneeze. It was like the moments before an orgasm, when the brain and the body are screaming come on and letâ€™s do this!
She felt Alexâ€™s gaze on her and turned, giving him a little smile and a saucy wink, just like she always had.
â€œIâ€™ve missed you, babe.â€
Not enough to come after me, she thought, but she simply put out her fist. He touched his to hersâ€”part of their pre-mission ritualâ€”and said, â€œReady to ride this river?â€
Alex gave her a crooked smile and went back to his own rituals, which always included humming the Stones, much to her annoyance.
Nostalgia stung her for a second. Their pattern had been set after their first mission together. She had been untried in the field and he hadnâ€™t wanted to take her, but the job had called for a female sidekick and sheâ€™d been the only one available.
When the job was over and her natural instincts and excellent reflexes had saved his ass, heâ€™d told her sheâ€™d do to ride the river with. It was a phrase straight from his favorite movie genreâ€”old westernsâ€”and she had responded with a favorite movie quote of her own. It stuck.
With her blood already pumping and her skin tingling from the rush, Grace couldnâ€™t help but wonder just how true to form this job would run. Would Alex seek her out when it was time to come down? She hadnâ€™t been a nun for the last eight years, but it had been a long time. Way too long.
And nobody had ever rocked her world as completely as Alex Rossi had. As good as they were in the field together, their best work had always taken place in the bedroom. Or wherever else they happened to be.
He was watching her again now, and she wondered if he was remembering their incredible stress-busting sex as well, or if he was still questioning her ability to see this through.
She opened her mouth to ask him, but Gallagher beat her to the microphone. â€œShowtime.â€
They were in the air within seconds, skimming along almost silently, just over the water. Grace did a final check of her gearâ€”gun, harness, D-ring and ropeâ€”then stepped out onto the skid while Alex did the same on the other side.
Training. Planning. Balance. Above all, timing. The adrenaline settled into a steady beat through her veins, like bass reverberating through a cheaply-constructed apartment building. The Aussies knew how to do it rightâ€”face first, meeting the enemy head on with guns blazing.
There was a constant, low chatter on the headset as Gallagher and Carmen monitored the live feed. The angle was vitalâ€”they had to keep the toilet out of the line of fire. The hope was that if the orders to take Rossi alive were overridden by the survival instinct, theyâ€™d shoot high, aiming for the helicopter which wouldnâ€™t be there but a few seconds.
Mere moments later, the visualization was over and the real thing began. Gallagher brought them in low and fast.