Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Terror Never Sleeps" by Richard Blomberg

Terror Never Sleeps
(Jack Gunn Book 2)
by Richard Blomberg

Terror Never Sleeps is the second book in Richard Blomberg's Jack Gunn series. Also available: Warpath (find out how to get your FREE copy below).

Terror Never Sleeps is currently on tour with Pump Up Your Book. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Navy SEAL Jack Gunn’s life is turned upside down when terrorists kidnap his family and disappear without a trace. While Jack and his team search frantically for clues in Virginia, half-way around the world, his wife, Nina struggles to survive the terrorist’s daily persecutions as his hostage.
Terror Never Sleeps is an action-packed tale of Nina’s transformation into a warrior who is fighting for her life, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the terrorists from Mali to Diego Garcia to Pakistan. A military coup, propaganda, dirty bombs, and the launch of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with one target - Israel - is all part of the terrorist’s master plan, who are hellbent on blowing the world back to the eighth century. The non-stop action keeps the reader constantly off balance with the bizarre and unexpected.

Chapter 1
Dawley Corners, VA
“I’m scared, Mommy.” Barett sat back up in bed, clutching his dinosaur pillow under one arm and his frayed security blanket under the other.
“Don’t cry, honey. Daddy will be home tomorrow.” Nina brushed her son’s tears aside with her fingers, cupped his tender face in her hands, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. She inhaled the scent of baby shampoo from his tangled wet hair and snuggled him to her chest. Barett’s Mickey Mouse night-light cast a buttery glow across the carpet. A constellation of
fluorescent stars and planets were already glued to the ceiling of his brand-new bedroom and floating like luminous jellyfish in the dark above.
“But what if the bad guys kill Daddy?” Barett chewed on the fringe of his blanket.
“Nobody’s going to kill Daddy,” Nina quickly answered for the umpteenth time as she stroked his black hair. Barett nodded, locked on Nina’s eyes. She closed the bedtime storybook and put it back on the nightstand.
Barett’s lower lip quivered. “What if you die, Mommy? I heard you and Daddy talking.” He started crying again.
Nina gasped. “You don’t need to worry anymore, sweetie. Mommy’s cancer is all gone.” She crossed her hands across her chest and threw them up into the air. “Poof! And Daddy is a brave Sioux, just like you.” She poked Barett in the chest. “If the president of the United States trusts Daddy to protect his country, I don’t think we need to worry.”
Sorrow instantly overwhelmed Nina, sad that Barett’s last thoughts before falling asleep were to fear for his mommy’s and daddy’s lives—even though Nina frequently cried herself to sleep with those same fears. Barett, Nina’s angel throughout her chemotherapy, reached up and brushed her tears away with his baby-soft fingers as he had done so many times before.
If Jack was Nina’s soul mate, Barett was her heart mate. Nina’s first pregnancy ended horribly with a devastating and unexpected miscarrage. Her second ended the same way. So after nine months of living on the jittery edge of sanity, wondering what would go wrong the third time around, Barett was her gift from God who miraculously joined the world on Nina’s twentysixth
birthday. She loved her little bear more than anything. She loved Barett more than Jack.
Trying to stay strong and keep up a good front for Barett while Jack was away, Nina snatched the dreamcatcher hanging from a tack in the wall above Barett’s pillow and fanned his face with its eagle feathers as if she were trying to start a fire.
“Remember, Uncle Travis had a very special medicine man make this to protect you from bad dreams.” She tickled his chest until he giggled.
“He’s funny.”
“Now go to sleep, honey. Daddy will be home tomorrow.” She leaned over and gave him one last kiss.
Nina left his door half open, just how Barett liked, and went downstairs to lock up for the night. Everything in their condominium smelled fresh and new. The paint on the walls, the polish on the floors, and the carpet on the stairs. It was their first home and their first mortgage. Nina smiled, thinking of her husband, Jack, and how he had gone over the top to buy the most
expensive door and window locks.
Being a Navy SEAL and the head of the Counterterrorism Task Force (CTF) made it nearly impossible for Jack Gunn to trust anyone. The only people he trusted were the other SEALs on his Ghost Team and Native Americans, like Nina and him.
“I’m not going to be a prisoner in my own home, Jack. Spend all the money on locks and guns and whatever else you think we need, but take a look around. We’re not living in Afghanistan.” Nina had opened the blind so Jack could look out and see their front yard of new sod, their one-inch elm sapling held vertical by three posts and gardening wire, and the empty lots across the street staked out for new construction. No one else had even moved into their
building yet. They had first pick in the new ocean-view community in Dawley Corners, south of Virginia Beach.
“This is what I’ve always wanted, Jack,” Nina had told him. “I know it’s not Montana, but there’s no place I’d rather be.”
“The perimeter is secure,” she could almost hear Jack saying.
Her smile vanished as she pulled back a corner of the curtain and watched a windowless panel van slowly cruise past their condo. It was the type of hammer-and-nail-laden van construction crews drove through their neighborhood on a daily basis, but not after dark at nine thirty on a Saturday night.
There was something about the van that sent a shiver up her spine as it crawled around the cul-de-sac and came back. She let the sheer curtain fall back into place and watched the headlights. They stopped at the end of Nina’s driveway. With a growl of the engine, smoke puffed from the tail pipe into the chilled air. Now hiding behind the front door, she began to hyperventilate as she fought off the suffocating feeling of panic.
Nina felt guilty for cowering like a scared little girl. She knew if Jack were home, he would have put one of his patented kill looks on his face, stomped out the front door, and challenged the guys in the truck. He did stuff like that all the time. Most of the time, the other guys took off before he got close enough to do any harm; he looked that intimidating. Far from being politically correct, Jack was the man who backed down to nobody. Who feared nobody. Who suspected everybody.
Nina swallowed hard, checked the lock, and glanced up the stairs to make sure Barett was still in bed. Fingers trembling, she fumbled to get her cell phone out of her pocket to call Jack, but dropped it. Pieces of plastic and glass blasted in every direction, like a grenade exploding in the dark, when it hit the porcelain tile.
“Oh my God!” she gasped. That was her only phone. The van still rumbled in the street, not moving. She made out the silhouette of a stocking-capped, bearded man in the passenger seat. Her brain swelled like an expanding water balloon between her ears.
“Think, dammit. Think.” She heard Jack’s words reverberating in her head. It was late Saturday night, her phone was trashed, their home Internet was not scheduled to be activated until Monday, which had not been a big deal because her smartphone functioned as a mobile hot spot for her laptop. All that had changed the instant her phone crashed.
Her feet felt as if they were stuck in cement, nailing her to the floor behind the door.
“The gun. I’ve got to get the gun.”
She looked through the curtain at the van one last time, then stumbled up the stairs, went into their bedroom closet, and turned on the light. The gun safe still had the manufacturer’s stickers on the anodized steel door.
She dialed three numbers stuck in her head. Nothing. She tried again. Nothing. The combination to the safe lay splayed across the entryway floor downstairs in a worthless cell phone microchip.
A noise outside spooked her. Her fingers trembled on the dial.
She tried the lock one last time and prayed. “Hallelujah!” The door opened. She grabbed the loaded shotgun. Jack always said it was the best gun for home protection. Point the scattergun in the general direction of your target and pull the trigger. It would blow a hole in the door the size of a basketball.
Nina had pulled the trigger on a shotgun once before. She blasted tin cans and beer bottles with her brothers back at the reservation garbage dump in Montana when she was a kid. The gun kicked like a mule and knocked her on her butt. It seemed funny at the time.
She flipped the safety off, racked a shell into the chamber, turned off the light, and tiptoed back out of the closet. The gun went first, with Nina’s slippery finger on the trigger. Her eyes dilated to adjust back to the dark.
The condo was too new. Nothing looked familiar. Every shadow, every noise made her jump. The furnace kicked in. The bedroom curtain fluttered over the heat duct. She heard a noise in the hallway. Nina opened the door with the gun barrel.
“Barett. Oh my God. I almost . . .” She covered her mouth, overcome by a sudden wave of nausea. Nina swallowed hard to push the bile back down as she propped the gun up against the wall behind the door, out of Barett’s sight. She grabbed Barett, hugged him hard, and carried him back to his room. “Stay in bed, honey. Mommy will be right back.”
Nina snatched the gun with her shaking, sweaty hands and quickly crept back down the carpeted stairs, trying her best to keep quiet.
The front door was still locked. The van was gone. She held the shotgun against her chest and fixed her eyes on the doorknob, dreading movement of any kind. Her heart raced as she waited in the dark.
The wind blew. The furnace kicked off. The doorknob did nothing.
She turned on the entryway light and scraped together all the pieces of her phone.
I can’t call the police. The phone lines are down till Monday. I can’t call or text Jack. He’ll be pissed. It was probably nothing. No need to get all worked up. Just go to bed. Get a new cell phone in the morning before Jack gets home. And put that stupid gun away before you shoot someone.

Praise for the Book
"After reading Blomberg’s first novel, I was eager to read, Terror Never Sleeps, a Jack Gunn thriller. The characters were fascinating and I was curious as to how they would be further developed, especially Nina! I was not disappointed and found it difficult to put the book down! In fact, I finished it within a couple of days! If you enjoy a fascinating thriller with interesting and strong characters, this is a must read!" ~ Karen D
"I generally wouldn’t select a military thriller as my first choice, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was impressed with Richard Blomberg’s writing style; it had a perfect flow. I concur with other reviews in that it was difficult to put down. As I got closer to the end of the book, I felt a certain disappointment that the story would soon come to an end. Please Mr. Blomberg, give us MORE Jack Gunn!" ~ Sheri S
"Just read Terror Never Sleeps (couldn’t put in down!). It is excellent! I felt like I was watching a movie! 'Good' wins over 'evil. I love the characters Richard has created and I can’t wait to read what happens next!" ~ Millie K
"This book was even better than Warpath. I couldn’t put it down and read it cover to cover in one night. I love the character development and can’t wait to see where Jack and Travis end up next." ~ Dawn K

Guest Post by the Author
How Real Life Experiences and Events Contribute to My Writing
I write military thrillers to honor those who serve overseas in the military and their left-behind families. In Terror Never Sleeps, I try to unearth why Navy SEAL Jack Gunn, and in effect anyone who serves in the military, is willing to die fighting terrorism? What motivates Jack to leave his family for months at a time, knowing he may never see them again? What does it feel like to lose the trail of the terrorists who kidnapped his wife? What drives Jack to greatness and reduces him to tears?
In my latest Jack Gunn thriller, Terror Never Sleeps and my previous Warpath, I write to honor Native Americans. My protagonist, Jack Gunn, possesses unique skills that were ingrained in him as a boy by a secret sect of Native American elders, after his parents died in a car fire. Jack is a one-of-a-kind stalker of terrorists. Jack is a warrior, the likes of which the world may never see again. His specialty - hunt, track, and kill terrorists.
Terror Never Sleeps was born on the mistaken assumption of every deployed soldier; terrorists would never attack their families back home. Right? Wrong! To take it up another notch, Jack has killed many terrorists and made many enemies in the past. In Terror Never Sleeps, revenge-seeking terrorists kidnap Jack’s family and vanish without a trace. Jack is wracked with fear and guilt for not protecting the ones he loves. Nina Gunn, Jack’s wife, faces torment and torture as she fights to survive each day at the hands of the terrorists. But, Jack and Nina have secret weapons. They grew up on the same Sioux reservation. They draw on the power of their ancestor’s spirits to face the biggest challenges of their lives.
I realize it may seem odd to most of you after what America has done to Native Americans, but Native Americans are very patriotic. My wife’s family is Native American. Her father grew up on the reservation. Her relatives fought at the Battle of the Greasy Grass - Little Big Horn - with the Indians. We’ve walked those lands and witnessed their struggle. It’s not a casino-wealthy reservation, but one infested by alcohol and drugs and poverty. If by creating a strong Native American protagonist, I can promote their cause or give even one person the motivation to make a better life for them self, then I will have succeeded. 
I served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman during the Vietnam War. I come from a long line of family who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle Eastern war on terror. Memorial Day is a big day in my Iowa hometown. Knowing that the Honor Guard will perform a twenty-one gun salute and present my family with an American flag at our small country cemetery is a big deal. I know. I received my father’s flag and spent Honor Guard shell casings at his funeral last year.
My main message in Terror Never Sleeps is one of hope. No matter how impossible and desperate a situation may seem, never give up. As a practicing anesthesiologist who keeps people alive during surgery, I see miracles happen every day. You may think you know what’s going to happen, but you don’t. Like Nina in Terror Never Sleeps, no matter how desperate your situation, do whatever it takes to survive from one day to the next, because one day soon, it may be your turn for a miracle.
There’s a rule of the road on the backpacking trail that applies to life; people climbing uphill have the right-of-way. Going downhill is easy. Starting takes no effort at all. In fact it takes energy not to move. That’s how life is for many. Everything is going their way. They have it all. If you’re cruising down hill, step aside and pull someone up, don’t mow them down.
Living an uphill life is another matter. Believe me, I’ve been there. Getting going is hard enough, and if someone gets in your way, you might just quit. You’re hungry, tired, sick, poor, oppressed and alone. You may be exhausted, but don’t give up. You’ll never get to the top of the mountain if you don’t keep pushing on.
That’s my dream - that people would lend a helping hand to one another.
Like the lyrics of John Lennon’s "Imagine" - You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.
Go to I’d love to hear your story. I’d love you to read mine.

About the Author
Dr. Richard Blomberg has practiced anesthesia in the land of 10,000 lakes for twenty years. He grew up in an Iowa farm town, the oldest of ten, before serving as a Navy hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War. For generations, Richard’s family has proudly served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and currently lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and family, where he is working on his next Jack Gunn thriller.

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