The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quote of the day 8-31

It's Theodore Roosevelt week!

 

I am a part of everything that I have read.

 

Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Murmansk! Chapters 50, 51 & 52

As promised, here are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!

Available now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble and priced at only $2.99! (See links at the bottom)



Chapter 50
December 13, 2000

“Shit,” Michael breathed when the monitored call ended. “They put a price on your girl’s head…and they’ll take dead or alive.”
McGruder nodded. “But she has escaped her imprisonment! For the time being anyway, Abby is free of their clutches.”
“But for how long?” Michael questioned, “It sounds like they will have everyone in town looking for her.”
The news of Abby’s escape had buoyed McGruder’s outlook, and he felt more confident than he had in days. He wasn’t going to let a little thing like not knowing where she was or her imminent capture or death dissuade him.
“I have the utmost confidence in my young operative; we have but to conceive of a way to reach out to her.”
“I know how you work Patrick, and unless you’ve opened up a new 1-800-McGruder hotline, she won’t know how to reach you unless she has the phone you gave her at the start of the op.”
“Which is doubtful,” McGruder nodded. “But you have given me an interesting idea. If Joe and Beth can stay on the kidnappers, I could use your language skills and an internet terminal.”
Michael Montana held his gaze on McGruder for several seconds before turning forward and starting the car.
“I’ve a feeling I’m about to learn something,” he stated as he pulled the shifter down with a small grin. “About time too, I was beginning to think this whole day would pass me by without the hint of learning anything new!”

Chapter 51
December 13, 2000

“Ere now, isn’t dat why yer ‘ired me?”
The spoon in May’s hand stopped its progression as she looked back over her shoulder at the squat redhead.
Sighing, May stood and allowed the woman to take over feeding Ya Su before turning and making her way toward Raven’s seat.
Plopping down somewhat defeatedly beside her, she glanced over at her friend, who was smiling back at her.
“It is why we hired her,” Raven reminded May. “And look how good she is with her!”
Turning back toward the infant, she watched the nanny feeding a smiling Ya Su.
“Nach bhfuil tĂș ar an banphrionsa beag go maith!” she soothed in her native tongue while she fed the infant spoon after spoon of her cereal. (Aren’t you the good little princess!)
“She does seem to have a way with her,” May finally admitted before turning back toward her friend. “I’m sorry, I’m still just trying to get used to the idea I guess.”
Raven placed her hand over May’s. “It was a good option May…better than leaving her with someone you didn’t know back in the states.”
“Besides,” Raven added quickly, “Snake said having a baby with us will help us get through the border crossing easier. Once we cross over, we’ll get them set up in a hotel where they can wait for us. Georgette comes highly recommended.”
May was only able to nod as she turned back toward the baby. Aghast at forgetting about Ya Su while they were making plans to fly off to Russia, she had quickly accepted Raven’s idea when it had been presented.
She knew her second thoughts now were unwarranted, but still…
Trying to shove back the guilt, she turned once again to Raven. “How far have we gone so far?”
“We should be reaching the coast of France within the hour,” Raven said while looking out the window. “Then another six hours to reach Vardo.”
“And then a four hour drive,” May mumbled dejectedly, overly anxious to get started on the rescue.
“It is what it is my friend,” Raven soothed. “Why don’t you try and get some sleep May…there may not be much time for it once we land.”
Nodding in agreement, May snapped herself in and leaned the seat back. The seating on Raven’s private jet was extremely comfortable, and she soon found herself nodding off.
Her dreams would be plagued however, by images of Gabe being tortured…and killed.

Chapter 52
December 13, 2000

Preacher’s emphatic support of our journey notwithstanding, I was having second thoughts on our decision by the time I had gone a half of a mile.
Although the snowshoes kept me from sinking as far into the snow, they were surprisingly slick…giving me little traction in pulling the now fully-loaded sled. After floundering around with it for a half hour, I had finally discovered that if I canted my ankles inward when I stepped, I could gain some traction from the leading edge of the shoes.
It was however, hard on my old ankles!
Ignoring the added discomfort as best I could, I continued to plod forward, relieved that we had at least some light bathing the land around us from the sun in the south.
I wasn’t sure how long we would have the extravagance of the additional light and warmth however, as it looked like the day was already sliding toward sunset.
Stopping to catch my breath, I was surprised when I caught sight of an indention in the snow to my right.
Could this be where I had dug out the sled the night before?
Turning completely around, I scanned my surroundings. Nothing looked overtly familiar, even though I had the sense that this was indeed the place I had stopped at previously.
Turning back again toward the way we had come, I studied the terrain that we had already passed. All of it was relatively flat, although I suddenly realized that my footprints were inexplicably traveling on the higher ground compared to what was on each side of the path. Turning a hundred and eighty degrees, I scanned the horizon in front of me, trying to fathom what it looked like without snow.
Assuming there would be no snow in the summertime, even this far north, I could start making some assumptions.
If I assumed that the trek I had just walked was on the highest of the surrounding terrain, I could deduct that it could be some sort of roadway in the summer.
People had inhabited it at some point after all!
So if I assumed that it was a roadway, then I could also assume that it continued east…or that it intersected another, more north/south roadway.
Grabbing the straps to the sled, I pushed off, continuing east.
It wasn’t long however, before I reached a roadblock of sorts. Suddenly I found myself trying to walk up a short but steep hill, realizing that the land in front of me was three feet higher than where I stood. It was hard to differentiate different elevations in the blinding whiteness of the snow.
Either way, it was not what I would consider ideal for a roadway.
Turning the sled around, I moved twenty feet back the way I had come and glanced to my left and right. If I squinted my eyes just right, I could make out what could be a relative flatness compared to the rest of my surroundings.
Then another detail captured my attention…a slight depression…traveling away from me in the center of the expanse.
Dropping the sled’s strap, I moved to the south five feet and dropped to my knees, leaning my face close to the snow. Still hard to see, I could nevertheless make out the ghostly image of a two-foot wide track heading away from me!
Jumping to my feet, I moved to the other side of the sled and looked closely at the snow there.
There it was again!
It looked like a snowmobile had passed through here some time in the night!
Grinning for the first time in days, I let out a yelp, causing the skin at the corners of my mouth to crack.
Laughing at my own pain, I turned and made my way back to the sled, lifting the strap and pulling it onto my shoulder excitedly.
“I found the road Preacher!” I called back as I started to move forward. “We’re heading south…to civilization!”
The exertion of pulling the sled soon enough caused me to quit talking out loud, but my mind now wouldn’t be silenced.
Full fucking steam ahead, I grinned as Preacher’s words entered my thoughts again…
Full fucking steam ahead!


Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

Available @ Smashwords
Available @ Amazon
Available @ Barnes and Noble
Available @ Kobo
Available @ iBooks

Quote of the day 8-28

Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.

Sue Grafton

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote of the day 8-24

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to

create many ripples

 

Mother Teresa

 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Murmansk! Chapters 47, 48, and 49

As promised, here are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!

Available now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble and priced at only $2.99! (See links at the bottom)



Chapter 47
December 13, 2000

“It looks like our best bet is the airport at Vardo, Norway,” Josh determined before looking up at everybody else. “If you think that someone is watching Murmansk pretty closely, that’s really our only close option, although Luostari is around 300 km from there by road.”
“How far is that in miles?” May questioned with concern.
“That’s a little over 200 miles,” Snake mumbled distractedly while finding Vardo on the map. “Looks like we would have to take the E105, crossing the border at Nikel.”
“I’ve heard the border is easier to get across than it used to be,” Josh added with concern on his face, “But you have to have a good reason for being there…or a bribe.”
“Bribes are no problem Josh,” Raven said with a smile as she stood to fill her cup. “If that’s the only thing we have to worry about…”
“You wouldn’t be able to bring in weapons,” Josh added quickly, “Not even with a bribe.”
Snake smiled, “I’ll have that covered by the time we get there. My old friend Anton is working on it as we speak.”
Josh blew out a breath nervously. Not knowing that Abby had been abducted until they told him when he arrived, he was extremely worried about her. He was also very determined to do everything he could to help get her back.
“I need to do some research to arrange a car once we get there,” Josh added as he stood from the table. “I’m not sure how big Vardo is, or how many options we will actually have once we arrive.”
Raven reached for her purse. “Let me give you a credit card to reserve something,” she started before Snake clasped her hand gently as she was removing the wallet.
“We don’t want to do that,” he explained in a calm voice, “We don’t know who’s keeping tabs on what, so anything we do needs to be deceptive and paid for in cash.”
Looking back at Josh, Snake hesitated, thinking for a moment before speaking. “If you can’t reserve anything without a card we’ll have to play it by ear once we get there, but I have another question. How easy is it going to be to get there without anyone knowing it’s us?”
Josh gave that some thought. “It’s not like anyone checks on who boards a private jet, so we could easily file a manifest with bogus names. As far as the fight plan, I have to file one, and it has to be to an actual destination.”
“Unless you want to try flying over four thousand miles under the radar again,” Josh asked with a smile, referring to their flight into France the year before. This quickly brought a smile to everyone’s face.
“Our best bet is to file a flight plan to someplace on the way to Vardo, then amend it once we get close. Four unknown people flying to someplace in Germany shouldn’t draw too much suspicion to anyone that cares to look. By the time we get to Europe, we should be pretty well out of anyone’s thoughts.”
Snake nodded, “How soon can we leave?”
Josh gave it some thought, “If I leave now, we could be wheels up in two hours.”
Snake glanced back at May and Raven, who both nodded emphatically.
“Let’s do that then,” Snake replied, glancing back toward Josh. “I’ll look into the transportation. Unfortunately, with such short notice we’ll all have to use our own passports. There’s no time to have new ones made.”
“Won’t they be able to track them too?” Raven asked worriedly.
“Yes, but not nearly as quick as a credit card. We’ll probably be there and gone before anyone would realize we had even left.”
Nodding in understanding, Josh turned toward the door, stopping after only a couple of steps and turning back toward the others with concern on his face. “We are going to get them back…right?”
Snake nodded, moving to the younger man and placing a hand on his shoulder. “You bet we will Josh,” Snake answered, his eyes now locked on Josh’s. “We’re just the backup team anyway. There are a lot of talented people looking into this already.”
Nodding in relief, Josh turned on his heel and made his way out the door.
Snake stood there looking after him before turning toward the ladies. “Ok, we need to be at the airport in two hours, can you two handle that time frame?”
Nodding, they both rose from the table. “We need to make a quick trip to the house, Snake,” Raven mentioned as she approached him. “Then we can come back and pick up May.”
Turning toward her friend, she saw that May had stopped in the middle of the floor with a worried look on her face.
“What’s wrong May?” Raven asked with concern.
May glanced up, shaking her head, looking befuddled.
“I just remembered something,” she replied, shaking her head once again. “I don’t know how it could have slipped my mind.”
“Whatever it is May,” Snake soothingly reassured her, “I’m sure we can figure something out. What’d you forget?”
Taking a deep breath and letting it out before she spoke in a shaky voice, “I forgot about Ya Su!”

Chapter 48
December 13, 2000

May wasn’t the only one thinking about the infant at that moment.
Having just woken up in the dingy hotel, it was the first thing that crossed Abby’s mind when she opened her eyes.
Sighing sadly, she sat up and swung her feet to the floor. Although love of her family would spur her on to survive, she knew she couldn’t risk thinking about them too much if she was going to be effective in getting out of this mess.
She needed to focus on the task at hand!
And she had decided what that task was…at least the first one. She would try and get out of the city and away from whoever may be after her and then see if she could get in touch with anyone. Not knowing who it was that was even looking for her, she reasoned that any of the phone numbers she knew may also be known by those people, who may be able to trace the call back to her. The farther away from the city she was, the better her chances of calling someone without being traced.
When she did get the chance to call, she would try the house first and hopefully talk to May and ask about her daughter before getting in touch with McGruder. If May hadn’t heard from anyone she would be worried anyway…and if she had then Abby would try to connect with them.
Feeling better at having a plan, she started getting dressed, turning her nose up at the aroma emanating from her clothes. Old grease, beer and sweat took her mind instantly back to the decrepit bar.
“New clothes first,” she determined, “Then get out of the city!”

***

“You’ve news of McGruder?” Noon Byrk questioned immediately when she connected the call.
“Nyet,” Ivan replied succinctly. “There is no indication that he is here…he is, how you say…into the wind?”
Noon was about to correct him when Ivan uttered another, more immediate concern.
“The woman may have escaped.”
Ivan cringed as he spoke it, knowing the white-haired bitch would be furious.
“Explain!” she spat into the phone, terse as always.
“There was a fire, Gregor’s place burned to the ground. I bribed one of the firemen to let me look around…so far they have found only Gregor’s body…”
“Use your contacts,” Noon ordered with a firm yet even voice. “Put people at the airport and the train terminal…the bus lines too. Contact your friends in the Taxi union…she will be trying to get out of town.”
“I will do as you suggest moy Rukovoditel, but they may yet find her body. Gregor was a bear of a man; he would not be overcome so easily.”
“She is McGruder’s operative,” Noon Byrk hissed, “She would have the requisite skills…it was a mistake to ignore that fact.”
And it was your mistake, Ivan added to himself before speaking again.
“My friends throughout the city will find her, although their eyes would be much sharper should there be a prize for their efforts?”
The line was silent for a few moments. Ivan knew she was seething at his suggestion.
“Put a bounty on her head then…anyone that finds her I’ll pay them 50,000 rubles.”
“Very generous moy Rukovoditel, I will spread the word.”
“And Ivan” Noon continued with a calm coldness, “That’s alive…or dead.”
Nodding at her statement, he hung up before she could say anything else, shivering at the iciness of her last words.
Ivan immediately got busy making the calls needed to ensnare the woman. He knew many people, and they in turn knew many more.
Someone would find the little bitch…her time on this earth was now extremely limited!

***

 Abby stepped out onto the crowded sidewalk and put on her new sunglasses, effectively hiding her most prominent Asian feature. It was the final touch of her disguise.
Finding a secondhand shop after leaving the hotel, she had easily changed her looks with her new purchases. Heavy tan, canvas work pants a size or two too large had added ten to fifteen pounds to her looks, as did the several layers of sweaters and long underwear she had piled onto her body. Heavily insulated boots and the wool socks she had chosen for her feet made them feel warm for the first time since she had escaped. Topping it all off with a heavy cotton coat and a navy knit hat, she now looked like a lowly construction worker heading to the job.
She was hoping it was enough.
Although the clothes hadn’t cost her a great deal, she was acutely aware of her limited funds dwindling down with each purchase that she made. Thankfully, the shop’s owner had given her a little credit for her old clothes when he found out she was going to leave them there.
Starting down the sidewalk, she gave some thought to how she would escape the city. If she assumed that all of the normal transportation routes were being watched, she would have to come up with a new idea to obtain transportation.
Her first thought went to stealing a car, although she wasn’t overly confident about her skills at hotwiring one. She had done it before of course…back in Vietnam. Although never a member of a gang, she had nevertheless folded to peer-pressure a few times when someone dared her to do it.
Of course, it fit right in to her persona as it was an exciting thing to do…the threat of getting caught and the freedom of traveling through the city in a car that wasn’t yours. But doing it on cars she had never seen before…and in a strange country to boot…
Glancing up from one of the autos she was considering, she almost ran into a group of people gathering on the sidewalk in front of her. Confused at what was going on, she started to work her way around the crowd when she caught sight of a sign in the window of the building next to her.
Stopping in her tracks, she read through the sign while her lips started to turn up in a smile.
Yessss!” she whispered before making her way inside.

Chapter 49
December 13, 2000

The snowshoes I found in the shed were older, but looked to be in relatively good shape. Made of laminated wood, the bowed sides anchored a spider web of heavy string inside of them. In the center of both were pieces of leather and leather strapping that would wrap around one’s boots to hold them on to the shoe.
I placed them close to the heater to melt off the accumulated ice before checking on Preacher once again. He seemed to be resting comfortably at the moment…but for how long?
My find had initiated a spark in my mind…a new idea to contemplate.
Maybe we could walk out of here!
As soon as I verbalized the thought, it sounded ridiculous.
I didn’t even know where we were…or how far away we were…from anything.
I could travel in any direction…but to guess wrong…
I sighed as I sat down facing the heater, closing my eyes to concentrate.
I reasoned that going north was out of the question…the likelihood of any kind of humanity dwindled the farther north one went.
South of course seemed the most obvious choice…but the stash of supplies had been to the east. Of course, that could have been just be a ploy…a misdirection instigated by the Russian on the phone.
Giving that some added thought; I reasoned that it was an unlikely ruse to stash supplies a mile away in the wrong direction.
After all…bad guys liked to be warm too!
They would be in a hurry to get back to wherever they came from…their camp or a vehicle.
I found myself nodding my head when the decision finally firmed itself in my mind.
We would go east…at least as far as where I had found the supplies. Once there, I would make the decision whether to proceed or to turn back.
Settling on a plan, I stood and started preparing for the journey. Immediately doubts started entering my mind…but I squashed them down and concentrated instead on gathering the most needed of the supplies we would be carrying with us.
There was always a reason not to do something, and it was usually the easier of any of the choices at your disposal.
But in my mind…to wait was to die. Maybe this was an asinine idea, to try to walk out of our arctic prison…but at least I would be doing something. If we were slated to freeze to death, let it happen sooner rather than later.
“We’re going on a trip old buddy,” I spoke to Preacher as I moved the sled beside his pallet bed. “We’ll either get you some help…or freeze to death in the process.”
Pulling off his blanket and spreading it out on the sled, I grabbed a fistful of coat in each hand, ready to move him when his hand gripped one of my wrists with an amazing strength.
Opening his eyes, he looked at me determinedly, licking his lips in an effort to say something. Leaning closer to his face, “What is it Preacher?”
Licking his lips again and taking in a deep breath, his voice was soft but strong as he spoke.
“Full fucking steam ahead.”


Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

Available @ Smashwords
Available @ Amazon
Available @ Barnes and Noble
Available @ Kobo
Available @ iBooks

Quote of the day 8-21

Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.

Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quote of the day 8-20

I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions

Lou Holtz

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quote of the day 8-18

A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere

 

Groucho Marx

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Minute Mystery Monday! - The New Shoes

A woman buys a new pair of shoes on her way to work. Unfortunately, her purchase has changed a rather important factor, and she is almost immediately killed at her job. 

What was so important about the shoes and why did it lead to her untimely demise?

Find the answer HERE!

Quote of the day 8-17

The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.

H.P. Lovecraft

Friday, August 14, 2015

Murmansk Is Here!

Announcing the release of J.T. Lewis' newest Gabriel Celtic novel...Murmansk!


The fifth in the series, Murmansk is a spine-tingling International Thriller that takes you into the depths of the Russian Arctic!


 Here's the Synopsis!


Dan Brown meets James Rollins in this epic international thriller that pits Gabriel and his crew against an unnamed society that has been seeking control for a millennium! 

When the enemy discovers who…or what Gabriel is, they steal something from him that is priceless!

Already exhausted from being captured and held until near death in the Russian Arctic; Gabriel and crew must now find the strength to forge ahead as they work to rescue their precious family member.

But there are two obstacles that seem insurmountable to overcome before they can find the secretive group. They don't know who they are…and they don't know where they are!


Murmansk was AMAZING!!! A definite must read! It jumps straight into the action and keeps you guessing till the very end with non-stop action and adventure. New characters are added that are hard to define and leave you wondering who's side they're on. There also continues to be a hint of magic that weaves its way through the story in a way that enhances the characters, but still leaves them believable. And the end, argh, I can't wait for the next book! JT Lewis and his Gabriel Celtic series, is something to be excited about!

Five-Star Review from Jenna Hodge

You can find eBook copies of Murmansk at the links below! Paperbacks will be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble in a couple of days!

Available @ Smashwords
Available @ Amazon
Available @ Barnes and Noble
Available @ Kobo
Available @ iBooks

Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

Murmansk! Chapters 44, 45, & 46

As promised, here are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!

Available now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble (See links at the bottom)







Chapter 44
December 12, 2000

The pilot gulped back his fear as the cold steel pressed against his forehead.
Patting him down quickly with one hand, the Russian pushed the pilot back towards the cockpit before turning and aiming his gun toward the passengers.
“Kakogo cherta?” (What the hell?)
Turning quickly on his heel, he brought the gun to bear once again on the pilot.
“Where are peoples?”
The pilot, still reeling from the earlier assault, stuttered his answer.
“N-n-no p-p-passengers on this trip…only that…”
Pointing towards the front seat, the Russian turned to look where he pointed.
Ivan holstered his weapon and indicated that Alexei should also come aboard. “Watch him,” he uttered, pointing toward the pilot. Once he knew the pilot was secure, he moved toward the front seat and kneeled in front of it.
Strapped into the restraints, Ivan saw a high-end leather briefcase. Studying it intently, he then carefully checked around it, looking for any kind of tripwires or booby-traps before gingerly unbuckling it from the seat.
Setting it flat on the cushion, he sat back on his haunches, trying to decide what to do next. If it was a trap of some kind…or a bomb…it would be the last thing that he did.
It is what he would do.
Ivan grinned with the thought. He would do it…but would a pacified American do so?
He didn’t think so!
Taking a deep breath and letting it out, he reached forward with both hands and released both latches simultaneously.
Realizing that he had closed his eyes, he slowly opened them and looked down. The briefcase was still there, unlatched but unopened. Knowing that most bombs would be set off with the latch if at all, he nevertheless took his time to spread apart the leather.
Seeing nothing but some paperwork, he gingerly extracted it from the pouch before taking the next seat and setting the small pile on his lap.
Luckily, the documents were in Russian, but they were still hard to read. After several minutes of thumbing through them, his mind finally snapped when he realized what they were.
“Der'mo !” (Shit!) He shouted before rising from his seat and stalking toward the hatch.
“What is it Ivan?” Alexei questioned worriedly.
Ignoring his partner, Ivan stepped toward the pilot until he was pinned against the bulkhead.
“These are but mineral leases!” He screamed. “Where are the people that were supposed to be on the plane?”
The pilot was beside himself from the Russian’s demeanor. “S-s-sir…I can show you the manifest…but there were no souls scheduled for this flight.”
“Get it!” Ivan shouted, “Show me!”
The pilot weaved past the big Russian and went into the cockpit, returning only seconds later with a clipboard.
“Here you are sir….see here under the heading of cargo…Legal Documents.”
Ivan ripped the clipboard out of the pilot’s hand and studied the paperwork, taking several moments to decipher the English.
Finally slapping the clipboard into the pilot’s chest, he waved Alexei out of the plane and followed him down the ladder.
“What happened, Ivan?” Alexei questioned as they crossed the hangar floor.
“It must have been the wrong plane Alexei,” he answered angrily. “I need a drink.”
As they exited the hangar and got into their car, Ivan mulled over the situation. He was positive the flight number was the same as what his contact in the US had given him. Now he would have to get back in touch with the man and verify.
“Bol' v zadnitse !” (Fucking pain in the ass) he muttered as Alexei took off down the road.
The white haired bitch would not be happy.

Chapter 45
December 12, 2000

Patrick McGruder and Michael Montana watched the car leave from another one parked in the shadows of the next hangar.
“It would seem that our ploy has worked,” McGruder smiled as he watched the car turn onto an access road.
“I always say,” Michael started while easing their car out onto the taxiway, “If you can’t beat them with force, baffle them with bullshit.”
“We’re on them,” he heard Joe Bright say through the earwig as he and Beth started the tail of the Russian men.
“Roger that,” Michael replied. “We’ll be along shortly.”
Their plan had been simple. Since McGruder already had a jet chartered, Michael had proposed letting it continue on its scheduled journey, just with a slightly different cargo. Since the earlier plane had been compromised in flight or shortly after landing, they assumed that Noon would try something similar this time around.
In the meantime, they would take Michael’s private jet and get there ahead of the charter, allowing them time to set up the sting. By making it look like the wrong plane, Michael postulated that it would confuse instead of anger the enemy…buying them time and (hopefully) staving off any retaliation to the hostages.
It had been a simple thing for Patrick McGruder to come up with and copy off some Russian mineral leases for the ploy…actual legal documents that would stand up to scrutiny if they had to.
They would now stick close to the enemy operatives and follow them as best they could…hopefully without getting caught. They were not, however, depending solely on visual observation.
While the jet had been entering the hangar earlier, Beth had accessed it through a brand new hole they had cut into the wall earlier in the day. While the Russians focus was centered on the plane, Beth had crawled across the floor and attached a tracking device to their car.
McGruder now held the tracking monitor in his hand, watching the green blip move away from them.
“Now if Beth can latch onto any cell phone transmissions,” Michael uttered as he accelerated down the highway, “We should have them pretty well tethered electronically.”
Always the techno-geek, McGruder had come up with all of the tracking and cell monitoring equipment for the operation.
“Indeed,” McGruder nodded as he continued to watch the monitor. “It’s now a game of watch and wait.”
Michael cringed inwardly, he hated waiting…for anything.

Chapter 46
December 13, 2000

I woke up with a start, fighting against imagined restraints until I realized that it was the sleeping bag limiting my movements.
Unzipping the bag, I attempted to lean up before shouting out in pain!
My stomach muscles rebelled with extreme agony at my attempt. In fact, as I tried to move various limbs I discovered that every muscle in my body was stiff and sore.
Taking a deep breath, I rolled onto my stomach and pushed myself slowly up with my arms. Crawling out of the bag, I immediately rolled over again until I was sitting on the floor. Pulling my boots to me, I put them on one agonizing foot at a time.
Finally getting that accomplished, I pulled my parka on and zipped it up while noticing how cold it was. Crawling over to the heater, I saw that it was out again.
How long had I been asleep?
Grabbing another gas canister, I replaced it and lit the heater again.
Once it was going, I scooted over to Preacher’s pallet to check on him. He was unconscious again, his face flushed. He was shivering…badly. I felt his forehead and realized then that he had a fever.
Cursing our luck, I lowered his cover and pulled back his coat and shirt to reveal his bandage. I could smell it immediately, the stench of rotting flesh. Pulling the soaked-through gauze pad away from his skin revealed that a nasty-looking infection had gotten a good start.
Beside myself at his worsening condition I continued by removing the gauze from the back of his shoulder before dragging the first aid kit next to me. Grabbing the tongue depressors from the kit, I unceremoniously wedged them into his mouth as best I could.
Uncapping the bottle of alcohol, I sat there for a few seconds looking at my friend. “I’m really sorry I got you into this Preacher,” I whispered as I tipped the bottle over the wound.

***

An hour later I had the wound bandaged again, had made some soup and had even gotten some down his throat without choking him. He hadn’t screamed this time when the alcohol hit the wound, but his body had jerked severely in response to the pain. I ended up grabbing him to keep him from falling off of the pallet, spilling half of the remaining alcohol in the process.
As I gloomily sat next to him, I wondered how much longer we could keep this up. Even another day might be too long with his worsening condition. At this point I couldn’t see beyond Preacher’s desperate needs, much less trying to think of Abby or May. I could only hope that they were holding on…and could continue doing so until I could get to them. My mind still held out to the hope that I would eventually get us out of here and find my daughter before we all made our way home.
My body was another story however. I already felt like things were slowing down inside as the cold attacked me. My muscles felt like someone had been trying to pull me apart, and my mind seemed to be becoming fuzzy and unfocussed. Man was not meant to live in a climate such as this, at least not without a hell of a lot more preparation than we had been allowed.   
Feeling desperate and fighting hopelessness, I got up and pulled my hood over my head. Donning gloves, I grabbed the flashlight and headed toward the door.
I didn’t know what I was looking for, but so far I hadn’t found anything inside the shack that could help us escape its confines. It was my hope that maybe I could find something outside…if not something tangible…at least something that would jog an idea loose in my memory.
Stepping into the vast frozen whiteness I was pleased to realize that, for now at least, the wind had died down to a slight breeze. I was also pleasantly surprised by a slight lightening of the sky to the southeast. I had always been under the impression that there would be no daylight in the depths of the arctic winter. Seeing the light of the rising sun actually lifted my spirits ever so slightly.
Moving my eyes back down to the ground around me, I started my search for something that I could use. Most of what I could find I already knew was there. A stack of pallets that had been piled high enough to show above the snow, and two pieces of plastic PVC pipe about one inch in diameter leaning against the shack.
I moved around to the side of the shack and continued looking with no success. I could have been walking over the top of a treasure trove of stuff and never know it however, as the snow was so deep.
Darker on this side of the shed, I clicked on my flashlight as I rounded the corner to the back…almost running into an upright post in the process. Shining my light on the wood, I followed it up until the beam of light showed on a metal roof! Excitedly, I brought the light down, the flashlight now exposing the interior of a lean-to shed built onto the back of the shack.
Feeling hopeful for the first time in hours, I stepped into the shed to explore. At first glance I didn’t see anything too exciting: a couple of old jars, a box of nails and some sort of homemade chair…broken.
Sighing in frustration I was about to leave when the end of something caught my eye. Protruding up through the snow that had drifted inside the shed, I recognized that it was something rectangular and made of wood.
Rectangular wood wasn’t native to the arctic!
 Walking toward it, I leaned over and pulled at the wood. Whatever it was moved slightly, but felt like it was tangled on something else below it. Laying the flashlight on the snow beside me, I started digging around, shoveling away both loose and encrusted snow in an effort to free the item. After a couple of minutes, I could feel the thing move a little when I tugged on it. Grabbing it with both hands, I gave it a jerk as it and another, identical piece suddenly popped out of the snow.
Looking down on the two contraptions, I couldn’t at first determine what it was that I had uncovered.
When I finally did, my heart leapt with joy!


 Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

Available @ Smashwords
Available @ Amazon
Available @ Barnes and Noble
Available @ Kobo
Available @ iBooks

Quote of the day 8-14

Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.

Doris Lessing

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

Murmansk! Chapters 41, 42, & 43

As promised, here are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!

Available now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble (See links at the bottom)



Chapter 41
December 12, 2000
                                                                                    
Snake hung up the phone slowly, staring at it thoughtfully for several moments before turning to face the women again.
“My contact thinks she is holed up in a little town close to the Norwegian border…a place called Luostari.”
“Is that close to Murmansk?” Raven questioned quietly while holding May’s hand beside her.
Snake shrugged, “He thought it was around a hundred miles…a lot closer than we are.”
May had been quietly contemplating everything when she suddenly looked up at Raven.
“We need to go there.”
“May,” Raven replied worriedly, shaking her head, “Patrick McGruder is on this…he knows what he is doing…we don’t.”
May’s eyes lit up with determination. “We didn’t know what we were doing in Rome either, remember? But we did it because we believed in the cause…we believed in Gabe. This is the man we’re talking about here…not to mention Abby and Preacher! Any of them would do the same for us…you know that!”
Raven stared at her friend, worried about both May as well as the others. Still…she hesitated.
“I think we should go too,” Snake finally uttered from across the room.
May and Raven turned toward him as one as he looked down to the floor. “If we’re not needed, what’s it hurt? I’d just hate to think that we could have made a difference and chose to sit here on our duffs instead.”
As Raven closed her eyes and shook her head in resignation, she finally relented.
“You’d better call Josh then Snake; we’ll need him in on this.” Turning toward May again with a small smile, “He’s been pacing around for two days anyway…waiting to hear from Abby.”
Snake called out from the phone as he dialed, “You have a world atlas or any kind of maps around here May?”
“I think so,” May replied with a smile, the confidence building in her with the decision to go. “If we don’t I’ll go out and find some!”
“I’ll make coffee,” Raven stated as she turned toward the counter. Truth be known, she was secretly glad they were going, having shared the feeling of helplessness since May had called earlier.
Even if they hadn’t known each other in the past, the mission they had shared the year before had bonded everyone to each other in ways that were hard to describe to someone that hadn’t been there. This amazingly diverse group of people was now her family…and it was the first time in her life that she could ever call anyone family…much less feel the love and acceptance that she now treasured.
Snake’s arms were suddenly around her at the waist, his face nuzzled next to hers.
“I think we’re doing the right thing,” he whispered as he kissed her cheek.
Raven sighed; the now familiar closeness of the man making her heart beat wildly in her chest.
“We are most certainly doing the right thing,” she replied as she turned and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I shouldn’t have hesitated before…it’s just…”
Snake nodded as he kissed her lips tenderly. “I know kid, I know what you had to deal with in your previous life, and I know it can’t always be easy to blindly accept what your heart is trying to tell you is right.”
Grinning now, “I’m just glad that it is me you’re with now.”
Pulling him to her, she once again thanked God for bringing Snake into her life…for bringing them all into her life.
She just hoped that they were all still in her life a week from now.

Chapter 42
December 12, 2000

The chartered jet taxied off of the runway, heading toward a specified hangar on the west side of the airport. The area around the hangar was darkened more than the others…it was the last in line and the farthest away from anything else.
The pilot gave a moment’s thought to the eeriness of the place before looking back down at his console and continuing the shutdown procedure.
His copilot was at the wheel, the younger man overly nervous…afraid of hitting something unseen in the darkened area.
“I don’t know about you, but I could use a beer or two when we get done here,” the copilot mumbled as he eased the nose of the plane further to the right to miss an unlit ground light.
The pilot checked his watch. “No time on this one Larry,” he replied before going back to work on the clipboard in his hand. “They have the plane chartered for Chicago tomorrow night. We’re to unload, refuel and head back within the hour.”
“Well ain’t that just the shits,” the copilot mumbled. “Eighteen hours to here and then turn around and eighteen hours back. They sure don’t give you much time to enjoy yourself in this outfit.”
“Welcome to the world of private charter service,” the pilot mumbled while checking some gauges overhead. Glancing up, he noticed the doors of the hangar sliding open. “At least it looks like they are ready for us,” he continued, pointing toward the widening strip of light casting a glow in front of the hangar. “Head on in there and let’s get this over with.”
The copilot sighed as he turned the wheel to enter the hangar. “This whole trip is a waste anyway Phil…I mean who in their right mind…”
“Ours is not to reason why,” Phil interrupted, “But only to do and not die.”
Larry looked at Phil incredulously. “Oh that’s funny…you’re a funny man Phil…you just make that up?”
“Yeah,” Phil responded while stowing the clipboard, “I missed my true calling. I always wanted to do standup.”
Squinting his eyes, he made out two men waiting for them in the brightly-lit hangar. “There’s our receiving customers,” he stated while unbuckling his seat restraints.
“Typical Russian mafia if you ask me,” Larry observed as he applied the brakes and pulled back on the throttles, “Leather coats and greasy hair? Does it get any more predictable than that?”
“Yeah,” Phil replied while standing up, “They may want us to give them a bribe to take what we are already delivering to them.”
Pulling on his uniform coat, he spent a few second buttoning it before continuing. “You sit tight Larry, I’ll do the meet and greet and then we need to hightail it to the fuel station.”
“Roger that,” Larry replied with fake enthusiasm, “Sitting on my ass and sitting tightly sir.”
Phil grinned as he turned and made his way to the front hatch. Gripping the handle in both hands, he pushed down until he felt the seal on the opening release. Hitting the button beside it, he watched as the hatch lowered itself to the ground, the built-in stairway extending as it moved. Watching it intently to make sure it deployed correctly, he hadn’t paid much attention to the two men outside the plane until the hatch had completely deployed.
That changed however when his eyes moved up to find both of the men holding a gun in front of them…aimed at him!
The bigger of the two made his way to the stairs and proceeded up them, raising the gun at the top of the stairs and resting it on the pilot’s forehead.
“Welcumm to Wrussia.”

Chapter 43
December 12, 2000

Abby pushed herself deeper into the darkened doorway while a couple passed her location. Thankfully they were both quite drunk and didn’t notice her.
After they were gone, Abby moved out away from the door behind her and stared across the street at a dilapidated hotel.
She didn’t know who would be after her…couldn’t know! It was quite apparent to her now that the note supposedly from Gabe had been a trick…but to what end? And where were Gabe and Preacher? If they had been captured along with her, why had they been separated?
Had they been killed?
Were they being tortured?
But for what? She couldn’t fathom why they had been taken, or even who would want to.
She closed her eyes and went over everything she knew again in her mind.
They had been sent to Murmansk…to deliver a ransom.
In exchange, they were to pick up the hostage…a little girl…and bring her home with them.
What had gone wrong?
She could barely remember anything past their plane taking off!
“Shit!” She breathed when her mind once again stopped at that point.
Why couldn’t she remember?
Feeling exhausted, she once again leaned back against the door.
She had to get some sleep! What with working two long days at the bar with hardly any sleep…and then…the other thing…
She shivered involuntarily at the thought as the bile threatened to move up into her throat again.
She had heard the sirens soon after she had left the bar, but had kept up her pace to get as far away from the fire as possible.
Someone had put her in the bar…so she had to assume that same someone would be looking for her. Maybe not yet…but soon!
It would help if she knew who she was running from, or how powerful they were. Without knowing anything, she could be sealing her fate the first time she showed her face anywhere!
She glanced at the hotel across the street once again. By her reckoning, she was at least several miles from the incinerated bar. Surely she would be safe to hide out here for a single night!
Sighing, she pulled out the wad of bills she had liberated from Gregor. She had counted it earlier…22,500 rubles more or less. From her extensive research before the trip, she knew that should equal about $380.
Having no idea what a hotel room rented for, she would hope that it was no more than the equivalent of $50 a night…or less than 3000 rubles.
Sighing quietly, she closed her eyes again, letting her thoughts go momentarily to her family and friends…Gabe and May…Preacher…Josh….Ya Su…
Biting back a sob, she wiped at her eyes that had suddenly moistened before taking a deep breath and stepping out into the street.
“What the hell,” she whispered as she continued to put one foot in front of the other toward the hotel. “Killing me would probably be a relief.”




Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

Available @ Smashwords
Available @ Amazon
Available @ Barnes and Noble
Available @ Kobo
Available @ iBooks

Quote of the day 8-7

 

There is little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself

Louis XIV

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Quote of the day 8-5

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got

Robert Brault

Monday, August 3, 2015