November 7, 2017
One week early!!!
Available for Preorder!
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Montana Rescue is part of the BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS Series. It is also in the “Sleeper SEAL” connected series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. They do not have cliffhanger endings.
The Sleeper SEALs are former U.S. Navy SEALs recruited by a new CIA counter-terror division to handle solo dark ops missions to combat terrorism on U.S. soil
Plagued by survivor’s guilt and a bad knee, SEAL “Mad Dog” Maddox left the Navy and buried himself in a mountain cabin in Colorado where the only creatures he hunts now are those he puts on his table. Slowly going out of his mind with boredom, he’s on the verge of throwing himself off a cliff when an old friend, his former commander gives him a reason to live. His mission: Team with special CIA operative and assassin to reveal a terrorist on home soil.
Raised by her father in the Crazy Mountains of Montana, Jolie Richards learned to fire guns before she learned to do her hair. When her father was killed by a careless hunter, Jolie joined the CIA to get as far away from Montana and the emptiness of a home without her father. Her skills as an expert marksman land her as an assassin. When she kills one of a pair of brothers radicalized into ISIS, she becomes the target. In order to flush out the ISIS threat, she sets herself up as bait, but takes him to familiar ground in the Crazy Mountains. Used to working alone, she finds she’s been assigned a partner. She just hopes he stays out of the way of her accomplishing her mission.
Together Mad Dog and Jolie team with the Brotherhood Protectors, a protection agency comprised of former military members, to expose their enemy before he can kill more innocents.
Sleep was overrated. At least, that’s what Caleb “Mad Dog” Maddox told himself as he paced the front porch of the mountain cabin, staring up at the stars in the sky. No street or porch lights marred the inky expanse, allowing the stars to twinkle unchallenged in the heavens over his little slice of hell in the Colorado Rockies.
Not that Colorado was hell. It didn’t matter where Mad Dog landed. If it wasn’t back with his Navy SEAL unit, fighting the good fight, it was hell.
He sat on the porch steps and rubbed at his sore knee, cursing the doctors who’d medically retired him from active duty before he could rain fire and destruction on the people who’d shot down his SEAL team’s helicopter, ending his career and, more importantly, ending Frito’s life.
Frito, Juan Federico Hernandez, had been one of the newest SEALs on the team. The mission that ended it all was Frito’s fifth and final.
Mad Dog couldn’t complain too loudly about being kicked off the team when he was still alive and he didn’t have a family depending on him. Frito had left behind a young wife and a baby girl. And he’d left behind memories of his incredible capabilities, loyalty and friendship in Mad Dog’s mind. Most of all, he’d left behind the memory of his last minutes, before the life was crushed from his body.
They’d completed a secret mission in Syria, targeting a high-profile ISIS leader. Oh, they’d killed their target, decapitating the head of one of the ISIS snakes leading their followers to rape, pillage and burn—tactics they employed against the poor, defenseless people of Syria.
They’d made the hit and were on the helicopter during the extraction portion of the operation, when some bastard of an enemy fighter plugged them with an RPG. The round hit the tail of the helicopter, causing it to spiral toward the earth, flinging unsecured men out of the fuselage like so much confetti.
Mad Dog had twisted his hands into a nearby harness and held onto Frito, but the centrifugal force pulled the man out of his grip and flung him to the ground. Mad Dog lost his grip on the harness and slipped out as well, right before the helicopter landed. His fall was a mere seven or eight feet. Frito’s had been from ten or twelve. The height of the fall didn’t matter. The helicopter crashed down on top of Frito.
Whether he’d died in the fall or when the helicopter’s wheel planted fully on his chest, the man was dead. Nothing Mad Dog could do would bring him back.
What if he’d held on just a few seconds longer? What if he’d let Frito climb into the helicopter first? What if he’d found his friend Ronin sooner and gotten him on board quicker? Would that have given Frito time to get in, get harnessed and stay alive?
Questions like these served no purpose, but he lived with them every time he closed his eyes at night. Not one of the what-if scenarios running through Mad Dog’s mind changed the outcome.
Which led to more sleepless nights than he could count.
He’d come to Colorado after talking to his former teammate, Boomer. When Boomer had heard about Mad Dog’s situation, he’d offered him the use of a friend’s cabin in the Rocky Mountains.
The cabin’s owner, Joseph “Kujo” Kuntz, had landed a job with the same folks Boomer worked for, a company headed by former Navy SEAL, Hank Patterson. Mad Dog remembered Hank. He’d worked with Hank when he’d first been assigned to SEAL Team 10.
Hank had left the Navy to help his father on his ranch in Montana and ended up establishing a personal security group of former Special Ops guys.
Mad Dog didn’t dig too deeply into what kind of jobs Boomer and Kujo did or what their missions were. Frankly, he didn’t care. Nothing mattered anymore. His life was irrelevant. Being a SEAL had been everything to him. He’d gone from a punk kid on the streets of Houston to a respected member of an elite group of fighters. Now, he’d lost everything.
Who would have thought the punk-ass teen with a chip on his shoulder would have made something of his life? Granted, he might not have become a SEAL if he hadn’t nearly killed a man.
One of his old friends died of an overdose on some dirty heroine. Mad Dog had chased down the drug dealer and beat the shit out of him, nearly killing the guy.
The drug dealer got off with a light sentence, some community service or some other bullshit like that. But the judge had looked Mad Dog square in the eye and told him he had two choices—go to jail for assault and battery or join the military where he could put his fighting skills to better use.
Mad Dog chose to join the Navy rather than go to jail. But he had his father partly to thank for giving him the drive to succeed. When the judge had his final say, Mad Dog’s father snorted and said, “That kid won’t ever amount to much.”
Yeah, he hadn’t gotten along with his father. All the man did for him was provide a roof over his head and the occasional food to fill his belly. No love had been lost between them.
Mad Dog’s mother had left them when he was eight years old. She was probably tired of the verbal and physical abuse her husband heaped on her. Mad Dog didn’t blame her for leaving, but he hated her for not taking him with her.
With hate in his heart, no family to go home to and a desire to prove his father wrong, Mad Dog entered the military, worked his ass off and earned a spot in BUD/S training to become a SEAL.
It was during training that he’d learned some hard lessons about teamwork and looking out for your buddy. Out of pure cussedness, he’d suffered through the worst of the worst to become one of the best of the best.
Unfortunately, his father died halfway through Mad Dog’s BUD/S training. He’d never had the satisfaction of showing his father how wrong he was.
The man had died how Mad Dog always imagined he would—when his trailer caught fire. His father had been asleep in his ratty recliner with beer cans strewn across the floor. The police report stated they suspected alcohol was involved. No kidding. Frank Maddox was a horrible drunk.
He hadn’t felt much of anything upon the news of his father’s death. The cadre at BUD/S offered to let him go home for the funeral. Mad Dog said hell no. He had no love for the man whose only gift to him had been the gift of life. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to start the BUD/S training all over from scratch. No fucking way. He’d made it through Hell Week by then. No sane person went through Hell Week twice, if he could help it.
Upon graduation from BUD/S, he’d been assigned to a SEAL team. Not only had he proven his father wrong, he’d finally found people he could call his family. Through some pretty hairy missions, he’d bonded with his teammates.
He’d do anything for them, and they always had his back. They were the brothers he never had growing up, the family he’d always longed for.
Now he had none.
Sometimes, he wished he had been the one crushed beneath the helicopter instead of Frito.
The sun edged up over the horizon, spilling liquid gold across the mountains and warming the chill in the air. The beauty was not lost on Mad Dog. He’d always wanted to live in the mountains, away from the noise and smells of Houston, the traffic, hordes of people and the oil refineries. But he hadn’t pictured being alone in the mountains.
After joining SEAL Team 10, he’d started thinking about having a real family, like what Frito had. A good woman to share his life with, to be there when he came home. Why not? His buddies on the team had succumbed to love. Mad Dog had begun to believe it could happen to him.
Until his career ended with one rocket-propelled grenade hitting the helicopter he flew inside.
Mad Dog pushed to his feet and walked barefoot across the moss-covered ground to a rocky ledge not far from the cabin. He’d spent many days and nights standing there, contemplating what was left of his life. Today, he contemplated how long it would take for him to fall from the top of the cliff to the bottom two-hundred and fifty feet below.
He was tired. Tired of the boredom, tired of the guilt and tired of being alone. Every day was just like the last. With no purpose in his life, what was the use of living? No one relied on him to help out in a tight situation. His team continued on, without him. They didn’t need a SEAL with a bum leg. Once a SEAL, always a SEAL… Ha!
He stared down at the jagged boulders. Ending it here would prove what? That his father was right after all? That he’d never amount to much? That all the sweat, pain and hard work he’d put into becoming a SEAL hadn’t accomplished a fucking thing?
Mad Dog took one step, then another, toward the cliff’s edge.
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