Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.
A list of all the 2012 award winners follows:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:
“Dead End in Norvelt,” written by Jack Gantos, is the 2012 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Farrar Straus Giroux.
Two Newbery Honor Books also were named: "Inside Out & Back Again," written by Thanhha Lai and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; and "Breaking Stalin’s Nose,” written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin, and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
“A Ball for Daisy," illustrated and written by Chris Raschka, is the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner. The book is published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Blackout,” illustrated and written by John Rocco, and published by Disney · Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group; "Grandpa Green" illustrated and written by Lane Smith, and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; and “Me … Jane,” illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell, and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
“Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley, is the 2012 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon& Schuster Children’s Publishing.
“Why We Broke Up,” written by Daniel Handler, art by Maira Kalman and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group; “The Returning,” written by Christine Hinwood and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group Young Readers Group USA; “Jasper Jones,” written by Craig Silvey and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.; and “The Scorpio Races,” written by Maggie Stiefvater and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans,” is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Two King Author Honor Book recipients were selected: Eloise Greenfield, author of “The Great Migration: Journey to the North,” illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and Patricia C. McKissack, author of “Never Forgotten,” illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:
Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of “Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom,” is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.
One King Illustrator Honor Book recipient was selected: Kadir Nelson, illustrator and author of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans,” published by Balzar + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Ashley Bryan is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime achievement. The award, which pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.
Storyteller, artist, author, poet and musician, Bryan created his first children’s book in first grade. He grew up in the Bronx and in 1962, he became the first African American to both write and illustrate a children’s book. After a successful teaching career, Bryan left academia to pursue creation of his own artwork. He has since garnered numerous awards for his significant and lasting literary contribution of poetry, spirituals and story.
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
The Jury chose not to award a book in the category for children ages 0 – 8 because no submissions were deemed worthy of the award.
Two books were selected for the middle school award (ages 9 – 13): “close to famous,” written byJoan Bauer and published by Viking, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; and “Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures,” written by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic.
The teen (ages 14-18) award winner is “The Running Dream,” written by Wendelin Van Draanen and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
- “Big Girl Small,” by Rachel DeWoskin, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- “In Zanesville,” by Jo Ann Beard, published by Little, Brown & Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
- “The Lover’s Dictionary,” by David Levithan, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- “The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens,” by Brooke Hauser, published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
- “The Night Circus,” by Erin Morgenstern, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
- “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.(ISBN: 9780307887436)
- “Robopocalypse: A Novel,” by Daniel H. Wilson, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
- “Salvage the Bones,” by Jesmyn Ward, published by Bloomsbury USA
- “The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures,” by Caroline Preston, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
- “The Talk-Funny Girl,” by Roland Merullo, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video:
Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of “Children Make Terrible Pets,” are the Carnegie Medal winners.
The video is based on the book written by Peter Brown, and is narrated by Emily Eiden, with music by Jack Sundrud and Rusty Young, and animation by Soup2Nuts.
Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
Susan Cooper is the 2012 Edwards Award winner. Her books include: The Dark Is Rising Sequence: “Over Sea, Under Stone”; “The Dark Is Rising”; “Greenwitch”; “The Grey King”; and “Silver on the Tree.”
May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site:
Michael Morpurgowill deliver the 2013 lecture.
Born in England, Morpurgo was teaching when he discovered the magic of storytelling and began writing. His books are noted for their imagination, power and grace. In 1976, he and his wife established the charity Farms for City Children. He is an officer of the Order of the British Empire and served as Britain’s third Children’s Laureate. His novel, “War Horse,” has wowed theater audiences in London and New York and movie audiences all over.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children's book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States:
“Soldier Bear” is the 2012 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in Dutch in 2008 as “Soldaat Wojtek,” written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
One Batchelder Honor Book also was selected: “The Lily Pond,” published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., written by Annika Thor, and translated by Linda Schenck.
Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:
“Rotters,” produced Listening Library,an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., is the 2012 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne.
Four Odyssey Honor audiobooks also were selected: “Ghetto Cowboy,” produced by Brilliance Audio, written by G. Neri and narrated by JD Jackson; “Okay for Now,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., written by Gary D. Schmidt and narrated by Lincoln Hoppe; “The Scorpio Races,” produced by Scholastic Inc., Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Maggie Stiefvaterandnarrated by Steve Westand Fiona Hardingham;and “Young Fredle,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., written by Cynthia Voigt and narrated by Wendy Carter.
Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
“Diego Rivera: His World and Ours,” illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Two Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred,” illustrated by Rafael López, written by Samantha R. Vamos and published by Charlesbridge; and “Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina,” illustrated by Sara Palacios, written by Monica Brown and published by Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books Inc.
Pura Belpré (Author) Award:
“Under the Mesquite,” written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Lee and Low Books Inc.
Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: “Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck,” written by Margarita Engle and published by Henry Holt and Company,LLC.; and “Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller,” written by Xavier Garza and published by Cinco Puntos Press.
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:
“Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade,” written by Melissa Sweet, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Four Sibert Honor Books were named: "Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor," written by Larry Dane Brimnerand published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.; "Drawing from Memory," written and illustrated by Allen Sayand published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; "The Elephant Scientist," written by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson, photographs byCaitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwelland published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; and "Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem" written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzerand published by the National Geographic Society.
Stonewall Book Award -Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:
“Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy,” written by Bil Wright and published by Simon & SchusterBFYR, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division,is the winner of the 2012 Stonewall Award. The award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.
Four Honor Books were selected: “a + e 4ever,” drawn and written by Ilike Merey and published by Lethe Press, Inc.; “Money Boy,” written by Paul Yee and published by Groundwood Books, an imprint of House of Anansi Press; “Pink,” written by Lili Wilkinson and published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins; and “with or without you,” written by Brian Farrey and published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:
"Tales for Very Picky Eaters," written and illustrated by Josh Schneider, is the Geisel Award winner. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Three Geisel Honor Books were named: "I Broke My Trunk,” written and illustrated by Mo Willems, and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; "I Want My Hat Back," written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, and published by Candlewick Press; and "See Me Run," written and illustrated by Paul Meisel, and published by Holiday House.
William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:
“Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley is the 2012 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon& Schuster Children's Publishing.
Four other books were finalists for the award: “Girl of Fire and Thorns,” written by Rae Carson, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “Paper Covers Rock,” written by Jenny Hubbard, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; “Under the Mesquite,” written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, published by Lee and Low Books; and “Between Shades of Gray,” written by Ruta Sepetys, published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group USA.
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults, ages 12 – 18, each year:
“The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery” written by Steve Sheinkin, is the 2012 Excellence winner. The book is published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Four other books were finalists for the award: “Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science,” written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; “Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition,” written by Karen Blumenthal, published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; “Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way),” written by Sue Macy, published by National Geographic Children’s Books; and “Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein,” written by Susan Goldman Rubin, published by Charlesbridge.
Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit the ALA Web site at www.ala.org.
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Visit the author's website.
Blown and dismantled, Nightshade is ready to repay the favor.
Former Marine and current Nightshade team member Griffin "Legend" Riddell is comfortable. So comfortable he never sees the set up that lands him in a maximum security prison, charged with murder. How can he prove his innocence behind bars?
Covert operative Kazi Faron is tasked with reassembling Nightshade—the black ops team someone dissected. Breaking Griffin out of a federal penitentiary amid explosive confusion may turn out to be her last assignment. What will it take to convince the fugitive that whoever set him up has also dissected the Nightshade team? As Kazi and Griffin race to rescue the others and discover the traitor,
love begins to awaken in their hearts.
Can a covert operative and the felon she's freed overcome their mutual distrust long enough to save Nightshade? Will anything prepare them for who—or what is coming?
- List Price: $12.99
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1602607850
- ISBN-13: 978-1602607859
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
At home and abroad,
Those who have gone before
and those serving today—
Because of you, we are FREE!
Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—The title of Recon Marine is my honor.
Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.
On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.
Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit, and Heart.
A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.
“It’s sad, really.” Marshall “The Kid” Vaughn trudged away from the thumping rotors of the helo that had deposited them back at the Shack, his pack almost dragging the ground. “Ya don’t realize how much a person adds until he’s gone.”
“Legend’s not gone.” Max “Frogman” Jacobs hoisted his rucksack into a better group, his mind locked on Sydney and their two sons waiting for him at home. Poor woman had to be going out of her mind with two of his Mini-Me’s running around.
“Yeah.” John “Squirt” Dighton hit the light breaker, then waited for the six-man team to clear the door. “He’s just temporarily detained.”
Lights sizzled and popped to life. Groaning bounced off the grimy windows as he hauled the door closed, locked it, then started toward the showers.
The Kid grunted. “Forty-years-to-life temporary.”
In the locker room, a depressive gloom hung over the team. They’d been on countless missions, hit just about every terrain and environment imaginable, but none had taken the toll the last couple had. And there was one reason—they were down a man. Griffin “Legend” Riddell. If Max could write the playbook, they wouldn’t do another mission without the guy. But with the man in federal prison for murdering a congressman, it’d be a long wait.
It was quiet. Too quiet. Max looked around the Spartan room. Walls of lockers, most unused. A few benches. A giant once-white bin for dirty duds. And the team. Six men, now. All very skilled. Good men. Even the one missing. Every man here knew Legend had been set up—he didn’t murder that congressman. But nobody could prove it. The evidence was damning. Justice—injustice was more like it—came swiftly. Lambert, ever the puppeteer, couldn’t pull the right strings to get Legend off.
“I’m heading up to visit him tomorrow. Anyone game?” Colton “Cowboy” Neeley slumped on a bench and ran a hand over his short, dark hair. His blue eyes probed the group.
“Nah, man. I’ve got a date,” the Kid said.
Squirt beaned him with a towel. “What girl would go out with you, mate?”
The Kid snapped the terry cloth back at the former Navy SEAL. “Your sister.”
Squirt froze. His jaw went slack. Then his eyes darkened.
Laughing, Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe rose to his feet from the corner. “You just proved his point by thinking your sister would actually go out with him.”
Squirt swallowed, his face drained of color. “I introduced them at a New Year’s party.”
Midas laughed harder. “Your mistake, mate.”
Shuffling closer, Squirt pointed a finger at the Kid. “I swear, you touch her, I’ll shove a fist full of witchety grubs down your gullet.”
“Give me credit, dude.” The Kid raised his hands. “I’m a gentleman.”
Max grunted. “Right.” As he strode around the lockers to the shower well, he heard more threats and much more laughter from the Kid. Max shook his head. Would the Kid ever grow up, learn when to leave things alone?
As he tossed his oily, grimy duds on the bench, Max paused, thinking maybe he should send his report to Lambert now so he wouldn’t have to mess with it tomorrow. The mission had been simple enough, a snatch-n-grab of an Iranian doctor. It’d been nice and clean, in and out. The report wouldn’t take long. Then he could shower, bug out, and know he had the whole weekend with Syd and the boys.
Max jogged up the iron stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath his weight. Down the hall to the right. He punched in the code and entered the secure hub, the door hissing shut behind him. The most high-tech part of this dump-of-a-warehouse.
Shouts drew his attention to the blinds. He jabbed two fingers between a couple and spread them to peeked down into the main area. Squirt and the Kid raced into the bay and back the way they came. Squirt looked ready to kill. The Kid’s face revealed his fear. Max shook his head again. Man, he wanted Griffin back. The guy seemed to bring balance to the team. Badly needed balance.
Max powered up the computer. Hand propped on the warped wood, he waited for the system to boot.
More shouts. Loud thuds.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. Would they never—?
Instinct drove Max to his knee at the sound of gunfire. He scrambled to the window. Through the slanted blinds, he peered down into the slab of cement. His brain wouldn’t assemble what he saw. Gunmen. A dozen or more. Rushing into the Shack from the parking bay. Moving swiftly, as if. . .
They know the layout.
Max darted to the door and jerked it open. He sprinted down the hall toward the stairs. As his boot hit steel, he froze. A shadow emerged. Floated into the hall.
Max jerked back. Pressed his spine against the wall.
By the showers, the Kid looked up. Max signaled to him. Then made his best and loudest Nightshade whistle, hoping it would penetrate the building, give the men warning to take cover.
The Kid threw himself back into the locker room.
Men swarmed the corner. One looked to his left, one right. His weapon slowly rose as he traced the stairs with his M16.
Max leapt backward into the darkness and into office. He closed the door. As the lock clicked, darkness dropped like an anchor over the entire building. Behind him, a glow screamed his location. The monitor!
Max spun. Lunged across the desk. Stabbed the power button. And paused with his hand still near the monitor. If someone was coming after them. . .accessing this computer. . .
On his knees, Max yanked the cords free. With the box, he moved to the window and reassessed the parking bay. Another van with a half-dozen men with AK-47s. They streamed into the warehouse.
Max’s gut wound into a dozen knots. They were screwed.
Think! Hand on the door, he considered going back downstairs. But that would get him captured. Killed. Yet he’d rather be with his guys than running like a chicken.
No, not running. Considering options, gaining the advantage. Planning. The invasion force was armed to the teeth. They knew who they were coming after. They’d brought weapons. And those guys moved with precision. Swift, deadly precision.
Though Nightshade had a stellar ops record, perhaps they had finally met their match. Still. . .two to one? Nightshade had faced worse.
A large black Suburban screeched to a halt in the middle of the parking bay. Two men emerged, both wearing trench coats.
Max cursed his luck to be up here, away from his gear, his weapons. Up here, without firepower. Thus, powerless.
Okay, enough. He was going down there. He eased the door open and slid across the hall. Bathed in darkness, he crouched at edge of the landing, using the wall for cover. A dozen men so far, rushing here and there. Quick, quiet chatter between the men.
A smirk slid into Max’s face. His team had taken cover and these goons couldn’t find them. If he could just get a weapon. . .
“Can’t find them.”
“They’re here. I saw them go in,” the man nearest the SUV shouted. “Find them! Lights!”
Light rushed through the building as headlamps from the vehicles stabbed the dusty, damp building. Max yanked back, out of sight. He needed to get down there, defend his men. His boot hit the landing.
Shouts erupted. A shot bounced off the steel rafters, taunting as it echoed through the Shack. Stilled, Max waited. More shouts. The sound of a scuffle. The half-dozen men waiting by the SUV lifted their weapons to the ready.
The locker room door swung open. A man walked backward, his AK-47 aimed at a large form filling the doorway. Cowboy. Arms raised, dressed only in his jeans, he stalked forward. Someone shoved him from behind, which barely moved the big lug.
Spine pressed against the wood, Max peered down into the bay.
“You move one wrong muscle,” the one in front of Cowboy growled, “and so help me God, I’ll kill you.”
“No you won’t.” Cowboy lowered his hands. “If you wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be out here.”
Ride ’em, Cowboy.
From the side entrance to the showers, three men dragged a shouting, cursing Kid into the bay. Max smirked that it took three tangos to wrangle the Kid.
Hand clenched, Max’s mind went into overdrive. What could he do? God. . .I need. . .something. What could he pray for? Intercepting the team was impossible. Twelve, fifteen armed tangos against one unarmed man?
He latched on to the hope that they’d only found Cowboy and the Kid. No Midas, Squirt, or Aladdin. Good. Maybe they could regroup and—
A man flew through the bay door from the showers and landed with a thud a yard from the others. Midas flipped over, scissored his legs, and swept the thug off his feet. The Kid seized the confusion to attack the men guarding him. And impressively. With a hard right, he dropped the first and used that weapon to disable the second.
Cowboy took a step back and rammed his elbow into the gut of the nearest guard. The gunman bent forward—straight into Cowboy’s meaty fist. The big guy pivoted, slapped the interior of the gunman’s wrist, effectively seizing the weapon and flipping the muzzle around. He fired at the guy.
In the split second it took for Max to realize the sonic boom that rent the air wasn’t the report of Cowboy’s .45 MEU but of a rifle, Max saw the man in the black trench coat drop to the ground. A circle spread out like a dark halo.
“Sniper!” someone shouted.
The dead guy had fallen backward. Most likely shot from the front. Which meant. . . Max’s gaze rose to the rafters. With no light, it’d be the perfect hiding spot. But. . .who? Squirt? Aladdin?
The man guarding Colton stumbled forward, then went to his knees before hitting the cement.
The man in the black trench coat nearest the SUV dropped. A pool of blood spilled out.
“There!” One guard swung and fired his fully automatic at the ceiling. Four others followed suit, firing at the bank of grimy windows on the southeast wall of the building.
Max followed their direction and watched. Waited, his breath caught at the back of his throat. Cracks and shattering glass blended with the staccato punches of the guns to create a wild cacophony of noise. Max tuned it out, praying whoever—Aladdin or Squirt—wouldn’t be hit.
But then he saw it. A shift of a shadow. Like someone rolling. . .
The gunfire petered out as a body plummeted the eight feet to the ground.
The thud seemed to have supernatural powers as it pounded Max’s chest and pushed him back. Away from the window but not far enough that he lost line of sight.
Silence dropped on the Shack.
“Where’s Max Jacobs?”
As the question streaked through the warehouse, Max registered a red glow in the far corner. Even as he noticed it, he heard a beep. Another. His gaze darted to the source of the noise. Two men were walking the perimeter, their M16s dangling as they raised their arms and pressed something against the supports. Arms lowered and the men stepped back revealing gray bricks with wires.
Gotta stop this. Do something. His gaze collided with Cowboy’s. The big lug gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.
Max’s nostrils flared as he wrestled with what to do.
How do they know our names?
“Dead,” someone answered.
Pulled back into the shadows, Max clenched his eyes and bit down on his tongue. Dighton was dead. What about Aladdin—had he survived the fall?
Sirens wailed in the distance.
“Load ’em up.”
“What about Jacobs?”
“Outta time.” The leader left as the gunmen dragged the team out of the building.
Stealthily, Max held on to the box and sprinted the length of the hall to the side of the Shack. In the conference room, he plunged toward the window. Craned his neck to peek out. Three vehicles—twin white vans and a black town car.
The guys were loaded into the van and one into the car.
The leader shifted, held something out, then it wavered.
Max spun around, searching for an out. Doors. Only one way down—the stairs. But they led to the bay, which would be engulfed.
Windows. Overlooked the dock. The canal. It was January. The water would be brutal cold. His split-second assessment told him no matter what route he took, it’d be deadly. Despite his training, if he didn’t find shelter out of the water once he broke surface, he’d die an ice cube. If he stayed, he’d die a fireball.
Good thing SEALs are insulated against cold water.
Max vaulted toward the window, hurtling the computer through the window. The glass shattered as a violent force blasted through the air. It lifted him. Up. . .up. . . Flipped him. Searing pain sliced through his arm. Heat stroked his back and legs. Fire chased him out of the building. Into the night.
Another wave slammed into him. Threw him backward. Toward the water.
Something punched his gut. Knocked the breath from his lungs.
Bright white lit the night. Blinded him. Then—almost instantaneously—black. Pure black. And he was falling. . .down. . .down. . .
OTHER BOOKS BY RONIE KENDIG
Nightshade (Discarded Heroes #1)
Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2)
Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)
© 2011 by Ronie KendigISBN 978-1-60260-0785-9
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.
For more information about Ronie Kendig, please access the author’s Web site at the following Internet address: www.roniekendig.com
Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683,
Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses.
Printed in the United States of America.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Unfortunately, movies starring an all African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct. THAT’S RIGHT, EXTINCT! Ask any executive at a Hollywood Studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all black cast to break-even. Secondly they’ll say, most movies are now dependent on foreign sales to be successful and most "black" movies don’t sell well in foreign markets. So what that means is you will begin to see less and less films that star an all black cast. Isn’t that sad in a 2012 America? Somewhere along the way we still haven’t realized that we are more alike then not.
I must tell you that I have been very fortunate to work with a studio that sees the value in my type of storytelling and filmmaking. As well as having you, an audience of all races of people, who have stood by me arm and arm. It has helped me navigate through some pretty rough waters.
I thought that as black people in Hollywood, this is just our reality, but I quickly realized that this is not racism. What made me realize this is I had a conversation with Mr. Star Wars himself, George Lucas, and he was telling me that he was having the same problem with Red Tails. I was blown away! Red Tails is an important story about, not just black history, but American history about the Tuskegee Airmen. It has an all-star African American cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, which opens this Friday. He went on to say that he brought the movie idea of Red Tails to several studios and no one wanted to make this film…. AND THIS IS GEORGE LUCAS! Not to be deterred, he put up his own money, shot the movie then took it back to those same studios, and they wanted nothing to do with it. One of them even refused to see the film, citing the above mentioned problems. So George decided to take a huge risk by entirely funding the movie and releasing it himself. What a guy! For him to believe so strongly in this story is amazing. I think we should pull together and get behind this movie. I really do! Not just African Americans, but all of us. I have seen the movie and screened it here in Atlanta. I loved it and I think you will too. The Tuskegee Airmen, who were at the screening, were so happy that somebody is telling a small part of their story.
It opens this Friday. Please take your kids, you will enjoy it and so will they. There is a lot of action and adventure and also a great history lesson to be learned.
George, I just want to say, thank you for having the courage to do this.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of nine Essence bestselling novels, including The Ex Files, Too Little, Too Late, and Lady Jasmine. Winner of the African American Literary Award for Fiction and Author of the Year, she splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Visit the author's website.
ReShonda Tate Billingsley is an award winning former television and radio reporter, as well as the author of twenty-one books which have appeared on the Essence bestseller list more than twenty times. She is married with three small children and lives in Texas.
Visit the author's website.
Bestselling and award-winning novelists Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley bring their favorite heroines together in a novel that will delight their legions of fans.
Jasmine Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams are not your typical first ladies. But they’ve overcome their scandalous and drama-filled pasts to stand firmly by their husbands’ sides.
When a coveted position opens up—president of the American Baptist Coalition— both women think their husbands are perfect for the job. And winning the position may require both women to get down and dirty and revert to their old tricks. Just when Jasmine and Rachel think they’re going to have to fight to the finish, the current first lady of the coalition steps in . . . a woman bigger, badder, and more devious than either of them.
Double the fun with a message of faith, Sinners & Saints will delight readers with two of their favorite characters from two of their favorite authors.
List Price: $15.00
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (January 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451608152
- ISBN-13: 978-1451608151
AND NOW...THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS: