Today, HJ is pleased to share with you Sandra Brown new release: Seeing Red
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers nonstop suspense and supercharged sexual tension in a thriller about tainted heroism and vengeance without mercy.
Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas
hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media.
Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major–even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.
Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra’s hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.
Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.
Enjoy an excerpt from Seeing Red:
Did you think you were going to die?”
The Major pursed his lips with disapproval. “That question
wasn’t on the list I approved.”
“Which is why I didn’t ask it while the cameras were rolling.
But there’s no one here now but us. I’m asking off the record.
Were you in fear of your life? Did dying cross your mind?”
“I didn’t stop to think about it.”
Kerra Bailey tilted her head and regarded him with doubt.
“That sounds like a canned answer.”
The seventy-year-old gave her the smile that had won him
the heart of a nation. “It is.”
“All right. I’ll respectfully withdraw the question.”
She could graciously pass on it because she’d got what she’d
come for: the first interview of any kind that The Major had
granted in more than three years. In the days leading up to this
evening’s live telecast from his home, he and she had become
well acquainted. They’d engaged in some lively discussions, often
taking opposing views.
Kerra looked up at the stag head mounted above his mantel.
“I stand by my aversion to having the eyes of dead animals staring
down at me.”
“Venison is food. And keeping the herd thinned out is ecologically
necessary to its survival.”
“Scientifically, that’s a sound observation. From a personal
and humane standpoint, I don’t understand how anyone could
place a beautiful animal like that in the crosshairs and pull the
“Neither of us is going to win this argument,” he said, to
which she replied with matching stubbornness, “Neither of us is
going to concede it, either.”
He blurted a short laugh that ended in a dry cough. “You’re
right.” He glanced over at the tall gun cabinet in the corner of
the vast room, then pushed himself out of his brown leather La-
Z-Boy, walked over to the cabinet, and opened the windowpane
He removed one of the rifles. “I took that particular deer
with this rifle. It was my wife’s last Christmas present to me.”
He ran his hand along the bluish barrel. “I haven’t used it since
Kerra was touched to see this softer side of the former soldier.
“I wish she could have been here for the interview.”
“So do I. I miss her every day.”
“What was it like for her, being married to America’s hero?”
“Oh, she was super-impressed,” he said around a chuckle as
he propped the rifle in the corner between the cabinet and the
wall. “She nagged me only every other day about leaving my dirty
socks on the floor rather than putting them in the hamper.”
Kerra laughed, but her thoughts had turned to The Major’s
son, who’d made no bones about his aversion to his father’s
fame. She’d felt an obligation to invite him to appear on the program
alongside The Major, perhaps just a brief appearance in
the final segment. Using explicit language that left no room for
misinterpretation, he had declined. Thank God.
The Major crossed to the built-in bar. “So much talking has
made me thirsty. I could use a drink. What would you like?”
“Nothing for me.” She stood and retrieved her bag from
where she’d set it on the floor beside her chair. “As soon as the
crew gets back, we need to hit the road.”
The Major had ordered a cold fried chicken picnic supper
from a local restaurant for her and the five-person production
crew. It was delivered to the house, and, after they’d eaten, packing
up the gear had taken an hour. When all was done, Kerra
had asked the others to go gas up the van for their two-hour
drive back to Dallas while she stayed behind. She had wanted a
few minutes alone with The Major in order to thank him properly.
She began, “Major, I must tell you—”
He turned to her and interrupted. “You’ve said it, Kerra. Repeatedly.
You don’t need to say it again.”
“You may not need to hear it again, but I need to say it.”
Her voice turned husky with emotion. “Please accept my heartfelt
thanks for . . . well, for everything. I can’t adequately express
my gratitude. It knows no bounds.”
Matching her solemn tone, he replied, “You’re welcome.”
She smiled at him and took a short breath. “May I call
you every once in a while? Come visit if I’m ever out this way
“I’d like that very much.”
They shared a long look, leaving the many insufficient words
unspoken, but conveying to each other a depth of feeling. Then,
to break the sentimental mood, he rubbed his hands together.
“Sure you won’t have a drink?”
“No, but I would take advantage of your bathroom.” She left
her coat in the chair but shouldered her bag.
“You know where it is.”
This making the fourth time she’d been to his house, she was
familiar with the layout. The living area looked like a miniature
Texas museum, with cowhide rugs on the distressed hardwood
floor, Remington reproductions in bronze of cowboys in action,
and pieces of furniture that made The Major’s recliner seem
miniature by comparison.
One of the offshoots of the main room was a hallway, and
the first door on the left was the powder room, although that
feminine-sounding name was incongruous with the hand soap
dispenser in the shape of a longhorn steer.
She was drying her hands at the sink and checking her reflection
in the framed mirror above it, making a mental note to
call her hairdresser—maybe a few more highlights around her
face?—when the door latch rattled, calling her attention to it.
“Major? Is the crew back? I’ll be right out.”
He didn’t respond, although she sensed someone on the
other side of the door.
She replaced the hand towel in the iron ring mounted on the
wall beside the sink and was reaching for her shoulder bag when
she heard the bang.
Her mind instantly clicked back to The Major taking the rifle
from the cabinet but not replacing it. If he’d been doing so
now and it had accidentally discharged . . . Oh, my God!
She lunged for the door and grabbed hold of the knob, but
snatched her hand back when she heard a voice, not The Major’s,
say, “How do you like being dead so far?”
Kerra clapped her hand over her mouth to hold back a wail
of disbelief and horror. She heard footsteps thudding around in
the living room. One set? Two? It was hard to tell, and fear had
robbed her of mental acuity. She did, however, have the presence
of mind to reach for the switch plate and turn off the light.
Holding her breath, she listened, tracking the footsteps as
they crossed rugs, struck hardwood, and then, to her mounting
horror, entered the hallway. They came even with the bathroom
door and stopped.
Moving as soundlessly as possible, she backed away from the
door, feeling her way past the sink and toilet in the darkness, until
she came up against the bead board wall. She tried to keep
her breathing silent, though her lips moved around a prayer of
only one repeated word: Please, please, please.
Whoever was on the other side of the door tried turning
the knob and found it locked. It was tried a second time, then
the door shook as an attempt was made to force it open. To
whomever was trying to open it, the locked door could only
mean one thing: Someone was on the other side of it.
She’d been discovered.
Another set of footsteps came rushing from the living area.
The door was battered against with what she imagined was the
stock of a rifle.
She had nothing with which to defend herself against armed
assailants. If they had in fact fatally shot The Major, and if they
got past that door, she would die, too.
Escape was her only option, and it had to be now.
The double-hung window behind her was small, but it was
the only chance she had of getting out alive. She felt for the lock
holding the sashes together, twisted it open, then placed her fingers
in the depressions of the lower sash and pulled up with all
her might. It didn’t budge.
Bambambam! The rapid succession of blows loosened the
latch and splintered the wood anchoring it.
Because silence was no longer necessary, Kerra was sobbing
now, taking in noisy gulps of air. Please, please, please. She whimpered
the entreaty for salvation from a source stronger than she
because she felt powerless.
She put all she had into raising the window, and it became
unstuck with such suddenness that it stunned her for perhaps
one heartbeat. Another violent attempt to break the latch separated
metal parts of it. She heard them landing on the floor.
She threw one leg over the windowsill and bent practically
in half in order to get her head and shoulders through. When
they cleared the opening, she launched herself out and dropped
to the ground.
She landed on her shoulder. A spike of pain took her breath.
Her left arm went numb and useless. She rolled onto her stomach
and pushed herself up with her right arm. After taking a few
staggering steps to regain her balance, she took off in a sprint.
Behind her she heard the bathroom door crashing open.
A blast from a shotgun deafened her and sheared off an upper
branch of a young mesquite tree. She kept running. It fired
again, striking a boulder and creating shrapnel that struck her
legs like darts.
How many misses would they get before hitting her?
There were no city lights, only a sliver of moon. The darkness
made her a more difficult target, but it also prevented her
from seeing more than a few feet ahead of her. She ran blindly,
stumbling over rocks, scrub brush, and uneven ground.
Please, please, please.
Then without warning, the earth gave out beneath her. She
pitched forward, grabbing hold of nothing but air. She was helpless
to catch herself before smashing into the ground and rolling,
Excerpt. ©Sandra Brown. Posted by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.
Giveaway: 2 Print copies of SEEING RED by Sandra Brown. *US/CAN*
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Meet the Author:
Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-eight New York Times bestsellers. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas. For more information you can visit www.SandraBrown.net.