A warm Love Bytes welcome to author Ariel Tachna joining us to share a special post on her new upcoming Dreamspinner Press release “Talking in Code”.
Don’t forget to check out the double giveaway opportunity at the end !
Welcome Ariel 🙂
Talking in Code starts in media res. Eric, Tim, and Richard are already well and truly involved with each other, but the story includes references to moments before the book begins, moments that are not fully explored in the novel itself.
This is the last of those moments.
“Where the fuck is he?” Richard shouted, slamming his hands on the table as he stared at yet another report that gave no indication where Eric had disappeared to after his last mission. “People don’t just disappear into thin air. Even dead bodies leave a trace.”
“I don’t know,” Dav replied, and if Richard hadn’t known that the angrier Dav got, the colder and harder he became, he’d have been tempted to rail at him for the lack of visible emotion. Taking his own frustration out on Dav wouldn’t help anything, though. It had been four days since Eric hadn’t returned from a mission for the Pentagon, and Richard was ready to come out of his skin. When he’d missed the first check-in, they’d told themselves missions went wrong, and that Eric was smart and had gone to ground and would make the backup rendezvous. When that had come and gone, they’d contacted the Pentagon, only to be told that they’d lost contact with him. He was listed as MIA. Richard hadn’t needed to hear the presumed dead to know that they’d written him off, but Richard wouldn’t do that until he’d seen a body.
The Pentagon could write him off if they wanted, but Richard had never left a man behind. Never had, never would. The SEALs had finished what his father and grandfather had started, and he held that tenet sacred above all else. Even if they brought back a body—fuck it, they weren’t recovering a body. They were going to find him—they’d bring him back.
He just had to figure out where else to look.
His phone buzzed on his belt. He grabbed it, hoping desperately for some good news.
The screen showed a text from Westin, their contact at the Pentagon. He unlocked the phone and read the message. When you’re on a secure computer, I have a file for you.
Like every computer in their compound wasn’t secure. He sat down next to Dav. “Westin has something for us.”
“Let’s see it, then,” Dav replied.
Richard texted him back, and a moment later his in-box flashed a notification. The note from Westin simply said, I think you should see this.
Richard clicked on the video file. He frowned when a grainy image appeared on screen of a man with a sack over his head. Richard didn’t need them to remove it to know it was Eric. He’d recognize those arms anywhere. Dav didn’t need it either, to judge by his sharp intake of breath. He reached for Richard’s hand. Richard squeezed it, praying they weren’t about to watch an execution. The camera stayed focused on Eric’s body as two booted feet kicked him in the ribs, one from each side. He grunted but didn’t speak.
“Attack the”—static kept him from hearing the next word—“and he dies.”
The speaker pulled the sack off Eric’s head, revealing his battered face. Dav’s grip tightened to the point of pain, but Richard didn’t pull away. He needed Dav’s support as much as Dav needed his. Eric had been beaten badly, his right eye swollen nearly shut, but he wore his defiance like a badge of honor. Then the screen went black, and the video stopped.
Richard met Dav’s gaze and read the same anguish and determination in it that he felt.
“Get Heikkinen. I want this analyzed. They named a group. Find out what it was. And anything else she can learn.”
“On it,” Dav said. Anyone listening in would have heard nothing but Dav’s usual “taking care of business” voice, but to Richard, the tone screamed relief. As slim as it was, they had a lead now.
Richard grabbed his phone and called Westin.
“Okay, I’ve watched it. Tell me everything you know.”
“That’s just it,” Westin said. “I don’t know anything. I was reviewing the mission debriefs, trying to find anything to help, and it was there. No notations about when it was received or even who received it. Just the video.”
“Is someone trying to help us or hinder us?”
“I’m trying to help you. I can’t speak for anyone else. Unfortunately that’s not a lot to go on.”
“He’s alive. We just have to keep him that way long enough to get him out.” That was all Richard needed. Now that he knew Eric was alive, he wouldn’t stop until he was home. And heaven help the bastards who’d hurt him, because Richard would see them all in hell before he was done.
Talking in Code blurb:
Some things crumble under pressure. Others are tempered by it instead. For three former soldiers, a tragedy might be the catalyst that binds them together—stronger than ever.
Richard Horn and Timothy Davenport met in the SEALs twenty years ago and have been lovers ever since. Now running their own paramilitary organization, Strike Force Omega, they work in the shadows to protect their country and its people. When Tim falls for Eric Newton, a deadly sniper and strategist on their team, Richard accepts that Tim’s heart is big enough for two men. He respects, admires, and even desires Eric enough to accept him into their relationship—and their bed—but he’s never been fully a part of what Eric and Tim share.
Then Eric is captured by terrorists and Tim is gravely injured in an op gone wrong, bringing Richard’s world crashing down around his ears. Even if he gets his men out alive, Eric must face the aftermath of months of physical and psychological torture—and without Tim to lean on, Eric’s PTSD is tearing him apart. Richard has to figure out the third leg of their triangle fast, or Tim won’t have a life to come back to.
When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.
She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands). The cat pretends they’re all beneath her, no matter what language they’re speaking.
Ariel is giving away two Signed Paperback Copies to two people who have commented on the different blog posts around the blogs!
AND for one commentor here at Love Bytes there is a backlist title to win!
Good Luck 🙂