Authors: Ronie Kendig
kept me up all night! A tight plot, heartthrob heroes, and description so rich I could hear the jungle noise, feel the heat slide down my back. I’ll be clearing out a shelf to make room for Ronie’s books!
—Susan May Warren, RITA award-winning
Nothing But Trouble
VALOR, ACTION, ROMANCE, HEART …
is the perfect blend of everything I like best in a story. I can’t recommend it enough!
—John B. Olson, author of
, Ronie Kendig again displays her superb ability to reach from the page and pull the reader into a world of heart thumping espionage and richly flawed characters. Her heroes are some of the best I’ve read, and they are so unforgettable.
—Dineen Miller, author of
Winning Him Without Words:
10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage
Balancing a story of high action and deep emotions isn’t easy, but with
, author Ronie Kendig pulls it off with the casual grace of a truly talented storyteller. I don’t know what kept me on the edge of my seat more, the fast-paced military intrigue or the powerful tugs on my heart. Doesn’t matter: This is one pulse-pounding adventure you don’t want to miss.
—Robert Liparulo, author of
Comes a Horseman
Germ, and the Dreamhouse Kings
kept pace with thrilling suspense and strong characters that will live long past the last page. None of us realize the dedication of those who keep our world safe.
—DiAnn Mills, author of the Call of Duty series
An action-packed thrill ride from start to finish … if you liked CBS’s long running hit series
you’re going to love Ronie Kendig’s
. Enjoy the ride and the read. I only have one question … where do I sign up for Nightshade?
—Bob Hamer, veteran FBI undercover agent
and the author of
Enemies Among Us
THER BOOKS BY
(Discarded Heroes #1)
© 2011 by Ronie Kendig
Scripture taken from the H
. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. N
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:
Cover design: Müllerhaus Publishing Arts, Inc.,
Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. B
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.
Major Loren D. Kendig (Ret.)
Humble. Honorable. Patriot. Hero.
THANK YOU for your admirable and distinguished service
to our great country, at war and at home.
I am proud to be a part of your family!
My husband, Brian, and my amazing children for your patience, understanding, and excitement. I love you all so very much! I couldn’t do it without you!
Steve Laube—my agent, for believing, understanding, and accepting me.
The Barbour Staff—y’all rock! Special thanks to Rebecca Germany, Mary Burns, Shalyn Sattler.
Andrew Kendall – for the amazing Nightshade insignia!
Chuck Holton – for being part of my “arsenal” for military advice/direction. (Any mistakes in the Discarded Heroes books are purely mine.)
Yitshak Kugler, Eva Marie Everson, and Dr. Heater—for extensive help on Israel.
Critique Partners, Readers, & Endorsers: Dineen Miller, Kimberley Woodhouse, Robin Miller, Jim Rubart, Rel Mollet, Sara Mills-Mills, Shannon McNear, Bob Hamer, DiAnn Mills, Lori Twichell, Lisa Harris
Candace Calvert for help with trauma and medical questions. You’re a gem—thank you!!
Chaplain Carlton D. Hall—for your encouragement and help regarding our veterans and PTSD.
Wes & Jane Thornton for sharing from your hearts and lives.
Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones, and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family.
Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my Country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.
If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.
Silent Warriors. Always Faithful. Always Forward
nvaluable skills came with bloody faces and dead objectives that left Colton Neeley wishing he could rub his eyes raw. Those same skills were the reason Uncle Sam had denied his request for an early exit from his commitment with the Marine Special Operations Command/Team. And the same reason he couldn’t muster enthusiasm for his friend who’d been granted his freedom.
“Never thought you’d get out.” Colton slumped back against the wood slats of the lawn chair, watching his four-year-old daughter, McKenna. She sat on the fifty-foot dock that stretched over the private pond. She tossed a pink lure-tipped line into the water as his dad helped.
“You and me both.” Beside him, his partner and MARSOC buddy Griffin Riddell sat with his elbows propped on his knees. “What about you? Thought you wanted out.”
“Denied.” The word felt like a weight around his gut. Colton shifted his gaze to the water rippling around Mickey’s bobber. “Eleven years wasn’t enough for Uncle Sam. Said my sniping and recon skills were too invaluable.”
Griffin whistled. “Man, after what you went through in Fallujah, I half expected them to toss you without so much as a thank-you-very-much.” His grunted. “How you doing with that?”
Colton picked up his soda and took a swig. “S’pose I’ll be all right.” He glanced over at the grill. Probably should get up and flip the meat in a few.
“Two months as a hostage. That don’t just disappear, know what I’m saying?”
Oh he knew all right. More than knew. Though Colton didn’t want to remember, the mention of that city and what happened snapped faces into his mind like a flickering silent movie, bringing with it phantom pains in his spine and legs.
“What about the flashbacks?”
“Daddy, look!” McKenna’s mouse-like voice squeaked as she giggled. With his father next to her, she held up the end of her fishing line. “I caught a seaweed.” Another giggle.
“Save it, Mickey,” he called toward the pond, where his daughter sat between his mom and dad on the short pier. “We’ll grill it.”
She batted white-blond hair from her face as her papa took the rod. “Daddy.” The cutest scowl tugged at her fair features and blue eyes as she planted her hands on her hips and turned to him. “You can’t eat it, silly. It’s a weed.”
He chuckled as she and his mother baited the line, while his father pointed out that if they’d use real worms, they’d catch something besides weeds. Naturally, Mickey and his mom ewwed out the option.
Though Colton’s attention never left his family, the patient, waiting gaze of his buddy burned through Colton’s resolve. He shook his head, knowing he wouldn’t get out of answering that question. About the flashbacks.
Fallujah. The girl …
“I see that kid’s face every day and every time I look at Mickey.” The brown eyes. The misinterpreted trust.
Clearing his throat, he sat up straighter. “Started therapy last week.” He shrugged, scrounging for hope that this would be over soon. “Like the counselor. Joined an experimental group for a new med—seems to be working.”
“Going all the way, huh?”
“I want to be whole. Get out there and play with Mickey and forget that two months of captivity almost paralyzed me, that the hum of a light isn’t my brain getting fried.” He roughed a hand over his face. “Forget it, man. This is the Fourth. We have a barbecue.”