Winner of RONE Award for Best Suspense
Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . .
That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden—with the potential to attack America. Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security?
Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?
“An awesome book with the perfect amount of suspense, mixed with romantic tension and great chemistry between the main characters.”
“With everything happening in the world today, this story hits so close to home. It is very chilling to read, especially as they head to Afghanistan on a rescue operation.”
Rafe Kelly never thought he’d fall in love with Claire Michaels, the hostage negotiator sent to get him out of a life or death situation. Though it was easy to see from the beginning that Claire was good at her profession, Rafe quickly realized she was even better for him personally―and that they might have a future together.
When they get back from their mission in Afghanistan, however, Claire goes back to the Hostage Negotiation Team and Rafe is left to deal with the huge hole in his life after leaving the SEALs. Trying to balance an uncertain future with a new relationship is made even more complicated when a family crisis strikes. Will Rafe and Claire be able to turn to each other for strength or are they over before they’ve really begun?
“We get a follow up on Rafe and Claire’s romance and I loved it. It’s sort of like a P.S.”
“This was a great little novella to help you to get to know Claire and Rafe’s story better!”
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?
Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out—if she tells him the truth.
Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him—including the woman at the center of it all?
“Two hundred and nineteen pages of action-packed and romance-laced intense suspense! SO. GOOD!”
“With a great plot, wonderful characters, (the good and the bad guys) explosive action,and just the right touch of romance, Ashes Ashes will leave you wanting to read more from this talented author.”
As a suspect in Senator DeMarco’s murder, Sophia Naziri worked hard to bring the true killer to justice and prove her innocence. But she pays a high personal price trying to clear her name when she’s held hostage and nearly killed—and Sophia can’t put it behind her just yet.
Matters get even more complicated when classified information regarding the murder is leaked. Sophia is besieged by the press and trapped even further by the memories that won’t let her move on. In order to escape the situation, Sophia heads to a secluded cabin with Detective Colby Black so they can lay low and figure out who the leak is. But can Sophia find the peace she craves? Or will the circumstances that brought her and Colby together now drive them apart?
“The perfect finishing touch to Ashes Ashes. I often find myself wondering what happens to the characters once the crime is solved and this gives a wonderful insight to that. The emotions of the characters dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy had me in tears.”
“I really enjoyed this novella after-story for Colby and Sophia. I love how we are able to see what happened to them after their first adventure.”
Winner of the RONE Award Honorable Mention for Best Suspense
They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer . . .
Hostage Negotiation Team member Bart Gutierrez is shocked to find Lucy Aguayo, a girl he knew as a teenager, working for the deadly Castillo drug cartel. This revelation uncovers a secret in Bart’s family so big it forces him to accept a dangerous offer: infiltrate the cartel to keep his family safe. Once inside the cartel’s headquarters he discovers that a large-scale attack on America is imminent and the only way to prevent it is to bring Lucy in on his plans—and hope she doesn’t betray him.
Lucy Aguayo has become a key player in the Castillo cartel, but not for money or power—she’s on a mission of vengeance for her father’s murder. Just when she gets a chance to bring down the cartel leader responsible, Bart Gutierrez appears, stirring up buried feelings and disrupting all her plans. But as the enemy closes in from all sides, Lucy must choose between being free from her past or finding justice for it. Can she give up everything she’s ever worked for and reach for something more?
“Awesome, believable, and suspenseful!”
“Pocket Full of Posies by Julie Coulter Bellon has inspired me to begin reading novels once again! I want to read ALL of her books now!”
Bart Gutierrez has returned from Colombia with a new outlook. After reconnecting with Lucy Aguayo, he can’t imagine his life without her now. But before they can move forward, their dangerous past comes back to haunt them. Can they face it together or will it tear them apart?
Lucy has been undercover for five years and her new life takes some getting used to. Bart and his family have welcomed her with open arms and just as she starts to believe her newfound happiness isn’t going to be snatched away, government agents show up unannounced and give her an ultimatum—do one last operation for us or you won’t like the consequences.
Everything doesn’t go as planned, however, and their lives are on the line. Can they survive the mission and put the past behind them once and for all, in order to have the future they’ve always wanted?
“I feel like this book is a little morsel of chocolate or something. It’s always tricky to nail a novella, but Julie Coulter Bellon does it! There’s just the perfect amount of romance and suspense in this bonus story.”
“I love how Julie Bellon writes. She is one of my very favorite authors in this genre.”
As the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer, Sarah Reed has known loneliness and loss. In order to cope, she makes a life for herself that’s full of routine while building a wall of ice around her heart. Everything about her is as predictable as she can make it until a tiny detour for her ex-husband, Ron, changes her life forever. Caught in a bomb crisis, Sarah is taken hostage by a man who wants Ron and everyone around him to suffer—and his idea of suffering is more terrible than Sarah had ever dreamed.
Captain Ron Reed has seen the worst of humanity in his job with the Hostage Negotiation Team, but he never expected his past to come back with a vengeance—literally. Aaron Starks, a criminal explosives expert, has stolen next-gen bomb technology and uses it to force Ron to bargain for the lives of his team and his ex-wife, Sarah, the woman he still loves. But the situation escalates when Ron discovers that Starks has an even bigger objective in mind—using the bomb to show how vulnerable America and her people truly are.
Ron is willing to risk everything to save his country and those he loves, but when negotiations break down, will his sacrifice be too little too late?
“Another breath-taking winner!”
“Amazing ending to a fantastic series!”
Author note: I love highlighting our men and women who serve and protect us whether they are military or law enforcement. I’ve met some great people in the profession who have helped me get it right, but who have also showed me that even though they don’t think they are heroic, they really are heroes.