FBI Special Agent Marissa Panuska faces the most explosive case of her career when she impersonates a female terrorist to infiltrate an al-Qaeda cell. Her dark hair, olive complexion, and Arabic fluency make her the perfect imposter, but each passing hour raises the risk of discovery. Can she stop the dirty-bomb plot—alone—when the Feds don’t even know the target? And should she trust the mysterious man who bursts into her life when her cover is blown?
Former Navy SEAL Ameen Ali has a very personal reason for hating the terrorists and vowing to stop them. But when a beautiful woman joins the sleeper cell spreading death-to-America propaganda at his mosque, he doesn’t want to believe she shares their evil goals. Can he convince her to join forces before it’s too late?
Night had fallen when Samir parked the truck in front of the dilapidated house in the drug-infested Tijuana slum. Once he killed the headlights, the moon provided the only illumination along the crumbling asphalt road. Wedged between Samir and Omar on the seat, Marissa Panuska scanned the neighborhood of decaying buildings, hoping to catch a reassuring glimpse of the two agents who were out there—somewhere—following her, watching her back.
On five previous occasions, the terrorists had brought her to their hideout in Mexico, just across the border from San Diego. Marauding drug gangs ruled the area where crackling gunfire was as common as barking dogs. The constant smell of weed permeated the air and stung her nostrils. The residents were rarely visible, preferring relative safety behind walls.
Marissa’s gaze swept over the run-down house, checking for any signs of change or trouble. Boards protected the windows from prying eyes, and a padlock secured the door against thieves. The electrical connection dangling from the sagging overhead lines was one of the few in the slum, and the satellite phone antenna on the roof was definitely unique.
After an anxious look around, Omar jumped out to unlock the door before all three darted inside. Samir switched on the lamp that sat on the floor by the door. Ignoring the stench from the barely functioning bathroom, they hurried past it and the bedroom on the left. A narrow archway separated the front room from the larger back room, which included a rudimentary kitchen along one wall. The furnishings consisted of six metal folding chairs, a wooden table, and three tall lamps. Several boxes of electronic parts, including a new one, were lined up near the rear door. The place was filthy, but no one cared.
The stifling heat in the closed-up house stole Marissa’s breath. Sweat dampened her skin beneath the long, black abaya and niqab, the Muslim robe and veil she wore over her other clothes. While the men turned on the lights, she sank onto one of the flimsy chairs, morbidly wondering if she was more likely to die from heat stroke than at the hands of the terrorists.
Holding the niqab away from her face, she drew slow, deep breaths and grimaced at the pain in her lungs and stomach. The stress of impersonating Baheera Abbas, of pretending to be the female terrorist previously unknown to the US intelligence community, gnawed at Marissa’s nerves. If only she could determine Baheera’s role in the planned attack, she might be able to finish the covert operation, might be able to survive. Every passing minute held the threat of discovery and diminished that possibility.
Marissa is a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, she cut pictures of people out of magazines and turned them into characters in her stories. Now she writes edgy romantic thrillers and steamy contemporary romance. She lives in SoCal with her husband, but enjoys traveling from Athens to Anchorage and many locations in between.
15 thoughts on “Guest Release–TARGETED (FBI Heat Book 2) by Marissa Garner”
Thank you, Linda, for having me here today. I’d like to dedicate my visit to the victims of the horrific attack in Orlando yesterday. TARGETED deals with terrorism: the barbaric atrocities the terrorists are capable of committing and how hard our law enforcement people are working to stop them. In my stories, the good guys always win and the terrorists don’t. Unfortunately, real life isn’t so kind. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Orlando victims and their families.
It’s horrible that life and fiction can be so alike. I hope in the future our authorities can prevent such attacks. Best wishes, Marissa, on your new release.
Thanks, Diane. I agree. I know from my research that the FBI often feels like its hands are tied and it can’t do what it would like to do.
I enjoyed your post. The excerpt was fascinating. My heart goes out to the Orlando victims. Good luck with promotion and sales.
Thanks, Judy. Promotion seems harder than writing the book. LOL
You create great tension in this scene!
Since it also sounds like the Orlando shooter was unstable I want to add that our mental health system needs to improve. It seems like there are so many more people with depression, ADD, bi-polarism, and other related issues. Could it be in the foods we eat?
Anyway–I find this whole series you’ve written to be very compelling and can’t wait to read them all!
Thanks, MJ. I agree about the mental health system. My MIL is bipolar, and we’ve been through hell and back taking care of her.
Wow. A lot of tension in your excerpt. It was great.
My prayers go out to the victims in Orlando as well. This problem is one that keeps me up at night. We have to start talking about the mental health of people who do things like this.
The scene was great! And I love your cover. Good luck to you.
Thanks, Kara. Glad you liked the scene. The whole story is really edgy.
Fantastic detail in the excerpt, Marissa. You’ve captured all the senses and put me right there in that squalid room in Tijuana. The series is on my TBR list…can’t wait to read them. (Prayers to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in yesterday’s attack.)
Thanks, Leah, for putting my series on your TBR list. Hope you enjoy my stories.
Certainly sounds like an interesting book/series!
Good luck and God’s blessings.
Thanks, Pam. I’m very excited about the series!
Wow! Tense suspense, for sure. So relevant today. Best wishes with this project and all your endeavors.
Thanks, Susan. Yay, tense is good. LOL