Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Margaret Daley, author of Shattered Silence!

Author Guest Post

A Hero - A Texas Ranger
By Margaret Daley

I'm a visual person and when I write, I visualize my plot. So when I began planning my first book in the Men of the Texas Rangers Series, it was important that I selected the right male to be cast in the role of Wyatt Sheridan in Saving Hope. Then I remembered seeing Australia with Hugh Jackman and I knew he was perfect to be my Texas Ranger. 

He embodied everything I wanted: hunky, well built, handsome, rugged looking, confident, protective - an alpha male. 

On top of those qualities he looked good on a horse.

Cowboys are popular in romance books for a reason. Modern day cowboys remind us of our past when the Wild West was conquered (risk takers, fighters, protective, sometimes loners). I sometimes think of them as American's knights. But it isn't just cowboys that give that persona but so do police officers, firefighters and men in the military. Their job is to protect the public - to keep evil at bay.

When I began thinking about my second hero in the series for Shattered Silence, I saw the commercials for Vegas with Dennis Quaid. I thought a young Dennis would be perfect for Cody Jackson, my Texas Ranger in Shattered Silence.

There is something about a man in a uniform that is sexy, appealing - whether a firefighter, police officer or in the military. To me their uniform is like a knight's armor. 

A uniform commands our attention. Draws our attention to the man wearing it. 

With my series about the Men of the Texas Rangers, I got to combine the lure of the cowboy and a police officer. Texas Rangers are the state police for Texas. There are only a few of them (around 140) to cover a big state. They do have a uniform they wear that reflects their origins for the Wild West (when they were formed in the nineteenth century in Texas) and their police duties. 

A Texas Ranger's uniform is slacks (tan, dark blue, black or brown), dress shirt (light solid color, often white), a conservative tie, boots, cowboy hat (usually, tan, ivory or white) and their silver star worn on their shirt over their heart. There can be slight variations depending on the captain of the company. They wear the silver star badge over their heart. 

My series is about the modern day version of the Texas Rangers. I have four books in the Men of the Texas Rangers Series. Saving Hope came out in March 2012. Shattered Silence came out in October 2012, Scorned Justice will be out in March 2013 and Severed Trust in October 2013. 

About The Author

Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-two books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household.

Her latest book is the Christian fiction suspense Shattered Silence, about a series of murders that seem like a hate crime, but things aren’t what they appear.

Margaret Daley's Shattered Silence Virtual Book Tour Page On Pump Up Your Book!

Book Review

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Format: Paperback - 336 pages / Kindle - 764 KB / Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 1426714297
Genre: Christian Fiction - Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Shattered Silence: Men of the Texas Rangers Series - Book 2

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.

Book Description:

A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders.

While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. Fighting their attraction, Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area. What they uncover isn’t what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana’s faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?

Book Excerpt:

Maria Martinez lay flat on the dust-covered wooden planks, her right eye pressed against the hole in the floor of the abandoned house. Pedro won't find me here. I'll win this time.

A sneeze welled up in Maria, and she fought to stop it. She couldn’t. Quickly she looked through the small opening to make sure Pedro hadn’t come and heard her. Her older brother always thought he could do everything better than her. Not this time. He’d never think to look here. He’d think she was too afraid to hide here. A rattling behind her sent a shot of fear through her. She went still. Her lungs held her breath and wouldn’t let go.

There's no such thing as ghosts. He just told me that to scare me. I'm not a baby. I'm eight.

Her words fueled her courage, and she popped up to look over her shoulder. Nothing. Just the wind blowing through the broken window. Maria sank to the floor in relief and took up her post again. Watching through the hole. If Pedro came into the house, she’d be ready to hide. He was not going to find her. For once, she would have the last laugh. He was just two years older, but the way he acted, you’d think he was Papa.

Another sound caught her attention. Down below. Footsteps. She started to hop up and scramble to her hiding place nearby,but a gruff, deep male voice stopped her. Not Pedro. Who? With her eye glued to the hole again, she waited to see who it was. Another voice—a woman’s—answered the man then she laughed. A funny laugh—like Pedro when he made fun of her.

“Dumb. Evil eye,” the woman taunted in Spanish.

The man raised his voice, speaking in the same language so fast Maria had a hard time keeping up. Mama insisted on only speaking English at home. Now she wished she was better at Spanish. But she heard some words—the ones he slowed and emphasized, repeating several times in a louder voice: whore, a few cuss words that got Papa in trouble if he said them at home. The deep gruff voice ended with, “You will pay.”

The woman laughed again, but the sound died suddenly. “What are you doing?” she said in Spanish.

Maria strained to see the two people. The lady moved into her line of sight as she stepped back, shaking her head, her long brown hair swirling in the air. Maria glimpsed the top of a tan cowboy hat that hid the man’s face from her.

The beautiful lady held up her hands. “No!”

The fear in that one word chilled Maria.

Before she could think of what to do, a gunshot, like she’d heard on TV, blasted the quiet. The lady jerked back. She glanced down at her chest, then up, remaining upright for a few heartbeats before crumbling to the floor.

Maria froze. Her mind blanked. T

The man came closer to the still lady on the floor, her unseeing dark eyes staring right at Maria, pinning her against the wooden planks. She saw the gun as he lifted his arm and aimed it at the woman. He shot her in the stomach then the forehead.

Maria gasped.

The man must have whirled away. Suddenly he wasn’t in her line of vision. She bolted to her feet as the sound of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs echoed down the hallway.

Terror locked a vise about Maria and held her in place.

Then her gaze latched onto her hiding place—one she’d found when she’d first come to the house. She’d laughed out loud that her brother would never find her there. Now she wasn’t so sure it was perfect.

But the approaching footfalls prodded her into action. She had no other choice. She clambered toward the couch as quiet as she could. She ripped the seat cushion off and squeezed herself into the small place someone must have used before. The pounding of her heartbeat in her ears drowned out the sound of his footsteps.

The man threw open a door at the end of the hall. The slam of it against the wall startled Maria as she set the cushion over her like a shield a knight used in a movie she’d seen. When he’d stormed a castle, hundreds of arrows rained down on him. He had survived. Could she?

The scent of mold and dust threatened to set off her sneezing. She held her hand over her mouth and nose praying that would stop her from making any sound. As the man’s footsteps came nearer, her heartbeat reverberated against her skull, again overriding all other sounds. Surely he could hear it. Find her.

Please, Lord, help me. Mama said you protect children.

But not her prayers or her fear calmed her thundering heartbeats.The racket grew louder inside her chest and clamored in her ears. Her head spun. She uncovered her mouth to try and breathe deeply. She couldn’t get enough air.

The door opened, crashing against the wall. She flinched, hoping the seat cushion hadn’t moved.

Please. Please, Lord. I'll be good.

The footsteps approached the center of the room.

Lightheaded, Maria closed her eyes as if that would hide her from the bad man. Something scurried over her leg. Something big. A rat? The urge to flee her hiding place robbed her of any thoughts. She curled herself into the tightest ball she could and prayed, her chest rising and falling so rapidly the darkness continued to swirl behind her closed eyelids.

An eternity passed. A brush of whiskers reinforced her fright. She tensed, expecting any second the cushion being plucked off her hiding place or sharp teeth sinking into her. A warm gush between her legs and the odor of pee heightened her terror. He would smell it and . . .

I'm going to die. Mama ...

My Book Review:

After the death of his ex-wife, Texas Ranger Cody Jackson and his fifteen year old son Kyle moved from Houston to Durango. He wanted to get his son away from the dangers of the city and out of the influential clutches of his step-father, who belongs to a white-supremacist group currently under investigation. Unfortunately some of the step-father's bigoted racial influences has rubbed off on Kyle, causing him trouble at school. Cody also moved to Durango to help find the person who was responsible for the shooting of his mentor, Texas Ranger Al Garcia, who was forced into retirement.

Liliana Rodriguez is a Detective with the Durango Police Department. Liliana is no stranger to trouble, she grew up in an abusive household, and her sister Elena is continuing the vicious cycle of staying in an abusive marriage.

When a serial killer targets illegal Mexican immigrants in Durango, Cody and Liliana are partnered together to investigate the murders. As they work together to solve the murder cases and a case involving a smuggling ring, there is an attraction that builds between them even though they try to fight it. With tensions building in the community between Americans and Mexicans, and the struggle to deal with their own personal issues, can Cody and Liliana solve the cases and find love among the tension and violence?

Shattered Silence is a suspense thriller that packs a powerful punch. Mixing murder, racism, bigotry, bullying, and domestic violence with a healthy dose of romance, faith and inspiration, author Margaret Daley weaves another spellbinding tale in the second book of the Men of the Texas Rangers Series. While this book may be part of a series, each book has new characters and can stand alone. Written in the third person narrative with alternating perspectives by Cody and Liliana, this riveting story has a lot of subplots that will keep you engaged and guessing what will happen next.

Rich in details, vivid descriptions and intriguing subplots; with characters that are realistic and complex; and with dialogue and interactions that are engaging, Shattered Silence is an exciting story full of romance, suspense and thrilling twists and turns that make this one heck of an entertaining read!

Shattered Silence is part of a series of books that combines romance and suspense with social issues and Christian inspiration and faith that will engage and entertain readers from beginning to end, and keep you yearning for more.


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