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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Aftermath by author Terri Blackstock!

Book Review

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Format: Hardcover - 336 pages
               Paperback - 336 pages
               Audiobook - 7 Hours 53 Minutes
               Kindle - 4726 KB / 332 pages
               Nook - 4 MB / 336 pages
ISBN (HC): 978-0310348580
ISBN (PB): 978-0310348580
ASIN (Audiobook): B08CVS1LZK
ASIN (Kindle): B08BZ14BV7
BNID: 978-0310348566
Genre: Romantic Suspense / Thriller

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

This gripping new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Terri Blackstock will leave you on the edge of your seat.

A devastating explosion.

Three best friends are at the venue just to hear their favorite band . . . but only one of them makes it out alive.

A trunk full of planted evidence.

When police stop Dustin with a warrant to search his trunk, he knows it’s just a mistake. He’s former military and owns a security firm. But he’s horrified when they find explosives, and he can’t fathom how they got there.

An attorney who will risk it all for a friend.

Criminal attorney Jamie Powell was Dustin’s best friend growing up. They haven’t spoken since he left for basic training, but she’s the first one he thinks of when he’s arrested. Jamie knows she’s putting her career on the line by defending an accused terrorist, but she’d never abandon him. Someone is framing Dustin to take the fall for shocking acts of violence . . . but why?

Praise For Aftermath:

“In Aftermath, Terri Blackstock plumbs the depth of human emotion in the face of devastating tragedy, grief, and loss. Yet, she still manages to give readers her trademark suspenseful story, sweet romance, and hope for the future. From gut wrenching scenes in a cancer patient’s hospital room to seeing the world through the eyes of a young woman with a debilitating mental health disorder, Blackstock pulls no punches about human frailties. Does the end justify the means? Romantic suspense lovers won’t want to miss Aftermath.”
—Kelly Irvin, bestselling author

“Justice may be blind but that doesn’t keep it from facing mortal danger. In Aftermath, expert storyteller Terri Blackstock ratchets up the suspense in a novel that delivers on every level. Conflicts rage and loyalties are tested to the ultimate limit. Set aside plenty of time when you pick up this book—you’ll not to want to take a break.”
—Robert Whitlow, bestselling author

Book Excerpt:


Chapter One

Taylor Reid’s phone flashed as she snapped the selfie with her two friends, their heads touching and their backs to the stage. The shot from the third row, with the lead singer in the background and the three of them in the foreground, was perfect. No one would believe their seats were so close.

They turned around to face the band, dancing to the beat of the song they’d been listening to in the car on the way to Trudeau Hall.

Taylor quickly posted the pic, typing, “Ed Loran targets nonpoliticals for his rally with band Blue Fire. Worked on us!”

She put her phone on videotape and zoomed onto the stage.

“I don’t want it to end!” Desiree said in her ear.

“Me either!” Taylor yelled over the music.

“Maybe they’ll play again after his speech,” Mara shouted.

The song came to an end, and the crowd went crazy, begging for one more song before the band left the stage.

But an amplified voice filled the auditorium, cutting off the adulation. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next president of the United States, Ed Loran!”

The crowd sounded less enthusiastic as the band left the stage and Ed Loran, the Libertarian celebrity magnet, made his entrance. Taylor kept cheering and clapping, letting her enthusiasm for the band segue to him.

It happened just as the candidate took the stage. The deafening sound, like some confusing combination of gunshot and lightning bolt, a blast that blacked out the lights and knocked her to the ground. Smoke mushroomed. Screams crescendoed—shrieks of terror, wailing pain, shocking anguish . . . then sudden, gentle silence, as if she were underwater. A loud ringing in her ears filled the void.

She peered under the seats, choking for breath as dimmer lights flickered through the smoke. Even from here, she could see the fallout of whatever had happened. Blood pooling on the ground, people hunkering down as she was, feet running . . . What was happening? An explosion? A crash? She looked around and couldn’t see her friends.

She clawed her way up and looked over the seat. Smoke and fire billowed from the stage into the crowd, and heat wafted over her like some living force invading the room. Muffled, muted sounds competed with the ringing.

Get out! Now! She dropped back down and crawled under two rows of seats until she came to someone limp on the floor. She felt herself scream but couldn’t hear her own voice. Scrambling to her feet, she went to her left to get to the aisle, but her foot slipped on something wet. She grabbed the seat next to her to steady herself, then launched into the frantic crowd in the aisle. The room seemed to spin, people whizzing by, people under her, people above her, people broken and ripped and still . . . She stepped and fell, crawled and ran, tripped and kicked her way to the bottlenecked doorway, then fought her way through it.

The ringing in her ears faded as she tumbled downstairs, almost falling into the lobby below. The sound of crying, coughing, wretching, and the roaring sound of pounding feet turned up as if some divine finger had fiddled with the volume.

She set her sights on the glass doors to the outside and pushed forward, moving through people and past the security stations they’d stopped at on the way in. She made it to the door and burst out into the sunlight.

Fresh, cool air hit her like freedom, but at first her lungs rejected it like some poison meant to stop her. At the bottom of the steps, on the sidewalk, she bent over and coughed until she could breathe.

After a moment, the crowd pushed her along toward the parking garage until she remembered that her car wasn’t there. She had parked on the street, blocks away. She forced her way out of the flow of people and ran a block south. Where was it?

She turned the corner. Her car was here, on this block. Near the Atlanta Trust Bank. Wasn’t it? Or was it the next block?

Sweat slicked her skin until she found her silver Accord. There!

She ran to it and pulled her keys out of her pocket, wishing she hadn’t lost the key fob. Her hands trembled as she stuck the key into the passenger side lock and got the door open. She slipped inside on the driver’s side, locked it behind her. Instinctively, she slid down, her head hidden as if someone were coming after her.

What just happened?

One minute they’d been taking selfies and videotaping the band, and the next they were on the floor . . .

Where were Mara and Desiree? She hadn’t even looked for them! Should she go back for them?

No, that would be insane. She could smell the smoke and fire from here. They would know to come to the car when they got out.

Call the police!

She tried to steady her hands as she swiped her phone on.

“911, what is your—”

“An explosion!” she cut in, her voice hoarse. “At the Ed Loran rally at Trudeau Hall!”

“Where are you now?” the woman asked in a voice that was robotically calm.

“I got out. There’s fire . . . People are still in there. Please send ambulances!”

“Ma’am, did you see what exploded?”

“No . . . the stage area, I think. I don’t know where my friends are. Please . . . hurry!”

“We’ve already dispatched the fire department and police, ma’am.”

She heard sirens from a few blocks away and cut off the call. She raised up, looking over the dashboard for the flashing lights. She couldn’t see any, but the sirens grew louder.

She knelt on the floorboard, her knees on her floormat and her elbows on her seat, and texted Desiree.

I’m at the car. Where are you?

No answer. She switched to a recent thread with Mara and texted again.

Got out. At car waiting. Where are you?


She dictated a group text to both of them.

Are you all right?

They were probably running or deaf, fighting their way out like she had. She tried calling them, but Mara’s phone rang to voicemail. When Desiree’s phone did the same, she yelled, “Call me! I’m waiting at the car and I’m scared. Where are you?” She was sobbing when she ended the call.


Excerpt from Aftermath by Terri Blackstock. Copyright 2021 by Terri Blackstock. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

My Book Review:

In Aftermath, author Terri Blackstock transports the reader to Atlanta, Georgia for an intriguing Romantic Suspense story that follows four people who are interconnected by the traumatic after-effect of an unexpected terrorist bombing at a political rally. 

Taylor Reed and best friends Desiree and Mara attend the political rally for US Presidential Candidate - Libertarian Ed Loran featuring a concert by the band Blue Fire. As the concert ends and Candidate Loran enters the stage, an explosion goes off from the stage. Taylor is the sole survivor of the three friends, and the bomb explosion killed a total of twenty-six people, including the presidential candidate. 

Dustin Webb is a veteran of the Army Ordnance Corps and co-owns GreyWebb Securities, a designer and installer of commercial security systems with Travis Grey, his best friend from the Army. An anonymous tip targets Dustin as carrying boxes of explosives in his trunk tied to a recent theft at ChemEx, an ammunition plant inwhich GreyWebb had installed a company security system. Dustin is arrested under suspicion of the theft and involvement in the political rally bombing.

Jamie Powell is a criminal defense attorney and Dustin's childhood friend. Dustin calls Jamie and asks her to represent him on the charges of felony possession of explosives and terrorism. Dustin claims that he is innocent and being set up, Jamie is determined to prove Dustin's innocence, and find the person responsible for the bombing. 

Travis Grey is Dustin's best friend and business partner in WebbGrey Securities. They served together in the Army Ordnance Corps. Travis has been at his wife Crystal's bedside at the hospital as she battles terminal cancer, and has been hoping that the new Leukemia treatment will help her recover. 

Aftermath follows the unexpected and traumatic inter-connection between Taylor, Dustin, Jamie and Travis, and how each of them deals with the aftermath from the terrrorist bombing at the political rally. A survivor, a wrongfully charged man, a childhood friend and defense attorney, and a business partner dealing with a family medical issue ... each struggles with the trauma and determination to find the person responsible for the bombing and getting justice. 

Author Terri Blackstock weaves a multi-layered and suspenseful tale written in the third person alternating narrative that easily draws the reader into this well written story. The richly descriptive plot will keep the reader guessing as survivor guilt, secrets, deceit, betrayal, unwavering friendship, and heartbreaking family drama, and unexpected twists and turns are uncovered. I loved the intertwining of the four characters' individual perspectives, and how their struggles leads them to search for justice after the traumatic devastation felt throughout Atlanta. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the backstory of Dustin and Jamie's childhood friendship, and the touch of Christian faith that is interspersed throughout the story. 

Aftermath is a fast-paced and riveting suspense story that will take the reader on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.


About The Author

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She’s the author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live, as well as such series as Cape RefugeNewpointe 911the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win A Copy Of Aftermath

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Terri Blackstock & Thomas Nelson. There will be ONE (1) winner of one (1) physical copy of Aftermath (US Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 10, 2021 and ends on June 5, 2021. Void where prohibited. 

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Schedule:

05/10 Guest post @ Novels Alive

05/10 Review @ Fredas Voice

05/11 Interview @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea

05/12 Guest post @ Author Elena Taylors Blog

05/12 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

05/12 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy

05/13 Review @ Beauty in the Binding

05/14 Review @ Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

05/14 Review @ Margaret Yelton

05/15 Showcase @ nanasbookreviews

05/16 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

05/17 Review @ Lovemybooks2020

05/17 Review/showcase @ Totally Addicted to Reading

05/18 Review @ From the TBR Pile

05/19 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres

05/20 Review @ Savings in seconds

05/20 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads

05/21 Review @ Kritters Ramblings

05/22 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs

05/23 Review @ Booking With Janelle

05/23 Showcase @ EienCafe

05/24 Showcase/Review @ Inkwell Inspirations

05/25 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books

05/26 Review @ Nesies Place

05/26 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books

05/27 Showcase @ BooksChatter

05/27 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

05/28 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads

05/28 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner

05/29 Review @ Geauxgetlit

05/29 Review @ Splashes of Joy

05/30 Review @ One More Book To Read

05/31 Review @ Nikki H. Roses Book Reviews

06/01 Review @ Read Review Rejoice

06/01 Reviuew @ rozierreadsandwine

06/02 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

06/02 Showcase @ Im All About Books


06/04 Review @ Just Reviews

06/04 Review @ Spookys Maze Of Books


  1. Thanks for the great review! I absolutely loved this book!

    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate it. I really enjoyed reading this story, especially how the author alternates the four characters storylines.