Saturday, June 4, 2011

Seven Days From Sunday by M.H. Sargent.

Seven Days From SundayKindle Price:
Available from:
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In this fast paced thriller, Iraq’s top terrorist makes two promises – a kidnapped American contractor will be executed on a given date, his body dumped in Baghdad’s Green Zone and a major attack will occur in seven days. 

Working desperately to find the American and thwart the impending attack is an elite 4-man CIA team which includes an attractive female doctor. But they can only watch helplessly as the terrorist and his masked henchmen behead the American during a live video feed carried on the Internet. 

What they don’t know is that one of the masked men is not a terrorist, but completely innocent. He is an Iraqi pharmacist who has infiltrated the group. His only objective – to find his missing fiancée, who the terrorist has also kidnapped. 

After the beheading, he is free to go. But little does he know that his girlfriend will bring the American head to the Green Zone, and inside the dead man’s mouth is evidence linking him to the terrorist. 

With the clock ticking, the CIA team knows that their only chance to stop the terrorist rests with the pharmacist and his beautiful fiancée. But can they really be trusted?

About M.H. Sargent

I graduated from UCLA with a BA in English with one goal in mind - writing.  After stints at several small newspapers in Southern California and free-lancing for various magazines, I wrote several screenplays, which seems to be a prerequisite for writers living in the Los Angeles area. Several were sold, although none produced. However, that provided me with an income and allowed me to keep writing.
In 2005 I wrote Seven Days From Sunday – the first book in what later became a series featuring the same small, elite CIA team. After getting absolutely nowhere with agents, I took the self-publishing route with Amazon. My fictional CIA series, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, now includes Seven Days From Sunday, The Shot To Die For, Operation Spider Web and The Yemen Connection.

CIA Station Somewhere in Kuwait – Wednesday, April 12th, 7:41p.m.
“I’m sure he was a DUCK,” Gonz said as they made their way through the different corridors. Dr. McKay couldn’t help but peek into the various offices as they passed by. She saw people working on computers, talking on phones, and several talking amicably at a small table in the modest cafeteria. This could be any work place in America, McKay thought. She had been surprised when the Gulfstream V had landed on a runway that seemed to her to be placed in the middle of nowhere – the middle of an uninhabited desert. There were no structures to be seen anywhere. The plane had taxied for some time, then stopped. When the door opened, a Humvee sat nearby waiting for them.
The Humvee had driven a few miles along a sandy track before coming to a gleaming white single-story structure with darkly tinted windows. With no roads leading to it, only the sandy track, it looked as if it had been picked up from a commercial tract in a U.S. suburb and plunked down in the middle of the desert. While she had been surprised that they hadn’t landed in Kuwait City or even Hawalli, she wasn’t surprised that the CIA had a secret base in Kuwait. After all, the Kuwaitis were still thankful to the U.S. for their intervention in the first Gulf War.
“Walks like a DUCK, smells like a DUCK, it probably is a DUCK,” Gonz said with a grimace. “But we need to know.”
McKay nodded. “DUCK” was the acronym for “Dead Upon Kidnapping.” Since the term was pronounced like the mallard, everyone was soon spelling it that way too. It simply meant that a civilian was as good as dead as soon as he or she was kidnapped. This was almost always the case if the civilian was an American. A few European and Japanese civilians had been kidnapped in Iraq, but they were usually quickly ransomed for big money. Those few lucky souls were referred to as “KFC,” not a reference to Kentucky Fried Chicken, but “Kidnapped For Cash.”
“I still don’t get it,” McKay said. “Why act like she doesn’t speak a word of English until she’s here?”
Gonz gave her a quick smile. “That’s another thing to find out. But the fact that she speaks English isn’t all that surprising. Many young adults in Iraq speak English now – even the women.” He stopped and opened a heavy steal door, motioning for her to go first. McKay stepped into yet another corridor, this one poorly lit and quite narrow. “All the way to the end,” Gonz told her. As her eyes adjusted to dim surroundings she saw another door at the end of the hallway. Once again, Gonz opened it for her, as if they were on a date and he was opening the door of a restaurant.
They now entered a small viewing room with two rows of stadium-style theater seats facing a large glass wall. Beyond the glass McKay saw the Iraqi woman facing them as she sat stiffly in a chair, her hands, still locked in handcuffs, resting on a table in front of her. From a shelf under the glass window, which McKay knew was a two-way mirror, Gonz handed her a very small plastic earpiece. “Go with the flow. If I want you to head it in another direction, I’ll say so,” Gonz explained. “The volume is very low. She won’t overhear anything.” She watched as he placed an external ear piece with boom microphone over his own ear. McKay then placed the device in her right ear.

Interview with M.H. Sargent

N.L.Earnshaw: What will readers like about your book? 

M.H. Sargent: It gives a glimpse into what life is like for a typical Iraqi family living in a war zone while showing how difficult it is for U.S.  intelligence officers to gather credible information.
N.L.Earnshaw: What is your writing process? 

M.H. Sargent: I usually work best early in the morning. I like to write for about five hours each day. The rest of the time is taken up with marketing my books.

N.L.Earnshaw: How long does it take you to write your first draft? 

M.H. Sargent: About eight months. Then I review it carefully, tweak it and then it goes to my editor.

N.L.Earnshaw: What inspired you to write this particular story? 

M.H. Sargent: When the U.S. went into Iraq I kept wondering what the people in that country were thinking. Were they hopeful? Fearful? I came to realize the most important thing to any of us is our family and that is true no matter where you live. So I wrote a story about a family that inadvertently becomes the target of the CIA.

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