Aftermath by Terri Blackstock | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

Aftermath

May 10 – June 4, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

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 Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 11th 2021
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0310348587 (ISBN13: 9780310348580)
Series: Aftermath is a stand-alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Aftermath

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?

Nothing.

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.

 

 

Author Bio:

Terri Blackstock

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 Refuge, Newpointe 911, Moonlighters, and the Restoration series.

Q&A with Terri Blacksrock

What was the inspiration for this book?

I’ve watched with horror over the last couple of decades as we’ve watched terrorist attacks of various kinds happen in our country. As a writer, I can’t help trying to solve those crimes, and my mind and heart always go to the victims and what they were going through in the aftermath. I’ve wanted to write about those events many times, but I hesitated, because I haven’t wanted to exploit them. There’s a real danger of trying to sensationalize something that is already sensational and immensely painful.

But I wanted my hero to be falsely accused of something terrible. In order to avoid being exploitative, I chose not to have the terrorist attack be gun-related. I tried to make it different than specific recent events, but still evoke some of the horror of what really happens in these incidents. When my hero is accused of such a horrible act, he has to turn to his childhood friend and old flame who’s an attorney.

What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?

Several years ago, I had an injury that caused permanent nerve damage in my lower back, and it has resulted in intractable chronic pain. It’s made writing very difficult. I’ve had to learn all sorts of unique and creative ways to get my writing done without sitting at my desk. If I didn’t have such a passion to write, it would have been a great excuse not to. But somehow I’ve managed to write multiple books, mostly while lying on my side. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

What do you absolutely need while writing?

I used to need silence and solitude, but my husband retired a couple of years ago, so I’ve had to relearn how to work. Now I just need to have as few distractions as possible. If I have any other event that day, such as an appointment or a visit, it tends to distract me enough that I find it hard to get into the zone. So I have to guard my writing time very carefully so that I can get anything done.

Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?

For most of my career, I’ve had a pretty strict routine. When my children were growing up, I wrote during school hours. I still do that, though my pain does limit the hours I can work, so I’m not able to write all day like I used to. If I waited until the ideas were flowing, I might never write. I find that writing causes the ideas to flow.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I think Dustin Webb, the hero, is my favorite character. He’s a complicated man who lost his parents when he was six. He was in and out of foster homes until, when he was thirteen, his aunt finally took him in. She was very harsh and disapproving, which made him constantly feel like he didn’t measure up. But the nine year old girl next door looked up to him and insisted on being his friend. They remained close friends through their teens and into adulthood, and while he acted like a big brother, he secretly harbored deeper feelings toward her. When she started dating, it was torture for him, so he joined the Army to get himself out of the picture. He hasn’t contacted her since.

Jamie has since become a well-known attorney, and when Dustin calls her, she’s surprised to have him back in her life. She’s missed him all these years, and never understood why he dropped out of her life. But he’s in a mess, and she’s not sure she can get him out of it.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?

I actually combined two book ideas to come up with the plot of this book. I had pieces of manuscripts I’d started, and when I started this book, I realized they worked perfectly together. So I combined the aftermath of the terrorist attack with the relationship between Dustin and Jamie, and I was happy with how it came out.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for being such loyal readers through all the books I’ve written. Your reviews, letters and comments are so gratifying to me, and make me feel like the faith and hope messages in my books actually impact lives.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I started writing romance novels in my twenties, and sold thirty-two books to publishers in that field, under a couple of pseudonyms. But thirteen years in, I had a spiritual awakening, and I took a huge turn and decided that I wanted to write faith-based books, and since I read more suspense than romance, I decided to switch to suspense. I thought I’d be cutting the number of my readers significantly when I started using my married name, Terri Blackstock, but the books resonated with readers, and I wound up with many more than I had before. It was the best decision I’d ever made, because it reflected what I was most passionate about in my life, and it gave my writing more purpose and meaning than it had before.

What’s next that we can look forward to?

I’m currently working on a spin-off of one of my most popular series, the IF I RUN series. I’ve decided to write three more books with those same characters, and I’m working on the first one now. It will be a different series, but will have the same feel that those original three books had.

Visit her at:
www.TerriBlackstock.com
Goodreads
BookBub
Instagram – #terriblackstock
Twitter – #terriblackstock
Facebook – @tblackstock

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

 

 

Giveaway:

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

by Terri Blackstock

 

Giveaway:

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 6, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

 

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