Nightshade [NOOK Book]

Overview

Soldiers all across the globe are returning home to their families after brutal tours of duty. They are discharged from the service. . .and on their own. Meet Max Jacobs, one of these discarded heroes, as he faces a wall of failure—in his career, his friendships, and his marriage. Failing again—this time to end his life—he is offered a thread of hope. Are covert government operations the answer for him, or will they only bring more danger and dissension upon his broken family?

...
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Nightshade

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Overview

Soldiers all across the globe are returning home to their families after brutal tours of duty. They are discharged from the service. . .and on their own. Meet Max Jacobs, one of these discarded heroes, as he faces a wall of failure—in his career, his friendships, and his marriage. Failing again—this time to end his life—he is offered a thread of hope. Are covert government operations the answer for him, or will they only bring more danger and dissension upon his broken family?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Katy's Budget Books
Ronie Kendig has outdone her debute release, Dead Reckoning with Nightshade. This intense story full of action, is also full of emotion and life. Men dealing with issues they hadn’t planned on. Surprise after surprise and bomb after bomb set this adventurous trail with the reader racing to the end. I found myself crying and smiling and hated it when it ended. But, I have it on good authority that that there are more Discarded Heroes stories coming. Ronie, I can’t wait!
Jan Crow
Long and Short Reviews
Ronie Kendig delves into the hearts, minds, and souls of the characters to give the reader an exciting, emotional, evocative look at the resiliency of people and their capacity to love.

Nightshade is timely in its depiction of the atrocities present in our world today, yet it is timeless in its revelation of love and faith that never gives up. Tough fighters, true heroes that love without reservation and have deep abiding faith—men that show “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend” makes Nightshade memorable.
Marianne Arkins

Changeling Press and Whispers Publishing
It was an enjoyable,emotional read from start to finish. Ms.Kendig drew characters I could relate to, people I wanted to get to know better. I cried several times, identified with their emotions throughout and did not want to stop reading. I was hard pressed to stop for anything, even when my eyes got so tired that the words blurred on the screen.
Lili Booth
RT Book Reviews
Kendig doesn't have to worry about a sophomore slump. Heart-pounding action, intrigue and handsome, fearless heroes combine as readers crisscross the globe following the exciting missions of the Nightshade team.
Chandra Mcneil
TheChristianManifesto.com
The characters in this book were extraordinary. I immediately sympathized with Max. Reckless abandonment combined with internalized hurts where highly effective in creating a character the reader could love. It was a little harder to sympathize with Sydney though. Her actions were understandable and there’s no excusing Max’s behavior, but her decisions, especially late in the story made her more frustrating to follow. Other members of the Nightshade team were wonderfully intriguing and presumably subsequent books will fill in some of their backgrounds.
Unknown
My Own Little Corner of the World
Wow, wow, wow! This is one fascinating read and I recommend it to EVERYONE!
Julie Johnson
Empowering Mommy
Nightshade was not only excellent read for me but my husband intends to pick up the book and read it now too. With the suspense and military action (along with questions I had for him), this book appeals to far more than just women.
Rachael Coe
The Gandy's Home Base
Nightshade is the first book I have read for a review. I am a fan of love stories and the military and this one did not disappoint. Ronie Kendig really captured my heart with the military members and kept the story full of action and romance! I always enjoy a book that has someone comes to Christ and learns to trust God, as it is such a victory for them! I was constantly waiting to see what was going to happen next and really struggled to put the book down. Following many characters at the same time can sometimes cause the reader to be confused, however Kendig did a good job separating the story lines, then merging them together. She had great descriptions of the locations, pain, love, and fear that the characters were going through. I even squirmed when the viper dropped down! I was thankful for the Characters/Glossary and the Glossary of Terms, especially since the Nightshade team went by nicknames.
Molly Gandy
Author of Nothing But Trouble

Nightshade kept me up all night! A tight plot, heartthrob heroes, and description so rich I could hear the jungle noise, feel the heat slide down my back. I’ll be clearing out a shelf to make room for Ronie’s books!

— Susan May Warren

Author of Powers

VALOR, ACTION, ROMANCE, HEART... Nightshade is the perfect blend of everything I like best in a story. I can’t recommend it enough!

— John B. Olson

Christians Read: Books Review

— Pat Kirk
RT Book Reviewss
Kendig doesn't have to worry about a sophomore slump. Heart-pounding action, intrigue and handsome, fearless heroes combine as readers crisscross the globe following the exciting missions of the Nightshade team.
Chandra Mcneil
Michelle Sutton
Nightshade is a fast paced military thriller.There were many complexities in this story that required solid plotting, and that was very well done.The author clearly understands the way men think and did a great job showing that. Same with the strained marriage relationship and the ex-military type teamwork. The Nightshade team acted like they were ex-special ops, which made the story that much more intriguing.
Healing Hearts
Christians Read: Books Review

— Pat Kirk
Author of Powers - John B. Olson

VALOR, ACTION, ROMANCE, HEART... Nightshade is the perfect blend of everything I like best in a story. I can’t recommend it enough!
Author of Nothing But Trouble - Susan May Warren

Nightshade kept me up all night! A tight plot, heartthrob heroes, and description so rich I could hear the jungle noise, feel the heat slide down my back. I’ll be clearing out a shelf to make room for Ronie’s books!
Katy's Budget Books - Jan Crow

Ronie Kendig has outdone her debute release, Dead Reckoning with Nightshade. This intense story full of action, is also full of emotion and life. Men dealing with issues they hadn’t planned on. Surprise after surprise and bomb after bomb set this adventurous trail with the reader racing to the end. I found myself crying and smiling and hated it when it ended. But, I have it on good authority that that there are more Discarded Heroes stories coming. Ronie, I can’t wait!

RT Book Reviews - Chandra McNeil

Kendig doesn't have to worry about a sophomore slump. Heart-pounding action, intrigue and handsome, fearless heroes combine as readers crisscross the globe following the exciting missions of the Nightshade team.

Long and Short Reviews - Marianne Arkins

Ronie Kendig delves into the hearts, minds, and souls of the characters to give the reader an exciting, emotional, evocative look at the resiliency of people and their capacity to love.

Nightshade is timely in its depiction of the atrocities present in our world today, yet it is timeless in its revelation of love and faith that never gives up. Tough fighters, true heroes that love without reservation and have deep abiding faith—men that show “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend” makes Nightshade memorable.

Changeling Press and Whispers Publishing - Lili Booth

It was an enjoyable,emotional read from start to finish. Ms.Kendig drew characters I could relate to, people I wanted to get to know better. I cried several times, identified with their emotions throughout and did not want to stop reading. I was hard pressed to stop for anything, even when my eyes got so tired that the words blurred on the screen.
Michelle Sutton - Healing Hearts

Nightshade is a fast paced military thriller.There were many complexities in this story that required solid plotting, and that was very well done.The author clearly understands the way men think and did a great job showing that. Same with the strained marriage relationship and the ex-military type teamwork. The Nightshade team acted like they were ex-special ops, which made the story that much more intriguing.
My Own Little Corner of the World - Julie Johnson

Wow, wow, wow! This is one fascinating read and I recommend it to EVERYONE!
Empowering Mommy - Rachael Coe

Nightshade was not only excellent read for me but my husband intends to pick up the book and read it now too. With the suspense and military action (along with questions I had for him), this book appeals to far more than just women.
The Gandy's Home Base - Molly Gandy

Nightshade is the first book I have read for a review. I am a fan of love stories and the military and this one did not disappoint. Ronie Kendig really captured my heart with the military members and kept the story full of action and romance! I always enjoy a book that has someone comes to Christ and learns to trust God, as it is such a victory for them! I was constantly waiting to see what was going to happen next and really struggled to put the book down. Following many characters at the same time can sometimes cause the reader to be confused, however Kendig did a good job separating the story lines, then merging them together. She had great descriptions of the locations, pain, love, and fear that the characters were going through. I even squirmed when the viper dropped down! I was thankful for the Characters/Glossary and the Glossary of Terms, especially since the Nightshade team went by nicknames.
TheChristianManifesto.com - Unknown

The characters in this book were extraordinary. I immediately sympathized with Max. Reckless abandonment combined with internalized hurts where highly effective in creating a character the reader could love. It was a little harder to sympathize with Sydney though. Her actions were understandable and there’s no excusing Max’s behavior, but her decisions, especially late in the story made her more frustrating to follow. Other members of the Nightshade team were wonderfully intriguing and presumably subsequent books will fill in some of their backgrounds.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607421931
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: Discarded Heroes , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 92,925
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with their four children, a Maltese Menace, and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. Author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction. Ronie can be found at www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction), Twitter (@roniekendig), and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/RonieK).

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Read an Excerpt

Nightshade


By Ronie Kendig

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Ronie Kendig
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60742-194-8


CHAPTER 1

Cracking open the throttle ignited a wild explosion of power and speed. Zero to sixty in less than three seconds left Max Jacobs breathless. Gut pressed to the spine of his Hayabusa, he bore down the mountainous two-lane road away from civilization, away from ... everything. Here only pine trees, concrete, and speed were his friends.

His bike screamed as it ate up the road. The thrill burst through him. He needed the rush. Craved it. Stop running, Max. Her words stabbed his conscience. Made him mad.

Rounding a bend, he slowed and sighted the drop-off in the road—remembered a full 10 percent grade, straight down. His gaze bounced between the speedometer and the cement. Common sense told him to decelerate. The boiling in his veins said otherwise.

He twisted the throttle.

Eighty.

Max leaned into the bike and felt the surge.

Ninety.

He sucked in a breath as he sped toward the break.

The road dropped off. The Hayabusa roared as the wheels sailed out. He tried to grip the handlebars tighter as nothing but tingling Virginia oxygen enveloped him. Silence gaped.

This could be it. This could end it all. No more pain. No more life without Syd ...

Take me. Just take me.

The Hayabusa plummeted.

Straight down. Concrete. Like a meteor slamming to earth.

The back tire hit. A jolt shot through the bike. Then the front tire bounced. Rattling carried through the handlebars and into his shoulders. He grabbed the brake—

Stupid! The brake locked. Rear tire went right. He tried to steer into the skid but momentum flipped him up. Over. Pops snapped through his back as he spiraled through the air. In the chaos his bike gave chase, kicking and screaming as it tore after him.

Crack! Pop! The sound of his crashing bike reverberated through the lonely country lane.

Scenery whirled. Pine trees whipped into a Christmas-color frosting. Tree bark blurred into a menagerie of browns, drawing closer and closer.

Thud! His head bounced off the cement. He flipped again.

Finally. It'd be over. He closed his eyes. No more—

Thud! "Oof." The breath knocked from his lungs. Pain spiked his shoulders and spine. Fire lit across his limbs and back as he slid from one lane to another. Down the road, spinning. Straight toward the trees.

He winced, arched his back. Kicking, he tried to gain traction. If he wasn't going to die, he didn't want to end up paralyzed. Just like you not to think it through.

He dumped into a ditch.

Smack!

Everything went black.

He blinked. Pain shrieked through his body, his thighs and shoulders burning. "Argh!"

Max pried himself onto all fours, hanging his head. A crack rent the face shield. A wicked throb pulsed through his temples and ... everywhere. He fought with the helmet. Growled as he freed the straps. He pawed it off, cursing at the thing for saving his life. Those head whacks as he somersaulted through the air should've punched a hole in his skull. Warmth dribbled down his brow. He pressed a palm against his forehead. Sticky and warm. Blood. He grunted and strained to look across the road. Mangled. Twisted. His bike. Him.

Why couldn't God just let him die? Humanity would be one up, and he wouldn't have to face his consummate failures in life. "Just let me go!" he growled and pounded a fist against the pavement. He'd do anything to go back to the Middle East, pump some radicals full of lead, and unleash the demon inside. Anything that told him he still had purpose in life.

But that wasn't an option anymore. Another bad choice. Could he get anything right? Maybe his father had been right to up and leave them. Just like his mother.

A glimmer of light snagged his attention. Less than a mile down the road, a black SUV barreled up the road from town. Max tensed. He'd seen a vehicle like that three times in the last week. But out here? In the middle of nowhere, invading his self-inflicted punishment? This wasn't a coincidence. And he didn't like being hunted.

Max dragged himself into the trees, wincing. Using his forearm, he wiped the blood from his face. Why? Why couldn't he just die? Nothing here for him. No reason.

Sydney ...

He banged the back of his head against the tree. Pain drove through him like an iron rod. Good. It felt good to hurt. A relief to the agony inside.

Glass popping and crunching snapped his attention to the road. The SUV sat like a giant spider. He wondered who was in the vehicle as he eased farther into the foliage. A carpet of pine needles concealed his steps. He glanced back to the intruder.

The SUV shifted as a man climbed out. Large, African American, and an expression that said he didn't mess around. Whatever the guy wanted, he wouldn't take no for an answer. At least not easily.

Even from ten yards away, Max could see the muscle twitching in the man's jaw. He swallowed and licked his lips, readying himself for a confrontation. He swung back and gazed up at the canopy of leaves. Could he hoof it back to his apartment? Gathering his strength, he shrugged out of the shredded leather jacket, wincing and grunting as it pulled against raw flesh.

"You through? Or you want another go at it?"

What? Max peered around the trunk, surprised to find the man at the edge of the road, hands on his hips as he stared into the trees.

"We took you for stronger." The man glanced back at the bike. "But maybe you're nothing but broke and no use to no one."

Heart thumping, Max jerked back and clenched his teeth. Who was this joker?

"So, what's it going to be, Jacobs? You ready to face a little reality?"

How does he know my name? "Who are you?" Max hissed as the tree rubbed his raw shoulder. "What do you want?"

"You."

Max drew the SOG knife from his pocket and opened it. Holding it down, he pushed into the open, making sure his injuries didn't show him weak. "What's the game?"

The man's eyebrow arched. He angled his left shoulder forward, tugged up his sweater's sleeve, and flexed his oversized bicep. A tattoo expanded across his muscle. Marine. MARSOC, if Max made out the symbol correctly. Marine Recon Special Operations—impressive.

An ally? As he struggled out of the ditch and back onto the road, Max collapsed the blade. Heat rose from the cement, aggravating the exposed flesh on his back and legs.

"Navy and Marines, you and me. Almost brothers. It's the Rangers I don't like. So, I forgive you for coming at me with a blade. This time."

Max stared. Confusion—and pain—wrapped a tight vise around his skull.

"What's it going to be, squid?" The guy pointed to the wreck of a bike on the road. "You don't have a ride back to town. So why don't you climb in and listen to what I have to say?"

Might ignore the nickname jab, but the guy assumed too much. "You flash a tattoo and think I'll just bend my knee? I don't think so." A silent brotherhood had closed Max's knife. But he didn't want company. The oaf's or anyone else's. But how else would he get home?

"What? You think you're going home? To your can opener and mattress?"

Mr. Recon had a point. Still, he knew too much, and that made Max stiffen—fiery shards prickling his back.

"No obligation. Show me a little respect, and just hear me out."

At least, as the man had said, he'd have a ride. Eyes on the large man, Max pocketed the knife as he trudged to the other side of the SUV and opened the door.

He paused at the plastic covering the seat. He jerked his gaze to the driver.

Mr. Force Recon grinned. "You're predictable, Jacobs."

Max lowered himself onto the seat, cringing as new fire crawled over his back and legs. He buckled in, the irony of the seat belt crossing his mind. "So what's this about? Why have you been following me?"

A crisp cologne swirled in the air-conditioned interior as Mr. Recon folded himself behind the steering wheel. "You've been recruited, Lieutenant Jacobs."

Max snorted. "Already did my time. I'm out." He gulped against the flurry of emotions within.

"Yeah? How's that working out for you?"

Glaring, Max resisted the urge to thrust his SOG into the guy's gut. He'd left the service for Sydney. Only it'd been too late. And in one fell swoop, he lost everything. "Why don't you tell me? You seem to know everything."

Mr. Recon pursed his lips and nodded. "Okay." He rubbed his jaw. "You were discharged ninety days ago. In that time, you've been arrested twice, once for fighting. The second time—less than three days ago—for assault against your now-estranged wife."

The words cut deeper and stung worse than his now-oozing flesh. Max looked at his hand and flexed his fingers.

"Yesterday you were hit with a permanent protective order by said wife. She filed for separation." He leaned on the console and again arched that eyebrow. "How am I doing?"

"If you knew anything about me, you'd dull your edge."

Wrist hooked over the steering wheel, Mr. Recon continued unfazed. "The military discharged you. Honorably. A veteran of two wars. Untold combat situations and medals. They tried to put you out medically two years ago, but you fought it."

"And won."

"Yessir." The man nodded for several seconds. "So, why now? Why'd you let them put you out this time?"

Max shoved his gaze to the heavily tinted windows. That was a story nobody needed to hear. Bury it six feet under and walk away.

"You're a discarded hero, Lieutenant Jacobs."

Head whipped back to the driver, Max fought the urge to light into the guy. But something in the amused eyes betrayed a camaraderie. An understanding. Acceptance.

"Who are you? What's your story?"

"Name's Griffin." He bobbed his head as they pulled onto the highway, driving east toward the Potomac. "My story ...?" A toothy grin. "Let's just say I got smart."

The sound of crinkling and rustling plastic pervaded the cabin as Max shifted to alleviate a pinprick fire shooting down his leg. He hissed and clamped a hand over his thigh. "So, what's the gig?"

"The gig is whatever nobody else will do. What you should ask about is our group—and I do mean our group, Lieutenant. Because you are fully a part of this. Are you ready to step out of the medical trappings of your discharge, of the devastation that has become your life since you've returned from your last tour?"

Max grunted. "Yesterday."

"That's what I like to hear." Tires thumped over docks as Griffin steered into a warehouse. "Then this is where it starts."

CHAPTER 2

You did the right thing."

Sydney Jacobs traced the knot patterns in the oak tabletop without looking at her mother. Vanilla-scented steam spiraled up from the mug of hot tea cradled in her hand. Maybe she had done the right thing.

Maybe not.

The only certainty right now was how miserable she felt. Despite the receding pain in her cheek and jaw, her emotional scars hung thick and heavy around her heart. It wasn't supposed to be like this....

Pushing the depressing thoughts away, she took a cautious sip and set down the drink.

Her mom slipped into the chair next to her with her own coffee and a basket of pastries. "I know it's hard to see outside the bubble that has encased your life, but you needed to do this." Reaching between the mug and pastries, she touched Sydney's shoulder. "For you."

Sydney traced the lip of the mug then sighed. "It's been a week, and I can still see the fury in his eyes." She fought the tremor slithering through her lips. A piece of her resented the man who was supposed to protect her—her husband! Another piece understood that war had ravaged his mind, his soul.

He'd always been intense. That very attribute had drawn her to his dark eyes and smile. Max never did anything halfway. Full throttle to the end. But he'd gotten worse with each tour, with each stint away from her. Proof of his volatility lay in the telltale yellow, slightly swollen bruise on her cheek. She shouldn't have tried to break up the fight. Now she looked like a victim, and Max an abuser. The thought twisted her heart.

Her mom nudged the basket closer. "Go on. I got apple fritters, your favorite."

Sydney wrinkled her nose. "Not really hungry." With a shuddering sigh, she lifted her tea and took another sip.

"You have to eat. I won't watch my daughter waste away."

"I'm far from that." Sydney rose and headed to the sink with her mug. "I'm going to head in to work. I need to get my mind on something productive." She dumped her coffee. The liquid raced around the stainless steel basin. Brown. Swimming. Just like her muddied marriage. Right down the drain.

Why couldn't she save it? Where had she gone wrong?

"Please eat something. You're rail thin."

She whipped toward her mother to argue—but her world spun. Dizzy. Hollowness devoured her hearing. She held her forehead and blinked.

"You okay?" Concern flooded her mother's voice as she joined her, touching Sydney's shoulder. "I am really worried about you, sweetie."

Hands on the sink, she squared her shoulders. "Well, don't. This isn't exactly where I wanted to be with my life, but ... I'll be fine."

How had she gotten here? From a lavish wedding, through five years of marriage, building a beautiful home with Max, one she'd thought would draw them back together ... and now, he was gone. Not allowed within fifty feet.

"How about if I meet you for lunch?" Her mother's gaze bore into Sydney. "I'd like to check out that little Chinese restaurant we passed on the way home yesterday."

Max doesn't like Chinese.

Sydney's eyes burned, and she bit her lip against the quivering. "Yeah." Drawing herself up, she donned a faux air of confidence. "I'd love some orange chicken."

"Sweet and sour for me."

"Okay." She could do this. "One o'clock at Chang's." Sydney gave her mom a quick hug and strode toward her bedroom, anxious to be free of her presence. Although loving and caring, her mother also knew how to smother. Like right now. And Sydney needed time and room to think. Odd that she'd head to work at a busy newspaper in Virginia to do that.

She pushed open the door—and stopped. The bed she'd shared with Max for the last five years gaped, opening a cavernous hole in her heart. They would never share a bed again. She'd never again lie in his arms, feeling warm and safe. Sydney eased the door closed and leaned against it, her hands still on the knob. Head propped on the wood, she blinked back tears and looked up at the ceiling.

God, why?

After mentally shaking off the question, she shoved away from the door. Not going to mope. Wouldn't get her anywhere. She stomped to her closet where clothes flanked her, and she ran her fingers over the fabrics. Her hand rested on a silky top, one Max had always called sexy.

A pang knifed her heart. The same top she'd worn when he'd erupted. Anger lashed out. Hadn't she done everything possible to save their marriage? And what had he done? He'd walked away. He sure didn't have a problem fighting for his military career, but when it came to her and their marriage, the hero she'd fallen in love with had vanished. Argument after nasty argument with her begging him to seek help. Their pastor had even volunteered to do it for free. But Max only roared louder. Somehow he seemed to think it made him less of a man. Or weak. God forbid he be weak—after all, the SEAL creed demanded perfection.

With a sigh, she bent and retrieved a black turtleneck from the lower shelf. Then gray slacks. An ensemble to give her a conservative, got-it-together appearance.

If only she did.

In the bathroom she worked a straightening iron through her hair then added some pomade to limit the frizz that would kink her strands in the moist Virginia air. Fingering the long strands into place, she noted how the fluorescent lights hit the bruise marring her cheek. Maybe a little more makeup. After dabbing some flesh-colored base onto the spot, she appraised herself in the mirror. Not bad. Hopefully enough not to draw attention.

She turned sideways, gauging her weight. Hmm, perhaps Mom was right. But since when was "a little thin" bad? She grabbed her tote and headed to the front door. After yet another promise to meet her mother for lunch, Sydney made her way to work. Funny how every turn, every signal felt ... different. Yet inanely the same. She tilted the rearview mirror and eyed herself. Double-checked the puffy cheekbone—concealer worked wonders. Would anyone notice? Would they stare?


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Nightshade by Ronie Kendig. Copyright © 2010 Ronie Kendig. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    An Awesome read.

    NIGHTSHADE by Ronie Kendig is an awesome Military Thriller. It is the first in the Discarded Hero's series set in today's world around the world. It is an elite Black Ops team that goes to hot spots around the world no one else will touch to rescue and neutralize. These six men have been wounded and discarded by the military, but one high ranking official puts them together as a team that makes up "NIGHTSHADE". It is well written with detail and depth. The characters are awesome and pull you into the story and keeps you there on the each of your sit. It has faith, action, violence, death, compassion and a team to reckon with. This is a gut wrenching action paced story. In this first story, the hero, Max, is finding it hard to adjust in the civilian world. He has lost the love of his life, his wife who is wanting a divorce, due to his anger issues. Then Nightshade invites him into their world, which is just starting the new team, makes him the team leader. We are introduced to the rest of the team in this first story. The heroine, Sydney, is Max's soon to be ex, is also trying to be a news reporter, stumbles onto information about Nightshade, which creates problems for her, she ends up in the area where Nightshade is a work. I would highly recommend this book especially if you enjoy action packed, fast paced, military Special Forces.This is a must read book. A keeper. This book was received for review from Net Galley and details can be found at My Book Addiction and More and Barbour Publishing.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Nightshade is a team of Discarded Heroes

    I had the privilege of interviewing Ronie Kendig, on our radio show "Kingdom Highlights", for her new book, "Nightshade" Book One in the Discarded Heroes series published by Barbour Publishing.

    My all time favorite TV show is Mission: Impossible. Every week this elite team of spies would go and do the impossible in insanely short periods of time. Well "Mission" is back, sorta, in this new series, Discarded Heroes, because they are an elite team, called "Nightshade" of 6 men all honorable discharged from various military services who are having a tough time readjusting to civilian life. Along comes a sponsor who wants to create a military team to go and rescue villages or situations that the government cannot handle. So this is "Mission" from a military point of view. This team is not sanctioned by the U.S. Government and if they are caught mo one will admit they know of their existence.

    First up in the spotlight is the leader of "Nightshade" Max Jacobs, a former Navy SEAL. Max has his problems he has seen too much, done too much and now, as a civilian, he is one angry man who simply cannot control his temper. His wife is unhappy and files for divorce just at the time when he is approached to head the team. Does this sound like a soap opera? Trust me it is not. This is a page-turning, blood-rushing, adrenaline-pumping extremely clever thriller! There are exciting events happening on the home front and there are equally exciting events happening with their missions and everyone's life is in danger through the course of this book. It is how Max learns to deal with everything that gives it a human focus.

    "Nightshade" is more than a thriller it is a story of relationships. The relationships are the most important things that a person ever has in this life and Ms. Kendig makes this very relevant in this book. The book begins with the death of a marriage and the birth of the team which is similar to a marriage and there is also the marriage of the group that the team has to extricate. How we deal with each other is the way we make our lives. We can be lonely and alone or we can be vulnerable and have deep relationships with lasting results. I was very pleased with Ms. Kendig's first book in this series; well done! I look forward to the next book, "Digitalis" with enthusiasm. I recommend it highly.

    If you missed the interview for "Nightshade" and would like to listen to it please go to www.kingdomhighlights.org where it is available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station www.kingdomairwaves.org

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2010

    Wow!

    Wow! That about sums up my feelings for this book. Ronie just nailed it. I love reading military suspense, especially with a dash of romance, and Ronie is as good as any I've read. The dialogue and actions by the men ring very true, and that's something many female writers struggle with. She's done her homework and it shows.

    I also appreciate that Ronie tackled some tough issues like PTSD and how that tears families apart. I hope her book will help others understand what a tough job those men and women have who put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2015

    Calla

    Walks in

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  • Posted April 27, 2014

    Amazing read!!! I loved the story, the characters and the messa

    Amazing read!!! I loved the story, the characters and the message. It kept me drawn from start to finish, I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Loved it. You must read this series!

    Excitement, heartache, suspense, tension....A wonderful read. Kendig is my kind of writer.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    I read this book when it just released in 2010, but I recently r

    I read this book when it just released in 2010, but I recently reread it and I probably enjoyed it even more!
    Having read all the books in the Discarded Heroes Series, I started to love all the guys. Max is one of my favorites, but all guys are easy to love and it was great to read each of their stories.

    Max is a former Navy SEAL and has seen too many awful things in combat. Those things are haunting him and unleashes his anger. Now his wife Sydney is afraid of him and files a restriction order and divorce, because Max doesn't want to deal with his problems.
    Max thinks he has nothing valuable to live for anymore, but then an old general is recruiting a black ops team and Max is asked to become the leader.

    Nightshade is born--a group elite soldiers. Officially they don't exist and their work is top secret. But Sydney hears a rumour about a group of 6 American soldiers that destroyed a whole hostile village. As a reporter she wants to know who this group is. She starts asking questions and soon someone is trying to silence her.

    Nightshade's next mission is in the Philippines. Max leads his team through the dangers of the jungle and threats of the hostile Higanti. Their mission is to free hostages.

    Sydney continues her search for the secret elite soldiers. Will she find them? And is there a chance to restore her marriage with Max?

    This book is full excitement and adventure. When I read it the first time I devoured the book in one day. This second time around I took it slow and I savored every detail.
    This series is a keeper and I hope to reread it again and again. It's FABULOUS!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    EXCELLENT

    Kendig's latest novel doesn't hold back anything! With a fast pace, unexpected suspense, emotional depth of characters, and a plot that will make you hold your breath, Nightshade is THE book for summer reading pleasure. This is one not-to-be-missed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    If you like Dee Henderson, you'll love this book

    The first book in Ronie Kendig's "Discarded Heroes" series, I struggled to put this book down. I love Kendig's blend of action and story. She keeps it moving without getting too bogged down in the details of black ops or the relationships - everything works together to keep you interested and move the story forward. If you enjoy Dee Henderson's books, then this is a must-read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2011

    Exciting from Beginning to End

    Outstanding, superb. A masterpiece of romantic fiction.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Amazing and captivating!

    Ronie is an amazing writer and has captured the dangerous yet heroic lives of people in the military. She has managed to put it in book form in such a way that demands you keep reading to find out more about the characters and what happens to them. You just can't help but care about them.


    Nightshade introduces you to the team but focuses on the leader or "Alpha", Max. It also takes you to an island in the Philippines where missionaries are being held captive. It was a twist that I didn't expect when I picked up the book but it was a great addition. As the team learns to work together and become one on each new mission you begin to understand how they depend on each other to do the very best job they can and how they give their lives for what they have been called to do.

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  • Posted October 3, 2010

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    Great read!

    A group of discarded heroes. A marriage on the rocks. A journalist trying to get her first break. Missionaries under attack. Max Jacobs struggles to make sense of all of this as he decides to lead a special group of men on missions that no one will ever know exist. He hopes that somehow these missions, helping someone else, doing what he'd been trained to do, will help him atone for all the times he failed his own wife.

    Sydney Jacobs is hurting. Not from the bruise on her face, but from the emotional bruises on her heart. How had she gotten here? Her husband gone? Feeling ill? Determined to push through, she is on the hunt for the story of a lifetime. Who is this group of soldiers traveling the world saving lives?

    Will God get through to Max and Sydney? Will a failing marriage be saved with Lane waiting in the wings? Will the missionaries make it out of the jungle alive? Will the solider's identities be revealed and Project Nightshade be terminated?

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

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    Awesome suspense!

    Edge of your seat thrill ride... here it comes - Nightshade by Ronie Kendig is amazing and a book that you won't be able to put down until its all over and then you're just gonna wish that the second book was already out so you could jump right into it!
    Max and Sydney are about to go through a divorce. Max just isn't the same since his time in the service, he saw stuff he just can't forget and knows Sydney would never understand. Sydney is scared of his nightmares and temper and after catching his fist to her face by accident she took the necessary precaution of getting a restraining order. What has happened to the two of them?
    Max joins up with a rogue government unit that travels into dangerous places and does what the government can't do to take care of the bad guys. Max is in charge of the team and his goal is just to keep them safe, but it gets harder with each mission.
    Sydney is a reporter that starts to get wind of a band of heroes that is saving those who can't save themselves. She is determined to find out who they are so they can be properly recognized. The problem is that some people don't want anyone to find out who these guys are and Sydney finds herself in danger...

    This book is like watching a high speed chase on tv, you don't dare look away or change the channel because you'll miss something! It's one flaw is that it is highly coincidental, the one reporter that is looking for this band of heroes just happens to be the estranged wife of the leader of the heroes... don't let that hold you back, just embrace the possibility and run with it. Really liked this book - a lot!

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  • Posted September 2, 2010

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    Gripping Action Adventure!

    Rarely does a book grab me and draw me in with such a firm grip as Nightshade! The story of Max and his highly trained group of special forces ex-soldiers is not only realistic, they practically walked off the page and took control of my house! I heard the noises in the jungle, the crack of gunfire, the cries of the victims who needed to be rescued, felt the hair on the back of my neck rise. There's something for everyone in this book - tons of action, gripping conflict, realistic romance that never resorts to being sappy, a spiritual element that is seamlessly woven into the story. Kendig's writing is powerful enough to bring off such an agressive and intricate plot, and her dialogue is so realistic I'm wondering if she has special forces training herself. An excellent book, highly recommended to anyone who likes gripping suspense, combat action, with a little bit of realistic romance thrown in the mix.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    If you like Dee Henderson, you'll love this book

    The first book in Ronie Kendig's "Discarded Heroes" series, I struggled to put this book down. I love Kendig's blend of action and story. She keeps it moving without getting too bogged down in the details of black ops or the relationships - everything works together to keep you interested and move the story forward. If you enjoy Dee Henderson's books, then this is a must-read.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A Love That Will Not Die

    I like to look deep into the family relationships displayed in a romance story. For me, a good romance, or romantic suspense has more, much more than just a romance. Our relationship with others does make a difference in how we relate to a significant other.

    An interesting aspect of this story is how Sydney's family tries to protect her from her husband. While they have good motives, they don't know the whole story. They don't believe her bruises came from trying to break up a fight and getting her face in the wrong place at the wrong time. They don't believe her husband's anger was never directed at his wife.

    In Nightshade, Ronie has written a fast paced story with strong characters that I came to care about.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

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    The New "A" Team

    Nightshade is an elite commando unit who perform black op missions. Each man was handpicked for their experience. I'm so thankful for the review copy of this novel. This story reminded me of the "A-team", with its larger-than-life characters, who individually bring something special and unique to the group. They aren't always a happy family, but 'when the chips are down', they get along to accomplish the mission.

    Max, "Frogman", a former U.S. Navy Seal, Colton, "Cowboy", former U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations, Griffin, "Legend", former U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations, Marshall, "The Kid", a former U.S. Army Ranger, Oscar, "Fix", former U.S. Air Force Pararescue, and General Olin, "The Old Man", Army Chief, all of these men are in this special undercover unit.

    The General confronts these men," You spent time in Afghanistan.You've all been trained to kill; then you come back, and what do you do with those skills, but go out of your mind...we're here to establish a team that can penetrate hostile situations without any entanglements, without any blame on the good ol' US-of-A.You are the best, a natural.that's why you are here."

    I loved the interplay between the men in this military elite commandos unit. I learned about the real struggle war veterans have with postwar disorders. These former military men could relate to each other's nightmares, no explanation needed. I also enjoyed the believable spiritual struggle of Max and Sydney. Ronie doesn't sugar coat anything and I liked that.

    I found myself checking the back of the book to read Ronie's bio. Was this author really a woman? If so, how could she write about all these macho men and war stuff? This author does an amazing job of creating believable, flawed and broken characters, who function at their best together in this commando unit doing extraordinary life saving missions. I was astounded that a woman could write such a believable action packed adventure with these macho men-it was done so smoothly. Ronie is an "army brat" and is married to an Army Veteran, it says on the back of the book. Ok, this explains a lot. This is the first book in the "Discarded Hero's" series. The main focus of this book is on Max and his news reporter wife, Sydney. My guess is that each book will highlight one or two of these men and their personal lives, and how they deal with the missions. Digitalis is the next book to be released. I can't wait to read where their missions take them next. Just like the "A" team, I'm sure they'll be facing incredible circumstances in each book. I can't wait to join them in their next adventure.

    Nora St. Laurent
    The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
    Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nightshade

    Nightshade


    Max Jacobs, has issues! Anger issues. To the point that all he truly cares about is now in jeopardy. What has the war done to Max? Why can he not vocalize what he feels to his wife Syd? Instead he just closes her out, and turns that anger inwards. Which causes himto be very voilatile. Explosive anger is what finally drives Syd away, now what will he do?
    Syd Jacobs loves her husband so much, she just hates that she is afraid of his explosive anger. He keeps telling her this is just the way that he is and she needs to accept that, but she cannot believe that. She remembers that she married someone totally different. What is hauntingher husband and will they ever get to root of his troubles?
    Max is recruited by very high ups to lead a secret team called Nightshade, that goes in to solve issues where the normal military cannot go. He throws himself into his work as he comes to terms with the fact that his wife has filed for seperation and divorce. Syd, has been given a new assignment at her newspaper, she is now on
    human interest stories, instead of just editing. Excited to finally have a chance to write a story instead of editing one, she throws herself into her work. Unaware that she is stirring up a problem that will nearly cost her, her life, she investigates a story about a women saved by a special ops team, who now wants to thank them in person.
    This story is amazing!! I sat all afternoon and read it in one sitting. It would get very intense and I would put it down, but I could not keep from going back to it over and over until I finished it. We have all been in places where we just don't understand what moves and motivates our loved ones and you feel the pain that Syd is facing as she feels there is nothing more to do to save her marriage. Your heart breaks as you realize that Max is only one of many many soldiers who return from the war dealing with PTSD. This book is a must read for action adventure lovers, for anyone actually. I cannot say enough about how much I loved this book. Definitely a book you do NOT want to miss this summer! 368 pages 5 stars

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

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    Make Room on Your Shelf for a Keeper!

    Attention readers of romance, suspense and military fiction, you will LOVE this book! Not only is it a love story but it's full of intrigue and heroism that will stop your heart! I was riveted to the pages of this book and finished it in a matter of hours. It's not a lovey dovey, goo goo eyes romance but the story of two hurting people in a marriage that is falling apart. Sydney Jacobs doesn't know how to deal with a husband who she still loves but suffers with PTSD. Max Jacobs doesn't want to risk hurting the one he loves the most.

    From the very first chapter you want to know what happens next. Not only are Max and Sydney wonderful characters but the team members of the black ops group, Nightshade are awesome! Fearless, handsome and yet troubled I'm sure they will all have some interesting stories and I can't wait to read how everything plays out for them, especially Colton "Cowboy" Neeley (hubba hubba). :-P The secondary story of the Harris family, missionaries in the Philippines, is extremely heartrending as well and if their story doesn't put a tear in your eye nothing will.

    This book has earned a spot on my keeper shelf and Ronie Kendig is now a "must-read" author. Digitalis, Wolfsbane, and Firethorn can't come out fast enough!

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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Action-film pacing, on the page!

    Gripping, fast-paced, incredible writing and incredible story. Other reviews have said it already-this is like the most amazing action film you've ever seen, in novel form. Tension and intensity, love and disappointment, faith and redemption. Who could ask for more-except more Discarded Heroes titles? And yes, they are coming!

    Despite her newness to Christian publishing, Ronie Kendig is a strong writer whose work far outstrips that of many multi-published authors, in my opinion. I'm so excited to see these books come to print!

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