rw_fdb_countown COUNTDOWN
Athena Force Bombshell
Author: Ruth Wind
Publisher: Silhouette Bombshell
Pub Date: April 2005
ISBN:9780373513529 (0373513526)A new version of this book will be coming soon!


Hotshot NSA code breaker Kim Valenti had cracked a code revealing a terrorist plot to take over a major TV network…a takeover that Kim learned too late was only a diversion for a far more dangerous threat.

She had just minutes to thwart the real plot — a bomb at a major airport. Kidnapping a member of the FBI bomb squad to help her was a start….

Now it was up to Kim — and one angry FBI agent — to find the bomb, defuse it and live to fight another day. Except…was this explosive just the tip of the iceberg?


Athena Force: Three savvy Athena Academy grads have been recruited by a top secret intelligence agency — and they’re about to show you why….

Excerpt from

COUNTDOWN © Barbara Samuel


Tuesday, October 5

It was night and snowing when Kim Valenti parked at FBI headquarters in Chicago. Snow came in through the window of the stolen car – a 1971 gold Buick Skylark – she’d hot wired at the parking lot of the UBC television station. She’d be glad to get somewhere warmer.

Before she got out, she checked her face in the rear view mirror. If there was blood showing, she would draw attention to herself, and someone would be concerned or alarmed, which would cause more delays. She couldn’t risk losing any more time.

There was a bomb, ticking away, at the airport. Somewhere. Due to detonate in exactly – she checked her watch – 79 minutes.

In the mirror, she saw that her lip was swollen. She’d have a black eye tomorrow. A few scrapes, but no damage that would make her stand out too much in a law enforcement agency.

She got out of the car, and hid the gun she’d stolen into the small of her back, tucked into the waistband of her jeans. The weight of it was comforting and cold. Her cell phone was in her hand, the cord around her wrist.

Snow fell more heavily now, and she was half-frozen from the drive through the Chicago streets in a broken-down car with a shattered window.

In spite of the cold, her torn and battered ear throbbed. She wished it would have frozen. At least that would make it stop hurting. Without breaking stride, she scooped a handful of snow from the hood of a nearby car and pressed the icy cold to torn cartridge.

As she approached the front doors of the FBI building, a gaggle of men erupted into the parking lot, rushing toward cars and vans. They shouted directions to each other, pulled on gloves, carted cases and rifles.

All headed, no doubt, for the television station. Kim ducked into the shadow of a truck, watching, her mouth hard. She could tell them that their rush was futile, but they wouldn’t listen to her now any more than they had earlier.

No, if she had any chance of success, there was only one man for the job-Lex Tanner, FBI explosives expert and a compatriot she’d believed in before this morning.

She spied him toward the back of the group, carrying a metal suitcase. His dark hair was cut very short, the nose surprisingly recognizable from the pictures she’d seen, and he was quite tall. At least 6’4″. Rangy, lean and muscled, with shoulders big enough to shelter her from the wind.

As he neared her spot, she stepped out of the shadows. “Lex Luther, I presume?”

He started, narrowing his eyes and sizing her up. Recognition washed over his features. “Valenti?” He looked more alarmed than pleased. “Where the hell have you been? I’ve been calling all afternoon.”

“Long story. Right now, I need you to bring your little bomb kit and come with me to the airport.”

“I can’t. I’m on my way to UBC. There’s a terrorist—”

“Yeah, yeah,” she waved a hand. “Never mind. That’s not the problem.”

“They’ve stolen a bomb they’re threatening to detonate – ”

“It’s not at the station.”

“They’ve got hostages.”

“I know.” She took a breath. “Look, I don’t have time to explain everything, but the drama at UBC is a smoke screen – the bomb is at the airport.”