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Sneak Peek 1 of In the Line of Fire, Book 4 of the Stillwind Series by Mia Smantz

Hello all!

Welcome to the sneak peeks countdown. With the fourth book of the new series, In the Line of Fire, soon to be released on May 1st, I'll be posting some snippets from the story to whet your whistles :)

This book was originally going to be released in April, and I have to admit that it's been sitting on my computer waiting for me to go through the edits my amazing editor got back to me so quickly. I try to do a release every four months, and book 3 came out in December...

I apologize in advance. My attention got sucked into a reading spree. It happens.

Because of that, there shouldn't be as long of a wait-time for book 5, On Fire, to release. I'm hoping for an August release if I stay focused this summer.

Some notes before we get to the good stuff... my first series, The Cardinal Series is all completed and available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited for free. It's also available for purchase. If you're interested in purchasing a hardcopy set of the first two books, The Cardinal Bird and Cardinal Caged, you can buy the first volume here. This volume is also available in the Kindle Unlimited store if you want to purchase or add to your ten-book Unlimited list to help free up a slot for another great book. I know I always have a hard time trying to cull my book limit. Get the Kindle version here. I've also bundled the second volume of the series to include Cardinal of Hope and The Cardinal Sin. That volume is available here for the Kindle version and the hardcopy version. The third and final volume with Cardinal Rose and The Red Cardinal will be available just as soon as I have a cover for it. I'll make sure to announce it on social media.

One more thing before the preview, I've got the fifth book of the series, On Fire, up on Amazon, so preorder your copy today!

In the Line of Fire, Book 4


“Kara!” Nolan exclaimed, giving me a warning of her return. “Back already? Who knew you could hustle if you put your mind into it?”

The recollection of where we were jolted me back to reality. I glanced down at the phone, glimpsed a gory, bloody carving in what was unmistakably human flesh, and scrambled to blacken the screen.

My own back twinged as the brief view of the image burned into my retinas, seeing it even after I located the button and thumbed off the device.

I was no stranger to being branded with scars.

“Oh, hey, Kara,” I called. “Are you okay with me taking an early lunch break? There’s something, uh, Nolan and I need to discuss.”

Her expression grew smug. “I knew you were perfect for each other. Go ahead. I’ll pretend you aren’t sneaking him up to your bedroom for a quickie.”


She placed her hand on her hip unapologetically. “What? Do you deny it?”

“Yes, especially since all of them will be joining us.”

Her expression morphed to genuine shock, and for a split second, I thought I got through to her, but that misconception was dashed when she spoke. “Five guys? Sasha, I’m impressed.”

A groan escaped. “I give up.”

“Ah, but what I think these boys are all dying to discover is if you give out.”

“Yep,” I yelped, turning around and avoiding all eye contact as I marched off. “We’re going.”

“But it’s more fun when you come!” was her last, witty parting comment.

To my sanity’s eternal gratitude, the door swung shut behind us. Still, I didn’t face them. Kara put my Greek genes through their paces, and I was unsure if this would be one of the rare occasions when my cheeks managed a decent blush.


“I’m going upstairs, Mama,” I told her, answering her unasked question before beelining with purpose. Just make it to the stairwell. Make it there, and you can shut out the world.

My mom let out a shout of joy. “With Brien?”

That pulled me up short, causing Flint, who’d somehow nimbly dogged my steps without making a sound, to plow into me, and wow, my brain joined Kara’s in the gutter. The level of maturity deteriorated further when his large hands curled around my waist to steady me.

Space. I needed space.

With a giant step forward, I turned to my mother. “Are you serious?”

She continued with her stir-fry dish, releasing an enticing plume of scents as she tossed the oil crisped veggies into the air. “What?”

“Do you really not see the other four people accompanying Brien and me?”

Brien hid another laugh behind a cough that fooled absolutely no one. When I shot him a warning glare that said exactly that, his entire face transformed. His ears perked up like a puppy’s, and his eyes glowed golden with his full, unrepentant beam.

Shit, I hissed with emphatic vitriol, pirouetting once more for the stairs.

Was nobody safe from my wandering mind?

It had to be loneliness. Nolan and Eli logged a lot of hours with their secret agent training, and my overeager self latched onto anything and anyone.

“Sasha Li!” Mama admonished before punching out her Mandarin sounds like barbed weapons. “You watch your language, young lady. It is not proper for a woman to speak such profane, dirty words—in front of Brien, no less.”

I said that out loud?

Judging by my mom’s pinched expression, and Rory’s blatant glee with the situation, yeah, I had.

I winced, glaring at the unafraid snicker Rory emitted. “Sorry, Mama. I won’t cuss anymore. It was an accident. Promise.”

“Good.” She sniffed, returning to the food. “Because Brien seems willing to extend you a second chance, and you don’t want to give off the impression that you wouldn’t make a suitable, well-behaved wife.”

By some divine intervention, I withheld a snort. Even Mama was anything but some meek homemaker. Concentrating on the first part of her statement helped restrain some of my humor.

If Brien willingly allowed me a do-over to wipe the slate clean, then I could do nothing less than grovel for forgiveness after abandoning our entire friendship.


I hope you enjoyed it!!

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