FIVE YEARS GONE by Marie Force – Release Day Blitz

Today we are celebrating the release of FIVE YEARS GONE, a romantic standalone title by New York Times Bestselling author Marie Force. Check out some teasers and an excerpt for the book below.


FIVE YEARS GONE by Marie Force

Available Now


The most brazen terrorist attack in history. A country bent on revenge. A love affair cut short. A heart that never truly heals.

I knew on the day of the attack that our lives were changed forever. What I didn’t know then was that I’d never see John again after he deployed. One day he was living with me, sleeping next to me, making plans with me. The next day he was gone.

That was five years ago. The world has moved on from that awful day, but I’m stuck in my own personal hell, waiting for a man who may be dead for all I know. At my sister’s wedding, I meet Eric, the brother of the groom, and my heart comes alive once again.

The world is riveted by the capture of the terrorist mastermind, brought down by U.S. Special Forces in a daring raid. Now I am trapped between hoping I’ll hear from John and fearing what’ll become of my new life with Eric if I do.

From a New York Times bestselling author, Five Years Gone, a standalone contemporary, is an epic story of love, honor, duty, unbearable choices and impossible dilemmas.


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Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU

PURCHASE IN PRINT:  Marie’s Store  |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble  |  Chapters Indigo

IndieBound  |  Booktopia AU  |  Books-a-Million

PURCHASE IN AUDIO: Amazon  |  Audible US  |  Audible UK  |  Audible AU  


Read this excerpt from Five Years Gone.



We met in a bar, of all places, a dingy hole-in-the-wall favored by military members from the nearby Navy base in San Diego. I went with a friend from school who was interested in one of the military guys. Before that night, I’d never been there, and I’ve never been back. John was celebrating the promotion of one of his buddies. He crashed into me as I left the ladies’ room and kept me from falling by grabbing my arms to steady me.

Just like in the movies, our eyes met, and my spine tingled with the kind of instantaneous awareness I’d only read about but never experienced personally.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, gorgeous and fierce in his fatigues.

I noticed gold on his collar, a hint of late-day scruff on his jaw and the name WEST in bold black letters on his chest. Intense electric-blue eyes made it impossible for me to look away, even when I was safely back on my feet.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Realizing I’d been staring at him, I blinked and reluctantly broke the connection. “I… Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for the save.”

And then he smiled, and the tingling began anew.

“I’m John.”

I shook his outstretched hand. “Ava.”

Keeping his hold on my hand, he tipped his head. “You come here often?”

“Never,” I said, laughing. “I’m a first-timer.”

“What do you think so far?”

“I wasn’t impressed until about thirty seconds ago.”

As if he had all the time in the world to give me, he leaned against the wall. “Is that right? What happened thirty seconds ago?”

I thought about taking back my hand but didn’t. “I was saved from certain disaster by a man in uniform.”

“The guy in the uniform is the reason you needed saving in the first place, because he wasn’t watching where he was going. Least he can do is buy you a drink.”

“I wouldn’t say no to that.” I was proud of my witty responses and got the feeling he could more than hold his own in the wittiness department. Across the crowded room, I noticed my friend talking to the guy she’d come to see, and her brows lifted in interest when she saw me with John. He guided me to the bar, placing a proprietary hand on my lower back, and told one of the guys to give me his stool.

“Yes, sir.” The younger man bowed gallantly to me as he took his beer and moved along.

“Do people always do what you say?”

“If they know what’s good for them.” His teasing grin kept the comment from being overly cocky. “What can I get you?”

Deciding to live dangerously for once, I asked for a cosmopolitan.

“Go big or go home,” he said with admiration.

“That’s my motto.” I was so full of shit. I wondered if he could tell I was all talk or what he’d think of me if he knew I usually err much closer to the side of caution than the wild side. I wondered if he could tell I was just barely old enough to drink. I’d turned twenty-one only six months earlier.

When my cosmo and his Budweiser had been delivered, he offered a toast. “To new friends.”

I touched my glass to his bottle. “To new friends.”

“So, where’re you from, Ava?”

“New York.”

“I thought I heard New Yawk in your voice.”

I batted my eyelashes at him. “So four years at the University of California San Diego didn’t scrub the New York out of me?”

Laughing, he said, “Hardly. I know some guys from New York. One of them is from Staten Island, which is about as New York as it gets. I know New York when I hear it.”

“I’m from Purchase, upstate from the city. What about you?”

“I’m from all over. My old man is a retired general. You name it, I’ve lived there.”

“Where’s home?”

“Right here.” He turned that intense gaze on me, and I went stupid in the head. I couldn’t see anything but him. We might as well have been alone in the crowded bar for all I knew. Unlike my friend, who loved men in uniform, I was never turned on by the uniform. Until then. Until John. “You want to get out of here?”

I swallowed hard. It wasn’t like me to leave a bar with a man I’d just met. “And go where?”

“Somewhere we can talk.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

He leaned in so his lips were close to my ear. “Everything. I want to know every single thing there is to know about you.”


That’s how we started. We were intense from the first second we met until the last time I saw him five years ago today. I can’t believe it’s been five years since I looked into those incredible blue eyes or woke to him on the pillow next to me or heard his voice in my ear, whispering words that’re permanently carved into my heart as he made love to me.

The worst part is I have no idea where he is. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead, being held captive or if he’s living his life somewhere else with someone else. I don’t know, and the not knowing is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with.

I love him as much today as I ever did. No amount of time could ever change that simple fact of my life. We had two beautiful, magnificent years together, caught up in our own little bubble. He never met my family. I never met his. We didn’t make couple friends. We didn’t talk about the future. We didn’t need to. Our future was decided that first night, and it would take care of itself in due time. I honestly and naïvely believed that.

Now, with hindsight, I realize the bubble was strategic on his part. He gave me everything he had to give, including no promise of tomorrow.

Five years ago today, we watched the horror unfold on live television. A US-based cruise ship blown up by suicide bombers. Four thousand lives extinguished in a heartbeat. Our world permanently changed once again, our country declaring yet another war on terrorists. After 9/11 we thought we’d seen everything. We were wrong.

“I have to go,” he said, grabbing the duffel that stood ready in the front hall closet. He called it his “go bag.” I’d thought nothing of it.

“Where’re you going?”

“I don’t know.”

“When will you be back?”

“I don’t know that either.” He held my face in his hands and gazed at me, seemingly trying to memorize my every feature. “I love you. I’ll always love you.” Then he kissed me as passionately as he ever had and was gone, out the door in a flash of camouflage.

I never saw him again.

I’m not his wife or even his fiancée, so no one notified me of his whereabouts. And three months after he left, when I found a way onto the base in a desperate quest for information, no one there could tell me anything either. I tried to locate his parents and other people he mentioned, but it was like they didn’t exist. I could find no record of a retired general named West in the Marine Corps, Army or Air Force.

Furthermore, an exhaustive search for information on the John West I had known led nowhere. No high school, no college, no military service, no nothing.

Sometimes I wonder if I dreamed the two years we spent together, doing mundane things like grocery shopping, cooking, watching TV and sleeping together after long days at work. But then I’d remember the blissful passion, the scorching pleasure, the desire that ruled us from the beginning, and I’d know I didn’t dream him. I didn’t dream us. We were real, and he was everything to me.

Sitting on the floor in our apartment, surrounded by boxes, I take a few minutes before the movers arrive to memorize every detail of the place where we lived together. I’ve packed his things along with mine, and I’m moving home to New York. Today was my deadline. I gave it five years, and I simply can’t do it anymore. I can’t sit in our home among our things, waiting for something that’s never going to happen.

It’s over. It’s time for me to move on. It’s probably long past time, if I’m being honest with myself. And though I know it’s the right move at the right time, that doesn’t mean my heart isn’t shattering all over again as I dismantle the place where we were us.

My sister is getting married next month. I promised her I’d be home in time to hold her hand through the festivities. Other than occasional trips home for holidays and other occasions, I’ve been gone more than ten years. I bear no resemblance whatsoever to the girl who left home at eighteen seeking independence from her overbearing family at a faraway college out West.

I accomplished all my goals, finishing college, landing a decent job and falling in love with the man of my dreams. I found out what happens when dreams come true and how painful it is when they blow up in your face.

It’s time now to set new goals, to start over, to begin a life that doesn’t have John at the center of it the way it did here. It’ll be nice to be back with people who love me and care about me, even if they tend toward smothering at times. That’s looking rather good to me after years of loneliness and grief.

The intercom sounds to let me know the movers are here. I pick myself up off the floor and steel my heart for the day ahead. I can do this. I’ve been through worse, and I’ll survive this the same way I’ve survived everything else. Despite my resolve, my eyes fill with tears as I press the button that opens the door downstairs to the movers.

It doesn’t take them long to pack my belongings into their truck. I keep with me the things that can’t be replaced—precious photos, gifts he gave me, the clothing he left behind. After taking a final look around the apartment, I pack those boxes into my car, turn my apartment keys into the leasing office and head east, feeling as if I’m leaving behind everything that ever mattered to me.

It’s like I’m losing him all over again. I cry all the way through the desert of Southern California and well into Arizona. I relive every minute I can remember, every conversation, every special moment. I think about what it was like to make love with him and wonder how I’ll ever to do that with anyone but him. Maybe I won’t. Maybe that part of my life ended with him, and even though I’m only twenty-eight now, I’m okay with that possibility. Once you’ve experienced perfection, it’s hard to imagine settling for anything less.

The tears finally dry up somewhere in northern Arizona, but the ache inside… I take that with me all the way to New York, where I will try my very best to pick up the pieces of my shattered life and put them back together into some new version of myself.

After all, what choice do I have?







Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news. 

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on FacebookTwitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at



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CHAPTER REVEAL: Call Sign Karma by Jamie Rae



Today we are having a chapter reveal for CALL SIGN KARMA by author Jamie Rae. This book is available now and some teasers are below.





Love in the no-fly zone…

Distraught over the loss of her brother in a fighter jet accident, Tinklee Pinkerton decides to follow in his footsteps and prove the tragedy wasn’t his fault. But when she’s chosen as the first woman to fly the Air Force’s F-35, her plan for a life that revolves around work is thrown off course by a handsome, mysterious stranger…

Thanks to Locke’s seductive British accent, sweet nature, and one too many beers, Tink is soon inspired to throw caution to the wind and herself into his arms. She thinks maybe love can heal after all—until she discovers Locke is her superior officer. Tink has no problem risking her life in the air, but with everything on the line, is she brave enough to risk her heart on the ground?




Amazon    |    Barnes & Noble    |    iTunes    |    Kobo

Chapter One:

There was zero chance of survival—for either of us.
The thought caused my insides to twist as I stood, paralyzed staring at the blazing
inferno. I watched in shocked horror from the window of the control tower as the jetfueled flames fed on his body, still strapped inside of the cockpit.
Tonight the distant flames were from a bonfire that danced happily in celebration
of a holiday, but their flames were close enough to ignite the memories. Memories that
still fueled my nightmares. A familiar chill skated down my spine.
I slammed down the beer bottle on the table next to me and looked away from the
flames. Sweet honey lager splashed out and onto the cover of my tablet that sat on the
edge of the table.
The tablet called to me. I couldn’t help but reach for it, my shaking hand nearly
knocked over the beer bottles that surrounded it. My index finger hovered over the
screen. The damn arrow glowed as if challenging me to touch it.
Go ahead Tink, watch me one more time.
I swallowed the boulder-sized lump in the back of my throat as I accepted the
dare. My finger tapped the start button and instantly dropped me in the middle of the
nightmare that had consumed and wrecked my life.
“Altitude. Altitude. Pull up. Pull up.” The unemotional, mechanical female voice
of the jet’s warning system rang out.
Her words rattled in my head like a pinball looking for its escape. I studied the
altimeter screaming toward two thousand feet.
“Pull up,” her empty voice commanded. Each time she repeated those words, my
stomach lurched. That voice, that command, still haunted me.
I squeezed my eyes closed unable to stop from reliving that day in the tower and
how her robotic tone had sent everyone into a panic. I stood frozen, unable to do a damn
thing as the jet continued its nosedive.
My own weight crushed me as if I were being pushed down by the forces of a
hard turn in the cockpit. I gasped for oxygen, my lungs rebelling as the image of the jet
pitched down. I began counting between breaths to keep from passing out the way they
had taught us in pilot training.
The sound of calm breaths from video filled the air. The ground rushed closer as
the jet blitzed toward fifteen hundred feet.
“Pull up,” the voice repeated. “Pull up.”
I leaned forward and my lips parted as if I were going to retch, but nothing spilled
out. I forced each breath to prevent me from blacking out like Colin. His calm, sleeplike
breaths seeped from the tablet’s speakers, haunting me in its wavelike rhythm. I held the
tablet tight in my hands. The breaths were the last sound that I’d ever hear from him.
“Pull up! Pull up!”
A giant green arrow flashed across the video. It acted as a forewarning of the jet’s
impending impact. My entire body shuddered as adrenaline thrust through my veins.
I wanted to choke the aloofness from her tone. To the jet’s warning system it was
just another jet. To me, it was my world coming to an end. She may as well have tacked
the word ‘idiot’ onto her feeble attempt of a warning.
The military Humvees scrambled on the screen like cockroaches escaping the
light. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t do anything to prevent it from happening then. Why did
I still hope I could stop it now?
“Pull up!”
I closed my eyes.
It was too late.
“Pull up!”
I opened my eyes. The ground rush on the display was exactly how they described
it in pilot training; the world blossomed as earth ripped through to meet you in the
Her vacant voice instructing him to pull up was the last thing to ring out right
before my life shattered. Everything exploded into a bright blinding haze on the screen
with a blaring detonation. The blood cooled in my veins.
I flipped the tablet cover and traced my still trembling finger along the lines of the
worn material. I had stolen the video from my father’s files the night after the funeral. I
had watched it a thousand times, each time reliving the horrors of that day.
But tonight, once was enough.
Tonight, I had to figure out how the hell I was going to climb into the cockpit and
fly the jet that killed my brother.
* * * *
The annual Fourth of July fireworks filled the sky right on cue. Red sparks
showered down as the blue lights twirled across the backdrop of an onyx sky. It used to
be our favorite family tradition.
A wave of guilt washed over me then pooled deep in the pit of my belly. How was
it fair that I was standing here watching the fireworks, while Colin was buried six feet
The reflection of the flashing lights off the ocean blinded me. High pitched
screams and loud blasts shook the windows behind me as I leaned on the banister of my
deck, watching the show, alone.
The silver ones that whistled were Colin’s favorite.
My heart pounded at the thought of my tenderhearted brother. I squeezed my eyes
tightly together to try to force out tears, but nothing fell. Not a single drop. I had cried so
much that I had become numb to the pain.
My phone vibrated in my back pocket, interrupting the fireworks display. The
ringtone of magical chimes followed. I sighed loudly—this was not a call I wanted to
Ignoring my mom wouldn’t make her go away. It would only make her more
determined. It was like she had a beacon implanted in my brain to know when I was
thinking about my Colin’s accident. I pulled my phone from the back pocket of my cutoff
jeans and growled.
Pink 1 flashed across the screen.
My thumb hovered over the ‘Off’ button, but I couldn’t bring myself to press it.
She would know that I had dismissed her call. My mother knew everything, except when I didn’t want to talk, or maybe she knew, but that still wouldn’t stop her until she ‘heard my voice’. It had gotten even worse since Colin’s death.
A chime alerted the arrival of a new text message.
I forced myself to look at the screen and read the words—
He loved you.
I let out a long drawn out breath. Her words were always the same.
I picked up the bottle of sweet brown lager and gulped it. All of it. I reached for
another. I twisted off the lid, and spun the tiny metal cap across the deck.
I wanted to feel Colin’s pain and grief for a life he’d never have. But I couldn’t
shed any more tears. I was empty. Broken. There was nothing left of me. The only thing
that kept me putting one foot in front of the other was the determination to prove that his
death was not due to pilot error. I would prove it, or die trying.
The phone buzzed again.
Pink 1.
I swallowed another drink before I surrendered and answered the call. “Hey,
Mom.” I said, my voice higher than usual in a failed attempt to mask my misery.
“You okay?” she asked with her usual cautious tone.
“Yeah, I’m great. I’m heading to Krusty’s for dinner,” I lied. “Can I call you
“I wanted to hear your voice, sweetie, and wish you luck.”
Luck? I needed a helluva lot more than luck. Tomorrow, I started training to fly
the jet that cremated my brother.
“Thanks, I’m excited,” I said as another lie slipped off my tongue.
It was becoming easier to fib to my mother. They just popped out one after
another. I was never dishonest as a child, but now it felt like I never told anyone the truth.
“I’m looking forward to getting started.” The words sounded sweet, but I’d need
another lager to wash out the bitter taste. So much for being a pillar of honesty.
“Oh, Tinklee, you are such a liar,” my mother said. “I know you’re nervous. Who
wouldn’t be? I’ll be there, in spirit, and so will he.”
Her voice was warm and tender, as if she were smiling through her tears. She
sniffled loudly. She was okay with her tears.
“Okay, I’m losing the connection. I gotta go.”
“I can tell you don’t want to talk so I won’t keep you. I’ll see you soon. And
remember sweetie, keep your circle—”
“Stop Mom, I’m twenty-two, enough with the positive affirmations.”
She ignored my plea, “If you keep your circle positive, you’ll attract good
I rolled my eyes and held back a sigh out of respect to the woman who spent
thirty-six hours in labor for me.
“Besides, age doesn’t matter. I love you, baby girl. You’ll always be my little
Tinklee,” she said. Her voice danced when she emphasized ‘little’ and ‘Tinklee.’
I couldn’t help but cringe. She’d screwed me with that one.
A blond-haired, blue-eyed fighter pilot trying to make it in a man’s world couldn’t
be taken seriously with the name Tinklee Pinkerton.
Good job, Mom. You rock.


JamieRaeAuthor Information:

JAMIE RAE is a New Adult and Young Adult author. She writes with one goal in mind–create stories with a positive message that will stay with the reader long after they’ve finished reading.

Jamie is an avid reader and loves discovering stories with a great hook, though she will not eat, sleep, or speak until she reaches the end. The Harry Potter years weren’t pretty!! Convinced that her Hogwarts letter was lost in the mail, she keeps a watchful eye for owls hoping her children will have better luck!

In her other life, Jamie Rae is an orthodontist, and literary agent. She keeps her heart overflowing with love as a mother of three and has perfected the art of nomadic living as a military spouse and Air Force veteran. Jamie has a passion for critters of all shapes and sizes and you can often find her sneaking them into her own home or volunteering for rescues.

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