Where does a federal witness turn if even one of the most clandestine agencies can’t protect you from harm?
That is precisely the horrific dilemma facing Mia Trentino. Scheduled as a witness for the prosecution, Mia returns to Russia to testify against a man whose affiliation with the Russian Mafia led to her terrifying abduction less than a year before.
During her testimony, Mia’s safety is entrusted with the members of the Acronym, a covert agency consisting of former FBI, CIA, and international law enforcements agents. Their primary tasks are the war against international crime and espionage and assisting federal agencies with securing their high-profile witnesses in a special protection program.
When Mia arrives is St. Petersburg to take the stand, her fiancé and Acronym agent, Douglas Farland, disappears without a trace and is accused of treason.
With only limited protection, Mia suddenly finds herself trying to negotiate a deadly double-task; can she elude the merciless pursuits of the Russian Mafia in time to find out the truth about Douglas, or will they succeed in silencing her by any ruthless means they can find…?
“The Acronym’s thriller focus keeps the readers on edge,” says Lerwill. “The dangerous encounters in St. Petersburg delve you into the Russian Mafia’s sinister motives. Readers who have learned to love Mia, Douglas and the clandestine operation, the Acronym, in my debut novel Relocating Mia, get re-acquainted with the same characters. You will also find some very interesting new-comers, but you didn’t have to have read Relocating Mia to catch on. The Acronym is an independent sequel which stands on its own.”
"Rebecca Lerwill is a fresh voice with a fresh angle on suspense, destined to keep readers happily turning the pages as fast as they can." -- #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Tami Hoag
“Rebecca Lerwill has done it again! Her feel for the covert activity that blended so well with foreign intrigue in her first novel, Relocating Mia, continues with Lerwill's same touch in The Acronym.” -- Bill Flynn, author of: The Feathery
Rebecca Lerwill is a native of Germany. She moved to the United States in the mid-1990s. In the summer of 2007 she published her debut novel, Relocating Mia, a romantic thriller which has been recognized as finalist with the prestigous Indie Excellence Award. Click here to learn more about Rebecca and her work.
Russia, ten months prior
Mia's eyes flew open in a panic. Oh, my God! I can't breathe! Something was across her mouth, and as a small amount of spit ran down her throat, she gagged reflexively. Her insides screamed. She tipped over onto her side, struggling to break free from whatever was confining her, but her restraints wouldn't budge.
Why is it dark? A cloth obstructed her vision. She hoped it was only that she was floating between nightmares, but the throbbing pain in the back of her neck told her otherwise.
Why can't I breathe? She tried desperately to inhale through her mouth, but the duct tape across her lips did not let through the smallest amount of air; immediately, her nostrils flared open.
"Easy, easy," a male voice said. He spoke in Russian as he lifted the cloth sack from her head. She blinked a few times. The room was dimly lit from a source somewhere above her. His voice had come from behind her, so she couldn't see him. A strong hand pushed her throbbing head onto the filthy ground. The Russian spoke again. "Promise to behave, and I will take off the tape."
Mia tried to scream, but only her muffled voice penetrated the tape. Immediately, the hand went over her nose, robbing her of precious air. Her scream died and panic set back in. Her hands, tied behind her back, balled into fists as she tried to jerk her head away, but it was no use.
"Behave, if you want to breathe," the Russian commanded.
Mia lay still, understanding that she could not fight this. The hand moved away from her nose, and she drew in deep, labored breaths. She squeezed her stinging eyes shut, trying to suppress the urge to gag.
"That's better." He ripped off the tape in one quick stroke, stinging Mia's lips and cheeks. "Don't make a sound."
She wretched and coughed. He reached toward her and she thought he was going to tape her mouth again, but instead, he helped her to sit up. She could breathe more easily in this position, and he held her by the shoulders until she regained her balance.
"Too bad the boss told us not to touch you," he sneered. "I've been eying you all week."
Mia didn't recognize the voice, but his lust was clear, and his words made her shiver in disgust. She tried to understand where she was. She guessed that she was inside the cargo area of one of Yukoil's big trucks. Green canvas was draped over the freight it carried, obscuring the contents. The road on which they were traveling was bumpy -- that was easy to tell from the number of times she was jostled around -- and she could smell the exhaust from the diesel engine.
She looked up, blinking rapidly several times. She fought back tears as the truth ran like ice water through her veins. "I've been kidnapped," she whispered, almost stupidly.
"Smart girl," the Russian said laughing.
Colorado, present day
Smart girl ... smart girl ... smart girl ...
The words echoed so vividly through her mind that Mia had to shake her head to get rid of them.
She reached over to Douglas' empty side of the bed and pulled his pillow close. With time, she'd learned that the best way to free herself from the lasting horror of the nightmares was to inhale his scent -- at least, it worked when he was away on a mission, like now. If he'd been there, he'd hold her close and talk to her until she fell back asleep, peaceful and safe.
"Breathe, just breathe," she whispered and closed her eyes again. Why was she always plagued by the same scene? She had plenty of bad memories from her time in Russia that could fill any number of horrific dreams, but no, it was always the same damn picture. "Crap," she muttered and pushed the sheets away. It was just after four in the morning, and sleep wasn't an option anymore.
She stepped into the bathroom and switched on the light. Squinting at her image in the mirror, she saw tension clearly displayed there. Not a good sign. The crease between her eyes seemed to have deepened in the last few days. Chris O'Neil, her boss and agent-in-charge at the Acronym, hadn't yet notified her, but Mia knew it wouldn't be too long before she'd be sent back to Russia.
"You can handle it," she told herself and splashed cold water on her face. Of course she could -- that wasn't the issue. After all, justice had to be meted out, and nobody deserved punishment more than Piotr Lagunov, the former chairman of Yukoil, Russia's largest oil-producing company. Mia had been working as a relocating specialist and was sent to the Lake Baikal region to assist in Yukoil's project that would relocate its refinery and find housing for hundreds of employees near the company's oil fields. It hadn't been long before she'd stumbled across some suspicious dealings involving Sergei Selkin, one of the most powerful kingpins of the Russian Mafia, and a drug-manufacturing ring hidden behind Yukoil's legitimate facade.
Her abduction by the Mafia was thwarted by a very dangerous rescue. Douglas, working as an undercover agent for the Acronym, had led the mission -- it was successful but Mia was shot in the process.
Dabbing her face dry, she looked herself in the eye. Yes. Without question, she was going to return to Russia and take the witness stand. Without question, she was going to face Lagunov, the man responsible for the horror she'd endured. But one question remained, and she couldn't force it out of her head: what if the Russian Mafia tried to stop her from testifying?
The Acronym reviewed by Cindy Bauer (bookpleasures.com)
Rebecca Lerwill has written an action-packed adventure full of nail-biting suspense in The Acronym: White Nights of St. Petersburg. A continuation in the story of Relocating Mia, The Acronym begins with Mia Trentino is preparing to go to Russia to testify against Piotr Lagunov, a member of the Russian Mafia and the man who is responsible for the horrors Mia had to endure while in captivity.
She has since been under the protection of the Acronym, a secret agency consisting of former agents of the US government and other agencies around the world - a very elite group with specific talents. Once they join the Acronym, their past associations with their former employers are history. And they know when they join up with the Acronym, that they can no longer count on those agencies for assistance is needed as they could while in their employment.
During her rescue in Relocating Mia, Mia meets Douglas Farland, one of the Acronym's agents, and they become engaged to be married. But while in Russia where she's about to testify against Lagunov in The Acronym, Douglas comes up missing and he's framed for treason. Also, Sergei Selkin is still at large and he's an even bigger threat than Lagunov. He will stop at nothing to prevent Mia from testifying.
Mia is now in grave danger without the protection of Douglas - and the unavoidable trip to Russia to testify, becomes a battle between fighting for her safety as she tries to escape the Russian organization's efforts to thwart her from testifying, while trying to find Douglas and prove his innocence.
Rebecca Lerwill has a flair for writing intense, suspense filled pages that will keep you turning the pages as you get caught up in the intrigue. Lerwill's ability to tell a believable story is laced perfectly with drama and suspense, combined with well planned plotting and settings while accented perfectly with lively dialogue.
An excellent read!
The Acronym - reviewed by Liana Metal (midwestbookreview.com)
Rebecca Lerwill, the author of her first wonderful title, Relocating Mia, now presents her second novel which is a sequel to the adventures of the main character in her first novel, Mia Trentino. Rebecca offers readers an exciting second story that will again entice the audience as much as her first one. Learn more about her at www.rebeccalerwill.com
Mia Trentino, who is in love with Douglas, a secret agent, is now involved in a new adventure trying to act as a court witness to the villains that she had met in her first adventure. This time her mission takes place in St. Petersburg, where a US security team try to protect her. Will they succeed? What will happen to her?
The readers will turn the pages of this novel avidly and feel the thrill of the plot to the very end. Gripping and interesting, this story offers entertainment and lots of cultural aspects at the same time. The last chapters are moving and unexpected, yet filled with romance that should not be missing from the story. A satisfying end and certainly a great read for everyone who loves romance and mystery.
Mission:Impossible??? Not anymore!!! Lerwill has just completed the assignment in style!!!!!
Ever have a footrace with a novel? Well, neither have I ‚Ä¶ until now!!!! I feel like I‚Äôve just run a marathon that did me no good at all. Why? Because I was chasing someone in a luge!!! That‚Äôs what Rebecca Lerwill must have been in when she was writing The Acronym, her sensational new novel that I can‚Äôt say enough good things about!!! Let me start by saying this, ‚ÄúDing, ding, ding! Folks, we have a winner!!!!
The Acronym snaps, sizzles and kabooms across the pages. It‚Äôs drinking vodka on the Volga! It‚Äôs watching the Kirov and listening to Tchaikovsky! It‚Äôs dancing the Barynya in an embroidered Russian tunic ‚Ä¶ and more! It‚Äôs filled with those kind of people. You know the ones ‚Äď they always seem bigger, smarter and more attractive than everyone else. They even seem to have better sex ‚Äď and more of it! It‚Äôs like they were born with an extra chromosome or something!!! Well, those are the people we meet in-between these pages. Ms. Lerwill packs ‚Äėem all in there and they sure know how to interact! There‚Äôs Mia Trentino, the sexy, beautiful, vulnerable girl that an evil Russian mafia kingpin named Sergei Selkin wants dead. Selkin will stop at nothing to prevent her from testifying against an affiliate that was responsible for her abduction. And, psssst ‚Ä¶ he carries a knife!! Then there‚Äôs Mia‚Äôs devilishly handsome boyfriend Douglas Farland.. You just know he‚Äôs the kind of man that would take a bullet for the woman he loves. Of course, with his reflexes he‚Äôd probably catch it in his teeth! Then there‚Äôs Ludvika, the femme fatale Russian smorgasbord of an agent! When she‚Äôs on the job, she‚Äôs as cold and calculating as a Siberian winter, but man, does she clean-up good! Then there‚Äôs the dependable, true blue Brian Secona. He‚Äôs the one with the sign in his window that says, ‚ÄúForget about the pit bull ‚Äď you better worry about me!‚ÄĚ And there‚Äôs a new guy, Uwe Hirsch, a German hunky-poo with a bod that goes on for days! What? Does Acronym pay these guys buy the ounce or something??!!!! The evil Selkin ‚Äď along with assorted co-horts ‚Äď keep them all on their toes, bobbing and weaving and fighting just like Ali in his prime!!! The dialogue and action crackle across the page and we go right along with it using every bit of our wits and agility to keep up!!!! I felt like a Jack Russell terrier on one of those doggie obstacle courses. Lerwill had me running and weaving through that set of poles!!!
What can I say? The Acronym has it all. Great characters, a solid story, incredible action, plot twists and romance!!! It‚Äôs fun, exciting and moves along at a breakneck speed! With this book, Ms. Lerwill establishes herself as an author to be reckoned with. I suspect in the very near future you‚Äôll get used to her name being in the top ten bestsellers list. The Acronym has my highest recommendation.