Third Man on the Left

by Roni Hall


Tragic stories are common in the ER but nurse Dani takes the blame for a toddler patient’s death personally, confirming her abusive father’s belief that she is inept. To prove her competency and redeem herself of overwhelming guilt, she volunteers for a humanitarian mission trip to Tanzania where she can focus on doing good. 

Prior to leaving she meets the love of her life, Noah, who says he will wait for her. However, her mission partner/physician, Carter, is a surfer poster boy who has a thing for Dani. Noah’s gut tells him something about the picture-perfect doctor is off but the expedition goes on. 

Weeks into her trip the mission is savagely attacked by rebels and Dani is a microsecond too late to prevent her coworker from a devastating injury but saves him from certain death…for now. More rebels are on their way and Dani escapes into the jungle with four lives who are now solely dependent on her for their very survival. The ultimate test of her competency has begun. Was the strike on the mission random or was she an unsuspecting dupe in a smuggling deal gone bad?

Amazon buy link:  https://bit.ly/thirdmanontheleft

Debut novel: Montana Wild  http://amzn.to/1UZZb4V



I have nothing left, I can’t go on. Her spirit was finally failing her. She had given it her all. “What now?” she cried out loud. She could feel hysteria closing in. 

She had failed them, failed all of them and they would die just like Anna did. It was all up to her and she had let them down. They trusted her, just like Sarah did. Blackness started to encroach and this time she could not escape its mandatory invitation. Though the eternal darkness scared her, she welcomed the finality, the escape from her misery that it provided. She was ready to let go.

Saka’s voice beckoned her back as a small hand tugged at her shoulder. “No, no, no.” Over and over again was all she could say. She had no more in her. The thought that this was all for nothing was more than her spirit could bear. The child’s hand shook her a little harder pulling her back from her descent into nothingness. 

“Miss Dani, look. Look.” Her head, weighted with the suffering of the last few days, was so heavy that Dani had to concentrate on lifting it to see Saka’s face. Eyes wide and questioning, he pointed and Dani’s eyes followed his finger as she raised her head. Through her tears of despair, she detected motion and wearily stood up as she reached for the gun on her waist. All her energy was directed at focusing her vision to identify the movement ahead. Using the back of her hand she wiped the wetness from her eyes. 

Figures, men in the distance were staring in their direction, but not approaching. People. Her spirits soared, but then caution reeled her in. Are they rebels? Some of them were dressed in fatigues. Had they figured out the path she had chosen and waited to meet up with them here? She placed her hand on the pistol in her waistband; she could not afford to take chances. Backing up, she reached into the rickshaw for the AK-47 without taking her eyes off the approaching men. Slowly she lifted the lethal weapon firmly into both of her hands and stood in front of the stretcher and the children. Unlocking the safety, she positioned herself for the worst, she would not go down without a fight. Her finger closed in on the trigger.

“Kids, get behind me. Stay back.”

The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as her eyes tracked the movement of the looming men and her arm muscles tightened. The heavy metal in her arms offered security, but she knew it would only be temporary. For several minutes she observed them as they started toward her. The closer they came, the more her fingers on the gun grew restless. Warily she watched them approach, her mind racing for options. Only moments ago she was ready to give up, but now she had to protect her helpless brood.


Author Info:

The summer after high school graduation, Roni worked two jobs to pay for nursing school. During the midnight shift as a waitress, a charismatic young man at the counter flirted with her for hours as he consumed seven cups of coffee.  Their first date was eventful enough to be a book itself! Forty years and two kids later, the love story continues. Just like her novels, life can’t be too simple, and you must make it an adventurous ride!

Her favorite place to write is in her hammock at their small Michigan cottage where she literally dodges the feeding hummingbirds while being serenaded by the lake’s loons.  Besides writing, she loves hiking, biking, and antiquing. The pandemic has taught her to savor time with family and dear friends. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. 

A personal note from Roni – I love stories about average, everyday women who, when put to the test, kick ass! Tales of personal growth, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, are my passion. I love to read and write about your ordinary Jane (or Joe) who has the courage to stand up when it really counts. Hidden strength and integrity, rises from within to stand tall, correct injustices and protect others. What an inspiration! If ever put to the test, I hope I have what it takes. 

   “All the best heroes are ordinary people who make 
themselves extraordinary.”
-Gerald Way

Web site: http://ronihall.com

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