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The Taken by Chad Stambaugh
A single dad leaves his daughter in the hands of a trusted relative. Now, both are missing. Three years after his wife’s death, Jonah reluctantly returns to the shark tank world of dating. The evening has exceeded all expectations: an interesting conversation with an attractive woman, excellent food, and excellent wine. Life is good again. What Jonah doesn’t know is that his nanny has just abducted his eleven-year-old daughter–to Russia. Jonah’s live-in nanny is his ex-sister-in-law, a survivor of war crimes in her homeland Chechnya.
Soon, Lilia’s lingering trauma and desire for revenge will drive her along a path of deceit that threatens to shred the fabric of her family. Jonah and his long-time friend and newfound romantic interest, Meghan, pursue Lilia to Moscow, across the Russian countryside, and eventually into the heart of rebel territory controlled by Lilia’s father. Standing between Jonah and Raven are corrupt embassy staff, Chechen rebel fighters, and the Russian Army.
Will Jonah and Meghan find Raven before Lilia gives in to her darkest thoughts? What drives Lilia’s deep-seated hatred of Jonah?
If you enjoy suspense-filled psychological thrillers that keep you guessing until the last page, you’ll love The Taken.
From The Author: This book was inspired by an actual experience that happened to myself and my children in the late 1990’s. I had just gotten divorced from my wife of ten years who I met while I was in the Marine Corps. My Ex-wife is from the Philippines and after the divorce, I took a post with a reserve unit back in my home state of Pennsylvania.
The first summer back, while I had to go with the reserve unit on their two-week active-duty training; my ex, along with some of my estranged family members came to my parents’ house where my children were staying for the two weeks, and kidnapped them both right out of the front yard. I got an emergency call from my parents assessing me of the situation and I flew immediately home and then tried to find my children. I figured out that my ex was trying to take them back to the Philippines and thus keep them from me for good. Luckily, I was able to stop her from leaving the country. But I used this bases for my book as to what might have happened if I had not stopped her in time.
Paperback: 570 Pages
Publisher: Independently published (May 24, 2019)
Global Library: Thrillers & Suspense
Global Library: Adventure Suspense
Global Library: Action Adventure
The Contagion: Get Sick-Run (Book One) by Chad Stambaugh
When a disease cannot be defeated, it must be contained. A father learns his daughter has caught the deadly contagion virus. It’s only a matter of time before the CDC finds out and erases the family from society forever.
Vincent Gallo and his family watch in horror as their neighbors are “contained” by the CDC after their child is discovered to be infected with The Contagion.
Reeling from the trauma and horror of what happened to their neighbors, Vincent’s oldest daughter, Alegra, now shows the marks of the virus. Now the Gallo’s must decide whether they can keep their daughter’s infection hidden from the watchful eyes of the CDC and a fearful population, or take their chances and run.
Contagion is the first book of the 3-part Contagion Series. If you like chilling, thrilling, suspense-filled action, and stories of government conspiracy, you’ll love Contagion.
Editorial Reviews: Contagion: Get Sick? Run! by Chad Stambaugh is a book I loved for a number of reasons. It establishes a powerful premise — a family has to choose between a loved one and the welfare of society and in the context of an epidemic. The conflict is well-developed and the emotion hits home to the reader in a powerful way. A deadly virus is taking lives in a community and the CDC is out to contain the virus by eliminating victims and families. When Vincent Gallo’s eldest daughter, Alegra, shows signs of the virus, he knows he must make a difficult choice. Will he and his family stay put and try to hide the virus from prying public eyes or will they take their chances at an escape.
The story is well-written in a voice that is fascinating. From the very first page, the reader is captivated by the crisp prose, the powerful images and the focused scenes. But the characters are also compelling. We are thrust into a society where uncertainty seems to be part of the rhythm of life of the inhabitants. From the moment the reader meets the Gallos, they are hooked and they want to find out what will happen to them. Chad Stambaugh weaves realism into the story and makes readers believe in the characters. The plot looks a little linear, without complex layers, but it has surprises that readers will enjoy in a work of this nature and a psychological depth that is ‘contagious.’
There is something about the narrative voice, something unique that keeps readers turning the pages. It’s this originality — the unique way with words, the creativity when it comes to character development, and the compelling elements of the setting — that gives this book its appeal. The author creates a vivid setting and readers can see the lawns, feel the streets and get a whiff of the smell of the pizza, the oddly familiar pasta smells in the air. The beautifully imagined and well-described locales make readers feel as though they are part of the story. I can’t wait for the next book in the Contagion: Get Sick? Run! series.
Review by Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite: A contagion, worse than the plague. A family infected. A government conspiracy to cover things up. But what are they covering up? And why? And is the contagion for real? High school senior, Alegra, has the spots that indicate she’s contracted the contagion. Her friend next door was infected and his family was evacuated by people in hazmat suits and their home set afire. Alegra is worried that the same fate will befall her family: her parents and three younger siblings. When she tells her father, he reveals another side of his life no one knew about: a man who knows how to run contraband. And that’s what he does with his family: they run.
Review by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers Digest: Chad Stambaugh’s suspense novel, Contagion: Get Sick? Run!, delves into the ‘what if’ possibilities of a multitude of ‘what if’ conspiracy theories. What if the contagion was just a hoax? What if the hunt and remove government incentive was one to control the general population through fear? And what if it all comes to light and the truth is uncovered? An ordinary American family, going about their daily lives like everyone else, finds their world overturned by a few spots on the eldest daughter’s arm. The spots are the symptom everyone looks for. But does it really mean anything? The plot thickens as neighbors and close friends are removed and their homes exterminated. The only solution, really, is to run. Vincent, the father, knows how to run. He’s done it before. He still has connections in the world of contraband smuggling. But is that enough to help him get his family out of the country and away from the government authorities who want to intern them?
There is good plot development in Contagion. The tension builds along with the action as the conflict intensifies. The Contagion family members are believable and each of their characteristics are well developed. The reader feels a part of the unfolding drama from beginning to end. Knowing how governments work in the twenty-first century, it is certainly a believable, if chilling scenario for the present and even the future when this story actually takes place. This is a thrilling read from beginning to end. And, yet, it’s not the end, really. There are sequels coming…
Review by Ruffina Oserio for Bookbaby: What happens when a contagious virus hits a town? Things could have been different if the disease had stopped at the neighbor’s home. But Vincent Gallo and his family are the witnesses to the horrors of the CDC’s containment of the virus. So when Vincent’s eldest daughter, Alegra, shows signs of having the virus, they must choose between being discovered and “contained” or running for it. But how much time do they have and how far can they go before someone finds out? Contagion: Get Sick? Run! by Chad Stambaugh is an engaging story with a serious crisis and memorable, interesting characters.
A book about a family in the middle of crisis, facing a tragedy that puts not only their lives in danger, but society as a whole will get the attention of any reader who enjoys family themes. Readers are transported into the hearts of the characters, to experience their anxiety and the fear that grips everyone in the Gallo family. But this is a story of love, of a family’s journey to protect itself and to stay alive. It evokes powerful sentiments of compassion for the characters. The author explores relationships in this novel in a brilliant way; it is gripping, unveiling deeper layers of the humanity of the characters.
The story is emotionally rich, suspenseful, and character-driven. Chad Stambaugh’s novel is fast-paced, engrossing, and delightful. While the writing is excellent with great dialogues and vivid descriptions, it is the treatment of character that made me a fan of Chad Stambaugh. The author has the gift of keeping readers engrossed from the beginning to the end of the story. You will ache to find out the fate of the characters in Contagion: Get Sick? Run!
Paperback: 320 Pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; One edition (June 1, 2018)
Global Library: Thrillers & Suspense
Global Library: Adventure Suspense
Global Library: Action Adventure
About The Author: Chad Stambaugh is a Fiction and Non-Fiction author. A Business Owner during the day. Chad is also a Paranormal Investigator and full-time writer. He’s spent the last decade reading all kinds of books and writing blogs about the paranormal. His latest novel, Detainment is the second book in his fiction thriller, suspense series; Contagion.
Chad Stambaugh is a 4-time Paranormal Award Winner. Non-Fiction Book: Paranormal Investigations, 2013; Non-Fiction Book: The Paranormal Dictionary, 2014; Paranormal Radio Show of the Year; 2015, Non-Fiction Book: Beyond the Veil, 2015, The IPPA Award: International Paranormal Acknowledgement Award. (Only the second American to ever win the Award.) He’s also had one of his short stories; “Everyone Hates the Grays.” Published in Portable Magic; The Authors First Anthology book.
Chad started his writing career in 2012 by chance. He was looking for a way to teach others how to do Paranormal Investigations. Which led him to writing his first Non-Fiction novel, Paranormal Investigations.
He lives in Fresno, Ca and has three children and 3 grandchildren. You can read Chad’s blogs at the link below. Enjoy!
Books By Chad Stambaugh:
- The Paranormal Dictionary: A Complete Users Guide to Everything Paranormal Dec 8, 2013
- Paranormal Investigations: The Proper Procedures and Protocols of Investigation for the Beginner to the Pro Jan 16, 2013
- Detainment: Get Caught? Escape! (Contagion) Sep 2, 2018
- The Taken May 23, 2019
- Annihilation: Will Anyone Survive? (Contagion Series Book 3) Feb 9, 2019
- The Contagion: Get Sick? Run! (Book One 1) May 31, 2018
- The Para-Chronicles: A Spiritual Revolution Aug 24, 2016
- Beyond Time: A Short Anthology Series Aug 24, 2016
- Beyond The Veil: A Spiritualist Guide to Man, God, and Ghost Jun 29, 2015
- The Para-Chronicles: The Way I See It May 27, 2015
- The Devil Within: Will Charlie embrace the monster within or Will he battle against his Destiny? Dec 5, 2017. Out of Print–Limited Availability.
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