Lethal Standoff by DiAnn Mills Banner


by DiAnn Mills

September 2-27, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


Lethal Standoff by DiAnn Mills

Justice can be elusive.
Family secrets can be deadly.

The stakes are high, and the clock is ticking in a volatile criminal case filled with unanswered questions. And Carrington Reed is running short on time to piece together clues that will solve the puzzle.

Hostage negotiator Carrington Reed is called to the scene when reports come in that fifteen hostages are being held by the Kendrix brothers in an abandoned house in south Texas. When she arrives on site, Carrington quickly learns that the brothers are armed and refuse to release their victims, a group of undocumented immigrants, until the local police identify their father’s murderer.

Working closely with Levi Ehrlich, a handsome investigative reporter who has covered some of Carrington’s negotiations in the past, she finds herself being undeniably drawn to him. Carrington digs deeper into the death of the Kendrixes’ father and begins to notice that some details surrounding his death aren’t adding up.

As Carrington investigates the brothers’ claims and tries to piece together their motive for taking innocent people captive, it soon becomes clear that they are trying to hide something and that revenge for their father’s death may not be what they’re really bargaining for after all. To protect the hostages and ensure the brothers don’t carry out the rest of their sinister plot, Carrington must get to the bottom of one family’s secret and the truth they’re trying so hard to hide before time runs out.

Award winning author DiAnn Mills delivers pulse-pounding romantic suspense about secrets, betrayal, and finding a path to forgiveness.

Praise for Lethal Standoff:

“DiAnn Mills delivers another pulse-pounding thriller you’re going to love. Lethal Standoff combines gripping tension with a captivating mystery, skillfully woven by DiAnn’s signature storytelling. She navigates the high-stakes world of hostage rescue, proving once again why she’s a master of the genre.”
~ Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the Left Behind series and The Chosen novels

“In Lethal Standoff, Diann Mills works magic―weaving suspense and intrigue into a heart-pounding hostage thriller. Hostage negotiator Carrington Reed is a hero with heart who refuses to quit even when it means risking her own life for strangers. Don’t miss this high-stakes gambit set in south Texas that will keep you flipping pages to the very end.”
~ Andrews & Wilson, bestselling authors of Dark Intercept

“Warning: do not start this book if you intend to put it down any time soon. This is a roller-coaster ride. A bullet-biter. A heart-thumper. This is DiAnn Mills at her best.”
~ Eva Marie Everson, bestselling author and CEO of Word Weavers International

“Lethal Standoff has everything I look for in a great novel! Alongside a heartwarming romance, the plot and themes of this page-turner are pulled from current events and offer a hopeful, triumphant message for readers. Highly recommended.”
~ Deborah Raney, author of Breath of Heaven in the Camfield Legacy series

Lethal Standoff Trailer:

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: September 3, 2024
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781496485106 (ISBN10: 1496485106)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Tyndale House Publishers

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One


My role as a hostage negotiator often plunged me into the evil designs of the human mind. I embraced the responsibility and possible danger because it’s my identity— a one-woman battlefront determined to free others from victimization.

The challenge excited me, but fear of failure stalked me, and respect for human life was my constant companion. Too often innocent lives depended on my ability to negotiate their safe release without anyone getting hurt. The demands, rewards, and sometimes the defeats with tragic outcomes kept me awake at night. How could I have done things differently? My apprenticeship began when I was eight years old, but thinking about those days didn’t change the past. Right now, lives were in jeopardy. . . .

I’d driven ten minutes out from a critical situation on a Wednesday afternoon when my cell phone rang. My contact, a detective from the Houston Police Department, had spent several hours talking to an angry man who held his wife and son hostage.

“Carrington, we have the information you requested,” Detective Aaron Peters said. “The man inside the home is the owner, Nick Henderson. Age thirty-five. Married to Christine. He’s holding his wife and eight- year- old son at gunpoint. Yesterday, he was served divorce papers, and we believe this is in retaliation.”

Hurt. Rejected. Probably a lit stick of dynamite. “You talked to him from the outside?”

“We’ve routed his calls through our mobile command center. I tried talking to him. Got nowhere. He hung up on me.” Aaron blew out his frustration.

Domestic calls were the most dangerous, often violent, causing me to appreciate my Kevlar vest. I had a handgun in my purse, but I could count on one hand the times I’d pulled it. Never used it. “All right. I’m nearly there. SWAT in place?”

“Yes, two have clear shots. Not an action I want to take unless necessary.”

“Me either. What are Henderson’s demands?”

“Just to leave him alone or he’ll pull the trigger on his family.”

Cool, calm focus settled on me. My ability to mediate critical discussions depended on my wearing emotional blinders to the outside world. “When did the problem start?”

“The wife phoned 911 at 8:00 a.m. today. I don’t know how long he was there before she reached out to us. We’ve been called here twice in the past month for domestic abuse.”

I glanced at my watch, and it neared 4:00 p.m. “Have HPD negotiators been talking to him?”

“Yes. Henderson hung up on them too. He’s drinking. Slurring his words. Seems to have trouble concentrating.”

Alcohol could make him more volatile. Flashing lights appeared on the residential street ahead. “I’m parking now. Give me five minutes.”

“I’m standing beside my car in front of the house.”

“Aaron, do you have Henderson’s work history?”

“Fired three months ago from Home Depot, where he held a management role. They walked him out of the store in front of his employees.”

The man definitely had nothing to lose.

Phone in hand, I hurried from my parked truck and raced to where police cars barricaded the entrance to the street where Henderson held his family. A reporter blocked my way between vehicles. She rammed a mic in front of my face.

“Carrington Reed, do you think this standoff will have a peaceful resolution?”

My blood boiled. The last time I had verbally unleashed on her aggressive means to get the best story, she lied in her article about my concern for those in danger. I paused long enough to give her eye contact. “My goal is always a peaceful solution. Excuse me, I need to talk to HPD.”

“Are the police advocating a violent takedown?”

“No.” I sidestepped around her and ignored her shouts.

Aaron stood in front of the home and waved. He had the appearance of average—average height, weight, gray eyes, brown hair, and shoulder span— but nothing about his physical appearance showed his intense scrutiny of a crime scene. His rating as one of HPD’s finest hit my respect button.

“Good to see you. I’d like the man’s cell number,” I said. “I assume my cell phone is routed through the command center too?”

“Sure thing.” He gave me the information. “The wife’s name is Christine, and the son’s name is Rand.”

I nodded my thanks and pressed in the digits. A man answered on the second ring.

“Nick, this is Carrington. I’m standing beside a police car outside your house, and I’d like to help you.”

“I . . . leave me alone.” He spoke fast and loudly. “I’m busy.”

“What do you need?”

“You can get rid of all those cops. I can’t breathe.”

I expected a more belligerent response. “Nick, I can’t do that. These officers are here to protect you in case someone tries to break into your home and hurt you.”

“I’d kill my wife and kid first.”

“Tell me why you feel that way.”

“They deserve it for the way they’ve treated me.” He stumbled over his words. “I’m a good husband and dad.”

“I’m sure you’re great at both. Tell me what’s hurting you.”


Excerpt from LETHAL STANDOFF by DiAnn Mills. Copyright 2024 by DiAnn Mills. Reproduced with permission from DiAnn Mills. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers, Jerry Jennings Writers Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers any of the social media platforms listed at:
Goodreads – @diannmills
BookBub – @diannmills
Instagram -@diannmillsauthor
YouTube – @diannmills
Twitter/X – @diannmills
Facebook – @diannmills



Tour Participants:


Tour Host Info:

Book Formats: Print, Netgalley
Hosting Options: Review, Interview, Guest Post, Showcase
Giveaway: There will be a tour-wide PICT Giveaway
More: According to the author Lethal Standoff does not include: Excessive Strong Language, Graphic Violence, Explicit Sexual Scenes, or Rape. However, readers may encounter content that is considered to be another trigger situation. Generally the content is considered to be: Clean (mild language no more than a mild swear or two, no sex, mild innuendo) content. At this time, PICT staff have not yet read this book and cannot give additional information.



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