I am super excited to share the cover for the upcoming Hell Squad book, NIKO!
Nikolai Ivanov is the leader of the Enclave and a sexy Russian artist…with a bit of a mysterious background. He’s going up against the second in command of Squad Nine, Mackenna Carides. Mac is tough and pretty no-nonsense.
So here is Niko’s cover AND if you scroll down below, you can read the scene from Hell Squad: Holmes where these two meet for the first time. Nothing like starting off with our heroine putting a gun to the hero’s head (-:
Oh, and Niko will be out in less than two weeks: Tuesday 28 June.
Nikolai Ivanov ran quietly through the trees. Beside him, two of his Enclave soldiers ran with him.
He crested the hill, careful to stay in the shadows of the trees. He made a hand signal and the soldiers stopped. Niko lifted his binocs, zooming in, and got a good look at the incoming vehicles.
It had been one of the Enclave drones that had picked up the huge illusion heading their way. He knew the Blue Mountain Base convoy was on its way here…but Niko had a responsibility to the people who called the Enclave home to protect them.
He’d snuck under the illusion with a small team. He needed to make sure this convoy was the Blue Mountain survivors and that they didn’t have aliens trailing them.
“Sir, it looks like the Blue Mountain Base convoy,” one of the soldiers said.
“Yeah, it does.”
But all their intel said the aliens were getting better at deception. At first, they’d used brute force, still relied on that, but Niko suspected they were starting to understand they’d need something else to beat good, old human grit and determination.
“Spread out.” He jerked his head at the man and woman. “Get a closer look. If anything seems off, and I mean anything, report back.”
The soldiers melded into the trees.
Quickly, stealthily, Niko made his way up the next hill. It had been a while since he’d had to use the skills of his past life. Before, stealth and sneaking had been his norm.
A muscle ticked in his jaw. He wasn’t that man anymore. Now he was a survivor, a leader, an artist, a community member. His top reason for being was to protect the Enclave and its people.
He shimmied down on his belly and crawled to the top of the hill. He lifted the binocs again.
A second later, he felt the cool brush of a gun barrel at the back of his neck. He stiffened.
“Want to tell me why you’re sneaking around here and spying on my people?’
Female voice. Tough. Cool. Meant business. Niko had no doubt that whoever was holding the weapon, she wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
“I’m making sure they are who I think they are,” he answered. “Making sure they aren’t aliens in disguise.”
A pause. “Turn around.”
Niko rolled over. Taking her in felt like a kick to his gut.
He’d thought she’d be tall. Instead, she was tiny. Dark hair was tucked under her combat helmet and he wondered if it would be a long fall of silk or short, sexy wisps around her angular face. She wore her combat armor and held her carbine in a way that said she did it every day. No newbie soldier here.
But it was the hard, steady look in her dark eyes and the tough tilt of her chin that he found most fascinating.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“I’m from the Enclave—”
“We’ve heard that before. Name?”
Yes, this one had tough running through her veins. Damn, he found it sexy. “Niko.”
The woman touched her ear. “Roth? Come in. I’ve run into someone claiming to be from the Enclave.”
Niko straightened. “Roth? Roth Masters?”
His captor studied him.
“Tell him Nikolai says hello.”
She tapped her earpiece, then cursed. “Damn. The aliens are jamming everything.”
Holding his hands up, Niko got to his feet. “I’m Nikolai Ivanov.”
Her dark gaze drifted over him. “Mackenna Carides. I’m Roth’s second in command.”
So, she worked side by side with the tough, muscled Masters. “Looks like Roth has all the luck. I’ve met his beautiful and competent Avery, and now I see he works with a beautiful second in command as well.”
Mackenna lifted her carbine up an inch. “I’m not in this job because of how I look.”
“I don’t doubt it.”
She touched her ear. “Roth? Arden? Do you copy?”
Niko shifted to grab his own comms device off his belt.
A hard shove to his gut had him grunting. Mackenna kicked his knees out from under him and a second later he found himself flat on his back, a knee pressed to his sternum.
“You’re a bit twitchy, Mackenna.”
“It’s Mac. And after two weeks on the run, aliens dogging your every move, you’d be a little twitchy too, pretty boy.”
Niko was sick of being on the back foot with this woman. He slapped her knee away, surging upward.
She swung her carbine around, but he anticipated that and knocked it away. She threw herself at him and they shared a short, sharp scuffle. Fuck. She had an exoskeleton in her armor that made her stronger than him.
They ended up facing each other, on their knees. He had an elbow at her throat and she had a tight grip on his throat. One twist and she could snap his neck.
“Mac, you there?”
So close to her, Niko heard the tinny sound of Roth’s voice.
“I’m here. I caught a guy spying on the convoy. Looks human, says he’s from the Enclave and his name is Nikolai Ivanov.”
“Six foot, long dark hair, green eyes?”
Niko felt her relax a fraction.
“Sounds about right,” she answered.
“I can vouch for him. He’s an artist, and one of the leaders of the Enclave.”
Niko heard Mac mutter under her breath. “Roger that. I’ll bring him down to you.”
She released Niko and stepped back. Niko got to his feet. “Two of my soldiers—”
“Are with my squad,” Mac answered shortly.
He cleared his throat. “Are they unharmed?”
“They aren’t conscious but they’re breathing.” She cocked her head. “You are not an artist.”
He held his hands up. As usual, he still had streaks of paint on his fingers.
“You don’t move like an artist. I recognize combat training and experience when I see it.”
Niko shoved his hands in his pockets and mentally cursed that he’d given himself away and that she was so damned observant. “We all had lives before the invasion. I was…something else before the aliens came.”
“You mean we all have secrets.”
He inclined his head. “You have an intriguing face, Mackenna. Beauty edged with toughness. I’d love to sketch you.” Or paint her, sculpt her. Anything to be able to study her more.
“I don’t think so.”
He smiled. He was a persistent man and a patient one. “We’ll see.”
She jerked her shoulder. “Come on. I’ll take you to Roth.”
Niko moved up beside her. “We’ll be seeing a lot of each other. And Mackenna?” He waited until she lifted her dark gaze to his. “You don’t have to run anymore. Welcome to the Enclave. Welcome to your new home.”
Hell Squad: Niko coming 28 June.
34 thoughts on “A New Hell Squad Cover Reveal”
Can’t wait! Love the cover
Thanks, Robin (-:
Great cover, love it. I look forward to reading Niko’s and Mackenna’s story!
Cheers, Ingeborg. I very much enjoyed being back in the Hell Squad world…and these two were lots of fun!
OMG! I SO can’t wait! Great cover!
Glad you like it, Jannie! I went with faces this time…my first for Hell Squad. Oh, there was a bit of a face on Noah, but not like this cover. Just thought we needed a change to mix things up and these two fit my idea of Mac and Niko perfectly!!
I can’t wait! I love the cover! Mac and Niko! This is going to be so different now that they are at the enclave!
Not long now, Christine! Glad you love the cover (-: I was nervous about putting faces on there (I know so many love the fact I don’t usually put faces) but this one suited. And YES, we get to see a lot more of the Enclave.
Anna, what a gorgeous cover! I love the dark, smoldering, sexuality that their eyes seem to convey is boiling just under the surface. Plus it is soooo nice to see a female who isn’t a blonde! I am looking forward to reading this story; from the brief blurb, it sounds like we are in for some serious action of the alien & between the sheets kind.
LOL, Sheri, your serious action comment had me laughing. You are spot on, by the way (-; These two are pretty sexy and smouldering together.
That cover is as amazing as the other ones! Can’t wait to read the story of those two! lol Sounds like my kinda humor lol 🙂
So pleased you like cover, Annie! I had lots of fun working on the story for these two (-:
Love the cover, but now I can’t get Niko’s face (those eyes, those lips!) out of my mind! (What girl…was there a girl in the picture…?!)
I just thought this matched Niko (and his sexy personality) so well, Crystal. Oh, and yes, the woman looks like Mac too (-:
Love the new cover can’t wait to read mac and nikos story love all the book series. I’m glad Blue Mountain finally made it to the Enclave
Thanks, Wanda! Yes, it’s nice for the Blue Mountain Base survivors to be at the Enclave, and we get to see a lot more of it…but a new threat has them quite worried.
Love the cover, I’d have to say that is how I imagine Niko looks. ?
Thanks, Lisa! He was just so perfect for Niko!! Glad you think so too.
Oh my goodness!!! Love the cover!! I can not wait until it’s ready to read! (Did I mention that I can’t wait to read it?) Love the Hell Squad series!!?
I am SO happy to hear that, Elizabeth! Glad you love the cover and are looking forward to Niko and Mac. Not long now!
Wow!… I mean…WOW! I’m just… speechless! Great cover! Ditto to all comments above. You’ve outdone yourself on this one. Excited for a new Hell Squad and loving the new series (Treasure Hunter Security) as well! Cannot wait for more…but enjoy your weekend too! LOL
Well, a reaction like that has absolutely made my day (-: Thanks, Tracie. So, so thrilled you’re enjoying THS as well — that series has been so much fun. You have a nice weekend too — I’ll be enjoying mine…but doing writing as well. I can’t stay away from my stories (-:
I have sooo been waiting for this book…I love Niko and Mac seems to be perfect for him. I’ve been waiting patiently (NOT!!) for this one lol, so 6/28 can’t get here fast enough for me. The cover is fan-freakin-tastic!! Have a great weekend and know that
I can’t possibly be more excited to read this Hell Squad book. Feels like forever since the last one! Thanks Anna for keeping Hell Squad alive for your avid readers! 🙂
Lots more Hell Squad to come, Sheryl. I’m having far too much fun with these stories. I am so excited to know you’re excited for Niko and Mac (-: And so happy you love their cover!
Can’t wait to be immerged in Hell Squad’s adventures again. Hell Squad would make a great weekly TV show. Grreeeaaat cover!
Thanks so much, Linda. Oh, it would be SO exciting to see Hell Squad as a TV Show. I’d want Joss Whedon (of Buffy and Firefly) to take the helm (-: An author can dream!
When will the printed books of Roth, Noah, Shaw, and Holmes be released? I have been waiting to purchase them.
Hi Dee — so funny you should ask…I am busy finalizing them! I just need to finalize the proofs (which takes a while because they have to send them to me here in Australia). But very soon *and* I’m working to get the paperbacks available soon after the ebook for future books as well.
Love the Hell Squad! Niko and Mac are going to be a very interesting couple. I can’t wait for June 28th. I definitely want to purchase all of the Hell Squad in paperback when available. Please let us know when they are available in your newsletter.
I am reading your other series now and I am enjoying them, too. Thanks for sharing your imagination with us!
Loyal reader in Georgia, USA.
Thanks so much, Angela! Thrilled you love Hell Squad, and enjoy my other books too (-: Absolutely — once I get the paperbacks sorted out, my mailing list will be (as always) the first to hear the news. And lots more stories to come…I think I have more story ideas than I could ever write!!
I was one of the lucky ones to receive an early copy of Niko and it is one of my favorite so far. I have enjoyed every one of the Hell Squad series and can’t wait for the next! Thank you Anna for a very enjoyable,scify,sexy read! Thanks , Marg
Thank you, Marg! I am so thrilled you loved Niko and Mac, and that it’s one of your favs. More Hell Squad to come (-:
I love ALL of your books! I just finished the last book (#10), the tease you gave for the next book was so good! I can’t wait till the next book. Can you give me an idea when that will be?
Hi Michelle!! So pleased to hear you are enjoying the Hell Squad gang (-: Oh, I felt super guilty about leaving poor Devlin in that though predicament! And I can absolutely tell you — Devlin’s book will be out in December. Happy reading.