The Next Target


Would You Share Your Faith If It Would Cost You Your Life? 

It only took one bullet. Austia’s friend and student fell dead. And with a glimpse of a newspaper headline, the young and recently widowed Austia knows more about what happened than the police. From that fatal night, Austia’s secret outreach to the U.S. Muslim community—in the guise of English language classes—becomes a target. Local Muslim extremists set their sights on ending her ministry and even her life. And the women she ministers to will be next.

A thick web of deceit closes in around Austia, and her circle of friends becomes smaller by the day, even as she finally opens herself to the idea of falling in love again. But who can she trust? Facing a spiritual battle that proves more treacherous than it at first seemed, Austia’s convictions are tested to their limits and her heart becomes primed for breaking. She must ask herself: how much she will risk to stay true to her herself, her faith, and to the lives of the women she serves?



Award-winning novelist Arana (The Winds of Sonoma) brings her real-life
ministry among Muslim women to bear in her newest. When ESL teacher
Austia hires a translator, Zaki, to work among Muslim immigrants
learning English, she soon suspects he is involved with a plot to kill
her because of his ties to a terrorist cell. But Zaki is actually an
operative for the FBI infiltrating the cell to bring it down. He’s torn
between a tough assignment and a precarious cover, and any overt action
to keep Austia safe will jeopardize his mission. *Arana’s vivid imagery
is imbued with spiritual force (“The single, avid eye of hell was
focused on her every move”), and her pacing is fiercely powerful. The
novel raises gripping issues of liberties, religion, and cross-cultural
and cross-religious dialogue. Through the eyes of Zaki and Austia, deep
religious and moral conviction is examined in real-life situations.
Characters are multidimensional as they fight “for truths that were
self-evident, for rights endowed by the Creator…” Above all else,
Arana treats the interplay of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
compassionately and fairly. – Agent: Natasha Kern. (June) – Publishers Weekly

The Next Target by Nikki Arana kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how the suspense grabbed me from page one but even more compelling (and convicting) was the novel’s depiction of the plight of women in the Muslim world. Highly recommended!  –  Colleen Coble, author of Tidewater Inn and the Lonestar series

“U.S. Christians in danger for sharing their faith? Terrorist cell groups on American soil? Nikki Arana’s bold new novel hits on all cylinders—at times the tension was chillingly palpable.”  –  Creston Mapes, Best-Selling Author of NOBODY

With cultural insight and grace, Nikki Arana steps into the arena of controversy between followers of Jesus, moderate Muslims, and radical Muslims. Through her characters she clearly showing the joy of finding Jesus and forgiveness as well as the cost of choosing this new faith. A fascinating novel, a recommended read.  –  Gayle Roper, Shadows on the Sand

I loved the book and would highly recommend it to other fans of inspirational or romantic suspense.  Your debut ranks up there with some of my favorite Christian suspense authors like Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon and Mindy Starns-Clark. – Janice Dischner, a reader

This novel is an amazing multifaceted tale of intrigue that weaves lightening paced threads that never lose the reader. Nikki’s characters have real presence as you get to know them. And, in the end, you want more, more, more.  –  Mervin R. Severtson, a fan

Arana’s latest novel delves into the conflict within the Muslim communith between those who stay true to their religion and those who convert to Christianity. Powerfully written, this is a story about what it means to live a life worthy of God’s calling and about what love, faith and forgiveness can lead to. – Romantic Times Magazine