Tomorrow we start our great adventure on the cruise ship that will take us from Italy to Brazil. Part of this will be a fact-finding mission, since my next story takes place on a cruise ship.
I haven't been to Italy in ten years. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy being here. I love the language, the romantic timbres and staccato bursts of passion. Everyone thinks of Paris as the place for lovers, but I think Italy would have to be my first choice.
Maybe it's the coffee, or the anticipation of the voyage, but I've had a hard time sleeping. My internal clock doesn't know what time it is. Lots going on, I admit. My Book 4 of the SEAL Brotherhood, SEAL The Deal is out as of tomorrow officially, but came out last night. My narrator, JD Hart, even managed to find the time to create the amazing trailer for this new release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxsteiBlsQ0&feature=youtu.be
JD also did the audio version of Accidental SEAL. What a labor of love that has been. One of the best parts of my cruise will also be to listen to the chapters in Fallen SEAL Legacy he has completed so we can have this out to everyone before Christmas, God willing.
While one door opens, another has closed. I'm really feeling this next book, and it started yesterday as I was wandering down the cobblestoned alleyways in Savona, sipping cappuccino and loving the sounds of accents all around me.
My husband is studying his Portuguese for Brazil. I've made a study of Richard Burton (the explorer) for an upcoming time travel romance. The way he studied languages back in the 1860's, when he self-taught 27 languages good enough to be mistaken for a native, is what they teach at Penzler. Oh yes, I can feel him now in the archways and streets here he frequented.
Lots of luscious images and thoughts spinning around in my head. My SEALs will start their journey here, and, just like today, will be buying Ferrari jackets and warm clothes in preparation for their shipboard adventure. I'm right there with them. I can hardly wait.
I won't be on land this Thanksgiving, so I guess this will be my Thanksgiving post. God willing, I'll be somewhere in the Atlantic. I will start out in Italy and will wind up in Brazil. I plan to sleep in, write my heart out every day, have meals served just the way I want them, and watch the big blue ocean all around me. I'm going to read some of my best friend's books. I'm going to work out every day and get a massage every week. I want to meet the captain and the staff, put my hands on the wheel and feel the power of the ship.
I'd like to meet new friends, learn how to talk to someone in a language that I didn't grow up with. Watch how other people treat their children. Look into the eyes of the elderly passengers and maybe ask them questions about things I will never see. Learn from them. I want to soak it all in so I can put some of it, maybe only about 1% of it, on paper.
Something I hadn't thought about when I booked this vacation was that when we travel across the Atlantic, we will be leaving the winter of Italy to the Summer of Brazil.
I plan to stand on the deck of the ship, because I want to see if I can feel it. Do you suppose I will? Will the water swirl in the opposite direction there? Will the stars look different? Would it be good luck to make love to my husband when we cross the Equator like all those seamen's legends?
I don't think I've ever studied the night sky from the southern hemisphere. There are people I have never met I will meet. I will learn about places I've never seen before. I've never been to South America. I'm going to walk off the ship and think of my hero Daniel, the Brazilian painter who stole my heart in the very first book I wrote, and who turned me into a writer. I didn't do it. The characters in my book did.
Because I can.
Are we all so insane we don't cherish every day? That we fill our lives with “news” when everything we need to know is all around us, in the magic and love of those around us? When the greatest gift is our ability to imagine things that could be so strong that they feel real. To connect people instead of running away from them. To give more than we take.
I want to leave a hole the size of a continent when I'm done being here. Like my beautiful (unnamed) heroine for a book I'm working on says to her damaged SEAL hero after he's told her he doesn't like complicated (excerpt from SEAL Destiny, a novella in High Octane Heroes):
She took in a sudden brief inhale. Her gaze quickly diverted to the ocean, giving him a full pure look at her upper torso, every curve and valley, until he thought perhaps he could even taste her skin. What Luke saw in profile was a strong, handsome woman with a body made for hard loving, who was unafraid.
Then she turned back and faced him fully. Her body dropped to her knees in front of him so quickly he thought perhaps she'd gotten suddenly ill. “I don't do uncomplicated,” she whispered. “I like it complicated and rich. I like entangled. I like feeling everything and being sorely missed when I'm gone.”
My wish for you at Thanksgiving? Turn up the intensity and the capacity of your love.
You're going to probably wonder what this post has to do with Veteran's Day, one of the holidays our family celebrates in our own quiet way. Stick with me for a few minutes.
I've been spending the last two weeks working on my audiobook version of Accidental SEAL. I've learned so much in the process. My narrator, J.D. Hart, is an accomplished actor, recording artist and spokesperson for Chevrolet and other campaigns. I am so fortunate to have stumbled upon him, and quite by accident. Just like in the book, the things that have happened by accident have turned out to be the things I've needed the most. I listened to an interview with him from a Nashville Podcast and have permission to share it with you.
Fate works in strange ways. His story is laced with things similar to mine, although his was music/entertainment and my trajectory was toward going for a big Big 6 contract. I'm proudly an Indie Author, not because I wasn't good enough for New York, but because I followed the path, like JD did, of being true to myself. What works for me might not work for everyone. And I certainly don't have nearly all the answers. Like I used to say to my Real Estate coaching clients, “I know what I think I know but I can put it aside for what I have yet to learn.”
Listen to him talk about being authentic and following his passion. Talks about what he wanted to do, and how his “hats” have changed over the years. Fascinating story. Listen to how he continually tries new things, hones his craft and is true to himself. How he works so hard getting noticed, connecting with good people all around him. His reading my audio book is more than just an accident, Deepok Chopra would call it Syncrodestiny.
He does all my characters. In fact, I didn't realize I had so many characters until I started listening to him narrate. I know, you're shaking your head, saying, how could she not know, but I didn't even think about it. He “gets” them so that I get to hear these guys out loud just like I've heard them in my head. Only an author who has done this knows what this feels like.
The whole process, for my first time, has been nearly seamless. Big learning curve for sure. But I willingly embark upon the next great adventure as we bring to you Fallen SEAL Legacy.
We've even added my favorite clip from Two Steps From Hell, Undying Love (by permission) to the audio book. Enjoy!
Common to both these books is the character Calvin “Coop” Cooper, who has been one of my fan-favorite SEALs. His story is Fallen SEAL Legacy, and is included in the Dangerous Attraction. Book 4 in the series, due to come out in late November. The anthology comes out November 10th.
I hope you will continue the ride with me for the rest of the SEAL Brotherhood series.
You can listen to the music I listen to every day when I write these books:
|XTS031_15 Undying Love.mp3
6013K Play Download
No military men or women were harmed in the making of this blog post, nor in the creation of my stories. Enjoy!