Grand Prize Winners:
Grand Prize Winners:
So, here's my blog and giveaway, and you have until October 22nd to leave your comments. If I had a big Highland Games event and I invited all the heroes of the six books I've written, who would win? Yes, I want you to pick the winner, after I give the evidence. And I'll even make it more fair. You can pick a hero from someone else's blog or book and vote for them here too.
Every comment gets entered into our Grand Prize giveaway, and every commenter will receive something, and YOU EVEN GET TO CHOOSE. Now, when were you ever given the choice of prizes on a blog hop? Be sure you follow the instructions at the end of this post.
We have 6 Alpha Heroes: Daniel DePalma, Joshua Brandon, Marcus Monteleone, Paolo Monteleone, SOC Kyle Lansdowne and SO Calvin Cooper. You get to vote for one of them (or another hero, if you must), by leaving a comment and telling us all why you think they should win, and what would you do with them to celebrate?
So, since this is election season, here are the descriptions of the candidates, and their Hollywood likenesses:
Daniel DePalma: Brazilian-born painter of colorful wall-sized jungle prints. He does not know his best friend, posing as his agent, is a dark angel who has hooked him up with a very bad girl. The relationship nearly destroys him. Not realizing there are forces of good and evil at play, a guardian angel comes to his rescue. He falls in love with her in spirit, until he falls in love with her in the flesh. He is willing to spend his life separated from his angel lover just to see her safely home.
Joshua Brandon: A colorful dark angel who was looking forward to an eternity of partying with his former best human friend, Daniel, bedding women in the Underworld as well as “on top” in the human world, until the guardian angel intervened. He has a fondness for redheads, especially redheadded guardian angels. He hates birds and detests order and rules. But he soon finds that, among other things, he has grown a conscience and finally meets a soul he cannot claim. He faces the ultimate sacrifice when he is asked to deliver that very woman to the Director of the Underworld to become a concubine. He discovers there are rules worth dying for.
Marcus Monteleone: A 300-year old golden vampire, has spent most of those years searching for his fated female, only to find her dying in his arms. He saves her life by turning her, only to be enjoined by the rules of his breed, to not interfere with her once human life. He does not believe he has fathered a child by a half vampire half witch/villainess, but he feels an obligation to take responsibility for the boy. In the end, he is willing to spend eternity without her if it means she will be safe from the jealous mother of the boy.
Paulo Monteleone: Brother to Marcus. He loves human women, and, unlike his brothers and sisters, does not take golden vampire mates and chooses to marry outside the fating, resisting a fating that went terribly wrong. He falls in love with a professor of legend and myths, who claims she knows everything about the “non-existant” golden vampires of Tuscany. He finds he is willing to sacrifice his immortal life to rescue his human lover from those that want her silenced.
Kyle Lansdowne: SEAL team leader sent on a mission to find his AWOL swim buddy, who has been kidnapped by a drug gang. The gang's intent is to get weapons and equipment from the SEAL community for their illegal use. By accident, Kyle runs into a newbie Realtor, and he finds in her the woman he has always wanted, just when she is nearly taken from him forever. He is forced to choose between her and his SEAL team buddy's life.
Calvin Cooper: Nebraska farm boy turned U.S. Navy SEAL. A specialist with gadgets, a medic and one of the tallest SEALs to ever graduate BUD/S. He is ordered to meet the family of a fallen SEAL medic, to help him heal the loss of his own family in a tornado. He helps a prominent psychiatrist protect his family, including his lovely daughter, from a psychopathic killer bent on revenge.
Now for your choice:
1. Dog Tag from Accidental SEAL
2. Amazon Kindle version SEAL Encounter.
Be sure to leave your name, AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and please do so in code like: Jane Doe (at) gmail (dot) com.
Have fun, and good luck!!
Joshua Welle and Graham Plaster, I must say, it is entirely a privilege to interview the two of you. Can’t wait to spread word about your wonderful book.
We military romance novelists write stories with military heroes. Different genre than yours, of course, but our readers like to learn about heroes and heroines who do the right thing, rise to the challenge and, against all odds, achieve a happily ever after. We wish it was always so in real life for these brave men and women.
In romance, we create fictional stories, based on things that could happen, not what did happen. Our average romance reader reads 3-4 books a week. It is estimated to be upwards of 51% of the publishing market. There is currently huge interest in things military, especially Special Ops.
So, thank you not only for your service, but for your time. I've written some questions about this book I think other writers and readers would want to know. So, welcome, and let's begin.
Tell me how you got the idea to put together the stories in this book? Who came up with the idea and how did it happen?
The concept for the book was originally a solicitation to our classmates, the first class to graduate from the US Naval Academy following 9-11, asking them to write something reflecting on their experiences over the past 10 years. We received 63 submissions over the course of three years and spent a considerable amount of time processing the themes that were emerging in the short stories.
Our primary reason for writing the book was to give voice to our current generation of leaders, promoting an honest but hopeful vision for the country. We're excited about the result because the book is exceeding our expectations. Not only was there a lot of interest to write, but there has also been tremendous energy and support from those who are reading the stories.
Whose idea was it?
Joshua Welle, our class President, along with the elected leadership of the class, initiated the project. Josh deservers the lion's share of the credit for networking with veteran's groups and book endorsers, but we've also assembled a highly talented team of editors, PR and social media professionals. It has been a team effort. The four editors on the cover, Josh Welle, John Ennis, Katherine Kranz and Graham Plaster, worked with the content of the book and created the anthology which is the final product.
Who do you want to read this book? Why?
As Tom Brokaw has already said, this book is a “must read for all Americans.” We think that it is a book that can be read by young and old alike, military and civilians. The stories are short and inspirational, providing insight from up and coming military leaders. They would make great leadership case studies for any group working through particular issues.
The broader theme of the book is bigger than military service. By honoring veterans in the book, we also want to cultivate a national dialogue surrounding the enduring qualities that make America great. These qualities – cherished, defended and exemplified by our veterans, are worth discussing as we continue to grapple with strategic decisions for America.
Tell us how the book is structured and some of the tales it contains.
The book is structured thematically, starting with short stories about experiences at the Naval Academy and remembrances of 9-11, followed by war stories and anecdotes of heroism. Finally, there are several stories about life after the military, the impact of military service on community leadership and major changes to military and civilian culture over the past 10 years.
Some folks tend to think of their 20s as a carefree decade in their lives…yours was not. Would you have had it any other way?
This is a question that is best answered by reading the book. The answer is mostly no, but there are shadows in our stories. Not everything is black and white. When we applied to the Naval Academy, we were attracted to the crisp distinctions between navy blue and white, good and evil, satisfactory and unsatisfatory. These paradigms were tested. Read the book to get an inside glimpse of how we navigated those waters.
Only 1% of Americans are wearing the uniform and fighting the nation’s post-9/11 wars…should this be a concern?
There is a different opinion on this for every contributor to the book, and the editors cannot speak on behalf of everyone for questions like this, but even in leadership classes at the Naval Academy we discussed the widening culture gap between the military and civilian life. This is a concern to some people, and simply par for the course if you ask others.
There is a culture gap in any specialization, and in some cases the military does a much better job of keeping the public informed about our values and sacrifices. We rely heavily on the non-profits, civic organizations and veteran support groups to ensure this gap is bridged. We are so thankful to those who do understand military sacrifice. This book is a bridge across that gap.
How has the military treated you and your family?
The military has tremendous programs in place to support families, and the close knit communities that form on far flung bases are the bedrock of American society. Supporting families is a high priority to our leaders in the military, which is why failures in the system get so much scrutiny. It is through the difficult process of discussing shortcomings in the system of support that we make it better. We have confidence that as we raise issues, leaders from our generation will continue to rise to the challenge of supporting military families in the years to come.
And by supporting those families, we learn to heal our nation as a whole. How did you decide who to invite into this endeavor?
The entire class was invited to participate. Not everyone wanted to write, felt like they were in a position to write. Because we are still mid-career, there are many questions that go into a project like this. Am I writing for a good reason? Am I writing what needs to be said? Am I correcting a misconception? We wrestled with these questions as writers and peer editors.
Tell me your most inspirational story and why?
One of the most moving accounts is written by Lisa Freeman, mother of Matt Freeman, who was killed in action. She writes from the perspective of her son. When she was first approached to write, she was still too raw from the loss of her son. Through the process of putting words to paper, and working with the classmates of her son to edit the story, she was able to work through some of the difficult emotions. She spoke at our national book launch at 9-11 and received a standing ovation for her courage and the great work being done in Matt’s name through The Matthew Freeman Project (freemanproject.org).
Let's hope that some of our readers today can help you and Mrs. Freeman with that goal. Do you have plans for future projects along the same lines? Or, anything you felt got left out because it needs a separate book?
We have 30 more stories that will be published directly to eBook, hopefully soon. All profits from the book and eBook go to veteran charities. Our only goal is to make sure the stories get told.
What would you like readers to know about this book?
This is a really unique book. Many memoirs are written at the twilight of a career, this is a slice of life from 33 mid-career leaders. Who knows what will become of them? There may be a future government official or CEO in the mix. This hall of heroes is an exciting glimpse into the making of America’s next generation of leaders – where they are now and where they might be headed.
What would you like readers to know about you, your team of writers?
We had a few professionals help us with editing, but for the most part, the writing was done by the “doers”. We had over a hundred submissions by the time we were done, but had to edit it down to reduce redundancy in some of the themes, and find a common thread. The common elements are leadership, sacrifice and service – across the board. These are men and women who have done incredible things and will continue to serve our country in heroic ways when they are out of uniform.
Especially with what has happened with current events, why is reading this book so important? What will readers find here they won’t find elsewhere?
Hollywood and newspapers give their accounts of war, but this book allows us to speak for ourselves. We were eager to write the book to clarify certain misconceptions and help bridge the cultural gap between military families and non-military families.
I'm sure others will agree with me, it is truly an honor to have you here today, and we thank you, not only for your service, but for helping us understand what it takes to be a true leader, told by those who are living it every day.
Some of our readers may have questions and comments. We welcome one and all. Those of you who can, leave them some likes and tags on Amazon here.
Thank you both,
Excerpts are available at http://shadowofgreatness.com/lookinsid
This Friday, come back to this site for a gripping interview of the two editors/authors of the new Leadership book, In The Shadow Of Greatness.
This was the first graduating class of the U.S. Naval Academy since the 9-11 disaster. It is a non-political book about what courage it takes to be one of America's leaders and the sacrifice it requires.
In my opinion, this should be read by every American citizen. Please show these men and women your support as they shape the vision for this great nation, which isn't always about black and white, red and blue, male and female. Leaders are born and created and step up to the plate every day. And they die that way too.
I am very honored and proud to bring it to you.
I have several projects actively in the works.
TANGO IN PARADISE is a contemporary adventure romance featuring an idealistic
schoolteacher and a mercenary caught in the middle of a South American
revolution. THE NINE LIVES OF THOMAS CASH RILEY is a humorous contemporary
fantasy romance that features a matchmaking cat. I'm also working on another
sci-fi romance in my Star Chronicles series. And I have about a dozen other
stories on simmer in the back of my mind just waiting to be written.
What was supposed to be a romantic weekend in Monterey with my husband has turned into something else. I've done a lot of adjusting these days. And gracefully. He came down with a bug, and, rather than expose me and others to it, decided to stay home.
I'm here to hear my friend, Tina Folsom, speak to the Monterey RWA chapter today. And, as luck would have it, we are going to be able to spend a little more time together, which I love doing with this prolific and creative writer who has inspired me greatly.
I was on my way last night to Moss Landing, and got lost, which is where all the real adventures lie, don't they? Between rows of brussels sprouts and lettuce, dodging the big trucks and farm workers finishing out a week of toil in the fields, I felt lucky to be alive and able to watch, life just go on. Don't know what excites me so much about brussels sprouts, but those beautiful plants did it for me. Row after row of perfectly formed, dark leafy green goodness, appearing to lack the aphids my plants often have. I sometimes wonder if it is worth it to even grow them in my garden. I've invested in scores of ladybug tubs, and though voracious eaters, I'm still stuck with those stubborn aphids. I refuse to spray.
Had dinner at Haute Enchilada, which was a really fun place, and managed to have an abstinent seafood dinner with local vegetables done to perfection. I picked out a dark corner, got out my laptop and worked on some social networking things.
I'm trying to finish my next SEAL book, Fallen SEAL Legacy, and I'm still about 20k from the end. I have about 40k words I won't be using, but can use on other books. Not since my first book have I had to re-write so many chapters, but I've strengthened the story, and some things just take longer. I'm relaxing into that.
And what has happened? You can guess, if you know me well. Another story has come over me, and I'm taking notes so I don't forget key points when I get ready to write it, which won't be now until next year. It is another contemporary series, but with older H/H, and involves a heroine on a road trip after the death of her husband. No, this is not in any way biographical. My husband is, thankfully, very much alive. But I got to “feeling” this story as I listened to a lot of Pat Metheney, some new music by Lyle Mays and other things on the Sirrius Satellite network, which is the best thing about my new car.
Road trips give me time to think. So, while there was that momentary “aw shucks” when my husband told me he wouldn't be going, I knew I'd make something productive and fun out of it. Have laptop will travel. I write well on the road, unlike lots of other writers. I don't like everything in its place. I like variety, and get inspired by new places. And then I come home, for what I hope will be a home stretch where I can really polish up and finish this puppy.
These are pictures and a little of the feel of this area. No, there are no pictures of the looming power plant. Makes the growing brussels sprouts, art galleries and eclectic places like The Whole Enchilada or Haute Enchilada even more special. After all, we don't live in a vaccuum. And I'm very grateful for the electricity which allows me to write, and to have readers find me.
I can't imagine a life of standing by the side of the road hawking my books to bicyclists or horse and buggy goers. Life would indeed be different. I won't have time to stop by again on my way to the meeting. I'm sure today will be just as filled with great memories.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend, wherever you are.
I'm totally jazzed to round out our stable of great military romance writers by bringing you Gennita Low, a three time RWA Golden Heart finalist. All my books at Amazon refer to her books (I can only hope it's vice-versa) as a good buying decision. And I'm sure it is.
Thank you, Gennita. Your stories sound awesome. I'm going shopping today to pick all of them up. Let's see if we get some great questions from our audience. What would you like to know about Gennita, her heroes, or her writing?
Hence Sam's kicked from one tough department
(Vice squad) to another tougher, more dangerous crew (Narcotics unit) for
dirtier, grittier undercover work, then finally punted to the Feds on loan for
the worst of the worst assignments. Sam took one for the team, let himself be
framed (did he commit the offenses or not?–I won't spoil the story), and then
dropped a few steps down the detective hierarchy. Worse, he took more dangerous
undercover work, living like a rat on the streets to bust drug crews. You can
feel the penitence just rolling off his back. A man who doesn't really care
about winning his reputation back.