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6

Memorial Day – Hearing the Flags Wave

Memorial Day took on a whole new meaning the first time my son was deployed overseas. We weren't told where he was going, when he'd be back, and, because of the outpost he would be sent to, communication would be nil.

I found great comfort walking the paths at Santa Rosa Memorial Park, seeing all the beautiful flags posted by the local Boy Scouts on the grave of every veteran. I watched as the newly interred were honored, their families given a folded flag, and a salute from an the Officer doing the officiating that day. One of my friends had lost his son just a few days before. His grave was still covered in flowers and wreaths.

We had protestors too that day, with their nasty signs inappropriately displayed, written comments meant to send distress to this young warrior's parents. If it wasn't for the beefy bikers who do the angel runs, picking up the coffins from San Francisco and escorting them up Highway 101 in a solemn parade of pride, the parents might have seen the disgusting message. I was glad they did not.

Just like every other mother who sends her son off to war, I thought about how I would act if it was suddenly my turn to show up at a ceremony like this. I hoped I never would. And so far, he's been safe.

When my son decided to serve, I admit trying to talk him out of it. That was the job for someone else's boy to do. I even harbored the thoughts that perhaps his talents in sports and leadership would be wasted on a battlefield. What parent hasn't thought the same. I'm not proud of it.

But as he stood steadfast, unwavering, waiting for me to come around, I saw in him not the boy I raised but a man who wanted to serve. I didn't want to take that away from him. And so I honored him with his decision, by deciding then and there, I'd be a willing participant and serve alongside him. I would support him as best I could.

It is an incredible thing to put on a uniform and selflessly serve a nation or an administration that you don't always agree with. But regardless of politics, background, race or religion, the military man or woman serves by setting aside their today for our tomorrow. We can be sad about the ones who don't come home. But they'd want us to live our lives and be grateful for the freedoms we have.

And to remember, not just on Memorial Day, or R.E.D. Fridays, but every day. With all the turmoil and nastiness out there today, it is truly a miracle, washed in the blood of those who have sacrificed, that we get to live the life we have.

May your grateful nation always remember you, veterans in peacetime and in war. And say thank you for your gift of freedom.

4

Red Friday Post – This Is Why We Wear Red on Fridays

Bruce, Kally, J.M. MSgt Leroy Petry and Sharon, in Cincinnati

I'm at Lori Foster's Reader/Author event #RAGT15 in Cincinnati. It's the first time I've been here. Met up with good friends J.M. Madden, Bruce and Donna MacDonald, Karen Henderson, April Allen, Sabrina York, Darynda Jones, Kallypso Masters and the lovely Charlotte, and many many others. If I try to name them all I'll forget one and it will ruin my night.

Bruce met and introduced us to Master Sergeant Leroy Petry, a proud veteran now a motivational speaker, who is a common man who did uncommon things. In fact, he was so uncommon, he was awarded many ribbons and medals, including the Army Commendation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with a bronze Oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, and The Congressional Medal of Honor.

Code Talker quilt



If you read about him in the link provided, you will find he also attended Indian school near Santa Fe, New Mexico. A statue of his likeness is located today at the Pojoaque Pueblo. I believe this fine warrior is Native American.

As I read further, I found this:

Tattered but still there
A Taliban fighter threw a grenade at their position which landed 10 meters from them; it detonated, and the blast knocked the three soldiers to the ground, wounding Higgins, and further wounding Robinson.[3] Shortly thereafter the three were joined by Staff Sergeant James Roberts and Specialist Christopher Gathercole. Another grenade was thrown by a Taliban fighter which landed a few feet from Higgins and Robinson. Petry, knowing the risk to his life, moved toward the grenade, picked it up, and attempted to throw it in the direction of the Taliban.[7] Petry later recalled his immediate reaction was “get it out of here, get it away from the guys and myself. And I reached over, leaned over to the right, grabbed it with my hand, and I threw it as hard as I could, what I thought was at the time. And as soon as I opened my hand to let it go, it just exploded instantly. And I came back, and the hand was completely severed off.”[8] The detonation amputated his right hand, and sprayed his body with shrapnel.[9] In throwing the grenade away, Petry likely saved the two other soldiers from serious injury or death.[10][6]
Petry placed a tourniquet on his right arm.[1] Roberts began to fire at the Taliban fighters, suppressing them in the courtyard. An additional fighter on the east end of the courtyard fired, fatally wounding Gathercole.[3] Higgins and Robinson returned fire, killing that fighter.[1] They were then joined by Sergeant First Class Jerod Staidle, the platoon sergeant, and Specialist Gary Depriest, a medic. Directing the medic to treat Gathercole, Petry was assisted by Staide and Higgins to thecasualty collection point.[3]
There are no accidents. I was meant to meet this fine young man who sacrificed himself that day to save others, and who fought to protect our way of life. What I didn't know until I got up in my room and began to read the information on Petry was that he served with a young man our family knew from Sonoma County, Chris Gathercole. Every time I mail a package to some one of my fans, I see Chris's picture on the wall at the Santa Rosa Main post office, along with the other dozen or so brave young men who lost their lives and are honored there. 
And next week when I go home, and mail my next package, I will look at Gathercole's picture, and I will silently thank him again, and let him know his teammate fights on for all of us. Because although Petry is now retired from active duty, there is still much work to be done amongst the community. My job is to watch, pay attention and record or bring light to it.
And to enjoy my life to the fullest. Thank you, Staff Sergeant Petry, and Specialist Chris Gathercole, for protecting my freedom with your precious blood. 
6

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Gifts That Keep Growing

I've written before about the paths we take, the steps we take in the shoes of our choice, and how our choices make us the people we are. Sometimes we surprise ourselves and we are stronger than we thought possible. Other times, we are weaker. We've done a lot of traveling, and unfortunately that took a toll on us, health-wise this season. It was unexpected and unusual for us to be so ill for so long. I'm never at my best when I'm sick, or when a loved one is sick, or hurting. I remember the last Christmas we had with my Dad, and how weak and frail he looked at the end. I see the vacant chair at Christmas morning when we open our stockings, and I miss him. This year, even though it's been 3 years now, I missed him more than ever.

IMG_6227 He'd love to see the grandkids and their sparkly faces. He'd love to see how they enjoyed seeing the Crystal Palace at Disney World, the Osborne light show at Disney Hollywood, IMG_6042 how the kids greeted me at the door at my daughter's house for Christmas morning. With a living room so filled with packages all colorfully wrapped, there wasn't room for furniture. A sea of abundance. 

There was that ache in my heart, partly from missing those that have passed on, partly because I just felt something was missing. My life is truly blessed. I have everything I've always wanted, and more. And yet something was missing. I thought a lot about it during these past four days. This morning I found the answer. 

My best friend sent me some music and it made me cry. I'd been staying off the internet, trying to be present with the people physically around me, trying to get over this lonely feeling something was lost or missing. But I opened my computer and saw a post from Mark Divine, who is a SEAL trainer and one of the smartest men on the planet. With the beautiful music as my background, I read his blog, “The Secrets of Resiliency.” And that was what I was missing.

Being a romance novelist I am very sensitive. When I was little, I would cry at movies and TV shows, my family often making fun of me. I was just like my grandmother Fox. When I stayed with them, we would sit on the couch and cry together. Shows like Come Back Yeller and Lassie just broke us up into pieces. Our big red puffy eyes testament to how deeply we felt things. Two of a kind. We wore our badge with honor.

Mark asked the question, “Do you tend to back off when you get overwhelmed emotionally and let fear, uncertainty or frustration derail you? I had to answer “yes” to that. I've been halfway around the world. Had a scare with my husband's health and a diagnosis I was afraid to hear. I'd just finished a book in a new genre for me, which turned out to be more work than I'd anticipated. My year was huge in terms of what I accomplished. And yes, I've been overwhelmed. Though I'm proud of all these great things, I was letting fear take a front seat in my roller coaster ride of life. What if next year is even harder? Am I prepared? Have I made the right choices?

The miracle of life, of the season, and the answer I got this morning was that yes, I have been making the right choices. Feeling emotionally vulnerable prepares me for the next big challenge. Of one thing I am certain, there will be challenges and failures next year. People will disappoint me. I will disappoint those I love. Nothing is, afterall, perfect.

But it still is. Because the perfectness of life is that we get to learn how to be more resilient by being challenged. We don't learn to walk except by falling down. We don't learn to do anything outstanding without having first experienced failure. But if we let fear stop us, we don't progress. And by progress I mean we get resilient, not perfect. We learn how to dust ourselves off and get up and try again. We get the opportunity to have a breakthrough. Without the toughness and the fears we have to face, we don't get those breakthroughs. We don't get the silver linings without the clouds.

We got to share our Christmas Eve with a couple from Croatia and their four year old daughter. What a blessing it was to see their faces light up as they watched their daughter, only here seven months, be able to speak English and share her first Christmas in a new land with an American family. It was an honor to share our home with them. It was my greatest Christmas gift.

So I have the gift this season of being emotionally challenged, overwhelmed, with my heart bursting with gratitude for all the opportunities I have now, and in the future. Oh yes, fear will still be my familiar friend, but now I can thank him for making me a stronger person. For reminding me that my job is to feel. Not just be, but to feel. And the more resilient I become, the more gifts of feeling I will be able to experience.

Nothing stays the same. Everything passes on, fades and dies. Everything. What I see now at my age is different than what I saw as a child, a young bride, mother, daughter, grandmother. I don't have to be perfect. I just have to fill my days with enough of all the good things I can stand.

Happy, Bright, Shining New Year. May it be the first of many.

2

Hot Alpha SEALs: Military Romance Mega-Set

Hot Alpha SEALs

Military Romance Megaset

Anthology
Sharon HamiltonAnne ElizabethCat JohnsonCindy DeesCristin HarberDelilah DevlinElle JamesGennita LowJ.M. MaddenSabrina York,  Teresa Reasor,  P.T. Michelle

Summary:

12 New York Times, USA Today or Award-winning bestselling Hot Alpha Authors bring you this Military Romance Megaset for your reading pleasure:

THE KISS OF A SEAL by Award-winning Author Anne Elizabeth — Jessa Grainger's world is rocked by the kiss of a SEAL, SO-1 Link Tyler. It wouldn't be a problem for an ordinary person, but being a Navy Consultant working on the Amphibious Base as well as being engaged to a SWCC man make the situation very sticky.

NIGHT WITH A SEAL (Hot SEALS #1) by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Cat Johnson –When navigating military red tape begins to present more challenges than the enemy, it makes SEAL Jon Rudnick question his future. So does Alison Cressly, the one woman he can't get out of his head.

HOT BAYOU SEAL by Award-winning author Cindy Dees — SEAL Ford Alambeaux is a busted up SEAL on his way out of the teams. Trina Zarkos is being tossed out of SEAL training like every other female candidate…until they're thrown together on a way off-book mission to see if she can play with the big boys or not.

DELTA: RETRIBUTION by USA Today bestselling author Cristin Harber — Fallen Navy SEAL and Titan Group's Delta recruit Trace Reeves wants nothing more than a one-night stand to forget that his twin brother was killed-in-action. But when his one-time fling becomes his high value target, the lines blur between her rescue mission and saving himself.

WATCH OVER ME (An Uncharted SEAL story) by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Delilah Devlin — Deke Warrick's unsanctioned detail is to keep tabs on a congressman's niece while she vacations in the Caribbean. He's determined to keep his distance, from the beautiful Nicky Martir–until she's snatched from their hotel room.

SEAL'S OBSESSION (A Take No Prisoners story) by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elle James — Mission: Halt pirate activities off the coast of Honduras. SEAL TEAM 10's Jack Fischer goes undercover as a deck hand on a medical boat where he finds himself falling for the dedicated Dr. Natalie Rhoades.

The SEAL (a Sex, Lies & Spies novella) by USA Today bestselling author Gennita Low — Mari Lords is tasked by her father to steal the seal that is an important clue in a round-the-world treasure hunt called The Game. When her opportunity comes during a party, she finds another kind of SEAL, Angel Marcello.

UNBREAKABLE SEAL by USA Today bestselling author J.M. Madden — Maxwell Tate fights against a psychotic dream world, until he no longer knows what's real. Lacey Adams knows she can't save all of her cases, but can she salvage the unbreakable SEAL?

MISTER BLACK A Billionaire SEAL Story, Part 1 (In the Shadows) by Award-winning author P.T. Michelle –He is Black: a deadly enforcer and masterful seducer. I am Red: a justice bleeder and willing participant. When our secrets converge in a passionate encounter, stepping out of the shadows just might be worth the risk.

STONE HARD SEAL by Award-winning author Sabrina York –When Ryder “Stone” Maddox's meets Lily Wilson–a senator's daughter who is definitely off-limits–he's determined to keep his distance, despite her irresistible allure. But Lily has plans of her own…to put his heart of stone to the test.

SEAL'S PROMISE by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Hamilton –Navy SEAL T.J. Talbot, SEAL Team 3's bad boy, makes a deathbed promise to protect and care for his fallen buddy's wife and child. The only problem is, she hates him.

BREAKING TIES (a SEAL Team Heartbreakers story) by bestselling author Teresa Reasor — Navy SEAL Oliver Shaker is blindsided when he learns that not only does his wife, Selena, have a life-threatening illness, but she's also pregnant, stretching their marriage to the breaking point.

This amazing bundle is only 99 Cents, Buy your copy now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | ITunes

4

Box Set Blog Hop Winner

Thank you to everyone who stopped by on the Box Set Blog Hop!  The winner has been selected and emailed,

Congratulations to: 

Sandy S

Sandy won a Kindle copy of SEALS of Summer!  If you didn't win, don't miss your chance to get this amazing box set of books for a steal of a deal: only $2.99!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

SEALs of Summer: Military Romance Superbundle, Navy SEAL Style
Military Super-bundle of ten novellas and novels by New York Times, USA Today and award-winning bestselling authors: Delilah Devlin, Sharon Hamilton, Anne Marsh, Cora Seton, Zoe York, Roxie Riviera, S.M. Butler, Kimberley Troutte, Jennifer Lowery, Elle James.

 
IT TAKES A SEAL, An Adventure Girls, Inc. story by USA Today Bestselling author Delilah Devlin: A travel agent visiting friends in the Bahamas is stranded on a desert island with a sexy ex-SEAL after their private pleasure cruise is interrupted by men who mistake her lover for a reclusive billionaire. 

SEAL OF MY HEART by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Hamilton: Kate Morgan’s engagement is at risk the instant she sets eyes on the handsome elite warrior sitting next to her on a plane trip to visit her sister. Navy SEAL Tyler Gray had thought he knew what he wanted in life, until he meets Kate and their obvious attraction for each other sparks something deep in his soul. What starts out as innocent letters between friends turns out to be much more. Can someone fall in love deeply just with words and letters exchanged, or is this just a pleasant fantasy that will ruin their lives forever? 

SMOKING HOT by National Bestselling Author Anne Marsh: When an ambush kills his teammate, Navy SEAL Tye Callahan vows to spend the summer in Strong, California, fighting fires with the smoke jumper team and looking out for Katie Lawson, his teammate's fiancée. Now, as the summer heats up, they must decide if the chemistry burning between them might just be their second chance at living their own lives… together. 


THE NAVY SEAL’s E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE by National Bestselling author Cora Seton: If Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, can’t find a wife and get her pregnant—and convince his three brothers to marry, too—before the year is up, he’ll have to forfeit the ranch his family has prized for over a hundred years. Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight? 
FALL OUT by Zoe York: Drew Castle is a Navy SEAL with a bad case of indifference. Until 
Annie Martin shows up on his doorstep, scared out of her mind, and all of a sudden, keeping 
her safe becomes the most important mission of his life. And this time, he’s on his own. 

CLOSE QUARTERS by Bestselling author Roxie Rivera: Nationally Bestselling author Roxie Rivera brings you Close Quarters. Getting tangled up in Jamie Pearson's latest hot mess—or her sheets—is the very last thing Navy SEAL Leland Gates needs, but in close quarters like these, there's no denying the white-hot passion blazing between them. 

KILLING HONOR by International Bestselling author S.M. Butler: Returning home after a disastrous extended deployment, Navy SEAL Brody Battles struggles with nightmares and government secrets building a wall between him and his wife, Devyn, especially when a security breach compromises his identity. While they’re adjusting to being a family again, an old enemy waits in the shadows, salivating for the sweet taste of revenge. 


COMING IN HOT by Award-winning author Kimberley Troutte: For Navy SEAL Mack Riley, rescuing a family in Colombian jungles isn’t as hard as seeing the admiral’s daughter again, but since Jenna is joining the hostage rescue team, his orders are to protect her. In the heat of battle, love breaches their defenses just as missiles lock onto their coordinates …can they save the family and get out alive? 


A SEAL’s SONG by Golden Heart Finalist author Jennifer Lowery: Navy SEAL Jack Taggart’s plans to catch some much-needed downtime between deployments are demolished when he risks everything to rescue beautiful wedding singer, Darci O’Shea, from a band of thieves. Will the battle between their inner demons be the hardest one to fight, or will they find rescue in each other’s arms? 


SEALS’s EMBRACE by USA Today Bestselling author Elle James: Injured Navy SEAL and the critical care nurse he's attempting to woo join forces to stop a terrorist attack.

SEAL My Destiny

SEAL My Destiny

Book 6 in the SEAL Brotherhood Series

Book 6

GENRE –  Romantic Suspense

PUBLICATION DATE –  June, 1, 2014LENTH (Pages/# Words) – Full Length NovelPUBLISHER – Al Publishing

Book Summary:

Navy SEAL Luke Paulsen, on the verge of PTSD stemming from the death of his fiancée and a brutal tour overseas, knows he is damaged goods and unsuitable for relationships. While paying respects to a fallen comrade, he is unprepared for the chemical attraction he feels for the carefree dark-haired beauty playing in the surf one evening.

Julie Christensen befriends the troubled SEAL, motivated by her yearning to soothe the young man’s troubled soul. Fueled by intense mutual desire, they succumb to one night of mind-numbing passion. Afterwards, he is unable to shed the memory of his lost love and disappears.

When they meet again at a wedding that will forever bring their two families together, their passion and longing for one another forces them to confront their pasts in order to find a future together.
But soon the trauma of his service separates them. Julie goes back to teaching and Luke deploys for North Africa with SEAL Team 3. Upon his return, he receives a frantic call that Julie's life is in danger. Will he make it in time to save the woman he now knows he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with?

Buy Links

Audible | AmazonBarnes and Noble | iBooksITunes

Book Trailer

Interview With Luke Paulsen

Sample Reads

Sharon Hamilton takes you on amazing journeys filled with such emotions and stories that touch your hearts in so many ways.  Another great addition to her list of amazing books.— Pamela Reveal, Amazon Reviewer

Cruisin' For A Seal

Cruisin' For A SEAL

Book 5 in SEAL Brotherhood Series

Publish Date: March 1, 2014Publisher: AL PublishingGenre: Romantic Suspense, Military RomancePrint Length: 275 PagesBook Summary:

Marc Beale and several of his brothers from SEAL Team 3 board a cruise ship to bury a fallen buddy's ashes at sea. A risky affair with a beautiful Italian the night before they leave begins to ease his survivor’s guilt.

Sophia Negri, suffering jitters over her engagement, falls for the handsome SEAL and pretends she speaks no English, letting their bodies do the talking. When Marc finds her on the ship and learns Sophia is half American, he is angry at first, but falls for her all over again as they set sail.

Terrorists take over the ship and hold the passengers for ransom, Marc and the other SEALs are the only ones who can stop the plot. Will Marc’s actions be enough to save Sophia or will he have to sacrifice himself to save the woman he loves?

Buy Links:

Audible | Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | iBooks | iTunes

Watch the Trailer

Sample Reads

Excerpt

Marc started to stand, but she stopped him with her hand on his forearm. He did sit back down, but he crossed his massive arms in front of his chest, leaning back into the couch and looking the opposite direction, away from her.

“I know none of this makes sense. Not sure I do either. I thought that—well I just thought a little night of anonymous sex with no strings would be something—and this is a totally selfish thing here, I admit it—I thought I could just have…” This was going to be much more difficult than she’d planned. Everything she wanted to say wasn't right. “I just wanted one more night being single, being free to choose, being with someone without it being complicated. And I’m sorry. I realize now that that was a huge mistake.”

His passive, hulking frame and dispassionate stare into the distance broke her heart.

“Please Marc, look at me.” He did, but his eyebrows were raised, his eyes contained the look of someone who thought she was full of crap. She mustered her courage and added, looking into his sky blue eyes, those eyes she’d gotten lost in, eyes she would remember forever, “I am truly sorry. I am not a good person at all. I did this without any regard for your feelings.”

Their eyes did connect, and for a second she could see the hurt there, a little dream in his heart that was dying too, just as hers was. Instinct told her to reach over and kiss him, hug him, tell him how sorry she was for her behavior, but she knew that was the wrong way to handle it. As much as she wanted to touch him and let him know how awful she felt, she needed to keep her distance.

Just tell him the truth and get out.

Marc hadn't dropped his eyes. He was searching for something in her face she hoped didn't show up. He was looking for evidence she cared for him. Wouldn't it be wiser to show coldness? Let him understand there was no future between them?

But was that the truth? Really the truth? Did all this happen because of her niggling doubts about Ricardo and the life she would have with him in Brazil? If she were certain of her decision to marry him, would the night with Marc have happened? She honestly didn't know the answer to that.

“It was the most beautiful afternoon I've spent in my entire life. I will never forget it. Never, Marc,” she said.

His crooked smile with the dimple on the right side of his full lips was sexy as hell, and changed the mask of his face.

“It was a pretty incredible afternoon, but hey, no worries, Sophia. I’m not looking to get hooked up with anyone. I’m getting ready to deploy. This is just a little R and R before we go. It kind of worked, in a sick sense of the word.” He looked at his palms.

She hadn't expected that.

“You aren't angry?”

“For an afternoon of the best sex of my life? Fuck no.”

It was a nice thing to say, but she felt the blunt force of a verbal slap. “I think it was more than that, is what I’m trying to say,” she said, her voice low and husky.

Marc shot up, put his hands in his cargo shorts. “I’m glad. While you’re working your way through the cruise ship males, I’ll be having beers with my buds and probably swearing off Italian girls for awhile.” He began to walk out of the bar.

She had to do something. She ran and stood in front of him, to stop him.

“Wait a minute. What I want to say is that it wasn't just a hookup. I mean it started that way, but it became more, I guess is what I’m saying.”

“Well, that’s fine, honey. And if you get that itch again, I’ll scratch it. No worries. I’m not going to get pissed off and ruin another good time.” His brilliant white teeth and blue eyes melted her bones.

“So it wasn't—“

“You don’t have the right to that privileged information, honey. You’re engaged to someone else. I don’t gotta tell you anything about me or how I feel about anything, remember? But if you want another anonymous hookup, I’m not going anywhere. We've got like twenty days together. We've already proven we can let our bodies do the talking since the words seem to get in the way.”

He left the bar. She felt her stomach drop to her ankles.

It wasn't easy to put it out of her mind, the look on his face as he turned, bowed slightly and walked out of her life. She’d already cried for him once as she was walking away from him in the Piazza. She’d left a part of her with him that day, and now today he took away another piece as he walked down the marble foyer, pushed the up button and left in the elevator.

 

14

Flying The Flag. Making the Choices.

Before you read this blog, read this great article about Ernie Napper and the flag retreat at Disneyland.

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.

Wanted to make it to the Petaluma parade today, but have other blogging and writing obligations. I'm a big fan of parades, though. I remember my grandpa riding his horse, Bobbie Rex, in the DAV unit in Fresno. 
I also love to look at the cemetery when it's filled with flags. The sounds of them rustling in the wind makes me cry every time I see/hear it. I heard the rush of acres of flags at a WWII cemetery in Tunisia a few years ago and I had the same reaction then as now. At local celebrations I love watching the older men and women who've served this great country get up out of their wheelchairs sometimes to salute. And the motorcycle riders who block the demonstrators with their hateful banners aimed at the families of the fallen, a right of free speech others paid for with blood.

I'm reading a great book, oddly recommended by our Romance Writers of America magazine this month (I know), called Getting More, by Stuart Diamond. It isn't what you think. It isn't about winning at all costs, or carving out your piece of the pie. It's about understanding where you fit in, where you can collaborate, where and why you should connect and give back, sometimes with the ultimate sacrifice. Here's a great example:
“Too often people think they can meet their goals only at the expense of others…If you meet your goals today at the expense of the long term, you have served yourself poorly. Getting More means meeting your goals for all relevant people and periods…”
He goes on to say, “Once you have identified your goals, it is important to keep asking, ‘Are my actions meeting my goals?' The world is full of people who fail to do this. They get emotional or distracted or are just not thinking this way. It goes for you and it goes for others you care about.”

The getting emotional part I just cannot contain. Guilty as charged. My grandmother and I used to sit together on her overstuffed couch in the parsonage in Napa and cry during Lassie. That was back in the day when my brother and I would spend part of our summer vacation with them. Sometimes we'd get moved to that couch in the middle of the night if a woman and her children needed a home for the night to get away from an abusive relationship. I thought every family fed homeless people, sent cookies to shut-ins at hospitals, and took in badly battered women and their scared-to death-children. That was what I grew up with.

So why would I focus on goals today when we are celebrating veterans this weekend? Because they blazed the path, paid the sacrifice so we could live lives of meaning and purpose, so we could give back where we can and not worry about what we can't. So we can say thank you to those that make it their mission in life to serve, with only the minimal recognition we give them. Because that's not their goal. They don't need the parades. We do. So we never forget to be grateful.
Sacrifice is never fair. Trust me, having raised 4 children, I'm not always fair, and I used to tell them all the time I would screw up, and did often. But the goal in our family has always been to celebrate life, all forms of life, to treat people with respect, and to work for things worthwhile.
Earl Nightingale used to define success as, “The achievement of a worthwhile goal.” He used to say that, “Successful negotiation is the result of a good presentation.” I think Stuart Diamond would agree with this principle. You have to know what you want to get the things you want out of life. You have to know what people around you want to create, that “clan” of supporters that help you along the way, as you help them. It is in the helping others that you become a better person, which in turns brings more success, and certainly a lot of satisfaction into our lives. And helps us give more. 

And there is one other person I check with on a regular basis. The great man upstairs. He's never given me bad instructions and when I listen, he is patient and wise. I may not be one who is called on to fight on a battlefield, like my imaginary SEALs do, like the men I love so dearly do in the real SEAL community. But my mission in life is to stay aligned with a plan and purpose bigger than I am. 

And to thank those who died or suffer ongoing so that I can live the life of my dreams. My goal is not to waste, but use fully what I have been so generously given, to live with the full-on intensity of my being.

4

SEAL Brotherhood Continues!

SEAL Under Covers is Book 3 in my SEAL Brotherhood series. I knew when I wrote Book 1, Accidental SEAL, that the missing SEAL, Armando Guzman, would have his own book eventually. Book 3 is his.

He was born in Puerto Rico, and his father, a good cop, was gunned down on the job, so his mother brought young Armando and his sister to Los Angeles to grow up. He got involved in some unsavory activity, but the Navy has smoothed out some of his wrinkles. In fact, due to his model good looks and luck with the ladies, the other guys on my fictional SEAL Team 3 call him Armani.

Here's the blurb:

Navy SEAL Armando Guzman is trying to help his sister clean
up her life, but he is unprepared for the chemical attraction of his sister’s
new best friend.

Gina Mancuso is working her first under cover detail for the
San Diego Police Department. She didn’t expect that the man of her dreams would
be the brother of the woman she’s planning to arrest.
I had written a big portion of this book before I went to the Writer's Police Academy this Fall. I was worried that perhaps I would find some huge flaw in the story, and grilled the police and DEA agents there, especially the ones who went deep under cover, to see if I got the details correct. Relieved to discover I had not only done it right, I had actually made up scenes in my own head they had actually experienced in their years in law enforcement, I felt like a mystic, a clairvoyant.

Armando is his LPO's best friend and swim buddy during BUD/s. As many of you know, the BUD/s training is so grueling, and encompasses such a variety of skills that test their physical and mental abilities, friendships and alliances are formed that last a lifetime. Kyle and Armando both credit the other for having survived and passing the training, to go on to SQT, and then to get their Trident.
Here is an excerpt from SEAL Under Covers:
That left Armando holding the door open to the old beater
truck. Damn, but the guy was cool. The happenings in the strip joint hadn’t
seemed to ruffle him one bit. He’d have been just as comfortable getting black,
blue, and bloody. Gina wondered where he would draw the line.
Do I know where to draw the
line?
Well, his was
personal. Hers was her job. But it was definitely fucked that her ex-boyfriend
had to land himself in the middle of her professional world too.
But that’s what kind of a
choice you made, Gina.
Always
making the wrong choices when it came to men. In a way, very much like Mia.
She watched Armando standing there, waiting for her. The
other car was waiting for her as well.
Never waste an opportunity
to make another bad decision.
Her
roommate in college used to say that every day, while at the same time managing
to bed most of the football team and as many of the soccer players as she could
get. Gina always waited up for her, just in case she needed a ride or got too
drunk. Just like she was now trying to do for Mia. It was the reason she became
a cop. Another bad decision? Well, it certainly was something that had been
locked and loaded way down inside her soul after she got the call from the
police that fateful night. That night when her roommate became someone’s victim
and Gina had sat waiting for a call that would never come.
She wondered what would ruffle this man of steel, amazed
that he could make choices so quickly as he had just now. Was he ever afraid in
his job like she was in hers?
What threshold am I walking
through tonight?
She leaned over to look around the SEAL, checking on Mia in
the passenger seat of her own car. Of course she would be safe with the little
warrior, a guy who would probably die trying to protect her, from what Mia had
said. But this one standing in front of her, balancing on one hip, leaning
against the door, his muscular arms worthy of any Popeye character, was
dangerous.
To her heart.
“Do I have a choice?” she said to him, watching that smirky
little smile and sexy eyes making fun of her while her heart did flip-flops.
She’d been close to peeing on herself while she sat and watched her
ex-boyfriend nearly call out the brother—the SEAL brother of the woman they were working. It had been wrong on
so many levels, even the Pope couldn’t dish out enough forgiveness.
“Get in.” It was a command that made her tense, but the
smile he flashed afterwards made her panties wet. Suddenly her ankles wobbled
and she nearly fell, which would have been totally uncool. And damn, if he
didn’t reach out and put a strong, muscled arm around to steady her. He let her
go after he gave her one hurried squeeze, just tight enough for her to learn he
was aroused.
Another footnote to a
perfectly fucked evening.
Her
mission was nearly blown. Why did she feel guilty for that? They were supposed
to be hanging out with the gang by the stage. Well, she couldn’t help it if Sam
and the rest of the crew had decided to pull a game change on her. As she slid
onto the torn leather seat of the old truck, she smiled at the recollection. It
had been damned satisfying, slapping Sam and tossing the drink into his face.
She’d stared right back at him when he showed his anger. And she didn’t flinch
or cower this time. She was filled with pride. She’d stood up to him, finally!
But now what? On any other evening, getting into a truck
with a SEAL would be a no-brainer. Nothing wrong with a night of sex with a hot
guy, if that was where he was headed. She wasn’t completely sure, but she
wasn’t that rusty that she couldn’t
recognize a good, clean come-on. The fact that he was the brother of their
party of interest and it was totally forbidden only heightened her
anticipation. But decisions like that were never good ones. She had to put a
stop to this somehow.
Tell that to my body. She watched him walk around the front of
the vehicle and, yes, she squeezed her eyes shut and imagined him naked.
Get a grip, Gina. As much as she hated to admit it,
something about the man set her insides on fire. He was all the right kinds of
dangerous for her. A hero. Breathtakingly good-looking in that Latin Lover way
she loved in men. Shiny black hair worn a little too long. Tanned complexion
with just a hint of stubble. Body well-honed and disciplined. He knew what he
wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. And he loved his sister, which was the
biggest heart-snag of all.

He got in the driver seat, slammed the rickety door closed
and sighed.

Did all the air just get
sucked out of the truck?
It
seemed like minutes as she watched him blankly stare through the windshield,
his face illuminated by the red taillights of Mia’s vehicle, now pulling away
in front of them. Those dark eyes with long lashes and succulent, full lips.
She shouldn’t have stared so long, but she couldn’t help it.
He tilted his head and turned in her direction. The eyes
didn’t lie. He had the fire inside that his sister had, but in all the right
places, not the wrong ones, like Mia. She let him appreciate the red fuzzy
dress with the scoop neckline. She didn’t care if her chest got blotchy with
nerves or if her cheeks flushed. And, of course, her nipples perked right up
“So how is this going to work?” he asked. The words slid out
like satin sheets.
“I’m not quite sure I know what you mean,” she heard herself
say in response. She made a point to beat the waver from her voice.
“I take you to your place, or to Mia’s?”
“Mia’s.”
“Your car there?”
“No, I took a cab.”
“And so how would you get home?”
“You assume I want to go home. Maybe I’m going to stay
over.”
“I don’t see a pajama bag.”
The crease at the side of his mouth dimpled and she watched
the tip of his tongue running across his bottom lip. The words “pajama bag” had
never sounded so sexy.
She stuck her chin out, looking back at him with
heavy-lidded eyes, and whispered, “I don’t wear pajamas.”

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:

No military men or women were harmed in the making of this blog post, nor in the creation of my stories. Enjoy!

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

8

Jumping Out of Airplanes, Replanting Hydrangeas

I got a great quote this morning from Mark Divine, former Navy SEAL and now coach and Unbeatable Mind Academy founder, “I leaped into the dark abyss. Wind whipped by me, and the velocity of my jump picked up. With my eyes popping out of my head and a joker smile, I managed one thought: “this is either going to turn out really cool, or really shitty.”



This really spoke to me this morning. Several years ago now, our family visited a skydiving facility in the San Diego area to celebrate a great family victory. I decided to try to push my own personal boundaries, doing something that was so way over the top scary, even death-defying, that it would change my life forever.

And since I was going, the rest of my family went as well. Another one of Mom's crazy ideas. 

It was crazy, crazy fun. I jumped in tandem with “Tigger” my hooked up buddy, and he showed me points on the horizon after we'd pulled the chute: Mexico, the ocean, San Diego, the training facility and cars that looked like grains of white rice. I felt the cold air against me and then felt it warm as I got closer and closer to mother earth. I have to say the welcoming she did for this scared and tired traveler was inspiring.

Coach Devine goes on to say that we sometimes need to make that leap of faith, to go for it, put ourselves in failure's way, to get the prize behind the door. The unspoken part is the small print that says, “or die trying.” This is something every elite warrior knows, but not anything we dwell on.

My relationship to the earth is very strong. Being an organic gardener for over 40 years has taught me things about life, while watching plants grow, thrive, and yes, die. So, when I jumped out of an airplane at 13,500 feet, though I was with someone who was very experienced, it was a disconnect from all the familiar sensations of my everyday life, and a leap into something else. 

I have these big beautiful hydrangeas in our backyard. We're in the middle of a big project to make a space we can look at through our 13′ roll up glass garage door-cum-dining room window. We overlook a forest, but one that had to be pruned and thinned. We have sudden oak death around us, and the bay trees are the carrier. So, about ten big trees are being removed. And so now my beautiful hydrangeas, some of them over ten years old, have to be moved to a more shady location. I am concerned for their roots, and their relocation, just like I was when I jumped out of the airplane with no roots. I resist change and will miss them if they don't make it. They have become a part of me.

The transition from the familiar garden in my backyard to something new and miraculous is hard for me. Maybe all change is hard for me. Maybe that's why jumping out of a plane was hard for me. But do I want to live my life with the routine of the ordinary, “quiet desperation” as Coach Divine says, or embrace: 


The more capable you are as a person, the bigger the challenge you must bring to yourself.


I have to say the answer to that question on this glorious Saturday in June is, yes. Yes. Bring it on. Now, where's the airstrip?

4

M is for Marliss Melton

We live in an exciting time and place. Because of the internet, I have been able to forge friendships with people I might never meet. Luckily for me, sometimes I get that rare opportunity to meet a truly inspirational person, a fellow traveler on this writing journey. And she writes about Navy SEALs, like I do.

I can remember the evening I picked up that first book of hers, I think it was Forget Me Not. I had never read a military romance, and I'd just come from the San Francisco Writer's Conference and someone did a panel on genres. I think it was Brenda Novak who told me about military romance, and recommended Marliss and Suzanne Brockman. I bought Marliss' book first, and I was hooked.

Up until that day, all my reading had been classics,
with a healthy dose of paranormal. I was an avid fan of Diana Gabaldon, but Anne Rice was my obsession, until the latter books, when my tastes shifted. Marliss opened the door to the SEAL community I knew a little about already, and I dipped my toe in the water, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Just like anything, when one person does something, it makes it easier for others to follow. She has her heroes too. She also has a loyal following, like me, wherever she goes. It is truly an honor and a priviledge to call her friend.

None of us write in a vacuum. Yes, we compete for the same reader dollar, but not really. We give a few hours of enjoyment to people, but it takes us way more than a few hours to write a good book, have it edited and get it out to the public. So, of course, there are other writers who write the same genre and their success leads to all our success, collectively.

There are so many opportunities for writers these days. The great Diedre Knight spoke at our SF RWA meeting on Saturday. She was excited by the possibilities out there. Our future is indeed bright. Lots of stories to tell, and, thank God, lots of vehicles of delivery.

What we bring will always be in style, no matter what goes on in the world. We bring fantasy and healing to a world in need of it. There simply isn't a better job in the universe. I sometimes forget, but for today, I remember all of it.


Don't forget to catch the other A-Z Blog participants by clicking here.

7

F is for Father, Family, Fayetteville and Florida!

Welcome to Day 6 of the A-Z Challenge Blog. I'm a little late today. Got to bed at 2 AM. Have to say we had a wonderful trip to the East Coast, in all respects.

We spent time with family in Fayetteville and I really enjoyed the town and its people. I am second generation Northern Californian (up here we think there should be two states, so we have our own North vs. South issues). My father was born in a small town in the central valley, Selma, “home of the peach” he used to say. Things were simple for their family who barely made it out of the depression. When he went to Berkeley for college, Grandpa took him to the highway and he hitchhiked. No college dorm “room decorating” like I overdid for my crew.

Dad had visited Fayetteville and liked the South. He and my mom almost retired to Tennessee, and would have, except for needing to be close to the grandkids. But they would have fit in.

I found the people in North Carolina friendly. We enjoyed the beautiful woods, little towns, small town mannerisms and courtesies we don't often get here in California. Men open doors. Women say thank you. And no one thinks it's uncool to say, “Ya'll have a great day,” because they mean it. Really mean it. It doesn't go on rich or poor lines. Humanity wins here.

We spent a late after brunch walk around old Fayetteville and her pre-Civil War buildings. Fascinating. The Airborne/Special Ops Museum was closed. Although run by mostly volunteers, has recently had it's days cut to Saturday and Sunday only. We got to walk around the park on the outside. My previous posts in this blog show pictures of that. The art piece to the right is a dog tag representation, based on the number of fallen service men and women from North Carolina. Walking under it was very moving for me.

We flew to West Palm Beach on Thursday and enjoyed the warm humid air as we toured the SEAL/UDT museum at Ft. Pierce. Again, some earlier posts have pictures. Three perfectly timed and calibrated shots freed Captain Phillips on Easter Sunday in 2009. You can see what's left of the little window those rounds went through in the center on my post from Friday. Rescue is never pretty. I found a great T shirt in the museum store: “If you want to meet a Navy SEAL, steal a ship.” ‘Nuff said.

We walked the beach in the rain. Felt good to get warmed and feel the white sand between our toes. The place was packed with “Easter Breakers” getting ready to go home to the cold. Our hotel was rumbling from little feet trying to get in the last body surf at midnight. Reminded me of my childhood days when my brother and I used to visit my Grandfather at Rio Del Mar, near Santa Cruz. Sand was everywhere. Made me remember the days when my son's entire 8 year old baseball team wound up in our hot tub. Water everywhere. Used more towels than we used in a month.

We came home to all the usual things. Our dogs, who missed us, and family drama. Of course. Life is, just life, afterall. I am extremely grateful for my family, and for those who lived a good life before me, sacrificed much, so I could live the life I have today.

And, of course, to my Dad, who loved the Navy, but I have to admit, he loved his drums probably a little bit better. I made sure he had a set of drumsticks at his grave at Christmas, just so he could make another joyful noise up there. ‘Cause that's where I know he is.

Don't forget to catch the other A-Z Blog participants by clicking here

14

E is for Ethos

The definition of Ethos is: Greek word meaning character, that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideas that characterize a community. Here is the Navy SEAL Ethos Creed:

In times of war or uncertainty there is a
special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with
uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s
finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and
protect their way of life. I am that man.
My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage.
Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of
those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the
responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that
I must earn every day.
My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond
reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to
defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature
of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the
inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others
before my own.
I serve with honor on and off the battlefield.
The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance,
sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My
character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.
We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of
orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead
by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on
adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger
than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw
on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish
our mission. I am never out of the fight.
We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The
lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my
technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is
never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my
mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties
will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that
I serve to defend.
Brave men have fought and died building the
proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst
of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently
guides my every deed. I will not fail. 

Above picture is of red lifeboat where Somali pirates held Captain Phillips hostage for 5 days, until they were returned to the source on Easter Sunday by SEAL snipers, rescuing Captain Phillips in April of 2009.

This special tribute motorcycle was built by a Navy SEAL and dedicated to the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in Operation REDWING, June 2005.

Don't forget to catch the other A-Z Blog participants by clicking here.

165

Happy New Year – Love Those Navy SEALs!

Welcome everyone to the New Years Blog Hop. There are a ton of prizes you can win, which I've described below. In addition, someone on this blog will win a set of dog tags (3 covers of my SEAL books) and my new release, Fallen SEAL Legacy.

But that's not all. EVERYONE who leaves their email address wins something: either SEAL Encounter, the prequel/short to Accidental SEAL, or SEAL Endeavor, the prequel/short to Fallen SEAL Legacy. Yup. Everyone!

Your mission, if you so choose, is to leave a comment here on this blog, with your email address. We're sorry, but the Grand Prize #3 SWAG Pack offered on the site that is won internationally may have postage charges added.

You have a lot of other great blogs to follow and enter for freebies, so this post will be short. Here are the 10 things a Navy SEAL would NEVER SAY.

1.  Let's go hang out at the mall.
2.  I'm not a risk taker. I like it safe.
3.  I'm not really a great swimmer and don't much care for the water.
4.  I have a replica DOR bell on my keychain, just to bring back the fond memories.
5.  Getting wet and sandy is my idea of fun on a Saturday night.
6.  I sometimes have trouble making quick decisions.
7.  I can't live without 8 hours sleep every night.
8.  I'm just as happy reading a book as getting into a fight.
9.  Will you pack my chute for me? I'm just too tired.
10. I don't ever think about the sacrifices my family makes for me at home.

Can you add to this list? Which one is your favorite?

Good luck with the grand prizes, listed below:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! 

Join the other blogs to sign up for more freebies and enter for Grand Prize drawing here

11

Sacrifice and Service

This very moving piece was sent to me yesterday and brought me to tears. This woman's son has just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Her other son will be graduating from West Point next year. I think those of us who are raised in the U.S. sometimes forget all the gifts and benefits this great country has to offer. I think it is a great reminder to all of us to be grateful for what we have received. And say thanks to those that would honor us by serving to protect us.
I have the agreement from the writer to use this, but have agreed not to use her name. Just wanted to share with all of you who read this blog.    Sharon
Coming home from a quick run to the store, I noticed the “trick or treat-ers” on the streets…..Ahhhh, it never gets old with me!
22 years ago, Oct 31st …Halloween day…the day we arrived in US.
We landed in Green Bay WI, after midnight. A small crowd of people was waiting for us at the airport, people we never met before, having sweet smiles on their faces and weaving small American flags.
Alex and I were walking towards them, exhausted after the many hours on the planes and airports with two small kids and me…very pregnant. We were a sight to see….I was pushing a stroller with little Thomas in it and holding David’s hand. Alex was carrying all we had, two big suitcases and a backpack.
 I got sick so many times on the plane…I remember being hungry and thirsty and as soon as I would eat…out it went. We could never afford to buy coke before, and on the plane it was free, as much as I wanted. Ah, I remember David (he was 2 and a half), telling me that he will put a band aid over my mouth, to not throw up anymore.
Getting in the car, I was so impressed with the “little seats for the kids” (car seats) how special!  I was thinking. On the way home I learned that one will get a ticket if kids are not traveling in those seats, lol!
Less than half an hour we were home.  Our home. Our first home! It was at night and we couldn’t see much outside, but we got in….it was warm and welcoming! Had everything in it!
Our sponsor, a sweet lady, Miss Marianne H, bought this old house and remodeled inside and out to perfection. We were getting the tour of the house….tears were rolling down my face….the kitchen was decorated, even pictures on the wall, table and cushions on the chairs to match with the wall paper. The pantry was stuffed with food, the fridge also, even milk for the kids! Homemade meals in the freezer for a whole month! With directions how to heat/cook them.
We went in the living room….even pillows and throws on the couches…then bedrooms. The boys had each their own twin size bed with matching All Sports bed sets! And a little crib….for the coming baby. Toy box filled with trucks and building blocks. I couldn’t contain myself when I discovered pajamas for the boys and even for us, in the drawers.  Before she left, Marianne showed us one more thing: a phone book! Our name was in there highlighted! OMG!
Then she left. It was almost 4am!
Tired and overwhelmed I couldn’t stop looking through the kitchen drawers, with everything that a kitchen and a cook needs, from pots and pans to fine silverware and cloth napkins and place mats and so many weird tools that I never saw in my life, nor knew how to use them.
Alex and I prayed and cried for a long time….then the sun came up! We went outside in the front yard first. Beautiful gray house, with white shutters! And we could see the park from our front door! Then we went in the back yard! Big and beautiful AND it was all fenced in! Painted gray, to match the house. The fence was a tip given to Miss Marianne by her son in-law who was a missionary in Romania. To help us feel more safe and at home.
We finally went to bed late morning. Slept thru afternoon when we heard the door bell ringing. Who could it be?! Nobody knew us, and Marianne made it clear that unless we call her, she will not bother us till we are fully recovered from the jet leg…etc….Alex went to the door and picked thru the curtains! He looked at me mortified! Masked people! Lots of them! And they kept ringing the doorbell! He calls Marianne and told her what is happening, I could hear her laughing loud saying: “Oh dear, I forgot to tell you….It’s Halloween Day!  Look in the pantry and you’ll see a big basket with candy. Then open the door and give them some candy, they will leave!….And be ready for more trick or treat-ers!”
 Closing the door Alex let out a big sigh! He then told me why he was so scared…Before leaving the refugee camp in Austria, reading thru American History, he learned about KKK , their hate for blacks and immigrants, and how they would go after them wearing white hoods. That’s the first image that came into his sleepy brain when he saw those masked people at the door. . “how did they know there were immigrants here?. How did they found us?!” Lol
Well, that was our first day in America!  
For the next couple of years it was a learning everyday thing for me, for our family. Language was the hardest thing. I did not know more than: Please, Thank you and Good bye! Alex was my translator everywhere. I remember crying all the way home on Sundays, because I did not understand the sermon, and could never keep up with the singing…so today, I wrote this story all by myself!
128

Heroes of Every Genre: Who’s the Best?

What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink* Starting on Friday and ending on Oct 22nd, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.
And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
But that's not all….
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

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!!

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all available through Amazon

Accidental SEAL Book Trailer

Go to another blog here.

18

Interview: In The Shadow of Greatness

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,


Sharon Hamilton


Excerpts are available at http://shadowofgreatness.com/lookinsid

In The Shadow of Greatness interview this Friday

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.

28

Welcome Trish McCallan: Forged In Fire

Welcome Trish McCallan, who writes thrilling Romantic Suspense using Navy SEAL characters, with a paranormal twist. Her new series, beginning with Forged In Fire, is one of the most successful and fastest selling to date. Welcome Trish!
FULL CIRCLE by Trish McCallan
I discovered the internet during the winter of 1996.
At the time, MSN was running a crafty deal (if you signed up with them for 2 years, you got a $400.00 rebate on whatever computer you were buying). I wanted a computer, and that $400.00 instant rebate cut the cost in half,  so  I signed up with MSN as my internet provider, and bought my first computer.  And that’s when I discovered this entirely new world called the internet.
 By the mid 1990s, I’d been an avid romance reader for years, but I had nobody to discuss my beloved romance books with. My family were big readers, but they didn’t read romance and while they never said anything, I always got this subtle sense of contempt from them in regard to my reading tastes. The town I lived in had all sorts of book clubs, but none that read romance, so I craved the chance to discuss my favorite authors and books with other romance lovers. The first thing I did, on that very first trip online, was search for romance reading groups.
I found them by the dozens. Groups, bulletin boards, and message forums for every sub-genre of romance you could imagine. I was in heaven. I read pretty much everything, so I jumped right into all those enticing book discussions. 
My favorites were romances that had elements of suspense, so I gravitated toward discussions about that sub-genre.  I used to haunt the local bookstore, just waiting for the Silhouette Intimate Moments (SIM) to come out.  And it was through one of these SIMs in the summer of 1996, that I discovered this amazing, riveting, incredibly sexy warrior called a SEAL. The book was called Prince Joe, by Suzanne Brockmann, and it turned me into a lifelong Brockmann fan, and a SEAL devotee.
Of course the various bulletin boards and forums I was on were buzzing about Prince Joe, and that buzz just got stronger when Brockmann released the second book in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series.  Someone on one of the bulletin boards started up a Tall, Dark and Dangerous fan group on Yahoo, which I joined.  
 Joining that yahoo group probably had the most impact on my writing career since becoming part of the internet, because it introduced me to an aspiring romantic suspense writer who was writing a SEAL series of her own. This author’s name was Jenny Low, and the book she was posting chapter by chapter, to the yahoo group was titled Kissing Games. Through Jenn I was introduced to an entire community of writers, including Patti O’Shea who became a longtime critique partner. This interaction with writers rekindled my own interest in writing.
The funny thing is that back then I wasn’t writing military romantic thrillers.  I was writing romantic suspense that featured law enforcement heroes.  While I loved reading about SEALs, I had no interest in writing them.  Jenn Low eventually sold her Kissing Games (which was retitled Into Danger) as well as the rest of her SEAL series to Avon and began publishing under Gennita Low. I kept plugging along with my cop heroes.
Until one cold February Night in 2010 when I had a horrifying nightmare.  The nightmare was about a plane getting hijacked and all the passengers slaughtered.  And the men trying to stop the carnage were Navy SEALs. I woke from that dream driven. I couldn’t get those hunky SEALs out of my head. They were so real, so alive, and so insistent that I write their stories. 
Suddenly I found myself switching focus completely and writing a military romantic thriller series.
 I self-published Forged in Fire in September of 2011 and later sold the series to Montlake romance. They’ve republished a new, revised edition of Forged in Fire and have the rest of the series scheduled to release every six months.
It’s funny how things work out. I’d lost touch with Jenn Low years ago, but with the release of Forged in Fire, the first book in my Red-Hot SEALs series, we reconnected. Turns out she’d received the rights back to the SEAL series she sold to Avon all those years ago, and self-published them . . . at the same time I’d self-published Forged in Fire.  
Weird, huh?
It feels like I’ve come full circle. 
EXCERPT:
Chapter One
Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters shifted uneasily against the grungy white wall across from gate C-18’s ticket counter. He felt naked without his Glock. Exposed. An itchy, irritating prickle of vulnerability tightened his skin and knotted his muscles. Which was ridiculous. They were on leave, for Christ’s sake, booked on a civilian flight.
Yeah, he and Cosky and Rawls had to check their weapons with their luggage, but so what? They weren’t facing deployment to some godforsaken foreign jungle or burning swath of sand.
“Did they have to pick Hawaii? We have the same blue sky and warm weather in Coronado. And without the tourists.”
Zane barely heard Cosky’s disgusted mutter through the drone of excited voices surrounding them. With a grunt, he massaged the back of his neck and surveyed the growing crowd. More passengers were arriving by the minute. There were already too many people to keep an eye on. Too many jackets and pockets and purses. Too many places to conceal a weapon.
A stacked brunette across the gate area caught his gaze and offered a sultry smile. Zane turned away.
“Jesus.” Rawls’s lazy grin was a slash of white in his sun-bronzed face. “You two need to get off base more often. You’re as hinky as a pair of hounds during tick season. Those are civilians y’all are glaring at, not a room full of terrorists.” Bright blue eyes zeroed in on the brunette across the room. “What you need is some of that. Sun, sand, and sex. All the fixin’s for a memorable vacation.”
Cosky shot his teammate a derisive glance. “When did you become so fond of sand and sun? Sure as hell not last month, judging by your nonstop bitching.”
Rawls flipped him the finger. “It’s that third s, Cos. Makes all the difference. You should try it sometime, but without that blow-up Barbie you keep stashed beneath your bunk.”
Shrill laughter erupted across the room. Zane tracked the sound, skimming an abandoned stroller and clusters of luggage. When the brunette tried to catch his eye again, he swore beneath his breath. Shifting against the wall, he gave her his back.
“See? This is why I like hanging with you, skipper,” Rawls drawled. “You attract the little darlin’s over, and when you turn that cold shoulder on ’em, they start buzzin’ round Cosky and me.”
“Leave me out of it,” Cosky said. “Unlike you, I don’t need to surf Zane’s wake for a hookup.”
“A hookup?” Rawls shook his head and smirked. “Is that any way to talk about your hand?”
Bracing his elbows against the wall behind them, he tilted his head and studied Zane’s face. “Seriously, skipper, you should take her up on that offer. It’s not like—” He broke off to scan Zane’s face more intently. Suddenly he frowned. “You’re shittin’ me. That’s some prime real estate over there, and you don’t have any interest in her? None at all? That just ain’t…natural.”
Rawls was right. She was prime. A real looker. Long, thick mahogany hair. A tight, curvy ass. Stacked across the chest. Enough flare through the hips to hold on to. She was the kind of woman who’d give wet dreams to any straight male between puberty and death.
Which must mean he was dead. Because he was way past puberty, yet he didn’t feel even a twitch of interest. No chills. No thrills. No goose bumps.
She could be his great-grandmother, for all the attraction he felt.
Every year the numbness dug a little deeper, spread a little further. He’d been warned about this particular side effect of the family gift—or curse, depending on who was talking. But knowing about it, and living with it, were completely different animals.
“Let’s hope that woman of yours shows up ASAP. Much more of this drought and you won’t remember what to do with her.” Rawls reached over to punch Zane’s shoulder.
The moment Rawls’s fist made contact, every muscle in Zane’s body clenched. He froze, his breath locked in his throat. His vision blurred.
Click.
It was a subtle sound. A switch flipping inside his head. An image flashed through his mind. Quick. Brutal. Ugly.
Rawls sprawled across a bank of narrow seats. His blue T-shirt splotched with black. Blood dripping from limp fingers. A fixed stare glazing his blue eyes.
The vision vanished.
“Son of a bitch.” Sheer disgust vibrated in Cosky’s gritty voice. “We’re on stand-down. This is a civilian flight. Regardless of that all-too-familiar look on your face, we cannot be in any goddamn danger.”
Zane knew he wouldn’t get anything further from Rawls, so he turned to Cosky instead and clamped a hand on his lieutenant’s bicep.
This time he was expecting the vision. He tensed anyway.
Click.
He strained to capture as many details as possible as the new vision flashed through his mind.
Gray eyes locked and empty, already filming with the unmistakable haze of death. Black hair saturated with blood. Hands clenched. He was splayed across a narrow aisle, dark-blue upholstered seats rising on either side of his head.
When the image vanished, he released Cosky’s arm and wrestled air back into his lungs.
“Tell me this is a joke,” Cosky demanded.
Zane shook his head and gripped the back of his neck with both hands.
“What did you see?” Rawls finally asked.
Zane drew a shallow breath. “You dead. Cosky dead.”
“From boredom?” Cosky asked dryly. “We are going to a wedding.” A quick glance at Zane’s face, and a glint of steel darkened his gray eyes. “Where’s this going down?”
“On the bird.” Zane frowned. “Couldn’t tell whether she was in flight. Didn’t get a good enough look.”
Cosky turned to study the boisterous crowd. “When do you ever?”
Zane scrubbed his palms down his face and forced back a surge of frustration. The flashes never lasted long. No more than two or three seconds. Just enough to warn, without giving details. Just enough to raise guards, but not enough to mitigate the danger.
“Which bird? Over or back?” Cosky braced his hands on his hips and studied Zane’s face. “Either fits the three-day window for those flashes of yours.”
“Today.” Zane nodded toward Rawls’s blue-clad chest. “Same clothes.”
Cosky grunted. “I don’t suppose you saw who killed us?”
“When have these damn things ever been that accommodating?”
“Fuck.” With a disgusted shake of his head, Cosky dropped his chin and scowled at the worn carpet. “What about the wounds?”
“Lots of blood. Could be a gun. Or a knife.”
“A crash?” Rawls broke in quietly.
“Doubtful. Neither of you were burned. We’re looking at some kind of weapon.”
Cosky frowned. “It would be easier to smuggle a blade through security, but few people are good enough to take us on with a knife. Chances are it’s a gun.”
Zane pushed away from the wall. “Whatever’s going to happen is bad enough to take the three of us out.” The flashes never centered on him, but if Cosky and Rawls were in danger, he was as well. “We need to get hold of Mac.”
As the officer in charge of SEAL Team 7, Commander Jace Mackenzie had the pull to get the plane grounded and the passengers searched.
“Question.” Cosky’s attention zeroed in on Zane’s face. “What are we going to tell him? We don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s behind it, or what kind of weapons will be used. If Mac gets this bird grounded only to have nothing show during the search, the backlash is gonna be a bitch.”
“What are you suggesting?” Zane cocked an eyebrow. “That we skip the wedding, keep our mouths shut, and let events play out?”
“Don’t be an ass. I’m saying it would be handy to have some solid intel to pass on for a change. Why can’t you ever pick up more information if you touch us again?”
Zane shrugged. Just because he suffered through the visions didn’t mean he understood their properties. “We’ve got some time before boarding. Maybe one of the passengers will stand out.”
A wave of heat suddenly rolled through him. It started at his scalp and flowed down—a tide of molten fire that left chills in its wake. A tingling, numbing sensation followed, as though he’d been hit with an electrical shock.
“What’s wrong?” Cosky’s question came from a distance. Muted and warped.
Zane turned, searching for…something. The gate area spun in slow motion. That strange, electrical tingling raised the hair on his arms and down the back of his neck.
He found her in the mouth of the waiting room. She was blonde, slender. Perfect. Her cream-colored slacks and ivory blouse glowed beneath the harsh fluorescent lights, as though she stood squarely in a spotlight—lit up to catch his attention.
Her chin lifted, their eyes connected, and that strange, pulsating current shot straight to his cock. Electrified him. His libido, numb for years, reared up and howled. He took one long step toward her.
Cosky grabbed his arm and hauled him back. “Goddamn it, Zane. What’s wrong?”
Zane shook his head, tried to clear the fog from his mind. The tug toward her was incredibly strong, like she was a magnet and his bones were metal. He took another step forward, his body vibrating at some strange frequency.
Cosky’s hand tightened with brutal force around his forearm, piercing the primal urge to claim her.
Zane drew a shaky breath. His muscles were rigid. A vicious ache had seized his groin. His skin must have shrunk at least three sizes.
Holy shit.
It had to be her.
After all these years of waiting…this had to be her.
To go from nada to nuclear in the blink of an eye…yeah. He drew a slow, burning breath, grappling to drag his body back under control. This had to be her.
From listening to his brothers’ stories about meeting their mates, he’d expected a strong reaction, but nothing like this whirlpool of hunger.
And he hadn’t even touched her yet.
“Who is she?” Cosky demanded. “Did you see her in one of your flashes?”
The question snapped the world back into focus. The memory of those damn visions flooded his brain.
He watched, frozen, while she headed toward one of the plastic benches strewn throughout the waiting room. She was apparently booked on his flight.
His chest seized. His skin started to crawl. Christ, he couldn’t breathe.
Of all the bad timing.
He’d finally found her. His soul mate. At a time when he couldn’t afford the distraction. When the slightest mistake could get her killed.
Order your Forged in Fire in Kindle Version or Paperback from Amazon.com.
BIOGRAPHY:
Trish McCallan was born in Eugene, Oregon, and grew up in Washington State, where she began crafting stories at an early age. Her first books were illustrated in crayon, bound with red yarn, and sold for a nickel at her lemonade stand. Trish grew up to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a concentration in creative writing from Western Washington University, taking jobs as a bookkeeper and human- resource specialist before finally quitting her day job to write full time. Forged in Fire came about after a marathon reading session, and a bottle of Nyquil that sparked a vivid dream. She lives today in eastern Washington. An avid animal lover, she currently shares her home with three golden retrievers, a black lab mix and a cat.

WWW.trishmccallan.com

What do you think? Do you like your SEALs with a dash of paranormal? Do you believe in fated love at first sight? One lucky commenter will win a free copy of Trish's new book. Be sure to leave your email address (in code).

Thank you, Trish. Good luck, readers!