I am thrilled today to host military romance writer Dahlia Rose. See below for information on free drawing.
Welcome, Dahlia Rose. Tell me how you got started writing military romance? How many books have you written?
Dahlia: I started writing military romance for my husband when he was stationed in Iraq. Then he was just my fiancée and he and the platoon he commanded was one of the first into war when Iraqi Freedom began. He was almost killed twice, Once in Najaf and in Fallujah by IEDs. We still have the helmet where a bullet creased it in a firefight. He and his friends were my heroes and I began writing them little stories to keep their spirits up. They were printed out, passed around, kept in packs became wrinkled and torn then stuck back together with tape. Each week I’d send them a new short and they would download the file and print when they could. By the time he came home I told him I wanted to quit my job and take up writing full time. He supported my decision and when that first acceptance letter came, not only did my family celebrate but my soldiers did as well.
So far I’ve written over eighty books both novella and novels. They are primarily military contemporary or paranormal.
Outstanding. What a story. I'm so happy you first wrote for our fighting men and women before you released them to the general public. Perfect. Why do you think these Alpha military heroes (and heroines) are so popular? What makes them heroes?
Dahlia: It's because they keep fighting and surviving, not just in war but when they come home. A lot of people think that after the war is over they can come home and go back to normal. They can’t. The adjustment period is long and a lot of relationships do not survive. The happy ending we give these hero and heroines I think actually gives readers hope that they can make it. A lot of my readers have military backgrounds or are married to military personnel. I had one reader approach me at a convention and she embraced me in a big hug. She looked at me and said thank you, "because in your books they aren’t drones, they aren’t forgotten, they are heroes and they are happy." I came to find out she lost her husband in the war and she started to read my books because she heard I wrote military romance. So it's not just the war that makes them heroes, is the constant fight and never giving up that really leaves a mark.
Well said. My heart goes out to that woman. How do you compliment the heroine to a strong alpha military guy? Do you write them strong? Compliant? Kick-butt?
Dahlia: Yes I do, my heroines are strong because I cannot write a weak woman. In my opinion women in general are not weak but a woman who takes on a relationship with a military man has to have an extra dose of strength. My heroines are sassy, yet soft when they need to be. Watching your man walk away carrying a 50lbs pack and knowing he will be gone for months has to be the hardest thing. Knowing he may never come home, but they do it with such strength and pride, it's breathtaking to watch. But just wait until you see them coming home, see how they embrace their men, watch the love that passes between the reunited couple, with the children between them. Trust me, I don’t think anything can compare. My first kiss with my hubby when he came home was in the middle of Penn Station with a bunch of soldiers around. Memorable and magic, it still makes me breathless to this day. I’m not a compliant woman, I kick box and can kick butt (laugh). I think my women are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
Sounds like the perfect combination. Do you like writing in series, or single?
Dahlia: I like them both, Honestly all my books start out as single titles, but then I see a way to add more and they become part of a series. The Army Beasts series was meant to be one book and we’re up to about seven now. My dragon warriors were meant to be the same. Now I am working on number five of a series of twelve. I let the muses take me where they may but sometimes I have to rein them in. There are so many ideas I have jotted down that have the potential to be series. If I don’t draw the line somewhere each book would be at least a three-book trilogy.
Dahlia: My favorite character of all my books is Lieutenant TJ Taggert in Paradise Found. I loved his character, I loved the alpha in him and the sassy back and forth that Kelly gave him. They complimented each other perfectly and he was the first military hero the readers fell in love with. He was as unique as his name and I re-read my own book just because I fell in love with him.
Do you find it easier to write the bad boys or the good boys? I'm assuming both are heroic, but which ones are more fun to write?
Dahlia: I think my heroes all carry a bad boy trait but honestly it’s the bad boys that make me shiver. I have to redeem them and it turns me on watching them develop and learn to care about these heroines. In the end that bad boy trait helps them save their women.
What about the heroines? Do you find it easiest to write the bad girls or the good girls?
Dahlia: My bad girls are usually skanks, (LOL) someone for the readers to dislike and for the heroine to one up. I love my heroines to be good girls, a little prissy to blend with the sass. I always like them to have to be taken down off that pedestal just a little bit by the hero. It usually leads to an amazing first kiss and the heroine knowing that she is in trouble when it comes to her attraction for the hero.
If you could have a date with one of your characters, which one would it be and why? Where would you go?
Dahlia: Oh man I can only pic one? Ok fine, It would be Nate from the book Black Gold. He’s sexy and strong. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, especially his father who thought money bought entitlement. Nate was down to earth, ready to get his hands dirty and just be a guy. Not to mention he was military and if you go look at the cover, that’s how I see him in my mind. We’d go to some little Honky-Tonk in Oklahoma right outside Fort Sill where the food is not the greatest but the drinks are made well and the beer is cold. We’d play some Shania Twain on the jukebox and dance the night away. Then just before it closes we’d slow dance to You’re Still The One. Yes I’ve thought about that one a lot (Laugh)
If you could go to a desert island with two companions, who would you bring? What would you do there? What would you bring if you could bring anything?
Dahlia: I would go to the island with Kalv from my book, A Dragon’s Heart and Vampire Eric from True Blood. Ha! I know you weren’t expecting that. One for the daytime and one for night. There we would keep each other’s company doing things that we only write in books. Of course they’d be cheesecake there and other decadent treats and when we do finally get bored and want some excitement. We can fly to the closest city then return to our seclusion anytime we want. But since this is a fantasy, in real life I’d have to bring my husband because he can McGyver anything. Romance with him on a desert island is worth ten times any fantasy.
Sounds like you married a keeper, Dahlia Rose! Pretend you have just sold your 100,000th copy of one of your books. What will you do to celebrate?
Dahlia: That’s easy, Vegas party with me and a few close friends and VIP tickets to the Thunder From Down Under Show. Seriously have you seen those guys?
As a matter of fact, yes. They are intense, just the way I like them. Tell us something about you that most people wouldn't know or guess about you?
I can be reclusive…people see me in person and on social networks and they think I am very vivacious and I am, but in a true Scorpio fashion, I can be moody and stay in my own space for days.
Who are your favorite authors/books?
I Love JD Robb’s In death Series. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books. I love to give in to a good thriller or horror novel. Dean R Koontz and Stephen King grace my bookshelves along with Kay Hooper’s Bishop series. I read avidly anything about the criminal mind, and delve into the mind of serial killers. I know, I know-- Creepy but I also do have to feed my dark side. I don’t like writing a book without my research being as accurate as possible.
What are you working on now?
I am working on my Holiday releases for 2012.
Army beasts Christmas (Dahlia Rose Unscripted)
Yule Tide Mischief (Amira Press)
Seal of Honor (Sugar and Spice Press
Christmas Three (Dahlia Rose Unscripted)
My newest book will be released on October 13th 2012 with Sugar and Spice Press. And Baby Makes Three is the follow up book to Baby on Board. In this book Lieutenant Brody Gillis and Nurse Marie Watson get the chance to have their happily ever after.
Excerpt: Army Beasts 2042
He never got to finish the sentence. Sofia slammed her hand against the table and pointed at him. “Let’s me make this crystal clear… My father does not let me do anything. I have a stake in this just like everyone else. I live with a primal animal inside me and I’m being hunted for it just like every other second natured soul.”
He held his hands up in mock surrender. “Okay, okay lass, no need to get your knickers in a twist.”
“Yeah there is,” she glared at him. “Because while you are wiling away here drinking and carousing, others are dying. I didn’t get to my last mission in time. The mother wouldn’t go willingly or let her child be taken. Do you know what the Cleaners did? They blew up their house with them inside. Called it a gas leak and blamed it on the mother not using the new stoves that are on the market and sticking to old fashioned natural gas.”
“Limey bastards,” he muttered. “Let me guess the sales on that new flash heat stove skyrocketed.”
She pointed a finger at him. “Bingo and the automated food module with those pre packaged meals that aren’t made of anything thing real. Those had a rise in sales as well. Who ever heard of meatless chicken, meatless hotdog, meatless sausage and bacon tasting delicious?”
“Please let me enjoy my meal without thinking about that processed food,” Lachlan said. “They are planning to open two factories in Scotland, we are one of the last few countries with farms. Real milk, chickens eggs and so forth not costing so much that only the rich can buy them.”
“In New York, things like that cost a pretty penny,” Sofia said. “Where we live, we get all that and we have our own gardens with vegetables and fruit trees. It’s amazing there.”
“Don’t you miss the city life, being around people? Going out shopping doing things other women your age do?” Lachlan asked.
“I was never the perky shopping type. I was a tomboy. I grew up around the Army Beasts. By fifteen I could break down a nine-millimeter and put it back up in thirty seconds. I fired my first fifty caliber at sixteen and learned hand to hand combat by eighteen,” Sofia explained. “My mom was a soldier before she met my father, and she was one of the first to teach me how to take care of myself.”
“No boyfriend waiting for you to come home?” Lachlan asked casually. He had to admit to himself he was testing the proverbial waters of her relationship status.
“Why would you ask that?” Her eyes narrowed to suspicious wary slits..
“No reason. It just seems your life can be very lonesome sometimes, the way you live,” Lachlan answered. “I’ve been a lone wolf for a long time, I know the feeling.”
“That’s you, not me. I’m fine with my life.” Her answer was abrupt. “When can we leave here? The intel is the Cleaners have to have already notified the authorities here in East Lothian.”
“I would prefer the cover of nightfall but if we must leave I know a place,” he answered.
Sofia nodded, “I’ll get packed and we can head out. I want to be able to check out this new place and find some higher ground in case anything happens. I’ll contact my dad when we get settle in.”
“How do you stay on contact outside the network?” he asked.
She eyed him before saying, “We have our ways.”
Lachlan stood and threw his dish in the sink in frustration. “Eventually you have to trust me, Sofia Johnson. You come into my home and tell me to come with you. You want my trust and don’t want to give me yours.”
“That comes in time. I’ve never had to trust anyone except my family,” she retorted.
That statement grated on his last nerve and he grabbed her shoulders. “Well then I suggest to learn to trust me, lass. I tend not to deal well with people who want a one-sided relationship.”
A low growl came from her throat and he saw her eyes flash. Eyes of a mountain lion replaced her human ones. He growled as well, allowing his wolf some free reign.
“Let go of me,” Sofia said through gritted teeth.
Lachlan considered and then released her before stepping back. “You need to consider this, Sofia Johnson. Until we get back to your so-called sanctuary, we’ll have to depend on each other. It might be prudent to remember the Army beasts can’t help you here. I’ll go get my things together. We’ll be ready to go in five minutes.”
He didn’t turn around, but kept moving toward the stairs. “I’ll be ready, Sofia. I just hope you are.”
Being so close to her just reinforced the fact that he wanted her, his wolf wanted her. It didn’t take learning about each other over a candle light dinner. Desire between shifters was almost an instantaneous reaction and he knew she felt it too. Lachlan hoped she understood that he honestly hoped she was ready. Because when he wanted something, he sure as hell got it. Sofia was at the top of the list as of now.
* * * *
So this is what it felt like to find someone that makes your heart beat way too fast and the instinct to make a fierce fire in your blood. Sofia was no shrinking flower. She’d run missions from the time she was eighteen. More than once she’d met someone in a crowded bar while looking for the next subject, another face on the list that never seemed to end. But she was able to walk away afterward with no muss or fuss, just a roll in the hay and some sexual comfort. There would be no way she could walk away from him if they made love. She could smell the mating pheromone in the air when he grabbed her. It flared his nostrils and she saw his eyes flash to his wolf. She was in big trouble because that one action made her panties wet and she wanted to offer him her neck. A move of submission, one she could not afford. Sofia refused to allow herself to be that weak, to be mated was for another time when shifters were allowed to roam free, not now. She was putting the last of her items in her duffel when Lachlan burst into the room.
“We’ve got to go, love,” he said. “Company is downstairs and they’re not here for tea.”
He meant the cleaners of course and she shoved the last of her shit in the bag quickly.
“How the hell did they get here so fast?” she snapped. “I thought I was at least a day ahead of those bastards.”
“No doubt had some help from Walker,” Lachlan snarled.
“The rental car is out, luckily the paperwork it was rented under is solid, but I don’t want to risk the chance of them testing my saliva just because I came out of your pub.”
“They don’t have you on record?” Lachlan asked.
Sofia shook her head. “My father, well all the men in our group made sure that when they had children no samples were ever taken that could not be destroyed. Immunizations and all health related issues were handled on the compound by a trusted friend.”
“It sounds like you’ve lived a hard, paranoid life,” Lachlan said.
Sofia gave him a cold look. “My father knew eventually this would happen. Imagine if all shifter DNA was in the system… You don’t even know how long this conspiracy has been going on so don’t talk about what you have no clue about. While you were drinking a pint and trying to get your hands up the lasses skirts, we were fighting a war.”
“Whatever you say,” Lachlan murmured.
“We can’t go out front or back. They’ll be surrounding the place.” Sofia reasoned out loud.
Lachlan shot her a grin. “I’ve got this covered. Come with me.”
She was following him out the door when he turned suddenly and grabbed her neck. He kissed her hard and winked before saying, “By the way, I didn’t have to try hard to get my hand up their skirts. They were always willing to lift them for me.”
“You need to be taught some manners,” she said as he turned and walked away. “Next time you grab me without permission, I may just bite your fingers off. Mountain lions have very sharp teeth.”
Purchase Army Beasts by clicking here.
Dahlia Rose is the best selling author of contemporary erotica, suspense and paranormal romance. She was born and raised on a Caribbean island and now currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her four kids who she affectionately nicknamed “The children of the corn,” and her biggest supporter/long time love. She has a love of erotica, dark fantasy, sci-fi and the things that go bump in the night. Books and writing are her biggest passion and she hopes to open your imagination to the unknown between the pages of her books.
Thank you, Dahlia Rose. We are so happy you stopped by today and tempted us with these yummy books. One lucky commenter will win a copy of one of her American Hero Trilogy books. To be eligible, please include your email address in your post, encoded.
So how about military heroes? What do you, the reader, love about them? What do you want to see more of (or less of? LOL). Do you have any questions for Dahlia Rose? Do you have a favorite military branch and why?