Thursday, September 27, 2012

Welcome Military Romance Writer Dahlia Rose


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 fiancĂ©e 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. 


Who is your favorite character you've created? Why?

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.”

“Lachlan…”

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.



Author Bio:

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?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Welcome Cathy Mann and Joanne Rock


What a fantastic lineup we have today! Critique partners Joanne Rock and Catherine Mann stop by for a visit while they discuss their September releases- GUARDIAN for Cathy and FULL SURRENDER for Joanne.

Tell me how you got started writing military romance? How many books have you written?

CM: Hi Sharon!  Thanks so much for having us here today to visit on your blog!  In answer to your questions, my hubby served in the Air Force for over 20 years as an aviator.  So USAF heroes are a natural fit for me.  I’ve written over fifty novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Sourcebooks.

JR: I started penning military heroes when Harlequin Blaze began their popular “Uniformly Hot!” miniseries. I’d been a little in love with Cathy’s military heroes for years and thought I’d try writing one of my own. She has been a wonderful resource for me. I’ve written over sixty books in a variety of formats counting digital releases (like Harlequin Historical “Undone” stories) and novellas.
Why do you think these Alpha military heroes (and heroines) are so popular? What makes them heroes?

CM: Alpha military heroes are the go-to guys in a crisis, the ultimate protectors.  Yes, they can be a bit arrogant with their swagger and confidence needed for extreme circumstances.  But that makes finding the marshmallow side of any alpha hero oh-so rewarding and heart melting!

JR: I think military heroes have experienced a real surge of interest as so many of our friends, family and neighbors have spent time in deployments in the last decade. They are heroes because of their selfless service, and reading their stories is a way to celebrate all they do for us.
  
How do you compliment the heroine to a strong alpha military guy? Do you write them strong? Compliant? Kick-butt?

CM: Absolutely the heroine must be equally as strong, but her strengths may be in other arenas.  Dare I say it…?  They complete each other.

JR: What Cathy said! I like looking at character profiles like horoscopes, enneagrams or even Myers-Briggs personality indicators to remind myself what “types” of characters complement others. I find it fun to play with those types to see how one bolsters the other. 

Do you like writing in series, or single?

CM:  I definitely lean toward writing connected stories.  That’s also another reason it’s awesome to have such a stellar long-time critique partner like Joanne.  She knows all my stories and all my characters.  While I don’t expect her to remember every detail, it’s very helpful that she’s familiar with the “world” I’ve built in a series.  Joanne is a brainstorming maven and I’ve been the lucky recipient in many a looooong phone conversation!

JR: I don’t have the same long standing connections in my books that Cathy has created, mostly because I am continually charmed by new kinds of stories (suspense one day, a time travel another) and that makes longer series more difficult to pull off. But I do love connected books. FULL SURRENDER is loosely linked to several other stories following the Murphy brothers.

Who is your favorite character you've created? Why?

CM:  How about I choose some of my favorite couples in Joanne’s books?  I especially enjoyed the chemistry between Navy Lt. Brad Riddock (explosives expert) and Nikki Thornton (professor chronicling her aunt’s erotic diaries) in HIGHLY CHARGED.  And Joanne’s book UNDER WRAPS has awesomely crafted secondary characters as well – a rocking awesome strength Joanne brings to her stories.

JR: How cool for you to remember those secondary characters in Under Wraps, Cathy!! I particularly enjoyed Cathy’s risk-taking “Postal” Ruznick and Dr. Grace Marie Lanier in BLAZE OF GLORY because of the way they balanced each other out (and I love a hero who’s “on the edge”). But I also loved Kate Harper in HIS THIRTY-DAY FIANCEE, who scales the hero’s mansion walls for a photo op. I wish I’d written this gutsy heroine with so much at stake!

If you could have a date with one of your characters, which one would it be and why? Where would you go?

CM:  I’m going to flip the question again and choose one of Joanne’s heroes.  I adore Lucian Barrett in her medieval historical THE WEDDING KNIGHT. I fell in love with that hero from the first line and adored him through every stage of his character’s healing and redemption.  I would go ANYWHERE with a man like him. J

JR: Oh this is fun. I’m going to ask for Hugh Franco from HOT ZONE because underneath the darkly magnetic charm, he is so selfless and dedicated. This is true of so many of Cathy’s heroes, but with Hugh, I felt like we got a glimpse of his heart early on and I loved that.

Tell us something about you that most people wouldn't know or guess about you?

JR: I am a soft spoken girly-girl who likes pretty things, but I am married to an earthy man’s man who is an extroverted, noisy sports fanatic. He is the most surprising thing about me!

CM:  I love to swim – pool, river, ocean - but I do not dive.  The thought of plunging head first into the water freaks me out. And while Joanne says there’s nothing surprising about her, I’m not letting her off the hook that easily!  I know that on vacation she once trekked a narrow rocky path along a cliff wall behind a waterfall.  She’s FAR more daring than I am!

JR: Only because my husband coerced me into it!!

What have you read recently that you enjoyed?

JR: I adored Winnie Griggs’ HANDPICKED HUSBAND (HQ Love Inspired Historical, September 2012) and Maya Rodale’s THE TATTOOED DUKE (Avon, Feb. 2012).

CM: One of my favorite parts of being an author is getting ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) from other authors.  Over past few months, I lucked into three really wonderful ARCs I highly recommend:
Julie Walker’s HELL ON WHEELS(Aug 2012), the launch book for her “Black Knights, Inc. series.
Virginia Kantra’s first “Dare Island” book, CAROLINA HOME (July 2012).
And just this week I read the latest in Holly Jacob’s “Everything But…” series called EVERYTHING BUT A DOG (Dec 2012).

What are you working on now?

CM:  LOL!  Today, I’m a bit scattered, juggling a bunch of different projects at once – plotting a synopsis for my next “Alpha Brotherhood” book, writing my next “Elite Force” PJ book, and working on a super-secret project I’m not talking about yet. ;)

JR: I’ll let you in on a not-so-super-secret tidbit… Cathy’s “scattered” days are more productive than most people’s average days! She is a creative force to be reckoned with and I love to hold out a net and catch the ideas that spark whenever she’s around. As for me, I revised a Blaze (with Cathy’s final tweaking help!) and submitted it to my editor for release next June. It’s a bit different for me because while the hero’s point of view is told in traditional third person, we get to meet the heroine via first person. It was really fun to write.

CM: And Joanne’s latest Blaze was really fun to read!  How cool that I get an advance peek at her stories and can call that “work”!  (Okay, I know technically I already answered this question but I just had to pop in after Joanne’s last post.)


Thanks again for having us here, Sharon!  Your questions were great fun!  And for the folks visiting today, what’s something we would be surprised to learn about YOU?  One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a copy of both FULL SURRENDER by Joanne Rock and GUARDIAN by Catherine Mann.

Ladies, it's been my complete pleasure having you here today. I'm a gushing fan, and I agree these military alpha heroes are the best of the best. I share your joy that we get to write and celebrate these wonderful men and women.

Please be sure to leave your comments below with your coded email so you can win these fantastic reads. And let's show these ladies some love!

Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes military romantic suspense for Berkley and Sourcebooks, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin.  A RITA Award winner (and six time RITA nominee) Catherine lives in the Florida panhandle with her flyboy husband, their kids and a menagerie of shelter pets.


Joanne Rock writes contemporary romance and medieval historicals for a variety of Harlequin lines. She looks forward to the release of a Young Adult romance series in the summer of 2013 under the pseudonym JK Rock with her sister-in-law, Karen. When she’s not reading or writing, Joanne is on the bleachers cheering for one of her three sons who are continuously involved in sports too numerous to mention.

CONTACT:
Joanne Rock


Catherine Mann

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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.

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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

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