Thursday, December 26, 2013

Writing Military Romance While On Vacation

I've just spent the last 30 days traveling between California, Italy and Brazil. I took a cruise ship from Savona, Italy, across the Atlantic, ending up in Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Most of these days were at sea, but we got to spend several days before and after both in Italy and in Sao Paulo. Brazil has become my must-go-back-and-explore place. I'll probably wait until after the World Cup or the Olympics, or just stay away from those venues, but I will definitely be back.

I've been told I'm a method writer, and, like a method actor, I get a feel for the story by being in places where it takes place. My newest release, SEAL The Deal, was written about Sonoma County, California, where I live -- in the heart of the wine country. Although I've used scenes from restaurants and favorite places like Healdsburg and Sonoma, as well as Santa Rosa in my scenes in other books, this one was almost entirely based in Sonoma County. You can see some of the beautiful places in my book with this gorgeous book trailer, done by the talented J.D. Hart: SEAL The Deal Book Trailer.

Book 5, Cruisin' For A SEAL will be out in January 2014. It takes place in and around a cruise and cruise ship similar to my vacation. In my story, several members of SEAL Team 3 go on a cruise with their wives and girlfriends just before the Team is to deploy overseas. They are also to perform the task of spreading one of their members' ashes out to sea, on the Equator, as per his instructions. While on this cruise, the ship gets taken over by terrorists.

It was surreal imagining all the things that could happen on this ship while I was "having a good time" innocently inspecting places this story could take place. I also interviewed security staff and crew members, and interviewed a pilot and a ship captain (not on this cruise). The cruise itinerary helped with the story too, since we did cross the Equator, where a major scene in my book will take place, and we traveled to exotic places like Marrakesh, Casablanca, Tenerife and Cape Verde. Wandering through the stalls at the souk, watching the whirling dancers and snake charmers, all brought color and life to my story in ways impossible to imagine on my own.

So, with the new release of SEAL The Deal occurring during my trip, my new book goes to nearly half way around the world to distant and ancient lands. Home to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with my family, my mind is still wandering those new-found hauntingly beautiful places in Italy, Canary Islands and Brazil.

That we can have such an amazing life is due in large part to the brave men and women in uniform who have made this world safe, and made all these things possible. I've said it before and never get tired saying it, we owe our freedom and our "normal" lives to those that often sacrificed everything for us. And for that tremendous gift at Christmas time, I say thanks, and vow to live my life with all the fullness and intensity I can stand.

Thank you vets, from all countries. You are my real heroes.

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

Friday, December 20, 2013

How My Heroes Look in My Head

~by Laura Kaye

So I've been getting lots of questions lately about how my military heroes look in my head, so today I thought I'd share some sexy dreamcasting for each of my military romance titles out to date!

The Heroes Series:
Giulio Berruti is an Italian model and actor, and he is so very Marco Vieri to me, right down to the pale eyes and the bruise and the gloves (there's a boxing scene in Her Forbidden Hero). 

Actor Kellan Lutz is such a cutie in general, but here he has a serious, tortured hero feel that was just right for Brady Scott. Plus I can't decide whether Kellan's or Giulio's biceps is more distracting! LOL

The Hard Ink Series:
Actor Tyler Hoechlin's pale green eyes and dark brown hair formed the perfect representation of Nick Rixey in my mind's eye. This picture hung above my desk while I was writing. And, um, it's still there!

With the sexy, playful smirk and the blond-tipped hair and the muscles, fitness model/guru Jessie Pavelka makes the perfect Shane McCallan. There's also a picture of him in the shower which is quite...inspiring.

Buy Laura's Books on Amazon | B&N | Kobo

If you've read the books, how do they match up with the image in your head? :) Thanks for reading!

~Laura Kaye
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The newest in the Red, Hot & Blue series - MATT by Cat Johnson


Matt  by Cat Johnson
Red, Hot, & Blue, Book 11
Some SpecOp assignments are more special than others.
Matt Coleman. Task Force Zeta’s computer expert. Certified genius. Dateless loser. He’s getting damned tired of watching his teammates pair off, while the only thing he’s had his hands on lately is a computer keyboard.
Even Sam, the Omega team’s communications guy—who Matt only knows through daily instant messages—is going on missions while Matt sits home, bored and jealous. Until he finally gets a shot at an assignment in Dubai.
As the only female on Omega team, Samantha Foster isn’t surprised that the mission to Dubai is all hers. After all, only a woman can infiltrate a modern-day harem to ferret out a terrorist-minded mole. The big surprise is when she’s sent along with a guest’s dinner as dessert—and finds Matt on the other side of the bedroom door.
After he gets over the shock that Sam is a woman, Matt is more than happy to help her in any way he can. In the shower. In the bed. Oh yeah, and on the computer too.

Warning: What happens in the harem doesn't always stay in the harem.

Enjoy the following excerpt for Matt:

She dragged in a ragged breath. “Matt Coleman, I think I like you even more than I did before.”

He tensed. Something wasn’t right here. “You know my name?”

She pressed her mouth against his ear. “Don’t react. I’m not sure if the suite has eyes and ears.”

Not only did her speech sound distinctly American, but she’d just told him in the SpecOp code he used daily that his room might have audio and video surveillance in place.

Naked and unarmed with his back to a stranger who held his dick in her hands. He’d get what he deserved if he ended up dead for this act of extreme stupidity. He should be able to overpower—

“Matt, relax. It’s me. Sam,” the woman hissed in his ear over the sound of the pounding water.

He angled his head toward her, calculating how best to go about taking her down. If only she’d stop stroking him. “I don’t know any Sam.”

She ran her hands up into the hair that curled around his ears and pulled his head to one side, giving her access to nibble his ear. He would have thought the fright of dying would have taken care of his hard-on. It didn’t, nor would it. Not if she kept this up, whoever she was.

“You frigging idiot. I’m Sam I am. You’re Computer God. Jeez. Make a girl feel forgettable much?”

That nearly sent him to his knees on the marble floor. “You’re female?”

His good buddy Sam? Not just female, but hot and naked, not to mention pressed firmly against him with his dick in her hand.

“Uh, yes. Sam is for Samantha.” She laughed against his ear. He shivered in spite of the hot water still pummeling him. “You didn’t know?”

Oh, boy. This added a whole other level of complications to the situation. He pulled her hand away from him and turned. She rested her palms on his chest, running them up and down his wet skin.

“Nope. Definitely did not know.” His erection was still alive and well, in spite of everything going on in his head. It stuck out straight as an arrow between them. There wasn’t much Matt could do about his situation, except ignore it and hope it would go away while he gathered some answers. “What are you doing here?”

She leaned in closer to his ear. “Talk softer. I don’t know how sensitive their equipment is. The water should cover it if we whisper. And I told you on IM I was going deep. Remember?”

Her comment about going deep while her hardened nipples pressed against him sent his mind to bad, bad places. He shouldn’t be thinking about being buried deep inside his good buddy Sam, but he was. Especially when she slipped the tip of her tongue into his ear. He supposed it was all in case there were surveillance cameras, but his body didn’t care. Goose bumps rose on his skin from the contact.

He nuzzled her neck and asked, “How did you know I was here?”

“I came to investigate the American visitor. I carried in your dinner tray and saw your name and address on your luggage tag. I take it you’re not undercover, so what the fuck are you doing here?”

It was a simple enough question, though he had trouble forming an answer while she slid her hands over his ass and pressed her body against his.

Matt sucked in a breath and tried to think. “I’m working at Al Minhad Air Base on one of our programs they’re using there. Why are you here? And in a frigging harem?”

She pulled back so her gaze met his. “I can’t say.”

Matt frowned. He had the highest clearance there was. She should realize that. “You don’t know if you can trust me?”

Sam leaned close again. “I do know that you’re going to expose me and get me killed if you don’t start playing the part of the horny American with the harem girl.”

He knew she was right, but that still didn’t make it feel less strange or wrong. Or so disturbingly good.

"These two go from surprised to sexy fun in the blink of an eye but holy hell, you can’t help but appreciate the fact that if ever two people were meant to be together it is these two." ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures

"appealing and fast paced... a funny, hot and intriguing read"  ~Annetta, Fresh Fiction

Friday, December 13, 2013

Reflections of the Love that Used to Be

This will be my last For the Love of Military Romance post until 2014! I just did a look back post over on my own blog and it's part of a giveaway, so be sure to hop over and check it out. But for the purposes of this posting, I wanted to take a look back at all the couples I've written about in 2013 (and some from 2012). My readers are hugely enthusiastic and very generous in their affection for the characters that I've written. They are always asking me for more, and it tickles me when I can give them that little bit of extra.

So based on the sampling of requests I've received in the last three months, here are the couples and/or characters the readers want to see me go back and visit:
  • Brody & Shannon 
  • Rowdy & Kim 
  • Brendon & Liam 
  • Mary & Kyle 
  • Matt & Naomi 
  • Rick & Eli 
  • Derek & Kara 
  • Charlie & Jana 
  • Kaiden & Rowan 
  • Rebel & Noel 
  • Tom & Brenda
  • James & Lauren
  • Isaac & Zehava
That's only a few right? *grins* Well, I'm happy to say that I do have plans to see these familiar faces again, starting off with Brody and Shannon. In fact, next month I will be writing Her Marine Bodyguard which is the book that brings Brody home again (finally!) Have no fear, you will be seeing many familiar faces in that book and we'll touch base with what's happening at Mike's Place.

Here's the blurb for Her Marine Bodyguard (unedited and subject to change) due to be released in May 2014

Someone is watching her…
Shannon Fabray’s career in the art world is on the rise thanks in no small part to her signature sculpture Her Marine. But with fame, comes fans and some like to get closer than others. Coping with the notoriety, Shannon doesn’t let the constant contact get under her skin until one night, it goes to far and to Shannon’s horror, one of them is making it very clear he wants the artist for himself and sees her as a possession that should be added to his collection.

He’s coming home…
After dozen years in service to his country, Lieutenant Brody Essex has lost count of the missions he’s run, the hours he’s spent in the field and the number of days he’s been out of the country. Budgetary issues freeze his promotion, and his unit is left on the ground in Afghanistan, but he makes it work because the only countdown that matters to him is the one that will bring him home. Home to the artist that carved a niche in his heart. When bureaucratic snafus hold up his paperwork, he sucks it up until a phone call alerts him that Shannon’s loft has been broken into, and she was nearly kidnapped.

Breaking all the rules…
Now Brody will break the rules and go AWOL, heading home without permission because his girl is in danger and she needs her Marine bodyguard…

Her Marine is also available on Audio Book and No Regrets, No Surrender just released as well! So lots of ways to catch up with what happened!

Do you have a particular favorite that you want to see return for a follow-up story? Or at least see appear in the books? Share it here! You just might get your wish. In the meanwhile, after numerous requests from readers (and damn y'all are just a generous bunch, I love you all!) It looks like we may do a holiday series to end 2014 with, as well. The same rules will apply, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Toys for Tots! With that in mind, what holidays would you like to see portrayed?

In the meanwhile, don't miss this year's holiday collection. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Why, yes, it is my day to post!

Where did the time go?? It was just Dec. 1. And all of a sudden, it's Dec. 9. It's a good thing I had my post all planned out for today! Even if I forgot it was today.

I'm very excited because the final book in my Class of '93 trilogy will be available on Kindle on Dec. 15.

The first book in the series is Deadly Briefs.

Attorney Aiden Greene’s life has become one boring routine of work, work, and more work punctuated by weekend visits with his twins. A blast from his Air Force special operations days changes all of that in an instant. He winds up in the arms of his one true love and on the run for his very life. 

Major Erika Dalton is one of the best officers in the history of the ultra-secret Air  Force Security Agency. That’s one of the reasons she’s been assigned to protect  Aiden Greene from an escaped Latin American drug lord intent on exacting retribution.

 Except she can’t keep her mind on her assignment.  Or her hands off of Aiden, despite the fact that back in the Spring of ’93, back at the United States Air Force Academy, he shattered her heart. Has fate given her a chance to reclaim what she lost all those years ago?

The second book is Trail of Desire.

A serial killer is loose on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania, killing couples in their tents, and the local jurisdictions have asked the FBI for help.

Hot shot Special Agent Braden Powell is anxious to hit the Trail and start camping. He hopes that the high profile case will boost his standing at the Agency, proving that he deserved the assignment after leaving the Air Force. He’s even more anxious to spend time in close quarters with his sexy new partner.

Special Agent Katrina Boyd is anything but pleased to be on a remote assignment with a loose cannon. Eight young people are dead and she’s stuck with a maverick for a partner on a case that could propel her FBI career to the next level. Compounding the disaster is the fact that her traitorous body is more than excited at the thought of sleeping next to the handsome agent night after night.

The third book is Call of Duty.

Appearances can be deceiving. Major Chadwick Monroe knows that all too well. He is the best fighter pilot the Air Force has ever seen and he is about to defect with the military’s newest weapon. Chad has a mission very few people know about – he’s an officer with the ultra-secret Air Force Security Agency, trying to thwart a Latin American terrorist organization. He has no time for a woman in his life, or so he thinks.

Casey Wilkes doesn’t trust men in general, fighter pilots in particular. The divorced single mother burns the candle at both ends to make ends meet and provide a life for her young son. The last thing she needs or wants in that life is another jet jockey, especially one who exposes her to cutthroat blackguards. Even one who draws her in and captivates her. Now she just has to convince her heart she's better off without him.

The holiday season is in full swing! I wish you a joyous holiday that leaves your TBR piles overflowing with new reads and I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!