Sunday, April 7, 2013

Loving the Damaged Hero...

Alex-Minsky- Michael Stokes Photographer
Romance novels, in general, are written around a certain type of man. Tall, dark and handsome. Every once in a while you have a blond or an auburn haired guy thrown into the mix, but the tall and handsome part are almost mandatory. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it to say that ‘he walked into the room and lifted up on tip-toe, trying to see his date over the shoulders of the men around him.’

Something occurred to me one day when I was watching the news. Bryan Williams had just listed the number of Americans that had been bombed in Iraq that day. It dawned on me that there were young, good looking young men returning changed, some of them no longer good looking. Tall strapping soldiers that had left wanting to serve their country would return with no legs. Or arms. Or haunted by dreams and flashbacks of what they’d had to do to survive.

Hopefully, those returning veterans would have family and loved ones to return to, and those loved ones would take them back no matter how they looked or acted or what struggles they had to go through. But then I started to hear stories of wounded men being jilted by their significant others while they were in hospital, or sometimes while they were still overseas. I just couldn’t even imagine. If my husband had gone to war, I would welcome him home no matter what shape he was in or what I had to do to take care of him. No matter what the struggle, I would do my best to ensure that his sacrifice had not been in vain.

A good portion of the men and women that return from war don’t have significant others. I knew it would be a struggle for them to find love, especially those changed physically. Their lovers would have to be extraordinary, willing to accept  physical and mental limitations, volatile emotions. They would have to be willing to care for the ones they loved.

When I started the Lost and Found series, I worried that the general public wouldn’t want to read about damaged heroes. I write about men in wheelchairs, men with missing limbs, faulty minds, long-term care issues, and they aren't fixed by the end of the story.  I write about men who can’t adapt to life at home. But they're heroes. I grew up reading tall, dark and handsome, like most of the romance reading public, but I had to write about the underdogs, the ones who should be recognized the most simply for the job that they’ve done to protect US.

The response I’ve gotten has been humbling. I’ve heard from so many mothers, wives and girlfriends thanking me for writing about the very real issues that they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Sometimes they add stories about their struggles, and it reminds me all over again how much we need to appreciate our military.

I honestly believe that there is a soul-mate for everybody, no matter how they look on the outside, how they sound, how they move. As long as their heart is intact, they need love.
And I'll be writing them.

The first book of the series, The Embattled Road, is free. You can check it out here.

In the harrowing prequel to The Lost and Found series, three embattled Marines must deal with their devastating physical and emotional injuries in a world that seems to have turned against them.
When the rescue helicopter crashes into his convoy in Iraq, Marine First Sergeant Duncan Wilde struggles with the loss of men, his career and the use of his body. Things can't get much worse. Until his fiancée decides she has to move on with her life, and that of her unborn child by another man.
Sergeant Chad Lowell knew when he went to war that it would come with a price. And it did. A young Marine under his command is killed by a landmine. Chad's left with one less leg and a mountain of recriminations. That doesn't mean he wants to be a pitied by every female he comes in contact with.
Gunnery Sergeant John Palmer is furious at the hand he's been dealt. He's served his country faithfully, if not without antagonism, for many years. Now they're turning him out like a relative who has overstayed his welcome. And, since he's not even a real man anymore, maybe it is time to move on permanently. 
Can these wounded warriors use a friendship borne out of adversity to form a partnership rescuing others? And can they find real love in spite of their challenges?

And a portion of the proceeds from the following books will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

You can connect with JM on Facebook or Twitter, or contact her directly at


  1. What a great cause and a good point, JM.

  2. Thanks L.C. It's pretty dear to my heart.

  3. I grew up right outside an Air Force Base so I know quite a few people involved in the military. I tend to get pretty patriotic and what not when talking about the military. They give so much and get so litle in return. I love reading romance books where an injured soldier finds love. And as a side note the my evil day job has selected The Wounded Warrior Project to be our main fundraising project this year. :) I love that my company may not have direct contact with the public yet they still give so much. :)


  4. Congrats on supporting this great group. They are worthy of all our support and they do so much. Great post.

  5. Kitty, we should be patriotic! Who deserves love more than an injured soldier protecting our country?
    And Kudos to your company. That's really something.
    Sharon, Yes they are. I love everything they do.
    Thanks for stopping girls!

  6. Sounds wonderful! I added that and the first one to my cart at Smashwords for my next purchase group. :-)

  7. Great blog and those Men and women will have a tough road and deserve their happily ever afters

  8. I am glad that you have taken on the difficult task of writing about our wounded soldiers and the struggles that they go through.

    This is my dream career, working with our Veterans, as a social worker.