I like doing these because of more than just the fact that it keeps getting my name out there so new readers can discover me, I do it because it gives me hard deadlines I have to shoot for, and gives me material to start a full length book from. Every novella, except one, I've converted to a full length novel.
I've heard of SEAL wives who are widowed, and what happens to them after their man is killed while serving our country. What often follows is that the community closes ranks, and it is highly likely that she will marry another SEAL. I had the opportunity to speak with a proud former SEAL father, whose son married one of the widows from the Redwings mission, one of the men who perished in Lone Survivor. So, my story is loosely based on things that have or could have happened.
I added an extra twist in this story to have her be 6 months pregnant when she gets the news. Now she has to deal with the loss of her husband and be careful about the baby. And then I couldn't resist and made the hero of the story another SEAL her husband served with, his best friend, and a man she's always disliked. But boys will be boys, and the unthinkable happens and T.J. is forced to promise to his dying Team buddy he'll watch over Shannon and their unborn child, even though Shannon has made no small thing about hating him.
Hard to show the range of emotions in a short story, only 20,000 words. The sex scene is between a pregnant, grieving widow and a young SEAL who has grown quickly to love her. I will be expanding it this fall into a full length novel. But judging from the comments and emails I've been getting, apparently I've hit the mark. It is the book I'm the most proud of.
So here's an excerpt that shows the tension between the best man and the groom. The best man will be the hero. The groom is about to have a disaster of a wedding, including passing out. In the end, the bride merely tolerates her wedding and wants to quickly move on with her plans for a HEA, until fate steps in, and brings her what she never believed she could have.
Yup, I'm in love with these two characters, and I hope you love them too. Shannon is the bride. Cindy is the maid of honor. Frankie is the groom, T.J. is the best man.
EXCERPT, SEAL's Promise: ****SEAL Language Alert****
Four other SEALs were in the wedding party, and he had to admit they’d make a wedding portrait which would look good on the cover of any bridal magazine, except for their dark glasses. Only Frankie, the groom, posed without shades. Shannon had wanted them all without the shades, but T.J. smiled at her and put his back on in open defiance, and the others followed his lead.
She’d flounced off in a huff, a flurry of white organza and chiffon, and her perfume that made him sneeze. He’d watched that hellcat streak she had, angled his head to the side and watched her march off to some mythical place brides hide when they go crazy. Lovely, though. Even he had to admit that.
Frankie was white as a sheet as they gathered. “I wanna pray first,” he’d said to his best buddies. Tyler was there, of course, and Kyle, Ollie and Rory were as well. But T.J. was Frankie’s best friend, and that meant he had to be best man.
“Fuckin’ going to need a lot more than fuckin’ prayin’. Gonna need a miracle, Frankie. Shannon’s had the evil eye on me all morning…yesterday, too, and that means I don’t think you’re getting any tonight, not that you haven’t—”
“Fuck sake, T.J. It’s my fuckin’ wedding and has nothing to do with how my bride looks at you. Get that fuckin’ thought out of your head.”
“I was just sayin’—”
“Not what you’re sayin’ I have a problem with. It’s what you’re thinking.” Frankie was so nervous he was seeing conspiracies behind every plant, guest and bouquet.
“Just be glad we didn’t send you to Alaska,” Tyler said, making it worse. Last year one of the young recruits had gotten time off from BUD/S to get married—a request which was almost never granted, and then the boys thought it necessary to save him from that quickie wedding in Las Vegas, and so got him stinking drunk and put him on a plane to Alaska so he missed his own wedding. They incurred extra wet and sandy for that one, and had the toilets cleaned so many times you could eat out of them.
This had worried Shannon, and her mother even more. Mrs. “I Want Moore” was one of the hottest women T.J. had ever seen, all toned and a marathon runner in her fifties. He had never before had fantasies about the mother of the bride. Mrs. Moore was twenty-five years his senior, but he knew she could clean his clock. He’d enjoy chasing her around a few places.
Turning to face Frankie again, he felt a tad sheepish about his lusty thoughts. He wiped his mind clean and decided to concentrate harder on Frankie’s day. His buddy was so crazy in love with Shannon, he needed extra protection to keep him from stepping out in front of traffic, or bumping into caterers, which he’d already managed to do several times today.
“Come on, Frankie. Lighten up.” T.J. slapped his cheeks to redden them up. “You need to stop looking like a dead man if you’re really gonna do this.”
“Yup. I’m doing this,” Frankie said to the auditorium full of people, the organ music now swelling up to the rafters. “I’m fuckin’ doing this.”
T.J. had a hunch he was looking for his courage and had come up short. He glanced down the hallway. Cindy was leaning against the wall right outside the bride’s dressing room, keeping sentry, but also giving him the long vacant look he knew only too well. He unabashedly scanned her entire body and let her see he couldn’t wait to get her naked.
She abruptly turned after blushing.
I WILL BE GIVING AWAY 10 KINDLE COPIES OF THIS ANTHOLOGY TO COMMENTERS, BUT YOU MUST MAKE A COMMENT TO WIN. GOOD LUCK!
Sharon’s NYT and USA Today bestselling novels are almost-erotic Navy SEAL stories of the SEAL Brotherhood. Her characters follow a spicy road to redemption through passion and true love. This series continues with books 7, SEAL Of My Heart, releasing in July 2014, and book 8 scheduled in the fall of 2014. All of her SEAL Brotherhood Series are available in audio book. She has maintained an Amazon top 100 author status in Romantic Suspense for since the end of 2012.
Sharon lives in Sonoma County, California, with her husband and two Dobermans. A lifelong organic gardener, when she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.