Just like most women, I’ve always liked a man in uniform. They look crisp, clean, and very take-charge. They make a person feel safe. However, when I became an Army mom in 2017, I had a totally different opinion of soldiers. You see, my baby enlisted then. I didn’t know what was going to happen to him in the future. I wouldn’t be able to protect him. The military wasn’t so romantic anymore, although they can still put on one heck of a graduation ceremony.
After my son graduated Basic Training, or BT as he called it, the worry over his safety backed off a little inside me, and the whole Army brotherhood angle began to interest me. I wanted to write a suspense novel involving soldiers. My plot was nebulous; I pitched it to my editor at Entangled. They came back with, “We want a terrorist thriller. If you do this right, it could be a series.” Whoa.
I didn’t know anything about terrorists, except what you see on the news periodically. Could I write a book about them? I set out researching. I looked up Army Intelligence, counterterrorism, the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world, terrorist cells… The list went on and on. I half-expected agents dressed like Men in Black to appear at my door with a warrant because of my search history! Or some other type men in uniform.
All that research paid off in the form of Zone of Action, my first military romantic thriller that released today. Listening to my son as he went from boy to man to soldier, watching him mature, and studying the whole terrorism world, made me realize that I could write this book and write it well. I owe it to my son to represent his chosen vocation properly, although he won’t ever read it. Too many “kissing” scenes for his liking. But you can rest assured, the action and suspense are top-notch!
COMMENT TO WIN: What’s your favorite military movie or book? Tell us in the comments below and one lucky commenter will win an ARC of Zone of Action. In the meantime, read the beginning of the book to whet your appetite!
Excerpt from ZONE OF ACTION
It was late afternoon, and the buildings cast eerie shadows along the ground and over the Afghan men’s faces. They resembled bearded Scream figures. Cameron’s skin crawled at the comparison, and he rolled his shoulders. More sweat rolled between his shoulder blades. He was thankful for the Kevlar vest he wore, but damned if it wasn’t like wearing a portable sauna.
“No, no, no, no.” His attention shot to the huddle before him, fingers tightening on his M4. One of the men was overriding Brett’s question, stepping into his personal space to emphasize whatever the hell he was saying. Brett pushed him back with a sharp command in Pashto, and Cameron moved to Brett’s side, jerking his M4 at the man. The guy wisely retreated. Cameron looked at the Hummer, nodded at Jimenez, who straightened behind the gun turret. Ross remained behind the wheel. Their vigilant demeanor reassured him. A little.
Enough was enough. Cameron addressed Brett without looking at him, his attention riveted on the informants, who shifted their sandaled feet, pebbles crunching loudly under their soles. “Are you getting anything worthwhile here, Brett? ’Cuz I’m having a bad feeling. I think we should pop smoke and drag their asses back to base.”
“Give me a minute,” Brett tossed back, breaking into a long question about where the gun runners had been seen last. Cameron licked his lips, tasted sand, and seethed. He couldn’t shake the feeling of foreboding. Cocking his hip, he looked to his right. His muscles tensed, and he gripped his carbine tighter. Was that movement behind the charred remains of the Fiat across the street? Hadn’t he already surveilled that tin can skeleton when they’d first arrived? He shook his head. Shit, he was as jumpy as a virgin in a strip club.
As he turned his head, he saw the shorter, skinnier Afghan nod, and Cameron’s gaze narrowed. It hadn’t been a full-blown nod, not by a long shot. Just a tiny head movement, almost like ducking a buzzing fly. And Lord knew there were a shit-ton of those little bastards flying around. Keeping his gaze trained on the shorter informant, Cameron tuned in to Brett’s latest inquiry.
“What kind of weapons did you see?” Brett was asking in flawless Pashto. By his impatient undertone, it wasn’t the first time he’d posed the question. And a response sure as hell wouldn’t include a nod. Cameron reached out a gloved hand to tap Brett on the arm and warn him when the rat-a-tat-tat of a heavy machine gun exploded from the blown-out building to their right.
“Ambush!” Cameron yelled.
© 2020 Cathy Skendrovich, Entangled Publishing, 2020. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.
Former terror cell expert Audrey Jenkins has seen enough death and destruction to last a lifetime. When she uncovers her ex, Brett, a higher-ranking officer in her unit, selling military secrets, she turns him in and returns to the simpler life she has embraced since leaving the army.
CID Special Agent Cam Harris is a career military man with a strong sense of duty. When a military prisoner who once saved his life in Afghanistan escapes while in his custody, he requests the assignment to track him down.
Cam’s manhunt leads him to Audrey’s door. His prisoner–her ex–will resurface here, he’s sure of it. The feisty woman wants nothing to do with hunting down her ex, but when a terror cell she’s all-too-familiar with launches a deadly attack on army intelligence soldiers and officers, she knows it’s Brett.
Helping Cam is the right thing to do. But the attraction burning between them may be the mistake that gets her and Cam killed. . .
Romance Military [Entangled: Amara, On Sale: July 27, 2020, e-Book, ISBN: 9781649370044 / eISBN: 9781649370044]
About Cathy Skendrovich
Cathy has always loved writing, but that pesky thing called Real Life cast writing into the backseat for years. Now she has reunited with her creative passion, and devotes every moment she can to all the plots and characters milling about in her imagination. She admits she finds story plotlines in everyday occurrences going on around her.
When she’s not writing her special mixture of romance and humor, she likes to travel read, and take long walks with her husband (the inspiration for her happily-ever-afters). Cathy looks forward to many years of writing for readers’ enjoyment.