When I began to write FORGED IN FIRE, book 3 of the Delos series it was to introduce Matt Culver, one of the three Culver children who would eventually take over and run Artemis Security. It would be a Delos charity secret, in-house firm created to lend security to the 1,800 charities they had around the world.
The more I got into FORGED IN FIRE, Beau Gardner, a West Virginia hill boy, who was a sergeant in Delta Force and in Matt’s unit at Bagram, just kind of took a more important part in the over all plot.
As always, I have a plot, but when I sit down in the morning to start another chapter, I may have a vague idea of what’s going to happen, but not “exactly” what will emerge in the plot.
Beau Gardner was that kind of secondary hero, in the background, but he emerged later in the book to take on a far more important part in it. And by the end of Matt’s book, I knew I had to write Beau’s book, and his story of escape with Callie McKinley, Dara’s sister.
Their story was no less intense, cliff-hanging, filled with danger and with life-and-death situations than Matt and Dara’s escape from the Taliban in Afghanistan was. But it was a different story and unique to the characters themselves. When Dara and Callie go to an Afghan village to render medical aid, Matt Culver and Beau Gardner go along as their security escort. Little do they know that the Taliban is going to attack them before they can get there.
In a hail of bullets, Matt and Beau get the women out of the vehicle and run. But they run different directions, Matt and Dara to the mountains, and Beau with Callie, to the plains and river. They split up, hoping to split the Taliban force so they have a better chance of surviving this assault. FORGED IN FIRE is how Matt and Dara survived. HOLD ON is how Beau and Callie survived. Two stories with two very different twists, turns, surprises and challenges.
You see, Callie and Dara McKinley were sisters from Butte, Montana. Raised on the Eagle Feather Ranch where they grew up being independent, hard working young women. Dara went on to become a pediatric physician. Callie went on to work with Hope Charity, usually spending six months out of every year in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, she worked with Maggie, the American owner, caring for fifty Afghan orphaned boys and girls.
Callie loved her service work, loved children and defied the danger that was all around them when she worked overseas to help orphaned children.
In HOLD ON, you will get to see Callie and Beau (who play a nice part in FORGED IN FIRE), in a different and direct light. Because it is their story. I loved creating this title because that’s exactly what it was….you were, as a reader holding on for dear life, wondering what could happen next.
If you have not read FORGED IN FIRE? I’d suggest you do it first because it will give the nuances even more importance in HOLD ON. They are a two-book sequel and while they can be read individually, as stand-alone books? You will see things from a different perspective if you’ve read FORGED IN FIRE first.
I hope you enjoy the sequel, HOLD ON! My model I chose for it was Jason Aaron Baca. He had the look of Beau Gardner: that intense warrior that he could become when things turned violent and dangerous.
The background for the book cover? The thunderstorm? That is a photo I took of a monsoon thunderstorm coming our way where we live in the Verde Valley of Arizona in 2006. Really cool to meld these elements together! There’s more tidbits coming about this book. So, HOLD ON ;-)!!!!
Callie McKinley has been burned by love before, and has learned to carefully guard her heart. Especially from smooth-talking alpha males like Sgt. Beau Gardner. Callie is wary of the Army Delta Force operator, but she is soon taken in by his slow West Virginia drawl, his honesty and his surprising gentleness. Could Beau be worth risking her bruised heart for?
Being black ops, Beau Gardner isn’t afraid of a challenge. And beautiful Callie McKinley is a big one. He has wanted the beautiful redhead in his bed since he first saw her belly dancing at the annual holiday show at Bagram. But once he begins to break through Callie’s defenses and get to know the woman inside, he realizes he wants more than her body. He wants her heart.
To get closer to Callie, Beau volunteers to provide security for her and her sister while they work at a local orphanage. But when a routine visit to a Afghan village results in a Taliban ambush, Callie and Beau find themselves on the run. And it will take every bit of training Beau possesses to keep them alive. Can he get Callie to safety so that they can explore their growing love or not?
Romance Military [Blue Turtle Publishing, On Sale: August 3, 2016, e-Book, / eISBN: 9781929977314]