COURSE OF ACTION was created by myself and Merline Lovelace for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. There will be three books, one coming out each year, 2013, 2014 and 2015, with connected stories (novellas). She is a sister military vet and been a long-time friend. I came up with a concept of us doing a novella each (35,000 words in length) on the black ops community. She was an Air Force Colonel and was the first woman to run an Air Force Base (and showed the boys how to do it). I was in the US Navy. I had a secret clearance and Merline a top secret clearance. Both of us dealt in the black ops of the secretive military side that civilians don’t get to see.
We wanted to do a sort of show-and-tell on the different black ops communities because each is different in their own, unique way. For example, if it’s got to do with ocean, the the SEALs are called from the US Navy. There will be stories about an Air Force combat controller, US Navy SEAL, Ranger, Army Special Forces, Marine Force Recon and Delta Force. We chose to do six novellas, two stories about two of the men in each book. This series will be released by Harlequin Romantic Suspense once a year.
And, we wanted a story that had threads to the other characters so we build a ‘family’ that the readers would love. Merline is a great brain-stormer and fun to work with. We came up with the concept that six young men in a West Texas town in the middle of nowhere, are football heroes. These six men played hard and played together. They called themselves the Sidewinders and had a tattoo on their upper right biceps to prove it. They went on in four years of high school to win two Texas championships; they played as a team, with heart and fierceness.
A day after graduating, Duke Carmichael, Travis Cooper, Dan Taylor, Jack Halliday, Josh Patterson and Chris Winborne, go down to the military recruiter’s office and join the military branch of their choice. And because of their mental toughness, their heart, they all end up in different black ops units in the military branch they chose.
The first two stories are about Duke Carmichael and Travis Cooper. Duke chose to go into the Air Force. Travis became a Navy SEAL. Below are my comments about my up and coming novella in the Course of Action series stories. This book will be in paperback and eBook and will become available November 5, 2013.
Hero: Travis Cooper, PO2, US Navy SEAL
Travis is a vaunted SEAL sniper. The last thing he expects to come through his satellite phone from the forward operating base, Bravo in Afghanistan, is a call to save a kidnapped American woman. He’s on the Afghan-Pak border, waiting for an HVT, high value target, to cross over from Pakistan into the country where he waits and hides. Only, his whole plan is dismantled when the call comes through.
The American woman who has been kidnapped by the Taliban, is part of a group brought in from the US to teach Afghans how to breed better horses. Madison Duncan, 26, has disobeyed the Marine Corps captain’s warning and slips outside the Afghan home where the group has been gathered. She’s dying to see the small, tough Afghan horses in a corral out back. It is dusk and Madison’s common sense is swept away by her passion and love of horses. Only…the Taliban is waiting. And they kidnap her, riding hard for the Pak border ten miles away.
And the only person standing in their way of getting there is Travis Cooper, a Texas boy who knows horses, too. And he’s going to have to take on five Taliban on horseback to try and rescue Madison. And the odds aren’t in his favor: One SEAL against five well armed enemy soldiers who have a hostage that they’d rather shoot than allow to live.
Can Travis pull off the impossible? Can he rescue the woman without her being killed in the process? It’s going to take all his Texas ranching experience along with his SEAL training, to pull off this unexpected op. IF he can…. There is no US help coming even if he does manage to rescue Madison. They are deep in enemy territory and everything depends upon Travis’ SEAL knowledge of the area to get her to safety. What he doesn’t expect is to be powerfully drawn to the brave young woman.
USAF Combat Controllers go through the same brutal training as Rangers and SEALS. They can ingress a target area on or under water. They can also scale or rappel down mountains; do high- and low-altitude jumps; engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat; treat any injuries they or another member of their squad sustains; and live off the land for weeks, if necessary.
What makes combat controllers different from any other Special Operators is that they’re also fully certified Air Traffic Controllers. They’re the ones who call in air strikes on hostile positions, direct friendly fire, and control combat aircraft in the hot zones. And often they do this with 500 pound bombs or mortar shells falling all around them. You can see why I love these guys!
Merline and I truly hope you enjoy the tales of the Sidewinders!
Available in paperback AND ebook!
To comment on Lindsay McKenna’s blog please click here.