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Lindsay McKenna | Writing sequels

February 1, 2014

Lindsay McKennaRISK TAKER
I rarely write sequels but RISK TAKER, HRS, February, 2014 and DEGREE OF RISK, HRS, March, 2014 are just that. All are from the Shadow Warriors series.

Everything about this 2-book sequel, was different and entirely unique to anything I’ve written before. But that’s what happens when the magic occurs and the author becomes powerfully and deeply into an alchemical process that can never be explained by words alone. These two characters came to me and got my full, undivided attention. They were fascinating, heroic people and I was absolutely swept away by their story.

It was interesting to see what happened as I began writing RISK TAKER. I got so deeply involved in the story of “Blue Eyes,” as she is called by the men at FOB Bravo in Afghanistan, that I knew 75,000 words just wasn’t going to scratch the surface of Medevac pilot, Army Chief Warrant Officer Sarah Benson’s life, her trials, challenges and her incredible courage and strength. It took 150,000 words to tell their story.

Her distrust of men is deep. Sarah is tired of being hit on at the FOB. She doesn’t see her own beauty, her glacier colored blue eyes, or her passionate spirit to be a medevac pilot who makes a difference in men and women’s lives hanging in the balance. But the men of FOB Bravo see her only in a sexual context, covet her and want her for only one thing.

Sarah’s whole being is wrapped up being a Medevac pilot. She’s damn good at her job, a chief pilot, and has seen a lot of combat in Afghanistan in the last seven years. She’s garnered the name “risk taker” in her medevac squadron because she’ll fly her Black Hawk through hell to reach those on the ground who are going to die if she doesn’t find the courage to land and pick them up–giving them a chance to live against all odds.

Petty Officer Ethan Quinn, US Navy SEAL, is a straphanger assigned to the SEAL platoon based at FOB Bravo. He’s been there three weeks and he’s heard of Blue Eyes. She’s part and parcel of the myths that float around an FOB among a thousand sex-starved men. The things he hears about her do, indeed, do sound mythic. He’s never seen her, but those that have, rave about the color of her eyes, hence her name, Blue Eyes. And the stories that circulate alongside her beauty and eyes is her iconoclastic reserve where she allows no man near her. She’s single, the stories go. She sits alone at the chow hall or with other women pilots, but never with a man. When she’s in the canteen, she sits alone. If an interested male wants to buy her a drink, she gives him a glare and warning to leave her alone.

Ethan has finely developed skills in people watching and understanding, thanks to his instructive and insightful mother. He sometimes wonders if he hadn’t been so attracted to the SEALs and adventure, if he wouldn’t have been a psychologist, instead. He utilizes these skills every day with brother SEALs, with the stressed Afghan villagers and when necessary, with enemy Taliban prisoners. He’s a complex man with many layers to himself. One thing he has found out in his years as a SEAL, is he has to dump his emotions somewhere. The things he experiences, the horror of what he sees, is too much for any human being to carry.

In the opening scene of RISK TAKER, Ethan accidentally meets the mythic “Blue Eyes” at the canteen. Only, he knows from all the constantly circulating stories about her, that he doesn’t dare approach her. As he comes in off a long, 12-hour patrol, all he wants is a cold beer to wash the Afghan grit and sand out of his throat. Until he spots Blue Eyes sitting alone at a table in the corner, nursing her own beer. He sits down at another table, and he senses the aching loneliness around her. And when he sees her briefly lift her head, his heart is slammed with yearning for her. He was born in Alaska and seen glacier calve all the time. The color is unearthly and yet, that very same color is in Chief Benson’s large, beautiful eyes. Now he understands why every man at the FOB wants her for his own.

What happens next? Well, you’re going to have to either down load the Ebook or order the paperback. I guarantee you, it’s one hell of a story. Two very unique people in a very dangerous environment. Both are lonely. Sarah distrusts men completely. Ethan is stunned by her beauty and that haunting sadness surrounding her. She is off limits, but Ethan doesn’t see it that way. He is patient and he watches her obliquely, beginning to register nuances about her on every level of himself. Now, all Ethan needs is a chance to meet her.

When that opportunity unexpectedly arises, it’s nothing like what Ethan expected…

I hope you enjoy both these books, back-to-back, February and March, 2014 with Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Do let me know!! Visit my website and drop me an email:


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