Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 1/6/19
Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip. Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.
Back with new releases again… they keep writin’ them, we keep readin’ them.
One of my fave authors, Kris Michaels, is a member of the writers that developed Silver SEALS series which is the focus series today. Her book, SEAL Forever, will be released in June of 2019. The following is the prequel and kick off to the Silver SEALS series. Check out after the description for the excerpt of the story. Remember that these books can be read as stand alone but will be more enjoyable together. I’m positive they were developed especially for me – Happy Ever After and no cliffhangers. Rock on!!
The only easy day was yesterday, and no one knows that better than Lieutenant Commander Silas Branson.
He may have taken several kicks to the gut but once a Seal always a Seal. He’s never backed down from a hard fight and he doesn’t intend to start now.
Silas lost the love of his life years ago but now he’s back to fight for what’s his.
Maggie was his woman. Despite their difficult past, as far as he is concerned, she is still his woman.
When her life is threatened he moves heaven and hell to protect her and the future he knows they can build together.
Don’t miss the Bone Frog Command’s origin story, the kick-off title to the Silver SEALs series, featuring standalone titles by the Suspense Sisters – Becky McGraw, Donna Michaels, Sharon Hamilton, Geri Foster, Kris Michaels, Abbie Zanders, Trish Loye, Caitlyn O’Leary, KaLyn Cooper, Maryann Jordan, Desiree Holt, J.M. Madden.
Here’s an excerpt:
Just when he thought he couldn’t feel any lower, her voice behind him had Silas tensing.
This restaurant had been their favorite place to come together. He should have known there’d be a risk he could run into her here.
Drawing in a bracing breath, he turned his head and saw her. Maggie. His ex-wife.
“Hey,” he said for lack of anything better.
Her brows drew low in a frown. “I heard the team deployed. Are you on leave?”
She was still friendly with the other wives. It made sense she’d know. What didn’t make sense is that she cared. Her responsibility ended with his signature on the divorce papers. His beer braced between his two hands as he faced the bar again, he snorted. “Permanent leave.”
“What?” Her voice rose high with surprise.
Silas sighed and turned to face her fully. As much as he didn’t want to have this conversation at all, and especially not with the woman who’d caused the gaping hole that still existed in his heart, he had to answer her.
“I’ve been medically retired.”
“What happened?” Her eyes widened as she visibly swept his body with her gaze.
If she was looking for bullet holes or missing limbs, she wouldn’t find any.
“I blew out my back. Apparently for good.”
She hissed in a breath. “Si, I’m so sorry.”
He believed her. It still didn’t help. “Me too.”
“Hey, I was just going to grab my take-out order. Nothing much. Just pizza and a salad. If you wanted to join me . . .”
He lifted a brow. Was this a pity date? With his ex-wife? Lovely.
Right now, he didn’t care. He realized he hadn’t bothered to eat all day and the thought of pizza, combined with the aroma of it cooking that permeated the air in the restaurant, brought his hunger to the forefront.
And the dead last thing he wanted to do was go back to his new home—a studio apartment rental in town. He obviously didn’t qualify for a room in the barracks on base any longer.
Jobless. Homeless. But at least he had his retirement and disability pay. Thank God for that.
Might as well spend it on something he’d enjoy. “You have any beer in the house?” he asked.
She cringed. “No. Sorry.”
“No worries.” He lifted one hand and signaled the bartender. “Can I buy a six-pack to go? And then you can close out my tab.”
“Sure thing, boss.”
Boss. Not anymore.
He’d been a Lieutenant Commander in one of the finest, most highly trained elite fighting forces in the US military. He was rapidly slipping into a new role—that of sad broken drunk slumped over a bar.
And now he was going to hang out with his ex-wife. His pity party was complete.
Pizza to fill the empty hungry hole in his gut and lots of beer to numb his mind actually helped a bit. So did being back in his old easy chair in the living room.
The familiar surrounding soothed him. Even if it wasn’t his living room any longer it was sure as hell better than that cold depressing room he was renting.
Christ, his life sucked. He glanced up and found Maggie watching him.
“You okay?” she asked.
He lifted one shoulder. “Eh. I just miss it.”
“See, I don’t understand that.”
“What don’t you understand?” he asked.
“How you can miss it. The war. The horrors that you saw. That you faced. I don’t understand it. Maybe I never will.” Shaking her head, she visibly gave up with the flick of her wrist.
Her being so quick to abandon trying to understand made him want to explain. “War and everything that comes with it—all of that, everything you mentioned—is horrible. But it’s an excellent teacher. It made me a better man. I’ve never been in better shape than when I was active duty, mentally and physically. But more, wading through all that destruction taught me appreciation for everything else in life.”
A man could only appreciate what he had once he’d seen what it looked like to have nothing.
Maybe that’s why he so desperately wanted to go back. More than the camaraderie, maybe he needed to see that even with as low as he’d fallen after the loss of his son and the break-up of his marriage, he still had more to be thankful for than every one of those people he’d seen in Aleppo.
Right now he needed the reminder that things could be worse. There he felt like he had a purpose. Here all he felt was . . . lost.
She nodded, giving him hope that maybe she might get it, just little bit. Though why he cared if she did, he didn’t know.
“So, what now?” she asked. “What next?”
He let out a short laugh. “Now, I finish this six-pack and then call an Uber.”
She rolled her eyes indulgently. “I meant for work.”
Things had been easier when they were joking. This topic was too serious, but he knew he couldn’t get away with not answering so he lifted a shoulder and opted for the truth. “I honestly don’t know.”
He could probably survive on his retirement pay.
It wouldn’t be a great life, he wouldn’t be living extravagantly, but he could cover the necessities, like rent and food.
What more did he really need? He’d never needed much in the way of material things. His truck was his biggest and pretty much his only indulgence for himself.
The one thing he really wanted most didn’t cost a cent.
Peace. In his mind. In his soul.
That was also the one thing he couldn’t get no matter how hard he tried, or how much he had.
Money aside, he needed to get a job if only to occupy his mind. All this thinking was going to kill him for sure.
“What if I got you an interview?” Maggie said.
His brows shot high. “An interview where? To do what?”
“Where do you think? DHS, of course. Remember, where I work?” She smirked.
Maybe he was running a little slow from the beer but there were too many reasons why what she said made no sense.
First and foremost, he wasn’t a politician, or a man who was used to riding a desk pushing papers for a living, and that was who mainly filled the ranks of the Department of Homeland Security.
Second, why would the woman who had gone to such great lengths to end their marriage, and get him out of her life, try to get him a job working where she worked?
“That’s crazy.” If his frown didn’t tell her what he thought of her idea, his words hopefully would.
“No, it’s not. Why would you say that?”
“You work as a liaison for the Office of Public Affairs,” he pointed out, not seeing the connection or the point of this whole discussion.
What the hell could he do for them? He could lead a team of warriors. He could follow orders from his superiors, but he wasn’t exactly a people person.
Especially not at the moment while he wallowed in this retirement-induced depression.
“I work as a liaison to the Navy Special Warfare Command for the OPA so don’t act like there is no connection between what you used to do and what I still do. But what I was thinking—if you’d open your mind for a second and consider it—is that my boss has connections with all the agency heads. You could easily be a valuable addition in any number of them. You have experience in a lot of the areas DHS works within.”
“Oh, really? And what areas are those?” he asked.
Close quarters battle? Sharpshooting? Basic underwater demolition? Those were his areas of expertise and they’d have zero value to DHS.
She folded her arms, challenging him. “Do you even know all the different agencies DHS oversees?”
She cocked a brow high, obviously not believing him.
“I have a basic idea,” he added.
Okay, maybe he didn’t know quite as much about the DHS as he let on, but he wasn’t going to admit that to her. He could Google it later and find out.
Mostly he figured DHS fit in somewhere along with the other government departments. No matter what their official purpose, the end result was usually to make his job in the teams harder.
“You know, you used to come home and complain about how this or that person or this agency or division or whatever didn’t get it. How they couldn’t get it because they’ve never been there where you’ve been or seen the things you saw.” Maggie pinned him with a stare.
He couldn’t deny the truth of her words. “And?”
“Don’t you want an opportunity to change things?”
The dare was clear in her question. She was baiting him. Knowing he usually couldn’t resist a challenge.
He let out a snort. “Is this some kind of ‘the best way to make change is from within’ speech?”
She smiled. “Yes. Is it working?”
His lips twitched. “Maybe.” Silas shook his head. “But it doesn’t matter anyway because there is no way in hell they’d hire me.”
Maggie cocked a brow high. “We’ll see.”
Her confidence stirred something inside him. Something he wished would stay sleeping. A warmth in his cold hard heart. A glow of an ember that with a little encouragement would easily flame up into a full-blown inferno.
The dead last thing he needed right now was to feel the warm and fuzzies toward his ex-wife.
Time to go.
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