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Archive for 'Uncharted SEALs'



Flashback: Heart of a SEAL (Contest–2 Winners!)
Thursday, April 14th, 2022

UPDATE: The winners are…Athena and Miki!
*~*~*

Before there were bounty hunters, there were SEALs. And I loved writing my Uncharted SEALs series. All those rugged, alpha heroes and strong heroines. Humor. Action. Spicy sex. All the ingredients that make stories fun for me to write, and hopefully, fun for you to read.

With Uncharted SEALs, I experimented a bit. For the first time, I did sequels with the same characters—for the simple reason I couldn’t say goodbye to them. I wanted to see inside their Happy-Ever-Afters. Through Her Eyes and Between a SEAL and a Hard Place share the same main characters, as do Dream of Me and Heart of a SEAL. Big Sky SEAL gave birth to my Montana Bounty Hunters, introducing Jamie and Reaper, who as a result of their work in Big Sky earned their own satellite office of MBH. A fun theme I used in two of the stories was a cruise ship. Both Before We Kiss and Hard SEAL to Love are set on the same ship and have the same supporting characters. Plus, Hard SEAL to Love features a disabled female vet!

This time, I’d like you to read the EXPLOSIVE opening scene of Heart of a SEAL. This story is shorter than most of the Uncharted stories, but I figured it was more of a revisiting with the characters, so readers might enjoy a slice of what happens in the happy-ever-after for Sam and Ash.

Enjoy!

Watch Over Me   
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Between a SEAL and a Hard Place 
*~*
  Head Over SEAL

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 2 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…

Do you like the idea of romances featuring married couples?

Heart of a SEAL

Heart of a SEAL

Aislinn Blalock is the lone survivor of the extraction team sent to rescue hostages in Cambodia from the vicious criminal gang holding them for ransom. After her helicopter crashes, she has to stay one step ahead of them to stay alive long enough for a rescue team to get to her.

Ash’s husband Sam watches the mission go sideways on a computer monitor, sidelined by management because one of the team happens to be his wife—but now, there’s no way in hell he’s sitting this one out. He’s getting to Ash before the armed gang can cause her any harm. He’ll risk everything to save the woman who holds his heart.

Excerpt from Heart of a SEAL

What a difference six months made. Aislin Blalock lay in tall grass beside a withered rice paddy, staring up at a clear, starlit sky. A billion pinpricks of light scattered across a dark canvas. No moon, thank God. Beautiful, really. But the distant stars only deepened her sense of unreality. In the distance, she heard metallic creaks and groans, as well as the crackle of fire. She had yet to move, afraid adrenaline was giving her brain the wrong signals, masking the fact she’d been hurt. She had, after all, just fallen from the sky.

Six months ago, she would never have imagined she’d be here in Cambodia in December, participating in a mission to rescue wealthy tourists who’d been kidnapped for the fat ransom their families would pay. She’d been a cop, still suffering the loss of her boyfriend and partner during a robbery. Just met the man who would drag her out of hell and show her love was still possible. That guilt didn’t have to consume her. That she had the right—and the duty—to survive and find happiness. No longer did she drink herself into oblivion for the chance to dream of Marc and pretend he wasn’t gone. Now, she had Sam.

Sam…

Ash drew a deeper, sharper breath.  He hadn’t been happy about her being pulled from her training with Charter to be part of this team, but the company had wanted a woman along, and she was one of the first female operatives they’d hired. He’d been supportive of her decision to apply for a position with his company as a field operative. Naively, she’d believed that being part of Charter, rather than remaining with the New Orleans Police Department, would mean they’d see each other more often. And she’d needed a change. A new job. New home. Without constant reminders of what she’d lost or the time she’d nearly lost herself grieving after Marc’s death. When Charter had tapped her for this mission, she hadn’t hesitated.

Two of the hostages were nuns—not wealthy tourists like the rest. And Charter had decided she’d make the women more comfortable during the rescue and transit. But her team never made it to the drop zone, a click from the kidnapper’s jungle encampment. Although they’d flown well below radar, someone had alerted the well-organized, well-funded group holding the hostages.

Her helicopter had been in the lead. She’d already shuffled toward the open door, ready to drop down a rope when they’d been hit. She’d had a split second to react. Thought she’d heard a voice in her ear, telling her to jump. Marc’s voice, but that had to have been a dream. Her subconscious prodding her to take that leap of faith.

Her landing had been cushioned by deep, soft vegetation. She’d landed on her feet. Sort of. Her bottom making contact a split-second later. Even if she’d suffered a break or a spinal cord injury she couldn’t yet feel, she was far better off than the men who’d been aboard her helicopter. She’d had time to jump from the left door when the right side of the helo sustained a direct hit from an RPG. The rest of her team, whom she’d met only two weeks before, hadn’t been so lucky.

She drew deep, ragged breaths. Lungs expanded. No hitch, so her ribs were likely fine. Inside her combat boots, she wiggled her toes and felt them scrape hard leather. Time to move. But she was still afraid. After a few wasted moments, at last, she rolled to her right and came up on her knees. Everything appeared to be working, but maybe she’d sustained internal injuries. Gingerly, she dropped her pack and unlatched the cover, feeling inside for her headset. Her hands closed around thin bands. She donned her headset then the night vision goggles, set her mike beside her mouth, and tapped ON, using the team’s call sign to identify herself. All actions were performed by rote, because if she’d had to think, she would have frozen. “Do you read me?”

“Jesus, fuck!”

She almost smiled at hearing Sam’s break with protocol. But his curses, so harsh in her ear, relaxed her. For the moment, she felt his reassuring presence.

“We see one heat signature a distance from the helo. That you, babe?”

“Yes. I don’t think anyone else made it out.”

“The second helo just crossed back into Viet Nam.”

Which meant she was alone. If anything had gone awry with the mission, the pilots had been ordered to return to Charter’s base camp. She swallowed hard to still the panic rising in her throat.

“Are you hurt?”

She heard the soft note of hesitation in his voice. Knew he was bracing for the worst. Not sure, yet. “No,” she said, more firmly than she felt.

“Fuck. More heat signatures. Nine of them. Coming from the West.”

Her stomach clamped. Men from the kidnapper’s encampment. “Roger,” she said, her voice clipped. She knew what she had to do. Run.

“Head northeast. You’ll be in deep jungle. It’ll give you cover.”

She checked the illuminated dial of her wrist compass, took her direction, and pushed up into a crouch. As quickly and as quietly as she could, she streaked toward the tree line.

Flashback: Baby, It’s You (Contest — 3 Winners!)
Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

UPDATE: The winners are…Nicola O’Sullivan, Stacey Kinzebach, and K. Campos!
*~*~*

Before there were bounty hunters, there were SEALs. And I loved writing my Uncharted SEALs series. All those rugged, alpha heroes and strong heroines. Humor. Action. All the ingredients that make stories fun for me to write, and hopefully, fun for you to read.

With Uncharted SEALs, I experimented a bit. For the first time, I did sequels with the same characters—for the simple reason I couldn’t say goodbye to them. I wanted to see inside their Happy-Ever-Afters. Through Her Eyes and Between a SEAL and a Hard Place share the same main characters, as do Dream of Me and Heart of a SEAL. Big Sky SEAL gave birth to my Montana Bounty Hunters, introducing Jamie and Reaper, who as a result of their work in Big Sky earned their own satellite office of MBH. A fun theme I used in two of the stories was a cruise ship. Both Before We Kiss and Hard SEAL to Love are set on the same ship and have the same supporting characters. Plus, Hard SEAL to Love features a disabled female vet!

This time, I’d like you to read the EXPLOSIVE opening scene of Baby, It’s You

Enjoy!

Watch Over Me   
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Between a SEAL and a Hard Place 
*~*
  Head Over SEAL

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 3 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day? Gimme more than a yes or no!

Baby, It’s You

Baby, It's You

Carter Vance, Jr. stands at the fork in the road. Wounded in action, the Navy SEAL has a decision to make: whether to find work with a spec ops unit or return to his family ranch in Texas and repair his fractured relationship with his dying father and the woman he wronged. Complicating the decision is his reignited attraction to Melanie Schaeffer and his confusion over his feelings for his dead brother’s little girl, whom Melanie has raised since his brother’s and her sister’s deaths by a terrorist’s bomb.

Excerpt from Baby, It’s You

The morning that would change Melanie Schaeffer’s life forever began quietly enough. The whoosh of a curtain opening sounded a moment before sunlight spilled across her bed. Melanie rolled to her back to see the maid picking up clothing Melanie had left draped over a chair the night before.

A blush crept into her cheeks. She didn’t think she’d ever grow accustomed to having someone else handle her intimate items. “You don’t have to do that,” Melanie said as she pushed another pillow behind her head. “I can clean up after myself.”

The maid gave her a cheerful smile. “It’s my job. And I wouldn’t have woken you at all, but you did say you wanted to get used to the time change…”

Yes, there was that. After two days, she still felt a little muzzy-headed. The nine hours’ difference in time zones from Austin to this little city bordering Asia and the Middle East took some getting used to. Melanie rubbed her eyes and blinked, focusing on the sun peeking through the arched window and the view of the lovely, lush garden beyond it. Bushes exploding with large cabbage roses and tall, fruit-laden palms nearly obscured the ten-foot wall surrounding the estate nestled in the diplomats’ sector.

Never had she stayed in such a luxurious place, never slept in a softer bed, especially one covered in a plush white-and-blue damask duvet that felt as light as a cloud. So many luxuries to be enjoyed, but she felt uncomfortable surrounded by the opulence. And the last thing she wanted was to grow used to the amenities. At the end of summer, she would be heading back to her small, cramped apartment. Handsome U.S. ambassadors weren’t in her cards. More likely, she’d marry another teacher, and they’d settle into suburbia, worrying about the mortgage and their next car payment, and she was okay with that.

She glanced at the designer suitcase, the logo prominent on the side—something that cost more than the clothing inside it—a gift from her sister. One to which Cassie likely hadn’t given much thought, or she would have gifted Melanie with something simpler and sturdier.

Cassie wasn’t intentionally thoughtless. She’d likely told an aide to buy a case and ship it to her sister, never thinking the case itself would be an issue. Cassie had always been destined to have more in life. Always simply expected it. Stunning and smart, she looked like a movie star but spoke seven languages. That Cassie wanted her to be part of her life pleased Melanie, but she knew over time, they would drift farther and farther apart. Their worlds would never intersect.

The maid continued to tidy her bedroom, so Melanie rose and moved to the suitcase she still hadn’t unpacked. She laid it open on an upholstered bench and rummaged for an outfit, nothing anywhere near elegant enough for her present surroundings—plain dark slacks and a blue, long-sleeved cotton blouse. Something appropriately demure should she be seen by any of the locals employed by her brother-in-law. “Are my sister and the ambassador still here?” She threw the question over her shoulder as she strode to the bathroom.

“They’re taking breakfast in the kitchen. You’ll catch them if you hurry.”

Glad she’d managed to drag herself from bed earlier than the day before, she hurried through her ablutions and skipped down the stairs.

Melanie took a step through the kitchen door, then quickly backed out, not wanting to interrupt the tender embrace between Cassie and Daniel. Since her arrival, she’d witnessed several such kisses, and she doubted they’d be embarrassed. She was the one with the problem. Their passion made her edgy…and a little bleak.

Daniel couldn’t help that he looked so much like his brother that every time she saw him she felt a little twinge in her chest. After three years, she would have thought the nostalgic pain had diminished, but maybe she was a one-man woman. And maybe she needed to date more. She’d never forgotten her first real crush. No other man had ever made her feel the same intense desire.

She’d met Carter Vance at her sister’s wedding. The intense attraction still mystified her. He’d barely smiled in her direction, although they’d been best man and maid of honor, and were forced into each other’s company constantly throughout the week of activities leading up to the wedding. She’d blushed and struggled to be nice to the taciturn Navy SEAL, and he’d eyed her with a look that bespoke his impatience with all the hoo-hah surrounding the marriage of her sister to the ambassador, a local celebrity in their tiny town in Texas. Because Cassie and Melanie had no family to speak of, Daniel’s father had stepped in to give the couple a wedding befitting a Vance, a proud Texas family that had owned the Rocking V Ranch since Texas became a state in the Union. His father been kind and gracious, as had his brother Lee. They’d welcomed her into the family right along with Cassie, going to the extreme of talking her into transferring from Old Miss to the University of Texas at Austin so that she could visit during her breaks. They’d even paid the remaining years of her tuition. She’d graduated just a couple of weeks ago, and now, had time to think about what she wanted to do next. Grad school? Her teacher’s certification? She hadn’t quite made up her mind, and she didn’t want to impose any longer on Mr. Vance’s generosity. She wanted to start paying her own way.

Not that he ever voiced a bit of concern over the expense of her upkeep. All the Vance family had been wonderful to her, except for Carter, Jr. The week of the wedding, she’d noted she wasn’t the only one who’d earned his steely glances. A decided chill had been in the air every time father and son came too close together. Even after all these years, she didn’t know what had caused the rift or why it mattered so much to her. Why he mattered…

She cleared her throat and entered the breakfast room again to find her sister grinning and patting her hair.

“You’re up!” Cassie turned and smiled. “You really don’t have to see us off. You should have slept in. This is your vacation.”

Melanie shook her head and made a beeline for the toddler in the highchair. “You paid for my flight to get me here. The least I can do is play nanny to this munchkin while your au pair is back in the States and you both have to work.”

Cassie laughed. “I don’t work. Today, I’m just keeping the wife of the French attaché entertained while Daniel and his staff work on…whatever it is they’re discussing,” she said with a wave of her hand.

Daniel smiled, never moving his hands from her sister’s hips or his gaze from her shining eyes. “Madame Boucher is a very exacting guest. You, my dear, will earn your husband’s undying gratitude by keeping her happy.”

Her sister scrunched her nose then glanced downward at her outfit, a very stylish olive sheath.

A color that would have made Melanie look like death warmed over, but against Cassie’s dark hair and tanned skin, made her look very sophisticated.

“The last time we met she asked me if all consulate women shopped at Tar-zhay.”

Melanie giggled then bent closer to her niece to tug at a strawberry-blonde curl. “It’s just you and me, babe. What do you say we make you a bottle and watch some Dora the Explorer?”

“Doe-wah!” Emmy squealed and reached her chubby little hands upward.

Melanie’s heart did a little flutter. Never would she have imagined loving anyone on sight, but she was surely smitten by the cherub with cereal stuck to the side of her cheek. “Let me get a cloth, and I’ll clean you up.” She headed toward the sink.

Cassie gently pushed away Daniel’s hands. “I’ll get my purse. I wouldn’t want to add the sin of being late to the long list of things that woman will complain about.”

Daniel checked his watch. “We’ve got plenty of time. Atkins scoped out an alternate route. We’ll completely miss the protesters gathering by the north gate of the embassy.”

Cassie returned, pulling on a matching olive jacket, and paused beside the highchair to pat her little girl’s hair. “Be good for Melly today, sweetie.”

“I good,” the baby said, again raising her hands, “Kissh?”

“Last time I did, you mashed your food all over my clothes.” Instead, Cassie caught one hand and drew it toward her mouth to give the tip of each chubby little finger a kiss. “Love you, sweetums.” With a flutter of her fingers toward Melanie, her sister preceded her handsome husband out the door.

With their departure, quiet fell over the kitchen. Melanie took a deep breath, feeling a little guilty about the fact she was glad they were both gone. She’d have time alone with the little one, for them to bond and for Melanie to feel more relaxed. Because hey, her brother-in-law was her country’s ambassador to this little nation and lived in a freaking mansion. Her relationship with her sister wasn’t especially close; too many years divided them.

Cassie had gotten a job in the diplomatic corps right out of college and had only been home for brief visits, the last time to attend their parents’ funerals. And although Cassie did do her best to keep in touch—calling once a week, sending lavish gifts, even buying her a small, used car—Melanie didn’t feel comfortable around her more polished and sophisticated sister. Not like she did with the baby from the first moment they’d met.

She finished wiping the little girl’s fingers clean, removed the food tray, and lifted eighteen-month-old Emmy into her arms, just as she heard car doors slam outside on the cobbled driveway. Turning with the intention of walking to the window so the baby could wave goodbye to her parents, Melanie caught a bright flash of light in the corner of her eye, felt a brief moment of complete, airless silence, then felt herself hurled through the air as an explosion of sound and debris hammered against her body.

The moment lengthened, searing pain stung her cheek, and a scream rent the air. And as her arms tightened around the precious bundle still held tightly against her chest, Melanie fell into darkness.

Flashback: Hard SEAL to Love (Contest–2 Winners!)
Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Daun Ann Corty and Laura!
*~*~*

I loved writing my Uncharted SEALs series. All those rugged, alpha heroes and strong heroines. Humor. Action. All the ingredients that make stories fun for me to write, and hopefully, fun for you to read.

With Uncharted SEALs, I experimented a bit. For the first time, I did sequels with the same characters—for the simple reason I couldn’t say goodbye to them. I wanted to see inside their Happy Ever Afters. Through Her Eyes and Between a SEAL and a Hard Place share the same main characters, as do Dream of Me and Heart of a SEAL. Big Sky SEAL gave birth to my Montana Bounty Hunters, introducing Jamie and Reaper, who as a result of their work in Big Sky earned their own satellite office of MBH.

A fun theme I used in two of the stories was a cruise ship. Both Before We Kiss and Hard SEAL to Love are set on the same ship and have the same supporting characters. Plus, Hard SEAL to Love features a disabled female vet! Enjoy the excerpt below!

Watch Over Me   
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Between a SEAL and a Hard Place 
*~*
  Head Over SEAL

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 3 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…

(IGNORE COVID) If you got two free tickets for a cruise, who would you take with you and where would you go?

Hard SEAL to Love

Hard SEAL to Love

Former SEAL, “Big Mac” McLane, is sure he earned all kinds of bad karma somewhere when his first mission with Charter Group is guarding the “Love Boat” and its activity director. Okay, so the cruise line is sponsoring a special cruise for wounded soldiers and their families — a great cause — but Big Mac doesn’t do well around families and children, and Kylie Hammond is cute, but he feels like he has two left feet whenever she’s around. But he’s going to do his job, keep it strictly business, fade into the background whenever she’s around, but it seems Kylie has other ideas…

Kylie knows the big SEAL isn’t exactly gung-ho for his new assignment, but she can’t be more pleased. The big man’s the yummiest thing she’s ever seen, and coaxing blushes and glares from him becomes her favorite sport. But then things begin to go wrong aboard ship, people disappear, and then someone’s killed. The thing her charity most feared — a terrorist attack at sea — appears to be underway. Now, she has to trust Big Mac and his team to keep her wounded soldiers safe.

Excerpt from Hard SEAL to Love

“Big Mac” McLane stood on the well-lit dock beside his team leader, Deke Warrick, and his teammate, Jackson Keller, as crewmembers and dockworkers rolled storage containers from the belly of the huge cruise ship. Soon, the refuse from a four-day cruise would be disposed of, and new provisions, along with a new group of passengers, loaded.

Waves lapped against the piers, the wheels of the rolling containers whirred and grated, and forklifts beeped. All familiar sounds but made surreal because he wasn’t waiting to board some Navy battleship, and the size of the cruise ship was astounding.

Mac admired the lock-step precision of the entire operation as the unloading continued. Despite the added pressure of law enforcement personnel crawling all over the ship, the Delphin’s crew didn’t miss a beat. Nothing would delay the ship from leaving the dock just after fourteen hundred hours that day. The cruise ship had a schedule to keep.

Stretching his arms, Mac stifled a yawn. The trio had taken a red-eye flight from Dallas to meet the ship in Miami. Due to the recent troubles, Charter Group wanted feet on the ground to make sure the Countess cruise line and law enforcement were taking seriously the string of events aboard their ships that had unfolded over the past weeks since the abduction of Poppy Shackleford. Although Charter Group’s people had successfully recovered the general’s daughter, everyone involved with the upcoming Soldiers’ Sanctuary cruise feared the problems would only escalate. Mac had been tapped to provide the program director protection during the special cruise which was scheduled to leave the Port of Miami the following day.

Although the time was just past O-five-hundred, the air this morning was warm and balmy. Temperatures would rise to a boil by mid-morning, so Mac didn’t mind waiting on the dock to speak to the Delphin’s captain while passengers set to disembark midmorning still slept. A Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s van stood by to remove the body of one unlucky soul whose cruise hadn’t ended well.

“And the ship’s doctor is sure the cause wasn’t a heart attack?” Jax murmured.

Deke’s lips tightened. “He smelled almonds, and the woman’s cheeks were cherry red. Her traveling companion described her as having a seizure and not being able to breathe. M.E. looking at the body now thinks it was cyanide, but we won’t know for sure until an autopsy’s performed.”

Jax scraped his palm across his stubbled jaw. “No one else was affected?”

Deke shook his head. “It happened while they were eating in the dining room. No one else’s plate was tampered with.”

“The traveling companion?”

Deke shrugged. “Her girlfriend of thirty years. The ship’s doctor had to administer a strong sedative because she freaked. He doesn’t think she did it.”

“So, another incident.” Mac took a deep breath. “How many does this make?”

“Three.” Deke lifted his hand and began counting off the list with his fingers. “First, a water system was tampered with on the Tethys. Someone flushed red dye through the ship’s fresh water. Passengers thought it was blood.”

“So they may have been testing methods of dispersal,” Jax muttered.

“Looks like. Or they could be assessing which method of attack will cause the most panic. Next, was the small explosion in the engine room aboard the Nereus. The ship had backup generators, so services weren’t stopped, and the crew effected repairs to continue to their next port. Other than a loud boom, the incident caused no injuries, and the passengers were no wiser. The cruise line can’t be a hundred percent sure whether it was sabotage or a malfunction. So their resistant to cancelling any voyages. But their security’s stretched. And now, we have last night’s poisoning…”

“Gonna be bad PR for the line,” Jax said, shaking his head.

“The company’s keeping the incidents under wraps,” Deke said. “And Homeland’s locking down this investigation here. Miami-Dade will help with interviewing passengers and crew, but they’re informing everyone for now that it was a routine death at sea.

“Just got off the phone with Jake Patton at Homeland. He says they want to catch whoever did this. They don’t want the culprits spooked and scattered to the winds. If their ultimate target is the soldiers’ cruise, we’ll be waiting. In the meantime, they do their due diligence, talk to every person on that ship who had access to the victim’s meal, and search every corner of the ship to see if any clues were left behind. He’ll have men with the ship when it sails today to continue the investigation.”

“Had to have been wait staff,” Mac said, frowning while he thought about the thousands of support personnel that worked on the ship. Homeland and the police had a small army ready to question all cooks and waiters and still wouldn’t be done before the boat sailed.

“Probably was some waiter,” Jax said, “maybe someone embedded, or someone bribed or threatened to get them to add the poison to her plate. And the next question is whether the victim was a random target—as in, just another test.”

“Or they’re taunting us.” Mac’s hands slowly curled into fists. He hated goddamn cowards who picked a fight but didn’t bother showing their faces. “Maybe they’re letting us know they can get to our guys, no matter how well prepared we are.”

Deke’s cheeks billowed as he blew out a long breath. His gaze darted to Mac. “You’re set to meet with Kylie Hammond at the Hampton Inn this morning. Have to warn you, she’s no happier at the thought of having a babysitter than Poppy was to discover we’d put Wiley on her detail.”

Mac grimaced. “Doesn’t matter if she’s not happy. I’m her date for the next four days. She won’t move without me one step behind her.”

As he leaned forward to look sideways, Jax’s mouth twitched. “Didn’t turn out so bad for Wiley and Poppy.”

Yeah, right. Mac gave him a blistering glare. A wedding at sea wasn’t in his plans. Nope. Didn’t matter if Kylie Hammond was a knock-out or not, he was immune to commitment. After transferring teams, all he wanted was to settle into this gig and prove his worth to Deke. “So, you two wanna tell me who I pissed off to get this assignment?”

Jax chuckled.

Deke’s grin was wry. “Thought you were ready for a vacation.”

Mac shook his head. Maybe he’d been too quick to accept Charter’s offer for an “easy assignment” after the last one where he’d spent weeks guarding freighters dodging Somali pirates. He’d been ready for some down time. Had even considered doing some house hunting or heading to his buddy Carter’s ranch in Texas. Although the last time he’d been there, he’d grown restless after witnessing just how happy Carter was with his new wife and little niece he’d adopted to raise as his own.

All that domesticity had made him itch. As a guy who’d spent his teenage years bounced around in foster homes, he couldn’t imagine any man willingly being leg-shackled to one woman or even planting roots to live in one place. Not that he couldn’t see the attraction. Carter had carved out a nice life for himself. Now that his father was on the mend, Carter wasn’t tied to the ranch, although he was always eager to return there after an assignment. He had a pretty wife, a great kid, and nice-sized piece of heaven in the ranch he’d someday inherit.

Family, a home passed down through generations of Texans—all that was as foreign to Mac as the thought of sitting on the “Love Boat” for a fancy cruise with a privileged society girl building her social media cred through charity work. “Hell,” he muttered. “Job’s just four damn days.”

“Five. The assignment starts today.”

Mac lifted his shoulder. “Whatever. She’s locked down in the hotel until the buses come tomorrow morning to take the soldiers to the ship.”

Jax slapped his shoulder. “You do know ships’ captains can perform marriages in international waters…”

“Hey, I’m happy for Wiley.” Mac shuddered. “But he has General Shackleford for a father-in-law. Wonder if he has to snap a salute before they sit around the table to eat turkey and cranberries at Thanksgiving.”

Deke coughed into his fist. “Having a powerful father-in-law isn’t always a pain in the ass.”

Mac winced, having forgotten that Deke’s father-in-law was a former Navy commander-turned-congressman, and was now in charge of special operations for Charter Group. “How’s old Commander Martir doing, anyway?”

“Still a badass,” Deke said, giving him a glare.

“Once a SEAL…” Shrugging, Mac didn’t complete the phrase.

“Stop bellyaching about the assignment, McLane.” Deke braced his feet apart. “You might be bunking in a stateroom but don’t treat this assignment differently from any other you’ve had. Kylie Hammond’s safety is your mission.”

 

Five hours later, Mac stepped through the entrance of the Hampton Inn. The lobby was a study in orderly chaos. Suitcases were lined up and stacked against one wall. Men and women, some in wheelchairs or walking with crutches and walkers, and missing limbs—some multiples—filled the space.

Mac tamped down a feeling of guilt for being able-bodied and whole as he walked through the throng, nodding now and then as he passed the veterans. He headed to the concierge and asked where he could find Kylie Hammond. After being informed which conference room Soldiers’ Sanctuary had commandeered to hand out welcome packets to arrivals, he headed down a hallway, relieved he didn’t have to push through a sea of bodies. He was ready to start this op. Sooner the better. Five days would fly by, and then he’d have the down time he needed to get his head on straight before the next assignment.

Stepping inside the room, he noted two long conference tables filled with plastic buckets of folders. Three elderly men manned the table.

One of them who sported a gray buzz cut and a surprisingly muscular build glanced his way. He lifted his chin in greeting.

Mac decided he was as good a place to start as any and strode toward him.

The old man held out his hand. “Joe Olinksy,” he said, in deep, loud voice. Then he leaned against the table edge and whispered, “You with Charter?”

Mac eyed him then glanced at his two buddies who were moving closer. His presence as part of the security team was supposed to be on a “need-to-know” basis.

Grinning, Joe waved a hand. “We’re part of your support. Eyes and ears only. We’re a little too long in the tooth to be the muscle, but we’re here to help. We’ll be staying in the stateroom next to yours.”

Skeptical that this band of elderly brothers could be of any service at all, Mac drew a deep breath and gave Joe’s two companions another look.

“This is Morty,” Joe said, pointing toward a thin man with a round, pot belly. “And that’s Sly.”

Sly smiled, and his teeth were blindingly white and little too large in his mouth.

“Ex-marines, 3rd Division during Viet Nam,” Joe said. “You a SEAL like Wiley?”

“Semper Fi,” Morty said, grinning.

Mac grunted, revising his original assessment. These guys had seen real action. “I’m looking for Kylie Hammond.”

“She’s out in the atrium,” Joe pointed toward the windows behind him, “getting a cup of coffee. She’s been manning the tables since dawn. And don’t worry about us. We can handle ourselves. After all our help on the last cruise, Poppy made sure to add us to the team. We’ll have your six.”

The three elderly men hadn’t been mentioned in any of the briefings he’d attended back at HQ. Wiley for damn sure hadn’t said a thing, but then again, Wiley had looked a little smug when he’d heard Mac was being assigned to protect his wife’s best friend. He cleared his throat. “Mac McLane by the way,” he said, giving a nod to all three men.

“We’ll see you aboard the Oceanus,” Joe said.

Mac left them and thought about calling Wiley to find out why the hell he hadn’t mentioned his geriatric buddies. Just to bitch because he was already dreading the coming minutes. He didn’t have a lot of experience with Ms. Hammond’s brand of womanhood. He’d served with women in the field, and slept with the women who swarmed bars outside Navy bases, hoping for a hookup with a SEAL.

Women outside those two categories tended to make him nervous. In his experience, women had served only two purposes, as support and/or stress-relief for a SEAL. Not that he looked down on them. He liked the women he’d known. But he hadn’t had to think much about what kind of impression he made or how to talk to them. He could be gruff and blunt. What the hell would he talk about for the days and nights he and the princess would be glued to each other’s sides?

Entering the atrium, he glanced around for someone who fit the picture he’d made up in his mind. She’d be pretty, no doubt. He couldn’t imagine anyone who was friends with Poppy Shackleford and attending her social functions looking any different.
Most of the small round, brightly tiled tables were filled with men and a few women. Probably wives of the wounded soldiers, who’d be accompanying their husbands on the cruise.

One woman sat alone, her head bent over her cell phone which lay flat on the tabletop, a tall Styrofoam cup beside it. Her hair was a mass of dark brown curls. Her body, what he could see of it hunched over the table, was slender. Her bare arms and the tops of her shoulders, revealed by an olive tank, showed well-developed muscles. She wore no jewelry, save for a watch on an olive-colored web strap. Faux military-issue? And now he wondered whether she was one of those who was so enamored of military men she wore cammo pajamas. He’d met a few like that. As he moved nearer, she must have sensed someone watched her.

The woman’s gaze lifted from her phone and locked with his.

As he took in her features, he slowed his steps. Wide-set green eyes whose gaze never wavered, tan skin, rose-colored lips, cheeks that were prominent and high. She was lovely, but didn’t wear a hint of makeup. She didn’t need it. Unbidden, interest flared inside him, heating his blood.

“Are you Mac?” she asked, her voice even and little husky.

His tongue felt thick as he gave a crisp nod and replied. “You Kylie?”

Her smile was a little tight, but she pushed up from the table to greet him, her arm reaching forward.

When he looked down at her hand, with its long fingers and short bare nails, his gaze dropped to her legs. Another shock stole his breath. She wore shorts which ended at mid-thigh, revealing one long, nicely turned limb paired with a shapely thigh that disappeared into the black cup of a prosthetic limb.

Your weekend book boyfriend… (Contest + Excerpt)
Friday, September 10th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…ButtonsMom2003!
*~*~*

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, let me know who this weekend’s book boyfriend will be! 

Here’s a suggestion… 🙂

After writing Wolf’s HEA in Through Her Eyes, Wolf and Piper wouldn’t get out of my head, so I gave them a second story, Between a SEAL and a Hard Place! Both stories are fun and depict two equally capable (badass!) and stubborn people.

You can find the books here:
Through Her Eyes — https://amzn.to/38XWjF0
Between a SEAL and a Hard Place — https://amzn.to/3hmRtWq

Here’s an excerpt from Hard Place… 

So many things were the same. Merciless heat beating down from above. Staring through the scope of a Macmillan Tac-50 from a dusty perch. Spotter at his elbow. Familiar chatter from the mission commander in his ear. And yet, everything was different.

For Wolf Kinkaid, the differences made the experience surreal. Yes, the air was hot, but he wasn’t wearing a heavy helmet, which would have cooked his brain. His position was on a high-rise rooftop rather than amid rocks in a lonely mountain pass. The spotter at his elbow was dressed in SWAT black rather than a uniform of woodland camouflage, as was he. And the commander providing updates of what was happening inside the building entrance he surveilled wasn’t talking about insurgents. He gave details about an Assistant District Attorney, a “suit” who was about to exit the law building they watched.

Yup, he was a long, long way from Afghanistan.

“Suit’s taking the elevator,” Deke Warrick, the mission commander, said quietly over the comm in his ear.

Wolf checked the pictures he’d taped to the wall he knelt behind. One was of ADA Ben Souther who had a hit on him from a Mexican cartel, primarily for the fact he was preparing to prosecute a high-ranking cartel member for murder and racketeering. The second photo was of the assassin that the team—which consisted of FBI, ATF, and Charter agents—was trying to take down. They wanted to arrest the bastard and maybe milk him for names of other members residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wolf’s particular talent was needed to implement Plan B if the assassin got too close to Souther.

Outfitted with a Kevlar vest, Souther was accompanied by two bodyguards, both provided by Wolf’s new employer, Charter Group. They’d trained for this mission for a week in another city with a similar topography, all while keeping Souther in a safe house. Souther’s office had hired the company to provide added protection and, hopefully, nab another cartel member, because the cartel lieutenant they’d captured had, so far, remained uncooperative. After weeks of lying low, Souther had grown restless and suggested they end the impasse by allowing him to act as bait.

He was a gutsy bastard, an ex-Marine who’d used the GI Bill to complete his education and become an attorney. So, Charter had agreed, figuring he knew the score and could handle himself should shit go sideways. A situation which chatter from paid CIs said was about to happen.

“Get ready,” said Deke. “He’s about to come through the doors.”

His sights already set, Wolf looked through his scope, noted Souther’s set jaw, his short buzz-cut. Determination and fearlessness radiated from the man. He wasn’t a SEAL, but the man was a warrior, no matter he now wore a suit and tie. His battlefield was a different kind of minefield, a courtroom.

The doors swung open, and one of his guards preceded him, glancing left and right before turning to usher Souther through them. His second guard kept close to his back, glancing behind then taking in the sidewalk and the armored car placed behind a barricade that stood in front of the doors.

“We have movement from the West,” said Deke.

Wolf pivoted his weapon on its tripod. A slender figure with an impressive rack, wearing a ball cap, moved forward at a fast clip. But she wasn’t the target. He recognized that long, fit frame. Her brown and copper hair was drawn back in a ponytail that bobbed behind her. He noted a cord extending from her ear to her collar.

Damn, his fears were confirmed, the little twit was on the job, and likely looking for the same target they hoped to capture.

“Wolf, is that—”

“Southwest corner of the building,” came another urgent voice.

Again, Wolf sighted down his barrel. No time to wonder why she was here or how she’d discovered their plan. A man wearing blue jeans, a cowboy hat drawn low over his forehead, and wearing a casual jacket also made his way down the sidewalk from the opposite direction.

“God dammit,” he whispered as he took a bead on the man, ready to pull back the trigger at the first sight of a weapon—should the team closing in on him not get there in time. He glanced to the left, hoping the damned woman wasn’t about to get in the way of his bullet. Then she glanced up to the rooftop where he perched, mostly hidden, and he cussed again. She knew he was there, but she was still coming fast.

She reached behind her and drew a handgun then kept it hidden against her thigh.

“Dammit, he’s got a gun!” Deke said. “Wolf! Take him out!”

Wolf adjusted, aimed for the middle of the cowboy’s thigh, drew a breath, held it for a split second, and then pulled the trigger. Blood spurted from the wound.

Piper sprinted the last few feet and took the assailant down at the knees. His cowboy hat fell away, long black hair spilled, a dark hard-edged profile was revealed. They had their man.

Or rather, Piper did, pressing into the wound Wolf had made while shoving her Glock hard between the bastard’s legs.

Flashback: Before We Kiss (Contest–3 winners!)
Friday, November 6th, 2020

UPDATE: Everyone’s a winner!
*~*~*

I loved writing my Uncharted SEALs series. All those rugged, alpha heroes and strong heroines. Humor. Action. All the ingredients that make stories fun for me to write, and hopefully, fun for you to read.

With Uncharted SEALs, I experimented a bit. For the first time, I did sequels with the same characters—for the simple reason I couldn’t say goodbye to them. I wanted to see inside their Happy Ever Afters. Through Her Eyes and Between a SEAL and a Hard Place share the same main characters, as do Dream of Me and Heart of a SEAL. Big Sky SEAL gave birth to my Montana Bounty Hunters, introducing Jamie and Reaper, who as a result of their work in Big Sky earned their own satellite office of MBH.

A fun theme I used in two of the stories was a cruise ship. Both Before We Kiss and Hard SEAL to Love are set on the same ship, and have the same supporting characters. You’ll meet the crusty veterans who were part of those stories in the scene below. Hope you enjoy it!

Watch Over Me   
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Between a SEAL and a Hard Place 
*~*
  Head Over SEAL

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 3 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…

POST COVID: If you could go anywhere in the world, what would be your cruise destination?

Before We Kiss

Before We Kiss

Navy SEAL, William “Wiley” Coyote, should have known his “piece of cake” assignment would go sideways in a hurry. But he’d been lured by the promise of an all-expenses-paid cruise. A nice “fluffy” assignment after the last one spent escorting freighters through pirate-infested waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

A general’s daughter, Poppy Shackleford, wasn’t some spoiled daughter of a man made famous for defeating insurgent forces. She’d endured her own tragedies—the loss of her mother when she was young and her father stationed in Afghanistan, and the loss of her fiancé after he’d sustained wounds in Iraq—not from the physical wounds that had claimed his two legs—he’d taken his own life. His death was why Poppy was involved in Soldiers’ Sanctuary, a non-profit that helped disabled soldiers adjust to their new circumstances. Her mission in life is to see that no veteran of war would ever feel so alone, so hopeless he’d choose her dead fiancé’s path. Which was why, despite the current threats against her father, she was on this cruise, assessing the ship’s ability to accommodate the soldiers rather than sending a surrogate.

However, the first threat doesn’t come from terrorists with an axe to grind. Mexican banditos stop her tour bus heading toward Mayan ruins to shake down the passengers for their money and belongings. When one snaps a picture of her, he soon figures out there’s a much bigger payday. She knows she’s going to be kidnapped, but she didn’t know someone was on that same tour bus who had her back.

Wiley’s unconventional takedown of her would-be kidnappers exposes the fact her father didn’t honor her wishes to fly under the radar. And now that the cat’s out of the bag, Wiley’s made it clear he’s moving into her suite for the rest of their time at sea to keep her out of harm’s way.

Excerpt from Before We Kiss

William “Wiley” Coyote should have known the “piece of cake” assignment his team leader, Deke Warrick, offered him would go sideways in a hurry. But he’d been lured by the promise of an all-expenses-paid cruise. A nice “fluffy” assignment after the last one spent escorting freighters through pirate-infested waters in the Strait of Hormuz. He was due a vacation, and he’d envisioned slipping into a chaise on the cruise ship’s deck while his target sunbathed nearby. Something his team leader had warned him might not be in the cards. After all, Deke’d had a similar, simple assignment when he’d been tasked with protecting a girl. And look what it had gotten his buddy. Shot at. Then married. Happily, it seemed.

Not that Wiley had marriage on his mind. No, sir. Not him. Everything he owned was stuffed into a duffle bag. He lived in hotel rooms, tents, and, now, a cruise boat cabin. No, he had nothing to offer a bride. Marriage wasn’t something in his cards. And certainly not to some celebutante who couldn’t keep her picture off multiple social media sites on a daily basis. That sort of exposure, even by association, would be deadly in his line of business.

He’d listened intently when Deke outlined his assignment, determined to keep this job all business, despite the photos that had spilled from the envelope during his initial briefing.

“Every time she steps out of her suite, the room attendant will buzz you. You keep on her tail, but not close enough she notices. Her daddy said she’d raise hell if she knew he’d hired security after she refused a special detail.” At that point, Deke had grinned. “I think he’s a little afraid of her.”

Wiley hadn’t smiled. Instead, he’d grunted. General Shackleford wasn’t any lightweight desk-jockey. He’d seen his share of action.

The ship had barely left the Port of Miami before Wiley understood. The woman never stopped moving. Or talking. Sometimes loudly, if she didn’t like what she heard. If he could have worn earplugs, possibly his first impressions of her would have been very different.

Poppy Shackleford was a pretty little thing. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, lightly tanned, curves in all the right places. And maybe five-foot-two in her espadrille sandals. He’d had a girlfriend charge two pairs to his credit card years ago, so he knew darn well what they were and how much the cork-heeled things cost. Although he could appreciate the sexy curves the three-inch heels gave her toned calves, he wasn’t risking getting any closer. So far, he’d managed to operate under the radar. He had no doubts she’d know exactly what he was there to do if she got one good look at him. Nothing escaped her attention. Not the too-steep ramps leading onto the ship when they’d embarked. Nor the undercooked steak she’d been served last night in the dining room.

He’d begun to think she was deaf because she talked so loudly, but then he’d realized her complaints were on behalf of her fellow passengers, and this cruise had been billed as senior-themed. Most of the thousand passengers on board were over seventy. The dinner conversation surrounding him last night consisted of tracking blood sugar levels as his companions pricked their fingertips and fed droplets of blood into their readers. Afterwards, their conversation drifted to the best fiber to promote healthy bowels and where the captain would store their bodies if they happened to pass during the night.

“No kidding?” Deke had said after Wiley’s status update early that morning.

Wiley’s jaw ground shut at the snickering no hand over a receiver could muffle. “The Countess cruise line’s security seems pretty tight. Someone is always nearby, although they’re better at blending in than I am.”

“You mean you didn’t pack any Hawaiian shirts?”

“Don’t own one,” he’d gritted out.

“How are you keeping from blowing your cover?”

Wiley grunted. “I haven’t shaved, and I have on my cowboy hat and boots.”

“So you’re sticking out like a sore thumb.”

“She won’t expect a security detail to blend in quite like I do.”

Deke grunted. “Just remember you have people positioned around the ship. Channel two if you need them.”

Which would be great if his assignment was actually aboard the ship. The farther into the jungle their tour bus drove, the deeper his concern grew. They were on an excursion to view Mayan ruins. Anywhere along their route would be a great place for an ambush. The two security people provided by the cruise line to accompany his target were in good shape, but he could tell neither was armed. Conventional weapons were impossible to smuggle aboard the ship, and the weapons kept under lock and key aboard the vessel wouldn’t have been permitted for this little jaunt.

And why were they out here? If he remembered right, the pyramids weren’t exactly wheelchair-friendly. But he knew Poppy was thorough, that she took her tour coordinator job seriously. No stone would be left unturned. No tour unvetted, personally, by her.

He’d read the dossier Charter Group had put together. Poppy Shackleford, daughter of Lieutenant General Randall Shackleford, wasn’t some spoiled daughter of a famous man. She’d endured her own tragedies—the loss of her mother when she was young and her father stationed in Afghanistan, the loss of her fiancé after he’d sustained wounds in Iraq, although not from the physical wounds that had claimed both his legs. Frank Sutton, who’d been despondent over the loss, had killed himself.

His death was why Poppy was involved in Soldiers’ Sanctuary, a non-profit that helped disabled soldiers adjust to their new circumstances, whether supporting wounded vets with additional therapies the VA was slow or unable to provide, or seeking the latest in prosthetics and mobility devices. And the organization provided mentorship, one wounded soldier to another, to ensure no veteran of war would feel so alone, so hopeless, they’d choose Frank Sutton’s path.

Wiley understood and admired her for not simply crying then moving on, but embracing a cause that might help others. However, today he wished she wasn’t quite so determined to make it impossible for him to protect her. Not that she had a clue he was there. If she’d glanced toward the back of the air-conditioned bus, all she might have noted was one dark head amid a sea of white, gray, and blue.

The fellow seated next to him gave another narrow-eyed, flinty glance.

Wiley aimed a frown his way, hoping the old guy would mind his own business. The man was burly, surprisingly muscled for an old dude.

He leaned sideways in his seat and whispered, “Name’s Joseph Olinsky, but you can call me Joe. I’m a Marine.” He nodded toward the head of the bus where Poppy stood beside the tour guide, asking questions. “She someone important?”

Not as invisible as I thought. Wiley blinked. “No, sir. I think she’s just another passenger. A noisy one.”

Shaking his head, Joe grunted. “She has a detail. That guy with a clipboard ain’t a cruise director. I’d say he’s ex-Navy, probably a SEAL. Has a trident tattoo on his upper arm. Saw it when he was stowing her backpack into the overhead.”

Knowing there was no use convincing Joe he was just a guy on a trip to see a pyramid, Wiley gave him another look. He recognized the type—his dad had been the same steady, patriotic sort. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Maybe he did need backup, should shit go sideways. “You’re right,” he murmured. “The cruise line provided her security.”

“What about you?” his gray-haired companion asked.

“Name’s Wiley, and I was Navy.”

“A SEAL,” he said, nodding. “Can’t hide that look. Everyone else, besides her, has been taking a nap. Not you. You’ve been watching the road ahead. Expect trouble?”

“Not expecting, but prepared.”

Joe nodded. “Don’t get along as well as I used to,” he said, patting his right knee. “But I can be another set of eyes. And I do know who she is, son. She’s the daughter of that general ISIS wants taken out. They had his face and his daughter’s plastered all over Facebook faster than Homeland and the FBI could take down the pages.”

Wiley almost smiled at how in tune the old guy was. “Nothing much gets past you, does it?”

Joe lifted his chin toward two older gentlemen seated across the aisle from them.

Wiley glanced over to find both old codgers staring back.

“We were in the same division, the 3rd, during Vietnam. We’re all that’s left of our company. Try to take a trip every couple of years. Went to Nam five years back. There were eight of us then.”
Wiley nodded his understanding.

“That’s Morty,” he said, pointing at the thin one with a round belly. “The other one’s Sly.”

Sly gave him a grin that displayed unnaturally white teeth.

Wiley gave both men a nod then turned his attention back to the front of the bus.

“She know you’re tailing her?”

How had the old guys figured out he was there for Poppy? He remembered how the old men had jostled him, cutting him from the rest of the group when they’d boarded the bus. He’d thought it unintentional, but now knew they’d meant to be seated beside him. Admiring their cunning, he shook his head. “She doesn’t know. Not yet, anyway.”

“Need a better cover,” Joe said, eyeing his boots and the scruff on his chin. “Could tell folks you’re my grandson.”

Wiley chuckled. Sounded like a better plan than the one he’d started with. “Just don’t get in the way. If things go down…”

“You could use another set of eyes—between the three of us, we might just make one good pair.” Joe tilted his head toward his buddies.

This time, Wiley laughed.

Joe grinned and gave a slow nod to his companions, who settled back in their seats and now directed their attention to the job at hand—and the woman wearing the pretty blue dress at the front of the bus.

Suddenly, the bus shuddered and slowed. Cries arose from those seated near the front.

“Fat’s in the fire now,” Morty said, pointing forward.

Wiley cussed. A pickup was parked sideways in the middle of the road. He began to rise, but then he noted the four men standing in front of the truck. All dark, but with features that were clearly Mestizo. So, bandits rather than terrorists. He settled back in his seat. He’d let this play out a bit before he gave himself away. As long as no one was hurt, he’d keep his cover.

A Giveaway! Get your free book now!
Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Get your copy! This offer won’t last long! Pick up the first story in the Uncharted SEALs series, Watch Over Me! 

Here’s what the story is all about…

Watch Over Me

When Deke Warrick accepts an unsanctioned detail to keep tabs on a congressman’s niece while she vacations in the Caribbean, he expects the only dangers he’ll face are sunburn and a rum hangover. Determined to keep his distance, his resolve is challenged by a chance encounter with the beautiful Nicky Martir—and then shattered when she’s snatched from their hotel room.

Get your FREE COPY here!

Flashback: Hard SEAL to Love (Contest–2 Winners)
Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

UPDATE: The winners are…Ann and Michelle Levan!
*~*~*

I’ll make an announcement soon about a new SEAL story. Can’t share the news until I have a hard date and cover to share, but it should be very, very soon! In the meantime, I have lots of military heroes for you to enjoy, including several stories centered around a Navy SEAL or two or three… 🙂

Enjoy the excerpt I’ve included. I really, really enjoyed writing a story that featured a female amputee. And you would not believe the number of online articles I read and YouTube videos I watched to make sure I got the details right! I was determined to do Kylie justice.

Here are all my currently available titles in Uncharted series.
Peruse these lovelies…

Watch Over Me Through Her Eyes
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss
*~*
Hard SEAL to Love SEAL Escort

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

I’ll choose two winners! Tell me whether you’re ready for more SEAL stories for a chance to win your choice of an Uncharted SEAL story!

Hard SEAL to Love
Hard SEAL to Love

Former SEAL, “Big Mac” McLane, is sure he earned all kinds of bad karma somewhere when his first mission with Charter Group is guarding the “Love Boat” and its activity director. Okay, so the cruise line is sponsoring a special cruise for wounded soldiers and their families — a great cause — but Big Mac doesn’t do well around families and children, and Kylie Hammond is cute, but he feels like he has two left feet whenever she’s around. But he’s going to do his job, keep it strictly business, fade into the background whenever she’s around, but it seems Kylie has other ideas…

Kylie knows the big SEAL isn’t exactly gung-ho for his new assignment, but she can’t be more pleased. The big man’s the yummiest thing she’s ever seen, and coaxing blushes and glares from him becomes her favorite sport. But then things begin to go wrong aboard ship, people disappear, and then someone’s killed. The thing her charity most feared — a terrorist attack at sea — appears to be underway. Now, she has to trust Big Mac and his team to keep her wounded soldiers safe.

Excerpt

Mac stepped through the entrance of the Hampton Inn. The lobby was a study in orderly chaos. Suitcases were lined up and stacked against one wall. Men and women, some in wheelchairs or walking with crutches and walkers, and missing limbs—some multiples—filled the space.

Mac tamped down a feeling of guilt for being able-bodied and whole as he walked through the throng, nodding now and then as he passed the veterans. He headed to the concierge and asked where he could find Kylie Hammond. After being informed which conference room Soldiers’ Sanctuary had commandeered to hand out welcome packets to arrivals, he headed down a hallway, relieved he didn’t have to push through a sea of bodies. He was ready to start this op. Sooner the better. Five days would fly by, and then he’d have the down time he needed to get his head on straight before the next assignment.

Stepping inside the room, he noted two long conference tables filled with plastic buckets of folders. Three elderly men manned the table.

One of them who sported a gray buzz cut and a surprisingly muscular build glanced his way. He lifted his chin in greeting.

Mac decided he was as good a place to start as any and strode toward him.

The old man held out his hand. “Joe Olinksy,” he said, in deep, loud voice. Then he leaned against the table edge and whispered, “You with Charter?”

Mac eyed him then glanced at his two buddies who were moving closer. His presence as part of the security team was supposed to be on a “need-to-know” basis.

Grinning, Joe waved a hand. “We’re part of your support. Eyes and ears only. We’re a little too long in the tooth to be the muscle, but we’re here to help. We’ll be staying in the stateroom next to yours.”

Skeptical that this band of elderly brothers could be of any service at all, Mac drew a deep breath and gave Joe’s two companions another look.

“This is Morty,” Joe said, pointing toward a thin man with a round, pot belly. “And that’s Sly.”

Sly smiled, and his teeth were blindingly white and little too large in his mouth.

“Ex-marines, 3rd Division during Viet Nam,” Joe said. “You a SEAL like Wiley?”

“Semper Fi,” Morty said, grinning.

Mac grunted, revising his original assessment. These guys had seen real action. “I’m looking for Kylie Hammond.”

“She’s out in the atrium,” Joe pointed toward the windows behind him, “getting a cup of coffee. She’s been manning the tables since dawn. And don’t worry about us. We can handle ourselves. After all our help on the last cruise, Poppy made sure to add us to the team. We’ll have your six.”

The three elderly men hadn’t been mentioned in any of the briefings he’d attended back at HQ. Wiley for damn sure hadn’t said a thing, but then again, Wiley had looked a little smug when he’d heard Mac was being assigned to protect his wife’s best friend. He cleared his throat. “Mac McLane by the way,” he said, giving a nod to all three men.

“We’ll see you aboard the Oceanus,” Joe said.

Mac left them and thought about calling Wiley to find out why the hell he hadn’t mentioned his geriatric buddies. Just to bitch because he was already dreading the coming minutes. He didn’t have a lot of experience with Ms. Hammond’s brand of womanhood. He’d served with women in the field, and slept with the women who swarmed bars outside Navy bases, hoping for a hookup with a SEAL.

Women outside those two categories tended to make him nervous. In his experience, women had served only two purposes, as support and/or stress-relief for a SEAL. Not that he looked down on them. He liked the women he’d known. But he hadn’t had to think much about what kind of impression he made or how to talk to them. He could be gruff and blunt. What the hell would he talk about for the days and nights he and the princess would be glued to each other’s sides?

Entering the atrium, he glanced around for someone who fit the picture he’d made up in his mind. She’d be pretty, no doubt. He couldn’t imagine anyone who was friends with Poppy Shackleford and attending her social functions looking any different.

Most of the small round, brightly tiled tables were filled with men and a few women. Probably wives of the wounded soldiers, who’d be accompanying their husbands on the cruise.

One woman sat alone, her head bent over her cell phone which lay flat on the tabletop, a tall Styrofoam cup beside it. Her hair was a mass of dark brown curls. Her body, what he could see of it hunched over the table, was slender. Her bare arms and the tops of her shoulders, revealed by an olive tank, showed well-developed muscles. She wore no jewelry, save for a watch on an olive-colored web strap. Faux military-issue? And now he wondered whether she was one of those who was so enamored of military men she wore cammo pajamas. He’d met a few like that. As he moved nearer, she must have sensed someone watched her.

The woman’s gaze lifted from her phone and locked with his.

As he took in her features, he slowed his steps. Wide-set green eyes whose gaze never wavered, tan skin, rose-colored lips, cheeks that were prominent and high. She was lovely, but didn’t wear a hint of makeup. She didn’t need it. Unbidden, interest flared inside him, heating his blood.

“Are you Mac?” she asked, her voice even and little husky.

His tongue felt thick as he gave a crisp nod and replied. “You Kylie?”

Her smile was a little tight, but she pushed up from the table to greet him, her arm reaching forward.

When he looked down at her hand, with its long fingers and short bare nails, his gaze dropped to her legs. Another shock stole his breath. She wore shorts which ended at mid-thigh, revealing one long, nicely turned limb paired with a shapely thigh that disappeared into the black cup of a prosthetic limb.