Monday, April 13, 2015

Running Fire - Guest Post & Giveaway

He was a haven in the midst of Hell… 

Temporarily assigned to the Shadow Squadron in a troubled region of Afghanistan, Chief Warrant Officer and pilot Leah Mackenzie is no stranger to conflict—even if most of her physical and emotional scars are courtesy of her vicious ex. Still, she's got a bad feeling about picking up a team of stranded SEALs. A feeling that's all too justified once enemy fire hits their helicopter and all hell breaks loose… 

SEAL Kell Ballard's goal was to get the injured pilot out of harm's way and find shelter deep in the labyrinth of caves. It's a place of dark intimacy, where Leah finds unexpected safety in a man's arms. Where prohibited attraction burns brightly. And where they'll hide until the time comes to face the enemy outside…and the enemy within their ranks.

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Guest Post: Author’s inspiration for the plot of RUNNING FIRE:

            My inspiration for this plot comes out of a sad fact that many people come out of a dysfunctional family or a family where there was mental, emotional or physical abuse.  I always write books that I’ve either had direct experience with myself, or someone I know well, has experienced it and I’ve seen the devastation and wounding that comes from it.  Spousal abuse is rampant in the world. Statistics in the USA tell us that one out of every four women experience spousal abuse. One in three female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year. There are many ways to survive it.  Running Fire shows one of those ways.  It also shows that love can mean the difference in healing from this scarring experience or not.

            Army Chief Warrant Officer Leah Mackenzie leads a double life.  And women who have gone through spousal abuse, usually do.  At work, they seem normal and can handle their job without a problem.  But going home?  They revert into an abuse victim.  Leah didn’t start out to become one, but several tragic events concerning her family when she was just a child, stamped and molded her differently.  And because her famous Army helicopter father ran a black ops squadron, he was married to it and not his family.  When tragedy strikes, Leah is left alone with her grief, pain and her father isn’t there for her.  She grows up in his powerful and authoritarian shadow.  

            The only way Leah can get her father to love her is to join the black ops squadron and excel at what she does so well: skillful flying in combat.  That way she gets some of his attention.   She has poor social skills as a teenage girl growing up without a mother and an absentee father.  In the Mackenzie family, she was a quiet shadow to her older brother, Evan, whom her father doted upon.  He had great dreams for his son and none for his shy, unsure daughter who only wanted his love.  And she never received it.  When Leah, who is eight years old, tries to save her brother in a winter time accident and fails, she blames herself.  And from this loss, her entire family tears apart forever.  
Such family dynamics, of coming out of an abusive/dysfunctional family, can set up a woman to attract a man who becomes her spousal abuser.  So many women caught with a brutal, physical, mental and emotional abuser get beaten down and they give up.  But Leah somehow found the courage to not give up.  As she grew, matured and became an adult, she divorced her abuser.  But in my story, the real problems just begin because her ex-husband is the commander of the squadron she flies for in Afghanistan.

            On a stormy and dangerous night, Leah and her copilot fly her MH-47 helicopter into the maw of Taliban territory to pick up two SEALs who have completed a mission.  Only, things go terribly wrong.  A crash occurs that could have ended her life, but she is saved by a third SEAL, a sniper named Kell Ballard, who was on an entirely different mission in the same area.  That rescue changes Leah’s life.  Kell wasn’t expecting to meet a woman in this war torn country.  And he sure as hell didn’t expect to fall in love with her raw courage of not only surviving her past, but changing the course of her life with his support.  That one decision sets another series of events tumbling down upon Leah and she’s not sure she can survive it.   
I hope you enjoy the many layers, twists and turns of this story!  Please run over to my website and sign up for my quarterly newsletter (free).  It contains exclusive information, giveaways, and surprises that only my subscribers will receive!  I love to hear from my readers, so make yourself know to me at

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