Anne Elizabeth’s Favorite Holiday Traditions: Raise Your Voice – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Anne Elizabeth as she shares one of her favorite holiday traditions. Enter to win one of five copies of The Power of a SEAL.

RAISE YOUR VOICE
Holiday songs remind me of my childhood. Attending church with my parents and brother, and listening to the exuberance with which the congregation sang inspired intense warmth and comfort. Voices lifted in song varied from out-of-key to perfectly pitched tones, and it was wondrous! Each individual contributed to the joy as we created these beautiful sounds together.

After services, most of the congregation was full of cheer and would hurry outside for hot cocoa or tea. With cups in hand, we walked as a group down to the live action crèche. It was here that we sang the last Christmas song of the night, Away In The Manger. Of course, the goats bleated and donkeys brayed along with the clucking chickens and mooing cow; and all the sounds blended together. To this day, I still wonder if the animals were commenting or singing along.

Do you have a special holiday song, and why is it a favorite?

With over two decades of experience, Navy SEAL Leaper Lefton is bringing his expertise to young and impressionable SEAL trainees in BUD/s. As an instructor, he knows he must prepare them for all kinds of situations—and there’s a perfect opportunity for hands-on training when he spots a woman in danger in rough water. Kerry Hamilton, a marine mammal veterinarian for the U.S. Navy is beyond grateful when Leaper saves her from the rough seas, and their attraction is instant. But after everything Leaper has been through, can he truly love again? And is Kerry willing to give him the chance?

About the Author:New York Times bestselling author Anne Elizabeth is an award-winning romance author and a popular comic creator. With a BS in business and MS in communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of the Author’s Guild, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.

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Interesting SEAL Fact from Anne Elizabeth – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the upcoming release of The Soul of a Seal, the fourth book in Anne Elizabeth’s West Coast Naval SEALs series. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

INTERESTING SEAL FACT
Teams are very closely knit and it is common for the widow of a SEAL to marry a Team member, or to stay close to the Teammates of her husband.

11_29-anne-elizabethLove may be the toughest battle of all

Captain Bennett Oscar Sheraton
Navy SEAL, the best of the best

Dr. Kimberly Warren
Brilliant engineer, founder of secret space program

When scientists on Dr. Warren’s super-secret space mission start dying, Navy SEAL Captain Sheraton is sent in as an astronaut candidate with a hidden agenda—find the person sabotaging the program.

Kimberly and Bennett’s instant attraction may prove to be a major distraction—or it might be the key to both of their dreams coming true…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Dr. Warren chattered on. She was as an animated lecturer. Still, it was hard not to let one’s mind drift with all the amazing things they were viewing. Information floated in the air around them, and truthfully, Bennett digested only about half of it.

He had to admit, this place was pretty impressive. It had changed significantly in the decades since he’d been here with his BUD/S class.

The Lester Facility, roughly the size of ten football fields, according to the information on Bennett’s phone, was not visible from the air. The foliage folded back to reveal the runway for test flights, and they were able to climb to forty-five thousand feet, avoiding commercial traffic in less than a minute without any ill effects to the pilot or crew.

They walked the entire building as Kimberly not only gave them a tour, but also pointed out what areas required their input. It was no surprise to either of them when she said, “I’d like you both to start work in the morning. The day begins with an 0600 shift. Melo, you can tackle the engineering bugs that keep cropping up between Sully, the shuttle computer, and Sally, the Lester Facility computer. Bennett, I’m afraid I need you to submit to a few tests before I can put you behind the test version of our shuttle controls, unless you’d rather do something more related to your degree in astrophysics.”

“I’ll fly,” stated Bennett, grinning like a Cheshire cat because he was getting the assignment his buddy wanted. In truth, this was his dream job, besides being a SEAL. Pretty cool that he got to do both.

“Wait, I’d like to be considered for the pilot role. I’m better qualified in terms of mechanics and electrics, if there’s trouble up there.” Melo wasn’t going to let the conversation go. He wanted in on the race to space.

“Yes, of course.” Dr. Warren shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “Happy to consider it. But first, eliminate the ghosts in the system—the problems and bugs—and then you can take the tests. Agreed, Melo?”

“Hot dog!” shouted Melo as he slapped Bennett on the back. “I’m going to kick your ass, brother. Teammate or not, I’m going to the moon.”

About the Author:Anne Elizabeth is a romance author, comic creator, and a monthly columnist for RT Book Reviews magazine. With a BS in Business and MS in Communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego. Visit her website.

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Release Day: Way of the Warrior by Various Authors – Spotlight and Giveaway

5_5 warrior WayOfTheWarriorGraphic

5_5 warrior Way of the WarriorThis post is part of a book blast for the release of Way of the Warrior. EIGHT PASSIONATE LOVE STORIES ABOUT AMAZING MILITARY HEROES BY AUTHORS Suzanne Brockmann, Julie Ann Walker, Catherine Mann, Tina Wainscott, Anne Elizabeth, M.L. Buchman, Kate SeRine, Lea Griffith.

To honor and empower those who’ve served, all author and publisher proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2002 and provides a wide range of programs and services to veterans and service members who have survived physical or mental injury during their brave service to our nation. Get involved or register for programs and benefits for yourself and your family online at Wounded Warrior Project.

Enter the Rafflecopter to win one of three book bundles from the authors.

The authors have shared a message about what their heroes look forward to when they return from deployment.

Suzanne Brockmann on “Home Fire Inferno”

I write about a SEAL team, so my military heroes tend to show up in a rather large group! And although Home Fire Inferno focuses on Navy SEAL Dan Gillman (whose wife, Jenn, is about to have a baby!), you’ll also see quite a bit of Izzy Zanella, along with Mark Jenkins, Jay Lopez, and the inimitable Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok. Readers will also get to meet the SEAL with the face of a serial killer and the intriguing nickname HoboMofo . . . who happens to live with his mother and his ten-year-old daughter. But all the SEALs in this story would be in full agreement that family is the one word answer to the question “What is your military hero/ine most excited about returning to after active duty?”

Honoring love and family is a long-held tradition in the U.S. Navy. A ritual called the First Kiss is still practiced for ships returning to their homeports. (Google “US Navy first kiss tradition” to see pictures that will brighten your day!) All married sailors, officer and enlisted alike, can take part in a lottery in which the winner is the first to disembark, greet, and kiss his or her spouse after many months away from home. It’s a huge deal, with boatloads of ceremony involved. This is the big, bad U.S. Navy, part of the most powerful military force in the world. But everyone—from admirals to seamen recruits—unabashedly recognize that the most important part of their homecoming lies in the arms of the men and women waiting for them.

About the Author: Suz Brockmann is the award-winning author of over fifty books, and is widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year and two RITA awards.

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Julie Ann Walker on “Hot As Hell”

Despite running missions to the ass ends of the earth, Navy SEAL Michael “Mad Dog” Wainwright from Hot as Hell is a family man at heart. Born and raised in Atlantic City, he longs for the sea when he’s conducting sorties in the desert. Hankers for the boardwalk when he’s belly deep in some bog in the jungle. And craves a slice of Tony Bologney’s pizza when he’d eaten one-too-many MREs – meals ready to eat – to count. So when Michael gets time off from missiles and mayhem, you can bet your bottom dollar he races home to be with his two brothers and his mother and father. Together, they make a night of pizza, walks along the boardwalk, salt water taffy, and some tossing of the dice at one of Atlantic City’s seaside casinos. It’s a bit of normalcy in a life that’s otherwise filled by the extraordinary. A bit of fun in a world Michael knows can be full of horror and woe. A bit of life to go along with so much death. Michael “Mad Dog” Wainwright lives for those moments, for those homecomings. They’re what he fights for…

About the Author: Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romantic suspense. Her books have been described as “alpha, edgy, and downright hot.” Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

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Catherine Mann on “In Plain Sight”

Tech Sergeant Gavin “Bubbles” Novak isn’t known for a sparkling wit, but his steely eyed focus on the job has made him the go-to guy in the most stressful of pararescue missions. Until a fateful military mission leaves him blind and ends his Air Force career. With nowhere else to go, he returns to his small Kentucky hometown with his seeing-eye dog and takes a job as a 9-1-1 operator. His first day on the job brings a voice from the past, the only woman who has ever blasted through that tough shell to reach his soul – his high school sweetheart Stacie Curry. She’s being stalked by her abusive ex-husband and he’s broken into her home.

Stacie Curry thought she made the safe choice in marrying the hometown boy rather than leaving with brooding outsider Gavin. But her decision has led to a nightmare existence. Since her divorce, she is stalked and terrorized by her ex. When she calls 9-1-1, she’s stunned to hear Gavin’s deep voice on the other end of the line. And when she sees him face to face afterward, she’s shocked – and heartbroken – to learn he’s blind. But she soon finds Gavin will let nothing stand in the way of protecting her.

Learning to overcome the loss of his sight and his Air Force career, Gavin comes to her rescue, protecting her, helping expose her ex … and rekindling their old romance with a blazing-hot flame.

About the Author:USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann specializes in military romances with over 50 books in print. A RITA winner, she has also won the Bookseller’s Best Award. Catherine’s books have been widely released internationally including in Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Iceland, Australia, and Japan. She lives with her husband, who is a combat veteran and retired Air Force Colonel, near Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle.

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Tina Wainscott on “Beauty and the Marine”

Once the gorgeous golden boy of his small Georgia town, Marine Griff Tate returned home scarred from an explosion in Afghanistan. Now, the only people he sees are his family and the out-of-towners he takes hunting and fishing on their private acreage. Griff thinks that all he wants is to be with his family in the comfort of the woods in which he spent his youth. He can barely look at himself in the mirror—how can he expect a woman to want to wake up to his ugly mug every morning? But even a battle-scarred veteran needs love … even if he doesn’t know it!

About the Author: Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of suspenseful chills and romantic thrills. She’s published fifteen romantic suspense novels, as well as ten paranormal romances as Jaime Rush. Losing her nephew, a Marine, in the war made her realize that our military men are really the perfect heroes. Not only during the war but afterward as they try to stitch their lives and souls together once they’re home.

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Anne Elizabeth on “SEALed with Passion”

Navy SEAL LT Cmdr Jonah Melo has his feet back on American soil. That’s when the itchy-need begins–to get back into the action and/or to fill his time with something useful. Luckily, he’s got an opportunity to jump in and do a building project for the Wounded Warriors. This particular house is special because it’s going to be the home of his long-time friend Kevin Toms. Melo has participated in a lot of builds before, but seeing his buddy in a home that enables his happiness and mobility is going to top the list of experiences. If only he could be as blessed in love as he is in friendship.

About the Author:New York Times bestselling author Anne Elizabeth is an award-winning romance author and comic creator. With a BS in business and MS in communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.

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M.L. Buchman on “NSDQ”

U.S. Army Captain Lois Lang knows only one thing, flying combat search-and-rescue helicopters into the heart of the battlezone and getting her people back out. And when a CSAR mission gone wrong forces her to make the ultimate sacrifice—for her it isn’t a choice. Her crew and the wounded they’ve recovered always come first.

But the battle that awaits her will test her limits. She can learn to walk again, but she must discover the strength to face what to do when she can’t fly.

About the Author: M. L. Buchman has over 30 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year” and Booklist “Top 10 of the Year.” He also writes thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. In addition to his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world. He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife.

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Kate SeRine on “Torn”

During his deployment, the thing that kept Joe Dawson going was the thought of returning home to Sadie—his best friend since childhood and the woman he’s been in love with for as long as he can remember. But a mission gone wrong has left him scarred—both inside and out. And when he and Sadie finally share an unexpected moment of passion, Joe has a hard time believing that Sadie could have feelings for the damaged man he has become and worries that her heart is being ruled by pity and not love.

Those doubts are compounded now that he’s set to resume his duty as a deputy sheriff. With his father and three brothers already making names for themselves with successful law enforcement careers, the pressure’s on, leaving Joe torn between honoring the family tradition and leaving behind the only career he’s ever known outside the military.

About the Author: Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) is a hopeless romantic who firmly believes in true love that lasts forever. So it’s no surprise that when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed her characters would always have a happily ever after. Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project.

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Lea Griffith on her inspiration for “War Games”

There are many things I could tell you about my stepfather. He married a wonderful woman with a tiny, 6 year old girl from a previous marriage who still wondered why her daddy couldn’t be a daddy—and then he became a stepfather and helped raise her. A strict disciplinarian he nevertheless was giving to a fault. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War. (Side note: he refused to call it a “conflict”. He always said, “When people kill people like we killed people that’s a goddamn war.” Finally, I guess I’d tell you he was one of the most tortured souls I have ever known. In the midst of his torment, the nightmares and flashbacks, the anger that always simmered just below the surface there was a strength to be admired and it is that strength that makes him one of my heroes.

My stepdad was born and raised in a little town called Tennille, Georgia. It’s nothing but country with field after field of corn and cotton and country folk living a simple life. When young men came of age they either went into the family business of cotton and corn or they went into the service and this is the route William Thomas Howell, Jr. took. He entered the Air Force and lost any innocence he might have once had running tactical rescue and recovery missions in Vietnam of which he would say nothing about. I remember asking him what war was like and he refused to answer. Then one day when he was talking about Vietnam—not the war, mind you, but the country itself—I asked him what he missed the most about home when he was “in country”. He smiled and for some reason my gut clenched and I remember wishing I hadn’t asked the question. But then he answered and I had to smile with him. “Lightning bugs,” he said. “Lightning bugs and Coca Cola.”

My stepdad passed away almost nine years ago. He has missed the births of several of his grandchildren and the marriage of one of his children. But in the midst of his loss, he left a legacy that includes perseverance, giving and most of all a love of Coca Cola.

Oh, and the lightning bugs. I cannot forget the tiny bugs with the “lights in their butts”. It seems the smallest bug made a light big enough for my stepdad to yearn for. They make me smile every time spring comes. And yes, because he made me smile with his longing for lightning bugs I taught my girls how to catch them and put them in a mason jar for a little while before you release them. This more than anything else has helped me remember him.

About the Author: Lea Griffith began sneaking to read her mother’s romance novels at a young age. She cut her teeth on the greats: McNaught, Woodiwiss, and Garwood. She still consumes every romance book she can put her hands on, but now she writes her own. When not working as a Practice Manager for an Internal Medicine Physician, you’ll find her at her keyboard, writing. She loves romance and nothing is off-limits when it comes to her muse. Lea lives in rural Georgia with her husband, three teenage daughters, two dogs, a cat, and a Betta fish named Coddy George.

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Anne Elizabeth – Guest Blog

11_26 book coverWriting ONCE A SEAL was a lesson in humor and humility. Since the story focuses on a newlywed SEAL and his wife, there are a number of factors that had to be taken into account. The very-often truth of what happens when a husband leaves the house and all the things that could go wrong. Getting to know someone even when they are here one day and gone the next. And, how to do deal with the varying degree of interactions between ranks and branches. These factors led me to do extra interviews on the experience of being a military wife and a SEAL wife, so as not to use only my own opinion. I found similarities throughout the discussions, which often left many of us laughing. But, at the time, those experiences were difficult and complex and as a wife had to be dealt with alone, or enlisting the help of a friend. Thus, I found myself humbled by the candidness of the women who shared their thoughts and experiences—thank you! And, I am honored by their words. Whether you are a military wife or not, I hope you can relate to some of the events that occur in ONCE A SEAL, and enjoy the rather spicy journey. Hooyah!

About the Author: 11_26 Anne Elizabeth Headshot WebAnne Elizabeth is an award winning romance author, the creator of the teen PULSE OF POWER comic book series, and the Columnist on Comics, Manga, and Graphics Novels for RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine. With a BS in Business and MS in Communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at the RT Book Lovers Convention as well as a member of the Authors Guild and Romance Writers of America. Her published credits include stories with Atria/Simon & Schuster, Highland Press, Dynamite Entertainment, Sea Lion Books, Bravo Zulu Studios, LLC, and Sourcebooks, Inc. She grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and now lives in the mountains above San Diego with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL. In her free time, she is also a serious Amelia Earhart who is always on the hunt for a new adventure. Catch AE on the Web at AnneElizabeth.net.