Considering my dad concluded his brief stint in the army way before I was born, my fascination with military heroes in romance is maybe a little odd. I can’t get enough of the transient lifestyle, the lethal prowess beneath an ordinary exterior, the distinctive combination of remarkable bravery and vulnerability. The late photojournalist Tim Hetherington did a series of portraits of sleeping soldiers that beautifully illustrates this stunning intersection of impenetrable strength and totally susceptible humanity.
‘Doc’ Kelso sleeping at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal valley, Kunar province, Afghanistan, July 2008. Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos
The space I particularly wanted to explore – and which I’ve struggled to find satisfyingly interrogated in what romance I’ve read (and I’d love recommendations on this front!) – is the Stateside reality of life in the military. I’m not talking about superhuman Navy SEALS and Airborne Rangers and elite intelligence operatives. I want to read about your garden-variety infantry, guys without college degrees, who can’t kill you seventeen ways in six seconds, who don’t have super-stealth training or high-tech equipment, who enlisted because they weren’t sure what else to do and never quite got out. What happens when an unremarkable, working-class guy is thrust into remarkable circumstances? And what happens when the dust settles and it’s back to life in the barracks?
With that, I’m truly delighted to announce the forthcoming release of The Homefront Trilogy from Samhain Publishing. A stone’s throw from the gates of Fort Preston, the small Kansas town of Meridian has seen soldiers come and go since the Civil War. But when the 13th Infantry’s Echo Company rotates home from a catastrophic nine-month tour in Afghanistan, the men in its ranks carry much heavier burdens than the packs they left with – and they’ll need a lot of help to ease them off their shoulders. This series of novellas explores duty, honor, and sacrifice as returning soldiers find love, rediscover life, and redefine what it means to be home.
The first novella in the series, Boots on the Ground, will release from Samhain in October, followed by Alive Day in January and Thunder Running at some point after that. Now I know what you’re thinking – will all the serious, analytical chat above be redeemed by a super-sexy cover reveal? You know it will!
Behold, possibly my favorite cover ever for any of my books thus far:
With a life that started in foster care and nearly ended in the mountains of Afghanistan, Grady Reid is more than ready to hang up his sergeant’s stripes when his Army contract expires. Small-town Meridian, Kansas seems as good a place as any to finally put down roots. He’s dumped his savings into a ramshackle farmhouse and is on his way to trading bullets for bull breeding when an exquisitely beautiful, totally unattainable blonde turns his head faster than a pivoting cutting horse.
Dr. Laurel Hayes longs to escape the confines of stuffy, small-town life for an adrenaline-
fueled, transient lifestyle delivering medical aid in unstable regions around the world. Then she meets Grady, a man with enticing eyes, a slow smile—and not an ounce of the wanderlust that tugs at her soul.
Their lives are headed in opposite directions. But as something more powerful than attraction, desire, or even lust draws them together, something’s got to give…or their hearts could break under the strain.
Expect more details and even more gorgeous cover reveals in the months to come (I’ve seen the mock-up for the second cover and…y’all…let me just say the word muscles) as I endure months of excitement waiting to introduce these characters I love so much to the world of romance readers!