Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller are dedicated soldiers working covert ops for Shadow Unit -- a joint UK/US anti-terrorism task force.
Partners in the field and out, they had been through hell together for the last four years and made it through standing side by side. But when their latest undercover op to bring down an arms dealer plunges them into a world of drugs, sex and violence, Shawn must literally get in bed with the enemy in order to complete the mission. And Connor is forced to watch, helpless, as his partner is broken into pieces.
Will love be enough to put them both back together or will this be their final mission?
WARNING: Contains scenes of drug use, graphic sex and realistic situations
It is my pleasure to host by good friend and fellow Author Jamie Lynn Miller today! After the interview you can read an excerpt from Broken Solider, and enter the giveaway. Let's get this party started, shall we.
Where are you from, and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and have lived there all my life.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’d been writing short stories since I was a kid but didn’t get serious about it until I started writing fanfic in the mid-90’s. I got tired of hearing how bad all fanfic was, that fanfic writers had no talent. I took it as a challenge and decided to give going pro a shot. And what do you know, my very first book was accepted to a publisher on my very first try. Take that, fanfic haters!
How long have you been writing?
I had my first book published in 2008.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
I know it will sound cheesy, but never give up. Do not let rejection get to you. You will never please everyone but you can please yourself by sticking with it and writing the stories you want to write. There will be an audience out there for your writing.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Oh sure, absolutely. Thankfully it usually never lasts longer than a couple days. I find that I work through my writer's block in my dreams. If I'm stuck on something I make a conscious effort to think of it right before I go to bed then my subconscious takes over and runs through different scenarios. It really works! I've woken up many times with my solution.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Nine times out of ten it's the plot for me. I suddenly think of some situation that I want to be the main focus of my book and the characters develop from there.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
I don't have anything in process right now. Taking a bit of a break. I would love to tackle a Coast Guard book next, though, in keeping with my men in uniform theme. I've already started scribbling down notes. Though I certainly wouldn't be adverse to visiting Connor and Shawn again. I think Shadow Unit has more stories to tell.
Describe the perfect writing space.
My perfect writing space would be outside, in a hammock under a tree, maybe near a lake with the sun shining and the birds singing. Just really peaceful and away from the distractions of life.
Do you do research for your books? If so, what does that entail?
Oh yes, I absolutely love doing research for my books. Much of it hands-on to make my cops, firemen and paramedics (and now soldiers) come alive and be as authentic as possible.
It was actually my time spent in various citizen police academy classes that inspired me to write Broken Soldier. I would listen to the detectives talk about undercover work and how far they needed to go and how dangerous it could be and how it could end up breaking them, living this other life. And this was just to take down drug dealers or gangs. So I upped the ante even further by making this a military book and the "target" an arms dealer supplying weapons to terrorists. Just imagine the lengths a covert ops team would go to, to stop this man. I really put Connor and Shawn (most especially Shawn) through the emotional and physical wringer to complete their mission.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Broken Soldier makes my 7th book. Oh gosh, that’s like choosing your favorite child! LOL! But if I absolutely had to pick I would choose Burnin’ for You. I spent a couple of months in a fire academy class and used that experience to write the book. My firemen have a special place in my heart.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I do hear from my readers and it always puts a smile on my face. They like that my books are “Hearts and flowers romance with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure".
But that statement has changed pretty drastically with Broken Soldier. I believe in challenging myself as a writer and taking chances. And that's what I've done here. This book is dark and gritty. It tackles drug use/addiction and how far Shawn is willing to go, submitting himself to the bad guy emotionally and physically until it breaks him and nearly kills him.
This is a big change for me, and I hope that my regular readers will give this book a chance. Because even though it's not my usual style, I am, and always will be, the Queen of Happy Endings. I will put my boys through hell, but love and dedication will always put them back together again. So give it a try! You just might like it!
I'm intrigued Jamie, and I can't wait to read the book!
Shawn lowered himself down onto Connor and Connor held him tightly, both of them trembling as their orgasms subsided. Shawn’s voice was a shaky whisper next to his ear.
“I love you.”
Connor felt his heart skip a beat. It wasn’t the first time Shawn had said those words. He squeezed his eyes shut and buried his face in Shawn’s shoulder.
“Shawn, I…” But the last two words lodged in his throat and refused to be spoken.
Everyone he’d ever told he’d loved had died – been killed - and left him alone. His parents, his sister, his lover Mark. He never expected to get another chance at happiness and he was going to hold onto it desperately with both hands and not let go. He knew it was completely irrational, but he didn’t care. As long as he didn’t say it Shawn would stay safe.
Shawn lifted himself up slightly to look at Connor and he could see the understanding in Shawn’s blue eyes.
“It’s okay.” Shawn kissed him softly. “I know.”
Dawn was just breaking when Connor felt Shawn stir and he opened his eyes. He hadn't been sleeping, though. Neither of them had been, really, their minds too occupied with the upcoming mission to rest. They'd instead spent the last hours in each other's arms, making the most of the time they had left together.
Connor felt Shawn's hand lightly trail down the back of his neck and across his shoulder and he lifted his head from where it had been resting on his partner's chest.
"Hey," Shawn said quietly with a small smile.
"Hey," Connor echoed then sat up and kissed Shawn for a long moment.
When they moved apart Shawn looked down and unhooked his paracord bracelet from around his wrist, which he then fastened around Connor's.
"Hang onto this for me, will you?" Shawn asked, trying for a light tone, but failing.
Connor shook his head, refusing to acknowledge the implication of Shawn's action. He knew how much that bracelet meant to his partner. He'd received it the day he was accepted into the SEALs more than ten years ago and he had worn it every single day since. If he was giving it to Connor he was afraid there was a chance he wasn't coming back from this mission.
"Shawn. No." Connor reached for his wrist to unhook the bracelet but Shawn covered his hand.
"Connor. Please." Shawn's voice was rough. "Just…do this for me. Keep part of me with you." Then he swallowed and forced a smile. "Besides, it's just temporary, so don't get attached to it. I'll be asking for it back soon."
Connor turned his hand over and linked their fingers together. "I'm going to bloody well hold you to that."
The sun peeked over the horizon then, signaling the start to a new day.
Connor released a long breath and asked Shawn a familiar question. "Are you ready for this?"
Shawn squeezed Connor's hand. "I am now."
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
> Me and Jamie at GRL 2015. She does love Captain Jack!
Leave me a comment (AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS) for your chance to win a FREE copy of any of my backlist ebooks!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your new release with us today Jamie!