Welcome to the Name Before the Masses tour, sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Heart of a SEAL by Dixie Lee Brown. I’ve featured this book already on a couple of my other blogs. Today, I have a real treat for you with an exclusive interview. Enjoy reading through it and then please keep on going to find out more about the book. I have excerpts for you to check out. And you can follow the rest of the tour for even more insights into the author and her book, as well as extra chances to enter the giveaway. Please remember to leave her a comment or a question!
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DLB: Thank you all for coming, and thanks to our hostess, Andi, for inviting me to Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, & Characters and allowing me to talk about my new book, Heart of a SEAL. It’s such a pleasure to be here. I’m Dixie Lee Brown, romantic suspense author, and I have a very special treat for you. I prepared a few words to introduce you to my new release, but at the last moment something better came along. And…here he is now, ladies—former Navy SEAL, and hero of Heart of a SEAL, Luke Harding.
(Tall and straining the seams of the Navy T-shirt he wears, Luke’s sexy grin pops as he strides from the back room of the small Sandpoint, Idaho book store to the murmurs and applause of the women gathered for the occasion.)
Luke: There you are. What have you gotten me into now, if I might ask?
DLB: I thought it would be nice for our readers to get to know you. You don’t mind answering a few questions for them, do you?
(Suspicion briefly clouds his features as he scrutinizes me. Then he shakes it off and flashes his signature smile.)
Luke: That depends on the questions you intend to ask. (He leans in and whispers.) What are you up to?
DLB: Just go with it. It’ll be fun. I promise.
(A sound very much like a groan rumbles around in his throat. I wave a hand toward two stools set in front of the audience, and Luke waits for me to take my seat before he sits.)
DLB: Why don’t we start by telling everyone what Heart of a SEAL is about?
Luke: I’d love to. You see…my last deployment overseas didn’t go so well. I was one of two SEALs taken hostage by a real bad bunch after they shot our helicopter down. Oh, I made it home, finally, closer to dead than alive, but coming back from my physical and mental injuries was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In the process, I pushed away the one person whose memory had kept me from giving up.
I eventually came to my senses, but my sweet Sally wanted nothing to do with me. If it hadn’t been for her nine-year-old daughter, Jen, Sally would have slammed the door in my face. But then someone blew up her house and tried to run us off a mountain road, and if she thought I was leaving her alone to fight whoever was trying to kill her, she didn’t know who she was dealing with. Luckily, I knew a place we could go, and the three of us took off, praying we could stay ahead of the enemy. And…that signal Dixie just gave me means she doesn’t want me to spoil the story, so that’s where I’ll leave it.
(He threads his fingers together and one eyebrow hitches upward to a smattering of laughter from the audience.)
DLB: The last time you and I spoke was at Daniel’s cabin-raising. That was quite an eventful day. What have you been up to since then?
(Heat flashes in his eyes, and he shrugs as a slow grin slides across his features.)
Luke: Sally and Jen. They’re my life.
DLB: Sally has been through a lot. How is she coping?
Luke: She’s an amazingly strong woman. She still has nightmares occasionally from her ordeal, but I’m there for her just like she is for me. We’ll get through this as long as we have each other.
DLB: And Jen?
(Luke snorts a laugh as he shakes his head.)
LUKE: That little girl—I swear she’s older than nine. And too smart for her own good! God, I love that kid.
(I pause to blink the happy tears from my eyes and notice tissues coming out of purses in the audience too.)
DLB: So, is there a wedding in your future anytime soon?
Luke: The sooner the better if I have anything to say about it. I can’t wait to make Sally mine officially, followed immediately by adoption proceedings. Jen needs a father and a mother, and I made her a promise I intend to keep.
DLB: What about you, Luke? How are you coping with your PTSD and the aftermath of your captivity?
Luke: I have some bad days, but far more good days recently. Sally’s a big part of that, but so are my buddies, MacGyver, Coop and Travis. We learned to depend on each other in our SEAL unit, so there’s a connection there that’ll never be broken. It means everything to know someone you trust with your life has your back.
DLB: What’s next—after the wedding, I mean?
Luke: The guys and I started a business together. Private Security. Travis says it’s the wave of the future. (He laughs.) I don’t know about that, but the start-up keeps me busy, and I get to work with my brothers-in-arms who understand why I react the way I do sometimes. There’s comfort in that.
DLB: I had a hunch you’d land on your feet. Do you have some jobs lined up?
Luke: A few, actually. In fact, Travis and MacGyver are heading for Las Vegas tomorrow on a missing person case. Shouldn’t take them long to wrap that up.
(I smile and look away quickly when his curious gaze catches mine.)
DLB: Yes, well, you never know. Maybe their story will be told someday too.
(The barely perceptible narrowing of his eyes lets me know he understands and isn’t at all happy with the prospect.)
Luke: Are you writing again, Dixie?
DLB: Thanks so much for coming, ladies. I’m afraid that’s all the time we have. I do hope you’ll join us again in October for the release of the second book in the Hearts of Valor series, Honor among SEALs. Thanks again to Andi for sharing her cozy spot with us.
(The audience stands and I step forward to meet them and shake their hands as Luke grabs my elbow.)
Luke: Not so fast. We need to talk about your new book.
DLB: Yes, we do, Luke. All in due time.
They’re brothers in arms, Navy SEALS risking their lives for their country . . . and the women they love.
This is Luke Harding’s story.
Six months in a desert hellhole taught Navy SEAL Luke Harding things he never wanted to learn about life and death. Only tender memories of the beautiful brunette he met a few weeks before his deployment helped get him through the torturous days and nights. Back in the States after a perilous rescue, physically and emotionally damaged, Luke’s about to plunge into a new kind of war. In a seemingly bucolic Idaho town, Sally Duncan faces real—and unpredictable—danger.
All Sally ever wanted was a safe place to raise her nine-year-old daughter. Her identity hidden behind a façade of secrets and lies, can she trust Luke—a man she barely knows—with the truth? Even as they give in to long-denied passion, a killer with a personal vendetta is setting an ambush that will leave them praying for a miracle and fighting for the future they may not live to see.
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Read an excerpt:
“Are you Petty Officer Second Class Luke Harding?” The man in battle gear knelt beside him.
As hard as he tried, Luke couldn’t make a sound—or even nod his head. All he could do was stare until his eyes misted, and he squeezed his eyelids shut so he wouldn’t humiliate himself.
They know my name. Somebody knows who I am. Gratitude washed over him even as sorrow
intruded into his momentary peace. Except for two short weeks, he could have celebrated with Ian.
The warrior reached for Luke’s hand, gripping it firmly. “It’s okay, Son. You stay with me. You hear me, Sailor? That’s an order.” He leaned over Luke and there was understanding in his eyes. “We’re here to get you home alive, and failure is not an option. You copy that?”
Luke would have smiled if he could have. Did the guy know the phrase he uttered so effortlessly was the only thing holding Luke together?
“Medic!” the man yelled over his shoulder, and two seconds later another warrior stuck his head into Luke’s space.
It was getting harder to breathe. His rasping and gurgling grew louder and filled his ears.
“Chest wound.” The second man applied pressure, none too gently, to the hole in Luke’s torso.
Jesus, you stupid SOB! Luke would have given anything for the strength to shove him away, while using every four letter word he knew, but the most he could manage was a pained groan.
“Hang in there.” The first man pulled Luke’s attention from the medic. “I know you’re in pain. The chopper will land any second, and we’ll get you onboard. Next stop—a nice clean hospital and then…stateside. We’re going to give you the good stuff so you can sleep through this next part. You’re going to make it, Sailor, so start planning your homecoming.”
Sally. The image of the sweet brunette he’d promised to return to flashed in Luke’s mind. He barely felt the prick of the needle before his eyes fluttered closed on his last memory.
Want more? Read another excerpt here.
Craving even more? Read another excerpt and my review here.
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Dixie Lee Brown lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by gorgeous scenery and at least three hundred sunny days a year. Having moved from South Dakota as a child to Washington, Montana and then to Oregon, she feels at home in the west. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who are currently all the responsibility she can handle. Dixie works fulltime as a bookkeeper. When she’s not writing or working, she loves to read, enjoys movies, and if it were possible, she’d spend all of her time at the beach. She is also the author of the Trust No One romantic suspense series, published by Avon Impulse.
Please visit her website: www.dixiebrown.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/Dixie-Lee-Brown-311618418919108/
Or join her street team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/309603219231692/
Dixie will be awarding $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.