This past week I've been dying of a flu/strep throat/sinus infection I came down with two weeks ago when we got back from our trip. Today is the first morning I woke up and thought I'm actually going to live. I can almost breathe through one side of my nose, and though my head and face feel like they might explode if I bend over, things are looking up.
Right now I'm working on the dedication and acknowledgements for Deadly Descent. As you know I got in touch with some really cool inside sources for research on this one, and had a ball talking with them. When I e-mailed my recently retired PJ contact and asked what official title to call him in the dedication, I got a response that so typically embodies these men that I could only smile and shake my head. I'm paraphrasing, but basically his answer was, "No thanks are necessary. We're just ordinary guys, and I'm glad I could help."
If that doesn't encapsulate their humility and heroism, I don't know what does. So Weaver, if you're ever reading this, just know you're a hero to me and always will be no matter how much you try to downplay your years in Pararescue. So there.
Another cool thing happened too. I don't even know how he found out about me (must have been through this blog, but I never asked him), but a retired Air Force Combat Controller (CCT) contacted me to ask how the heck a young woman from Canada became interested in CCTs. He said some people in the Air Force don't even know about them--which I hope isn't true--so he was curious about me. I joked that I'm a little odd, and that on top of being a Civil War superfreak, I love learning about Spec Ops stuff. I love it even more when I can put what I've learned into my writing and give it more realism.
Wait--what? You don't know what a CCT is either? Not to worry, there's a picture of one at the top of this post. Deadly Descent will introduce you to Ryan, a CCT embedded with a SEAL team out of Bagram. You'll learn plenty about why these guys are damn handy to have with you out in hostile territory. Or in any combat mission, for that matter. At the most basic level, they're Special Ops trained air traffic controllers that go out into harm's way and bring a lot of firepower with them. They bring the rain. Heavy ordinance from bombers, missiles from fighter jets, or close air support from gunships, just to name a few. And that's merely a part of their job description. I'll be highlighting the hellish ordeal they undergo just to earn the right to be called a CCT in a later post, so stay tuned.
Anyway, this retired CCT and I chatted back and forth a few times, and I assured him that while my books are steamy romantic suspense, I make an effort to research my heroes' line of work and add a level of detail that readers won't find in other books of the genre. His response surprised me. He said he's actually proud that I'm taking the time to learn about his CCT brothers and bring them into the spotlight. Even if it's only a small spotlight.
He also said he sincerely hopes my hero gets to spend the night with a belly dancer at some point in the upcoming book :) He wants to read the book, but I told him it's pretty steamy and he probably wouldn't like it. "Are you kidding? I love steamy!" was his reply.
He's in his early sixties now and has been out of the game for a long while, but he offered to put me in touch with a recently retired CCT while I'm writing the draft of Crash and Burn. And he's sending me a DVD on CCTs and a couple trinkets, just because he's a nice guy. How awesome is that? And to think this connection literally landed in my lap (er, inbox) last Monday. Gotta love the Internet! As soon as I'm finished this latest novella, I'm back into Ryan's book, and I'm looking forward to writing it more than ever.
So, Mr. A.L., if you're reading this, thank you so much for taking the time to contact me. Very cool getting to "meet" you.
NYT and USA Today bestselling author of edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense.
I love military alpha male heroes, dark chocolate, the Civil War, gardening, belly dancing and baseball (but my heart belongs to the Boston Red Sox).
I also write steamy romances as Callie Croix.