Welcome back, Loree. Do you have a favorite genre to write? If so, what is it?
First, I’d like to take a moment to thank you,
Lena, for yet again sharing your blog and fans with me! I
know it’s been said before, but it bears repeating: You are by far one of the most
generous authors I know!
In answer to your question, I’d say contemporaries are fun to write, but I find the challenge of researching historical facts even more fun! Learning about the tools, clothing, modes of transportation, even ordinary everyday words that were used during a certain time period fascinate me. How things looked “back then,” how people grew and cooked their food, how they treated commonplace illnesses … it’s truly like stepping into another world, and I love that!
If you didn’t live in the part of the country where you do, where would you live?
From an early age, cowboys—and the cowboy way of life—have fascinated me, so I’d choose a state like Montana, the Dakotas, Colorado, or Wyoming. First choice, though,
hands down, because I have so many pals there!
And we’d love for you to live near us. What foreign country would you like to visit and why?
I’d love to return to
and Ireland, and make a
first-time visit to Scotland!
Describe what you think would be the most romantic vacation you could take.
One of our all-time favorite destinations was
Alaska. Larry and I
would love to go back, and this time, fly to Barrow and cross into the Arctic Circle. The weather didn’t cooperate last time we
were there, so we missed seeing the Northern Lights. This time, we’d just have
to stay long enough to fool persnickety ol’ Mother Nature!
Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
for sure! I have several series half-plotted that I’d set there, and all of
them are action-adventure romances. I’d also like to take readers to the rocky
shores of Nova Scotia
during the early 1800s.
What is the main theme of this novel?
Trust is the driving force in Once a Marine. Both main characters carry the weight of past mistakes and heartaches into the story, and both must learn confidence in themselves before they can believe in the power of love.
Sounds wonderful. Tell us about the story.
When the story opens, Zach Marshall has just returned from active duty in
His past as a “rescuer” makes him susceptible to vulnerable women, so when he
meets Summer, he does his best to avoid donning his knight in shining armor
getup. Summer, the victim of a brutal attack, has spent 18 months
healing—physically and emotionally—and comes to the realization that, like it
or not, she must put her trust in a man.
Please give us the first pages of the book.
Zach waited until his folks were out of sight, then sat on the edge of Libby’s hospital bed. She looked so small and vulnerable, and he blamed the tangle of tubes and cords keeping track of her vital signs.
“Okay, they’re gone,” he said, taking her hand. “Quit faking and let me have it. All of it this time.”
“Faking?” she mumbled past swollen lips. “Who, me?”
“You’ve been awake for the past twenty minutes. You might have fooled Mom and Dad, but not me.”
Her face grew serious. “Okay, I’ll talk. But first, you have to promise me something.”
“That you won’t put on your private investigator hat and try to find the guy. Because last thing Mom and Dad need is for you to get into trouble.”
“Whoa. Does that mean you know the guy? Is that why you think he’ll be easy to find?”
“Of course not. He snuck up on me. Took me completely by surprise. I didn’t see anything but the pavement, whooshing closer to my face.”
It wasn’t likely the cops would share what they knew, but if he could get anything out of them—
“Promise you’ll keep things to yourself, Zach, or I’m going back to sleep.”
The heart monitor beeped a little faster. “All right. Okay. Settle down, will you?” He cleared his throat. “I promise not to get in trouble.”
“Oh, you’re clever, I’ll give you that.” She gave him a look that said “I’ve got your number, pal…. But not clever enough. I want to hear you say ‘I promise not to tell Mom and Dad the rest of the story.’”
He searched his mind for a way to appease her without making the promise.
“I’ll be honest with you, partly because I need to talk about it as much as you need to hear what happened. But I can’t. I won’t. Not unless I have your word that you won’t try to play the hero again. Like I said, last thing Mom and Dad need is more stuff to worry about.”
Play the hero, again. The comment took him back to when Libby was in college, and a couple of her roommates called him when they got tangled up with some unsavory characters.
“I just couldn’t live with myself I you ended up in jail—or worse—because of me.”
She looked so small and frail, so afraid and worried that the only thing keeping him from scooping her up into a huge hug was his fear of hurting her.
“All right. Fine.” He made no effort to sound pleased, because he wasn’t. “I won’t hunt him down like the animal he is and beat the stuffin’ outta him.”
She relaxed slightly. “One more promise?”
“Stop looking so grim. If they come back and see you looking all serious and angry, they won’t let up until I tell them everything, too. Or worse, they’ll walk around looking all ‘poor Libby’ for who knows how long.” She gave his hand a weak squeeze. “Thank goodness I don’t have to worry you’ll do that.”
He feigned shock. “Hey. Just ‘cause I’m a Marine doesn’t mean I’m devoid of feelings, y’know.”
“It’s because you’re a big tough Marine that I can trust you to mask your feelings. You saw a lot of ugly stuff over there, but you learned how to compartmentalize it. If you feel sorry for me after…once I’ve told you everything, well, at least you’ll know how to fake it.”
Compartmentalize. Libby had chosen the right career path, all right. Too bad she couldn’t put her PhD to use, analyzing herself. Zach stifled a groan and sandwiched her hand between his.
“You’ll get no pity from me.”
Libby returned his halfhearted grin and plunged into her story. Halfway through the telling of it, the pace and volume of her words waned, and when she finished, Libby slipped into a fitful sleep.
Zach sat there, shaking his head and fighting tears. It was a relief, hearing she hadn’t been raped. Part of him wished she had known the guy. At least then, he’d have a target for his fury. But her attacker was still out there somewhere. Was he aware that Libby couldn’t identify him? Would he try to find her, and make sure she couldn’t testify against him? That possibility scared Zach almost as much as seeing the enemy churning through the Afghan dust.
His mind went into full Marine mode, looking for proactive ways to help her, to make sure nothing like this ever happened to her again.
And then it hit him.
When the docs released her from this place, he’d move into Libby’s townhouse and take care of her. While she recuperated, he’d start the wheels in motion to find a place of his own, preferably a shop of some kind with an upstairs apartment. He’d open a self-defense studio, right here in Vail. And when she was ready, Libby would be his first student.
“Let go of my hand, you goof. Your big meat hook is getting me all sweaty.”
Snickering, he did as she asked, just as their folks returned, each carrying a cardboard food tray.
“Oh good,” his mom whispered, “she’s still sleeping.”
“Sleeping?” It surprised her to see that Libby had closed her eyes. Faker, he thought, grinning. And thankfully, their mom was too busy doling out sandwiches and bags of chips to notice one corner of Libby’s mouth lift in a tiny sly grin.
It told him she’d be all right, and he had to put his back to the family to keep them from seeing his grateful tears.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m in all the usual places, and I hope everyone will reach out and say hi, often!
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/loreelough/Web site: http://www.loreelough.com
Thank you, Loree, for sharing another new book with us. I know my readers are as anxious to read this as I am.
Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Once a Marine (Those Marshall Boys)
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: