Halloween is that time of year where we get to put on our costumes and become something else, even if it’s only for one night. But Halloween is more often at my house if I get to get lost in a good book. And lately, I’ve been on a book drought. So in keeping with Halloween, recommend me a good book. Something out of this world, with characters that I’ll bleed for.
And because it’s a special week, I thought I’d share the official trailer for UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. Made with images from my tour in Iraq. I hope you enjoy.
While I’m waiting for that book, check out an excerpt from UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. And remember to enter the contest before Oct 7th!
Colorado Springs, Colorado
“So this is hell? Very scenic.” Claire shivered and slouched over a steaming
mug of coffee, wishing it were a bathtub she could crawl into. The lobby of the
Evergreen Lodge was polished ski-lodge elegance and pretty much guaranteed to
give the budget overlords coronaries. A huge stone fireplace in the middle radiated
a welcoming heat from all four sides. Overstuffed chairs were intermixed with
coffee tables and potted plants. Tiny white lights decorated the rafters and looked
like diminutive stars against the dark oak. The dining room took up half the
lobby, and dozens of windows let the wild mountain view in while keeping the cold
Across the white tablecloth, Claire’s oldest friend and fellow army captain
Sarah Anders laughed and stirred her hot cocoa. “You know, if you stopped
complaining for a second, you’d realize that it’s called the Garden of the Gods for a
“There is not enough cold-weather gear in the entire army inventory to make
me stop complaining. I’ve never been so cold in my life,” Claire grumbled. “I can’t
believe I’m saying this but I’d rather be in Iraq right now. At least I’d be warm.”
“It doesn’t help that you get to stay in this beautiful ski lodge because the
budget people screwed up?”
“Not a bit. They could have us at the swankiest place in Colorado Springs and
I’d still complain about the cold.”
“But you love me, which is why you’re here.” Sarah’s flip remark belied the
serious edge to her words. Claire had been friends with Sarah far too long to miss
the fact that she was, in fact, deeply worried.
“I’m here because my brigade commander ordered me here,” Claire said as she
cradled her coffee mug. “The only good thing about it is being stuck with you. Why
did you have to be the one tapped for this mission?”
Sarah shrugged and sipped her hot chocolate. “I’m the only company
commander who hasn’t deployed recently. It’s my turn.”
A shadow fell across her friend’s face and Claire reached across the table to
squeeze her friend’s hand. “We’ll get your team ready, Sarah.”
In truth, nothing they did in training could prepare Sarah for the mission she
was about to command. She was leading a logistics company into the tail end of
the Surge, the buildup of American forces designed to stabilize Iraq. As someone
who had recently returned from Iraq, Claire knew Sarah’s mission intimately.
Nothing was going to help take a company of combat-inexperienced soldiers
and turn them into steely-eyed killers inside of a month. But Claire said none of
that. It was the dead last thing that Sarah needed to hear right now.
Sarah tucked a stray lock of hair behind one ear and slid her water to one side
of the table to make room for a briefing folder. “Okay, so let’s talk about the
mission, because I’m in way over my head and I could use your expertise.”
Claire mirrored Sarah’s movement and leaned forward to look at the timeline
of events Sarah had slid in front of her. “Inspections, mission briefings, ranges,”
Claire read. She glanced over at Sarah. “What’s the problem?”
“Look at the first three days.” Sarah flipped the page over. “We’re shipping our
equipment in exactly five weeks. We have a sixteen-day training exercise to get
our crap together because at the end of this exercise, we are shipping out our
equipment, then we’re going on leave. All told, five weeks start to finish. And the
brigade commander . . . Claire, he doesn’t understand our mission.”
“Wow.” Claire let out a low whistle. The training timeline was packed full of
events that no one who’d deployed would waste time with. “Equal opportunity
training? The only thing equal opportunity about this war is the roadside bombs
that don’t care who they kill. Whose good-idea fairy was this training plan?”
“Someone who’s not paying attention to the fact that we are in no way ready
for this mission. My company is full of supply clerks and the commander has us
training mostly on shoot houses and hand-to-hand combat instead of convoy
training. We don’t do convoy training until the last two days of the exercise . . .
But that decision is way over my head. My focus right now is getting my team
ready for running the roads in Iraq.”
“Then I’m your gal. I’ve got more than thirty thousand miles under my belt on
the roads in combat.” Three tours to Iraq, one as a young enlisted soldier, two as
an officer. She was all too familiar with the threat that was buried beneath Iraq’s
roads. Sarah hadn’t deployed in almost four years. She should be nervous. The
war had changed a lot since the first troops went in back in ’03. It changed every
time Claire went back.
Sarah glanced over Claire’s shoulder and perked up. Claire twisted in the
plush leather chair and groaned.
“Who is that?” Sarah murmured.
Claire sighed. “You’re just like every other female on the planet,” Claire said,
ignoring the flip of her stomach. Evan Loehr was giving her an ulcer. Lovely. One
kiss and it would freaking haunt her forever. She regretted ever touching him.
“Sarah Anders, get ready to meet Captain America himself.”
You can order UNTIL THERE WAS YOU at these ebookstores or wherever ebooks are sold!