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To all the veterans

Gwen holding a baby and kissing her husband who's wearing Air Force camouflage/BDUs

Kissing my husband goodbye, circa 1997

Today I honor the men and women of all races, ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations, political beliefs, religions (or lack thereof), and even different nationalities who’ve served in the US armed forces.

I appreciate your commitment and sacrifice—and that of your families—whether you faced armed conflict or faced a computer.

Special thanks to my husband, father, father-in-law, and uncle.

Happy Veterans Day!

My own Veterans Day heroes

Veterans Day oval

The heroes in my current romantic suspense series are all veterans. Their best qualities are influenced by the real-life heroes I’ve been surrounded by since birth. My dad (Army and Navy), my uncle (Navy), my husband (Air Force), my father-in-law (Marines and Air Force), and many friends across services.

There is no one type of person who chooses the military, but the men and women I know who serve(d) embody honor, integrity, self-sacrifice, and loyalty. They are both average Americans and extraordinary people. They are conservative, liberal, religious, atheist, omnivores, vegans, intense, easy going, confident, shy, fast, slow, and everything in between.

To all of them: Thank You.

Veteran’s Day reading list

To celebrate Veteran's Day, I thought I'd mention some of my favorite authors who honor the men and women who serve–or have honorably served–in the armed forces by writing about them.

Suzanne Brockmann‘s Troubleshooters series is devoted mainly to Navy Seals, as well as heroes and heroines from military, law enforcement, or clandestine services. Her characters are complex, brave, imperfect, and irresistible. If you wish Flynn and Baldacci put more romance in their stories, Brockmann is for you. High passion and high stakes.

The High Risk series by JoAnn Ross features heroes from special forces (Navy SEALS, Air Force CCT), as well as some military heroines. While she has a similar style to Brockmann, her books are more focused on one main story at a time. Hot and fast-paced.

For a more light-hearted approach to Navy SEAL heroes (yes, they are popular right now), try any of Christina Skye‘s contemporary books. Still hot, with a dash of humor and spunky heroines. Fun reads.

I suppose the Special Ops types are more fun to write about, but I salute everyone who has served in our armed forces in any capacity. From Mission Support and Finance to Medical and Maintenance, no matter what your role, you are important and appreciated. Thanks!

The Daily Squirrel: a blade of grass

She plucked the blade of grass from the carpet of green along the soccer field, and ran her finger over the rough leaf. She remembered a time when she and Eddie lay in the grass, plucking dandelions and laughing at how silly teenagers were. Then one day, Eddie became a teenager himself, and left his little sister behind. It was as if he'd stepped through a doorway that she couldn't enter, and closed the door.