Tag Archives: Military

Gardenia Duty Blitz

Gardenia Duty banner

Gardenia Duty cover

Historical Fiction
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
In 1957 jobs are scarce in rural Ashland, Alabama. Bobby Higgins is facing life decisions; his family’s farm struggles and threat of the draft hangs over 18-year-old males as the Cold War rumbles in the distance. Bobby heads off to boot camp, vowing to provide for his family from his pay. Between shore and sea duty, Bobby leaves broken hearts in every port. When his own heart is stolen by Rose, he’s shocked to learn that she comes with four daughters, a package deal he’s unsure he wants. But when Rose disappears, Bobby finds her and persuades her to marry him. Somehow they navigate their way through the trials of marriage and parenting as he fulfills his patriotic career and his promise to raise four willful daughters. In the spring of 2004, his daughters are brought together by grief. They forge new bonds, sharing their joys, losses, regrets, and ultimately family secrets that will seal all their fates…if they can summon the courage to report for duty.
Excerpt
 
Acknowledgments
Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense but the past perfect! —Owens Lee PomeroyNostalgia. This is an emotional word that con-jures body language from a slow sweet smile, eye rolls or a furled brow that delights the der-matologist reaching for a Botox needle. I believe it is an underrated emotion but also one that requires balance. Mental health professionals also validate the value of cop-ing in the present by looking at the past to find hope for a future outcome. It can remind us and regroup our sense of purpose. So, when I began to pursue the story of what became Gardenia Duty, I chose to marry the relation-ships of the adults of the Silent Generation with the Baby Boomer descendants. This would create the social setting of the prospering America during a relatively peaceful time. Each generation would look through the eyes of a child and the eyes of an adult. Fortunately, it is at the root of my own childhood that I knew where to draw my research. To weave the sto-ry’s perspective from the young adult sisters reliving the past through the eyes of a child allowed me to use stories of many people. To educate my own perspective about the angst of the adults that were influential in my childhood, I dove into the dominant male military world of 1950s and forward. As I progressed, it softened the edges of my own painful and happy nostalgic memories. As in the book, I started out dissecting my late step-father’s military records and mementos, which allowed me to ask relatively informed questions to the many Vets, including my own Tin-Can sailor father. Their uniforms were retired, but often a baseball cap with a military logo alerted me to their presence. The Goose Creek Tin-Can Sailor Chapter graciously endured my prodding. I would meet shipmates of my dad’s and even developed deep friendships with a few. I explored the decks of the USS Laffey at Patriots Point. The familiar smell of diesel mixed with grey paint sent my nostalgia into overdrive. I spent time in Jacksonville Beach, Florida to launch myself into the mind of a grade school girl navigating her way as a military dependent in the 1960s.
I treasure the many glory day chats that revived the boyish spirits over a beer at ship reunions or an American Legion hall. The vulnerable confessions of the trials and tribulations of raising families under the strain of the Cold War helped me flesh out the tender undercarriages of these masculine souls. At the announcement of “free wine for all the blondes at the bar” at a local Olive Garden, I met and became part of the Thursday lunch gang of Jack Connerty. He became so dear to the heart of my story, I promoted him to Chief in my book. His best friend, Richard Santa Stanley, amused me and welcomed me with that first free glass of wine. (Lynn Stanley, you’re a saint!) Thank you also to Jerry and Marla Wickerham, Dwight Cargile of American Legion Post 147; John Long, who shared the photos of the recovery of Gemini VIII from the deck of the USS Leonard F. Mason (see next page); and especially to my father, Ret. LCDR Eugene Hall; and late step-father, Command Master Chief Robert Hardegree. But, as pointed out in the story, behind all these men were wives and children. The ones who waited and kept the family together during a husband’s absence. There has to be a thank you to my mother, Jeanette Hardegree and my three sisters because without the experience of being a real ‘package deal,’ my story would lack a realistic flare. My mentor and writing coach, Shari Stauch, con-ceived the basic idea of this story and kept me motivated to never abandon ship. Her confidence in Gatekeeper Press has finally laid the keel of my cover and launched the pages of the journey of the Higgins family. Of course, my husband, Steve Varn, gave me much needed R&R and escape with my camera underwater when the words would freeze. I hope this book inspires readers to look into the amazing stories of their families and ancestors. I have a new appreciation of the messiness of life, but how some-thing as simple as birth order can be a key to untangling it. For me, the result has been profound, and I’ve dis-covered, as I hope you will, that the definition of family isn’t limited to blood but to those whose hearts are so big, they prepare us to become the watchstanders at the helms of our own lives. Thank you to generations of those who reported for duty, and to the families that served with them. I salute you…
About the Author

Kathleen Varn’s love affair with words manifested when she turned four and taught herself to read. As she grew older, books and reading were an escape from responsibility. Eventually, Kathleen dove into journaling, which helped her find solace in the grief of a toxic relationship. Kathleen is now very happily married to her soulmate. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked for an adoption attorney for twenty-three years. Her first novel, Ameera Unveiled, released in 2013. Gardenia Duty is her second novel.
Contact Links
Purchase Links
RABT Book Tours & PR

1 Comment

Filed under BOOKS

Gardenia Duty Blitz

Gardenia Duty banner

 photo Gardenia Duty_zpsnamemfya.jpg

Women’s Fiction, Military
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
In 1957 jobs are scarce in rural Ashland, Alabama. Bobby Higgins is facing life decisions; his family’s farm struggles and threat of the draft hangs over 18-year-old males as the Cold War rumbles in the distance. Bobby heads off to boot camp, vowing to provide for his family from his pay. Between shore and sea duty, Bobby leaves broken hearts in every port.
When his own heart is stolen by Rose, he’s shocked to learn that she comes with four daughters, a package deal he’s unsure he wants. But when Rose disappears, Bobby finds her and persuades her to marry him. Somehow they navigate their way through the trials of marriage and parenting as he fulfills his patriotic career and his promise to raise four willful daughters.
In the spring of 2004, his daughters are brought together by grief. They forge new bonds, sharing their joys, losses, regrets, and ultimately family secrets that will seal all their fates…if they can summon the courage to report for duty.
 Excerpt
October, 1980
She stared at the venetian blinds, blurred by tears,
gripping the hospital bed rails. They should have
been tears of joy. Her family should have been standing
in the sparsely furnished room. Should have, would
have, could have.
Suck it up, cupcake, she thought. She knew this day
would come. She had to think about what was best for…
for him. And once she had finally decided, even the excitement
of her budding career had been overshadowed. She
scanned the room through the blur, now void of the nurse
who had taken pity on her solitude. The never-ending
loop of self-recrimination flooded her brain yet again.
Funny, she thought she’d be over it by now, that somehow
the loop would be flushed—like afterbirth.
How could she have been so careless? Why hadn’t she
focused on school instead of letting herself be attracted to
Larry’s blue eyes? With that twinkle and his boyish grin,
he had relentlessly worked his way into her heart on a
girls’ night out. Eventually, walks on the beach, romantic
dinners and line dancing at The Lazy B. If she had known
his orders were only five months away, would she have
continued the romance? She didn’t let just anyone in. She
was the Master of Unavailable and The Life of the Party.
But Larry had pulled her off center and made her laugh.
She thought he’d bore her. She thought she’d grow tired
of him. But no. Damn you, Larry. The aching memories
made this day that much more difficult.
There was a knock on the thick blonde door. “Dinner
time,” the nurse said. She stared at the tray as the nurse
gently placed it on the table. She peeked under the lid and
was hit with the aroma of chicken and broccoli. Typical
hospital menu; something from all the food groups.
“Does the chef suggest a wine pairing?” she smiled
weakly. Her nurse smiled back and checked the IV bag.
There was iced tea and a little carton of milk on the fiberglass
tray, the same type served up in school when her
biggest decisions were made on a playground, or when
sneaking a cigarette on the senior lawn behind the huge
live oak.
“When can I shower?” she asked, poking at the
mashed potatoes.
“After this bag runs out I’ll take out the IV.”
Her nurse’s deep blue scrubs were adorned by a shiny
chrome stethoscope. “Can I do anything else?” Her eyes
betrayed the facade of pity for her situation. This may
have been her first rodeo, but the nurse had seen too many
of her situations. “No, I’m good. Well, not good. I mean,
you’ve been wonderful,” she fumbled.
The nurse walked back to the door, patting her feet
with a soft hand on the way. She felt the tears welling
again. How she needed her sisters. But, no one could
know. She needed to get back on track at work and put
this behind her. How the hell do you put something like this
behind you, she thought to herself. She suspected it would
always haunt her. “Please, God, give me the peace I need. I
hope you know I’m not heartless. This is for his future. I’m
still a kid.”
There was another knock on the door. As the couple
entered the room, he was carrying a fast-food bag, Taco
Bell. She carried flowers. It had to be as awkward for them
as it was for her. “You’re a lifesaver! I hope there are tacos
in that bag,” she said, with as much bravado as she could
muster. But she knew there was a deeper meaning to the
first part of her comment.
“Did y’all finally decide on his name?” she asked.
 photo Gardenia Duty print ipad and iphone_zpsicbvu9zs.jpg
About the Author

 photo Gardenia Duty Author - Kathleen Varn_zpslbo0ojxq.jpg

Kathleen Varn’s love affair with words manifested when she turned four and taught herself to read. As she grew older, books and reading were an escape from responsibility. Eventually, Kathleen dove into journaling, which helped her find solace in the grief of a toxic relationship. Kathleen is now very happily married to her soulmate. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked for an adoption attorney for twenty-three years. Her first novel, Ameera Unveiled, released in 2013. Gardenia Duty is her second novel.       
Contact Links
Purchase Links
Amazon  
B&N 
 
RABT Book Tours & PR

3 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

Traitor by Nicole Blanchard – Book Blitz

Traitor banner

Traitor

Last to Leave, #1
by Nicole Blanchard
Publication Date: October 25, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Military, Romantic Suspense

Traitor cover

99¢ or FREE in KindleUnlimited: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

This elite group of U.S. Marines are the last to leave a fight…or the women who steal their hearts.

She’s trying to take back her life…

Peyton Rhodes has lost everything. Three years ago, her family was violently murdered while she narrowly escaped. Now, she’s conquered her fears and is determined to wipe the slate clean. Her new beginning may be over before it starts when she is the only witness to a gruesome murder.

He may as well be dead…

Former U.S. Marine Ford Collier is back in the states after a perilous deployment without his team, his career, or the respect of his country. Secluded in the mountains of North Carolina, Ford doesn’t want anything to do with the murder in his backyard–or the pretty blonde artist who gets under his skin. Even if he hadn’t been at the scene of the murder, Peyton would still be terrified of a man like him–a man with violence in his blood.

The only way they’ll survive is together.

As dangerous complications arise–and passion heats up–it will take learning to trust again for Ford and Peyton to make it out alive.

Traitor Teaser 10

Traitor front and back cover

Traitor Teaser 2

About Nicole Blanchard

Nicole

Nicole Blanchard is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of gritty romantic suspense and heartwarming new adult romance. She and her family reside in the south along with their two spunky Boston Terriers and one chatty cat.

Amazon | Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Reader Group | Bookbub

Traitor Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Traitor Teaser 8

Comments Off on Traitor by Nicole Blanchard – Book Blitz

Filed under BOOKS

First to Fight Box Set (Books 1-5) – 99¢ Sale

First to Fight Box Set BANNER

First to Fight Box Set (Books 1-5)

by Nicole Blanchard
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Military, Romantic Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

First to Fight Box Set cover

On SALE for 99¢ for a limited time!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

Enjoy four full-length novels and a bonus novella at a discount price for a limited time from the thrilling military romance series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nicole Blanchard.

Book 1, Anchor

Gabriel Rossi has never met her, doesn’t even know her name, but the former Marine turned Coast Guard will do anything to rescue the woman who saved his daughter, even if it means risking his career, his life–and his heart.

Book 2, Warrior

Benjamin Montgomery returns home from his last tour in Afghanistan a broken man and learns the night he shared with his best friend’s little sister resulted in more than just smokin’ hot memories.

Book 3, Survivor

Jack Walker doesn’t want anything to do with the woman who broke his heart–or at least that’s what he keeps telling himself as they embark on a poignant journey through the secrets that tore them apart.

Book 4, Savior

Logan Blackwell has never let a suspect–or a woman–get away and made it his own personal mission to solve the recent attacks plaguing his small town with the help of his intriguing new neighbor.

Book 5, Honor (a First to Fight novella)

Scott Green doesn’t believe in second chances, until he’s caught off guard by a kiss from a beautiful woman and is determined to win her back.

Next in the series…

traitor cover

Preorder for 99¢: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

I thought I knew better than to make the same mistake twice.

To say I’ve never had good taste in men in as an understatement.

When I met brooding Marine Ford Collier, I was certain he’s different than anyone else I’ve ever dated. He was honorable, charming, and sinfully dangerous in all the right ways.

But I’ve been wrong before.

My first lover ruined my life. And Ford may destroy my future.

My heart tells me he’s innocent, but the facts tell me I’m wrong. Again.

Going against the only family I have left could mean losing it all for a man who may be a traitor.

About Nicole Blanchard

Nicole

Nicole Blanchard is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of gritty romantic suspense and heartwarming new adult romance. She and her family reside in the south along with their two spunky Boston Terriers and one chatty cat.

Amazon | Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Reader Group | Bookbub

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments Off on First to Fight Box Set (Books 1-5) – 99¢ Sale

Filed under BOOKS

FIRST TO FIGHT – BLITZ

first to fight banner

First to Fight Box Set

Books 1 – 5
by Nicole Blanchard
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense, Military, Box Set

first to fight cover

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Smashwords

Enjoy four full-length novels and a bonus novella at a discount price for a limited time from the thrilling military romance series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nicole Blanchard.

Book 1, Anchor

Gabriel Rossi has never met her, doesn’t even know her name, but the former Marine turned Coast Guard will do anything to rescue the woman who saved his daughter, even if it means risking his career, his life–and his heart.

Book 2, Warrior

Benjamin Montgomery returns home from his last tour in Afghanistan a broken man and learns the night he shared with his best friend’s little sister resulted in more than just smokin’ hot memories.

Book 3, Survivor

Jack Walker doesn’t want anything to do with the woman who broke his heart–or at least that’s what he keeps telling himself as they embark on a poignant journey through the secrets that tore them apart.

Book 4, Savior

Logan Blackwell has never let a suspect–or a woman–get away and made it his own personal mission to solve the recent attacks plaguing his small town with the help of his intriguing new neighbor.

Book 5, Honor (a First to Fight novella)

Scott Green doesn’t believe in second chances, until he’s caught off guard by a kiss from a beautiful woman and is determined to win her back.

About Nicole Blanchard

Nicole

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Nicole Blanchard lives in Mississippi with her family and their menagerie of animals. She chooses each day to chase her own fairy tale even if they contain their fair share of dragons. She is married to her best friend and owns her own business.

Nicole survives on a diet of too many books and substantial amounts of root beer and slim jims. When not reading, she’s lavishing attention on her family or inhaling every episode of The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory.

Amazon | Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Reader Group

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments Off on FIRST TO FIGHT – BLITZ

Filed under BOOKS