122 Rules, by Deek Rhew – Book Review and Author Interview!

122 Rules Cover

Today, I’m thrilled to post my recent interview with an exciting and engaging new author, Deek Rhew. His new novel, 122 Rules, is not merely exciting, it’s addictive. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down, even when I wanted to – for instance, when I thought the suspense might actually kill me. Now I can’t get it out of my mind – and I’m nagging him for the sequel. If you like the darkness and suspense of a powerful mystery, some breath-taking thrills and chills, and a hint of romance-to-come, you do NOT want to miss 122 Rules.

Read on, discover this intriguing new author, find out more about the book, and check out my 5-star review.

An Interview with Deek Rhew … Author of 122 Rules

Greetings, leader of the Rhewination… oh, wait, that would be your all-knowing, all-powerful tabby cat, Trinity.  So… Hi, Deek and thanks for joining me to talk about your new release!

Hi Paula and readers of her awesome blog! Thanks for having me on today!

122 Rules is not only an action-suspense novel, it’s a psychological thriller. It’s clear you’ve done your research on mind control and psychological manipulation. Are there really “122 Rules”? How did you come up with that concept? (And how will I know if you’re using those rules on me in this interview? LOL).

You are feeling sleepy, Paula. Sleeeeeepy. Now go get me the nuclear launch codes, the vault code for Fort Knox, and the secret 11 herbs and spices recipe for KFC extra crispy chicken. LOL!

Okay, here’s the deal: I completely made up all of it. There’s no research, just my own observations. Shakespeare was a people watcher, that was part of what made his work so great. Not saying I write like the great Bard, but I do love watching people. I like seeing how they react to given situations. In a crisis, some people fold and others rise. Sometimes people surprise you, but generally just talking to someone for a few minutes will give you the gist of who they are and what they’re about.

My books have a problem with lack of research. I don’t want to break telling the story for something as trivial as facts, and this has actually gotten me into trouble with one of my editors. She picked apart all the law facts, examining the minutiae of each rule and procedure until I had it just right. So if you learned anything about trial proceedings, you can thank Anya Kagan.

I have spent a ton of time working over the 122 rules, a lot of whom came to me while my mind was wondering about something completely different. I distinctly recall walking to my car after work and coming up with:

Rule #45: Frustrated people do not think clearly.

Rule #46: Angry people do not think rationally.

Rule #47: Furious people do not think at all.

I remember exactly where I was and to this day can envision the dirty road, the flash of guardrail, the bark dust, and the sound of traffic from the nearby highway.

As each rule came to me, I sent myself a text message. I have a “complete” list of rules that I change as the story requires. But once one is added to a story, it’s set. Maybe someday I’ll publish the complete list, but for now it’s a work in progress.

There are more than a few loose ends left in the story, implying a sequel is – or will be – in progress. Am I right about that? If so, do you have a working title, release date or deadline? (If not, I have SEVERAL more questions for you!!)

I finished my edits for 122 in October then immediately began working on edits for Birth of an American Gigolo. Erin and I birthed Birth in January, and it’s pretty much been non-stop marketing since December. I got to finish working on edits on Erin’s new historical fiction book, Restore to Me, a couple of weeks ago, and now that truly amazing book is in the hands of our content editor.

122 Rules – Redemption is the next book in the series, after that is 122 Rules – Revelation. Redemption is 2/3 of the way done, and I know how it ends but haven’t gotten to work on it in months. I’m a little sad about that. I want to draw this storyline to a close, and I really really miss writing. But that’s the life of a working-full-time-to-pay-the-bills-unheard-of-author and all.

Redemption will conclude the story left hanging at the end of 122. In it, Sam is chasing after a mad man and ends up in Monica’s hometown of Alabaster Cove. There, we get to meet a new set of characters, including the introduction of a future love interest for Sam. This relationship develops in Revelation, but things are not what they appear. Sam’s past comes back to haunt him in a really huge way, and things really get dark and gritty for our assassin.

122 Rules also has elements of a political thriller, particularly the existence of ‘The Agency’ – It makes the reader wonder if it’s legitimate, like a “CIA/NSA/DOJ” entity – or a front for something far more sinister. Do you consider yourself a conspiracy theorist, or a healthy political skeptic? Will that be revealed in a future novel?

LOL! I’m not a conspiracy theorist. What I believe is that there is a ton that we citizens don’t know and, for the most part, it’s for the best. I don’t I want to know about the near misses that I can’t do anything about and would keep me up at night.

The government is tasked with the impossible job of keeping us safe. They protect our borders, protect our citizens, protect our economy, protect our information, on and on and on. The number of threats—external and internal—is completely overwhelming, and I believe that there are times that things have to be done that would be less than popular but are still necessary.

Our military does an amazing job. They are out there every day, putting their lives on the line, giving up time with their families, and making sacrifices that make our lives possible. But they are incredibly visible and under heavy scrutiny. There are other agencies that do things that are less visible but still must remain within the boundaries of the law.

Of course I don’t know for sure, but I imagine a small group that does these unpopular-and-unlawful-but-necessary tasks, hence the birth of The Agency.

How did you come up with the “Chet” character, as Sam’s alter ego? (He’s unique and serves the story really well…it’s a very inventive device to reveal Sam’s internal conflicts!)

Thank you! I love Chet. Before my publisher was my publisher, the owner, Zara, was reading my submission. She started to tweet about her first ever book boyfriend, Chet. Seriously, that is beyond cool.

I don’t really recall the first time I met Chet. I do remember Sam mulling things over and arguing with himself, and at some point, Chet just emerged. His evolution is really pretty similar to the way it’s described in the story. Since I don’t try and force my stories any one direction, and I can’t make my characters do something—they dictate to me—Chet has always existed. I just didn’t know it until he told me.

I think one of the things that I love about him is that he simply can’t be buffaloed. He has access to all of Sam’s thoughts and feelings, thus he can accurately sling poo at Sam if he needs it slung. And sling it he does.

I also really dig that he gives us a little comic relief. I love love love a good sarcastic character, and Chet fits that bill nicely.

Now for the predictable question: What inspired you to write 122 Rules? Do you remember when and where the idea first came to you?

I tried writing before but got lost during the storytelling process, and the books died. This time around, I didn’t have an inspiration per say; I had that flash, that vision. At o-dark 30 in the morning, on my way to work one day, a scene popped into my head. It was so startling and so vivid I couldn’t ignore it. So I pulled over into a dark alley and typed the scene out on my phone. After that, the story just unfolded and took a life of its own. I realized all to quickly that I’m merely a transcriber for my characters!

I’m a bit of a rabbit trail follower. In the middle of writing 122, a side story of a woman and her cheating husband emerged. Even at the time, I knew I’d have to pull it because it didn’t fit, but Lindsey is a bit forceful and would not rest until her tale had been told. This became Birth of an American Gigolo, which we published this last January.

Who do you write for — in other words, who is your “ideal reader,” and what do you hope they take away from writing? Marketing wisdom says every reader has a need that the writer seeks to satisfy. What distinguishes you in terms of meeting those needs?

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My Ideal Reader is my bride, Erin Rhew. When I’m writing raw content, the characters are dictating their stories to me. But during edits and rewrites, Erin is the one I think about. What would be her reaction to saying something this way? Would she like the way Chet is razzing Sam here? When she’s reading my stories, the happiest times for me as an author are when I make her laugh. I so totally love those moments. Actually, my happiest times are when she laughs. I love the sound of it.

What I want her to take away from my writing is just plain satisfaction. I want her to feel like she’s met new people and gone on an adventure. My stories simply aren’t any deeper than that. There’s no morals or other underlying message.

Are there any contemporary or classic authors who have inspired your writing style or genre(s) of choice?

Erin Rhew is my biggest inspiration and hands down my fav author of all time! We joke that I loved her writing so much I had to marry the author. 🙂

Other than my bride, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Nelson DeMille. You will see each of these gents’ influences in my writing.

Mr. King could write the danged phone book, and it would be an awesome tale. He’s one of the most brilliant storytellers of all time. IMHO.

Mr. Koontz is an amazing storyteller, but what he does is create incredible characters that you think about long after you’ve closed the cover. Christopher Snow is easily my favorite character of any book ever. Dean also has an elegant, beautiful writing style and description capability that I could only dream of matching.

Mr. DeMille weaves these intricate action plots with humorous but serious characters. If you’ve ever read the John Corey novels, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. John is tough and complicated and funny.

Are you a plotter or a pantster? Do you outline some, extensively, or not at all?

Pantster all the way! I don’t come up with the stories, characters, so forth per say. It’s more like they find me. In Stephen King’s book On Writing, he talks about how stories are found things. He describes it like this:

You’re walking in the desert and you find the tip of something sticking out of the ground. You uncover it a little and see that there is more buried deeper in the soil. You dig and dig uncovering more, discovering the object’s details. You brush away sand revealing intricacies and fine lines. Eventually you have revealed all there is to reveal.

The thing you first find is an idea. A question. Erin and I talk all the time, and sometimes out of those conversations come questions or situations. What-if’s. What if this? What would happen if that? So we explore that. Sometimes, there’s not much there, and we cast it aside. But other times, we find there’s something significant buried in the sand.

I don’t work from an outline. I just start with the idea and see where it leads. Usually I’m as surprised by what happens in the story as my readers!

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Edit, edit, and even when you think it’s perfect, edit some more! Erin says this all the time, and she’s dead right.

Having made it through the debut novel phase – quite successfully, I might add – what advice do you have for those of us who are still in the terrified phase of their own first novel?

I think that the best advice I can give is what I put in my dedication page of 122:

For the tenacious: Never give up.

Erin and I have “Tenacious” tattooed on our wrists. It takes someone with some serious fortitude to get hit and hit and hit and keep on getting back up. It’s because of our tenacity that we’re together, and it’s because of our tenacity that our books got published.

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Thanks so much, Deek – I absolutely loved the book and can’t wait for the sequel. With your writing talent and your soulmate, Erin, ou have a bright future ahead!

Thank you SO much for hosting me today, Paula. I’ve had the best time!

Also from Deek … Here’s a bit more about 122 Rules!

122 Rules

 

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Synopsis
In his black and white world, Sam Bradford–former Marine turned government assassin–finally sees a speck of grey. He has always followed orders without question, but his latest assignment threatens to disrupt the precision of his universe and may either severe or redeem his last remaining sliver of humanity.

Using his mastery of the 122 Rules of Psychology, Sam hunts down everyone The Agency sends him to find and eliminates them. Just as he has his rifle scope focused on his latest victim, Monica Sable, a SoCal girl entangled with the mob, his long-dormant conscience reappears for a final performance…one last ditch effort to save the sinking ship of Sam’s soul. He’s killed innocents before, but tarries on pulling the trigger this time.

When Monica escapes his crosshairs and fumbles her way across the country in a pathetic attempt to elude capture, Sam gives chase. But he’s not the only one after her. Ruthless henchmen, hired by the mob, froth like bloodhounds and nip at Monica’s heels. Now Sam is faced with a choice: turn his back on the rules and jeopardize his way of life by helping her or join the pack and rip her to shreds.


What are readers saying?

122 Rules is a fast-paced thrill-ride, filled with rich characters living in an expertly woven world of mystery and suspense. Deek Rhew’s debut novel will take readers by storm, and keep them coming back for sequels.

~Michelle K. Pickett, Bestselling and award-winning author of PODs and Unspeakable.

The perfect, fast-paced novel for fans of kick-butt heroines, creepy killers, and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. An absolute must-read!

~Meradeth Houston, author of Travelers, An Absence of Light, and the Sary Society Series

Visit the 122 Rules Web Page

My Review…

5-stars

122 Rules, by the relatively new and very promising author Deek Rhew, is a fast-paced, action-packed mystery-thriller that’s so full of twists and turns it just may make you desperate enough to read ahead. This book was absolutely riveting – a political thriller, a psychological thriller, a mystery, and so much more. Twists and turns? Plenty of them! Intriguing, complex well-developed characters? Every one of them. It’s clever, edgy, unique and unexpected.

I was looking for something new – a break from the traditional romantic-suspense that fills my TBR list. I found it in 122 Rules. It’s not merely exciting, it’s addictive. I couldn’t put it down, even when I wanted to (for instance, when I thought the suspense might actually kill me).

Now, nearly two weeks later, I still can’t get this riveting story out of my mind.  It left me with almost as many questions as answers. The author’s skillful story-telling rivals some of the most highly acclaimed, best-selling mystery-thriller authors in contemporary fiction. Take my word for it, you’ll be tempted to check out the ending simply to spare yourself the gripping anxiety and get some of your questions answered. But don’t give in to the urge to cheat. just sit back and enjoy this captivating thrill-ride. I promise you it’s totally worth it.

If you like the darkness and suspense of a powerful mystery, some heart-pounding,  breath-taking thrills and chills, and a hint of a potentially explosive love story yet to come,  you do NOT want to miss 122 Rules. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel.

Buy 122 Rules…

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Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with the stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords.

He and Erin love to share books by reading aloud to one another. In addition, they enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and exploring the little town–with antique shops and bakeries–they call home.

Connect with Deek!


For the latest and greatest, visit his web page:
www.DeekRhewBooks.com

Meet Author Maggie Thom, from the Rave Reviews Book Club!

Banner - Pay It Forward

Today I’m honored to pay it forward by spotlighting author Maggie Thom,

a colleague & fellow member of the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC).

As a blogger, reviewer, and former publicist to indie authors – and an assistant and promoter for traditionally published authors – I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to get to experience the dynamics of the author world ‘up close and personal.’ I’ve seen it at its best — a supportive, encouraging, uplifting network of authors and would-be authors with a passion for the written word; writers who recognize that a rising tide lifts all boats; and those who have a sincere desire to help pave the way for anyone who wants to launch a writing career. I’ve also seen it at its worst – a darker, highly competitive, petty, political, dog-eat-dog corner of the larger world, where relentless self-promotion is the norm, and where marketing strategy often includes disparaging peers in a misguided effort to crawl to the top of the heap. As a result of these experiences – the joyful and the agonizing – I’m committed to promoting fellow authors, readers and bloggers by “paying it forward” whenever I have an opportunity to do so. As part of that commitment, I will be featuring author colleagues on this website, as well as my author website, Paula Radell, Author, as often as possible.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from working on the fringes of the literary community – and from writing my debut novel – it’s that no one writes, promotes and sells their work in a vacuum. As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village.” Just take a look at the acknowledgements in the front or back matter of any book, and you usually see several references to people who contributed to the final product in some way — family, friends, editors, cover designers, publicists, agents, and street teams/fan groups among them.Yes, as an author, the final product is all on you – sink or swim, the quality of the product and the promotion of your work is yours to own. But if you think you can succeed as an author without the support of others, including author colleagues – you are sadly mistaken. Relationships matter in every aspect of our lives and careers, and those who are truly successful recognize, respect and appreciate every single person who helps along the way.

Paying it forward is an honor and a privilege. Offering another author support is one small way to thank them for the joy they bring to the world through their writing. Authors have shaped my values and my views – all my life. They have sparked my imagination, inspired my own creativity, and deepened my passion for writing. The best ones have instilled in me a desire to walk this path, whatever it takes and wherever it leads.

Please read on and discover a #RRBC author that is an award winner in the mystery-suspense-thriller genre.

About Maggie Thom

Facebook  |  Twitter (@maggiethom2)  | Website  | email: maggie@maggiethom.com

Photo of author Maggie ThomAward winning author, Maggie Thom, grew up in a house full of books and often made weekly trips to the library to get more. Reading was her go to, when it was too cold outside to play. She started experimenting with writing at a young age letting her imagination take her away on many adventures. Maggie has written everything from technical writing, to nonfiction, to fiction for children, youth and adults, along with poems and short stories. She finally settled on her love of puzzles, mysteries and roller coasters and now writes suspense/thrillers that will take you on one heck of a ride. Author of The Caspian Wine Series – Captured Lies and Deceitful Truths with Split Seconds to be out late 2016 – and her other published novel, Tainted Waters (2013 Suspense/Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine). Her latest novel, Deadly Ties, to be released early 2016.

Her motto: Read to escape… Escape to read…  Her motto: Escape to read and Read to escape.

“Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!” InDtale Magazine (Maggie Thom is my pen name, my real name is Glenna)

I have wanted to be an author since I was a young child but I didn’t tell anyone that. I hid my writing for many years. I wrote poems, I wrote stories… I wrote. But I didn’t share it for a very long time, I never thought it was good enough. Then when I did finally get the nerve to show it to others, the three people I shared it with, told me it was no good. I had been right, I vowed to quit. But I couldn’t, the ideas, the stories were there to be written, so I just went back to hiding it, only now I was interested in writing novels. The first one I hand wrote and it was about 400 pages. Someone accidentally saw it and read some of it and then asked what I was doing with it. I said nothing, it wasn’t good enough. The person told me that wasn’t true. They thought my writing was good. It really got me to thinking… and to hoping. So I signed up to take a course. They had to be honest with me, right? Only they surprised me when they told me they loved what I wrote. I have to say I was still reluctant to believe it. Not that my writing was perfect, it needed work but they felt I had a good grasp of writing and plotting out stories. So I kept writing. I joined a writing group. Took more courses. Joined a critique group. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. But I still wasn’t to the point where I thought it was good enough. Finally I had to make the decision – now or never. I asked several people to read the latest novel (Captured Lies) I’d written. If they liked it, I’d proceed and get it published, if not I’d just keep doing it for me. Well they all loved it. So it was time to take it seriously. That’s when I asked for help to make that happen. After several edits, revisions and hair pulling, my dream finally came true.

It has been a long journey but a worthy one.

Maggie’s Books

Maggie writes in the suspense/thriller genre. Take a look at her books and see what’s coming soon!

Tainted Waters (A Standalone Novel)

Book Cover: Tainted Waters by Maggie ThomHe didn’t commit suicide but who’s going to believe her…

Frustrated at being fired from her latest job and overwhelmed by her consolatory family, Sam decides to move to the family’s cabin at the lake. A place she hasn’t been since her dad committed suicide there twenty years before. Or did he? Snooping is something she’s good at but someone seems to be taking offence to her looking too closely at what has been happening at the lake. What she discovers is shocking. Now she must uncover what’s real and what’s not. All that she learned growing up, may be false. Keegan who has recently moved to the area to finish his latest book is also trying to find out if his grandfather, who’d passed away ten years before, died of natural causes or was murdered? The descendants of the four families who own the land around the lagoon are dying off. Since Sam and Keegan are the only ones questioning the deaths, they find themselves working together to seek the truth. Are people being murdered? Who would benefit from their deaths? Why would there be barricades and armed guards at the north end of the lake? To stay alive, Sam and Keegan must find the answers and convince others, before more people are killed… including them.

Reviews:

I LOVED this book! It was fast paced and had me gripped from the start….. And talk about twists! Just when I thought I knew where this story was leading…… Bang!….. Plot twist!…”
Orchard Book Club

… Exciting story, loved the beginning introduction to Sam. She is a firecracker and had me chuckling… Another wonderful read from Maggie Thom…” Musing from an Addicted Reader

…the book will truly keep you on the edge of your seat unable to pry yourself from it… Maggie brilliantly creates suspense and the atmosphere of unease…” The Most Happy Reader

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The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery Series 

Book Cover for Captured Lies, by Maggie ThomBook 1: Captured Lies

Bailey knew her upbringing hadn’t been normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. She finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then her mom suddenly dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery  that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life was a lie. Growing up on the run has prepared Bailey for once again, fleeing to stay alive. Using the skills she learned on the street, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to uncover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs.

Everyone seems to have a story… but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? To discover the truth, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets dating back over thirty years.

Add Captured Lies to Goodreads

Book 2: Deceitful Truths

Book Cover-Deceitful Truths by Maggie ThomHe created a legacy that no one could imagine …

Tarin has lost a week of her life. She doesn’t know what happened but not long after she returns to work she is suspended from her job. Confused and pregnant, she quits and agrees to marry Stephen, only to be thrown into a whole new nightmare. Desperate, she grabs her son and moves across the country to get away from her abusive husband and to avoid her unforgiving father. Thrilled at getting the job at Knights Associates, where she’ll help them solve cyber crimes but also be able to use their connections and resources to find her own answers. Who stole a week of her life? And will they return to steal the secret she is now protecting?

Graham and his partner Guy, can’t keep up with the demand. They are being flooded with requests at Knights Associates, where they offer a combined service of private investigator and that of solving cyber crimes. It appears that someone wants to get their attention as not only have they been hacked but Guy’s family business, Caspian Winery, seems to be under attack as well. Hiring an assistant seems to be the answer but when Graham discovers she’s been accessing their high-security accounts, he realizes the cause of their predicament might be closer than he thought. Is there new assistant behind the problems they’re having? If she’s so innocent why does someone want to abduct her?

Tarin and Graham discover that although they don’t trust each other, they are forced to work together to solve several seemingly unrelated crimes that may lead to one disastrous conclusion. Can they figure it all out before Tarin’s nightmare plays out? An eighty year old woman pays with her life? Or before Tarin learns a truth that may seal her fate and be the one secret that will keep her and Graham apart as neither one of them may be able to forgive or forget…

(Standalone but is a Sequel/Companion Novel to Captured Lies)

Add Deceitful Truths to Goodreads

 Buy the series on all platforms on Maggie’s Website

Coming in May — Deadly Ties …

Release Date: May 17th

To get advance information and sneak peeks, click here: http://www.maggiethom.com/books/deadly-ties/ – Cover reveal coming soon!

She went to jail for the right reason but the wrong murder…

With her mom in the hospital from a recent attack, Kyara has to wonder if her grandmother’s recent release from jail isn’t behind it. Pulled from her quiet, content life, Kyara finds herself on a mission, not only to find out who put her mom in a coma but who just might have a lifetime of secrets to hide.

Snooping into what’s going on, seems harmless until Kyara runs into Ryan, and discovers who he really is. Unknowingly, they have stirred up a long forgotten past, one that some will go to any lengths to keep hidden.
Secrets spanning thirty years may never come to light unless they can solve the deadly secret, now buried beneath the golf course and stay ahead of those trying to kill them.

How many more people will die before the lies are unraveled and those who are guilty, decide that killing an entire town, isn’t too far to go to hide their dirty past?

There’s much more to learn from Maggie — her blog is fun and informative and she has a newsletter to keep you up to date on the latest news from her corner of the world.

How about paying it forward by sharing this post today?

Thank you for reading and following Passionate Reads & Reviews

 

Love, Me: a New Military Romance by Lorraine Britt – and a Chance to Give Back to Military Veterans!

Photo Banner announcing the release of Love, Me by Lorraine Britt

Title:  Love, Me

Author:  Lorraine Britt   

Series: The Soldier Series, #3

**Although part of a series, each novel may be read as a standalone**

Genre:  Adult Contemporary Romance, Military Romance  

Audience: 18+

Release Date:  January 18, 2015

A New Release – and a New Lease on Life for Military Veterans

The Soldier Series offers readers an opportunity to honor our veterans and help them when they return…

There is something very special about Lorraine Britt’s soldier series. It’s more than a collection of standalone love stories – it’s a celebration of soldiers, a tribute to the lives they live, and a passion of the author’s. RIGHT NOW, it’s also YOUR opportunity to honor our military veterans and help them transition back into life at home.

Here’s how it works:

All ebooks in the series are priced at $1.99, including Love, Me.  50% of the profits on ALL  Soldier Series books will go to the One to Fifteen Foundation.  Also, 50% of the profits from the sale of paperbacks in The Soldier Series will be donated to One to Fifteen, a sports program designed for returning veterans. The print version of Love, Me is priced at $8.99.

About Griffins Rugby and the One to Fifteen Foundation

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Griffins Rugby is a Rugby Club that values the commitment and sacrifices of our Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans. The transition back from the combat zone to everyday life can prove to be a challenge, with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a major concern. Griffin’s Rugby Club is a program that develops squads of veterans that play competitive matches, giving our former soldiers an environment where they can experience all of the benefits of sports – a sense of connection and purpose, a place to relieve stress through physical and mental exercise, and a place to simply have fun – without bearing the burden of additional cost. Participating in rugby requires discipline, hard work, structure and teamwork – not so different from military training. Your team becomes your family.

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Photos of Griffins Rugby players in action

 

Words from a Soldier’s Heart …

When I first walked on to the pitch that hot afternoon in July, I quickly found that rugby is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for the weak willed. Like the Marine Corps, rugby holds its foundation in discipline, sweat, and above all team work. Despite being sorely out matched, as my conditioning was not up to par, I was hooked. I loved the feel of breaking through my physical limits, I loved looking to my left and to my right, seeing men that would risk life and limb for me. I loved having them look at me and know the same.

Rugby has been the greatest gift I ever received, and with that in mind I hope to spread the word about its wonders to all. While any man, woman, or child can reap the benefits of rugby there is a special group who could use it more than other; our veterans. The similarities between rugby and the military are countless in number, but above all it serves as life purpose for those who fancy themselves tough enough. Before I played rugby, I was a portly drunkard, with nothing in mind but my own selfish desires. Now I rest and rise under the blanket of support provided by my team. I lift and run every day, not just to better myself but to better my team.

After my discharge I thought the days of brute physicality, and loving camaraderie were long gone. But by freak random occurrence I found myself on the pitch that fateful afternoon in July, not knowing how much I would affect me. Not long after I started playing the team’s founder came to me with a plan; to offer rugby to veterans. I was shocked, this Englishman who had never spent a day I uniform had seen all the similarities between rugby and the military, he had a deep appreciation for our veterans, and wanted to help them as much as I did. He proposed the One to Fifteen Program, a program that would allow veterans to play rugby cost free, while also assisting them with crucial employment networking, and above all giving them a team to fight for again. When mentioned that the program should also be named in memorial, my heart dropped.

Naming the One to Fifteen Program after my close friend who was killed in Afghanistan, Adam Peak was the greatest honor I could think to ensure his legacy lived on. Like all those who wear the Griffins Badge on their chest, Adam Peak was neither weak willed nor faint of heart. I know in my heart of hearts he is smiling down from heaven, supremely content that even in death his spirit continues to live on and continues to support his brothers. Griffins Rugby is a very special squad, we’re more like a family, and with the inception of the One to Fifteen Adam Peak Rugby Foundation our family will continue to grow and fill its ranks with our countries greatest.     ~ John Wangler

 

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Juliet Evans has always been a bit of a loner, but the last few years have been particularly shrouded in isolation and silence.  Apart from her daily work at the local diner, her life is spent inside the walls of her tiny apartment, just trying to survive…until the one day that U.S. Army Private Tim Collins walks into the diner and takes a seat at one of her tables. By the time the day is over her life has been changed forever.

Private Collins is just a few hours away from being deployed for the first time, to a particularly violent conflict.  To say he’s nervous would be an understatement.  In his last day stateside all he wants is a little bit of normal.  What he finds is the kind heart and sweet spirit of Juliet Evans.  She is by his side until the last possible moment, the moment when he asks her to write him while he’s away, promising to do the same in return.

Though Juliet is afraid to believe his promises, he holds true to them.  Letter after letter after letter passes between the two of them…until one day the letters from Tim stop completely, leaving Juliet broken and grieving for the love she had found but would never truly have.


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Teaser Quote and Photo from Love, Me by Lorraine Britt

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Lorraine Britt is a fourth generation Native Texan who is also immensely proud of her Louisiana heritage and solid Southern roots. As an enthusiastic lover of the written word, inspiration struck Lorraine and she began to bubble over with her own ideas. Grasping hold of her lifelong dreams, it wasn’t long before she was putting pen to paper and letting her fingers fly over a keyboard to bring her own characters to life. When she isn’t busy scribbling notes for her next idea you might find her whipping up delicious creations in the kitchen or putting miles on her car on road trip adventures. Lorraine is equally passionate about music, movies and sports. You’ll no doubt find these familiar themes woven throughout her books. Lorraine and her family currently make their home in West Texas.

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Author Lorraine Britt with members of the Griffins Rugby Squad
Author Lorraine Britt with members of the Griffins Rugby Squad

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The Passions of Honor (#1) – $1.99

Passions-coverArmy Special Forces Master Sergeant Eli Stevens is married to his childhood sweetheart, Katherine. She is his princess, his world. He is her first and only love, her best friend, her everything. They finally have what they’ve always dreamed of…a baby on the way.

But this happy news comes on the eve of Eli and his best friend Sergeant William Bradshaw’s deployment for a special mission… A mission that Eli knows in his heart will be his last.

Before Eli’s premonition comes true he tells William to watch over his family, to be a father to his child, to love Katherine. William reluctantly agrees, moving into the Stevens home to take care of Katherine. The longer he is there the more she depends on him. But she holds William emotionally at a distance, scared of the feelings he stirs inside her. And despite fighting against it he falls in love with Katherine and the child, even though feels he is betraying his friend.

Can they find their way through the nightmares to give in to what is between them? Or will the past come back to haunt William in more ways than one?

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Always Faithful, Always Yours (#2) – $1.99

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Landry Phillips and Madeline Ponder were lifelong best friends. They had seen each other through every day of their young lives, until Landry joined the Marines and was deployed to Afghanistan. Madeline waited, and worried, until the one late night phone call she had prayed she would never receive. In that one instant their lives changed forever. Could Madeline help Landry find his way through the darkness that threatened to swallow him whole? Or would he be lost to her before he realized she had truly been his from the very beginning?

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