Leaving in South Florida, it’s so easy for me to sympathize with this Heroine…
The book is Hurricane Hero by Mary Winter, a Contemporary romance.
She needed a hero after the storm. When he arrives in the form of her first love, a sexy former Navy Seal, she has a second chance at love and someone to help her weather the storms to come.
After nearly three weeks without power, Kelsey Jackson hopes for a hero. The hurricane should have only been a category one and hadn’t been predicted to sit in one place for nearly a week. Yet it’d intensified and parked, leaving them without power far longer than she’d planned. Now, with food and water running low, and the generator out of fuel leaving her mother on backup oxygen tanks, she needs help—and fast. When Commander Ryder Hanson shows up with the medical evacuation team, he’s the hero she needs. He slipped out of her life once; she’s determined not to let him get away again.
Ryder, a former Navy Seal, couldn’t believe when he’d heard Kelsey’s voice coming across the dispatch line. He knew he had to be the one to take care of her and her mother. With her mother safely at a hospital, he returns to bring her supplies for her and her cats. He’ll only be in the area for a few weeks, but he’s determined to rekindle their old flame to see where it leads. If he isn’t mistaken, her passion runs as hot as his.
Storm recovery is never smooth and when her mother’s health takes a turn for a worse, Kelsey is forced to come face to face with her worst fears. With Ryder’s volunteer time ending, will her hurricane hero blow out of her life as quickly as he’d returned? And if he does, will she be left all alone? E
Kelsey. Damn. When he’d heard her 911 call, how close to tears she was at the prospect of her mother needing help, he’d called around until he found an agency with a spare helicopter and hightailed it down to her location. The glow of the flashlight hadn’t revealed much, except her body had matured since he’d last seen her before enlisting, her curves more generous, her hair longer. He’d heard through the grapevine that she’d married a photojournalist and had often flown all over the world with him. Apparently he was either on assignment or out of the picture. Ryder hoped the latter.
He carried the gear in one trip, the weight and desolation making him think of missions far from home. This time he didn’t have to worry about insurgents or IEDs. Probably just stray copperheads who thought the summer night would be prime hunting, and his boots provided enough protection from them. He found her driveway and hurried to her front door. No lights shone, and he knocked hard. “Kelsey!”
A moment later, she opened the door. “Cat food. Thank you.” She grabbed the bag and invited him in. “My batteries died. Figured I’d switch things out in the morning. Mom okay?”
Her first thoughts were for her cats and her mother and that reminded him of the selfless girl he’d known, the one who’d nursed a stray cat with a broken tail and who had cried when her 4-H rabbit had passed away. “She’s fine. Headed to the regional hospital. Are you okay? How are you holding up?”
He heard her voice break a moment before the sob hit. “I’m okay,” she replied through tears. “I’m doing okay.”
“Oh, Kelsey.” He pulled her into his arms, wishing he could stand like a bulwark between her and the too-rough edges of life. She fit against him as perfectly as he’d remembered the last time he’d come home on shore leave.
Her body shook with the force of her sobs. He rubbed her back, thinking if her husband were away right now, he was an asshole for not being here for her. How she’d stood strong and proud, responsible in her mission like any honorable soldier, not quite breaking down until she was sure those in her care were safe.
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” she said, her words muffled against her shirt. “Just a cat one at landfall, they’d said. But then the storm didn’t move.” She hiccuped and in those words, he heard the worry and anguish of wondering if she’d be able to take care of her mom, the fear of not being able to do so, then facing the consequences head on.“It will be all right. I’m here,” he whispered. “You’re safe.”
Chatting with the Author
Mary lives in the Ozarks on a homestead with her spoiled horses, a flock of highly entertaining chickens, a not-so-itty-bitty-kitty-committee, and her husband. Her first published novel, Ghost Touch, was released in December 2002–back when you had to explain to people what an ebook was. Since then she’s written more than the fifty novels/novellas in multiple genres of romance, as well as nonfiction books under another pen name. She’s been published as Mary Winter, Adera Orfanelli, and W.M. Kirkland.
In addition, she runs Unscramblet Author Solutions, helping authors unscramble their “to do” lists and their promotions.
When not writing, or helping authors, she runs Charmed Chicken, helping busy women quit running around like the proverbial “chicken with its head cut off” by tapping into their intuition and discovering the hidden, energetic side of food so they can feel better, eat better, and live the charmed lives they deserve! (Learn more at www.charmedchicken.com)
I had the pleasure of having Mary here with me today, and here’s what she told me.
Pour Your Heart Into A Book
by Mary Winter
One of the most common pieces of advice was to write what you know. So, when I had the opportunity to write a story featuring an ex-military hero, I thought back to the times when I’d dealt with severe weather as a life-long Midwesterner and how a hero should would come in handy. Except, that didn’t seem big enough; the emotional stakes not high enough. So instead, I put my story in North Carolina and instead of a round of severe weather, it was the aftermath of a hurricane.
Mom supported my writing and loved telling people that her daughter was a published author. At the time I started the story, I was her 24/7 caretaker, since she was bed and wheelchair ridden due to a fall nearly eighteen months before. My biggest fear was dealing with the power outages or heaven forbid, a need to evacuate with her. I started the story in October of last year.
Then my mother died. While not unexpected, it was sudden as such things are. You never think that’s the day it’s going to happen. So there I was, a half-finished book on deadline. I did the only thing I could do. I finished it.
The day this blog posts yesterday would have been my mother’s birthday. She would have been 69. Sometimes the storms aren’t brought by the weather, and in the end, you have to go through them anyway. I’m thankful my own hero (husband) helped me get through this, though he still is a far bigger fan of thunderstorms than I am.
They tell authors to write what you know. Pour your heart into a book, they say. Even after this, I’m still inclined to agree. I hope you enjoy Ryder and Kelsey’s story as much as I’m sure my mother would have.