Please welcome Jamie Lynn Miller and
Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller are dedicated soldiers working covert ops for Shadow Unit -- a joint UK/US anti-terrorism task force.
Partners in the field and out, they had been through hell together for the last four years and made it through standing side by side. But when their latest undercover op to bring down an arms dealer plunges them into a world of drugs, sex and violence, Shawn must literally get in bed with the enemy in order to complete the mission. And Connor is forced to watch, helpless, as his partner is broken into pieces.
Will love be enough to put them both back together or will this be their final mission?
WARNING: Contains scenes of drug use, graphic sex and realistic situations
Connor cut himself off as Shawn let out an angry yell and swung a wild punch at him. Connor was forced to release Shawn’s wrist to avoid his partner’s fist, which would have caught him right in the face. He stumbled back a step, hitting the refrigerator, nearly losing his footing on the items strewn about on the floor. Just as he straightened up, Shawn grabbed a coffee mug off the counter and hurled it at Connor’s head. Connor dropped to a crouch and the mug smashed into the refrigerator.
Keeping low, Connor went at Shawn like an American football player, ducking under his partner’s arms and catching him around his middle. Shawn’s back hit the edge of the counter and both of them slid to the floor. Shawn’s fists began pummeling at Connor’s arms and chest as Connor got Shawn first onto his back then flipped over onto his stomach, straddling his waist. Shawn tried to buck him off, yelling angrily and Connor was amazed at the strength the desperate craving for the heroin gave him.
“Please, Connor, please,” Shawn pleaded with him, breathing hard. “I just need a little bit. Just a little and I’ll be fine…”
Connor quickly pulled the syringe out of his pocket and used his mouth to pull off the cap, which he spit out onto the floor.
He swallowed hard. “I’m so sorry, mate,” he said, voice rough, then injected Shawn with the sedative.
“I need it, Connor, I need it…” Shawn mumbled as his eyes closed moments later, succumbing to the effects of the sedative.
Connor slid off of Shawn’s body then, slumping against the counter next to him, his face in his hands, gutted to the core by what had just transpired. A lump formed in his throat as he lifted his head and looked at his partner, lying there unconscious. Shawn’s face was drawn, flushed and wet with sweat, battered and bruised with dark circles under his eyes that had looked at him with such pain and desperation.
Shawn was the strongest, bravest man Connor had ever known, now reduced to this broken soldier before him.
All because of duty and loyalty to his unit and his mission. For the first time Connor feared that Shawn had been shattered into too many pieces to ever be put back together again.
His chest constricted at the thought, the grief and anger inside him suddenly too much to contain any longer. He grabbed for Shawn’s hand and held on tight as he broke down, the first sob tearing through him. He cried for Shawn, who was fighting a battle he might not be able to win and he cried for the two of them, wondering how they’d survive if Shawn didn’t.
He cried until there was nothing left inside him, until his eyes ran dry and his throat burned. He gathered Shawn into his arms then and held him tight, wishing he could take his place, but instead willing every ounce of strength he had into him, the only thing he could do.
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Interview with the author:
Hi Jamie, welcome to our blog. Please tell us about your new release, Broken Soldier. What was your inspiration behind it?
The majority of the inspiration for this book came from my time spent attending citizen police academy classes. I would listen to the detectives talk about undercover work and how far they needed to go and how dangerous it could be and how it could end up breaking them, living this other life. And this was just to take down drug dealers or gangs. So I upped the ante even further by making this a military book and the "target" an arms dealer supplying weapons to terrorists. Just imagine the lengths a covert ops team would go to, to stop this man. I really put Connor and Shawn (most especially Shawn) through the emotional and physical wringer to complete their mission.
What can readers expect when they read a story from you? What would you like readers to know about your writing style?
Well-rounded characters with faults and flaws. And in-depth research. Since my tag line is "Men in uniform…and out" I do a lot of research (much of it hands on) to make my cops and firemen and paramedics (and now soldiers) come alive and be authentic.
And until this book I would have also said "Hearts and flowers romance with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure".
But that statement changed pretty drastically with Broken Soldier. I believe in challenging myself as a writer and taking chances. And that's what I've done here. This book is dark and gritty. It tackles drug use/addiction and how far Shawn is willing to go, submitting himself to the bad guy emotionally and physically until it breaks him and nearly kills him.
This is a big change for me, and I hope that my regular readers will give this book a chance. Because even though it's not my usual style, I am, and always will be, the Queen of Happy Endings. I will put my boys through hell, but love and dedication will always put them back together again. So give it a try! You just might like it!
How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually a couple of months. I have a regular full time job and my writing time is very limited to just an hour or two each morning. And I'm also a big time plotter. My outlines are extensive, like pages long. So that takes up a good chunk of time before I even write the first word of the book. But then because I have done such detailed outlines, the writing of the actual book flows pretty easily after that.
Despite the fact that you do extensive plotting and outlines, do your characters still sometimes take over and send the story in a different direction?
Usually not with major plot points, but with dialogue for sure. I had an idea in my head how the conversation(s) would go and suddenly my guys are taking things in another direction. And it's usually for the better! Rule of thumb - always listen to your characters. :-)
More about Jamie Lynn Miller:
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
Leave a comment on this post with your email address, and Jamie will pick one winner for an e-book from her backlist. Contest ends 3/26/16. Good luck!!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.