Author Linda Style and the Wounded Warrior Project

I met LINDA STYLE because of a snafu in a contest and we’ve been friends ever since. So when her latest release hit the shelf, and she announced she was donating a portion of the proceeds to the WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT, I knew I wanted to help her get the word out.

A SOLDIER’S SECRET is the third book in a series about the lives of three women who are best friends. Book one is THE MISTAKE SHE MADE and book two is THE PROMISE HE MADE.

In A SOLDIER’S SECRET, Natalia Sokoloff is a veteran of the Iraq war, has completed two tours of duty as a helicopter rescue pilot and has returned home with scars no one can see. David MacAllister, who saved Natalia’s life in Iraq, now works with her as a medic on the Mountain Air Search and Rescue team. This is their love story, but it’s also about a very serious problem facing many veterans every day.

A SOLDIER’S SECRET, in stores now, is also available for your Kindle or Nook.

Special Note: Anyone who leaves a comment will be eligible for a draw to win a signed copy of Linda’s A SOLDIER’S SECRET! So where do you find your inspiration? It can be writing related or just about life in general!

I asked Linda this question: Your Dear Reader letter said this was the most difficult book of the series to write. Can you tell us about the book and where you got your inspiration to write a story about PTSD?

* * *

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much for inviting me today, Sheila.

Indeed, A SOLDIER’S SECRET was a difficult book to write. I knew it was the 3rd and final book in my Spirit Creek connected stories about three women who are friends, so I’m a bit sad to see my characters go off on their own. Plus, it was about a subject that has seriously affected so many people and their families. I wanted to do it justice…without going overboard. I had to keep reminding myself that, first and foremost, this is a romance novel, not a treatise on PTSD.

My inspiration, however, came from knowing someone who had returned from the Viet Nam War and experienced the disorder. He was severely affected and could never fully retrieve his former life. It’s heartbreaking, not only for our returning soldiers, but also for their families. And knowing so many of our soldiers would eventually be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and may experience similar problems, I felt compelled to write about it.

I also discovered that the issues women veterans face when coming home are unique and have been largely ignored, so it was important for my heroine to be the one affected by the disorder. Studies show that among women vets who’d served in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost 20% have been diagnosed with PTSD. And now, with the pullout in Iraq, we can expect the numbers for PTSD in both sexes to rise.

The more I talked to people while doing my research, the more I realized I wanted to do more. That’s why I decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from A SOLDIER’S SECRET to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) began when several veterans and friends – moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq – took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members grew into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist veterans as they recover and transition back to civilian life. The WWP offers a variety of programs and services to help veterans with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.

I don’t have a lot of time to volunteer, but I do have the ability to help draw attention to the problem through my books and by donating to the program. It’s a small gesture compared with what our military heroes have given to us.

I hope readers enjoy A SOLDIER’S SECRET and maybe find a little inspiration to take a look at what they can do to get involved in helping our soldiers after they come home. Readers can find out more about the Wounded Warrior Project here.

Thank you again, Sheila, my good friend, for the opportunity to talk about both my book and the WWP.

I love to hear from readers and can be reached through my website, Facebook, Twitter, the Bootcamp for Novelists website and my author page on Amazon.

He Said, She Said What?!

I’ve been known – on occasion – to disagree with my sweetie.  I know, shocking to admit. Still, I feel the need to get a few things off my chest today.

He Said, She Said

1) He’s total logic.
2) My brain is like a pinball machine on speed.

3) He works from point A to point B.
4) I start at the beginning, jump to the end, fiddle with the middle, then fill in all the holes in between. And then, move the beginning to the end, the end to the middle, and shift around every other word in the manuscript.

5) He likes to give orders.
6) Ummm, you want me to do what?!

7) I know how to drive him crazy in 2.5 seconds flat, and sometimes I do it for the pure joy of seeing him hit the insanity button.
8) He can drive me crazy, but it’s usually because I’ve waited for the perfect moment to deliberately push his buttons.

9) He’d want to write about guys doing guy stuff, rolling cars, shooting guns, being like, you know, James Bond, or Clint Eastwood, or maybe Rocky.
10) I just want to write dialogue, mouths moving, talking heads. Basically women talking to men and their men listening.

11) He’d want to work … well, together. In the same room. At the same desk. Maybe even in the same chair!!!
12) I’d want to work in a room, with the door closed, with no one for company but my computer. Oh, and email, and all my email buddies, and everyone I know on Twitter and Facebook and on the internet. Alone, yes, I really do need to work alone.

Despite our differences, we’ve raised two sons and worked as a united team whenever it was THEM against us.

We’ve built two houses together without killing each other. We know our roles. He pounds the nails and lifts all the heavy stuff. I’m his Go-For-The-Hammer-Honey girl.

Ying and yang. For some reason, it works for us.

Do you have someone you enjoy working with or do you prefer to work alone?

This post was inspired by Alicia and Roy Street’s recent blog post about their husband and wife writing team, Mars and Venus Writing Together.

(Originally published at Women Unplugged.)

Happy 2012!

Another year has come and gone. 2011 was fun and productive. I learned a lot about indie publishing and in the process, even managed to get some writing done. 🙂

A huge thank you goes out to D.D. Scott and Tonya Kappes from the WG2EP blog. They have been a huge source of information, sharing the details of their indie publishing journey with everyone who stops to read their blog.

Another thank you goes out to my CaRWA chapter mates. This group of women — plus one terrific guy — are warm, caring, and welcoming. Although I live four hours away from the group and am unable to attend the monthly chapter meetings, not a day goes by without chatter on our chapter email loop.

I’d also like to thank the Bandit Creek group, whose special comradery has resulted in a 33 book series by 32 authors. My book comes out on July 15, 2012. I will be forever grateful to Vivi Anna aka Tawny Stokes for being the driving force behind this endeavor.

Also, a special thanks to Kristen Lamb and the WANA1011 team. It’s true. We Are Not Alone! Through The WANA class, I’ve met so many awesomely supportive people.

And last but not least, a very very special thanks to my long time friends Ann Voss Peterson, Susan Vaughan, Linda Style, and Virginia Kelly. I met these terrific women during the Outreach International contest way back in 1989 and we have been friends ever since. They have read and critiqued and encouraged me while I tried to understand plot and structure … and they finally succeeded in getting this important knowledge past my thick skull, into my brain, out my fingertips, and onto my computer screen. I love you girls so much. You are the best writer friends a girl could ever hope for!

So from my house to all of yours, I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. See you in 2012.

Fun With Santa

20111227-165548.jpgA few years ago, my husband decided it was time to decorate the house, you know, like regular folks do at Christmas, with more than just a Christmas tree. Since I’m not much of a decorator, he went out himself and bought a whole whack of Santa ornaments. When our youngest son came home from work that night and saw the house littered with Santa figures, he said, “Our house puked Santa.”

Since then, it’s been a running household joke. This year, when the boy removed Santa from his bathroom counter and stuck the figure on a shelf where we would be sure to find it, we decided to have a little fun. Every day, the boy would come home and find Santa in a different location.

The first day we tucked Santa into the boy’s bed. When the boy arrived home and found him, not a word was said.

The next day, we went looking for Santa. The boy had hidden him so well, we had to search the whole house. Finally, we found him on the top shelf of a book cabinet. This time, Santa got a note hung from his beard and we put him on the counter next to the fridge, where the boy usually leaves his lunch kit. The note said, “My darling boy, I missed you so much today, I cried while you were away. Your parents won’t play with me. Please take me to work with you tomorrow.”

Again, Santa was not mentioned but it was obvious the boy’s after-work mood was getting a much needed lift.

The next morning, we located Santa in our bathtub. Because this Santa was of Scottish heritage, we left the boy a note that said, “I’m Scottish and I like to go commando. I dare you to look under my skirt.”

And so the countdown to Christmas continued, with the boy hiding Santa every night and us finding fun ways to entertain him… or perhaps we were simply entertaining ourselves. 🙂

Do you have a holiday Grinch in your family and if so, what kind of tricks do you use to beat humor the grinchiness out of him/her?

(Originally posted at Women Unplugged.)

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