I came up with the idea for the Santinis not too long after Christmas. I was thinking I needed to honor the twenty years we have spent traipsing around behind my husband. So, the idea to feature four places we have been stationed, through the stories of four brothers who all serve. It ended up being much more than I imagined.
My father, who is a retired Sr Msgt with over 23 years in the service, always said that your present assignment isn’t as great as your last or as exciting as your next. For those of you on the outside, I will explain. I am a stereotypical brat. I loved the military, proudly call myself and my kids brats. I love to move and travel. I have those “itchy feet” many brats end up with. I am always looking for the next adventure, the next fun place to be. Even now as we plan our retirement to Virginia, I am planning a summer of 2014 trip to the coast of Maine. Again, that military brat training. Plans don’t fail. You fail to plan. So, I often resemble that comment from my father. Where I am at is always a drag (except when we were in Virginia which I believe is the home of my heart). Sitting down to write the Santinis, I had to remind myself of things I loved about places I had lived.
For those of you who know my Harmless series, you know I have a special place in my heart for Hawaii. In fact, thanks to those books, I get to take “research trips.” Still, you have issues. No matter how much I might love visiting place, living there isn’t paradise—no matter where I am. The assignment the spouse has, the schools, personal family issues—these things can all detract from where I am living at the moment. So, writing the books, trying my best to give the reader the flavor of the area and show the things I loved about living in each spot, helped remind me that every assignment has good things. None of them were horrific, and I am thankful for the experiences it gave the entire family.
Check out the first of my books, Leonardo.
Leo Santini is a man who always has a plan. It is the way to live a well-ordered life. He never planned on dealing with the hardheaded physical therapist who is taking care of his friend. He definitely never planned on being so totally infatuated with her.
Maryanne Johnson doesn’t have time for a romance—especially with a military man. Sure, Leo is drop dead sexy, but more than one man in a uniform had hurt her before. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to resist him or his kisses. It doesn’t help that the man is as sweet as he is sexy. Falling for him is easy, but she does her best to keep herself from admitting it to him.
Leo knows she wants to keep things simple but when a Santini is in love nothing will stop him from achieving his goal—even the hardheaded woman he loves.
So, let me know your feelings about military romances. Like them, hate them? Do you like a particular branch or do you just like a man in…and out of uniform. Just answer in the comments and your name goes in the hat for a $10 GC to a online bookstore of your choice.
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Melissa Schroeder is the author of over 50 short stories, novellas and novels in genres from historical through futuristic. She is a military wife and former brat, counting the day until she can return to a place where the bugs die in the winter.