Former public health nurse, now award-winning romance novelist, Cheryl Reavis, describes herself as a “late bloomer.” Her Silhouette Special Edition, A CRIME OF THE HEART, reached millions of readers in Good Housekeeping magazine and won the Romance Writers of America’s coveted RITA award the year it was published. She has also won the RITA award for her Harlequin-Silhouette novels, PATRICK GALLAGHER’S WIDOW, THE PRISONER, and THE BRIDE FAIR. BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE BARTERED BRIDE and a Berkley novel, PROMISE ME A RAINBOW, have been RITA award finalists. She has received numerous awards from Romantic Times magazine.
Her award-winning literary short stories have appeared in The Crescent Review, The Bad Apple, The Mosaic, The Sanskrit, Laurels, The Emrys Journal, and Writer’s Choice.
Publishers Weekly described her Berkley single-title novel, PROMISE ME A RAINBOW, as “…an example of delicately crafted, eminently satisfying romantic fiction.”
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Hello, everyone, and Nan, thank you for having me.
First of all, I want the say that writers are often asked where they get their ideas, and I thought I’d tell you how BAND OF BROTHERS and its companion book, THE MARINE, came about. Basically, a book-signing at the mall in Jacksonville, NC (home of the Marine base, Camp Lejeune) was the catalyst. I had already done a book-signing in Fayetteville, NC (home of the 82nd Airborne) for my Fort Bragg series, and I thought the two experiences would be similar. I was wrong. Marines and paratroopers are not alike. I found the paratroopers all business, and the Marines—oh, my goodness. If there is such a thing as a bashful Marine, I did not meet one. In my experience, they love to talk, seemingly to writers sitting in front of bookstores and will appropriate a chair from who knows where and take a seat at your author’s table to do that. And they travel in groups, so you get to field a lot of questions at the same time—like “Have you got a daughter, ma’am?” I had to say alas, no, but, I had a disappointed son, who would have been a Marine if he hadn’t had asthma.
I learned all kinds of things that afternoon. One of the most memorable was a young Marine who told me he had been a “Marine brat” and had lived “all over the place.” “But,” he said, “I’ve never been in a place like Jacksonville. Here, a Marine—and his family, if he’s got one—belongs to everybody. And they make sure everything’s all right with you. It’s great.”
This book-signing was one of the best I’ve ever had, and I came away wondering if I could write a book that would capture the kind of atmosphere that young Marine told me about. I hope I have, and that being said, here is an excerpt from BAND OF BROTHERS:
“I’m older than you are,” Emerald said for no reason whatsoever, as far as he could tell.
He frowned. “Where are we going with this?”
“Absolutely nowhere. I just wanted you to understand why.”
“Well, you might be older than I am in years, but not in living.”
“Afghanistan put some age on you, did it?”
He didn’t say anything until she reached for her purse.
“Yeah. That’s where I learned war wasn’t a video game.”
He stood up then and headed for the cash register at the end of the bar. Unfortunately, Cricket was manning it—not that the alternative would have been any better. At least one good thing had happened tonight. He now knew the Tiffany Boat had definitely sailed, and he didn’t give a rat’s ass that it had.
“What?” he said because Cricket was making no attempt to take the money he was holding out.
“You know you don’t have to pay, if you’re with Emerald.” There was just enough emphasis on the word “with.” Danny heard it, in spite of the music.
“Yeah, I do.” He shoved the money and the check at him, and this time Cricket took it.
“I think I know your old man.”
“Let me guess. He’s a regular.”
“He was. For a while.”
“Before he got banned, you mean.”
Cricket gave a small maybe-yes, maybe-no shrug. “You’re not planning on fooling around with Tiffany and Emerald both, are you? You’ve got a wide open field with Tiffany. I’m supposed to ask you if you’re going to call her.”
“Tiffany left my dog tied to a porch post and took off with another guy while I was deployed. What do you think?”
He didn’t expect Cricket to laugh, but he did. A throw-back-your-head-and-howl kind of laugh that turned heads all over the Humoresque.
“You’re all right, kid,” Cricket said, handing him his change. “Hey!” he called as Danny turned to go. “How’s the dog?”
“Fine. Emerald’s got him.”
“What did you do to Cricket?’
“He laughed. Cricket never laughs.”
“Now there’s a surprise.”
“No, really. What?”
“He wanted to know if I was going to be fooling around with you and Tiffany both.”
“You heard me, Ms. Eades. I told him what Tiffany did to poor old Killer George, and he laughed.”
“He actually wanted to know if you were going to be fooling around with both of us?”
“And what did you say to that?”
“Well, I couldn’t say anything about you. Not until I know.”
“I know I’m going to regret asking, but know what?”
“If it’s all me and nothing from you.”
“That’s about the size of it.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. Because you don’t know for sure, either. Which is why I want to kiss you. Now.”
“Ms. Eades, I know you heard that. Ordinarily, I don’t go around wanting to kiss old ladies—which, compared to me, is apparently what you think you are. I want to kiss you. So I’ll know. Because I’ll always wonder if I don’t.”
She was looking at him. And frowning.
“Again. I want to kiss you—and I don’t want you to rush me while I’m doing it. I can’t tell anything if I rush.”
“Yeah. Stand still and don’t hit me, especially in my right arm. You think you can do that?”
“I…probably could, yes.”
“So we’re good to go, then.”
Band of Brothers
Marine Sergeant Joshua Caven
Josh finally has his shattered personal life in some kind of order. He has found the family he never knew he had, and thanks to them, he can do his duty and complete his deployment in Afghanistan, knowing his baby daughter is safe. It should be smooth sailing…until Chris Young–the living, breathing reason his wife abandoned him and their baby–is assigned to his unit.
Corporal Danny Benton
Danny knows the Marine Corps basically saved his life, but he still feels guilty for joining–escaping–and leaving his younger brother to deal with their alcoholic father. But there’s nothing he can do except be the best Marine he can be and to come home and marry his girl. He has no reason to think she won’t wait for him–until a Dear John letter arrives.
Hospital Corpsman Chris Young
It’s hard enough to be a sand sailor working with a group of Marines, but when his unit is headed up by the man he unwittingly betrayed, it definitely gets uncomfortable. Then an encounter with local hostiles goes horribly wrong and both men are wounded. His sergeant is in the hospital, fighting for his life. All because he saved Chris’s
A Marine does his duty, no matter what. But what none of them expects is to have their upended lives suddenly made even more complicated by…love.