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Becoming One with the Heat

There's a phrase I read years ago about hiking through a marshland. The author said that you finally just give in and become one with the mud. Heat is like that. I wilt and I melt and I whimper, and then I take a half dozen friends hiking up Breakneck Ridge overlooking the Hudson on a 105-degree day. Okay, I was also much younger and stupider then, but weren't we all. And it was an amazing hike! (And I got a great girlfriend out of it too. )

I often think about that day as I now live in the temperate Pacific NW where going out of doors on those few rare 90-degree days of the year is unimaginable. Of course, on the hottest day so far this year, my wife and I did decide to voyage forth on a 4-mile hill walk through one of Portland's oldest neighborhoods. It was a great hike! Of course any time spent with my wife is. (Yes, there's a reason I'm a guy writing romance.)

Well, this summer I get to double the heat. Book 2 of my Night Stalkers series is launching from Sourcebooks on August 1st, just a measly two weeks away. And I turned the heat way up. Twice as hot? (You'll have to tell me, but I have this whole collision of '2's thing going on in this paragraph, so let's assume so.)

(Is that an amazing pair of covers or what? Thanks SB!)

How do I make a military romantic suspense hot(ter)? I write about the U.S. Army's secret helicopter regiment, the real-life SOAR 160th, the Night Stalkers. They're serving in Afghanistan, engaged in a war that you've never heard of...and never will. But far more importantly, I write about the first women to ever fly for them. And the men they deserve.

Being a guy writer, I find the strong woman to be an endlessly fascinating character. Whether sitting quietly cleaning her rifle on a day that would melt mortals, or setting off on an impossible mission to save us all, I sally forth in an attempt to capture the woman's strength that so amazes me. (My wife astonishes me constantly with her simple, every day strength. Strong enough to think that going hiking on the hottest day of the year is actually fun!)

Of course, the truly great women absolutely deserve a truly great man. (At least that's my theory. See, now I get to be amazing just because of the lady I married. Neat, hunh?) Double the heat and double the fun. (I can't believe I get paid to sit in a corner and have such a good time telling stories.)

Of course, the best part of my day, is when I get to head out the door with my wife and we hold hands as we go off and about exploring somewhere new.

Other than reading romance, what do you do to be come one with the heat?
Is it twice the fun?


  1. Dog days mean minimal attire when at the domicile, they means I take my walks very early or very late, not, "when it warms up a little." Heat means the cats all hang outside, each stretched out in his or her preferred patch of shade, and when I let the dog out, he aims directly for the stream, where he frolics himself to exhaustion.
    Come to think of it, the dog smells better in winter.
    Congrats on the second book--is there a third on the way? A fourth?

  2. Congratulations on the new release! It sounds great. We have no air conditioning, and as I'm sweating right now, the last thing I want to do is become one with the heat. :)

    A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I turned on the sprinkler and laid in the hammock. That's sounding pretty good about now.

  3. I live in Houston, so we have a lot of heat. I find that being out in it helps to acclimate me faster.

  4. The heat flies solo in my world. My fat cells whine and moan and carry on like little girls when the thermometer starts to rise. They are scared to death I'll go outside and they'll reach the top of the endangered species list.
    Congratulations on your second book...sounds pretty hot to me...I'm whispering so my fat cells don't hear that word!

  5. I live in Arizona. I stay OUT of the heat. :} Fun post, and oh, how I adore how you adore your wife.

  6. Congrats on the new release! Love the premise and am adding it to my TBP list :)

    I guess it's a good thing we don't have a/c because that way I am acclimated to the heat. I just received a text from our youngest, the auto body shop where he works just hit 104 degrees! It's only 90 up here in the woods.


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