Book: No Man Left Behind
Heroines: Carly, George, Mika
Author: Shyla Colt
To be a woman is to be strong. This is what my mother taught me in words and in actions. A woman, if she chooses to have a family will be the heartbeat, the glue, the driving force that steers the bus. That's no small task. She must be strong, capable, poised and ready to do what's right even when it's not easy. Because most of the time, it won't be. She told me I could be whatever I wanted to be and I believed her. Independence was a given. I would go to college or trade school, know how to cook, clean, budget a checkbook, handle my own finances, and fix what was broken.
My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She had me at fourteen, went on to co-own a business, and later work for the government. I watched her remain strong when my father's diabetes took its toll, and he went on to have surgery ,after surgery, ending in an amputation of his leg. He was a proud man and this sudden helplessness ( in his eyes) was a hard pill to swallow. Rehabilitation and readjustment was no walk in the park. But looking at my mother, you never would’ve known it. She handled his new needs, and later his death, with a grace, dignity, and a core of steel I hoped to one day have.
My mom, Suzette, can cook a meal that would make you think she went to culinary school and then turn around and change a broken doorknob. She was the fix-it person in my house, thank you very much. In my opinion, it's that kind of open-mindedness and instilled life skills that breeds strong women who can handle themselves and put a man in his place if need be. I say this because I see a new generation that thinks disrespect is the norm. As a woman this appalls and angers me, but as a mother, it goes to a whole other level. I will be forever grateful for the woman my mom helped me become.
It's this attitude of a woman being strength that I try to instill in each of my characters in some way. My latest book, No Man Left Behind, in particular. Our men and women in the military face a lot of challenges and aftereffects from the wars they fight to keep us safe. This anthology gives us an up closer and personal view of some of those issues and feature women strong enough to stand by their side.
George, Carly and Mika are three very different women, but each is strong in her own way. When Carly's longtime friend and secret crush, Trevor comes back home for a visit the romance she's only wished for begins. Things are perfect until she starts to notice things aren't quite right. Trained to see signs of distress in her job as a social worker, she knows Trevor needs help. It's a risk bringing this to his attention, but it's one she's willing to take. Because when you really care for someone, you want what's best for them. I admire her honesty and positivity in the face of losing what you want most.
George is a strong-willed woman who knows what she wants and refuses to settle. It's that attitude and ability to ignore society's demands that makes her strong. When Alex Denning catches her eye, she sees past the damage done to his face in an IED explosion as well as that done to his heart by his ex fiancée. She turns the tables, pursuing him with her understanding of military life and God-given charisma. Her sassy spunk and self-confidence are qualities I think most of us wish we had more of some days. :Winks:
Last but not least, we come to Mika. When her husband receives a life-altering injury that changes his personality and memory drastically, she digs deep to find the strength of character necessary to be there for him as he heals. Her selflessness coupled with her ability to be honest and frank while continuing to stand her own ground sets her apart and shows how powerful true love could really be.
I hope you will join me on the journey of these strong women and the men who risk everything to keep others safe. Fifty percent of each purchase will go to the Wounded Warrior project. My husband is a Marine and we put our heads together to come up with a way to give back to those who are too often forgotten. We hope to bring awareness back to them and the families who serve in their own way alongside them.
Even after our brave men and women leave the battlefield, the scars can linger physically and sometimes mentally. Here are three tales of courage, strength, perseverance, and love that deal with both.
After a long sting in Afghanistan, Cpl. Trevor Martin finds himself home for leave and contemplating reenlistment or civilian life. Weary and tired of the grim sights he's witnessed, he turns to his old friend Carly for comfort. When Trevor shows signs of PTSD, Carly urges him to get help, hoping that Repairing His Soul won't cost them their rapidly forming romance.
After a near death experience with an IED in the Middle East, Staff Sgt Alexander Denning is grateful to be alive but scarred inside and out after his fiancée's bitter rejection of his choice to continue serving. Georgette "George" Harper is attending Jane Wayne day for her sister when she's smitten with the McMap instructor Staff Sgt. Denning. Can she convince him what they have is worth the risk? Wooing Her Sergeant may be harder than she thinks.
When Mika gets a phone call that her husband Kasey's been hurt abroad, it's her worse nightmare. Prayers and the grace of God deliver him through, but the battle isn't over yet. The journey back to happiness and health will be painful, full of setbacks and damaged feelings, but Mika refuses to give up on the man she knows is her one true love. A true Marine's wife is Always Faithful, no matter the cost to herself.