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What Lies Beneath?

Pink Fuzzy Slipper WritersBlog posted on The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers

The question is one I am sure all of us have asked many times about a number of things. If you are Michelle Pfeiffer then you know a murdering Harrison Ford is lurking beneath the surface of your suburban life. If you are the rock group, Breaking Benjamin, then you’re searching beneath a twisted smile in a Dear Agony Album. If you are a Criminal Minds’ BAU star then you’re deep into the hidden horrors of a killer’s psyche. And LOL if you happen to be in the Highlands with bagpipes then perhaps you are staring at Loch Ness wondering if the legendary monster really lives beneath the murky waves.

In some way we all wonder what lies beneath the surface of what we see. What truths lie beneath the headlines of a gripping news story or an explosive scandal? Finding the answers to that question is never easy because life if not black and white, and there are a multitude of layers coloring the answers.

So, whenever I sit down and write a book, I always ask myself “What lies beneath?” What lies beneath, the façade of a character? The dynamics of the plot? The world in which the story is set? The answers I find often reach into the very heart of the story I tell. When I settled on the title of Collateral Damage, the first book in my Silent Warrior Series, I was drawn to explore the deeper meanings beneath phrase that had been born from war.

The military defines collateral damage as “[the] unintentional damage or incidental damage affecting facilities, equipment, or personnel, occurring as a result of military actions directed against targeted enemy forces or facilities. Such damage can occur to friendly, neutral, and even enemy forces. Since its inception, collateral damage has come to mean so much more and is now applied to many areas of life.

Put simply, every action a person takes has intent, something they are trying to accomplish, and ninety-nine percent of the time there is a world of unintentional consequences as a result of that action.

In my story, Jack Hunter, Lauren Collins and her twin sons are victims of collateral damage, and not just in regards to the injuries Jack suffers on a military mission in Lebanon. Lauren and her sons’ lives are torn apart by the decisions made by her soon to be ex. It is a stark fact in life that all of us are affected by the collateral damage from the choices other people make. And others are damaged by the choices we make, too. As Lauren and Jack realize this in their lives, they also learn from each other one very important thing. How they deal with the fallout of the collateral damage is what determines the quality of their future.

Can you see this in your own life?

Now that I likely went too deep, let me tell you that my Silent Warrior Series are romantic thrillers featuring military heroes and heroines with extraordinary hearts. Book one, Collateral Damage came out in December. The story starts two weeks after Jack has been seriously wounded on a FUBAR mission in Lebanon. Jack sees the picture of prominent American businessman, Bill Collins, on the news as having died yesterday in Brazil. Jack’s sketchy memory is telling him he killed Collins in Lebanon two weeks ago but nobody believes Jack.

Jack leaves the hospital and goes AWOL to uncover the truth. Instead of answers, he gets assassins, more questions, and a terrorist plot that threatens to ignite a world war. As he fights to keep Lauren, Bill’s estranged widow and her twin sons alive, he lays more than his life on the line and stands to lose everything when the truth behind Bill’s death comes to light.

Meet Jack “DT” Hunter…

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death…

Collateral DamagePink Floyd’s “Time” hammered through Sergeant First Class Jack Hunter’s brain as he tightened his grip on the treadmill and ran harder, his heart pounding, his lungs burning. Rage tinged with fear made for a potent Power Bar that fueled his drive. Sweat poured from his brow and his body screamed for relief, but he couldn’t stop. Not yet. His vision dimmed, and President Anderson’s address on the overhead TV calling for a swift but rational retaliation to al-Qaeda’s latest attack became nothing but a blur in his mind.

Life often hinged on the details, those seemingly insignificant microscopic events that most people trampled over obliviously. He’d trained to notice the details and to remember them. Yet no matter how hard he tried, his memory of the mission in Lebanon remained a kaleidoscope of combat images and one man’s mocking blue eyes…Jack clenched his teeth against the rising pain inside him. He took being team leader to heart both on and off the battlefield. The mission and his men were his responsibility. Rico, Pecos and Neil were his Delta brothers, and it killed him that he could only remember bits and pieces of what happened.

They’re here, DT. They’re alive! Will Taylor’s—aka Pecos—distorted voice echoed in Jack’s mind, sucking him down a long tunnel of fragmented memories… Suddenly Jack’s head jerked back as his headphones were snatched off and Lt. Col. Roger Weston, his Delta Team commander, whom the teams called Commander Weston because anything less didn’t fit his hard-edged charisma, got in his face. “Son of a bitch, DT. Are you trying to kill yourself?”

You can read the full excerpt and for a chance to win an ARC email to and tell me how you would choose for Lauren and Jack to meet each other for the first time.

Buy it today on Amazon Collateral Damage: Silent Warrior, Book 1
Look for Collateral Damage in print on 11/1/11.
Look for Book Two of the Silent Warrior Series, Tactical Deception to be released November 2011.
Enjoy the story and huge thanks to Pink Fuzzy Slippers for having me today.
JL Saint aka Jennifer St. Giles

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