Happy Holidays!!! Here’s a little gift from me to you 😉
We’re getting close to the release date on Wind River Rancher! I wanted to give you a peek at his story!
SHATTERED BUT STILL FIGHTING TO BE WHOLE ONCE MORE…
Wind River Rancher, Book 2, Wind River Valley series, is an emotional story that will suck every reader in. I’m known for gritty, visceral and emotional writing, and this book is no exception. It just happened to catch the eye of Publisher’s Weekly and it received a ‘starred’ review (like winning an Oscar) on 12.3.16.
This series I’m writing is about military vets returning home from combat from all over the world, mostly focused on the Middle East. Having been in the US Navy during the Vietnam War era (I served stateside as a weather forecaster at USNAS Moffett Field (now known as Silicon Valley) near San Francisco, California.
Book 2, Wind River Rancher, the hero is an ex-Marine Corps captain who commanded a company of Marines over in Afghanistan for years. The deployments, the combat, eventually took a toll on him, too. Reese Lockhart was a twenty-year man, his only dream was to become a Marine officer and protect his people, guide them and support them. Only the Afghanistan war gradually wore him down and sucked the life out of him, as it did so many others. He was given an honorable medical discharge, against his wishes. His whole life-dream has been shattered. He’s fractured internally by the PTSD, and you will meet him two years later as his story unfolds. He’s degraded to being like so many other vets we see on the streets of every city in the USA: shamed, hopeless, depressed and he cannot hold a job. In this book, I took “the gloves off,” as we say, and delved into the hero’s state of mind, his distorted emotions, his thinking he was a failure in every possible way.
EXCERPT #2 from Wind River Rancher by Lindsay McKenna
Set up: Reese Lockhart, Marine Corps captain, now broken with PTSD and a civilian looking for work, has just been given a kind gift from Kassie’s Cafe. The owner of the Hay and Feed Store, Charlie Becker, called them up and told them that he had a military vet who was hungry. She quickly made up a meal and had it sent over to him. He’s waiting in Charlie’s store for the owner of the Bar C who needs to hire a vet wrangler. The owner, Shaylene Crawford, was a vet herself and has made it her mission to give PTSD vets a chance to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. He’s waiting to meet her:
“As Reese bit into the burger, he closed his eyes, made a low
sound of pleasure in the back of his throat, slumping against
the metal chair, in Nirvana. Reese knew if he gulped it down,
he’d more than likely throw it up, so he tamped down on the
animal desire to gulp. He chewed it slowly, savoring every
last bite of the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheddar cheese,
and bacon on it. It took him thirty minutes to clean up
everything. The apple pie was melt-in-your mouth, reminding
him of his mother’s own home-cooked pies.
An old ache centered in his heart. His parents wanted
him home, but God, that had been a disaster. Reese wasn’t
going to make them pay for his PTSD, and they didn’t understand
why he had to leave. He wasn’t the best at talking
about his shame over the symptoms that he couldn’t control.
His father had been in the military, retired, and was
now a hardworking mechanic. He had saved all his life for
retirement, and Reese wasn’t about to take his money that
he’d offered to him. He had to stand on his own two feet,
pull himself up by his bootstraps, and not accept handouts.
As he rose and placed the chair against the wall, he saw
the door open. A young woman with light brown hair,
slightly curly around her oval face, walked in. All his acute
senses focused on her. She was wearing a black baseball
cap, a blue chambray shirt like the one he wore, a heavy
Levi’s jacket, and a pair of loose-fitting jeans that indicated
she had a lush figure hidden beneath them.
His heart jolted as their eyes met briefly. She had sky-blue eyes, just
this side of turquoise, wide set and intelligent. She was
attractive, wore no makeup, but her high cheekbones were
flushed, as if she’d been running or working out hard.
His stomach clenched, and suddenly, Reese worried that
if she was the owner of the Bar C, he might not get the job.
That she’d be afraid of him like so many other women were,
once they saw him. In the Corps, wearing his uniform or
utilities, women had always given him a pleasing look,
scoping him out, their gazes telling him they’d like to know
him a lot better. He almost laughed as he struggled to get
his anxiety corralled. Since he’d fallen from grace, his
scruffy, bearded, homeless look scared the hell out of females.
Reese knew he wasn’t a bad-looking man, but
somehow, no woman could see the real him in his present
state of dishevelment. He would never hurt a woman or
child. But the look in their eyes spoke of exactly that: fear
that he was capable of violence against them. It was a bitter
pill to swallow to be judged by what he wore on the outside
instead of who he really was inside.
“Hey,” Charlie called, twisting his head in Reese’s direction,
“Miss Shay is here. Come on up and meet her.”
STARRED REVIEW from Publisher’s Weekly:
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