Monday, May 8, 2017

A SEAL Team Heartbreakers Duet: Breaking Ties & Breaking Point

As an author, it's always my responsibility to make things as convenient for my readers as possible to purchase my books.  With that in mind, I've released my two SEAL Team Heartbreakers novellas, Breaking Ties and Breaking Point in a box set I'm calling a duet.

The Duet is available in both Ebook and Print. 

Breaking Ties
Navy SEAL Oliver ‘Greenback’ Shaker is used to making sacrifices in service to his country. Yet he’s blindsided when he returns from a training rotation and learns his wife, Selena has struggled with a terrible secret in his absence—a secret which might require a sacrifice he’s not prepared to make. 

Faced with a life threatening illness, Selena wants to follow the same code of strength and perseverance her husband does as a SEAL, but she can’t go it alone. She needs a team, led by her husband, to see it through. But in Oliver’s line of work, his military duty must come first.

Still reeling after her first diagnosis they then learn Selena is also pregnant. Now with two lives hanging in the balance, the emotional and physical toll stretches the ties that bind their marriage to the breaking point. But true to the SEAL code, Oliver never gives up. And Selena proves valor doesn’t just live on the battlefield, but in every person’s heart.

Breaking Point

After fifteen years of marriage, Trish Marks has hit her breaking point. Her social work caseload has doubled, her son is acting out, and her SEAL husband is never home. Something has to give. When she’s shot and nearly killed by an irate husband during a home check, it does. 

Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Langley Marks is five years away from retirement and his pension. He knows there’s trouble in his marriage when he returns home from a deployment to a wife who’s distant, overworked, stressed, and unhappy. He’s only seen her like this once before, when she nearly died after giving birth to their last child. When she’s shot, he re-lives that terrible experience, and feels just as helpless.

But he’s not about to fly away and leave her to fight her way back alone this time. He’s willing to sacrifice it all to prove to her she’s the most important thing in his life. He just has to find a way to make her believe it.

The books are still available separately as well. 

Here's a short excerpt from each: 
Breaking Ties 

The breeze off the water was chilly, so Selena bundled Lucia into the sweater and hat she’d packed earlier. They walked down the long stretch of concrete sidewalk, both of them holding Lucia by a hand while Oliver pushed the empty umbrella stroller.
They reached the pier, and Selena experienced a twinge while she strapped Lucia into the stroller. She was a petite child, in the bottom twenty-five percent for height and weight, understandable since neither of her parents were big people. But she had almost outgrown the small, portable stroller. Her baby had become a toddler overnight. Where had the time gone? She wanted to roll it all back and relive every moment with more clarity, more attention.
Her eyes blurred with tears, and she shoved her sunglasses on and turned to look out to sea so Oliver wouldn’t know. Cirrus clouds shaped like ostrich feathers fluttered across a clear blue sky. The Pacific Ocean stretched to the horizon, its color darkened to ultramarine.
Her gaze settled on her husband while he pushed the stroller and pointed out things to Lucia. Though he only stood five foot eight, he was muscular and fit. Because of his broad shoulders and back, he always seemed taller, and bigger than his one hundred sixty-five pounds. His movements were relaxed, but every step he took radiated purpose and drive.
Should something happen to her, he’d grieve, but he’d move on. He’d formulate a plan to fulfill Lucia’s needs and see it through. He’d make sure their daughter was cared for and loved.
Just as she would have to, should anything happen to him.
But would he sacrifice his calling, his job, for Lucia? And who would he find to care for her while he was out of the country, as he often was?
Gulls screeched overhead and Lucia pointed upward as she followed their flight. As though sensing Selena’s absence, Oliver stopped and looked over his shoulder, searching for her. She hurried to catch up.
“You, okay, cara?” he asked.
She nodded. “Yes. Just admiring the scenery.”
Another couple, pushing a double stroller with twins strapped in it, strolled by and exchanged a smile and a nod with Selena.
She experienced another wave of anxiety. If she took chemo for a long time, she’d never be able to have another child. She’d be sterile.
She and Oliver planned to have another baby, had been semi-trying for the last six months, in between his training rotations. Their dreams of another child would end.
“Have you called your mom to talk about any of this?” Oliver asked.
“No, I didn’t want to worry them until I knew something for certain. Maybe not even then.”
“Your mom and sisters will be hurt if you don’t tell them, Selena.”
“Not yet, Oliver.” Every time she said the C word it made it more real, more certain. If she told her family, they’d call her constantly. Their questions and good intentions would undermine what little control she had over her fear.  She had to get a handle on everything before she spoke to them.
“You haven’t told anyone?”
“I told you.”
His dark eyes searched her face, then he slipped an arm around her and rested his lips against her forehead. She wrapped her arms around him and held on. Her anxiety eased.


Breaking Point 
Tad ran around the side of the house, soaking wet, his pale blond hair sticking up on top of his head like spikes. Trish laughed and tugged him between her legs. She stripped him, bundled his sopping clothing onto the table next to her, and grabbed a beach towel from the railing of the deck to dry him off.
“Go into your room and put on dry underwear and your Spiderman sweatpants. Daddy’s in there, so he can help you if you need it. You can take a bath in a little while.”
He used his favorite phrase, “I can do it myself,” before he took off running toward the back door. His narrow, bare behind, a hand’s-width across, glowed white compared to the light tan darkening his back and lower legs. He was going to be lean and tall like his father. She could already see the similarities in his bone structure.
She hung his discarded clothes across the deck railing to dry.
Langley slipped out the door ten minutes later. “He’s sitting in front of the television watching a Spiderman cartoon in his Spidey pants, and I suspect he’ll probably crash soon. I took them to a taco place. You know the one that has the bite-sized tacos? Anna loved them.
“In fact, I brought you some. No sauce, so it won’t bother the baby.” He went back out to the car, brought in a bag, and set it on the table next to her.
He paused a moment. “We got you something at the beach today.”
“What is it?”
He drew a small bouquet of cornhusk roses from behind his back, each flower tipped along its edges very lightly with color. “A girl was making these on the beach. Tad said the blue one was from him and Anna picked the peach one. I chose a yellow one for Jessica, and a red one from me.”
Tears pricked Trish’s eyes as she took them. “They’re beautiful. Thank you, Langley.”
“You’re welcome, sweetheart.” He leaned down and brushed her lips with his own.
She looped an arm around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. He knelt to nestle between her legs and hold her.
“What is it?”
“I can’t seem to get my feet under me this time, Langley.”
“You had a bad time of it, honey. The doc said you’d have to take things slow for a while.”
She nodded against his shoulder and breathed in the briny scent of the sea, laundry soap, and Langley, while she fought against the pain. She knew her husband. Knew his tells. He was taking the kids, spending one-on-one time with them. Going out of his way to be useful. Not that he didn’t do that a lot when he was here, but he’d been particularly attentive the last few days.
“I think we all need a nap,” he suggested.
She nodded again. He stood and backed away, holding his hand out to help her push up from the chair.
“I’ll get the baby. You go ahead and lie down for a while.”
She gathered the roses and held them against her chest. “When do you leave?”
His features blanked in surprise, but his green gaze remained focused on the baby. “Tomorrow.”
The shock of it struck her silent. She wished him already gone. Dealing with his leaving was harder than his absence.
And she couldn’t say a damn thing. It was against the military wife code to say anything, in case something happened to him while he was gone. She didn’t want to live with that guilt. Didn’t want him carrying it into battle.
She already knew what he was when she married him. She watched him fly away during their engagement, after their wedding, during all three pregnancies.
She needed him now. She wasn’t steady. She needed to be steadier before he left again.
But she turned and walked into the house, because there wasn’t anything else to say.
She placed the roses on the dresser. In the mirror, she looked pale, washed-out, and exhausted. Almost too tired to block off the self-pitying feelings of abandonment that rose up to slash at her.
She lay down on the bed and curled on her side, her back to the door.
Langley came in a few minutes later and lay behind her to spoon, his long legs curled beneath hers. “Everyone’s asleep. We’d better grab some shut-eye while we can.”
“Jessica will be our last baby,” she announced.
“If that’s what you want, Trish. I’m happy with three.”
“That’s what I want.”
“Physically you’ve experienced a trauma. Wait until you’re back from it before you make a firm decision.”
No. She needed to face up to it now. Financially, they couldn’t afford any more. And with Langley always gone, she couldn’t handle any more alone. Tears rose up like a fist at the back of her throat. Exhaustion curled around her tighter than Langley’s arms.
“I love you, Trish.”
She knew he did, but she needed him to just this once put her first. But she couldn’t demand something he was unable give. The choice was out of his hands. But it didn’t ease the hurt. The silence stretched on until she said, “I love you too, Langley.”


I hope you enjoyed the excerpts. I'd love to hear from you if you did. 



Christoph Fischer said...

You've written some excellent characters into this series. Highly recommend it!

chrisrose14 said...

Superb, Teresa!

There's so much tension in your writing - good tension, I mean! ;-) Quickly hooked, am I !

Girl Who Reads said...

Good luck with the new release. Donna from Girl Who Reads

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks so much for all three of you swinging by. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpts.