#FictionFriday -- a Teaser Tuesday

I LOVE TEASERS! I can't help it. I love the visuals with the words. They compel me to buy books. Seriously. 

Today is Fiction Friday on the blog, and I thought I'd share a teaser as well as an excerpt...

Excerpt: From For Love or Duty available at AMAZON!

Chapter Ten

Sweat dripped from Kevin’s head onto the map-covered table. They’d made about fifty runs to the drop-off and pick-up zone in the last two weeks. His men were tired but going strong.
“Captain, the last of the Seals have flown out with Otto and Tyler.”
With a nod, Kevin folded the map in front of him. “Good. Let’s start breaking down camp. Five hours, and we’re going home.”
“Hoo-ah,” Specialist Quinn sang out with a grin. “We are finally out of this fucking sandbox. You know, it’s spring back home. The tulips are coming up and the trees are filling out. Damn, I know we haven’t been gone that long, but it’s always nice to go back.”
Kevin thought the same thing. And as the afternoon progressed, he began planning how he could put together the best salmon and shrimp ceviche Valerie had ever experienced. He wanted it to be perfect—a perfect meal, perfect mood, perfect company. Grand scheme to get a ring on her finger or not, he wanted to be with her.
With a self-conscious look around, he brought himself back to the task at hand. As the last tent was taken down, Kevin nodded at Quinn to radio the chopper.
At the sound of a car coming down the road through the scraggly brush, he turned to see and whistled, signaling for everyone to be on alert.
The driver smiled. Kevin recognized the face of one of the local merchants.
“ETA twelve minutes,” Quinn reported of the helicopter.
The car continued past their location, the driver giving him a slight nod of acknowledgment and a wave.
The rotors of the chopper drummed in the distance.
He smiled when a vision of Valerie came to him, the easy way she laughed, her cynical edge, ready to question any unspoken promises. She was a pistol, his Valerie, and she was never out of his mind for long these days.
One question remained. Could he charm her back into the military life?
“Yo, Capt’n. Look.”
He turned. The small foreign car sat ten yards down the road. The driver was on a cell phone and waving his arms emphatically. He had a flat tire.
Kevin couldn’t help it. He groaned inwardly and, at the same time, waved his men back. The helicopter was in sight. If he hurried, he could assist the stranded motorist without delaying their departure while everyone else loaded for take-off.
He jogged a few yards then slowed.
The man gave Kevin a deliberate look. His smile came up on one side, tilting his mustache. A glint—there was no other way to describe it—appeared in his eye.
The man spoke one word into his phone.
Kevin took a step back, instinct and survival racing through his veins.
The unexpectedly snazzy phone slid shut.
Kevin ran toward the helicopter, yelling, “Back! Get down! Down, down, down!”
An explosion lifted him from the ground. Glass flew past him, striking him like needles—his neck, through his fatigues to his arms and back. Jesus, not good. The ground came at him like a Mack truck, and he slammed into it.
For a brief moment, the world tilted around him, forcing him to close his eyes. When he shook it off and opened his eyes again, Tyler and Quinn were running to him.
Kevin dragged himself to his knees and stumbled to his feet.
Strong arms hoisted his body and dragged him toward the chopper.
His vision hazed at the edges, and he wondered if a storm was brewing. No. The sun shone too brightly, hurting his head with every step.
At the helicopter, he lifted his leg but fumbled the movement. Tyler jumped up and grabbed him under the arms.
Pain mauled his shoulder and he moaned as consciousness slipped.
“There’s lots of bleeding,” his medic, Jeremiah, spoke over the sound of the rotors. Jer stuck him. An IV. “The shoulder’s dislocated.”
“He hit the ground like a ragdoll.”
The sounds around him began to fade.
“…fucking glass everywhere, must have been a trunk full…”
“Radio ahead, Quinn. Find out…” 
Then, sweet oblivion as the thwap of the helicopter finally faded.

A review -- Sunday Summation

I noticed a new review on Amazon, and it was really great. I love how it pointed out the flaws. Too many 5 stars and people might wonder if it's just family. :D LOL The reader liked the book and still gave it a 4. Awesome!

I also woke today to an email from Night Owl Reviews. WhooT! 3 Stars. Another great, thoughtful review. Yeah! Go ahead, click the banner. :D

I think what I know is...I can always improve. Which I knew. Of course, I knew that... but still, it's exciting to get these small bits of feedback from the reading public. :D

3-2-1 Blast Off!

For Love or Duty

Growing up in the military is not always peaches and cream. Valerie knows it first hand. That's why she has spent an entire lifetime avoiding men in uniform. But meeting Captain Morgan is more than she counted on because he makes her laugh and shows her that sometimes love comes before duty.

Yes! It's finally available! [and just to get this out of the way]

SMASHWORDS, where all formats are available: ePub-for Nook, Mobi-for Kindle, pdf [and a few others].

I want to thank my friends from Passionate Critters for being here with me. 
Thanks to Debora Dennis, Jennifer Shirk, and Nina Croft for offering their books as giveaways. 
Congratulations to Molly Mclain, Becky Doughty, and Moira Keith!

And to the one person who commented this week and won MY BOOK! 
[hey! i have a book I can giveaway. LOL][drumroll please]

All of you. Thank you for sharing my excitement over this book. I've had such a fun time creating this story, my first ever that didn't involve dead bodies. It is truly a sweet romance. I smile because I think of movies like Return to Me and Fools Rush In. They made me laugh and cheer for Love. 
I hope this book does the same for you...and that you'll come back for more, because 
there's definitely more where this came from...


Two days later, Kevin slapped a small amount of cologne onto his neck and loosened the collar of his shirt. Tonight he had plans to loosen up and enjoy an hour of absolutely nothing. No meetings, no soldiers, no superiors or subordinates. A woman might be nice, but it had come to him recently that he needed to settle down and get serious about finding a wife. Ever since then, his desire to hook up had sorta disappeared.

Procrastination, probably. The thought of marriage had forced his brain to shutdown where women were concerned. What he needed was one last hoorah fling. Then he could go about the business of finding a wife. He'd pulled his black book and made lists of all the women he knew, separating them first by availability and then by characteristics.

The problem was they all liked him too much for a short fling.

If he could find a woman who didn’t even like him, he might be able to enjoy himself. No pressure. No expectations.

Valerie’s face with her hard, disapproving glances that had slid down her stuck up nose came to mind, and he grinned. Yeah, she’d be perfect. Not young. He didn’t want them so young they looked at him with stars in their eyes, like he was some kind of hero.

She was probably about his age, thirty or so. Maybe a little older.

Unfortunately, besides showing up at the convenient store, he had no way of finding her except to call Cheryl. Not an option. Calling Cheryl would surely make his conscience come to life and, after the weekend he had in the field, he could use some time out to relax for an evening--let off some steam.

He drove the short distance through town to his buddy’s restaurant. It wasn’t exactly a single’s bar, but he could still hope for a date. A date, he convinced himself, that could possibly lead to something else but not something more.

Good God! Who was he trying to convince? He could go on a date if he wanted without hearing wedding bells in the background.

He slammed his truck into park outside Dougherty’s Restaurant, took the stairs two at a time, and opened the front door for two young ladies. With a smile, he ushered them in. They giggled, making him cringe inside. He couldn’t help but be thankful the days of moony-eyed girls and courtship were over.


They laughed as they passed him and met up with two soldiers. The younger men apparently appealed to the women, and though Kevin tried to squeeze past without being seen, he caught the look of startled recognition before the men straightened. Don't salute. They didn't, but he could see they thought about it.

Now he felt old. “At ease, men. I’m on my own time, same as you are.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”

Kevin held in a groan as he continued toward the back of the rough-hewn, wood-floored room. At the rear was a pool table, standard fare with a few bar stools lining the walls. It wasn’t crowded, probably because it was Monday night.

A band played a mix of southern rock and grass roots blues on the small stage to the right of the front door. The rhythm of the drums and earthy sounds of the guitars convinced a few couples to the dance floor.

“Hey, Kevin, can I get you a beer?” Joe tended bar most nights, and though Kevin never thought of himself as a regular, he’d gotten to know the man. Liked him, too. His wife worked the kitchen, and together they ran a good show. Didn’t own the place, but maybe that’s what allowed them to relax on the weekends. Whatever, it worked.

Kevin leaned over an empty stool and tucked a five into the tip jar. “Sure. That sounds great.”

He turned his head, the urge to at least smile politely at the person next to him too strong to ignore. His jaw dropped as the scent of Valerie filled his nose—a subtle hint of vanilla mixed with the exotic scent of her perfume—and he locked his gaze on her suspiciously narrowed eyes. “Well, I’ll be danged.”

ps to those who made it down this far. Giveaway for the first three commenters today. shhh... don't tell. :D 
If you've made it this far, you've also noticed there isn't a BN link yet. Just a small glitch they don't tell you at the start of the process, but you can still get the epub and load it to your Nook manually through Smashwords. I'll update as soon as I have a viable BN link. Enjoy FRIDAY. Enjoy the weekend.
With Love
Bethanne Strasser