My special guest today is Melanie Hansen to chat about her new contemporary military romance novel, Trusting a Warrior.
During her virtual book tour, Melanie will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Melanie Hansen doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. She loves all things coffee-related, including collecting mugs from every place she’s visited. After spending eighteen years as a military spouse, Melanie definitely considers herself a moving expert. She has lived and worked all over the country, and hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to the love stories she gets up in the wee hours to write. On her off-time, you can find Melanie watching baseball, reading or spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.
Welcome, Melanie. Please share a little bit about your current release.
I’m so excited to share Lani and Geo’s story with you! Geo is a Navy SEAL, a K9 handler who works with a Belgian Malinois named Bosch. He’s recently lost his teammate and mentor, and the trauma of that, along with the accompanying guilt and blame, is causing him to unravel in plain sight. Lani has her own life challenges to work through, including an unexpected pregnancy. In each other, Geo and Lani find understanding, healing, and of course, love.
What inspired you to write this book?
One of my goals in writing the Loving a Warrior series was to highlight issues the military faces, those far beyond the “hero” narrative. From being gay in the military, to being a woman serving in a hypermasculine environment, to veteran suicide, I wanted to craft stories around people actually dealing with those issues, people who also find love along the way. And of course I leapt at the chance to include a badass dog! Bosch was so fun to write.
Excerpt from Trusting a Warrior:
When they reached the reception hall, Geo and Lani stood just outside the pool of light, watching while the wedding couple danced together on the gazebo. The bride was radiant in a light pink cocktail dress, her groom in khaki pants, the sleeves of his matching pink button-up shirt rolled to his elbows.
“Aww, they look so beautiful and happy together, don’t they?” Lani whispered. “Best wishes to them both.”
Loud laughter drew their attention to a knot of young men leaning against a nearby railing, bottles of beer in hand, their boisterousness and camaraderie instantly recognizable. Geo nodded at them. “Team guys.”
She grimaced, her pleasure at the sight of the happy couple draining away. The bride had not only married her husband, she’d married the whole community and the demands it brought with it. It wouldn’t be an easy or glamorous life, not by a long shot.
“Well, good luck to them both, then,” she said. “They’re gonna need it.”
Geo quirked his lips at her. “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, huh?”
“Hell, yeah, I got the T-shirt.” Tugging on his arm, she steered them past the wedding and on down the beach. “How about you? What sort of relationship skeletons do you have in your closet?” She’d said it lightly, teasingly, and was surprised to feel his biceps tense.
He didn’t say anything for a few beats, then, “I lived with someone for about a year once. His name was Jake.”
It took a moment for his meaning to sink in. Careful to keep both her face and voice neutral, Lani said, “His name?”
“I’m bi. So yeah, ‘closet’ is a pretty good word for it.”
Risking a glance up at him, she could see how rigid his jaw was, his lips compressed into a tight line. How much trust had it taken for him to reveal that? A pang shot through her. More than she’d ever know.
What exciting story are you working on next?
In a complete change of pace, my next book is not military related and will focus on two ordinary guys falling in love—an architect and a florist. I’m super excited about it and hope to release it in the summer of 2021. Stay tuned!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even after nine novels, it’s hard for me sometimes to consider myself a “real” writer. Imposter syndrome is a thing, that’s for sure, that feeling of not belonging. All I can do is my best, and that has to be good enough. I’m extremely proud of every book I publish, though, even if it’s hard for me to say that out loud.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full time! I actually have a full-time day job at a branch of our county library, so my writing time is limited, especially since I also have two teenage boys who play sports, have jobs and are involved in lots of activities. The only way I can get around my schedule and have time to write is if I get up in the wee hours of the morning, like 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. That gives me a couple of uninterrupted, peaceful hours before the day starts.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I used to call myself a pantser (someone who doesn’t plot, but just free-writes) but in working with a publisher who has to set deadlines, that method became too stressful over time. I took an outlining course from an awesome editor and I’ve learned to switch up my writing process. I guess it’s never too late to learn!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time, I wanted to be an archeologist or an oceanographer. I’m very interested in both the stories of the past and the unexplored. Unfortunately I didn’t have a real aptitude for science because my strengths are more in the literary arts—grammar, writing, etc.—so I ended up as a court reporter for thirteen years.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just a huge thanks to Lisa for hosting me today!
Thank you for being a guest on my blog!