Message From The Author
Lt. Tom Paoletti, commanding officer of U.S. Navy SEAL Team Sixteen, was reading over my shoulder.
Contemporary romance author Suzanne Brockman celebrates the release of her 30th book this June with THE UNSUNG HERO, from Ballantines Ivy Books, he read aloud from my computer screen. Known for her award-winning, best-selling Tall, Dark & Dangerous series for Silhouette Intimate Moments, Suz has created a new mainstream team of U.S. Navy SEALS known as The Troubleshooters. He looked at me. You always write about yourself in the third person?
This is just to remind readers who I am, I explained. Its hard to say Ive won a pile of awards for my Tall, Dark & Dangerous books without sounding self-important.
He continued reading. In THE UNSUNG HERO, whilethe teams commanding officer, Lt. Tom Paolettiyes, that would be meis recovering from a near-fatal head injury, he spots a dangerous terrorist in his sleepy New England hometown. Serious threat or injury-induced paranoia?
For the first time in his career, Toms faced with self-doubt. Yeah, that really sucked. Why do you authors need to torture heroes? Its not bad enough for me to crack my head openIve gotta start doubting myself, too. Damn.
Sorry. I was trying not to smile, and Tom knew it.
Sorry my ass. He gazed down at the screen, hiding his own smile. He had the kind of smile that made laughter lines crinkle around his hazel eyes. Wheres the part where you tell your readers that Im devastatingly handsome? Go on and lie shamelessly. Thatll get em to buy the book. Maybe once they get into it, they wont care that Im hair-challenged.
Tom had long hair in high school, but now it was thinning on top and he wore it short. In a few years, he was going to be the best-looking bald man in the world.
Kelly, the girl next door, has become a doctor, he read. Tom goes to her for help and gets more than he bargained for. Yeah, I like this part. Who knew Kelly Ashton still had a major thing for me after all these years? But the Navy thinks hes crazy, and Toms got to create a makeshift counterterrorist team with two elderly World War II vets, a pair of misfit teenagers, and Kelly. Yeah, definitely tell them more about Kelly.
Actually, I said innocently, I was thinking about including an excerpt from that scene where you pulled Kelly into
the closet with you.
He gazed at me. I think youre enjoying yourself a little too much. He cleared his throat and continued once again. At first, both Kelly and Tom are drawn to what they think the other is. Straitlaced Kelly wants to be a little crazy, to have a relationship based purely on physical attraction with a man known for being wild. Gee, thanks.
I shrugged. I didnt pull her into that closet.
Im a fictional character, he argued. Youre the writer. Youre in control.
Good thing someone is, otherwise youdve spent the entire book in a closet with Kelly.
I was right and he knew it. and Tom has always put Kelly up on a pedestal, like some kind of perfect, unattainable Goddess. What? He glared at me. I do not.
I just looked at him.
Well, maybe I do a little. He turned back to the screen. Theres a World War II love triangle subplot, and a sweet love affair between Toms teenaged niece and the comic book artist who wants her to model for his newest superhero.
THE UNSUNG HERO explores the theme of who we are versus what other people see when they look at us.
=It examines the power love has to reveal truths and to see through pretense and facades. THE UNSUNG HERO is a fast-paced romantic adventure, he read, combining humor and intense emotion in an unforgettably poignant story.
Tom looked up at me. Only one thing left to say: Youll love this book. Go buy it.
Count on a Navy SEAL to keep it simple.
Visit Suzs website at www.suzannebrockmann.com,
or write to her c/o Ballantine Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.
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