Series author Karen Foley shares what inspired her to set her new novel, Hot-Blooded, in war-torn Afghanistan. Learn how the author brings together her surly hero and spunky heroine in her new desert romance. And don't miss this excerpt at the end of the post!
One of the best things about being a writer is that I get to live vicariously through my characters and do all the things that I’d never dare do in real life. For example, I work full-time for the Department of Defense and one of my agency’s top priorities is to support our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by soliciting volunteers to perform six month deployments. While I’m not brave enough to leave my home and family for six or more months, I’ve watched many of my co-workers volunteer to support our troops in the Middle East. They operate in an administrative capacity, but they endure the same austere living conditions and day-to-day hardships that the military do.
This got me thinking...what would it be like for an attractive, single woman with no military background, to go over to Afghanistan, to be surrounded by hardened soldiers and be required to live according to their standards? And what if she found herself falling for the one soldier who believes that women have no place in a combat environment and who, despite his attraction to her, questions her abilities and does everything in his power to send her packing?
This was the genesis of Hot-Blooded.
I loved writing this story and researching what it’s like to live on a remote military outpost, where mortar attacks and insurgency aren’t the only dangers, and where intimate relationships aren’t just frowned upon; they’re almost impossible to achieve. I especially enjoyed writing about Chase McCormick, the badass special ops solider who prides himself on the fact that no woman has ever made him lose control, either in bed or on the battlefield. But after meeting Elena de la Vega, the toughest battle he fights is his desire for her. He quickly finds himself becoming the kind of soldier he once condemned; the kind who would give his life to protect a woman. And while Elena initially questions whether or not she has the fortitude to cope with sandstorms, enormous camel spiders, and the irresistible attraction she feels for Chase, she soon realizes that love is the most powerful weapon of all.
- Karen Foley