Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome author Jessica Scott today.
Coming Home, the series by Jessica Scott:
I started writing the Coming Home series way before it had a name or a coherent journey. I started writing because I was away from my kids for the first time and I was training to become an officer. I did a lot of thinking about what it meant to me to be not just a soldier but now, by virtue of my rank, why I wanted to lead soldiers.
Being a soldier is in my blood. It’s the first thing I did in my life that I was good at and I’m passionate about the soldiers who make up our army. The stories in the Coming Home series spring from my deep abiding love of those who walk to my left and my right. What motivates a mother to leave her children and deploy to combat? What motivates a husband to leave the woman he loves time and time again in order to face the abyss?
There’s a quote that says he who faces the abyss must take care not to become the abyss. The soldiers in my stories have faced the abyss. How did that change them? I have never had to look down the end of my rifle and make the choice to pull the trigger. But my brothers and sisters in arms have. I know firsthand that deploying to combat changes you. I was never in direct action. But still, I came home different.
The Coming Home series is poignant to me because I want readers to look beyond the headlines. I want to reach people who won’t pick up The Long Road Home or The Good Soldiers and I want them to feel the choices that my brothers and sisters have made and what it feels like to love that person anyway. I don’t know if I can honestly do that justice, but I’ve got to try. It’s why I write.
I’ve tried to write other things but I continually come back to the Coming Home books. They are, at their heart, love stories, not war stories. They are about loving someone who has come home from war. They are about looking at what our soldiers have done and loving them anyway. They are about redemption and forgiveness and rebuilding trust, all common themes in the best romance novels. Because too many of my brothers and sisters have given the ultimate sacrifice and maybe, this is one way for me to give at least my fictional soldiers, a happily ever after.
BECAUSE OF YOU by Jessica Scott – Excerpt:
“Jen, right?” He retrieved his own beer. “Are you here with Laura and Trent?”
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“I’ve seen you around. How long have you known Laura?”
Jen ticked off numbers on her fingers. “Ethan is almost six, right? Almost six years. We met right after she had him.”
A shadow flickered across his face and was gone before she could truly say she’d seen it. Instead of letting it go, she chased it. “What?”
“I’ve known Trent a long time. That’s all.”
Why would that make him sad? She wondered at the man who scanned the bar, splitting his attention between her and the crush of bodies on the floor. With each question, he leaned in close to her, sending a shiver down her spine. A shiver that chased away her awkward discomfort and, for one brief moment, made her feel whole and feminine. There had been a time when she would have acted on impulse and pursued this man, but those days were long gone.
“Yeah. Going away party and all that. Are you deploying tomorrow, too?” God but she loved how he smelled.
“Yeah.” He took a long pull from his beer.
“For how long?”
He shrugged. “A year, with an option for fifteen months.” She caught a glimpse of a black tattoo around the edge of his collarbone and wondered just how much of his body was covered by the twisting dark lines of ink. Tattoos didn’t usually do it for her. She wondered at people who would permanently color their bodies. But on Shane, they worked. They worked well.
She sniffed and sipped her beer even as Shane shifted, resting one arm on the bar behind him and angling his body slightly toward her so that he could see the dance floor. Jen turned in time to see Laura dragging Trent away from the Copperhead Road line dance. They wove through the crowd, heading toward her, and Jen felt a sense of guilt creep up the back of her neck like a flush. Laura was spending too much time worrying about her—she should be focusing on her husband instead.
Trent’s face split into a wide grin when he saw Shane. “Miracles will never cease. Carponti actually got you to come out?”
“Jen, you didn’t tell me you knew Shane,” Laura said, twining her arm with Jen’s.
“I don’t. He bumped into me.”
Comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of Because of You. Giveaway ends Nov 18. Good luck!!