Joining us on Character Chat today is Aaron Strickland, journalist for Humanity United and one of the heroes from my upcoming Loose Id release, Operation Better Tomorrow. I'm so honored Aaron and his sexy soldier beau, Caleb, trusted me to tell their story. It was quite the rollercoaster ride to work on, let me tell you, but I’m so glad they allowed me to chronicle their breathtaking relationship. So without further ado...
Welcome Aaron! Thank you so much for dropping by. I had such an incredible time telling yours and Caleb's story. You two made quite the pair! And your story…wow, talk about an emotional battlefield!
Battlefield? Yeah, that about sums it up. Dangerous but, ultimately, being with Caleb has been a journey I couldn’t imagine not going on. Meeting him has, by far, been the most amazing experience of my life.
Even despite the—no, wait, I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll just say “the incident”.
Yes, even despite that. Caleb is such an amazing, giving man, even after the shitty hand he was dealt. Both with what happened to him in Afghanistan and with his ex-fiancé. He took all that pain and turned it into a passion to help others. He helped me too. I hesitate to think about where I’d be if I’d never met him.
That’s so beautiful! I know I’ve said that before, but it’s still true. I could listen to you two talk about each other all day. The love in your voices… *sigh* …let’s just say I think readers will remember your story for a long time.
Here’s to hoping. *Aaron grins, blue eyes sparkling*
So, Aaron, with so many great books out there, what do you think makes yours and Caleb’s story stand out? Sum it up for us in one sentence.
You mean something besides, “Because Caleb’s amazing”?
*giggles* Not that that wasn’t a fantastic answer, but yeah, I was looking for something a bit deeper.
That’s a tough one. *taps index finger to lips for a long moment* Okay, okay, I got it. “Operation Better Tomorrow: come for the Sexy Cowboy and stay for the haaaaawt sex scene in the wildflowers.”
Yes, perfect! Everyone will get that after they’ve read the story.
Well, thank you so much for stopping by. I don't want to keep you away from your man any longer. I know you're busy, but before you go, any last words for readers?
*grins* You mean besides, “Caleb’s amazing”?
*shaking my head* Well played, Aaron. Well played..
Title: Operation Better Tomorrow
Author: Brandi Evans
Release Date: November 29th 2016
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: MM Romance
The interview of a lifetime.
When Aaron Strickland’s assigned to write a feature article on Caleb Douglas, the first openly gay soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, he’s over-the-moon. Meet a sexy, real-life hero? Yes, please. And in the weeks leading up to their interview, the former soldier becomes a recurring player in Aaron’s fantasies.
A man Caleb can’t forget.
Years earlier, lost in the throes of depression and PTSD after an ambush left his body and soul scarred, Caleb was on the brink of giving up when a magazine article changed his life forever—an article written by Aaron. Emerging from the depths of his pain, Operation Better Tomorrow—part homestead, part halfway house for those down on their luck—was born.
Tragedy lurking on the horizon.
As the days pass, Caleb and Aaron’s tragic pasts bind them in ways they aren’t prepared for, but it also leaves them vulnerable. Pushing forward means breaking down walls they’ve built to protect themselves, and just as they’re poised on the precipice of happiness, a darkness descends on the homestead, a hatred that will leave one man clinging to life and the other willing to risk everything to save him.
Buy Link: LooseId | Amazon | ARe | iBooks |
Watch the Operation Better Tomorrow Book Trailer
Resisting the urge to follow Aaron, Caleb unlatched the wicker picnic basket from the left saddlebag, grabbed the thick blanket from the right, and traipsed deep into the waist-high colors. Blues, purples, and yellows dotted the greenery and swayed in the late-summer breeze. The meadow smelled sweet and made him think of peace and tranquility. The area, along with Aaron’s article and daily meditation, were the best anti-depressants Caleb had ever had.
He set the basket and Aaron’s bag down and unfolded the blanket. Considering the height and density of the flowers, laying out the cloth was an exercise in frustration management. A step-and-tug here, an expletive or twelve there, he inched the material down until he created a makeshift hideaway.
Before taking his seat and disappearing into the overgrowth, he glanced around until he found Aaron. The other man was zoomed in on a yellow bud, and Caleb smiled. He liked the idea of sharing this place with Aaron. It was the perfect backdrop to delve into his pain.
He unclipped his walkie and set it on the corner of the blanket before dishing food onto the thin, floral plates that had come with the basket. Thick turkey sandwiches with blue cheese and fresh tomatoes, fruit salad, and oven-baked green bean crisps—green beans drizzled with olive oil, salted, peppered, and then baked until they were crispy. To complement the meal, he’d chosen a Château Timberlay Bordeaux. It wasn’t a full-on red, but it had a deep, lush flavor he really liked.
He uncorked the bottle, removed one of the wineglasses fastened to the inside of the—
“Oh, God, Caleb. Don’t move.”
Caleb froze, Aaron’s soft command triggering an ingrained response from his Army days. When a commander told you to freeze while on patrol, you fucking froze. Period.
No debate. You obeyed or you could die. But what danger was there out here? Had the other man seen a snake or something?
“Don’t move a muscle.” Click. Click, click. “It’s breathtaking.”
Caleb breathed a sigh of relief. Aaron was just taking pictures. “Aaron—”
“Shh.” Click, click. “Not even a muscle. This shot’s gorgeous. You’re fucking gorgeous. I can’t… Your profile’s…” Click, click. Click. Click. “Oh my God, look at yourself.”
Caleb turned toward Aaron’s voice as the other man emerged from the flowers and crawled onto the blanket in an awkward “three-legged” motion, holding out his camera. Blades of grass and broken flower petals stuck in his perfectly messy hair, and his smile was eight times more breathtaking than any Caleb had ever seen. The intensity, the passion on Aaron’s face, matched what was stirring inside him.
Aaron settled beside Caleb and held the camera so they could both see the screen on the back, but Caleb couldn’t take his eyes off the man beside him, watching Aaron as he looked at Caleb’s image on the screen. The pleasure on Aaron’s face, as cliché as it was, stole Caleb’s breath, and when Aaron turned his head, Caleb captured that incredible mouth in a quick, hard kiss.
Caleb pulled back and drew his thumb over the bottom lip he’d just claimed. “Thank you.”
Aaron’s eyebrows drew together. “For what?”
“Just…thank you.” Caleb tapped his lips to Aaron’s again and then forced himself to pull back before the moment spun out of control. He wanted Aaron, but doubt was malevolent, constant. The idea of exposing himself at all was terrifying, but here, in the open, in the light of day, it positively petrified him. Not out here. Not like this. But if ever there was someone to take a chance on…
Want to see a longer sneak peek? Click Here!
About the Author
Brandi Evans was raised by a caravan of traveling Gypsies. She spent her days learning the ways of her people and her nights lost in legends as old as time. Okay, not really, but that's way more interesting than the truth!
In reality, Brandi grew up the oldest child of an ordinary family. Grade school, middle school, high school. Nothing extraordinary happened until she left the nest. She joined the military, went to college, got married, and became a mom. And somewhere along the way, she discovered she liked to read—and write!—stories hot enough to melt eReaders.
These days, she calls The Natural State home where she lives with her hubby, two beautiful daughters, two dogs and a cat who has yet to realize she doesn’t own the place. Soldier. Wife. Mom. Multi-published smut writer. Brandi's life might not be "traveling Gypsy" interesting, but she's had fun. And in the end, isn't that all that really matters?
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads
Thank you for stopping by and reading!!