US Veteran Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen's LogoAside from being a terrific story teller, a veteran, and a friend, Kayelle Allen is one of the most generous, hard-working people I know. Please welcome her to Author Travels and let her know how much you enjoy her visit by leaving a comment. Also, leave a note for an active duty soldier, sailor, airman, or marine. I’ll make certain the notes get to the right service member. Now, here’s Kayelle to tell you a little about herself and her newest book, Bringer of Chaos.

First, I’d like to thank Rue Allyn for the opportunity to share what being a veteran means to me. Opening her blog to fellow RomVets (female veterans who write romance) is an action I wholeheartedly support. I have a similar program on Romance Lives Forever, my guest blog, on Veteran’s Day every year.

When I joined the US Navy back in 1973, I was a single woman. I had lived in the Las Vegas metro area since I was twelve years old. There were few jobs that didn’t relate to one or more parts of the gaming or hospitality industries. I wanted more. To find it, I entered the military. When I was transferred to a training base in Memphis, I had no idea that I’d meet my future husband. We’ve been together ever since.

The one thing I’d like others to know about being a veteran is that when you raise your right hand and swear to uphold the constitution of the United States, you are doing more than serving your country. You are embarking on a journey that will change you forever.

When I joined, I had no idea how much risk I was undertaking. It’s only years later that I’ve come to understand how much I laid on the line to protect my country. When you’re in the midst of a situation, you are too busy dealing with the details to look around and grasp the significance of each action. That comes later, after the smoke has cleared and you have time to think about it.

Bringer of Chaos, the Origin of Pietas

I was never in combat, and I was put into no life-threatening situations. However, because I was on active duty, I agreed to be willing to go. That willingness came out of my desire to serve. I was twelve when President John F Kennedy was assassinated. His death had a profound effect on my life. I had heard him speak in person only a few months prior. My parents had been big supporters of his campaign. When he died, I swore not to ask what my country could do for me, but to ask what I could do for my country. When the opportunity to join the military came, that was my chance to fulfill my oath. I have never looked back with regret.

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas is military science fiction set in the far future. Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.
Excerpt     Amazon   Print

About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She writes in multiple genres and non-fiction. She is founder of the author-mentoring group Marketing for Romance Writers, manages the successful Romance Lives Forever blog, and is a member of RomVets. Kayelle is married, has three grown children, and five grandchildren.

Join Kayelle’s Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and you’ll get sneak peeks of new books, plus find out about special contests just for members. Want other options to know when a book is released? Join AuthorAlarms and get one email when a new book is out. Follow Kayelle on Amazon. Visit her homeworld, or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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Roslyn Sets the Record Straight*

Hazard Duty Cover ArtCan you believe it? Joe actually thinks we should be grateful to author Rue Allyn for helping us get together. I know better. Ms. Allyn is the one who should be thanking us for providing a terrific story for her to tell. All she did was write down what I told her to write. Even that stuff about Odette came from me. Odette Miller persecuted me from the time I moved to Bird’s Gap until I left for college. So I know that woman better than anyone. Well, anyone except that guy she’s been sleeping with for years but won’t tell anyone about. But enough about Odette. I want to set the record straight about who should get credit for Hazard Duty, and it isn’t Rue Allyn.

She’s got Joe convince that without her help he and I would never have gotten together. Baloney. Joes is the love of my life, although I was too shy in high school to show how interested I was. He always had some other girl hanging on him and he was so handsome. How could I possibly think he’d be interested in brainiac like me? The amazing thing is that he was and still is interested. Love of my life—remember.

Ms. Allyn wants credit for putting us back together, but all she did was nudge Joe in my direction after I whispered the idea in her ear. She’s almost as self-centered as Odette, if Rue imagines she’s responsible for Joe accepting that recruiting assignment. He accepted because he believes in the Navy’s mission and the benefit of service to young Americans as strongly as I believe in the benefits of a college education. As for “sparking my curiosity about my new neighbor,” I’m the one who gave Allyn the idea to put Joe and me in the same house. I told her that my professional reputation would be threatened by being seen too often with Joe. I suggested that she had to put us together in a place where our relationship could blossom without interference or prying eyes.

Still Ms. Allyn was smart enough to realize that my stubbornness was just an act. Once we talked that out, I knew I had to go to Joe and give our love one last shot. So maybe Rue deserves a little credit. Our whole story could have ended tragically if Ms. Allyn hadn’t managed to melt my heart by telling me how much Joe loved me. When I realized that his love was as strong as mine I knew we could overcome any obstacle and live the rest of our lives together.

*You might want to read Joe’s post from June 30, 2013, below. He’s got a slightly different view of things than Roslyn.
Read about Ros and Joe’s first date at http://rueallyn.com/2b21HDexcerpt.html, or just read the blurb given below.

Hazard Duty blurb

Joe Hazard filled all of Ros Duncan’s teenaged fantasies, but now she’s an adult with a mission, and no handsome sailor will get in her way. The first in her family to earn a college education, she escaped Birds Gap, the deadly dull, stifling town of her childhood and the scene of her most embarrassing memories. However as principal of Bird’s Gap High School she wants to see every child in town go to college not be forced to chose between working in the mines or risking life and limb in the military.

Kathleen Jabs Brings Mystery to Friendship Friday

Kathleen Jabs at the beachMy guest today is Kathleen Jabs, author of the military mystery Black Wings and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. She holds an MFA from George Mason University. Her stories have been published in a number of literary journals and received several prizes, including selection in the NPR Selected Shorts program. She lives with her husband and two children in Virginia. I’ve asked Kathleen to tell us more about herself, her book, and of course, to answer her selection of my weird questions–my favorite is her answer about her worst enemy. Now, here’s Kathleen.

I’m a writer, wife, mother of two teenagers, daughter, sister, friend, public affairs officer, Navy reservist and insatiable reader. I grew up in Boston, left for the Naval Academy in 1984 and have lived around the world – in Japan; Hawaii; Panama; Washington, DC; Miami and New Hampshire. I live in Virginia now, but I love to travel. I served 6 years on active duty and have been a Navy reservist for the last 15 years.

My mystery novel, Black Wings, was published in December 2011. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year! It was published by Fuze Publishing, a small Cover art for the novel Black Wingspress, www.fuzepublishing.com and I’ve had a wonderful experience with them. Fuze is co-owned by Molly Tinsley who was my advisor at the US Naval Academy. It was very inspiring to reconnect with her and work with her to get my novel ready for publication.

1. What’s the color of your toothbrush? Orange.

2. What cd is in your cd-player right now? I’ve got Celtic Women Christmas Carols – it reminds me of my Irish heritage and gets me in the spirit.

3. How much do you use ketchup? (1 – not at all, 5 – on all foods)I hate ketchup! 1!

4. What’s the model of your mobile phone? I have an old Samsung – it embarrasses my kids because it is not “smart” and I need them to look up maps and phone numbers for me.

5. What’s the size of your shoes? 8 ½.

6. Is your middle finger longer than your ring finger? Yes.

7. What time do you normally go to bed on a working day? 10:30.

8. What is the most distant place you’ve visited (from your home)? I’ve been to the DMZ on the border between North and South Korea.

9. How often do you brush your teeth? 2-3 times a day.

10. Do you like carrots? Yes.

11. The size of your hard-disc? I don’t know…

12. What’s your favourite word? Serendipity.

13. If you were a tree, what tree would you be? A Birch!

14. What’s a word that rhymes with TEST? Best.

15. Name the brand of shoes you’ve recently worn. Dansko clogs – I live in them.

16. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.

17. Who told you they loved you last? My daughter.

18. Your worst enemy? Time! There is never enough.

19. What is your favorite cheese? Machengo.

20. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be? Acacia Pinot Noir.

What Inspired My Sexy Sailor Series?

It isn’t just Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Tom Cruise as Maverick or Richard Gere as Zach Mayo.  Intriguing as those characters and portrayals are, inspiration for my Sexy Sailors comes more from personal experience (10 years in the USN) than from any movie, play, TV series or book.   I lived and worked with some of the sexiest men on earth–heck I married one.  (Yes, I’m biased, but if you don’t think your lover is the sexiest man alive then you’d better find another lover.)  What I learned about sexy men during those years in the navy (and more during my marriage) is that sexy men are complicated, hard-working, hard playing, take charge, physically fit, attractive (but not necessarily handsome) guys who know what they want.  They face conflict and adversity head on.  They have the same needs, wants, and feelings that we all have.  They are smart enough to recognize their weaknesses, courageous enough to overcome those weaknesses and do it all with a sense of humor.  Add to all of that, a bone deep dedication to freedom and country and you have the recipe for my sexy sailors. 

The first book in the series, Off Limits, debuts on April 1, 2012.  You’ll meet sexy Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Hank ‘the wall’ O’Mara, who discovers the only woman he could ever love is truly off limits.