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Monday 13 May 2019

ℚ♫ Keeping a Warrior: Loving a Warrior [2] - Melanie Hansen

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Keeping a Warrior (, Carina Press, approx. 92,000 words pages), a Contemporary Romance, book two in the Loving a Warrior series.

"A military romance refreshingly different  [...] I really liked this book and its author, Melanie Hansen; it was my first time reading Melanie Hansen and I enjoyed her voice and was pleased and often surprised with the original outlook the author lends on military life and operations and war." - Mary S, Amazon  Review

"This book is one of the best books I've read all year. It explores all elements of the trauma that both men and women face daily, including those that serve our country." Mary, Goodreads Review.

"I really liked this book and its author, Melanie Hansen; it was my first time reading Melanie Hansen and I enjoyed her voice and was pleased and often surprised with the original outlook the author lends on military life and operations and war." - Marla, Goodreads Review

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Melanie Hansen; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Melanie has shared with us the music she listened to while writing Keeping a Warrior - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Keeping a Warrior?
"A couple of years ago, I came across a non-fiction book entitled Ashley’s War by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.  It’s about a little-known Army unit called the Cultural Support Team, and the job of this all-female unit is to go on missions with special operations guys.

That means they’re serving right alongside SEALs, Army Rangers and Green Berets.  They patrol in with them, or parachute in, or fast-rope in.  Basically they’re doing everything that these guys do, and well, you’d better believe those plot bunnies started hopping!  KEEPING A WARRIOR is the result."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I have quite an extensive military background, in that my dad was career Air Force and my husband of nineteen years is career Navy.  I’ve been around it almost my entire life, and I’m drawn to all aspects of it, good and bad.

I’m also aware, sadly, of the pervasive culture of sexual assault in the military—even in special operations—so I wanted this story to reflect the different types of struggle that women who want to serve their country can face.

I also wrote Devon to be everything I’m not.  She’s unbelievably resilient, and she refuses to let the actions of others define who she is.  I adore her."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Keeping a Warrior - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Carina Press has some amazing artists on their team, although I don’t know any of them individually or by name.

I fell in love with the cover for KEEPING THE WARRIOR right away when they sent me the concept.  For one thing, I like that the models are shown at the same height, implying there’s no power imbalance—they’re evenly matched, an important component of the story.  The physical emphasis is on how athletic they are, a requirement for anyone in special operations, men or women.

Also, the colors are beautiful, just like an Arizona sunset! I think the cover is perfect and I’m more than pleased with it. I hope readers love it, too!"
Why should we read Keeping a Warrior and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
" I’ve always wanted to write a Navy SEAL series that didn’t focus on them being hard-bodied sex gods in a security or bodyguard role.  My goal was to write stories that showed them being active-duty SEALs, from the training to the missions, and what it’s like trying to make a relationship with them work.

SEALs are gone nine months out of the year, and the divorce rate in the community is pushing ninety percent.  A lot of people think it’s glamorous, or sexy, when in actuality it’s a job that requires enormous personal sacrifice on both the part of the SEAL and their loved one.  I wanted my series to reflect that."
Who would you recommend Keeping a Warrior to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"KEEPING A WARRIOR deals with a very heavy topic —sexual assault in the military.  While Devon’s assault doesn’t happen on-page, the aftermath is the focus of the story.  She runs into people who view her with suspicion and disdain because of it, and she comes face-to-face with people who were there when it happened.

Also, there’s reference to the death of a SEAL we meet in the prologue.

Readers, please use caution if sexual assault or loss is a trigger."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"It’s funny, but I don’t read romance at all anymore!  I used to, voraciously, but once I started writing it, I found that I couldn’t read it.  It’s because of my own hang-ups—such as a tendency to compare myself to others—that keeps me from enjoying it.  As a result, I’ve turned mainly to non-fiction.

As far as my own work, I started out writing M/M romance, and now I’m branching out a bit, mainly because Devon’s story is one I desperately wanted to tell."

What is your writing process?
"I’m a total pantser!  Outlining stifles my creativity, and everything comes out sounding forced.  I oftentimes wish that outlining did work for me, because pantsing can be very stressful.  Deadlines are difficult because of it, and one time I spent months on a story, only to realize it was going nowhere.  That was a hard day.

When I get an idea, I usually sit down, start writing and just let it evolve.  My process might not be ideal, but eight novels later, I guess it works for me!  At this point I have to trust it."
What is in store next?
"I’m finishing up the first draft of TRUSTING A WARRIOR, the third and final book in my Loving a Warrior series with Carina.  It deals with another heavy topic that’s current to the military right now, that of post-traumatic stress and suicide.  I’ve given Lani and George a lot to overcome, but their HEA will be worth it!  Their book will be out in November of 2019."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have two precious doggies, pictured here.  They’re always with me when I’m writing.

Just look at those cute little faces!"
Aww! Babies... Lots of head-scratches and belly rubs to both of them from all of us at BooksChatter!

Melanie, thank you for sharing your fur-kids with us :-)

Thank you so much for hosting me today!

Keeping a Warrior
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Melanie Hansen said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today!