Today I’d like to welcome Author Liz Johnson. I read her debut novel a few years ago, The Kidnapping of Kinzie Thorn, and I was hooked. She has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new book to someone who leaves a comment.
Liz Johnson graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations and works as an editorial and marketing manager at a Christian publisher. She is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Promise to Protect is her fourth novel with Love Inspired Suspense. Keep up with Liz’s adventures in writing at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com, Twitter @LizJohnsonBooks, or Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks.
When I was in college, someone handed me a novel about a Navy SEAL. I devoured that book and a shelf full of others featuring these elite warriors. Then I started reading the biographies and true stories about SEALs, and my admiration only grew. I was hooked. So when my editor asked me what I was thinking about for my next books with Love Inspired Suspense, I didn’t hesitate. Navy SEALs.
I’m so glad that she agreed with me because I just couldn’t get the SEALs of (fictional) team FIFTEEN out of my mind. My SEALs all had such unique personalities. But almost all SEALS have a few things in common, and these things make them exceptional heroes for romantic suspense novels.
1. Determination – Before he can earn the trident pin that makes him officially part of the teams, a SEAL endures months of grueling training. In his book Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell, who was a member of SEAL Team TEN, writes about getting “wet and sandy,” which is pretty much my worst nightmare. SEAL candidates are instructed to run into the icy Pacific ocean, drenching themselves head to boot before rolling along the beach until sand covers nearly every inch. And then the work begins–running miles, carrying boats over their heads, and more. And who can forget the fourth week of Phase One, known simply as Hell Week? Five days and five nights of physical and emotional extremes and a constant reminder that they can drop out at any time if they want.
Meeting these demands requires a never-say-die mindset. This kind of determination is pretty important for a hero who has to chase down villains with zero respect for human. It also comes in handy for heroes trying to the win the hearts of spunky heroines, who aren’t interested in settling down or have been burned one too many times.
2. Smarts – Lest you think that the demands are mostly physical, SEALs have to be incredibly smart. They have to collect and analyze intel, sometimes on a moment’s notice knowing that lives are at stake if they don’t make the right assessment. They execute complex operations that require any number of moving parts. And every SEAL has a specialty (or three). Because they often spend time abroad, SEALs sometimes must learn several different languages.They’re often dropped in unfamiliar territory and must follow maps and their training to safety. There’s no doubt that SEALs are sharp, and smart guys make the best heroes–at least in my book.
3. Teamwork – Early on in SEAL training, candidates are assigned a swim buddy, someone who is always by their sides. These two-person teams support and encourage each other through the mental and physical strains of BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) School. Not only do they learn how to work together as a team, the swim buddy’s needs come first. That commitment to serve someone else first makes for a great romantic lead. I know that he’ll go into any romantic relationship knowing how to care for his heroine first. There isn’t much more attractive than that for me and for my
These are just a few reasons why I love Navy SEALs. Far from perfect, they’re men dedicated to valor and honor, willing to lay down their lives for their brothers. They’re tough yet still take the time to compliment little girls with pink bicycles. Make no mistake, you wouldn’t ever want to be hunted by them. But I tip my hat to the men of the United States Navy SEALs, who are more than great book heroes. They’re real life heroes, too.