Currently I’m laying home in bed. I’m not being lazy! I am under doctor’s orders for nothing that stimulates my brain. Okaaaaaay. I recently underwent surgery and at this point in time I’m going stir crazy. I’m pre posting to share my angst! LOL.
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Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he knows was meant to be his.
Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. Knowing Saint received a ‘Dear John’ letter, Angelina has no intention of being his rebound romance. She needs to be loved for herself. She needs to forget about the one man she knows was meant to be hers.
They each try to find someone to help them forget.
But what does fate have planned for them?
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So, if you’ve read it you’ll hopefully enjoy the next one. I’m still working on it and hope to have it submitted by August. A Series? Yes, if my publisher picks it up!
The Stubborn Santiago’s:
Her Savior in Camouflage
Here’s a sneak peak at part of the first unedited chapter:
Jandro figured whatever was going on it was bad. He leaned over to Lee and whispered. “Bro, you in trouble?” Lee shook his head, then nodded.
“Talk about it later, bro. ‘Kay?” Lee whispered back. Their madre sat shotgun and behind her, Jacinta waited to get in the car. Jacinta shut the front door, closing it for their mama. She then crawled in next to Jandro and leaned over.
“Lee, you’re in so much trouble.” Her voice was low, obviously she was trying to not be heard in the front.
“All of you, shut up.” Tio Mateo started the car. It was a tight fit in the small car their madre owned. The little Vibe was good on gas, but three in the back seat sucked.
Jandro pushed Lee over. “Move over, dude. You’re hoggin’.” Lee glared at him, eyes puffy from lack of sleep and an obvious hangover, but he shifted closer to the door. Jandro wrinkled his nose. Lee smelled worse than him and considering how bad he smelled from playing soccer for the last couple of hours that was saying something.
They pulled out, heading west on Beverly Boulevard. Jandro watched the scenery go buy, dirty run down houses, graffiti on every surface imaginable. Not even the sign for Saint Agnes was spared, the gang symbols sprayed across the frame, though the glass had obviously been cleaned. God, Jandro thought, I hate this place. I gotta get outta here.
Jandro shrugged, his madre was pointing at the pancake house. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as he thought. When they turned in but passed it and headed toward the strip mall he frowned. There wasn’t anything here that he could think of that they would all need to go to.
Mateo parked the car and got out. He shut his door and pulled open the door, gesturing Lee out. “We’re here.”
Jandro frowned. A card shop, a few eateries, a couple of clothing boutiques and the recruiters were here. Nothing he could see that would have the family so grim, or necessitate them all coming.
They exited the vehicle, Lee silent as he followed Tio across the parking lot. Jacinta and Mama got out, following behind like ducks in a row. Jandro slowly got out of the car. Tio Mateo was holding the door to the recruiters open, pushing Lee inside and waiting for Jandro to lock the car. When Tio frowned at him, he shut the door, locking it as he did, and headed over. Mateo nodded and let the door shut, bringing up the rear behind Jacinta as they all were hidden from view behind the glass.
Jandro stopped, hand on the door. He wasn’t sure what was going on, but knew that the time for hiding his signing up was gone. He just hoped that whatever else was going on wouldn’t make it any harder.
Jandro pushed open the door. The innocuous tinkle of the bell sounded like a death nell. Once he entered, there would be no more hiding. He straightened his shoulders. He was a Marine, dammit. Well, at least a pooley, he’d be a Marine in two days. He took a breath and stepped inside.
The room was split into four corners. Each of the services was represented, Army, Navy, Marine and Air force. The Coast Guard had a place out closer to the ocean, near the docks in San Pedro. Jandro had talked to the Navy recruiter, but the Marines drew him. Nico had done the same. The Marines just appealed to both of them, speaking to something inside. They both had instinctively known that the Marines was the place for them.
“Jandro.” The Marine recruiter stepped over to shake his hand. His family turned, staring at him. “You’ve brought your family. Wonderful.” The recruiter turned to Jandro’s family. “Bet you’re proud of this young man. Do you have any final questions for me?” He turned to Jandro. “Are you excited?” He clasped his shoulder. “I’m proud to have you joining me.”
“Thank you.” Jandro smiled. He couldn’t help but be awed by the confidence that the Sergeant instilled in him. “I can’t wait. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.” He turned to his family. “I’m not sure why we’re here, but you need to know. I’ve enlisted and I leave for boot camp on Thursday.” His mother burst into tears. Tio Mateo and his sister looked stunned. Lee cracked the first smile on his face that Jandro had seen in a while, then he started laughing.
“Jandro.” Jandro looked at his recruiter. “Did they not know? Why did they not know?” The Sergeant grabbed his arm and marched him into the ASVAB testing room. “Explain.”
Jandro sighed. “I was getting ready to tell them when the po-po, er, police showed up at our house.”
“Are you in trouble?” The Sergeant was frowning.
“No, not me. Mi hermano. I don’t know what’s going on. The cops talked to mi madre and tio and they called Lee in, and shoved the rest of us out of the house. When I got back they were yelling and screaming but the police were gone.” He shrugged. “I tried to tell them, but no one would listen. I headed back out to the park.” Jandro shook his head. “Tio and Mama had us all get into the car and we all headed here. I saw them come inside here and I knew as soon as I stepped in the door, the jig would be up.”
The Sergeant was shaking his head. “Will you be okay?”
“Sergeant, all I’ve ever wanted to do was join the service. I want out of here. I want more than I can get living my life in my abuela’s casa. I don’t want to be the victim of a carjacking or a drive by. I know I can be more. I know I can be a Marine, a great Marine.” Jandro gazed earnestly at him. “I was born to be a Marine. I can feel it’s where I belong, what I was meant to do.” The sergeant clapped Jandro’s shoulder.
“Well then, son. Let’s see what your family came here for. Hop to, Marine.” The Sergeant moved and held open the door ushering Jandro out.
Jandro stood straighter and smiled. He turned and headed back out into the chaos that was his family. He went easier knowing the Sergeant had his back.
Lee was leaning against a chair grinning while the rest of Jandro’s family were whispering together.
“Mijo.” His mother was wiping her eyes and sniffling. “Why are you doing this?” She clamped her lips together as Mateo spoke to her, too low for Jandro to hear.
Jacinta came over and hugged him. “I’m going to miss you. Why didn’t you tell me?”
Jandro hugged her back and ruffled her hair. “To tell you was to tell the world little media queen.”
She laughed. “I’ve already tweeted it.”
“See what I mean?” Jandro rolled his eyes grinning down at her. “You have no secrets, and neither does anyone else in the family with you around.”
“Alejandro.” He looked up at his Tio who had stepped over to his side. “I’m proud of you mijo.” Mateo pulled him into a hug. “I know you’ve wanted this. Hell, I argued for you when you wanted to go in before.” He shook his head. “But mi hermana was hell bent on keeping you home. Don’t worry, do what you have to do.”
Jandro swallowed, chest tight and hugged him back. He hadn’t realized that his Tio would support him. He’d have told him earlier if he’d have known. “Gracias Tio. I just couldn’t wait any longer.” They stepped back, smiling.
“It had to be hard seeing Nico then. The two of you had planned on joining together.”
“Si. Especially when I saw his back, Tio. I felt I should have been with my wingman.”
Mateo laughed. “You two. The Taliban would have run! Did you sign up with him when he was here?”
“No, Tio. I had signed up the morning before we knew he was coming. I had just got back from here when he called.”
Mateo sighed. “You should have told us. Does Nico know?”
“Si. I told him at the airport.”
“What did he say?”
“That he knew I could do it.” Jandro nodded. “And I can, Tio.”
“I know it.” Mateo laughed. “Santiago’s are nothing if not stubborn. Now let’s get back to why we came.” Mateo looked at Lee and Jandro saw the grin slowly melt from Lee’s face as they headed back over to him.
Jandro had a feeling that life was about to change for his party hard hermano.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this rough excerpt from my WIP Her Savior in Camouflage!