In Search & Rescue, my contemporary military romance, Spring Hill College student, Lexie Carter, meets Army Ranger Captain Taylor Jackson at a Career Day at the college. Two years and a steamy courtship later, Taylor is reported killed in action and Lexie must face a future without the love of her life. Lexie attended a Mass for the Dead at the century-old St. Joseph’s Chapel on the SHC campus, rather than celebrate her wedding.
Spring Hill College is the oldest college in Alabama, It was founded in 1830 by Catholic Bishop Michael Portier who brought priests and seminarians from France as instructors. SHC was the first Catholic college in the Southeast, the third oldest Jesuit college and the fifth oldest Catholic college in the United States. Until 1935, SHC followed the French education model and included a high school on the campus. In 1932, SHC expanded their student body to include adult students and women. In 1954 SHC became the first and only integrated college in the Deep South.
U.S. News and World Report ranks Spring Hill 17th among the 118 Southern colleges and universities. The report also includes school’s online graduate nursing program as #48 in the nation. Forbes.com ranks Spring Hill College among America’s “Best Colleges.” SHC ranks #399 nationwide, # 291 in private colleges, and #5 in Alabama.
More Mobile tomorrow, Rita Bay
Search & Rescue, my first military romance was released yesterday by Secret Cravings Publishing. This is my first book that I’ve located in my hometown, Mobile, Alabama. It was fun traveling the streets and visiting places that I knew so well. No location research necessary for this book. My hero (a hometown West Point grad) and heroine (a coed at Spring Hill College) even made a trip over Mobile Bay to Baldwin County to the family condo at Gulf Shores and hooked up at the Grand Hotel and dined on some of my favorites from the menu, though I usually prefer the seafood. Couldn’t fit the Sunday Brunch into the story but savored the memory anyway. The blurb about the hero and heroine is on the July 8th post below. Here’s a short excerpt, part of one of Taylor’s dreams about Lexie that kept him sane after he was captured in Afganistan:
Taylor regretted he’d volunteered for the Hometown Recruiter Assistant Program. He’d wanted a long visit with his family, but he’d been away from Mobile for too long. After graduating from Murphy High School, he’d attended West Point, been assigned to the Infantry, completed a few rotations in Iraq, and then attended Ranger School. He’d found his home there. Several challenging courses and a couple of missions later, he’d become all that he could be—a well-trained agent and killer, one of the best. He didn’t belong at a Career Day at a Catholic liberal arts college in southern Alabama surrounded by innocents.
The girl stood up and walked across the room toward the recruiter’s table, her long golden-blonde hair swaying with each step. She was petite, but had some nice curves. Her expensive clothing and jewelry screamed high-maintenance. Not the kind of girl who sought out men like him.
Captain Jeffries, the recruiter, smiled, mumbled his standard greeting, and held out a brochure. She walked past Art as though he didn’t exist. She only had eyes for him. She stopped inches away. A man coming that close would have been on the floor, but she was either fearless or clueless.
She looked up a foot and more and batted her leaf-green eyes at him. “I’m Lexie. What’s your name, Captain?”
He was speechless, captured by a pixie half his size. She would be his—and no one else’s—forever.
A kick in his ribs awakened him.
The stale bread, his usual morning fare, landed on the filthy floor beside him. Hussein, the bearded, middle-aged Afghan farmer who’d been his captor for the last two months, slammed and locked the door.
Hussein walked into the main living area. “We’ll soon be rid of the dog.”
I should mention that the book is rated FOUR FLAMES for explicit language and sex AND battlefield violence. Didn’t say they were saints. Click HERE or on the Search & Rescue graphic on the left to read longer excerpts or download the ebook from Secret Cravings ($2.99).