Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others–but her days of helping military personnel are over. She’s got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she’s not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way–terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn’t there–but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can’t take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he’s not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack–and that her secrets go even deeper than his own–Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

Bestselling author Lynette Eason is back with a new series and took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with The Big Thrill about COLLATERAL DAMAGE:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

First and foremost, I want readers to be fully entertained by the story. As long as that happens, I’m happy. Anything more than that is a bonus. Such as, I would hope that maybe they would take something from the life of the character that helps them in their everyday walk or struggles. Maybe the main character had to make a hard decision and that helped the reader decide to act in a way that was necessary in their own life. Like admit a wrong to bring healing with a family member or friend. Or find the strength to leave a toxic relationship. I always hope my stories will have a positive influence on my readers.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

I write romantic suspense with thriller elements. 🙂 COLLATERAL DAMAGE deals with some extremely tough/heartbreaking subjects. I hope readers will be better people after having read the story.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I’ve always known that research is key when writing out of my expertise area, but I don’t think I realized—until this book—just how hard it is to write military accurately. I’ve never been in the military, but was writing about the Army. I did online research, talked to several different people about a scene in the story and got some conflicting information. In the end, I finally found someone who did the exact job as my Army hero, Asher James, and that source was exactly what I needed to make the opening of the story authentic. The funny thing was, his information was pretty much a combination of what I’d already gotten; he just helped me organize it to fit the story—and add a few pertinent details. That was an incredible thing and I’m very proud of the opening to COLLATERAL DAMAGE. LOL.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

Children are so vulnerable. When the adults who are supposed to care for and protect children hurt them instead, it’s up to the heroes to step in and save them. I hope this story shows everyone who reads COLLATERAL DAMAGE that they can be a hero to a child. It just takes someone doing something instead of saying, “Someone should do something.” I say, be the someone in a hurting child’s life.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

When I started writing, Dee Henderson was my all-time favorite writer and my goal was to be like her when I “grew up” as a writer. I also read voraciously. I love James Patterson’s Michael Bennett series and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher hero. Terri Blackstock, Colleen Coble, and Irene Hannon were all big influences for me because they wrote what I wanted to write. I still have to pinch myself sometimes that I’m now friends with these people. 🙂

*****

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Protecting Tanner Hollow, as well as the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.

 

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