What July 4th Means to Me
Happy 4th of July everyone! If you’re among my American friends, I hope you had some fun summer times celebrating with friends and family! In honor of the day and RbtWBC’s July 4th event, I thought I’d share a fun summery excerpt from my new book Her Forbidden Hero and what the day means to me:
Fireworks. I can’t think of the 4th of July without thinking of the thrill of fireworks exploding in the air, the cracks and booms catching you by surprise even though you know they’re coming, the anticipation of what color and shape will come next. I’ve loved fireworks for as long as I can remember, and even now I feel a certain fondness toward them I associate especially with the 4th.
Picnics and Barbeques. Growing up, my family always packed up a huge picnic and went to a state park about a half hour from our house. It had a beach on a huge lake, paddle boats, picnic tables, and playgrounds. It was one of my favorite outings of the year.
The Bravery of Heroes Past. As some of you might know, I’m an American historian and my particular area of expertise is colonial
America. Something really spectacular happened 236 years ago when fifty-six men put their lives and property on the line by signing their names to the Declaration of Independence and thereby committing treason against the biggest, most powerful Empire in the world. No rational observer at the time, including George Washington, appointed in 1775 as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, gave the Americans much of a chance at defeating the largest and most powerful military in the world, so what the delegates to the Continental Congress did by signing the Declaration was one of the most notable acts of bravery, courage, and conviction in the entire history of the world. We often forget just how high the stakes were because the Americans prevailed, but had they not, the men we call “Founding Fathers” would’ve lost their reputations, fortunes and lives and might’ve been labeled by the victors’ history as traitors and terrorists.
Philosophical and Political Revolution. Can you stand a little more of my history geek coming out??? When was the last time you actually read the masterful words of the Declaration of Independence?
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…. Liberty
A committee of five men worked to draft the Declaration, though most of the actual verbiage was the work of Thomas Jefferson, without question THE VOICE of the American Revolution. The Declaration was the heir of new and dangerous Enlightenment philosophy, embodying new-fangled ideas such as that certain natural laws existed that superseded government power. That governments only exist at the will and with the consent of those they govern. That all men are created equal and inherently possess the rights to their lives, their freedom, and their happiness, and that governments should act to secure those rights. These are the founding ideals of the modern era, and went on to inspire dozens of other political revolutions around the world. We often take these ideas for granted, but it’s worth remembering just how revolutionary, just how powerful, they truly are.
The Bravery of Heroes Present. If the 4th makes me think of the risks and sacrifices American heroes made several centuries ago, it can’t help but make me think of the risks and sacrifices many American men and women continue to make to defend and protect our country and what it stands for. Working for the Department of Defense (Navy) as I do, the military is not just some abstract institution, but a collection of real men and women who dedicate their lives to doing for and protecting others—and that’s the quintessential definition of a hero in my mind.
|I had to steal this pic from Laura's FB page. |
She got to watch the fireworks from the White House lawn!
Now, to make up for going a little serious on you, let me lighten and heat things up a bit with a fun summery excerpt from Her Forbidden Hero, my new contemporary romance that features a military hero who I think truly portrays the kinds of sacrifices soldiers make for their country:
“I’m not going to test it. I’m just going in,” she said, looking less certain than she sounded.
Marco walked ahead of her, entering the water at a steady pace. Good God. It was ball-shriveling cold. He turned and smiled at Alyssa. “It’s actually pretty warm. Come on in. You’ll like it.” He kept the grin plastered on his face, the blazing sun his only saving grace.
“Really?” she asked.
Marco waved her in.
Alyssa darted into the water, up to her knees, then her thighs. Her mouth and eyes went wide and she screamed. “You are such a liar, Marco Vieri!”
Marco fought and lost the battle against his grin.
“Holy crap. It’s like ice. You suck!” She scooped her hands into the water and a shower of frigid water hit his front. Marco bit out a curse. Alyssa wore a satisfied smile and braced her hands on her hips.
He launched himself in her direction. She squealed and turned for the shore, but Marco was faster and easily caught her around the waist.
She gasped as he dragged her backward into deeper water, almost to the rope line. “Let me go,” she said, laughing.
“Nope. You wanted the lake. I’m making sure you get the lake.”
“It’s too cold. Come on, Marco.” She squirmed and pulled at his arms, giggles spilling out of her.
And damn if she wasn’t rubbing all up against him as she fought. Good thing the water was too frickin’ freezing for regular body function. But Marco’s brain still operated enough to know just how good her body felt in his arms, pressed so tightly against his.
Suddenly the temperature of the water stopped mattering. Marco hardened slowly but surely. By the time they were up to her chest in the water, he was erect, and the sudden catch in her breath made it clear she felt it, too.
She moaned low in her throat. Under his arms, her breaths came faster, shallower. She reclined her head on his shoulder and whispered, “Let me turn around.”
Marco swallowed, his throat suddenly dry. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
She pressed back against him, dragging a groan from his chest. “Feels like it would be a very good idea. Please. Marco?”
A war erupted between his brain and his body. “Jesus, Aly.” He bent his head, trying to think, and his lips found the stretch of skin where her neck sloped into her shoulder. He kissed her, once, twice, his tongue snaking out to taste the crisp lake water from her skin.
Alyssa inhaled and tilted her head to the side, inviting his exploration.
He couldn’t resist. He licked and kissed up her neck until he reached the soft indentation beneath her ear. He sucked at her there until she was panting in his arms.
She reached back and grasped the material at his hip, using the leverage to pull them together. Marco let out a harsh breath at the sudden friction between his front and her rear. His grip slipped, one arm sliding up to rest under her breasts as he slid the other down to hold her low
across the abdomen.
“Touch me,” she whispered.
Oh, God, he had to. He spun them in the water so that they were facing away from shore, out over the broad expanse of the mountain lake. “Aly,” he breathed.
“Please, Marco.” She gripped his hip and brought him firmly against her again.
He gave in, thrusting forward as she pulled, pressing the hard length of his dick against the indent of her soft ass. He cupped her breast and sucked her earlobe into his mouth as the warm weight of her flesh filled his hand.
“Oh,” she said, a soft, plaintive exhalation. She turned her face to his.
Goddamn if the desire shining from her eyes and shaping her lips wasn’t the sexiest thing he’d ever seen. He could read what she wanted in her gaze, but he wasn’t going to make her ask. Not when he wanted the same thing so badly.
One hand cradling her jaw, Marco lowered his mouth to hers. Their lips met softly, tentatively. Soft presses turned into nibbles as they pursued each other again and again. She turned in the circle of his arms, and this time he let her. She wrapped her whole body around him—arms
around his neck, legs around his waist.
And Marco was gone.
GIVEAWAY!: One commenter who leaves their email address will win a signed print book of Her Forbidden Hero AND a T-shirt from the fictional Whiskey’s Music Roadhouse from the book! What to comment? Share what July 4th means to you OR tell us a favorite line from the excerpt! Open to international! Good luck!
You always want what you can't have...
She's always been off-limits...
Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend's little sister, but her return home changes that...and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco's not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he's not about to let her see the mess he's become.
...but now she's all grown up.
When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can't stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa's not looking for protection--not anymore. Now that she's back in his life, she's determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time...
About Laura Kaye:
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Hearts in Darkness is the EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Novella and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit Winner for Best Romance Novella, Forever Freed is the NJRW Golden Leaf Winner for Best Paranormal of 2011 and is a finalist for two GDRWA Booksellers’ Best Awards, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, is a finalist for a FF&P PRISM award, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in
Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.