Contemporary

Far From Perfect By Barbara Longley

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bio:
As a child, Barbara J. Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing. She currently writes contemporary and paranormal romance for Montlake Romance.

Readers often ask where I get the ideas for my stories. I confess; everything in my world is muse-fodder. News, overheard conversations, family or friends—it’s all fertile ground. I’ll even admit I’m particularly inspired by country music. So many songs in that genre are about romance, it’s like listening to novellas set to music. In fact, the hero in the Perfect, Indiana: Book Two came to me while I was listening to “War on a Desperate Man,” on an Eli Young Band CD. Honestly, no matter what is going on around me, my brain is turning the experience into a plot line and developing the characters. It just happens. I have no control, and there’s no twelve step cure for my obsession.

The idea for FAR FROM PERFECT came from a 2008 Associated Press Release: U.S. troops escorting Iraqi officials to Mosul, Iraq hit a roadside bomb enroute. Five U.S. soldiers died. On that fateful day, somebody lost a son or daughter, a sibling, their life partner, or a parent. It made me wonder: What is life like for our troops who survive a traumatic event like that, especially when there are casualties? So, I started doing research.

I love stories about larger-than-life military heroes, Navy Seals, Marines—troops involved with special ops. Super-tough military men and women are often the heroes and heroines in action thrillers and romantic suspense. They’re extraordinary characters, but what about the ordinary G.I. Joes and Janes—the every day heroes who put on the uniform, defend our country, and struggle with the very real difficulties they face as they reintegrate into civilian life?

Many of our troops experience multiple and extensive deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. PTSD, traumatic brain injury, physical disabilities, shattered relationships, unemployment and depression are very real and immediate problems for many of our returning military personnel. Like everyone else, I want all of our veterans to find their happily-ever-after. Since I don’t have any control in real life, I create stories where happily-ever-after is a given, and every one of my veterans finds their path home to the heartland of their dreams.

Here’s the blurb for FAR FROM PERFECT
Noah Langford narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that killed five of his men and took his leg, leaving him haunted by flashbacks and riddled with guilt. When his stepbrother Matt dies in a car accident, the loss feels like the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul. But then he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned years earlier, and suddenly Noah has a new mission…

Ceejay Lovejoy was nineteen and pregnant when her boyfriend walked out, disappearing from her life just like her parents did. Since that day, Ceejay has devoted herself to giving her daughter a better life, avoiding any man who could threaten that security—until the day Noah Langford shows up on her doorstep. His gentle spirit has an unexpected effect on Ceejay’s guarded heart, tempting her to take one last chance on love. But when a painful secret comes to light, it threatens to break the fragile bond growing between them…and to destroy a love powerful enough to heal them both.

Three lucky readers who comment on my blog will be randomly selected to win $10 Amazon gift cards. Good luck!

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FAR FROM PERFECT is available at amazon.com Follow Barbara Longley on twitter: @barbaralongley Visit her website: http://barbaralongley.com