15 November 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway: 1000 Sleepless Nights by Connie Ann Michael

1000 Sleepless Nights
by Connie Ann Michael .
Audience/Genre: Contemporary Military Romance.
Publication: August 21st 2013 by Entranced Publishing.
Can you choose between fighting for your life and fighting for your heart?
Twenty-two year old Corpsman Emme Sawyer doesn’t follow rules. She’s always been the best and no one will die if she has anything to say about it.

Emme refuses to hang around the hospital waiting for the wounded to come to her and joins a Marine unit heading into Helmand Providence, the largest opium producer in Afghanistan. Shutting off her emotions, Emme focuses on what she does best…keeping her men safe. When her best friend is obliterated by a roadside bomb, Emme
begins to realize she can’t save everyone. Seeking comfort from Raven, her commanding officer, Emme develops feelings that don’t belong in a combat zone where each step could be your last. As Raven reciprocates, Emme learns you can’t choose when and where love finds you..

I asked Connie about her backround and if she had any experience in the military with snippets of pieces from the book as how they relate to her life.And this is what she said....

"I personally have not had the opportunity to serve in the military, although my family has a deep history in the military and my mom and I are involved in a missing in action group. My great uncle went down in Italy during WWII and has never been recovered. I wanted to enlist after High School but my dad wasn't supportive so I went a different direction, but respect for the armed forces continued to grow. Then I had two boys and I kind of put my interest into them. When my son was little he decided he wanted to be a Marine. He had all the G.I. Joes, plastic army men, uniforms, play guns, then air soft guns, he immersed himself in it. His goal was to go to the Naval Academy and then become a Navy Seal. His dreams are on hold right now because he found out he is a talented football player and is playing college football right now. I enjoy reading military non-fiction and watching documentaries, as well as any series with the military theme. So many of the scenes are just depicted from things I have seen or stories I heard. To give a specific example, I had a student in first grade who eventually became a Marine. He had two tours in Iraq. His best friend was killed in front of him. That is the scene I have with Tahk and Doogie, and I drew some of the confusion and sorrow from the stories his mom told of him coming home. I really wanted to portray the difficulty the men and woman have when they witness so much and then are expected to go back out there or come home and become "normal" again. I am thankful my past student was able to move forward and he is now married and has a baby. However he returned to college first and I can only imagine the difficulty he had sitting next to an eighteen year old out of high school when he had experienced the tragedy he had. The sequel delves deeper into those feelings."

I also asked her for a playlist. She said The Fray greatly inspired her writing. I could put most on spotify but Hero, so I just put that one on here from you tube.....

Here is an excerpt....

“I don’t expect you to take care of me,” Sawyer said.“You were throwing up. It wasn’t like I could have left you. With Tahk gone…” Raven’s voice trailed off.

Her shoulders slumped at the mention of his name.
Neither of them said anything.
“How old are you, Sawyer?” he finally asked.
“I’m not sure why that matters, Sir.”
“My name is Moses.” His words were so quiet Sawyer almost didn’t hear them. He continued to look at her. “My family…my
friends…they called me Mose.”
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Sir?” she asked again. “I don’t understand.”
“What’s your first name? The one your mom calls you by.”
Sawyer lowered her head, shaking it from side to side.
“No. Not while I’m here. I can’t be that person. I’m not that person.”
“It’s still who you are.”
“I can’t. Not here. She isn’t strong enough.” That part of her was separate. It would be crushed in this war. She wasn’t a soldier. Sawyer was.
“Your name is Emme. You’re twenty-two,” he whispered.
Tears filled her eyes at the sound of her name. “Don’t.”
“I’ve known since you were commissioned to me. I just wanted you to be the one to tell me.”
“I can’t.”
“For this conversation. For right now. I would like to talk to Emme. After, we can go back to Raven and Sawyer. This isn’t about the war. This isn’t about what happened in Marjah. I need to talk to Emme. Can you try? Try while we’re in this little room.”
She didn’t know if she could, but if it was for only a minute, just while they were in the supply closet…
Raven waited.
“I can try.”
Raven didn’t say anything. He’d been the one who had asked to talk, and now he seemed at a loss. Finally, he cleared his throat. “You kissed me last night.”
“Oh God,” Sawyer moaned, burying her face in her hands.
"No, Emme.” He grasped her wrists and then ran the back of his fingers lightly along her arms. Raven was so close his
breath moved the tiny hairs around her face.
“Raven,” she breathed.
“Moses,” he whispered.
She pressed her palms against his chest, pushing lightly.
“I can’t.”
He cradled her face. His breath was warm against her cheek.
“You started this.”
“I didn’t mean to.” Breathing with Raven so close was becoming difficult.
“I’m twenty-seven.”
He smiled. “Okay.”
“You don’t see a problem with the age difference?”
Sawyer stood taller. “I’m a genius. I finished high school at thirteen. Did my undergrad and two years of med school before I joined. My mom let me enlist that early. I’ve been in almost two years.”
Raven ran a hand over his head. “You’re a genius.”
Sawyer shoved past him. “That’s what the tests say.”
Raven grabbed her arm. “Why won’t you talk to me?”
She pulled away. He let her arm slide through his fingers.
“I don’t see what more we need to say.”
“You had a lot to say last night.”
“Well I don’t feel like talking anymore.” She started grabbing boxes of medical supplies and shoving them into her
“You told me you never drank before.”
“So.” She shrugged. “Some people choose not to drink.”
He took her frantic hands in his and held them still. “You told me you’d never been with a man.”
“Oh God.” She wanted to die. “Shoot me now.”
Raven laughed, wrapping her in a hug.
His arms felt wonderful, and she felt herself melt into him.
“It isn’t a bad thing.” His words were kind, but held a bit of humor. “I find it endearing.”
“Did we do something? Anything? Is that why you gave me the flower?” Sawyer talked into his chest, afraid to look at him. "A thanks for sex token.”
“No. You were mad about the kiss. The flower was an apology.”
“Stop talking about me kissing you.” She closed her eyes and rested her forehead on his chest. “I’m such an idiot.”
“No, you’re not. Emme, look at me.”
She raised her head and watched his gaze lower to her mouth.
“Why was I upset when I was the one kissing?” she questioned.
“I didn’t kiss you back.”
“I’m sorry I asked.” She lowered her head again.
He grasped her chin and tugged her face up to his. Leaning in, he brushed his lips across hers.
“Raven and Sawyer can’t do that,” he whispered before leaning in again. This time, his lips lingered, parting slightly
as he put a hand to her cheek. Sawyer hesitated, the warmth of his kiss flowed through her, and she finally let her mouth respond. Her arms moved to his neck, and her fingers weaved through his short hair. A quiet hum came from him when his hands found her waist and pulled her closer.
Too soon, he pulled away. “Well then.” He sounded out of breath.
“Well then?”
Raven nodded his head again. “The kiss…I’m not sorry about it."
“Oh. It’s okay. Just forget about it.” Sawyer waved her hands nervously. Her heart sank.
He shook his head back and forth. “No.” He reached for her.
“Don’t you see? That’s the problem. I don’t want to forget about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. About you.”
His response caught Sawyer off guard. She hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him either. She never imagined he felt the same. He couldn’t. He was her CO. Tahk’s death must have messed him up. He was having a response to battle stress. She hadn’t expected it to happen again. She wanted it to but never expected it to.
“I think we’re suffering from some sort of affection trauma from losing Tahk. You know, reaching out to each other because of the loss of a common friend.” God what was she saying?
Raven’s eyes widened. Surprised? Shocked? Confused?
Affection trauma? What in the hell was she saying?
“Is that what you think?” His voice was so quiet. Sad.
Sawyer wasn’t used to this Raven. Emotional Raven scared her more than intense Raven.
It’s what she thought but not what she wanted. Sawyer stared at his lips while he waited for her answer. She wanted to
touch them. To have them kiss her again. But the kiss had been some sort of crazy reaction to Tahk.
“Raven, you don’t even like me,” Sawyer finally said.
His mouth dropped open. “Stop saying that.”
“You told me I was a pain in the ass. You’ve barely tolerated me for the last few months. This is a stress reaction.
I’m here for the men. I do what needs to be done, and I’m fine with that. I started it by kissing you. I shouldn’t have.” He crossed his arms and listened to her babble on and on. She got distracted by the muscles in his arms as they folded against each other. How could that part of his body be so sexy? Ugh.
Stop it, she yelled at herself. Maybe she was suffering from affection trauma.
“Are you done?” he finally said after she exhausted her attempt at explaining why he couldn’t possibly want to kiss her
“Well…I don’t…yeah, I guess I am,” she stuttered.
Raven uncrossed his arms and grabbed her by the shoulders.
His warm lips crushed against her mouth. He ran his hands softly down her arms and then encircled her waist. He picked her up and repositioned them behind the tree—pushing her against the rough bark. His mouth devoured hers, his tongue reaching out to find hers and pulling her into his desire. Sawyer ran her hands up his back and traced the hard muscles with her fingertips. Raven hummed and leaned his body into hers. She’d never been kissed with this intensity. She’d hardly ever been kissed. Her mind began to float away, lost in the desire Raven brought. He pulled away, trailing the back of his fingers down her cheek.
“I am not suffering from affection trauma, whatever the hell that is. I’m not in need of sympathy from a woman. I’ve wanted to kiss you since the day you were commissioned to me.”

And the giveaway which includes...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connie Ann Michael was raised a city girl, but was converted to a country girl after college and now resides
in a speck of a town in Central Washington State. She is married to her former boss as she worked at the local
Pizza place and has two college age boys that provide endless material for her books. She loves the outdoors
and can be found mountain biking, kayaking, or camping with her family. Being a busy family, she can be found working on her newest novel while on long road trips.

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