Today I am so pleased to welcome Melanie Hansen to Joyfully Jay. Melanie has come to share an exclusive deleted scene from her latest release, Loving A Warrior (which I reviewed here and really enjoyed). She has also brought along a tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
There’s a saying that Carina Press editors like to use… “Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.” Basically, if a scene isn’t working, you have to cut it, no matter how much you love it. In this case, my darling was an extended epilogue to Loving a Warrior that got out of hand, and when I say “Got out of hand,” I mean thousands of words. It was ridiculous.
I thought it’d be fun to share this deleted scene with you, part of that epilogue, which to me encapsulates so much of Matt and Shane’s relationship—toughness, attitude, and an exasperated sort of love.
It was Shane’s turn to go rigid as one particular memory flooded him with icy hot shame. He cleared his throat. “Well, about three months ago we were at Langley, training with SAD. I was point man on the assault, so I led the stack in clearing the whole kill house. It went flawlessly, took down all the bad guys without firing a shot.”
“And at the end, while I was busy congratulating myself on being such a fucking badass SEAL, one of the instructors walked up and handed me the magazine from my gun.”
“Yep. When we breached the door, I somehow hit the mag release and dropped all my ammo.”
“Oh, my God. You cleared the building with one bullet?”
“Just the round in the chamber. If we’d encountered any resistance, I’d have been dead. All the guys in the stack behind me could’ve been wounded or killed.”
“Jesus Christ,” Matt breathed, his voice shaky from a combination of laughter and horror. “And you did that in front of all the CIA guys?”
“Special Activities Division, some VIPs who happened to be there that day to observe…yeah.”
Matt stood there in apparent shock, his mouth hanging open. Shane couldn’t blame him. He’d practically cried himself to sleep for weeks after that.
“Holy fuck. What happened to you?”
Memories of BUD/S ice water baths and surf torture slammed into Shane, and he shuddered. “Earned myself the nickname Zero, for one thing. As in, zero mag, zero sense, zero brain.”
A tremor of mirth went through Matt’s body. “I like it.”
“Don’t you fucking dare,” Shane growled, leaning forward to sink his teeth into the side of Matt’s neck. “You call me that, I’ll kick your ass.”
Letting out a derisive snort, Matt pushed his head away from him. “I’ll call you whatever I want.” He paused. “You said ‘for one thing.’ What else did they do to you?”
Shane grimaced. “Well, they, uh, made me the fridge bitch.”
Matt burst into laughter, the rich sound of it making Shane’s nipples give a pleasant tingle.
“Oh, God,” Matt wheezed, and he stretched up to kiss on Shane on the cheek. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t laugh.”
“No, you shouldn’t,” Shane grumbled. “That was a very bad time in my life.” When he shrugged, the fluffy hotel robe slipped off one shoulder, revealing a puckered scar he knew Matt hadn’t seen before.
Sure enough, drawing in a breath, Matt reached out to trace his fingers over it. “What…?”<
“Bad ricochet. CQB.”
Close quarters battle was just what it sounded like, live fire in an enclosed space, a SEAL specialty and something they worked endless hours at, the scenarios designed to mimic real-life battlefield situations.
It was high-risk training for a high-risk career, and scars came with the territory.
“Well, I hope you at least had your mag.”
“Yes, I had my fucking mag.” Shane gave him a shove, and of course Matt had to return it, which led to Shane’s robe loosening even more.
Matt rolled his eyes. “So what else did the spooks teach you at Langley?”
“Only about a million ways to kill someone with your bare hands.” Shane grabbed the coffeepot before sitting down at the table. “And I’m not exaggerating.”
“Guess that’ll come in handy when you don’t have a mag.”
Liquid heat settled in Shane’s belly, and he put the coffeepot down slowly, deliberately. “If you don’t shut up about the fucking mag,” he said, his voice low, “I’m gonna—”
“You’re gonna what?” Matt interrupted, holding his furious gaze. “Come put your bare hands on me?”
Thanks so much, Joyfully Jay, for hosting me today!
BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.
Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.
Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.
Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.
After all, the only easy day was yesterday.
Melanie Hansen doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. She loves all things coffee-related, including collecting mugs from every place she’s visited. After spending eighteen years as a military spouse, Melanie definitely considers herself a moving expert. She has lived and worked all over the country, and hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to the love stories she gets up in the wee hours to write. On her off-time, you can find Melanie watching baseball, reading or spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.
Melanie has brought a great giveaway along her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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