Jan 8, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with Willow Brooke!

Willow Brooke was born in California where she lived until the age of 13. Her family decided to uproot and move to a small town in Oklahoma.  It was fate, Karma, or coincidence that had put both Willow and her future husband on the paths of destiny and love.  She spotted him in the back of a pickup truck while cruising town, his hot sexiness capturing her attention and her heart.  One introduction later and she knew that he was her soul mate.  Dustin was also from California, and had grown up only 30 miles from her.  

After marriage, Dustin joined the Army.  They spent 9 years in northern New York and 4 years in Georgia.  He served 3 tours overseas, and numerous stateside training exercises. It was during the long, stressful, lonesome deployments that Willow found she could escape into imagination and majestically teleport into juicy books. Her most prized gift came in the form of a kindle, sent from her husband in Iraq. She quickly filled her digital library, and adds to it every week. 

They are blessed with three kids ages 16, 10, and 5. Two dogs, a hamster, and a fish make for a chaotic crazy daily routine that Willow handles like a pro, and with a lot of humor. 

Needing to branch out more, Willow picked up her laptop and began to write, allowing her boisterous imagination to fly.  After what seemed like an eternity, she finally created her first novel that soon became published.  She was finally on the path of her dreams of becoming an author.  She now has numerous books published and available on various sites.

Willow currently lives Oklahoma, where the tea is sweet, the grass is green, and people still say ma’am and thank you.  Every summer, they load up the family and head for the lake for swimming and fishing. There is not a water park or swimming pool in the world that could ever compare to a rope swing and a floaty. The only thing that will change is that Willow will be scribbling and writing as she floats on the water and works on her tan.

Broken Battlefield, Mended Hearts
Breaking Protocol

Warning: For Mature Adult Audiences. Contains wording and actions some may deem offensive. Sexually explicit content. MF
In book two of Breaking Protocol: With the battle heating up, the team enlists four more soldiers, accepting them into their tight knit family. They have worked side-by-side with these men that are highly trained and specialize in extractions. When bullets fly and things turn nasty, the team loses one of their own who is killed saving his troops. 

Another hero taken, another high school sweetheart now a widow, and two more kids who will grow up without their daddy. Bella, her heart and soul shattered as she is faced with the biggest tragedy of her life, spirals into a deep darkness. The world crashes down on her and a friend steps in, pushing the boundaries to get her back. 

Joker hopes for her sake and his, he can keep from crossing the boundaries that will take him to a place he vowed never to go. A bond is formed as two people grieve for the same person- a lover and a husband to one, and the closest thing to a brother for the other. The decision is left in the hands of fate: Will it allow for a second chance in love or is there only one destiny? 

Through the strangling hands of grief, the team readies for the biggest battle of their career. With U.S. politicians involved, their mission is interesting to say the least. If they succeed, they will surely go down in the history books as heroes. If they fail, the consequences could be deadly. With bigger forces than they had ever imagined against them, the team is determined to slam the hammer of justice down on those in the brutal reality that awaits.
Can they conquer and kill the ones who threaten life as we know it? Can broken hearts be mended through a broken battlefield?


“Bella, what are you doing out here?”

“I’m sorry, I just had to go…somewhere. Anywhere. I can hear everyone talking downstairs, and it is killing me. ‘Jared this… Jared that…’ I can’t handle it.” She looked at the ground, hiding the pain that spewed like rivers from her eyes.

How the hell could he say no? He didn’t want to deal with it either, and seeing her was a reminder of the loss of his friend, and the guilt that he wasn’t there. He turned to let her pass, nodding her to move inside. “I can’t imagine. Come on in. I got something that might help. Have a seat.” She slowly walked in, gazing around at the rustic furnishings in the small space. Joker went to the kitchen and grabbed a glass with ice, and poured it half full of whiskey. With the bottle in his other hand, he went back over and sat on the other side of her, handing her the cup. “Here, this will take the edge off.

So far it is pretty good therapy for me.”

She took it with shaky hands, and gulped a huge drink before answering, “Thanks. The kids are in bed, courtesy of Mrs. Sanders, so I can self-medicate tonight. I am sorry for barging in on you. I just didn’t know where to go…I had to run, but it is kind of pointless when there is nowhere to run to and I am scared shitless of the dark.”

Joker did a half snort, half chuckle and took a swig out of the bottle. “Well, there is nothing to be afraid of here, I promise you that. Bella, you are family…I'm sorry I haven’t been much help, I just don’t know what to do. The only way I have been coping was with alcohol therapy. I don’t mind the company though…” His words trailed off unsure himself if there was an underlying meaning under them. Damn it, he was fucked up. Here he was, with the widow of his brother who just got blown to shit and he was acting like a damn fool. They lost soldiers every day, and it affected everyone whether they knew them or not. But losing his brother was fucking him up royally. He stole a glance in her direction and his heart melted. She had emptied her glass, and was still a wreck. Without asking, he refilled her, scooting the foot stool over closer to her. “Here, prop your feet up. You like Duck Dynasty? There is something about this show that is calming, and just mellows me. Their way of life, faith, and family reminds me of the old shows like Leave it to Beaver, and I Love Lucy.”

“Yeah, it is one of my favorites.” Her heart sank more. Bella excluded the part that it was one of Jared’s favorites too. They would sit on the weekends when he was home and veg on the marathons, snuggled up on the couch. Was everything going to be an instant stab through the heart? Everything she did, they did together. Everywhere she went, they went together. The alcohol was starting to kill her senses, helping to mellow the pain that ripped her insides to shredded cheese. For the past few days, the desperation had only gotten stronger and more powerful. She couldn’t step out of the blackness that had sucked her inside. Hell, the kids didn’t even know until tonight that daddy wasn’t coming home. She was thankful for Alaina and the others who broke the news to them gently. Without them, she wasn’t sure she could ever have told them. Ever. Mrs. Sanders had been there to help, and stepped in to do her job as a mom. Shit, she was even failing her kids. How was she supposed to put on a brave face for them, when she had no idea how to? It was her job to make sure they were okay, not wallow in self-pity. It was time to suck it up, whether she liked it or not. Drink water, take Motrin, and march on, soldier. The infamous Army motto floated through her head. How? She had no inkling how to detach her feelings enough to live. It was just a foreign language to her.

The next few sips stopped the rapid thoughts that had flashed over and over like a broken record in her head, haunting every waking moment. For the first time, she just stared at the television, watching a bunch of dudes in camo catch frogs. Bella propped her feet up and scooted her head against the back of the couch, letting herself relax for the first time.  Two episodes later, she had passed out and scooted around to lean her head on Joker’s shoulder.

At first it made him feel uncomfortable, but after seeing what she was going through, he couldn’t help but wrap his arm around her and give her some sort of reassurance and comfort while she slept. It had been so long since he had just held a woman, and as fucked up as it was, there was no one else he would rather give this little forbidden side of him to. He rolled it around in his head over and over, wondering if the roles were switched, if he would be pissed off or thankful. His conclusion was that if he had died abruptly and the love of his life was shattering into a million pieces, he would expect his buddies to step in and console her, and get her put back together. This may be the only way he could make up the fact that it should have been him sitting in that morgue right now and not Jared. It became obvious that he had a purpose, and self-destruction from guilt wasn’t part of it. Starting right now, he had a new mission—Bella and the kids. Whatever they needed, he would make sure they had, even if that meant the emotional crap he had hid away for so, so long.

CODE WORD: Protocol

Blog Post

2013 has been a wild, amazing journey.  I published my first book in March, and have been pounding out books since.  My New Year's work resolutions are simple- to keep growing and learning, write more and new, and dive into areas I haven't yet touched.  I want to publish a kid's book and start a young adult series before the new year is over. 

          For my personal life, the resolutions are about the same as they are every year- loose weight, get healthy, enjoy my kids and husband as much as possible, and help others.  With the start of each new year, a new beginning of sorts is given to each of us.  Little random acts of kindness are what will change the world one person at a time, so make a difference! 

Behind the Scenes

Ø What inspired you to write your first book?

My love of writing and reading pushed me to try my hand at writing my first book.  I have always loved writing, and thought whether it got published or not, it would be a great new hobby. 

Ø How did you come up with the title?

The title actually is a play off of the love lost, and lives lost during war, and how one can be 'patched up' and mended to move on in life.  This was the first title so far that came to me before I started writing the book.  It usually comes around the half way mark in writing for me.  

Ø Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers walk away with?

Throughout this book and series, I focus on real problems our soldiers go through that don't get the attention they should.  Our hero's, who have fought so bravely and were willing to die for us return from war with illnesses and trauma that will never go away.  From PTSD to dealing with the death of one of their fellow comrades and all of the death they witness, they carry all of those burdens with them until they die.  They feel isolated, alone, and like the whole world doesn't care.  It is time to stand up and reach a hand to them all, no matter what the issue they bare. 

Ø Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest?

There are so many great new authors that have released!  I try to work my way through and read all of their work. 

Ø Name one person you feel supported you outside of family members.

My list is ginormous!  I never would have thought that stepping into this world would bring me so many dear friends and support.  Other writers are the best at supporting, helping, and guiding.  Without each other, this business would be impossible. 

Ø Do you see writing as a career?

Yes!  I hope that a day will come that this will be our soul source of income.  Someday... ;)

Ø Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Bella is a survivor.  Faced with complete devastation, she still somehow manages to drag herself back into the world and live again.  (She does have a lot of help from the others, and Joker is her rock.  Together they overcome.

Ø Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Oh what a great question!  Every book I write I imagine what it would look like on the big screen.  My lead rolls would definitely be played by Kristen Stewart and Channing Tatum!

Ø How much research do you do?

It depends on the book, but for this series a ton!  Thankfully, I have my husband to turn to for all of the tactical info and terms.  He served 12 years, and deployed 3 times.  There are a lot of details he experienced that make it into the stories. 

Ø Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

I am in the process of writing one now with the amazing Jana Leigh.  I can't wait to see how this one comes together!  She has a brilliant mind, and it is such an honor to work with her. 

Ø Why do you write?

I write because I love it!  I have always been a dreamer, turning everyday life events into an elaborate story only to be disappointed when it falls short of my wild imagination's interpretation of what it should be.  Now, I can create the scenes how I see them, and how they should be!

Ø What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I had been on a major reading spree, putting 2 books a day down and had so many ideas on where they could all continue I couldn't sleep at night.  So, I told my husband that  I was going to try... six months later (only writing a few words here and there) I submitted my first and got it published!

Ø How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Oh my!  I look back at my first book and cringe.  From wording, form and flow, and just plot lines, experience has taught me so much and brought me so very far. 

Ø What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The emotion.  Military is so dear to my heart.  If there are reports of fallen soldiers on television or the media, I cry.  I feel the pain of the families that are grieving, because that is the biggest fear of all family members. I cried while writing a bunch of the scenes in this series because of the reality of each situation. 

Ø What books are you reading at present?

I am reading two... Till My Last Breath by Gracie Meadows and An Archangel's Promise by Jess Buffett.  So far, oh my gosh!  They are amazing.

Flash Round
What is your most cherished possession?
My family.

How do you feel about being the center of attention?
I hate it!  I tense up, turn beat red, and get nauseous.

What makes you blush?
Being complemented or given a gift.

How do you feel, generally, about the opposite sex?
They are infuriating, stubborn, and nerve wracking, but that is what keeps it interesting!  If dealing with the opposite sex was easy there would be no interest.  Human nature is to fight for what we want. It is the machoness and masculinity that we love and hate at the same time.  My husband is the manliest of men and drives me insane sometimes, but I also love him more than anything in the universe.

What is your worst habit?
I have a lot of horrible habbits... haha The worst is probably my gulibility.  I believe and trust too easily which is both a good thing and a bad thing.  I want to believe and see the good in all people and usually end up getting my heart hurt.

Do you have any irrational fears or phobias?
I HATE clowns, spiders, and am deathly afraid of the dark.   I will not walk into a dark room, even if it means finding a flashlight to get to a light switch.

What would you never do, no matter the price?
Do something that I don't believe in.  I am a firm believer in following my heart.

Daily Contest: Enter to win an ebook from her backlist! Contest ends January 12th. Please leave a comment with a valid email address to enter. Don’t forget to also enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter with the code word found above!

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Happy Dancing for your spotlight day!!!!!!! Loved the excerpt....I'm off to Amazon to buy the book! :-) Happy Wednesday sweet friend!

  3. Ahah! I did not know you were afraid of the dark. I detest clowns ( thank Stephen King) and I take satisfaction in smushing spiders! I loved this book willow, It made me cry and smile. Keep writing and we will keep reading.

  4. I can't wait to start reading this new book and since it is Book 2 I am going to have to buy the first one. 😊

  5. Too early for me I forgot my email

  6. I want to start by thanking all of the wonderful people at Fantasy for having me! Yes, I am afraid of the dark. And, am extremely claustrophobic. I am so grateful you all stopped by today! I wish you all the best of luck in the giveaway, and I hope you enjoy this read! Happy Wednesday!

  7. Great post Willow! Good to know I'm not the only one afraid of the dark. LOL

  8. I can't wait to get started on this book, Willow! I'll make sure I'm equipped with a box of tissues though. :) Dark doesn't bother me but damn I hate spiders....or any bugs and always "call" for backup! LOL

  9. Will started the book this weekend Willow...

  10. I just adore Willow Brooke. She is an amazing author and this book is fantastic, the whole series is. She has such an insight with the mind of the military men and woman. I cant wait to see what she has coming next. The twisted Fate series is great as well.

  11. This was such a great book. Have a box of kleenex ready while you are reading it. Loved it!

  12. Not only is this book great, so was the first in the series, Breaking Protocol, just as I am sure the rest will also be awesome. Great job and you know should never tell what you are scared of. It could fall into the wrong hands. LOL

  13. You are beautiful Willow Brooke! ☺ And can I just say I agree...Clowns a freaky as! LOL

  14. This book sounds awesome. Yay me...a new to me author!! Great Interview!


  15. Thank ya'all so much for stopping by! Su0er hugs!