Although there are comedic aspects to Wounded Warrior, at heart it's a very serious book. Set in Alaska, the story starts in August and ends in December, and the mood of the story grows darker along with the passing seasons.
At the heart of the book is the wartime experience of the hero, Fisher Chugatt. Here's an excerpt describing some of what he feels:
parasomnias, pa-ra-som-ni-as: (n): sleep disorders, including night terrors, sleepwalking, dream anxiety disorder
Gasping, Fisher awakened, trapped in sweat-soaked pajamas and twisted sheets. Horrific images sped through his mind.
The road again, the bombed-out one in the mountains.
Orphaned kids missing limbs because they’d stepped on a land mine.
Hollow-eyed teenaged girls, gang-rape victims, flinching at the approach of any male.
Entire families, staggering with the weight of all the possessions they could carry, stumbling away from their looted and burned homes toward dubious safety at the end of the road.
Fisher blew out a resigned breath. Banishing the frightful memories to the past where they belonged, he disentangled himself from the mangled bedclothes and padded to the bathroom. He discarded his damp pajamas, ran a cold shower, then stepped in to sluice away the stinking detritus of his military career.
After drying himself, he took another of his dozen pairs of washable cotton P.J.’s from a drawer, noting that he had four sets left for the rest of the week. He donned only the drawstring bottoms before opening a window. The sound of the ocean waves flowed in, nearby and comforting. The cool, crisp night air spilled over his flesh.
His tingling body reminded him of Valerie Percy, and the way he felt about her.
He’d known she was going to be trouble the moment she drove off the ferry. She was too cute, too charming, and too all-out-sexy, even when she smashed into his truck or drenched him with soup.
She had a directness about her, an honesty that made every silly thing she did forgivable. She’d slipped under his skin way too fast.
Archie had made avoiding her impossible. Fisher had tried to discourage her from staying in Alaska, and that tactic had also failed.
What was he going to do about Valerie Percy? Beautiful and bright, she lit up every room she entered. And the sex… If he knew what was good for him, he’d quit doing her. She was hotter than any woman between Alaska and Aghanistan. She was everything any sane man would want in a woman.
But he wasn’t quite sane. What normal man was tortured by ghosts from the past, night after night, for years?
He sighed, surveying his wrecked bed, the pillow clammy with sweat. While changing the pillowcase, he again decided that he couldn’t subject Valerie or any other woman to his life.
I did a fair amount of research on PTSD and post-combat disorder while writing this book.
So if you care about our soldiers, get some insights by reading Wounded Warrior. It's on sale now for 99 cents at Amazon and is free with KU.
And please leave a review. THANKS!