Stealing Valor – Stealing Heroism

The verdict is in – it's just okee-dokee to wear medals you didn't earn.  Okee-dokee to wear a uniform you never served in.  Okee-dokee to pawn yourself off as someone you aren't.  

Free speech.  That's what the courts said.

The 9th Circuit Court recently ruled that Stolen Valor is free speech, covered by the First Amendment.  

635532065668555663-purple-heartThe case at hand was a man convicted of the Stolen Valor law.  He'd testified in a court case wearing a purple heart he didn't earn.  He appealed his conviction and won.  

Heck, the Stolen Valor law only made it a misdemeanor to impersonate a hero anyway.  It's curious why this guy even appealed.  I have a hunch it's about the bigger move to undermine our military.  But that's a political topic I won't get into here. 

So, why am I even bringing it up? 

First and foremost, because it matters.  Secondly, it's a topic that arises in True Valor, book 1 of the True Heroes series.  

I'd love to hear your opinion.  Reply on Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers

Jax

 

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True Heroes – Release Day

JAX 3 books

It's release day for books 1, 2, and 3 of the True Heroes series. (Book 4 is available for pre-order)

People have asked "How does it feel?"  

It feels great and scary and exciting.  I love that these people that I've come to know as friends will finally be out there making new friends.  It's such fun when readers send emails or IM's and tell me the that they laughed when a character said or did something fun, or cried when things got overwhelming. 

In the book industry, it's scary too.  Will people review the book positively?  Will they review it at all?  Will the books do well.  I know for me, it's not just about sales.  Of course, authors would love to have books that catch fire like Twilight or Hunger Games.  But we also know that's a rare thing.  

But we would love to have people love the books.  Guess that's why we do this.

Enough about me though.  

What I want to say today is thank you.

Thank you to my awesome beta readers.  Thank you to my critique partners.  Thank you to Davis Creative for awesome covers.  Thank you to Ashley and Kim who spent hours and hours going over these manuscripts making them better.  (Even so, I'm sure there will be a few mistakes that slipped through.)   

hh-60-and-troops

And most of all, thank you to the real life TRUE HEROES who scramble to help, putting their own lives on the line, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice.  If these books do right by them, then I'll be satisfied.  

Thanks to Batman, Scarecrow, Angel, Cruz, Clancy and Cowboy, for taking on a life of their own and letting me tell on them.

 

Cheers, 

Jax

 

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Countdown to True Heroes – Day 5

Senior Airman Jason Cunningham

True Hero

Jason was 26 years old, an Air Force PJ.

The battle is called Roberts Ridge, named for Neil Roberts, a SEAL who had earlier been thrown from a helicopter that was downed by enemy fire.  Roberts was stranded on Takur Ghar, a 10K foot mountain in Afghanistan.

Two rescue helicopters were sent in to rescue Neil, but they were too late.  Neil was dead.  The two helicopters were quickly disabled by the guerrillas and a 17-hour battle began.

Our hero, Jason Cunninghan and Army medic Cory Lamereaux gave medical care to the wounded.  Jason moved his wounded team mates three times, each time coming under enemy fire while doing so. 

As the enemy moved in, both men fought off the attackers.  Both men were shot.  Lamereaux was hit in the belly but survived. 

Jason was shot in the small of his back, through his pelvis.  The bullet shattered his liver.  He was really ticked about the whole thing and said he couldn’t believe they shot him. 

Lamereaux and anotheJason Cunningham funeralr medic knew Jason needed surgery immediately.  They worked to save him as the commander called for help. 

There would be no help for hours, until after dark when it was safer.

Nothing the medics did could keep Jason from slipping away.

The former sailor, who had become an Air Force pararescueman because he wanted to help others, died at 6 p.m.

The medivac arrived 90 minutes later.10531494_114833270022

Jason Dean Cunningham is buried at Arlington Cemetery.

Jason was a True Hero that day.  But not just that day.  He fought to save lives every day of his PJ career.  One battle he won changed field medicine forever.  Jason spearheaded the battle with the DoD to get blood products into the prehospital setting – first in the military and now in civilian emergency systems.  There is no way to know how many lives Jason Cunningham saved because of his determination to push that through. 

Certainly more than the ten he saved on Roberts Ridge.

United_States_Air_Force_Pararescue_Emblem_'That_Others_May_Live'

Military Romance Cover Reveal: True Valor

True Valor

Romance can be a surprise, even if you're ready for everything…

Parajumper Nic D'Onofrio just buried his best friend. The motto of his rescue squad is Simpliciter Paratus: Absolutely Ready, but the only thing Nic feels ready for is vacation. After finding a damsel in distress on the side of the road, he can't help but spring into action.

Julie is stranded, out of gas, and beautiful. She's also wearing her pajamas and can only remember her first name. When she won't let Nic take her to the hospital, they'll do the only logical thing: go back to his condo together.

When Nic learns that Julie's family has been murdered and someone shows up looking for her, he knows this is a situation he can't handle alone. He needs the teamwork and the camaraderie of the entire Air Force 506th Rescue Squad to save the day.

True Valor is the first installment in a five-book military romance series. If you like heartwarming chemistry, page-turning suspense, and wholesome romance, then you'll love this series starter.

Buy True Valor to fall in love with a new series today!

Who’s this Bill Leroy guy?

Bill Leroy Wanted: Technical Advisor Extraordinaire!

This is the true story of how I found my AMAZING, FABULOUS and EVER GREAT Technical Advisor:  The Great and Powerful Bill Leroy.

When I first started writing the True Heroes military romance series, I wanted to make sure I got things right.  My heroes were PJs – the Air Force elite special forces.  Pararescuemen.

So, I started online, finding every home page from every pararescue unit I could.  I emailed each one, asking if there was someone that would be willing to be my technical advisor for these books.  I promised that I wouldn't pester them much, just wanted to make sure my facts were straight and that I had the right flavor, so to speak.

Crickets.

No one even emailed me back to say no.

So I went to work, reading everything I could find.  Books, websites, you name it.  

Enter Cowboy Bill. 

I'd just finished True Valor, the first book in the True Heroes series.  I'd just started True Courage – book two.

Living in the high mountains of Colorado, in a town of 800 people, I sometimes went to the local coffee place to write.  There I sat on this cool Autumn day when the door opened and in walked a handsome fellow wearing an Air Force flight jacket.  He sat at the table next to me and sipped his coffee.  I struck up a conversation.

"So, Air Force?"

"Yes," he said.  He was really very friendly.  "Retired pilot.

"Really," I said, trying not to over-react.  "What did you fly?"

"Helicopters."

Now I fought the urge to get up and Snoopy dance. 

He continued,  "I flew Search and Rescue."https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/HH60_Pave_Hawk_-_American_Air_Day_Duxford_(7125012961).jpg

SCORE!!!

I gushed about what I was writing and he verified that he had, indeed, flown the PJs.  Turns out he lived two doors down from me in the condos I lived in at the time. 

We became fast friends.  And, over coffee, we spent hours crashing a helicopter for the True Courage book. 

Thanks, Bill. 

Oh, and he agreed to write the intro to the Meet the 506th page.  Go check it out.  You'll see why I love Bill Leroy!