Military romance in a paranormal mash camp? Yes, ma’am.
We read romance to escape to new
places. One of the things I love about writing the Monster Mash series is that
my readers and I get to visit another world entirely. The series is set in
quirky, paranormal mash unit located in the wilds of limbo. The hero is a
tough-as-nails wounded warrior and the heroine is the doctor who saves him (in
more ways than one).
Petra is one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever
written. Frankly, I think she has to be, given the world she lives in. She’s a
thoracic surgeon who has been drafted out of her practice in New Orleans and
into the middle of this great paranormal war. Enlistments run until the end of
the conflict, which for her will be a life sentence. Still, she manages to keep
her dry sense of humor and she’s even created a new family, of sorts, among her
colleagues at the mash 3063rd.
The stark realities of war bring the oddball
personalities in the camp together. Think guard sphinxes, an exorcist priest, a
vegetarian werewolf and a pregnant Medusa, all thrown together. They develop
ways to keep their sanity and to create the kind of relationships that offer a
port in the storm.
Petra has the ability to see the dead and to speak with
them. It’s a tough skill for a doctor to have. She can see all too clearly what
happens to the patients she loses. The soldiers she does save, she has to send
back to the front lines.
Her ability has been outlawed by the warring gods,
simply because they don’t think a mortal should have that kind of power. And
the gods have a thing for strange and horrific punishments. They won’t just
kill you for disobeying a law. They get all mythological. It’s like a divine
version of The Godfather. Petra knows that the gods will damn her for eternity
if she’s discovered. After all, these are the people that have, in the past;
turned women into spiders, fastened “friends” to burning wheels for eternity;
tied one of their own to some far-flung rock so he could have his liver pecked
out by an eagle until the end of time.
Luckily, Petra is good at keeping her feelings under
wraps. The only thing she’s not prepared to deal with, it seems, is the hero,
who bursts onto the scene first as a critical patient on her table and then as
the only man who knows her secret ability. (Discovered while she saves his life
– which really is not totally fair. Then again, ask him if he cares.).
Our hero, Galen, is convinced Petra can help end the war
if he can only get her to a) believe
him and b) trust him enough to risk
eternal damnation (It’s kind of hard to talk a girl into that). But Galen isn’t
one to give up. He’s not even against a little seduction. And like they say,
all’s fair in love and war.