NEWSLETTER January – March 2012 from Lindsay McKenna
I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday. We did! Only in central Arizona, near Sedona where I live, we don’t get much snow, if at all. So far this year (January 2012) we’ve had 60F and blue skies and sunshine. This is WHY I live in the Southwest. I’m no good in cold weather .
Many exciting things under way in the book department! I signed a contract to create three more Black Jaguar Squadron books for Harlequin Romantic Suspense! They will come out once a year. I’m curving off in a new direction with BJS and I hope you are as excited as I am about it. I’ve created an off shoot called Black Jaguar Company. This concept of putting military women in Afghan villages along with Army and Marine Corps ground troops, or even Special Forces units is already happening.
In January 2010 the Marine Corps decided to create Female Engagement Teams or FETs. They put volunteer women from the Marine Corps and Navy on the ground. Their job is to reach out to Afghan women in these villages. As you may or may not know, in many muslim countries, men cannot talk to women directly. And one must be a relative in order to speak to that woman. However, there is nothing in Muslim tradition that women can’t speak to women. And it is based on this concept that FETs was created.
You know how women can talk to one another? We get the job done and we get personal and intimate very quickly. Unlike men. You know the drill . It is hoped that the FETs volunteers who will work with the the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade can reach out and make serious and genuine condition to the women Afghan villagers. Women know all the gossip, of course. They may talk to another woman, even if she is an American military woman, when she would not be allowed to be seen with a male military American member. The type of connections women forge is unique to them.
A hundred women volunteer team members were trained at Camp Pendleton, California Marine Base. Usually, there are two FET Marines or Navy women in a team and assigned to a particular village. They can help the local Afghan women with health, dental and other problems and get them the support they need for themselves and their children. It’s a win-win for everyone.
The only problem is that some civilians are saying the FETs are, in actuality, women in combat. And yes, these women are trained for ground combat just as any male Marine would be. The women’s role, however, is one of peace and goodwill. That doesn’t mean the Taliban is going to spare them, however. The women FETs on the ground are just as exposed to IED’s and bullets as their male counterparts are.
After reading about this wonderful idea, I decided to create Black Jaguar Company, based loosely on the FETs concept above. Only this time,I’ve brought back General Maya Stevenson (Heart of Stone, Silhouette single title release, March 2001) and her husband, Colonel Dane York, to create the BJC all-woman ground troops. Their mission is to have an all volunteer military women be embedded in Afghan with the Army and Marine Corps. Their job, as Maya has fashioned the concept, is to utilize the woman as a connection to the women of the village. This woman may be from any career within the military and her job is to become an indispensable liaison between the village women and the Marine, Army or Special Forces that are stationed nearby.
Those who have followed Black Jaguar over the years know that Maya Stevenson was one of the first women to go through Apache combat helicopter training. She then created the Black Jaguar Squadron, a black ops based in Peru, to chased down and stop drug shipments from leaving the country for the USA and beyond. Those wishing to ‘catch up’ and read these foundation books, here they are:
Heart of the Jaguar, Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette single title release, Jan. 1999
Heart of the Warrior, Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette single title release, August 2000
Heart of Stone (Maya Stevenson’s book), Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette single title release, March 2001
And for those who would like to acquaint themselves with the Black Jaguar Squadron books that spun off from the above original series, here they are:
1. Destiny’s Woman (Akiva’s story) Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette single title release, March 2002
2. An Honorable Woman (Cam Anderson’s story) Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette single title release, March 2003
3. Sister of Fortune (Snake’s book), Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette Bombshell release, December 2004
4. Wild Woman (Wild Woman’s book) Lindsay McKenna, Silhouette Bombshell release, April 2005
5. Mission: Christmas (Dallas Klein’s book) Christmas anthology with Susan Grant, Silhouette Romantic Suspense, November 2008
6. His Woman in Command, (Nike’s story) Silhouette Romantic Suspense, March 2010 (Black Jaguar Squadron 60, book 1 of 3) March 2010
7. Operation: Forbidden (Emma Cantrell-Trayhern’s story) Silhouette Romantic Suspense, March 2010 (Black Jaguar Squadron 60, book 2 of 3), March 2011
8. His Duty to Protect, (Rachel Trayhern’s story) Silhouette Romantic Suspense, February 2012 (Black Jaguar Squadron 60, book 3 of 3)
My first BJC story will arrive in 2012 via Harlequin Romantic Suspense. The characters you meet in the above story may pop up in these stories. I have a long history of writing about characters and allowing the reader to meet them again–and again–in later stories. Some of the fun connections are:
1. Maya Stevenson in Heart of Stone, is now a General in the US Army and runs the BJC.
2. Dallas Klein, who was Maya’s XO, executive officer, with BJS in Peru, is now the commanding officer of Black Jaguar Squadron 60, Camp Bravo, a forward CIA base on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Maya and Dallas are at the same Camp working with different branches of the Black Jaguar. It will be fun to get them together again; two powerful military women who have the ‘right stuff.‘
3. A number of the Trayhern children, who have grown up, are now serving in Afghanistan. They are the girls from Noah and Kit Trayhern or Alyssa and Clay Trayhern. If you want to keep up with their stories, you’ll find many of them here.
4. And if you’re a reader that desires to read about strong women who are equals to any man, the BJS, BJS60 and BJC books are where the action’s at!
I hope you all have some down time to curl up and read one or more of these books. Romance and suspense are my brand. If you want action, deeply emotional moments, intense danger, and women to kick butt and take names, you’ll find them here!