Return of the Warrior – Sleeper SEALs: Flat Line
Mac & Roz
A Family Affair – Dogs of War: Chaos
Aiden & Angela
Oh Louie – Helping Hands, Healing Hearts: Healing Home
BB & Lincoln
Christmas Raine – Dogs of War: Catalyst
Raine & Noah
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
In this set we’ll catch up with some of your Lost and Found favorites, and introduce you to new ones! This is a 46,000 word set of short stories.
In Return of the Warrior we’ll catch up with Mac and Roz from Flat Line as she struggles to regain balance and maybe take a step forward in her life.
In A Family Affair Aiden has a surprise for his big brother John Palmer, but he’s left reeling when the tables are turned on him…
In Oh, Louie, BB Jones takes a sick puppy into her heart and home, and struggles to feel secure while Lincoln is deployed, especially when faced with an unexpected gift.
Raine Walters fights to bring the holiday spirit to the tortured men that the Dogs of War have recovered in Christmas Raine.
I have to confess I went back to read Flat Line to refresh my memory about how Mac and Roz met. I’m very glad I did because they really did need to have their story continued from there.
Roz is a very strong woman and Mac has a great deal of respect for her. She’s been through so many traumatic experiences and she’s starting to deal with her issues.
Mac has been with her since before the last attack and he was pleasantly surprised when she asked him to return to the cabin with her. Now it’s almost Christmas and he’s made some changes to himself that Roz has noticed.
I love Mac’s cat and this is a favorite scene.
Cracking the book open on his lap, he leaned back the chair, waiting to see if she would talk. On nights like these, though she was upset, he loved the closeness of having someone to talk to in the depths of the night.
“Your cat has no manners,” she said finally.
Mac looked at Oliver. He wasn’t a bad cat, just a starving stray that he’d found in the back alley behind his Columbus townhouse. But he’d been a solid companion for many years. “He knows when somebody is hurting,” Mac said.
Roz look looked at the cat out of the corner of her eyes. “Is that why he jumps on me all the time?”
“I’m sure,” Mac said. “He’s gotten me through a lot of long nights.”
Roz gave him a deliberate look. She knew he had bad nights as well and he was okay with that. If it brought her focus away from her own hurt, he would expose anything he needed to.
“He’s okay, I suppose.”
Mac grinned and reached for his tea.
“He likes it up here. And I’m not sure if you noticed but he’s caught several moles and mice around the cabin.”
Roz made a face. “Yes, I know,” she said, “he keeps leaving the bodies on the front porch.” Mac grinned again.
“Hey, at least he’s getting them.”
Roz looked at the cat contort into a position to lick his private parts, and she snorted. “I suppose.”
Max decided it was time to change the subject. “Did you talk to your son tonight?”
Frowning, she sighed. “Yes, but he didn’t have a lot of time to talk. He was on his way to the airport.”
Mac tried not to scowl. “Where the heck is he going now?”
“The Dominican Republic. He’s with some group going down to do volunteer work. I guess it’s worth half his grade.”
“But did it have to be planned over Christmas?” Mac asked.
Roz shrugged. “Supposedly that’s when they need the most support.”
Mac used the finger to mark a space in the book and prop it on his lap. “That just doesn’t seem right.”
J.M. Madden. Lost and Found Pieces 2 (Kindle Locations 153-170).
Encouraged, a plan is put into place for the holidays and fun ensues. I loved their journey into something more than comfortable friendship and seeing old friends.
5 Contented Purrs for J.M.!
Once again I decided I had to re-read the book where these two met. Chaos was a favorite of mine. I’m also going to have to go back to Lost and Found Pieces 1. It’s been a while and I love these characters so very much.
It’s Christmas at John and Shannon’s. The twins Wyatt and Caden are growing fast and at eighteen months old into a lot. This holiday is very different for Aiden in that he isn’t hiding in the shadows like before.
His relationship with Angela has also grown and flourished in this time and sharing this holiday with her just brings them closer.
This is a favorite scene.
Aiden knelt down beside the boys and looked at the ornaments, his attention caught by one in particular. It had the Navy SEAL crest on it, and his name in gilt along the bottom. His throat tightened as he looked at every individual letter of his name. Then he reached out and ran his thumb over the blue globe.
The boys’ chatter faded as he looked over the rest of the tree. It was beautiful. He’d been around Christmas trees before, but none had had his name on them, even when he was little. If his mother had decorated, he certainly didn’t remember it, and the orphanage had been too poor. They might have had a tree and he might have gotten a present, but it had surely been a generic boy gift, probably donated or handed down.
Nodding to the boys, distracted, he looked around the room. Shannon had decorated the house and tree beautifully, but that tiny little detail, that ornament, made it feel more like a home to him than anything else. He looked at Shannon. She stood with her hand on John’s shoulder. “Thank you,” he told her, but she shook her head, nodding her chin at John. “He did it. Not me.”
Aiden looked at John, and there was an understanding there that very few people in the entire world would get.
Wyatt turned his head forcefully to look at him. Aiden grinned as the boy told him something and Aiden felt the emotion more than the spoken words. He reached out and hugged the little man who looked so much like his big brother. Aiden expected him to wiggle away, but he let Aiden hold him for several long seconds before being distracted by his brother.
Angela brought the present bags toward the tree, distracting the boys even more. At eighteen months old, they were very pleasure driven. Everything was supposed to make them happy, or they objected. And now, as Shannon told them they couldn’t open the bags yet, they yowled.
“After dinner,” she said firmly.
Angela had brought a broccoli casserole. She disappeared into the kitchen with Shannon, leaving John and Aiden to watch the boys.
“It’s a little weird, isn’t it?” John asked him, sitting back in the chair as the boys played on the floor.
“What?” Aiden asked.
Aiden laughed, feeling exposed, but nodded. “Very. I’m trying to be all cool and sh-crap,” he changed quickly, glancing at the boys, “but the holidays put me on edge.”
J.M. Madden. Lost and Found Pieces 2 (Kindle Locations 504-522).
There’s more than one surprise that brought tears to my eyes.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many of my favorite couples and sharing this holiday with them.
5 Contented Purrs for J.M.!
I’ve loved Lincoln and BB since I met them Healing Home. With Lincoln now deployed she’d found a closer friendship with Mary. and some of the other wives and girlfriends
Her loneliness was pulling at her and when Mary calls about a Frenchie puppy in need, she immediately embraces the challenge.
Now nursing the tiny puppy to a point where he can have the needed surgery was just the beginning. She also finds she is pregnant but can’t tell Lincoln until she hears from him.
This is a favorite scene.
Lincoln was going to freak.
Tears filled her eyes as she thought about bringing a little Lincoln into the world, with dark hair and his brilliant colored eyes. She would need to run to the drug store to get a test, but in her heart she was almost positive she was going to have a baby.
Even more desperately she wished Lincoln would call.
Mary seemed to sense that something was going on but BB didn’t want to tell her if she could avoid it. If at all possible, Lincoln should be the first to know. Should she write him a letter and hope it got to him? There was a program called Sandbox Letters that Mary had told her about but she hadn’t tried the service yet. Did she dare? Maybe if she technically told him about the baby before Mary guessed she wouldn’t feel so bad.
Or maybe she should just wait. By her estimates, if she was counting correctly, she was probably two to two and a half months along. Maybe waiting another two months until he came home would be smart. She was a little older and wasn’t there a point in the pregnancy when it was assumed the baby was safe? Like the first trimester or something.
Just the thought of finally holding a baby in her arms, her child, was shocking. And thrilling. And a little horrifying. She wasn’t sure how exactly she’d managed to get pregnant, but she would accept the joy, happily.
Suddenly, the realization that she was going to have a baby hit her hard. They were going to have to prepare. Just the thought of all the stuff they needed to get… crap… They were going to need Lamaze classes and maybe even a new house. The two-bedroom beach house was fine for now but she would have to give up her office for the baby.
Louie whined and she moved to pet him, distracted.
Then Frankie moved in beside him, taking her hand. BB snorted, loving that her dogs seemed to sense her disquiet.
At a loss, she sank down into her comfy chair on the far side of the room. No, she thought, pushing up, she needed to plan. Grabbing a note pad she flipped to a fresh page, sank back down into the chair, then just stared, not having any idea where to start.
Maybe… maybe it would be smart to head to her house up north. She needed to decide what to do with it anyway. It had been vacant pretty much since she and Lincoln had gotten together. It would get them out of town and she wouldn’t slip with the information.
Or maybe she should slip with the information. Mary, who’d had three kids, would be an invaluable resource right now.
Shit. For one of the only times in her life she had no idea what to do.
Louie whined and she looked down. That’s what she would do; she would take the dogs for a walk. And when she got back she would make a cup of tea and try to work out her priorities.
J.M. Madden. Lost and Found Pieces 2 (Kindle Locations 1004-1026).
Between planning the changes required for the baby and missing Lincoln, this book had me crying and impressed.
Lincoln’s homecoming is the best! A perfect holiday read.
5 Contented Purrs for J.M.
This one has me wanting time to fly. Raine is a nurse caring for the more recovered men that had been rescued. There are serious challenges here, but she needs to bring some Christmas into the starkness of the environment.
Her boss, Dr. Elizabeth Wilkes has no problem with her doing it and even makes it part of the budget.
With her plans settled, all she needs to do is get through her shift. She first encounters Noah as she’s rushing to change after getting drenched helping a patient. The second time as she hurries back to calm yet another charge. But it’s their third encounter that’s the most interesting.
This is a favorite scene.
Raine didn’t know what to think when she answered her apartment door early the next morning and found a lazily smiling hot hunk in the hallway. Noah was leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed, looking way too sexy for seven-thirty in the morning.
Raine, who’d been just about to leave, fumbled to a stop, purse and car keys swinging from her hand. “What are you doing here?” she hissed.
Noah’s black brows lifted. “A little birdy told me you would be going shopping this morning and might need a truck. I’m here to volunteer my services.”
She stared at him dumbly for a moment, then her eyes slid down his muscular shape of their own volition. “You’re volunteering to be my grunt?” she asked, incredulous. “And driver?”
His golden eyes twinkled. “Well, I suppose I am.”
“What’s it going to cost me?” she asked suspiciously.
“Breakfast,” he said immediately. “Don’t care where, just soon.”
Laughing, she hoisted her purse higher on her shoulder. “Done,” she agreed, and they walked down the hallway together. Raine had to wonder what the heck she was doing because Noah was so incredibly intense. He was probably one of the most intense men she’d ever met. So why was she going to breakfast with him? Maybe because she’d seen a flash of insecurity in his expression when he’d offered? And humor? Yesterday she’d seen brooding and angry. The humor was intriguing.
It was a little awkward riding down the elevator with him to the parking garage. They had seen each other a couple of times in the building, but yesterday had been their first interaction of any length, so it seemed a little odd to be getting into a vehicle with him. He was barely more than a stranger. Anxiety churned in her stomach.
With her mother’s remonstrations about being safe chanting in her head, she drew out her phone. She typed off a quick message to Paul to let him know what she was doing. He had probably just started his shift so he may not see it for a bit, but at least she was covered in case Noah turned out to be a serial killer or something. Glancing into the back as surreptitiously as she could she looked for anything out of the ordinary.
“I keep the ropes and duct tape in the very back,” he murmured as he hit a button overhead to let them out of the garage.
Her mouth dropped open at his words and the bottom fell out of her stomach.
Then she looked at him and saw the glint of humor in his golden eyes. Without thought she reached out and punched him in the shoulder. He winced a little, then grinned.
“You’re bad,” she groused. “Why would you scare me like that?”
“What?” he grinned. “Ropes for the tree. I thought that was why you needed the SUV.”
Raine stared at him, wondering if she’d completely misread the situation. No, she hadn’t. She glared and he laughed again, holding up a hand. “Okay, I might be teasing you a little. I could almost see all the warnings you’ve ever received in your life marching across your face. ‘What’s that pretty little woman doing with the big, scary, black dude. He has to be kidnapping her…’”
He snorted derisively, shaking his head.
“You have no idea how close you are,” she laughed, a little uncomfortably. “Where I was brought up people of any color were few and far between, and not looked upon without suspicion, if you know what I mean.”
“Yeah, I thought so.”
“College opened my eyes a lot, though. As well as dealing with my patients. We’re all the same,” she said simply. “Your blood is as red as mine.”
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eyes. “You are very right.”
“And my worry about being kidnapped is not color specific. My mother warned me to stay away from men in general, especially handsome men.”
She snapped her mouth shut, praying he hadn’t caught that bit, but of course he did.
J.M. Madden. Lost and Found Pieces 2 (Kindle Locations 1792-1823).
With the decorations, an unusual occurrence, a tearful and beautiful story unfolds.
The interactions with patients especially Haven, the first kiss from Noah and so much more has me wanting the next book in the Dogs of War, ‘Catalyst’.
5 Contented Purrs for J.M.
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Helping Hands, Healing Hearts
Dogs Of War
J.M. Madden writes compelling romances between ‘combat modified’ military men and the women who love them. J.M. Madden loves any and all good love stories, most particularly her own. She has two beautiful children and a husband who always keeps her on her toes.
J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she’s at the computer, reading and writing, perfecting her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her animal horde and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is writing full-time and always has several projects in the works.
She also dearly loves to hear from readers! So, drop her a line. She’ll respond.