28 May 2013
Having been in the US Navy and having had Marine Corps friends in combat, I have seen what war does to a person. PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, came into our reality in the 1980’s. Before that, it was simply known as “battle fatigue” or the “thousand yard stare.” Whatever it was called then, now or in the future, the wounds our men and women in the military sustain by being in combat, is real. While they may never be wounded by a bullet, the terror, trauma and horror of their experiences, wounds their psyche and soul.
And the truth be known, dysfunctional families where parents dole out anger and abuse in any form or format, create PTSD in their child or children. War isn’t always over in a foreign country. War can be found within a family, sadly. And it’s something that needs to be addressed because so many people suffer from it. Police, firefighters and EMT/paramedics also can suffer from it as well. So, PTSD is a global phenomena and a very, very deep emotional wound that can take decades, even a lifetime, to heal, if ever.
In THE LONER, I wanted to bring PTSD to the surface and how it can affect the hero, Dakota Carson. His symptoms, as you read the book, are not fiction. They are fact. Many who are stamped with PTSD, have them too, unfortunately. What is heartbreaking is that our men and women who are returning from combat, find little in the way of help upon their return stateside. More needs to be done for them. And their families need to be educated upon the symptoms of PTSD so that they can cope better with them, instead of being wounded by it as well. Civilians become ‘friendly fire‘ beneath the aura of insidious PTSD. A person who has PTSD may well feel like a ‘loner.’ And this can be over come with help, love and understanding.
Shelby Kincaid, sheriff’s deputy, is the only woman on the Teton County sheriff’s department. Her father was past commander of it and she loves what she does to help people in need. Not only that, but Shelby has been taught how to track people and animals in the worst of conditions. When she meets Dakota Carson, she is drawn powerfully to this angry loner. The more he pushes her away, the more she is attracted to him. She’s not dumb; she knows he has PTSD and finds out he spent ten years as a US Navy SEAL, fighting for his country. Shelby feels strongly that everyone owes Dakota, to help him instead of throwing him away, allowing him to live alone deep in the Tetons. Alone. Abandoned by his country.
Dakota wants nothing to do with civilization who ignores his plight. He survives on the edges of it with his SEAL training, asking for no hand outs and no help. But Shelby walks into his life, sunlight into his dark, depressed, haunted life, and Dakota can’t help but respond. And when they realize they share a horribly tragic link from their mutual past, over a decade earlier, it begins to create a meaningful, powerful connection between them. Once a SEAL, always a SEAL. Dakota’s protective mechanisms respond to Shelby’s sudden and unexpected crisis. Just when they have the courage to reach out to one another, their lives are ripped apart. Can Dakota overcome his PTSD, engage his SEAL driven knowledge and experience in order to save her? Or not? Strap in for one helluva ride.
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RT REVIEWS of THE LONER!
RT Reviews, July, 2013
4 1/2 stars HOT
McKenna understands the mind of a warrior, and readers will love this story of a scarred soldier and his own personal Valkyrie finding salvation in each other’s arms. With warriors returning from the war suffering from PTSD every day, McKenna’s story is relevant, moving and eye-opening.
SUMMARY: Deputy Sheriff Shelby Kincaid’s heart is touched when she looks into Dakota Carson’s eyes. The grizzly bear attack that sends him to the emergency room also places him squarely in soft-hearted Shelby’s orbit. After 10 yeas as a Navy SEAL, Dakota is buffeted by brutal nightmares and flashbacks, so he’s sought seclusion in a dilapidated mountain cabin.
Slowly, Shelby draws him out of his comfort zone, making him want a real life for the first time in years. But when Shelby’s life is threatened and the two discover the evil is a common link from their past, Dakota will call upon all his skills to keep her safe, even as he questions whether a life together is possible. (HQN, Jul, 384 pp. $7.99) PAT COOPER, Reviewer.
Wyoming Series, HQN
June 25, 2013