Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog tour: His Road Home by Anna Richland

His Road Home
By: Anna Richland
Releasing October 13th, 2014 
Carina Press

Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, to avoid insulting a matchmaking Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey is injured while rescuing a local boy, the image no one was supposed to see goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she's engaged. When she's offered a plane ticket to visit her "fiancé," she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? A traumatic brain injury means Rey can’t tell her, until they figure out how to communicate. Touched by Rey's funny texts and determination, Grace offers friendship—a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving—a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey's new life once he's ready to be on his own again?

Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of her debut paranormal romantic suspense novel, First to Burn, Anna joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to a career on four continents.
She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free accommodations near military hospitals for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.
To sign up for Anna's newsletter and find out about her next release, The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings, Book Two), visit her website at


“Dostum’s willing to provide twenty men for fighting season,” Abdullah explained their Afghan host’s soliloquy, “but first he wants a more permanent relationship with Americans.”
“What the fuck does he think thirteen years and five hundred billion dollars are? No one-night hookup.” In contrast to his words, Rey Cruz smiled. He’d shared tea with the old man often enough to know the game.
“I’ll rephrase that,” the Special Forces team’s interpreter said.
“Why we haul you around, amigo.”
As the terp listened to the reply, his shoulders tightened and his eyes flicked from the dozen tribesmen squatting around the compound, to the weapons stacked throughout the open courtyard and to the gate. Abdullah’s body language was subtle, but Cruz lived or died by noticing a trickle of gravel or a faraway glint of sun on metal.
When Abdullah began to translate, Cruz was ready for word of renewed insurgency or allied losses. “It has been my privilege to work with your fine American team, and Allah blessed me with two healthy sons last year due to the generous and great American doctor you brought. I desire to repay the blessing.”
Not the bad news he’d been expecting, but his interpreter still looked tense.
“I understand Sergeant Cruz is unmarried.” Abdullah shared the tribal leader’s words. “I humbly offer him one of my daughters.”
While Dostum watched like a one-eyed, toothless cupid cradling an AK-47 instead of a bow and arrow, Cruz forced himself to obey the rules for breathing before a five-mile high parachute jump: inhale steadily, no gulps, no matter what instinct urged, no matter that he could barely keep his lips from puckering with rejection. “That’s—”
“Shut up.” Abdullah’s voice quavered. “He’s giving you a gift that matters a hell of a lot to him and in his mind, doing you a favor. Half these men can’t afford to get married, and if you throw his daughter in his face, the insult might make them open fire.”
The air stopped moving except for two flies close to Cruz’s cheek. An insider attack: when a local soldier snaps and kills his allies. Green-on-blue, briefings called it.
“Get me out of it.” He missed his former teammate Wulf’s interpreting skill like a guy missed his nuts. He disliked giving so much power to someone the team had known for six months but saw no choice. “Whatever you have to say.” He tried to smile, but his lips were too dry to peel away from his teeth.
Undershirts always soaked through, the price of wearing more than forty pounds of protective gear, but now sweat chilled on his skin. The sun was a joke, making those weapons shiny enough to reflect glare, but not providing a bit of warmth.
The two men talked while he watched a fighter in a striped vest, the man whose hands were closest to his rifle. Target one if this went to hell. Shoot, roll left to cover Abdullah and count on the rest of the team to roar through the gate and clean the courtyard. One on twelve for ninety seconds, survivable only on paper. 
He didn’t have to field test the plan. His terp pulled a save from the faded Tigers hat that never left his head.
“Relax, lover boy.” Abdullah flung an arm across his shoulders.
Cruz wasn’t sure whose pits gave off the worst funk; his, the man hugging him or the two Afghans bringing them tea, flatbread and lentil paste.
“Told Dostum you’re engaged to a nice girl back home—”
An Afghan with a miraculous mouth of teeth pounded Cruz on the back to dislodge the bread stuck in his windpipe choking him. “What?”
“And because American law doesn’t allow two wives, you regretfully cannot accept this honor, but you’ll bring gifts next week to show how much you appreciate his generosity.”
“Great. We’ll haul a pallet of rice, but don’t let him think he’s getting weapons.” Wily bastard might have set up the incident to bag more rocket-propelled grenade launchers. “If proud papas start offering me wives but settle for swag, I know who to blame.”
Abdullah raised his hands, palms out as if to deny his responsibility, then laughed as he turned them into finger-pistols pointed right at Cruz.
“By the way, he expects a photo. He wonders what kind of woman American soldiers marry.”
“No problem.” A fake fiancée.  He’d almost rather risk the business end of an AK-47.


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Anna Richland will make a $50 DONATION
to The Fisher House Foundation
in honor of a veteran of the winner’s choice.

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1 commenti:

  1. Hi Roberta! Thanks for hosting His Road Home today - I'm really excited for the release of this story out into the world - I started writing Cruz's story after Thanksgiving of 2012, but Carina Press wanted to release this story after my debut came out, so that ended up pushing His Road Home to fall 2014.

    Waiting for two years has felt like what a mother elephant must feel (aren't they pregnant for an absurdly long time?)