Tyler is the hero in Debra's "Fourth of July at The Corral".
The Fourth of July edition of my holiday series is almost ready for submission. I completed the first draft last week and then printed out a copy, which I've gone through to do paper and pencil edits. Next I'll enter those into the mss, and from there do some line edits and such. After the synopsis is written, I'll submit it to my editor. Summer stories are due by December first, so I have roughly 10 days to get it all together.
As always at this stage, I am more than a little in love with my hero. This isn't anything new. I fall in love with each of my heroes in turn.
Tyler Collins is a United States Marine. His family has a long history of military careers. His dad still serves, and his granddad served in Vietnam. He didn't enlist right out of high school, but as soon as he graduated college, his plan for a military career of his own began. Before heading off to OCS (Officer Candidate School) he took a visit to his college roommate's home town. There he met Pam. There was an immediate attraction, and they were soon head over heels. But since Tyler would be deploying overseas after OCS, they knew there time together would be brief. Tyler leaves and serves two tours of duty in Afghanistan. During his third, he is injured and sent home on medical leave. Upon being released from the hospital, he heads right to Pam, even though they haven't seen each other or had any contact for three years.
The story begins here in Tyler's POV.
Would she remember him?
Tyler Collins stared at the wooden sign outside the bar: The Corral – Steakhouse and Saloon. Did she still work there? Over three years had passed. Three years in which he thought about her every day.
More than likely she didn’t remember. After all, their time together had been brief. Less than two months. Filled with idyllic moments of sunshine and laughter before he deployed for hell. Memories he cherished and held close even now. Memories that had gotten him through the worst times of his life. Gave him something to hold onto when the rest of the world turned to chaos and pain and death.
Every detail was etched into his brain. His heart. His soul. The dark chestnut of her hair. The lighter, soulful brown of her eyes. The way her lips went soft and pliant beneath his.
She had to remember. Because they’d also shared a few moments of nerve-wracking anxiety wondering if the entire course of their lives, three lives, had changed forever. No one could forget something like that.
Only one way to find out for sure. With a deep breath, he shoved open the door to the Jeep and stepped down onto the gravel parking lot. The small rocks crunched beneath his boots as he made his way to the entrance.
“Grow a set, Collins,” he muttered. “You’ve faced way worse shit than this.” He gave a wry chuckle. Mortar shells exploding within spitting distance he took in stride. Talking to a woman he hadn’t seen in three years made his knees go weak. He ran a hand over the short stubble of his hair, threw back his shoulders, and walked in.
Until next time,
Christmas at The Corral (available now)
Valentine's Day at The Corral (coming soon)