Release Day! A MAVERICK FOR THE HOLIDAYS! A Soldier Hero and Amazon Gift Card Drawing!

9780373657049  The Montana Mavericks is a popular on-going series featured by Harlequin Special Edition.  What many people may not know is that the basic idea for this particular series is generated by Harlequin.  An editor brainstorms the story ideas for each of the six books in the series and authors are then invited to participate by breathing life into the story ideas.  It can be a real challenge, but I must confess I love the idea of getting some help plotting my books!Smile

What I really loved about my book, A MAVERICK FOR THE HOLIDAYS, is that it features a soldier, Forrest Traub, who has returned home from Iraq.  He is battling a bum leg and post-traumatic-stress-syndrome.  I had the opportunity to interview a Marine who was injured in Iraq and who’d also suffered from PTSD.  In this case, the young man was wearing his protective vest, but he was shot under his arm and had so much damage that he had to have most of one of his lungs removed and his ribcage rebuilt with titanium.  He went through many operations and suffered through many life changes when he was forced to return home from service. 

In my book, Forrest Traub, even though he has lost a lot of hope, is trying to help veterans with the help of a golden retriever therapy dog.  With Christmas coming in the near future, he doesn’t feel the least bit jolly, but there’s a special woman who sees clear to the heart of him and she’s determined to help him feel the joy of the season… and maybe help him see that love is possible even for a beat-up soldier.

I was very honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to write this story that offers just a glimpse of the courage our soldiers and their families face as they return from duty.  God bless them all.

My question for you is can you name something that has recently touched you?  Big or small, I hope you’ll share.  I’ll draw from the responses to give away a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!



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47 Responses to Release Day! A MAVERICK FOR THE HOLIDAYS! A Soldier Hero and Amazon Gift Card Drawing!

  1. booksaver says:

    I think the biggest thing to touch me is all the help and support I’ve received since I lost my home last year in the massive tornado that struck my hometown. There have been so many people to offer physical and mental assistance that it’s been incredible. My apartment complex was owned by a local church, one I don’t attend, and they have been so incredibly generous to all of their tenants. When the one year anniversary rolled around they sent me a thinking of you card just to let me know that they were still thinking of all of us that had lost so much. It’s still an ongoing process for all of us that went through it but with all the kind and compassionate people around us it has been made somewhat easier. I only hope I can pass it forward to other people in need some time in the future. Hopefully for something not quite so tragic.

  2. Kimh says:

    Lost 2 great people live each day tol they fullest

  3. Stonehawk says:

    Well biggest thing to help me is getting a cat as a companion for living by myself and being lonely too long. Also second biggest thing is getting help for college courses I take at a local college that has a good program for people with disabilities. I can get tutoring for classes I’m confused about. that seems to help with my grades. anyway not entirely sure of what’s the third biggest thing in my life other than getting a college degree and having my Gramma live to see that happen before she passed away from cancer.

    • leannebanks says:

      Stonehawk, I’m so glad you got a cat! Pets make such a difference in our lives! And good for you getting help with your college courses. Your persistence will make you a winner! xo, Leanne

  4. Kathy J says:

    A young child down the street from me was diagnosed with luekemia. I was really touched when a neighbor organized help for the family while he was being treated. We mowed lawns, delivered food and just gave emotional support. I was incredible.

    • leannebanks says:

      Kathy J, isn’t it wonderful when someone makes it easy for you to help? Your neighbor provided a gift to the family with the ill child and all the neighbors who wanted to find a way to help! Thanks! xo, Leanne

  5. kris says:

    your story sounds great and I can’t wait to read it. one of my good friends works for a large auto dealer and the owner is always looking for charities to donate to. she was asking me about it and I had just read about a very young wounded soldier who was struggling to overcome his disabilies with round-the-clock help of his mom. His mom had to return to work because they were out of money, but my friend told me the auto dealer is going to donate to his cause! I’m so grateful.

  6. Kathleen O says:

    This is a wonderful story.. I can’t wait to read it.. I think what has touched me the most is knowing that even though my parents are both gone and I feel there loss so much that sometimes I feel so alone, I know that I have others who will be there for me. Last Friday I was feeling pretty blue, but then one of my cousin’s daughters, who goes to school in the town I live in, called me up and asked me if I needed anything at the mall , that she was going to get her hair cut there and she would drive over and pick me up. Now this touched me, because in order to come get me, she has to drive passed the mall, as I live on the other side of the town from her. She is a great kid and she knows I don’t have a car and takes the time out of her day to think of me.. Her generosity alwasy touches me and brightnes my day…

    • leannebanks says:

      KathleenO, I’m so sorry that both your parents have passed away. Parents are so precious. I’m glad your other family members are letting you know that you are important to them. You have a special family! xo, Leanne

  7. michelehauf says:

    Sounds like an amazing series, Leanne! Must have been humbling to be able to interview that man for the story.

    • leannebanks says:

      Michele, I really did feel honored to have the opportunity to write this particular story. And yes the injured Marine was fascinating. Nothing was going to keep him down!

  8. krishelin says:

    I recently discovered a website,, and it’s a mother blogging everyday about her 5-year-old son who is fighting brain cancer. The strength that the mom shows in her blog posts are unbelievable. I admire her for being so brave for her son and it has truly touched me because sometimes we don’t remember to appreciate the little things and this blog just shows that those little moments are so special and cancer doesn’t care if you are 5 years old or 50. Each day is a gift and that is what we should remember.

  9. anne says:

    This past year, the past 7 months for me has been difficult with a major health crisis. My old self has been lost and a new one is emerging. Friends have been there for me with encouraging words, kindness and lovely thoughts.

    • leannebanks says:

      Anne, I’m so sorry you’re suffering with health problems. That can really beat you down. But I see some hope in your words about your new self emerging. I’m glad you’ve had some great friends to encourage you! xo, Leanne

  10. debradixon says:

    Oh, I love Christmas books! I don’t know why that is but I do. It’s my favorite time of year — when the Christmas books come out to play. Off to put this on my Kindle. Yay! And the answer to the question is that today I got the most charming and heartfelt card with personal notes from the staff for Boss’ Day. Cards are expected but the personal notes from the staff about why the appreciate me was just an awesome touch.

  11. Cindy Gerard says:

    Congratulations on the new release, Leanne. And the story about your marine is so touching. I can’t look at a person in uniform without wondering what scars they carry – physical or otherwise. Bless them all. I’m so proud of you for tackling such a difficult issue!

  12. christieridgway says:

    The story sounds wonderful, Leanne! Congrats on the new release. I hope the young man you interviewed continues to heal.

  13. Cindy and Kylie took part in an anthology project with Bell Bridge Books about a year ago that really touched me. I gave several copies of SEAL OF MY DREAMS ( as gifts because it’s a great collection and all proceeds go to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit foundation supporting veterans medical research. The cover alone is worth the price!

  14. Maria C Acevedo says:

    Cant wait to read it!! I loved a maverick for christmas so i know this one will rock too!

  15. ellie says:

    Wonderful book. having an inner strength gives me hope and being there for others is gratifying and special.

  16. kylie brant says:

    Congratulations on the new release, Leanne. Always an exciting time!

  17. Pam Lowery says:

    Leanne, look forward to reading this new books I really enjoy this series. The person who has touched our whole family is my little cousin Avery. She will be 3 in November. I think of her as a niece, her grandfather & I are first cousins and were more like brother & sister than cousins, so his kids were like my first set of nieces & nephew. Anyway, when Avery was born everything looked great, she seemed to be healthy, but then she started having seizures. To make a very long story short, we found out that there was little to no function on the left side of her brain and she needed surgery to stop the seizures. She had the brain surgery and the seizures have stopped and she will not have the motor skills everyone else has, but you should see her walking and talking and throwing a ball and she is such a HAPPY girl! She does walk with a limp and she doesn’t use her right arm as much but she is in therapy every week. She is our joy, I do not know what we would do with out her.

  18. Barbara E. says:

    Something that really touched me recently was a a story told in a series of pictures that I ran across on the internet. A young man left for a deployment in the military while his young lady waited at home, he was injured and lost his left arm, right hand and both legs, and she was there for him all the way through his rehabilitation and recovery. I was so touched not only by the young man’s sacrifice for our nation, but that the young lady stuck by her man and has supported him all the way.
    The link is below to see for yourself:

  19. CrystalGB says:

    When my mother passed away, a few weeks later my best friend sent me “Thinking of You” flowers at work. It really touched my heart that she sent them to let me know that she was there for me.

  20. suzyrph says:

    The Maverick’s have been a really great series. I love Christmas stories and soldier stories. For 36 months I sent out over 500 packages to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, thru a website Any Marines were always tops on my list, I have e-mails, letters, challenge coins and flags that are great rememberances- my prayers have been offered everyday for them. I look forward to the book. It must have been a great privilege to interview that Marine.

  21. Cathy P says:

    Leanne, I love your books, and A MAVERICK FOR THE HOLIDAYS sounds like another winner. I really enjoy reading books that are service related. We are a free country because of all those who have served.

    My DH was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer in late February. All of our friends and family have been amazing and helpful during this difficult time.

  22. carole says:

    looking forward in reading this book! I send alot of care packages to soldiers Iraq,don’t know them personally but my cousin is a preacher and so he passes them out to the bases.I love doing it and sometimes I get letters thanking me, the other day I got flowers from a group of marines and I started crying for I don’t even know them…it made my day! I hope they all come home safe!

  23. Quilt Lady says:

    This book sounds awesome and I can’t wait to read it. This year I have had a lot of back issues surgery and everything and still having problems. It just amazes me as to how people have been there to help. I can’t wait to get my life back.

  24. lori meehan says:

    The book sounds really great. I can’t wait to read it.
    How wonderful it must of been to interview the gentlemen for your book. We should all be proud of the men and women who serve our country so we are a free country.

  25. denise says:

    wow! being able to inteview the Marine–that touched me. We need to honor our veterans. Those who have fought in the past 10 years have suffered greatly from PTSD. Thanks for finding a way to wind it into your story with grace.

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