Many military books have been written by and about SEALs. But two suspense-romance authors have used the genre to write action-packed stories that also highlight the SEAL community. Anne Elizabeth’s latest “The Power of A SEAL” and Laura Griffin’s “Cover of Night” blends a mysterious plot, some romance and a realistic look at those serving.
Readers of both books gain an insight into the personality of a SEAL. They are truly the selfless warriors that do not require any accolades: humble, bold, strong, brave, with an inner calm during the missions.
“The Power of A Seal” explores the mental anguish many who serve go through when their bodies, either emotionally or physically, tell them it is time to look for another line of work. The hero, Leaper Lefton, after undergoing a traumatic experience, is reassigned to the BUD training program as a SEAL instructor to teach, lead, assess, evaluate, and test the trainees, making sure they have the emotional and physical skills. While on a training mission in Coronado, Leaper spots a woman in danger in the middle of the ocean. After rescuing her, he finds out that Kerry Hamilton is a marine veterinarian assigned to the Marine Mammal Program that works with the Navy. She is responsible for the health and well-being of the dolphins and sea lions. After discovering a disease among the dolphins, she enlists Leaper’s help to medicate the wild dolphins and test a cure. The love story takes off from here, but readers are also treated to details about the SEAL training and the Marine Mammal Program.
“Cover of Night” starts off with a bang when journalist Karly Bonham witnesses a terrorist attack in Thailand. Sent on an assignment to interview the U.S. ambassador to Thailand she is packing up to leave and realizes Islamic Jihadists are taking the Ambassador and his daughter as hostages. After receiving an SOS message from Karly, four members of the elite SEAL Alpha Crew team arrive to attempt a rescue. Karly inadvertently finds herself at the team’s insertion point and insists on helping them by providing vital intelligence. The action will come in waves, having the reader feel like it has a tsunami effect.
Elise Cooper: Why did you want to write a series centered on the SEAL community?
Anne Elizabeth: My husband Carl served in Vietnam in 1963 and 1964, part of the Underwater Demolition Team, as a swimmer scout, better known as a Navy Frogman. He then became part of SEAL Team 1 in 1965 and was deployed back to Vietnam in 1966 and 1969. He told me I could honor the community and country by writing about these dedicated men.
I wanted to inform people about the challenges and to show their personal courage. In addition, I wanted to give insight into the SEAL community, respectful of our courageous souls, and to illustrate how hard and complicated dedication can be as well as how precious those peaceful moments are. There are basic facts that are true to all military life: struggles with marriage, family, relationships, money, health, and returning home.
Laura Griffin: I first became interested after reading some autobiographical books written by SEALs. I decided to have a SEAL character in the novel “Beyond Limits” from my “Tracer Series.” I was lucky enough to view the training area in Coronado, touring the base and speaking with some retired SEALs. This allowed me to have a feel for the area of San Diego. This series is less about forensics and more of an action and adventure story. I hope this series showcases all the great things they do, since I have a ton of respect for them. I enjoyed writing about their missions, training, and teammates.
EC: Are your heroines as strong-willed as their male counterparts?
LG: Karly is bold, fearless, athletic, and sensitive.
AE: Anyone having a relationship with a SEAL needs to be their own person with their own self-expression. The woman has to be as alpha and strong as the man.
EC: How would you describe the heroes?
AE: Leaper is very old-fashioned, protective, a workaholic and very private.
LG: Ethan is assertive, aggressive, but also protective. On a personal level with Karly he shows a softer side, which she taps into.
EC: You also do the walk by helping your community?
LG: I live in Texas. My parents were impacted by the hurricane. They lost their house in the flood. Someone in a boat who they did not even know rescued my parents. A lot of my close friends had to relocate. The neighborhood where I grew up was flooded with water. It has been a hard time for the city of Houston so when the Astros won the World Series it gave all of us a boost and was pretty awesome. Some of the proceeds from “Cover of Night” went to benefit Hurricane Harvey.
AE: My husband and I strive to honor those serving 365 days a year. The public should be aware of the sacrifices made and understand that the SEALs are selfless warriors. Carl is still part of the Legacy Program that remembers those who served. We always send holiday packages to some families that have faced hardships to remember the sacrifices they make. We want to show them they are not alone and Americans are thinking of them.