Hello! I’m Cecilia Tan, and right now I’m virtually touring my gay Navy SEAL romance, WATCH POINT. At each stop on the tour, leave comments to be entered to win a gay/queer romance prize pack from yours truly, including not only a copy of Watch Point, but a few of my other books (The Prince’s Boy, Magic University) and a Daron’s Guitar Chronicles swag pack with notebook and stickers.
Eight Things I Learned Writing Navy SEAL Romance
by Cecilia Tan
One of the fun things about being a writer is getting to research locations and vocations for characters, For my Wounded Warrior series of gay military romances for Riptide Publishing, I delved into the world of Navy SEALs. Why are there so many romances featuring Navy SEALs these days? When you look at how amazing these men (and they are currently all men) are, you’ll see how perfect they are to be romance heroes:
- PHYSIQUE — Navy SEALs are lean, mean fighting machines. The average man trying to qualify to be a SEAL can do 79 situps in two minutes. The best of the recruits can do 100. They may be the only romance heroes who actually have the abs pictured on the book’s cover. And that’s just the start. SEAL training pushes human physical demands to the limit and 80% of those who enter SEAL training don’t make it through.
- INTELLIGENCE — To qualify to enter SEAL training, candidates must excel at the military’s equivalent of the SAT, being tested on not only math and reading comprehension, but also electronics, science, mechanical comprehension, and other subjects. They have to not only be book-smart but capable.
- MENTAL TOUGHNESS — SEALs have to be emotionally mature and psychologically stable enough to handle the toughest situations. They take a test called CSORT: Computerized-Special Operations Resilience Test, which tests their abilities to set goals, talk themselves through trouble, and control their emotions. In WATCH POINT I used those traits in my hero, Eric (whose internal voice talks him through not only some harrowing situations, but falling in love).
- TEAMWORK — Much is made of the fourth week of SEAL training, called Hell Week, and with good reason. During the five-and-a-half days of Hell Week, each candidate sleeps about four hours (not per night, TOTAL for the week), runs about 200 miles, and is in physical training more than 20 hours a day. Not only do these men have to be strong, smart, and mentally tough to make it through Hell Week, they have to exhibit teamwork and devotion to each other.
- BROTHERHOOD — In 2006, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor was serving in Iraq. His team and the Iraqi soldiers they were working with were trapped on a rooftop when a grenade was throw into their midst. Monsoor smothered the grenade with his body to protect the rest of his team and died. His funeral was held in California and attended by President George W. Bush and reportedly nearly every Navy SEAL on the West Coast. As the coffin was moved from the vehicle to the burial site, the SEALs formed two columns. Each man pulled his gold trident–the insignia of a SEAL–from his uniform and slapped it onto the coffin, embedding it in the wood. The procession took over an hour and gold-plated the coffin in tribute.
- VERSATILITY — SEAL stands for SEa, Air, and Land. SEALs are trained in underwater demolition, parachuting, and traveling overland whether jungle, desert, or urban warfare. I didn’t have a chance to put a parachute jump into WATCH POINT, but SEALs can do HALO, or High Altitude-Low Opening jumps. They jump from 25,000 or more feet up, spend several minutes in freefall, and pull their chutes open when they’re only 500 feet above the ground.
- HISTORY — The SEALs came into existence because of President John F. Kennedy. In the same 1961 speech where he promised that America would put a man on the moon, Kennedy, a veteran of the Navy himself, spoke of investing in unconventional warfare. The first two SEAL teams were unveiled in 1962.
- BADASS NICKNAMES — Because SEALs engage in covert operations, they use nicknames like “Delicious,” “Demo Dick,” and “Nizzro” to keep their identities secret. These guys sound more and more like superheroes the more I read. Good thing I get to write three more books in my Wounded Warrior series! Enjoy WATCH POINT.
About Watch Point
Eric Sakai-Johnson joined the Navy SEALs to protect his country and the people he loves. After discharge, he finds himself relegated to protecting big pharma billionaire Aiden Milford from assassination attempts and kidnapping. Until Aiden reneges on a promise, fires Eric, and lets Eric’s mother die with millions of dollars in medical debt.
Now Eric is the kidnapper. Snatching Aiden’s twenty-two-year-old son, Chase, for a multi-million-dollar ransom is the only way to get justice. It’s time for Aiden to learn what it’s like when someone you love is at the mercy of forces beyond your control. Eric has it all planned out. The one thing he didn’t plan for is the intense erotic spark between him and Chase.
Chase has been chafing under his father’s autocratic control. A gay hookup app has been his only ticket to rebellion, to clandestine moments of freedom, excitement, and danger. Now it’s his ticket to a deep connection and amazing sex with his captor. On the rocky island where they’re sequestered, Chase finds Eric to be everything he wants in a man: quiet, strong, capable, and honorable . . . until he finds out he’s been captured for real.
20% of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.
Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this yearâ€™s collection will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.
The Russian LGBT network was founded in April 2006. It is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal services.
To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: https://lgbtnet.org/en.
This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:
- Cecilia Tan, Watch Point
- Roan Parrish, The Remaking of Corbin Wale
- Katie Porter, Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Pre-ordering this collection will allow you to download each story two days prior to its official release date, as well as save 20% off the list price of the individual books.
About Cecilia Tan
Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of RWA.
Her professional writing career began when she was still a teenager and her father offered to match every dollar she earned from writing while she lived at home. She immediately landed a gig writing a monthly column for Superteen magazine and provided articles to Teen Machine and other teen magazines. Her first professional fiction sale didn’t come until after college, though. While working a day job in book publishing in Boston, she began sending out erotic short stories. On the day she left her job to pursue a master’s degree in writing, her first short story acceptance arrived.
That was in 1992, several months after she’d founded Circlet Press, Inc., then the only book publisher dedicated to erotic science fiction and fantasy. Her first book, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, was self-published through Circlet because there was literally nowhere else that would even consider it.
Since then, Tan has authored many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers, White Flames, and Edge Plays, and the erotic romances Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction, the Secrets of a Rock Star series, The Prince’s Boy, The Hot Streak, and the Magic University seriesâ€”as well as various nonfiction books on baseball including The 50 Greatest Yankee Games and The 50 Greatest Red Sox Games.
Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004, and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for Best Fiction in 2010 for her crowdfunded web fiction serial Daron’s Guitar Chronicles.
She is the editor of the Baseball Research Journal and is publications director for the Society for American Baseball Research. She is also a part-time taekwondo instructor and is a certified therapist in an Asian bodywork style known as Okazaki restorative therapy. (That’s a fancy way of saying she can break you and then fix you up again.)
Tan has also been a lifelong activist in the BDSM and leather/fetish community. She is the founder of the Fetish Fair Fleamarket, the largest BDSM event in New England, and served for twenty years on the board of directors of the New England Leather Alliance (NELA) before stepping down to concentrate on writing and education.
She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner Corwin and three cats. Find out more at www.ceciliatan.com.
Connect with Cecilia:
To celebrate the release of Watch Point, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag including a copy of Watch Point, The Prince’s Boy, Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Vol 1, a DGC T-shirt, notebook, and stickers! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 11, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!