Title: Soldier On
Author: Sydney Logan
Date of Publication: June 2014
Will his call of duty break both their hearts? Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph's only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss. Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed. Steph unexpectedly finds herself in need of a roommate. Brandon volunteers, thinking it’s the perfect opportunity to show her the real Brandon, before he’s forced to admit the truth about his four-year obligation to the army. Afraid that living together will be a distraction to graduating on time, Steph establishes house rules—rules they both find difficult to obey. When faced with the realization that she's fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?
Frat houses have libraries? This one does, complete with ceiling-high bookshelves. Laptops line one wall, and a giant multimedia screen is attached to another. While all of it is impressive, nothing excites my book-loving heart more than to see the library ladder. Secretly, I’ve always wanted to climb one—the tall ladders that roll from one end of the shelves to the other. Ironically enough, library ladders always remind me of Beauty and the Beast. Or the love scene in Atonement. One of those movies is G-rated. The other most definitely is not. Suddenly nervous, I look over my shoulder before making my decision. YOLO. Carpe Diem. Whatever. Slipping off my shoes, I reach for the ladder and slowly begin to climb. Sadly, this is the most adventurous thing I’ve done in a long time, and I can’t stop smiling. I’ve made it to the fifth rung when I hear someone clear his throat. I hold on tightly and manage to turn myself around without falling off. When I’m sure I’m steady, I turn and find myself looking into the eyes of a soldier. Possibly Army. Maybe Marine. Not that it matters. I accepted long ago that my hatred for anything military related is a little unhealthy, but when the service strips a girl of the privilege of knowing her father, it sometimes makes a person bitter. I am the epitome of bitter. This particular soldier is smiling at me, and I can’t lie, the smile is kind of beautiful. Despite that, my first instinct is to roll my eyes at his outfit. But then, I remember this is a costume party, and he probably just needed a quick and totally uncreative disguise. “I don’t think this room is open to visitors,” he says, his tone soft and deep. I wonder if that’s his natural speaking voice or if he’s just playing his role as a badass. The guy certainly looks like a soldier, dressed in his head-to-toe camouflage and smeared-on face paint. “It was actually the only room that wasn’t locked, which is kind of stupid if you ask me. This is the one room in the house you guys shouldn’t want trashed. Drunken idiots could really do some damage in here.” He grins, and my breath catches in my throat as he steps closer. I tighten my hold on the ladder, because a smile that makes a girl’s heart race isn’t the best thing when she’s trying to maintain her balance. “I noticed you downstairs.” Embarrassed, I glance down at my ridiculous dress. “I’m a little hard to miss in canary yellow. I’m going to kill Tessa—” “That’s not why I noticed you.” Before I can ask why he noticed me, shouts erupt from downstairs. “Ten, nine, eight . . .” “Do you have someone to kiss at midnight?” he asks. I simply shake my head. He steps closer, pinning me between his body and the bookshelf. “You do now.”
Q/A with Sydney
Where do you find your inspiration?
People and music, mostly. Sometimes, like in the case with my novel Soldier On, I found a picture that served as inspiration and later, as the cover of the book.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing is balancing writing and promotion. I’m not very good at it. It was easier when I only had one book, but the more I write, the harder it gets to juggle it all. I’m not complaining, because I love it, but that’s the biggest challenge for me.
What are your current projects?
I’m getting ready to release a holiday collection of short stories titled Once Upon a December. It will include two previously published Kindle short stories along with a new short story. It will release on November 28. I’m also working on my fourth novel.
About Sydney Logan
Amazon best selling author Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels - Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.