Streamline Launch Partay!

'Ello!  If God's plans have aligned with mine, I'm in London right now...most likely sampling the local flavor at cozy British pub.  And I'm raising a pint to Jennifer Lane in celebration of her brand new YA novel, Streamline.

I now leave you in her capable hands for a peek into her book and her research process. And look!  She's including a super cool widget where you can enter to win prizes!  Cheers, Jennifer!

I’m uber-excited for the release of the YA Romantic Suspense Streamline. Nicki, thanks for being part of the Launch Party in absentia!

Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.

Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.
Streamline is a story about two US Navy families, taking place both at an air base in Pensacola, Florida and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Since I’ve never served in the military, I needed to research this fascinating world to increase the authenticity of my story.

My grad school roommate became a Navy psychologist, and she put me in touch with a commander who had attended and taught at the Academy. He kindly took the time to teach me about the traditions of “The Yard” such as chow calls in which plebes have to shout the menu for the next meal, events on campus, officers in charge, etc. in rapid-fire mode. He also explained the life of varsity athletes at USNA. I know what it’s like to be a varsity athlete at an NCAA school—an exhausting, thrilling ride—and the Academy ramps up that experience times ten.

Others in the Navy taught me elements that weaved their way into the story, like “Tri-Care” (the health insurance company), psychotherapy confidentiality limitations in the military, and the chain of command. I lucked out when a current “firstie” (midshipman first class, or senior) at the USNA set me straight on training the first-year midshipmen known as “plebes.”

The hot sun bounced off the sea of white uniforms as the plebes
repeatedly rehearsed proper saluting technique. Leo thought his
long-sleeved tunic and round “Dixie cup” hat looked rather dorky
compared to traditional whites worn by the upperclassmen. He knew
Audrey would make fun of him when she visited in August — if he
made it until then.

After they’d practiced saluting and standing at attention for longer
than an invitational swim meet, their company commander explained
the leadership structure of the Academy: the Superintendent was
a three-star Vice Admiral and beneath him, the Commandant of
Midshipman was Captain Sean Tracker. One of Captain Tracker’s
staff members served as the company officer for Second Company:
Lt. Darnell Keaton.

That name sounded familiar to Leo, but he couldn’t place it.
Nevington told them they wouldn’t interact with these officers unless
they’d “screwed the pooch,” so Leo determined never to meet them.
Sour reviewed the Honor Concept of the Brigade of Midshipmen.

“Offenses like stealing, lying, and cheating can result in separation from the Navy,” he told them. “Midshipmen are persons of integrity. They stand for that which is right.”

“Midshipmen are persons of integrity,” the plebes repeated in unison. “They stand for that which is right.”

Still, this is a work of fiction—undoubtedly replete with intentional and unintentional exaggerations or mistakes. (I’ll take the credit for those!) A big thank you extends to the individuals who shored up my Navy knowledge. I hope you’ll find Leo and Audrey’s navigation through the stormy Navy seas every bit as captivating as I do!

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dolorah said...

Cool. Thanks for the mention


CarolOates said...

Enjoy London!

Jennifer Lane said...

Hope you're loving London! *cheerio* Thanks for joining the party, Nicki!

Suze said...

I've never been able to schedule a post with success.

Congratulations to Jen on 'Streamline.' Interesting cover.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The military is a whole different world. Good for you for doing the research.

Tony Van Helsing said...

If you want a good pub in London then try The World's End in Camden Town. I used to go there all the time. Mind you that was twenty years ago so it might not be there anymore.