FORGET ME NOT by Heather Ashby

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Special Sneak Peak: FORGET ME NOT by Heather Ashby

Forget Me Not is Book 2 the “Love in the Fleet” series

Suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome and survivor guilt, Navy helicopter pilot and renowned playboy, Brian “Skylark” Crawford, swears he’ll never marry, uncertain he deserves happiness—besides there are too many hot chicks to choose from. War widow and veterinarian, Daisy Schneider, swears to love only animals after her Marine pilot husband is killed in Afghanistan—but work fails to ease her loneliness or the guilt that she might have saved him. Between one stray, matchmaking cat and a fiery battle with drug runners at sea, the fur flies as Sky and Daisy learn valuable lessons about life, love, and second chances.

Heather Ashby is a Navy veteran who taught school and raised a family while accompanying her Navy husband around the U.S., Japan, and the Middle East. In gratitude for her Army son’s safe return from Afghanistan and Iraq, she now writes military romance novels, donating half her royalties to causes that support wounded warriors and their families. Her debut novel, Forgive & Forget was voted “Best of 2013” by Suspense Magazine.

Excerpt from Forget Me Not

The yowling outside his window the night before had Sky wanting to take the cat down to the ocean and drown it. He’d been attempting to entertain his chick-du-jour, but the ruckus on the porch distracted him from making that little baby purr.

Distractibility had earned Brian Crawford the nickname “Skylark” at the Naval Academy after one too many demerits for skylarking: daydreaming, not paying attention, and pretty much having his head up his ass at the wrong time. Suffering from ADHD, he’d always had problems with focus—except at the controls of his Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

Last night’s honey first conned him into feeding the cat, then she made him promise to take it to a vet and find it a home. If the woman was such a bleeding heart animal lover why hadn’t she taken the freaking thing? So what if she lived in the bachelor officers’ quarters? Never mind. It wouldn’t go with her anyway. The cat growled and hissed at her, and Sky would eventually learn it feared all women.

Smart cat.

Fortunately, he was able to snag this appointment at Oceanside Veterinary Clinic. The vet tech finished taking vital signs and informed him Dr. Schneider would be with him shortly. Sky looked forward to chatting with the good doctor, not only to unload the stray, but also to discuss kayaking. He’d noticed an SUV in the parking lot that sported a Thule Hullavator, the top-of-the-line kayak rack. Turned out it belonged to Dr. Schneider. This guy already rocked in Sky’s book.

But when the door opened, the woman who entered rocked Sky’s world instead.

“Hello,” she said. “I’m Dr. Schneider.”

Attention on deck. All hands man your battle stations. Hot. Chick. Alert.

Sky scrambled to formulate an appropriate introductory comment. However, his brain was still locked and loaded on kayaks, prompting the following to shoot from his mouth:

“Nice rack!”

“Excuse me?”

He jerked his thumb toward the door. “Isn’t that your Jeep in the parking lot?”

“What does…? How do you know my car?”

“I asked at the desk. Aren’t you the kayaker? I mean, that is, like, the best rack on the planet.”


Dr. Schneider looked like she was trying to keep from—wait, was she laughing at him?

What was so funny about a—?


Sky Crawford had learned long ago whenever he tried to dig himself out of a hole that he usually only dug himself deeper, so he feigned ignorance and soldiered on. “And according to your bumper stickers, you support the troops. So how about supporting this troop and going kayaking with me this weekend?”

The vet’s eyes drilled his as she opened the box containing the cat. “I don’t date clients.”

“Oh, I’m not a client. This cat showed up on my doorstep last night and I’m getting it up to speed so I can find it a home.”

She indicated his green flight suit. “And I don’t date military men. Especially pilots.”

“Aw, honey, is that any way to support the troops? What’s the matter? Crashed and burned before?”

“You could say that. And I’m not your honey.”

The vet pulled the cat back and examined it. “Well, first of all, he is a she and she is in heat. She made all that noise because she’s looking for a mate.”

Blessedly, Sky’s brain overloaded its circuit board and blew a fuse, rendering him powerless to speak. It was his body’s way of protecting him from saying something beyond stupid. So many good lines were vying for attention that he needed a mental heat-seeking device to lock onto just one of them.

“If she is a stray, the best thing would be to spay her,” Dr. Schneider continued.
“Although there’s the possibility she’s already pregnant. If she’s been out for several days, she could have conceived, but her system hasn’t caught up with the fact. So she may still try to breed. Cats can carry kittens from different fathers.”

Another salvo of witty comebacks whizzed through Sky’s head. His mouth tried to latch onto one of the lines zinging across his brain, but failed. Good thing his mouth was still paralyzed because this was no ordinary chick. Wait. This was no chick at all. This was Dr. Untouchable and apparently she was not attracted to or interested in his BS, which made the challenge of winning her over that much sweeter. Oh, how he loved it when desirable women played the hard-to-get card.

There was no way he was getting rid of the cat now.

The kitty was his ticket to veterinary paradise.

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