Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Soldier's Woman

The final edits are done and everything is ready for Eternal Press to release it on August 7th and I must admit to being quietly pleased with the final product.

Having lost her father in the Falklands Campaign, it takes a very special soldier to overcome Megan Ryan's distrust of all things military, especially when Michael Davidson returns from Afghanistan to usurp her hard won position at Davidson's Machine and Tool. Only the seriousness of the position holds her there as they battle to save the firm, both at home and in Singapore.
After prolonged tension catapults them into his bed, the ultimate confrontation at the Lim mansion, leaves Megan with two impossible choices.
Lose Michael to the SAS or follow her mother's footsteps and become a soldier's woman.

I love researching my books and this one was no different.

Singapore was home territory for so long that it needed very little effort, and Oliver's Hill was equally familiar, as was the engineering firm. This left only the SAS and my search introduced me to some very generous souls who shared their knowledge freely, giving me a glimpse into a hidden world.

The Special Air Service was the brainchild of then Major David Stirling in the middle east during WWII and their name was chosen to confuse German Intelligence into believing there was a parachute battalion being formed in North Africa. After an initial false start they combined with Ralph Bagnold's Long Range Desert Group to perfect a very effective tactic of appearing out of the desert in armed jeeps to attack German garrisons.

The Australian SAS copied much of the tactics of the British 22 SAS after the War and adapted them to the different cultural imperatives of Australia, serving with distinction in Borneo, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and now in Afghanistan. There is a love/hate relationship between them and the regular Australian Army, where they are referred to as "The Swanbourne Polo Club", or the "Brown Hats" (Swanbourne is a suburb of Perth containing the SAS headquarters and the SAS wear beige berets.).

One regular soldier in the airborne infantry battalion illustrated this perfectly when he asked "How many SAS troopers does it take to change a light bulb?" When I looked blank, he answered "A whole squadron. One to change the bulb and the rest to applaud."

The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in the Australian Army!
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