Thursday, September 10, 2015

Aloha to Sharon Calvin and JAYHAWK DOWN

Jayhawk Down

I love this cover!  Sharon Calvin writes about the Coast Guard in Clearwater, Florida - my hometown!  Sharon joins us today for a cozy chat ... from her bio:

Over the years I've worked in an Oregon saw mill, been a telephone exchange repairman (until I failed pole climbing), fired a Thompson submachine gun (Tommy Gun) at the FBI firing range, and won second place in an off-road hill climb in my Jeep CJ-5.

I competed in cross-country riding events for almost 10 years before swapping my horse for a Ninja 500 sport bike. Trading Midwestern ice storms and tornadoes for hurricanes and perpetual summers, I now live on an island in Florida with my husband and a Maine Coon cat with attitude.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Kim:  Florida - my home state! What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of the Sunshine State? 

Sharon:  Pelicans dive-bombing for fish--how can something that looks so ungainly be that graceful? For sounds it's a toss up between the tree frogs and the seagulls! The smell of frangipani (we never had those in Kansas!).

Kim:  What have you learned from the Golden Heart finals that you could apply to your writing career? 

Sharon:  Savor the moments. You never know who you will meet, their impact on your career, and the wonderful connections that can last a lifetime.

Kim:  Who doesn't love a cat with an attitude?!? What does your Maine Coon think of your writing process? Have any cats made their way into your stories?

Sharon:  She has a bad habit of trying to type (she can't spell worth spit) or taking exception to my typing (that mouse is MY pillow--do not touch!) She is actually named after a cat I created in an earlier book. My heroine is a rock climber and she named her Maine Coon cat after a famous climber/equipment manufacturer (Petzl)--which I ended up doing with my current non-climbing cat.

Kim:  What inspired you to write a series about the Coast Guard? What research have you conducted (since the Coasties no longer use Tommy Guns)?

Sharon:  My inspiration was reading The Perfect Storm by Sebastion Junger. Living in Kansas I had no idea that there were people like the Rescue Swimmers who went out in such horrible conditions So the Others May Live (another great source on the USCG). When I moved to Florida, my neighbor was an ex-Coastie and after hearing his stories, I knew I had to write about these courageous men and women. I'm hoping to take a tour of the Clearwater Air Station later this year as I research my third book in the series.

Kim:  Tell us about the series and your second release, JAYHAWK DOWN?

Sharon:  The series is about the men and women who crew the Jayhawk helicopters from the Clearwater Air Station near Tampa Florida. My husband is a pilot so I've had a lot of experience in small planes and was drawn to the flying side of their duties. (Yes, I've even taken an intro flight in a small four-passenger helicopter. A Christmas gift from my husband.)

I like to focus on the Search and Rescue missions though their role in Homeland Security played a part in JAYHAWK DOWN. The heroine, Lt. Caitlyn Stone, was born out of an off the cuff comment by my Coastie neighbor who mentioned the best pilot he'd flown with was a woman. Caitlyn is a interesting mix of ballsy flying with a "girlie" flair she doesn't try to hide. The men she meets outside of the Coast Guard have a tendency to underestimate her--something that plays a big part in my story of terrorist hijacking, a dirty bomb, and a few double crosses.

Kim:  What's next for Sharon Calvin?

Sharon:  My current guilty pleasure is a Steampunk series set in 1885 London with ghosts, psychics, and a mysterious mechanical parrot. I'm hoping to publish the first book this winter--we'll just have to see how it goes!

Coast Guard Station in Maui 

Mahalo, Sharon, for spotlighting the Coast Guard!  I am giving away a Coast Guard tote bag and other military swag to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about flying - love it or hate it?  In college, I flew with other Air Force ROTC cadets who had their private pilot's licence.  However, when we moved to Hawaii, I developed a fear of flying (I think it was the six hour flight over the Pacific Ocean that psyched me out).

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 12, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 13.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Sharon and her books at

A Dangerous Leap (Gulf Coast Rescue, #1)
Book 1 in the Coast Guard Rescue series ...


  1. I'm okay with flying. I just wish I could fall asleep on those 16 hr flights.

  2. I like being able to get to places so quickly by flying, but it is not something I really enjoy. I wish I could sleep on planes.

  3. I have a fear of flying and as a result I have never been in an airplane, helicopter or hot air balloon.

  4. I don't care to fly in airplanes these days

  5. I LOVE flying, but haven't been up in quite a while. I once flew with a baby strapped to my lap & a toddler in the seat beside me. It could have been worse. They slept quite a bit.

  6. I haven't flown since I was a kid but I used to like it.

  7. I enjoy flying, however haven't flown in over 10 years. One of my favorite memories is flying in a 4 seater over Boston at night with my college roommate and her dad.

  8. I enjoy flying, however haven't flown in over 10 years. One of my favorite memories is flying in a 4 seater over Boston at night with my college roommate and her dad.

  9. My hubby is a pilot so I've spent a lot of time in two- and four-place airplanes, but my intro flight in a small helicopter was fantastic!

  10. I fly regular planes allt he time.

  11. What do you usually fly? Cessna, Piper, or ...

  12. I'm sure flying in a personal plane is better. But, I don't enjoy commercial flying nearly as much as I used to. I feel like we're packed in there, like sardines. Everything costs extra--leg room, luggage, etc. Planes are frequently overbooked. I'd rather take the car, if possible!

  13. I rarely fly. I don't mind it, but I do get sinus headaches form the pressure of liftoff.

  14. I've never had a fear of flying - I kind of like it.

  15. I've flown 3 times in my life and I will never fly again.

  16. No no no to flying......I'm done flying in my life.

  17. I literally hate flying, but have to if I want to go anywhere far. Imagine how I feel having to fly over the sea all the way to England!!

  18. Since I don't enjoy flying, I only travel by plane when it is absolutely necessary.

  19. Flying is great love to travel

  20. I've only flown commercial - haven't flown in over ten years, and with the ever shrinking seats & leg room I'll probably avoid it.