26 May 2010

No Regrets by John Callahan

So Sharon came to me a few days ago and said she had this blog post to write, but she was too busy what with the end of school, a deadline approaching and a vacation to plan. She asked if I could pretty please write it for her.
"Just tell your story," she said.

Yeah, right. I'm not the writer here, she is. 
Needless to say, I wasn't as on board as she would have liked. What the hell am I going to write about on a romance writer's blog? But she was pretty damn insistent and when she gets to begging, well, I'm toast. So here I am.  
I guess you'd like to know about me before I go spouting off. My name is John Callahan and my story is Redemption (by Sharon Cullen). You can buy it through Samhain Publishing.   
Sharon says that's not enough information, that people want to know more.   
Hell.   
Okay.  
Here's how it started. I live in a cabin I built with my own hands high in the Smokey Mountains. I'm a Sheriff for a small department that doesn't have a lot to do in the winter but gets our ass kicked in the summer because we have a lake that people like to visit. Catawba Lake. It's quiet, it's peaceful and it's just about as damn perfect as God could make it.  
Some people would say it's boring, and ten years ago I would have probably said the same thing. But a lot of shit can happen in ten years. And that got me to thinking about how life changes.   
What, you didn't think an outdoor guy like me could think deep thoughts? Just kidding. But I do and I can and there was a time in my life when all I had to my name were deep thoughts.  
I grew up in a loud household with a sister and a great mom and dad. At eighteen I knew I needed more and I knew if I stayed in the small town I grew up in that I would slowly fade away and become that dude who ran the local garage on the street corner. You know, the one who plays poker every Tuesday night and spends his weekends warming the barstool at the pub across the street. I didn't want that. I wanted excitement and adventure. I wanted to see the world.   
You can see where this is headed, can't you?  
I was a wet dream for an army recruiter and the second I stepped into the recruiting office, they were all over my ass like white on rice. I signed up, full of dreams of traveling and dodging bullets. Yeah, dodging bullets excited me just as much as the traveling.  
I'll spare you the details and just jump to my point (yes, I have a point). I dodged the bullets, I saw Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and just about every continent there is to see. I made buddies that ended up being closer to me than my own family (if you want to read about one, read Luke's story. Next time, Luke, it's your ass writing this!). And I was recruited into the IATT which in laymen's terms is a secret anti-terrorist organization. 
On the government books we didn't exist. I didn't exist and neither did the men and women I worked with. It was cool. It was exciting. And I was doing things I'd never imagined.  
So how did I end up in a cabin in the mountains?  It all went to hell.   
When I was 18, my signature still wet on the recruitment papers, there were a few things I'd never imagined I would do:  
1. Be taken prisoner for three months in a third world country 
2.Have my government turn against me 
3.Fall in love with the most beautiful, courageous woman I've ever met.  
I learned that sometimes what you wish for and what you get can be totally different and at the same time exactly what you need.  
I went through some deep shit and when Hope met me, I was just minutes away from ending everything. Yet, looking back, I can't make myself regret my choices or my actions because every step I've taken has led me to where I am today--living in the most beautiful part of the country God created, with the most beautiful woman God could have given me.  
It's been one hell of a rough ride but I'd weather every bump again to have what I have now.  
If you want to read my story, you can find it here for electronic and here for print.
Gotta go. It's been real and, yeah, okay, it wasn't all that bad. But Luke, you're still doing the next post.
John
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