This book is dedicated to the 38 who lost their lives in the Chinook helicopter crash in the Tangi Valley at Wardak Province, Afghanistan on August 7, 2011. Twenty-two of those were members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six). Fair winds and following seas.
Sentinels 12: Selfless Valor
Written: 2010 to 2012
Released: May 2012
Nasa tuktok ng listahan ng mga pangarap ni Lieutenant Junior Grade John Herrera ang mahalikan si Laurel Mackenzie. Pero hindi niya inasahang magkakatotoo iyon. At dahil hindi siya iyong tipo ng tao na nagpapalampas ng oportunidad, niyakap niya ito at tinugon ang halik ng babae nang buong puso.
Siya ang pumigil sa dalaga nang maalala kung nasaan sila. Kesehodang manakit ang sikmura niya, alam niyang tamang tumigil sila—for a thousand different reasons. Una, maaari silang mamataan ng rebeldeng nagmamasid sa tabing-ilog.
Ikalawa, subject niya ito. Anak ito ng admiral, apo ng Secretary of the Navy at subject niya. Subject niya, utang-na-loob!
Pangatlo at pinakaimportante, kahit gaano pa niya kagusto si Laurel, hinding-hindi siya mang-aagaw ng nobya ng may nobya…
* Because he is not American and is not in the US Navy, daddy John would have been allowed to join Navy SEAL training but he wouldn’t have been allowed the designation “US Navy SEAL”. Puwede kasi sumali ng BUD/S training ang isang marino ng allied country, pero hindi sila maaaring maging tunay na Navy SEAL. Sa kwento na ito, ginawa ko nang SEAL si daddy John kahit hindi siya US citizen at hindi pa nalilipat ng US Navy. Si Mac naman sa book 6 ay ipinanganak sa Amerika at isang American citizen kaya wala siyang problema sa pagsali sa Teams.
* I finished the novel even before I saw the Act of Valor movie. It would have been a great resource though. But I was really happy to find out that I got the details in my novel right when I finally did get to see the movie. I really wanted to wait to see Act of Valor before I finished the novel but couldn’t because I had a deadline.
* The scenes that I wrote are based on tactics that Navy SEALs use on actual missions which is why some of the scenes in my novel looks similar to the scenes in the movie. I read about those missions from news articles and accounts of ops that are not classified. Even the title “Selfless Valor” did not come from the movie.
* The scene where the SEAL team came out of the water in the middle of the jungle was inspired by the split second scene in Transformers 3 where the SEALs came out of the river in Chicago.
* This book beat Mac’s record for most versions. This has 11.
* The original version has five love scenes. I had to cut out three of those and rewrite one which ended up in the book. Sabi ng editor ko (Hi, Apple!), kung hindi ko lang daw gusto na kapareho ng cover ng Sentinels si daddy John, pasok na pasok daw siya pang Man I Desire.
* In one of the original versions, the jungle rescue scene took almost half the book. While it was insightful and important, I had to cut most of it because the book would have ended up almost three hundred pages long.
* Factual error: During a jump, operators are supposed to put their masks on 30 to 45 minutes prior to a jump. I erroneously made daddy’s team put their masks on right BEFORE the jump. So, I basically unknowingly gave them decompression sickness. Sorry Sentinels Platoon. Now I know.
* Chief Tom Riley, daddy John’s swim buddy, is Lt. Matt Riley’s father.
* Lt. Richard Hall ended up as Mac’s godfather.
* I had to delete another scene where Dady John returns from deployment and sees his family. Mac was four years old and decides he also wanted to wear the summer dress white uniform of the US Navy.
* This book’s original title was supposed to be “Selfless Honor”. For about two seconds. Until I figured that, based on the story, “Selfless Valor” would be a better title.
* The cover model is Mark Harmon who plays Gibbs on NCIS. I Googled his picture during the 1970’s and 80’s to see how he looks like when he was daddy John’s age when the story took place and saw this awesome picture. I screamed, squealed and danced around a bit. And when I sent it over to my editor, while I can’t see her screaming, squealing and dancing around, she told me that she said she thought it was exactly how she pictured daddy John. Even our artist, Jill (God bless her!) thinks he’s a cutie 🙂