Allied Operations by Tracy Tappan

ALLIED 72dpiI clearly remember the chilling phone call.

“There’s been a fatal helicopter crash in the squadron.”

My knees turn to water. I don’t end up collapsing to the floor, but only because my own husband is telling me the news, so he’s obviously okay. But someone else isn’t. And that’s blood-icing.

I grip the receiver. “Who?”

“Walt Hogan died, and Mark Eoff is in critical condition.”

My next breath is raw and burning. Tears leap to my eyes. I’ve never been an easy crier, but I cry now.

Mark! He and his wife, Tricia, live just down the street from me and my husband, Jeff. They are good friends—good people. I don’t know Walt too well, but his death is a profound loss to the entire squadron, and I feel that pall over the days to come.

Mark Eoff CruiseI want to reach out to Tricia right away, but she’s spending a lot of time at the hospital. Understandably—her husband is teetering on the verge of death. In fact, she’s told several times to prepare for the worst; Mark isn’t going to make it.

I finally manage to visit Tricia on one of her breaks home from the hospital. She isn’t crying when she opens the door to her house, but it’s clear she has been, and, well…we take one look at each other and both break down again.

I don’t remember exactly what we talked about that night. But I do recall a very clear thought; that Tricia was living through every pilot wife’s worst nightmare—her husband had been gravely injured in the line of duty.

We military wives deal with a lot of worry. When our husbands are deployed, we worry about them facing danger on a daily basis, and we live in constant fear of the CO showing up on our doorstep. I think aviator wives also suffer the added stress of knowing that every single time our husbands get into an aircraft, it could break.

That fateful day of Mark and Walt’s accident, something did break on their aircraft: a cable in the rear rotor blade wore through and failed. These two pilots didn’t do anything wrong, and yet a fine man died, and another one came frighteningly close.

Mark’s death would’ve be a cruel loss to the world. He’s a 6’3” teddy bear of a fellow, good-natured, with a dry wit, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard an unkind word come out of his mouth. Considering all that happened to Mark, it’s a miracle he made it through, but I’m thankful he did.

The crash Mark endured was one of the worst experiences of his life, but he is just the sort of generous soul who would openly share his experiences with me.

During the writing of my military romantic suspense, ALLIED OPERATIONS, Mark was kind enough to consult with me in order to help me make some of the more heart-wrenching scenes of my book as real as possible. I’m known for my stories of gritty realism, but I’m hoping that, with Mark’s guidance, I’ve created an immersive experience with ALLIED OPERATIONS that readers have never experienced before.

Tracy and Mark EoffTracy and Mark at a bbq at Tracy’s house in 2014





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Book 2 in the Wings of Gold series is a standalone book.

In the fight to save four American hostages held deep in the harsh terrain of northern Pakistan, a newspaper reporter and a Navy pilot face off with a dangerous terrorist group…and each other!

 “I give this awesome Tracy Tappan novel a full five hearts for making me cry. Not just once, but multiple times!! Can’t wait for the next one!!”

~ Romance Authors that Rock

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Tracy Tappan pilot jacket 72dpiAbout the author

Tracy is the bestselling and award-winning author of gritty romance, her books spanning genres across paranormal (The Community series), military romantic suspense (The Wings of Gold series), and medieval historical (The Baron’s War trilogy). During nearly twenty-five years spent as a naval aviator’s wife, she lived all over the United States and in Europe, enjoying seven years overseas in the diplomatic community, first in Rome then in Madrid, until her family settled back in San Diego. Tracy holds a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (MFCC), loves to play tennis, is a volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and enjoys a good glass of wine.

If you want to be the first to know about Tracy’s new releases, specials, promotions, giveaways, and other fun stuff, please visit her website at, where you can sign up to receive an author update whenever she has something cool going on.



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