Writing it or Living it?


By Sharon Calvin, author of JAYHAWK DOWN

How the life of a writer compares to Lt. Caitlyn Stone, US Coast Guard Helicopter pilot in Jayhawk Down.

My office looks like this (well, usually it’s not this nice and tidy):

Sharon Calvin's office

This is what Caitlyn’s “office” looks like:

What I do for a living:


What Caitlyn does for a living:

HH60 and Motor Lifeboat

My trip to the Florida Keys looks like this:


Caitlyn’s turned out like this:

This video of water egress training shows you what Caitlyn goes through every year to get recertified—but that’s a far cry from the real thing she experiences in JAYHAWK DOWN!

So, do you like reading action adventure stories, or do you want to live one?

0815_9781426899966_JAYHAWK_DOWN_WebWhat appears to be a normal rescue mission goes horribly wrong…

Caitlyn Stone has always wanted to be a helicopter pilot. Hard work and determination got her there, and now she’s living the adrenaline-rushing good life, piloting Jayhawk helicopters for the US Coast Guard. Helping people is her life’s work, and the risk is not only worth it, it’s thrilling. But she never expected this kind of danger.

When ER doctor and Army Reserve Black Hawk pilot Stillman Gray sees Caitlyn expertly land a Jayhawk during a raging storm, he has nothing but respect for the beautiful Coastie. But he’s not the only one who’s noticed her. A terrorist is looking to hijack a helicopter, and he’s decided Caitlyn is the perfect target.

Caitlin’s past has taught her that the only thing a man in uniform can guarantee is disappointment. But when what appears to be a normal rescue mission goes horribly wrong, she’ll need to push aside memories of heartbreak and trust her military man enough to let him save her.

For more Gulf Coast Rescue, don’t miss A Dangerous Leap, available now!

JAYHAWK DOWN is available now from CarinaPress.com and your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Sharon Calvin is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist living on an island in Florida with her husband and a Maine Coon cat with attitude.

Connect with Sharon!
Twitter | Facebook

26 thoughts on “Writing it or Living it?”

  1. Sandy Parks says:

    Sorry Sharon, but Caitlyn’s life looks a lot more exciting (at least to read about). Not sure I could take a daily dose of death defying calls, though. Great job and I sure appreciate our Coast Guard. Got the book and am looking forward to reading it.

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Yeah, I’m afraid I would be heading to a shelter, not a helo, when the storm warnings were posted!

  2. Larissa Emerald says:

    I’m afraid of heights. Picture me holding onto any solid, stationary, metal object! And jumping into anything unknown brings on a panic attack.

    I’m a whimp…what can I say. But I definitely enjoy reading about other’s who are brave and heroic. I’m looking forward to reading Jayhawk Down. From the glimpse I’ve had so far, Caitlyn and Stillman are my favorite coasties.

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      I can deal with the heights, but not flying in bad weather. When I was flying with my husband in the Rockies and the afternoon storms came in I had to keep my head down so I didn’t see any of the lightning around us!

  3. Julie Moffett says:

    Love the photos. I enjoy peeking into writers’ offices! Caitlyn is totally a kick-butt heroine. Love it!! :)

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      I love my little corner office! Of course right now it has piles of books and handouts from RWA Nationals!

      Caitlyn is my polar opposite–well-built redhead, a girly-girl who can fly rings around most guys (I couldn’t hover a helicopter with a gun to my head!)

  4. Elle Saint James says:

    Also put me down for No Heights Please!
    I’m happier reading about death defying adventures than ever experiencing myself.
    I’m glad your heroine had to deal with all that action, and not me. :)

    Jayhawk Down looks awesome, Sharon. I can’t wait to read it.

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Elle, writing about action and adventure is a lot easier than living it. But I’m grateful we have Coasties willing to take all those risks!

  5. Karen Ann Dell says:

    Loved the photos and the video! I can see how alluring the sea can be — during good weather! But don’t ask me to jump out of a perfectly good helicopter into open water – not gonna happen! I loved your first Coastie book and just downloaded Jayhawk Down. This one sounds even more exciting. Keep ’em coming, Sharon.

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Karen! I’m with you on the good weather too. Hope you enjoy Caitlyn, her adventures…and her hot doctor!

  6. Priscilla Horn Warren says:

    What an exciting introduction into Caitlyn’s story! I have been on helicopter rides, but not even close to the perilous conditions you describe. I’m looking forward to reading Jayhawk Down!

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Priscilla, yes, all my helicopter experiences have been in fair weather too. But then that’s what made writing about Caitlyn’s adventures so much fun–she will do a lot of things I won’t!

  7. Judith Keim says:

    Sharon, I loved seeing the comparisons between your life and Caitlyn’s. Her story sounds wonderful. I’ve loved riding in helicopters but no thanks to her kind of adventure! Fun reading about it, though!! Jayhawk Down sounds unputitdownable! (My made-up word! LOL)Good luck with it!

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Judy. Yep, reading it or writing about it is about as close as I like getting to those kinds of adventures!

  8. Jerri finch says:

    Day 2 of hammock surfing with Caitlyn and her crew. Gotta finish this book so I can return to my life!

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Ha, lazy birthday girl! Hope you are enjoying your “beach” read!

  9. JoMarie DeGioia says:

    I’ll take your life if I have to choose, Sharon! No heights or excessive danger for me please, lol. I also prefer your view of the Keys. And just how long did your office stay that neat?

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      My neat office lasted, oh, about a week! I try to shoved it out at least once a month. It’s past due right now.

  10. Kristen Painter says:

    Just grabbed my copy!!

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Kristen! Hope you enjoy Caitlyn’s “adventure.”

  11. Rachel Hauck says:

    Congratulations, Sharon! Well deserved. I loved the pictorial walk through your story! Looks intense and intriguing!

    Here’s to sales in the clouds!


    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Rachel. This series, and the characters, are very special to me.

  12. Naomi Bellina says:

    I would like to try Caitlyn’s work life…for about one day. I’m sure that would be enough to make me appreciate mine. Great pictures, and your book looks exciting.

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Thanks Naomi.

      Hmm, as long as the one day was a training mission and in fair weather…yeah, I think I might handle that. Oh wait, I don’t know how to fly a helicopter. I think I’ll stick to a ride-along and writing about it!

  13. Chris Kridler says:

    Looks like a great adventure! I love stories about female aviators.

    1. Sharon Calvin says:

      Me too. And for some strange reason I fell in love with the Jayhawk helicopter! I’m glad the Coast Guard upgraded it and plan to keep it in service through 2027!

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