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Local columnist DeeDee Lake has launched 7-book series


Last updated 11/16/2022 at 11:23am | View PDF

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Author DeeDee Lake

Local author DeeDee Lake, whose life and relationship advice has been featured in this newspaper many times in recent years, has launched a seven-book romance series to highlight the realities of the military lifestyle and love.

The first book, a Christmas novella titled "Operation: Camouflage Christmas," released Nov. 1, just in time for the holiday season.

The Rules of Engagement Military Romance book series is co-authored by Lake and Susan M. Baganz. Subsequent books in the series will release approximately every four months.

"Thirty years ago, I started writing an inspirational romance that is set in a current military setting," Lake explained recently. "I never quite got to the finish line until God brought me an amazing author partner, Susan Baganz. After much chatting, writing, mulling over, editing, crying, and laughing we've done it. We turned one book into a seven-book series, Rules of Engagement."

Operation: Christmas Camouflage is the story of military brats, now Army officer candidates, Brooke Cooper-Sanchez and Bernard Travis who haven't seen each other since high school. Bernard is determined to win Brooke's heart, but how can love blossom when dating is forbidden? Operation: Christmas Camouflage will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good romance. The book will be available at, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book retailers. Publisher CrossRiver Media Group said that this project is its biggest to date.

"I could not put this book down. I immediately fell in love with the characters. This hopeful romance is perfect for a hopeless romantic like me. If you love Christmas Hallmark movies, you will love this book," says Carolyn Dale Newell, Christian speaker, and author of Faith That Walks on Water.

Life in the military is a world all its own that those outside it – civilians – can't fully grasp. Yet the needs, wants, and desires of those in the military relate to everyone.

"DeeDee Lake and Susan M. Baganz have given us an engaging story of love, trust, and faith within a military context that connects us with the themes of determination, fear, hope, and dreams as these concerns resonant within us all – text that stands alone well by itself but has planted a seed of anticipation for the rest of the series," said V/R, CH (MAJ) Corey R. Arnold, Fort Carson, Family Life Chaplain.

Lake, a long-time resident of Fountain, grew up as a Navy brat, mostly in Spain, married an Army helicopter pilot, lived in over 50 houses, and still loves to move her furniture several times a year. Her military life prepared her to love people, expect the best, respect authority and other cultures, and always be inclusive. Her passion is to guide individuals on how to experience extraordinary relationships.

She previously authored "Next Step: You've Accepted Jesus. Now What?" for girls ages 13-16, also through CrossRiver. "Next Step" takes Christian girls who have recently come to faith on a four-week course of devotionals, Bible verses, writing prompts and encouraging quotes. Lake designed the book for individual use, but readers can use it for one-on-one sessions with a mentor.

Lake has written dozens of advice columns for Fountain Valley News over the years, most recently under the title "The Connection Expert," and she is a guest speaker for various events including Cherish Relations Retreats.

To learn more about DeeDee Lake, visit, or connect with her on Facebook,

To learn more about Operation: Camouflage Christmas and CrossRiver Media Group, visit Purchase info: ISBN: 978-1-936501-70-0, $7.99. It is available from Cross River and major retailers such as Amazon.

Meet the characters:

Officer Candidate Samantha "Brooke" Cooper-Sanchez, a registered nurse is in Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. She hasn't dated in the six months since her fiancée ended their engagement saying he didn't want an Army wife and life. When Christmas gifts begin showing up in her quarters, Brooke struggles to figure out who is sending them, and how this person knows her so well?

Officer Candidate Bernard Travis has been friends with Brooke since they were in high school. They'd remained in contact over the years, and he was thrilled to discover she was in this class of cadets. He is finally makes his move by leaving her gifts, but is disappointed when she can't figure out who is sending them. Will God make his Christmas wish come true?


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