Been There Done That – A Model Story

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children, a Maltese Menace, and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. She can be found at, on Facebook (, Twitter (@roniekendig), Goodreads (, and Pinterest (!

Ronie’s newest title is Hawk , book 2 of the Quiet Professionals series. RT Book Reviews wrote: “Kendig brings the heat in this suspenseful second installment of the Quiet Professionals series. The glimpse into the turmoil that Special Forces soldiers face is intriguing and humbling. Hawk is worth picking up–just be prepared to not set it down!”

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For most authors, there is little involvement in the cover process beyond the “art fact sheet” for the cover direction and last-minute tweaks of the comps. When my publisher did the Discarded Heroes series, I mentioned how great it’d be if we could get real military heroes to pose. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make that happen until two series later–The Quiet Professionals. The man posing as Dean Watters on Falcon 6 is a real Special Forces veteran, just like the character. 
Brent – cover shoot photo
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Brent Gilley, the veteran who posed for the cover of HAWK. Brent was nominated by his then-fiance, Nicole, in the initial campaign to find not just another pretty face for the covers, but military veterans who’d “been there, done that.” Men who had served and deserved the little recognition I could afford through modeling for the cover.  
Brent served in the U.S. Air Force, and I have offered my apologies to him for photoshopping him into a Army Special Forces hero. I think he’s forgiven me–he did, after all, still talk to me for this interview. And without further ado, please meet Air Force Veteran, Brent Gilley. 
  1. Thank you, Brent, for serving in the Air Force! Can you tell us a little about yourself and what prompted you to join up?  originally from Traverse City Michigan and have moved all over the United States. I actually spent a few years in college before I decided to join the military. I wanted to serve my country and take advantage of the GI bill that was offered. When college bills got too high I made my decision to enter active duty with the United States Air Force.
  2. When I first “encountered” you as a model for the Quiet Professionals series (yeah, sorry, that I had to make you a Green Beret on the cover), you were engaged. Since then, you’ve married. Could you share about your bride and how you met? I tell people about how my wife and I met it often gets a negative response in the military community. My wife Nicole and I met in a deployed location where we worked together. We have been happily married for three years and just gave birth to our handsome boy Brice. She is a beautiful woman and someone I look up to everyday, I’m proud and honored to be married to such an amazing person. 
  3. Can you share three trivia items about yourself that you think are fascinating?  I would like to share that I am the biggest Detroit Lions fan you may ever meet. Detroit Lions fans are the definition of “diehard.” Secondly, I love to ride motorcycles. I currently have a 2015 Harley Davidson Street Bob and I ride it EVERYWHERE. Lastly, we love our dogs as much as our child. We consider them our four legged children. We have a pit bull named Dredd and a pug mix named Zeus. [Side note from Ronie: Brent’s wife is a military working dog handler–how amazing and cool is that?!?!]
  4. What is your current occupation, and why did you choose it?  currently work for a company that manages a security system for the USAF. I did a similar job when I was active duty and it set me up for the job I have today. 
  5. What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in the military?  advice I could give to someone considering the military is always remember that it’s the MILITARY not college. You give up your freedom to make many decisions after you swear in. Often times, I see young military members making poor choices that give us a bad name with the community. Serve your country proudly and professionally. 
  6. What is your dream vehicle?  In addition to motorcycles, I’m a huge muscle car fan. My two dream rides are a Harley Street Glide or a Shelby GT Super Snake.
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Ronie is back with her newest Rapid-Fire Fiction release! Hawk is AVAILABLE NOW!

“Kendig brings the heat…” ~RT Book Reviews

Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe, struggles with his inner demons and faces a dishonorable discharge. When a deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make a choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.