Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Writing Christian Fiction

Note: This was first posted as a guest post during Untitled's release. However, it deals with something very near and dear to my heart and I wanted to share it here as well. <3 



The genre “Christian fiction” covers a wide range of books. From romance to action to YA, Christian fiction has expanded to include quite a few sub-genres. 

I was curious what the definition for CF was, so I did a quick google search. 

A Christian novel is any novel that expounds and illustrates a Christian world view in its plot, its characters, or both. Or which deals with Christian themes in a positive way.” 

However, I feel like so many of the more recent Christian fiction books have become simply clean fiction books, where the characters pray over a meal or say they believe in God. But believing in God doesn’t make someone a Christian. And I don’t believe just including the vague theme of “trusting in God” should make a book Christian. I know many people who say they believe in and trust God and yet they’re not Christians. 


So what should Christian fiction look like? 


I believe it should be a reflection of Christ. I believe it should deal with harsh topics that most of us would generally shy away from talking about. I believe it should challenge others in their walk with Christ. If we’re going to take up the pen and write a book we want to be labeled as Christian, than we’d better take care to be sure our words are not lukewarm. 


As writers, we have the incredible responsibility of being able to reach others through our words. People who we otherwise would never have had the chance of speaking to. I want to make that count. 


Most of my books deal with difficult situations. Whether it be the death of a friend, trusting God when we don’t understand, family conflict, PTSD, etc. Most of them are also set during WWII, so they deal with issues specific to that time period. My latest book, Untitled, touches on the horrors of war, PTSD, and homosexuality. And to be honest, I was terrified of including the last in there at all. Because what I believe and what the Bible teaches goes against everything the world is teaching today. 


But we can’t stay quiet about real-world issues. Divorce, abortion, homosexuality, PTSD, depression, suicide, racial issues, these are all subjects I see so many authors shying away from. But don’t. Please don’t. We need Christian authors who are willing to rise up and take a firm stance on these issues. We need Christian fiction that portrays a better view of how God wants these things handled. If we want our books to reach those around us then we need to write about the issues our world is struggling with. 


Now I’m going to pause for a second and say there’s nothing wrong with a lighter book. Sometimes we all just need a happy, feel good story. But even then, those characters should reflect Christ in the way they act and respond to the situations they encounter. If I’m reading a Christian book I want to see more of their faith than the fact that they pray before they eat. 


Not everyone is called to write the same thing. But as Christians we’re all told that Whatsoever therefore yet eat, or drink, or whatsoever yet do, so all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) We’re all called to bring glory to God. So let's do that in our writing as well. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Wrap up

 Andddd ... just like that, the blog tour is over. It hardly seems possible; this week has flow by in a whirlwind of craziness. (I just realized thanksgiving is less then two weeks away sooo... yeah.) Be sure and get all your giveaway entries in! The giveaway ends today and the winner will be announced tomorrow. 


Today I wanted to take the time and talk a little bit about Untitled and what it means to me. Any author will tell you that it's impossible to pick a favorite book they've written. And it's true. Each one has its own feelings and experiences and memories and there really isn't any way you can compare them all. And each and every author will tell you that each story has a little bit of them in it. 

Untitled has more of me in it then I'd care to admit. Probably more so then my other books combined. (Yes, I'm aware it's an all-male cast. For whatever reason I've always had a much easier time relating to guys then girls when it comes to how I deal with things. I'm weird. xD) Jess and Clay, the struggles they have, the way they deal with things —  it's as close as I've come to writing a character that's me. Which, combined with the fact that I was dealing with difficult subjects, made this a book I was hesitant to release. 

But it was also the book God gave me to write a release so I didn't have much of a choice. It's a book that's close to my heart. And if you asked me ... yes. This is my favorite of any book I've ever written. I wrote what I wanted to. I wrote what I felt I had to. I wrote what God gave me to write. And I didn't change anything for anyone. 

Five years ago I couldn't have written it. Two years ago I couldn't have written it. The situations and experiences that shaped the book had to first be taught to me in my life before I could use it in a story. But I've written it now. And I hope and pray it encourages and blesses you in some way. 

To finish off the week I wanted to just post some of my favorite pins from my pinterest board that I think sum up the story well. 












There are two stops on the blog tour today. Be sure and check them out and leave a comment. Angela has been amazing in organizing all this, so be sure and stop by her blog and show her some love. ;) 


Friday, November 13, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #7

 Only two days left of the blog tour! The Winner of the giveaway will be announced on Sunday so be sure and get your entries it! 


Today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite research books that I used for Untitled. I have a ton of WWII research books, but a couple years ago I realized most of them involved the war in Europe, not the pacific theatre. So I set about to remedy that. I now have a decent collection of WWII books and these are some of my favorites. 


D-days in the Pacific: 


Although most people associate the term D-Day with the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, it is military code for the beginning of any offensive operation. In the Pacific theater during World War II there were more than one hundred D-Days. The largest—and last—was the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, which brought together the biggest invasion fleet ever assembled, far larger than that engaged in the Normandy invasion.

D-Days in the Pacific tells the epic story of the campaign waged by American forces to win back the Pacific islands from Japan. Based on eyewitness accounts by the combatants, it covers the entire Pacific struggle from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Pacific war was largely a seaborne offensive fought over immense distances. Many of the amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands were among the most savagely fought battles in American history: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, New Guinea, Peleliu, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa.

Generously illustrated with photographs and maps, D-Days in the Pacific is the finest one-volume account of this titanic struggle.


Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge: 


"When we go into combat, Doss, you're not comin' back alive. I'm gonna shoot you myself!"

The men of the 77th Infantry Division couldn't fathom why Private Desmond T. Doss would venture into the horrors of World War II without a single weapon to defend himself.
"You're nothing but a coward!" they said. But the soft–spoken medic insisted that his mission was to heal, not kill.
This page–turner will keep you riveted to your seat as you discover how Desmond Doss became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor.
Desmond's dramatic true story of integrity, redemption, and heroism will inspire you to live by the courage of your convictions.


War Letters:
(This one includes not only the pacific and WWII, but the Civil war - Bosnia.) 


Here are letters from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf war, Somalia, and Bosnia -- dramatic eyewitness accounts from the front lines, poignant expressions of love for family and country, insightful reflections on the nature of warfare. Amid the voices of common soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, nurses, journalists, spies, and chaplains are letters by such legendary figures as Gen. William T. Sherman, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernie Pyle, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Julia Child, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, and Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. Collected in War Letters, they are an astonishing historical record, a powerful tribute to those who fought, and a celebration of the enduring power of letters.


Time Life series - WWII: 


World War II is a series of books published by Time-Life that chronicles the Second World War. Each book focused on a different topic, such as the resistance, spies, the home front but mainly the battles and campaigns of the conflict.
They are each 208 pages in length, heavily illustrated and with pictorial essays on specific topics within the volume. 
(Honestly y'all this is my favorite series to get started no matter where I'm writing during WWII. It gives you enough information to begin working on things, and also points you in the right direction for further research.) 


Stops on the Tour: 

NOVEMBER 13th

Joshua Reid | Guest Post


And be sure and Enter the giveaway! 



Thursday, November 12, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #6

 Hey guys! So today to celebrate our books that both released yesterday, Kassie and I are swapping reviews! I’ll be reviewing her book Stop the Rain and she’ll be reviewing Untitled over on her blog! 


It made me so happy that we were able to share a release day, and you should really check out her blog. She writes contemporary war fiction without romance, which just makes me really happy. 

Stop the Rain - About the book


He left his entire world in Iraq. So why did the war follow him home?



Harley Keane and his best friend Nigel were just kids when 9/11 rocked their world and changed their lives forever. When they're finally old enough to join the Army, all their childhood dreams seem about to come true. But war wasn't supposed to be like this. A kid's dream isn't supposed to become a living nightmare. Fellow soldiers aren't supposed to bleed out in front of your eyes.


Back home, safe and unwounded, Harley feels anything but. Why would God spare him when so many others were taken? Why won't the nightmares stop, even when he's awake? And how long can he hide the truth that threatens everything he has left? When Harley's invisible scars refuse to stay hidden, will he let anyone close enough to help? And how do you go on with life when "okay" isn't okay at all?



About the author:

Kassie Angle is a teenaged Christian author, cowgirl, therapy dog trainer, stereotypical INFJ, and Army girl to the core. Her first love, i.e. debut novel, O to be Like Thee, swept her unexpectedly into the world of indie authors. She tries to use her stories to fill the silences in literature, helping more people understand the world of the Army and showing how God heals the broken-hearted. You can find her and more of her writing at SoldierGirlStories.com.



My review:


When I heard Kassie was releasing a book about PTSD I was excited for the chance to be able to read and review it! “Stop the Rain” is a book that isn’t for the faint of heart. Reading about Harley’s struggle was heartbreaking, yet so well done. I absolutely loved the cast of characters. Dallas is my absolute favorite and I need him to be real so I can meet him. Paul and Nigel and Savannah and the rest were awesome, but Dallas ... that man has my heart. I need a book about him. 

The plot line was very well done and I so appreciated how it showed that PTSD isn’t just something you can “get over”. It’s a real and horrific struggle that so many go through every day. And it can feel so hopeless. But there’s always hope. Because every storm runs out of rain. 

It’s a bit of a slower book, but I think it worked well that way to tell the story. And the look at the future we get at the end of the book made me smile. 

This book showed PTSD for what it is. An hourly struggle that is fought by those who made it home, but are forever changed. It does an amazing job at opening your eyes to the reality behind the many preconceived notions of PTSD that are out there. 

Also a final note on just how much I loved Dallas. I need more of him in my life. 


Author interview:


1| What was the easiest part about writing the book? 

My theme this week has lowkey been, the writing itself was easy, so I’m gonna make that more specific and say I will never get tired of writing banter between characters. Stop the Rain doesn’t have the comic relief the other two have, but it still has its fair share of craziness, and I adore it.


2| What was the most difficult part of writing the book?

I feel like I’ve said this a million times this week, but I’m gonna keep saying it because apparently it needs to be said. I was terrified of messing my story up. Writing it wasn’t hard; trusting I was doing the best I could was. I didn’t want it to be just another poorly-written portrayal of PTSD.


3| What was one thing you learned during the writing of this book? 

PTSD wasn’t recognized a “thing” as we know it now until 1980. I looked that up on a whim one day to back up what I had a character saying, and then I just kinda sat there staring at that date. Yeah, of course it existed before that. Yeah, there were efforts to treat it before that. But it’s still badly misunderstood; imagine what it was like beforehand. I guess I’d always thought that kind of research was done on it closer to Vietnam… it’s kind of heartbreaking when you think about it.


4| What was one of the most surprising things you learned once you started writing? 

That it wasn’t so hard to just come out and say what I felt I needed to say. Like I said, I was terrified of messing this story up. There’s so many misconceptions about PTSD out there, and I was messing up a ton of them. But there’s one scene where Harley snaps at Trey—“haven’t you ever heard of soldiers coming back with PTSD?!”—and somehow as soon as I wrote that, I realized I could write his PTSD exactly as I felt best. I was still worried till long after I finished the story, but after that chapter, I knew I could say what I needed to, even if I was worried.


5| How do you research? 

(I appreciate the assumption I’m not a typical researcher 😅) I read books and watch movies pertaining to what I’m writing and totally lose myself in their stories so it feels more natural to picture my own, if that makes any sense. I’ll specifically research something if I realize I have gaps in my story (like, say, the weather in Iraq…), but as a general rule, I stick to “write what you know” in a weird way. I’ve grown up around the Army. It didn’t take any research for me to know some of this stuff.


6| If you could only pick one of your books for someone to remember you by, which would it be? 

This makes me sound so disloyal to the other two, I promise I’m not… O to be Like Thee. Yeah, Tattered Wings is really special, and in some ways I feel like Stop the Rain is the most important of the three. But O to be Like Thee is *mine* in a way none other will ever be. I feel like, somehow, it still covers the messages of the other two in only one book. If I only get one chance to make a difference, I’d want to do it through O to be Like Thee


Stops on Today's Tour: 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #5 - Veterans/Release Day

Guys, today is Veterans Day. Before you read anymore of this post, before you buy a book, before any of that, I want you to go and thank a veteran or active duty service member. They’re the reason we have the freedom to write and publish books, they’re the reason we have the freedom to worship, they’re the reason we have freedom to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I cannot emphasize enough how much we owe these brave men and women. Too often in our culture today they’re not show the respect they deserve. Let’s change that today, if only in a small way. 


 Okay, now that you’ve done that … It’s release day! I wanted to release Untitled on a day where it would mean something. And I could think of no better day then Veteran’s day. The book doesn’t just end with a happy homecoming. No, it hopes to show, in some small way, what our Veterans face when they come back home. Because no one comes home the same. Just because you can’t see what they’re going through doesn’t mean the struggle isn’t there. 


the world will never know
just how much they gave
as overseas they served
our freedoms dear to save 

they didn't ask for glory
they didn't seek any fame 
they simply gave their service
freedom their only aim

but we seem to forget
the sacrifice they made 
we go on with our lives 
we forget the price they paid 

let's take a moment and remember
what they gave for you and me
 each one who made it home 
remembers freedom isn't free

Today also marks 102 years since WWI ended. Fun fact, WWI was the beginning of realization that PTSD as an actual mental illness and not simply something caused by trauma. Extensive research was done between WWI and WWII, but PTSD didn't start being widely recognized and diagnosed as such until after the Vietnam War.

Untitled — E-book
Untitled — Paperback 

We've got a number of stops on the blog tour today, so be sure and check out all the awesome posts!

NOVEMBER 11th

Libby May | Book Review + Author Interview

Abigail Harris | Book Review

Faith Potts | Book Review

Esther Jackson | Book Review



Also, Kassie Angle is also releasing a book today that deals with PTSD (My review for it will be up tomorrow!) So be sure and check out her blog here!


And of course, enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #4

 Welcome to day #4! We’re over halfway through the tour and Untitled releases tomorrow! 


Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite songs that go along with Untitled. These are either songs that remind me of the book, or songs I listened to while I was writing. 

Airborne Ranger Infantry

I Just Came Back from a War

Till the Last Shots Fired 

Mr. Soldier 

In Color 

Freedom Sure Ain't free
 
I tend to adopt movie soundtracks for my books. Band of Brothers was 
100% this book. And no matter how many times I listen to the songs I still 
get the same feelings. <3 



So that do y'all think? Do these songs fit the book? What's one song that reminds you of Untitled? 

Today we have a book review! Be sure to swing by Katja's blog and read it! 

NOVEMBER 10th

Katja Labonté | Book Review


And of course, be sure to enter the giveaway

Monday, November 9, 2020

Untitled Bog Tour - Day #3

Thank a veteran. Stand for the flag. Take up the fight for freedom. 


If there’s one thing that I’m pretty outspoken about, it’s the fact that I love my country and freedom. And I want to do everything in my power to show our veterans just how incredibly grateful we are for what they’ve done. They’ve faced things we never will. They’ve seen things we can only try and imagine. Some didn’t make it back. And those who did aren’t the same as before they left. They deserve our gratitude and respect. But instead of honoring them, it seems we’re more willing to honor football players who refuse to stand for the flag so many have died for. 



If there’s one thing I hope readers get from Untitled, it’s a new understanding of what our men and women in uniform have gone through. I know I’ve not done it justice, but I hope that in some small way I’m able to open the eyes of this generation. We’re far too apt to forget what has been sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy.



Today Angela, the amazing gal who's hosting this blog tour, is posting a review for Untitled

NOVEMBER 9th

Angela Watts | Book Review


And be sure to enter the giveaway! Some of the options are daily, so there's always another chance to get more entries! 


Giveaway

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #2

 Welcome to day #2! I hope y'all are having a quiet, relaxing Sunday. I'm going to spend the afternoon finishing up last minute things for the release. Can you believe it's only three days away?! 


Today I thought I'd share some trivia about the book.  I always find it fun to learn new things about my favorite books and I thought you guys might as well!


-In the first scene of chapter 1, a character takes a drink of coffee from a disposable cup. It took me nearly three hours of research to make sure disposable cups were actually used during the time period.

-This is the first book I've written where I've included an interaction with a real-life person. 

-While it's one of the shorter books I've written, it's the one that's taken me the longest to write. 

-Clay Walker is one of my favorite country artists, and while I didn't originally intend for a character to share his name ... I can't say I'm mad about it. XD

-Flying and medical are my two favorite things ever. (Big surprise there, ehh?) But while it's fairly easy for me to write medical characters, pilots are difficult because I have no experience flying a plane. And in Clay's case there's not much info on Marine aviators during WWII, so that made research extra difficult. 


Also, remember to check today's post! As a part of the tour, Kate is posting her review of Untitled. 

NOVEMBER 8th

Kaitlyn Krispense | Book Review


And the giveaway! Be sure and enter it here

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Untitled blog tour - Day #1!

 Guys, it's here! *squeals* I'm so, so excited for the next week! Angela has done a fabulous job with the tour and eleven, wonderful people have signed up to help spread the word. 


I don't have the kindle up for pre-order quite yet (hopefully by this evening!) And I'm working on getting the final copy of the book submitted to KDP and published. I can't believe it releases this week. Like ... wow. It's always felt like so far away and now its here. Anyhow. Be sure and check out the posts that are happening today! Angela is hosting the blog tour and she has the Intro post, and Michaela interviewed me over on her blog! 


NOVEMBER 7th

Angela Watts | Blog Tour Introduction

Michaela Bush | Author Interview 


And there's a giveaway! Due to shipping costs, it is U.S. only. (So sorry to my international friends!) I had a lot of fun picking out goodies and making the whole thing very Untitled themed.



One winner of the giveaway will receive…


  • Paperback copy of Untitled 

  • Box of compass cards

  • God Bless America Wooden Sign

  • Bookmark 

  • USMC keychain 

  • U.S. Navy Medallion


And you can enter the giveaway here!

Are y'all excited? I know I am!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Blog Tour Signups!

 Hey guys! 

Yup, you read that right! Blog Tour Signups are open for Untitled, releasing November 11th! 

I'm so super excited for this! Angela has done an amazing job with the blog tour so far and I'm excited!! Depending on what you'd like to post, there are several options. And if you don't have a blog but would like to join in, there an option for that as well! Oh also there may or may not be a giveaway exclusively for blog tour participants... ;) 

You can sign up here! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask either Angela or myself! 



Friday, September 18, 2020

How are you feeling?

*Just a slight warning. This post has been on my heart for the past couple weeks and is kinda all over the place so I apologize in advance* 

 I hate that question more then anything in the world. 

Emotions. Feelings.

I don't like them. I never have. They're so abstract and confusing. They're not tangible. You can't touch them and fix the problem. You have to put a word to a feeling, and those feelings are different for everyone. And just when you think you've finally gotten it figured out, you realize you haven't even scratched the surface. 

Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. So in order to feel anger you are also feeling annoyance and displeasure. 

Happy: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. So if you're happy, you're also feeling pleasure and contentment. 

One feeling is wrapped up in a thousand others, and to find the right words to try and pinpoint the exact feeling or emotions you're experiencing is exhausting. 

Each definition and feeling has within itself yet another emotion. It's like a tangled strand that cannot be unwound. One leads to another and yet another, and you've still not figured out exactly that one feeling you're struggling to put into words. It's the most frustrating thing in the world. And if you can't even understand what you're feeling, how the heck are you going to be able to tell someone else? 

I think one of the most difficult things in the world is trying to get someone to understand how you feel, but not being able to convey the depth of what your feeling. And the second most difficult is trying, desperately trying, to understand how someone feels, but being unable to. 

I have a Pinterest board I've titled Feelings with No Words. It's for everything you can feel and relate to, but just can't seem to find the word for. It's full of the kind of pins where you read the sentence and you feel something. But you don't know what to call it because there isn't a single word that properly sums it up. 


And as I've been thinking about and pondering all this, it hit me how blessed we are that we don't have to limit our emotions and feelings to a word. We can use whole chapters and books to describe and paint a picture for others, using the beautiful gift of language to convey what a single word fails to. (Yup, ended my sentence in a proposition. Don't point it out. xD) 

If you're anything like me, feelings are terrifying. Because you feel so deeply that the very act of feeling seems to crush you. So you push them aside. You don't sort through your emotions. You pretend you don't feel. It's easier. People ask and you say "fine". They are used to it and don't press. Life seems great. Until some small, insignificant thing tips the balance and suddenly the feelings you shoved aside become a wave that threatens to drown you. It topples over you until you feel as if you can hardly breathe because of their raw intensity and strength. 

"I'm Fine" I'm not. Please see that I'm not...

"I don't want to talk about it" I do but I'm terrified of what might happen... 

"Don't touch me." If you do I'll shatter into a thousand pieces...

"Leave me alone." Please don't. Please care enough to stay...

Sometimes I wonder why people feel differently from each other. Why the way we deal with emotions is so vastly varied. And I can't find an answer. Instead I only wonder that the same God created each and every one of us, and each and every one is unique. 

In all this I started to wonder what the Bible said about feelings and emotions. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

There's a time for everything. A time for crying and a time for laughter. A time to hold someone and a time to sit back and just let them be. A time to keep hold of things and a time to let them go. A time to speak up, and a time to just let silence rest in the air for a while. A time to love, and a time to hate. 

And not a one of those is condemned. 

There is a time for every single feeling under the sun. Because feelings in and of themselves aren't wrong. It's what we decide to do with them that makes the difference. It's okay to feel. And it's okay to feel deeply. 

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

God has made everything beautiful. Everything. And that includes feelings and emotions. For whatever reason I may never be able to comprehend, God created our feelings and emotions for good. 

That includes the times when we can't do anything but cry. The times when the world seems perfect and we can't stop smiling. And the times when we don't know what or how to feel, and we end up crying and laughing at the same time as our mind scrambles to determine exactly what emotions are vying for mastery. 

Feelings and emotions are God given, but if not brought under control they can do far more harm then good. Someone once described the battle of emotions inside someone like a storm out at sea, and I can't think of a more apt description. They're a thing of beauty and strength, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. They cause us to stand in awe of them, while also warning us to tread carefully. 

Emotions are beautiful. I'm ... still not at the point where I can say I wholeheartedly agree with that statement but I know, it's true. I know I'll never fully understand them, and that will always frustrate me. But I'm getting to the point where I can accept them and see their good. They add a color and flavor, a depth to life that we wouldn't have apart from them. 

He hath made everything beautiful in his time. 

And that includes our feelings. Don't push them aside. Don't try and ignore them. Don't write them off as unimportant. Instead, embrace them. Remember, they're God given. Let yourself get lost in trying to understand them. It's a journey you'll never be able to complete, but it'll be worth every stop along the way. <3 

So. How are you feeling today? 

Friday, September 11, 2020

9/11/2001

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” — George W. Bush


Where were you nineteen years ago?

I was three years old. Too young to know what was happening, but old enough to know that something wasn’t right. 

-2,184 Civilians 

-343 Members of the NYC Fire Department - Firefighters, EMTs, Paramedics 

-71 Law Enforcement officers 

-8 EMTs and Paramedics from private hospital units 


. . . Never saw the sun set on September 11th. 


Another shift, another day,

Nothing seems amiss.

The coffee’s hot, the morning’s young, 

I give my wife a kiss. 


Then suddenly the world turns grey,

The color disappears. 

As from above they descend, 

Achieving our worst fears. 


I grab my gear, don’t hesitate,

Jump into the truck.

While others flee we press on,

But I fear we are too late.


I didn’t make it out that day,

I never went back home,

Never saw the sun set,

As it dipped beneath the bay.


I ran toward the rubble willingly, 

I'd do it all again,

to help those who are hurting, 

with no thought of earthly gain. 


I only ask that you remember,

That you never let yourself forget. 

How you felt that day in September,

When the land we love was attacked. 



There are a handful of blogs posting today in honor of 9/11. Be sure and check out all their posts. 


Never forget. 


Soldier Girl Stories 

Life of Heritage 

Stories by Firefly 

Photos by Abby Rose

Maidens for Modesty 

Twin Thoughts 

The Heart of the Rose 

Books, Life, and Christ 

Beautiful Things 

Amanda Tero 





“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend―even a friend whose name it never knew.” — George W. Bush

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Cover Reveal!

 September 2nd, 1945.

Sailors lined the deck of the U.S.S Missouri as it lay at anchor in Tokyo Bay, surrounded by more then two-hundred and fifty warships. The sweet notes of the Star Spangled Banner drifted across the bay as the ceremony got underway, providing the backdrop for the historic moment.

 The atmosphere was thick with expectation and tension as the representatives for each allied nation faced the Japanese leaders. On two tables that had been set out on the deck lay the documents that would end the most devastating war in human history. 

As the signatures were finished and the ceremony came to a close, the sun broke through the clouds that had been hovering overhead and bathed the bay in its bright, warm, rays. As the Japanese were escorted off the deck, the sky above them came to life with a roar as U.S. aircraft flew overhead. They were so low the sky seemed to turn black. A cheer rose up, first from the men aboard the Missouri, but echoing around the bay as the ships in the harbor joined the celebration. 

Seventy-five years ago, WWII officially came to an end. 

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When I first started working on this book, I wanted to publish it on September 2nd, for the 75th anniversary of WWII. Then life intervened and I wasn't able to spend the time I wanted to on this book to get it done soon enough to be published in September. 

But I still wanted to do something special on the 2nd. So ... the cover reveal! I meant, what better way to celebrate the end of the war then by revealing the cover of a book that deals with it? So without any further ado ...


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*squeals* Isn't it perfect? It's exactly what I had hoped for and it turned out ever so beautiful! And it's fits the story so well. <3 


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Okinawa, 1945


Two brothers. Two Separate Paths.


A Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines, Jess Walker’s world is shaken as he struggles to aid the men around him. But the battlefield isn’t his hardest challenge. The nagging memory of how he lost his brother weighs on him, serving as a constant reminder of his failure. War has no mercy for anyone and Jess isn’t sure he can survive the war inside. As his world comes crashing down around him, he struggles to believe there is a future beyond the pain. 


Clay Walker has moved on from the life he once lived. A successful Marine pilot, he wants nothing to do with his family and the God he left behind. Japan is on the brink of surrender when his unit is shipped off to Okinawa, and it’s there that Clay is forced to realize his past is not as deeply buried as he thought. Faced with heavy losses and questions without answers, Clay has a choice to make. Is he willing to step back and let God take the controls? Or is it too late for a second chance? 


As WWII rages, the two brothers must face their demons — or be lost to the burning world around them.


Coming November 11th




There are some super sweet girls joining me in the cover reveal so be sure and check out their posts! If there's not a link after their name it's because they're posting on Instagram - so be sure and check out their IG accounts!


Kassie Angle - Soldier Girl Stories

Abigail McKenna

Kaitlyn Krispense

Faith Potts - Stories by Firefly

Abigail Harris - Read, Review, Rejoice

Ryana Lynn - Life of Heritage

Deborah Cook

Brooklyne Elysse - Showers of Blessings