Monday, June 4, 2012

A Break from Broken Roads

Don't worry Hearts for Rent fans, I haven't forgotten about you.  I just had another story brewing on my mind and couldn't quite let it sit in the back of my mind until I finished Broken Roads, the sequel to Hearts for Rent.  So, here's a little story about the book I just published on Smashwords, which will soon be available at Barnes & Noble for the Nook and iTunes for any i-device you can read on.
For those of you that don't know, I'm a mom of two little boys.  For the past year and half, I decided to be a stay at home mom and take a break from my teaching career. Those boys take a lot out of me some days.  There are times I just want to leave the house without them.  Thankfully, my husband understands that and doesn't say anything when he walks in the door and I walk out.  One of those such moments on a lovely fall day, I grabbed my laptop and took it with me to a local park.  I sat in the parking lot and cranked out the  first ten pages of the now named "Always and Forever."  I felt so much better afterwards and came home.
So, let me tell you the story of Always and Forever and my thoughts behind it.  I live in a somewhat small town.  Not a town where every one knows your name, but a town no less.  I have to drive into "town" to go to a Walmart or Target or find something to eat if I don't feel like cooking.  After living in the city pretty much all my life, I enjoy the quiet of my rural Missouri city.  I decided I wanted to write a story about someone that lived in a small town, but hadn't quite got all my characters in a row.
Then, it happened.  One of the town's own(who I did not know, but several other people I know did) was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.  He was a Navy seal, a father of two, and had one more baby on the way.  Things didn't really hit home until the day his body came back through Kearney before being laid to rest in Arlington.  I was driving along the highway taking my kids to a local indoor play place when I saw the Patriot  Guard escorting and leading the way into Kearney in the pouring rain.  Headlights on and several cars behind, I saw the hearse and felt the tug at my heart and the trickle of tears making their way down my cheeks.  I'm such a girl like that sometimes.  As I made my way into the play house and got my boys settled on where they were playing, I pulled out a small notebook I had in one of their bags.  I started to write a poem, because that's what I do when something effects me like that.  The words started to come slowly and I just couldn't figure out why I couldn't get my brain to wrap around a poem that was in my brain, but wouldn't make its way out to the paper. So, I stopped writing.  After a while the boys decided they had had enough fun, so we went on our way home. As we pulled onto the main strip of our town, I saw tiny American flags stuck in the ground with a few larger American flags peppered throughout.  That was a nice gesture, I thought.  A few days later, I saw the front page of the local newspaper and saw that the Kearney Fire Department had hoisted a flag on one of their ladder trucks in the pouring rain for the homecoming and I saw pictures of Kearney residents lining the streets welcoming home the Navy Seal with flags in their hand.
That's it. There's the story.  The story of a soldier in a small town who gets a welcome home like no one else.
So, without hesitation I started writing about the Brown family: Lydia, Jimmy and their four boys of varying ages.  Jimmy was a soldier and Lydia was the ever present Army wife of ten years to the man she loved.  I'll let you read the rest of the story, but before I let you shove your nose in a book, there's one more thing about this story.
As I mentioned before, I'm a proud American and support our troops whether I like war or not.  That's just the way I was raised.  Both of my grandpas were in the Navy during WWII, my uncle was in the Marines during Vietnam, and I have several friends and family member of friends who are in the military or were in the military at various times in their lives.  This book is dedicated to all of them and that being said, I am donating a portion of my sales of the book Always and Forever to the Wounded Warrior Project.  So, please, read the book and help out a wonderful cause for soldiers who made it home.

If you're not quite sure if you want to read the book, I wrote a short story(prequel) that I will be posting weekly that may get you hooked.  It's Before the Always.  Look for the first installment next week.

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