What makes us write what we write? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you why I penned my debut novel, A Heart on Hold.
I wrote A Heart on Hold for two reasons. One: I really wanted to read it. Two: I had to go get lots of stuff off my chest and it’s hard to afford therapy on a sergeant’s salary. (That was a tongue in cheek joke, by the way.)
My husband was deployed to Afghanistan and I was home by myself with three children under five – one a preemie and just six weeks old. We moved to my hometown, Odessa, Texas, to be near my folks and lucked into renting a house right around the corner from them. However, that didn’t ward off the bad juju to come.
I wish I could say pining away at home for a serviceman was romantic, but if I did, I would be lying. It was stressful, strained our marriage, and put a hurting on our already fragile finances. In the off chance he was able to call, he was a different person – an angry person. Then, Flu-B swept our household, hitting everyone except the newborn. We recovered, only to be struck down with the dreaded H1N1 Flu virus. I honestly wasn’t sure if we were coming out of that one or not. But once again, everyone recovered and lived to tell the proverbial tale.
My husband’s tales from the battlefield were enough to curdle my blood and keep me up at night, on my knees, asking God to keep him safe. His stories, coupled with the ever-present grim news reports, saw me begin to lose weight at an astronomical speed. I figured stress was the culprit. Boy was I wrong.
My thyroid gland was dying and kicking up a fuss, so it had to come out. All of it, right away, and hopefully it wasn’t cancer. Well, the docs piddled and pondered over this all through my husband’s mid-tour leave. Then, once he was safely back in Afghanistan, they decided to schedule a date to operate. The Army didn’t let him come home.
These tales are just a few that are woven through the pages of A Heart on Hold, set against the backdrop of one woman’s undying love for her soldier, no matter what the situation back home brings.
War isn’t romantic, but love can be the silk thread that holds the broken hearts and shattered spirits together that follows in war’s wake. I hope you read A Heart on Hold. I hope you fall in love with Charlotte and Sanderson and Minerva and Jackson. I hope you find kernels of truth that you can take with you in your life. The human spirit is resilient and can bounce back from many pains. Charlotte did. So did I.
Have you ever wondered if you’d survive something? Did your love–or someone else’s–sustain you? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of A HEART ON HOLD.
What’s A HEART ON HOLD about? It’s the first of a 4-book series to be re-issued with Prairie Rose Publications. Book 2, A HEART BROKEN, will be out in June, and I can hardly wait to see these stories “out there” again. They mean so much to me! Here’s the blurb from A HEART ON HOLD:
How long can a heart hold on before it breaks?
Charlotte Adamsland is separated from her husband, Sanderson Redding, the day after their marriage. A captain in the Confederate Army, Sanderson must return to his unit, leaving Charlotte alone on their Arkansas homestead to fend for herself. Yankees camp around the town of Altrose, bringing their own kind of lawless danger. And then, one dark day, a Southern soldier arrives with terrible news…Sanderson has been killed trying to escape a Yankee prison.
Sanderson has found salvation and hell in a single turn of events he could never have imagined—his much-younger brother, Jackson, is his Yankee guard. When Jackson’s cruel commanding officer learns of the brothers’ family ties, he devises a wicked plan to see them both dead. Jackson is determined to get his brother to safety—but a last-minute betrayal by another prisoner could be the death of both brothers.
Charlotte can’t accept the news of Sanderson’s death—he promised to come back to her. She heads north armed with only her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her love home—one way or the other. Will she be able to rescue him? Or will her love remained locked forever in A HEART ON HOLD…
And here’s an excerpt from A HEART ON HOLD to whet your appetite!
“I had a more romantic howdy planned for you, my dear,” Sanderson said.
His words sounded far away in her sleep-heavy ears as she struggled to wake up.
“I suppose I fell asleep,” Charlotte mumbled. A cold knot formed in her stomach as she realized she had tilted over from her sitting position when she dozed off, allowing her head to land smack dab on Sanderson’s chest. His hand was still stroking her hair.
“Just like Uncle Jake,” Sanderson mused. “It must be nice to be able to sleep wherever your head winds up.”
“Well, it’s about time you woke up,” Charlotte teased sleepily. Although worry strained her voice, she flashed him a smile. “Your color’s coming back, too. Rest and sunshine are good medicine.”
The sunlight streamed in through the holes worn in the transparent linsey-woolsey curtain that she’d tacked up over the precious glass window. The small, muted rays appeared to have shone life back into Sanderson.
“What happened?” he asked as his fingers traced the curve of her face.
He gave Charlotte his full attention as his hand meandered from her face to the back of her neck. As it nestled in her hair, Charlotte felt a rash of goose bumps crop up under his flesh and spread up her neck. A blush colored her face, but wasn’t rightly sure as to why.
It’s just Sanderson.
His free hand found hers atop the quilt. He fingered the delicate golden ring on her finger and smiled that impish smile, revealing the dimples that made the girls in town turn their heads just to watch him pass.
Just the most beautiful, astounding man to ever grace the earth with his footsteps.
Charlotte’s voice came out a bit shaky. “It…ah—seems that you were so happy to see me when you arrived that you fainted dead away and slept for two straight days before you could even kiss me hello.”
Sanderson pushed himself up in Charlotte’s bed. “We shall have to remedy that then, won’t we?” Grinning, he leaned forward and swept her into his arms, cradling her in his lap. “I’ve missed you, my darling Charlotte.”
She closed her eyes and let her senses soak up this moment. Sanderson’s warm breath was moist on her lips and his skin, though roughened by Army life, felt like sunshine wrapped in silk as it brushed against hers.
His kiss fell upon her. His fingers combed through her hair as her arms tightened around his neck.
Charlotte’s tell-tale heartbeat quickened to a gallop in her chest as Sanderson’s hand trailed the length of her tresses coming to rest over her pounding heart. Unable to stay contained within the sumptuous arms of her love, she kissed Sanderson with such carefree enthusiasm that the moment escalated before either of them could escape the other’s grasp. Sanderson’s tender kisses found her neck as Charlotte clasped his muscular biceps, her breath raspy and jagged.
“I love you,” Charlotte whispered, her quiet voice cracking.
Thanks for stopping by today and visiting! For more of my stories and “about me”, I can be found here:
If you just can’t wait to see if you won, A HEART ON HOLD can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online bookstores in both print and digital formats.
Here’s the Amazon Kindle link: