Veterans Day is for healing…let’s not forget our wounded warriors who suffer not only the physical pains of war, but the mental as well.
PTSD was first talked about during the Civil War by physicians who described it as nostalgia, while others believed it was a disturbance of a soldier’s mental capabilities caused by severe trauma to the brain.
After World War II, John Huston directed a documentary called Let There Be Light, about the care of soldiers with mental disturbances suffered during wartime.
These are wounds you do not see.
But they are very real to the soldier with PTSD.
In my holiday romance, “The Christmas Piano Tree,” the hero, Sgt. Jared Milano, is a wounded warrior suffering from PTSD from his last mission in Afghanistan:
“His brain went into freefall and he couldn’t stop it. No matter how hard he tried, how much he squeezed his mind, the memory stayed lost in a thick, suffocating fog swirling around in his head.
Dead and forgotten.
Angry, frustrated, he tried to reach out and grab it, but whatever his buddy said to him before he died remained silent and still in his mind.
When would he remember? When?”
“The Christmas Piano Tree” is the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano. And Rachel, her little girl, who believes that Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a tree.
Even if it is a piano.
I’ll never forget the Christmas I spent stationed overseas in a small town in Italy. The hot chocolate and cookies I baked and gave to the soldiers who signed up for my Christmas Eve Midnight Mass tour. Off we went on that wintery night in an old military school bus…
We were a motely group of military and Special Services personnel attending the service in a medieval cathedral that was cold and damp, but filled with song and hope for a better future.
Many of those men had seen the horrors of combat and suffered from PTSD (what we called DSS–delayed-stress syndrome–back then). Their stories as they told them to me have stayed with me always…
Thank you for spending part of your Veterans Day here with me. We thank all those who have served for their courage and bravery in keeping us and our families safe. God bless you.
Happy Halloween!! — EROTIC ROMANCE:
I love Halloween and dressing up in a pretty costume. Especially a can-can outfit with a white petticoat and layers of ruffles and black stockings. Imagine if you could go to Paris and dance the can-can at the famous Moulin Rouge.
You can…with the help of a little black magic.
Meet Autumn Maguire in “Naughty Paris“ She’s jilted at the altar and uses her pre-paid honeymoon tickets to go to Paris. She’s turned on when she sees a full-size painting of a sexy, lost Impressionist named Paul Borquet in a studio in the Marais District…
Here is an audio/video podcast of two short scenes from “Naughty Paris“ where Autumn hears the laughter of the scandalous artist…and she’s transported back to 1889 Paris.
Find out what happened to Autumn Maguire in “Naughty Paris.”
I’d like to celebrate this day with another sweet.
It’s the story of a wounded warrior and a soldier’s widow:
Kristen Delaney is a cookie baker and works in a girl’s school in Kissing Creek, Kentucky. She’s been feeding homeless vets with leftover food as a way of keeping her husband’s memory alive (he was killed in Afghanistan)–this is a very difficult Christmas Eve for her and her little girl Rachel…until this soldier shows up!!
Here’s a short scene where we first meet him. Kristen gets a funny feeling when she sees a tall man walking toward her…
“She pulled her steering wheel hard to the right to avoid colliding with the tall man bundled up in a black field jacket and khaki pants, a duffel bag strapped on his back, his broad shoulders dusted with falling snow.
“She stuck her head out of the window to give him a piece of her mind and then stopped.
“Something about him made her stare at him. He had that swagger she knew so well. Military. Seeing him touched a nerve. Another homeless vet. Kristen shook her head, understanding. He was the third one this week looking for a hot meal.
“Not surprising on Christmas Eve.”
“The Christmas Piano Tree” is the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sooo thankful to everyone who nominated my Kindle Scout book The Magic Christmas Train . . . it wasn’t chosen and I wanted to do something to say “Thank you,” so for Friday and Saturday, Oct 13 & 14, my WW II Christmas novella “A Soldier’s Italian Christmas” will be FREE!
It takes place around the same time — Dec 1943 when the Allies were pushing north in Italy . . . when an American captain makes a wrong turn and ends up in a bombed out village . . . and meets a beautiful nun.
Art stolen by the Nazis figures predominately in my romance novella “A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.”
Sister Angelina discovers what the Nazis are up to and risks her life to save the art treasures. Here she is in the Monastery of Monte D’Oro Rose.
Sister Angelina and Capt. Mack O’Casey are spying on the brutal Nazi major in this scene through a peephole from their hiding place:
The library was filled with drunken Nazis.
Angelina focused on the outrageous behavior of the German officer with the pretty brunette on his lap. Ines. “Oh, my Lord…” she whispered, and then blessed herself. Major von Arx sat at the long table where the monks prayed, running his fingers up and down the girl’s shiny, smooth stockings. Silk. Ines let out a breathy sigh when he parted her thighs and his hand dove under her skirt.
Embarrassed, the young nun looked away from the spy hole.
Oh, the shame. What would the captain think if he saw her watching them?
“What is it, Sister?”
“Nothing but the devil at play,” she said, her cheeks flaming.
“Your words intrigue me.” The captain put his eye to the peephole and smirked. “Are you certain he doesn’t know we’re watching him?”
“Yes, but we must be careful he doesn’t see us. The peephole was hidden by priceless Renaissance paintings,” she said, wishing she’d never brought him here. “Until the Nazi major stole them.”
“Yes. The German officer ordered his guards to remove the paintings and ready them for transport. For the Fuehrer, he said. Two days ago, I hid in the tower and watched his men leave through the narrow passage and head down the mountain with mules packed with wooden crates.”
“Men died trying to climb these mountains, Sister,” said the captain, not trying to hide the raw edge to his voice. “Good men. Brave men. The mud, the stench of death all around us, but we kept going. For what? So this Nazi bastard could steal from the Church?”
His eyes glowed a vibrant blue more intense than a cloudless sky. Angelina felt deep into her bones here was a man of faith who could be trusted. A man who stirred her soul with the desire to feel his strong arms around her. Sweet yearnings to feel skin against skin that tore her apart. Especially at night when her small cell was dark and her cotton chemise stuck to her body drenched in sweat, feelings she didn’t understand tormenting her. The captain brought those feelings to the surface.
He was dangerous to her.
Dear God, why must you lead me into temptation?
“We must return to the orphanage so you can rest before it’s time for you to leave,” she said. It saddened her to send him on his way, but she must. “I will lead you through the secret passage down the mountain. From there you can take the road north to Rome. I will see to it Marcello brings you the abbot’s finest wine to take with you on your journey.”
“Do you think God would approve?” he said with a grin.
“Yes, though He doesn’t always approve of what I’ve done.”
“Are you telling me the sweet angel before me is not what she seems?”
Angelina blinked. Had he guessed her secret?
What is Angelina’s secret? Find out in A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.”
Coming up on Saturday: an extended video excerpt from Chapter One of A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.”