Every book baby is exciting for an author but there’s something special about that first one. The one that first made it’s way into the world and proved I had a story worth telling. And it’s appropriate I’m telling you about my first on Veteran’s Day.
Canteen Dreams was my first. It one the Carol Award for Short Historical, which was really fun. But what makes the story so special to me is it married my love for World War II history with my love for my hometown and my grandparents.
I took my grandparent’s story and moved it to my hometown of North Platte and Canteen Dreams was born. My grandpa was the only son of a farmer, and therefore couldn’t serve no matter how many times he was drafted or if he tried to enlist. He was considered essential to the homefront. My grandmother was a school teacher. They met at a dance. Grandpa was six years older than Grandma, and had to wait for her to grow-up. Right before he died a few years ago, he and Grandma were writing their story, and it was fun to read that in Grandma’s handwriting. They had one of those enduring love stories.
We live in an age where true, enduring love seems hard if not impossible to find.
It takes such work to make a marriage last a lifetime and to keep love alive during the ups and downs, the highs and lows. That can sometimes be the challenge with writing books that contain a good bit of romance. I know it’s hard work. My husband and I are committed to each other, and I can only imagine where we’d be if we relied on feelings.
I want my romances to be real. To share the elements of hard. And the highs of Love. To convey the idea that it’s worth the pain to get to the good. Sometimes as I write it, I’m praying for it for us.
And then I think of couples like my grandparents, my parent, my in-laws. Couples that stayed the distance, even when life made it so challenging. So if you’re in a hard season or a waiting season, hang in there. If you’re in an easy season, relish it.
So today, you can download this first story Canteen Dreams for free. If you do, I hope you enjoy it.
By the way, if you read the epilogue in Captive Dreams, that’s something my grandpa did. I had to steal it for a book because it was so romantic and sweet. I smile today thinking I got to be part of the first time he gave Grandma store-bought roses.