CHASE – Young Adult Adventure

Today we feature a Y/A novel, CHASE, and author Glenn Haggerty shares below how you can receive a free copy. Thanks for visiting, Glenn. 

How did you get the idea for your latest release? 

Chase was initially just a picture in my mind. At the time, my concern for the problem of drugs in middle and high school had been simmering. Then a scene appeared where a lowlife drug-dealer meets with one of his runners. I let my imagination roam. The incident turned into a scene, which expanded into a full-length novel. I tried to put myself into the mindset of these characters and interestingly, ended up cutting that scene and reworking it into a different setting and another short story. But by then the bull was out of the pen, as it were, and the story had to be written!

What is your favorite aspect of one of the characters, and why? 

Contradictions. Tyler embodies the contradictions of many 13-year-old boys. Wanting to be included, wanting to be the hero, but still bound by insecurity and fear. Naïve and self-deprecating, he is also stubborn and tenacious. He struggles to figure out another complex facet of friendship even as he struggles to figure out where girls fit, if they fit, into his life. In the end, he learns to apply faith, and God does some extraordinary things through him.

Do you pattern your characters after any boys you’ve met? 

My characters are composites of people I’ve met or read about, so, yes to some extent. On the other hand, I believe my characters are more imagined than reflective of myself or characters that I’ve met.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to write stories for young people?

Honestly, writing for students is tough right now because it is so difficult to connect with the readers, and access to public schools, where most of the market resides, is problematic. Reaching parent groups, homeschool and Christian school gatekeepers is important, but connecting directly with the students is most important of all. Begin early to cultivate your relationships with people in your target market. If you can write an entertaining book and get it directly to the students, they will respond positively.

Glenn writes inspiring adventures with an edge. No matter how dark the day, finding hope to pursue the prize is the core of all his novels and studies. He is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, the father of six and grandfather of seven. Glenn likes tandem biking, kayaking, and daydreaming and lives in Minneapolis with his wife.

Back cover copy for Chase, Intense Book 3

            “There they are.” Chase’s voice rolled up the slope. Even hollering his voice sounded flat and lifeless like someone had drilled a hole in his body, and his soul had leaked out.

 Drugs infiltrate Tyler Higgins’ middle school turning ordinary kids into brain dead druggies. When his friend is infected, Tyler decides to cut the small town drug flow by ratting out the dealer before it’s too late.

Shadowing drug runners is risky business. A bowhunter has already disappeared, and Tyler’s true adversary remains veiled. After his first spying mission misfires, Audrey, his classmate, volunteers to help, but Tyler can’t imagine where this mission will lead. Everything goes sideways, but he doggedly follows the twisting trails, risking his friendships and his own neck. In the end, he isn’t sure who he can trust or if he can rescue anyone—including himself.

Buying Links

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B0792JP7Z2

Barnes & Noble Nook, iBooks, Kobo and others https://books2read.com/u/3yZOW6

You can visit me at www.glennhaggerty.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlennHaggertyAuthor, and on Twitter, @grhaggertyjr

PS You can pick up a FREE copy of book 1 of this series here http://www.glennhaggerty.com/my-books/escape

Keep Calm and Carry On

That’s a mouthful at times. I have a friend who’s facing surgery with extensive recuperation, plus two dreadful diseases in her close family.

Keep calm, you say?

With another friend, we have an ongoing discussion about how people make it through suffering, sorrow, illness, and loss. Sometimes I think it’s a combination of this “carry on” attitude plus faith, of course, and a good dose of everyday concerns that keep us going.

 

On our recent trip, Lance ordered bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, a traditional British and Irish dish combining sausages and mashed potatoes. The flavored sausages may be pork, lamb, or beef (often specifically Cumberland sausage. The dish is sometimes served with onion gravy, fried onions, or peas.

This dish, even when cooked at home, may be thought of as an example of pub grub, quick and easy to make in large quantities. I’ve read accounts of wartime children being sent to pick up the family’s order of this dish at a local restaurant, since both of their parents were working.

During World War II, I wonder if, in addition to seeking divine comfort, the necessary constant task of providing food for their families helped everyone make it through. Here in the states, women survived dire Depression-era poverty and went on to endure the wait for their loved ones to return from the second world war.

Maybe it’s no wonder that generation taught us to eat everything on our plates and placed high value on a good, solid meal followed by a lush dessert.

Some World War II ladies we met at Bletchley Park

Talk about authentic…take a look at these women – oh, so stylish! The one with the white hat has a Veronica Lake “victory roll,” prevalent during World War II. This hair-do kept women’s hair out of the way in such a busy time, and helped them avoid accidents with machinery at their jobs, as well.

 

One of these ladies might work in a factory, like her American counterpart, Rosie the Riveter, or as a secretary to someone in Winston Churchill’s underground war rooms.

These are the types Addie and Kate would have encountered in Charles Tenney’s office, or on the streets of London.

 

PHOTOS – Bletchley Park

Styles of the time…for some reason, the seams don’t show up on their hosiery.

 

But here’s the smuggler we met at Bletchley…isn’t he cool?

And behold some of his wares:

I wanted to buy everything…don’t you LOVE the look on his wife’s face?

Finding specific name brands was such a gift for my research…what a day, what an incredible day.

Changed Plans and Reminders

A promise is a promise. I said I would send photos from England and a continuous report of what we are doing over here. However, the photo part has to wait because my husband is at a camera shop right now seeing if his camera damage from the trip over the Atlantic can be fixed or if he needs to buy a new camera.

In the meantime, he has been taking what we hope are wonderful shots of everything we have seen so far. So here goes from Portsmouth where the D-Day Museum completely captured our attention and where I put my pinky in the very cold waters of the English Channel.

The Salty breeze from the channel made me very thankful for the coat our daughter found for me last week. We stayed minutes from the channel in the Easley guest house where Steve and Clare provided great breakfasts and loads of information about Portsmouth now and during World War II.

One of the highlights for me was meeting a couple of women on vacation during breakfast the first day. One of them grew up in a big brick house across the street and told us that along the line of houses, where we now could see a more modern one, that meant the original one had been bombed out during the blitz.

As usual meeting these women was a highlight for me. We also explored a bombed-out local Garrison church built long before Jamestown was founded.

We went to the Mary Rose museum. The Mary Rose was Henry the VIII’s pride and joy, his best warship. But he watched her sink from Portsmouth Harbor. Centuries later, she was partially brought to the surface and is now reconstructed underneath a huge glass enclosure. So many artifacts retrieved from the Mary Rose and it’s amazing they were still recognizable.

Today I am taking a break from concrete and cement for my poor aching feet, but ice is helping. We wanted to be on a tour today, but as often happens in life, had to change our plans. The same thing happened with being able to check my emails so if any of you have written me and not received a reply now you know why.

Still, it’s a gorgeous day in Oxford England. Yesterday we saw punters rowing their flat-bottomed boats—which they call “punts”—on the river beside the colleges. We ate dinner where C.S. Lewis and his buddies met every week. It’s a pub called The Bear and it was flooded with Americans. I sure hope Lance’s photos have turned out OK. He can’t tell at this point, but hopefully will be able to send some soon. For now, a few from our phone will have to do.

 

In the meantime, I’m reading The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis out in a beautiful back yard of our hotel and being reminded that even when our plans go awry the beauty around us reminds us of what really matters. Signing off for now.

Recalculating

For over a week I’ve been telling myself I must start blogging again, after quite a traumatic time of grief in our little church. This word recalculating keeps coming to mind – you know, the voice on the GPS that tells you to re-define your direction?

During times like this, support and encouragement arrive to cheer our hearts. Lance’s photography hobby stalled for a while, but this morning he captured this little wren singing her heart out in one of our lilac bushes.

Realizing how tragedies affect pastors, a friend sent us flowers. I’m drying the gorgeous yellow roses upside down to hoard something of this bouquet’s beauty, to remind me of his kindness.

It’s probably no coincidence that my sign Love deeply, be happy, and share the joy got included in this photo, albeit upside down. It’s a good reminder that loving deeply, though this kind of loss causes great pain, is worth the effort.

If you’re acquainted with Addie and Kate and Domingo from my books, you know how this concept applies. I’ll leave the analyzing to you this time, and share another cheerful birdie pic…

Such gloomy days here lately, but we had to smile when Iowa’s state bird paid us a visit.

There, I’ve written a blog again – thanks for waiting. I want to let you know, too, that Lance and I will be leaving this week for our fortieth anniversary journey to England. Lots of research ahead…soooo many WWII museums and airfields and STORIES – Oh MY!

I plan to send updates, so stay tuned. I imagine we’ll  be recalculating often during this trip! And thanks again for taking valuable time to read what I write and passing on the news.

 

April Surprises

April fools came a couple of days late this year, and yes, I snapped a picture of these birdie prints just outside our door. Maybe a sparrow seeking sustenance between the cracks in our deck.

I consider myself fortunate. My husband shoulders the work snow brings. Early this morning, he was out creating walkable paths for the likes of moi.

 

Why so bundled up? Try seven degrees F.

He also takes amazing photographs of the flora and fauna around here–we used to comment that we’d know when we’re old when we started watching birds. Weeel…

A humble sparrow, fluffed against the cold. She thought she’d be building her nest and laying her eggs by now.

But April or no April, expectations or no expectations, iNature dumps a snowstorm when she pleases. These days prove perfect for researching.

As usual, I’ve been studying WWII history, and am so impressed by British citizens’ tenacity. They took hit after hit after hit, long before we Americans even entered the war. Entire towns leveled by the Luftwaffe…thousands of lives lost. Attacks foiled, with unbearable losses.

But those losses would mount far higher…the war had only begun, and words like unbearable would take on new levels of meaning.

Yet in the historical annals, photo after photo attests to ordinary British citizens’ pluck. It seemed that as suffering and challenges increased, so did people’s stamina, endurance, and proactivity: in a word, their pluck. 

We don’t use this word much any more, but pluckiness will get you through a lot. Yesterday I came across a picture of two women emerging from the rubble of their bombed out homes, each with a houseplant in her hands…and they both wore a smile. 

There’s a lot to be said for pluck…it’s fluffing out your feathers in the face of a storm. It’s picking up your shovel and starting in…or keeping on. It’s that indefatigable hope dwelling inside that keeps you going, no matter what.

The Quality of Light

“Of all the facts I daily live with there’s none more comforting than this; If I have two rooms, one dark, the other light, and I open the door between them, the dark room becomes lighter without the light one becoming darker. I know this is no headline, but it is a marvelous foot note; and comforts me in that.” ― Gerhard Frost

Probably there’s some scientific explanation for why light affects darkness, but not vice-versa. These kinds of questions intrigue me, so I guess it’s no wonder they furrow my characters’ brows, as well.

Why doesn’t darkness “move into” light when we open a door or when a light shines outside our windows? Instead, brightness penetrates into the formerly dark area.

In my last novel, Kate, Domingo, and the wily priest who accompanies them on some of their clandestine missions ponder such concepts. Why didn’t one of the assassination attempts on Hitler’s life succeed? How could such evil run rampant over Europe?

If you enjoyed With Each New Dawn and A Purpose True, you’d most likely appreciate the story I’m working on right now, too. Stan, an all-American guy-type, considers philosophical questions in the mountains of Bataan, where he and a captain escape to carry on guerrilla warfare instead of succumbing to captivity in a Japanese POW camp.

Add to this the captain’s literary mind bursting with quotes, and his penchant for employing them in everyday conversation…plus his bouts of malaria and dengue fever. Needless to say, Stan has his hands full.

As usual, I keep thinking this novel must be nearly finished…and that day will come. Meanwhile, Easter’s not a bad time to consider the effect of light on darkness, and the failure of darkness to squelch light.

Have a meaningful holiday.

 

Blessed by Time

Anne Baxter Campbell joins us today, with a giveaway of her novel, Blessed By Time, a story about a young child (Tammy) who insists she’s seen Jesus. Her mother, Sarah, is sure her daughter was hallucinating. Her father doesn’t believe in fairy tales. It might take 2000 years to convince the adults.

The book is a little about grief, but much more about faith. The winning commenter may choose a signed print copy or an e-book.

                                            Good Grief!

What’s good about grief?

In the summers when I was young, I normally spent a month or more on my grandparent’s dairy farm. Did you know cows grieve when you take their calves from them? They’d bellow all night.

Even birds grieve. One spring I noticed a male English sparrow hopping around on the ropes of a clothesline near the end of a metal cross-pole. He’d look into the end of the pole and chirp continually. It wasn’t just for a day or two. This went on all summer.

I found out he and his sparrow spouse had built a nest inside the pole. I’m not positive what happened, but apparently the mama had laid eggs and hadn’t wanted to leave them. She probably died from heat stress, and there was no consoling papa sparrow.

I know how he felt. My spouse died two years ago, and I’m not sure I’ll ever stop missing him.

Why do we grieve? Maybe because we’re made in God’s image.

God has grieved, too. He grieved every time His people cheated on Him. Have you read Hosea? Read it, and see if you feel the grief He expressed.

And when Jesus died on the cross―remember? The thick, heavy curtains that surrounded the Holy of Holies in the temple―they tore top to bottom. The sky went black. The earth shook.

Those of you who have lost a spouse or a child―do you relate?

At one time I thought black was worn for grieving because it was customary. When my husband died, I couldn’t wear bright colors. It wasn’t that it was customary, it was just that that’s how I felt. Black, gray, or brown suited me much better.

Why did God make us like this? Why can’t we just accept and go on? Even knowing my husband is out of misery and in such a happy place doesn’t make me stop missing him. Why?

Well, what kind of person doesn’t feel sympathy or empathy for someone who is hurt? Sociopaths, maybe, but not the rest of us. Tears are a universal language that needs no interpretation or one hundred percent agreement.

Hugs are universal therapy for hurts. Love is the perfect medicine, the ultimate healing balm. Why?

Because we’re made in God’s image. And that’s good.

Buy link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/2psvqSt
I’m on facebook and twitter as Anne Baxter Campbell–just enter the name in the search column.

Making Do

This past two weeks have tweaked my perspective after I fell and hurt my wrist. Since driving is out, these days have been more isolated than normal. Some friends came to my rescue with groceries and other household needs like chopping vegetables, opening cans, and vacuuming.

Some other friends visited, too:

Nice to have company…the first few days, I read through a pile of books I’ve been meaning to get to, and learned so much…about World War II. How’d you guess?

Once I could type again, even one-handed, my latest hero and heroine kept me company. Oh, what the ordinary citizens of the 40’s went through–they made do all the time. For this story, I’m researching the war in the Philippines.

Here’s one of my resources, a compilation of the Los Angeles Examiner’s wartime headlines. With a trusty magnifying glass borrowed from a friend, I’ve unearthed some real gems–hopefully, you’ll read some of them when ALL FOR THE CAUSE is published.