Hello and welcome back! Today, I have another fun book review for you and oh! This book *eyes tearing up already* will hit you right in the heart. I just recently met this sweet author through the blog and I am so excited to share with you about her novel, O To Be Like Thee!
O To Be Like Thee
How Deep Love Runs
By Kassie Angle (Published 2018)
Wartime friendships are almost legendary. There’s nothing quite like the bond between soldiers who know their lives depend on each other.
That’s the thing, though. Your best friend’s life depends on you. That’s not always an easy responsibility.
And to make things worse, there’s that little blue-eyed boy in Texas who recognizes your uniform and not your face, and somehow his broken heart learns to love you…
Okay, so I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I love the army and I love military medical units, regardless of branch. I love a novel about medics (I mean, Seth is one of my favorite characters from my books and he’s a doctor’s aide 😉). This book combines these passions and oh! I love it so much!
We follow the story of LT Corban “Corey” Schreiber, a medic stationed in Afghanistan and his relationship with a new friend, Mayson McKinley (Already, I love this guy! Mayson…kinda partial to that name even if the spelling is different…). I used to live near a military base and I have army in my family, so this story really hit home for me.
Kassie handled topics such as blaming one’s self for someone’s death, mild PTSD, grieving a loved one and how things change after deployment for a service member. And she did it very well! Having been raised on army bases across the globe, Kassie knows what she is talking about. And her writing style is to the point and heart wrenching. Few books actually make me cry. I can think of…five that made me cry and one of them was mine, so it doesn’t count, lol! This book made me cry several times. It’s so…real. Even though the story is from Corey’s Point of View (POV), I felt I could connect with him. She did something few books I’ve read about the military have done. She made Corey human, not some larger than life superhero who can handle anything. He had struggles. He had feelings. He wasn’t a robot, but a person.
While there is some blood mentioned in the story, and injuries discussed, nothing was exceedingly graphic. I would read it to my younger siblings, no problem.
I will not forget this story. It hit home for me on a deep level and brought me to an even stronger appreciation for our servicemen. I encourage you, click this link and order you a copy of O To Be Like Thee. It’s a 400+ page novel, so it may take a while to finish, but it is worth it. READ THIS!
…Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
Welcome to my fourth post of the year! I am so excited to be bringing you another installment of my Soldier Life series…the sixth in this series I found out. So for those who are unfamiliar with this series, I am compiling information that I came across while researching for The Battle for Heritage Series. I am not an expert on the War Between the States, but I thought these posts might be helpful to other authors researching the same time era.
With that out of the way, let’s see what life in the army was like for a private, the lowest ranking member of the army.
Most of the army is made up of privates, even today. They are the boots on the ground, the common soldier you know and love from novels and movies. Back in the old days, the private did not have any insignia on his uniform. And another thing about these fellows that I suppose is common knowledge is that the private never gave orders. He’s not over anyone, he’s at the bottom of the totem pole. But what exactly was expected of him? Let’s take a look.
Drill. If you’ve read any book on soldiering in any time period, I’m sure you’ve read about the incessant amount of drilling they did. This wasn’t just a mundane task they had to complete. This was life and death training. It also helped to fill time in the day that otherwise would have left the men idle…and more prone to get into trouble.
KP. Ah, yes, Kitchen Patrol. While this is more of the WWII name for the job, soldiers did take turns helping the army cooks. Peeling potatoes (when they had them) was one of their jobs, as was washing dishes, stirring pots, serving food and dumping food waste., They would have to do anything food related when their turn came around.
Policing the Grounds. Just as today, this task had to do with keeping their living quarters neat and clean. Clearing debris away from the walking paths, organizing their gear, stacking the wood piles neatly, it all had to do with keeping things tidied up.
Horse Duty. Even if they didn’t serve in the Cavalry, their unit had horses for pulling supply wagons, riding dispatches, and transporting officers. So, the privates would feed the horses, clean up after them and if needed, make sure they had been exercised for the day. Grooming needed to be kept up as well to insure the horses’ health and appearance.
Guard Duty. There were two types of guard duty. The first was what you would expect from the name, guarding prisoners, both enemy and fellow soldiers who had disobeyed some military rule. The other was known as Picket Duty, which simply meant they were guarding the outskirts of the camp from intruders.
Camp Duties. This could be anything and everything. Chopping wood, digging latrines and trenches, delivering messages from the officers, hauling water, doing laundry, shooting game/butchering…you name it!
Drummers and buglers as a rule were privates as well, but I can’t say dogmatically that they all had this rank. I would have to look into that a little deeper.
Privates also helped in the hospitals. They often helped hold a soldier down during surgery, volunteered to help the doctors when there was a shortage of nurses and helped remove the wounded from the battlefield. (They weren’t the only ones to do this, but since there were more privates than the other ranks, they were the majority of the ones gathering the wounded.) They also served on burial detail.
Hope this was helpful! I’ll see you next week with a writerly post that I can’t wait to share with you!
Hello and happy Friday everyone! I have another blog post for you today (Third one this year!) and it’s going to be so much fun! A Book List! 📚 If you are like me, you are a book nut, specifically when it comes to historical fiction. Well, today, I’m stepping into the Non-Fiction world and bringing you some of my favorite books about two famous American Heroes, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson! 😍 In addition to my favorites, I will be sharing some books that are on my TBR! 📖
But why these two for my very first book list?
Well, January happens to be the birth month of these amazing Christian men! General Lee was born on January 19th, 1807. Stonewall was born January 21st, 1824. So, it was only fitting to do this post in their honor. 🎈🎁 *Nods at my logic*
Now. Let’s get into the Book List!
Robert E. Lee
You have no idea how many books I own with “Robert E. Lee” as the title! Even though Stonewall is my favorite of the two, I have far more books about General Lee. Here are my favorites…
Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee by Robert E. Lee Jr. (More here!)
Oh, people, read this book!!!!!! It is my very favorite book about Robert E. Lee and I reference it for my books. Who better to write about this great man than his son? Rob does an excellent job chronicling his father’s life, from his very first memory of the general, to Robert E. Lee’s last days. The honor he bestows on his father and his attention to detail is amazing! And I must admit, I really fell in love with his writing style. It felt as if I were right there, riding through the war with Robert E. Lee. And the chapter where Rob takes a break from his father’s story to tell about himself, and the capture of his older brother…no words. It was so good!
Robert E. Lee by Noah Andre Trudeau
This is the first biography, and probably the first history book outside of textbooks, that I ever read and it is amazing! Such an up close and personal look at Gen. Lee and a little of his family as well. Not just the Civil War History of him either; this book goes back before that.
Boy of Old Virginia: Robert E. Lee by Hellen A. Monsell
This is a book written for school Children years ago. I dug up this copy at Goodwill and almost didn’t buy it! Then, my dad found it and brought it back to my attention. I took that as my cue that I needed to buy this book and I’m so glad I did! It’s a nice look at Lee’s childhood and what it was like growing up in the Lee household. It doesn’t touch on his war record, which was a unique twist. Highly recommend it. My younger brother loved it!
Robert E. Lee by Lee Roddy
This is a middle-grade book, but again, a lovely overview of the life of Robert E. Lee. Highly recommend it for an easy read, if you aren’t super into biographies. Great for Homeschool curriculum too!
These are not all of my books on Robert E. Lee, but you get the idea 😉 I can actually think of two more right of the top of my head!
Oh, my favorite Hero ever! I am working on building my Stonewall library, but for now, here are the books I’ve read…
Beloved Bride by Bill Potter (Read my review here!)
This book is amazing! I think every young person should read it, male and female! Married couples, history buffs, people waiting for the right one, just go read it! Fun Fact: I used this book as research for The Rivers of Sorrow! Read Beloved Bride, and you will know which story I pulled for my book!
Stonewall Jackson by Charles Ludwig
This is another middle-grade book and the best biography I’ve read on Stonewall thus far! It’s the only one I’ve read…anywho, this book is so good! Like Robert E. Lee by Lee Roddy, it’s perfect for Homeschool and is an amazing introduction to Stonewall Jackson
Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson
Christ in the Camp by J. William Jones
J. William Jones was Robert E. Lee’s personal chaplain. A Baptist preacher, Jones chronicled the revivals through the war that broke out in the Confederate camps. While it mainly focuses on Gen. Lee, Jackson appears more than once in this history! I highly recommend it for High School students, history buffs and Civil War enthusiasts!
Warriors of Honor by New Liberty Videos
This is a documentary that chronicles the Christian faith of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. If you love these generals, your collection is not complete without this DVD! I saw it several years ago at a Night Watch Service (only half though!) and I purchased my copy at Ft. Macon on Confederate Memorial Day. (Yes, that is a real holiday! May 10th, mark your calendar.)
My American Heroes TBR (To Be Read) List
Life and Campaigns of Lieutenant General Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson by Robert Lewis Dabney
Dabney was a personal friend of Jackson and a member of his personal staff, the perfect person to write the official biography of one of America’s finest heroes. I got this as a prize for giving a suggestion to a new website. Cannot wait to read this!
Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne
Civil War enthusiasts will be shocked that I haven’t read this book yet 😉 Published in 2014, this is supposed to be THE book about Stonewall, so I cannot wait to dive in! I received this as a gift from one of my readers who didn’t need their copy anymore! Thank you so much!
Stonewall: A Novel by John J. Dwyer
This is a borrowed book from my grandpa and I have been wanting to read this book for so long! I’m not sure how I’ll like it since it’s a novel about a historical figure and I don’t like it when people take too much liberty with historical figures…hopefully, it’s just recreating conversations or something.
Robert E. Lee: A Novel by John J. Dwyer
Like Stonewall, this is another borrowed book form grandpa. Again, not sure how I’ll end up enjoying this one, but I do highly anticipate it!
The Shaara Civil War Trilogy by Jeff and Michael Shaara
This includes Gods and Generals, Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure. I’ve been meaning to read this books for a long time, but it wasn’t until this year that I picked up Gods and Generals. I have no idea what the title has to do with anything, to be honest. But, aside from some words I’ve had to mark out, the book is very interesting and lines up with what I’ve read about these famous figures, or makes me want to research these people more (looking at you, Gen. Hancock!). I really hope I enjoy these. G&G is deeper, so I read it in spurts. Someday, hopefully, it will end up in a wrap-up!
So, that’s all I have for you today! Hope you enjoyed my very first book list! Something to think about: What are your favorite historical (fiction or non-fiction) books? List them and share them with a friend! There are never enough book recommendations!
Until Next Time,
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Hello and welcome to my second post of 2019! (FYI, I updated my December Wrap-Up with the rest of my reads so be sure and check it out!) As promised, I have a devotion for you! It’s time to take a look at my word for the year: Stand. When is it time to stand? Let’s look into our Bibles and find out!
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
King James Bible
It’s Time to Stand up for What We Believe.
I think we can all agree that there is only One God, Jehovah, the God of the Bible. Our Lord and Savior. But sadly, around the world, people worship other gods. Allah, Buddha, Mary and many other “gods” are worshiped as the “one god”. This is not a new issue, as the above Scripture indicates.
So many people tell us it’s not “politically correct” to pray in Jesus’ Name. It’s “offensive” since everyone has their own religious preferences. I’m not saying we need to start a fist fight or a loud protest. But when faced with this situation, we should not back down and say, “That’s fine. I’ll just say Amen at the end of my prayer.” There is no room for compromise.
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
King James Bible
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God to be ashamed of me. Especially not because I was ashamed to admit that He is my Lord and Savior. After all, Jesus suffered ultimate shame and suffering for us. Isn’t it a small thing for Him to ask us to speak up and declare our Faith?
We Must Stand When it Seems We are Alone.
Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
I Kings 18:22
King James Bible
We know from reading the scriptures that Elijah wasn’t alone in his stand against Baal, but it sure seemed like it! And today it can be the same. You can get discouraged, thinking you are the only one staying true to God from our generation; thinking you are the only one waiting for God to bring “the one” to you if you are unmarried; believing no one cares about God’s standards anymore except for you. It can be lonely. But just as God did for Elijah, He will send encouragement to you! We are not the only people of our day who try to serve the Lord; we are not the only ones waiting for God’s divine order; we are not the only ones trying to have godly standards! We are not alone! But even when we feel that we are alone, God is always there for He has promised to never leave or forsake us! What better company could we ask for?
I wish I could take the time and dig into all the people of the Bible who had to stand in hard times. Or in our History for that matter! Let’s take just a moment and look at a few before I have to wrap this up!
-Moses had to Stand before Pharaoh and demand the release of his people. That’s not easy! Especially when this guy thinks he can outlast God in a contest of wills. Pharaoh had no idea Who he was up against! (Exodus 3)
-Moses called for the men of Israel to stand for the Lord’s side when there was sin in the camp. (Exodus 32:36)
-Elijah had to stand before the prophets of Baal and prove who the true God was. (And he won, of course!) (1 Kings 18)
-Daniel had to stand against those who wanted him to pray to the king instead of God. In this case, he stood by kneeling in prayer to the One True God. (Daniel 6)
-The three Hebrew children stood when ordered to worship a false God. They were thrown into the fiery furnace, walked with the Son of God, and lived to tell about it! (Daniel 3)
-The disciples stood against the priests when they were told not to preach about Jesus. But Peter answered them by saying they ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:27-29)
-Throughout history, Baptists have been ordered not to preach under penalty of imprisonment and death. But they continued on, as did Peter and the disciples.
-The Founding Fathers believed that, among other things, King George was preventing us from carrying out the great commission and refused to let us print our own Bibles. They took a stand for basic human and Christian rights, leading to the American War for Independence.
-During the War Between the States, Abraham Lincoln declared Bibles were contraband of War. Christians in the North took a stand, smuggling money, ink, type, and printing press equipment through the lines to the South so we could print our own Bibles. If they had been caught, they could have been arrested or even executed for smuggling to the “enemy”.
-Hitler declared Jews were not human and that they should be killed. Many Christians and others across Europe risked their lives to save God’s chosen from the concentration camps of the Nazi party. Many died for their stand, but they still stood!
What about you? Will you stand in the face of opposition? Will you be willing to speak up at the prompting of the Lord? It doesn’t matter what man says, but what God says.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
King James Bible
It’s Time to Stand. Will You?
Until Next Time,
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! As you celebrate with family and friends on this holy day, don’t forget to take time and thank God for sending the Most Precious Gift known to mankind! (Click here for more Christmas Fun!) And now, for the conclusion of Stille Nacht!
Part Eight : Stille Nacht
The next morning, Christmas Day, Adler was awakened by Joey, complaining that he was cold. Adler sat up and shook his head, untangling himself from between Sarge’s rucksack and Harold’s discarded blanket.
“You look like you’re feeling better this morning,” Adler replied.
Joey grinned his boyish grin and sat up on his elbow. “Some better, but I still can’t walk on my own. Already tried. Y’all must have been unconscious not to hear me fall earlier. I had to drag myself back into bed.”
Adler yawned and adjusted Joey’s blankets. “I didn’t get just a whole lot of sleep. I think it was about 4:00 when I finally nodded off.”
“Two hours sure ain’t a lot of sleep. What kept you up?”
Adler sighed and held up the book he had tucked in his shirt pocket. “Sarge’s Bible. You know, there are an awful lot of scriptures on the Messiah…and this Jesus does seem to line up.”
Joey nodded soberly. “That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you, Micah. Even the prophet you’re named for knew who He was, before He was born.”
“Maybe. I’ve still got more reading to do.”
“Good. There’s hope for you then.”
The others rolled out of their self-made cocoons and began to mill about the room as Marta prepared breakfast. Rudi came over to change Joey’s bandage and feel his forehead. “You’re still warm, Yank. Better take it easy today. There’s no way you can walk.”
“Ain’t got a choice. Sarge can’t carry me all day on his back!”
Harold whispered something to Rudi, who smiled and nodded. “Be right back,” he called over his shoulder. He motioned to Stefan and the two hurried outside. Adler didn’t pay them any mind.
Hilde skipped around the room shouting “Frohliche Weihnachten!”
Adler smiled. “Merry Christmas.”
Marta smiled and set out bowls to fill with left over potato soup.
The door blew open, nearly knocking Lars into the wall, as Harold and Stefan trudged in with two sturdy branches. Lars shut the door behind them and pulled out his knife. When Sarge realized what they were doing he pulled out his as well. They hacked off the twigs and limbs, making two semi-smooth poles. “We need rope and a sheet,” Lars commented.
Rudi hunted through his pack and Adler reached for his. In the same moment, they pulled out a roll of sturdy cord. “Got it!”
Marta laughed as she headed to the small side room and returned with a stout looking sheet. Working quickly, Lars and Sarge tied together the sheet, branches and rope.
“And there you have it!” Harold said with a grin. “A stretcher for Joey!”
Adler half smiled. “Joey, you’re getting king treatment today.”
Marta turned back to her breakfast preparations. Hilde, still very much in the Christmas spirit, started humming a tune. Stefan smiled at her and hummed along.
Then, Marta’s lone voice began to sing.
Stille Nacht! Heil’ge Nacht!
Alles schlaft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab’ im lockigen Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Sarge smiled as Joey took up the song.
Silent Night! Holy Night!
All is calm; as is bright
‘Round yon virgin, mother and Child.
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in Heavenly Peace!
Sleep in Heavenly Peace!
Hilde smiled and clapped her hands, soon joined by everyone. “Merry Christmas!”
After breakfast, Rudi helped Sarge carry Joey out on the stretcher while Lars, consulting a map and compass, showed Adler the way back to American lines. “If this is still accurate,” Lars warned. “They are probably much closer by now. And keep a sharp watch for our men.”
Adler nodded and jotted down the directions on his map. “And you for ours, though I’d guess you’d be better off than us in such a situation.”
They turned as Marta and Hilde came out of the cabin, bundled up and carrying their meager belongings with them. They would accompany their soldiers out of the danger zone back to their lines.
“Well, I guess this is goodbye,” Sarge said, shaking hands with each German present. “I’ll admit, I think at times I’d forgotten you fellows were humans too. Thanks for everything.”
Rudi grinned. “Thanks for proving Americans are equals as well. War paints ugly pictures.”
“Hatred too,” Adler replied. He turned to Lars. “I appreciated our talk.”
Lars smiled. “Keep hoping. They may still be out there.”
The soldiers trooped to the wood shed and Stefan handed out their weapons.
“Thank you, Frau Engel, for everything,” Joey called from the stretcher.
“Yes, thank you,” the others replied.
Marta smiled. “Thank you for sharing Christmas with us. May the Lord Bless and keep you.” She turned to Lars. “Shall we go?”
“Ja, forward march!”
The Germans headed one way, the Americans another. But they were different now. Each carried memories that would last the rest of their lives. Hope for peace and healing had been lit in their hearts…all because of a Baby born in Bethlehem.
And know, for the true story that inspire Stille Nacht...
Have a very Merry Christmas! Jesus is the Reason!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.