Hello everyone! I’m here today with a blog tour for a truly special story collection! And since two of the stories in this collection are World War Two stories, I felt it was the perfect day to post, since today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. May we never forget…
Happy release day to Miss Faith Potts! Her brand new book Behold, a Christmas short story collection was one of my three beta-reading projects this year, and oh! I so enjoyed it!
A collection of short stories honoring the birth of the Savior
From two siblings caught up in the harrowing days of World War II to separated foster
children in the US…
From a memorable road trip across the Southeast to the reunion of a war-torn family…
You’ll be swept into the Christmas spirit with the endearing stories tucked inside these
pages. The storylines range from family to romance to the bond of community, with
settings scattered across America and beyond.
Behold the beauty of the Savior’s birth with this gathering of stories that warm the soul
and bless the heart.
Saved by God’s grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living
with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s
not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or
studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy,
daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.
Now, for my review of the book…
Oh, Behold was so sweet and a perfect Christmas read. Now, that being said, I didn’t read one of the stories…she told me ahead of time it had some minor spoilers for another of her stories I haven’t read yet ? So with that in mind…I read three of the four stories and instantly fell in love with the characters.
Home for Christmas
She so needs to make this one into a full length novel! Basicly, it’s about a nurse worrying about her MIA brother in the midst of WWII, a journey home, and the healing that God brings through family and friends. Warning: There is some kissing/handholding towards the end of the story and I think some hugs. Not a whole lot, but just saying.
Told in the first person (a new favorite of mine) this story was short and sweet. It's modern, but I'll admit, I wish there was a little more to this story, as it left me with a lot of questions about these foster kids (a topic near to my heart.) But oh! The end, y'all! It was sooooooo good!
MY FAVORITE IN THIS BOOK! Again, this needs to be a full length novel! I just loved this story so much! I mean, who doesn't enjoy a WWII Homecoming?!? I could read WWII Christmas stories all day long...any recommendations, lol?
So, even though I can't say what I thought of the fourth story, since I didn't read it, these three stories alone make it so worth it! Miss Potts is a very talented writer and I've enjoyed getting to know her over the last few months!
And now, for an interview! *Applauds as Miss Faith Potts takes center stage, setting in the cozy vintage chair I have set out for her across from me*
Ryana Lynn: Good morning, Faith! So, lets talk about this book! What inspired you to write Behold?
Faith: I love Christmas stories, and every year since I started writing, I’ve written at least one Christmas story during the month of December. Compiling them into a collection to share with the ‘world’ was an idea that came to be a few months ago, and it’s hasn’t left my mind since.
RL: Christmas Collections are the best! And I always enjoy your short stories! Which story was the hardest to write?
FP: Oh, wow. Surprisingly, I’d have to say the final story, which is a sequel/spin-off to my novella, Dandelion Dust. I had previously been able to write these characters so easily, but between the time apart (18+ months) and no longer being able to relate to Charity quite as well, it was difficult to find my groove.
RL: That is certainly a very real challenge...One I know all to well. Where did the title for this collection come from?
FP: The title came from several Bible verses, particularly a few in the Christmas story, that speak of “beholding” and being in awe of God, His glory and power, and the beauty of the story of Christ coming to earth to be our Savior.
RL: Don't those verses give you chills? He truly is an amazing God! How long did it take you to write it from idea to now?
FP: Being a collection of short stories, I wrote Behold over quite a lengthy span of time—nearly three years. Each story individually, however, took only a week or two to write.
RL: Impressive! What do you hope people will take away from Behold?
FP: I hope the readers remember to slow down this Christmas. Don’t get so caught up in the craziness—the gift-giving (or getting), the food and celebrations, the lights and displayed trees—that you forget why we celebrate at all. Take the time to slow down and “behold” the Savior.
RL: Wonderful advice and so easy to forget! What better way to slow down than with a good book? Any lessons, spiritual or writing related, that you learned from Behold?
FP: That Faith isn’t as invincible as she likes to think she is? ;) Quite honestly, I got a bit stressed out about the release of this book, when the blog tour dates were rapidly approaching and many things had not yet fallen into place. God showed me, though, to not stress. To let Him have control. They are, after all, His stories anyway.
RL: I think everyone can learn a lesson from that, Faith! We get so stressed so easily these days. It's great when we can learn to just hand it over to God. Any Writing Advice you'd like to share?
FP: Don’t stop. Even when you think your stories don’t have a purpose, or they aren’t any good, or your message is stupid… Don’t feed yourself those lies. Writing is a gift from God, and someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.
RL: Wonderful advice! I don't know how many times those very lies pop into my head and then God sends someone to encourage me in my writing. This can also apply to any form of ministry you do for the Lord! Thank you so much Faith! It's been a blessing to have you here at Life of Heritage Corner!
And now for the giveaway!
If that doesn't work, click here!
And don't for get to check out Faith's blog for a list of other participating bloggers! (I would have linked them here, but when I copied them over, the links didn't work and...I didn't have time to relink them all. Sorry about that! #stillgettingthehangofthis
Until Next Time,
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
King James Version
Happy Veterans Day! November 11th is the day we set aside each year to remember and thank our servicemen for their service to our country, but do you know why the date is so important?
November 11th this year is the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One. The horrors of trench warfare were over, but not soon to be forgotten. Originally known as Armistice Day, it was a date set aside to work towards World Peace (like one day was gonna do that?) since WWI was called “The War to End All Wars”. Unfortunately, this failed to stop WWII, The Cold War (which includes Korea and Vietnam), The Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Over the years, since it was quite obvious world peace was impossible, Armistice Day morphed into Veterans Day. This is something we can accomplish, thanking our Veterans and making sure they know we love and appreciate their service and sacrifice.
A few fun facts about the blog graphic: The flower is a poppy, the international flower of World War One Remembrance :_ And the Phrase "Lafayette, We are Here!" is what many American soldiers said when they arrived in France. They were referring to Gen. Marquis de Lafayette of France, who came to the Colonies to aide us in our American Revolution. Our troops were announcing when they arrived that they were here to return the favor, over a hundred years later!
If you are a Veteran, thank you for your Service!
Have a blessed Day!
From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, the Marine Corps has been there, ever ready to defend America from any foe who dares to mess with us. Having lived near a Marine base and being a member of a church were nearly every man on the membership role has been or is a Marine, I've had quite a bit of exposure to Marine Corps culture. It's unique, like every other Military branch. For example, don't call them an ex-Marine or a former Marine, because "Once a Marine, always a Marine!"
They like to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: Marines and those who wish they were Marines. They found out this wasn't true anymore when they met me, lol! You could not pay me to go to Parris Island (MC Boot Camp in South Carolina)!
Well, instead of loading you down with tons of facts about the Corps, I decided to share a bit of flash fiction I wrote last year for a writing contest. The main character is a Marine and it showcases his relationship with his siblings...oh that I could tell you more about that! Anyway, here we go!
They say you learn from your mistakes. Not always.
Salem Springfield well knew that Becca, his sister, was a jumpy person. Very jumpy. And when startled, Becca often over reacts. Like the time when they were younger and he threw a rubber snake at her while they were working in the garden. She had screamed and thrown her hoe…barely missing Salem’s head. There were many other such incidents…far too many to list now.
Well today, they had been conveniently forgotten. He had returned earlier than expected from deployment and was finally going to get to do a surprise homecoming to his parents and siblings. After doing a little reconnaissance, he found out from a neighbor that everyone was home, except Becca and their younger brother Jason. They had run to the store for some ice cream and should be just about home.
It was getting late when Salem ducked behind their family’s small outbuilding. He saw headlights and watched at Becca pulled her dark green Volkswagen Bug into the driveway. He grinned. It was time.
He snuck around behind her car as Jason stepped out, holding the cartons of ice cream. “I hope we got the right kind of Butter Pecan,” Jason said. “You know how particular Tim is about his ice cream.”
Becca, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat, putting her keys away and impromptu cleaning out her purse in the process, laughed and continued rifling through the pockets. “I think I got the right kind…Jason, where’s my cell phone?”
“In the cup holder where you put it earlier,” Jason called, closing his door and heading for the house.
“Thanks,” Becca laughed, unplugging the device and putting it in its proper place. Salem noticed she was carrying the purse he had gotten her for her twentieth birthday. It was a patchwork style purse, featuring four different kinds of military camo, since they had family in each of those branches.
Finally, Becca stood and closed the car door, dug through her purse to get her keys back out, locked the door and replaced the keys. She was so predictable. She placed her purse on her right shoulder and headed for the house.
Salem made his move. He silently came up behind her and touched her arm, saying, “Hey, Becca!”
It all happened so fast, Salem was completely caught off guard. Becca screamed at the top of her lungs, whirled around and sprayed Salem in the face with her infamous can of Pepper spray…the one thing Salem had forgotten about her routine. She always carried it with her.
“Oh, my eyes!” Salem gasped, tripping backwards to the ground as Becca continued to scream. Jason came barreling out of the house with Tim, Randy and Dad on his heels. Every house light in the base housing neighborhood came on, or so it seemed.
“You just stay right there!” Randy, the oldest of the Springfield boys, ordered.
“Randy, it’s me!” Salem choked, fighting the urge to rub his eyes. That would only make the situation worse.
“Salem?” Tim shouted. “What are you trying to do? Get yourself killed?” he added, shoving his pistol back into his pocket.
Becca turned as reality sunk in. “Oh, Salem! I’m so sorry!”
Mom joined her family and when she saw, aided by Jason’s flashlight, Randy helping Salem up, she immediately took control of the situation. “Get him to the kitchen sink!”
“Is everything alright?”
Dad turned and saw their neighbor MSGT. Williams shouting from his porch. With a smirk, Dad called back, “It’s all good. Just a surprise homecoming.”
Williams laughed. “Sounded more like a cat fight!”
“When pepper spray’s involved, that’s about right,” Dad replied.
“Oh no! You’ve got to tell me about this tomorrow, Doc!”
Meanwhile inside, Salem was holding his head over the sink while his mother sprayed cold water in his eyes from the sink hose.
Rachel and Mary hurried down the stairs. “What happened?” Mary asked in alarm, observing what looked like a drowning in process.
“Salem’s home,” was all Jason could manage. Mary stared at her older brothers gathered around the sink. She looked at Rachel, then Becca, who explained what had happened.
“That was real bright,” Rachel snickered, patting her younger brother on the shoulder.
Salem wrinkled his nose at her. “Who’s bright idea was it to give Becca Pepper spray?” Salem defended, drying his eyes.
Randy grinned. “Yours, remember, Jarhead? You better be glad she wasn’t carrying her Navy SEAL knife Dad bought last week!”
“You beat all, Salem,” Tim said, laughing at his brother’s red eyes, still watering from the ordeal.
“Salem, I am so sorry,” Becca lamented, her voice quite pitiful. “You really startled me! I shouldn’t be on such a hair-trigger.”
Salem shook his head and gave his younger sister a side hug. “You did exactly what you should have done in that situation. You had no reason to think it was me and not some lunatic.”
“Uh, that’s debatable,” Dad said with a chuckle. “Seems like she was dealing with a lunatic!” Everyone laughed.
“The mighty Marine taken down by a civilian girl!” Randy teased.
Mom smiled and hugged Salem tightly. “Welcome home, son! It’s so good to have you back!”
“Thanks! I was wondering if that part of my presence had been forgotten!” Salem said, hugging her back.
Welcomes and hugs were exchanged by the family, their ice cream snack turning into a welcome home celebration. Salem smiled. It was so good to be home with his family.
Dear Lord, he prayed silently, thank You for our family. Thank You for letting us get back together, all safe and sound. Please protect us in the days ahead and guide us through whatever You may choose to bring our way…and help me learn from my mistakes!...
Copyright© 2017 Ryana Lynn Miller
Ahh, the Springfield family...one of dozens of story ideas that I have :) A few things have changed in my planning for this story, but the gist is the same. And the relationship between Salem and Becca is just so adorable...I so have to write this story so someday y'all can see just how close these two are!
Anyways, happy Marine Corps Day! Hope you enjoyed this somewhat random post, lol!
Have a Blessed Day!
Everyone, I must start this post with a disclaimer 😊 I always have been and always will be loyal to the Army, first and foremost 😉 My Grandfather and Great-grandfather were both Army veterans, the man who bought my first laptop for me was in the Army National Guard, my favorite figures in history were in the Army…you get the point.
Today is not Army day; Today is Navy Day! And where would we be without our dear guardians of the sea? No rhyme intended😆
I must say, the Navy does fascinate me. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t look up to the Navy SEALs? So today, I’m going to give you five times the Navy came through for America in Amazing ways!
The Turtle. Many of you have probably seen a submarine whether in real life or in pictures. But have you ever wondered when the first one was invented? In 1775! Yep, that’s right! David Bushnell built the Turtle, the first submersible vessel ever created! (Click here for more information.) It’s goal was to plant a bomb under the HMS Eagle, and while their mission didn’t go quite as planned, they did succeed in loosening the blockage the British had imposed!
Ironclads. Developed by both the Confederate and Union Navies, respectively, these ships showed everyone that the future of Naval warfare was in iron ships, not wooden ones. Nothing like American ingenuity!
Razzle Dazzle Camouflage. While this was actually an idea shared with us by the British during WW1, this is an amazing Naval feat! I’ll link the article here, but the idea was to paint the ships in ridiculous patterns and use the contrasting colors to make the distance and type of ship hard for the enemy to judge. Truly fascinating!
Uncle Sam Wants YOU! Avenge Pearl Harbor! Following the attack on our Hawaii Military base, damaging several ships, costing 2,335 lives (2,008 of those belonging to the Navy) and dozens of planes, there was an outcry for our men and boys to join the Navy. And they showed up! There were even politicians who left office to support the cause! Hats off to those boys in “Bell-Bottom Trousers, Coat of Navy Blue” 😊
May 2nd, 2011. While I would never celebrate the death of a non-believer, I must say that the day Osama bin Laden was announced dead, I gave a sigh of relief. I felt safer, knowing that at least this man could no longer bring pain and suffering to American servicemen or to his own people. As a child, I remember praying that he would come to know Christ as his Savior, but unfortunately, that never happened. Thank God for the U.S. Navy SEALs who brought a little more safety to the world as we know it!
Take a moment to thank God for all of our servicemen, but especially our Sailors.
Happy Navy Day!
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Hello, friends. This will be a short post, but I thought today, it is important to remember all our service members who spent time as a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action…or still are. There are hundreds from the Vietnam war that are still considered Missing in Action…presumed dead.
I thank God that my family has never had to go through the sleepless nights, wondering and worrying about a loved one, at least not in this century.
In 1862, Joshua Bowman joined the Confederate army. He was one of over a dozen children in his family and one of 8 boys from his family to enlist in the service. During his time in the Confederate Army, he was wounded twice and capture once, being sent to David’s Island Prison Hospital following the Battle of Gettysburg.
Joshua wasn’t the only one who suffered injury and imprisonment from his family; practically every one of his brothers and brothers-in-law suffered at least one or both circumstances. Only three of the eight boys came home from the war. Joshua was not one of them. Joshua is my great-great-great-great-grandfather.
Even though I never met him, the knowledge of how he died for his country still hurts. I can only imagine what it is like for those who knew their loved one going through the loss of a family member, temporarily or permanently. 😢 If you are one such person, my prayers are with you. If you are the one who at some point in your life was a POW or MIA, thank you for your service, and praise God you are home now!
Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
(King James Bible)
May we never forget…All gave some…some gave more than others…and some gave all.
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Christian. American. Southern. Author.