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,
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!
Merry Christmas everyone and welcome back to day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas! Two days until Christmas, y’all. Two. Days. Where has time gone? Things have been crazy busy here getting ready to celebrate and I’m sure each of you can relate!
Who doesn’t like a good Christmas song? Today, I’m going to share my top 5 favorites…in a few different categories!
5. We Three Kings
4. Silent Night
3. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night
2. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
You can probably tell by looking at this list that I love songs in minor keys (5, 2 &1). I don’t know why, but these songs appeal to me so much! While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, in my opinion, is best when sung to a tune similar but not exactly like When I Can Read My Title Clear (the Celtic sounding one; I keep forgetting there are several tunes to that one too!)
And Silent Night…I don’t know why, but this song makes me want to cry every time I hear it! I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before, but my ancestors came over from Germany in the 1750’s and since this song was written in German, it’s very near and dear to me (even if the song was originally written in Austria 😉). It was also translated into English in 1863, which is during the American War Between the States, which I love (didn’t know that did you, lol!)
Secular Christmas Songs
5. Jingle Bells
4. 12 Days of Christmas
3. White Christmas
2. Christmas Pipes
1. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Okay, so these songs are so fun! Jingle Bells was written by James Pierpont, who wrote many patriotic songs for the Confederacy and he thought for sure they would be far more popular than his Thanksgiving song. Yes, I said Thanksgiving! It’s not even meant to be Christmassy! He was originally from Boston, so I suppose that makes sense. He also wrote “Our Battle Flag”, “We Conquer or Die”, and “Strike for the South”. He was a staunch abolitionist and fought for the Confederacy.
Number 3 and 1 are a nod to my love of World War Two, may second favorite time-period! I love listening to Bing Crosby sing these classics every year!
And Christmas Pipes! Y’all, I love this song so much! It’s so Celtic and captures the whimsical feel of Christmas so well! Listen to it!
Runners up would be Christmas Dinner Country Style (Bing!) and Mele Kalikimaka (Also Bing 😉).
Non-Traditional Christmas Songs (Christian)
5. Let the Joy Begin
4. Everything Changed That Night
3. The Wealth of A Thousand Kingdoms
2. Elizabeth’s Song
1. How Should a King Come?
Each of these songs have such an amazing angle on Christmas! Three are Majesty music (5-3). I’m not sure where Elizabeth’s Song comes from, but it is about Mary visiting Elizabeth and John leaping in the womb. So Pretty! And How Should a King Come! AHHHH! I love this song so much! You just need to hear it…
Was that not epic?!? (Please excuse the video being from The Nativity. I do not endorse or recommend that film!) This is a song I look forward to hearing every year!
What are your favorite Christmas songs? Make a list and share them on your blog if you have one, or share them with a friend! Make a playlist and enjoy the sounds of the season!
Merry Christmas and don’t forget to hop over to Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun! Be sure and come back tomorrow for Part 7 of Stille Nacht!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.