Posted on Nov 9, 2022 by Dawn BacaComments Off on Adventures Await! The Countdown’s Begun! | Posted in Books · Travels & Adventures
In just a few weeks, my annual adventure begins. This year I’m a tad nervous as to what I’m in for. In September, our favorite spot was ravaged by Tropical Storm Kay that hit the west coast. It dumped massive amounts of rain, and wind, causing significant damage to our beloved beach front haven. The entire row of beach front cabanas were washed away. Six spots with an unobstructed view, where we used to sit with our coffee, and watch the sunrise over the water each morning.
While I know they will be rebuilt in time, it breaks my heart to see the destruction as it stands now.
Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illiscan
Can be strictly translated as:
“Times are changed; we, too, are changed within them.”
His Heart’s Burden
I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that I have been struggling with Leila’s story for a couple of years now. I’m known for getting easily distracted whether its the pull of a day job, or with helping others, between editing or formatting for clients, or beta and critique reading for other authors I work with, or trying to focus solely on marketing for another author that I thought was going to make a fabulous writing partner, I tend to put my WIPs on the back burner. It’s not intentional or even a conscience decision most of the time, it’s just how I go with the flow each day as things pop up.
When I got Book 5’s notes back, (Cassie’s Story) from one of my critique partners, it made me realize just how much more work was still needed on that book in general, but also how important it was that Leila fully tied up the entire French trilogy of novella’s so that we can turn our attention back to Addison’s family in North Carolina.
No pressure there at all. No really. There was no desire to put my head in the oven, or to crawl under the bed and suck my thumb while snuggling the pug. Then my assistant, my right hand if you will, made a comment about the sexy, sexy in the book, and how we should look at cutting certain things.
And something clicked.
We’ve been trying to cut things based on keeping the book as a whole. Trimming as we went through each round of read through’s. But the thought about cutting it completely into two separate books, honestly never crossed my mind. Why? Who knows. But now that it’s here, it makes perfect sense.
The book is basically already written. If we cut the first half of the book out, and re-write the timeline a bit, we have a perfectly laid out Prequel to Cassie’s story. To the entire series.
So overnight a new book was born. His Heart’s Burden will be Book 0 in the Letting Love Series. You will meet Addison’s father Eli right after his divorce from her mother Tandy. As he meets and falls in love with Cassie and begins a new life.
Taking a step back away from Leila and everything else distracting me from finishing her story, was exactly what I needed.
This a novel about a Viet Nam Veteran Marine nearing his final tour of duty in life. Since his retirement he has come to realize besides his health issues which are significant he has secrets and memories from his past that he needs to deal with. Unable to Unable to resolve them on his own he reaches out to his successful attorney daughter for help and support. The relationship has always been good but it reacts new heights with this endeavor. While this is certainly a fictional account the US Marine Veteran reader will be reminded of the time in the Corps. It is important to say that this story could be about any Viet Nam Vet in any branch but authors commonly write about details they are familiar with. Without giving the story away it is not really a war story. It is however, a relationship story brought about by war and the struggles that go with memories of war. The main character has an enormous struggle with forgiving his country for the memories of the treatment so many Vets received upon returning home.Here is an excerpt from the story:
“It was a hot and nasty day on the barren, dry and dirty hill about 5 clicks northwest of the airbase at Da Nang, South Viet Nam. Even with the presumed cooler air from the Gulf of Tonkin, an important armpit of the South China Sea, it was stifling and insufferable. Corporal Jonathan Milo, for now an FNG (f——- new guy), sat on a stack of sandbags, writing a letter back home to his family, letting them know that he arrived safely a few days ago.
Writing a letter in such conditions was not easy. Jon fought against the sweat dripping off his forehead and onto his paper, smearing the ink. Chuckling to himself, he wondered if his mother might believe the ink was messed up from tears falling on the paper. He had to make sure she knew it was sweat. Damn it’s hot and sticky! The humidity is so bad your clothes soak through in minutes every morning. Nighttime didn’t’t bring much relief either.His actual arrival date was April 5, 1965, and he became part of the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force. Jon had been in the Marine Corps since 1963 and was a very squared away Marine, earning the rank of E-4 rather quickly by Marine Corps standards. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune when the Corps cut his orders to Okinawa. Jon, as his friends and family called him, was a tall guy about 6’ 2”, very rugged and in shape at 185 pounds, at least for the time being. His rugged good looks and quiet, confident manner had served him well in the Corps, and he had always led by example.
If he had one fault, it was his undying devotion to whatever the Corps and his government leaders directed him to do. His kind of dedication and unwavering commitment was required to be a leader and to set an example for those young men he led every day. Viet Nam was his first combat assignment, except for a short time quelling a civil war in Central America when he was with the 6th Marines at Camp LeJeune. Now his unit’s task was to protect the Da Nang Airbase from the Viet Cong.
Marine Corps units were spread around the base, forming a perimeter of Marines that would be required to not only guard the base’s perimeter, but also to conduct search and destroy missions and engage the enemy. As a squad leader, Jon was responsible for the organizing, training, and the individual assignments of his squad of twelve men. Often the squad, which was part of a platoon of about fifty, was reinforced by a weapons team with mortars and automatic weapons, depending on the mission.
At the young age of 24, Jon had an enormous responsibility not only to his men but also to his officers. Scuttlebutt (gossip) was saying the platoon would be part of a major operation soon and it was a fact in the Marine Corps that scuttlebutt was never wrong. Well, almost never, it depended on one’s point of view. The smart way was not to believe anything until the orders came through the chain of command.”