Thursday, November 17, 2011

Anne Patrick -- Kill Shot

Former combat medic Kory Wagner has been in four war zones, served three tours in Iraq, survived countless firefights, RPG’s, IED’s and even a helicopter crash.  Now she’s home and out of the Army for good and someone is trying to kill her in her own backyard.  Just as disturbing is the handsome sheriff who’s on the case. 

Sheriff Sean Harding doesn’t quite know what to think of the decorated veteran that managed to outsmart an entire search party.  What bothers him more is the body of a PI, whom she hired to find her sister's killer, was found dead in a building Kory owns.  And Kory isn’t being very cooperative with helping him find the answers as to why someone would kill her sister and want her dead.  Will he be able to keep her alive along enough to discover the truth?

The steel door creaked as she pushed it open, the sound echoing throughout the metal building. "Mr. Urlik?" She waited for her eyes to adjust to the change in lighting before stepping all the way inside. A wide stream of light from the door spread out in front of her. "Mr. Urlik. Are you in here?"
Kory heard a sound a few yards in front of her. She quickly scanned the area. Three rows of huge metal shelves lined the interior. She inched forward, peering around the corner of the second row. Mr. Urlik lay on his side, facing her, clutching his chest. His eyes were opened and his mouth moved, but no sound came out. A heart attack? She ran to him, knelt down on the cement floor, and took his hand. It was wet, slimy. She looked down and saw his hand covered in blood. Her eyes shifted to his chest. A large crimson stain spread across the width of his white shirt from a small hole near the center. He was breathing erratically. Experience told her a bullet had pierced at least one lung and he didn't have much time. She immediately pressed the heel of her right hand against the wound.
"I'm sorry," he murmured.
"Where's your cell phone?" Hers was in her backpack but she didn't want to waste valuable time digging it out.
"No time. Get out."
"Who did this, Mr. Urlik?"
He grabbed her right hand and squeezed it tightly. "You were right -- no accident."
His hand went limp.
Kory felt something in the palm of her hand, looked down and saw it was a key. She shoved it into her jeans pocket. A whizzing sound buzzed past her, followed by the unmistakable clink of a bullet ricocheting off metal. She instinctively threw herself over his body as another bullet struck metal. Kory felt for a pulse. There was none. She lowered her hand to his chest and felt under both arms and along his waist. I thought all PIs carried guns. Just my luck this one didn't.
She scrambled to her feet, as more shots ricocheted around her, and dove through an opening on the first row of shelves. A piercing pain sliced through her upper arm as she took cover behind some boxes. They wouldn't shield her from the gunfire but they would conceal her presence while she figured out how she was going to get out of there. She paused long enough to grab her cell phone from her backpack, wishing she hadn't when another bullet tore through a box beside her. She ducked lower to the floor.
Kory ignored the throbbing in her arm and slithered along the floor toward the back of the building. As a child, she and her sister, Callie, had often accompanied her grandfather to the warehouse where he worked on boats as a hobby. She remembered a back exit that led to the side parking lot and nearby woods. If she could reach the door, she had a chance of getting out of this alive. She looked down at the tear in her shirt, drenched with blood.
This isn't good!

Kill Shot: Book One Wounded Heroes can be purchased at most online bookstores or from my publisher – Desert Breeze Publishing:
Anne's Bio: Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award-winning and best-selling Fire and Ash, Lethal Dreams and Sabotage. When she's not killing off people or falling in love with dashing heroes, you can find her surfing the web or spending time with family and friends.  Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.

To learn more about Anne, please visit her website: (where I have monthly giveaways) or blog: .

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Punctuations of Praise

by Tina E. Pinson

A worn and battered, cloth-bound, book lies before me on the shelf

I pull it down, turn the brittle pages carefully, and find the story of myself.

Written declarations of pain and strife, myriads of agony

 and kaleidoscopes of mistakes, glare at me from tear-stained lines

I wonder as I read the story of my life,

Is that all there is?

The thought that my story is rife with sorrow and error, overwhelms me to tears.

But turning a new page, I read on.

As my eyes begin to clear, a miracle unfolds before me.

I begin to see the glory of the tale and find beauty written between the lines.

When my life sentence was too long… You gave me periods of rest.

There were parentheses to hold and comfort me.

Brackets secured me… when my world seemed crazy.

You dotted the i's of my life with your blood and tears.

You put an apostrophe behind my name, to say that I am yours.

You gave my life meaning.

You used hyphens to hold me together when my life was such a mess.

And between the quotes you spoke to me with love and tenderness.

With your life=s blood you red-lined my pain,

You underscored my sorrow with exclamation points.

Gave me dashes for moments to think,

and ellipses upon which to hope and dream.

You alone formed the sentences that tell the story of my life.

You gave it rhyme and meter.

The blessings found on each page I read, show me you've always been there,

And remind me of how you've made my life sweeter.

But even if the lines didn't hold the sway of my life,

Even if you erased all the punctuation,

I know I'd still see you.

You'd be in the swirl of an S, in the loop of an L,

You'd be the ink that writes my life.

Most of all, I'd remember you, because you spanned eternity to cross a t and give me a future.

For these precious blessings, I am ever grateful.

What more can I say?

But thank you, thank you, Jesus.

End of sentence.
But not the end of the story.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Their Words: Veteran's Stories

By Tricia Goyer

As early as 1940, prisoners started arriving at the small train station at Mauthausen, where nestled in the hills was a hidden concentration camp. A full two years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, this once peaceful community was already experiencing the horrors of war. And by January 1941, the Mauthausen-Gusen camps became the only 'Category I' camps in Third Reich history, meaning "camp of no return." Prisoners were used as slave labor in quarries and munitions factories. These men and women were worked to death or killed not long after their arrival.
The estimate of the number of people killed in the Mauthausen camp system is between 120,000 and 300,000. Most who entered the large gates never exited, but in May 1945 everything changed. American troops had fought through France, Belgium, and Germany and had now crossed the Austrian border. They were headed toward the camp, though they didn’t know it yet.

The first American US GIs at the camp were the 41st Recon Squadron, 11th Armored Division, Patton's 3rd Army. The men opened the gates and brought the prisoners what they never expected—freedom—followed by food, clothes and the care of medics.

When the camp’s historian, Martha, told me about these men, I knew I wanted to meet them and to hear their stories. What was it like to grant these prisoners their freedom? How had it affected these men? When I arrived home, I researched their experiences and contacted their division’s veteran organization to ask if it would be possible to interview any of the men. I was overwhelmed with the response. The men invited me to their annual reunion in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Those I'd connected with through letters were waiting with their photos, their stories, and their tears. After all these years they had not forgotten. I talked to Arthur and Charlie first. They'd been best friends during the war and 55 years later still finished each other's sentences. Thomas, LeRoy, and Tarmo were next … each one telling me their story. Many more men, each with their own personal experiences, poured out their hearts to me. During the week they had a special ceremony to honor their friends who'd died and to remember the people they liberated. Even after all these years they knew what they did had mattered.
I’d been a Christian since I was a small child, but I had even greater faith after feeling the protection of the Lord pressing upon me. I’m still a strong Christian today because of that experience. Many people can deny the fact that God exists, but not me. I’ve felt His hand . . . and heard His whisper in the midst of war. LeRoy Petersohn

On our way to Austria, there is one thing I will never forget. The image of what I spotted from my perch on that tank still brings tears to my eyes nearly sixty years later.
“Major,” I says.“I believe the whole German Army must be down there. The road is full of people. Just a black line.”

I couldn’t distinguish what kind of people they were, but I could see that black line stretched out for miles. I said again, “The whole German Army must be down there waiting for us.”
He answered very quietly. “No, son, that’s the prisoners from Flossenberg concentration camp. The Germans wanted to clear them out before we got there.”

The prisoners reminded me of walking skeletons. Yes, from the top of that tank I’d seen it all—the battles, the barbarity of men, and the joy of liberation. From my perch I witnessed what I’ll never forget—the fight against good and evil. And I was thankful I was part of bringing in the good.” Tarmo Holma
I was just a young kid straight out of high school; a replacement for killed or injured troops. Nothing had prepared me for the sight of thin arms and legs poking out of striped uniforms, their distorted faces staring at us, reminding us we were too late. Charles Torluccio


I attended two more reunions over the years, in Buffalo and St. Louis, and interviewed hundreds of veterans. I wrote two historical novels about their experiences, From Dust and Ashes ( and Night Song (, and now Remembering You (, but it was the relationship with the men that forever changed my life. It's their stories that I will never forget.

Many people walk out of Mauthausen concentration camp with a sadness of what took place. I experienced that, but as I sought out the men who opened the gates I've found so much more.

So much more.

Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of four and an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia's written numerous novels inspired by World War II veterans, including her new release Remembering You. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. You can find out more information about Tricia at

My thanks to Tricia for sharing these insights from WWII. And a special thanks to all those who have served our country past and present.