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Showing posts with label war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war. Show all posts

Friday, May 19, 2017

I ReCalled It!!

RECALL!! Did you order a copy of Two Mothers, Twin Daughters and find that some chapters had been duplicated? If this is your experience please send the copy to me and I will replace it free of charge. (Meet me on Hangouts for my address.)

Two mothers fleeing the British Isles during World War Two. Why does one worry about being a war bride, while the other one, who is married to a widower, seem more content? Why does Grace, the younger one, give one, but only one of her twin daughters away? Why was Grace's husband sent home from the war? What will it be like leaving a city in England while bombs are exploding and submarines lurking, to settle in a Canadian wilderness? What will happen to the identical twins? How will they cope if, or rather when, they find out they have been separated as newborns? 
Book One of the Grace's Dilemma Series.

Check back from time to time and you will find out when the revised version is ready. Yes, it will be better than ever.
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What's WORSE the Present or the Future?



No, I haven't been in la-la land the last few weeks but I have been wrapping up the first book in a series called Grace's Delima. How can Grace cope with a war going on, forbidding parents, a charismatic but absent husband, and being a pregnant teenage war bride? To top it off she is supposed to leave England and end up in some Canadian wilderness she has never heard of. Here's just a nibble to whet your appetite. It's the first chapter.
Grace staggered: extreme exhaustion caused her to slump against the rail of the ship, Tena-rae. The last few weeks had taken such a heavy toll on her both physically and emotionally. It made her heart ache even worse when arm in arm a group of girls leaned against the rail and crooned “The White Cliffs of Dover" as a tribute to their homeland. When the thick gloomy fog had thinned somewhat, she saw those white chalk cliffs rearing up in their entire splendor next to the choppy ocean. The girls had moved along, still singing, but Vera Lynn’s words floated back to her:
‘There'll be love and laughter
And peace ever after tomorrow
When the world is free.’
Like wisps of fog, vestiges of final moments with her mother stained her cheeks."Get out of my life! You are a disgrace! You are good for nothing!' Her mother's harsh shriek rang in her ears, crushing her spirit.
Grace's blue-gray eyes burned with unshed tears. Am I good for nothing, she mutely asked the wisps of fog floating by. If I am, then why was I born? If my heart were any heavier, it would sink like a stone in this vast gray expanse of ocean. She hated anyone to see her crying so bit her lip to steady it. The memories of her mother, Mrs. Adderley's, raging voice were harder to still.
"We taught you not to go to the bar! We told you not to get involved with those drunken Canadian soldiers!"
"But it wasn't a bar!" Grace protested. "It was at the community center and most of the soldiers drank moderately."
  It had felt hopeless trying to reason with her mother's rigid back turned towards her, so Grace faced the moisture streaked kitchen window instead. She stared unseeingly into the darkness to hide the teardrops that managed to trickle out between half-closed eyelids then mindlessly swished the dishes that her mother had left for her to do, through the sudsy water.

Grace was a thoughtful, respectful girl, perhaps a little shy, so it was a breathtaking day in her boring life when she and her friend first met those two Canadian soldiers. They, especially the auburn haired one, looked so sharp in their crisp, khaki uniform. She and her school chum, Betsy, had been walking home from school, arms laden with books. The sky had been a bright pretty blue, which was a luxury after so much rain and fog. In a few days, the academy would be close for the summer break, and they were walking along with light, brisk steps.
Then, stepping smartly, two soldiers pivoted around the corner, saluted, and offered to carry their books. Grace had caught her breath and stared. What could have been more flattering than having such incredibly good-looking privates salute them? She still marveled at how easy it had been to chat with those courteous strangers with intriguing Canadian accents.

Grace’s lips curved upwards at the memory. I am normally so reserved, yet I actually bantered and giggled with them even more than Betsy did! It would have astonished the schoolmaster, and probably most of the scholars. Her smile faded, but it did feel like the real me.

Almost without noticing, their feet had carried them far beyond the Adderley's home street. Flustered, she had tried to take her books away from her companion, Randall Sutherland, but he just held on the tighter. "Not unless you come with me to the dance tonight," he teased with an easy grin.The color drained from Grace's cheeks; she clearly remembered her reaction. A dance? I've never gone to a dance in my life! Dances are wicked! I know that. It was not dancing that tempted Grace, but the opportunity to get to know Randall better. We wouldn't have to dance, would we? Maybe we could just, well... stroll around in the moonlight as they do in storybooks. Alternatively, maybe we could, uh, sit and visit or something.

Looking back, Grace knew that it was then that she felt the first niggling pang of uneasiness, but she had been too busy laughing at Randall and the other private's nonsense to pay much attention. Grace's head lowered, shamefaced. The soldiers had teased and wheedled them, drawing attention to Grace's bouncy curls that were shiny as a raven's wing’.

They praised her petal soft cheeks 'that an angel would envy’ and teased Betsy about the cute uptilt of her freckled nose.
"Two such charming girls should not be allowed to shrivel up 'like dried old apples'," Randall had declared.
Finally, laughingly, Grace had given in, just as Randall un-wrapped a sweet and popped it into her mouth.
"Just this once:" she sputtered, trying to speak sternly but had dissolved into giggles. She resorted to covering her mouth to keep from drooling!

Grace didn't recall where Betsy and the other soldier had wandered off. They had strolled away in a different direction while Grace happily trotted beside a soldier who was chivalrously carrying her books.
They had been strolling for a long time, Grace unconsciously detouring the streets where there was the most severe bomb damage. It had been easy to prattle lightly about many things, and forget the heavy cares of a war going on at least for the moment, then, feeling wonderfully weary; they collapsed on a sheltered bench in a common.
Randall unceremoniously dumped her books on the grass beside him and reached for her in, what struck her as a rather possessive manner, Grace shrank back alarmed, so he quickly released her, but left his arm resting on the back of the bench.
They chatted until Grace saw dusk creeping on and worried about not going directly home after school.
What if the air siren went off? Where would they go? She looked around for an air raid shelter. They were so far from the black, stuccoed cottage she called home. Will my parents be anxious?  Grace hoped so but seriously doubted it. She was more concerned about her mother's fury. Even though it was her final year at the secondary school, her mother had many ironclad rules to keep her in line and her father half-heartedly submitted to them. Coming straight home was one of the ordinances. She knew there would be more waiting for her than gentle concern or even a stern reproof for not showing up promptly.
How was I supposed to have gotten out of this difficult situation?
"Oh well, the damage is done," Randall grinned mischievously. "If you're going to get into trouble anyway, you might as well make it worth their while. Why not go out for supper-- I mean High Tea with me? I'll treat you to steak, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding...kidney pie, or whatever your British appetite is craving."
Grace doubted that even the more swish restaurants could offer such swell fare in these hard times but her mouth watered at the prospect after so many months of unwelcome rationing.
"If you will allow me to ring up Mom from the pub you want to take me to," she bargained, “then I’ll go. He nonchalantly agreed.
Thinking back, Grace could easily recall how her face flamed as her mother's strident voice carried over the wire. How many of those patrons heard the dressing-down I got?
The scene that occurred after the dance was one that she would rather blot from her memory. Even though she had hurried to do the dishes left for her, and make amends in other ways, it was impossible to appease them.
The anger! The mistrust! The accusations! Doesn't Mom have any faith in me at all? Why couldn't Dad have said just one word in my favor? I have never defied their wishes before! Had they not taught me to be uncommonly obedient? I even stammered out an apology that I really meant.
It was not well received. What a relief when she was able to slip off to her dreary attic bedroom. After she had washed the dishes, dried, and stacked them in the cupboards, her mother had turned to rail on Dad.
 That night Grace felt like her vision cleared since then she became increasingly impatient with her elderly parents' medieval ways.
Abruptly her thoughts switched channels. Oh, I wish Randall's gaiety didn’t come from a bottle, so often. He is a wonderful young man, so charming and well mannered: her doesn’t need drink to boost his morale!
A scene from one of their many times together floated into her memory: "Randall you had one drink, already, must you have another?" she had reached out to touch the cold glass.
"I'm fine, Sweet: no need to worry. I can hold my liquor. This will be the last. You should taste it. It's quite pleasant, in fact." She shuddered in refusal and he had didn't pressure her.
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Friday, January 23, 2015

What's the Use of a Broken Mirror


So what is the meaning of life? Silly question, eh? Alexandros Papaderos' students certainly thought so when one of their colleagues popped the question. But their teacher didn't.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Doomed Soldiers Went Singing to Heaven


(A true story)

One of the strangest experiences in my life is connected with war, says Nordenberg, an eminent engineer in Finland.

“I offered my services to the government and was appointed as an officer in General Mannerheim’s army. It was a terrible time. We besieged the town. It had been taken by the Red Army and we retook it. A number of the Red soldiers were under my guard. Seven of them were to be shot at dawn on Monday. I shall never forget the preceeding Sunday. The seven doomed men were kept in the basement of the town hall. In the passageway my men stood at attention with their rifles.

“The atmosphere was filled with hatred. My soldiers were drunk with victory and taunted their prisoners. Some swore as much as they could and beat the walls with their bleeding fists. Others called for their wives and children who were far away. At dawn they were all to die.

“We had the victory, that was true enough; but the value of this seemed to diminish as the night advanced. I began to wonder if there did not rest a curse on arms whichever side used them.

“Then something happened. One of the men doomed to death began to sing. “He is mad” was everybody’s first thought. But I had noticed this man, Koskinen, had not raved and curved like the others. Quietly he had sat on the bench, a picture of utter despair.  Nobody said anything to him—each was carrying his burden in his own way and Koskinen sang, rather waveringly at first, but then his voice grew stronger, and filled out, and became natural and free. All the prisoners turned to look at the singer who now seemed to be in his element.

Safe in the arms of Jesus

Safe on His gentle breast

There by His love o’er shadowed

Sweetly my soul shall rest

Hark tis the voice of angels

Born in a song to me

Over the fields of glory,

Over the jasper sea.


“Over and over again Koskinen sang that verse and when he was finished everyone was quiet for a few minutes until a wild-looking individual broke out with “Where did you get that, you fool? Are you trying to make us religious?”  Koskinen looked at his comrades and his eyes filled with tears. Then he asked quietly, “Comrades, will you listen to me for a few minutes? You asked me where I got that song. It was from the Salvation Army.  I heard it there three weeks ago. At first I also laughed but it got to me. It is cowardly to hide your beliefs; the God my mother believed in has now become my God also. I cannot tell how it happened, but I know it has happened.  I lay awake last night and suddenly felt I had to find the Savior and hide in Him. Then I prayed-like the thief on the cross-that Christ would forgive me and cleanse my sinful soul, and make me ready to stand before Him whom I should meet soon.”





“It was a strange night, “continued Koskinen. “There were times when everything seemed to shine around me. Verses from the Bible and from the Song Book came to mind. They brought a message of the crucified Savior and the blood that cleanses from sin and of the Home He has prepared for us. I thanked Him, accepted it, and since then this verse has been sounding inside me. It was God’s answer to my prayer. I could no longer keep it to myself. Within a few hours I shall be with the Lord, saved by His grace.

“Koskinen’s face shone as by an inward light. His comrades sat there quietly. He himself stood there transfixed. My soldiers were listening to what this Red revolutionary had to say.

““You are right, Koskinen,” one of  of his comrades said at last. “If only I knew there was mercy for me too! But these hands of mine have shed blood and I have reviled God and trampled on all that is holy.  Now I realize that there is a Hell and that it is the proper place for me.”

“He sank to the ground with despair depicted on his face.  “Pray for me Koskinen,” he groaned, “Tomorrow I will die and my soul will be in the hands of the devil!”

“And there these two Red soldiers went down on their knees and prayed for each other. It was no long prayer, but it opened Heaven for both, and we who listened to it forgot our hatred. It melted in the light from Heaven, for here two men who were soon to die, sought reconciliation with God. A door leading into the invisible stood ajar and we were entranced by the sight.

“Let me tell you shortly that by the time it was four o’clock all Koskinen’s comrades had followed his example and began to pray. The change in the atmosphere was indescribable. Some of them sat on the floor, others talked of spiritual things.

“The night had almost gone and day was dawning. No one had a moments sleep. “Sing the song once more for us, Koskinen,” said one of them. And you should of head them sing! Not only that song, but verses and choruses long forgotten came forth from their memories as buds (opening) in the sunshine. The soldiers on guard united their voices with them.

“The town clock struck six. How I wished I could have begged grace for these men, but knew this was impossible.

“Between two rows of soldiers they marched out to execution. One of them asked to be allowed once more to sing Koskinen’s song. Permission was granted. Then they asked to die with uncovered faces and hands raised to Heaven. They sang with might and main.

‘Safe in the arms of Jesus

Safe on His gentle breast…’

“When the last lines had died out the lieutenant gave the word “Fire!” and the seven Red soldiers had fought their last fight.  We inclined our heads in silent prayer.

“What happened to the hearts of the others, I do not know, but as far as I was concerned, I was a new man from that hour. I had met Christ in one of His lowliest and youngest disciples and I had seen enough to realize that I too, could be His.  “The Lord looketh from Heaven: He beholdeth all the sons of men.” Psalms 33:13

“Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life:  he that believeth in me, though he were to die, yet shall he live. John 11:25 RV)


Translated for “All the World” by Major Clara Becker. The War Cry



Monday, June 24, 2013

I Forgive You, My Enemy


Hi there.
I suppose most of you have heard of the dreadful concentration camps where thousands of people have been kept during war time.  I suppose some of you don’t want to hear any more about them either, but wait! This is a good news story. And it really happened.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Peek into the Preview and the Sequel!

Have you been worrying what new book to get that bookworm in your family? Fret no more! This gripping novel will be a satisfying read for many different ages and a variety of tastes.  Here's a great book to enjoy during those leisurely winter evenings. 




With bombs landing all around, air raid sirens screaming, and blackout curtains compulsory, London is definitely a place to escape from, but for a pregnant teenage war bride fleeing is a frightening option. Sailing on a ship with submarines lurking nearby makes her uneasy, but so do more personal fears. Does Randall still love her? Would he be furious to find out she is expecting twins? Should she give one up for adoption since he doesn't know she is carrying two? Later she even discovers that he is in jail! Oh, what shall I do, what shall I do, her heart cries! Follow Marita as she learns to turn to God for answers and her path; sometimes dramatically unfolds before her--and hope for the best! More info at http://www.marilynfriesen.com .