By: Denise M. Colby
Since my post is set for the day we celebrate Veteran’s Day and I love history, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my family in the military and do a bit of research. I don’t have a long list of family members in the military, nor do I have a lot of stories passed down from generation to generation. What I do have are snippets and a few photos.
I will start with my great-great-great-grandfather James Clyman, who I wrote about a few months ago. He wrote down information in his journal and it is here that I learned he enlisted as a private in a company of Mounted Volunteers on June 16, 1832. He was in the same company with Abraham Lincoln for a month (and together they fought in the Black Hawk War). He is quoted in James Clyman, Frontiersman (quoting a quote from another book by R.T. Montgomery, “Biographical Sketch of James Clyman”) of saying “We didn’t think much then about his ever being President.”
He was then commissioned as a second lieutenant of Mounted Rangers, and later appointed as assistant commissary of subsistence for the company. It’s here that several of the receipts and inventory papers he signed are in the Huntington Library. I was able to go through these papers and take photos a couple of years ago, which was an amazing experience. And finally, I get to use them in something I’ve written.
Clyman transferred to the First Dragoons and nine months later sent in his resignation, which was accepted on May 31, 1834. He wanted to get back to his farm and business and, according to the Frontiersman, after he returned home, “he was besieged with accounts from the Commissary General of Subsistence at Washington, requesting the return of vouchers and abstracts of ration issues made during campaigns in the field, some of which were dated back to the time of his predecessor in 1832. Clyman stood charged on the books with over $400.” I’m interpreting this as basically the government sent bills to pay for the vouchers and ration issues made while he was in the field.
I believe that my grandfather, Carroll W. Marsh, Sr. was in the military, but I don’t have any specifics on him. As I’m writing this, I realize I need to ask and find out something. We have lots of details on my grandmothers side of the family, but not my grandfathers.
Next on my list is my father, Carroll W. Marsh, Jr., who left the National Guard long before I was born, so I didn’t know him in that capacity. Nor, was his service really talked about. He didn’t fight in any wars that I’m aware of, nor did he have any big stories that were shared to me as a child. My dad passed away over twenty-one years ago and the information I have on my dad and his stint in the Army National Guard is actually very small. But, I decided to find out more.
It’s amazing to be able to research via Google. This large company photo has a title above it that says “Local Boys In Sonoma County’s National Guard Company”. One of the men holds a banner with 579HQ on it. I was able to search up the number. The 579th was an Engineering Battalion, based in Petaluma and still exists today. My dad turned 18 in 1950. I don’t know how many years he served, although I do know he was still in when my parents were married, which would’ve been beyond 1952.
My nephew, Jason Burrows, just retired from the Navy earlier this year after twenty-four years of service. We are close in age, raised more like brother and sister. I’m quite proud of him. He’s been all over. Italy, Japan, Florida. On the Atlantic and the Pacific. The few times our families have gotten together, I have loved hearing his stories. The little things, that as nation we have no visibility to. The inside scoop. I remember staying on the U.S.S. Midway with my family for a scout event and finding how tiny the bunks were for even myself. I couldn’t imagine how they were for him for six months at a time given he’s 6’4”. He said when on ship he’d jog for exercise but would have to duck to clear the doorways. I loved every minute of my twenty hours on board, feeling closer and gaining an understanding of where he was and what he did.
I remember when my dad was sick and close to passing, email was new. Hard to believe now, but given my corporate job at the time, I was the only one in the family that could communicate with Jason and keep him updated so that he could be flown off the ship when the time came to come home.
As I’ve written this, I realize I have much more information than I thought I did about my family and their military history. I’m very thankful I have the ability write about it and an audience to share it with. Thank you for joining me in learning more about my family and its military roots.
When Victoria Bradford got engaged, she told herself to give love a chance. Six months later, she’s on the run from her angry, abusive ex-fiancé with her four-year-old daughter and nowhere to go.
Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.
One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.
But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training can prepare him for . . .
In this book, Kat Martin weaves together compelling characters and well-crafted plots, all to culminate in a thrilling, immensely satisfying ending.
When Josh Cain meets Tory Ford (aka Victoria Bradford), he quite likes her fiery red hair and cute behind. But that’s after we’ve already seen Tory’s true worth: her strength and courage shine through in the opening scene when she stands up to her monster of a fiancé Damon, a man who believes he owns Tory lock, stock, and barrel. Tory survives his nearly fatal beating, escapes, and keeps on surviving.
Once she gets to the Iron River Ranch, the attraction between Tory and Josh simmers and sizzles. We get heart-wrenching and thought-provoking glimpses into Josh’s heroic military career, a career that haunts him… in more ways than one. We meet the tough and charming Clara Thompson, the baby-sitting neighbor who can be trusted to the hills and back. We get to know the eminently likable Cole and Noah, former marines who work on Josh’s ranch. And we are introduced to Satan’s Star, a troubled stallion who has suffered, like Tory, at the hands of an abusive man.
But this warm, romantic, and exciting story becomes chilling as chapters from Damon’s POV begin creeping in as he hunts for Tory. He beats women, rapes women, and kills with abandon. When Damon gleefully and arrogantly kidnaps and rapes one of his victims, this scene is intercut with the sexual culmination of the flirtation between Tory and Josh. While the juxtaposition of sickening brutality with incandescent romance is viscerally disturbing, it is also ingenious in how it undercuts the romance, shifting the focus of the book away from the relationship between Tory and Josh and onto the battles both are facing as they try to elude and conquer the bad guys in their lives. The lovers must stop the villains and the story kicks into hyper-drive.
Josh’s friends and family circle around Josh and Tory, helping them both ward off and fight the evil blasting at them from all directions. The camaraderie is heartwarming; the suspense is so compelling it will have you flipping pages with the speed of a stallion.
And the ending? It is breath-taking, comprised of brilliance and absolute perfection in the narrative. And even to hint at it would be to do this tightly woven story a disservice.
Beyond Control is available in two days, on May 29. Happy reading! Pre-Order here.
I asked myself that question when I was looking for ideas for a cover for my holiday romance, A Christmas Piano Tree.
You canâ€™t stick a picture of a Christmas tree on a pianoâ€¦and the story is a romance. Got to have gorgeous hero and pretty heroine on the coverâ€¦but where to start?
I love www.Dreamstime.com for stock photos, and since I have somewhat of an art background, I enjoy the process of cover design (once upon another life I studied design for the theatre). Here is a Spanish-theme sketch I did for a Vegas-type extravaganza.
Iâ€™ve always had a love for design since I was a kid and I drew pictures in my dadâ€™s encyclopedias (remember those?).
Here’s a sketch for a dress design I did at age 11. Somehow it has survived numerous moves around the country and overseasâ€¦
What kind of covers do you enjoy for Christmas books?
I totally enjoyed putting the cover together for â€œA Christmas Piano Tree,â€ the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano. I hope you like it.
Check out my Christmas Piano Tree Pinterest board!
Cyber Santa is asking for your vote…
Check out all the wonderful covers and vote for your favorites…
Vote for The Christmas Piano Tree or one of several others: http://buff.ly/1vD4xsW
The gate is the entrance to the Mary Huber School for Girls where my heroine, Kristen Delaney, worksâ€¦sheâ€™s been feeding homeless vets with leftover food as a way of keeping her husbandâ€™s memory alive (he was killed in Afghanistan)â€“this is a very difficult Christmas Eve for her and her little girl Rachelâ€¦until this soldier shows up!!
Hereâ€™s a short scene where we first meet him. Kristen gets a funny feeling when she sees a tall man walking toward herâ€¦
“She pulled her steering wheel hard to the right to avoid colliding with the tall man bundled up in a black field jacket and khaki pants, a duffel bag strapped on his back, his broad shoulders dusted with falling snow.
“She stuck her head out of the window to give him a piece of her mind and then stopped.
â€œSomething about him made her stare at him. He had that swagger she knew so well. Military. Seeing him touched a nerve. Another homeless vet. Kristen shook her head, understanding. He was the third one this week looking for a hot meal.
“Not surprising on Christmas Eve.â€
Who is the handsome soldier? And how is he tied to Kristen’s past?
Dead and forgotten.
Angry, frustrated, he tried to reach out and grab it, but whatever his buddy said to him before he died remained silent and still in his mind.
When would he remember? When?”
|Â© Chulkova2911 | Dreamstime.com|
The clock is ticking…
Tick tock…tick tock…
How many words did you write today? Why haven’t you finish that book yet?
We all torment ourselves with these phrases and then blame our lack of productivity on…
Twitter…Facebook…Instagram…kids…family…the Internet…not enough coffee.
It’s all about focus.
And finding that beautiful space in our minds where we can run free and create and write and write and write.
It can be as elusive as a butterfly.
But well worth going after, no matter what gets in our way.
According to experts, interruptions can put a big damper on our concentration and it can take about ten minutes to get the writing flowing again.
So the next time an email pops into your Inbox, or the phone rings, or someone yells, “Hey, Mom, are you busy?” know that it’s not your fault if it takes a few minutes to get back into the moment.
Then let the butterfly in your mind run free…
You can be sure I had a lot of interruptions putting this together, but I finished it!
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