Tuesday Teaser/Teaser Tuesday #6

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!




"Rahab chose carefully, and only one lover at a time. She was stinting in her acceptance of men. Her clients were few, but generous. Her unusual selectiveness enhanced her popularity among men of higher classes. Each wanted to be chosen over the others. Rahab became the competition they sought to win."
~Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar






And now, for my Tuesday Teaser...inspired by i swim for oceans. If you are writer, take a line from your current WIP or published piece. This is a line from my novel set in 1945.


“Oh, don’t bother. I’m brave. I’ll go first and give you a precedent to steel your nerves.”

Before he could say a word, she popped the octopus in her mouth. She didn't flinch. Instead, she chewed a few quick bites before opening her mouth, wide. Charlie’s eyes nearly popped from their sockets at the site of the tentacle inching around on her tongue--standing on end at times--before flopping over her bottom lip.


“It’s trying to get out!” Charlie laughed as he leaned in closer; his stomach rebelling.


~Gia
6

Courage Is Loving Your Enemies

Holland, 1940

He whispered prayers to the Lord--stepping out of the watch repair shop, and closing the door tight behind him. The air was chilled; misty. Children chased each other down the sidewalk, narrowly missing him, and sending the tails of his overcoat chasing after them. A rush of cool air snaked up his back. He shivered, pulling his coat tighter, and smiled after the children. Could he remember what it was like to be that young; to move with such ease and speed? Perhaps if he closed his eyes tight…

He walked on, intent on his business at hand. There was only so much time before his next customer would be in to collect his newly repaired watch. Yet, as he rounded the corner, all thoughts of customers and pocket watches were gone. A crowd-
-a mob, actually--drew his attention. He stopped and stared.

There was a great amount of energized jeering. Casper couldn’t see what they were yelling at, but the hatred in their voice made the skin on the back of his neck bristle. He took a few steps closer, whispering prayers.

“Smerige Jood! Smerige Jood!”

Casper paused, something within him riling against the words being thrown into the cold air. Filthy Jew, they were saying. He hurried as fast as he could, pushing himself through the thick wall of human flesh. “Rat,” they called, “Vermin!” Arms were swinging. Legs were kicking. Something hard connected with Casper’s shin. He gasped, but did not stop. When he reached the center, he found himself nearly on his knees before a young Jewish man.

The crowd stilled; their shouts dying on their lips. They were stunned to suddenly find an old Dutch man hunkered over their prey.
Casper turned to the young man. He was bleeding and broken; hunched on his knees, covering his face with his hands, and gasping for breath.

“What are you doing, old man?” Someone ordered, reaching out and snatching him up by his shoulder. Casper turned somber eyes to the man—finding him young, and filled with hatred he could never have imagined .

“That’s Mr. Ten Boom!” Another explained, “The watch maker. You can’t hurt him!”

Slowly, the crowd drew back, but they didn’t walk away. The man holding Casper by the shoulder let him go. Casper str
aightened his over coat, and turned back to the Jew. With tears in his eyes, he knelt down beside him. The man trembled like a leaf. Blood oozed from his temple and down his beard. Casper took a hankie from breast pocket, dabbing at the blood.

“What is he doing?” Someone in the back of the crowd asked.

“Helping the smerige Jood,” came the disgusted answer.

“Hush,” another said, with that Casper thought sounded like shame.


Casper leaned forward, whispering something in the Jew’s ear that the crowd could not hear. “They don’t know what they are doing,” came his soft words. “You must forgive them, child.” Then he took the
man’s trembling hands in his. Dark, fearful eyes, came to Casper’s who pressed the slightest of smiles to his lips. “It is okay. They will not hurt you now. Come with me.”

Together, they stood. Casper wrapped an arm protectively around the wounded man's shoulders. He bit back an amused grin.
Imagine, an old man like me, he thought, saving the life of this strapping young man. What a sight I must be!

The crowd stepped back, staring. In that moment, Casper swept his eyes across those standing in the crowd. One by one, they looked away—ashamed.



It is never easy to do what we know is right in our own hearts. Love comes easy for those that are in our lives—our families and friends. But love does not come easy for those that are strangers. It comes even harder for those that our society dubs as the outcast…the enemies.

In the dawn of World War II, a great enemy was making an impact in Europe. Adolf Hitler had a hatred in his heart for an entire race of people, and for people that were different—outcasts. This hatred grew, sown into the hearts of Europe’s youth, until it morphed into a monster that seemed unstoppable. Who could have imagined that countries would unite to exterminate fellow human beings? But it did happen. We all know the story. We’ve seen the pictures of emaciated bodes, empty gas chambers, smoke stacks, and piles of shoes that the Holocaust leaves us with. We weep as we turn the pages of Diary of Anne Frank. And still, we wonder, “How did this happen?”

It seems impossible. It seems like a nightmare. It seems like it could never happen again—that WE would never allow it to happen again. I hope not. But hatred still grows in men's hearts. Hatred will never die. Not on this earth, anyway. Not for a very long time.

What people don’t know, is the unease in which Corrie Ten Boom (one of Casper’s daughters) stepped into her role as a protector of the Jews. Her family opened their house to Jewish families during the war. They built a secret room where the Jews could hide; saving them from an inevitable arrest and a life ended in a work camp. Corrie struggled with her faith through these years, wrestling with her own fears of death. She took all of cues from her family—Casper, her sister (Betsie), and brother Willem.

When the Ten Boom’s were discovered by the Nazi Secret Police and arrested, they were sent to different work camps. Corrie and Betsie remained together, but sadly, Betsie’s health declined. Through it all, Betsie remained optimistic. She smuggled a small bible into the camp, staying up at night reading scripture to the ladies in her barracks. When Corrie found a way to have medicine stolen for her sister, Betsie gave it to those that she deemed worse off than she was. As she was dying, Betsie told her sister that she must forgive the enemy. Corrie did not understand. She was shattered, completely at a loss when her sister was gone…

"There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still,” Betsie had said. Her words played over and over in Corrie’s mind, haunting her…until they began to reach her heart.

Miraculously, Corrie Ten Boom was released from prison. Within weeks after her release, all the other women her age were executed.

Corrie Ten Boom went on to share her families’ testimony. She recorded their story in the book The Hiding Place. She traveled the world and spoke about forgiveness, saying things like, "Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”

In the end, Corrie came face-to-face with her past enemies. After she had been teaching in Germany in 1947, she was approached by one of the cruelest former Ravensbrück camp guards. She was reluctant to forgive him, but prayed that she would be able to. She wrote that,
For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then.

She wrote in The Hiding Place, “Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself."

God commanded us in Scripture to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It is the greatest commandment. Too often we forget that he taught us to love our enemies, as well. Enemies come in all kinds of forms. Sometimes, our enemies are in our family, live next door, or sit in a pew near us at church. Whatever anger you hold for another human being within your heart, will grow to hatred. Be careful, my friend; for hatred will become like death. Hatred will spread and grow into a monster. Hatred will keep you out of the will of God.

Love. Learn to love. Learn to pick up the beaten and battered that the world deems as outcasts. Learn to be bold and courageous in the face of hatred. Learn to forgive your enemies, both great and small. Don’t be afraid for whatever fate your love and forgiveness will lead you to. Wherever you go, the loving arms of a great Savior will be there to lift you up...even if you are battered and bruised.



Or watch the shorter version:



~Gia


Author’s note: The story of Casper Ten Boom and the battered Jewish man is true, though told will creativity in this blog post. I’m a writer. ☺ To read more of the events of the Ten Boom’s read the book. ;)
1

Hop In And Follow Me Friday #10



Book blogger hop is a weekly book meme hosted by Crazy-For-Books.com.

This week's question:
"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"


No, way, man! I think the name of my blog is wicked awesome! ;)





Follow my Blog Friday is a weekly book meme hosted by Parajunkee.com.

This week's question:


"Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it..."


Bones. I really love to watch Bones because I love the relationship between the MCs, Booth and Bones. I've already covered this is a past Follow Me Friday question, so this is redundant. However, to recap that answer, there is something terribly precious in the character of a man who looks after an protects a woman (even when she is clueless) simply because of his love and admiration of her. He loves her, knowing it won't be returned, but loves her anyway...because he sees something in her that makes it impossible.

Mushy.

Most importantly, Bones makes me laugh...




~Gia



7

Buzz Lightyear Helps Solve The Identity Crisis

Remember when Buzz first joins the group of toys in Andy's room? Andy tosses him on the bed and then runs out with his friends for cake…leaving the other toys to investigate. Woody is nervous. He wants to make sure that the new guy knows HE is the most important toy in Andy’s life. But when Woody staggers up on the bed, he finds Buzz acting out the actions of a toy he was created to be—a space ranger. But cut the poor toy some slack. After all, the moment Buzz opened his eyes...he looked like a space ranger, therefore he believed he WAS a space ranger. He did what any good space ranger would do--he jumped right into the role; looking for signs of intelligent life.

Have you ever felt that you had an identity that someone else gave you, but wasn’t really who you were?

As grown women, we are expected to do one of three things:

Marry, have children, become a soccer mom (or another kind of cookie-cutter mom), drive a vehicle with doors that open and close on their own, live in a nice house, attend PTA meetings, keep up appearances the best that we can, attend social events (like MOPS, which I do), make awesome brownies for school functions, live off coffee, hand-sew Halloween costumes, jump when our family tells us to jump, and desperately work hard to become the ideal woman/wife/mother.

Okay, maybe I over exaggerated.

If you don't like that one, try this one:

Graduate college with a stellar degree (nothing less than a Bachelor's, of course), marry a good-looking man who has an equally good job, live in a McMansion, drive a designer car, have children if you want, and learn to juggle it all while working those fashionable heels like a Victoria Secret model on a catwalk.

Did I exaggerate that one, too?

How about this one:

Live your life however you want. Nothing matters but you. You're a free spirit. You a are beautiful, unstoppable, and a force to be reckoned with.

Don't feel that you fall into any of those three categories? Me neither. I don't want a pre-cut identity the world has to offer. That's what happened to Buzz Lightyear. The world (or toymakers) made him a space ranger. Therefore, Buzz believed that's where his identity was. But it didn't work out for him, did it?

Watch this clip to refresh your memory on how things worked out for Buzz:


When Buzz realized he wasn’t really a ranger, his life came apart. He lost his identity. Who in the world was he, and what was he meant to do?

Sounds familiar? We can try to be who and what looks good to the world (and sometimes, to us), but it can't possibly be ALL that you are. If it is, you'll wake up like Buzz...dressed up for tea but feeling empty inside. Seriously. No joke.

Think of the movie The Incredibles. The whole family is meant to be something greater than ‘normal’. They have super powers that they cannot hide. Jack Jack certainly couldn’t hide who he was. Their identity was something more than the typical, every-day family, wasn’t it? But they still didn’t know how to be the heroes they had the powers to be. Remember how they get in trouble: getting sued, and constantly narrowly missing getting killed? Not to mention that the dad couldn’t even fit in his uniform at the beginning of the movie (I have jeans like that).



Even The Incredibles had to discover that super hero powers weren’t what made them who they truly were. They had to find a balance between their talent and ability, and the men, women, and children they were. But the process left them with plenty of bruises. It wasn’t easy.

Then there’s the movie Ratatouille where a Rat, of all things, dreams of being a chief. Kinda gross, huh? That’s what everyone else thought, too. But he didn’t want his identity to be a germ-toting, nasty rat. He wanted, and FELT, he was created to be something more…



Two people were struggling with their identity in this movie. The man was supposed to be a chief and he stunk at it. The rat wanted to be one, but it was a near impossibility. They had to team up to become what they both wanted to be.

Sometimes, we can’t discover our identity, or possess it, without a bit of help: i.e. teachers, mentors, supportive friends, our families/spouses, and church. Most importantly: GOD! Without those things, we don’t have the drive to pursue our true identity.


TRUE IDENTITY:

Identity is complex. Everything influences it (who and what we are). Our ethnic background, where we live, who raised us, our religion, our past pain...even our hopes and dreams affect our identity.

But what does God have to say about our identity?

Genesis chapter one makes it clear that we were created in GOD'S image. Wow! That's a little hard to believe, huh? But here it is:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." ~Genesis 1:26-27 (NIV)

Jesus is our example:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation" ~Colossians 1:15 (NIV)

In The Incredibles, the mom tells her daughter, Violet, that she must fight hard to protect her true identity, because it is the most valuable possession in the world. In our case, our true identity is our kinship with Jesus Christ and the very fact that we belong and were created by God the Father.

But 2 Corinthians 4:4 warns us that it will not be an easy task:

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

The world will try to blind us from the image of God—what’s that mean to us? If we don’t know what God looks like, and we are created in God’s image, then what? It is a pretty clever trick pulled off by the enemy, but I have an answer.

We discover God's character by fighting for it. We delve into scripture, we spend time in prayer, we violently storm the gates of heaven through our worship, pull heaven down with our prayers, and dive head first into a relationship with God the Father. It isn't easy, but we can do it.

When Jesus walked the earth, he was mocked and ridiculed. Even on his way to the cross, men spit on him, dressed him up like a king and laughed at him, pulled his beard, and drove a crown on thorns into his scalp. But before the cross, Jesus looked his mockers in the eye and declared, “I know where I came from and where I am going.” (John 8:14)

Christ's purpose was clear to Him. He knew his true identity: The Son of God. Because of that, His calling fell into place.

Buzz Lightyear may not have been a space ranger, but he did have a purpose and identity in this world. When he laid to rest what he thought he was supposed to be, and became who he truly was (a toy made for a boy’s pleasure) he was able to do much more than be a mere toy. He became the hero kind-of-guy that he thought he was to begin with. And, he learned to fly.



You can want to be a great many things in life, but without realizing that you are God’s child first, life is going to be rather empty for you. So dive in. Discover who you are in Christ.


NOTE:
Inspired by By Robert Velarde | Author of "The Wisdom of Pixar: An Animated Look at Virtue” | June 2010



~Gia
1

Mountains of Words




When I sit back and ponder the very real possibility that I will one day soon be published, I have a feeling akin to my heart exploding, and my stomach shooting up and out of my body. It is staggering to think of the endless number of faceless people that will hold my words in their hands and read them. What will they think?

There will be people that love it, cry, laugh a little, cherish the words and pass them on (I hope). But there will also be people that will write me and demand their money back. *sigh*

Writers are special, insane, self-absorbed, emotional, passionate, and determined people. They sit down a the desk, happily open up a vein, and let the words pour out of their hearts. The imaginary people that have been wondering around in their minds come alive on the page; stories...loves...loss...pain all right there for the reader to see. Sometimes, I feel completely naked when I send my work out, knowing that someone will read it. I have the insane desire to snatch it back before they can see the first word; hands shaking...heart racing...

I sometimes wonder if God felt the same way when He finished creation. Did he look out at the beauty created by His hands and suddenly panic? Did He find revealed too much of Himself? Did He suddenly wish to make the leaves on the trees a little less green, or replace red roses with a flower not quite as sweet? Did fashioning Adam with his bare hands--breathing life into the man's lungs with air from his own lips--render bittersweet tears to his eyes? When it was finished, did He draw in a sharp breath...stunned by the sheer magnitude of the beauty He had created.

But those are silly thoughts. And by NO means do I compare the art of writing to the art of our Creator! :) But it certainly had me thinking.



Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we?

~Terri Guillemets

~Gia
1

Tuesday Teaser/Teaser Tuesday #5

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



"His hands still dripping with blood, he goes to offer the heart, still steaming, under the eyes of the men of peace assembled in this august tribunal of humanity. What a horrible scene! Tyrants, cast your eyes on this terrible and revolting spectacle. Shudder and see how you and yours will be treated. This body, so delicate and so refined, bathed in perfumes, is horribly dragged in the mud and over the cobblestones."

~From Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran






And now, for my Tuesday Teaser...inspired by i swim for oceans. If you are writer, take a line from your current WIP or published piece. This is a line from my novel.





With the hills of Hollywood looming against the Pacific sky, Isabella and Oliver Sweetly held one another. The rain departed, and the sun broke free of the dark clouds. Birds sang in the eucalyptus trees. A neighborhood dog happily greeted the new day with a song of his own. And with the last chill of the storm, a breeze swept over the lovers; the moment faded away. Isabella smiled up at her husband, but her smile quickly faded. Oliver was staring with uncertain eyes out at the valley below. “God has spared us,” he said, his voice high and shaky. “But I must keep watch for the flood waters, dear lady. They will come very soon.”

A tear ran down her cheek.

~From my WIP, Hollywoodland


~Gia
12

An Anne Kind of Day

It has been a long week (last week). My daughter is sick, I'm not feeling so hot, and I woke up to a beautiful, rainy day. I love rainy days. There is something so 'homey' and cozy about them. It also makes me feel that spring is coming up close...

But, with this sickness, the rain, the restlessness in my own body...my brain does not feel like stringing together words for a blog. Perhaps cabin fever has run it's course and now settles among my bones with a life-sucking force, refusing to let me have an ounce of energy?

I don't know.

But, what I do know...is that today is an "Anne with an 'E'" kinda of day.




Yeah...today is an Anne day.

~Gia
4

Hop In And Follow Me Friday #9

Book blogger hop is a weekly book meme hosted by Crazy-For-Books.com.

This week's question:

"Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!"


Seriously? I'm not sure I understand this post. I didn't write a book review this week. I guess I can post this one on Julie Lessman's "A Hope Undaunted"....


******


Follow my Blog Friday is a weekly book meme hosted by Parajunkee.com.

This week's question:

"What is your favorite romance hero-type? Stereotype wise. Do you like the strong silent type or the brute macho man?"


Booth. I love Booth from the TV series "Bones". I love his character because he is always watching over the woman star, Bones. Just the way he interacts with her, tenderly, protectively...is the perfect hero in a book/movie/TV show. He is perfect. Well...for a fictional character. ;)

How often does a girl tell the hero..."I'm sorry you had to kill someone...for me"? Everything about the dialogue and development between these two characters is awesome. I wish I was the writer.

*sigh*



~Gia
13

We're Worth More Than Rubies

Yesterday, I was talking to my teen girls about the true meaning of beauty. I wasn't looking forward to this study. We've all heard it: beauty comes from the inside no matter your size, or if your hair curls or falls straight; our true beauty is more than skin deep. We've heard it so many times that it gets old. And does anyone believe it, yet? Have we heard the message enough times that we stop trying to be a size 4 and accept that our nose just might not look like we wish it would look? What about our breast size, or lack there of? Are we okay with them, yet? Boney legs, wide hips, stretch marks left over from that 8 pound baby, teeth that aren't as straight as others, dimples in the backs of our shoulders (that's me!), thick eyebrows, lopsided grins...

No, I don't think we're okay with it. The message is still true. Beauty is more than skin deep. We just don't believe it, even though it's the 'right' thing to say.

But last night, the message was more than skin and how deep we have to dig to find our beauty. We talked about...why. Why can't we accept who we are and what we look like? Why can't we feel loveable as a size 14?

Because the Accuser knows how beautiful you really are. The enemy knows your worth and ability. What a better way to win this battle for your heart and soul than by keeping you blind to the truth he already knows? For, darling woman, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your Creator has a purpose and plan for you; a plan to prosper you and not harm you...

"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." ~Proverbs 31:10

I think that verse is God's way of warning us. Who can find a virtuous woman...for her price is far above rubies? Why? Because she is rare. You see, if a woman could tuly walk in her full beauty and capability, she would become that virtuous woman...something rare and precious. She would be powerful, captivating, able, and a dangerous threat to the enemy in this world. That's what God needs. He needs you to believe that He created something beautiful. He needs you to walk in confidence of who you are, and what you were created to be. Can you fathom what would happen in this world if you did? God's will would begin to unfold in your life on earth as it is written in heaven.

A virtuous woman doesn't fit into a certain jean size. She doesn't have blonde curls and blue eyes. She may not speak right or be the most intelligent woman on the face of the earth. She still has flaws, falls into sin from time to time, and she may even lose her temper at the worst of times. But this woman, my friends, knows how to point her eyes to heaven, let the glory and mercy of her Heavenly Father fall down upon her...and wash it all away. A virtuous woman knows that it isn't what the world sees in her--or even what she sees in herself--but what God sees. And He sees something breathtaking. :)

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31:30

When I was a teenager, I was skinny as a rail. I hated it. Girls in school spread a nasty rumor that I had an eating disorder. Another girl started another widespread rumor that I stuffed my bra, which led to a group of boys molesting me to see/feel for themselves. You can image the impact that leaves on a young woman, especially one that wanted to trust and believe in God. It shattered the image I viewed of who I was...

Now, more than a decade later, I know that I am still not the 'beauty' I wish I was. But, yesterday, I put on makeup and shimmied into jeans and a sweater; I put on pearls and a locket. As I walked out to the car where my husband was waiting, I noticed his eyes linger and the corner of his lips pull up in a silly grin. When I slid into the seat beside him, he looked me over...a slow blush creeping up his neck. He was embarrassed and looked away--like a little boy seeing something gorgeous for the first time. I may not be what the world deems 'beautiful' but I certainly took that man's breath away...

Later, when I stood at the alter with my arms lifted to the heavens...I felt God's love until my breath stilled on my lips. I felt more beautiful than humanly possible on this earth. God's glory fell upon me, and I was the woman He created me to be. He was smiling on me. I was virtuous. I was worth more than rubies. More precious than silver and gold...

And so are you, friend. At least, you are created to be. Just walk in it. Let Him in. Let Him show you who you are...how gorgeous...how powerful. Let Him love you.



~Gia
0

Breath On A Battlefield

Yesterday, there was a post on The Writer's Alley about writing to a masterpiece--a great, classical work of art. Imagine staring at the Mona Lisa and writing what comes to you mind, as if you were her...

I decided to do something similar. I'm taking a photo from WWII (I'm a historic fiction novelist, so give me a break) and putting a story with it.....

However, I write to music, so push play...and carry on.




******






In the fields of wounded men, Rose carefully walked over shrinking bodies, studying their faces and wounds in order to decide if they were worth sending to the OR. The unfortunate would be left to their own devices with what little care the nurses could give. For some of the men, staring into the eyes of a beautiful American woman as they struggled for breath was more than they could have hoped for. It was nearly more than she could give.

On this morning, Rose rolled up the green sleeves of her fatigues and pushed a stray strand of red hair beneath her bandana. Trying to ignore the stifling heat and the wretched smells welcoming her, she pushed forward; looking closely at each man that encountered her feet. Most of them stared back with dead eyes; their faces strangely serene and peaceful. Others looked at her with horror etched on their faces. One man in particular caught her eye. He was young, no more than twenty-years old. He had golden hair that splayed out across the jungle floor with beautiful blue eyes reflecting the color of the sky. She knelt down and waved her hand across his face. He didn’t flinch. “You’re too handsome to be dead,” she whispered. She took a black marker from her pocket, marking the man for burial, and moved on. A passing thought came to her mind, as she imagined a mother or a wife back home—grieving the loss of such a beautiful young man. She could not dare to think; could not dare to imagine…

They were nameless. They had to stay that way.

She walked for hours, her hunger barely registering. She was weak, and her head spun from the hot sun and thirst that burned her throat. But she didn’t complain. She hardly even gave it a second thought. How many of the other nurses suffered much worse and still tended the men laid out before them? Only a week ago, Becky had walked dutifully among the men with legs and hands trembling with malaria fever. Her face was pale; her eyes dull and deep within her face. She was so weak that she could barely lift her heavily booted-feet from the ground, yet she managed to fulfill her duties. In her soft, mellifluous voice, she would ask the men, “And how are you on this beautiful day? Happy to be alive, are we?”

The nurses didn’t allow themselves a moment to ponder their own ailing bodies. After all, they were just as likely to die in their beds with bombs raining down as they were from feverishly tending the wounded.

Rose stopped and looked down at a man clutching his stomach with trembling hands. Intestines oozed from beneath his palms. He was shaking, his eyes rolling back in his head. She stooped down and administered what little morphine she had left. It would help him relax enough to die peacefully. There was no saving him. Others had more of a chance. “I’m sorry, Soldier,” she whispered, taking his hand in hers and holding it until he stilled.


******


Now you try. :) Pick a picture, or a song, and write a story to go with it.


~Gia
0

Tuesday Teaser/Teaser Tuesday #4

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



"Butler approached Scarlett as a big cat might: with a deliberate, lazy confidence. Swarthy, tall, and unusually muscular for a Southern gentleman, his frock coat was black broadcloth, his shirt was ruffled at the cuffs, and his foulard was the delicate blue of a robin's egg. Though he swept his panama from his head, his gesture seemed less chivalrous than it might have."

~Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig






And now, for my Tuesday Teaser...inspired by i swim for oceans. If you are writer, take a line from your current WIP or published piece. This is a line from my novel.



"Her palms were on fire as she rolled onto her back, heart racing, head pounding—the kitchen a blur before her. She blinked hard, and swallowed. The sickening taste of blood was thick at the back of her throat. She shivered.

"Dear Lord, what have I done?" she whispered.

Shattered china was scattered across the tired linoleum floor. A small puddle of cold tea from her morning cup lay a few feet away; the rest was on her white blouse. Yet, what froze the breath in her lungs was the pool of blood crawling near her blue jeans; trickling from the handsome face of her husband."



~Gia
7

My Husband...The Lioness Tamer


"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10


What a strange thing it is to grow up with someone only to grow old with them. Everything changes; physically...emotionally. Only the lucky will reach for their Love's hand in the twilight years, and find them reaching back. I know that Roger's hand will be there in the decades before us. He is faithful. He loves me. He will never give up on me. He carries me...

What a gift I have.

When Roger found me, I was a shy, introverted, stubborn, broken, frightened girl with a daddy complex. He was a bit arrogant, class clown-type that had the biggest heart a boy could posses. He captivated me. He had this charm that was able to reach through the thickest walls a person can erect around their heart. I don't know how he did it. He's sneaky like that. Determined, maybe...

Slowly, with my hand tucked in Roger's, I walked away from that shy, frightened girl that I was. I warmed up to him and everyone else. I began to see that I was truly beautiful...someone interesting. I fell fully into my talents; more sure of who I was and who I was meant to be. Isn't that what love is supposed to do? Roger allowed me to see a glimpse of myself. He pushed down those walls, and God's perfect love moved in...sweeping away the lies. That's how I know he was the man God created just for me; for he and God seemed to be partners in rescuing me.

But I said 'lion tamer' didn't I? That's because I'm so sure of myself that today, I am a wild woman with passions that nearly consume myself and those around me. I have a temper that could rival Kilauea (that's a volcano). I once chewed out a USMC drill instructor for shoving me in the PX (but he was totally in the wrong!). I am impatient. I get angry with God (that's really bad, isn't it?). I'm the strongest-willed woman that I know and wonder where my daughter gets it...

Truth is, I'm more than a handful. Sometimes, in the midst of my craziness, I think of Roger and stand amazed that he has the strength and will to endure me. But he does endure me. And more than that, he tames me. He brings me back to where I need to be, even if he doesn't realize that he does. He reminds me of who I am when I don't like being me. He reminds me of the truth of my beauty when I don't remember it. He tells me of what I was created for...how great my talents are. When I don't want a cheerleader, he is mine. He makes me smile, laugh, cry, scream, and feel love that nearly crushes me. Roger reminds me what an amazing God I serve. I watch that man, see his passion to be the man God created him to be...and I am moved to tears (there are tears in my eyes now...how silly).

Roger reminds me of how much God loves me. After all, if my husband can put up with me and love me...then God's perfect love will surely never fail me. The relationship that I share with my husband imitates that which God desires from me. God wants me to believe in Him the way that I believe in Roger. My Heavenly Father wants me to know His hand will always be there...in those twilight years...now in the midst of my joys and my storms. My Heavenly Father knew of my beauty first. It was He that revealed it to Roger. He saw my virtue. He gave it to me. He loves me. Passionately. Consuming. Crushing. And in my fiery moments, I stand amazed, point my eyes to Heaven...and wonder why. Answers don't come, and that's okay.

He carries me.


~Gia
6

Hop In and Follow Me friday #8




Hop in and Follow me Friday are weekly meme's hosted by Parajunkee's View and Crazy-for-Books.


This week's question:



What are you reading this week and why?
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. I love history, and have always been captivated by ancient Egypt. Michelle has a stellar writer's voice. All of her books are solid, gripping, and leave me excited to read the next one.









This week's question:

What is the book you are currently 'pushing'? (Pushing mean trying to get people to read it)


My own! As insanely hopeless as it sometimes feels, I know that it will eventually catch the right editor's eye. Besides that, Michelle Moran's newest book coming out, Lady Tussuad. I am incredibly excited to read it!



~Gia
9

Is Cabin Fever Deadly?

And other snow-induced ramblings...


Iced in.

Is that something anyone wants to be? We get snowed in...but 'iced in' sounds creepy. And, oh, so very cold.

With all this down time (watching the clock and waiting to see how long it takes for cabin fever to set in) I've been trying to think of creative things to do. Too bad I already finished novel revisions. Too bad I'm not prepared to start the next novel. Too bad I REALLY don't want to start revisions on the novel sitting in a nice, neat file on my desktop.

Instead, I tried to think of things to blog about.

That didn't work.

Next, I turned to the never ending supply of movies my brother keeps me in. I cried through half of them. I get embarrassed when I cry during movies. It is even worse when I cry during books.

Speaking of books, I thought I might read one. But the thing about being 'iced in' is that all the wind howling, and the fear that the water pipes might freeze and burst, keeps me awake at night. I'm too tired to read. Not that I have anything that I want to read.

I'm going to share a secret. A really terrible, ugly secret. I don't find many books that I like to read. *gasp* And I'm a writer. Is that bad?

So, the day ends with me crammed here in my Grandma's guest bed (crammed with kids that sleep horizontally across the mattress and kick me in the nose) because the power is expected to go out...and Granny's is the only home with a generator. If I wake up with a black eye, I think I would have rather risked it all in the icebox of a home. :/

Last time we had a storm like this, I was a little girl. The power went out for 8 days...and it was magical. My mom cooked dinner on the wood stove (lucky) and we slept in the living room around a kerosene heater. My brothers and I played games by the light of an oil lamp....and there was no school.

I have found that being grown up takes the excitement and adventure out of winter storms.

Where's Peter Pan when you need him?

~Gia
0