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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • LEE ANN SONTHEIMER MURPHY: Vet focus of latest release

  • Our nation observed Veterans’ Day this past Sunday.
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  • Our nation observed Veterans’ Day this past Sunday. It’s an important day and fell the day following the 237th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Although it’s vital to remember those who served on special occasions, I also believe we should honor our veterans every day.
    My dad served in the Army and my grandfathers also served their country in two different world wars and two service branches. Other relatives served in both war and peace. Trace my family tree very far and you’ll run into more veterans dating back as far as the American Revolution.
    My latest release, “Devlin’s Grace,” due out this Saturday, Nov. 17, from Rebel Ink Press, has an Operation Iraqi Freedom Marine veteran as the hero. Devlin faces a very real issue many of our veterans face — post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD is an ugly reality and although “Devlin’s Grace” is fiction, the issue is timely.
    Here’s the blurb:
    When he rides out of the fog on his motorcycle, Gracie Alloway almost mistook him for a demon rising from the smoke and steam of hell. Except she’s attracted to him from the first moment. Devlin’s everything she’s not — wild and a little wicked. But opposites attract because good girl college student Gracie wants more of this bad boy.
    Devlin dreamed up a fantasy woman back in Iraq a lot like Gracie and she evokes a side he hasn’t shown anyone in years. She also dares to enter his personal space and take liberties no other woman’s dared. Although he struggles with PTSD and other issues, Gracie won’t run and she refuses to abandon Devlin.
    If she can just tame him and help him battle his demons. If he can teach her how to live a little bit more, they might just have a chance at a future together.
    And here’s a short excerpt:
    “Her mother taught her proper manners, old-fashioned ones long out of style. Calling someone she just met by his last name only didn’t seem correct. Gracie would rather use his first name but he hadn’t shared it. ‘Okay,’ she said, chastised. ‘I’m sorry. It’s just I don’t know your first name and…’
    “Devlin reached out from his perch on the Honda and touched a finger to her lips, silencing her immediately. ‘You don’t need to apologize for everything. It’s cool. If you want, call me Dev. It’s that or Devlin or Devil. I don’t use my first name.’
    Page 2 of 2 - “In three sentences, he created a dozen questions, but Gracie wasn’t sure what to ask first. Devil must be a nickname and if so, it explained his horned helmet and mirror but she wondered why. The question popped out before she considered he might not want to share the reason. ‘Why do they call you Devil?’
    “He never blinked, not once. ‘I did a lot of evil things once, in Iraq.’
    “‘Oh.’ Gracie couldn’t find anything else to say and stood, silent and self-conscious. The light rain intensified but she failed to notice until the dampness of her thin blouse filtered into her consciousness. This man intrigued her in a way no one else had. She wanted to ask him up for coffee, talk to him for hours long into the night, and at the same time she longed to run away. She sorted through the options for something to call him and chose the simplest. ‘Dev?’
    “‘Yeah?’
    “‘It’s raining harder. Do you want to come up to my apartment to dry off?’
    “Dev shrugged as if he didn’t care either way. ‘I don’t live very far.’
    “His nonchalance increased her desire to have him come out of the rain. ‘I can make coffee,’ she offered. ‘You’re getting soaked.’
    “Five seconds, then 10 passed before Devlin nodded. Although she didn’t hear any more thunder, the rain increased with speed. ‘All right, you talked me into a cup of coffee.’”
    Devlin’s Grace available beginning Nov. 17 wherever eBooks are sold.
    Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy writes a weekly column for the Daily News.
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