Honor our Veterans and current Military.

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in armed service, also known as veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.)

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.[1]

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”[2]

The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.[2] A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”

U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954.[3]

Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.[4][5]

The National Veterans Award, created in 1954, also started in Birmingham. Congressman Rees of Kansas was honored in Alabama as the first recipient of the award for his support offering legislation to make Veterans Day a federal holiday, which marked nine years of effort by Raymond Weeks. Weeks conceived the idea in 1945, petitioned Gen. Eisenhower in 1946, and led the first Veterans Day celebration in 1947 (keeping the official name Armistice Day until Veterans Day was legal in 1954).

Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will normally be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively.

*** On a personal note, John’s father (my fiancé), Walter Hinderer was a WW2 veteran who served his country proud.  He has since passed and while we mourn his passing we also feel proud of his service.

*** Most Veterans suffer from PTSD.  I also have a page on my blog for this that you should read as well.  While my Dad wasn’t a veteran, he died on 11-11-11 which makes Veterans Day very hard for me.  I suffer from PTSD too, while not related to the military, I was in a POW camp in Iran during 911.  Those SIX weeks of my life have affected/effected it ever since then and as I’m told by my therapist will have substantial impact on the rest of my life.  AMAZING how such a short moment in our life can change our life forever.

GOD BLESS and THANK YOU VETERANS and those serving currently !

Please see this link for more information on PTSD:

http://www.loris-song.com/FRIENDS.html

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Featured Author: Shanna O’Quinn

Featured Author:

Shanna O’Quinn

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1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I am Shana O’Quinn, artist and author of Lady of the Sidhe and Secret Ones Volume 1, both in my Ages of Telamon series.  I’m your favorite internet redneck.  I love cats, classic rock, bacon, feminism and elves.  Zombies are way up there on the list, too.  Let’s just say the country folk living round about are a bit…wary of me.

2.   What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.

I’m a huge fan of fantasy, horror and science fiction, and after a while I began to get ideas of stories of my own.  Over the years (and it took me years to get my first book, Lady of the Sidhe, out) it became my goal to make everything elves.  When given the opportunity, always elf. ALWAYS.

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course. 

I mainly promote using Facebook and Twitter and the Virtual Ebook fair, I’ve also hit message boards I used to frequent to leave my links there.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

My first review was an editor with his own independent publishing company, and it made me feel great.  I didn’t feel like such a buffoon. “Ms. O’Quinn/Driftwood has that refreshing ability to weave a memorable story from myth and, possibly, poetic license, not unlike the bards of old. I was captured by the title – being of Scot’s descent and a follower of the Old Religion, to boot – and became even more entangled as the story progressed.” —David Keith, November First Publications.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book. 

Secret Ones Volume 1 is the second book in my Ages of Telamon series, the first being Lady of the Sidhe.  Basically, it is set in an alternate 1970’s where Elves live among us (mostly unseen and unrecognized) and superband White Death is topping the charts.  Little does the public know that the band has Elves in it, and that they’re only the tip of the iceberg of the creatures of legend.  Lilith, once human and once innocent, comes back out of the shadows, and the cousins of the Elves, the Drow, have re-emerged as blood-drinking vampires.  Add to that a race that was spawned from Lilith, the werewolves, and there is a worldwide disaster waiting to happen.

6.   Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

7.     I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky number.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

Joehnar_draft2b                                     Print

Somewhere in the West Coast, USA

“Magdalena,” came the low-pitched female voice.

The Drow Overlord ignored the voice, choosing to pace the chamber instead.  Her blue hair bounced with each step.

“Magdalena,” it came again.  The owner of the voice stepped into the faint light from the single lamp in the room. “Magdalena!”

“What?” she finally snapped, whirling on the blonde woman.

“I need to find the others. It’s the edge we need on these Sidhe and their Mohrtei allies.”

Maggie snorted.  She was taller than the woman and much more angular, which belied the power of those of the Faery race, and her amber eyes missed little.  The blonde however, was more muscular than the Dark Elf, and she radiated power.

It may be because she had never truly died, and was much, much older than the Overlord. “My people have little experience with your…children.  It may cause more trouble than it’s worth to–”

“My followers won’t hurt your precious vampires,” the blonde interrupted. She wasn’t a Fae, but she didn’t look exactly human either. At least, like any Mohrtei that now lived.  Her blue eyes were wide-set, her mouth wide, her forehead high.  She wasn’t unpleasant to look upon, just…different.  Maggie felt like a child next to her.

“Are you–were you, human?” Maggie asked, genuinely curious.

Valillia, for that was her name, laughed outright.  “I was born to a simple, peaceful tribe of mortals so long ago, that the very face of the world is vastly different from it was in the time of my youth. We had no idea of the evils and cruelty of the world. Blissfully ignorant, as they say. What am I now? That I do not know. I am Lilith, I am the Night-mare.  I am the Mother of Wolves.”  She smiled a dangerous, sharp-toothed smile, and melted back into the shadows.

“Del, you and Janet head to the east coast and collect all the Lyceans you can.”

“Are you serious?” asked Janet, her dark eyes narrowed.  “They are called the Hidden Ones for a reason.”

“I taught them well,” put in Valillia.

“We’re gonna need all the help we can get, those rock star fools will have alerted all the Hunters, Guardians and Elf-friends they can to us,” Magdalena explained.

“I’ll meet up with you in three weeks,” the blonde tells them.  “I’m still weak after all these years, it’ll take some time to replenish myself.” She turned and was gone.

She would see others of her kind soon. Her children and grandchildren. As she went to the loft above Maggie’s headquarters where she slept she tried to remember if she’d actually given birth in her first life.  She’d been in love, she recalled that much.  Jor had been a young man, and they had met that night to go off together.  They were going to run away and it would just be him and her.  She entered her room, slammed the door, and leaned against the cold surface.  She squeezed her eyes shut at bits and pieces forced themselves on her brain.

Jor embraced her, whispering in the language of their clan, one that she’d long since forgotten.  They were completely unaware that their village had been attacked, until they heard screams ring out in the night.  It froze the pair’s blood into ice. They ran back to their people to see strangers pouring through the area, killing people at will.  Behind them were creatures Jor and Valillia had never encountered before: trolls.  Large humanoid creatures with arms like pile-drivers and fists of iron, who were bloodthirsty opportunists.  Valillia screamed as her tribe were butchered.  She and Jor grabbed pieces of wood and rushed the invaders, flailing and yelling.

It had little effect. Jor went to his knees with two spears in him.  He looked more surprised than anything as his life’s blood spilled out.  She shrieked and ran to him, only to have a sharp, searing pain in her side.  The girl looked down to see a stone-tipped spear embedded in her.  She fell over, her hands instinctively scrabbling at the wound.  She dimly heard the screams of her tribe as they died.  The humans were searching for anything of value to them while the trolls pilfered any food.  She heard men laughing as some of the trolls raped some of the tribeswomen before caving their heads in with heavy clubs.

She lost consciousness for a short time, then her eyes fluttered open.  Dawn was coming and the scent of smoke came to her nostrils.  The village was burning. Jor was dead.  Everyone was dead.  Why didn’t she die?

Why?

She somehow managed to pull the spear out of her body and drag herself clear of the flames.  And there she lay for some time.

Valillia opened her eyes. She finally noticed her face was wet with tears.  Idly she wiped them away, glad that these honor-driven Dark Elves hadn’t seen her like this.  She wasn’t driven by greed or domination like these simpleminded Drow were.  She loved to live, and to make more like herself. And endure she had.

Joe sat at Keith’s bedside, generally fidgeting and biting his nails.  The man had taken a fever and drifted in and out of consciousness, but it seemed to be improving.

“You look like hell, mate,” came the drummer’s voice.  Joe’s head snapped around.

“How you feeling?” the singer asked him.

“I’ve felt better,” was his raspy reply. “I’m no longer burning up. Am I…gonna make it?”

“‘Course you are!” the elf interjected.  “You uh–well, um..”

“Out with it!”

“Ok, so you’re likely gonna start craving blood and avoiding sunlight. Good news is, unless you taste the Drow what bit you’s blood, you won’t completely become a vampire. “

“And that’s good news?” the drummer snorted.  “Guess I’ll start taking my steak rare from now on.”

“This is no laughing matter!” Lindsey’s voice, ever serious, echoed from across the room.  She came into Keith’s field of vision, and he saw with visible relief that she was all right.  Her arm was in a sling, but she seemed to be fine.  “You’re connected now with the one that bit you. She will be able to sense when you’re near and vice versa.”

“Oh, that’s lovely.”

“Roger’s been keeping an eye on you,” Joe pipes up. “And Malcolm got released on bail for the murder of that groupie.”

“Jesus Christ,” Keith exhaled. Things were just getting better and better, it seemed.

***Shanna is a published author and colleague of mine, please check this book out 🙂

Featured Author: Sharla Shults

Featured AuthorSharla Lee Shults

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  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

A mathematician by nature is a strange beginning for a writer of poetry. Born into a family rooted in the field of education destined my life’s profession to becoming a teacher. The atmosphere of a small town kept families close and the importance of school was instilled at an early age.

As an educator, I always found myself writing but that role primarily centered on lesson plans, along with curriculum. I definitely never envisioned myself as a published writer/author. My expertise was in mathematics and science. Did I think about writing a textbook? Nah!

Almost thirty years in the education field finds me today enjoying retirement but not yet ready to cut the educational umbilical cord. Instead of a real-life classroom where I greet my students face-to-face, we meet in the virtual world of the online classroom where the students are now teachers. The most rewarding part is when my long ago eighth grade to senior high classroom students appear as students of mine once again, this time as an educators themselves. Priceless!

2.   What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.  

Poetry became a way of expressing my innermost thoughts to touch the heart and soul of those I love, as well as strangers. Poetic verses found themselves being generated from random thoughts, impromptu conversations, casual images or pure imagination reflecting feelings to warm the heart and lift the spirit.

My first two books, Echoes and Remembering reflect inspirational poetry. Both fact and fiction found their place with family being my inspiration: my husband for divine love and spiritual uplifts; our children for many memories, happiness as well as tears; my mother who taught me life is a bed of thorny roses; my dad for believing in me, keeping me toward life’s goal.

A shift in poetic thinking guided my third book, Awakenings, toward historical poetry. This was somewhat out of character since history had always been a back burner subject of mine so to speak. Through the years, however, a strong affinity toward America and her history developed. Therefore, the focus of Awakenings became Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, Enrich the Future.

3.    How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

Promotion has been difficult. Time and consistency are most important factors in promotion. Neither of these worked well for me over the past year. Life got in the way. As I strive to move forward, it is the social media networks that have become my sources of communication and promotion, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Writers’ Group, Pinterest, Scoop.It, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, personal blogs, personal website. Then, of course, the best is perhaps the book signings. Unlike social media, with the book signings you get to meet the author face-to-face. You sell yourself first, then, your book.

4.    Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Oh, yes! I remember that moment well. It was the first review of my first book, Echoes. I cried. Heartbreakingly cried! It was so vindictive and definitely was written as a means to belittle me, as the author, as well as my writing. I have contacted Amazon repeatedly hoping to get it removed because it is not a review for the content of the book. No response.

On the flip side, the remaining reviews have been excellent 4 to 5-star. From heartbreaking to heartwarming. These have brought on their own share of tears but this time happily and thankfully! I truly treasure those than imply they ‘see’ what I ‘see’ when I write. Creativity arises from imagery. The words of imagery are the photographs of poetry.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

I will focus here on Awakenings, which presents some of America’s momentous historical events in poetic verse. The rhythmic character of the verses in this book is designed to add flair to what is sometimes regarded as dull reading. History by its very nature is extremely poignant. The scene begins with the seventeenth century, a time absorbed in thoughts of death, physical love, and religious devotion. The woman’s role adheres to silence in the public arena and provides unstinting obedience to father and husband. Emotions unwind and remain somewhat unsettles as the journey through time spans five centuries.

The audience for Awakenings is somewhat limited since its very nature is poetry. The average reader is more inclined toward selecting a novel rather than a book of poetic verse. Public reaction has been slow but good. Once the purpose behind Awakenings is understood I am hopeful the audience will expand.

6.    Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

Instead of sharing one person and book, I would like to introduce all who read this interview to a group of writers. What started out as a bunch of Tweeters learning to Tweet appropriate blurbs for promotion has evolved into a blog where friends from disparate approaches to life and writing work together and share: The Write Room Blog @ http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/

From mystery to romance to poetry and more – visit The Write Room Blog for sure! Into the scary bit? At The Write Room you’ll find a hit!

7.    I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

 

Dedication

“Free will is not the liberty to do whatever one likes, but the power of doing whatever one sees ought to be done, even in the very face of otherwise overwhelming impulse. There lies freedom, indeed.”

—Anonymous

Awakenings

Awakenings is dedicated to those who laid the foundation and established the platform for our American freedom: those who have served in the past, presently serve, or will serve our military forces in the future. A profound appreciation is extended for the sacrifice of these brave men and women who left or will leave their homes and family to ensure America’s freedom endures.

A grave price is being paid every moment of every day of the year for all the freedom America has to offer. Let us not forget those who have fought or are fighting for our nation; they are the epitome of the human spirit called freedom!

What does the past whisper to you?

Whisperings from the Past

Whisperings from the past reveal themselves in many forms: happy whisperings from the heart, melancholy whisperings from the mind, quiet whisperings from the soul. Each of these is grounded in beliefs instilled in us by our ancestors from events that transpired years upon years upon years ago.

Food for thought…

What thoughts whisper to you

On leaving for a new place

Where everything you know

Reflects a different face?

Are you ready for choices

To be rightly made

Based on courage, faith, and hope

None of which outweighed?

Could you undergo

Trials day by day

Putting forward trust

To guide the way?

What strengths of yesterday

Uphold tomorrow’s visions?

Dreams of utopia

May need many revisions

What lights shine for you

Reflective of yearnings

Not easily dimmed

By futile burnings?

How does your place in time

Connect to the past

Reflective of groundings

In beliefs that last?

“History is the memory of time, the life of the dead and the happiness of the living.”

—Captain John Smith (1580–1631)

EchoesRemembering

*** Sharla is quite a prolific writer, a kind human being and such an intelligent and caring individual.  I highly recommend her books.  I personally have “AWAKENINGS”, and LOVED IT!!

Featured Author: Lauren Algeo

Featured Author:    Lauren Algeo

 

LaurenAlgeo_500x500Lauren and her dog Kip

  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Hi, my name’s Lauren Algeo. I’m a 28 year old graphic designer from Kent, England. I currently write during my daily commute and spare time but would love to write for a living one day. I find writing a great way to unwind after a day at work and I get inspiration from everywhere. I always have a notepad in my bag for jotting down ideas. I live with my boyfriend and our dog, Kip, a German Shepherd we got from a rescue centre last year. For me, dog walking is a great opportunity to think through story ideas and new plots!

2.   What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events. 

I’m a huge fan of horror stories and thrillers so they were natural genres for me. I’ve read a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Lee Child, Jo Nesbo and James Patterson so I credit them with my love of those genres.

3.    How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

At the moment I mainly use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for promotion, as well as Goodreads. It can be quite difficult to find time to fit in promotion as well as writing and the day job but it seems to be going ok so far. I’m learning all the time and always appreciate any promoting suggestions.

4.    Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

My first review was a 5 star one on Amazon for my first book, Hikers – Part One: Power. It was really exciting to see it there and I love getting new reviews (good or bad), it’s always interesting to see people’s reactions to my books.

5.    Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

The first novel I published, Hikers – Part One: Power, is part of a horror series, the Hikers Trilogy. I’m currently editing Hikers – Part Two: Passion, which will be available to buy soon. So far the reaction has been great and I’ve had quite a few people contacting me to ask when Part Two will be out as they can’t wait to read it. I plan to start writing Part Three as soon as Part Two is published, and already have plenty of notes to get started with.

In between writing Hikers Part One and Two, I published a book called The Perfect Date. It’s a slight change of genre for me, more of a romance thriller, but there’s a plot twist that people have been very complimentary of so far – so not your average ‘romance’, more thriller!

6.    Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).   

For all the latest news on my books, go to:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/HikersTrilogy

Twitter:  @LaurenAlgeo

To purchase ebook or paperback versions of Hikers – Part One: Power visit:

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hikers-Part-Power-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00B35DZMG

Amazon USA:

http://www.amazon.com/Hikers-Part-Power-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00B35DZMG

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341549

7.    I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

LaurenAlgeo_205x285

Thanks for having me! I’d like to share an excerpt from Hikers – Part One: Power. It’s a horror thriller about an ex-Detective Inspector, Scott Brewer, who hunts hikers, a family of hired assassins with the power of mind control. Brewer is joined on his mission by Georgie Duncan, a moody teenager with a turbulent past, and together they must find a way to kill the seemingly invincible hikers. This excerpt is from the very start of the trilogy. I hope you enjoy it!

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Prologue

 ‘It’s time.’ The voice in his mind urged.

He felt a moment of doubt but couldn’t think of a rational reason why. He had been planning this for days. He was ready. They would all pay.

He slipped his right hand into the pocket of the large duffel coat he was wearing and felt the weight of the gun. He closed his hand around the cool metal and rested his finger on the trigger.

He stepped onto the escalator and surveyed the scene as it descended slowly in to Waterloo’s main train station. It was lunchtime and people were bustling to and fro in front of him. Not as busy as rush hour in the morning or evening but busy enough for him to blend in to the crowd.

He felt a shiver surge through his body and he pulled the heavy black coat tighter around himself. The weather had begun to turn and he knew there were cold days ahead.

‘There! There!’ The voice whispered excitedly.

He looked towards a small crowd gathered round some video equipment near the middle of the station. A TV actor was filming part of a drama series there today. The man could see him sitting in a chair to the side of the equipment, being fussed over by a makeup artist. He felt a tug of anger as he focussed on the man’s smug face.

That should have been his life. He deserved fame, money and recognition. Instead he had nothing.

He walked towards the set slowly, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself. He set his face in a mildly curious expression, as if he was just heading over to check out what was being filmed. A couple of others were doing the same but this was London and most people weren’t too bothered about minor celebrities when they had their own important lives.

The TV star was talking to a young woman who had just had her picture taken with him. She was giggling and toying coyly with her hair. Women just threw themselves at celebrities. He felt that ripple of rage again. He was only a few steps away now.

The actor half turned towards him as he reached them, a friendly smile on his face. He assumed the man was just another fan coming to say hello.

The man began to pull his hand out of his coat pocket. It looked as though he wanted to shake hands and the actor started to extend his own towards the man. Their eyes met for an instant and he felt that moment’s hesitation again.

Before he could comprehend it, his right hand was being thrust upwards and his thumb clicked off the safety.

‘Now!’ The voice in his head screamed.

The TV actor barely had time to register the change in intent before the man shot him in the chest.

The sound was deafening and echoed around the station but the man barely noticed, all he seemed to hear was an insane laughing in his mind.

He turned swiftly and shot the young woman before the actor’s body had even hit the ground. His shot was wide of target and only clipped her left arm but he didn’t care.

He twisted and turned, firing at anyone in his line of sight. He spun to the right suddenly and felt the gun being guided to a middle-aged man who had been walking past.

The man was frozen to the spot, his eyes wide with shock and a sandwich dangling in his stiff fingers. He had on a dark pinstripe suit and was carrying a brief case by his side.

The man thought he heard the voice whisper through its chilling laughter. ‘Bang.’

This time his shot was perfect and he hit the man dead centre in the chest. His finger carried on squeezing and the gun bucked in his hand as he found running targets. There was panic everywhere but the urgency that had consumed him seemed to be subsiding. The gun clicked empty and suddenly the crazy laughter that had filled his mind was gone.

The world seemed to swim back to the man slowly. He looked around confused. People were fleeing away from where he stood and there were several others lying on the floor. He could see blood pooled around some of the motionless ones. Others were writhing around, trying to drag themselves to the safety of cover.

He looked down at the gun in his hand, realising what he had done. Now all he could hear was screaming.

***Lauren is a friend and colleague of mine with a wonderful book to share!  Make sure to check out her links as well.