Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in our war-weary military personnel and veterans is an insidious and often overlooked mental health issue. We can see the sometimes devastating physical injuries, but the scars on the inside often elude us. When military personnel take leave or separation from service, they often refer to coming home as being “back on the block.” This shows the mindset of the vast differences they perceive between the harrowing circumstances of a deployment and being in the relative safety of one’s home. Sometimes, though, coming home brings with it all new problems…
The 13 of Hearts by Kay Springsteen
Peter “Rabbit” Kincaid wasn't always superstitious but after several deployments with the US Marines, he’s picked up a few quirks. His last tour of duty didn’t go so well, and now he’s back home recovering from injuries and awaiting clearance to get back in the fight. The fight is about to come to him in a different way.
Melinda “Lin” Doyle is a two-time US Marine widow on the run from the fallout of an incident that threatens to separate her from her two children. Making their home in a motel where she works for board and half pay, with her oldest child attending school under an assumed name isn’t her idea of being Mother of the Year. Then again, neither is being at the center of a murder investigation.
Rabbit believes everything happens for a reason so when he and the young family cross paths multiple times over the course of a couple of days, he pays attention. Lin would rather the handsome Marine officer take his attention elsewhere before he ruins everything. How can they ever get along when everything they do appears to be at cross purposes?
I first met Monique O’Connor James on Facebook in a writer’s group. She had several pieces up on Smashwords and I became fascinated by her stories. We became friends, and though we wrote different genres, our love of the craft drew us together. We brainstormed stories, helped each other through rough patches when stories wouldn’t quite come together. Joked. I used to love reading her social media postings. She had an incredible sense of humor and a heart as big as the sun, and her words of wisdom were brilliant. Sometimes I used to think she was an angel in disguise.
When she found out our friend, another fellow author, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she was right there offering support to Kristine Cheney. And that couldn’t have been easy to do since Monique lost her own mother to cancer.
But then something went terribly wrong in Monique’s own life, and her time on earth was cut short by her sudden death. Her death is a huge loss to her family and friends, the world of writing. Really, to the whole world period.
Kristine Cheney and I met through both of us publishing at Astraea Press, and I’ve also done some freelance editing for her. This is another loving, wonderful, caring person. Wife, mom, grandmother. And very talented storyteller.
Last year, this family was battling cancer in her granddaughter. This year, it has struck Kristine. And cancer – even with insurance and special programs – is devastatingly expensive. I think if Monique were here, she would be right there helping every inch of the way.
But she’s not here. However, I am. So I dedicated my latest release in part to Monique, friend, sister author, wonderful soul. And as a tribute to her, the first two months’ royalties I receive on The 13 of Hearts (October and November 2014) will be sent to Kristine’s cancer fund in Monique’s name.
To donate directly to Kristine’s fund: http://www.gofundme.com/kristinecheney
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-13-of-hearts-kay-springsteen/1120420888?ean=2940150687240
And to see how the Hearts all began, Heartsight: