I have been working hard on the novel, ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH. As I said before, it is coming along nicely. I have had to make changes in the storyline which is fine. I have even created a book cover for the novel. Not to say that will be the final book cover I will use, changes always happen. But I would like to share with you a sample chapter or two, to get your reaction. So please let me know what you think. Here is chapter one and part of chapter two.
First week of November
It was another day in hell as the Marines called Sangin. They all considered any place in Helmand province the most dangerous place in Afghanistan. Marine Staff Sergeant Nathan C Roberts and his men were on a mission to eliminate the Taliban as a threat. That day, a cold wind, plus freezing temperatures made the soldier’s job worse. Their lives were constantly in peril from being shot at or killed from stepping on an IED planted outside of the safe zone. If any area in hell could be considered safe.
Nate and six others trudged cautiously down a dusty street not far from a fifteen foot mud wall. The going was slow, eyes darting from one point to another, always alert for any danger. The Taliban used any means available, from digging out holes in the walls from which to shoot, to burying IEDs along the routes they had to travel. They were merciless in their quest to slaughter any American soldier
Ahead, Nate could see three of his men making their way along the narrow street. Two more brought up the rear. Suddenly insurgents rained down heavy gun fire from a position behind a wall, the barrels of their weapons showing in the drilled-out cavities. His team rushed for cover. The next thing Nate heard was three loud explosions. Suddenly, the world around him was blown into oblivion.
Afterward, there was only a strange silence. Frantic, he tried to locate his men, but a thick cloud of smoke obscured his view of the damaged area. It all was too quiet. In some ways, the silence was more frightening and deafening. Then wham! The noise hit him with a force which knocked him face down in the dirt, with a roaring pain in his ears, until he screamed for it to stop
When it did, the air was clearer, and he could see. At first he couldn’t comprehend what had happened. As the last of the smoke drifted away, like himself, his men were now shadowy figures, looking dazed, and confused, staring down at what remained of their bodies. Some were mangled by the IEDs they’d stepped on, others had less severe wounds. Then realization hit him. He was dead! And, he wouldn’t be going home to Hannah. They were dead. The fact hit each man just as hard as the weapons which had destroyed their lives.
Dropping to his knees, Nate screamed in agony. Not from pain, but because he knew he would again never be able to hold Hannah in his arms, to kiss her wonderful lips, or make love to her again. That pain tore at him like nothing he had ever known. The biggest thing, was all the anguish his death was going to cause his wife.
Nate didn’t know what condition his body was in. Was there even enough left of him to ship home? He knew were times when soldiers were killed, there had been nothing left to send back to their loved ones except an empty casket. He didn’t want that for Hannah. She deserves so much more than he had been able to give her. And now time had run out.
The area begin to brighten. A wall of intense white appeared, and they all turned to face it. Voices call to them to come, it was time for them to leave this world. Immediately, his team began to walk in the direction of the bright orb. Nate hung back. He watched as each shadowy images of his men stepped through and vanished. No, he couldn’t. There was a disturbance in the black void that had something to do with Hannah. He couldn’t leave until he knew what it meant was.
The light continued to blaze for a few moments longer, then faded to nothing. It made Nate wonder if this was his only chance to enter it? Did his refusal to go cost him the peace it offered on the other side? Would it appear again? It didn’t matter, Hannah needed him. He couldn’t leave her yet. There was nothing he could do now about his decision. He had to protect his wife.
It was another day to be survived. Hannah Noel Roberts hated the sun rising and setting, the passing of each day. It didn’t matter how many came or went. They all existed on the calendar like black cancers, all the while growing with remembered pain. There was THAT one day she which was branded on her brain like a malignant tumor, growing with remember pain. THAT day when her life changed forever. That dreaded moment in her life when she’d opened the front door and stared at two Marines, in dress uniforms, with grave expressions on their faces.
“Noooooooooooooooooooooo!” wailed from deep in her soul as sobbing, she dropped to her knees. She knew what their visit meant. The pain they would inflict. Her husband, Marine Sergeant Nathan C. Roberts, would not be coming home.
Then the officer in charge had voiced the horrible news. They were sorry to inform her, her husband had been killed in action. Immediately they gave assistance by helping her into a living room chair. She had looked from one to the other, hoping it wasn’t true. It was. How could her six-foot two, brown-eyed, wonderful husband be gone forever? Then the reality of the two men’s presence hit once more. Nate was dead. And again she began to cry.
After that moment, everything became a blur. Being an only child, with her mother dead and father long gone, there’d been no one to call, but her aunt, Pauline Clayton, and daughter, Karen Joyce Thompson. Driving eight hundred plus miles in fourteen hours straight, they arrived from Kentucky within a day. She was no longer alone. But even they could not hold back the agony of the situation. But, they would stay as long as she needed them. Nothing could stop the anguish lodged in her heart. That vital organ had virtually been torn from her chest.
Everyone stay safe and well.
Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.