Tag Archives: featured

An Inside Look at Farewell PFC POLK

Book II from IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE is here! Farewell PFC POLK: The End of a Nightmare opens in 1945 with a troubling nightmare on Charles Polk, Jr.’s 9th birthday. There was that dream again. Buddy sat up in his bed and looked around the room for more pictures like those still fresh on his mind. Black and gray images depicting deep emotions of sorrow, pain, shock and desperation. People he knew: crying, moaning, screaming. There were strangers among them: motionless, speechless, sad. And the hundreds of black flowers on a bed of stars, stripes, and brass buttons made […]

The Valley of Hope

What inspired a series on the Valley of Hope?  What is it?  Where is it?  Why is it important? To be clear, the Valley of Hope is a real place but the concept is a state of mind.  The place is the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  It was where early settlers came, many of them immigrants, with hopes and dreams for a better life in a new land. I grew up in that beautiful Valley with its rich farmland and breathtaking landscape.  The opening words to America the Beautiful capture the pristine beauty of the countryside.: O beautiful for spacious skies, […]

What You Never Knew About Your Family

My granddaughter often jokes about my advanced age. “Did they have electricity when you were a little boy?” “Were you frightened by the dinosaurs?” Once in a while I try to tell her about what it was like when I was her age, which by the way, is not so antiquated as she might think. We even had TV, albeit 3 channels with rabbit ears. I was her age once and surrounded by adults who attempted to fill me in on their past, but just like her, I wasn’t the least bit interested in those ramblings about Aunt So and So […]

Truth in Fiction

Someone asked me recently, “How much is fiction and how much is truth?” Great question which I’ll attempt to answer by revealing some of my research. It is also important to define the genre, Historical Fiction:  Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past That definition is a very broad stroke and leaves considerable room for sub-genres like romance, mystery, etc.  Personally, I am drawn to Historical Fiction because I’m old.  Just kidding. I like the genre because it creates mood, feeling, and color. When writing IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, […]

A Magical Place Called Orkney

If you travel to Mt. Jackson, VA, which provides much of the setting for IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, then hang a left (if traveling north) onto Highway 263, you will ultimately arrive in the community of Orkney Springs.  Just keep driving until the road runs out.  Takes just 20 minutes and, I promise, you’re in for quite a surprise. As you drive along 263, you’ll see a lot of farmland, and cows, and hay.  You get the picture. But then, right there in the middle of what you have decided is nowhere…there stands this impressive grand hotel.  Then you wonder, […]

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