The Measure of a Man–His Heart & Soul Plus an Exclusive Excerpt!
by Heather Frey
To Love and to Honor—Why a story about an amputee?
Last year I stumbled across a newspaper article about photographer Michael Stokes. He was snapping sexy pics of veterans who had lost limbs in combat. I was stunned both by the soldiers’ mind-blowing good looks, and the extent of their injuries.
The thought haunted me how these devastatingly handsome, rugged men were dealing with the scars, the prosthetics, the missing limbs. I thought also of evangelist Dave Roever. Horribly disfigured in Vietnam, he’d watched as a fellow soldier’s wife had taken one look at her gravely burned husband and walked out of the room. Fortunately, Dave’s wife had the opposite reaction and the two are still married to this day.
But based on the junk you see coming out of Hollywood, one would believe our culture values physical perfection far above inner beauty. It seems the shallow masses give a pass to monstrous inner ugliness if the package comes wrapped in a big bust or washboard abs.
I feel for the wounded vets in a society like this and wanted to write something for them—a story that clearly focuses on the real measure of a man—his heart and soul, not his number of fingers or toes.
I hope you enjoy it and all the other stories in the special collection It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas! ON SALE NOW or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited! I’ve included an excerpt at the bottom!
If you are so inclined, you can read an article on Michael Stokes photography here— http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3165402/Photographer-captures-amputee-war-veterans-posing-naked-proudly-revealing-injuries-powerful-picture-series.html, but WARNING: adult content. Privates are covered… BARELY!
An excerpt from To Love and to Honor–
Someone knocked at the door. “Señor, Señora” a voice called. “We have the water for a bath.”
Joel’s bath. “Yes, come in.”
Four ranch hands, one right after the other, trailed into the room, each with a steaming bucket of water. In short order, the portable copper tub was full and they excused themselves.
Joel stared at the bath with a tight expression, as if he was afraid of it.
Slowly, Angela rose and crossed the room to stand in front of him. He looked up with an expression of surprise that quickly transformed to desire. Hope flickered in his deep, blue eyes. She knelt in front of him and gently laid a hand on his knee. “You need a bath.” She swallowed, and fought to control her breathing. “I’ll help you.”
His eyes widened. “You—you can’t.”
She reached for his boot heel and started tugging. “I’m the only one who can.” The boot came free and she reached for the other.
Joel clutched her hand. “No.”
She didn’t meet his gaze, but she could feel it, like a gentle touch on her cheek.
“I mean, I don’t want you to see…”
Was he afraid his wound, his missing limb, would be too grotesque for her? She couldn’t imagine anything about this man being repulsive. She gave him a slow, reassuring smile. “I don’t mind.”
She pushed his pant leg up above his knee and realized his boot had been sewn on to the prosthetic. She didn’t know what to do.
“It’s cinched around my thigh.” Joel’s voice sounded strained.
Posted on September 12, 2017, in A Promise in Defiance, Ask Me To Marry You, Christmas Hearts of the West, Grace be a Lady, Hang Your Heart on Christmas, Heather Blanton, In Time for Christmas, Ladies in Defiance, To Love and to Honor, veterans and tagged #christianfiction, amputee romance, historical fiction, Romance, second amendment, soldiers, To Love and to Honor, veterans, Westerns, women's history. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
That was a great scene, Heather. I love this book. I also know Dave Roever. His office used to be in our suburb, but I do not think it is anymore. I found out about him about 30 years ago when I was writing my Tour is Duty script. He agreed to meet with me, so I could ask him questions about Vietnam. I especially wanted to get his view on Christians like him who fought in the War. It was very interesting interview. Kalyn, my oldest daughter who graduated in 2012, came home one day and told me they listened that day to a speaker who was a Christian man who had been badly burned in Vietnam. She wanted to know if he was the man I interviewed years ago for my script. She told me his name and it WAS Dave Roever. She said he gave a great talk and had the attention of all the kids, even the troublemakers. I am so glad you use him as an example. He has a powerful message.
Connie, I’m jealous you got an interview with Dave. I think he would be fascinating to chat with. Thanks for the comments!