Tag Archives: veterans

Authors4 Veterans Giveaway

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This past August, I received a FB message from Patti Fiala and Staci Joy Netzel, two of my Wisconsin writer friends. They wanted to start a fundraiser for the Fisher House in Milwaukee.

Fisher House is a home away from home for veterans’ and military families who need temporary housing while their loved one receives care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. Fisher House is here to help families get through tough timesFisher_House_WI_4C_LOGO_100x100px by offering comfortable accommodations in a home-like environment at no cost to the guests. Find out more about Fisher House Wisconsin at: http://www.fisherhousewi.org/

Patti and Staci wanted to collect enough items to fill thirty thermal care bags to deliver to families at the Fisher House this month, plus enough left over for for two bags for a reader event. As someone who comes from a strong military background, how could I say no? Many times we think of only the military person who has been injured, but not how it affects the family as they recuperate. So, we sent socks, books, snacks, coloring

Delivering bags

Staci and Patti delivering bags to Fisher House.

books, crayons, pencils, pens, notebooks, and anything we could think of to make the families’ stay more comfortable. Some of these families stay for a few days, and some several months.

You can learn more about Authors4 Veterans by visiting our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Authors4Veterans/

 

Authors

My donation

My donation.

 

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Giveway

http://authors4veterans.com/2017/11/its-giveaway-time/

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Memorial Day Cemetery

040There is a cemetery situated about two miles from where I live. The oldest headstone dates back to 1861. The cemetery is encased in an old metal fence and surrounded by cornfields. The stones are shaded by large oak and pine trees, and the air is scented by old-fashioned lilacs. The lawn of the cemetery is blanketed in lavender, purple and white creeping phlox. At the peak of bloom, the sight takes your breath away.058 Many of the headstones are written in German as this area was settled mainly by Germans.

She was only 19 years old.

She was only 19 years old.

Whenever I go there I sense the history of the area. As I walk down the not-so-straight rows of graves, I can picture women in their long, black dresses and men stiff-necked in their high collars, mourning a family member. Loved ones whose dates span only a few day or years, are mixed
William Priddy, one of our founding fathers.

William Priddy, one of our founding fathers.

in with people who lived for decades. One can only guess if the headstone for a young wife was put there after she died of childbirth. One of the founding fathers of our little town is buried here. It’s sad to see some of the older stones broken and others where the printing is difficult to read. I wish there was some way to preserve them.

045I’ve walked this cemetery several times. Once for the city book I wrote and once for the area military book. I wonder about the stories of these people, many of which I now know because of my research. I wonder how parents survived the loss of children. How does one handle being the parent of seven children on Monday and only two or three by Friday during the diphtheria outbreaks during in the early 1900s. Some are simply buried in mass graves.

He fought in the War of 1812.

He fought in the War of 1812.

Then there are the flag holders for the veterans, many of whom fought during the Civil War and one the War of 1812. 033Many headstones state the branch of service and years in the military. Some, unfortunately, state when and where they died or were killed in service. One, nearly a hundred years old, portrays the sentiment still in place today.
He died in WWI

He died in WWI

This says it all.

This says it all.

Each year members of the surrounding area come together and clean up the cemetery. Tables are lined with food, children run among the headstones while the elderly sit in chairs reminiscing about the times they were able to frolic among their ancestors. The sound of weed whackers and lawn mowers mask the singing of birds as the “middle-agers” kneel at the graves, cleaning out dead grass and planting bright flowers. A sense of continuance covers the sense of loss. Flags are placed in the holders to honor our veterans.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to get pictures. So this past Friday, knowing clean-up day would be the next day, I came back from my run, grabbed my camera, jumped into the van and headed down the road. I thought with all the rain we’d had, nothing would have been done yet. Much to my dismay, the cemetery had already been mowed. The masses of creeping phlox were trimmed so only a few colors were exposed. Flags were already in place. 035

So today, I decided to go back and take pictures to share with you. I hope you enjoy them.

Until the next time.

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Two Book Releases in One Week

This last week has been quite a week, with going to the Romantic Times Convention and having Riding for Love released. Books sales have been good and I’ve even received two five-star reviews. Man, was I excited about that. My daughter, who said she couldn’t read what I wrote if it had love scenes in it, downloaded and liked it. Her comments meant a lot to me. Here is what she put on Facebook: “Just finished reading “Riding for Love” by Tina Susedik (aka…my mom). Was an excellent book (except for the love scenes…I closed my eyes for those because that is just awkward reading love scenes written by your own mother). Everyone should read it – available on Amazon!!!” She’s such a sweetie!

Between working on my romances, I helped publish another military book, Turret Tales, From a WWII Ball Turret Gunner, Staff Sgt. Doug Ward. Writing military books is something that is near and dear to my heart. Telling the stories of the men and women who protected our country and our freedoms gives me great pleasure.

With Doug Ward and Judie Ohm

With Doug Ward and Judie Ohm

Now while I wasn’t the author on this book, I typed the manuscript, scanned all the pictures and documents and placed them with captions and got Judie in touch with the cover designer and printer. The book was released yesterday. Doug, who turns 90 today, and Judie were so much fun to work with. Doug is a dear, dear man who looks and acts more like he’s 70. Amazingly Doug had kept his diary and all documents from his time in the Army Air Corps. Many documents had been enjoyed by mice over the years, but I was able to clean them up and use them in the book. Doug also took many of the photos in the book, some while he was in the ball turret on a B-17 in the European Theatre. Cover of Turret Tales

All-in-all it was another great experience with one of our many truly amazing WWII veterans. Check out my website to order – tinasusedik.com.

So, on to the next book project, a romance that another publisher is interested in. I think I may be caught up on e-mails, promotion, friends etc, so I’m hoping to get to work on the edits they want me to do.

Until the next time.

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Romantic Times Convention Day Three

Day three and three days into being tired.  It’s amazing how just walking, talking and sitting through workshops can wear a person out.  Last night we attended two more parties.  It would be nice if the booklet for the conference told us whether we were getting food or not.  We attended a party around suppertime and figure that would be it for food for the night, so we all filled up.  The next party turned out to be a sit-down dinner.  Food was excellent, but we were full – and didn’t get to eat until nine o’clock. 

It has been interesting to watch how each morning the number of people having breakfast goes down, while the number of people dozing off in the workshops goes up.  Hmmm… 

My roommate, Beth, entered three chapters in American Idol for Authors.  Yesterday the entries (not sure how many) were whittled down to twenty-five.  Beth was a finalist.  Today the first two pages were read to the audience and panel of agents and editors.  It is interesting to see how subjective this is.  Many times I didn’t care for an entry and the judges loved it and vice-versa.  That’s why I write and am not an editor or agent.  I would probably pass on manuscripts that turned out to be best sellers.  Anyway, before the winner was announced, the head of the contest said there was a woman who didn’t final in the contest, but an agent had read the entry and offered the woman a one-book contract.  The woman was in shock.  How exciting to watch someone’s career take off.

While Beth didn’t win, three of judges requested her full manuscript, which is just as exciting.  It was an honor to be there with her. 

Tonight is two more parties, one by Heather Graham.  Once again, have no idea if there will be food, but the one before hers at least has snacks.  I was going to say the French word, but right now am too tired to remember how to spell it. 

Tomorrow is the humungous book sale.  We think we are going to pass.  I have trouble with crowds, and an additional 1,000 people crammed into the book sale room is beyond what I can handle.  It is also a day for teenagers to come and meet their favorite authors complete with parties.  Think I’ll pass on that, too.

What I will attend is a special party honoring veterans.  We will also spend the morning going through the piles and piles of books, bookmarks and “junk” we have received and figure out what we want to ship home and what we will try to haul in our suitcases. 

Time to head out for party 1.

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