Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today is Piper Reed the Great Gypsy's publication day. If you've read the first one, you know that Piper's dad, Chief, is about to leave for ship duty. In the second book, readers get to understand what it is like to be away from a parent for six months. Each chapter represents a month and for most of the book, Chief is at sea.

Although my dad was a dry-dock sailor(he never had ship duty), we spent several periods away from him that would last for months. These days, military kids have dads and moms that are serving in the military. When I researched for the Piper books, I visited The Blue Angels Elementary School in Pensacola. I met in small groups with some of the students who told me what it was like living without one of their parents. That fact alone connected us.

Yesterday my dad called to tell me they'd received their copy and to thank me for the dedication. We talked for a while about his cows, my cousin, and the rain. Then before he hung up, he said, "You know what is special about receiving this book today?"

"What?" I asked.

"Thirty years ago today was the day I was discharged from the Navy."


***Congratulations to this weeks's winners: Shay Thatcher from Warrenville, South Carolina, Michele Sanders from Amarillo, Texas, and Carey Weeks from Shreveport, Louisiana. You each won a copy of Piper Reed The Great Gypsy.

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