Monday, May 26, 2014

A guest post by Rebecca Boucher

I want to start off today's post by thanking all the men and women who have served our country within the armed forces. Mere words cannot express how much I appreciate you and the sacrifices you have made to keep us safe.

Today, I turn over the reins of my blog to the extremely talented Rebecca Boucher. If you haven't picked up her short story Panel 35 yet you really should. It's got something for everyone; love, loss, and a lesson on how we treat our soldiers. Click the picture to be whisked away and grab this marvelous book.

Now, to hand over the reins! I do want to apologize about the dirty dishes in the sink. I did plan to clean up the place a bit before you got here but I got sucked into Panel 35 and couldn't put it down.

Memorial Day and Panel 35

I wrote this short story mainly to honor my father. And to remind people that Memorial Day is more than barbeques and the start of summer. It's to honor those who have fallen in service to our country. Not just those who fell on the battle field, but those who might have fallen on hard times, fallen into ill health, or just fallen to the demands of everyday life. I learned from my father assimilating back into this country can be hard, when you have seen the atrocious scenes of war first hand. No one comes out unscathed.

 I lost my father fifteen years ago to cancer. But really I lost him long before that. Maybe even before I was born. I lost him when the doctor at the veteran's hospital told him and my mom that he 'wasn't depressed, just lazy. Flashbacks were nothing to worry about. It's normal to wake up with your hands around your wife's neck.' I lost him when alcohol deepened his depression and cut him off from us. I lost him when my mother couldn't keep her family together. I lost him when PTSD wasn't a diagnosis in a book.

 But ironically the cancer I hated gave him back to me. He got sober. He got help. It gave me two years, the best two years we ever had, to know him in my adult life. In the end I knew him better than I ever had before. Maybe better than anyone. That's where Panel 35 comes from. It comes from that place deep inside where ghosts can be the living, and forgiveness can be a gift from the one you're forgiving.

 The 35th panel of the wall holds the names of soldiers that died during 1967, the year my father was in country. The whole wall always tends to be a religious experience for me. The stories my dad told me in the end tare at my heart. And I promised I wouldn't let people forget. It's time for me to finally explore those stories, and I will, through Blake's character.

As a country I think we need to do more to help returning service men and woman. Just recently news stories have focused on the conditions in the Veteran’s hospitals, and the lapse of care for many of our soldiers. Sadly though this is nothing new. The vast majority of our returning service personal are on public assistance, are facing lifelong health battles, and have trouble finding public sector jobs. I know there is no easy answer to all this. Our country is strapped and finding a way to care for all those in need is hard.
This Memorial Day take the time to volunteer at your local Veterans Shelter or center. Stand and applaud as they walk by you in parades. Salute the flag. Take a brief moment to remember just what makes this country great. Panel 35 might be a fictional account, but by all accounts, it’s my story. It’s the story of every son and daughter who has stood at that wall and wondered what could have been. As there is no easy answer, there is just our support and the belief that just one person can make a difference.
I want to thank Jaime for letting me take over her blog today and tell you a little bit about what is just one cause in my life. Jaime is great. And Bob The Zombie is certainly worth the read. 
 --Thank you for guesting today. It is a beautiful story and thank you so much for your kind comments. I also want to thank you for sharing about your father, I am so sorry for your loss.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day and Rebecca Boucher

On Memorial Day it's important to take the time to appreciate all our soldiers. It's a day to remember those who gave their lives fighting for ours. Unfortunately too many people see it as nothing more than a four day weekend. An excuse to party, to have fun, and to get out of going to work. 

How sad that they don't bother to look outside themselves to see the sacrifices others make to allow them to keep partying and enjoying life. I am extremely grateful to all of those who serve/served in the name of our country. I can never thank you enough for giving of yourselves, your health, and --in some cases-- your sanity to make our home safer. 

I hope that one day we will look at those who serve our country (as soldiers as well as teachers, police officer, firefighters, EMS) and give them the support and compensation they deserve. I think it's a disgrace that we are sending our soldiers off to war and giving them just above minimum wage for their lives. 

That said, this post isn't about what I believe. This is about a truly talented author, Rebecca Boucher, who has written a beautiful story for Memorial Day. It's called 'Panel 35' and it will be free on Monday as a way to say thank you to our service men and women. It is a story about love, loss, and a reminder that casualties of war don't just occur on the battlefield. As always, click on the picture of the book to be whisked away to Amazon to buy it.

Without further ado, here is my interview with the kind, talented, and simply wonderful, Rebecca Boucher.


JJ: When did you start writing?
RB: I started writing when I was seven years old. I always remember writing. I really just started taking it seriously as a career choice about three years ago though. I got back into it at really hard time in my life. Writing has always helped me work through the hard things.

JJ: What was the first story you remember writing?
RB: The first story I remember writing is a little illustrated book titled Super Koala ;)

JJ: What genre is your most preferred?
RB: Urban fantasy with a sprinkling of paranormal thrown in.

JJ: What challenges you the most in your writing?
RB: Love scenes. I get really embarrassed thinking about my mom reading them.

JJ: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
RB: Talking to other authors, and making great friends all over the world. If I wasn’t writing I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet all the people I have on social media.

JJ: What do you like least about being an author?
RB: Bad reviews.. lol

JJ: How many books do you currently have available?
RB: I have one full length novel titled Hunting The Moon, one short story and I am featured in two anthologies.

JJ: What projects are you currently working on?
RB: I am working on the sequel to Hunting The Moon titled Midnight Raven, and I’m also working on a dystopian thriller titled Evasion. 

JJ: Do you have any books coming out soon?
RB: Hopefully I will have Midnight raven up and ready to go by the fall.

JJ: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
RB: Oh boy, hard to narrow it down. Series wise, The Hunger Games. And the Outlander Series.

JJ: Who are some of your favorite authors?
RB:  Kelly Elliott, Amelia James, Molly Bryant, Jamie Sue Wilsoncroft, Laura Kaye, Stephen King, all our Visionary Press authors. There are so many great authors out there it’s hard to narrow it down.

JJ: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
RB: Classics like Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Horror wise anything by Poe and Stephen King. I read anything and everything.

JJ: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
RB: Oh my god yes. I have playlists for all my books. I like mainly country and hard rock which is a really crazy mix. The book I am writing now I have been listening to a lot of country music for it. Johnny Cash which is weird I guess. 

JJ: Any hobbies?
RB: You can laugh, I have just taken up shooting. Anything outdoors I love.

JJ: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
RB: You can find me on my blog My Life With Boys and Books at on Facebook at  and on Twitter at

Crescendo of Darkness

Today I turn my blog over to the amazingly talented and seriously awesome folks at H...