M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. Currently at university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.
Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has a novel under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her own military based shorts, is due for release 1st November 2013. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.
The world is filled with people destined to help and to serve. Doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters—each and every day, these special people work to help others in times of need. Often, this means putting their own lives at risk in order to do their jobs. They give of themselves to benefit society, and they do it without any expectation of thanks.
And then there is the military…
These are the men and women who don’t head home to their families and safe homes to relax at the end of a shift. They are on the front lines, far from home and often fighting someone else’s battles because it is the right thing to do. Military families struggle to cope with the constant worry and the long periods of separation, staying strong to support those who serve in everything they do, and often are left to pick up the pieces when the highest price is paid.
Servicemen and women are heroes in the purest sense of the word. Even when the world’s gone mad and their hearts are breaking, one thing remains unchanged.
They have honour.
All his life, his mother had been there for him, gently pushing him to do his very best and allowing him the opportunity to make his own decisions, even when they led him on a path she wouldn’t have chosen for him. When he’d told his parents at age sixteen that he wanted to enlist in the Army, they supported him. The one thing they asked of him was that he finished his education up to A-Levels before he enlisted. They did try to talk him into going to college for a couple of years also, but he insisted that he would get better qualifications and experience once he was a soldier. As agreed, on the day that he received his exam results, his dad drove him to the Army Careers Office to begin his journey.
“I’m so proud of you, son,” his mother whispered into his ear while clutching him in a tight embrace. “Never, ever forget that.”
“Thanks, Mum. I know you are. I love you.”
(Taken from the story Letters to No One)
I found the Deserter to speak most to me. Doing some family history a few years ago I discovered that one of my great great grandathers went AWOL from his post in the Kentucky 7th Cavalry during the American Civil War. I also learned that he returned and did his time and finished out the war.
This short story gave me a little insight into what might have been going through his mind.
When I was about halfway through the first story, I remember thinking to myself “okay, these are going to be emotional stories” but I had no idea just how much I was going to find myself connecting with the characters in the individual tales. I can honestly say I don’t think there was a single story that didn’t end with tears in my eyes. Now I don’t doubt some of the reason the emotions were so strong for me was the timing, I read them on Veteran’s Day, but they would have been just as heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking, no matter when I would have read this book. Truly a great piece of storytelling and a must read.