Saturday, November 7, 2015

Special Veteran's Day Promotion

Special Veteran's Day Promotion.
81% Discount of Judy's Howard's Latest Novel,
 $ .99
For A Limited Time!
Begins Sunday,
November 8 at 3pm PST 


              Before I began writing MASADA’S MARINE, I, like most Americans, never gave much thought to our American service men and women who serve and sacrifice their lives so that I may bask in the California sunshine, sip a $4.00 Caramel Frappuccino, and discuss the latest episode of The Black List or Dancing With The Stars.

              When the subject of our military arose, I proudly stated my patriotic views and gave a blanket, but silent ‘thank you’ to all who lost their lives to keep me safe. My heart twisted in sadness every Veterans Day and Memorial Day. I consider myself an average American.

              When I decided to write MASADA’S MARINE, I imagined it as a nice story about a puppy named Masada who grows up to become a service dog and changes the lives of two men.

              One man, who began his life as a patriotic boy, graduates high school, starts his own family and becomes a gung-ho Marine. The young man has everything to live for until he comes home from his first tour in Iraq with PTSD and loses it all, even his will to live.

              Another man, who began life as the son of a drug addicted mother, learns how to fight a war of survival on the streets and exists inside a life of crime. The pressures of the young man’s illicit career takes its toll, and he ends up in prison, defeated. He, too, has nothing to live for.

              As I penned my story, the characters took on lives of their own and demanded that this not be a nice story about a man and his dog. During hours of research and interviews the characters became people, electric with emotions, and sometimes terrifying, like the firefight that promises only one victor. As I learned more about the invisible disease, PTSD, the story’s heartbeat pulsed out of my control, like the disease itself.

              Masada and her littermates, the real heroes in this drama, matured into valuable service dogs. They changed not only the characters’ lives, but my life as well. I am no longer the silent American. I hope Masada will change your life, too.

Every hour a veteran takes his own life.

Please enjoy an excerpt from Chapter One of Masada’s Marine



She lay on the hardwood floor next to Lance Corporal Alexander March, USMC, as he slept in the dark. An astringent odor mixed in the autumn air drifted down to her nose. She lay still, but opened her eyes. The bedside clock cast shadows across the gold oak floor. She squinted at its green glow and listened to the Marine’s breathing- the only sound – air escaping in jagged puffs from his lungs. The glass patio door in the room allowed light from a flickering streetlamp to beat against the wadded bed sheets. She jerked her head up, ears pointed, just before the Marine’s flailing arms and legs rustled the covers and his cries pierced her ears. The stinging smells of panic signaled her to action. Twenty months of intensive training kicked in.

Her name was Masada. She was an American Service Dog. She was a professional.

She stood ready and would never quit. She would never leave her comrade’s side.


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