A diary of a World War II soldier. My Grandfather, Forrest Freeman French

In honor of Memorial Day, I’m posting entries from my grandfather’s diary. The following is one week out of a diary my grandfather, Forrest Freeman French, kept during World War II.

Forrest Freeman French, WWII soldier 7th Div. Co. "K" 184th Infantry.
Forrest Freeman French, WWII soldier 7th Div. Co. “K” 184th Infantry.

These written words have special meaning to me because I never got to meet my mother’s beloved father. Through his writing, during WWII, I get to know him.

Soldiers were told not supposed to keep a journal but he did. The passages are short and brief but capture a time in his life I could never imagine. The sacrifice of so many in order for us to live free. A young Texas Farm boy grows up fast on the other side of the world in Okinawa.

I share these to honor all the men and women that stepped forward in the hardest times to fight for a way of life we can easily take for granted.

On this Memorial Day may you take a moment to honor and remember all the ones that didn’t make it home.

Next Monday I’ll post the second week.

 

May 4, 1945

Was assigned to the 7th Div. Co. “K” 184th Infantry. They are up on the lines now. We’ll be carried as far as possible by truck then will have to march the rest of the way.

 

May 5, 1945

Pushed off before dawn to join my outfit. We held services before we left. Am now just behind the lines. Saw my first dead G.I.s. Three of them dead for three days. Can’t get to them. Sure gave me the shivers. Have seen dead enemy soldiers all along the way. They are paying heavy. Not heavy enough to suit me.

 

May 6, 1945

Air raids are every night and sometimes more than once. Have seen quite a few shot down. Today is the first day on the lines for me. We didn’t shove off as everyone needs to get settled.

 

May 7, 1945

Spent my first night on the lines. Didn’t get any sleep as they are giving us hell. Some of the men that came in with me got it last night. I don’t think they even know what hit them. This is a living hell.

 

May 8, 1945

Made my first kill today. He was quite close. Slipped up during the night. Don’t feel much different than before except maybe a little more satisfied.

 

May 9, 1945

Rumor is that we will be relieved tomorrow and go back for ten days rest. We need it as nearly half of the company has been wounded or killed. We are at a place called Conico Peak. Here is where we ran into most of the trouble. Sure hope the rumor is true for we need a rest.

 

May 10, 1945

I thank God with all my heart for we were relieved this morning and am now waiting for trucks to take us about ten miles behind the lines. I feel sorry for the boys in the 96th Div. They relieved us and in for all out hell at Conico Peak.

Lone Star Bride – My New Historical

I have the official title to my next release with Love Inspired Historical – Yes I said historical. 1838 Texas. Jackson McCreed wanted a new start and Sofia De Zavala wanted adventure. I have cattle drives and pirates. Can’t wait to tell you more – but for now enjoy some of my inspiration.

Going Indie?

A while back I was asked to join a group of multi-published authors to put together six never before published novellas with a Christmas theme. This was my first walk down a truly indie path and couldn’t ask to do it with a better group of women. I also LOVE Christmas stories. Well, anything Christmas.

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I’ve have some ask me what it means to be indie. I write for a publishing house in New York, Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. I love working with my editors there. They put the book together and send it out into the world. I get an advance and a royalties beyond that. That is considered a traditional contract.

With an indie it is like opening my own small business.  I alone decide on the product I’m going to produce and hire the right people such as editor, cover designer. I promote and get the word out. Working with experienced authors has been great and I’m so proud of the set of book we are offering

 

This past week the Mistletoe Memories bundle released and I couldn’t be more excited to say  it is already getting great feedback. The best part: right now you can snag this bundle for only 99 cents. Being indie we get to set the price and you can’t get a better deal.memores

My story is Forever Christmas Kiss–Jolene Navarro: Isabella Cortez is a small town librarian with a large family and has been in one too many weddings. This Christmas might be the worst. Not only is she still single, but she is standing in her twin brother’s second wedding. His best man is the opposite of everything she wants in a husband–an artist, and the biggest Peter Pan she has ever met. Xavier Sanchez grew up in foster care, and has no family or traditions. He lives in the moment, which gets him in trouble. Can the rock steady librarian help give him roots? Can he teach her to take a risk and fly?

Enjoy!

 

The Cover for the Next Book & More Good News!

2009 I decided to stop dreaming about being a published author and actually pursue a career as a romance novelist. In 2013 my first completed story, Lone Star Holiday, hit the shelves with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Line. (faith based fiction)

Today I’m excited to announce that two more stories of Clear Water, Texas will be in stores in 2017.

I signed a contract for two more books from Clear Water, Texas. The should hit bookshelves 2017
I signed a contract for two more books from Clear Water, Texas. The should hit bookshelves 2017

Book five in the series is single dad, Adrian De La Cruz. He has been helping out in the background throughout all the books and now he gets his own happy ending with the oldest Bergmann sister, Nikki. Book six is another Bergmann sister, Danica. Boy, is she in for a surprise.

But before you get to meet them, I hope you fall in love with book four. It will be in stores Aug 23. It is already available for preorders and today I get to reveal the cover!!!!! (Shh… it hasn’t been made public so you get to see it first)

I’m proud to introduce you to Garrett Kincaid, Anjelica Ortega-Garza and Garrett’s son Rio. They are sitting on the porch of Anjelica’s old family farmhouse. Don’t you want to join them and watch the sunset over the hill country of Texas?

The Soldier's Surprise Family by Jolene Navarro. Love Inspired. In stores August 23 2016
The Soldier’s Surprise Family by Jolene Navarro. Love Inspired. In stores August 23 2016

Garrett and Anjelica’s story is a touching tale about letting go of the past and moving boldly into your future.

Here is the backcover blurb:

Unexpected Daddy

Texas state trooper Garrett Kincaid is a lone wolf—until he becomes an instant father of two young children. The former solider never knew he had a son…or that his little boy has a baby sister with nowhere to go. His landlady, lovely widow Anjelica Ortega-Garza, offers to help, and suddenly Garrett’s life is all about nap schedules and baby bottles and trying to make his traumatized son smile. Falling for Anjelica isn’t part of the plan. Yet even Garrett can’t deny that love has begun building a family of four right around him.

I can’t wait until they arrive in the real world. To preorder you can use the links below. The other three are also available online.

Here is the Amazon link:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/037381934X

The Barns & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-soldiers-surprise-family-jolene-navarro/1123516286?ean=9780373719792

 

 

 

 

The Nuts & Bolts of Healthy Eating

N
N is for Nuts

Nasty rumors are floating around about the fat in nuts.  Instead of being afraid of the little nuts you should embrace them for the nutritious, healthy snack they  provide. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pistachios, any whole nut makes a healthy high-protein snack. And these nuts are high in fiber.

You mix protein with fiber and you will fill full longer.  Even though they are loaded with the good fats, it’s still important to measure out portions. 

A hand full can lower cholesterol, make for a healthy heart, help weight control and even lower cancer risk and that is just the tip of the iceberg for these tiny little nuts.

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Another reason to love My H.E.B – I can buy in bulk and keep it local. They have so many choices.

Unfortunately, too few Americans eat nuts regularly: They account for less than eight percent of daily antioxidant intake.  Let me remind you that just a small handful can add protein, fiber, good fats  and important vitamins and minerals to you diet.

Here are my favorites.

Pistachios: They slow down your eating

Pistachios are my travel companions. This nut has the fewest calories, less than four calories each. If you eat them shelled, then you are working for your food and you’ll eat less but it takes longer. I love eating them in traffic on my long trip home.

Pistachios are rich in the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol, a form of cancer-fighting vitamin E. Pistachios are also packed with potassium, which we need for healthy nervous system and muscles. Vitamin B6, is another gift that comes in this tiny package. It helps  lift your mood and build up your immune system.

About 50 nuts make up a serving.

Almonds: They keep things moving.

Of all the nuts, almonds have the most fiber. If nothing else I hope you have learned how important fiber and a healthy digestive system is to your overall health.

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I like a touch of chocolate or dried fruit thrown in the mix.

They are also rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Some research shows that almonds are good for someone trying to keep their blood sugar levels healthy. In one study: Those who ate about 20 percent of their calories from almonds for four months saw their bad LDL cholesterol drop and their insulin resistance decrease compared to a control group who didn’t eat them. They may also help if you are on a healthy weight loss journey. In one International Journal of Obesity study, when two groups of obese adults followed low-calorie diets for six months, those who included almonds in their weight loss plans lost more weight than those who ate more complex carbohydrates.  Almonds may even keep your gut healthy: A test-tube study (funded by the Almond Board of California) found that Almonds brought more good bacteria to the body’s immune system.

Unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened Almond/coconut milk are two of the milks I use in my smoothies.

About 23 nuts make a serving.

Pecans: The Heart of Texas. This is a native and our state tree.

Pecans are famous for those tasty pies. But what they should be know for is the health benefits to your heart.  They may help prevent plaque formation in your arteries. In fact, a Journal of Nutrition study (funded partly by the National Pecan Shellers Association) found that consuming pecans can help lower LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 33 percent. Pecans may also buffer your brain health, according to an animal study from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The vitamin E found in the nuts could delay progression of degenerative neurological diseases like amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Serving size is only about 18 halves.

Cashews: Good for your brain

nuts and coco granola chia clusters
Some cashews mixes with coco/chia granola.

 

Cashews deliver the magnesium. Which may help improve memory and protect against age-related memory loss, according to a study in the journal Neuron. They also are heavy in iron and zinc. Our body uses iron to carry oxygen to our cells, and zinc helps with immune health and healthy vision.  Unsweetened cashew milk is the other liquid I like using in my smoothies. It has less calories than skim milk (25 compared to 80) but has more calcium (45% compared to 30%). It is also creamier.

About 1/4 cup is a serving.

Walnuts: A happy nut.

A handful of walnuts may level out any mood swings you might be having because of hormones. Manganese has been given credit for happy mental health and nerve health. It also has the most antioxidants of all nuts. This is the stuff that helps protect your body from the cellular damage that can lead to heart disease, cancer, and premature aging. If you would rather avoid fish, walnuts have the highest counts in omega-3 fatty acids. They  fight inflammation. I like to drop a small hand full to a smoothie every now and then.

A serving is  14 walnut halves.

A couple of my favorite smoothies:

(Right) Walnuts, fresh blackberries, kale, frozen blueberries and a cup of unsweetened cashew milk. (left) Unsalted almonds, frozen blueberries & strawberries, fresh bananas & spinach along with unsweetened almond milk. I throw them in my Ninja for about 40 seconds and enjoy!

 

There are more nuts to explore and this is a good site to find information :

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/0406/why-you-should-go-nuts-for-nuts.aspx#03

 

 

 

My H.E.B…Love

MToday is M and I’m going to tell you about a great MEAL deal at My H.E.B. Okay so I might be stretching the M part a little much. but I wanted to tell you about these meals I found at My local H.E.B. In the Texas Hill Country there is one grocery store. It started in Kerrville and grew from there, with a huge heart for non-profit work and giving back. They also pride themselves in local and healthy choices. I buy my organic bulk seeds and grains at My H.E.B.

Once I started making so many smoothies I needed to keep fruit in the freezer. I wasn’t looking for pre-made mixes but found the HEB Blendables. The best part? They were $1.50…Yes, that’s right. One dollar and fifty cents. That is cheaper than a happy meal. You could just add water and call it good, but I like to add my own little touch. It is still the cheapest meal you could get for the nutritional value.

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Three of the Blendables from My HEB. Easy and fast smoothies

Here is one of My favorites.

HEB Blendable with Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, raspberries. I added juice of half lemon, hemp and handful of spinach, & a cup of unsweetened almond milk.
Three of the Blendables from My HEB. Easy and fast smoothies
  • The Powerhouse Smoothie
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • 3 tbs hemp
  • half juice of a lemon
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk

 

Plus there are the Spurs commercials.

 

Do you have a fast go to for an easy morning meal?