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Temperance’s Trial is Now Available for Pre-Order!

Posted by Hallee on Aug 21, 2014 in Writing

v01-tempePart 1 of the Virtues and Valor series will release on September 15th! Pre-order it on Amazon by clicking this link today!

The Third Riech Seeks to Extract the Information She Alone Knows

MARIE GILBERT and her elder brother flee from Vichy France after the Gestapo arrest her father for suspicion of aiding Jewish children to escape the oncoming fascist front. Once in London, Marie is recruited into an experimental all female cohort dubbed the Virtues, a collection of seven extraordinary women with highly specialized skills.

Known only by her code name, TEMPERANCE, she is trained to operate a wireless radio and returns to her beloved France. With a new identity, Marie clandestinely communicates vital intelligence directly back to Headquarters but unwillingly attracts the attention and apparent adoration of a handsome but ruthless Nazi officer, Oberleutnant LEOPOLD SCHÄFER.

As the H-hour to execute their daring mission draws ever closer, Marie plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the unrelenting and merciless young Lieutenant Schäfer and the Nazi soldiers under his command.

TEMPERANCE’S TRIAL is part one of seven serialized novellas entitled the Virtues and Valor series.

Seven valorous women — different nationalities, ethnicities, and social backgrounds — come together as a team called the Virtues.

In 1941 Great Britain a special war department assembles an experimental and exclusively female cohort of combat operatives. Four willing spies, a wireless radio operator, an ingenious code breaker, and a fearless pilot are each hand-picked, recruited, and trained to initiate a daring mission in Occupied France. As plans are laid to engineer the largest prison break of Allied POWs in history, the Nazis capture the Virtues’ radio operator. It will take the cohesive teamwork of the rest of the women to save her life before Berlin breaks her and brings the force of the Third Reich to bear.

Some find love, some find vengeance, and some discover the kind of strength that lives in the human heart when all they can do is rely on each other and their shared belief. Courage, faith, and valor intersect but, in the end, one pays the ultimate price.

Introducing the Virtues and Valor series by Hallee Bridgeman. Seven serialized novellas, each inspired by real people and actual events, reveal the incredible story of amazing heroines facing the ultimate test of bravery.

Part 1 of the Virtues and Valor series will release on September 15th! Pre-order it on Amazon by clicking this link today!

Hallee


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Wordless Wednesday: Back to School

Posted by Hallee on Aug 20, 2014 in Hallee's Galley, Life, Parenting
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Sign Up for My Newsletter & Be Entered to Win a Giftcard!

Posted by Hallee on Aug 15, 2014 in Writing

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If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, you’re missing an opportunity for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard. Every month, all of my subscribers are entered and one winner is chosen.

Subscribe before the end of the month for your chance to win September 1st!

Hallee


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Today’s Word of Promise

Posted by Hallee on Aug 14, 2014 in holiness, inspiration

galatiansMany days a week, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today I listened to the entire book of Galatians.

The part that stood out to me in that passage is this:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

I’m focusing today on the verb “IS”. Do you know what “IS” is? Well, sure, it’s a lot of things. But for this specific post, it’s SINGULAR.  That’s right, the verses do not say that the fruits of the Spirit are. What they say is that the fruit of the Spirit is. That means that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then you can count on a well of love, joy, peace, longsuffering (read: patience), goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

They’re right there for you. One big singular package just ready for you to unopen it and embrace it.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.

Hallee


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Free?

Posted by Hallee on Aug 13, 2014 in Life

I came across this in my social media:

free

I have to say — that angers me.

To start with, there’s nothing ‘freeing’ about strangling yourself with a belt. In fact, as far as I know, there’s only one true freedom:

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Mother Theresa said this herself:

There is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead… I do not know how deeper will this trial go—how much pain and suffering it will bring to me. This does not worry me any more. I leave this to Him as I leave everything else. Let Him do with me whatever He wants as He wants for as long as He wants if my darkness is light to some soul…

I’m not making light of depression. I’m not disqualifying emotions, chemical imbalances, or anything of that sort. What I’m saying is that Robin Williams was a man who lived his life with a gift that he used to bring joy to others, but suffered so much that he felt he could no longer live another second in this world. In that horrible way of social media his death is being glorified and touted as “freedom”.

Suicide is NOTHING to glorify. Suicide is a horrible atrocity that absolutely destroys the people left behind. If another person had walked into his home and killed him, there would be shock, outrage, a call for laws to protect the innocent.

I’m so afraid that this gentle handling of the taking of one’s own life by a well-loved actor, especially someone who was an icon for many young adults as they were growing up, is going to encourage others to attempt suicide.

Don’t fall for it. Don’t let the lies of the great deceiver whisper into your year that ending your life is freeing. Don’t look at the happy and loving picture of a fictional cartoon character hugging another fictional cartoon character give you a happy glow about the thought of committing suicide.

Call someone. Call a help line. Call a pastor. Email a friend. Cry out for help.

suicide prevention

 

Hallee


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Celebrate Romance with My Most Romantic Book Yet!

Posted by Hallee on Aug 11, 2014 in Writing

RomAwareMonthAd5

August is ‘Romance Awareness Month’.

I *love* romance. So, I guess it makes sense that I write romance.

cover-front_9781939603128_640Looking through all 8 of my published romance novels, I believe that my most romantic is An Aria for Nick. Nick is such a deep character who has suffered so much in life that you just find yourself rooting for Aria and him to be together so that maybe some of his demons will quiet. As a reviewer said, the romance is sigh-worthy. So, to celebrate Romance Awareness Month, I put An Aria for Nick on sale for just $0.99. That’s a $4 savings.

An Aria for Nick can be purchased in e-book format at Christian book online retailer Deeper Shopping. An Aria for Nick is also available at the following booksellers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google Play Bookstore, Smashwords.

The Back Cover:

The Only Man Who Can Save Her Life Has Been Dead for a Decade.

Raised in a loving home, Aria Suarez dreamed of becoming a professional pianist happily married to her high school crush. After the only boy who ever caught her eye dies a hero’s death and her wrist is shattered along with her future plans, she turns her brilliant musical mind to nuclear engineering and solving mysteries of science.

Abandoned to an abusive father at five, Nick Williams grew up dreaming of escape; of enlisting in the Army and leaving his wretched life behind; of proving himself worthy of the girl he loves. But the crucible of combat offers only the escape of death.

A decade later, Aria uncovers a nuclear plot that threatens the heart of our very nation. Sinister forces surround and threaten her when, out of nowhere, the man who reportedly died so many years before returns as if from the grave — intent on protecting her.

Has God finally joined them together?

Or is Aria doomed to mourn Nick twice?

Excerpt from the Book:

The Song of Suspense Series
NICK woke with a start, his pulse pounding. On the outside, he did nothing more than open his eyes, but inside he waged a war with fear and panic. He forced his pulse back to normal and got his bearings. Aria’s place. He looked at his watch. Six-thirty. He’d slept for about half an hour.

The room was filled with a soft orange glow from the setting sun coming through the window facing west and the entire home was filled with the aroma of cooking meat. From the direction of the kitchen, he could hear Aria
humming a hymn.

A wave of longing washed over him, leaving him feeling weak and scared. He clenched his hands as he fought it while he cursed himself. This was not for him. A normal life in a little bungalow on the Willamette River was something he could never have. After the things he’d done, it was something he didn’t deserve. The dream had just left him feeling vulnerable.

He stood and stretched, then went to the phone. He started to engage the receiver, but changed his mind. Tomorrow would be soon enough to return to the world. For now, he wanted to shut it off.

He walked toward the kitchen and leaned against the doorway, watching Aria while she was unaware of it. She moved around the kitchen, chopping vegetables, stirring something on the stove, moving around the room but never
looking behind her. She had to get a little stool out to stand on so she could reach something on a high shelf. Nick was reminded just how small she was.

He thought of his old man and how he’d put his hands on her, had broken her wrist and killed her future. Suddenly, Nick felt a white burn of righteous indignation re-ignite somewhere in his chest. He battled the desire to go to
Columbus, Georgia; to reacquaint himself with his father as a grown man and discuss the variable forces involved in breaking the wrist of a petite blonde woman.

Shaking his head to rid himself of the darkness, of the pain of his past, he crossed his arms and leaned his hip against the bar. She stepped off the stool and turned, jumping a little when she saw him.

“You move very quietly,” she said.

He raised an eyebrow. “One of the reasons I’m still alive.”

She nervously shifted her feet. “Hungry?” she asked.

He was hungry. A raw, burning hunger that spread through his whole body. What he craved, he couldn’t take. Time had done nothing to dim the want, and what had once been a boy’s crush was now a man’s longing. On the inside he
began a battle with himself that he hoped he would have the stamina to continue fighting. On the outside, he stayed leaning against the bar with his arms crossed, giving the appearance of total ease.

“Starving,” he said smoothly.“Good,” Aria said, moving to the stove. She opened the oven door. “How do
you like your steak?”
endscene

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Have Tricare? Check Your Payment Type

Posted by Hallee on Aug 11, 2014 in Life

For our family’s health insurance, we have Tricare Reserve Select due to Gregg’s service in the National Guard.

To pay for Tricare, you have to set up for automatic payments. Unlike the Tricare Dental Program, for the health program, you must use a credit or debit card. You can’t just give bank information.

At the end of July, the card we used for Tricare expired. The bank sent us a new card. Tricare canceled our policy.

jeb footYes. You heard that right. Know how I know? Jeb stepped on a rusty nail and I had to take him to the doctor. I found out while filling his prescription for antibiotics.

Gregg called Tricare last week – on the 5th of August – the day this all happened. They said they sent us two notifications by mail in June. Know how I know that they didn’t? We were out of town for the entire month of June and part of July, and ALL of the mail we received during our absence is in a plastic box, or already opened and filed where it goes. The only correspondence from Tricare I received was several Statements of Benefits.

So, 5 days after the card expired and less than 30 days since the last payment was processed (which was on the 7th of July), they cancelled our policy. With no warning. And, in order to get it back on, we had to pay over $600 – we had to pay for 3 months.

Here’s what’s infuriating:

  1. They didn’t send a letter. They said they did, but they didn’t.
  2. They process the payment on the 7th, not the 1st. Which means, they had it in their records that the card expired and arbitrarily canceled it before time to process it.
  3. Not every household can handle an extra $600 bill the last month of summer.
  4. There was nothing a supervisor could do (we escalated the call up to a supervisor), because the mandate for this policy came from Washington D.C. and there are to be NO exceptions.

tricareWhy is that? Why are there no exceptions? Why is the military’s insurance company mandated to harm the military its supposed to serve?

Thankfully, we were able to pay it. But, what would have happened if we couldn’t? Right. We’d have been without insurance. In case you’re not keeping up with the times, that’s a fine-able offense these days and the ramifications could just go on and on.

Why am I posting this? A huge population of my readers are military. So, check your form of payment to Tricare. Give yourself a reminder as a credit card is approaching expiration. Because, Tricare won’t give you a reminder. They’ll tell you they did, then they’ll charge you an extortionist amount to reinstate everything.

 

Hallee


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No More Candy for This One?

Posted by Hallee on Jun 30, 2014 in Autism, Parenting

emerilWe were in a museum in Washington D.C. this week, at the end of a long day. We’d started the day out standing in line for 2 hours, waiting to get a 30 second moment with Emeril Lagasse while he signed a cookbook, and it ended with this museum. Scott was overwhelmed with the day. Well, I don’t know if that’s accurate. Scott’s overwhelmed with the last 2 weeks. He’s not been home, he’s not been eating “normal to us” food, and he’s not in his secure little bubble. So, at the end of long days, we start losing him.

Meltdowns aren’t *really* a problem. They come and go, but they aren’t the norm. What Scott has been doing lately is muttering to himself and occasionally squawking, really loudly, while jumping up and bugging his eyes out. Then he goes back inside himself and starts muttering, then squawks – over and over again. What he’s doing is some scene from (I *think*) The Lego Movie, but I can’t be certain. It’s really loud, and people look at him like he’s lost his entire mind. But what it is, is HIS MIND protecting him from whatever stimulation is overwhelming at the time so that he doesn’t actually lose his mind.

So, the other day, at this museum, at the end of this long day in the midst of these long weeks, we were in a room that was wall-to-wall screens showing a beach landing in WWII full of lights and sounds and battle, and Scott did his thing. The guide in the room we were in glared at him at a moment of loud squawking and then looked at me and said, “No more candy for this one, right?”

I have to say, while I’m sure this Marine Corps vet wasn’t trying to hurt or anger me, he very much succeeded in me feeling a very sharp knee-jerk reaction (which I did not follow up on, that I just ignored while I grabbed Scott and tried to break into whatever world he’d sent himself into.) Instead of reacting or not reacting, I just sent him back to the hotel with Kaylee while Jeb and I finished the museum.

on the train in DC going back to the hotel after a day of site seeing

on the train in DC going back to the hotel after a day of site seeing

Dear world: It isn’t misbehaving. It isn’t hyperactivity. It isn’t too much candy. Or too much soda. Or too little discipline.

It’s called coping.

It’s called an autistic brain coping with this incompatible world the best way that it can.

It’s called a REALLY GOOD kid in a REALLY OVERWHELMING situation who doesn’t know what else to do but go into a world where he is in control until we get him to a place that is dark and quiet and he can plug headphones into his tablet and escape all the way away while he watches some familiar show and resets to the point that he can deal with this world some more.

I KNOW that there are people who will read these words who have no idea what it’s like – and that’s fine. Make snap judgements all you want.  But I urge you to keep sarcastic comments about apparent misbehaving kids to yourself. Because, as the mother of that boy, I’m fully aware of how it appears – as much as I’m fully incapable of putting a stop to it quickly enough so that it doesn’t bother you.

I also fully know that he isn’t deaf. Nor is he stupid. He hears everything — even in the midst of a meltdown — and understands every word that’s said.

And so do I.

 

Hallee


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The Power of Marketing

Posted by Hallee on Jun 24, 2014 in Life

TV Remote ControlWe don’t watch live television in our home. We don’t have access to any kind of live TV – we stream Netflix and we watch DVD’s. Consequently, we don’t ever see commercials.

Last week, the boys were at my parents’ – and they watch live television. This week, we’re in a hotel – which came with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Both of those channels are full of commercials.

The day we got to Quantico, I took the boys to the commissary.  Up one aisle and down the other, I heard a running stream of commercials from Scott.

“Ants are hard to kill. Raid kills bugs dead. It’s a family company.”

“Oxiclean gets tough stains out.”

“Lucky Charms! They’re magically delicious!”

“We have to buy Twix cereal and get the birthday card off of the back of the box.”

It was never ending.

We often don’t give our children enough credit for what they take in, what they understand, and what they retain. My kids don’t have filters for commercials, so how they affect them is clearly apparent and makes me aware of the marketing.

Hallee


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A Week at Home — ALONE

Posted by Hallee on Jun 21, 2014 in Life

jumpYou heard me. I had an entire week — AT HOME — ALONE.

How many wives and mothers of young children long to be able to say something like that?

Kaylee is in Florida for the month and this is a very busy travel time for Gregg and me. He’s doing a National Guard thing east, I had a conference west, so on his way to his thing, Gregg dropped the boys off at my parents’ house. He left on a Saturday, and I didn’t have to be at my conference until Thursday night.

I’ll admit, right or wrong, I was a little excited.

I’m used to being alone during the school day. Regardless, I kept listening for the sound of anyone else moving in the house. In my entire life, I don’t think I’ve ever been alone for that long. It was kind of a weird experience over all.

I’d planned to write the remaining 3 novellas in my upcoming World War II series during the week. I know, you’re thinking, “Three novellas???” But, I had NO ONE who needed ANYTHING AT ALL from me for about five full days. I type fast. The story is in my head. I could write uninterrupted for five full days!

I didn’t happen.

I only wrote one novella.

I was talking to Liz Curtis Higgs yesterday about it, and she said, “20,000 words in a week!? That’s fantastic! You go girl!”

It made me feel a little better.

I think my creative energy is available for the same amount of time every day, then it’s just gone. I feel a little disappointed in myself; however, I’ve done a TON of research, and that will be necessary information when I do write the other two novellas during the next couple of weeks.

So, during the course of this week alone, I learned a few things:

  • Without planning and preparation, a household without convenience foods makes it hard to feed one person. I ate more than one omelet, let me tell you.
  • I can go entire days without any noise at all – no television on, no person speaking to me, no radio. I’m not really a “talk to my pets” kind of person – I don’t talk for no reason. I kind of want to have something to say if I’m going to speak, and a conversation with my dog or cat just isn’t happening.
  • For a wife and mother of three who adores her husband and children, I never felt lonely during this week. I’m hoping it was just the realization that I knew what day I’d see everyone again and not that I’m über weird or something.
  • I washed all of the bedding and did every single bit of laundry in the house. The only thing in any laundry basket left are the pajamas I wore on my last day there. It felt WONDERFUL to throw away the mis-matched socks left in the basket. I HATE mis-matched socks, I HATE that basket, and after typing this, now I know I’m über weird.
  • No matter what, with no alarm on, I still woke up every single morning at 5:25. Sigh.

All in all, it was an interesting week. I finish my conference this afternoon and head to my parents to get my boys. Tomorrow we’ll head on to where Gregg is. I’m hoping to see Kaylee by the end of the week.

 

Hallee


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