A holiday they will never forget.
The neighborhood knew what Cody Allen Luther endured on a daily basis for five long years. Everyone except Brandy Mason turned their heads. After all, it was a parent’s right to discipline their child. On Christmas Eve, 1969, Cody finally can’t take the brutal abuse any longer, but not for himself—his mother turns her unreasonable anger on his younger stepsiblings and he makes a life changing decision, killing her instead of allowing her to keep hurting his family.
Only one person has ever understood the why Cody reacted as he did that Christmas Eve of 1969. Brandy Mason will do anything to protect Cody, even stand up against classmates willing to petition the governor to have Cody tried as an adult for murder once he is released from juvenile detention.
Ten year old Cody Luther walked alongside his dad. They had a very important job to do today, finding the perfect Christmas tree. Cody didn’t really understand what was going on, just that his daddy had been real sick lately. It had something to do with his service in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.
“It’s going to be tough on you, son.” Dad stopped near a Douglas fir and examined the branches. “I know this isn’t what you want, but the courts said you had to do this if I… I…” He wiped away a tear from beneath an eye. “If I’m not alive anymore.”
Separated by the winds of war
Jenna and Nicholas are a poster image of the perfect military couple. With one child and twins on the way, their lives take a twisted turn when Iraq invades Kuwait. With her at home, ready to deliver their newest babies and him deployed to the a battle in the Middle East, their lives change drastically. Their solid relationship is tested in many ways.
Worry eats at Jenna and Nicholas but neither will admit to the other that they’re scared. Can they survive the short lived war to free Kuwait from Iraqi control? Will their deep, abiding love for each other withstand this war and the drastic changes in their lives?
The fear returns with my first missed menstrual cycle, a little over three months ago. Yet again, I am pregnant. Half a dozen times, the child growing within me never made it fully through the second month. That information is not in my medical records, because I never told anyone about it, not even Nicholas, my beloved husband. The reason behind those horrific decisions is our first child, a girl we were going to call April Melina, was lost at almost seven months. The hardest part of that miscarriage is that she stopped moving nearly five weeks before the doctor we were assigned in Nevada was certain she was growing well and I was worrying about nothing.
I can’t do this again. I really can’t go through this again.