LASR Anniversary: Denisea Kampe – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Ghosts of Summers Passed

Nostalgia often hits us head on and rather than wash over us it penetrates us like a phantom, forcing its way into our souls. I think for many, the end of summer brings this notion stronger than any other time of the year. Though holidays and other special occasions and other seasons rend memories, summer, particularly the end of it, seems to hit us head on rather than ease over us like an ebbing wave.

Perhaps it because so many milestones are met at this time of year. Summers passed mark our first day of kindergarten, our first day of middle school, first day of high school, the end of summer flings, the last dip in the local lake (sans clothes?), the last of the green tomatoes fried by our grandmothers not to be seen again for an entire year, the annual buying of school supplies and clothes…Then the first day of kindergarten for our own children, their first summer crush, their first summer job, the annual buying of the school supplies, the last of the week day sleep over parties that keep you awake until the wee hours even if you have to go to work the next morning to earn the money to buy the school supplies.

Summer is a more than a season; it’s a cycle. It sees the beginnings and endings of so many things from our own youth to the raising of our own children to seeing our grandchildren preparing for their first day at preschool or their first day of kindergarten. Summer is comprised of ghosts carrying the nostalgia of days gone by which hit us head on; rather than wash over us they penetrate us…

As I watch the end of another summer approach I’m visited by these ghosts each time I stop at the local farm stand and buy one more green tomato wondering if it’s the last and remembering the first one my grandmother ever fried for me. They haunt me when I walk through the local department store and watch eyes young and filled with wonder perusing the school supply aisle for the coolest pencils and hippest notebooks. And they hit me head on as I watch my nieces and nephews and grandchildren have that last swim, eat that last charred hot dog before the grill goes in the garage for the winter, run through the sprinklers one more time before the hose is rolled and put away so it doesn’t freeze when Old Man Winter comes through with Jack Frost in tow.

Soon summer will wan into fall and the ghosts will vaporize replaced by the onset of the inevitable onslaught of the holiday rush, harried and stressful. And as we sit with warm beverages in hand wondering if we’ve carved enough pumpkins, baked enough pies, and strung enough twinkle lights, a faint apparition will tickle the edges of our peripheral vision. And we’ll long to feel the ghosts of summers passed forcing their way into our spirits.

Thanks to Long and Short for the opportunity to spend a while with you all today…You can find me and more of my ubiquitous musings here or with my fellow Script Chics.

DENISEA ForHiscountry600.900 (2)Twenty-seven years, more than a dozen deployments, five kids…and one missing wife.

After twenty-seven years of marriage and service to his country, Gavin McIntyre returns from what he hopes will be his last deployment before either reaching the highest attainable enlisted rank in the Marine Corps or retiring. But what he returns to leaves him flat aback with a busted mast and broken rudder. His wife is a no show for the homecoming. Using the ages old adage of improvise, adapt, and overcome, he makes his way home only to discover, she hasn’t simply forgotten to pick him up from the bus, she’s gone. In her wake, Gavin finds his home set up boot camp style and twenty dollars in the cookie jar, but any evidence he’s ever had a wife or five children with her is deplete.

Pregnant at sixteen and married to a marine in a less than romantic ceremony courtesy of the local Justice, Raylyn McIntyre has spent almost three decades playing the dutiful patriotic wife, catering to the whims of the military. She’s lost track of how many places she’s lived, how many deployments she’s endured, and how many tears she’s shed. But most of all, she’s lost track of herself. With a husband who’s so wrapped up in saving the world he can’t see he’s losing his family, Ray resorts to the one tactic he might understand…a full frontal attack with extreme prejudice, which proves to get Gavin’s waning attention.

Nothing good ever comes easy, though, and just when her choice of battle plan seems to be working, tragedy befalls their family. As Ray and Gavin struggle to find center, they also struggle with the notion that forgiveness of self is often the only path to forgiveness of another, and that path is not only bumpy but filled with pitfalls.

About the Author: Born and raised in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Denisea Kampe was spinning tales before she could even spell, and once her sixth grade creative writing teacher encouraged her by leaving a most prophetic comment on one of her assignments, the wheels of destiny were set in motion. But those wheels would need greased again and again as her writing would take a back seat to life and her jobs as mom, spouse, and career woman many times over before she’d finally see her dream of becoming a published writer come to fruition in 2010 with the release of her first romance novel. Denisea is a stay at home military wife, whose nest is empty save her adopted, spoiled rotten fur babies, woman of faith, and grandma who’s traveled the world over. Often known as the Jill of all trades, her careers have changed with duty stations and include housekeeper, cashier, seamstress, bank teller, customer service agent, telemarketer, retail vending representative for a variety of companies, and marketing liaison. She’s lived in four states, multiple towns, and Okinawa Japan, passed through or set foot in a total of twenty-two states with hopes of someday making that fifty, and at last count she’s been shepherded under twenty-three different priests. Denisea takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around since marrying her very own fairy tale prince in dusty cammies. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. While she’s dabbled over the years in many genres, her heart lies in contemporary and inspirational romance for adults and women’s fiction, as well as YA which she pens as Dotty Kampe. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, museum trips, taking field research trips, crafting, crocheting, and embroidering. To find out more about her and her current works, please visit her BLOG or find her on FACEBOOK.

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  1. Happy anniversary, LASR! Thanks for allowing me to help you celebrate and thanks to everyone who stops by! Enjoy the party and I can’t wait to chat a bit…

  2. Danielle Kellough says:

    I love your seasonal analogy. I often feel the turning of the wheel of time and in reading this I’m more aware I’m in my summer season of life, soon to be autumn. I hope you’ve had a great summer season and I look forward to hearing about many more from you.

  3. This sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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