Three Little Birds

Cardinal northern Pair male female red bird brown at feeder wikimedia commons ken thomas

The recent events in Charlottesville and around the world have left me in a stew of emotions: anger, sadness, uneasiness, and pain. Kicked in the stomach. The world seems to be an ever growing darker place.

Recently large black crows have been scavenging in my back garden. I don’t like to see their presence. They represent doom, death, loss, anguish.  These carrion birds are unsettling for us. Although they have their place in the natural world and the order of things, they have come to represent death, anguish, and uneasiness.

Their numbers seem to be increasing. I watch birds in my back garden. The crows and the ravens are on the rise. Buzzards too. It doesn’t make me feel any better. The natural world seems to reflect our human microcosm. The scavengers are on the rise.

Yesterday a 17-year-old boy was killed in a car accident. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I’m trying to wrap my head around why such things happen. We can perhaps say goodbye to someone that is older or has battled a long illness. We don’t understand it when a life is snuffed out, taken too short. Whether it be a 17-year-old boy in a car accident, or a young woman killed while standing up for goodness and truthit  reminds us of the crows and the ravens. The unspeakable surrealness of life. 

This morning I looked out on my back garden as I sipped my morning coffee. The crows were there, scratching and pawing at the ground. They won’t come up near my house where there are bird feeders and a bird bath. They lurk away from every other bird.

As I was sipping my coffee, still trying to process so much from last night and the last few days, I witnessed something extraordinary. A family of cardinals flew in to graze at the feeders and drink from the bird bath. Mother, father, and three little babies. Babies that are old enough to fly and feed on their own at the feeders but are still under the watchful protection of their parents. Youth making its feeble flight out into the world.

Cardinals are said to be a sign that a loved one is near you. Their bright scarlet plumage is cheerful and reassuring. Unlike the uneasiness of the carrion birds, the cardinal is there to let you know, to quote Bob Marley, “that everything is going to be alright.” It might not be better immediately, but their presence reminds you that someone is watching over us. Loves us. Protects us.  Reassures us. Cardinals represent the good forces of the world.

This morning I watched as the cardinals came to feed and bring up their young, the carrion birds lurking in the shadows flew away. A coincidence maybe. But I rather like to think that in the presence of goodness, darkness flees. In the presence of reassurance, doubt and darkness can’t stand to be there.

Sometimes three little birds of goodness, younglings taking flight remind us  in the midst of chaos, death, and despair, that everything is not lost. Like those little birds, for every carrion bird that signals death and destruction, little scarlet birds take flight. Good will rise up to meet darkness and despair. Hope is ever present, even in the smallest of places.

Long live the cardinals.


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Behind the Scenes: The Making of Night and Day’s Cover




Someone asked me recently how I came up with the concept for Night and Day’s cover. Well, here’s the story.

When I was initially designing Night and Day’s cover, I knew that Lydia’s internal struggle would play a huge role in the design. I wanted elements to incorporate multiple facets of the story, but mainly through Lydia’s eyes.  Lydia’s an artist and I decided to let the cover be her expression. I pictured her sitting in that small room during her confinement at Laurelhurst trying to process her emotions and keeping a record of what happened to her. I could say much more but I’ll reserve that for another blog post.

Each cover in the Laurelhurst Chronicles series will feature a cover as seen through Lydia’s perspective featuring her “artwork”. It’s a way that we see her develop as a character and how the world changes through her eyes.  The illustration on the cover of Night and Day is by talented artist Katja Gerasimova.

During Night and Day, we encounter Lydia as she’s just becoming a teenager, but she’s battling childhood memories. I felt that her drawings should have a whimsical, childlike manner but feature a darker tone. Her drawing of the moon and the sun against a dark background echo the reality of today but revert back to the whimsies of her childhood.  I was influenced by listening to Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I pictured her chasing the fairies that occupy the night realm when she was a child, much like she would be picturing herself being one of Titania’s train.  The night realm is a central figure in this novel because much of her activity and revelations occur through dreams.

At the beginning of the novel, we find Lydia in a period of darkness as she’s separated from her family due to the war and she’s thrust into a world of intrigue. She’s uncovering and rediscovering shadowy specters from childhood as she’s on the cusp of adolescence.  Her art echoes the dark, grim time that surrounds her during the war.  The moon is larger in her art because darkness overtakes her both literally and figuratively both in her struggle to regain herself and the overall atmosphere of the war.

As Lydia begins to conquer her fears and the darkness around her, we see her add a smaller sun and the stars to her drawing. The sun represents, of course, the light that is dawning and her gaining strength. Art imitates life as towards the end of the war around her, people begin seeing the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.”

The stars surrounding the moon and sun represent guiding lights that we often have around us. In Lydia’s life, those guiding stars are people very dear to her. Many of us look up to the stars when we miss those that we love. For Lydia, these stars are her parents and other family members that are looking down on her.

I also used stars to reference Stardust, a beautiful masterpiece written by Hoagy Carmichael in the 1920’s. It’s featured in the novel as a reflection of lost love and bygone years.  The latter part of Night and Day reveals Alistair’s reflection on life and love as a middle-aged man.  Its haunting lyrics echo his sentiments so well.

My friend Kathryn White brought my vision together to create a design that echoes suspense and magic yet in keeping with historical elements of the period. When designing the typography for The Laurelhurst Chronicles logo, I referred to my collection of books by Daphne du Maurier, printed in the 1940’s, such as Rebecca and Frenchman’s Creek. I wanted it to have that vintage, timeless feeling.  I hope you enjoy it.

In the next blog post, I’ll discuss the role of Lydia’s artwork more in depth as a key piece of evidence in her testimony as a child.












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Coming Soon! We’re celebrating the release of Dunkirk with an epic, riveting sale!


Are you ready for Dunkirk? So are we! And we’re not just talking about ChristopherNolan’s upcoming summer blockbuster movie. Beyond the major motion picture, there is Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Novel Sale.

Discounted Books for 99c each!

40+ authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have40+ authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have joined together for the Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Novel Sale. From July 21-27 (the opening week of Dunkirk), we will discount a selection of our books to 99c to bring you more riveting tales of WWII from around the world.This is a great chance to discover some awesome WWII stories.

To find out more, go to:

We have tons of fun and interesting online events planned including:

Prizes & Giveaways including:

A promo week giveaway of Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion

Picture  by Joshua Levine

A Rafflecopter giveaway of 11 paperback copies of some

of the fiction novels

that will be part of this sale.

A 7-day giveaway of 7 audio copies of The Importance of Being Churchill

by Lorri Moulton

Also, join us for:

6/26 A viewing Dunkirk Promo Official Trailer

6/29 A viewing of the book trailer for Girl at Dunkirk by David Spiller

7/4 A viewing of the book trailer for The Yankee Years by Dianne Ascroft

7/5 A viewing of the book trailer for 45th Nail  by Ian Lahey

7/7 Our Authors’ Pick of the Top 40 WWII Movies of all time.

7/10 A viewing of the book trailer for  Unrelenting by Marion Kummerow

7/13 A viewing of the book trailer for Luzon by Richard Barnes

7/14 The Book Speak Podcast reading of Roberta Kagan’s  All My Love, Detrick

7/17 Part One of our special two-part blog series on Dunkirk by Suzy Hendersen

7/19 A viewing of the book trailer for Eternal Flame  by Alexa Kang

7/21 Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Book Sale begins with The Book Speak Podcast

reading of The Girl at Dunkirk  by David Spiller

7/22 Part Two of our special two-part blog series on Dunkirk by Jeremy Strozer

7/24 Movie review of Dunkirk by Alexa Kang

Dates are subject to change.  For updated information, 

bookmark this page and be sure you won’t miss out:


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June Newsletter!

I’m sending out the inaugural issue of my newsletter this week and I’ve got lots of news to share with you. I’m so excited to bring you news of a book promotion that I’ll be participating in with other World War II authors in July.  Details will be coming in June’s newsletter. If you love World War II fiction, you will want to check this out. Haven’t signed up for my newsletter? Then just use my signup form here on my website or on Facebook. You may also email me personally with your email address. If you need more information, just contact me at

I’m also putting together a book trailer of my own for my upcoming print release of Night and Day. More news of it will be featured along with the online book promotion of my e-book in July. Summer is a great time to catch up with your reading and discover new authors you may not know!



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Have you heard?


People are beginning to praise Night and Day on Goodreads and the Amazon Kindle store! But don’t just take my word for it. You can read them here!

Night and Day on Kindle

Night and Day on Goodreads

Do you have a review of Night and Day? Post it on Amazon or in Goodreads!

Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still land among the stars. — Les Brown


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Night and Day (The Laurelhurst Chronicles Book 1) is on Goodreads!

I’m so excited to share with you that Night and Day is now on Goodreads and has its first five-star review! I’m also excited to share that as an author,  I’m participating in the Ask the Author program on Goodreads. Have a question about character backgrounds, plot questions,  or how I write? Fire away! I will try to update my answers weekly. 

Also, if you have read my work, please leave me an honest review so other readers can discover my work.  I would greatly appreciate it! Feel free to connect with me on Goodreads! 

You can locate Night and Day on Goodreads here:

Night and Day (The Laurelhurst Chronicles Book 1)

Happy reading!


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Freebie Friday Giveaway!

images (1)

It’s Friday again and I’m celebrating by giving away another copy of my novel to one lucky winner on my facebook page! Head on over to enter the trivia contest for a chance to win! I’m drawing the first person who answers my trivia question correctly!

While you’re over there, won’t you like my facebook page and join? Thanks and have a happy friday!

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Freebie Friday giveaway is today!!

Would you like to win a copy of my Kindle book? Then head on over to my Facebook page! 

I’m giving away a copy to the first person who correctly answers my posted trivia correctly. If you aren’t a member of my Facebook page,  why not join? I post giveaways and other contests there!

Good luck! 

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Behind the Scenes: Inspiration for Night and Day

I began drafting Night and Day in November of 2013.  I sustained neck and back injuries from a car accident in July of that year. I was already weakened the day of my accident from low potassium and dehydration from a bad stomach virus I probably caught at work.

The physical and emotional effects of the accident left me with plenty of down time. I was in a lot of pain, and I needed a way to help my mind heal. During that time I went through some moments of weakness and doubt. I had nightmares that would not let me sleep at night. Old fears and worries welled to the surface. I needed a way to express these emotions, and I found writing helped me.

By creating a fictional tale set in another era, I was able to express some of those emotions in their rawest form.  We all go through periods of doubt, loss, worry, fear, and anger. We all feel frustration, stagnation, and impatience.  We all go through times in our lives that sometimes leave us questioning and feeling bereft. We often question where is the light and hope in dark times like these. A central theme in Night and Day is how do we keep light and hope during the midst of darkness and despair. Additional themes are how do we forgive others that cause us immense pain and how do we forgive ourselves from past regrets.

The content of Night and Day can be a bit disturbing. It shines the light on things we don’t want to see. Things that I wish we didn’t have to see.  Told through a young girl retracing memories through nightmares and images, it tells what survivors of trauma and abuse may feel.

Writing Night and Day allowed me to summon the courage and strength to continue to fight. We face trials and battles and we’re weary. Writing gives me strength and a place to make sense of it all in such dark times like these. It is a way of healing for me.

I believe the creative arts are a great tool for healing for those that have suffered trauma and abuse. The creative arts can play a pivotal role in expressing the rollercoaster of emotions that trauma patients feel. It’s just one tool, however, because we all heal differently and come from many different circumstances and backgrounds.

The world may seem dark but each of our individual lights can help make it a brighter place. Together we are greater than our fears, and we can overcome the darkness.

May grace, peace, and light be with you.


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Freebie Friday Giveaway!

I’m hosting a giveaway of my e-book Night and Day on my Facebook page! Friday I’m announcing the contest where one lucky winner will receive a copy of my book free!

To enter, head on over Friday to my Facebook page Kellie Butler! I’ll choose one lucky winner.

Good luck!


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