For those of you who have the honor of serving your country, or have the privilege of being married to a soldier, you know there are many sacrifices involved. Our soldiers' dedicated service, sadly, comes at a great cost, both individually, and to their families.
As many of you know, I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for over 100 days out of the year.
Sadly, many Military Families have it far worse off than we do, particularly those with service members actually in harm's way, and especially of course those who make the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. All these women and men who proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and their families, are true heroes.
So, what do the spouses of Service Members do when their husbands and wives are away serving their country? Well, in addition to writing for Apotheosis Studios and my not-for-profit and charity work at the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, I wrote a Fantasy Novel.
A great book is a very magical thing. It can transport us to fantastic places, ranging from profoundly interesting periods of human history, epic space battles, or even onto the back of a flying dragon.
I, for one, am a total Fantasy/Sci-Fi geek, so while I love a good murder mystery, I am more naturally drawn to alien races, magic runes, and thrilling sword fights!
As a part-time professional writer and editor, I have had the opportunity to not just relish these imaginary worlds while my spouse was away on tour, but actually create them first hand. For many years I have been working on a novel in my free time, but during the heart wrenching absence of my wife over the course of her many tours and training, I have finally finished it.
As military family members, you all know the ongoing struggle for military spouses: Finding work despite so many permanent change of stations, the sadness and depression during your partner's deployment and training, and the burden of being solely responsible for a home and family in their absence. To help deal with these trials, the Military provides programs for us and there are many agencies dedicated to our aid. Despite this, there are times when the challenge feels like a crushing weight.
I can relate to that feeling deeply. And it was in that place that I went back and finished my novel "Rune of the Apprentice." I did it not as an escape, but as inspiration. And not just to inspire myself, but also my wife, because as an Active Duty Service Member her day-to-day challenges were far greater than mine!
While I was at home, working and caring for our house, she was out doing battle drills, going to the range, honing her MOS responsibilities, and preparing for deployment. It was obvious who had the more challenging task before them--not me.
So, in addition to my letters, I would send her chapters and excerpts of my book to keep her hopes up, to brighten her day, and to provide inspiration for her duties on base. You should ask her yourself, but everyone knows the magical ability of a great novel is universal. She has said time and time again that outside of talking to me directly, reading my book was her favorite way to relax off-duty. And the battle buddies she shared the chapters with said the same thing, too. During personal time, nothing can compete with speaking with and/or reading letters from loved ones, but a terrific book is most certainly 2nd place.
Well, now that my book is completed I want to share it with YOU: our extended Military family! I have already sent my book to a select few soldiers and their response, feedback, and desire to continue to share it with others have been overwhelming. It is my utmost hope that I can share this exciting story with all of you: soldiers, spouses, and children, alike. Whether you are downrange or at home, my novel Rune of Apprentice won't ever be as good as speaking with your loved ones directly. But during the many hours you are not able to reach them, it is my hope that Rune of the Apprentice will inspire and uplift you and yours in the same way that it did with my soldier and me.
While my wife and I live very humbly, I am not here asking for you to give us any money. I did not write this book to become rich. Instead, I worked on it for years as a labor of love and passion. Sadly, the reality of getting a book professionally published and edited to perfection is not a small feat. So, what I have done is created a crowd funding campaign to publish my book.
More importantly, I have pledged to donate ALL of this book's pre-order profits* to charity--and the current organisation are:
Yes, you heard my correctly. I have currently pledged my pre order profits as author to go to Hope For The Warriors, National Military Family Association, Our Military Kids, and Military Spouse Advocacy Network. This project and book is not about making money to me. Its about sharing passion and inspiration.
This campaign and project its about serving our community.
As a writer, I am unable to do what our uniformed service members--soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coastguardsmen--do and go overseas to defend our freedom under fire, put an end to terrorism, or liberate persecuted peoples. BUT it is my hope that through my writing I can inspire the hearts and minds of our families and service members through an action-packed literary adventure filled with love, heroism, and self-discovery. Through my writing I hope to brighten the day of men, woman, and children alike. Please join me in that mission.
To me, the money does not matter. What matters is mission; and the mission of this book is to inspire and enliven minds.
With that said, throughout my career, I have worked at numerous charities and non-profits and know full well the importance of transparency with financial matters. In light of this, I will be publishing ALL donation amounts and sales numbers publicly right here on this blog on a monthly basis so there is true accountability for all money involved. It will be here for all to see and track! Simply, subscribe to my blog.
Additionally, I have currently chosen these fantastic organisations because I feel the sacrifices of military service are felt in several interconnected ways: by the service members themselves, their families as a whole, and by each child and spouse, individually.
Hope For The Warriors, National Military Family Association, Our Military Kids, and Military Spouse Advocacy Network each are an exemplar in their respective fields, and while they have much overlap and complementary services, they also are distinctly unique in their impact, scope, and focus.
So, my request of you, Military families and readers of my blog: Please click the link below now and pre-order my book. In so doing, you will be directly contributing to a campaign dedicated to giving the author's pre-order profits to three well established charities which directly help our military families.
Again, for clarity and transparency, sake: I vow to donate my pre-order profits as author to Hope For The Warriors, National Military Family Association, Our Military Kids, and Military Spouse Advocacy Network. And while I cannot speak for my publisher's percentage, I have a feeling that if enough people ask them, they they will contribute also.
Because I am giving away my pre-order profits on this project, please know my utmost goal here to get this book into the hands as many service members and families as I can. As a writer, I do not wield a weapon for this country, but I hope that my use of the pen is able to make a significant impact none-the-less. Please aid me in that endeavor and pre-order this book today.
*For RUNE OF THE APPRENTICE to be printed it must meet its pre-order threshold off 1000 copies. Sadly, for those first 1000 copies there is no profit made for either the publisher or the author. BUT to show my support for these amazing organisations, I am going to make my own individual donation/grant to charity to cover the would be profits of the first 1000 copies despite there being no book profit. Additionally, because all of these donations (1000 and after) are based off my personal profits, reasonable expenses for promotion, sales, and marketing will be deducted. Lastly, while all of the pre-order profits of this book will be going to charitable organisations, the currently selected organisations may change. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
Lastly, I'd like to say that this book is no more violent than the Hunger Games and Harry Potter. So, while each parent must judge what is appropriate for their children, if your youth likes action, magic, mystery, and martial-arts, they will love Rune of the Apprentice. And don't worry, adults, you will love the deep storytelling, rich world building, and moving characters, too!
Please help us support our military family by pre-ordering this book today!