Sunday, September 23, 2012

Guestpost: Loree Lough on The First Responders Series

 Loree Lough Guestpost

I'm convinced that first responders are not like the rest of us.

     Whether cloaked in the uniforms of soldiers, firefighters, police officers, or EMTs, something inside enables each to silence doubt and fear and plow through danger to protect those who were not blessed with the trait. I am one of the Unblessed. To prove it, let me share a true story:

     One dark, starless night, several dozen family members gathered around our campfire, whispering about reports that a mountain lion had been spotted in the area. My brother-in-law excused himself to use the facilities, and, true to his always-joking nature, tiptoed up the hill. When he crashed through the underbrush, growling like a grizzly, adults scattered like ashes on the wind. As our wide-eyed, S'mores-sticky kids said "What's going on!", we—the parents assigned to protect them—huddled on the cabin porch and faced the ugly truth: We could never again claim "I'll lay down my life for my children!"

     While interviewing nearly 200 first responders who served on 9/11, I heard nearly 200 variations of the same story … and 200 ways of saying what this New York City policeman said: "I didn't give a thought to what might happen to me. I just wanted to get to my buddies, no matter what it took." He lost four fingers, digging through the smoking debris in search of his comrades. During my interview with one of the paramedics who carried the dead and dying to waiting ambulances, one said "I don't consider myself a hero … just a guy doing what anyone else would do under the same circumstances."

     No, not "just a guy doing his job," I argued. And although I told my campfire story to underscore that truth, he still didn't get it. What more proof did I need to shore up my belief that first responders really aren't like the rest of us! Is it possible, I wondered, to show them how much we, the Unblessed Cowards, appreciate the matter-of-fact way they gear-up and stride nobly into the line of fire?

     The First Responders series is my answer to that question, and I pray that every reader comes away with newfound respect and admiration for those who take John 15:13 a step beyond its meaning: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friends."

How much greater is the gift of the brave men and women who humbly live those words daily ...

… for strangers.

About the Author:

     With nearly four million 4- and 5-star books in circulation, reviewers and readers alike have called best-selling author Loree Lough “a gifted storyteller whose novels touch hearts and change lives.” The 3rd novel in her popular First Responders series, A Man of Honor (Loree’s 88th published book), reaches bookstore shelves this September. Loree and her husband live in the Baltimore suburbs and love spending time at their tiny cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she loves to show off her “i.d the critter tracks” skills. She loves to hear from readers (who can email her via and answers every letter, personally.

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About the Book:

Dusty and Grace find love together, but will it be enough to pull them through tragedy?

     On a steamy spring morning, Dusty Parker—part-time pastor, part-time search and rescue team leader, and full-time administrator at a school for troubled boys—joins the search for a missing teen girl. He partners with volunteer and inner city school teacher Grace Sinclair, and what they find bonds them in ways neither could have expected.

     As they begin to build a life together, a visitor from the past causes Dusty and Grace to further open their hearts and home.

     But a dark and dangerous threat looms over their seemingly perfect world, and in one terrifying night…

…everything changes

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