Many people ask me when my “next” book is coming out, and frankly, I don’t have an answer. I know it is called “Above and Beyond” and that it is practically finished, but I’ve not really had the time to think about all the work involved in actually getting it out there to readers yet.

Anyone in the publishing business knows it’s a very long process. A year from finished manuscript to published book would be considered “moving right along,” and 18 months or more is not unheard of.

I can inform “Shades of Gray” fans, though, that the characters are completely different from Hunter and Andrea.

The main character in “Above and Beyond” is Colonel Douglas Benton, who is a flamboyant womanizer and somewhat of a braggart. The heroine is a quiet, very mature, Christian woman (definitely not Andrea Evans!), who teaches Benton that there is more to being a good soldier than leading heroic cavalry charges.

The character of Sarah Irene Duvall (the heroine’s name) is not based on any real person in history, but I have read of accounts such as hers – especially during the Revolutionary War. Basically, she pretends to be a strong Unionist in Virginia, to the extent that all her neighbors, and even her brother, believe the ruse. She becomes an outcast and a scourge in her own community as her home is almost constantly filled with Union soldiers. Of course, secretly, she is passing on very valuable information to the Confederacy – but her identity is known only to General Lee and President Davis.

One can only imagine the courage and strong will it would take to be despised and maligned by family and friends while you are nobly serving a cause. It could be argued that it would take more fortitude than fighting an outright battle with hundreds of your comrades surrounding you.

The book will feature strong Christian themes, and like “Shades of Gray,” I believe it will take readers on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Jessica

 

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