To a True Hero, No Greater Love Dedication and Excerpt

Before I even wrote this novel, I knew to whom I was going to dedicate the book.

My childhood friend, “Willie”.

Today, March 29th, would have been his 36th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Will!

In 2010, two months after his marriage to the love of his life, William Donnelly gave his life on a foreign battlefield, on Thanksgiving Day.

Thank you for your sacrifice, Will. You will never be forgotten!!

In memory of William J. Donnelly IV

First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps:

Killed in action November 25th, 2010 at the

Battle of Thanksgiving, Sangin, Afghanistan.

He died a hero.

To all our first responders and military

(including their families):

Thank you for your sacrifices.

Not only did I dedicate this book to Will. I chose to use his story in the novel itself. William plays the part of Officer Hamilton Bryant’s best friend, a police officer killed in the line of duty.

I’d like to share one of those scenes with you.

No Greater Love Excerpt:

The next morning, Hamilton rose early and drove out to the cemetery. The grass sparkled like diamonds in the morning dew. American flags fluttered in the breeze created as the sun warmed the earth. He took a seat on the bench and bowed his head…

(Spoiler removed)

He closed his eyes, and a prayer rose from his lips. He startled when a hand squeezed his shoulder. “I thought I might find you here. I stopped by the hospital to see Jessie Faye last night and she told me she’d raked you over the coals.” He opened his eyes. Lillian joined him on the bench. “Beautiful up here, isn’t it?”

He didn’t answer. Not at first. His focus remained on the granite gravestone in front of him, his elbows propped on his thighs. Lillian’s finger brushed a tear off his cheek, leaving a cold mark where she’d touched him. “I miss him too.”

He leaned back against the wooden slates. “It still feels like yesterday. I can’t believe he’s gone.”

“I know. Me neither.”

“I used to love Thanksgiving Day when I was growing up. Family. Food. Football.” He chuckled and playfully bumped Lillian’s shoulder. She was a much bigger football fan than he was. “But ever since Will died, it’s just not the same.”

“Any one of us could have been on that task team that day. I was offered that position and I turned it down so I could move back home. That could have been me. Maybe it should have been me.”

A dark cloud passed over the cemetery. Lillian shivered. Hamilton removed his coat and wrapped it over her shoulders. Her words stuck him like a knife. It should have been me. They were both single. It should have been one of them. Not Will. Gracie shouldn’t have been widowed so early in her marriage. Why did it have to be him?

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