Guest Author Judith Sanders

As lovers of books, don’t you wish there was some way, we had the time and could read each and every book on our TBR and Wish lists?  I know I do.  And this is one of those books.  When Jaime from Media Connect/Finn Partners contacted me, I knew I had to share this with all of you.  So please help me welcome Judith Sanders to our group!


Judith Sanders received her BS from Graceland College and worked as a registered nurse for many years, including serving the military as a nurse in Maryland and Texas. Sanders, a mother of three boys, now makes writing her full time career and divides her time between her homes in New Hampshire and North Carolina.


“More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.”

(Who said this? Find out at the end of this blog!)

I’m a Jersey girl, the youngest child of parents of the “Greatest Generation.” As a kid, Sunday’s revolved around three things: A visit to my grandmother’s house, eating the best fried chicken in the world, and gathering around the television to watch “Meet the Press’ hosted by moderators like Martha Roundtree, Ned Brooks, and Lawrence Sivak. Other than this painful ritual (we were forced to sit and watch by our mother), I was busy being a tomboy, riding my horse, fishing, and playing baseball.

I didn’t think much about anything other than having fun. I took for granted the memorabilia of WWII surrounding me; photos of people in uniform, American Flags waving on front porches, and movies like, “The Halls of Montezuma, “When Willie Comes Marching Home”, and the “Flying Leathernecks” on the Cort Theatre marquee. I do remember briefly thinking, there is always a war. It was not a depressing thought just a reality of that period.

But in the 50’s, war inched a little closer, adjusting my viewpoint. My brother joined the Air Force and was sent to Japan. It loomed closer in the 60’s when my brother in-law went to Vietnam as an Army Ranger sniper. He was a different person when he returned. High school friends were drafted, many I never saw again. War was no longer a movie with heroes marching home in a ticker-tape parade.

The outcome of war threw its shadow over me when my father who served in a defense plant during WWII fell ill. He died prematurely from a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Fortunately my three sons were born at a time when the draft had been abolished. Divorced and nine years later when I remarried, I had no idea of becoming a military wife. But that was exactly what happened when my husband, proud of his own father’s service in the Navy, joined the Army shortly after medical school. I remember thinking, “I can handle this…this is peacetime.” Wrong! Operation Desert Storm erupted and the Middle East became a new ‘hot zone’. He served in Iraq as a physician with the United Nations. During that time I worked for the Army as a civilian nurse and had numerous opportunities to meet many of the men and women who put their feet on the ground, stand on a wall, or serve in supportive military services for me and for you.

Three years ago one grandnephew and later another, faced with uncertain futures, joined the military. Both have just completed their first tours in Afghanistan. So I guess I have come full circle and I am still asking, ‘will there always be a war’. The United States has had an unprecedented thirteen-year presence in the Middle East. The results are that we are seeing sons following their fathers and brothers following brothers into the same Persian battleground.

So how does this lend to my latest novel, In His Stead?

Well, these courageous women and men voluntarily leave their families and against all their natural instinct, for self-preservation, walk forward to protect you and me. It prompts me to ask what I would be willing to do to protect them. Thomas Lane, the main character in my novel makes his answer very clear. Anything!

(Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) Thirty-second President of the USA.)
Connect with Ms. Sanders at her website and on Facebook.


In His Stead explores the tension, devastation, strength, and love of service families during wartime through the story of one man, Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane, as he attempts to make the greatest sacrifice for his son.

Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son who was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the price of war is far too dear. Now the National Guard is calling on Lane’s youngest son to serve. Consumed with sorrow, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place.

In His Stead follows the tumultuous battle of Thomas Lane as he navigates the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon like choice of losing either a husband or a son. Capturing the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—In His Stead explores what it means to be a father and a man.



No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.

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