Sunday, December 8, 2013

Two of My Favorite Christmas Storoems

Every year when everyone gets involved in Christmas shopping for presents for all, I like to repost two of my favorite Christmas storoems:

The Garden Statue

The garden statue catches his eye.
It is ordinary – gray plaster, two feet tall,
but it is something he feels compelled to buy;
although for doing so, he has no explanation at all.

The statue is an angel, standing, head lowered,
a solemn look upon her face, cradling some object
lovingly to her chest. At first he puts her with stored
items, but later displays her in the yard – the subject

of complaint from his wife. “Sitting at the kitchen table,
that thing will be prominently in view. I don’t like it much.”
“It seems to belong there. I don’t know if I will ever be able
to explain. It intrigues me. The angel herself is cast with such

exquisite details – the feathers in her wings, the curls of hair,
her facial features, the flow of her garment -- all these are so
sharply defined. Yet the object she clutches is not. There
is no way to tell what it is…but I sense that I should know.”

The statue stands for weeks out in the December cold.
He studies her daily as he drinks his morning coffee.
It seems to speak to him, but the message remains untold.
There is something there…what he simply cannot see.

The house is filled with family staying for the holiday.
On Christmas morning, he gets out of bed at 6 a.m.
Enjoying his coffee, the first rays of dawn in a strange way
illuminate the garden statue. That is when he sees them.

The angel has her head held high, with a smile beaming.
She holds in outstretched arms a boy child plain to see.
Coffee spilling, he runs to the window, and stands looking
with wonder when he hears the others clamoring for it to be

time to see what Santa brought and to open presents for all.
He calls, but no one is interested. He goes to tell them
of the statue. Presents, presents, lavish ones, large and small,
consume their interest. Chances of interesting them are slim.

He returns to the kitchen to gaze upon the statue once more.
The angel stands head bowed, sad, appearing now as before.

Her Christmas Wish List

Her shabby clothes a size too small,
the six-year-old girl is being subjected
to disapproving looks. She cares not at all.
To her talking with Santa, none has objected.

The line to sit in Santa’s lap is quite long.
This upscale mall is doing brisk business.
Some parents whispering she doesn’t belong
with their kids doesn’t dampen her eagerness.

One after another, each recites their wish list
to Santa. “I want a bike, a computer game,
a TV for my room. I want … Now don’t miss
anything on my list. I want …” Ever the same.

The little girl’s turn has finally come.
All smiles, she crawls into the big man’s lap.
She talks softly to him. They talk until some
mother, filled with modern holiday spirit, snaps

“Hurry up, Santa! Why are you giving her so
much time?” Santa takes a list from her hand,
kisses her cheek, sends her away smiling. “No
more now. Santa’s on a break.” A security man,

assigned to protect Santa, follows him into
the break room. Tears are wetting Santa’s
synthetic beard. “This is one list I intend to
see filled! 'Gimme. Gimme' is the mantra

"that I hear all day every day from child after child.
This sweet girl lives in a homeless shelter downtown.
Her list has winter clothes, a few toys to bring smiles
to some kids who last year by Santa weren’t found.”

The guard: “Were some new clothes for her one thing
on her list?” “For herself she asked for absolutely nothing.”

Holiday Cheer to All!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review of A Wandering Warrior by Hollywood Book Reviews

Hollywood Book Reviews
4346 Willow Glen Street
Calabasas, CA 91302
(805) 440-1787

Title: A Wandering Warrior
Author: Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.
Publisher: 4RV Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9852661-9-6, Pages: 212, Genre: Historical Fiction Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert, Hollywood Book Reviews, Date Review Completed: May 25, 2013

Author Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. takes readers on an action-filled excursion through life, as it was, in twelfth century England in his latest novel A Wandering Warrior. Mr. Gilleland is a lauded author and poet and A Wandering Warrior is his eighth published work. The novel centers on a soldier for hire - Thomas Beaumont. Thomas is young, handsome, fearless, loyal and a skilled warrior, who seeks to avenge the death of his older brother John which is what starts him on his adventure-filled journey across England.

As itinerant soldiers, Thomas and his brother John led nomadic lives moving from battle to battle fighting as temporary warriors for pay. It is during the course of a poorly strategized battle that Thomas is severely injured, barely survives his wounds and winds up far away from the scene of the battle. After a kind couple finds him close to death on his horse, they take him in and nurse him back to health. While on the road to search for his brother Thomas encounters a messenger, who was actually looking for any members of his family - the Beaumont family. The messenger carried the
unfortunate news of his brother’s brutal murder while in captivity, at the hands of High Sheriff Simon Mowbray of Thetford in Norfolk, which sends Thomas on a hell bent venture to Norfolk for revenge.

Along the route of his journey towards vengeance, Thomas encounters several fascinating characters, and situations leaving little room for dull moments in his life. Thomas learned from his life as a soldier, that bravery, and gallantry often caused him to become involved in situations that test repeatedly tested his mettle; including many impromptu, fierce battles as well as a bloody battle with the royal guard. Although always a considerable foe in battle, Thomas repeatedly comes close to death after his battles. In a few instances he is nursed back to health by the kindness of other commoners like him and one instance in particular leads him to a life lesson in love by virtue of his rehabilitation back to health by the daughter of the leader of a band of Travelers – the beautiful and determined Emalda. Eventually, Thomas does get to exact revenge on his brother’s murderer but it is what he learns and accomplishes along the way that brings his journey full circle.

 Not being a big fan of historical fiction I did not expect for this book to be as engaging a read as it turned out to be. It was engrossing, thoroughly entertaining, a realistic representation of the time - period, with well-composed characters that are relateable, vividly detailed scenes - especially the fight battles and just an overall well told tale. I admire Harry E. Gilleland, Jr’s ability to write such a compelling story in A Wandering Warrior. I heartily recommend A Wandering Warrior to anyone looking for an absorbing read.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Win a Free Copy of A Wandering Warrior

Bookkaholics is hosting a Giveaway for A Wandering Warrior at present. Why not check it out and enter to win one of three copies to be given away:

A Wandering Warrior is an action-adventure, historical fiction novel set in late 12th century England. It follows the exploits of a commoner itinerant soldier as he travels throughout the shires of England seeking revenge, finding love, and engaging in battles.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What's an Author to Do to Get Reviews?

A Wandering Warrior, my new action-adventure, historical fiction novel set in late 12th century England was published by 4RV Publishing on 15 April 2013. Since then, I have been in marketing mode, trying to draw attention to and get reviews for my book. People say an author should not buy reviews because paid reviews are tainted somehow. Instead, it is supposedly better to send review copies out and/or solicit free reviews. Free reviews ARE nice. Good luck in getting them!

I sent out emails inquiring about obtaining a free review in exchange for a review copy of my book being mailed to them for free. On April 27th - 29th I emailed twenty-three book review blogs asking for a free review for my book. One of the twenty-three, one responded thus far after more than two weeks ... one out of twenty-three.

I sent emails on May 4th & 5th to top reviewers selected by their giving an email for contact and their book genres interest matching my book's genre. I contacted twenty-five reviewers requesting a review for my book. One responded so far with agreement to read the book for possible review ... one out of twenty-five.

Therefore, in seeking free reviews, I contacted a total of forty-eight blogs and Amazon reviewers, with a total of two responding after nine to seventeen days. It is no wonder that authors turn to paid reviews to get a number of reviews posted to Amazon and to Barnes & Noble.

Anyone interested in posting a free review to Amazon and/or B&N in return for receiving a free copy of A Wandering Warrior, please contact me at my email = hgilleland @ (remove spaces).



Friday, April 26, 2013

A Wandering Warrior in Goodreads Giveaway


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        A Wandering Warrior by Harry Gilleland



          A Wandering Warrior


          by Harry Gilleland


            Giveaway ends May 31, 2013.

            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.




      Enter to win

Enter for your chance to win one of five copies being given away.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"A Wandering Warrior" Will Be Published Soon

My newest novel, A Wandering Warrior, has been uploaded to the printer and should be available soon. After I get a proof copy to approve, the book should become available in May. Please look for it then.

A Wandering Warrior is an action-adventure, historical fiction novel to please all readers. In twelfth-century England, a commoner and itinerant soldier, Thomas Beaumont, travels to avenge the cruel slaughter of his older brother while a captive after a battle lost. Along the way, he encounters a band of Travelers and falls in love with the dark beauty, Emalda, the leader’s daughter. In his future wanderings, he finds many adventures involving battles, the rescue of two young ladies of nobility, the search for his lost love, trials of honor by combat, tragedy, new love, and encounters with knights and royalty. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cover design for my newest book

Here is the cover for my latest novel to be published in another month or so by 4RV Publishing. The novel is an action-adventure tale set in 12th century England. I'd appreciate your watching for its debut. It makes entertaining reading!

The cover is designed by Aidana Willowraven, who also designed the cover for my previous novel. Aidana does truly excellent work.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rusty Nail January, 2013 Issue has Two of My Poems

The January, 2013 issue of the Rusty Nail magazine is now available. Two of my poems (All the Dancing Bears and Beast Within) are included on page 49. Check it out: