We Still Need Heroes by Rachelle Ayala #mgtab @mimisgang1

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Heroes are the men and women who step up in times of crisis. They charge into burning buildings and rush toward disaster zones. They defend us against bullies and bad guys, and they stay on their jobs when others retreat. We appreciate our heroes because they inspire us and give us hope. They help us in times of need, and they do their duty while others are fleeing and hiding. We appreciate our heroes on special days like Veteran’s Day and anniversaries of their heroic acts. But do we understand the toll it takes on them and their families?

Being a hero entails sacrifice and putting others in front of self. Our military men and women not only fight bad guys but give aid and support to vulnerable populations. Our first responders put their safety at risk when responding to disasters or calls for help. Our health care workers stood at the front line to treat patients when an unknown disease sickened their communities. Every day, mothers and fathers put their children’s welfare in front of their own by working long hours to put food on the table or sacrificing for their education.

The qualities that heroes have: bravery, courage, resourcefulness, duty, honor, and sacrifice are still needed today. We need men to stand up for what’s right and women to nurture the weak and helpless. People to hold the line for freedom and individual liberty against the dark side of totalitarianism and mind control.

I’m grateful for all heroes: the police who catch criminals, the firefighters who save lives and homes, the military who secure our freedoms, the pastors who preach the Bible, the parents who protect the children, the essential workers who did their jobs, the patriots who stand against tyranny, and most of all, God who gave us his only begotten Son.

Forgive me for being sentimental. The 20th anniversary of September 11 just passed by, and while the ending of the war was not what we expected, it does not in any way diminish the heroism of the policemen, firefighters, and rescuers who charged into the buildings or all of the many military men and women who held the line against terrorists and warlords. They battled at tremendous personal cost and we owe them continued gratitude. Who knows how many attacks were prevented by their sacrifice?

Many years ago, I wrote about an Afghanistan War veteran, Tyler Manning, who returned home disillusioned and suffering from PTSD. He was homeless, subjected to flashbacks, and had lost his faith. It took a tiny four-year-old girl, Bree Kennedy, to see something special about him as he sat underneath a Christmas tree scavenging thrown-away food from a mall food court. I wish the war had ended better, but I know his effort was not wasted. Tyler’s story became a three-part Christmas series called: A Veteran’s Christmas.

In book 1, A Father for Christmas, Bree finds Tyler under a Christmas tree and brings him back to society and a romance with Bree’s mom, Kelly.

In book 2, A Pet for Christmas, Tyler returns to Afghanistan to work at a charity he founded, only to have it blown to bits. He and his translator then embark on a daring escape from Afghanistan with the help of a stray Kuchi dog.

In Book 3, A Wedding for Christmas, Tyler gets involved with a former Afghan female soldier and helps her get off the streets–all while trying to juggle his wedding to Bree’s mom, Kelly

Check out the first book, A Father for Christmas FREE.

A Father for Christmas by Rachelle Ayala

So let us remember to honor our heroes every day and to let them inspire us to give a helping hand and nurture those in need. All of us can be an every day hero by standing up for the values and ideals that made our country great and by giving our time, labor, and care to others. Like the children’s song says, JOY is Jesus, Others, You with yourself last.

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A Wasted Day

For those who don’t know me, I’m pretty intense at times. Especially when I am focused and need to stay on track to complete my tasks. I’ll be the first to admit that the state of the world has kept me occupied more than I wish it would.

Luckily, the other day, I finally got my footing again and jumped back into work with both feet. Only to be brought to a standstill yesterday.

My day started out like any other, I worked on my marketing, answered my emails, dealt with my other business, and then I went back to my email to catch up on ones that didn’t need immediately attention. There was one from my website stating that UPDATES were done to my site and to check to make sure that it was working well. Okay, sounds simple enough, right?

Holy Batman!! My site was gone–crashed. Kaput! Well, crap! Okay, I’ve had this happen before, no biggie. Get on tech support, get it figured out. I got this.

Three hours later – three support people later – and I was learning that my website was HACKED. Not just screwed up from an UPDATED – but it has been hijacked and trashed! They tried to say it was my fault, say that I changed my permissions, that I caused the issue. Um–NO!!!

See, let’s jump back to April 21. I received this great email saying that they had my password. It was a really old password that could have gone to a bunch of different things that were of no importance–or so I thought. In this email, they said they had control of my computer, and my cameras. They also said they had a bunch of naughty videos that they would send to my contact list. Well, hard to do when my cameras are disabled and not connected to my computer, but whatever! I’m sure if there were videos, some people might have gotten a laugh or two.

At the end of the email – they were attempted to extort me for a 2000 bitcoin. Yeah, blocked the email and moved the email to a folder where I keep weird stuff (Can’t take the cop out of me).

So back to the story of being hacked, when I was finally able to restore databases (3 more hours later), I find that I need to go back all the way to April 20th – and BAM!!! There were 35 attempts to log into my website that day from an unknown spam IP address.

Needless to say, that after almost 8 hours of fussing with my website, I was done for the day and got absolutely nothing else done! I did, however, change every freaking password, added extra safety features.

Today is another day, and I am back to focusing on what I need to get done. Like preparing for my newest release, Mission: Accept that comes out on May 22nd.

Mission: Accept is the second story in the Rise Again Warrior series.

Dana Donahue might be Shane Logan’s cousin, but she’s nothing like him—she’s quite the opposite of him. Her thoughts focus on what money and people can do for her. She never approved of Shane joining the military and knows little about the world he has lived in for most of his life. All that will change when she has to ask him for a job after her father cuts her off.

Derek Stall lives on the streets by choice—not circumstance. Memories of what he did under order sometimes haunt him, other times give him the strength to move through one more day until he can finish the mission he started.

A chance meeting between Dana and Derek will lead to an unlikely friendship that might just save his life, but the drastic differences between them could be the dividing wedge that keeps them apart.

When Derek feels he has to leave Rise Again Warrior to complete his mission, he begins to realize that he could be leaving behind more than just a few friends. Could he be leaving behind the possibility of a healthy future before he finally accepts his past?