It’s Shirley Jump!

This is a post about my friend and accomplished romance writer Shirley Jump.

Indiana Wonderer

Welcome back to Tuesday Traditions at Indiana Wonderer. And I have to tell you, I’ve been waiting all year for this post. All year! And it’s only fitting that I have the talented and ever-inspirational NYTBSA Shirley Jump here today, one week before my debut novel’s release.

You see, Shirley was the first author to help steer me in the right direction when I began my writing journey. But not only is she a wealth of knowledge, Shirley is also one of the most selfless, intelligent women I know. It’s an honor to call her my friend, and an even greater honor to share her interview with you all today.

So without further ado, please give a warm welcome to my dear friend, Shirley Jump…

  1. Name (or pen name): Shirley JumpUntitled-3
  1. State (or country) you call home: Florida
  1. Genre(s) you write: Romance
  1. Most recent work in progress…

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Forgiveness Is Possible



Photo by Dave Reusser

Photo by Dave Reusser

I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness. Zechariah 8:8

When Peggy’s missionary husband was killed by a Philippine jeepney, she grieved. In the Philippines the person who causes a death is imprisoned until the matter is resolved. Peggy knew the driver’s family would go hungry without his income. Despite her pain, she asked a church member to go to the police station to have the jeepney driver released.


The next night during her husband’s viewing the jeepney driver arrived to thank Peggy for her thoughtfulness. She told him she did not blame him for her husband’s death and that she hoped he would come to know Jesus Christ as His Savior.


The next Sunday the man arrived at church with his family. His wife and mother sobbed their gratitude to Peggy. Each Sunday following the jeepney driver brought his family and friends to church in the same vehicle that had killed Peggy’s husband. A few weeks later, they all accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.


Despite intense sorrow, Peggy forgave the driver who had caused her husband’s death. This, in turn, enabled him to understand the love of Jesus.


When God forgave the people of Jerusalem, they turned from sin and idolatry to live in peace and honesty. God gave us the supreme example of forgiveness when He allowed Jesus Christ to die for our sins.


Forgiveness gives people a second chance in life. Is there someone to whom you need to give a second chance?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, the need to forgive is not a natural instinct. Thank you for providing examples for us to follow to accomplish Your will. Thank you for forgiving us daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Win FREE Book about Selena Gomez in Trivia Contest!


Selena Gomez by Kayleen Reusser

Selena Gomez by Kayleen Reusser


This past week on July 22 Selena Gomez celebrated her 21st birthday. It just happened to coincide with the birth of the Royal Baby George!


We’ve learned much about the Royal Baby just in a few days. How much do you know about Selena Gomez?

Here are trivia questions based on information available in my 32-page 5-chapter book about her. Look for it in your local library TODAY! It is written for readers in Grades 1-3 but older readers are sure to enjoy the full-color photos t too.

ISBN: 978-1584157526

I’ll send a FREE copy of my book about Selena Gomez (Mitchell Lane) to the first person who emails me with correct answers to all of these questions by August 1 ($18.00 value).


xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the Xxx’s)


Answers will be available in next week’s blog post. Stay tuned! Have fun!


  1. What US city was Selena Gomez born in?
  2. How old was Selena Gomez when she made her first audition for a children’s TV show?
  3. What TV show did she audition for?
  4. What was the name of Selena’s character on this show?
  5. Name 2 TV shows Selena has appeared in as a guest role.
  6. On Wizards of Waverly Place Selena’s character, Alex Russo, had two brothers. Name the actors who played these brothers.
  7. What charity did Selena serve as the national Trick-or-Treat ambassador for in 2008?
  8. What person did Selena trust to help her make decisions and keep her grounded?
  9. What school did Selena attend while starring on Wizards of Waverly Place?
  10. What advice does Selena offer to young people (Hint: It is the last part of Chapter 5 in the book)?

Tips for Starting a Christian Writing Club

Rhonda Maller and I were interviewed by Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald for The Verbal Edge TV Show

Rhonda Maller and I were interviewed by Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald for The Verbal Edge TV Show

It was a joy recently for my writing friend Rhonda Maller and me to be interviewed by my good friend Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald. Elizabeth is host of The Verbal Edge, a public access TV station in Fort Wayne.

Rhonda and I talked with Elizabeth about co-founding the Bluffton Christian Writing Club in 2009 and how it has progressed. We meet monthly on the 2nd Monday night of each month at River Terrace Estates. We have grown to 14 regular attendees who drive to Bluffton from Allen and Adams counties. Our members include script writers, people writing memoirs, flash fiction, personal essays, business profiles, newspaper articles. Several members have published books and share marketing tips.

The variety makes it a fun group! We have begun a blog you can see here.

We offer critiques, advice, encouragement and camaraderie, something a lot of writers don’t find.

The biggest tip Rhonda and I offered to viewers who want co-found a Christian writing club is to keep Christ at the center of the meetings. We might not all mention God in our writing, but He is in every word, meaning we strive to write with truthfulness, creativity and passion. We meet deadlines and offer honest reporting.

The Verbal Edge can be seen on Saturdays at 7PM on channels 57/27 in Fort Wayne. As soon as Elizabeth schedules a time slot for the show to air, I’ll post that information here.

I’m also helping to organize a Christian writing club in Fort Wayne. We meet at Waynedale Public Library on the 4th Tuesday night of each month at 6:00 p.m. Twenty years ago I was a wannabe writer who managed to get away from her busy family for one evening a month to meet with writers at a church in Fort Wayne. Linda Wade was the director. Here is a photo of Linda and me at the Canterbury Book Fair.

Linda Wade led the Ft Wayne Christian Writing Club in the 1990s which helped me as a beginning writer.

Linda Wade led the Ft Wayne Christian Writing Club in the 1990s which helped me as a beginning writer.

She was so kind to people after they read samples of their work. Jim Watkins, Rosa Liston, Jim Langham and others became good friends to me. If it had not been for these wonderful people, I would not have continued with writing.

Jim Watkins was a helpful member of the Ft Wayne Christian writing club several years ago. We met at a recent writing conference where he was a speaker.

Jim Watkins was a helpful member of the Ft Wayne Christian writing club several years ago. We met at a recent writing conference where he was a speaker.

What tips would you suggest for organizing a Christian writing club?

Take care,

4th of July Tribute to WWII vet Richard Beitler

World War II Tech Sergeant Richard Beitler

World War II Tech Sergeant Richard Beitler

The 4th of July is a great time to remember our country’s freedoms and the people who have secured them. This profile of a WWII soldier seems appropriate. Mr. Beitler has been the oldest vet I’ve ever interviewed. When we talked in 2012, he was articulate and kind. It was a joy meeting him. He has approved this story for accuracy.

WWII vet Richard Beitler holds the uniform he wore 70 years ago.

WWII vet Richard Beitler holds the uniform he wore 70 years ago.

Richard Beitler

In 1940 the United States, sensing the approach of war in Europe, instituted a peace time draft. All men between the ages of 21-35 were required to register to fight in what many felt was an impending war.

Richard Beitler was born in Berne in 1917. After graduating from Berne High School in 1935, he worked six years at Dunbar Furniture as an upholsterer.

When the first draft in Adams County occurred in January 1941, 15 men were picked. Even though he had passed a physical examination and been assigned a number, Beitler was not among them. “It was a lottery,” said Beitler. “When your number was picked, you were drafted. If your number was not selected, you didn’t have to leave.”

In March 1941 more young men from Adams County were drafted. Beitler’s number was still not chosen. The hammer fell, so to speak, a month later as Beitler’s number was finally chosen among the 68 numbers picked for the next draft round.

Beitler and the other draftees were inducted into the United States Army at an armory in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Afterward, they were sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis for training. Beitler was assigned to Company G 152nd Infantry 2nd Battalion out of Newcastle, Indiana.

In September 1941 Beitler completed basic training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The following year he participated in amphibian training in Florida and maneuvers in western Louisiana. In 1943 he received instruction at Camp Livingston in north Louisiana.

When Beitler finally shipped out from the United States on January 1, 1944, it was on a former cruise ship, the SS Lurline. “We went in a 30-ship convoy through the Panama Canal,” he said. Beitler’s ship left the convoy and for two weeks zigzagged alone through the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. “The zigzags were to confuse enemy subs,” he added.

Beitler’s company spent five months in Hawaii training for duty. The troops then headed toward Oro Bay in the South Pacific on a Liberty Ship. “It was a 21-day trip to New Guinea, but I was never seasick,” said Beitler.

The American soldiers spent four months in Orlo Bay. Due to extreme heat, the soldiers trained by day and loaded and unloaded ships at night.

In late 1944 Beitler and other soldiers sailed to Leyte Island in the Philippines. Six officers, including one captain and five lieutenants, led the company.

All was quiet until the third night. When the Japanese began firing, part of Beitler’s company went to high ground to fight. Beitler and others stayed in the valley. The firing continued all night, killing several Americans.

The troops remained on Leyte Island until January 1945. Then they moved to the Bataan mountains where the soldiers were involved in the Battle of Zig Zag Pass. Severe fighting continued for two weeks. Beitler prayed often and carried a New Testament Bible, things he had been taught to do while growing up and attending church.

Once a Japanese bullet struck Beitler’s helmet, creating a hole and grazing his scalp. Beitler received a Purple Heart for being struck by enemy fire. Beitler did not get to keep his helmet. “It would have been a good souvenir,” he said.

By the time the Japanese retreated, only Beitler’s captain and one lieutenant remained. Two had been killed and two were injured. The remaining lieutenant suffered from shell-shock (what we call today post-traumatic stress syndrome). The captain, desperate for leaders, commissioned four platoon sergeants as second lieutenants. As a result, Beitler was promoted to platoon sergeant.

In the hills along the western side of the Philippines American troops again engaged in heavy conflict with loss of lives. They then moved to Clark Field, formerly a landing field for the U.S. Army which in January 1942 had been overrun by Japanese forces. The base was a busy center for Japanese aircraft until January 1945 when Allied forces reclaimed it after three months of fierce fighting.

They also saw action in the mountains northeast of Manila.

Beitler and other American troops geared up for what they believed would be the biggest invasion of the war – that of the Japanese mainland. To the relief of every American the invasion was cancelled following the surrender of the Japanese Emperor in Tokyo Harbor September 2, 1945.

After American forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the Japanese conceded and the war was finally over.

That did not mean every American soldier was immediately shipped back home. “We were discharged based on a point system,” said Beitler. “It included the number of years you had spent in service and number of battles you had fought.”

The number of points needed was 85. After four years in service, Beitler had earned that number of points. By the end of August, he had received his orders to be shipped home.

Beitler left the Philippines in September 1945. After sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, he traveled by train from California back to Camp Atterbury in southern Indiana. Beitler was officially discharged in October 1945.

By the end of the war, Beitler held the rank of Tech Sergeant. He was awarded the prestigious Purple Heart medal, as well as the Overseas, Good Conduct, and Asiatic Pacific medals. By the end of the war, Beitler’s four brothers had also been drafted into the military.

After returning home, Richard resumed his work as an upholsterer at Dunbar Furniture until 1985 when he retired.

Richard Beitler and his wife Margaret married in 1948. They became parents to two daughters, four sons, and later, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Margaret died in July 2011.

The Beitlers faithfully attended Cross Community Church in Berne throughout their marriage. For many years Beitler attended reunions for Company G until they were disbanded.
Today, Beitler lives in a retirement community in Berne. He still prays, teaches Sunday School and believes in God’s provision during his time as a soldier. “I had several close calls while overseas,” he said. “I prayed often and read my New Testament, especially verse eight of Psalm 121 which states, ‘The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.’
“I believe God saw me through those tough times,” he said.

The End