Texas Wildfires: I had no idea I’d be living through this experience.

Fire can be pretty darn scary. We read about the wildfires in California every year that cause millions and billions of dollars’ worth of damages. I’ll see a touching story on the news, and I’ll quickly say a prayer, usually about two sentences long. But now, all of a sudden, here in Texas, we have several wildfires burning.

There’s a huge fire in Eastland County that is less than an hour away from me. It’s getting a little personal now. My prayers got a little longer, maybe four or five sentences. Then, this past weekend, my prayers grew long and fervent.

This fire was in Hood County. OMG, I live in Hood County. I was still unaware of the fire and was visiting my husband who broke his femur two weeks ago and is still in rehab. We were having a nice visit when I received a text from my daughter-in-law stating she and my son and grandson were being evacuated from their home located outside of town. Needless to say, I made a bee line home and discovered that our little town was in a pre-evacuation mode. Smoke was billowing south of town. We were advised to start getting ready, just in case.

I gathered up important papers, fed my dog, packed an overnight bag, but before I got much packed, we received notice that a mandatory evacuation order had been issued for our town. I quickly put everything I had prepared into the pickup, loaded up my husband’s dog Hank, and headed to my best friend’s house in Granbury.

As the evening progressed, the stories we were hearing got worse and worse. My house is roughly a half mile from the center of town. Each report showed the blaze closer and closer to town. The last thing I saw on my phone before going to bed Sunday night was the photo below taken by Brooke Winegardner. That is my house. I saw it and knew there was no chance of it being spared. Only a miracle could save it now.

Photo Credit: Brooke Winegardner

After a pretty sleepless night, we got up the next morning to reports of the fire being contained and the city of Lipan was safe. My house, my daughter’s and my son’s homes were all spared. Look at that photo again and tell me how my house made it through, untouched. As you can see, the fire was headed right towards us.

When I wrote my first published novel, Fire Light Fire Bright, I had no idea I’d be living through this experience. The fires in my book were the work of an arsonist, most were small and quickly contained, only one got out of control. If I had to do it over, I would have dedicated that book to the men and women firefighters everywhere, paid or volunteer. They risk their lives to save us and our belongings.

WHAT??? You haven’t read Fire Light Fire Bright yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Get your copy today.

Fire Light Fire Bright

The small north-central town of Glenwood, Texas is being methodically burned to the ground. Every few days another fire. Acres of scorched pasture, and skeletal remains of the once majestic trees that surrounded the township attest to the skill of the arsonist. Sheriff Dodge Brewster is frustrated by his inability to find even a single shred of evidence.

Several teenage girls in surrounding communities have been brutally raped. When the rapist finally targets Glenwood, the girls are not only raped, but murdered also. Deep in the woods outside of town, a Vietnam vet lives as a hermit. The people of Glenwood accuse him of every misdeed that occurs. The arson, rape and murders are no exception. They are demanding that Dodge arrest the vet, but new evidence in a turn of events point to his own friend.

Will Dodge be able to prove his friend’s innocence? Will he have to arrest him? Or will he go along with the townspeople and arrest the Vietnam vet?

Published by Elsie Varn Harrell

When Elsie decided to try her hand at writing a novel, Fire Light Fire Bright was born followed by Dreams Never Lie -which quickly became her publisher’s first Best-Selling Series. The Color of Thunder was published right between Dreams are Forever and Shattered Dreams. Elsie was born in Brooksville, Florida. Some of her fondest memories were swimming at Pine Island in the nearby Gulf of Mexico. Weeki Wachee Springs is where she learned to swim. In the early 1980’s, Elsie and her three children, Katie, Lisa G. and Jes moved to Texas. Shortly after moving to North Central Texas, Elsie met her husband Ronnie on a blind date and after a whirlwind courtship, they married in April 1987. After 34 years, they're still going strong.

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