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…begins with looking up your destination on the Internet. No, wait…

….begins with putting gas in your car–no….

…begins with a single step. There. That’s the cliche. And like so many cliches, it’s got a powerful truth at its core beyond the tasty, crunchy fortune cookie in which it is wrapped.

I, like most people, occasionally get intimidated by things that Life, the wench, likes to throw at me. I know that may seem hard to believe, considering the fact that I kept trying for seven dry, frustrating years to break into publishing, and I’m closing in on my 50th novel. But it’s true.

We have all heard of Fight or Flight, but there’s a third option: Freeze. I tend to freeze.

Like, with this blog, for instance. In mid-June I was visiting friends in Colorado. Over the kitchen table, my dear friend William S. “Stan” Kirby and I drank fine alcohol and shook our heads over this thing called “being a writer.” Not writing–we’ve got that part–but “being a writer.” It involves blogging, and tweeting, and Facebooking, and being Out There, and we are introverts. So we made a pact to get a blog up at least every other week. He beat me to it, check out http://www.wskirby.com for a great essay on vampires.

I whimpered and whined and said, “But deadline” and “But China trip” and “but laundry”–all of which are valid reasons! Really! But I took a small step, and here I am, typing away.

Another small step I took was literal. Stan and I went for a walk while I was visiting–a short little jaunt. It reminded me of how much I enjoy walks in nature. So when I got home, I went for a mile walk in the morning to a local park. I liked it. A lot. I’ve gone just about every morning since.

I’m drinking more water. And doing yoga. And that laundry–I’m getting to it. It’s pretty cool.

I’ve made some teeny steps in other areas, that led to bolder ones. You lace up your virtual shoes, walk out your metaphor of a door, and who knows where you’ll end up.

Drop me a postcard when you get there. Or at least tweet me, okay?

I have been so busy traveling to Denver for a convention and signings, monitoring my Twitter feed and Facebook posts, and doing interviews that I have neglected my blog! Sorry to all my followers.

WAR CRIMES was released this past Tuesday, May 6, and is doing wonderfully well! It sold briskly in preorders–so much so that Gallery Books had to go back for a second printing before the book was even officially released! I kept hearing the bookstores sold out of it rapidly, sometimes even within the first day!

The response is overwhelmingly positive, which warms my heart. This was a difficult book, with so many characters and storylines, interweaving the past and present, and striving for a good balance between action and dialogue.

Though I’m late to the dance posting about it here, it still has a few more days as a contender for the NYT Bestseller list. Because people have asked me: The classic NYT Bestseller list counts sales of print books, and that’s what people mean when they say “New York Times bestseller.” There are separate bestsellerlists for e-books and audiobooks. Please, if you wish to buy the book (and of course I hope you do!), select whatever format you prefer!

Check to see if your local bookseller still has copies! If not, order here:

or here–

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/world-of-warcraft-christie-golden/1117502525?ean=9781451684483

Thank you to ALL who have supported me in my writing, past, present, and future. <3

I am going to appear this coming Sunday, March 3,  at the local Comic Con. Information can be found here: http://comiccitytn.com/Convention_Listings.html

I’ll be on a panel from 1-2 and will be around selling and signing books all day! Please drop by and say hello!

I am pleased to announce that I will be doing a book signing at Books-A-Million, 125 Hampton Place, Clarksville, TN, 7040, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, February 26.

I’ll be signing “Flashpoint,” my latest StarCraft II novel, and I hope to see many of you there!

Brief shout-out to my incredibly patient and supportive blog readers! I really, really hope this year I will be able to keep this updated. You all know that last year wasn’t the easiest on me, but I have high hopes for this one.

I will take this chance to say–thank you, to you, my wonderful readers. You make it possible to do work I love so very much, every purchase you make–online, through Audible.com, e-book, or by walking out of a bookstore with a Christie Golden title under your arm–puts food on my table and keeps a roof over my head. And the internet connection going, so that I can tell you “thank you.”

I’m up to I believe 41 titles available out there, working on a few more. Enjoy your January, it’s almost over, and it’ll be November before we all blink three times. :)

Today, TIDES OF WAR is hitting bookshelves and e-readers. This is the book I was about three quarters of the way through writing when I went to visit my father for what turned out to be the last time. It was hard to finish, but I know it’s what Dad would have wanted, and I am so grateful to Simon & Schuster and Blizzard Entertainment for their kind thoughts and patience with me during this rough time.

I’m extremely proud of the final product. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader,” as the quote goes, so I do hope that my readers (thank you all!) find this to be a moving read. It is one of those interesting coincidences that it deals with profound loss, grief, and learning to deal with it, as well as the excitement and adventure I love to put in my Warcraft novels. I think this one has something we all can relate to.

I’m hoping it will hit the NYT Bestseller list, not for me, but for Dad, as a tribute to him. It is my 7th Warcraft novel, it would be my 7th bestseller, and my father would have turned 92 on September 7. Books are counted during the first week of publication, so from today through next Tuesday, for the list. I’m a little worried that a crucial patch to the game itself, that deals with events in the book, might distract some readers from purchasing this week.

So I ask you, let’s hit the list for my Dad. A lot of heart went into this book. So if you are intrigued, or were planning on buying it, or know a friend who might enjoy it, please download it, visit your local bookstore, or purchase from this link at Amazon.com.

Take good care, and thank you all for your kind thoughts.

I lost my father on December 14. I’m not really ready to write about it yet–suffice for now to say that I was devoted to him, and even though he was 91, I wanted more time with him. He bought me my first computer back in the early 1990s when I begged him, “It will help me finish my Book.” You know, the Book, the Great American Novel every writer wants to write. Dad said, “You’ll never finish writing a whole book.” How well he knew me–he set me a challenge, and now I am on my 41st novel.

What follows is the obituary I wrote, with information gleaned from his own memoirs. We sent it to the Washington Post, who, perhaps not unexpectedly, ran a greatly edited version. My family likes this one better…so here it is.

I love you, Dad.

James R. Golden survived jumping out of a burning P-51 Mustang on
D-Day, eleven months of life as a German WWII POW, a brutal march of
over 34 miles a day in Germany’s worst blizzard in 25 years, and an
emergency appendectomy in a makeshift “hospital” during the war.
After so many brushes with death in so short a time, Fate gave him a
pass for nearly seven decades, during which time he continued to make
significant contributions to country, friends and family. Golden died
on Wednesday, December 14, at the Virginia Hospital Center from
complications of cancer at the age of 91.

Born in Leesburg, Florida, on September 7, 1920, Golden was a graduate
of Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, in 1942–which he attended
on an unusual combination of two scholarships, Glee Club and football.
The war hastened a courtship with fellow Leesburg resident Elizabeth
Colson, a beauty queen and Cypress Gardens model (later to do
professional modeling with D.C. fixture and upscale specialty store
Julius Garfinckel & Co. when Golden’s career took him to the area.)
They were married on October 3, 1943, and Golden left for Bottisham,
England on December 16.

While serving with the 8th Air Force and the 361st Fighter Group,
Golden flew both P-47 Thunderbolts, known as “the Jug” to the pilots
who loved them, and P-51 Mustangs. The fighter planes were known as
“Little Friends,” and their pilots were dearly loved by the crews of
the “Big Friends”, the bombers such as the B-17 and the B-25, that
they escorted and protected. Golden’s most satisfying mission
occurred on April 13, 1944. Golden and another pilot escorted a
crippled B-17 returning from France, driving away six German FW-190s.
When the bomber pilots were forced to ditch the plane in the English
channel, Golden signaled Maydays to the air-sea rescue units and
helped guide them to the floating B-17. The grateful crew was given
the opportunity to meet the pilots of their “Little Friends” who had
saved their lives. Twenty-five years later, the survivors of that
mission invited Golden to attend their own reunion.

His 48th mission is recorded by author Danny Morris in the book Aces
and Wingmen II, vol. I, p. 24: “6th June 1944: The day finally
arrives and the 8th flies 1,873 sorties. James R. Golden of the 361st
Fighter Group is the last Allied fighter pilot to be lost on the day
when an oil line in his Mustang B7-A, 43-6977 breaks and he is forced
to step over the side. The following day he is betrayed and taken
prisoner by German troops.”

In his own words from his memoirs, Golden describes the jump from the
plane and his final and 48th mission: “I glanced over my left shoulder
and saw the chute pack blowing out behind me. I had not yet realized
that somehow my leg straps were unbuckled, which left the chute pack
flapping in the breeze and took the ripcord ring out of my reach.
After I was able to stop my violent tumbling I reached back with my
left hand and pushed the pack down until I could reach the ripcord
with my right hand. When I pulled it the chute blossomed–but without
the leg straps to hold me in the chute the harness was jerked
completely over my head and I was left hanging precariously by hands
and arms.” The violence of that incident would have repercussions 65
years later, when damage to his spine and and pelvis would render him
unable to walk without assistance.

Golden landed in a small town near Dieppe, France. He was taken in
and hidden by a sympathetic French family, but his whereabouts were
revealed to the Germans, who came for him the following day. Golden
was taken to the infamous Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany, where,
less than two months earlier, 50 POWs were executed after attempting
to escape. The incident became known as “The Great Escape,” and when
Golden arrived at the camp, he saw large posters proclaiming “The
escape from prison camp is no longer a sport!”

Golden remained there until the night of January 27, 1945. From the
27th to the 29th, the south compound of Stalag Luft III was
marched–during one of the worst blizzards on record–to Spremberg,
then were loaded into boxcars to Moosburg. While there, he underwent
an emergency appendectomy and was in what served as a hospital
recovering when liberation came on April 29, 1945, when General George
Patton’s Third Army troops and tanks moved in. For his service,
Golden was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with
three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Prisoner of War Medal.

Upon returning home, Golden attended the University of Florida School
of Law in Gainesville, graduating in 1947. He and wife Elizabeth
moved to Washington, DC, in 1949, where he served two years as the
aide to Congressmen Syd Herlong, two years as Legislative Attorney in
the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, and seven years as
Legislative Assistant and Administrative Assistant to United States
Senator from Florida, Spessard L. Holland. In 1958, Golden worked
closely with Holland on obtaining statehood with Alaska.

Following his government service he joined the Ford Motor Company and
retired after twenty-two years in service in Civic and Governmental
Affairs in the southeastern United States and Director of
International Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C. and Ford’s
world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1978, after relocating to
Arlington, Virginia in 1972, Golden traveled with Henry Ford II to
China, where he was a guest of Communist Chairman Deng Xiaoping.

Golden was active in many organizations in Washington. He was the
second president of the Florida State Society, and served as vice
chairman of the board of the Meridian House International. He served
as president of both the Stetson and the University of Florida Alumni
Clubs. He chaired the International Trade Committee of the American
Motor Vehicle Association and the Industry Sector Advisory Committee
for transportation to the Department of Commerce during GATT
negotiations.

After retirement from Ford Motor Company in 1982, Golden served as
senior vice president of the International Management and Development
Institute in Washington, and was president of the P-47 thunderbolt
Pilots Association, Ltd., based at The Wings Club in New York City.
He was a long-time member of the choir of The Church of the Covenant
in Arlington, and the Washington Golf and Country Club.

Mr. Golden is survived by his wife of 68 years, Elizabeth Colson
Golden, and three children: artist/photographer Elizabeth Golden of
Asheville, N.C.; entrepreneur and business owner James R. Golden, Jr.,
Arlington, VA.; and New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden,
Denver, CO.

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