We had some issues the last couple of weeks, but I’m excited to welcome back The Character Tour! Military themed novels like this one are a special favorite to this ex-military spouse. So, I’m excited to welcome another ex-military wife, Jodie Bailey, to my blog! She brought along another feisty female for us to get to know just a little better! Stay tuned at the end, because Jodie is giving away a copy of her book!
Cassidy Matthews is the lead character in the military suspense Freefall, coming from Love Inspired Suspense on November 1. An Army Chief Warrant Officer, she knows what it means to be tough and hold your ground… but that sometimes, in order to win the battle, you have to surrender.
Let’s get this straight from the start. I am not a girly girl. There’s never been a point in my life when I thought princess dresses and tea parties were fun. When I was a kid, most of the time I ran around the neighborhood playing Army with the boys. My dad was a soldier, and I thought that was the best thing anybody could ever be.
Most guys didn’t like that about me. They thought the tough chick thing was cool in a buddy, but it wasn’t so cool when they wanted to play protector with someone. I get that God wired them that way, but what if he wired me to protect myself? The more they tried to shelter me, the more this part of me grew. Thought I could do it on my own.
Too many people thought my tough exterior, my desire to be a soldier, meant I didn’t like men, but that was never true. There’s a stereotype out there about the “tough chicks.” I think my husband Shane was the first person to ever really look underneath all of that armor I’d put on and realize there was somebody underneath who needed to be protected, even if I didn’t think that was the case. It’s good to be wrong sometimes.
I guess there’s a difference between being a woman and being a lady. And I’m okay with that. It’s okay to prefer mud to perfume and campfires to tea parties. To be coated in mud from head to toe after a hard day in the field instead of wearing a mud mask to open your pores. And it’s okay to think dirt is the enemy, though I’ll never understand that kind of thinking.
Seems God made all kinds, and I wonder a lot if we try to put girls and boys in these little boxes they were never meant to fit in. I know I didn’t fit the typical girl box. And God knew Shane would need a girl like me to stand toe to toe with him in this world.
It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be cool if we were all just free to be ourselves? Because I couldn’t be me for so long, I built up this wall of self-reliance that kept me from trusting even God to handle my life. Good thing He didn’t stop chasing me. And good thing he didn’t let Shane stop chasing me. Sooner or later, we all come home, right?
Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After fifteen years as a military spouse, she’s proud to be a retired military spouse settled back in North Carolina with her husband and daughter. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to Edie Melson’s devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle schoolers to love writing as much as she does (if she’s lucky that day and they’re actually listening). Jodie loves to bake, ride the Harley with her husband, and fish the Outer Banks with their daughter. You can find her on the web at www.jodiebailey.com.
Up on The Character Tour next week: Keven Newsome and a character from his latest release “Prophetess”.