Carrie Stuart Parks



Today we welcome Carrie Stuart Parks, author and forensic art instructor, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Carrie: What a difficult question for an author-we all tend to be consummate readers! As a child, I consumed every book by L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz.) He wrote a total of fourteen books, of which I’ve managed to collect eleven (alas no first editions.) My other favorite author and primary book was Albert Payson Terhune’s Lad: A Dog.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Carrie: Dr. Watson. Sherlock would be great fun to watch.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Carrie: I actually have been around the world. If I’m traveling, not living, I’d revisit Israel. I’ve been there twice and would like to go again. If I had to live somewhere, I’m already there. My family’s 685 acre ranch in the mountains of North Idaho is glorious.

Thanks, Carrie, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday! Leave a comment for a chance to win Carrie’s latest book, A Cry From the Dust.ACryFrom_comp22 (2) - Copy

Carrie Stuart Parks is an internationally known forensic art instructor as well as FBI trained, Certified Forensic Artist. She worked for the North Idaho Regional Crime Lab for years before going freelance. A winner of numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence, she is also a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society. She met her husband, Rick, in the romantic hallways of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Together they wrote and illustrated six books on drawing and watercolor for North Light Media. A popular platform and keynote speaker, Carrie brings a wealth of knowledge and humor to her presentations. Carrie’s debut novel, A Cry from the Dust, was sold at auction in a three book deal to Thomas Nelson. She was mentored in her writing by NYT best-selling author Frank Peretti.
Facebook: Carrie Stuart Parks, Author

The Flying Pioneers by Rachel Muller

WWI Air WarIt was said to be the “war to end all wars,” however, World War I only provided the fuel to ignite the world into hostile circumstances. 100 years later, we look back on the world’s history and the horrific slaughter on mankind through trench warfare, tank battalions, and the brand new contraption just taking the world by storm—the aeroplane.

In just 100 years the world has quickly developed and improved in aerodynamics. From the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 to today’s manless flying machines, architects and mechanics have greatly influenced the air and space market. But how did flying evolve into what is has become today? Well, believe it or not, it all started with World War I…

Just prior to the war, England’s air fleet consisted of only 33 planes. Most of these early flying machines were made of paper, bamboo or poplar wood, and bicycle tires. Canvas skins were later used because of its durability over paper. However, Germany advanced in the field of aerodynamics and quickly developed their own effective planes that were more durable, could carry metal bodies instead of paper or canvas, and were faster than the Royal Flying Corps’ own planes.

When reconnaissance flights began, pilots were also instructed to take down Germany’s 170 balloon observation crafts. The pilots found while performing their duties they were also able to drop small bombs from the cockpit onto the enemy’s line with little threat to the pilot and the aircraft. It caused significant damage to the enemy in which they had little to no time to react. In no time at all, guns were mounted to the fuselage and synchronized with the front propeller, thus thrusting the opposing sides into a new kind of war—an air war.Bomb Dropping

Fresh and young pilots entering the RFC (some only 16 or 17 years of age) were thrown into pilot training almost immediately. Most WWI veteran pilots recorded that upon entering their quarters they were handed a pilot’s handbook and the joystick. Before the invention of simulators, a young pilot’s training was on-the-job. Sadly, over 15,000 planes and some 7,000 pilots lost their lives in training alone. By 1917, the life expectancy of a pilot was only 11 days.

The pioneers of flying endured harsh flying conditions. Due to little experiment on altitudes and air pressure, pilots made the half hour climb to 20,000 feet to find the altitude a frigid tormentor. Oxygen was sparse to none at all and the oxygen mask had not yet come into existence. Many suffered frostbite from the extreme temperatures, and air sickness due to the lack of oxygen in the blood. It was an excruciating experience for many.

If a pilot was lucky enough to live two weeks and shot down a total of 5 enemy planes, he was deemed a Flying Ace and decorated for his bravery in the skies. But most pilots never received the recognition they deserved. England’s laws prevented an Ace’s name and photo from being published in the newspapers, but when the law was lifted, a pilot, whose name did appear in the papers, became one not so popular with his peers. The English pilots believed they were a team and did not look for self-glory as the German’s had.

After the end of the first world war, people around the globe were ready to dismiss everything associated with war. The price had been too high for many. Soon pilots and their aircraft were demobilized. Many pilots were out of work and rejected from entering the army. But then something promising happened, and it was something that was catching around the globe. In 1918, the first successful airmail trip was made and inaugurated, introducing the world to the possibilities of air travel.

Since then, man’s dream of flying has become a reality and our technology continues to grow at an amazing pace, expanding our world to the limits of our imagination.

Thanks so much, Rachel, for finishing out our month of World War I…

Rachel Muller_HeadshotObsessed with World War II since the tender age of 17, Rachel Muller has been studying The Greatest Generation for 13 years and composing stories of love and war for nearly three years. After taking time to start and raise a family she has now turned her to passion—writing WWII fiction.

Her first book in her Love and War Series, Letters From Grace, won a Top 28 spot in the Harlequin/Mills & Boon So You Think You Can Write Contest (2012) where it finaled as the only historical romance in their Love Inspired line. Since then she has concentrated on re-writes and is now under review by literary agents. You can learn more about Rachel at or find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

War’s a Terrible Thing: 100 Year Anniversary of WWI


By Anne G. Evans

Today (or thereabouts) marks the 100th year anniversary of the beginning of World War I. It was a bloody war. Twenty-seven-(ish) nations engaged. Old Civil War tactics were still being used by incompetent generals despite the invention of much more accurate weaponry. So soldier after soldier died in futile charges, raising the body count of World War I to historic levels. Poisonous gas tore through men’s lungs as they died drawn out, horrible deaths.

I never knew my maternal grandpa. But I know he and his brother fought in World War II. And I know his relatives a generation before, uncles, older cousins, maybe even his dad, all fought in World War I.

The generations were spaced such that the fathers who sacrificed to fight in World War I had to see their sons make the same sacrifice in World War II. Men fought and bled and died. Women raised kids alone, wrote long letters, and cried themselves to sleep. Children grew up not knowing “Daddy.”

Much has changed in a hundred years. Men flew to the moon and walked in Space. Computers were invented and shrunk to fit into one’s hand. The world got smaller as global communication increased. But we still have soldiers sacrificing years of their lives in foreign battlefields. We still have moms (and some dads) raising kids alone, writing long letters (and emails now too), and crying themselves to sleep at night. Military children beg for “Daddy” (or Mommy) when Daddy’s thousands of miles away.

But now there is no draft and our wars are fought by a much smaller force. So it’s a lot easier to forget the soldiers far from home, the spouses trying to keep it all together on the homefront, the children begging for “Daddy” or “Mommy”.

My husband got his deployment orders the week after our son was born. We were in the neo-natal intensive care unit. Our son had a brain infection and was fighting for his life. The doctors thought even if he survived, he might never walk or hear again. My husband received the orders that he’d have to leave for the Middle East for a year. And we were lucky. Back in the surge, soldiers left for two years at a time.

In 2013, my husband returned home safely and our son, praise God, is a perfectly healthy two-year-old. But I’ll never forget how war changed our family’s life.

War’s a terrible thing. It was a terrible thing one hundred years ago and it’s a terrible thing today. The least we can do is support our soldiers and their families who are bearing the brunt of it right now, today, in 2014.

Anne Garboczi Evans is an author with Hartline Literary Agency. She is currently working on a world religions book entitled, No Fear: My Tale of Hijabs, Witchcraft Circles, and the Cross.

Cherie Burbach

author photo

Today we welcome Cherie Burbach, freelance writer and artist, to 3 Questions Wednesday.


(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Cherie: If I have to pick just one, it would probably be What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey. 


(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Cherie: I’d be Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird because having Atticus Finch as a father would be pretty cool. 


(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Cherie: Paris! Went there for the first and only time on my honeymoon and it was the trip of a lifeline. I’m obsessed with the Eiffel Tower and anything French.


birdsThank you, Cherie, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday! ReadersLeave a comment for your chance to win a print of your choice. Check out all her artwork at


Cherie Burbach is a freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She has published over 1,000 articles on the subjects of health, sports, lifestyle, and friendship. She’s written for, NBC/Universal, Happen Magazine, Philips Lifeline, and more. Visit her website,