Lots of book news…

and a few “bumps” to share.

We finished book two and sent it to the publisher in early July. The work involved 1500 hours by yours truly, an additional 1500 hours or more from my dear wife Laura, and countless more from veterans who shared their stories. Writing books takes lots of research along with significant time from Andrea, our terrific editor in Tennessee. 

Laura mentioned, “Jerry, this is a lot of work! “

I responded, “I know, honey, but the veterans who protect and defend the US give their time, sweat, and sometimes, their blood. We spend our time listening to them recount their memories, often through tears. I owe it to them to reflect on the nature of their suffering, anxiety, fears, and sacrifice in this writing. So, let’s press on.”

We did and were able to press the send button on the manuscript of 30 stories, covering a book of over 200 pages, the third week of July. 

Three weeks later, our publisher emailed me with this alarming news. “Jerry, I will need to send the manuscript back to you. The material is just too graphic in spots for me (a dedicated Christian publisher) to bring to print. I am certainly not saying the book isn’t worth publishing. Quite the contrary. There are many publishers out there who will gladly publish this book. I can send you the names of two I know personally.”

When Laura and I got that news late on a Friday afternoon, I fluctuated between disappointment and sadness. After reflection and prayer over the weekend, I called my literary agent, Bob. 

“Sorry, you got that news, Jerry. It happened to another author I represent a few years back. After reflection, we decided to take another look at the manuscript,  re-worked the problematic areas, and re-submitted the manuscript to the publisher. The new manuscript was published.”, Bob recounted.

Armed with that terrific advice, I talked with my publisher on the following Tuesday morning, sharing the guidance of Bob, the literary agent. 

“That’s good advice, Jerry. If you are willing to take another pass through the book, soften the areas of intense suffering and gore, and reflect a bit more on the faith emphasis of the veterans while in combat, I believe I can publish it.”

She also suggested we change the book’s title to So Help Me God, after the last four words of the oath of enlistment. “With those changes, I will be able to publish the book.”, She said.

Isn’t life amazing? After four days of feeling sorry for myself, I received good news. But that is not the most exciting news. 

What she said after that news blew my 75-year-old mind. 

“Jerry, I was looking at your website: FBL4U.com.  I like what you are doing there. Let me take a look at some of the lessons. I may be interested in publishing them.”

So friends, in the middle of feeling sorry for myself, good news came. I encourage you to hang in there when you’re sick, tired, or sick and tired of being sick and tired. Keep working and clinging on to your dream. 

We are working to revise the vital areas of the manuscript for So Help Me God without losing any of the meaning and return the updated manuscript to the publisher. Our goal is to have it ready before Christmas. 

Stay tuned for the next update. 

God Bless!


If you enjoyed this blog, please like and share it with your friends on social media to help spread the word about Combat Survivor Heroes. A portion of all book proceeds is donated to local veteran causes. 

Jerry’s second book, So Help Me God is being reviewed and edited for a late fall publishing. His third book of combat stories is to be published in the late fall of 2022 and will be entitled:  Stories from the ‘Bone: B1B bomber

If you are interested in a signed copy of our first published book of combat survivor stories, When Heaven Visits: dramatic accounts of military heroes, you can click the link below. For a discount on your purchase, leave a review of the book on Amazon, take a screenshot of your review, and email it to combatsurvivorheroes@gmail.com.


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Details of the two wonderful veteran causes we support can be found on the Resources page of the Combat Survivor Heroes website. 


Above: Jerry Barnes, Author of upcoming book, So Help Me God.