The Journey Home: An Anthology with a Past

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

The publishing world has changed so much in the last dozen years!  This anthology was first published in 2004, when independent anthologies were rare indeed, and it was produced as a fundraiser for the SOSAmerica, Inc. charity (CARE packages to deployed soldiers).  The volume was edited by award-winning Silhouette author Mary Kirk.

As Mary said in her introduction, "The Journey Home is about the wounded Thejourneyhomefrntcvrmediafile--2015hero. The man who does what he must. The soldier who risks his life for his beliefs, his family, his country. It’s about the man who goes to war and discovers, when it’s over, he’s a different man—and maybe he isn’t certain who or what he’s become.

It’s also about the woman who loves such a hero: the one who waits at home, worrying, wondering. When her man finally returns, will her love be enough to heal the invisible wounds of combat? Will she even recognize the stranger sleeping alongside her at night?

Whether victors or vanquished, all survivors of a conflict must face the aftermath. But where do battle-scarred warriors go to lick their wounds and heal? Will they—can they—return to hearth and home? Or are they destined to live in isolation, unable to find a woman brave enough to love a man whose heart has been shattered?"

 



All the authors contributing stories were volunteers who wanted to help the cause, and the range of settings is amazing, from medieval to a futuristic star warrior that science fiction star Catherine Asaro placed in her Skolian world.  Wench Pat Rice contributed a story about coming home from Vietnam.  

I loved the theme and wanted to contribute, but I was totally slammed by deadlines and didn't have the time to write anything new.  So I contributed a very short fantasy story I'd written called "The Stargazer's Familiar."  It was the first short story I'd ever written and perhaps an odd fit in this anthology, yet my protagonist has a warrior heart and he, too, finds his romantic reward.

Old THJ coverThe Journey Home was originally published by a small press called ImaJinn that was an early publisher of paranormal romance.  The founder of ImaJinn died several years ago and the company and its backlist were acquired by Belle Books, a very successful Southern oriented press that was founded by a group of romance writers.

Which is why The Journey Home is now being reissued with a new cover, (original cover is on the left) and this time there is an e-book edition as well as print.  Not all readers love short stories, but if you like them, and you like wounded heroes, here's your chance to get this classic anthology. Here are the stories, courtesy of Mary Kirk's original introductions:

The award-winning, best-selling authors of The Journey Home have created a wonderfully romantic collection of tales about wounded heroes who find healing love in unexpected—even strangely uncanny—ways and places.

Patricia Rice captures the flavor of the tumultuous 1970s in “Home Is Where the Heart Is.” Thomas returns from Vietnam missing part of his foot, bringing with him the ghost of his best friend—and hardly daring to hope that his antiwar high-school sweetheart will still love him.

In “Heart Crossings,” Linda Madl takes us back to 1918, where Brian Mason must honor a promise he made to his twin sister, who died while he was fighting in The Great War. Thoroughly disbelieving, he asks psychic medium Amanda Sherman to contact his sister on “the other side.” But Amanda knows it’s Brian’s own grieving, cynical soul that needs to be brought back to the land of the living.

For Rebecca York’s “A Hero’s Welcome,” we take a leap into the future, where rebel Ben-Linkman has won a hero’s boon, helping his enslaved people take control of their Earth-colonized planet. But nobody except Kasi, daughter of his former master, can give him what he wants most: her heart.

Then it’s back to the States for Mallory Kane’s “A Better Man.” Lying ill in a Union prison, Jared is rescued by his Confederate officer brother. Rob leads Jared home, charging him to take care of Christianne, Rob’s wife, and leaving him on the doorstep, unconscious. But when Jared awakens, under Christianne’s care, he doesn’t know how he can honor his pledge to Rob when being with Christianne, whom he’s loved in silence since childhood, breaks his heart.

In the fantasy world of CB Scott’s “The Sacrifice,” Aedon McNair left his wife Kiara to fight for what he believed was a righteous cause. But after two years in an enemy prison, all he believes in is his love for Kiara—and he’ll go to any lengths to return to her. But will she ever forgive him for what he’s sacrificed to be with her again?

“The Dreamer” by Diane Chamberlain brings us back to the real present. Once, Brian Meyerson dreamed of being a doctor. But for fourteen years he’s dreamed only of the day in Kuwait, during Desert Storm, when a mistake he made cost him his leg, his peace of mind, and the woman he loved. The woman, Cindy Gold, has returned, but how can he dare hope she might help him exorcise the nightmare that haunts him?

Medieval romance lovers will revel in Lucy Grijalva’s “Shadow of the Rose.” Sir Thomas Kelham doesn’t mean to skewer Lady Cecily Bowen with his sword. He was trying to save her life, not take it. He keeps watch at the young widow’s deathbed despite that it postpones his mission: to avenge King Richard III’s death by killing the usurper Henry Tudor. During the long night, Thomas learns that Cecily has no intention of giving up—and she has a plan to save her home that’s in opposition to his own quest. He also learns there’s far more to the lady than meets the eye.

Catherine Asaro gives us a glimpse of the universe of her award-winning Skolian saga in “The Shadowed Heart.” Squadron leader Jason Harrick should be dead. The only one of four empathically linked pilots to survive a space battle, as well as the crash of his Jagfighter, he doesn’t know how to go on living. But when Rhose Canterhaven finds him haunting the ruins of a technology park, Harrick wonders if he’s found a woman with the courage, the compassion . . . and the special gift he most needs . . . to heal his shattered soul.

Candice Kohl’s “Another Man’s Shoes” takes us to the British colony of Georgia, where we meet two wounded men with nothing in common but their first names. Rebel Nicholas Gans dies in Redcoat Nicholas Sutcliffe’s arms, but in passing, Gans bestows upon Sutcliffe a precious gift—if Sutcliffe can find the courage to claim the gift as his own.

Finally, in “The Stargazer’s Familiar,” Mary Jo Putney has created a hero who . . . well . . . actually, no, I don’t think I’ll tell you. I’ll let you find out for yourself about the handsome and courageous Leo.MJP again. 

Here are the links if you'd like to take a closer look.

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iTunes:
Kobo:
B&N:
Google:
 
A lot of years have passed since this anthology was put together, and I'm looking forward to rereading the stories.  Because love is eternal, and no one deserves it more than a wounded hero,

Mary Jo

35 thoughts on “The Journey Home: An Anthology with a Past”

  1. Sounds like a great anthology, Mary Jo.
    I think I was involved in an earlier iteration that came to nothing. The story length was 10,000 words and I found that too short for the story that developed. It became The Trouble With Heroes, a science fiction romance, which is now an e-novella. It’s a powerful theme.

    Reply
  2. Sounds like a great anthology, Mary Jo.
    I think I was involved in an earlier iteration that came to nothing. The story length was 10,000 words and I found that too short for the story that developed. It became The Trouble With Heroes, a science fiction romance, which is now an e-novella. It’s a powerful theme.

    Reply
  3. Sounds like a great anthology, Mary Jo.
    I think I was involved in an earlier iteration that came to nothing. The story length was 10,000 words and I found that too short for the story that developed. It became The Trouble With Heroes, a science fiction romance, which is now an e-novella. It’s a powerful theme.

    Reply
  4. Sounds like a great anthology, Mary Jo.
    I think I was involved in an earlier iteration that came to nothing. The story length was 10,000 words and I found that too short for the story that developed. It became The Trouble With Heroes, a science fiction romance, which is now an e-novella. It’s a powerful theme.

    Reply
  5. Sounds like a great anthology, Mary Jo.
    I think I was involved in an earlier iteration that came to nothing. The story length was 10,000 words and I found that too short for the story that developed. It became The Trouble With Heroes, a science fiction romance, which is now an e-novella. It’s a powerful theme.

    Reply
  6. Jo, it’s really hard to do much character development in a short length–“The Trouble with Heroes” needed ever word you gave it. I’ve always figured that’s why the romance genre doesn’t run much to short stories. With sff or mystery, a clever little idea can make a short story, but with romance, it’s not possible to get much beyond a ‘meet cute.’

    Reply
  7. Jo, it’s really hard to do much character development in a short length–“The Trouble with Heroes” needed ever word you gave it. I’ve always figured that’s why the romance genre doesn’t run much to short stories. With sff or mystery, a clever little idea can make a short story, but with romance, it’s not possible to get much beyond a ‘meet cute.’

    Reply
  8. Jo, it’s really hard to do much character development in a short length–“The Trouble with Heroes” needed ever word you gave it. I’ve always figured that’s why the romance genre doesn’t run much to short stories. With sff or mystery, a clever little idea can make a short story, but with romance, it’s not possible to get much beyond a ‘meet cute.’

    Reply
  9. Jo, it’s really hard to do much character development in a short length–“The Trouble with Heroes” needed ever word you gave it. I’ve always figured that’s why the romance genre doesn’t run much to short stories. With sff or mystery, a clever little idea can make a short story, but with romance, it’s not possible to get much beyond a ‘meet cute.’

    Reply
  10. Jo, it’s really hard to do much character development in a short length–“The Trouble with Heroes” needed ever word you gave it. I’ve always figured that’s why the romance genre doesn’t run much to short stories. With sff or mystery, a clever little idea can make a short story, but with romance, it’s not possible to get much beyond a ‘meet cute.’

    Reply
  11. I am going to buy this.
    Jobev: Thanks for your comment. As I was reading this post, I immediately thought about “The Trouble with Heros” as in “that would have fit this anthology.” I was of course thinking theme and not length when I used the word fit. I don’t actually think much about length, just about which stories i remember (and whether I am reminded often, sometimes, or never).

    Reply
  12. I am going to buy this.
    Jobev: Thanks for your comment. As I was reading this post, I immediately thought about “The Trouble with Heros” as in “that would have fit this anthology.” I was of course thinking theme and not length when I used the word fit. I don’t actually think much about length, just about which stories i remember (and whether I am reminded often, sometimes, or never).

    Reply
  13. I am going to buy this.
    Jobev: Thanks for your comment. As I was reading this post, I immediately thought about “The Trouble with Heros” as in “that would have fit this anthology.” I was of course thinking theme and not length when I used the word fit. I don’t actually think much about length, just about which stories i remember (and whether I am reminded often, sometimes, or never).

    Reply
  14. I am going to buy this.
    Jobev: Thanks for your comment. As I was reading this post, I immediately thought about “The Trouble with Heros” as in “that would have fit this anthology.” I was of course thinking theme and not length when I used the word fit. I don’t actually think much about length, just about which stories i remember (and whether I am reminded often, sometimes, or never).

    Reply
  15. I am going to buy this.
    Jobev: Thanks for your comment. As I was reading this post, I immediately thought about “The Trouble with Heros” as in “that would have fit this anthology.” I was of course thinking theme and not length when I used the word fit. I don’t actually think much about length, just about which stories i remember (and whether I am reminded often, sometimes, or never).

    Reply
  16. Sue, a good story feels like it’s the right length, so we don’t even notice. But some stories can’t be told with a limited word count, and some stories are too thin to be stretched out. Boring when that’s done because the story feels padded.

    Reply
  17. Sue, a good story feels like it’s the right length, so we don’t even notice. But some stories can’t be told with a limited word count, and some stories are too thin to be stretched out. Boring when that’s done because the story feels padded.

    Reply
  18. Sue, a good story feels like it’s the right length, so we don’t even notice. But some stories can’t be told with a limited word count, and some stories are too thin to be stretched out. Boring when that’s done because the story feels padded.

    Reply
  19. Sue, a good story feels like it’s the right length, so we don’t even notice. But some stories can’t be told with a limited word count, and some stories are too thin to be stretched out. Boring when that’s done because the story feels padded.

    Reply
  20. Sue, a good story feels like it’s the right length, so we don’t even notice. But some stories can’t be told with a limited word count, and some stories are too thin to be stretched out. Boring when that’s done because the story feels padded.

    Reply
  21. I’ve written everything from haiku to 50,000-word chapters in reference books, and I think the most challenging writing task I’ve ever undertaken was a thousand-word story. My finished effort was really just a scene despite having all the “proper” elements. I think it was Faulkner who said he turned to novels after he had failed as a poet and a short story writer.
    How did I miss this anthology earlier? Off to remedy the omission now.

    Reply
  22. I’ve written everything from haiku to 50,000-word chapters in reference books, and I think the most challenging writing task I’ve ever undertaken was a thousand-word story. My finished effort was really just a scene despite having all the “proper” elements. I think it was Faulkner who said he turned to novels after he had failed as a poet and a short story writer.
    How did I miss this anthology earlier? Off to remedy the omission now.

    Reply
  23. I’ve written everything from haiku to 50,000-word chapters in reference books, and I think the most challenging writing task I’ve ever undertaken was a thousand-word story. My finished effort was really just a scene despite having all the “proper” elements. I think it was Faulkner who said he turned to novels after he had failed as a poet and a short story writer.
    How did I miss this anthology earlier? Off to remedy the omission now.

    Reply
  24. I’ve written everything from haiku to 50,000-word chapters in reference books, and I think the most challenging writing task I’ve ever undertaken was a thousand-word story. My finished effort was really just a scene despite having all the “proper” elements. I think it was Faulkner who said he turned to novels after he had failed as a poet and a short story writer.
    How did I miss this anthology earlier? Off to remedy the omission now.

    Reply
  25. I’ve written everything from haiku to 50,000-word chapters in reference books, and I think the most challenging writing task I’ve ever undertaken was a thousand-word story. My finished effort was really just a scene despite having all the “proper” elements. I think it was Faulkner who said he turned to novels after he had failed as a poet and a short story writer.
    How did I miss this anthology earlier? Off to remedy the omission now.

    Reply
  26. Janga, THE JOURNEY HOME was published be a small press and didn’t make much of a splash, but now that Belle Books is reissuing it, I hope it will get more of the attention it deserves.
    And yes, writing short is harder than writing long!

    Reply
  27. Janga, THE JOURNEY HOME was published be a small press and didn’t make much of a splash, but now that Belle Books is reissuing it, I hope it will get more of the attention it deserves.
    And yes, writing short is harder than writing long!

    Reply
  28. Janga, THE JOURNEY HOME was published be a small press and didn’t make much of a splash, but now that Belle Books is reissuing it, I hope it will get more of the attention it deserves.
    And yes, writing short is harder than writing long!

    Reply
  29. Janga, THE JOURNEY HOME was published be a small press and didn’t make much of a splash, but now that Belle Books is reissuing it, I hope it will get more of the attention it deserves.
    And yes, writing short is harder than writing long!

    Reply
  30. Janga, THE JOURNEY HOME was published be a small press and didn’t make much of a splash, but now that Belle Books is reissuing it, I hope it will get more of the attention it deserves.
    And yes, writing short is harder than writing long!

    Reply
  31. I agree with you about the padding: From the SF field look what happen to Keye’s Flowers for Algernon and to Schmitz’ The Witches of Kares when they were expanded. The original shorter forms are FAR better.

    Reply
  32. I agree with you about the padding: From the SF field look what happen to Keye’s Flowers for Algernon and to Schmitz’ The Witches of Kares when they were expanded. The original shorter forms are FAR better.

    Reply
  33. I agree with you about the padding: From the SF field look what happen to Keye’s Flowers for Algernon and to Schmitz’ The Witches of Kares when they were expanded. The original shorter forms are FAR better.

    Reply
  34. I agree with you about the padding: From the SF field look what happen to Keye’s Flowers for Algernon and to Schmitz’ The Witches of Kares when they were expanded. The original shorter forms are FAR better.

    Reply
  35. I agree with you about the padding: From the SF field look what happen to Keye’s Flowers for Algernon and to Schmitz’ The Witches of Kares when they were expanded. The original shorter forms are FAR better.

    Reply

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