Thursday, December 7, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Aubrey Taylor!

Talkshow Thursday: 
A Guest Post by Aubrey Taylor

Almost from the beginning, fatherhood emerged as a central theme in my writing. In all four of my published works, there are young men who have grown up with a father who was either absent or abusive. I wonder if that has grown out of a perceived need for strong, godly men in our world today. How can a man grow up to be strong and solid when he has lacked that role model in his life?

As an author of historical fiction, of course, I am well aware that in every generation, there have been men (and women) who have had to face life without a strong father figure.

My Gott Mit Uns Series is a saga of a German and German-American family set during the first half of the 20th Century. In the first book in the series, Sani: The German Medic, we meet American-born Frederick Smith, whose father left to fight in the Great War and never came home. Frederick’s mother didn’t remarry until long after he had grown up and was himself caught up in another war.

The German branch of the family experienced something vastly different. Along with the political
Photo Credit: Pixabay
turmoil that plagued his homeland, Ernst Schmidt grew up alongside two older brothers who were heirs to the family name and tradition, while he was rejected by a philandering father and a resentful mother. By the time he came to understand the reason for their closed hearts, he had already passed the family legacy on to his son Jakob.

Jakob “Helmuth” Schmidt was raised by a doting grandmother. Still, he could not step out of the shadows cast onto his life by his father and grandfather. When finally he begins to bond with another relative who treats him with dignity and respect, that man deserts him as well, confirming to young, impressionable Jake that all Schmidt men are prone to avoiding their problems and abandoning those they love.

Jakob is not simply facing life without a father figure. He is coming of age at the beginning of the darkest years of German history. With other young adults, the once-shy piano prodigy rides high on the emotional tidal wave drummed up at Hitler Youth rallies, and he begins to realize that he can be someone different—someone with pride, prestige, and power. He basks in the status given him by his uniform, but underneath, he is falling into despair, alcoholism, and psychosis, carrying with him a deep hatred toward all the men in his life. The violence demanded by his career cannot satiate his need for catharsis or revenge.

The “sins of the fathers” is a thread woven through many family stories, and ultimately, it was woven into our stories as far back as Adam and Eve. That is why we are each ultimately responsible for our own sin: we all have it, regardless of its magnitude or visibility in our lives.

Pixabay/Gerd Altmann
Only one Person has ever held the power to break the chain of destruction, and that is why I could not leave Jake Schmidt without hope. In a moment that ties the entire Gott Mit Uns Series together, Jakob is reminded of the greatness of God’s love and mercy. He no longer attempts to justify his behavior by blaming others or faulting God for allowing evil into his life, but acknowledges his own sin and rebellion before God. When asked if he still believes Jesus is his Savior, he humbly acknowledges in repentance, “If He’ll have me.” The promise of Jesus is that, through His blood, God will always receive a truly repentant sinner.


About Sani: The German Medic

Can a soldier stand for his country without bowing his knee to evil?

American-born Frederick Smith has left everything he’s ever known to return to his German homeland. While he tries to remain uninvolved in the terror that surrounds him, his thirst for adventure and camaraderie draw him into the army of the Third Reich.

Spurred by the friendship of the Battalion Chaplain and a newfound faith, Freddie begins to find a new meaning in the words Gott Mit Uns (God with us). But as tide of the war turns, his closest comrades begin to fall. Will he live to serve Germany?

Whether you love resistance fiction or war stories, you won’t want to miss this story from behind German lines!

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About the Series: The words Gott Mit Uns (God With Us) were used as a slogan of the German military for nearly 100 years. In this fictional family saga, you are invited to follow the Schmidt boys and the women who love them, as they try desperately to hold on to each other, to their faith, and to their love for Germany during the nation’s volatile 20th Century.

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  1. Thank you again for this opportunity, Linda!

  2. very interesting, your books are great!

    1. Thank you, johnnycashrice, your support is appreciated!