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Ain't We Got Fun | A Story

My friend, Emily Chapman, and I have been thinking of writing a story together, letter style, for a while. We were going to mail the letters to each other and someday combine them, but it just never happened. But then Emily emailed me with a brilliant idea. She suggested posting our character letters on our blogs. After tons of emails back and forth filled with story ideas, excitement, and more excitement, we now present...

During the month of January we'll be alternating character letters on our blogs. On January 1st, Emily will post her character's letter on her blog and on January 2nd I'll post my letter here, etc.

The story follows two sisters, Georgiana (my character) and Bess (Emily's character) during the Great Depression.

Oh, and we even have a Pinterest board that you should definitely check out. 
Follow Emily Chapman's board ain't we got fun on Pinterest.

The story begins tomorrow, January 1st, 2015, over at Emily Chapman's blog. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we're enjoying writing it!


Winner + Desk Tour

Rafflecopter has chosen a winner! The winner of the Civil War Christmas bundle goes to...

Alyssa Faith!

Congratulations, Alyssa!! I'll be emailing you shortly!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you all so much for helping out and supporting It Took a War's release!! You guys made the book tour so fun!

I've been cleaning up my writing desk so that I can work on my next book. I made an inspiration collage on the wall, organized my research books, and dusted. It's a big day when I actually dust off my desk. =)

Review, Writing, and Reenactments | Day 5

I can't believe it's the last day the book tour already! That week went fast! Thank you all so much for making the book tour so wonderful! To wrap things up, Meghan reviewed It Took a War on her blog.  I'm also sharing how I got into writing on Beth's blog. =)

Today I thought I'd share a timeline of the Civil War reenactments I've participated in. I've only done a handful, but I'm hoping 2015 allows more time for that hobby!

My first time reenacting! No, I still haven't mastered the serious face thing.

Dream Cast and a Study Guide | Day 4

I've learned a lot through this publishing and promoting process. Like, don't wait to write 8 blog tour posts the week of the blog tour. Coffee, you were my only friend this week. =)

Anyway, I have a fun lineup today! Do you want to see my dream cast if It Took a War was turned into a movie?! It's an epic cast, I must say. Check it out at The Pen of a Ready Writer.

I also created a study guide targeted for middle schoolers to go along with It Took a War! I'm posting about that over on my sister's blog, The Art of Making a Home.

Day Three of IT TOOK A WAR's Book Tour

Good morning all! It's day three of It Took a War's book tour! I'm showing up on two blogs today, so grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!

I'm sharing the writing, editing, and publishing process of It Took a War on Susanna's blog, The Misadventures of a Globe Trotter in Training.

I'm also showing up on my Australian friend, Evie's, blog where I'm sharing bookish advice. Is bookish a word? Well, if not, you know what I mean. 

An Interview + Exciting News

I am completely blown away by the support you all showered on It Took a War's release! Thank you all so much

Today, Hannah Mary  (Who lives in Ireland, is the coolest vlogger ever, and has the loveliest fictional feasts!) interviewed me on her blog, The Daisy Tree! She came up with some great questions like, What has been the biggest thing you've learned from this experience of writing and self-publishing? What advice would you give to other writers trying to do the same thing? and How did you come up with your book's title, and how did you come up with your characters' names? to name a few. Hop on over to her blog to check it out!

IT TOOK A WAR is Now Available!

I have a rather exciting announcement...

It's still sinking in that I'm officially an author now...that my dream has come true...that anyone can buy my book. What? Is this real life?! =)  

Life is Full

I kinda felt like Katherine Plumber from Newsies this week...

'cause as I may have mentioned,
I have no clue what I'm doing!

This week has been very full. I've been working on my book tour, getting everything ready for the book launch (3 DAYS!), Etsy orders, making a study guide for It Took a War, figuring out Createspace and Amazon...it's mostly the latter that caused me to sing, "I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I'M DOING!" But don't worry, everything is falling into place!

IT TOOK A WAR Pinnables

At the suggestion of Meghan from A Northern Belle, I've created some pinnables for my book, It Took a War! It was a really fun way to combine my two passions, photography and writing. If you have Pinterest, please pin away! =)

Oh, and there are only 5 DAYS left until It Took a War is available! I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around that. So much to get done before Monday!!

Proof Copy!

Today I received the proof copy of It Took a War! The scheduled delivery date was today so I was confused and disappointed when my sister came back from the mailbox without the proof copy. About ten minutes later I saw the mail truck come back, make a u-turn and stop at the mail box. I was spying out the window and giving my mom a play by play.

"The mail truck stopped at the mail box! The mail guy is eating a powerbar and....he put a package in!"

Hallelujah my book came!

 Seriously, was the mail man just trying to make this more suspenseful?! Sheesh.

It's an amazing and surreal feeling to hold my book. So crazy!!

 It Took a War will be available on December 15th....less than 2 weeks away!! 


Goodreads and Proof Copy and Publishing Name, Oh My!

Books News!!

It Took a War is officially on Goodreads. I'd so appreciate it if you'd hop over and add it to your bookshelf. =)

I ordered a proof copy of It Took a War today!! I cannot possibly wait to hold it in my hands!

My publishing name is called The White Rose Press. I came across this name after reading about a German resistance group during WWII called, The White Rose. Hans and Sophie Scholl, who with other university students and their professor, wrote and distributed anti-Nazi leaflets. They were caught and sentenced to death. Their courage for standing up for truth, and their faith in God really inspires me. So, that's how The White Rose Press came to be!

November Favorites

I'm stealing this post idea from my sister. It just sounds like fun to write a post about my favorite things after a full day of getting It Took a War ready for the world! 
Did you guys see this Christmas ad?! I don't even know what a Sainsbury is (at first I thought it was chocolate but I think it's like a Wal-Mart in the UK or something?), but this video of the Christmas truce during WWI is incredible...and also strange that the soldiers could go from killing each other, to celebrating Christmas, then killing each other again. 
Anyway, I love this video. And I want to learn German. 

IT TOOK A WAR Book Trailer


P.S. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who signed up for the book tour! I'll be emailing you soon! 

Book News

Just popping in to say that It Took a War will be available on

 Monday, December 15th, 2014.

Yup. I'm pretty excited.

If you'd like to participate in the book tour, see below!


P.S. My brother got married 4 months ago today. Whaaat? Time flies!

"Fill Your Canteens Boys! Some of You Will Be in Hell Before Night and You'll Need Water!"

 In It Took a War, my main character trains at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Last week, I had the opportunity to see one of the monuments for the camp! It was little hard to believe that there was 80 acres of land here for training soldiers when you're in the middle of a city with cars blasting  music all around. But it was still exciting to see where part of the camp actually was!

Joe tried to remember everything the Captain was yelling, but when his memory failed him, he glanced at the men next to him and copied their movements of heels together, toes apart and ‘sucking in of the gut’. -IT TOOK A WAR

IT TOOK A WAR Cover Reveal!

I really should drag this on and on and just write a bunch of words to take up a good portion of this post to build the suspense....

Never mind. I'll just show you the cover.

1861 - Sixteen year old Joe Roberts leads a mundane life as far as he’s concerned. His world spins in the same circle each day: working at his family’s store, taking his sisters on boyish escapades and bickering with his rogue of a cousin, Lucas. Joe can’t understand why his mother allows Lucas to live and work with them after all the pain he caused their family. When war is declared, Joe is quick to join up and become a soldier with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers, but war is nothing like he imagined. To make matters worse, he must endure having Lucas in the same regiment. Can Joe put the pain of the past behind him? Forgiveness is easier said than done.

Didn't Rachel Rossano do a fantastic job on the cover?! She's so great to work with! And big shout out goes to fellow bloggers and friends who either volunteered or were drafted in by me to be a part of the reveal: Michaela, Emily, Evie, Meghan, Susanna, Allison, Rachel, Jamie (my awesome sister)....thank you!!!

Look for It Took a War in e-book and print this December!


5 Year Old Ava's Book Cover Reveal Date

My five year old niece, Ava, wrote a book today. She then informed me that she wanted to do a video for the cover reveal date like she and Clare did with It Took a War yesterday. So without further ado, Ava's cover reveal date video. =)

Cover Reveal Date for IT TOOK A WAR Starring Ava and Clare

In this video, my nieces announce the cover release date for my book It Took a War. 
Thanks Ava and Clare! Love you girls!
Check back here on Saturday, November 1st to see the book cover!


Writing Updates

It Took a War is currently in it's last stages of edits (woot woot!). My first editor was my mom who polished it up and helped me have confidence in it. Then, my awesome sister-in-law (who has a degree in English, so that works out splendidly!) helped me with grammar. I seriously think she should start her own editing service! Another editor is my friend, Emily Chapman who just got my manuscript in the mail today! She sent me a picture of it so I know the book made it safe and sound. She's awesome at catching things I never would have noticed. =) Also, my amazing friend, Michaela, is checking for historical accuracy. She's the master of Civil War history. I have such a wonderful group of editors. Thank you awesome people!!!

Rachel Rossano is making a beautiful cover!! I'll be sure to let you all know when the cover reveal will be! I seriously cannot wait to share it!! If you're interested in being apart of the cover reveal, send me an email at
authoremilyannputzke AT gmail DOT com

Oliver the "Jonah"

While I was researching, It Took a War, I came across a chapter in Hardtack and Coffee (best Civil War book ever) about the "Jonahs" who were found in every squad in camp.  Here's the definition of a "Jonah" from Hardtack and Coffee by John D. Billings:

"Now, accidents will happen to the most careful and best of men, but the soldier whom I've been describing could be found in every squad in camp - that is, a man of his kind. Such men were called "Jonahs" on account of their ill luck. Perhaps this particular Jonah after getting his tin plate level full of hot pea-soup was sure, on entering the tent, to spill a part of it down somebody's back."-Hardtack and Coffee

Tenting on the Old Camp Ground

Music drifted in the night air. It was a melancholy song that caused Lucas to stop thinking and just listen with a heavy heart. -It Took a War

Tenting Tonight
By: Walter Kittredge
We're tenting tonight on the old camp ground
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home
And friends we love so dear

On Site Research for It Took a War

Back in February I was in the thick of research for It Took a War. I had the opportunity to do a bit of on site research in Gettysburg! Meghan's posts on her research trip to Gettysburg made me remember that I never posted about mine! Better late than never, right?

In It Took a War, Joe fights with the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment. There's a monument in Gettysburg for all the PA regiments and I found the 11th PA plaque. I was super excited!

Literary Updates

Just Finished Reading:
Very Good Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
God's Will - Meghan M. Gorecki

Review I posted on Amazon:

Meghan Gorecki weaved a truly lovely story of having faith during the hard times. The main characters, Kathy and Elliot have strengths and weaknesses, just like all of us. You'll find yourself learning alongside them and jotting down little gems of truth from Meghan's writing. She used her gift of writing given by God, and gave it back to Him in this beautiful story. I look forward to Meghan's future work!

My Research Binder

My favorite genre both to read and write is historical fiction and things can get really messy while collecting facts, creating fiction and trying to stay sane. While I was re-writing It Took a War I was constantly looking things up on the internet, writing down paragraphs of info from books, and basically going crazy because I had paper everywhere and I had no idea how to find what I needed anymore. So, I decided it was time to organize.

I divided the information with little tabs labeled with things like, Camp Curtin, Drills, 11th PA, Army Life, and Enlistment/Rally. I scanned and printed pages out of books, printed internet articles, made (somewhat) organized notes, and highlighted certain passages. It's made life a whole lot easier.

Coffee the Way Civil War Soldiers Made It

Yesterday I tried my hand at authentic Civil War coffee making. Here's the step-by-step instructions in case you want to try it out! My book, It Took a War mentions coffee quite a few times so I added coffee related snippets to the instructions. 

I was going to try breaking coffee beans with the butt of a rifle, but I had a feeling my dad wouldn't want me doing that with his gun....so we'll skip that step. =)

     Joe took a long sip of the hot liquid and shivered. It was his first time drinking coffee black. He didn't quite care for it but for some reason, he continued to drink it and shiver.

I Wrote A Book And It'll Be In Print This Winter

I haven't posted in a couple weeks and then BAM! I change this whole blog around and have crazy news.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably noticed that I started mentioning my book, It Took a War. It was only mentioned a handful of times on this blog...

Well, after much prayer (in which I'm learning to give God all my worry and anxiety over this huge venture) I'm going to be publishing it this winter!! Crazy, what? (Sorry, I've been reading too much P.G. Wodehouse!)

So, I decided it was time to change up my blog design. It's vintage which is perfect for a historical fiction writer! I even got myself a brand spankin' new URL. See that up there? Fancy, isn't it? You can still type the old URL and be directed back here.

Here's a little smorgasbord of It Took a War for you.
Most images via Pinterest.

To stay updated on my book you can follow me on these platforms.

You can also follow the It Took a War Pinterest board.

I'm pretty excited. Actually more like extremely excited. God is so good!

Stay tuned!


Faces and Snippets of It Took a War

It Took a War is written from multiple points of view. I could be in the minds of Joe and Lucas on the battle field and camp, but also back home with Joe's sisters and mother. If I got stuck on one character, there was always another mind to pry into. That being said, let me introduce you to Joe's family. (If you have no idea who Joe is, read THIS post.) I tossed in some snippets to jazz this post up. =)

Coralie is thirteen years old and is quite put out when her brother marches off the war. Joe and Coralie are very close and she feels like she's being torn apart from her best friend. She and Joe have a strong dislike for their cousin, Lucas, and she isn't afraid to tell him so.


Let Me Introduce You to Joseph Roberts

Let me introduce you to Joseph Roberts, the main character in my book, It Took a War. You can call him Joe. That's what his mother and sisters call him. Or you can call him Roberts like his comrades do.

The year is 1861. Joe is fifteen and his everyday life looks like this: he works at his family's store, gets his sisters in trouble for taking them on boyish escapades and is always quarreling with his cousin, Lucas, who lives with them. It's a dull life as far as he's concerned and so when war is declared, he enlists and becomes a solider in 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers. But war is nothing like he imagined, and to make matters worse, he must endure having his rogue of a cousin in the same regiment. Poor Joe. But it's good for him, really. God teaches him so much over the course of the war.

Joe kinda looks like Augustus Prew. I've only seen Augustus Prew in Copperhead which is a Civil War movie so if my Joe ever made it to the silver screen, Mr. Prew just might do. 
(I didn't even mean for that to rhyme!)

What do you think of Joe? Would you like me to introduce you to his family and friends?