I was blessed to be able to beta read this last year, and I waited eagerly for the last few chapters of the book to be written . . . and now it has.
This book was so good, and so well written, that I fell in love with it — in it’s not-yet-finished, still-needing-edits form. And now, completed, published, and all gussied up, it was amazing!
This story is about a young lady, Layla Trent, and her desire for a dog, and the Lord’s provision in the least likely of ways. I appreciated her honesty when she was told she could bring Ranger, the dog missing a leg, home to be her very own — and the courage and compassion she summoned up to care for him and help him get back to waking and running again.
And, may I just say, that the occupation of therapy dog was perfect for Ranger?
This story is interwoven with that of her father’s, who was in Iraq, injured, and sent home. All when Layla was young and all the details seem like a vague dream to her. Then she finds out. I’m still not quite completely sure why the Trent’s would have kept it from their daughter, as it seems to be a huge, major way the Lord worked in their lives, but they did.
And then Layla found out, and she is set on a quest to discover what happened, who this soldier is that she remembers, and she inspires her father to face, head long, the insurmountable grief that has consumed him for so very long.
In the midst of all this, we are given the story of a soldier boy, an Army Ranger, who, along with his friend, trains, gets his wings, and flies to his deployment. The Reye’s family is SO sweet and I love the brothers interactions with each other. Good, solid brother relationships are often missing from the fiction world, and this was a beautiful relationship. When faced with trials and challenges, the way the brothers struggle, honestly portrayed, is wonderful to read, because it brings them closer to each other and to Christ. Andrew is the ultimate older brother, ya’ll, seeking to comfort, encourage, inspire, and advise his younger brothers. Dakota was the sweetest, with his understanding and compassion — rare traits when you are talking about a guy character in the fiction world. And the other brothers are adorable and energetic and striving to understand what has happened . . . that I’m not about to tell you =)
And the story of the Ranger, Layla and *her* Ranger, and Mr. Trent’s background are all woven together so effortlessly in a way that shows us readers the God is behind every tragedy and trial, and that the tapestry of our lives affects those around us. The things we go through have the opportunity to encourage someone else, to inspire them, to hurt them, to point them towards the Lord above.
This book was good, in so many ways. And that’s coming from a girl who avoids animal books because they are always too sad. And from a girl who really doesn’t like dogs all that much. Although, Ranger was pretty awesome, and I’d love him as a pet :D
Some scars can’t be seen. And some can’t be hidden.
Layla Trent’s life is pretty much perfect, except for the little matter of a dog of her own—and maybe a
brother. So why does a random nightmare of a princess dress, a hospital, and a stranger who’s definitely
not her daddy feel more like an aching wound? And can a broken, glassy-eyed puppy somehow help her
release the pain she didn’t even know she was carrying?
Corporal Andrew Reyes has proven he has what it takes to be the best—a US Army Ranger. But when a
double tragedy rocks his world, his resolve is shaken to the core. What’s left for a man to live for when
he’s lost everything he ever wanted to be? And is the sudden appearance of a teenage girl with a three-
legged dog a cruel joke or a divine appointment?
Some scars can’t be hidden. But some don’t need to be.
I am so thankful for Kassie letting me read this book not only once, but twice. There are so many good things about this book — and the author, Kassie, was able to join me for a fun interview =)
((My questions are in blue italics, and Kassie’s answers are in plain ol’ type.))
This is a story that is wonderful and beautiful and heart wrenching, all while showing us how the Lord weaves together our lives. Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write this book? What do you want readers to take away from it?
Thank you, Kaitlyn. <33 My only direct inspiration that made me go, I wanna write this story, was the
song “Stubborn Angels”…my imaginary music video for it turned into Tattered Wings, long story short.
There were definitely a lot of little things that played into it, but that was the basic idea. As for what I
want readers to take away from it… Never give up. Try to understand and respect the Army, LE, and
working dogs, even if you don’t “get it.” Soldiers and their families go through things you’ll never see on
the outside. And you never know who’s trying to make a hero proud.
How long did it take you, start to finish, to get this story down on paper? Is there anything that helps you to write (tea, coffee, chocolate, etc)?
Right around eleven months, with speed definitely picking up as time went on, not counting time I spent
editing. And…yes. Music. That’s this writer’s equivalent of coffee or chocolate. X’D I guarantee, if I’m
sitting down to work on any serious writing, I’ll have my headphones on. Music is one of those things
that can get me super hyped up or emotional or whatever, and writing in turn is a good outlet for that.
In the story we meet Layla Trent, and her therapy dog, Ranger. Have you had any experience with therapy dogs, or another volunteer organization? Do you have any advice for those who would like to get into volunteer work in any way?
Yes, yes, and yes. <33 I’m training my dog as a therapy dog and Ranger is unashamedly based off him
(except Thunder has all four legs), and I’ve done a ton of volunteer work of all kinds. Basically, my
biggest advice would be, just ask. If there’s something you want to help with, chances are they’d
appreciate the help. They can’t tell you no if you don’t ask. I’ve been told no before, but I’ve been told
yes far more often. Stop by someone’s office, send an email, make yourself available. And don’t try to
hide your age. More people than you’d expect will treat you seriously if you take yourself seriously, even
if you’re half their age. Trust me on that one.
What did you learn through writing this book? Is there anything the Lord showed you in the process?
I say this a lot talking about Tattered Wings, but… don’t give up. I started Tattered Wings on the heels of
finishing my first book, O to be Like Thee, which was my first love hands-down. Even though I liked the
idea of the story, I didn’t want to write Tattered Wings. But as I said, one of the themes of it is literally,
never give up. I just didn’t expect to learn it right alongside Andy and Laymie. But I’m so glad God
didn’t let me give up on my stubborn story.
You are going on a long cross-nation car trip. You can only bring three books . . . and a kindle or other reading device doesn’t count =) Which books would you bring with you and why?
I love this question way too much because I halfway did it. Last year I spent a month working at a camp
in Colorado with no electronics of any kind…and I brought exactly three books. X’D They were… Do
Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, for the encouragement basically since working at camp was one
amazing hard thing; Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell, because it’s long and intense and gets me hyped
up, so it was the perfect thing to get lost in when I needed a break, but it also left me raring to go as soon as the break was over; and O to be Like Thee, my own book, as some kind of security blanket. XD So that was a slightly different answer but…yeah, haha!
You can follow along on this blog tour by visiting Kassie’s site, and seeing what everybody else is saying about the book =)
Kassie Angle is a teenaged Christian author, cowgirl, therapy dog trainer, stereotypical INFJ, and Armygirl to the core. Her first love, i.e. debut novel, O to be Like Thee, swept her unsuspectedly into the worldof indie authors. She tries to use her stories to fill the silences in literature, helping more peopleunderstand the world of the Army and showing how God heals the broken-hearted. You can find her andmore of her writing at SoldierGirlStories.com.
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.