Winner of Around the World in 30 Days

First of all THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the participants in this contest. It’s be so fun seeing where you visited and how original the photographs were.  Turning this into a contest really made my job hard. I had so many favorites.  Such as:

Nancy at the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day


Graeme on Sydney, Australia’s Harbor


Siobhan in Asolo, Italy

Eryn 006

Lucy in Oxfordshire, UK


Michelle in Phu Quoc, Vietnam


Annie in Maine, USA


They were all so awesome, but a decision has to be made. The one that means the very most to me is Michelle, through her co-worker Dawn Taylor in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Dawn read Beneath the Wall and had a co-worker who was from the once war-torn Vietnam. The moment Dawn heard Michelle was returning to her homeland, her first thought was, give her my book and take pictures. On the plane ride over, Michelle read Mack and Julianne’s story and when she saw the red-dirt road leading out of a village it reminded her of chapter four where Julianne thought she was being taken prisoner her first night in Vietnam.DSCN0643It was my first thought too, the moment I saw her photograph.  It brought life to my little story and to have my book held on the land from which evolved in my mind meant so much to me. Thank you Michelle and Dawn.

Now, after speaking to Michelle and Dawn, Michelle generously commented that it was all Dawn’s idea and wanted the prize to go to her. In turn, Dawn had given away her copy of Beneath the Wall to Michelle, not asking for it in return. So instead of awarding Ms. Taylor with Mack’s dog tags, courtesy of the Illinois National Guard here in Springfield, Illinois, she will be given a signed copy of Beneath the Wall for her permanent collection.

But, hmm now that leaves an original and unique artifact from my pages just sitting here… My idea – calculate the distance of all the countries and figure out where the furthest came from.  And that would be Graeme in Sydney, Australia – clocking in at 15,266 miles away from Springfield, IL where I am! So Graeme, I would like to award you with Sgt. Mack Roberts official dog tags.


Once again thank you all for your entries!! They were amazing! And if you ever find yourself in a unique place and still want to pose with your paperback, Kindle or Nook copy of Beneath the Wall by all means, do so and send them along to me at



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