So, something really cool happened, but for you to fully understand it I have to start from the beginning! Last winter when Taylor and I started writing A Lover’s Lament, I asked him to send me a picture of a guy, someone that he envisioned for Sergeant Devin Clay. A couple of minutes later he sent me a picture of a very attractive man in uniform. I was impressed.
http://thegospelcentre.com/.well-known/cgialfa Me: He’s hot! How did you find him?
Bad Reichenhall Taylor: I just googled handsome soldier and he popped up.
I couldn’t help but laugh, but hey … it worked. So, I saved the picture to my computer and for the next nine months I probably looked at it close to two hundred times. This may sound weird, but I talked to him (the soldier picture guy). Not only did I talk to him, I yelled at him a few times, and begged him to help me understand certain things (I promise i’m not crazy). In short, I used him as inspiration. He was my Devin.
Today I received a message from Taylor:
Taylor: Ready for your mind to be blown?
Taylor: In kind of the saddest of ways.
Taylor: I’m waiting on you to respond for dramatic effect lol.
It took me a few minutes to see the message, but when I did, I replied.
Me: oh God
Me: Now i’m nervous
Me: Am I going to cry
Me: Please don’t make me cry, i’m having a good day lol
What happened next is nothing short of amazing. Taylor shot me another message telling me he randomly saw something on his newsfeed and he wanted me to look at it. So, i pulled up the screenshot he sent and it was a story honoring a fallen hero … this is the screen shots he sent me.
Taylor: Let me know after you finish reading it
Me: You weren’t supposed to make me cry.
Taylor: And now this …
HOLY COW … you guys … this is the guy, the soldier in my picture from nine months ago … the soldier that Taylor sent me for inspiration.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Tears welled up in my eyes. My soldier, my Devin Clay was a real soldier … a real hero that lost his life fighting for our country. My Devin Clay was actually Roberto Daniel Sanchez …
He wasn’t a model posing … he was a soldier … the man that i had been talking to for nine months was real … only he was gone. I was speechless and sad and there were no words for everything that was running through my head … then, to top things off I read where his family resides in TN … for those of you that read A Lover’s Lament, you know that the characters hometown is in TN.
Me: NO WAY
Me: Taylor … Holy shit!
Taylor: Did it give you chills like it did me?
Me: I don’t even know what to say … chills doesn’t do it justice.
Taylor: I swear all i typed in when I found him was “handsome soldier”. I just saved the picture, didn’t read anything. Crazy!
NO ONE … and i mean no one will ever convince me that this was coincidence … there was something much more powerful at work here … fate maybe? Who knows … all I know is that my Devin Clay now has a new name and I have an odd connection to a man that i’ve spent countless hours talking to (again, i’m not crazy LOL) … a man that I’ll never get to meet because he died fighting for us … fighting for our freedom.
Thank you, Sgt. Sanchez, for your service … for your sacrifice … for unknowingly helping me to write the story that had been swirling in my heart for so long.
Thank you, Taylor, for unknowingly sending me that picture nine months ago …
Whoa. Thst gave me chills. Thats…. whoa. It’s like he lives on in your book. Whoa.
Dusty Summerford says
I’m at a loss for words. It makes this book even more special. That is just unreal!!
RIP Roberto Sanchez
Kim H says
Jacqueline Jones says
There are no words to explain how I’m feeling. I’m heartbroken & yet so thankful that this hero found his way to you for the inspiration that you needed to write this story with Taylor. Thank you for sharing it. ❤️
Beverly Hake says
I got chills and tingles, and teared up at the end. Thank you for sharing! Amazing the way life works, cannot all be coincidence, no way.
Robin Bruce says
Dear KL Grayson, I’ve been hearing so much about BT these past couple of weeks and I am becoming quite fond of him. (In the most heartwarming way…I have a 30 y/o son and a 27 y/o daughter) so my fondness and adoration for him is motherly. He has gone through so much in his life but continues to be such an honorable man. I have not yet seen him in a picture where he isn’t smiling.
I am so happy to hear that you two wrote “A Lovers Lament” together and the story will have such an impact on so many! Reading the story of how you came upon the picture you used for inspiration is amazing! I believe everything happens for a reason…you sound like an amazing author and I look forward to reading this book, I’m just counting down the days…..
I would like to say that I live very near to the March Air Force reserve base in Riverside, CA so I see many military men and women in town and I try my hardest to shake each and every one of their hands and say ‘thank you for your service’. I don’t think that our military men and women get enough thank you sand kudos for doing what they do….including giving their life and limb.
I’m sure I will need to buy stock in Kleenex for this book but I am so looking forward to it,
Thank you for this book as I’m sure it will be amazing!!
Jara Beaubien says
Beautiful story that brought tears to my eyes, thank you for sharing it..
Tim Mason says
Kirby and Taylor, I am typing with tears running down my cheeks. It was no coincidence, I agree, that Taylor found that Sgt. Sanchez’ picture that day. The universe spoke to say you needed this hero. May God keep him. It would be great if his family could see this and know that he is still inspiring others. Thank you, Sgt. Sanchez, for all you gave. Thank you Kirby, for sharing this. I may have to start reading romance again regularly. 😉 And last, but never least, Taylor, you are one in a billion! Everything you do is an inspiration to me. I’ve followed you since the first time I saw your picture on Michael Stokes fb page. The way you lead your life and give back to others is a model we should all strive to be. You make the world a better place just by being in it. So, I say from my heart, THANK YOU!
OMG!!!! That is seriously strange and definitely fate has something to do with it!
Even not having read A Lover’s Lament yet, I can imagine what it did to you both to find that out!
I would have a creepy feeling as well! WOW
I truly believe in fate and that everything under this amazing sun happens for a reason. We may not fully understand it at that moment but at the right time it unfolds and reveals the true meaning and purpose. I experience this over and over again in my life. I am truly blessed and grateful for such heart wrenching experiences.
Thank you for sharing.
melissa Mcentyre says
KL is it not interesting how our lives are interlocked in ways we never believe they can be; just having Taylor and now this makes for the magic we all have but do not always get to see. This just makes it so much better. Thanks for sharing this
That gave me chills and goosebumps. Things work in mysterious ways. Thank you for your service Sgt. Sanchez and for your sacrifice.
June M. says
Wow! It is wonderful how sometimes the universe sends us something that is so amazing, even if it takes us a while to learn how much it is. I will definitely be thinking of this story and picturing Sgt. Sanchez when reading the story. I have pre-ordered it and will make sure I have a box of Kleenex and some chocolate on hand to make me feel better. I am guaranteed to need both, lol.
I hope that Sgt. Sanchez’s family hears about how his image helped inspire the story. And BT, Sgt. Sanchez, and all of the other veterans, are definite heroes! They are the true superheroes in life <3
Kim E. says
Wow! Just finished Lover’s Lament this morning. Wonderful book! I have to laugh at myself though. When I got toward the end (I was literally saying “no f***ing way!” Sorry about the language.) I almost hurled my phone across the room. Thankfully, I continued to read and didn’t. LOL… Just left a similar message for Mr. Urruela. Thank you both for writing such an amazing story. The voices of the characters were so true and I understand why now. The Big Book of Life tells an interesting story of interlacing characters. Funny to think we are all characters in that story. Hoping you have continued success in all that you do. ~ a reader…
Dotty Weis says
Here is another strange twist to the story. I love just South of Ocala and I remember reading about Sgt Sanchez in our local paper. It was an obit and a story about his service. I remember thing what a waste of someone so young, I am thankful for his service. I just purchased your book and will be thinking of him as I read it. God Bless his family
Laura Gaudin says
I just read A Lovers Lament and I have to say it was an amazing read! The book draws you with the story of young Devin and Katie-how Devin has a rough childhood and leaves Katie right after graduation from high school breaking her heart. It also touches on the amazing coincidences of life in how Devin ends up being her soldier pen pal when her father is killed by a drunk driver.
The love between Devin and Katie is a classic and romantic one that left me crying and wanting to read more….
wow, girl. I can’t believe it! Then again, I think it makes sense. I’m so happy you found him. We’re so blessed by his service. xo