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Woman's Novel Touches on PTSD, Soldier's Return

Christie Gucker's "The Purple Heart" adds mystery and a love affair to her story.

After finding an audience with her debut novel, Hillsborough resident Christie A.C. Gucker is set for the publication of her second novel, "The Purple Heart."

And while "The Cliff" is focused on a love triangle, Gucker takes on a tale about a soldier returning from war for "The Purple Heart."

"This book is dedicated to every man and woman who has served as a soldier to defend freedom for all," Gucker said. "You are heroes. It is also dedicated to the families of those soldiers who give up their fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and friends so that we can have those freedoms. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed." 

She added a special dedication to the soldiers in her own family, including her father, John P. Choida, grandfather Stephen P. Gaida, father-in-law Donald Gucker, brother-in-law Darren Dreher, and grand uncles "who have served or continue to do so for our country."

The book's main character, Sydney Porter, is an Army psychologist who takes on the case of highly-decorated Sgt. Aiden Thane, a soldier who seems to have no past who is about to receive the Purple Heart. Gucker builds a love story around the two—but there's plenty of mystery to keep readers drawn in.

The book is being published through Pagan Writers Press, and will be available in print and ebook via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Manic Reader on Feb. 22. A giveaway being promoted through GoodReads offers a free signed copy of "The Purple Heart."

Gucker has teamed with military organization BattlingBare to help spread the word about where families can get help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Gucker began her writing career after a 20-year career in the advertising industry as a degreed artist, sometimes sculpting in stone or taking photographs. She has also been a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs, but after the death of her father, she said she searched for something to fill her desire "to make a mark in this world." 

In addition to "The Cliff," Gucker has also published a novella, "Snapshot to Destiny" and has a short story in the compilation "The Adventure of a Lifetime." 

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