When Paradise Beckoned

When Paradise Beckoned


In the mid-1970s, an award-winning Tampa Bay news anchor finds himself at the forefront of an international drug-smuggling investigation. In this recollection of true events, Paul and his wife Janie take a hard look at how they got there. Their daughter, author Lisa Hayes, pens the journey.

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When a man kills and observes killing in war, he is indelibly changed, the trauma stamped upon his soul.

Tommy Neal, a depression-area Hoosier farm boy, never dreamed his life would change so drastically or so quickly until that fateful day: December 7, 1941. President Roosevelt said it was a day that would “live in infamy,” and indeed it was such a day for thousands of American and Japanese families.

Tommy and his friends had been eager to sign up and fight for their country. What an honor it would be. In the end, however, his mind was troubled and his heart consumed with guilt.

How could he ever be at peace with himself?

Tommy finds his reprieve through a series of unexpected events and with the help of God, family, a professor, a woman, and a baby.

Also click to learn more about Phil Emmert’s other books: When War Was Heck and the followup The Afterglow of War: Lessons Learned as well as The Overcomers and America Rebooted.

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eBook, Paperback



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Lisa Hayes grew up in a family that loved adventure and all things water. She has since shared that love with her children and now her grandchildren. Lisa is married to best friend Doug, who shares her love of adventure and, most definitely, her love of water. They are often found boating or fishing and have had some grand adventures of their own. When asked, Lisa will prioritize her life as follows:  God, family, everything else.

Reading and writing have been a passion for Lisa since childhood. It began with a love for the written word and soon morphed into writing poetry and short stories as a child. Her love of storytelling was buried under the demands of family and work, only to be rediscovered through her own children. While driving a carpool of teenage gymnast several hours per week, Lisa began telling the girls stories to pass the time. Even into the later teen years, the girls begged for stories and encouraged Lisa to write her stories for others to enjoy.

The best stories are laced with adventure, friendships, trials, and comedy. The best stories make you want to jump in and live the adventure. When Paradise Beckoned is one of those stories.