NEWS & REVIEWS
JUST IN! Stellar review from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA):
In Living Waters, by Ed Waldrop, the main character’s family was not rich, nor were they even very happy. AJ McClellan’s childhood was scarred by traumatic incidents. But AJ lived in the Low Country of South Carolina, and when things got bad, he took his dog and his fishing rod and sat on a dock—feet dangling above the water, watching the slow but constant ebb and flow of the tides in the marsh, smelling the distinctive odor of pluff mud, watching the sunrise and set, feeling the soft warmth of the air, and listening to the songs of birds soaring over the living waters. He was content, strong, confident—a strapping young man with a promising future.
But then came 9/11, and that boy went straight from high school into the Army to help defend his country—because that’s the kind of young man he had become. He spent six years in the Army, two of them in Iraq. The senseless destruction, the horrible sights of blood and gore, the stark fear that at any moment an explosion might turn him into a pile of stinking entrails—all those experiences changed him. He came home, whole in body but damaged in both mind and spirit. He wandered aimlessly through the southern states, unable to hold a job, given to flashbacks and nightmares, ridden with guilt and uncontrollable anger. Life seemed pointless.
His PTSD was not a condition easily remedied. It took a family death to bring AJ back to the Low Country. And there, slowly, the combined efforts of an understanding pastor, a beautiful woman who refused to give up on him, two rambunctious and doting dogs, and the slow, soothing rhythms of the living waters combined to ease his torment and helped him to rediscover the young man he thought had been destroyed forever.
This is a well-written and heart-wrenching book written by an author who understands the appeal of the Low Country. Readers who know something of South Carolina will be homesick; those who have never visited will be planning a trip. But more importantly, the author provides an intimate understanding of the tormented perceptions of a veteran returning from a devastating war. He offers an important message, one that will linger with readers long after they turn the final page.
Review by Carolyn Schriber (August 2019)
23 March 2019
OUTSTANDING FIVE-STAR review just in from well-known book blogger, The Rebel Christian (www.thebelchristian.com)
The book group was a great success!!!
Happening 20 March 2019!
Ed will be attending the monthly meeting of the
Island at Bell Hall
Book & Social Club
Mount Pleasant, SC
for a book signing and discussion. Very exciting!
13 February 2019
A bestseller for sure!
I do not remember ever reading a book that captured my heart as much as this one did. From the very beginning, I felt like I was right there living in the Low Country right along with AJ McClellan and all of his friends. His struggles with PTSD were vivid and unimaginable. A book that was read with tears of joy and tears of sadness but overall one of the most authentic, educational, and heart-wrenching books I’ve read in a very long time! Anxiously awaiting his next one!!!
- DZwemer, Georgia
15 January 2019
One of the best books I have ever read. Could not put it down after I started it. Hope there is another one soon. Love Charleston and that made it even better.
- E. Freeman, S. Carolina
1 January 2019
From the moment I began reading “Living Waters”, I truly could not put the book down. As a local Charlestonian, the eloquence in which the Lowcountry is described had me dreaming of life at the end of a long dock under magnificent oak trees, with a loyal dog and a glass of sweet tea.
More importantly, however, I found myself pulled into the tumultuous world of the protagonist, AJ McClellan. AJ is a young combat veteran struggling with life after two tours in Iraq and the subsequent loss of many of his Army comrades. In addition, childhood trauma coupled with the death of a family member propel AJ into a very dark place from which he is seemingly unable to return.
As a former Mental Health V.A. Chaplain, Ed Waldrop does a phenomenal job of bringing to life this young man with a beautiful, albeit broken soul and his intentionalself sabotage. As the reader, I unconsciously connected with AJ to the point that I literally began to worry about him - the story is that powerful.
“Living Waters” is a MUST read for combat veterans, as well as those who love them.
- J. Hardy, Charleston, SC
12 December 2018 -
Review of Living Waters, from a former mental health colleague and friend, Gary H.... (5 Stars on Goodreads)
“Ed is a friend of mine, a fellow vet, and a former co-worker at the VA. The story he tells is unfortunately too familiar for combat vets going through it and those who have loved them and/or tried to help. Ed tells the story with feeling and love and shares his love for the coastlands where he was raised. Not to spoil the ending but it's great to have a happy ending to what could have been tragic. Thanks Ed for the journey.”
31 October 2019 -
What an extraordinary day at Augusta VA Medical Center! Wonderful seeing lots of old friends. Great response to my presentation. Lots of lives impacted and books sold. Great success!
Guest speaker/Book signing event!
29 October 2018
10:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Charlie Norwood VAMC Uptown Division
Speaking engagement: 10-11:30
Book signing: 12-1:30
Great book! Great read! What an outstanding book! I started reading more out of curiosity, but halfway through the second chapter I was hooked. I literally relate to the characters in one way or another. This book went a long ways in helping me heal myself! For that I will always be indebted. I highly recommend this book and look forward to Mr. Waldrop’s next book!!!! Truly Blessed.
- James W., Arizona 9/21/2018
Love reading about the Lowcountry. PTSD affects so many people. This is a great story showing how PTSD can change a person and how with help you can survive it. Great read!
- Kristy M., South Carolina 9/15/2018
A heartfelt tribute to military veterans wrapped in a beautiful love letter to Charleston.
Ed Waldrop has created one of the most moving stories I've read in years. The book was especially meaningful to me having been raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina; it's always a treat to read about familiar places. What I wasn't prepared for was the depth with which I would empathize with AJ, the main character. While I have always had great respect and gratitude for those who serve in the military, I am now far deeply more educated in the personal cost of that sacrifice. This book is a roller coaster ride in the best way. Thank you, Ed Waldrop for your service to our country and to God. I hope there's a sequel.
Mark Newsome, Clinical Faculty - Marketing/Branding and Digital Strategy at Darla Moore School of Business 9/4/2018
1 September 2018:
First book signing great success! Very successful book signing today at Blue Bicycle Books in downtown Charleston, SC! Thanks to Palmetto Publishing Group for the exceptional journey to publication! Grateful for all who attended!
Ed Waldrop shares from the heart and soul for America’s post 9/11 generation of warriors. His life and writing exemplifies the strength to be vulnerable, compassion as the foundation of living and loving, commitment to a community of brothers and sisters for whom he’d spare no sacrifice, and the never-ending search for grace, peace and understanding.
- Seth Eisenberg, President and CEO, PAIRS Foundation, Hollywood, FL 8/30/2018
This book captures the culture of post OIF/OEF veterans, the important role that chaplains serve in our military and showcases my favorite city in the USA: Charleston. I highly recommend it. 5 stars.
- Jim Stanton
Doctrine Author (Cyber, EW and Spectrum), United States Army Cyber Center of Excellence