WWII Historical Romance
Since I live in Boston, I’m a member of New England Chapter RWA and enjoy attending the meetings and regional conference. But I also belong to a number of writers groups online, some in places where I’ve lived before and some where I haven’t. Wisconsin RWA falls into that second category, but I’ve enjoyed getting to know the members of this group through their writers loop. One of my cyber friends from the land of “cheese heads” (and I say that with complete love!) is Ilona Fridl.
Ilona writes in an interesting niche–20th century historicals. It’ s a tough market for these stories, but the settings are fascinating. Take it away, Ilona. My blog is now yours.
The Completion of a Series by Ilona Fridl
There’s a bit of sadness connected to finishing a series. The familiar characters become like family. It’s hard to say goodbye to old friends. With the Shafer family, I’ve been through the ups and downs of their life with them. In Silver Screen Heroes, we fought the Giovanni family during prohibition in Hollywood, California. Golden North found Zeke and Addy in Juneau, Alaska Territory renovating an old theater with Zeke’s brother Josh. And in Bronze Skies, the next generation out deals with World War II in the Alaskan Territory.
Now, I’m working on a series of mysteries with Sheriff Amos Darcy and Detective Sarah Lakat from Golden North. Some of my readers loved the pair, so I’m giving them their own series. I guess I won’t be letting it go completely.
For a taste of the new Bronze Skies, here’s a sample:
Blurb: When her plane-crazy high school sweetheart goes off to join the Army Air Corps, Pam Wright writes him often but is disappointed that he doesn’t reply to every letter. She’s lonely, hurting from his seeming lack of interest, and dances with someone else one Saturday night. By the time Pearl Harbor is attacked, Lieutenant Tom Shafer has been home on leave, explained how busy he’s been with officer training, and made sure Pam will be waiting for him after the war. He’s also had a fight with the guy who won’t leave her alone after that one dance. But is it safe to leave her in the same town with this obsessed bully? How can Tom fulfill his promises to protect both his country and the love of his life?
Tom slid through the door at Millie’s. Most of the breakfast crowd had cleared out, and he caught sight of the willowy blonde, her back toward him, and recognized the French roll of her hair under the crisp white uniform cap. He glanced at the gray-haired Millie behind the counter and put his index finger to his lips. Millie smiled and nodded.
Tom tiptoed to the big Wurlitzer jukebox by the side of the dance floor and fed it a nickel. Strains of Serenade in Blue drifted over the dining area. He watched Pam turn around and her eyes lit up with surprise and happiness. She ran to him, and he caught her in an embrace.
“Tommy, you’re home!” She put her hands on either side of his face and looked at him like she couldn’t quite believe her eyes. “You get my letters?”
He put his fingers over hers. “I’ve kept every one. Reading them is almost like having you with me. I’m sorry I haven’t answered all of them, but we’ve been working hard at the airfield.” He gave her a quick kiss on her forehead, and he could feel his body warm. “Can you come to the house tonight for dinner? I’ll check with my folks, but I’m sure it will be all right.”
“Oh, yes! My father is picking me up, and I’ll go home to change after work. I can walk over there by six.”
Suddenly he heard, “Well, look who’s here–the flyboy!”
Tom broke from Pam and glared at the intruder. “Vic! What are you doing here?”
A big angry-faced bully, Vic Houston gazed at Pam. “I wanted to talk to her.”
Putting her hands on her hips, she tapped her foot. “What do you want?”
Grinding his back teeth, Vic growled, “I want you to be my girl. I’d show you a better time than a pansy flyboy any day.” The arm he put around her was pushed away as she winced and pulled back.
Tom wadded Vic’s shirt in his fist and leaned toward his face. “Leave her alone!”
Vic’s foul breath stung Tom’s nose. “Who’s going to make me?”
In a second, Millie pushed them apart. “I don’t put up with this in my restaurant. If you don’t want me to call the police, stop now!”
Looking first at Millie, her eyes flashing, then at Pam and Tom, Vic huffed and stomped out the door.
Millie shook her head. “Be careful of him, you two. That’s one unhappy person.” She went back to the counter.
Tom glanced at Pam. “I didn’t know he knew who you were.”
Her mouth formed a tight line. “We were both at a party, and I made the mistake of dancing with him.”
Tom swore under his breath. “I wish I could stay more than a week. I didn’t know you would have a problem like this.” He gently held her shoulders. “You need me here.”
She sighed. “With all the tension between America and Japan, you’re going to be needed to help keep the Japanese out. My father’s sure we’ll get into this war that’s raging around the world. My problem isn’t that important.”
“It is to me.” He stirred her hair as he spoke in her ear. “Go to your family or mine if he tries anything.” He gave her a quick kiss. “See you tonight. I’d better go before I get you in trouble with Millie.”
Her eyes, the blue of a robin’s egg, sparkled. I’ll be there.”
Waving toward Millie, he left the restaurant. Tom thrust his hands into his pockets and resumed whistling on his way to the theater. It was a feeling more than anything else that made him turn around by one of the alleys, just as Vic was about to nab him. “What do you want, Vic? You run out of school kids to pick on?”
Come read reviews and excerpts at http://www.ilonafridl.com I’m also on Facebook and Goodreads.
Thank you, Mia, for hosting me today!