Wednesday, May 11, 2016

IN TIMES LIKE THESE by Gail Kittleson


Women's Historical Fiction

Pearl Harbor attacked! The United States is at war. 

But Addie fights her own battles on the Iowa home front. Her controlling husband Harold vents his rage on her when his father's stoke prevents him from joining the military. He degrades Addie, ridicules her productive victory garden, and even labels her childlessness as God's punishment.
When he manipulates his way into a military unit bound for Normandy, Addie learns that her best friend Kate’s pilot husband has died on a mission, leaving her stranded in London in desperate straits.
Will Addie be able to help Kate, and find courage to trust God with her future?

TIP:  Tell us something topical, interesting, funny, or something we would not expect about the writing of this novel.

GAIL: IN TIMES LIKE THESEVolume One in The Cedar Valley Girls Series, highlights Addie Bledsoe’s home front battles with her volatile husband Harold. Forthcoming books spotlight other girls from Addie’s Iowa town and their contributions to the World War II effort.

Addie’s friend Kate travels to London seeking her downed Royal Air Force pilot husband. Glenora takes over as a mechanic in her father’s automobile shop when her brother Pinky signs up for the Navy after Pearl Harbor. In 1943, Twila Fae moves across Iowa to work in the German POW camp. And Audrey joins the WACS to eventually work in logistics during the D-Day invasion of northern France.

What’s funny is that I’ve worked on Addie’s story for four years plus, but never got the idea for these other stories (except Kate’s) until after IN TIMES LIKE THESE was completed. Then all of a sudden, I thought, “Wow, there could be other girls besides Kate from this town who all do something for the war effort.” Then they appeared with their stories,, whiz-bang, one right after the other. 

Another peculiarity—I took the title from what I thought was an old, old hymn. Well, it is sort of old, but not in comparison with Luther’s or Charles Wesley’s hymns.  I was surprised to learn that an American Greatest Generation woman wrote IN TIMES LIKE THESE  during World War II. Interesting to have inadvertently chosen a phrase out of  a hymn from this exact period.

TIP:  Can you give us a sneak peek or preview into the next work in progress (WIP) you're working on? When do you expect to release it?

GAIL:  A PURPOSE TRUE required a lot of research, about both London and southern France. For eight months of language school in 1980, we once lived in an extremely important refuge city for Jewish children during World War II. Of course, at the time, I had no idea I’d ever write a story about Le Chambon sur Lignon.

A PURPOSE TRUE tells Kate’s story, and will be released in February 2017 by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Soon, we’ll be hard at work on the first edits—I say we to include the LPC editor. Having gone through this process several times, I so appreciate these hard-working folks who devote their watchful eye to our stories.

TIP:  Does your MC read much? If so, what does she read?

GAIL:  Addie loves to read, and misses her high school English and Literature classes so much that she often comments on them in her letters to Kate. Their teacher became more of a mentor, and ranks at the top of their VIP list.

Addie doesn’t have much time to read, but she visits her little town library often, once to search for a map of London, to familiarize herself with the places Kate describes. She also pores over the Burpee’s catalog, dreaming about planting her victory garden when spring comes.


TIP:  Do you have a presence on social media? If so, where do you interact with readers the most? [Give the link to the one where you want readers to contact you.] Any amusing social media stories?


My social media stories couldn’t be classified as amusing. Maybe it’s my age or a mental block, but I seem to make more boo-boos than the average person. Once, I thought I’d send a note to several people about a blog I’d written to announce a new release. I guess the list grew, because suddenly I’d created a “group,” which definitely was not my intention. Please forgive me, anybody out there who witnessed that error. 


From chapter one...
Addie clung to Kate’s hand. “I’ll watch every day for your letters and write as soon as you send an address.”
“You don’t know what that means to me, Ad.” The glint in Kate’s eyes belied her determined expression.
 “I hope you have a safe trip and find a ship with no trouble, that no Nazi subs spot you, you don’t get seasick, and you find Alexandre right away.”
She saw Harold fidget as several other folks approached him. “If anyone can manage this, you can, Kate.”
“You think I’m the strong one, but you’re my anchor. Since Aunt Alvina died, I’ve felt so . . . lost. And now, with Alexandre’s crash . . .” Kate’s voice cracked, but she forced a smile.
“Now, go join the gathering crowd around your football hero, debate champion, ultimate farmer husband, Addie Bledsoe. I’ll slip out, so he’ll never notice me.”
She let her fingers trail the air, then hurried back and whispered, “Watch out for him, you hear? I don’t trust Harold for one minute.