On 25 April 1915, on a peninsular in Turkey, thousands of New Zealanders and Australians died in a battle, now called the Battle of Gallipoli. Now, almost a hundred years later each year on 25 April we celebrate ANZAC day (Australia & New Zealand Army Corp)
All the remaining survivors of this war have now passed away, but we, as a nation, still take this day to remember the fallen from Gallipoli, from World War 1, World War 2 and those who lost their lives during more recent battles. People of all ages attend dawn services to honor the sacrifices of the past. It’s a very moving day, a somber one.
As a writer I possess the curious bug. On ANZAC day I always think of the waste of young lives and wonder how different our world might have been if the war had never happened and those bright, young minds had grown to maturity. The what if fascinates me.
War creates huge sacrifices from individual families. Those who are left behind fight the war in their own way with a quiet strength to carry on as normally as possible. Stories of World War 2 and the British Home Front have always interested me too. The German forces pounded the city of London with bombs bringing fear, sleep deprivation and loss of life. It also brought stories of great personal courage, which is surely the stuff of excellent stories.
I’ve written two stories set in Britain during World War Two. Unforgettable is set in London while A Discreet Affair is set in a village near Biggin Hill airbase. This area is actually now part of Greater London.
When I decided to write in this era, I headed directly to my local library. They have a wonderful selection of books about World War Two, ranging from books about the battles to biographies and life in London during the Blitz. BBC television also produced a reality-documentary where a family from our time steps back in time to live the life of a family during war-time London. It was a fascinating look at the food shortages, the clothing coupons and the day-to-day fear and inconvenience the people lived through with the bomb sirens constantly going off and interrupting their sleep.
Unforgettable features two reunited lovers—a soldier and a WAAF while in A Discreet Affair an ace pilot and a widow conduct an illicit affair amongst the backdrop of war. I’ve tried to color my stories with details of the time without overwhelming the stories. The research was certainly fun, and I hope you enjoy the stories as much I as enjoyed writing them.
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A Discreet Affair
Summer, 1940. Britain is at war, and her brave fighter pilots attempt to keep the enemy at bay.
The last thing Pamela Allison wants is another man, especially one like her brutal, now deceased husband. Her managing mother wants her to live with her in London, but Pamela accepts a job from her aunt, working in the family store in the village near the Biggin Hill.
Enter Michael Stedman, a Spitfire pilot based at the Biggin Hill airbase. Depressed and a little drunk after the death of his friend, he doesn’t expect to meet a beautiful woman during a night out at the local pub. He’s not looking for anything permanent since a pilot’s life is fraught with danger. All he wants is a little feminine company to take his mind off the war.
London is under siege by the enemy. Bombs drop every night and the danger increases for everyone. Their relationship changes and they become lovers. Michael and Pamela are happy with their secret liaison until gossip and the past intrude and threaten to destroy everything including her good reputation.
Are you shocked that Harlie actually read a historical romance? I love historical romances and honestly don’t know why I don’t feature more of them on the blog. Probably because I get tired of the “ton” in Regency romance but bring me Medieval, Ancient, Victorian, and now a WWII story and I’m your girl.
Ms. Munro brings authenticity to A Discreet Affair. She doesn’t overwhelm you with the smallest detail about the war and how it as affected her characters but weaves it in layer by layer. The ration coupons, cold showers/baths, the pilots mess hall, sandbags surrounding the houses…I could go on but I won’t. You will need to read the book. What I also liked about the book is the use of a condom. I know, I know, sounds silly but back then they were called sheaths.
Pamela is a great character from a different time period. After the death of her awful husband, she decides that London isn’t for her and retreats to a new life in country with her cousin, aunt and uncle. She likes her life there but is lonely. When she agrees to go to a pub with her cousin, she meets a pilot, Michael. At first glance, he reminds her of her ex but in reality, he is nothing like her ex.
Michael is the epitome of what I picture a Royal Air Force pilot of that era to be. Cocky, self-assured but also vulnerable in his emotions when it comes to his fellow pilots and especially Pamela. I adored Michael and Pamela’s relationship. It starts pretty chaste but when Pamela decides to go for it, they do. I also liked how Michael cherished her during those scenes and brought out her sexuality.
There is one part of the book that was heartbreaking with her cousin but it led to the credibility and reality of the book and the time period itself. That’s what I really appreciated about Ms. Munro’s writing. She writes with an authenticity and reliability to the time period and her characters. Was there humor in the book? Yes but it was subtle. Was the sex scorching/hot/erotic? Yes and no. Michael had a caring way with Pamela at first but when Pamela finally made up her mind…her inner sex kitten came out to play. While erotic/spicy, the scenes were tied to the time period and not OMG graphic. 🙂
As Ms. Munro asked you, do you like to read non-fiction historicals? Actually I do. My husband and I watch the History Channel and H2 every day. We have also found The Military Channel. I love history and especially WWII history. I’m a geek, I guess and I blame my dad. After watching the movie Memphis Belle, I couldn’t read enough about the plane, its history and the men that fly it. After reading, The Discreet Affair, I will now look for other books in this time period to read and I think you will, too.
Liquid Silver Books http://www.lsbooks.com/a-discreet-affair-p25.php
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Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at http://www.shelleymunro.com.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Munro/e/B001JOWGNK