Shannon here: Delores Topliff shares the inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, Strong Currents, along with an excerpt. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter Friday’s drawing. Deadline: March 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Delores:
Before reaching the US, the Austrian-born family of one of my three college roommates survived heartbreaking experiences that are paralleled in Strong Currents, my February 21st release. I’m glad I could retell parts of Ingeborg Oberweger’s true and impacting family story. She knew the book would release February 21st. I’m sad that she lost her battle with cancer on February 1st.
Josh Vengeance survived the Japanese sinking of his ship at Midway to be found badly wounded on a Pacific island.
Hitler stole Erika Hofer’s father and brother and tried to destroy her faith. The Red Cross shuttles her to find her uncle in America’s Pacific Northwest . . . .
How do my hero and heroine meet? I’m sharing this excerpt of their meeting from my February 21st release, Strong Currents, a sequel to my earlier WWII novel, Books Afloat.
Josh heard light footsteps. An attractive blonde young woman knocked on his open door and entered his room. Dressed in a blue dress with a red cross stitched over her heart, she offered a paper and a pen. She wore a boat-shaped white hat similar to beginning-level Navy recruits.
“Dinnertime,” she called. “You must mark your meal preferences on this card.”
“Preferences? I don’t have any. I’m not hungry. Leave me alone.”
“No. You must eat.” She cranked his bed several turns and rolled a food table over his legs.
“I said no.” She didn’t listen. Food smells drifted from her cart. Spaghetti and meatballs—usually a favorite, but not now. The heavy, greasy aroma made his stomach churn.
“Will you eat spaghetti now and choose your other meals later?”
“They pureed these noodles and tomato sauce for you.”
“I said no. My stomach’s messed up. I don’t want it.”
She stepped closer.
“They made it especially. At least taste it.”
Why wouldn’t she quit? He scooted to the back of the bed and lifted a hand, turning down the plate.
“I said no!” His fist pounded the movable table so hard everything bounced. The table rolled, and the plate flew.
Pureed spaghetti and red Marinara sauce decorated her face and dress.
“Ach. Himmel.” She rattled off more foreign words. German? Horror filled her eyes.
She grabbed a napkin to scrub off what she could, but the damage was done. “That was not nice!”
“I-I’m sorry,” he stammered, “I didn’t mean—”
“Yes, you did. How are you strong enough to pound the table so hard?” She whirled away.
Josh stared, open-mouth. Most of the pureed noodles and sauce landed on the girl, but red sauce also stained his fingers like blood, as if he had murdered someone.
After this terrible beginning, their lives intersect to join a network of volunteers on the Columbia River to stop foreign invasion. They must also deal with Erika’s arrest as a foreign alien as well as an insane threat that nearly takes her life.
Question for Readers: Have you ever met someone in a situation as disastrous as Josh and Erika’s? Did that first calamity define (and kill) the relationship that followed? Or did later events move past the disaster to form a great relationship that makes you both laugh every time you look back to that disastrous first meeting? Please share your story.
About Delores: Delores Topliff is from Washington but married a Canadian so enjoys dual citizenship. She teaches online in a Christian university, travels, and has published children’s books and non-fiction before her novels, Books Afloat, Christmas Tree Wars, Wilderness Wife, and now Strong Currents. She loves her two doctor sons and their families including five grandchildren. She divides her year between a central Minnesota farm with Amish neighbors and the gentle temperatures and people of northeast Mississippi. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Strong Currents:
Is any price too great to pay for love and freedom?
When German Christian, Erika Hofer, opposes Hitler, church leader Dietrich Bonhoeffer helps her flee to her uncle John Hofer along the Columbia River in America’s Pacific Northwest. Erika finds acceptance and support but also suspicion, hatred, and an attempt on her life.
American pastor’s son, Josh Vengeance, joins the US Navy to serve his country, but is injured at Midway Island and invalided home.
While healing in body and spirit, he joins a network of colorful individuals, including John Hofer and his niece, Erika, who defend their homeland as volunteers.
Can two wounded young people move past betrayal and disillusionment to find love and freedom during a world at war?
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