Gail Kittleson – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Gail Kittleson shares the inspiration behind her latest Historical Romance, With Each New Dawn. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: March 11th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Gail:

Change and Growth by Gail Kittleson:

            Circumstances change all of our lives, but war accelerates the process. When we met Addie and Kate in the first book of the Women of The Heartland series, British women had already survived the Battle of Britain and suffered through Dunkirk. 

They served as air wardens, donning metal helmets as bombs and incendiaries rained down on London. Some of them worked fulltime day jobs left by men who deployed into battle, and doubled as drivers or guards at night.

After Pearl Harbor plunged the U.S. into the war, our citizens faced the grim reality of sending their sons and husbands into peril. They also sent daughters to work in far-away munitions factories or to join women’s military groups. As Congress passed new laws that increased opportunities to serve—the WACS, WAVES, and WAAF—young women left their homes in what must have seemed staggering numbers.

In 1940, no one imagined American women shuttling airplanes across the country, fashioning bombs, or packing parachutes. But they rose to whatever tasks evolved. They also served at home, through rationing, knitting for the soldiers, and agonized waiting for word of loved ones.

By spring of 1943, when Addie boarded a Red Cross ship for England to support her friend Kate during her bereavement and pregnancy, she’d come into her own. Her road hadn’t been easy, but she grew through her struggles, and her experiences in London would transform her even further.

Now a grieving war widow and expectant mother, Kate still faces incredible surprises. This resilient, risk-taking heroine adapts to fresh losses with courage. Unexpected new insights into her past and dangerous challenges bring out her plucky nature—she’s not one to back down from a trial.

Onward goes the story of two young mid-western women thrust into the throes of a vast world war. I hope readers garner enjoyment and strength from With Each New Dawn, and here at my laptop, I’m hard at work on a sequel.

Through this writing experience, I’ve come to appreciate even more the brave men and women who saw our nation through the throes of this great world war. My parents were among them, and I also appreciate more deeply how their experience colored the childhoods of baby boomers like me.

As an adult, I’ve experienced four deployments—two for my husband, and two for our son. Interesting how one simply does what’s necessary during times like these. But in retrospect, some themes shine through—sometimes I think I did the best I could, other times, I wonder.

Maybe that’s how it was for our WWII forebears. I don’t know, but reading their stories never fails to motivate me. And thinking about them leads to my question for you below.

About Gail: Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now she writes memoir and women’s fiction, and facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats. She makes her home in northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide fresh novel fodder.

Learn more and connect:

Gail’s Website                        Gail’s Facebook                       Gail’s Amazon Page

About the book – With Each New Dawn:

Kate Isaac grieves her husband, awaits their child’s birth, and welcomes her best friend Addie to London. But another loss and a meeting with mysterious Monsieur le Blanc launches her into Britain’s Secret Operations Executive(SOE). In late 1943, Kate parachutes into Southern France to aid the Resistance. 

Domingo, a grieving Basque mountain guide-turned-saboteur, meets her parachute drop, tends her injured ankle, and carries her to safety. Reunited a few months later, they discover the injured Monsieur le Blanc who with his dying breath, reveals his familial connection to Kate. 

In the shadow of the Waffen SS, Domingo and Kate subject their mutual attraction to the whims of war. But can mere human will and moral courage change the tide and forge a future for them?

Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now:  With Each New Dawn – Amazon

Question for Readers: How do you think a long deployment would affect one of your relationships?

Come back March 3rd for Angela Ruth Strong!




12 Responses to “Gail Kittleson – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 1”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    can make it very difficult to handle everyday household situations if your spouse is deployed for a long time. I have friends who’s husbands are in Iraq that are made stronger by having to handle things here while they are deployed for 2 year.

  • Kim F says:

    Sounds like a wonderful story – military family life is a struggle and takes some strong women to hold it together!

  • I think having children still at home would make a big difference, Sheila. If that’s the case, the spouse left behind simply HAS to still keep things functioning in a new normal – thanks!

  • Thanks for stopping, Kim. You’re right about the strong women, for sure.

    And thanks for having me visit, Shannon.

  • Ann Ellison says:

    Enjoyed reading Gail’s comments. I was blessed to get to read an advance copy of With Each New Dawn and I loved it.

  • Becky I. says:

    I can’t imagine how hard it would be to endure a long deployment. BUT my aunt & uncle actually did that during WWII. My uncle did not see his first born until he was almost 2 years old. The same thing happened with my husband’s grandparents. His grandfather was in the European, North African & Pacific theaters, and came home to see his 2 year old for the first time. Somehow these couples held on. My aunt moved back to her parent’s home while my uncle was away. So she benefited from their support plus that of her two siblings–one of which was my mom. Your book sounds great!

  • Alison Boss says:

    I think a long deployment would be very hard for sure. We have friends who have experienced this. The husband was deployed twice to Iraq. The wife was pregnant and also had a young toddler the first time, She is an incrediblly strong person.Technology today makes it more tolerable since you can skype to stay in touch instead of waiting and waiting to receive a letter.
    I think having a solid foundation in your marriage is huge when you are separated for a long time. The support of family and friends is a tremendous asset. And most importantly, having faith in Christ for strength, support and comfort to see you through.

    Gail, Thank you for sharing your story behind the story. With Each New Dawn sounds so interesting and intriguing! I look forward to reading it.

    Gail & Shannon ~Thanks for the opportunity of this giveway!

  • Becky, your family certainly has had its share of separations due to war…I wonder if the era made it a little easier, since so many families were in the same boat? Thanks for stopping.

    And Allison, I agree that technology helps. For us, e-mail worked great, since both of us do well expressing ourselves in writing. YOu’re definitely right about that solid foundation.

    Hope to meet you both online again somewhere.

  • Melanie Backus says:

    I would think a long deployment would be so hard on all concerned. I remember when my husband was in the army. It was before we married and I was in college. We wrote letter after letter and grew to love and cherish each other through the written word.

  • Cathy says:

    I have not personally been in that situation but have friends who have and, also, I remember many stories from my parents as they and their peers were young adults during WWII. At least now email is available, which helps keep the contact more frequetnt, unlike WWII.

  • Cathy says:

    I have not personally been in that situation but have friends who have and, also, I remember many stories from my parents as they and their peers were young adults during WWII. At least now email is available, which helps keep the contact more frequent, unlike WWII.

  • stvannatter says:

    I have a winner! Alison Boss won the drawing. I appreciate Gail for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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