Do I like time-travelling stories? Sometimes. The problem is, I get anxiety because I worry the couple won’t stay together. Yeah, I know, HEA should be a sure thing, but what if it’snot? Anyway, sometimes I do like them, and to me, it’s especially interesting to see how the person who ended up back, or in the future, fares. Honestly, without ibuprofen for my headaches, I’d be a bi~~h… And I won’t even touch the fact that I have MS and modern medicine is what keeps me walking. Literally. Anyway, sometimes I enjoy these kinds of stories. Medieval Scotland. Regency England. The Wild West. Seem like different worlds, with different and very clear rules. But what if the jump is not that far in the past? What if it’s in a world we can easily recognize but have different rules, more subtle hence more difficult to follow? Well, I think this story will show you just that.
The book is Texas Storm (Texas Time Travel Book 3) by Caroline Clemmons.
Jeannie Luttrell’s passion in life is piloting airplanes. She doesn’t mind the low pay, long hours, or the fact that as a World War II Women’s Air Service Pilot (WASP) she has to pay her own expenses. When a faulty oil pressure line causes her P-51 Mustang’s engine to fail, she has to bail out during a storm. When she lands the wind drags her across the ground and into a small ravine where her head strikes a rock.
When Caleb Knight sees a person struggling with a parachute on his cousin’s ranch, he knows what has happened. Another woman has landed in the small part of a ravine that appears to be a time portal from the past. Twice before a woman has come forward in time at this spot. He stops and takes the stranded pilot to his cousin’s home but then he plans to be uninvolved. Darned if he’ll let the family rope him into their shenanigans.
No matter how hard he tries, Caleb can’t avoid Jeannie. Soon, he isn’t so certain he wants to. But, how can two strong-willed individuals who view the world differently build a relationship? Especially, now that they have the same enemy plotting against them?
TEXAS STORM buy link is http://a.co/hbS8FD9
I also had the pleasure to have Caroline here with me, and she talked about her inspiration for this story which, by the way, comes at the right time.
Thank you for hosting me, Vivi! As a thank you, I’d like to give away an e-book copy of TEXAS STORM, book 3 of the Texas Time Travel trilogy, to one of your readers who comments on this post.
Since we’re immediately after Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to celebrate a group of women who played a major role in World War II, the Women Airforce Service Pilots. After a great deal of political positioning and juggling, including lobbying by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the new women’s ferrying group was assigned to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. The town of Sweetwater is the home of many very nice people as well as rattlesnakes, tarantulas, black widows, and scorpions with dusty winds and high temperatures in summer and freezing wind and low temperatures in winter. I grew up in West Texas, so I take those things for granted.
I wonder what the women arriving from more temperate and picturesque locales thought when they first saw their new home. For instance, since the mid twentieth century, Sweetwater has been home to the world’s largest Rattlesnake Roundup. (Yes, I shuddered when I wrote this!) The roundup didn’t become official until later, but there were rattlers there when the WASP were.
More than 25,000 women applied for the WASP and 1,830 were accepted into the program. After completing their months of military flight training, 1,074 of them earned their wings and became the first women to fly American military aircraft.
These women pilots were required to pay their own way to Avenger Field and the return fare if they washed out plus they also had to pay for their room and board. While the women fliers functioned in the military, they were an experiment and lived under civilian law and did not receive government insurance.
At Avenger Field, the women were assigned six to a barracks room with a bathroom separating the next room with six bunks. Twelve women sharing one bathroom may sound like a nightmare. Remember, this was at a time in history when most homes had only one bathroom and many still had only an outhouse. (Another shudder from me.) The barracks bathrooms did have two toilets and four sinks as well as an open shower space—and no privacy! In addition to their bunk, each WASP had a small locker-like closet, a table-like desk, and a chair.
Graduates of Avenger Field went on to flying assignments throughout the United States. They ferried 12,650 planes of seventy-seven different types, including B-17s. Fifty percent of the fighters manufactured were ferried by WASPs. After proving themselves as ferry pilots, they towed targets, flew tracking, smoke-laying, searchlight, strafing, and simulated bombing missions, gave instrument instruction, and tested damaged airplanes—a dangerous task.
Following training, the WASP were stationed at 122 air bases across the U.S., assuming numerous flight-related missions, and relieving male pilots for combat duty. They flew 60,000,000miles—yes that’s sixty million miles—of operational flights from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation and military training bases. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo.
Women in these roles flew almost every type of aircraft flown by the USAAF during World War II. In addition, a few exceptionally qualified women were allowed to test rocket-propelled planes, to pilot jet-propelled planes, and to work with radar-controlled targets.
Many had been pilots before the war and loved flying (as the heroine in TEXAS STORM). Jeannie (I added an i) Luttrell’s first and last names are after two of the thirty-eight women WASP who died in the program. Although the WASP loved flying and were patriotic, this was not a game.
Because they were not considered part of the military, a fallen WASP’s family paid her way home. If her family could not afford the expense, other WASP chipped in to send their fallen comrade home. Traditional military honors or notes of heroism, such as allowing the U. S. flag to be displayed on the coffin or a service flag in a window were not allowed.
On May 10, 2010, the 300 surviving WASPs came to the US Capitol to accept the Congressional Gold Medal from the House Speaker and other Congressional leaders. Finally, some of the recognition they deserved.
Ladies, thank you for your service! Thank you to all who served and are serving our country!
Here’s an excerpt:
Jeannie said, “Show me where you live.”
“Okay, follow me.” He walked to the living room windows. “See that large house shape with one downstairs light on?”
“I’m not sure in the dark. Is it the one with the outdoor light?”
He pulled her in front of him and reached around her to point. “Yep. Straight ahead and one house to the right.”
She inhaled his scent. His breath tickled her neck and increased awareness of him, as if she needed anything to make her more sensitive to his masculinity and presence.
“I-I see it now.”
“Good. Then two houses left is Margaret’s yellow house.”
She turned and stepped away before she threw herself at him. “I love Terry Springs. In my opinion, the town is just the perfect size.”
“You think so?”
“Sure, don’t you? Have a seat. Would you like some coffee?”
He sat on the couch. “No, thanks, I’m still stuffed.”
Now she couldn’t think of anything to say. Her mind was still on him standing so near. “Ellie chose the colors for the walls but I like them. They’re soothing. What do you think?”
“I guess so. Aren’t you going to sit down?”
She sat at the other end of the couch. “You’ve always lived in Terry Springs so maybe you don’t like it as much as a newcomer.”
“I went away to college but you’re right, I’ve always lived here.” He lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “I like it just fine. Most of the time, I even like working at the bank.”
She curled her legs under her. “Everyone in town appears to respect you. They do all of the Knights, in fact.”
She tried to affect an innocent expression when her heart was pounding. “I am relaxed. In fact, Mr. Knight, I’m having a very nice evening.”
That appeared to please him. “Good, so am I.”
THE AUTHOR Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was notborn on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook,Twitter,Goodreads,Google+, and Pinterest.
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