February 7, 2011

Guest Blogger - Ilona Fridl

Writing a Series:
A Cause of Separation
Ilona Fridl

I just sent back the galley for the third book in my Dangerous Times series and felt like I lost a friend. These characters I lovingly tended and caused to grow are now out on their own. Oh, I'm able to talk to people about them and learn how they're doing through reviews and sales, but a door has closed on a relationship I've had with the Shafer family these past few years.

I've already moved on to a new set of characters and problems, but this series was my first. The best thing, my characters will live and bring joy to others like they did for me.

The first book, Silver Screen Heroes, was a romantic suspense set in Hollywood in the 1920's. The second, Golden North, was my murder mystery in 1920's Juneau, Alaskan Territory. Bronze Skies is my third and final installment featuring the son of the original hero and heroine as a young Army Air Corps lieutenant, serving in the Eleventh Army Air Corps during the Japanese invasion of the Aleutians in World War 2. It's basically a war story with suspense.

I'll give you the blurb and an excerpt. Here's the gorgeous cover by Rae Monet. It'll be out soon at The Wild Rose Press.


Lt. Tom Shafer is an Army Air Corps pilot, who answers the call of his country a short time before World War II. His life is complicated when a bully back home in Juneau, Alaska harasses his girl. Can he fulfill his job to his country and his love?

Pam Wright has to put up with war's homefront problems and unwanted attention from a man who is obsessed with her. Can he take advantage of her knowing her man is so far from home?


A week after the surgery, Tom sat propped up in his bed, quietly reading the morning newspaper, when a bright ray of sunshine lit up the ward with her golden hair and sky-blue eyes. The beautiful vision headed right toward him. “Tom! Oh, Tom!” She latched her arms gently around his neck and gave him a careful kiss on his cheek, which changed when he turned his head and gave her a full kiss on the mouth. Lord, she tasted sweet! Then he glanced over her head and saw his mother pulling the side curtains closed between his bed and the others in the ward.

Mom gave him a half-smile. “You don’t want to make the others jealous.”

Tom looked around. “Where’s Dad?”

“He left with Uncle Josh, and Em and Dave for New York, before we heard about you being shot down. Aunt Muriel sent him a telegram. What happened? The Army doesn’t give out much information. We didn’t know what we would find.” Her voice wavered at the end as she drew over a chair next to them. Tom moved over, and Pam sat on the bed. He told them what he could about the battle and since, leaving out the fact that the soldier he'd helped was Vic. His mom and Pam gazed at him, glowing with pride.

When Tom noticed his mother was pale, although there was some color coming back into her face, he asked, “Mom, are you all right?”

Gazing at her hands, she nodded. “Now, I am. We just arrived here by air.”

His mouth gaped open. “You set foot in an airplane? You said something about a goon’s age when I offered to take you up a couple of years ago.”

Sighing, she said, “I didn’t want to take the time to go by ship. I was worried about you.”

Pam squeezed his hand. “She used both of our airsick bags on the way over.”

At Tom’s chuckle, his mother added, “We’re going home by ship, of course.”

A clomping of boots on the linoleum floor made Tom look up as a familiar face peered around the curtain. “Ken! You old dog! You made it through. What are you doing here?”

Ken shook Tom’s hand. “I had a few days' leave, so I thought I’d see how you were. But you have company―”

“That’s all right.” Tom made the introductions. “Ken saved my skin when I went down. The Japs were shooting at me, and he strafed them. I didn’t get a chance to thank you, buddy.”

Mom put a hand on Ken’s shoulder. “We all thank you.”

“Shucks, ma’am, Tom would have done it for me.”

Tom looked steadily at Ken. “What happened?”

With a grim line to his mouth, he replied, “We wiped them out. They fought to the last man, and at the end the ones left either were captured or committed suicide. I’ve never heard of anything like it.”

Pam shook her head. “Those people are fanatical, and that’s why this war scares me. Both the Nazis and the Japs seem to be power mad.”

Interlacing his fingers with hers, Tom said seriously, “That’s why we have to defeat them.”

Ken gazed at Tom’s cast. “When did the doc say you’d be ready to fly again?”

Some of that frustration came over Tom. “I should know in three weeks. I tell you, Ken, if it wasn’t for stopping to help―that soldier, I wouldn’t have gotten shot.”

Ken hesitated, then sighed. “Well, you never know.” Putting his hand on Tom’s shoulder, he said, “Hope to see ya back. You have lovely company, so I’ll hightail it out of here.” With a tip of his cap, he bowed.

Pam nodded. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ken.” Mom agreed.

After he left, a male nurse came in. “Captain, it’s time for your walk.” Turning to Pam and Mom, he advised, “You can wait for him in the atrium. That’s downstairs to your right. He has to get out twice a day on the crutches.”

Mom gave Tom a kiss on the cheek. “We’ll be waiting. Come on, Pam, there must be some-where we can get coffee.”

Tom reluctantly watched the two walk away as the nurse gave him a robe and helped him swing his leg off the bed. A growing concern in his gut bothered him. What if I can’t get back to flying? What earthly good will I be to anyone? Since I started flying, it's all I ever wanted to do. He gave a resounding crack to the plaster cast with his fist―and immediately reacted to the pain in both his hand and his leg.

I want to thank Anna for this opportunity of using her blog. I'll be in and out responding to comments.

You can check my Web site at: http://www.ilonafridl.com/
I'm on FaceBook and Good Reads


Donna L Bolk said...

Your series had been added to my must read list.

Sandy said...

Ilona, your excerpt was fascinating. I love the book cover, too.

Ilona Fridl said...

Donna and Sandy, thank you for stopping by.

Vonnie Davis said...

Your post was very interesting since I'm almost half-way through writing the first book in a series. I'm sure you do feel berefit of the characters. I wish you much success.

Ilona Fridl said...

Vonnie, you really do get involved with your characters. They start to feel like old friends. Thanks for your good wishes and I wish you success with your series, too.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Ilona. Welcome to my blog. Sorry I'm late with chiming in...had lunch with my mom, today's her 70th Birthday!

Great post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Ilona Fridl said...

Anna, thanks for the use of your blog! Don't be sorry, mothers are very important. I've got an 89 year old one.

Judy said...

Sounds like my kind of book! And I, too, suffer from 'separation anxiety' when I turn loose of my book, for good or ill, and the characters are cast adrift! You expressed that well!

Ilona Fridl said...

Thank you, Judy. And thank you for stopping by!