Genre: World War 2 Romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
Number of pages: 347
Cover Artist: Tammy Seidick
Before they became The Greatest Generation, they were young men and women in love . . .
It's June 1943. From New York to California, families gather to send their sons and husbands, friends and lovers off to war. The attack on Pearl Harbor seems a long time ago as America begins to understand that their boys won't be home any time soon.
In Forest Hills, New York City, twenty-year-old Catherine Wilson knows all about waiting. She's been in love with boy-next-door Doug Weaver since childhood, and if the war hadn't started when it did, she would be married and maybe starting a family, not sitting at the window of her girlhood bedroom, waiting for her life to begin.
But then a telegram from the War Department arrives, shattering her dreams of a life like the one her mother treasures.
Weeks drift into months as she struggles to find her way. An exchange of letters with Johnny Danza, a young soldier in her father's platoon, starts off as a patriotic gesture, but soon becomes a long-distance friendship that grows more important to her with every day that passes.
The last thing Catherine expects is to open her front door on Christmas Eve to find Johnny lying unconscious on the Wilsons' welcome mat with a heart filled with new dreams that are hers for the taking.
"This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
MRP would like to extend a very warm welcome to Barbara Bretton, author of Sentimental Journey.
Before they became The Greatest Generation, they were young men and women in love.
A few weeks after my mother died, my dad dropped a bombshell. “Did you know that your mother had been engaged before I met her?”
Now I’d had a vague idea that there had been someone before she met my father and obviously I knew it hadn’t worked out, but beyond that the details were lost in the fog that surrounds the lives of our parents. (Especially the parents of Baby Boomers.) I wasn’t sure where my dad was going with us and since we were still very raw after her unexpected death, I nodded and waited for him to continue.
“He was in the Army,” my dad went on. “He died during the War.”
I was in shock. I’d always supposed my beautiful, blond, devil-may-care mother had broken up with the poor guy and fallen in love with my father. The idea that my mother’s heart had been broken long before I was born, that she had actually loved someone other than my dad, that if life had been kinder to an unknown American soldier in north Africa I wouldn’t be here at all, threw me into a whirlpool of “what if’s” that had my head spinning.
My parents had been one of my primary research sources when I wrote SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY, which was originally part of Harlequin’s Century of American Romance series. My mother, in particular, had provided me with rich detail about life in New York City during World War II. The clothes, the music, how it felt to be Rosie the Riveter by day and then dance at the Stork Club by night.
But now I found myself wondering if she saw herself in the character Cathy Wilson, a young woman who lost her fiancé to the war then found her heart again when a brash young sailor showed up on her doorstep one snowy Christmas Eve.
She never said and now it’s too late to ask. But her help in researching and writing SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY was invaluable. I loved spending the time with her, listening to her stories, sharing as much of her life as she had been willing to share with me. Writing my Home Front series was pure joy and remains one of the best experiences of my life.
I hope you’ll add SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY to your TBR list and let yourself be swept away to the time and place that created the Greatest Generation. And if you’re lucky enough to still have your parents and grandparents around, sit down and listen to their stories. Tape them. Write them down. Don’t let them get away because when you come down to it, family is where all stories start.
Thanks so much for taking time to visit me today, and a big thank-you to More Romance Please for giving me the opportunity.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Barbara! We really enjoyed the visit. Good luck and great sales with you Sentimental Journey.
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About the Author:
A full-fledged Baby Boomer, Barbara Bretton grew up in New York City during the Post-World War II 1950s with the music of the Big Bands as the soundtrack to her childhood. Her father and grandfather served in the navy during the war. Her uncles served in the army. None of them shared their stories.
But her mother, who had enjoyed a brief stint as Rosie the Riveter, brought the era to life with tales of the Home Front that were better than any fairy tale. It wasn’t until much later that Barbara learned the rest of the story about the fiancé who had been lost in the war, sending her mother down a different path that ultimately led to a second chance at love . . . and to the daughter who would one day tell a little part of that story.
There is always one book that’s very special to an author, one book or series that lives deep inside her heart. SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY and STRANGER IN PARADISE, books 1 and 2 of the Home Front series, are Barbara’s. She hopes they’ll find a place in your heart too.
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