Summerside Press (February 1, 2010)
It is so wonderful to see a new book out from an author I’ve come to love and know that I am in for a delightful reading experience. What’s even better is to revisit characters you have come to love in additional books for a series or meet new characters to fall in love with from a familiar pen.
With her usual flair for adventure and strong female heroines Tricia Goyer introduces readers to yet another group of WWII denizens out on the foreign fields, the USO entertainers who also provided friendship and companionship for the soldiers so far from home. Though the obvious war against the Nazis has been over for a few months, the war to rebuild and reestablish the lives of those displaced by the military actions of the war in Europe has barely started. Behind the scenes lies yet another war for the allied forces who liberated the remainder of the prisoners from Nazi internment camps. The disillusionment and grief of loss is still quite raw for those who escaped the camps and the horrors those in the camps saw first hand still haunt their dreams and thoughts. Can they see beyond the hatred that has scarred their minds and hearts at the hands of the Nazis? Will they recognize that the losses although irreversible are not the only legacy this war left them? Can legacies of art and drama that were buried in times of war be resurrected for a new generation of audiences instead of falling prey to those who endured the loss of yesteryear’s glory? When Betty and Frank encounter each other on a military flight into Germany neither of them knows the scope of their unspoken “missions”. Betty is there to perform for the US and Allied troops at the Bayreuth Opera house which birthed the classical operas of Wagner. A legacy of German art that was marred by Hitler and his goons is further injured in the minds of some when Americans turn the stage into a variety show venue solely to entertain the occupying troops as Europe begins the monumental task of rebuilding the treasures of art, music, and architecture that were lost to both the physical destruction and the moral depravity of war. Frank has been a combat photographer on countless aerial missions as well as an investigator for the OSS who bears the task of discovering moles and threats to the allied forces in the war and later the remaining occupation troops in Europe. This latest assignment appears to be nothing more than providing society news and pinup portraits for the military publication, Stars and Stripes, that brings a bit of home to the soldiers overseas still apart from their families and friends who are not a part of the military. Until Frank receives a mysterious packet of letters from the powers that be which allude to a threat towards the performers, the opera house, and the remainder of Wagner’s estate which has been converted to dorm space for the USO performers, it appears his only assignment is to attend the performances and rehearsals of the USO performers and provide photos for entertainment value of the musicians, actors, and other stage personalities visiting the Bayreuth Opera to give the troops a taste of home. Soon his path and that of Betty, Songbird as the USO manager (Mickey) refers to his newest performer, begin to cross repeatedly. A spark that was ignited on the nearly week-long trek by air fans into the heat of romance although the going gets rather bumpy in more ways than one. Readers will be treated to not only a riveting mystery adventure with plenty of surprises for even the most discerning but a budding love that will warm the hearts of hopeless romantics as well. Don’t miss out on yet another engrossing historical human interest story with something that appeals to readers of most any taste. (ISBN#9781935416685, 320pp, $12.99)
Codicil:Visit Tricia’s Site to find out more about her and her wide variety of work. For more info on this book or to purchase a copy click the bookcover above. Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy of this book.