If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Friday, June 12, 2015

Guest Post: Sofia Grey on 1941 / @SofiaGreyAuthor

I'm so very pleased to have Sofia Grey with me today!

As some may know, she's the author of the Out of Time series, a collection of stories about time travelers. The catch? Her jumpers land in different time periods!

I'm familiar with jumps to Medieval and Regency eras, even jumps to the far future. But I've never read a story about a jumper who lands in the 1940's. So I wanted to know why she chose 1941, and the lovely Ms. Grey was kind enough to answer!

When Miriam invited me to appear on her blog, she asked me a question. Why 1941? Why choose this period for my new time travel story?

It’s a period in I find intensely fascinating, both in books and on the screen. Still recent enough to be on the edges of living memory, yet to children today, it’s ancient history. In England, the scars are still visible on the landscape and in the cities.

In my mental list of exciting-periods-in-history-to-base-a-story, the war years are right up there. Young men training to fly aircraft and going into battle just weeks later. Young women taking previously unheard of jobs before in industry. The heroism of the ordinary person, struggling to maintain a life and home while under the relentless waves of enemy bombing.

(**See reference below)

Everyone who lived through this period had a story to tell, but sadly, many of them have been lost. There are online projects to capture real-life tales and memories, to make sure nothing is forgotten, and if you look, there are plenty of old newsreels and movies, to immerse yourself in, but they’re just scraping the surface.

To everyone who has a parent or grandparent / great-grandparent who lived through this time, why not ask them about it? Their story might surprise you.


What periods of history do you find exciting? Leave a comment, and you’ll go into a draw to win an ecopy of Lila’s Wolf (Out of Time #1) and a swag bundle.


I stared at the open-backed truck, filled to capacity with men in uniform. Royal Air Force uniforms. Juliet giggled at my discomfort and winked. “I told you I’d organized a ride for us.” Her smile broadened a fraction. “Take your pick. Whose lap do you want to sit on?” As I gazed open-mouthed, she stretched out one hand and with an ease that defied logic, allowed herself to be lifted into the back of the wagon. The knee-length skirt she wore matched mine, yet I struggled to walk without tugging at it every few steps. The damn thing kept riding up and exposing the stockings underneath, and they were a whole new experience. Little metal clips held them in place, except mine kept popping open, allowing the fine cotton stockings to drift down to my knees on a regular basis.

Juliet settled on the lap of a handsome young buck with short, fair hair a similar shade to her own. He fingered her long, heavy plait, twisting the end through his fingers as his friends joked and called out.

“I like to have something to hang on to.” His grin showed white, even teeth and tiny laughter lines around his eyes. Three V-shaped stripes on the upper arm of his jacket; he would be a sergeant. I was sure the winged badge denoted aircrew. It might even be a pilot badge, I couldn’t remember. There had been so much to learn before we were allowed to enter this time period.

I snapped my attention back to the hands now reaching out to me and let myself be hauled up to join the mass of bodies. I longed, not for the first time, to be even half as elegant as Juliet. And now, standing precariously in the crowded truck, I had to find somewhere to sit, preferably without stepping on too many people in the process.

“Here, lassie.” A ginger-haired giant shoved his colleague to one side and made a space for me. “Come and join us, I promise we won’t bite. Aye, Davy?” The young man beside him glanced up and met my eyes. It was as though he’d only just noticed us.

“Aye,” he echoed, in a charming, lilting accent. I smiled politely and squeezed between them, tugging again at my skirt and watching, helpless, as one of my stockings slithered down my thigh. I snatched at the top of it before I exposed any more skin. I felt naked as it was, unused to showing so much of my legs. In my time period, our bodies were always covered. It was just one of the many ways society had changed. My face burned as I tried to hold the offending stocking in place. How had I ever thought I could cope with this field trip?

Time travel student Isabella Gillman is about to embark on her most challenging assignment--leaping back to 1941 to observe World War II. The rules are simple: don’t get emotionally involved, and don’t interfere.

She breaks the first rule when she falls in love with rear-gunner Davy Porteous. The second is on its way out as well, when she realizes history says he won’t survive the war. Torn between the fundamental laws of her society, and the man she loves, Isabella faces a harsh reality: does she risk both their lives for a future that may not happen?

She can’t predict the results if she corrupts the timelines, but without her actions, Davy is out of time.

Watch the video trailer: https://youtu.be/81eQC1WmBks

Buy Isabella’s Airman: Amazon

Reference notes:
** image courtesy of the Daily Mail newspaper:

Researching the details for Isabella’s Airman was a delight. An excuse to watch old movies, and read books about the period, some of which have become favourites of mine. In particular:

The film Target For Tonightexists:

Description of a Bomber Command raid on Germany, showing the general preparations beforehand, the raid itself from the viewpoint of "F For Freddie" and the mounting anxiety at the station when the plane, a Wellington, fails to return on time.

It can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PDTLeFl8cXU

Pastoral, by Nevil Shute (a fictional account of a Wellington bomber crew).

The Longest Night (Voices from the London Blitz), by Gavin Mortimer, a detailed account of the raids held 10–11 May 1941.

The Blitz, London’s Longest Night, a two-part dramatized account of the blitz over London in December 1940. Available on YouTube.

Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

Music is interwoven so tightly into my writing that I can’t untangle the two. Either I’m listening to a playlist on my iPod, have music seeping from my laptop speakers, or there’s a song playing in my head – sometimes on auto-repeat.

Check out my playlists on Pinterest and Spotify

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