With news this week that Julia Child was secretly working as a spy for the CIA during WWII, it got me thinking about our romance heroines. We write about ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations. My favorite type of story! All that time we thought Julia was just baking pastry, she was living a double life! How cool is that?
I love stories about the WWII era for several reasons. Some of my favorite romantic suspense movies take place during that era. Shining Through, starring Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas is one that I could watch over and over again. Every Time We Say Goodbye staring Tom Hanks is another wonderful romance.
But there are personal reasons why WWII is something of interest to me. My husband is first generation America. His parents lived through and survived WWII Germany. They were not soldiers. They were ordinary citizens who were caught in the crossfire. The stories I've heard from my mother in law, Johanna, about being bombed in the middle of the night, having to flee their home, having to scrounge for food, having to dig deep in her soul for courage when soldiers were marching just yards away as they slept, dealing with not knowing if her father was alive or dead after being taken from their home in the middle of the night and put in a concentration camp for refusing to put a picture of Adolf Hitler on his wall. Then being sent to the Russian Front. (I always remember how much Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes always shuddered at the thought of being sent to the Russian Front.)
They needed to rely on their faith in God to see them through. And when they survived, they came to America in search of freedom. I love watching my mother in law's face when she talks about coming into Ellis Island and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. I always tell her that she survived just so she could come to America and bring me my family. She's a strong woman and a fabulous example of a great romance heroine.
These are stories that I've always wanted to pass on to my four children to let them know what their grandparents and great-grandparents went through to give them freedom. One day I will write these stories down and perhaps put them in stories that I can share with my readers. I love the fact that Love Inspired Historicals is including the WWII era in their lineup of books. I'll be sure to pick up every copy!