Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

Dr. Helena P. Schrader is the winner of more than 20 literary accolades. For a complete list of her awards see: http://helenapschrader.com

Helena is represented by Laurie Blum Guest at the Re-Naissance Agency.

For readers tired of clichés and cartoons, award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader offers nuanced insight to historical events and figures based on sound research and an understanding of human nature. Her complex and engaging characters bring history back to life as a means to better understand ourselves.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

DISSECTION OF A NOVEL PART IV - THE ANTAGONISTS

 Good antagonists contribute almost as much as good protagonists to the success and quality of a novel. In my books, the antagonists are rarely evil. That's because I don't like to dwell in evil minds and I have to be able to get inside my characters in order to write about them convincingly. Instead of evil antagonists, I seek to create characters that could just as easily be protagonists if only one chose to see the world through their eyes. In short, they are complex characters with their own strengths and weaknesses, but for one reason or another they are in conflict or competition with the protagonist of this particular novel.

 In Moral Fibre  there are two antagonists, one for the hero and one for the heroine. The hero Kit Moran's antagonist is Red Forrester. 


Red is an Australian pilot who arrives at the same Operational Training Unit as Kit Moran at the same time. They share a room, and they soon become, well, bitter rivals. Forrester is ambitious. He wants his crew to be the best in everything -- flying, bombing, gunnery, navigation. He selects a crew of like-minded individuals, who are as aggressively competitive as he is.  And when they do well at anything, they brag about it.

In the course of the novel, this sets up several situations where Moran is forced to make choices and take actions that would not otherwise have been necessary.  Forrester acts as a foil to Moran. He forces Moran to re-evaluate who he is and what he wants. He is the shadow that sets Moran into greater light. 

The heroine Georgina Redding's antagonist is Fiona Barker. 

 


Fiona is a fellow trainee at the teacher's college, but she is more of a rebel. She resents the restrictions placed on women. She wants to have a career. She hates men who are more focused on her looks than her brain. She is, well, the way I was when I was in college. So, you see, I identify strongly with Fiona. Yet she is Georgina's antagonist because she tries to impose her worldview on Georgina. 

Fiona thinks Georgina should not get involved with Kit. She thinks she should "stand on her own two feet." She calls Georgina "dependent" and deplores her "need for a ring to make her feel whole." She fails to understand the depth of Georgina's feelings much less Georgina's great emotional strength. By highlighting Georgina's alternatives, like a good antagonist, she makes Georgina define herself more precisely and consciously choose a different course.

Next week I will explore the critical role of secondary characters.

Riding the icy, moonlit sky— They took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one Lancaster skipper, his crew,and the woman he loved.

It is intended as a tribute to them all. 

Order Now!

 Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancé, who is not yet ready to become romantically involved again.



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

FIVE STAR FEATHERED QUILL REVIEW OF "MORAL FIBRE"

"For those readers who have not yet gone on the “ride of your life” with this incredible author, I suggest you jump on the plane as fast as possible. Why is that? Because Ms. Schrader has written yet another historical fiction story that focuses on some of the coolest, most courageous people who fought for freedom." 
 


 

 

 

 


 

"Kit’s struggles, his life, and the romance he is continuously hoping and striving to have with the woman he loves hits you directly in the soul, but the addition of adventure and excitement makes you want to read cover-to-cover without ever having to put the book down. After all, the RAF’s bombing offensive against Nazi Germany was one of the longest, most expensive and controversial of the Allied campaigns during the Second World War, and the contributions made by these men – and the women they had to leave behind – were more than substantial. And Ms. Schrader does a brilliant job of heralding them with every chapter.

"The intriguing dialogue, the settings, the clear descriptions of such harsh situations – this author has hit on all cylinders once again, and even provides the most exhilarating history lesson I, personally, have ever had the pleasure of reading. “5-Stars!”

Quill says: Helena Schrader’s in-depth stories, fantastic characters, and ability to write an unforgettable tale makes her one of the best authors out there!

For more information on Moral Fibre: A Bomber Pilot’s Story, please visit the author's website at: helenapschrader.com.com

For the full Feathered Quill Review go to: https://featheredquill.com/moral-fibre-a-bomber-pilots-story/

Riding the icy, moonlit sky— They took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one Lancaster skipper, his crew,and the woman he loved.

It is intended as a tribute to them all. 

Order Now!

Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancé, who is not yet ready to become romantically involved again.



 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

DISSECTION OF A NOVEL PART III - THE HEROINE OF HISTORICAL NOVEL

My novels usually feature strong female leading characters. Yet because I write historical fiction, they sometimes pose unique challenges. Human nature may have changed little over the centuries, but acceptable female behaviour varies greatly across both geography and time. In keeping with my objective of creating novels which authentically convey the atmosphere and ethos of the period in which they are set, my female characters cannot be modern women in period costume; they have to share the values and respect the restraints of the age in which they "live." This was true of the female lead in "Moral Fibre" no less than novels set in Ancient Sparta or the era of the crusades.

 

The female protagonist of Moral Fibre is Georgina Reddings. Unlike the hero, Kit, she was shy about communicating with me directly. I knew her first and foremost through Kit's eyes and only gradually pieced together more about her. Slowly, step-by-step, she emerged out of the shadows as her natural modesty and reticence melted and she took shape as a full-blown character in her own right. 

Georgina was the daughter of a rural vicar in West Yorkshire. She enjoyed a carefree and comfortable childhood, attending a girls boarding school run by the Church of England. The Victorian vicarage with its large barn made it easy for her to indulge her passion for horses, riding and hunting, and she was a bit "horse crazy" as a young teenager, but the war soon sobered her.  In 1942 she started studies at the Lincoln Diocesan Teachers Training College, with the goal of becoming a secondary school teacher. At at dance at the Lincoln Assembly Rooms, she met and instantly fell in love with the shy, serious and gentle Don Selkirk, a Lancaster skipper from a nearby RAF station. 

Scion of a wealthy, Scottish gentry family, Don bedazzled Georgina, without even trying. They became engaged within four months of meeting, to the delight of both sets of parents. Don's parents found Georgina sweet and innocent, modest and malleable. Her parents saw in Don the perfect gentleman with a law degree and good prospects after the war. Meanwhile, he was  protective and considerate in every way. He cocooned Georgina in a sense of safety. He encouraged her to continue her studies, yet indulged her hopes, visions and plans for a future together. He assured her he had always been lucky and that nothing would happen to him. 

And then he was dead. A 20 mm cannon of a German night fighter having hit his heart and killed him instantly. Georgina's entire world fell apart. She hadn't just lost the only man she'd ever loved, she'd lost her dreams and hopes for the future as well. All at the age of 19.

Georgina's grief was as great as her heart and her capacity for love. It shocked the under-cooled society around her, which expected a "stiff upper lip," "restraint," "self-control." After all, Don was only one of 55,000 airmen who were to die, and civilians were being killed every day too. There was no room in wartime Britain for too much grief. Instead, the emphasis was on all those established British virtues that had won and Empire and were more vital than ever in this, their "finest hour."  Her friends and colleagues at the college were alienated. Her parents feared for he sanity. Her doctor thought she needed psychiatric treatment. 

The only one in the whole world with whom Georgina could share her grief without reproach or inhibition was with Don's best best, his flight engineer Kit Moran. But Moran was in trouble, having refused to fly after Don's death. He was posted off his squadron and sent to a RAF diagnosis center. His future was under a cloud, and he told Georgina that he believed it would have been better for all if he had died in Don's place. 

Georgina denied it, and with that recognition that Kit too was a valuable life that might also have been lost, she started groping and stumbling along a path out of her underworld of grief. She clung to Kit as a lifeline connecting her both to Don through his memories and shared experiences and to life. Although Kit was soon posted to a training station in South Africa, they corresponded. Georgina wrote two to three times each week, pouring out her feelings and by writing down her thoughts coming to terms with her loss bit by bit. 

Then, in August 1942, Kit returned to the UK to start operational training. Since his family was in Nigeria, naturally Georgina invited him to spend his disembarkation leave at her home with her parents. And there they met again. Suddenly, their relationship wasn't all about Don and the past. Kit was in love with her. But Georgina was terrified of committing her heart again when Kit was facing a tour of operations in a war that was as intense as ever.

Next week I will introduce the two antagonists: Red Forrester and Fiona Barker.

Riding the icy, moonlit sky— They took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one Lancaster skipper, his crew,and the woman he loved.

It is intended as a tribute to them all. 

Order Now!

Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancé, who is not yet ready to become romantically involved again.



 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

DISSECTION OF A NOVEL PART II - THE PROTAGONIST

The protagonist of my most recent novel, Moral Fibre, is one of my more powerful characters. By that I don't mean he has a particularly dominant or forceful personality. Only that he has the power to communicate with me more strongly than others. I never intended to write about him. I certainly did not create him. Yet he was able to take over that part of my brain dedicated to writing. He insisted that I tell his story, disrupting all my other plans. Because of him, the release of one book was delayed six months and work on another is only now being resumed. 

I am grateful.

My best books are those in which I draw not only from objective research and employ the technical writing skills developed over decades but where my work is guided by a character with a story to tell. 


The protagonist of Moral Fibre, Kit Moran, was not typical of Bomber Command pilots -- then again, he was typical of the diversity that was so much a part of Bomber Command. Aircrew in Bomber Command came from all the colonies and former colonies, especially Canada and Australia, but including the West Indies, and it came form allied nations such as Poland, France and the United States as well. Kit was British, but his father was in the Colonial Service. He was born and raised in Africa -- South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. His parents met in South Africa, where his mother was the daughter of a Scottish missionary and his Zulu second wife. She was, therefore, viewed as "coloured" in South Africa, despite her British passport. Kit grew up in the ambivalent situation of being British, privileged and to all appearances "white" -- but not entirely. 

His anticipated education in the UK was derailed by an accident leading to a financial crisis, and he therefore started his working life as an engineering apprentice in Bristol at the age of sixteen. When the war broke out, he was bored, fractious and impatient to "do" something, so he volunteered for the RAF. The recruiting sergeant looked at his engineering background and suggested he would be mustered faster if he volunteered for ground crew rather than air crew. There were so many young men who wanted to learn to fly, that it would be months before he was called up if he stuck to his original request. So, being in a hurry to leave his seemingly dull job behind, he mustered for ground crew training. After two years as an aircraft mechanic, however, he was restless and dissatisfied with letting others take the risks. He volunteered for air crew and was selected for flight engineer training. 

He served a full tour as a flight engineer, earning first the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) and then a commission. After six months as an instructor at an Operational Training Unit (OTU), his former skipper and best friend convinced him to volunteer for a second tour and together they started it. On their sixth operational sortie, however, his skipper was killed and the following day Kit refused to fly with another pilot and crew on another raid against Berlin. In consequence, he was posted for "Lack of Moral Fibre" and sent to a psychiatric diagnostic center to determine if  he had a mental health issue or should be disciplined for cowardice. What happened there is the subject of the novella Lack of Moral Fibre, which is available as a stand-alone ebook or as part of the trilogy Grounded Eagles

Moral Fibre picks up where Lack of Moral Fibre leaves off and takes Kit to the end of his war.

Next week I will explore the heroine: Georgina Reddings:


 


Riding the icy, moonlit sky— They took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one Lancaster skipper, his crew,and the woman he loved.

It is intended as a tribute to them all. 

Buy or Order Now!

 Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancé, who is not yet ready to become romantically involved again.



 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

DISSECTION OF A NOVEL PART I: INSPIRATION

As a novelist, I have often been asked how I select the topics I write about -- and, indeed about every other aspect of writing. In response, I will dissect the key aspects of my most recent novel, Moral Fibre, using it as a case study to describe my -- highly individual -- approach to each component.

 I have never been able to write a novel "on command" or "on commission." Nor have I ever been able to embark upon a novel based on a rational analysis of the book market or popular trends.

My novels all come from within me, and they usually start with a flash of inspiration. Many times, a visit to an historical venue has ignited my imagination. Other times, I have stumbled over a character, an event or simply a photograph quite by accident when researching something else. Whatever it is, something triggers an emotional response that transforms itself into the seed of a novel.

I can still vividly remember the moment that the idea for Moral Fibre overtook me. It was a winter evening. I was having a glass of wine in front of the fireplace with my husband. I had been working on a manuscript for a book that paired two novellas. Each novella was too short to stand alone, but related enough to make a pairing possible. I was comfortable with the concept and pleased with what I had produced up to this point. The project was nearing completion and almost ready for the editor. Then abruptly and without any apparent catalyst, I knew that I was wrong and that a story was missing. That the two novellas were not enough, a third was needed, and not just any third story but Kit's story. 

At that moment, I didn't know a lot about Kit. I simply knew that he had been posted for "Lack of Moral Fibre" after refusing to fly on raid to Berlin. So the next day I started researching the phenomenon of "Lack of Moral Fibre" (LMF), why, when and how it was applied.  Simultaneously, I needed to research Bomber Command's offensive against Berlin. Suddenly, I was 100% into research mode, and the more I learned the more fascinated and inspired I became. There was so much material here -- drama, emotion, and meaning. Particularly attractive was the growing realization that popular images and notions were not well-aligned with the evidence presented in solid academic sources and memoirs. My novel, as so often, increasingly took on a educational dimension alongside the purely human interest aspects of the tale.

Initially, I was excited about using the novella format to approach the story in flash-backs. The idea was to start with Kit being declared "LMF" and then slowly, like peeling an onion, reveal to the reader why he had refused to fly on a certain operation in November 1943. The format, being unusual for me, was challenging and got my adrenaline going. I was so pleased with my work, I entered it in "The Page Turner" awards -- and it was long listed! I also had one test reader tell me that it was "the best book" he had read "in years. Period."  I was thrilled and energized.

Meanwhile, since I was doing all this research on Bomber Command anyway, I thought I'd see if I could find a little more about my uncle Ken, who had been lost over Berlin in March 1944. When living in Berlin, I had made a point of leaving a rose on his grave in the Commonwealth War Cemetery at infrequent intervals. I did it for my uncle Jack, who had survived, more than for his elder brother, Ken, who I had never known. 

My haphazard research led me to the squadron association website, and there to a documentary film that had been made a decade ago. It was called "Last Flight to Berlin" and it had been made by a professional film maker, whose father had been a pilot with Bomber Command and been killed when he was only a few months old. He had never known his father and set out to find out more about him with this film. 

Easter Sunday last year (2021) I finally had a copy of that film and settled in to watch it on my laptop at my desk in my office. It told the story of a farm boy from Western Canada, how he volunteered for the RCAF, trained in Canada, fell in love, married. It had pictures of his honeymoon in NYC, and from his years as an instructor in Canada. Then the orders came transferring him to an operational squadron based in England. There he "crewed up" with six other young men. A photograph of seven young men grinning at the camera appeared on the screen. The narrator starting giving the trades and names of each. "The navigator: Ken Heaton." It was like being hit by icy lighting. It was my uncle. Of all the hundreds of crews that had flown with that squadron during the war, the one the film made was about was Uncle Ken's. I couldn't believe it, and it still gives me chills.

But what did this have to do with my novella? The first draft was finished. The editing was on-going. It was without doubt one of my better works. It had already garnered praise. But when I tried to sleep that night, I recognized that the novella was actually only the teaser. The real story was what happened afterwards. And the concept for Moral Fibre was born. 

Next week I will explore the protagonist: Kit Moran.

Riding the icy, moonlit sky— They took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one Lancaster skipper, his crew,and the woman he loved.

It is intended as a tribute to them all. 

Order Now!

 Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancé, who is not yet ready to become romantically involved again.





 

Friday, March 4, 2022

FORGOTTEN HEROES: FIRST LIEUTENANT DOUGLAS RAYMOND STARRETT

Today I conclude my series on "Forgotten Heroes of the Air War 1939-1945" with a guest entry from Susan Martin of Cumberland Maine. Susan writes about her father, Lieutenant Douglas Starrett, who commanded a B-17 of the US Eighth Air Force in 1944-1945. Like "Stevie's" story, his tale is less about exceptional acts of courage and more about the spirit of dedication and commitment that so often characterized the men who flew for the Allies in WWII. 

"What does it matter how you feel about that?  It has to be done." 

"Self-discipline!"

When I was growing up, I never thought to ask why or how my father came to use such strong statements with me. Or why, whenever something went wrong, or in an emergency, my Dad got very quiet, very controlled and took care of everything. Only later did I start to think it had something to do with the fact that he had been the captain of a bomber plane in WWII. When he was alive, I never asked him about his experiences — and he never told me anything either. 

Yet I vividly remember one time as a teenager coming upon him watching a black and white movie on TV. His jaw was tensing, his fists were clenching and he didn't even know I was looking at him.  Quietly, I left the room, found my Mom and asked her what was wrong with him.  Her answer: "Oh he's just watching 12 O'Clock High again!"  Of course, I watched it myself as soon as I could.  I was shocked at the combat footage (some actually filmed during air battles) and came away in a bit of awe...wondering how anyone could function, let alone come back alive. My father was one who did, and this is his story.

My father was born in April 1920 in Framingham, Massachusetts, the oldest son of Arthur Starrett, the president of L.S. Starrett Tool Company. He was followed by a brother and sister.  After completing high school in Athol, Massachusetts, Dad went to Worcester Academy in 1937 for one year and then to Dartmouth College. He had not yet completed his junior year when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the United States. Returning home after completing his junior year exams at Dartmouth College, he informed his father that, like many other young men at that time, he did not intend to return to college but was going to join the Air Force instead. It ended up being an all-night-long fight with his father Arthur, but my Dad won the fight. He joined the USAAF.

He also got married to my mother, Janet Nichols. He was 21 & she was 22.  She had just graduated Skidmore College. After they got married, he took my Mom with him to Florida while he went through pilot training.  Married airmen at that time could bring their wives and they lived off-base in apartments. 

My father won his wings at Freeman Field, Indiana in March 1944. Further, training followed, until he was fully qualified on the four-engine B-17 bomber. On completing training, he was assigned to the USAAF 8th Air Force. The legendary “Mighty Eighth” was based in England and leading the U.S. strategic bombing efforts against Nazi Germany. 

My mother could not accompany my father overseas. She chose to live with her parents, while my father deployed to England. It must have been a scary time for both of them. He was facing the enemy day-after-day and with it the constant threat of death. All my mother could do was wait for his letters — while reading everyday how many B-17s had been shot down.  She knew the risks all too well — and so did he. According to my mother, they had refrained from starting a family before the war because my Dad didn't want to leave her a widow with a child. I would not be born until 1946.

My father joined the 486 Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force, Third Air Division, stationed at Skipton Airbase. He was lucky to arrive so late in the war. In 1943, airmen flying with the USAAF from England had only a one in four chance of completing their tour. Average life expectancy was 15 missions, and a tour was 25. By the time my father completed training, however, the long-range fighters, the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang, had joined the fight, and the Luftwaffe had largely been destroyed. Chances of survival had improved so much that the USAAF increased the length of a tour from 25 missions to 35. And while the threat from the Luftwaffe had decreased, the German anti-aircraft batteries, the infamous “flak,” was as bad or worse than ever. As captain, my Dad was the pilot and if it were damaged, it was his job to stay in his seat and try to keep the plane level and on an even keel so his crew could bail out. He would be last to man to parachute out — assuming the plane didn’t spin out of control as soon as he stopped flying it, that is!  

The above photo shows my Dad and his crew. He is in the middle row, the dark-haired, smiling guy on the far right. Below is their B-17, “Lil Butch.” My Dad flew all of his 35 missions in it and it always brought them home safe. My Dad finished his tour on March 23, 1945.

 

On March 30, just a few days after Dad flew his last mission, his former B-17 went down over Hamburg. According to squadron records, one of the aircraft wings broke off and it went into a steep dive. Only two crewmen survived to become POWs. Yikes !!!  It guess it was bad karma for the new crew to change the name of the plane my Dad piloted on 35 missions and which had always brought him and his crew home from "Lil Butch" to “Rodney the Rocks.”

Not that my father never had problems. I remember my Dad saying that the B-17's, the Flying Fortress, could take a lot of hits and still remain flying. I later learned that he had to land once in France because he was so badly shot up that he knew he couldn't make it back over the English Channel.  An account of this appeared in his local hometown news paper on March 19, 1945.  The headline read:  "Athol Pilot Saves Fort"  "Lt. Starrett Lands Damaged Bomber in Nick of Time"   

To paraphrase, his gasoline was just about gone, the navigational equipment and radio destroyed, but flying in bad weather through a heavy cloud cover, he managed to land his plane and crew safely on a field not too far from Paris. He had flown through heavy flak over railroad yards in Munich Germany, dropping his bombs but being shot up pretty badly. "We hit that runway at the right minute" said my Dad. "The needles on those gas gages were kicking around like they wanted to jump out and do a tap dance on the instrument panel"  

He, his crew and plane stayed overnight on that field for emergency repairs and service so they could make it back across the Channel the next day.  Before they flew back to Britain, a local priest brought a group of over 60 children from a nearby village. They had often seen these large armadas of B-17s flying over their village but had never seen one close-up.  Dad's crew took the children out to their plane where they excitedly swarmed all over it, asking questions in French and broken English.  They were particularly excited to learn that each bomb painted on the big bomber's nose indicated one successful attack on a war target in Germany.  When the bomber finally took off down the runway, the kids cheered, waved and gave the V-Sign.

After the war, my Dad did not go back to Dartmouth but went right into the 4-year apprentice toolmaker's program at L.S. Starrett Co.  Back then, even if you were aiming to advance up the ladder, a college degree wasn't as important as it is now — at least that was my Mom’s explanation for why my Dad never finished college. I think that his war experiences also matured him, and he felt that he wasn't a college boy anymore. He wanted to get on with his career, married life and start a family.  I was born in 1946, a year after he left the Air Force, followed by my sister Sarah and brother Douglas.    

Dad's Father Arthur was not going to just put his son into the executive office. Instead, my Dad had to learn about the tools the factory sold at first hand. He had to work in all the departments as he worked his way up the ladder.  Eventually he became President and the CEO of the company. He established overseas branches in Scotland & Brazil and was still working at the time of his death at 81 years old in Nov. 2001. 

Once as a teenager, I was on a commercial flight with Dad, and it really got rough and bumpy.  I was scared and told my Dad. He said, "What are you afraid of?  No one is shooting at us."  Then I asked him, "Dad you kissed your wedding ring when we took off...how come?"  He replied, “I kissed the ring every time we took off for a bombing run over Germany, and I always came back!"

Susan Starrett Martin,  age 75,  Cumberland Maine USA

 

My novels about the RAF in WWII are intended as tributes to the men in the air and on the ground of whatever nationality that made a victory in Europe against fascism possible. Find out more at:https://www.helenapschrader.com/aviation.html


Lack of Moral Fibre, A Stranger in the Mirror and A Rose in November can be purchased individually in ebook format, or in a collection under the title Grounded Eagles in ebook or paperback. Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/grounded-eagles


Where Eagles Never Flew was the the winner of a Hemmingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction and a Maincrest Media Award for Military Fiction. Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/where-eagles-never-flew