Getting Ready for the Launch of Wounded Angels!
Now that Wounded Angels is "In the Can." I've turned my attention to things like publicity, formal reviews, the "Launch," and the "Book Tour." Because so much is happening so fast, I'm sending these announcements out twice each month for a while, hence the funny looking "November / 1" above. As always, I want to keep things focused on what you want to hear rather than what I want to say, so right now, this is what it looks like:
More Themes and Snippets from Wounded Angels
Wounded Angels touches on a number of important themes. I presented a few in each of my previous posts. along with a sample of the writing that addressed each theme. Here are a few more.
Separation - In Wounded Angels, Maureen and Frank return from their Atlantic City honeymoon to find Fran's notice inducting him into the draft for WWII. That is based on the real-life experiences of my mother and father-in-law, Charlotte and Fred.
Over the next three years, we saw each other for a total of three weeks, one after Frank completed basic training and two more just before he went overseas. On our last night before Frank shipped out to the Pacific, I asked him to promise that he would come back to me.
“As much as I want to, you know I’d be lying if I said could control that.”
“I’m not looking for honesty,” I yelled. “I want you to tell me that you will come back no matter what.”
He answered, “I promise you this, Maureen: I’ll do everything in my power to come back to you and if I do, I will never ever leave you again.”
War Brides- While Maureen and her best friend, June, wait for their husbands to return, they try to support their men on the home front.
While our husbands were half-a-world away, we kept vigil at home. We served in the USO, helped with warbond drives, and even joined the Cadet Nurse Corps. I didn’t stay there very long. The training was rigorous and we both handled the academics well, but when we started interning at the hospital, the reality of the war overwhelmed me. “Hurry it up, Russo,” the head nurse yelled as I stared at the mangled stump of a soldier’s missing leg, “that dressing isn’t going to change itself.” Some men were blind, others were terribly disfigured. In addition to the physical wounds, many suffered from severe mental and emotional disorders. Many of them accepted their conditions with
unbelievable courage but I saw Frank in every one of them and within a few weeks, I dropped out."
PTSD - Like many combat veterans, Frank returns from the war haunted by the things he's seen and done. Maureen patiently tries to help him "come home."
I slept at the other edge of the bed, afraid that if I touched him he might react violently. Instead, when he started thrashing, I whispered softly, “Frank, you’re home now, you’re safe.”
Then, when I thought it was safe enough, I reached across the bed and lightly touched his arm. If he jerked suddenly, I withdrew and waited before trying again. When he calmed, I whispered, “It’s me, Frank, Maureen. I love you,” and slowly moved in closer, gently rubbing his arm until his breathing deepened to a peaceful rhythm. Then I snuggled next to him and stroked his hair. It was often moist with sweat and at times, his whole body was wet. “It’s all right,” I murmured, “you’re safe with me,” and then I cradled him in my arms like a child and rocked him gently. As I did, I sometimes heard him sobbing in his sleep, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
More Book Blurbs
Brian Jud, founder of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association and
Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales
In The Press
Brian M. Johnson wrote this wonderful article about Wounded Angels. The article was printed in the October 24, 2019 edition of the New Britain Herald and under the title "Book based at senior center helps process grief" in the Bristol Press.
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