Guest Author Carole Brown – Christmas During World War II

CaroleAug14 (14) croppedCarole Brown not only has her award winning (RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

Released November 1, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with her here:

Christmas During WWII; Some Fun Facts and Some Not-so-Fun Facts:

On the Home Front:

  • Carole5Christmas trees were in short supply due to a lack of manpower to cut down the trees and a shortage of railroad space to ship the trees to market.
  • In 1941 a five-foot Christmas tree could be purchased for 75 cents!
  • The shortage of materials (aluminum and tin) that were usually used to make ornaments, caused people to turn to homemade ornaments made out of non-priority products such as string, paper, and natural objects such as nuts and pinecones.
  • Electric bubble lights were created during the 1940s. Still popular!
  • Carole4People mixed a box of Lux soap powder and two cups of water together and brushed it on their Christmas tree branches. Why? To give them a snow-covered effect. J
  • Fewer men at home meant fewer men to play Santa Claus at home. Women stepped up again to fill in the gap especially at big city stores like Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
  • Two famous Christmas songs that were written during the 1940s: “White Christmas” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” The service men were deployed to the furthest corner of the world. Many of the men who’d never been far from home found themselves thousands of miles away, separated from home and family.

On the War Front:

  • Carole2For Christmas in 1942, the 2nd Marine Division at Guadacanal, each marine received a fresh orange and a can of warm beer to supplement his usual C-rations.
  • The 5th Division at Hawaii, in 1944, the marines sang carols and listened to a chaplain speak, but then were lonely and lost in their own depressing thoughts, gazing at pictures from their wallets.
  • Some marines worked through the night and spent the next day eating goodies from local bakeries still open.
  • Others were in the habit of making “jungle juice.” As long as their 1st Sergeant had the first cup, they got away with it.
  • Carole3Many times the packages sent from home went astray: lost through postal centers and/or the heat of the ship. (Navy). There was no guarantee when the men would receive their packages, sometimes months late even though families had been encouraged to ship them early. Boxes of crumbled Christmas goodies, inappropriate gifts such as neckties and other civilian clothing were disappointments.
  • The men became surrogate families during the war. Friendships were forged in combat. They cheered each other up to fight off the loneliness.

WMITH Bk Cover small-Modified earringsWith Music in their Heart

by Carole Brown

Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

You can buy With Music in Their Hearts at these links: 

Excerpt from With Music in Their Hearts:

A vehicle’s tires spinning gravel behind him warned him he’d not lost the black car. Slowing. Creeping. Engine purring. Only a few feet separated him from the car and making a sudden decision, he jogged around the corner and hugged the building trying to put distance between it. The car’s tires squealed as the car sped up. The driver took the corner, gravel crunching and spinning into the air.

They must have spotted him for the driver braked, throwing the passenger forward. Tyrell flung himself at the car and grabbed for the door handle.

The window slid down.

Something tugged at his arm.

And the handle tore from his grasp as the car accelerated.

The seemingly belated, reverberating crack of a gun vibrated the air around him.

The car spun around a far corner, and Tyrell reached up to rub his stinging arm. The sticky wetness drew his attention.

Blood. He saw the tear in his coat sleeve, the minute traces of blood oozing.

He’d been shot?

Why would they—whoever they were—want to shoot at him? It was a scratch, and they’d been close enough to kill him if they’d wanted to.

They didn’t want to. What were they after? A scare tactic? To warn him away? From what? Perhaps all this was a coincidence, a figment of his active imagination.

No sign of the car. Satisfied he was rid of them, he entered the hotel. At the reception desk, he filled out the necessary papers, climbed the stairs, and headed down the hallway.

At the far end, a red-haired woman inserted a key into the lock.

Was she the same woman who’d been in the recruitment office? That hat . . . He called out, “Hey, lady.”

She glanced his way, her luxurious hat tilted at just the right angle to hide one side of her face. With a flip of her plaid skirt, she shoved open her door and disappeared inside.

Tyrell hesitated at his own door, next to her’s, but inserted his key and entered. Inside, he switched on a light then as quickly flicked it off. He stepped to the window.

And drew in a breath as if he’d been sucker-punched.

Down below, across from the hotel, the streetlight reflected off a long, black Oldsmobile. Standing beside the car staring up at the hotel, stood Ben Hardy.

His cousin and best friend.

This entry was posted in Christmas, Events in History, Guest Authors, History Sharpeners, Holiday Sharpeners by Tamera Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

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