Friday, May 6, 2011

Goddess Fish Book Tour Guest Post: Sue Perkins - Blitz


A Contemporary Historical Romance

by Sue Perkins

Velma’s large family refuses to accept she is now a young woman. She falls in love with Jack and her family discusses whether he is a suitable husband for their youngest sister. She is determined to show her siblings she is now an adult and can make her own decisions.

World War II forces the engaged couple to cancel their white wedding only days before the service. Velma must choose whether to let Jack go to war as a single man, or to marry in a registry office without the support of family and friends. Can Velma survive the worry of Jack being at the front? Will it be easier to cope if they are married?

The inspiration for Velma and Jack’s story came from my own parents' romance. They met and fell in love in the years prior to World War II. They survived the four years of hell that was war. Silly of me to mention it, really, as I wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t. What amazed me is their love not only survived but became stronger as time passed. Both parents lived into their eighties. They had been married for nearly sixty years when they passed away. A true love story.

Velma and Jack come from similar backgrounds. Very few of their family members can recall the Great War of 1914 to 1918. The young people fall in love and move slowly toward a white church wedding. Despite the build up for World War II, they believe they have time to marry and start a new life together. Unfortunately, the enemy has other ideas and moves faster than they anticipate.

Jack joins the Royal Army Service Corps several years before he meets Velma. He is a self-assured young man with no thoughts of marriage in his future. On a visit to his brother, who is married to Velma’s sister, he meets a beautiful young woman haunts his dreams. His ideas for his future change. His feelings for her mean he can offer Velma nothing less than marriage.

Velma is instantly attracted to Jack. Tall, dark and handsome - the man of her dreams. She is surprised to find she’s fallen for the brother of her sister’s husband. Velma works as a shop assistant and lives with another sister. Hidden beneath her lively exterior is a stubborn core. The family tries to interfere with her romance with Jack, and her stubbornness rises to the surface.

Both Jack and Velma cope with the war in their own way, but lean on each other for support. Velma’s main worry is whether Jack will return when hostilities cease. Jack’s concern is for Velma’s safety during Plymouth’s blitz.

I needed to do a lot of research for this book. I have tried to make sure the historical facts are correct. Plymouth is my birth city and luckily my sister still lives there so she was able to help me when I got stuck. A lot of my information came via the internet which has so many sites about that period of history that I had to sift through to find the particular time and event I needed.

Another thing I had to watch was the dialogue. Today we use words without thought of how they came to be part of our language. Many of these words were not in common use in England in the 1930s and 1940s. I had to be extra careful when using slang. For instance the word “Okay” was not used until after the war as the English picked up the saying from the American GIs.

On the whole I enjoyed writing Blitz. Yes, it involved a lot of research, and probably took longer to write than most of my contemporary romances. Despite this the book is very dear to my heart due to my parents being the inspiration behind the novel.

This is my first historical novel and I hope readers will find the story engaging and absorbing.

My publisher chose 1st May to release this book. This is a happy coincidence as Plymouth, England - the main setting for Blitz - is holding many memorials for the 70th anniversary of this terrible time.

Purchase link:

Author’s Website:

Author’s Blog:

Read an excerpt from Blitz!

Excerpt Two

The waitress approached, order book and pen in her hand as she waited for them to decide.
"Would you like egg and chips?" Jack asked. "That should keep us going until we go to the cinema."
"Sounds lovely." Velma made a mental note to eat slowly and make sure the egg yolk didn't drip down her chin.
The service proved quick and efficient, within five minutes two plates piled high with chips and two eggs apiece were placed in front of them. Velma's eyes widened in horror. She'd been brought up to 'waste not, want not. She'd never be able to get through all this. Valiantly, she picked up her knife and fork and prepared to attack the food.
"You can leave whatever you don't have room for."Velma glanced at Jack. He smiled. He must have been watching the emotions flit across her face. He'd guessed the thoughts passing through her mind.
"It's just so -- so much." Velma smiled at him. "Do you want any of these chips?"
"I don't think so," he replied. "I've got my own pile to deal with." Silence reigned for several minutes while they ate their meal. Jack had also ordered a pot of tea and this arrived as they decided they were full. Velma had eaten both eggs and about half the chips. Jack had managed two thirds of his plateful. The waitress shook her head as she removed their plates. As the woman walked away Velma saw Jack grinning from ear to ear. She put her hand over her mouth to smother a laugh.
"I think we're in disgrace but you have to admit we did our best." "Shall I pour?" Velma didn't wait for a reply. She picked up the milk and poured it into their cups then checked the tea had drawn properly. As she sipped her eyes watched Jack over the rim of her cup. At first his eyes were full of amusement then slowly they became sombre. He placed his cup on the saucer and she did the same. His hand reached across and enfolded hers, large fingers folding over her knuckles. She'd always had small hands. The pure white against his tanned skin made them look even tinier and more delicate.
"You do know how I feel about you don't you, Velma?"
"I -- I'm not sure. I hope you feel the same way as I feel about you." She managed to say.
"I think I've fallen in love with you. No darn it, I know I've fallen in love with you. Please don't be frightened," he quickly added as she tried to withdraw her hand. "I'm not going to rush you, Velma. We'll take it at your pace. I want to see you as much as possible before I have to go back to Aldershot."
A tremor of fright rocketed through at his words. Too much, too soon. They'd only met properly yesterday. The words imprinted on her mind and she wondered what frightened her. If she looked deep inside herself she had the same spark of love for him.
"I'm just a bit scared we might be going too fast, Jack. I think I've fallen in love with you too. How do I know it's the real thing? I've got nothing to compare it to. I've never been in love before."
"Good." He smiled at her shocked expression. "That means your feelings for me are one of a kind. I hate to think you've had these feelings for any other man."
"Have you ever -- I mean..."
"Loved another woman? No, I haven't. I knew as soon as I met you yesterday you were the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I think it's called love at first sight. I've never believed in it before. I do now." Jack's thumb caressed the palm of her hand and a shiver of excitement rippled out from his touch.
"Maybe we should leave it at that. It's time we were going. The film starts soon."
Jack paid the bill and held the door open for her as they left. Arms linked they walked slowly down the road to the cinema.
He's not only really handsome, he's also a perfect gentleman. Velma grinned as Jack paid for their tickets then led her over to the confectionery counter. For a moment her disappointment rose when Jack didn't head for the back row of the cinema. She'd assumed they would miss most of the film as they kissed and cuddled in the darkness. This had happened on previous visits with the youths she'd known since childhood. Instead, Jack led the way half-way down the aisle where he stood to one side to let her enter the row before him. Once they were seated he handed her the bag of chocolates he'd purchased in the foyer and she smiled her thanks.


Sue Perkins said...

Thank you so much for hosting me on my book tour. This is the last blog I will be visiting so nows the time to post a comment to be in to win a free copy of Blitz

Pat McDermott said...

Sounds like you've captured a wonderful snapshot of a troubling historical era, Sue. I wish you the best of luck with Blitz and with all your writing!

Theresa said...

Hey you :) Email me, please... need to talk to you about a tour coming up. Thanks!

Misty said...

This book sounds awesome! :)

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs