Welcome to my friend and fellow WisRWA member, Ilona Fridl! She's sharing Bronze Skies with us today, the third book in the Dangerous Times series. The other two books (which I've read and enjoyed) are Silver Screen Heroes and Golden North.
Bronze Skies, by Ilona Fridl
Book 3 in the Dangerous Times series
Genre: Historical (1940's)
Page Count: 238
Word Count 65300
Print ISBN: 1-60154-931-8
When her plane-crazy high school sweetheart goes off to join the Army Air Corps, Pam Wright writes him often but is disappointed that he doesn’t reply to every letter. She’s lonely, hurting from his seeming lack of interest, and dances with someone else one Saturday night.
By the time Pearl Harbor is attacked, Lieutenant Tom Shafer has been home on leave, explained how busy he’s been with officer training, and made sure Pam will be waiting for him after the war. He’s also had a fight with the guy who won’t leave her alone after that one dance. But is it safe to leave her in the same town with this obsessed bully? How can Tom fulfill his promises to protect both his country and the love of his life?
Tom slid through the door at Millie’s. Most of the breakfast crowd had cleared out, and he caught sight of the willowy blonde, her back toward him, and recognized the French roll of her hair under the crisp white uniform cap. He glanced at the gray-haired Millie behind the counter and put his index finger to his lips. Millie smiled and nodded.
Tom tiptoed to the big Wurlitzer jukebox by the side of the dance floor and fed it a nickel. Strains of “Serenade in Blue” drifted over the dining area. He watched Pam turn around and her eyes lit up with surprise and happiness. She ran to him, and he caught her in an embrace.
“Tommy, you’re home!” She put her hands on either side of his face and looked at him like she couldn’t quite believe her eyes. “You get my letters?”
He put his fingers over hers. “I’ve kept every one. Reading them is almost like having you with me. I’m sorry I haven’t answered all of them, but we’ve been working hard at the airfield.” He gave her a quick kiss on her forehead, and he could feel his body warm. “Can you come to the house tonight for dinner? I’ll check with my folks, but I’m sure it will be all right.”
“Oh, yes! My father is picking me up, and I’ll go home to change after work. I can walk over there by six.”
Suddenly he heard, “Well, look who’s here—the flyboy!”
Tom broke from Pam and glared at the intruder. “Vic! What are you doing here?”
A big angry-faced bully, Vic Houston gazed at Pam. “I wanted to talk to her.”
Putting her hands on her hips, she tapped her foot. “What do you want?”
Grinding his back teeth, Vic growled, “I want you to be my girl. I’d show you a better time than a pansy flyboy any day.” The arm he put around her was pushed away as she winced and pulled back.
Tom wadded Vic’s shirt in his fist and leaned toward his face. “Leave her alone!”
Vic’s foul breath stung Tom’s nose. “Who’s going to make me?”
In a second, Millie pushed them apart. “I don’t put up with this in my restaurant. If you don’t want me to call the police, stop now!”
Looking first at Millie, her eyes flashing, then at Pam and Tom, Vic huffed and stomped out the door.
Millie shook her head. “Be careful of him, you two. That’s one unhappy person.” She went back to the counter.
Tom glanced at Pam. “I didn’t know he knew who you were.”
Her mouth formed a tight line. “We were both at a party, and I made the mistake of dancing with him.”
Tom swore under his breath. “I wish I could stay more than a week. I didn’t know you would have a problem like this.” He gently held her shoulders. “You need me here.”
She sighed. “With all the tension between America and Japan, you’re going to be needed to help keep the Japanese out. My father’s sure we’ll get into this war that’s raging around the world. My problem isn’t that important.”
“It is to me.” He stirred her hair as he spoke in her ear. “Go to your family or mine if he tries anything.” He gave her a quick kiss. “See you tonight. I’d better go before I get you in trouble with Millie.”
Her eyes, the blue of a robin’s egg, sparkled. “I’ll be there.”
Waving toward Millie, he left the restaurant. Tom thrust his hands into his pockets and resumed whistling on his way to the theater. It was a feeling more than anything else that made him turn around by one of the alleys, just as Vic was about to nab him.
“What do you want, Vic? You run out of school kids to pick on?”
Ilona's note to readers: This is the third book in my Dangerous Times series, but you don't have to read the first two to understand this one. If you enjoy this one, the other books are Silver Screen Heroes and Golden North.
Readers, you can find Ilona at her website: http://www.ilonafridl.com
You can purchase Bronze Skies at: http://www.thewildrosepress.com
Don't forget to comment for your chance to win an ebook copy of Ilona's book! (winner announced by Wednesday)
Bio: Ilona Fridl has written all her life. She was born in West Hollywood, California, but have lived most of her life in Wisconsin. She has sold short stories and articles to magazines and newspapers before selling her first novel. Now lives with her husband, Mark.
Thank you again, Ilona, for sharing with us today. Have a great week everyone! Hope to see you at Wacky Wednesday.
Stacey Joy Netzel