Archive for February, 2017

WARTIME COOKIE JAR

February 25, 2017

cookie-jar

This Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar sat on top of our refrigerator for as long as I can remember–longer, in fact, before I was born. I loved it, but only because every now and then, it would fill with wonderful cookies. It was a landmark day when I was able to reach it and pull out my own cookie, instead of standing on a chair to get one. But the old jar became much more than a cookie holder when I read one of Dad’s war/love letters to Mom: “Darling, you’ll never believe what the guys got us for our wedding gift.”

You guessed it. Dad’s war buddies bought Little Red Riding Hood. The gift meant so much to Dad that he carried it on his lap when he took the train to meet his bride-to-be on their wedding day. And they took it on their honeymoon. The cookie jar, minus cookies, has moved from the top of our fridge to the top of our war cabinet. Wouldn’t it be great if we all asked for the stories that go with family heirlooms? And we can pass along those stories to the next generation…and the next…and the next….

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

ARMY NURSES

February 21, 2017

gals-600-2

These are the nurses Mom (Helen) came to know and rely on–well, most of them. Can you pick out Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley? She’s front and center and seems to give off her own light. Next to her (on her left, our right) is her best war buddy, Naomi. Although I never met her, I feel as if I know Naomi. So many of Helen’s letters and war stories included her kind friend. If you read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I think you’ll come to know her a bit too.

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

LARTZ, the Army Artist

February 18, 2017

Through letters and stories, I came to admire the doctor/soldier named Lartz. I believe he was Frank’s best war buddy, his quiet and uncompromising friend, even in the midst of some pretty crazy colleagues. These two sketches hung in my dad’s den as long as I can remember. I don’t think I ever asked where they came from because they were permanent fixtures, like wallpaper. I learned more about the pictures from the letters left in their Army trunk. In one letter, written shortly after arriving in England, Frank mentioned that Lartz was working on a charcoal drawing of Helen, working from a photograph. In a later letter, Frank complains (in good humor) that Lartz made him sit for over an hour to do a charcoal drawing of Soldier Frank.

Does anybody else have old photos or pictures around, things you wish you knew more about? People you suspect are in your ancestry, but you don’t know who they could be? I think we should all write dates and info on the back of every photo we take.

Lt. Frank R. Daley, M.D.

February 14, 2017

My dad is the other main character in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. This St. Louis medical student didn’t want to be a hero. There were enough of those in the family. His dad, Dr. Pete, had served in WWI and now spent every waking moment training medics for the Army. Frank’s sister, Dotty, had joined the Army a couple of years before Pearl Harbor and was still in the Philippines as a nurse. His brother, Jack, in the Army in special service, had to be a spy. Even his mother volunteered for the Red Cross, along with daughter Mary, who was married to Charles House, a career Army man.

The carefree and dashing Frank Daley just wanted to finish med school, move to a hospital close to the ocean and tennis courts, and hang up his shingle. Even after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, everyone seemed confident that the war would be over in a matter of weeks, certainly before his deferment ran out. Instead, as soon as he graduated, he was sent straight to boot camp. There, he met a number of colorful Army buddies, some who journey with him through the novel.

Oh–and he also met a spirited Army nurse named Helen.

See more on my new website: http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley

February 10, 2017

I think it’s time to meet one of the two “stars” in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE–my mom. Nurse Helen Eberhart approached everything in life with pure determination. She had to, growing up with ten brothers and sisters in Cissna Park, Illinois. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, and with five brothers in service overseas, she decided to enlist as an Army nurse. After all, she did want to see the world. There, her grit and determination were put to the test when she was assigned to care for broken bodies of some of the most severely wounded soldiers. Most the amputees, “her boys,” as she would always refer to them, were the age of her youngest brothers. She spent all day on the wards, assisting in surgeries and bandaging wounds. And she spent many nights with a pair of tweezers, picking hundreds of pieces of shrapnel out of the young solders and reading them their mail. She read far too many “Dear John” letters from their gals back home. As you might imagine, she received dozens of marriage proposals and thank-you letters from her patients. This I didn’t know . . . until I opened the trunk.

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

Uncle Jack the Spy

February 6, 2017

Move over, 007, and meet John “Jack” Daley, my dad’s big brother. Uncle Jack signed up in 1939, when the government appealed to accountants to help organize the armed forces from the inside out. The select group of pencil pushers were called “Thirty Day Wonders” because that’s how long they committed to serve in the US Army. Only the “wonder” came months later, when thirty days stretched to ninety, then to a year. None of them got out of the Army for years, so Jack was still in service when his little brother joined him in Europe. In WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, it’s fun to see Jack pop up unannounced and know everything, but tell little. He became part of the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, the first organized effort by the United States to implement a centralized system of strategic intelligence. The OSS was the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations Command, including the US Navy SEALs and the Green Berets. Even though he delighted in dragging his little brother into a couple of dangerous adventures, I remember Dad saying that his brother was the most generous person he knew.

As for the German stationery with the hateful insignia, it helps to know that Jack the Spy likely swiped it from from a Nazi and put it to better use.

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/100384.Most_Anticipated_Christian_Fiction_2017

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

Aunt Dot, Army Nurse

February 3, 2017

Happy February! I’ve decided I’d like to introduce you to some of the characters that populate WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. This is 1st Lt. Dorothea Daley Engel, my Aunt Dot, the same one who sent her younger brother the cartoon. When the Japanese overran and bombed the Philippines, Dotty and a few other nurses cared for their patients in the jungles. That’s where she fell in love with “Boots,” a soldier she’d met before, but only gotten to know when he had malaria. As she wrote to her brother: What kind of world is this when the one you love contracting malaria is good news?” Her heroism earned her the Medal of Honor, which was presented to her by President Roosevelt and pinned on her by Eleanor. She never talked about it and didn’t even tell her family about the ceremony until it was too late for them to attend . . . except for my Uncle Jack, the spy. He’s next on my agenda of characters.

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/100384.Most_Anticipated_Christian_Fiction_2017 Please add WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE to the list! Thanks again!

 

In the Army Now!

February 1, 2017

cartoon

In case you can’t read the punchline, it says: “It isn’t necessary to hang up your medical diploma, Lieutenant.” This is a cartoon sent to my dad, who had only recently gotten his medical degree and joined the Army. His sister, Dorothea Daley Engel sent it, and I’ve included several letters to and from my Aunt Dot in the novel, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She was Army nurse stationed in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Immediately after, the bombs landed on her outpost. Surviving nurses had to carry the wounded into the jungle.

But I’ll fill you in on these “characters” through the month of February, so please stay tuned! And don’t forget to check my new website. http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

And it would be wonderful if you hopped on over to GoodReads. If you haven’t been there and you like to read, you’ll love it. If you have been to GoodReads, you’ll already know what I’m going to ask: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30974604-with-love-wherever-you-are?ac=1&from_search=true  That’s the link. If you know a shortcut, please clue me in. Anyway, if you could put With Love Wherever You Are on your shelf and add it to your favorite lists: Anticipated Releases, Literary Fiction 2017, Most Anticipated Christian Fiction 2017, that would be great-Thanks!

FREE HORSE BOOK

February 1, 2017
wild-thing

e-Book 1 of WINNIE THE HORSE GENTLER is free Feb. 1-3! If you love horses–or know someone who does, giddyup!