Tag Archive | terry lynn thomas

The Strong; Silent Type

History is not always pretty. The book I am happy to bring to the blog today is one that takes a serious note. It is one that really not only makes me look at the world of yesteryear, but also at the world of today. Yet, it’s a work of fiction. The Silent Woman takes place in the 1930’s during the build up to World War II. I have had the pleasure of flying to the WWII memorial with several veterans and hearing their stories of the war, the things that transpired up to the war and the unimaginable things that not only affected them, but also their home and family. I can’t imagine.

In The Silent Woman, Terry Lynn Thomas introduces us to a woman, strong in nature, and going through a rough home life. Stuck. Scared. Thank you Terry for bringing Catherine to Booth Talks Books today and introducing her to us and also introducing us to the world of the 1930’s in a way that most don’t know. Let the murderous history lesson begin…

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Citations:  Some information from Ms. Thomas’ research was retrieved from the following website: http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/ as well as the British Newspaper Archive, : https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

London, 1937:

Catherine Carlisle is trapped in a loveless marriage. She sees no way out… that is until a trusted friend asks her to switch her husband’s papers in a desperate bid to confuse the Germans.

Soon Catherine finds herself caught up in a deadly mixture of espionage and murder. Someone is selling secrets to the other side, and the evidence seems to point right at her.The Silent Woman_FINAL

Can she clear her name before it’s too late?

Cat’s Backstory:

Cat Paxton lost both her parents in an automobile accident in 1917 on her seventeenth birthday. She left her small village in the north of England to live with her Aunt Lydia in London. Aunt Lydia is a successful artist who lives in Bloomsbury. Lydia is open-minded and encourages Cat to grow and be whatever she wants. She tried to expose Cat to the arts and culture. In 1922, Cat and Lydia were at an art exhibition when the black Rolls Royce pulled to the kerb and Benton—movie star handsome—and a gaggle of friends came to the exhibition. Cat was captivated at first sight. Handsome Benton who looked like a movie star, was always in the society columns, and had women throwing themselves at him, was a renowned bachelor. Cat was surprised when he went up to the waiter, took a fresh chilled bottle of champagne and two glasses, and asked Cat to join him on the roof. They spent a delightful evening. After they finished the champagne, they went to a jazz club and then out to breakfast. Cat arrived; back at Lydia’s just as the sun was coming up. Walking on air, drunk on love. Ben proposed two weeks later. Cat said yes.

Fast-forward seventeen years. Cat is thirty-seven years old, childless, with no passion in life. Her marriage had started to die after a series of miscarriages ten years ago. Benton withdrew when Cat lost child after child. Despite his privileged upbringing, Benton Carlisle worked hard. He was a brilliant engineer, the protégé of his firm, where he was working on a scheme to allow airplanes to fly at night. To hide his grief, Benton threw himself into his work. Rather than face his wife, Benton took a mistress and didn’t even bother to hide it. Humiliated, and doing her level best not to show it, Cat puts her best face forward and tries to cope with life in the Carlisle house.

She’s miserable there. Her sister-in-law Isobel takes advantage of Cat’s grief and manages to commandeer the household management duties—which should be rights belong to Cat. While Cat doesn’t hesitate to stand up to Isobel, she finds the tension exhausting. Although Benton’s family is wealthy, and Cat is able to waltz into the finest shops, drop the Carlisle name and get anything she desires, her husband keeps her on a short leash by not giving her any money of her own and forbidding her to get a job. He won’t divorce her—no Carlisle has ever been divorced, so Cat is forced to stay at the Carlisle house, with a husband who doesn’t love her a social climbing sister-in-law who makes Cat’s life miserable at every turn. The Silent Woman finds Cat backed into a corner, desperate to change her life, but not sure how to do so. On a whim, she asks for a sign…and so the story begins.

Meanwhile, Hitler is in power in Germany. He’s violating all the agreements set out in the Treaty of Versailles and is amassing an army, building planes, and stripping rights away from German Jews, while the powers that be in Britain turn a blind eye. The politicians in power—who hold sway over the newspapers—are not acknowledging the threat in Germany. But Cat’s friend tells her the truth about the status of the world. He asks Cat if she’s interested in serving her country and earning enough money to secure her freedom. All she has to do is switch her husband’s documents. Desperate for a way out, Cat doesn’t hesitate to say yes, catapulting herself into the thick of murderous deception.

Buy The Silent Woman

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Why this time and place?:

When I sent out to write a book, I know I am going to spending hundreds of hours hanging out with the characters and the settings I have created. All the books I’ve written so far (The Sarah Bennett Series, which takes places in 1940s California) and The Silent Woman (Book 1 of the Cat Carlisle Mysteries), take place during the 1930s through the World War II because I am drawn to the socioeconomic and political events of that time. I also want to pay a silent homage to all the brave men and woman who fought in those wars. We are losing the last generation of the WWII veterans, and we must never forget their sacrifice.

1930s Fashion.1

Enter 1930s fashion — for those who could afford to buy clothes. The economy in the UK was still in a shambles.

It’s also very refreshing to hang out in an era that is not so technologically advanced. Think about it, no cell phones, in some cases no house phones, no computers, no Internet. People wrote letters to their friends. The personal column (especially in British newspapers) provides keen insight to the way of thinking of the day, and was the media equivalent of Facebook, Twitter, etc. During my research, I’ve seen ads like this: “To the woman who left her magazine on the bench in Hyde Park: Please come to the same bench tomorrow at noon. I must speak to you!” Doesn’t that make you wonder if they met? What happened? And why was he so anxious to connect with this woman? When I was scouring The London Times before the Lusitania sailed on its fateful journey, I came across an ad in the personals admonishing people to not take that voyage. I still wonder about that.

 

It’s interesting to look back at the events between the two world wars with the Olympian vantage point of hindsight. I am amazed at the way media controlled the people, and Page 1can’t help but juxtapose that situation over what’s going on in the world politically right now. The powers that be knew that Hitler was building airplanes and conscripting an army, yet they were committed to appeasement because the British economy and the citizens were still recovering from the devastation of World War I. I read newspapers from mid-1936 through June of 1937 and found absolutely no mention of Hitler’s activities in the newspapers. Although there was evidence that the Germans were behind the bombing in Guernica, in April of 1937, it did not make front-page news. Appeasement was the word of the day. We owe a lot to Winston Churchill, of that I am certain. While all of this was happening, he was lambasting Parliament for their complacency. I believe it if weren’t for him, we’d all be speaking German now.

The German Danger.Jewish Virtual Library

Historians are committed to the accurate documentation and preservation of the past, so Headshotwe don’t forgot those lessons. I believe that historical novelists are interested in understanding and sharing how it FEELS to live in the past, and allowing people to experience that feeling through stories.

Please stop by my Facebook page and say hello. I have an author page, but am more active on my personal page.

 

 

 

 

New Release and Giveaway! Weeping In The Wings by Terry Lynn Thomas

The highly anticipated follow up to Terry Lynn Thomas’ The Spirit of Grace is here.  Are you ready for more  secrets?  And don’t forget to enter to win one of several amazing prizes at the end of this blog.

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Published by Black Opal Books

An Excerpt from “Weeping In the Wings”

After he left, I worked straight through until 11:30 and had just put my completed work on Dr. Geisler’s desk when a scream pierced the quietude of my office. I ran out into the corridor and followed the hysterical sounds toward the foyer. Bethany and I met in the hallway. Together we raced toward the noise.

The screaming turned into a hysterical incantation. “No, no. Please. No.”

Minna. She stood near the front door, a black dressing gown flowing over her bony frame like a witch’s cloak. Her hair hung in wild curls the color of spun silver. She looked as though she could have raised her arms and cast a spell or hopped on a broom and flown away. Instead she held a piece of paper in her trembling hand. Scattered around her feet were the petals and stems of a desiccated bouquet of roses, a flower box from Podesta Baldocchi lay on its side, tossed away in the chaos.

Chloe sat at her desk, observing everything, missing nothing, her eyes huge. The maid, a young girl in a uniform two sizes too big, froze, holding the dust rag suspended in midair.

I moved toward Minna, desperate to help her, but Bethany waved me off.

“Minna, what’s wrong?”

“Sarah. Bethany.” She waved the paper she held in her hand through the air. “It’s Gregory. He’s alive.” Her breathing became heavy and deep. She tore the letter up, threw the pieces on the floor, covered her face with her hands, and wept. Deep racking sobs coursed through her body, threatening to topple her.

Bethany swept in and put a comforting arm around Minna’s shoulder. She spoke to her in the same sweet, disarming voice she had used on Mr. Collins. “Come on, dear. Let’s get you someplace safe. We’ll lock the house and make sure that Gregory isn’t here. I’ll see to it personally.” She spoke to the maid. “It’s all right, young lady. Go see Mrs. McDougal for a cup of hot cocoa. There’s a good girl.”

“You’ll protect me, won’t you, Bethany? And Matthew. He’ll come for Matthew.”

“Of course.” Bethany spoke in a soothing voice. “I’ll take care of everything.” Minna allowed herself to be led away. The two women made their way toward the staircase, while Bethany muttered comforting words in Minna’s ear.

Just as they were about to reach the first landing and slip out of sight, Bethany called to me. “Find my husband. Tell him to hurry.”

Before heading off to search for Dr. Geisler, I picked up the torn pieces of paper that Minna had thrown on the floor and tucked them into my pocket. I had every intention of finding out the truth about Gregory Geisler.

 

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Author Terry Lynn Thomas

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Terry Lynn Thomas married the love of her life, who promised to buy her a horse if she relocated to Mississippi with him. Now that she has relocated, she has discovered that she can be happy anywhere as long as she has her man, her horse and time to write. Terry Lynn devoured novels by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Daphne Du Maurier as a child. These gothic mysteries captured her imagination, never let go, and influence her writing today. When she is not writing or riding her horse, she visits historical houses and cemeteries, hunting for story ideas.

 

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BTB Spotlight and Giveaway: The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas

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Sarah Bennett doesn’t remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House. Although she allegedly witnessed the incident, she knows in her heart that she did not give her mother that fateful push. When she becomes the subject of dark whispers and sidelong glances, Sarah’s family sends her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco. Now, one year after her mother’s death, Sarah is summoned home. When she returns, another murder occurs, and Sarah is once again a suspect. In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as Sarah works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.

 

An expert from “The Spirit of Grace”:

I had just put the silver away and was in the process of laying the used dish towels near the stove so they could dry overnight, when I saw Zeke in the back corridor. Something stopped me from speaking to him or asking what he was doing back here. He must have gone upstairs and come back down again on the servant’s staircase, which no one ever used except Anca and me.

I ducked behind a huge parka and watched as Zeke bent over Grace’s camera bag, unzipped it, and slipped out a black canister of film, all in one quick fluid motion. After he did that, he took another canister of film out of his pocket and slipped that into the camera bag in place of the film he had taken. He didn’t see me standing in the shadows spying on him. He headed back up the stairs, his footsteps quiet as passing time.

I walked back into the foyer and up the main staircase to my own room. Once inside, I locked the door behind me. I changed out of the black dress, fumbling with one hand. The image of Zeke switching the film in Grace’s camera bag ran over and over in my head. I tried to convince myself that he hadn’t been doing anything harmful. Maybe he just needed to borrow some film. But I knew what I had seen. I knew what I had heard this afternoon—Zeke speaking flawless German on the telephone.

The magic I had felt earlier, the possibility of a future with him had been clouded now. Our future together wouldn’t be a happy one. How could it be? I had fallen in love with a spy.

Buy THE SPIRIT OF GRACE on AMAZON

Headshot for BOBOriginally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Terry Lynn Thomas married the love of her life, who promised to buy her a horse if she relocated to Mississippi with him. Now that she has relocated, she has discovered that she can be happy anywhere as long as she has her man, her horse and time to write. Terry Lynn devoured novels by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Daphne Du Maurier as a child. These gothic mysteries captured her imagination, never let go, and influence her writing today. When she is not writing or riding her horse, she visits historical houses and cemeteries, hunting for story ideas.

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Visit Terry!

http://terrylynnthomas.com/