A warm welcome to M.W. Arnold who is interviewing Celia Blake, one of the characters from his latest historical romance, Wild Blue Yonder, which is set in WWII. Isn’t the cover brilliant?
Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Doris Winter is accused of stealing a valuable item from a famous Hollywood movie star, now a Captain in the US Army Air Corps, after a dance at the air base in England where he’s stationed. Gathering her close friends together, she’s determined to clear her name.
Ruth’s POW son suffers a life-changing injury just as her own cottage takes damage in an air raid and Penny’s estranged little sister unexpectedly turns up, having run away from school. Together with the ongoing thefts of items of clothing and surprise personal revelations, these all threaten to hamper their investigation.
In spite of the worsening war situation, they must band together to rise above their troubles and prove love and friendship is worth fighting for.
You can buy the book here:
Now let’s move onto M.W’s interview with Celia.
Welcome Celia, why don’t you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Celia Blake and I’m the younger sister of Penny Blake or, as I suppose I should now call her, Penny Alsop who’s a pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary. Don’t get me started on this name change thing. I’m still most annoyed at her for not telling me she’d gotten married! I mean, I am her sister, her only sister, so I should have been by her side. I really must give her a piece of my mind about that again. I’ve thought of plenty more I have to say on the subject!
Tell me how you got to where Penny lived. That must have been an adventure.
You know, if I’d have known what I was letting myself in for when I set out, I’m not certain I’d have tried. Running away from school wasn’t a problem. I’d created such a scene when I stormed out of the headmistress’s office, I don’t think anyone, including the teacher, wanted to be anywhere near me. I had words with the Head Girl and then found out there was a letter from Penny being held by the Head Mistress, which helped me find her. So I packed a bag and walked out the front door. As for the journey itself, that was simply a matter of hitching lifts. Luckily, I can talk the hind leg off a donkey so it was really just a matter of time. Of course, I had to sleep under a bush one night, though it didn’t rain. The worst part was, when I finally found where she lived, there was no-one in, I suppose she was off delivering a Spitfire or something. There was a right commotion coming from next door, so I went and hid. Can you imagine my surprise when my father turned up, asking if anyone had seen me?
Never! Is there some kind of issue between you and your father?
It’s not something I like to talk about however, you were kind enough to interview me so, warts and all it is. Things were never the same since Penny and me lost our mother. Whilst she was alive, we were or, I thought we were, a close family, though our father could be a bit standoffish. However, after she died – please, I don’t feel like going into details, it’s still too painful – he threw himself into his work – he’s a bank manager – and my sister and I soon became superfluous to his life. If it wasn’t anything which affected his bank, he simply wasn’t interested. Penny threw herself into flying and I got thrown into boarding school. He even arranged to have the letter Penny sent to me withheld by the school.
I can see that would cause problems. Did you get on well with Penny’s friends and did you have anything in common with them?
Eventually, I think would be the best way to describe it. Penny and I had a blazing row the first night I was there, but it turned out all for the best and we’re now as close, I think, as we used to be before mother died, though I do find it exasperating when she treats me like a child. I leave school soon! Her friends were and are, very protective of her and I’m rather jealous of that. I expect that’s something to do with them sharing a dangerous job.
You wouldn’t think we had much in common, would you? After all, I’m only fourteen, but I guess once they realised I wasn’t going to burn Betty’s, that’s Penny’s friend and landlady, cottage and actually liked Miss Marple, we gradually warmed to each other. I’ll let you into a secret; I never got the chance to talk to Ruth about her newspaper, but it looks really interesting work. I’m thinking of asking if I could maybe work for her the next time I see her.
You’re thinking about what to do once you leave school then?
I’ve got to. I’ve only got a couple of terms left and the problem is, I’ll still be too young to take up war work; unless they lower the age to fourteen. Like I said, maybe I can persuade Ruth to take me on at the newspaper? However, I have always also loved the idea of flying. I used to try and persuade Penny to take me up in her Tiger Moth biplane before the war kicked off, but she refused. I’ll have to see if I can persuade her to take me up, though I may have to be on my best behaviour for a long while before asking her. Truth be told, I don’t really know what I want to do. I know it doesn’t look like old Hitler will invade us now, but that doesn’t mean it makes it any easier to decide what to do. I know I don’t want to work in an office though. Ask me again sometime.
Finally, and it’s been eye-opening Celia, is there one thing you miss the most since the war started?
Strange as it may seem, a good loaf of white bread. I know it’s in the nation’s best interests, but this National Loaf thing we get nowadays is well, not exactly revolting, but you really don’t feel like eating very much. I mean, it’s even a bit grey to look at! So yes, give me a good pre-war loaf of bread any day!
Celia sounds quite a character, doesn’t she? I’ve read Wild Blue Yonder and really enjoyed it. If you fancy giving it a try you can get a copy here:
A word about the author…
Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. He’s replaced it somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
He’s the proud keeper of two cats bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. Wild Blue Yonder is the second novel in his Broken Wings series and he is very proud to be a part of the Vintage Rose Garden at The Wild Rose Press.
Contact/Social media links
Twitter – mick859
Instagram – mick859
YouTube channel – youtube.com/channel/UC5BTjvD9Jp–rLfjB9hcd9g
Thanks for dropping by to talk to us today, M.W. Wishing you lots of sales!
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb