I’m exhausted. I stayed up till 10 a.m. PDT this morning promoting Christmas Once Again on my pub date. It was a blast. My publisher, my editor were right there with me, along with bloggers and fans.
We tweeted, I facebood’d, created Instagram stories. It was wild.
I have to admit, I was nervous. Will readers embrace a time when life was so different? I’ve poured my heart into this story about a time when there were no cell phones, so social media. Kate’s family (the heroine in my story), has a phone, but back then they had party lines. Everybody on the block shared the same phone line.
Neighbors Facebook’d over the fence while hanging out laundry to dry on the clothesline.
Newspapers were the 24-hour TV channels, coming out with Special Editions when important war news broke.
Soldiers and their girls wrote letters to each other. On paper. Words poured out by a lonely serviceman on an atoll in the Pacific or the cold, damp woods of the Ardennes in France. Girls sealed their letters with a kiss with Victory Red lipstick.
That is what I miss most about that time. Letters. Ink may fade, but the words are more powerful today than ever. There’s something cold and distant about an email. A digital fingerprint with printed words that look the same no matter who types them.
But a letter…now that has the personal signature.
The bold writing…looping letters…your sweetheart’s familiar scrawl that tugs your heart when he signs, ‘All my love.’
The smudge of dirty fingerprints that held a rifle and trudged over the beaches of Normandy to protect our country.
Coffee stains spilled from a tin cup when an enemy sniper surprised a young corporal.
Dried blood smeared on the envelope rushed into the mail pouch at the Red Cross camp by a wounded Marine.
And to the soldier, the most important signature of all: the scent of his sweetheart’s perfume. Every tired bone in his body, every aching muscle melt away. He can’t erase the horrors of war, but the lovely scent that is so distinctly hers takes him back home, if only for a few seconds. But it’s enough for him to keep fighting.
And promise he’ll come home to her.
It’s that world I write about in Christmas Once Again.
A journey you won’t forget.
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