The day before publication day for The Resistance Girl, I jolted awoke at 7:30 a.m. to the acute smell of smoke.
Burning in my eyes, throat. My chest heavy.
Tree branches scrapping against my windowpane and strong winds blowing and howling like a wild banshee had escaped from the netherworld. I swear the creature was hell-bent on dragging the hot flames closer and closer on the hem of her petticoats.
A cold fear rattled my bones. A sense of ‘This can’t be happening‘ turned my blood to ice.
I had gone to bed two hours earlier since I was up all night tweeting and posting on social media about my Paris WW 2 historical, The Resistance Girl, set during the Occupation and scheduled to pub the next day. I was exhausted but…
The acrid smell was so powerful, it dragged me out of a deep sleep.
I ran to my window on the second floor overlooking the front lawn, my heart in my throat. What I saw shook me to the bone.
A bright, rusty-orange sky…
Fire… but where?
I soon discovered the fire was less than six miles away… zero percent contained with capricious winds powered by a powerful Santa Ana with flames popping up in random places. Who knew where the burning embers would land… then ignite?
A nightmare in the making.
I turned on the air purifier, closed all the windows, and flipped on the local TV news.
And drank a ton of hot mocha coffee.
Then boom! Just when I was starting to get a grip on the situation, the powerful winds blew down my backyard fence in a big huff and puff worthy of Mr Wolf himself. What next?
I kept telling myself my heroine Sylvie Martone, French cinema star, had survived horrific events during the war… grilling by the Gestapo, dangerous treks across France to save downed pilots, attacked by SS. Whatever happened, I could handle it.
Fueled by her courage, I kept working on promoting my book while tossing important stuff into a go-to bag just in case I had to leave (note to self: keep that bag up-to-date). The next two days were a mad blur of Emergency Alerts on my phone, texts, phone calls, stand-by evacuation orders… and checking on family and friends.
Dear friends of mine did have to evacuate, but their home was undamaged, thank God. And my beautiful and vivacious daughter-in-law Kelly got caught on the toll road with smoke rolling across the highway as the fire advanced — I insisted she come and stay with me rather than go back to her place. My son agreed and rushed over to help us.
Kelly ended up spending a few days with me and I was so grateful for her support… and happy I could help her. It was then I realized how Sylvie felt when she was working for the Resistance and had no one to confide in…. except a young woman who becomes very important in her life when Sylvie saves her from the hands of the Gestapo.
Which brings me to my Boldwood red roses…
My lovely editor, Nia Beynon, and Team Boldwood sent me a dozen red roses on pub day. The gorgeous scent of roses lifted my mood and filled my soul.
The moment was made more special because I waited to open the box of flowers until Kelly arrived after work so she could share it with me. We gushed over them like teenagers getting corsages for the prom. Even my usually quiet, surfer-dude son was impressed with the lovely roses — and grateful we were both okay.
Which brings me to an important theme in The Resistance Girl.
My story is a dual timeline with Sylvie’s granddaughter Juliana intent on solving the mystery of her grandmother’s mysterious and notorious past in present day.
While Sylvie risks her life to save those she loves in Paris during World War II — her family. France. And her home.
Over the next few days, the fires were slowly contained and evacuation orders lifted, but I’ll never forget the fear and trepidation they brought, the mad dash to pack, and the instinct to keep my loved ones close and safe. Like my heroine, Sylvie Martone, I believe there’s nothing more important than family.
Because in the end…
There’s no place like home.
Two women. One heartbreaking secret.
Sylvie Martone is the star of French cinema, and adored by fans. But as Nazi officers swarm the streets of Paris, she is spotted arm in arm with an SS Officer and her fellow Parisians begin to turn against her.
However Sylvie has a secret – one she must protect with her life.
Juliana Chastain doesn’t know anything about her family history. While her mother was alive she remained very secretive about her past.
So when Juliana discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from World War Two amongst her mother’s possessions, she is in shock to find herself looking at her grandmother – especially as she is arm in arm with a Nazi Officer…
Desperate for answers, Juliana is determined to trace the journey of her grandmother. Surely there is more to the photograph than meets the eye?
But as she delves into Sylvie’s past, nothing can prepare Juliana for the tales of secrets, betrayal and sacrifice which she will uncover.
Amazon Buy Links:
And read the story behind the story about how my love affair with Paris shaped The Resistance Girl. https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/the-resistance-girl-jina-bacarr/
Listen to ‘chapters’ read by my favorite narrator, Laurel Lefkow, and relive the story of cinema star Sylvie Martone out to defeat the Occupiers
How I discovered the ship of dreams and how you can listen to my novel on Spotify #Titanic #Titanic109 #historicalfiction
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