Swing Time: A Swing Dancing, Time Warping Story (a novella)
Avid swing-dancer Chance Bryant experiences what the psychologists call anemoia, that is nostalgia for a time in which one has never lived. It bubbles to the surface every time he enters an old ballroom. How many moments of excitement and joy the old ballrooms such as the Valencia in York, PA or Pen Mar Park or the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo must have seen! How many first crushes and first kisses, and yes, final partings, especially during World War II, took place in those old dance palaces? All those intense moments can’t just disappear forever. Chance and Faith, his dance partner, discover that, in fact, they do not. They found that if the song is right and the dance is right and you’re tuned in to the possibilities that the Universe presents, then you might just be able to touch one of those long ago, but not long gone moments. One of them might even touch you.
Swing Time is available from Amazon in both paperback ($5.00) and e-book formats ($0.99). The e-version includes YouTube links to all the songs mentioned in the story. Listen to them all and you’ll have a nice stroll through the swing era!
Because a primary setting for the novella is the Valencia Ballroom in York, PA, the York Daily Record profiled Swing Time in an article that you may read here.
I’ll Remember You All (3rd book in The Secret of Their Midnight Tears trilogy)
Despite the distance between them, Veronica Marsh has fallen in love with Johnny Hall who has been fighting in the Pacific. After receiving an early discharge, he comes walking up her farm lane one warm July evening in 1944, and her future is set.
For Veronica’s best friend, Elizabeth Bittner, however, the future is about to become quite unsettled. Dissatisfied with her contributions to the war effort at home, she intends to join the Women’s Army Corps, much to her parents’ dismay.
The invasion of Fortress Europe is well underway, but the campaign in the Pacific remains uncertain. Veronica’s brother, Buck, however, will not be part of the fighting. Used up as a combat Marine, Buck will be transferred to duty in Hawaii, where his path will cross Elizabeth’s ever so briefly.
In May of 1945, victory in Europe is declared, but there is not a great deal of celebration as the end of the war in the Pacific is nowhere in sight. In fact, one week after VE Day, the 7th War Bond Drive is launched. Victory over Japan finally occurs in August, however, and now Marsh Point and all of America celebrate long into the night.
For the young men and women of Marsh Point, who have spent virtually their entire youth contributing to the war effort, it is now time to get on with their lives.
The years march by like soldiers on parade until only one member of Marsh Point’s greatest generation is left.
I’ll Remember You All is available from Amazon for your e-reader for $2.99 or in paperback for $8.00. Reviews are always appreciated!
The Boys We Knew (2nd book in The Secret of Their Midnight Tears trilogy)
As 1943 dawns, the citizens of Marsh Point are contributing what they can to help America defeat the Axis Powers. Elizabeth Bittner is the town’s telegrapher, an important job, which has also made her the bearer of terrible news to some of the town’s families. Her closest friend, Veronica Marsh is helping her father manage a group of young Victory Farm Volunteers. The two girls contribute to the war effort by organizing War Bond drives and contributing to the scrap drives and writing letters to Veronica’s brother, Buck, and their friend, Johnny, who are in the Pacific. Elizabeth is also writing to Jimmy, a soldier in the 4th Infantry Division. Ever concerned for the welfare of “their boys,” Elizabeth and Veronica are anxious for their return, but as the girls become conscious of how the war is changing them, they begin to wonder: Will the boys who come home to us—if they do come home—be the boys we knew?
The Boys We Knew is available through Amazon for your e-reader for $2.99 or as a paperback for only $9.00. The e-version contains helpful links to historical events and cultural references of the time.
My interview with the Hagerstown Herald-Mail can be found here.
The Secret of Their Midnight Tears
Elizabeth Bittner is in love with Bill Hall whose smooth singing voice enthrall her. She can’t imagine a more exciting place than her home town of Marsh Point, but Pearl Harbor will bring a very adult world to her doorstep. For Veronica Marsh, Pearl Harbor is just the national catastrophe that follows her personal catastrophe.
For Veronica’s brother Buck, and the Hall boys, Johnny and Bill, the war will mean the end of their care-free days of baseball and summer evenings in the town’s amusement park. First Johnny, and then Buck join the Marine Corps, but Bill is unable to serve.
Johnny and Buck know their enemy on Guadalcanal and can seek him out in the shadows of the jungle. Back home in Marsh Point, however, the enemy of uncertainty is also in the shadows, but it cannot be subdued as easily. It will be difficult to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day, 1942.
The Secret of Their Midnight Tears is available in paperback or for your Kindle at Amazon. Remember, reviews are always helpful! The paperback retails for $8.00 while the e-version is only $0.99. The e-version contains helpful links to historical events and cultural references of the time.
What they’re saying about The Secret of Their Midnight Tears:
Christine Ranck, author of the best-selling Ignite the Genius Within:
The Secret of Their Midnight Tears is a charming, uplifting (and entertaining) gem of a book. Most touching to me were descriptions of a lost time of relative innocence and sweetness that I wish we could get back. We’ve become so fearful and jaded about life. But on the eve of a terrible war that would change everything, these characters rise to the occasion in courageous, disarming, and sometimes surprising ways. I didn’t want this book to end. Highly recommended.
Time Is A Pool, a 10-story collection of flash fiction, is available in paperback from Amazon as well as a Kindle e-book. The paperback version runs $3.99 plus shipping, while the e-book version is $0.99. Read the Hagerstown Herald-Mail Q & A about Time Is A Pool here.
Remember, reviews are always helpful!
For your free pdf of “The Bedford Girl,” the final story from Time Is A Pool, simply email me at agisriel at yahoo dot com and I will be happy to send it to you. Thank you for your interest!
A Faith in the Crowd, by my alter-ego Sam Cartwright, is a wry commentary on religion, particularly modern Christianity, yet is a firm affirmation of the need for faith. Subtitled, “One Man’s Journey to Heaven. Or not,” Sam is felled by four janitors trying to change a light bulb and finds himself on a jumbo jet bound for Heaven where he meets an old girlfriend, Lou Gehrig, the Rat Pack, Methuselah, and “The Boss,” who asks him to write a very important report. In the process, Sam discovers a spiritual side of himself that he didn’t know existed.