Beyond and Behind the Story

5 08, 2013

Beyond and Behind the Story – Love in the Morning Calm

By |2013-08-05T05:48:12-05:00August 5th, 2013|Beyond and Behind the Story|2 Comments

Research and details in a book can make a major difference in a reader’s pleasure.

That’s why in Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise I include details selected from my time in South Korea.

Lily’s apartment is where we lived in U.N. Village.

UN Village4 I walked the same roads that she walked to catch the bus to Eighth Army Headquarters. UN Village6

We got so used to the train whistle we didn’t even hear it.

train on track2These pictures stir memories for me and I hope give you a good idea of where Lily lived. If you’ve read Love in the Morning Calm, is it like your mental picture?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A gold dress also plays an important role in both books. I got the idea for those scenes from my own experience having a gold dress made to wear to the reception President Park Chung Hee and his wife gave for President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson. Here’s what my dress looked like. Is it what you pictured Lily wearing?

There’s a carved Papasan in both stories. I brought back several carvings from South Korea to remind us of our time in Han Nam Dong.???????????????????????????????That’s the Papasan third from the left. When we lived in Seoul, Papasan meant a title used to address elderly men. The term has come to be used for pimps or a  person who manages a bar or a brothel or a similar establishment. The kindly men in the white suits we met didn’t do any of that!

You’ll find I used others places we went during our time in South Korea and developed scenes around them. Places like Chungpyung Reservoir. I can still remember our picnic on the hood of the motor pool jeep with the sound of the roaring dam behind us. Ace and Lily picnicked there too.409284034_Chungpyung Dam

I hope these glimpses of South Korea when I was there enhance your reading of Lily and Ace’s love story. Or make you want to read.

It should also demonstrate how writers use their personal experiences in creating their fictional stories.

MorningCalm_6 for webpgs

In 1966, while on temporary assignment to South Korea, Green Beret Major Ace Cabot meets Lily Reed, a Department of Army civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters. Ace is a high-potential career officer, who should resist the temptation of any woman, but he can’t ignore his interest in her.

Lily is a firm supporter of the budding women’s lib movement. She enjoys her freedom and new life away from her stifling hometown. Her plans leave no room for any man. No matter how captivating his smile.

In an uncertain time, in a temporary safe zone, yielding to temptation changes both their lives forever.

Available for Kindle     Nook    Apple iBook/iPad  and   Smashwords for PDF, Diesel, or Kobo

books_pendant

For twenty years, Lily Johnson’s life, albeit a life of lies, has been good. Then her daughter falls in love and trouble abounds.

The young man her daughter plans to marry is the godson of her daughter’s biological father. A Green Beret Lily thought died in Vietnam.

When they meet him face-to-face, the years melt away and old passion returns, but Lily’s convinced revealing the truth could mean losing her daughter and the only man she’s ever loved. He believes Lily betrayed her promise to wait.

Is the flame of love strong enough to be re-ignited, or, is it too late?

Available for Kindle  Apple iBook/iPad   Nook     Smashwords for PDF, Diesel, or Kobo and in Paperback

29 07, 2013

Beyond and Behind the Story

By |2013-07-29T05:51:39-05:00July 29th, 2013|Beyond and Behind the Story|0 Comments

One of the question authors are most frequently asked is where do ideas come from.

Today, I’ll be sharing the background behind Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise These two books tell the love story of Alex (Ace) Cabot and Lily Reed Johnson.

Though not a series in the true sense of a book series, Love in the Morning Calm is the Prequel and tells how Lily and Ace met and fell in love. The Pendant’s Promise picks up the story twenty years later.

The idea for Lily and Ace’s story came from my personal experience at Eighth Army Headquarters in South Korea. What was I doing in South Korea at Eighth Army?

That’s a story in itself.

My husband is a retired Army Reserve officer. He completed R.O.T.C. during college and at the height of Vietnam War received his commission when he graduated.

With a military background – my father was an Army Air Corp officer, I was proud that my husband joined the Army Reserves…until his first unaccompanied assignment.

The thought of being stateside while he served at the Korea Procurement Agency, Eighth Army, South Korea, was not appealing.

It was so unpleasant that I sold our car, purchased airline tickets for our toddler daughter and myself, and followed him.

Jerry-SaraE7-2

During our time there, I worked as a Department of Army Civilian (DAC) at Eighth Army Headquarters in G3. 8th army HQ

That’s why, in the story, Lily is a DAC at G3. I knew what it was like. You might recognize the picture from the cover of Love in the Morning Calm.

lbj-in-korea-12Both novels are fiction loosely based around Lyndon Johnson’s Southeast Asia in 1966.lbj-in-korea-4

The characters in Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise are  figments of my imagination, but I confess they have some traits of people I met during my time at Eighth Army G3. (That tee shirt saying, watch what you say or you might end up in my novel, is actually true.)

The setting is accurate though I’m sure that Yongsan Compound has changed dramatically since we were there.

If you’re read either Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise, you might recognize some of these places.

The parade field in front of Headquarters, pictured here from 1966.2276276862_8th Army hdqtrs

Korean busThe PX 2240085375_ PX Yongsan

                         The military buses

Next week, I’ll be sharing more photos of places around Seoul that I incorporated into both stories.

YOUR TURN: Do you like seeing “real” pictures to compare to what you imagined when you read books?