About Broken Wings (released Sept. 1, 2013):He lives to fly—until a jagged piece of flack changes his life forever.
A tragic childhood has turned American Air Forces Colonel Rob Savage into an outwardly indifferent loner who is afraid to give his heart to anyone. RAF nurse Maggie McGrath has always dreamed of falling in love and settling down in a thatched cottage to raise a croftful of bairns, but the war has taken her far from Innisbraw, her tiny Scot’s island home.
Hitler’s bloody quest to conquer Europe seems far away when Rob and Maggie are sent to an infirmary on Innisbraw to begin his rehabilitation from disabling injuries. Yet they find themselves caught in a battle between Rob’s past, God’s plan, and the evil some islanders harbor in their souls. Which will triumph?
Excerpt from Broken Wings:
What was tattie bree--and Lucozade? He'd heard somewhere that the Scots ate weird things, like oatmeal and liver stuffed into a sheep's stomach and everything that came from the sea, even slimy creatures without scales or fins. "Maggie, use English," he said more gruffly than intended. "I get so frustrated when I can't understand you."
"I'm trying my verra best no' to frustrate you, Colonel." Her sharp tone got his attention. She was so beautiful with her chin raised and her large, dark blue eyes sparking with indignation.
"So it's 'Colonel' now, is it? I must have put a burr under your saddle."
He was sure she hadn't understood the American idiom, but it had surprised her out of her snit. He couldn't suppress a grin. "That's better. I don't like it when you're mad at me, bonnie Maggie."
She rolled her eyes. "For your information, tattie bree is a thick potato broth. They make it in the kitchen and it's verra guid. And Locozade is a nourishing drink made with glucose syrup. You'll find it all over Scotland, no' just in infirmaries."
"Why didn't you say so in the first place?"
"Because I'm back in Scotland now and I keep forgetting you don't understand Scots."
He reached for her hand, needing the comfort of her touch. "Did anyone ever tell you your eyes turn dark blue when you're angry?"
"Och, you're skiting--fooling--with me."
"I mean it. Right now, they're sort of violet blue, but when your dander's up, they turn almost navy." He squeezed her hand. "Let your hair down, please. I've been trying to imagine all that black hair spilling around your shoulders and down your back."
She drew back with a gasp. "I cannot. It's against Regulations."
"Forget the Regs--just this once."
"I'm talking too much and that's a first. People usually accuse me of being a real bore."
"You don't like to talk?"
He wanted to tell her the truth--that until he'd met her he had never been able to talk to a young woman without mangling his words until he was so embarrassed he stopped talking completely--but he never shared his past with anyone. "Not idle chatter."
"I hadn't noticed."
"I guess I've never been around someone I wanted to pass the time with. Please bring me some of that 'guid' tattie bree before I starve to death."
She returned with a tray minutes later.
He ate a large bowl of the thick broth and choked down a bottle of Lucozade, squirming when the pain in his back began to escalate. He didn't want to ask for APCs this early. "I know you have things to do, but could you tell the Selkie story again?" he asked as she straightened his covers.
"The Selkie again?"
"I want to hear it when I'm not full of morphine." His thoughts did not stop there. And I want to hear your soft voice that takes away the pain and fear.
"We shouldn't spend that much time. I need to bathe and shave you."
"The crofter returned to the cave with food and water," he prompted.
"You've remembered. Verra guid."
He stifled a groan and tried to smile. "What happened next? I need to find out if she stayed on the island."
"Och, all right, but we don't have time for the ending now--'tis too important to hurry through." She pulled up a chair and sat beside him, accepting the hand he held out.
The story wove on and on as the two evaded the fishermen by hiding in caves or abandoned cottages, huddling together for warmth, eating what little the crofter could find in the fields. "It didn't take long for the crofter to fall in love with this bonnie lass with her rosy cheeks and lips and her silken, white skin. Of course, he couldn't believe she was really a Selkie, you understand." She continued by relating how the crofter's gentle, tender nature slowly won the trust of the Selkie. "After a week, she no longer waded out into the sea when the strange, haunting voice of her Selkie-lover crested the waves with the dying sun." Maggie laid his hand on the bed and leaped up. "Now, 'tis bathing time."
"You can't stop now."
"I can and will."
Rob awakened in the middle of the night, chest heaving, body covered with sweat. What a dreadful nightmare. He wiped his face on a corner of the sheet, trying to recall what he had dreamed. He could only remember a grinding, tearing, screeching sound, flashing lights and then--nothing.
So he hadn't made it over the security fence, after all. No wonder he has so many aches and bruises. If he could have used the rudders, he might not have lost so much altitude before he reached the base.
Used the rudders.
He tucked his hand beneath the covers and moved it down to his thigh. He pinched the flesh. Nothing. No pain, absolutely nothing. His breath caught in a ragged sob. The surgery hadn't worked after all.
If only he hadn't been so set on using a single bomber. If only Wells had refused to allow it. If only...
Gallant ScoreThe world needs more men like Rob. So I'll look past him stealing a kiss from Maggie with the prowess of Ty Cobb stealing a base. Because when her father walks in on said stolen kiss, their man-to-man conversation afterward was pure orange-head material. But even way before that, the way Rob chose to handle what he knew was a poorly planned mission and couldn't rest until he knew the fate of his men that has been with him on his B-17 that went down. Brave. Honorable. Trustworthy (in spite of the nasty rumors that get started about him and Maggie by a very disturbed and vengeful woman). Rob's crippling injury actually only brings this side of him out even more, though in different ways than when he was commanding the 396th and flying.
Wounded ScoreConfession. I have no idea how someone as wounded (physically and emotionally) as Rob pulls off such an off the chart gallantry score and a softie score this high. But he does. Believably, naturally, and in his unique Rob way that's humor and redirects to mask and avoid some very deep scars on his heart. I really, really want to tell you what they are but it would diminish your reader experience. Therefore you just have to wait for Rob to finally, finally open up to you in the pages of Broken Wings. Well, to Maggie, but you know what I mean. Rob endured a heart-breaking childhood, which contributed to him being about as socially awkward with women as you can imagine as an adult, and that's BEFORE that jagged piece of metal flays his back open and takes away the last thing left that he loves--flying. =/
Softie ScoreYou'll see this very early in that dance he shares with Maggie. Then in the undercurrent of his personality even when he's cranky. That moment on the beach during the rescue when he takes care of the little baby? Total heart melt moment. I've never encountered such a strong hero with such a deep softie side. It was incredibly refreshing and so much part of what makes Rob the man he is.
Stupid StrikesNone to report. Rob does a few things throughout the book that really make me cringe, but nothing I would pop him here for.
Swoon ScoreYep. Everything about him. Hero serving his country, his crazy sense of humor, the whole tall, dark and handsome package, a childhood that will pull your heartstrings hard (the scars on his heart and the reason he's so reserved go way back), a DNA-deep need to protect people, never backing down, and a mind that never shuts off. I loved everything about Rob and fell for him fast and hard. Any hero girl will. Which is why he's here.
Dianne Price fell in love with writing at the age of five. Because her father was a barnstorming pilot, she was bitten early by the “flying bug” as well. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and met and married the man God had prepared for her—an aeronautical engineer. After their five children were in school, she burned the midnight oil and wrote three novels, all published by Zebra Press. When her husband died only three years after he retired, she felt drawn to visit the Outer Hebrides Isles of Scotland, where her husband’s clan (MacDonalds) and her own clan (Galbraiths) originated. Many yearly trips, gallons of tea, too little sleep, and a burst of insight birthed her Thistle Series.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Dianne, born August 1933, lived joyfully despite dealing with terminal cancer and died in August 2013, a mere week before the release date for the first book of this series, Broken Wings. Everyone involved with the production of this book and the next five has been blessed beyond measure to have known Dianne and be a part of giving readers a chance to meet Rob and Maggie and visit the beautiful, fictional isle of Innisbraw. Leave a message for her family and sign up to hear the latest about her books at Dianne's publishing page or "Like" her Facebook page. Also, sign up for the Ashberry Lane newsletter to always know the latest about Dianne's releases.
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The FHF Exclusive Directly from the AuthorDianne actually wrote an extra scene to have on her website as a teaser. It's no longer up, but Ashberry Lane has made it available to us here at FHF for our hero-girls. Thank you to the Price family, and to Ashberry Lane for this extra look at Rob and Maggie. Trust me, as you read this book from the beginning, you get used to the Scotts, and literally almost learn another language. It's part of what I enjoyed so much about the story.
Maggie dug through a poke of tatties, nattering to herself. “He’s cold and hard, that’s what he is. What kind of man won’t talk about his own mither?” She tossed two tatties, a neep, carrot, and onion, onto the bunker—enough for a large pot of tattie and mince bree. She grabbed a paring knife and attacked the onion.
Five years she’d been away from her beloved green island—from her family, her friends, the sweet smell of heather spilling doon the slopes of Ben Innis, the sound of the sea sooking on the shore. Nursing school had seemed like an eternity, but then came the war and her commission in the RAF Nurses Corps. After three years of hopping between RAF hospitals, she’d leapt eagerly at the chance to serve on an American airbase, to hone her skills and learn new ones.
Why had he spoiled her homecoming?
She had thought Rob was getting better about talking. He’d only grunted once on that dreadful trawler ride from Oban to the Isle of Innisbraw, and then ’twas because she’d—och, she’d asked about his family.
Tears stung her eyes. It had to be the onion.
No grunt from him this mornin. Only a ragged, “Don’t talk about that.”
She chopped the vegetables, knife and tears flying.
She’d told him about her mither’s dying when birthing her brother, Calum. It only seemed fit to ask about his mither. Wasn’t that what friends did? Och, she was his nurse, his therapist, aye, but they’d been through so much together since his B-17 crash-landed on the airbase runway.
Had his family abused him? Or his mother—had she abandoned him? The thought stabbed at her heart, bringing a gasp.
After filling a large kettle with water, she scooped in the vegetables, added minced beef, seasonings, and Oxo bullion cubes, and set it on the hot peat stove to simmer. What a fine pair they were—him holding tight to his emotions and her crying a burn when happy, sad, ... or angry.
A bit of scripture blazed across her mind: You must make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Remorse tore at her soul. How had she allowed herself to forget all she had learned from God’s Word? She wasn’t tied to a bed or wheelchair, didn’t writhe from pain. She could walk ootside and feel the sun on her face, taste the salt on an inshore breeze.
Maggie checked her watch. Forty-five minutes ’til the bree was done. Enough time to bring him comfort—to lace her fingers through Rob’s and assure him she’d no’ ask about his past again.
The giveawaysA copy of Broken Wings, print or e-book, winners choice, to a randomly drawn commenter. Tell me what intrigues you most about Rob and that you'd like in the book drawing. Very important- leave us your email in a way we can contact you if you win, in a spam fighting format like
flyboy (at) Innisbraw dot com =)
If you've already gotten your hands on this novel and already devoured it, PROPS TO YOU. Let's do a drawing for the $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card but you have to leave me the name of a character that isn't Rob or Maggie. Same rules as usual. Once that character is used, you need another. We need your e-mail to reach you if you win so be sure you leave it or have it linked in your profile.
Drawings will be on Halloween! (10.31.2013)
WWII month is wrapping up here at FHF so let's talk war heroes. How exactly would you define a war hero? I have my criteria but I want to know yours. Let's play!