OUR OTHER CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOK, “HEART, SOUL & ROCK N’ ROLL,” BY JANET R. STAFFORD, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN DIRECTLY BELOW THIS POST.
THE BOOK: The Juno Letters
PUBLISHED IN: 2013
THE AUTHOR: L.W. Hewitt
THE EDITOR: Evan Reese, Étables-sur-Mer, France
THE PUBLISHER: L.W. Hewitt, MBM (self-published)
SUMMARY: Letters discovered in a tin box hidden in the foundation of a small cottage in Normandy reveal a terrible secret. Antoine Bouchard’s beautiful wife Marianne, his precious daughter Ariéle, missing. The lives of hundreds – perhaps thousands – of allied soldiers preparing to storm Juno Beach on D-Day literally are in his hands. Antoine must choose – to find Marianne and Ariéle, or face Hell even if it means he could lose his family, his only friend, and his life.
THE BACK STORY: I discovered my grandfather’s WWI journals and took them with me to France. I visited all of the places he wrote about and discovered a hidden story between the entries. He sailed to France to be an engineer – when he returned to America he joined the clergy and served as an army chaplain and later a chaplain for the Veterans Administration. The story of why he made such a profound change and its impact on a German prisoner of French extract is at the core of this WWII drama.
This is a time-slip novel – the main character in the present must solve the mystery of Antoine by traveling to France and digging through the past. What he discovers is one of the little-known secrets of D-Day, one that could have changed the entire course of western history.
WHY THIS TITLE?: The letters intended for my grandfather from the small French port of Courseulles-sur-Mer during WWII form the basis of the mystery. Who was Antoine? – no one in the family knows. Why is Grandpa ‘Andy’ Anderson corresponding with this man in France? My grandfather served in the Pacific theater during WWII. Why does the mysterious Antoine write in his last letter “I fear I will die this day” – June 6, 1944. D-Day in Europe.
The story climaxes on Juno Beach where the Canadian forces landed on D-Day and weaves together the lives of those caught in the middle of the two great wars of the twentieth century.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT: This is a story about small characters and small events that by accident had compelling consequences for the men landing of the beaches of Normandy and, through their efforts, the fate of World War II in Europe. I look at the world-shaking events of the time through their eyes and bring the stories of many who lived through this catastrophe to life.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe Living in France.com – click for complete review online
“This is such a fascinating story for anyone interested in WWI and WWII… .
It is very hard for me, even now to remember that this is a work of fiction, the depth of research and attention to detail bring alive all too horrifically the very real dangers facing collaborators during the wars
and the bravery of the resistance and allies working behind enemy lines.
The question is, what happens to Antoine, Marianne and Ariéle? To find out you will have to read the book or listen to the audiobook version.
This story is a tribute to the author, Lawrence Hewitt’s Grandfather Andy. Armed with his grandfather’s personal journals which he wrote as a soldier in the Great War, the author visited Paris in 2012 and followed in his footsteps. The journey he took and his visit to the Normandy landing beaches are the inspiration behind The Juno Letters.”
From Amazon …
“After a week of these clandestine bribes, Bouchard P64335 passed behind Private Andy Anderson during a morning’s mess, and simply stated “Antoine. Antoine Bouchard. – The Juno Letters.
I’m a big fan of history, and an even bigger fan of the world war era. I recently had the great pleasure of reading In L.W. Hewitt’s The Juno Letters is a tale of true friendship and love that transcends both time and distance. Set during the ravages of both world wars you will follow Lawrence Hewitt (Private Andy Anderson’s grandson) as he attempts to unravel the mystery of un-mailed correspondence between his grandfather and Antoine Bouchard in the late days of the second war… If you are looking for a great tale to uplift you, and teach you something of the human spirit grab the Juno Letters by L.W. Hewitt. I wholly recommend it. “
From Amazon …
“I’m a huge fan of historical books that add a bit of fiction into the mix. This one didn’t disappoint. The way the author sculpts the tough choice that needs to be made really puts the reader in the shoes of the main character, Antoine. This was a book that I could happily read cover to cover and was right up my alley involving the D-Day landing, one of my favorite war stories from history. “
From Amazon …
“This book was recommended to me by a friend who knew I had an appreciation for historical fiction. I must say, I was impressed. A well-crafted story that had me captivated from the first chapter. The characters are well-developed and relatable. The story is compelling. Hewitt is a talented author, and I look forward to the next effort. “
AUTHOR PROFILE: I have coffee most every morning at my “office” – a small table in a 1920s style restaurant and hotel called the Olympic Club in Centralia, Washington. Visitors assume I work there, some think I am the manager.
I direct people to the bathrooms — the urinals in this place are a tourist attraction all by themselves. This is where I write. The chaos and atmosphere prep me for the day, and everyone in town knows if you need to talk to me, just drop by the “Oly Club.”
Most don’t know that I have a master’s degree in business, and have run my own technology company for nearly twenty of my last forty working years. I won a national championship on horseback, raced sailboats, wrestled octopus, baby-sat a killer whale, and once was a cook on a salmon purse seiner.
I have led an interesting life – married thirty-five years, have three children, six grandchildren, and twenty-five foster children. I am now free to pursue my passion for writing – especially about the two great wars of the twentieth century.
So I cherish my role as “author-in-residence,” or that crazy guy at the table by the urinals – it depends on your perspective.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: The Juno Letters is based on two cherished beliefs, gleaned from years of research and interest in WWII. The first is that the stories of people caught in the maelstrom of war provide the most fertile ground for storytelling. I research my stories thoroughly and create fiction that honestly could have happened and blur the separation between reality and fiction.
The second belief is that we may write about history as a series of causal actions that flow from one to another, planned and executed. The reality is that chance and mistakes often dictate the course of the world’s greatest events. Embedding such a chance happening within a novel makes for a great story.
all other devices:
LOCAL OUTLETS: If you are at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer you can buy a paperback copy in the bookstore at the exact spot where the story climaxes.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Smashwords, Apple/iTunes (an enhanced multitouch edition), Barnes & Noble, Inktera, and the subscription services Scribd and Oyster Books. It is available in print from CreateSpace and Lulu, and in Audiobook format from audible.com.
Links to all formats and resellers are at junoletters.com/bookshelf.php
PRICE: The eBook price varies according to the reseller; generally $2.99 – 5.99
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
My website has multiple ways to contact me, including email, Facebook, and Twitter: junoletters.com
Junoletters Blog: http://junoletters.blogspot.com/?The+Juno+Letters