Hey Y'all!

It took me awhile to get here, but alas I'm finally joining the blogosphere of bloviation. It took a rant floating around in my head to send me toward this journey, but so be it. We'll have some fun here too. I promise. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to leave me a comment or two. ~ diane

Friday, August 22, 2014

Off we go into the wild blue yonder!

Tomorrow, my 91-year-old father and I will board a flight to England on what I believe will be the trip of a lifetime for both of us. The back story on how this trip came about is so amazing, I just had to share it with you.
As most of you know, a couple of years ago I wrote Of Windmills & War, an historical novel very loosely based on some of my father’s experiences in World War II. (You can read more about that HERE.) Ultimately, the book was a vehicle to tell the story of Operation Chowhound – the massive food drops into Occupied Holland in the final days of that war. It’s been such a blast, especially for Dad, to read all the reviews and email from readers around the world, most commenting they’d never heard of Operation Chowhound. We consider that mission accomplished!
Several months ago, I received an email from a reader in England who’d just finished reading my book. She told me that her grandfather was the young farmer whose land was requisitioned by the government to build an airfield for the 390th Bomb Group in the early days of WWII – the same base where my father was stationed in 1944-1945, and the same base where my fictionalized "Danny" was based. What are the chances?!
But it gets even better. Lydia and her family still live on that farm land! Out her windows, she can see the control tower which now houses the 390th Bomb Group Museum which her parents oversee. Included in her note was an invitation to come for a visit and be guests in her home.
I must tell you, the first time I read her email, I got goose bumps! I couldn’t wait to call Dad, and as you can imagine, he was even more thrilled than I was. We immediately accepted Lydia’s invitation and started making our plans. She’s put together a full schedule of activities for us, and we can hardly wait to get there.
To ice the proverbial cake, when we land at Heathrow on Sunday morning, my daughter Hannah will join us! Hannah has been traveling all over Europe for 3 months now, so we were thrilled she could work it out to join us. After our visit in Framlingham, we’ll head back to Heathrow and put Dad on a plane back to the states. Since he’s already seen London, he opted to head home while we stay a few days to see the sights.
As I’ve said over and over, writing Of Windmills & War was truly a labor of love for me on so many levels. But never did I dream it would one day lead us back to the base where Dad served almost 70 years ago, to visit the family whose land served such an important role in that war. It is indeed a small, small world!

And talk about perfect timing ... when I return from our trip, I'll begin research for the sequel to Windmills. I'm thinking I'll come home mighty inspired to catch up with Danny and Anya, don't you?

Until next time,


  1. So happy for all of you! And us - a new book by you is always a good thing - a very good thing indeed!

  2. I love it when life is better than fiction. Bon voyage!

  3. Excellent book....my grandmothers cousin Robert Tabeling was shot down and killed in 1944 flying in his B17 (Devils Aces) with the 390th. I felt a deep connection to your characters. I have researched his history extensively and appreciated the additional understanding you helped me develop regarding his experience and sacrifice...thank you and cheers to your fathers heroic and brave service!

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  5. I love your book and am so excited that you and your dad get to experience it again. And I'm glad we get a book 2!!

  6. Thanks for writing a book partially set in WWII Holland, where some of my Dutch relatives lived. They were horse people, and the Nazis seized their horses--but not before they hid their best mares and stallions in the woods of the Hoge Veluwe.
    As we sat in their Gelderland living room during a visit, they told us about the occupation. Then the grandmother told us about her brother who was hanged from a lamppost when the Nazis learned he was in the resistance. The whole family was tearing up 65+ years after the event.
    Finally, I really appreciated the way you presented the crises of faith that Danny and Anya experienced.

  7. Both of my parents grew up during the occupation in Holland and so your story seems familiar to me. My uncle was in the underground and the courage of your characters is easy to identify with. I am hopeful that good people will always have the courage to stand up for what is good.
    Hank VanderNaald

  8. I enjoyed Of Windmills and War very much. I learned a lot about War II, whch started the year I was born.
    Gertrude Muro jager21@juno.com

  9. Diane - Enjoying Windmills of War, that is so cool you got to visit with the family in England and see the airfield. In the past few years before my Mom died she started sharing her war experiences in Glasgow as a young girl, I'm so glad she did. As a young boy I grew up in a small town very close to Greenock (where Danny disembarks from the Queen Elizabeth), called Gourock. We immigrated to the States in 1970. FYI, if per chance you do an editorial update to Windmills of War, Greenock lies on the River Clyde just as it widens into the Firth of Clyde. In the book you said it was the Firth of Forth which is on the other side of Scotland coming towards Edinburgh. Looking forward to the resrt of the series. Cheers - Bryce (Richmond, VA)