Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"The First Christmas of the War" - engrossing historical fiction from Alan Simon

With powerful imagery, Alan Simon creates vivid characters in this portrait of family life in an American city at the outbreak of World War II. A compelling read, and available for $0.99 today.

"Fabulous story. I just did not want it to end. It really gave a glimpse into what life was like at the start of the war, and how things were changing. The family was such a strong unit. It makes you really see how different people were back then. Looking forward to reading more of this author. Highest praise! -- Southern Grits, Amazon reviewer

The First Christmas of the War (The Coleman Family Saga), by Alan Simon

Also available now: THANKSGIVING, 1942...the first of three sequels to THE FIRST CHRISTMAS OF THE WAR.

' Twas the week of Christmas,
Nineteen forty-one;
The season's joy overshadowed
by the war just begun.

The Great Depression years finally behind them, the entire Coleman family of Pittsburgh has been looking forward to this Christmas for almost the entire year. For the first time in more than a decade, Gerald and Irene Coleman have tucked away enough extra money to make up for all the lean years of disappointingly modest Christmas gifts for their children. But December 7, 1941 has changed everything, and for the past two weeks the entire family has followed with despair the Japanese advances all over the Pacific as well as America finally being dragged into the two-year old European war. Though a few glimmers of hope can be found amidst the ominous war news, both parents fear not only for the country's fate as this new war begins but also, more personally, for the fate of their sons who will likely soon be joining the fighting in one war theater or another.

Still, despite the sense of dread hanging over almost every aspect of the family's daily affairs, Irene Coleman is determined that if indeed this will be the last Christmas that the family spends together--at least until after the war, or perhaps even forever--then she will do everything in her power to make Christmas, 1941, the first Christmas of the war, a happy one for her children and her entire family.

Come spend the week leading up to Christmas, 1941 with the Coleman family including:

Jonathan--The eldest son at nineteen, Jonathan fatalistically realizes the inevitability of his military days arriving very soon, whether he succumbs to the pressure to enlist or if he waits until he is drafted. But Jonathan has other problems on his mind as well. His long-time girlfriend Francine Donner, whom only days from now he plans to ask to marry him, broke a date with him this past weekend to go out with one of Jonathan's best friends from high school (and one of her own former boyfriends), because he is headed off to boot camp right after Christmas. Jonathan has ominous feelings about this turn of events...and he's right.

Charlene--The third child in the family and the oldest daughter, Charlene has just become secretly engaged at the age of sixteen to her boyfriend who is soon headed to boot camp. She shares the news of her engagement with her cousin Lorraine Walker, but Lorraine quickly breaks her promise to keep the news secret. When Irene Coleman learns of her daughter's engagement and the circumstances surrounding it, she has yet another problem to confront.

Irene--In many ways, the backbone of the family...the classic 1930s-1940s matriarch who runs her household her way, no questions asked. Like her husband, Irene is mortified by the ominous war news and does her best to occupy the hours of her day with an endless string of tasks and chores, trying to keep her mind off her own fears for her sons' safety.

...and the others.

December 20-26, 1941:
The First Christmas of the War

Also available this holiday season: the next tale in the Coleman Family Saga - THANKSGIVING, 1942.


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Meet the Author

I'm a long-time non-fiction writer who has authored nearly 30 technology, business, and career-oriented books dating back to the mid-1980s. However, my writing passion for more than a decade has been fiction: primarily historical fiction but also other genres. I dabbled with a fair number of ideas for novels as I wrote the proverbial million words of fiction while I also worked on my non-fiction books along with my "day job" as a consulting executive. All of those were eventually shelved (though one remains on my books-to-write list for someday down the road).

Back in the early 2000s, two new historical fiction ideas popped into my head right around the same time, and I began working in earnest on two manuscripts...THE FIRST CHRISTMAS OF THE WAR and UNFINISHED BUSINESS, both of which have been available since 2010. And as I wrote THE FIRST CHRISTMAS OF THE WAR, the idea for three similarly structured sequels in that family saga also surfaced...the first of which, THANKSGIVING, 1942, was just published in November, 2012 on the 70th anniversary of when that story is set.

I also had the idea around the same time for my serialized novel GETTYSBURG, 1913: A NOVEL OF THE GREAT REUNION, which I've been writing off and on for nearly a decade in preparation for the 100th anniversary of that momentous occasion that has been all but forgotten over the years.

Hopefully, the serialized publication of this historical novel in three parts leading up to July 1, 2013 (which will also commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of The Battle of Gettysburg) will bring The Great Reunion back into American consciousness...as well as provide a wonderful reading experience for all!

Also, since I grew up in Pittsburgh (where most of my historical novels to date have been set) I watched the great Roberto Clemente play for the Pittsburgh Pirates when I was younger. I just published a short memoir about Clemente, timed for the upcoming 40th anniversary of when the world lost Roberto on his humanitarian mission following the Nicaragua earthquake in 1972. Anyone who grew up in Pittsburgh in those days, or most any baseball fan, will enjoy CLEMENTE: MEMORIES OF A ONCE-YOUNG FAN - FOUR BIRTHDAYS, THREE WORLD SERIES, TWO HOLIDAY STEELERS GAMES, AND ONE BAR MITZVAH.

Next up during the remainder of 2012 and into early 2013: Parts II and III of GETTYSBURG, 1913: A NOVEL OF THE GREAT REUNION. Then we have THE FIRST CHRISTMAS AFTER THE WAR, the third novel in the "Coleman Family Saga" set during Christmas, 1945, in the works along with a fourth and final volume...and then that four-part saga will be concluded.

After that will come GETTYSBURG, 1938, a sequel to GETTYSBURG, 1913 that takes place at the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg on the eve of World War II, with some of the same characters you'll come to know and care about in that first novel. A final novel in that trilogy is also in the works.

There's much more on the drawing board: time and fate will tell which other works are completed and published, but for now I have enough projects on my plate to keep readers engaged and enthralled for years to come!

Visit our alansimonbooks[dot]com website for book "extras" plus more information.

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