Stranger In Paradise
Genre: Post -World War 2 Romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
Date of Publication: October 15, 2014
Number of pages: 347
Word Count: approx. 70,000
Cover Artist: Tammy Seidick
Before they became The Greatest Generation, they were young men and women in love . . .
The year is 1953 and London is throwing the party of the century. Even though the ravages of World War II are still visible throughout the kingdom, the world is gathering on the Mall to celebrate the coronation of England's beautiful young queen.
For almost ten years, journalist Mac Weaver has been far from his New York home. America has changed since the war ended and he wonders if there's still a place for him in the land of backyard barbecues and a new Ford in every driveway.
However a chance encounter with beautiful English reporter Jane Townsend is about to change his life forever. As the new monarch waves from the window of her fairy-tale glass coach, a homesick Yank and a lonely Brit fall in love.
One week later, Mr. and Mrs. Mac Weaver board the Queen Mary for New York and a guaranteed happily ever after future in the land where dreams come true.
But there are dark shadows on the horizon that threaten Mac and Jane's happiness and family scandals that just might tear them apart . . .
"This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Read a sneak peek at
“It was all there, all the beauty and wonder and sorrow of life, there in the papers and scrapbooks and photographs packed away with wedding dresses and pressed corsages. Somehow the Wilson attic had become the repository of memories for two families and, in a fashion, of a way of life long gone.”
“Open your eyes, Liz thought. Can’t you see the people who used to be? Love wasn’t a modern invention. Before computer chips and microwave ovens and VCRs, men and women had fallen in love and married and somehow managed to make happily-ever-after come true…”
“The fact that he found her beautiful thrilled Jane. She’d never realized what power there was in being a woman. What pleasure there was to be found in the simplest gesture when there was a man close at hand to appreciate it.”
“He wasn’t much good at dealing with sorrow. His wife had seen too much of it for one lifetime. The obvious solution was to make sure sorrow never found either one of them again. Their meeting had been touched by magic. Their marriage would be, as well.”
To complete this review I read both books, A Sentimental Journey and Stranger in Paradise, 512 pages, and it wasn’t enough, I want more. The world fell to the wayside as I immersed myself in their world of the 1940s through 1990. The tale starts well before my time, but I felt like I was living it with them. I heard what my mother called “the Old Standards” playing on their radios. Her characters were fully fleshed out and inhabited. I was so captivated by Ms. Bretton’s writing that I seemed to be smelling, seeing, feeling, hearing, and living whatever they did. I grieved their losses, breathed a sigh of relief when they came to their senses, fretted for their concerns, despaired over the injustices of the time, and cheered for their accomplishments. I am exhausted to say the least, but would gladly continue if Ms. Bretton could be coerced into writing more of this exceptional story.
About the Author:
A full-fledged Baby Boomer, Barbara Bretton grew up in New York City during the Post-World War II 1950s with the music of the Big Bands as the soundtrack to her childhood. Her father and grandfather served in the navy during the war. Her uncles served in the army. None of them shared their stories.
But her mother, who had enjoyed a brief stint as Rosie the Riveter, brought the era to life with tales of the Home Front that were better than any fairy tale. It wasn’t until much later that Barbara learned the rest of the story about the fiancé who had been lost in the war, sending her mother down a different path that ultimately led to a second chance at love . . . and to the daughter who would one day tell a little part of that story.
There is always one book that’s very special to an author, one book or series that lives deep inside her heart. SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY and STRANGER IN PARADISE, books 1 and 2 of the Home Front series, are Barbara’s. She hopes they’ll find a place in your heart too.