Romance author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Romance author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Thursday, January 10, 2013

From The Backlist: Guy's Angel

As I await my first release of 2013 - Ronan's Woman from Rebel Ink Press on January 17 - I thought I'd revisit one of my backlist titles today.

Many authors write novels easy to categorize.  They write contemporary romance or time travel romance or historical romances or maybe romantic suspense.  And some of my novels do fit into a neat category.  But some, like Guy’s Angel don’t.  Overall, Guy’s Angel is a romance, a love story set against the backdrop of 1925 in my hometown of St. Joseph, MO.  But it has a few other elements too, like Valkyries.  For those not up on their Norse mythology, Valkyries are the warrior women spirits sent to bring fallen warriors back to Valhalla for Odin so they can drink and party for eternity.  That doesn’t sound so bad but then there’s the notion maybe Valkyries pick the warriors who fall.  And if they get thwarted they don’t give up easy.


Anyway, here’s the blurb and an excerpt from my latest, Guy’s Angel from Rebel Ink Press.


            Here’s the blurb:

            When a young woman really believes the sky is the limit, amazing things can happen…

Lorraine Ryan wants to fly airplanes so she heads for the local airstrip in 1925 to make her dream come true.  Most of the flyboys think she’s cute but a woman’s place is in the home, not the cockpit.   When Guy Richter steps up and offers to teach her to fly, she’s captivated with both Guy and flight.  He nicknames her “Angel” and takes her up into that wild blue yonder.  Before long, they’re deep in love.

Love, however, isn’t always enough……

Guy, a former World War I flying ace, is haunted by his past. His demons include his war service, the death of his only brother in an accident the previous year, and the Valkyries that he evaded in France who trail him in the hopes that they can complete his destiny.  But his dreams lie with Angel and as they grow closer and closer, he soon realizes that if anyone can save him, it’s his Angel.



Dawn wasn’t more than an hour old when she showed up to find the airstrip empty.  Even Guy wasn’t there yet, just Pop, the old man, who sat in the open door of the hanger and stared at her.

“You came back again,” he said, firing up a smoke he pulled from behind his ear.

“Yes, I did.  I’m going to fly.  Guy’s teaching me.”

“Yeah, I still oughta make you scram. It’s about to rain anyway. I feel it in my bones.  Besides, he don’t need no flapper girl to cause him trouble.  He’s got enough of his own.”

Angel lit her own ciggy and blew out smoke.

“What’d you mean by that?”

“He’s got enough on his plate the way it is now.  You ought to let him be, little girl.”

It wouldn’t happen, not now, not ever if she had her way so she narrowed her eyes to and asked, “Why? What’s eating him?”

 Pop narrowed his eyes and shook his head.  She thought he wouldn’t answer but then he drew hard on his smoke and spit.

“War balled him up like it did a lot of the fellas,” he said, finally. “Maybe he didn’t have it so bad as some of them in the trenches, them that got gassed and all but he saw plenty.  Man sees things and sometimes he brings some of it home, whether he wants to or not. Take Guy, for instance.  He almost bought the farm after a dogfight over there. Boche bastard wounded him and damaged the plane enough if Guy wasn’t a hell of a pilot, he would’ve crashed.  He brought her down, though, and lived to tell the tale so he beat them.”


Even though she wanted to ignore the old man, he had her hooked.  She wanted to know now, before Guy got here.

 Pop pulled out a hip flask and took a big swig.

“Maybe I ought not say.”

 “Applesauce – tell me.  You started it, you finish it.” With her hands on her hips, Angel figured she looked like a girl, not a flyer but she didn’t care.  She had to know the rest of this story.

 “Aw, hell, all right but you ain’t going to believe me anyway.  He cheated the Valkyries.”

“Say what?”

He snorted. “Guess you ain’t the college literature girl I thought you might’ve been.  Ain’t you ever read no story books or heard about the Valkyries, those women that come to battlefields to choose who dies and then bring the fallen soldiers home to Valhalla?  It’s kind of like heaven for fighting men.”

Something chimed deep in her memory, a scrap of tale from a book at school but she didn’t know much more..

“I quit after ninth grade,” Angel said, with defiance. “I’m a working girl, not a college Jane but I remember some story out of a book of myths or something.”

“Valkyries are real.”

She knew better than his fairy tale.

“Says you!”

“I know,” Pop said, with the most dignity he had displayed yet. “I seen ‘em myself at San Juan Hill back in ’98.  I followed old Teddy on that famous charge and I saw those Valkyries, beautiful dames that come to get the dead.”

Angel caught his drift and realized he was serious.

“You must be drinking rubbing alcohol! That’s the craziest thing I ever heard.”

He took another pull from his flask.

“That’s all you know, kiddo.  My daddy fought in the Civil War and he saw the same thing at Gettysburg.  Guy thinks they followed him because he cheated them and that’s why he flies, figures that Jenny of his can outrun the Valkyries.  He figures one of these days, they might sneak up on him and carry him off, too.”


Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy: http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot



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