Monday, February 9, 2015

Right Here Waiting by K.E. Belledonne: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway @kebelledonne @GoddessFish

Right Here Waiting
by K.E. Belledonne

Release Day: Feb. 10, 2015 by Interlude Press
Genres: M/M, Historical, Romance
In 1942, Ben Williams had it all – a fulfilling job, adoring friends and the love of his life, Pete Montgomery.

But World War II looms over them. When Pete follows his conscience and joins the Army Air Force as a bomber pilot, Ben must find the strength to stay behind without the love of his life, the dedication to stay true and the courage he never knew he'd need to discover his own place in the war effort. Good friends help keep him afloat, until a chance meeting on the home front brings him an unexpected ally—one who will accompany him from the stages of New York City to the hell of the European warfront in search of his love.

Written in the style of a 1940s film, Right Here Waiting pays homage to classic wartime romances from the Golden Age of Hollywood. 
Squeeeeeee! Today I'm welcoming K.E. and her very first book! (It's totally awesome. You are going to want to pick up a copy of your own.) I am a self admitted history geek. I have spent untold hours studying what was happening all over the world during the time in and around WWII. There are two reasons for this. One is purely personal; both of my grandfathers, who have since passed on, served during the war. The second reason is that those years had such a profound impact on humanity that the effects are still seen today. I think that it's important to remember both the triumphs and the tragedy and to honor the memory of those who lost their lives by never forgetting their sacrifices and continuing to work towards a future where there is equality for all. 
I asked her to write about "Things Worth Waiting For" and I'm sure you will enjoy her post as much as I did. ~ Carly
An Incomplete List of Things Worth Waiting For (in no particular order): exquisitely crafted food, a perfect cup of coffee in the morning, love that sees all your strengths and all your faults and loves you regardless, kisses from my Love, the feel of real cashmere yarn, my favorite chocolate, seeing the Roman Forum, Reese's Peanut Butter cups, hugs from my dad, sunshine...

These are all things that take you out of yourself, just for a moment, that make you take a pause and acknowledge how wonderful they are. You forget your worries, you forget your troubles, you forget that your shoe is too tight or the chair that is hurting your back, or your broken washing machine. You forget to be angry at the driver who almost ran you over earlier, you forget the size of your bank account—and for that moment, however brief, you are in the moment. You just simply are

Some things on that list may seem rather....posh of me to mention. Cashmere scarves and lamb chops, classical music performed live, seeing the Roman Forum— those are all things that might be out of reach for a lot of people. 

Let me try to explain a few: I am a knitter and I grew up in the land of acrylic yarn. It always seems to stick to my needles when I knit with it, it tangles and frustrates and discourages me. It makes me sweat ridiculously to wear it. I never knew anything different, until a friend gave me a skein of cashmere as a gift. The difference between the two, to me, is astonishing – how easy it was to work with, how soothing it felt to wear, how I was warm but not too warm, and how it feels like hearing a baby angel's laughter on a summer morning while you're listening to your favorite song and eating your favorite food. For me, as a somewhat lackadaisical knitter, it's worth it to wait until I can afford to treat myself to a skein, which happens far less frequently than I would like. (To those of you who can knit with acrylics – more power to you, I am genuinely impressed with what can be created with those yarns—go you! Knit all the yarns! The world needs more knitting!)

I grew up reading about, and being moderately obsessed with, the Roman Empire. In junior high school, I had a poster of Julius Caesar on my wall, for cryin' out loud. To finally have the crazy opportunity to go there, to actually stand in a place I'd read and dreamt about my whole life was an incredible experience. I forgot I had blisters on my heels; I forgot that it was raining; I forgot I was 30 years old and supposedly a grown-up. I forgot everything except scampering over those rocks and ruins and was entirely in the moment. If I had had the chance to go there as a child, there is no way I would have been as excited or fulfilled as I was after waiting 20 years to be there.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups may seem like an odd addition to this list, but let me just say that I love them far more than is healthy. Whatever chemically peanut-butter-and-chocolate formula they have created, it is exactly what I crave. I have tried many substitutes, but the only version that gives me that moment is the original Reese's. One bite, and my eyes involuntarily close and the only thought in my head is yes. Here in Europe, they are less easy to find, to my chagrin. But they’re worth the wait.

Love that loves me for all my faults and strengthens combined—this has been the hardest one to wait for. The realization that we don't have to qualify for anyone's love— and the strength to trust in that—that takes a lot of patience and time and life experience to acquire. To know that someone can be angry, and yet still love us and want us in their life allows a moment to last. To have all that, to trust in that (as Pete and Ben do in Right Here Waiting)—that's worth any amount of waiting, no matter the cost.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Pete and Ben, it’s to seize the day—to know your moment, and embrace it. That's why it is so important to think where you find your moments

So, folks, what are your moments? What makes you pause and just be?
Pete realized he’d be completely and perfectly happy if this were the only thing he could hear for the rest of his life—just Ben’s heart, strong and vital; if the only things he could feel for the rest of his life were Ben’s chest rising and falling steadily beneath his cheek and Ben’s breath gently rustling the curls on his forehead.

His patriotic zeal had dimmed a bit since coming over here; there was so much pointless death and destruction on every side. And while he was determined that right and good will eventually prevail, really all he was fighting for was the right to go back home, to this man—to Ben, his Ben—and live the rest of their lives together in peace and harmony. He clutched his fingers in Ben’s shirt, daring anyone to take him away.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have developed high expectations from the family of authors that makes up Interlude Press, and once again I have not been disappointed.

K.E. Belledonne makes history come alive with her debut novel RIGHT HERE WAITING. Ben and Pete stand out as individuals in this story while at the same time somehow manage to represent the heart of the men that served during World War II. Their story is amazing because it is realistic. They are imperfect men living during uncertain times.

One of the best period romances I've read to date. RIGHT HERE WAITING has a dynamic cast of characters that carry this story with the grace, humor and earnestness I'm sure their real-life counterparts would approve.

Release Day: Feb. 10, 2015 by Interlude Press
K. E. Belledonne is a writer, editor and translator based in the French Alps. A native New-Englander, Kat spends her spare time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox.

Ms. Belledonne describes her story as “like an old friend—the book you curl up with when you’re not feeling well. You know how it goes. You know how it will end, but it just makes you feel better reading it.”

Right Here Waiting is her first novel.

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  1. Hi Carly! It's Kat -- Thanks for your great review. I'm so happy you enjoyed my book, and I'm especially pleased it impressed a fellow "history geek."
    I'll check in here throughout the day in case any readers out there have questions about the book, research, the time period, or just anything at all!
    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. That excerpt makes me catch my breath every single time!

  2. I loved the excerpt and the book cover!

  3. Thanks! The excerpt is from one of my favorite scenes in the whole book, and really gives a good feeling for the style of the rest of it.
    And the cover just blows me away -- I am still amazed I had such a talented artist working on my book!

  4. Loved the guest post. Found the bit about knitting interesting, though I've never really got into it myself.

    1. Thank you! I love to knit, though I'm not very accomplished -- I tend to make things that don't require a certain size, mostly scarves and blankets, though it's amazing how finding the right yarn can help get you started!

  5. Great review! I have this in my TBR since I saw it in Interlude-site. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for for the giveaway and congrats on the release!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm happy to hear you've been looking forward to it!

  6. Great post and also love the knitting part! I crochet myself and when I taught my daughter I tried to teach her it's all about the yarn. Did that stick with her? Nope but at least she can do it! I really like the cover and have loved the books that I have read set in the 40's!

    1. thanks!
      I was taught how to knit when I was 7 or 8 or so -- and then I didn't touch the needles again for another 20 years! It's brought me so much happiness, though.
      I'm happy you like the cover and I hope you get to read this one, as well!

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    1. Those are amazing perfect moments!
      Thank you so much, and good luck in the contest!!

  8. awesome the blurb and excerpt too :)