Monday, October 7, 2013

Honoring Dianne Price

About Dianne

Dianne Price fell in love with writing at the age of five. Her father was a barnstorming pilot with a bi-plane and she was bitten early by the dreaded “flying bug.” She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and met and married the man God had prepared for her—an aeronautical engineer. After their five children were in school, she burned the midnight oil and wrote three novels, all published by Zebra Press. When her husband died only three years after he retired, she visited the Outer Hebrides Isles of Scotland, where her husband’s clan (MacDonalds) and her own clan (Galbraiths) originated. Many yearly trips, gallons of tea, too little sleep, and a burst of insight birthed her Thistle Series.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Dianne, born in August 1933, lived joyfully despite dealing with terminal cancer and died in August 2013, a mere week before the release date for the first book of this series, Broken Wings. Everyone involved with the production of this book and the next five has been blessed beyond measure to have known Dianne and be a part of giving readers a chance to meet Rob and Maggie and visit the beautiful, fictional isle of Innisbraw.

Since Dianne is no longer here on Earth, but dancing a Scots reel in Heaven, I’ll put in an extra scene she had written to feature on her website.


Maggie dug through a poke of tatties, nattering to herself. “He’s cold and hard, that’s what he is. What kind of man won’t talk about his own mither?” She tossed two tatties, a neep, carrot, and onion, onto the bunker—enough for a large pot of tattie and mince bree. She grabbed a paring knife and attacked the onion.
Five years she’d been away from her beloved green island—from her family, her friends, the sweet smell of heather spilling doon the slopes of Ben Innis, the sound of the sea sooking on the shore. Nursing school had seemed like an eternity, but then came the war and her commission in the RAF Nurses Corps. After three years of hopping between RAF hospitals, she’d leapt eagerly at the chance to serve on an American airbase, to hone her skills and learn new ones.
Why had he spoiled her homecoming?
She had thought Rob was getting better about talking. He’d only grunted once on that dreadful trawler ride from Oban to the Isle of Innisbraw, and then ’twas because she’d—och, she’d asked about his family.
Tears stung her eyes. It had to be the onion.
No grunt from him this mornin. Only a ragged, “Don’t talk about that.”
She chopped the vegetables, knife and tears flying.
She’d told him about her mither’s dying when birthing her brother, Calum. It only seemed fit to ask about his mither. Wasn’t that what friends did? Och, she was his nurse, his therapist, aye, but they’d been through so much together since his B-17 crash-landed on the airbase runway.
Had his family abused him? Or his mother—had she abandoned him? The thought stabbed at her heart, bringing a gasp.
After filling a large kettle with water, she scooped in the vegetables, added minced beef, seasonings, and Oxo bullion cubes, and set it on the hot peat stove to simmer. What a fine pair they were—him holding tight to his emotions and her crying a burn when happy, sad, ... or angry.
A bit of scripture blazed across her mind: You must make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Remorse tore at her soul. How had she allowed herself to forget all she had learned from God’s Word? She wasn’t tied to a bed or wheelchair, didn’t writhe from pain. She could walk ootside and feel the sun on her face, taste the salt on an inshore breeze.
Maggie checked her watch. Forty-five minutes ’til the bree was done. Enough time to bring him comfort—to lace her fingers through Rob’s and assure him she’d no’ ask about his past again.

Wecome letter from Dianne's website:

Welcome home, for home it will be if you'd like to learn more about the misty glens, towering bens, rushing burns, and green braes of Scotland, are interested in finding a good read, would like to chat about writing, need a recipe to spark your hum-drum meals, or are a history or aviation buff.

Come with me to the Isle of Innisbraw, Scotland, back to 1942, where we'll experience a life of hardship, yet joy, of poverty, yet richness of fellowship, of the joy of both birth and death (one celebrates a new life on earth, the other a new life in heaven), and the strong faith that kept these hardy folk together as an "island family" on a primitive, isolated piece of rock over seventy miles west of the shores of Scotland.

Just imagine what living through the first three years of WWII entailed for folk who called this three-by-four-mile island home. For everyone: tight rationing, blackout restrictions, no wood to burn, only peats which had to be cast (dug), stacked, and burned for cooking and heat (10,000 peats would supply a small family for one year), no grocery stores, pharmacies, or automobiles. And for all but a fortunate few, no electricity, just paraffin (kerosene) lamps or home-made candles. Added to the hardship of simply trying to stay alive, was the fear of German U-boats attacking their vulnerable Atlantic shores. Luckily, by 1942, Flying Fortresses (B-17s) purchased by the UK from America in the late 1930's, allowed an RAF base at Benbecula (an Island to the north) to patrol the Atlantic shores for U-boats. But Innisbraw's size did not allow a Home Guard to be trained, so crofters walked the Atlantic shores every night, looking for a glint of light that might belong to a U-boat.

The older lasses and women sewed clothes by hand from rationed cloth, or spun, knitted and wove sweaters, suits, coats and blankets from local sheep's wool. They patched together quilts from worn clothing, cooked and baked bread on peat-fueled stoves, carried water in buckets from the nearest burn or loch for drinking and bathing, strained heather honey from combs to use for sweetness, tended kailyard (kitchen) gardens, nurtured young bairns, curdled cheese, plunged (churned) butter, and raised pigs and chickens.

The men who were crofters (farmers) cast and stacked peats, tended to their coos (cows) and cuddies (cart horses), took care of and sheared their flocks of sheep, planted and harvested crops of oats, barley, turnips and potatoes, repaired dry-stacked stone walls, and built cottages with three-foot-thick stone walls, thatched roofs, and stone-flagged floors. Fisherman, unable to fish the vast Atlantic because of prowling German U-boats, plied the Minch (an arm of the Atlantic ocean between the Hebrides and Scotland) for days at a time, battling high seas and gales in old trawlers, risking their lives for a few farthings.

But the Scots are an inventive lot who love socializing and music. Ceilidhs (kaylees) were held, where tales were told in the Gaelic (the ancient language of Scotland), gossip exchanged, music played and if there was room, a jig, reel, or strathspey danced to a bodhran (one-sided-drum), button-box (accordion), tin whistle, pipes, and fiddle.

The heart of the island was the kirk (church). They might have hungry bellies, but their souls were fed with the Word of God. Everyone heeded the ringing of the kirk bell, whether it was to Sabbath services, for special prayers, or to warn of danger. The islanders were far from perfect, but most strived to "cast their bread upon the waters" daily in how they lived their lives.

As the war drove relentlessly on for three more years, the hardships didn't end, only changed.  But these folk of Innisbraw never lost their faith in their heavenly Father who rewarded their toil with an inner joy no incomer (outsider) could ever understand.


Ashberry Lane announces the bittersweet release of Broken Wings, the first book in the Thistle Series. Only a short time ago, we offered a contract to the amazing Dianne Price for her six-book WWII romance. Knowing she had terminal cancer, we did everything within our power to get the first book out while she was still alive.

However, she passed on to Glory one week shy of the first release. How blessed we all are that her legacy lives on in these stories. Please read Broken Wings and fall in love with Rob and Maggie and the isle of Innisbraw. (Book Two, Wing and a Prayer, releases in October!)

To buy Dianne's book:
Barnes & Noble
Espresso Machine
Ashberry Lane

Back Cover

He lives to fly—until a piece of flack changes his life forever.
A tragic childhood has turned American Air Forces Colonel Rob Savage into an outwardly indifferent loner who is afraid to give his heart to anyone. RAF nurse Maggie McGrath has always dreamed of falling in love and settling down in a thatched cottage to raise a croftful of bairns, but the war has taken her far from Innisbraw, her tiny Scot’s island home.
Hitler’s bloody quest to conquer Europe seems far away when Rob and Maggie are sent to an infirmary on Innisbraw to begin his rehabilitation from disabling injuries. Yet they find themselves caught in a battle between Rob’s past, God’s plan, and the evil some islanders harbor in their souls. Which will triumph?

Links to website

When is the next book due out?
Wing and a Prayer, the second book in the Thistle Series, is due to be released mid-October with the additional four books coming out 4-6 weeks apart!

 Ashberry Lane, Dianne's publisher, is giving away an e-book copy of Broken Wings. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

 Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Library Lady said...

I enjoyed reading the interview about Dianne.
I wasn't aware that she had passed on.
Blessings to her family.
Janet E.

Patricia Bradley said...

What a jewel we've lost and heaven has gained. Loved the excerpt and if I don't win it, I'll be buying it. pat at ptbradley dot com

Merry said...

So interesting! I enjoyed the look at Scotland during WWII.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

sm said...

Like military romances. Love to win this book. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Susan Johnson said...

I liked the interview. So sorry she passed away just before she got to see her book come out.

Sharon A. Lavy said...

At least three more books to be released by this author. How blessed that her publisher is doing this.

Amy Putney said...

Sounds like a great book! So sad to hear that the author passed away before she could see this book come out!

aeputney [at] liberty [dot] edu

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