War Bonds

A funny thing happened on the way to the Google

I admit it. I Googled myself. Don’t tell me you haven’t!  But what I found today, delighted me! Two reviews that I’d never seen.

The first was this lovely mention of War Bonds from a blog called Doodles and Words.

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“War Bonds– Love Stories of the Greatest Generation by Cindy Hval is a collection of beautiful and loving memories of couples who met during World War II. She recounts how these men and women met and stayed together for decades despite many obstacles. Who doesn’t love a good story? Well, what about 36 of them?

“Everything’s built on friendship. He’s been my best friend for 77 years.” – Betty Schott”

And the second came from Pearl Harbor!
Pearl Harbor Survivor Couple – Betty and Warren Schott

“We first heard about the Pearl Harbor Survivor Couple, Betty and Warren Schott, in an article in the Spokesman-Review by Cindy Hval. This remarkable couple was living on Ford Island when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

They heard an explosion and Warren quickly recognized that Pearl Harbor was under attack from an enemy. Many others on Oahu at the time thought that it was a drill, but Warren saw the rising sun on the wing of a Japanese plane flying overhead.

Warren Schott watched as the USS Utah was torpedoed. He then took his wife and another family living below them to safety. Warren did not seek safety himself, instead he returned to Battleship Row to help victims of the attack.

“I took one of the boats and picked up our fellows who were in the water,” he recalled. The men he pulled out were covered in oil.

Betty Schott did not sit idly by herself.

“They put us to work immediately, Betty said. “We unloaded guns and filled fire extinguishers.”

This Pearl Harbor Survival Couple was married for 76 years before Warren Schott passed away in May 2014. Betty lived another year and passed away on July 5, 2015.

We appreciate the excellent story from Cindy Hval about this fascinating couple and the impression they left on her. You can read Ms. Hval’s stories about the Schotts here and here or in her book below. We salute you Cindy Hval for your story and we salute the Schotts for their service to our country.

For more stories about love during wartime, read Hval’s highly rated book: War Bonds.”

Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to Google yourself– you might find nice surprises like these:-)

Columns, War Bonds

The Scrapbook

It’s been almost six months since my first book, War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation was released. I’ve signed hundreds of copies, but at a recent reading I was asked to sign something that brought tears to my eyes.

A sweet lady approached me before the event began and said, “I’m wondering if you will sign something for me?”  And she pulled out a bulging scrapbook from her basket.

War Bonds at Fairwood

It was filled with clippings from from my Spokesman Review newspaper column, The Front Porch.

“I’ve been saving them for years,” she said.

So, I blinked back tears and happily signed her scrapbook.

Writers are nothing without readers. To think my columns mattered enough for her to save delighted me. It also made me happy that my next book will be an anthology of those columns. Who knows? Maybe in a few years I’ll be doing another reading at that venue and this time I’ll have my own “scrapbook” of sorts, to sign.

War Bonds

A visit with a reader in Colorado

Yesterday, I got this note from Casemate Publishers.
“We had a reader call, and she would like to thank you for War Bonds. She was a WWII bride, who recently lost her husband.”
So, I called Gloria in Colorado and we had a lovely visit. She said, “I just finished War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation and I wish it was TWICE as long. It just took me back.”

Like so many War Bonds couples, she and her husband met on a blind date. “When he got back to the barracks that night, he told his buddies, ‘I just met the girl I’m going to marry!'” Gloria recalled.

They married only to spend the first year of their life apart as her husband served overseas. “I loved being an Army wife,” she said.”My husband and I lived through all those things you wrote about.He passed away last month at 95. We had 69 happy years together.”

She thanked me for calling. “I just wanted to tell you how much I loved War Bonds. I can’t wait for your next book.”

I hung up the phone, humbled that she’d enjoyed the book enough to call my publisher and tell them. Conversations like this, from people who lived through WWll are a privlege  I don’t take lightly.

Thank you, Gloria.

War Bonds

Letter from Maryland (Hooray for Libraries!)

Just received this wonderful note from Mary in Maryland.

Mrs. Hval,

I saw your book “War Bonds” on a display table at my local library in Cockeysville, Maryland and checked it out. I had recently read “War Brides” by Helen Byran, a historical fiction, so I was most interested in reading another aspect of marriage/relationships during WWll– this one true. I very much enjoyed your book.

You are so right to remind us about the “greatest generation” and all that they did for us. Thank you again for writing your book so we could learn about these special couples. I look forward to reading your next book.

I now enjoy reading your column in the “Spokesman Review”– life on the west coast is not much different from life on the east coast. I can relate.

Beyond thrilled that War Bonds is being read across the U.S. and hooray for all the libraries that place it on their shelves!

War Bonds

These are some beautiful chicks

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Saw this gorgeous display at Barnes and Noble, yesterday. Such an incredible feeling to see stacks of my books in stores! But what’s really wonderful is the feedback from readers.

Yesterday, I spent an hour and a half at Auntie’s Bookstore signing pre-ordered copies of War Bonds. Since it was a public signing, I got to interact with folks who stopped by the signing table.

One fellow wearing a Vietnam veteran cap seemed especially enthralled with the photos. “These are some beautiful chicks,” he said.

I told him my mother is of the opinion that women were better looking in the ’40’s and ’50’s.

“Nah,” he said. “They just took better care of themselves.”

Then his eyes grew dim. “Even when my wife was dying of cancer, she’d try to fix herself up for me. She’d put on a little lipstick…. She just wanted to look nice.”

“She must have loved you very much,” I said.

He took off his glasses and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “Yes,” he said.  “She did.”

War Bonds

Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Connecticut, oh my!

What fun to hear from readers across the United States as copies of War Bonds arrive!

11001726_10203518846031682_9073187678075970162_n[1]Jeri in Illinois.

10989956_10205255922333008_5526708086970131987_n[1]Cis in Idaho

IMG_20150222_151959~2Dean and Betty Ratzman, feaured in chapter 18 “Letters From Home.”

I love receiving photos of folks (or their pets!) with the book.  You can email your pictures to dchval@juno.com, I’d love to hear from you!

In addition, please consider posting your reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads. In today’s competitive book market positive reviews on the sites above really helps to spread the news!