About Right Here Waiting…
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.
And now a special excerpt from Right Here Waiting
“And now, coming to you from a secret location, pre-recorded earlier today, in cooperation with the Armed Forces Radio Network, we are proud to present one of our brave young men, United States Army Air Forces Captain Peter Montgomery, performing a special song from all our troops here to all of you folks back home.”
Ben gasped and rushed to the radio to turn up the volume. He closed his eyes and pictured Pete standing in front of the microphone in his freshly pressed uniform—khaki, the color of his eyes when he laughs—standing surefooted and strong. Crowds never made Pete nervous; singing for millions of people over the radio wouldn’t be a problem for him. When they’d sung duets during Ben’s shows at the Black Cat supper club, Pete was always so smooth and sure, never a tremor or nerves. And now, Ben could just picture him: Pete’s eyes would be closed; he’d have a slight smile; his hands would be either gently folded behind his back or holding the microphone stand.
The honey sound of Pete’s voice singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”—a voice Ben hadn’t heard in two years—poured from the radio, simple and unaccompanied. He sank to his knees in front of the set and turned the volume even louder. He reached out with one finger to caress the wood, stained golden-red because Pete swore it was the same color as Ben’s hair in the summer. The set reverberated under his fingers. Ben put his entire hand on the set, feeling the vibrations of Pete’s voice through the wood in almost the same way as he’d felt Pete’s voice through his chest when Pete would sing him to sleep, Pete’s naked chest under Ben’s palm, their legs tangled and bodies satiated.
Ben didn’t feel the tears streaming down his face and ignored the pain in his knee as he knelt there—he only felt Pete. Pete’s happiness and joy in the world, Pete’s kindness and generosity, Pete’s caring and love—Ben was enveloped in thoughts of Pete. For this short song, a song of longing and dreams of home, which he knew Pete had picked as a secret code of their own, he and Pete were together, just as they’d be together again, someday soon.
After the song ended, Ben heard Pete whisper, “Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas,” Ben whispered back. “Be safe, darling. Come home soon.”
Right Here Waiting will be released by Interlude Press on February 10, 2015.
About author K. E. Belledonne
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.
We asked K.E. one of our favorite author questions, here is her answer:
Q. People say write what you know. Do you think that is right or even important?
I think it’s both right and important. I think it’s impossible to write competently about something that you know absolutely nothing about. There’s always an element of your reality, or a fragment of yourself in anything you write. It doesn’t mean that every single character is an exact copy of yourself, or that you can’t write about something you’ve never experienced.
But I believe that what makes us love books, what keeps us coming back to books – we see ourselves reflected in them. We relate to these characters, we consciously or unconsciously find the commonalities we share with the characters we love. It’s what makes us care about them, root for them, and continue reading.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I am doomed to write nothing about people exactly like me (no matter how well small, round, knitting aficionados who like disco dancing and long walks on the beach might make for an interesting short story). One of the main characters of Right Here Waiting is a WWII bomber pilot who happens to be gay. I am neither of those things.
However, I am a human being, and I write about human beings. There are some grand over-arching commonalities we all face, regardless of age, time period, job, or sexual orientation. Love, separation, deprivation, not belonging, sorrow, loss, joy, hurting – these are things that almost every single person on the planet has experienced, in one way or another.
Pete is fathoms deep in love, and I know what that is like. I can write about that.
Pete misses the love of his life with a bone-deep ache. I know that feeling, too. I can write about that.
Pete’s life as a bomber pilot overseas is that of constant tension and danger – though, thankfully, my experience with it is not as extended as his, I do know about living in states of emergency and what the aftermath of an adrenaline rushes feels like.
Now, there are many other things that I’ve had to research. I’ve chatted with many people about their experiences, and I’ve had to imagine and envision some aspects of this story. But I’d like to think that in the end, readers remember the authenticity of the characters’ emotions.
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Contest: Must be 18 or older to enter.
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:
K.E. Belledonne will be awarding a $25 Interlude Press GC to a randomly drawn winner and a digital copy of RIGHT HERE WAITING to 10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.