Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Spitfire Girl in the Skies by Fenella J. Miller with Excerpt

The Spitfire Girl in the Skies: A heartwarming and romantic WW2 saga by [Miller, Fenella J.]
Good Day!  Fenella J. Miller was born on the Isle of Man.  Her mother is the daughter of a Rajah and her father a Yorkshire man.  Fenella has held many jobs over the years.  They include nanny, chef, field worker, cleaner, hotelier and teacher.  Fenella is now a full-time writer who has written over thirty-eight Regency romantic adventures, three Victorian sagas and seven World War II family sagas (wow).  Ms. Miller lives in the riverside village of Essex with her husband and her cat.  She has two grown children and three grandchildren.  You can find a list of her books on Amazon. Readers can follow Fenella J. Miller on Facebook.
The Spitfire Girl in the Skies by Fenella J. Miller takes us back to June 1940 in the second Spitfire Girl novel.  Ellie Simpson is at Glebe Farm on compassionate leave after the death of her brother, Neil.  She is currently in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as a radar operator, but Ellie misses flying.  Ellie decides to apply to the Air Transport Auxiliary and put her flying skills to use.  In the meantime, Ellie postpones her wedding to Greg Dunlop, RAF pilot.  Ellie is accepted into the ATA under the leadership of Pauline Gower and is soon transporting planes across the United Kingdom.  She loves her job and makes a good friend in Amanda Bradshaw.  While Ellie’s job is exciting, it is also dangerous.  They fly without navigation equipment, and they never know when an enemy plane could appear.  One day Ellie receives word that her best friend, Jack Reynolds has been injured and she rushes to his side.  She realizes how precious life is and you need to enjoy every moment especially with those you love.  Ellie realizes she does not want to wait another minute to become Greg’s wife.  Unfortunately, things to not go as planned and their lives are forever changed.  War is a dangerous time especially for those flying in the skies.  Find out what happens next in The Spitfire Girl in the Skies.

 The Spitfire Girl: Heartwarming and emotional story of one girl's courage in WW2 by [Miller, Fenella J.]
The Spitfire Girl in the Skies picks up where The Spitfire Girl (available on Kindle Unlimited) ends.  I thought the story contained good writing with steady pacing.  The author brought the past alive with her words.  I was soaring in the plane with Ellie, watching the planes go over Glebe Farm, worrying about Jack when he lay unconscious in the hospital and avoiding getting bombed after the movie.  I do not know how they managed to choke down the unappetizing food.  I understand why they made toast in their room (despite regulations).  The Spitfire Girl in the Skies contains realistic characters and situations.  Ellie is a strong female character with a determined nature.  She was in danger several times and manages to come out alive.  Ellie is in love with Greg Dunlop despite their differences in their social stations.  I did like how their story played out (I will not say more because I do not want to spoil it for you).  The historical information woven into the story made The Spitfire Girl in the Skies realistic (enhanced it).  I appreciated getting to see the different job women performed during WWII.  Women could not fight on the front lines, but they still played pivotal roles.  If women had done stepped up, there would not have been as many men on the front lines or in the skies.  There is mild foul language in the story (just to let you know) and I do wish there had been a glossary provided for unfamiliar terms (Win Con, Mae West’s, NAAFI).   My favorite phrase from the book is “tickety boo”.  I look forward to finding out what happens to Ellie Simpson in the next book (her story is not finished). 
First Officer Maureen Dunlop  of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary), in the cockpit of a Fairey Barracuda torpedo bomber,

Here is an excerpt from The Spitfire Girl in the Skies:

June 1940

Glebe Farm didn’t seem like home any more now that her brother Neil was buried. Ellie wished she didn’t have to stay the full week of her compassionate leave, but it would be unfair on her dad and Mabel to leave early.

‘Ellie, love, you’ve not eaten anything today. You’ll fade away if you don’t have something.’ Mabel was more than cook-housekeeper here now, she was the future Mrs Simpson and Ellie wasn’t sure she was ready for more changes in her life. ‘I’m sorry, every time I try and swallow my throat sort of closes up. I had some cocoa and a bit of the Victoria sandwich when I got up, so I’m fine.’

‘Why don’t you take the dogs for a walk, clear your head. Fred will be back from the bottom field for his lunch soon. He’ll not want to see you moping about.’ Ellie bit her lip, somehow keeping back a sharp reply. Neil’s funeral had only been two days ago, for heaven’s sake, why was she expected to be rushing about the place so soon? It was none of Mabel’s business anyway, she wasn’t a member of the family yet.

‘I’ll do that. I’ll be back in time for lunch.’ Jack and Jasper, the two dogs they’d rescued from Battersea, were delighted to be taken for an extra stroll – not that they needed any exercise as they were always racing about the place catching rats, chasing rabbits and generally enjoying themselves. Every time she called Jack it made her think of the other Jack in the family. He was a fighter pilot as Neil had been, but he was flying a Hurricane not a Spitfire. Everyone believed the Germans were about to invade and he was going to be at the forefront of the fighting.

George, her one remaining brother, was also a fighter pilot. However, he had severed the link between Glebe Farm and himself and was now firmly in the same camp as her obnoxious fascist grandfather, Sir Reginald Humphrey, and her estranged mother. She no longer considered either of them as part of her life and would probably never know if George was killed in the line of duty.

Jack Reynolds was like her brother now – the only one she’d got. If anything happened to him, she wouldn’t be able to cope. Pushing that miserable thought aside she whistled to the dogs and walked briskly down the lane towards the farmhouse. She’d seen the tractor with Dad and the two remaining ancient labourers returning to the farm. They were about to retire, were in fact already too old to be working, but Dad was keeping them on until they wanted to go.

She waved to the team of land girls busy clearing the ditches. They didn’t work every day here, they were in teams and lived in a hostel in the village and were sent out in rotation to the farms in the area. Dad owned three of them, so they tended to be working for him most of the time.

There was always a hot meal at lunchtime, and it was served outside on a trestle table. She didn’t go out and join them as she wasn’t in the mood for small talk. She hadn’t been hungry since that awful call to the CO’s office a few days ago when she was told that her beloved brother was dead. The fact that he had bailed out over Dover when his Spitfire had been hit should have meant he survived. He was machine gunned by a passing Messerschmitt and had been dead when he hit the ground.

Somehow being killed like this made it even worse. His death had been an unnecessary act of cruelty – he should have been safe over his own home soil and dangling from a parachute. She wished she could join Jack fighting the Germans and killing those that had murdered her brother in cold blood. She was certain no British pilot would do such a thing.

The kitchen was unpleasantly hot, so she continued into the sitting room which was cooler. She wandered about picking up and reading an occasional sympathy card from those scattered along the windowsill and mantelpiece.
Did one reply to these? She didn’t know the addresses of half of them. The parish magazine was no longer printed because of the paper shortage or they could have put a notice in that. Maybe the vicar would make an announcement? Anyway, she wasn’t going to do it.

She couldn’t even write to her friends Daisy and Mary, as by the time her letter had been sent to a central postbox and then delivered secretly to the radar station they were posted at, she would be back. Telephone calls were also banned. Even her parents and fiancé, Greg, didn’t know what she was actually doing. They just thought she was involved with something to do with radio operations. It was all very hush-hush.
 Women ferry pilots ATA 1940-1945 Little Tiger Moth biplane to massive Stirling Bomber. Anything to anywhere.
The Spitfire Girl in the Skies is available for purchase at Amazon, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.  Thank you for joining me today.  I hope I have helped you find a new book and author.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of Mother's Day Mayhem by Lynn Cahoon (A Tourist Trap Novella).  I hope you have a thrilling day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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