Saturday 30 June 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ Bomb Girl Brides by Daisy Styles

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Bomb Girls by Daisy Styles where I have an extract from her novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Katie Ashworth from Michael Joseph & Penguin Random Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this extract so without further ado, here it is:

1. London, January 1944

Julia Thorpe hurled an armful of clothes into her suitcase; as skirts, blouses and cardigans fell in a heap on top of her precious books, she began to cry. She wouldn’t need Shakespeare, Jane Austen and T. S. Eliot where she was going!

Falling on to her bed, Julia abandoned herself to tears, which just made her feel even guiltier. What if all the millions of conscripted women across the nation reacted in the same self-indulgent manner as she had? There’d be no bombs or planes built and who would work the land to provide food for a nation that was on the edge of starvation? Buses and Red Cross ambulances would stand empty without their female drivers; the country would literally grind to a halt.

Julia knew that signing on as a Bomb Girl was unquestionably her duty, but she’d been so close to her dream of going to Oxford. In her mind she’d walked the streets of the old city on her way to early-morning lectures; she’d pictured her garret room overlooking a leafy quad; and she’d imagined herself on autumn days cycling around the town with a long scarf wrapped around her college gown.
‘Damn! Damn! Damn!’ Julia seethed as she pum-melled her lilac satin eiderdown.

Her sobs were too loud for her to hear a tap at the door, so she was startled when her older brother, Hugo, walked in, calmly puffing on his pipe.

‘Cheer up, sis, it’s not that bad,’ he said with a cheery smile.

‘Go away!’ she mumbled as she wiped away her tell- tale tears on the eiderdown.

Ignoring her red, scowling face, Hugo settled himself on the pretty padded chair beside her dressing table.

‘Can’t you see I’m busy packing?’ Julia said, as she struggled to her feet and straightened her golden- blonde bobbed hair.

Hugo hid a smile at the sight of the flimsy silk under- wear and nylons she’d flung into her case.
‘You’ll need something more substantial than that lot to keep you warm up North,’ he joked.
‘What do you suggest? Clogs and shawl?’ she asked crossly.

‘Warm jumpers, trousers and skirts – and stout boots,’ he suggested with a knowing wink.

‘I’m not going on a walking tour of the bloody Alps,’ she snapped, as she turned her back on him to resume her packing.

‘Okay, okay,’ Hugo said, as he rose to his feet. ‘I’ll leave you to your bad mood.’

‘It’s all right for you,’ Julia grumbled. ‘Just because you’re a man you get away with everything!’

Hugo burst out laughing. ‘Don’t be so damned silly!’ ‘Daddy would have let you go to Oxford,’ she said sulkily.

‘He would not!’ Hugo exclaimed. ‘He wouldn’t have let either of us shirk our duty and you know it.’

Their eyes locked: Julia knew exactly what her brother was talking about. Hugo had lost his left hand when he’d been attacked by a German Messerschmitt as he was heading home across the Channel after a night raid. He’d insisted he could fly with one hand, but, for all his bravado, he’d been discharged from military service and now worked for the Ministry of Information in London. It was a worthy enough job, but Hugo never got over leaving his beloved RAF.

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