All of us have been waiting patiently for the publishing process for “Before the Belle” to finally bear fruit. Yesterday we received word from our publisher our manuscript has been approved for printing. According to our publisher we will be receiving sample copies of the completed work within a week. After checking for print errors and providing approval, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and iTunes should have the print version listed in the next couple of weeks.
It’s been a long journey from conception to completion. Compiling facts and visuals along with suitable dialogue has been nothing short of a labor of love. We’re astounded how much we’ve come to appreciate what the crews of the 93rd Bombardment Group endured in the early air war over the European and Mediterranean Theaters of Operation. We as authors feel we’ve come to personally know each member of the crew of Hot Stuff.
The “Belle’s” back cover reads as follows:
On May 3, 1943, a lone American B-24 on a secret mission from Bovington airdrome in England neared the Icelandic coast bound for the United States. Captain Robert “Shine” Shannon was at the controls. He and his nine man crew of Hot Stuff had been honored two weeks earlier as being the first heavy bomber in the Eighth Air Force to complete 25 combat missions. That number was a benchmark established by the Army Air Force for bomber crews to be rotated back to the United States where the plane and its crew would tour the country to promote the war effort.
By the time Hot Stuff and its crew received word they were to rotate back to the States, they had endured not just 25 but 31 combat missions. A combat mission was defined as anytime an American aircraft came under hostile fire over enemy territory.
Hot Stuff was honored to be chosen by Lt. General Frank Andrews, commander of all American Forces in the European Theater of Operations, to fly him and his staff to Washington, D.C. for an undisclosed purpose. However, the accomplishments of Hot Stuff and its crew along with those of Andrews went unheralded in the annals of World War II.
We all look forward to the debut of “Before the Belle”.