No Neutral Ground: After his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family flee Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.
Flying missions against his former homeland arouses emotions that surprise Rafe. Despite being rejected, he is troubled by the destruction of Germany and his heart still cries for his father’s love.
Sweden may be neutral, but it’s full of intrigue. Jennie assists the OSS at the American legation in Sweden. She thought she’d be doing passive, behind-the-scenes work. Instead, she’s pushed into an active role to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.
How can Rafe and Jennie succeed in their dangerous roles when they are so conflicted?
About the Author
Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
Connect with Terri:www.terriwangard.com
Connect with Terri:www.terriwangard.com
Guest Post from Terri Wangard
I hadn’t planned on writing No Neutral Ground. Friends and Enemies (book one of the Promise For Tomorrow series) was the WWII story I’d wanted to write, inspired by family history on the German side. Finishing that, I’d started writing a contemporary story set in one of my favorite places, Green Lake, Wisconsin.
At an ACFW conference, I had an appointment to pitch Friends and Enemies with an editor. She said I’d be likelier to get a contract if I had a series. The Green Lake story got shelved.
What could I write to partner with Friends and Enemies? That stumped me. The German side of the story was my big interest, but another one? No. I had no desire to return to Nazi Germany. My ancestry is three quarters German. All of my forbearers arrived in America before 1900, but it’s still a bitter thought that their homeland spawned such evil.
Germany’s out, so that left me with the other side of Friends and Enemies—the B-17s. I’d chosen the Flying Fortress because of my timeline. In mid-1944, the only American military men in Germany were shot-down airmen. I had plenty of material I hadn’t used in Friends and Enemies, but the plot had to be different. Something other writers hadn’t touched on. Maybe…Sweden?
Who’s familiar with Sweden’s role in World War II?
If American planes got in trouble during their missions and couldn’t make it back to their bases in England, they sought sanctuary in neutral countries. Switzerland is usually the first that comes to mind. Tricia Goyer had already written The Swiss Courier which touches on internees.
But Sweden. I had even visited Sweden. In 1993, my dad and I had gone to Sweden to cover a classic boat show for our magazine, Classic Boating. During a free day, we had wandered around Stockholm and taken lots of pictures.
I started the research and discovered, hmm, there’s not much, especially if you don’t know Swedish. One book I acquired held a eureka moment. A B-17 was damaged and the pilot told the crew to bail out. The navigator hurried to the cockpit and implored him to try to make it to Sweden. He was from Germany, a former member of the Hitler Youth, and he did not want to be captured by his former countrymen. There’s my male protagonist! Rafe discovered he had Jewish ancestry and had to flee Germany. Now he’s back at war with the homeland.
I still needed a female protagonist, and Jennie proved hard to pin down. I was pulling her together throughout the writing. I enjoyed reading accounts of Betty McIntosh, who served with the OSS in the China-Burma-India theater. Why not enlist Jennie’s services with the OSS in Sweden? She’s talented but lacks confidence. Pretty soon, Jennie found her voice.
As my research continued, I made a surprising discovery. One of the photos I’d taken in Stockholm turned out to be the former home of the American legation in Sweden. Jennie’s workplace. And I had thought it was just an example of lovely architecture.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Rafe and Jennie in No Neutral Ground.
May 4: A Greater Yes
May 5: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
May 5: The Editor’s Note
May 6: Daysong Reflections
May 6: Mary Hake
May 7: Bigreadersite
May 8: Inklings and Notions
May 9: Blossoms and Blessings
May 10: Bukwurmzzz
May 10: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)
May 11: Christian Bookaholic
May 12: Singing Librarian Books
May 13: Texas Book-aholic
May 14: Simple Harvest Reads
May 15: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
May 16: Artistic Nobody
"No Neutral Ground,"by Terri Vanguard is the second in the (Promise for Tomorrow) series and is a great read. It is filled with history amid a love story.
"No Neutral Ground" starts out with Jennie and Rolf meeting each other abroad the Queen Mary. The story then tells each other's story as they each fulfilled their separated roles in World War 11. Then in part 2, they meet again and they are partners in trying to end the war.
Terri Vanguard has written a novel that pulls the readers into the scenes and helps them see what the world was like in that era.
One character I especially had a lot of compassion for was a little girl named Brenda who reached out to Rafe.
I love this story from the book and am sharing it in this review because I think it is a perfect example of our Heavenly Father's love for us, “A soldier came home on leave to find his wife and children dead. Their shelter had taken a direct hit. Our soldier was despondent and wandered the ruins of the city for days. One morning he saw a bedraggled woman marching through the rubble, dragging along an equally bedraggled little boy. He had a hard time keeping pace, for his short legs had difficulty maneuvering the chunks of debris. He stumbled on one large piece and scraped his leg, causing it to bleed. His mother jerked on his arm, but he fell to the ground. As he cried there, she yelled at him most unpleasantly. Our soldier picked up the small boy, pressed his handkerchief to the wound, and said, ‘Frau, you don’t realize the treasure you have here. I’ll be glad to take him if you don’t want him.’ That’s a wonderful picture of our Father in heaven.” Pastor Jurgen paused momentarily. “King David said in Psalm twenty-seven, ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.’ Being here in His house may make you more aware of His presence, but Rolf, never forget, He’s with you wherever you are.”"
Terri Vanguard's characters are ones that this reader won't forget about for awhile. If you want a fresh reminder of what World War 11 was really like I recommend you read both books in Terri Vanguard's series, "Promise for Tomorrow".
There was lots of details about the flying missions, and yes I know the main character, Rolf, was a flyer but before the novel got to the second part, I was thinking I want this to end and get on to the love story, but that is my own personal opinion as I am not a fan of airplanes and etc but the airplane talk doesn't take away from the greatness of the book.
I am anxiously awaiting the third book in this series which is due out in September.
"No Neutral Ground" by Terri Vanguard is a five star novel. I received a copy of "No Neutral Ground" by Terri Vanguard from Celebrate Lit and the publisher for my honest review.
Purchase your copy here.
To celebrate her No Neutral Ground tour, Terri is giving away several prizes. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/97ca