The White Winter Trilogy includes the books: To Do Justice, To Love Kindness, and To Walk Humbly (coming in 2019). Scroll down to read a note from me about creating these books and the sources I used!
Enjoy these family photos of the women in Henry Halgate Storm’s and John Marr’s lives.
The Second Book in the White Winter Trilogy is set in 1918 France and Colorado. At a time when it takes courage to love, hope, or have faith, three young Irish-Americans dare to believe in themselves and in America.
As a Red Cross relief worker, Kathleen O’Doherty courageously offers hope to the wounded and comfort to the dying. Yet, as conditions near the Western Front grow more perilous, her dedication to her work is tested by her love for a man whose duty puts him in constant danger. Kathleen’s cousin, Corporal Sean Sullivan of the American Expeditionary Force, proves his valor during fierce fighting in the trenches near Verdun. Soon, he fears that he will never escape from the brutality he has witnessed and—worse—the violent deeds he has done. In Colorado, Sean’s sister, Maggie, finds herself shunned by neighbors and friends because of her husband’s opposition to the war. While juggling the responsibilities of family and home, she struggles to keep her love for her husband alive and to find her own destiny. Meticulously researched, this second book in the White Winter Trilogy explores how hope is shattered and rekindled, hearts are broken and mended, and faith is lost and found in a world in which nothing is certain.
From the Author:
To Love Kindness is the second book in the White Winter Trilogy. The action takes place between January, 1918 and November 11, Armistice Day, 1918. As more Americans arrive in France, the battles of the Great War grow fiercer, with more at stake for the characters of Kathleen, Sean, and Paul in the book. Meanwhile, in Colorado, Jim deals with an uptick in discrimination against German Americans and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Maggie suffers the consequences of her husband’s opposition to the war.
Many of the sources I’ve used are primary, meaning that they were written at the time (e.g., diaries, letters, etc.) or shortly after the Great War (e.g., official AEF documents, military histories, etc.). This has allowed me to “capture” the actual voices of the time in my novels, both in my characters and in the appearance of historical characters in the book. For instance, I’ve modeled my oil man, Jim Graves, after Verner Zevola Reed, who lived in Denver until his death from influenza in 1919, and who is mentioned as a competitor of Jim Graves. I’ve used the statistics from Mr. Reed’s business, and other documents from the oil business at the time, as a basis for Jim Graves’ success. Verner Reed’s wife also makes a “cameo” appearance in the book as a member of the National Woman’s Party, which is historically apt, although her fellow members–Julia Reston, Johanna Crawley, Mary Jane Grayson, and Anneka Lindstrom–are entirely fictional. That’s the fun of historical fiction. The facts allow for wonderful flights of fancy.
Here are some other “truths” converted to fiction in the book:
- Although Liam’s story is heavily based on that of Ben Salmon, I created Maggie’s character from one line that I found in Torin R.T. Finney’s book, “Unsung Hero of the Great War.” Finney remarks that, at some point, Elizabeth Smith Salmon, Ben Salmon’s wife, attempted to sue for divorce. Maybe Maggie will or maybe she won’t do that (no spoilers here), but that single line gave me insight into the emotions of Mrs. Salmon and allowed me to create a more complex emotional reality for Maggie.
- The story of the U.S. Army Air Service is fascinating. After the war, the pilots who survived the 85% casualty rate were asked by our government for suggestions on improving the newly-formed part of the military. The result is a four-volume “History of the U.S. Air Service in World War One,” which has not only a number of first-person stories included in it, but also detailed descriptions of procedures such as what supplies can be found in an Observer’s Room. I used that information in a letter that Paul writes to Kathleen.
- Jim’s experience in a “small town in eastern Colorado” is a fictional account of the near tar and feathering of Henry Deutsch in the town of Hugo, Colorado. It happened more or less as I’ve described it, although the dialogue and exchanges between Jim and the other characters are entirely fictional.
In addition to the sources that I consulted for To Do Justice, I used information from the following sources to complete the book:
- Canteening Under Two Flags: Letters of Doris Kellogg by Doris Kellogg
- Canteening Overseas, 1917-1919 by Marian Baldwin
- The Doughboys by Gary Mead
- Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I by James Carl Nelson
- The Grounding of Modern Feminism by Nancy F. Cott
- The Millionaires’ Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented America’s Air Power by Marc Wortman
- “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” by Katherine Anne Porter
- Unsung Hero of the Great War: The Life and Witness of Ben Salmon by Torin R.T. Finney
Online sources include:
- Aviation Medicine in the AEF by William Holland Wilmer
- Benjamin Salmon’s Book, published by ACLU
- History of the German Element in the State of Colorado by Mildred Sherwood MacArthur
- The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI, 1900-1920, edited by Ida Husted Harper
- Oh, Money! Money! by Eleanor H. Porter
- Oil Leasing Lands, United States Congress, House, Committee on Public Lands
- “The Ordeal of Colorado’s Germans during World War I,” The Colorado Magazine, by Lyle W. Dorsett
- The University of Colorado Medical School, 1883-1918, Presentation by Tom Sherlock, 2013
- The U.S.. Air Service in World War I, Volumes I-IV, compiled and edited by Maurer Maurer
- The Wyoming Oils by L.L. Winkelman & Co.
- “The 1918 Influenza Outbreak: An Unforgettable Legacy,” Denver Post, by Stephen J. Leonard
- And, of course, Wikipedia