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History. Fiction. The magic of blending both.

When I was ten years old my mom took me to the library, where we checked out Bruce Catton’s This Hallowed Ground. I was hooked. Published before I was born, this epic account of the Civil War opened my eyes to American history. It is a classic and just writing about the book makes me want to read it again.

For the next two decades I read a lot of history books – all non-fiction.  Then, in 1988 I devoured the book that changed it all for me — The Killer Angels. Published in 1974 by Michael Shaara, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Historical fiction. I didn’t even know what that was. It felt like a contradiction but it was beautiful.   A blend of real events and ones from the author’s imagination. It ignited my interest in this genre and teased me, “maybe you could try it.”

Lots of historical novels have fed my appetite since then. Plenty with a World War II setting. Within the last few years there’s Anthony Doerr’s  All the Light We Cannot See,  a true work of art. I’m in awe of Mr. Doerr’s literary talent. So is the Pulitzer Prize Board.

The Nightingale, published in 2015 Is without question, the book that rallied me to stop making excuses and write When Courage Comes. Kristin Hannah is my inspiration. There, I said it.

And thank you Mark Sullivan for Beneath a Scarlet Sky. Starting with the intense research that gave such depth and detail to this blockbuster World War II novel set in Italy. There’s also a dose of personal encouragement in the mix because of the author’s path to publication under the Lake Union Publishing imprint of Amazon.

The success of all these great writers reassures me that readers everywhere still demand historical novels set in World War II. When Courage Comes — written about a part of that conflict we rarely hear about — is ready to breathe new life into a popular genre poised for something different.  I think it will make the wait worthwhile.

“Fleming’s rich period piece is a sensitive depiction of romance and divided loyalties during World War II.” — BookLife Reviews

“A warm and touching story about the ability of love and human connection to stand the tests of war, hatred, and violence.” – IndieReader

“A fascinating story with an amazing finish. I was sorry to see it end.”

“I read this book in one day! And just when I thought I figured out the story’s conclusion, the author has a surprise for us.”

“A historically authentic war tale…” – Kirkus Reviews

“A true page turner you will not put down. Fleming’s storytelling style paints vivid visual impressions on the reader. Bravo!”

 “It shrinks the enormous footprint of WWII into a tangible personal struggle.”

“Excellent read. Explores a fascinating part of history that is meticulously researched by the author.”

“Leaves readers with an overarching message of hope — and an understanding of our own personal call to be courageous in our own lives.”

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