Monday, March 30, 2015

"Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack" by Laura Lynn Ashworth

Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack:
A True WWII Teenage Love Story
by Laura Lynn Ashworth

Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Read the rare and recently discovered real time letters between Sal, age 19, and Loretta, age 15, during the final terrifying three years of World War II, 1943-1946.
Both from the Douglas Park neighborhood in Chicago, the two adolescents discuss with humor and candor, the Navy, war, politics, hit music, life back home and their relationship.
Sal nicknamed Slabby for his movie star good looks, deciphers code out of the Navy’s radio shack on a minesweeper in the Pacific.
Loretta monikered Duchess for her aloofness, lives with aunts and her widowed father, while holding day jobs and enjoying an active social life with friends.
Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack lets you experience World War II, both in battle and on the home front, through the eyes of adolescents in a way that Hollywood has never portrayed.

August 6, 1944
Dearest Lore,
Well, this might seem a bit strange (of course it really depends on how you look at it) but I just wrote you a letter three or four days ago (I'll be damned if I can remember which). It just so happens that our faithful reliable and what not mail plane ran into a slight accident and had to discard the mail it was carrying from our little “pebble” into the deep blue sea. As I was about to say before, I don't know for sure whether my letter addressed to one sweet chick was on it or not but just to be on the safe side I'm dropping you another line. After all, I can't afford to break our “love affair” once we have it rolling again after a twelve month recess, now can I?
I went over to the other island this afternoon to listen to our Navy Band out here and man, are they really mellow. They were (the band of course) all from big time bands before the war broke out and they know their business. They have a few sweet arrangements of “G.M.” (Glen Miller) and boy, when they play them how do I long for Chicago and old times. Getting on the jumpy side, they have “G.M's” “American Patrol,” Count Basie's “One O’clock Jump” & Bobby Sherwood's “Elk's Parade.” When I hear the above three records (pardon me, I mean arrangements) my blood starts tingling and my toes start doing handstands ‘cause they are really “alreet” and three times as mellow. I have seemed to forgot, slightly, the knack of rug-cutting but with a sweet chick like yourself to put me back in the groove again it wouldn't take me over three seconds. I hope I'm not taking a lot for granted but I'm sure counting on you to help me steer myself right (steer—I don't mean cattle, either), seeing that you're getting to know the art of “toe-tangling”(dancing) backwards, so don't leave me down.
There's nothing on this island but lovely moonlight and nothing else. It really is a shame to leave it to go to waste like this, but that's old Mother Nature for you. I had better close for now but my love for you is quite perpetual so write again but soon.
Love & the Sweetest Dreams, Sal

August 11, 1944
Dear Sal,
Just received your letter and was very happy to hear from you again.
Say, did you know that Dolores has a new steady boyfriend? Yeah! She's at it again. But this time it's quite for keeps. He was wounded, but in France about three weeks ago. Both of his legs are in a cast and he has a “slight” chest wound. Dolores expects to marry him on his next furlough. I'm going to stand up at the wedding. (Some wedding.)
Say did you really mean every thing you wrote in your former letter or were you first “spoofing” me? By the way, are you old enough to go to nightclubs now or am I kidding? Say, Slabby, I came to think of it, did you know that you were the first fellow I ever kissed? And, remember the “helluva” time you had trying. Spelling games and such. And you know, you asked me something else, but at that time I didn't know what you were talking about. But I know now and it makes me laugh now as to how dumb I was then. Oh yes! I'm changing little by little. Now don't think I'm throwing hints but my sister and I made a little wager of five “bucks” that I would have a “steady” by my eighteenth birthday and I say I will. She thinks I'll never get one because I'm so “cold” towards the fellows. But I think I know what I want, so why “play up” to ever T.D. & H (Tom, Dick and Harry).
I'll have to close this letter now but I'll be expecting to hear from you P.D.Q. (Pretty Damn Quick)
Love and that one kiss from me,

The USS Signet minesweeper where Sal wrote most of his letters to Loretta while in the Pacific and in the radio shack. If you look closely you will see men on deck (Sal is one of them).

Praise for the Book
"I have never experienced a book with the warmth, sensitivity, insight and humanity in a wartime setting as you have been able to present through these letters. There has probably not been a sense of shipboard life since Mr. Roberts. Through the letters one can also capture to a greater degree than I have seen before, a sense of the impact of the war on the nearly adult on the homefront." ~ R. Alan Lewis, President, Ground Zero Books, Ltd.
"Letters To Loretta From the Radio Shack is a delightful time capsule of star-crossed love during the war of all wars. Laura Lynn Ashworth has arranged a superbly poignant collection of letters that give insight into a world modern film and literature have yet to capture." ~ Dianna Skowera, former US Army interrogator
"Laura Lynn Ashworth's historical non-fiction work, Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack: A True WWII Teenage Love Story, is a fascinating look at the 1940s through the eyes of two young people in vastly different places. It's also a unique and marvelous coming of age saga as the two experience life and share their hopes and dreams." ~ Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
"I just loved reading this book. I believe that Laura did a fantastic job with using these letters and putting them all together so that we too can read them. I gave this book 5 stars but it deserves many, many more. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It would be a great addition to anyone who enjoys history especially if you are interested in WWII. I look for more from Laura Lynn Ashworth." ~ Marjorie for Amazon, Goodreads, Cocosbookreview

About the Author
Laura Lynn Ashworth is an award-winning copywriter and political cartoonist. While helping an elderly family member with veterans administration paperwork, she ran across "the letters" and instantly knew of their rarity, freshness and historical significance. Although she received three publishing contracts within two months of sending the letters to major publishers, Ashworth decided to publish them herself on the advice of best-selling authors. She currently lives and works in a northwest suburb of Chicago.
10% of author proceeds will be donated to the USO and VFW in loving memory of Sal and Loretta.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card.