The Light Attendant Part 3 has just been released!
In honour of those who fought in The Great War, we are excited to share the poignant conclusion to this story, following Henry and Abbigail home from war and through the pandemic of 1918. Such an integral part of that portion of our history.
I cannot wait to share the conclusion to The Light Attendant! I just had to share some of it. Here is a peek at what’s coming:
Sparky cracked the reins and the horses snorted before moving off at a reluctant canter. We left town and drove along a dusty dirt road, finally pulling up to a farm lane forty minutes later.
“This is it,” Sparky said in a dull tone.
I got down off the wagon.
“Thanks,” I said and handed the boy a fifty-cent piece. “That’s for you.”
The boy did a double take at me then jammed the coin deep into his shirt pocket. “You gonna be all right here by yerself?” he asked.
“I’ll be just fine,” I said.
“Good, cause I ain’t int’rested in talkin’ to no one what’s worked at a flu hospital.” He pulled away and called back over his shoulder, “Don’t expect anyone to come find you if no one hears from you agin’.”
I watched the wagon drive off. I supposed I had been duly warned.
I hitched my bag further onto my shoulder then started down the road at a marching pace, my heart beating at a shamefully quick rhythm.
The farmhouse rose up before me and I took a deep breath. I wasn’t certain if I was nervous about meeting Abbigail’s parents, about meeting Abbigail again, or if I was afraid of what I would find. I forced my feet up the steps to the veranda and knocked on the front door, my heart pounding faster than any time I had “gone over the top”.
All was silent.
When no one answered, I dropped my bag by the door and went around to the back, my boots grating noisily on the gravel of the yard. I stopped and looked around. Just like the many battlefields I had been on, the silent whispers of the dead brushed past my ears. I pulled my field knife out of my boot from sheer habit, letting the weight and balance of the hard, cold metal steady me. I drew in a breath then headed toward the barn.
The door was wide open and I went in. A couple of horses were in their stalls. They whinnied loudly when they caught my scent, one of them pawing at the dirt of the stable. I looked into their trough and saw they had no water. I grabbed a nearby pail and went back outside, intent on finding the well. The well sat just off to the east and I went to draw from it. There was a small cottage just beyond the well. I left the bucket by the well and went over to the cottage.
I knocked on the door but heard nothing. A determined breeze licked at my face just as I turned to walk away, bringing with it a smell that sent my mind tumbling down the black hole of war and injury and death. I halted in my tracks and turned back, opening the door.
“Hello?” I called.
Not a draft stirred the air inside the cottage. A man lay still and soundless on a bed set against the western wall. There was no mistaking the smell of death inside the room, but I went to check on the man anyway. His face was purplish grey, his lips white. His eyes were dulled over and dry with not even a hint of reflection in them.
I turned and ran back toward the house, jamming the knife back into my boot as I went.
I didn’t knock and I didn’t hesitate. I ran through the back door.
I didn’t look around to get my bearings. I didn’t stop at all. I simply kept moving as though a barrage was opening up behind me. I went through the main floor but found not a soul. I raced up the stairs two at a time. At the top of the stairs, I had to make a quick decision: right or left?
I went into a bedroom and saw an empty bed, the bedclothes in disarray, some of them pooled on the floor along with a pillow. I ducked out of the room and raced in the opposite direction.
I found Abbigail and two other people in the bedroom across the hall. A man and a woman lay on the bed, unmoving, unseeing, unbreathing, suffocated by the hard mask of death. I didn’t spend more than a second on them, quickly moving to where Abbigail lay face-down on the floor.
The conclusion to The Light Attendant coming November 1, 2022, in honour of Remembrance day!
Part III and gripping conclusion to The Light Attendant is due out November 1, 2022 in time for Remembrance day!
Here is a sneak peek at the cover.
(Pay attention – the details help tell the story.)
Following a reluctant farewell, Abbigail and Henry return to their respective lives in Canada only to be caught up in the Spanish Influenza pandemic that sweeps the world at the close of the war. As the first wave of the pandemic mounts, Henry rushes to see to Abbigail’s safety. There, he will face the most difficult battle of his life.
Can Henry become the man Abbigail needs him to be—even if it means he must help her keep her promise to marry another man?
We are getting ready to launch the heart wrenching conclusion of The Light Attendant November, 2022!
Poignant and captivating, The Light Attendant trilogy follows Abbigail, a Canadian Nursing Sister, through the travails of World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Abbigail and Henry meet amidst the chaos of a war that throws them together but is their bond strong enough to withstand the true battle Henry is fighting? A story of love, second chances, and redemption found amidst the horrors of war.
Here is a look at some of the concept art for the cover.
When you meet yourself on the battlefield who is it that survives?
The only reason Henry Ryzak went to war in the mud and cold of France was to protect his older brother Will and escape his father’s ire. With some patented Henry Ryzak sleight of hand, Henry sends Will home, safe from the bullets, shelling, and freezing rain of the trenches. Having recovered from his injuries, Henry returns to the front where he comes face to face with his true enemy in the war: himself.
Henry’s only guiding light through the horrors of the war is his memory of Abbigail, the Bluebird who tended to his injuries and whose light illuminated truths Henry had long denied. With no prospect of a relationship with Abbigail, Henry resumes his reckless tendencies on the battlefield. Torn between his hopeless disregard for himself and a responsibility to his unit, Henry embarks on the most hazardous of all campaigns: confronting his failings to become a man worthy of his comrades’ respect – and the man Abbigail inspired him to be.
With his own life and the fate of his unit in the balance, will all of Henry’s bad decisions overtake him on the battlefield of the Great War?
I have heard a few comments now regarding “the ending” of The Light Attendant, Part I (which, of course, is not actually the end of a three-part story). What I am hearing is: it is abrupt, it is unexpected. One reader “hated it”.
Good. That is exactly what one ought to be thinking and feeling at the end of Part I of my story.
Let me explain:
What was intended to be one simple and short manuscript turned into two long and somewhat involved narratives once I became entrenched in my research. In the end, the book was too long to be a manageable read in one sitting.
I had to break up the story into its respective parts but to do that, I had to decide where to place the section breaks.
I chose the breaks in the story intentionally, each having a purpose.
I don’t want any spoilers here so let me simply ask this: how do you think Abbigail and Henry felt at the conclusion of Part I—a situation common to many, many people at that time and in those circumstances?
THAT—that—is what I want readers to feel and consider while waiting for Part II.
Of course, as I have indicated, the “ending” of Part I is not the “end” of the story—there are still two acts left and the next is coming out in June, 2022.
We are diligently working on our latest project: The Light Attendant: A Canadian Bluebird Novel (working title). The story follows a Canadian Nurse through her experiences in Wold War I and the pandemic of 1918. The book has been a long time in the making and I am thrilled to see the project in its final phase.
This story actually began as an anecdote told by one of the characters in our first trilogy: Horizons, Winding Roads, and Coming Home, initially published in 2014. I had long been interested in World War I and the Spanish Influenza pandemic which followed at the end of the war in 1918. As a result, I used that bit of history in one of my character’s background stories in Coming Home, never knowing it would go on to become so much more. (For those of you familiar with Coming Home, you might just recognize the “guest appearance” by two of the characters as they help out in our new book.) Continue reading “The Light Attendant: A Canadian Bluebird Novel – story origin”