Meet Guy's Angel: Lorraine Ryan

From the desk of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy..................................

Her name is Lorraine Ryan and she's eighteen years old in 1925.  She's a sassy, pretty little thing who wants to fly.  In her spare time, she likes to head up to Wyeth Hill to watch the airplanes fly and in out of the local airstrip.  One day she decides to head out to talk to the flyboys to see if one them might teach her to fly.  Most of them laugh but one man, a World War I flying ace named Guy Richter likes her spunk.  He agrees to teach her.  Attraction sparks between them but on the very first day they met, he nicknamed her "Angel" and she becomes very much Guy's Angel in every way.

Guy's Angel is my latest historical romance release, out today (June 3) from Rebel Ink Press.  Here's the official blurb:

When a young woman really believes the sky is the limit, amazing things can happen….

Lorraine Ryan wants to fly airplanes so she heads for the local airstrip in 1925 to make her dream come true.  Most of the flyboys think she’s cute but a woman’s place is in the home, not the cockpit.   When Guy Richter steps up and offers to teach her to fly, she’s captivated with both Guy and flight.  He nicknames her “Angel” and takes her up into that wild blue yonder.  Before long, they’re deep in love.

Love, however, isn’t always enough……

Guy, a former World War I flying ace, is haunted by his past. His demons include his war service, the death of his only brother in an accident the previous year, and the Valkyries that he evaded in France who trail him in the hopes that they can complete his destiny.  But his dreams lie with Angel and as they grow closer and closer, he soon realizes that if anyone can save him, it’s his Angel.

How about an excerpt?

Fifteen minutes later, Guy came driving across the bottoms in an old flivver, dust rising behind him in a cloud trailing behind. He pulled up to the hanger and got out with a white grease-spotted bag in his hand.

“Put on the coffee, old man!” he called. “I brought sinkers!”

After a cup of Joe and a sugar donut, which she broke in half to dip in her coffee, Angel asked him if they could fly.

“No dice, doll,” Guy said. “We got weather coming in and the last place you want to be if it storms is up in the clouds.  I’m sorry, Angel.”

 “So what are you going to do?” she asked, as disappointed as she felt the Christmas she didn’t get the Kewpie doll she longed to receive.

“I don’t know.  Rainy days, I hang around here and play cards or just flap my gums,” Guy said.  “I sometimes tinker with my Jenny but that’s about it unless I decide to go home and take a long nap.”

Pop cackled as he nabbed another donut.  “I’ve seen you sleep here, son, many times.  How’s your leg doing with the rain coming?”

Angel didn’t understand and looked up at Guy who shrugged.  “Fair to middlin’ so far.  I think I’ve got a piece of shrapnel working out of my right shoulder, though.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, unable to contain either her curiosity or her concern.

Guy smiled without mirth.  “I’ve got a few old war wounds that still kick up sometimes.  When my plane went down, I busted my right leg pretty bad and sometimes when it’s damp or rain’s coming, it bothers me. I got shot up too and sometimes I get a little piece of metal or glass working up to the surface.”

“That must hurt,” Angel said, as she made a sympathetic face.

He nodded.

“Let me see.”

Across from them, Pop rolled his eyes behind Guy’s back but she ignored it.  After a moment of hesitation, Guy pulled off his flight jacket and unbuttoned his blue shirt with red stripes.  He slipped his right arm out of it so she could view his bare shoulder outside of the A-shirt he wore. She could see the raised, puffy area and touched it with one finger.  Guy winced.

“That’s it.”

“Can I do anything to help it work on out?”

“Nah, I don’t think so.  I’ve heard some fellas cut it on out but it would just hurt all the more,” Guy said.  “It’ll do.”

Loath to touch it again because it would increase the pain, Angel put her hand on the top of his shoulder, away from the shrapnel.  Beneath his A-shirt, she saw the raised white scars from a terrible burn, some places still almost crimson. Angel touched one, her fingers caressing the roughened, damaged skin.

“Did this happen when your plane crashed, too?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Guy said in a sharp tone warning her to shut up.

Without another word, he put his shirt back on, then the jacket. She watched as he pulled a flask from his hip pocket and drank. Angel caught the smell of homemade whiskey, rank and almost harsh but she didn’t say a thing. She wanted to fuss over his old hurts but she knew he wouldn’t like it. She ached to say something comforting or soothing but she couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t seem like pity.

Pop glowered at her as he took a drink of his own.  Still dressed in her old percale black and white check shirtwaist dress, Angel wished she’d just gone to work.  The first raindrops splattered against the roof, portending a dismal day.  Both men, Guy and Pop, stared into space with pain-filled eyes. If it hadn’t been pouring, she would’ve started hoofing back toward town, she thought, miserable she somehow caused them both to start drinking.  She opened her mouth to ask Guy if he could run her back to town so she could go to work after all when a huge roll of thunder exploded overhead, strong enough to shake the hanger.  Sharp, bright lightning flared outside the open hanger door at the same time.  Although it made her own nerves jangle, she didn’t expect Guy to leap from his seat on an upturned old bucket and hit the dirt.

Her hands flew to her mouth but before could respond, the old man moved with speed to tap Guy’s shoulder.  In the kindest voice she’d heard from him yet, he said,

“Come on, son, get up.  It’s just the damn storm.”

A white-faced Guy rolled to a sitting position and then stood up, looking embarrassed.  He didn’t meet her eyes and as she racked her brain for something to say that wouldn’t offend, he began shaking as if he suffered a harsh chill. His body trembled and his hands quivered.  Before Pop could say a word, without thinking about anything but consoling Guy, Angel stepped forward and put her arms around him.

“Hey,” she crooned. “Hey.  Everything’s jake.”

After a moment he hugged her, his body still quaking against hers but as he hung onto her tight, like a life preserver in a floodtide river, the shivers started to ease until they just held each other, still and close. She heard Pop snort at some point, listened to his footsteps back away across the hangar but she didn’t care.

Once calm, Guy lifted his head and kissed her, his mouth needy and urgent on hers.  He all but poured all his turbulent emotions, his fear, his stresses, and his passion into her through his mouth and she took it, let him fill her until she brimmed over with feelings, his and her own.

Something kindled within her and smoldered, a new, darker, richer thing than she ever felt before.

Every inch of her skin prickled with want and each of her inner, secret places she seldom even named moistened with her body’s response to his lips.  Guy kissed her until her breath came short and fast, until she thought she might swoon with dizziness as her world rocked to its very foundation. If he asked, she would’ve done anything, right there, on the hangar floor, in front of Pop but instead, after an endless time, they shared a kiss lasting forever.

Guy released her.

“I need you,” he said. “Let’s beat it.”

He took her hand and led her out of the hangar into the pouring rain.  By the time they climbed into his flivver, both were soaked to the skin.  Her wet dress enhanced everything and her nipples, aroused from his kisses, poked through the fabric with indecent force.  Although she heard more thunder and saw lightning flashes, none were as intense as the first. As he drove with speed through the driving rain toward St. Joe she never asked where they were going or what they would do. She knew.

A lot of different factors are behind the inspiration for this one.  It's set in my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, a place best known as home to the short lived Pony Express, where wagon trains began their trek westward, and where outlaw Jesse James met his end.  It's also set in my family's old home neighborhood, not so much for my generations but for my parents and grandparents.  I'm the kid who grew up listening to the family stories.  I also always loved airplanes and flying, just like Angel.

Even this song from one of my favorite artists, Johnny Horton, with the lines, "Man decided he wanted to fly so he took to the sky, woman decided that she'd fly too, there's very little difference in what they can do," (Hooray For That Little Difference), was part of the inspiration.

Guy's Angel is out today at, Barnes and, All Romance Ebooks, and Bookstrand.  Look for a lot of guest posts and interviews all around the cyber world upcoming too.

And here's the book trailer too:


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