Alongside his crew, Calvin’s hands worked their magic to repair one of the U.S.S. Langford’s massive guns as its nose pointed out to sea, waiting for its chance to spit fire again. It had just jammed and his captain continued barking orders over the radio for the crew to get it back to work. The Langford rarely saw much action, so this moment clapped panic onto its inhabitants with attention and fury. He was just about finished his side of things. The sweat that had been beading on his forehead was now slipping down his face steadily.
“Seaman, you got her fixed yet?” shouted his commanding officer through the crackling radio.
“Just about, sir,” Calvin spoke for the rest of his crew manning the gun.
“Got it!” a guy named Cornwall shouted. The gun was back in commission.
“She’s ready to fire, Captain Lloyd.”
A few weeks ago, Calvin had been home patrolling the Mid-Atlantic and New England coast protecting convoys and the shoreline from impending German U-boats. Only a shot or two had been fired from his ship the entire six weeks he’d been aboard. Then they got orders to head to Norfolk, Virginia. From there, he and his shipmates were to transport several hundred men aboard their destroyer to the shores of Casablanca for an invasion. The United States and England wanted the spot and the Germans were in it. It had taken two weeks to get there, and three days for Calvin to become immersed in the reality of war. He wanted to be back home. He wanted to stay on board. He wanted to kiss his girl. He wanted to fight. He had a question to ask her. He had orders to carry out, a mission to complete, an objective to maintain. Win. Conquer. Destroy. Lord, had he become an animal? Or was he experiencing something that was merely a part of human nature? Unfortunately, sleep-rare days and nights left no time to contemplate such things. And at the moment, he had just been commanded to fire at will on the Italian light cruiser attacking them.
That came from him.
He missed his target.
It was doubtful they would get him back. Small and quick, destroyers like the U.S.S. Langford were very hard to catch, but on the same token, they were also very easy to break.
The men fired from the ship’s guns, but it was a torpedo blasted from the Langford that finally sank their enemy. Calvin watched the flames engulf the Italian ship in the distance. That could have easily been their boat, their crew.
Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Allison Whitmore
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theodora “Teddi” Donovan and Calvin Wynne have always hated each other. They didn’t have a choice after Teddi’s bootlegger father killed Calvin’s and left them both orphaned. The scandal has fueled gossip in quiet, quaint Brookhurst, New York, for over a decade. When a friendship develops between them as teenagers, they are ridiculed and shunned by the strict society that dictates life in their town. As they grow older, friendship turns into love, and Teddi and Calvin have to choose between their future and the scepter of their past. Spanning continents and decades, Forget Me Not is a coming-of-age story about truth, self-reliance, and the freeing power of love.
Allison Whitmore started her first novel, Forget Me Not, one icy morning in her dorm room in Southampton, NY. After many years of teaching high school English, she came back to the novel to rewrite it. Allison comes from a family who loves history and enjoyed immersing herself in the research that brought Teddi and Calvin’s world to life. She lives in her hometown, Los Angeles, California. You can find her on Twitter @alli_whitmore and her website: allisonwhitmore.com.
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