Thursday, October 22, 2015

Driving down a different Street

I admit I resisted writing this book. Even as one who had written six novels set in the twentieth century, I resisted writing about the 1930s. The thirties, I thought, were too drab, too colorless, and far too uneventful for the kind of story I wanted to write.

Then I researched the year leading up to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 and found that the United States was anything but drab, colorless, and uneventful. It was a deceptively interesting and active place, a cauldron of political, cultural, and social activity in a world that was slowly but surely coming apart.

In Mercer Street, the second novel in the American Journey time-travel series, three strong-willed Chicago women, representing three distinct generations, jump into that cauldron and commence vastly different journeys of discovery.

For one of the ladies, the leap is a tentative first step as a widow. Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair, Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace and hopes to find it on a Santa Barbara vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The romance novelist, however, gets more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel.

Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Elizabeth's hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties. Each finds love, adventure, and intrigue in the age of Route 66, Big Band music, mesmerizing radio broadcasts, and frightening headlines.

Like September Sky and the five novels of the Northwest Passage series, Mercer Street presents the twentieth century on a twenty-first-century stage. Like the other titles, it is available as a Kindle book on It goes on sale today.

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