Because men looked pretty good in the forties, too.

bde06daa7ca3510b42adc7c9fdea5a9fOr maybe I’ve just always been a fan of James Stewart.

When I put together last weeks post, I started running into men’s fashions as well, and almost included a few at the end. Then I decided they deserved their own page, so here it is. from the bottom to the top.

Because men knew how to wear shoes back then and could have competed with their wives for closet space if so desired:


I must admit these just make me smile.

Perfect when suits are still in style:


And cigarettes are still healthy (ah, ignorance is bliss).

But note what he hangs over his arm. Never leave home without it!


Or the hat.

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You have to admit it looks a lot better than the usual ball cap commonly seen now. I give permission for men to bring this look back.

This one you have permission not to bring back, though these still lurk:

1944-mens-ties-colorful-patriotic-sears 1944-mens-ties-01

Though I guess the almost solid colors in the middle aren’t too bad.

And you could hide it under a sweater:


Or a leather jacket. Timeless!


Now all you have left to do is style your hair just right.


So you can look like:


A sure way to impress the ladies!

Looking good in the 1940s!


For this week’s blog I thought a visual ensemble might be fun. This month I have been neck deep in the late forties as I write the third book in a post World War Two series I’ve been working on. I have easily come to the conclusion that they had a great sense of style back then.


Yes, I am fighting with that commandment “Thou shalt not covet.” Here’s a glimpse at some of the dresses I’ve been picking out for my heroine and her sister:


I love this one and chose it for the heroine’s sister to wear to her prom. I love the lace bodice.


My hubby likes the cut of this one.


I like the color on this one, as does the heroine. Unfortunately she can’t wear it as she’s a strawberry blond.


Perfect for the summer.


Yep, coveting again. This is her favorite dress.



Now for the hair. You have to love those victory curls!


Perfect for the big town dance when the boys start coming home from Europe. Especially if you’re going with the fiance you haven’t seen in four years.


And then the look to convince everyone in town that you’re completely over him.

And for all those days in between:

 a90c7806d121d2c270e517d09ea40924 LaurenBacall6 Lauren_-Bacall

I think the most painful part of my research is the price point for all of this:

0cee3d5e6fd51677b64a7478f6d8ddeaI think it’s time to stock up on dresses!


Something Worth Remembering

For those of you in the US or other parts of the world, November 11 is called “Remembrance Day” in Canada, a day set aside to remember those who have fought for our freedom–alive and dead.

Though I have spent many years researching World War II for novels I have written, and am writing, and have known and visited with family and friends that served in that war, I never found much of a connection to World War I. I’ve still learned about it and watched movies about it, but there wasn’t that same personal connection.

Until this year.

Sunday I received a letter from my mother-in-law with a list of my husband’s (and my children’s) great grandfathers, great granduncles, etc., who fought in the First World War.

Here are a few:

  • James Couch joined Canada’s overseas expeditionary force in Victoria BC in 1917, went over to Europe and died at Passchendaele, Belgium 0n 11 N0vember, 1917. He left a wife and 2 small sons in Victoria Canada.


  • Thomas Henry Couch – James’ cousin – was killed in action, 22 march, 1918, in Flanders.



Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) 15th Short Service Squad pictured outside Walmer Castle in 1916 (1)

  • Ellis Garnett died 6 October 1918 of the 1918 Flu, while still in Canada on his way to the war.
  • Albert Egerton Grigg was in the 27th Light Horse from 17 April 1916.


  • His brother, Herbert George Grigg was drafted 30 Oct 1917. His fate is unknown.
  • Percy Israel Down joined 22 may 1918, one month after his 18th birthday. He survived.
  • George Aithie Sawers enlisted in the Canadian expeditionary Force on 20 May 1915. He had been in the Royal Scots before that. He survived.
Canadian Exidisionary forses

Film attached to this link!

  • William Aithie Nelson was drafted in Canada 7 Nov 1917. He survived and went on to serve again in WWII.
  • William Wallace Aithie enlisted in the Royal Scots as a private. He was killed in action 16 May 1915. He is buried or remembered at La Touret Memorial, Pas-de-Calais, in France.


  • Robert Aithie, in the Royal Scots, Lothian Regiment, died of wounds 27 Jan 1915 in France and Flanders. He is buried at Calais, France.
  • James J Aithie, a private in the Royal Scots, Lothian Regiment, 8th Battalion and was killed in Action 16 May 1917, in France, or Flanders. He is buried at Arras, Calas, France.
  • James A S Aithie, a private in the 1st Battalion, Cameronian Scottish Rifles (18th Royal Scots), died 8 May 1918, Lonnebeke, West Flanders.

1st-ww-troops flanders

  • William Aithie, a private in the Royal Scots, Lothian Regiment, was moved around to three different groups in it with three different service numbers, and lived through it all.

Royal Scotts

  • Charles Aithie was in the Gordon Highlanders, enlisting 13 August 1914 as a private. He served in France and was a prisoner of war.
  • Henry Aithie, George Aithie, George K Aithie, John Aithie, Thomas Aithie, all served and got medals. They seem to have lived (no death records).

Some of them enlisted together, up to three or four at one time: some lived, some did not. Twenty-three have been found so far.

I am grateful to each of them for the sacrifices they made and the legacy they have left to my family.

“He was secret police and he knew his duty.”

Today is November 3, which means exactly 3 months to the release of my short story, Fire in a Storm. The story is set in 1930’s Soviet Union, so time for a history lesson!

Don’t worry, we’ll keep this painless 😉

Mentally, at least. Physical pain was sometimes a necessary tool utilized by Stalin’s secret police, or NKVD — People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (yay for making the “people” feel a part of this!) The secret police feature very prominently in this story.


NKVD (Secret Police) emblem

So who were they and what did they do?

Wikipedia puts it well: “The main function of the NKVD was to protect the state security of the Soviet Union. This function was successfully accomplished through massive political repression, including authorized political murders, kidnappings and assassinations, inclusively in its international “secret” operations.”

In short they were–under Stalin’s authorization–responsible for hundreds of thousands of assassinations, executions and murders at home and abroad. And that’s not even touching on how many others were tortured or left to waste away in prisons and gulags (forced labor camps).


This is the uniform worn by the NKVD before WWII:


But of course you’re never fully dressed without a…


Aren’t you glad I chose from among their numbers, the main character for Fire in a Storm?

Join me on Dec 3 for a look at the NKVD’s vendetta against religion in the 1930s.

And leave a comment here, or join me on Facebook for a chance to win a free copy of Fire in a Storm and eleven other inspirational short stories in the anthology:

Coming Feb 3, 2015

Coming Feb 3, 2015