Oct 10, 2011

{Author Guest Post} Alesha Escobar author of The Towers Alchemist

Ungentlemanly Warfare: 
How women helped win WWII--and inspire my urban fantasy novel
Alesha Escobar
Raise your hand if, like me, you’ve forgotten a few details about the Second World War since taking high school history (note: if you are currently taking high school history, finish reading this awesome guest post then promptly return to studying).

While many of us can give a general outline of the war, and even name a few key figures (who could forget Winston Churchill?), very few of us have heard of the brave women who made up the Special Operations Executive--SOE. Yes my fellow readers, women did more than collect metal scraps and take over factory work--I’m talking about spying on the Nazis, smuggling weapons and supplies across the French border, and transmitting secret codes to the Americans and British.

One SOE operative, Violette Szabo, had one of the bravest showdowns with Nazis which ended in a fierce gunfight and (unfortunately) her capture.  Pearl Witherington wreaked so much havoc that she was probably the only woman the Third Reich put a $1 million bounty on--she emerged victorious, and died peacefully in February 2008.

There are many more stories like these, and all were equally fascinating to me as I composed the setting for my urban fantasy story, “The Tower’s Alchemist.” The novel is based on an alternate WWII history where the Nazis unleash occult powers and the Allies employ wizards to stand in their way. One wizard who joins the fight is Isabella George, an SOE agent who’s torn between her sense of duty and her desire to retire to a normal life where she can find love and raise a family. As friends and colleagues disappear, she knows that if she continues that she’ll meet the same fate.

The stakes are raised even higher when she discovers a warlock is stalking her in order to steal her powers, and that the very people who trained her as a wizard may be her greatest enemy.

Hopefully amidst the suspense and magic of the story, readers will also appreciate the real history that served as a rich backdrop for the book. Of course I could never do the women of SOE justice, but hopefully “The Tower’s Alchemist” will give a little nudge in their direction as a way of saying, “You need to check out these amazing real life heroines!”

Alesha Escobar writes fantasy and urban fantasy to support her chocolate habit. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and crafts. She is the author of “The Tower’s Alchemist, the first book of The Gray Tower Trilogy.

Check out author Elsha Escobar's Site for more information: http://www.aleshaescobar.com

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