Wow! For Today’s Femme Friday, I’ve joined up with some other fabulous science fiction romance authors as part of the SFR Brigade Showcase.To check out all the other great posts from the featured authors, click here. Amazing authors of sci-fi romance to be discovered!
Writers often take their inspiration from real life. As an author of Science Fiction Romance, my inspirations can go anywhere and here is one of them. My Solar Flame series is inspired by tales of real women such as this.
New Zealanders are made of strong stuff. I’ve met more than a few and I can honestly say that they brook no nonsense. Nancy Wake was born in the gusty heights of Roseneath, Wellington in New Zealand and though she left her land of birth with her family at a young age, the NZ tough blood ran strong. That’s Maori blood for you. And yes, her great-grandmother was Maori who was (it is said) the first Maori maiden to marry outside of her tradition.
Who is Nancy Wake? After you read about her, you’ll think Hollywood made her up. But no. She was real. She was known by aliases through WWII. The SOE referred to her as Helene. The French Resistance (maquis) called her Andrée. But the most famous name she was given, and one she bore with pride, was given to her by the Gestapo. They called her “The White Mouse”. She ran rings around them frustrating all attempts at capture and it earned her that code name. Her bravery was not bravado. One cannot do the things she did for bluster and swagger. No her swagger was inborn not man-made. But her cause was justice, righteousness and freedom.
She is one of the most decorated woman of WWII being recognized with Medal of Freedom (USA), Companion of the Order of Australia, George Medal (UK), and France awarded her with the Médalle de la Resistance, Croix de Guerre (3x), and the Officer de la Legion d’Honneur. Finally, she was (after many petitions by her countrymen) honored with the RSA Badge of Gold (NZ).
You can find first account interviews with Nancy Wake on YouTube and you can read her biographical account of her life in many books, including her own autobiography. There was a UK television series Wish Me Luck which was based on her exploits. Dialogue for the show was lifted directly from her autobiography. Movies for TV and Hollywood were made about her exploits and the other women of WWII’s SOE (Special Operations Executive). The film, which composites her story with her peers, is called Charlotte Gray and I urge you to have a look
How did she get to France? To England? To the War in Europe? That, too, is a story in the telling. She inherited 200£ and with that emigrated to England to go to school for journalism. Plans changed. She met and married a wealthy French industrialist and settled into Marseilles. Six months later, the Germans invaded France. What drove her to join the resistance? The persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.It was a kind of injustice she felt reviled by, that would not stand in the world as long as she was living and breathing in it.
In 1933, Wake’s newspaper beat took her to Vienna to do a story on the new German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. As the story goes, Wake interviewed Hitler, got the official party line, and then watched as gangs of Nazi thugs roamed the streets of Vienna locating Jews and beating them with no remorse. Wake, horrified by this blatant and unchecked persecution, vowed to oppose Hitler at any opportunity. She and her husband joined the French Resistance. He remained behind to continue working in the maquis underground while she became a courier.
And when I say courier… holy crap. She once cycled 500km in 71 hours through Nazi occupied territory, through checkpoints, over dangerous countryside, over mountains, hiding out only for brief rest, to deliver replacement codes for a resistance cell her wireless operator had been forced to destroy them in a German raid. Talk about ninja powers! How did she get through? A little slap and tickle and a lot of flirting with the Germans at the checkpoints. She was a ninja! The literal translation of ninja is spy. Did you know? Now you do.
After she escaped France—with a five million franc bounty on her head put there by the Gestapo—by crossing the Pyrenees into Spain (Hey! the Camino de Santiago does that! I’m about to do that myself but… not the same) she headed to Britain and joined the SOE to be trained in guerrilla warfare. Then she parachuted back into central France to locate and organize the scattered maquis cells. Blunt speaking, when one of her agents found her after a parachute drop, she was tangled in a tree. He remarked that he hoped all trees could bear such beautiful fruit. Nancy’s reply was to tell him not to give her any of that “French sh*t”. Which amuses the heck out of me as her family origin, besides being Maori, was French (Huguenot).
Together with her compatriots, she organized the nightly supplies parachute drops into ammunitions and arms caches and arranged wireless network communications with England. for D-Day and the Allies invasion which would turn the tide of the war by weakening the German army. Nancy led her maquisard men and women in the targeting of German installations, convoys and troops to further that end. Nancy’s sector gave the Nazi Reich the most heartburn. She had swelled their ranks from 3000 to 7000 with her skill at organization and recruitment. The Nazis, having had enough sent 22,000 troops, along with artillery, mortar, aircraft, mobile guns, to obliterate this Fortress of Franch-The Auvergne. 22,000 vs 7000. The maquis were outnumbered but they knew they had to inflict damage, heavy damage, before escape. And they did. That day the Resistance left 100 of their own and 1400 of the enemy laying on the plateau.
And she was a leader. During her wartime journey she led a raid on Gestapo headquarters, at a German gun factory she killed a sentry with her bare hands to keep him from alerting the guard. She was a soldier and as a soldier had to execute other spies, including another female spy that her own maquis were unable to bring themselves to kill. “Do you think the Nazis would have the same pity for me?”
She was the kind of woman that I wish I could be. A woman of fearlessness and resolve. It is this example that I use to bring kickass ninjas like Corrie Scott in my serial Freedom Bound to life.
Bodice Ripping Ninjas in Space! Freedom Bound is Firefly meets Buck Rogers with a bit of boudoir. Follow the series on convoluted romps through space with smart, super sexy females and their companions. Happily for now, guaranteed.
Welcome to the Solar Flame universe where corporate suzerains control our heroines’ lives. How do they win sovereignty over their own lives and their loves? In Freedom Bound, Corrie Scott, late of Frobisher Corporation finds herself unleashed in enemy territory alone for the first time in her life. But she is plagued by the threat of corporate slavery and devilishly handsome Mat Parker. Together they must battle through ridiculous red tape, space pirates, and backstabbing double crosses. Can they trust each other long enough to win this dangerous game?
Grab ALL the episodes of this serial!
Episode 1, Freedom Bound: Prologue FREE
Episode 2, Freedom Bound: Unhinged
Episode 3, Freedom Bound: Mateu
Episode 4, Freedom Bound: Coriander
Freedom Bound Amazon Series Page
Jayne Fury is a SCIFIROM author who writes pulpy serials about bodice ripping ninjas in space. She lives on her urban farm in the Pacific Northwest with her three cats, five chickens and extremely tolerant husband. If asked, she will deny that she’s creating nest in her office out of old socks and wooly pooffs. She is also a performer in Tacoma’s one and only Ukulele Sing-a-long Circus. Her project, FREEDOM BOUND, is currently publishing on Amazon.com
Where to find Jayne! (Other than here!)
Amazon Author Page: Jayne Fury’s Author Page