Interestingly, the idea for the story came to me in a dream and almost fully developed down to the title, characters and the type of dog featured in it. I figured I had to write it then. Unlike my Catahoula Series, which is historical fiction, 1943 takes place in contemporary times and is a cross-genre story of solving a mystery, a road trip adventure across the country, and romantic comedy as the two main characters, Mac and his little dog, Pug, get themselves into some unusual situations.
Still grieving over the death of his wife, retired San Bernardino Sheriff’s detective Mac McConnell is a lost soul wasting away with life passing him by. His closest companion is his deceased wife’s little, black and tan Pug dog (named “Pug,” of course), but the two barely get along.
During restoration of an old Harley-Davidson WLA Liberator motorcycle from WWII, Mac’s friend finds a faded photo of a beautiful young woman that was taken during the war and a never completed V-Mail letter that was written to her by her fiancé, a soldier serving somewhere in Italy in 1943.
Knowing only the couple’s first names, Betty and Alvin, and with the letter, the photo, and the old motorcycle the only clues to go on, Mac and Pug set out to solve a seventy-year-old mystery. That leads them on a cross-country journey on the old Harley as they go in search of “Miss Betty.” Along the way the unlikely pair encounter some unusual new friends and find themselves in some unexpected, sometimes dangerous, and often humorous situations. In the process, Mac discovers there is indeed new life (and love) after a death.