Tuesday, November 26, 2013



Crista McHugh graciously resent her guest post for EIGHT TINY FLAMES after Yahoo ate it as an early Thanksgiving snack.  Mahalo, Crista, for your extra effort!

Inspiration for Eight Tiny Flames

When I saw the call for this anthology, I wanted to do something outside the usual Regency/Victorian Christmas story. As a former USAF physician, I’ve always been fascinated by the history of battlefield medicine, and the fact that the Battle of the Bulge was fought during the 1944 holiday season gave me an opportunity to combine my love of history with a chance to tell a holiday story that was a bit unusual. But I never expected to discover some truly heroic stories during my research.

The first thing that really got this story churning in my mind was a picture Sarah Sundin (who writes fabulous WW2 romances) posted on her Pintrest board. It was of Muriel Phillips, a Jewish Army nurse who’d been captured by the Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge. It gave me the inspiration for my heroine, Ruth.

When I started investigating the medical units in WW2 and where they were around the holidays, I found a story of a brave group of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel from the 67th Evacuation Hospital who volunteered to stay the night with their patients during the start of the Battle of Bulge when the German forces were close enough to trigger an evacuation order. About 200 patients were deemed too ill for immediate transfer, and these brave men and women chose to put the safety of their patients before their own personal safety.

And the night they stayed happened to be the eighth night of Hanukkah 1944.

File:US Navy 041218-N-3236B-015 A World War II U.S. Army veteran and Nurse who served in the Battle of the Bulge, stands and watches as several speeches, presentations and a 21-gun salute are made.jpg
Lt. Katherine Nolan, Army nurse in the Battle of the Bulge,
was photographed at the 60th Anniversary.
Photo by US Navy
Public Domain (link)

Mahalo, Crista, for sharing your research.  I've known several military medical personnel and they all demonstrate a dedication to the mission ... and their patients!   Crista is offering an ecopy of A VERY SCANDALOUS HOLIDAY to one randomly commenter.  

Entangled Publishing presents… A Very Scandalous Holiday Anthology. Four very spirited vignettes of holidays past.

Erin’s Gift by Nancy Fraser
Chicago 1920
Widower, Seth Harrison, has no intention of falling in love again but will he be able to resist the sweetness of his son’s nanny, Erin O’Mara – his sister’s best friend?

An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett
England 1833
The Duke of Sharrington left Rebecca with more than a broken heart six years ago – he left her with a son. He’s rekindled their passion with his return, but it will take a Christmas miracle to earn her heart.

Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin
England, late Regency
After three years at sea, Captain Hale Prescott has the means to marry the love of his life and his best friend’s sister. Sidony Harbeck, however, might never speak to him again. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter… at least none he ever sent.

Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh
1944 Ardennes, WWII
Lt. Ruth Mencher has always secretly admired Capt. Joseph Klein, but it takes the lighting of a Hanukkah candle to uncover the spark of mutual attraction. Each night awakens a new facet of their relationship, but as the Battle of the Bulge begins, the approaching Nazi forces threaten to tear them apart.

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about what you know about World War II .... I was blessed to live in both Europe and Hawaii to visit WWII sites from the European and Pacific theaters.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Crista and her books, check out her website cristamchugh.com.



  1. All I know about WWII is what I've learned in school or from TV. I don't personally know anyone who went through this as my family is very small and the people who lived in that time period have been gone a very long time.

    Marcy Shuler

  2. I visited the beaches of Normandy. It was incredible.

  3. My growing up next door neighbor was a RN who had been in WWII... those women took no prisoners!! Talk about firm resolve and I had an opportunity to work with them as an adult and would walk thru fire for them!!

  4. My father as well as a few uncles served in WW II.

  5. I don't know a lot (hardly anything). My parents were born then but very young & luckily didn't face a lot of hardship.

  6. When I was in high school, I was an exchange student to Israel and we visited the Schindler cemetery and the Holocaust memorial there. It was so moving and emotional.

  7. My father quit school in the 8th grade so that he could work full time and help support his family. It was during the depression. He had a few interesting jobs. He enlisting in the Army/Air Force when the USA entered WWII and later married the woman who would become my mother (they had 9 children altogether). I am proud of the fact that my parents were part of "The Greatest Generation". They knew how to work for what they needed/wanted, how to "pinch a penny and stretch a dollar", they loved family and taught us morals and values, and love of country! We were never rich, but we were patriotic and flew flags on holidays and flew them with pride. We knew what the American dream was and we knew it was within each of us to strive for it.

  8. My former father-in-law was in WWII. One of the stories I remember was when he was in a foxhole on Christmas Eve and one of the guys with him dying. White Christmas was playing at the time. From that point on and until he passed, he always left the room when that song was played.

  9. I heard stories first hand from my father who served and both my in-laws and two uncles!

  10. I know that many women entered the work force to take the place of men fighting overseas.