Terri Wangard is our honored guest this go-round. She grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer.
These days Terri is writing historical fiction. She won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin.
Terri’s research has included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
Readers, join the chat below, and you’ll qualify for Terri’s giveaway: her latest historical novel, Roll Back the Clouds in Kindle format.
Now, here’s Terri Wangard.
Wouldn’t you like to go on a cruise? by Terri Wangard
Cruise ships fascinate me, whether currently afloat or sunken wrecks explored in documentaries. The Lusitania‘s my favorite. Imagine sailing in a ship grand enough for King Solomon and all his wives. Imagine sailing aboard it in May, 1915, when a German submarine hurtled a torpedo into it.
I love to cruise. My very first time aboard a ship was an Insight For Living Alaskan cruise. The ship was Holland America’s Westerdam, although not the ship presently carrying that name. I opted for the least expensive cabin, which was an interior room. Not having a window was disconcerting, but I didn’t plan on spending much time in the room. Other than the lack of a window, the room was more than adequate.
Terri Wangard: A seasoned traveler
So for my second cruise, I again requested the cheapest berth. That time, it reflected cheapness. More expensive rooms had windows and big walk-in closets. Although windowless rooms were common in 1915, even Lusitania’s first class would have been more spacious than my cubbyhole.
My last cruise featured my most luxurious accommodation. As a repeat customer, I received an upgrade. I had a balcony! I checked out a book from the ship’s library and sat out on my balcony, reading and watching the waves. Even Alfred Vanderbilt didn’t have a balcony on the Lusitania. Just thirty years ago, balconies were a rarity.
The passengers on the Lusitania cruised for transportation, not recreation. Business trips or family visits for the wealthier; immigration and the hope of a new life for others.
Third-class rooms had a bed and a sink. Not a toilet. Even in first class, bathrooms were found in only a handful of staterooms. Everyone else had to run down the hall to the lavatories. Sinks had cold running water. The room stewards brought hot water each day for washing. For a bath, an appointment was made with the bath steward.
Terri Wangard: Today’s cruise ships
Today’s cruise ships don’t have first, second, and third class. They have inside, outside, outside with balcony, mini-suites, and suites. Passengers pay for the amount of real estate they choose.
Everyone eats in the same dining room, although ships these days have specialty restaurants. (I ate in one once. The food wasn’t extra special.) Lusitania’s first-class passengers made selections off menus that are indecipherable to commoners. Today’s menus are equally unfathomable to those with simple tastes, but anyone can order escargot or pate de foie gras.
I’ve never been on a repositioning cruise, where the ship crosses the ocean. I’m used to frequently going ashore to explore a new location. Seeing the world was my intent. On transatlantic cruises, like the Lusitania sailed, every day offered the same scenery. Ocean in all directions. Any problems, and the bottom is a long way down. And help, as the Titanic discovered, can’t come fast enough.
I wouldn’t mind experiencing a transatlantic cruise. Who has been on one of those? All my immigrant ancestors did. I’d be much more comfortable than they were. I’d even be more comfortable than the Lusitania’s passengers. Just, no torpedoes, please.
Terri’s latest novel: Roll Back the Clouds
Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard receive a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to England aboard the fabled Lusitania in 1915. Europe is embroiled in war, but that shouldn’t affect a passenger liner.
As they approach Ireland, a German submarine hurtles a torpedo into the grand ship. Rosaleen scrambles into a lifeboat, but where is her husband? She searches the morgues in Queenstown, heartsick at recognizing so many people. Geoff is finally located in a Cork hospital, alive but suffering a back injury.
While waiting for him to recover, Rosaleen is thrilled to meet her mother’s family, but a dark cloud hovers over her. The battered faces of dead babies haunt her. She sinks into depression, exasperated by Geoff’s new interest in religion. Her once happy life seems out of reach.
Roll Back the Clouds can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1659679842.
How to find Terri Wangard:
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Lord, please bless each word Terri writes for You.
~For Jesus’ sake