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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack

Laura Lynn Ashworth, author of YA historical fiction, is doing a promotional Name Before the Masses tour to promote her latest novel, Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack. This tour runs every Monday for 16 weeks, starting on February 9th.

Laura Lynn will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour, via Rafflecopter. Here is the code:

Now I want to share a comment Ms. Ashworth gave on one of my previous posts. This is what she says:

I found Nickie Fleming’s post, Everyone Talks About…Sex, intriguing.  She brings up a very important point and one we really don’t think about often.  Why do we, movies, TV shows, etc., focus on sex? As a hopeless romantic, I think the reason for the focus is that sex brings forth new life and hope for a better world.  In fact, many would say our sole purpose in life is to bring forth new life.  If that is the case, then little wonder we spend so much of our time thinking about love, romance, sex and finding that perfect mate.  Future generations will either benefit (or not) from our choices.  Therefore, love and sex make the world go around and go forward. 

In looking at the relationship between teenagers Sal and Loretta, the main characters in Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, you can see how important finding that right person is.  Sal and Loretta start out as neighborhood friends and as they mature and get to know each other, the love between them grows and takes many turns and twists all during the final terrifying years of WWII, the war of wars.

Sal, deciphers code for the Navy on a minesweeper in the Pacific.  He writes countless love letters to Loretta.  Loretta, 15, is very interested in boys and somewhat Sal.  She answers his letters and together they discuss in detail and with great humor, their feelings, the war, family and friends.  Reading these letters makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time.  You can see through their young, innocent eyes what it is like to live through a war, both in battle and on the homefront.  You also get to experience what it is like to be in love or like as a guy or gal.


Read the rare and recently discovered real time letters between Sal, age 19, and Loretta, age 15, during the final terrifying three years of World War II, 1943-1946.

Both from the Douglas Park neighborhood in Chicago, the two adolescents discuss with humor and candor, the Navy, war, politics, hit music, life back home and their relationship.

Sal nicknamed Slabby for his movie star good looks, deciphers code out of the Navy’s radio shack on a minesweeper in the Pacific.

Loretta monikered Duchess for her aloofness, lives with aunts and her widowed father, while holding day jobs and enjoying an active social life with friends.

Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack lets you experience World War II, both in battle and on the home front, through the eyes of adolescents in a way that Hollywood has never portrayed.


October 25, 1944

Dearest Sal,

Guess what the latest rumor in the neighborhood is? That George was wounded in the knee cap. He wrote two letters to Laverne and signed 'em “Love George.” She's soooo thrilled. And do you want to know a “lil” secret? Of course you know Rita. Well she is going to have a baby. Yep! A baby. The only trouble is that she forgot to get the marriage license. She's engaged, though! To Alex. You know, Tillie's brother. He was in on furlough about four months ago. Boy, I'd hate to be in her shoes.

I saw Hinks last night. He took us (Dolores, Elaine and I) out for a drink (of coke). We had pretty much fun. He's a good dancer. But I bet you could “outshine” him any day. Laverne started out with us yesterday but met up with Sonny. He took her to El Chicos. Personally I don't care for him, maybe it was because I never really got to know him, but I'm sure I'm not missing anything. Laverne always does that. When we girls get together occasionally, we tell each other “No one is to leave the crowd.” But leave it to her (Ain't I the catty one?) Even though we got along without her. Hinks left us after a while. Tillie came later on and gave us back our foursome. Hinks is working today. Poor boy.

Well today is Sunday and I just finished washing my hair. And then I start thinking about youse. So I says to myself, I think I'll write youse a letter to let youse know I'm thinking of you—you great big hunk of a man, you.

Excuse me, I'll be back in five minutes. I have to go and put my hair up in curlers. I got me a date for tonight. You'll be there in spirit, and when I kiss him goodnight, I'll be wishing it were you instead. Now just close your eyes and picture me with my hair in curlers and be glad you're not here.

Just think, work tomorrow, and can you imagine, I worked all last week—I wasn't out one day—the floor lady came over and congratulated me.

Well, I think I'll do my aunt a favor and do the dishes. Ooops! Just a minute, my aunt just passed by. You know dishes are a little out of my lines, but I'm making an exception today on account of I feel so good.

Laverne and Elaine just dropped in so I'll have to be closing now so write more often. After all, I need a little inspiration. So until I hear from you I remain as ever, yours truly and sincerely,

Yeah! I send my love, too.

Author bio and  links

Laura Lynn Ashworth is an award-winning copywriter and political cartoonist.  While helping an elderly family member with veterans administration paperwork, she ran across “the letters” and instantly knew of their rarity, freshness and historical significance.  Although she received three publishing contracts within two months of sending the letters to major publishers, Ashworth decided to publish them herself on the advice of best-selling authors.  She currently lives and works in a northwest suburb of Chicago.

10% of author proceeds will be donated to the USO and VFW in loving memory of Sal and Loretta.



  1. I love a slow-blooming romance through letters!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  2. I lived through this time although I was very young, so I love reading things about it.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the blurb and the excerpt. :)

  4. FYI to the blog owner: the wrong rafflecopter is up for this author's giveaway.

    And to Laura Lynn, I'm really enjoying reading the excerpts for this book.