IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! Please welcome back WWII saga author, Kellie Butler...




Thanks Rachel so much for having me on your blog again for Saga Saturday! I’m thrilled to be back.

People ask why sagas and  I think stories, especially historical fiction, set through the lens of a family allow people to experience that time and place in a way that we can all relate to.

I’m highly honored and thrilled to be part of a fantastic collection of novels and novellas called The Road to Liberation: Trials and Triumphs of World War II. I was approached to be part of a collection that would mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. When I thought of the theme of liberation, I immediately thought of my time living in Hawaii in a town with a  huge Filipino community. Thus, I knew I wanted to tell a story that focuses on what the Filipino people went through during the war. Reading more on the Battle of Manila firmed my idea of setting it during the height of that terrible battle, and Liberation Street, my novella in the collection, was born.

I came across survivor memoirs thanks to historians and the Memorare Manila 1945 Foundation, and the story of a family forced to risk their lives and flee to safety resonated with me. The main characters, Ida and Ramon, have to make split-second decisions in order to survive. One of those includes abandoning their plan to seek refuge at De La Salle College, where Ida’s sister and her family already are.

We are all forced to make choices, and sometimes those haunt us. In the case of Ida, not being able to join her sister will haunt her. I had to imagine that when she finally got a moment to collect herself, and wanted to find out if her sister was all right, it would weigh on her heavily. The chaos after the battle and long after the war would make it difficult to locate any surviving family members.

The other thing that struck me about Manila was that everyone that wasn’t Japanese was a target. 

They were all deemed guerilla fighters and therefore the enemy. The horror that happened was unspeakable, but if we don’t tell these stories, people will never know they happened, and thus it could happen again. The men, women, and children who survived those perilous days deserve to be remembered, and the ones who lost their lives are never to be forgotten.

Blurb for Liberation Street:
Manila, 1945. When Ida and Ramon Gomez are ordered to leave their home or be killed, they flee their home with their two young sons Rafael, 14, and Juan, 10, risking their lives as they search for a safe place to land during the Battle of Manila.

Ida had planned to evacuate to De La Salle College, one of the safest refuges in the city, to meet up with her sister Helena, her husband Don Enrique, and their four sons. When told crossing Taft Avenue to get to the college meant certain death, she’s forced to make a decision that will haunt her.

As she and her family head from one shelter to another across the city, her sister is never far from her thoughts. When Helena’s youngest son, Frederico, is the only one found months later, it leaves her searching for the truth of what happened to her sister. 

Inspired by a true story, Liberation Street is a tale of courage, loss, faith, and hope, and the bitter choices we must make to survive.

To pre-order The Road to Liberation collection, click here: https://books2read.com/RoadtoLiberation

About Kellie:
Kellie Butler is the author of Beneath a Moonless Sky, Before the Flood, The Broken Tree, and the upcoming Out of Night, all part of the bestselling The Laurelhurst Chronicles series. Born in the deep south and educated at Mississippi State University and Louisiana State University, she has travelled and lived around the globe. Besides writing books, she enjoys knitting, yoga, cooking, hiking, classical film, her MSU Bulldogs, and her dog, Chippy. She lives in Arizona with her family.
To learn more about Kellie, visit her website at www.kellierbutler.com, where you can follow her on social media, read news/articles, and follow her blog.

Social Media Links:
Instagram: @kellierbutler

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