IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! Please welcome back fabulous saga author Vicki Beeby...


When I was planning out the three books in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force series, I knew I wanted the second book to be a Christmas story, set at the height of the Blitz. I also knew it would be May’s story. In The Ops Room Girls, the first book in the series, May is introduced as a shy, awkward character whose prior experience of men makes it impossible for her to make a commitment to the man she’s falling in love with. In Christmas with the Ops Room Girls I needed to explore what had made May like that and place her in situations that forced her to recognise her strength and develop self confidence. In other words, she was a character in need of a plot.

To get an idea of Britain’s mood during the Christmas of 1940, I looked up the text of the king’s Christmas address. In the very first paragraph I found the inspiration I had been looking for:

“In days of peace the feast of Christmas is a time when we all gather together in our homes, young and old, to enjoy the happy festivity and good will which the Christmas message brings. It is, above all, children’s day, and I am sure that we shall all do our best to make it a happy one for them wherever they may be.”

The reminder that Christmas is a children’s day immediately made me think of the evacuees who would have been celebrating Christmas away from their families. From there, a plot took root involving May befriending an evacuee child and wanting to make Christmas special for her and all the evacuee children in the village. And what better way to bring Christmas cheer and help May develop her confidence than have her play the male lead in a pantomime? Now not only did I have one story to plan, I also had to plan a WAAF version of Cinderella!

Of course, when I was writing it, I didn’t know Christmas with the Ops Room Girls would be released at a time when people were yet again facing the possibility of Christmas spent away from their loved ones. I hope any readers who need some escapism this year will enjoy it.


Christmas with the Ops Room Girls Blurb:

When there’s so much to be afraid of, can May help bring festive cheer to the Ops Room?

After failing to help evacuee siblings whom she witnesses being separated, May wishes she’d had the confidence to speak up. When Jess suggests a pantomime to boost morale on the station, May is desperate to help – but is held back by her own insecurities.

With her low self-esteem also affecting her relationship with Squadron Leader Peter Travis, May is fed up with being her own worst enemy and decides to take charge of her destiny. But the past she ran from plus a crisis with one of the evacuees throw May into the midst of a drama that will test all of her newfound confidence.

May, Jess and Evie must work together once again to help each other through the challenges of war and of their own hearts.

This heartwarming WAAF saga is perfect for fans of Daisy Styles, Kate Thompson and Rosie Clarke.

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Vicki Beeby writes historical fiction about the friendships and loves of service women brought together by the Second World War.

Her first job was as a civil engineer on a sewage treatment project, so things could only improve from there. Since then, she has worked as a maths teacher and education consultant before turning freelance to give herself more time to write.

In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and travelling to far-off places by train. She lives in Shropshire in a house that doesn’t contain nearly enough bookshelves.

Twitter: @VickiBeeby

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