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Winners from the On Distant Shores Romantic Weekend Getaway Giveaway

Thank you to the 4338 (!!!) people who entered the On Distant Shores Romantic Weekend Getaway Giveaway, and to the many people who joined me for the Facebook chat party last night. We had fun, didn’t we?

I am indebted to Amy Lathrop, Audra Jennings, Caitlin Wilson, and the rest of the wonderful Litfuse Publicity Group for putting together this contest and the blog tour, and for running the Facebook party. You ladies rock!

I’m proud to announce the winner of the Romantic Weekend Getaway package …Melanie Water Schemanski! Congratulations, Melanie! You will be contacted by e-mail for your mailing address, or you can contact Caitlin at Litfuse.

At the Facebook party, we held lots of giveaways for books and gift certificates. A full list of the winners can be found HERE. While the party is over, you can still visit the Facebook Party Page and follow the fun discussion we had. I do apologize for not keeping up with the *over 800!* comments last night. Technical difficulties slowed me down – and still keep me from responding to at least 100 of your comments. So if I didn’t answer one of your questions or respond to your comments, it’s not because I don’t appreciate you – my computer won’t LET me get far enough down in the comment stream to reply!

At the party, we also posted trivia questions about World War II and about me (the author questions could be answered from my website). We promised to post the answers here today…So here they are.

The 56th Evacuation Hospital at Anzio after an air raid

World War II Trivia:

1. The Italian government surrendered to the Allies before the Allies invaded at Salerno.
True. The Italian government’s secretly negotiated surrender with the Allies was announced on September 8, 1943 at 6:30 pm, as US and British ship converged on the landing beaches at Salerno and Taranto to land in the morning of September 9. The hope was that the Italian people would welcome the Allies and push out the German troops who were present. But the Germans saw the surrender coming and immediately moved to disarm the Italian armed forces and occupy the country. So there was a fight at Salerno…and all the way until May 2, 1945.
2. When the Germans evacuated Naples, they carefully preserved the city’s facilities and artworks.
False. The Germans devastated Naples, destroying the port facilities, sewage systems, aqueducts, railroads, coal supplies, and everything else they could in the hopes that the Allies would inherit a starving and rebellious population to slow their military advance. Sadly many priceless cultural works were lost.
3. One of the reasons penicillin was such a miracle drug in World War II is that it didn’t have to be refrigerated.
False. Penicillin was a true wonder drug, but its need for refrigeration did reduce its practical use on the rugged battlefields – plus it was in extremely short supply at first.
4. Gen. George Patton slapped two patients suffering from combat fatigue at US hospitals in Sicily, accusing them of cowardice.
Sadly true. This great general was not a perfect man. On August 3, 1943, he slapped a patient at the 15th Evacuation Hospital in Nicosia, Sicily, and on August 10, he slapped a patient at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in San Stefano (I fictionalized this account in On Distant Shores, adapting Patton’s “dialogue” from the hospital commanding officer’s account.) Both patients suffered from combat fatigue, and one had a raging case of malaria. Patton later apologized to both patients and the hospital staff.
5. On the Anzio beachhead, the Germans honored the red crosses on the US hospital tents and avoided shelling them.
False. The four US hospitals at Anzio were frequent victims of both artillery shelling and air raids. Some were intentional, but most were not. Patients were known to ditch their hospital beds for the relative safety of the front lines.
Author Trivia:

6. I started writing my first novel in 2003.

False. I started writing in 2000.
7. My children are involved in tennis and karate.
True! My boys do karate, and my daughter and youngest son play tennis. I’m thankful two of them have a driver’s license!
8. I teach Sunday school.
True. I teach fourth- and fifth-graders. So much fun!
9. I have a doctorate degree in chemistry.
False. I have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a doctorate in pharmacy.
10. Daisy, my yellow lab, never gets in trouble and is always well behaved.
Completely and utterly false.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me celebrate the release of On Distant Shores! I appreciate each one of you!