Monday, February 12, 2018


Playlist for Searching for Gertrude l D.E. Haggerty @dehaggerty

Playlist for Searching for Gertrude

Nowadays, authors often include playlists with their novels. It’s a great way to bring your characters and story to life. And it’s fun! With my previous novel, Fat Girl Begone!, a playlist was super easy. The novel was, after all, about a girl who gets jilted. Heck, if I was feeling uninspired, the only thing I’d have to do would be to go through Taylor Swift’s discography. No disrespect to Ms. Swift but, man, the girl can hold a grudge!

In many ways, Searching for Gertrude doesn’t lend itself to a playlist. The novel is set during the 1940s. While I certainly can enjoy some big band music, it’s not exactly popular. I still wanted to make a playlist, however, so readers can get an idea of the mood I’m trying to set with the novel. So, here goes.

1.      Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. As the title of the novel gives away, the story is first and foremost a quest by the hero, Rudolf, to find the love of his life, Gertrude. What better way to start this playlist than with a song about wishing someone was with you? 
2.      Overcome by Live. Although this song is associated with September 11th, I can’t make a song list for Searching for Gertrude without including it. I’m sure the lyrics ‘Cause we're runnin' out of time’ are words the heroine Rosalyn herself thought as she watched Hitler and his armies roll across Europe; seemingly without much resistance.
3.      Imagine by John Lennon. Peoples prejudiced views of religion and people of faith is what keeps Rudolf from his beloved. I imagine if Rudolf ever heard the lyrics ‘Imagine there's no countries ~ It isn't hard to do ~ Nothing to kill or die for ~ And no religion, too ~ Imagine all the people ~ Living life in peace...’ he would vehemently agree with Lennon’s words.
4.      The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan. It’s impossible to make a playlist about troubling times such as the Second World War without including a song from Bob Dylan, the singer/songwriter is the poster child for revolutionary music after all. But which song? I chose this song because it talks of battles raging and waking people up to take a stand. During the first half of Searching for Gertrude, the US has yet to join the Second World War, and Rosalyn is incensed that America maintains its isolationist polices while innocent men, women, and children are being slaughtered.
5.      Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. I waffled about putting this song on the list. Don’t get me wrong, I think it belongs here. I just wasn’t sure if it was too much of a spoiler. In the end, I couldn’t not include it. I won’t tell you why the song’s on the list, though. If you want to know that, you’ll have to read the book.
6.      Make you feel my love, written by Bob Dylan, performed by Adele. What other love song could I possibly include on this list? This song epitomizes exactly how Rudolf feels about love. He will do whatever he has to in order to have his love returned to him. 

And now that I’ve finished this list, I realized I was wrong. It’s not hard to find a playlist for Searching for Gertrude. There are tons of songs about war and peace and overcoming adversity. The novel is about more than the war in which Rosalyn and Rudolf find themselves embroiled, but these songs set the stage for reading their story in the right frame of mind.

About the Author

Dena (aka D.E.) grew-up reading everything she could get her grubby hands on from her mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When she wasn't flipping pages in a library book, she was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories, which she is very thankful have been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along and robbed her of any free time to write or read, although on the odd occasion she did manage to sneak a book into her rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, she went back to school and got her law degree. She jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into her legal career, she was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. She quit her job and sat down to write a manuscript, which she promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t her thing, so she quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t her thing either. She polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where she decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from her adopted home. She packed up again and moved back to the Netherlands (The Hague to be exact) where she's currently working on her next book. She hopes she'll always be working on another book.

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About the Book:

Author: D.E. Haggerty
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 250
Genre: Historical Romance

While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices, but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position as a consulate worker in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.  

How far would you go to find the woman you love?

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