Cindy Hval writes love stories.
Not werewolf-and-vampire tales or the stuff of Lifetime movies, but actual love stories. The Spokesman-Review columnist writes about, among other things, how local real-life couples came to be.
Her new book, War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation, is a special set of romantic tales about young lovers who got together during World War II and kept their bond through the conflicts — military or otherwise — that life threw at them.
The book features 36 couples, with each love story receiving its own chapter, complemented by photos Hval painstakingly tracked down. During the three years of researching and writing War Bonds, some of her subjects were widowed, reinforcing Hval's notion that the stories needed to be told sooner rather than later.
"The last time I checked, 555 World War II veterans die each day. Every time I saw an obituary in the paper [for a WWII veteran] it was a real emotional jolt," says Hval, 50, who was born at Fairchild Air Force Base, the daughter of a WWII veteran, and is married to a former National Guard pilot.
She says these romantic stories build a larger picture of a generation that lived with war, and came to have a unique perspective when it came to marriage and family that we don't see these days.
"We're still at war, and a lot of marriages aren't lasting. World War II was the last war that the whole country bought into and thought was important," she says. "A lot of the men and women volunteered and did their part, and that kind of feeling that 'This is just what we do as a country' transferred to their marriages."
Hval, who says writing these personal love stories over the years has made her more of a romantic, is happy to announce that nine couples featured in the book will be on hand at Sunday's reading. There's going to be a certain satisfaction in delivering these stories to her subjects in person.
"They're so passionate. Not just about the military service and their relationships; they want their grandchildren to have this joy of a lifelong relationship."
War Bonds book release party • Sun, Feb. 22, at 3:30 pm • Auntie's Bookstore • 402 W. Main • auntiesbooks.com