Billie Huante’s Enthralling New Romance Novel Delivers Story of True Love, Devastation of WarGresham, OR, March 17, 2010 — When Bruce Lawson is in need of a replacement in the accounting department at his family-owned car dealership, he never would have expected to find love at first sight with the first candidate. In Billie Huante’s enthralling new romance, “While I Was Away” (published by AuthorHouse), Bruce and his true love, Lana Elkington, will discover how much it takes to keep love alive.
The instant that Bruce meets Lana, he knows that he is in love. Lana is also instantly smitten by the handsome young co-owner of the Subaru dealership and goes to great lengths to contain her emotions. To both of their surprise, their best friends – ignorant of Bruce and Lana’s professional relationship – set them up together on a blind date. Within the week they are Las Vegas bound, and both couples find themselves before a minister for a double wedding.
But after eight months of wedded bliss and a bun in the oven, Bruce and Lana’s worst fears are realized: Bruce and Richard receive their deployment order for February 13, 2003. Their enlistment seven years earlier had only caused Bruce some concern as of late with the national rumors of weapons of mass destruction and potential war in Iraq. It was then that he had made preparations to find a replacement, not knowing that he would find love and the promise of a happy life with his wife and child.
Orders are orders and the two men first prepare for their deployment at Ft. Carson in Colorado, then move to desert training for six weeks at Ft. Irwin, before finally being allowed a 24-hour leave to visit with their friends and family for the last time. These hours end on a painful, bittersweet note, Huante writes:
Bruce tightened his right arm around Lana’s waist and clears the thickness from his throat. “I didn’t think three days could go by so fast, but here we are,” he said, stealing a quick kiss from the woman who will fill his dreams and waking thoughts while he’s away. “Waiting for the final boarding call to take me away from the people I love.”
Aware of the arms around the three of them and the show of tears in Pop’s eyes, Bruce nearly lost control of his pretense at showing a brave front. Lana pulled away and motioned her mother-in-law in to take her place. …
Time had run out and the Sergeant was yelling, sending men scattering in all directions. “I love you darling,” he whispered against her lips with a quick kiss and refused to let go of her hand. It took both Jim Brown and Richard to pull him loose and head for the gate.
Upon his arrival in Kuwait, Bruce will receive devastating news that will change his life forever, but not before the long conflict against Iraqi weather and suicide bombers leaves him with little meaning left in life. Follow the heartbreaking struggle of one man as he learns about the true meaning of love, family and war in the pages of “While I Was Away.”
Billie Huante was born in Oklahoma, raised in California, and has retired in Gresham, Ore. “While I Was Away” is her first published novel with two others in the works.
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