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Eva and Her FablesPosted  February 24th, 2012 in Images


                                                                  A house wren. Readers have commented on the fables Eva tells throughout An Owl’s Whisper—the stories of the wrens of St. Francis, of Mother Swan, of the geese, and of Franka, the little goose who pretends to be a wren. Some readers love them, some find them trivial, some ask what dramatic purpose they [...]





Fact Through FictionPosted  November 7th, 2011 in Images


Margaret Trent wrote a nice article on how and why I came to write An Owl’s Whisper:   In case you can’t easily read the text of the article, here is a more eye-friendly version:   An Owl’s Whisper: History Through Fiction By Margaret Trent Jim Smith and Andrée Froidmont fell in love over a [...]





An Inspirational PairPosted  September 12th, 2011 in Images


  My parents, Jim and Andree Smith, on their August 1945 wedding day in Liege, Belgium. Andree Froidmont was a young Belgian teenager living outside Liege when Germany invaded and occupied her country in 1940. She survived the hardships of the Occupation. She’s told me that June 6, 1944, hearing the news of the D-Day [...]





Paris Metro EntrywayPosted  September 12th, 2011 in Images


  One Panneau d’entree of the Paris Metro (subway) system. The original entrances like this one (built just after the turn of the Twentieth Century) were done in an iconic art nouveau style characterized by the curvilinear ironwork that harkens to nature. In An Owl’ Whisper, the Metro entryways are a beloved memory to Mother [...]





Cafe du Point de VuePosted  September 12th, 2011 in Images


Photos by Danielle Valentiny  The Cafe du Point de Vue in Liege is prominent in An Owl’s Whisper.  Thanks to the courtesy of Madame Helen, the cafe’s owner, it is the site of Eva’s and Stan’s own “little nest” in the time they spend together while Stan recovers from battle wounds. This actual tavern is [...]





Henri-Chapelle American CemetaryPosted  September 8th, 2011 in Images


   The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, located near Liege in Belgium, is the final resting place for almost eight thousand US servicemen, many of them killed in the Battle of the Bulge fighting that plays such a prominent role in An Owl’s Whisper. In 1944-45, 840,000 American soldiers were committed to the battle, 89,000 were casualties, [...]





Saint Sebastian ArtPosted  September 8th, 2011 in Images


The fictional convent school of  St. Sebastien in Belgium is named for its patron, Saint  Sebastian. The saint was martyred by the Romans under the Emperor Diocletian. He is always depicted as tied to a post and shot with numerous arrows. Sebastian has been the subject of  many European masters, including El Greco, Titian, Bellini, and Botticelli.  [...]





Giovanna/EvaPosted  August 26th, 2011 in Images


Wonder what Eva looked like? This is a detail from Sandro Botticelli’s fresco, Giovanna Tornabuoni ricive le Virtu, and it resides in the Louvre. When Eva, at age 22, is in Paris, Herve says she could be the twin of the girl (Botticelli’s Giovanna) in this picture.    





Sand Hills CountrysidePosted  August 26th, 2011 in Images


  Sand Hills country….These are scenes of the countryside typical of Hooker County, Nebraska. The stream pictured is the Dismal River near Mullen, Nebraska..





Eva Peron PortraitPosted  August 25th, 2011 in Images


This is an official portrait of Eva Peron, like what might have appeared on the December 1950 Life Magazine cover that Doc Fletcher said reminded him of Eva who at the time was in her late twenties.