Novelist. History Buff. Military Brat.


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Beneath the Wild Blue

At age 6, Frances Isabelle Fontaine decided to go by Fritzi; it sounded crisp and energetic. Years later, she even made her children call her Fritzi; she would not be a stodgy old mother, or a cloying little mommy. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

They got a maid, a kind old lady named Assunta, right after Debby tried to jump off the balcony. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

Joe Stoddard’s first love was flying. His second love wore a dark green sweater that set her auburn hair ablaze in the autumn sunshine. Her name was Fritzi Fontaine, and he was smitten. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

For a few short years, the Stoddards are a shiny, adventurous American Air Force family, living wherever Joe’s career takes them and blooming wherever they are planted. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

Joe had been in Korea two weeks before Fritzi realized her monthly Aunt Flow was late. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

During the fireworks of an Italian festival, tragedy strikes, plunging the Stoddards into a free-fall of denial and grief. How will they navigate a future none of them ever imagined? #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

The State Department told them that buying fresh vegetables from street vendors was fine if you soaked them in a solution of water and Clorox. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor

Like an airborne Ulysses, Joe relied on Fritzi to mind the home fires, keep the children safe and clean and obedient. Most of the time, she managed. #beneaththewildblue @mariantheauthor