Mar 11, 2014

War History and The Shattered Veil by @tracythewriter + #GIVEAWAY


Featured Guest Post
by the author of The Shattered Veil
Tracy E. Banghart 

For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.

In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit.

As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.

Incorporating real-life war history into Shattered Veil. How did you do it and why did you choose those elements?

When I first had the idea for Shattered Veil, my husband was deployed to a war zone. I knew I wanted the story to be about a girl following her boyfriend to war, but I wasn't sure what kind of job or skill she should have. My husband and I brainstormed over Skype and he told me that, according to studies on reaction time and demeanor, women tend to make better pilots and marksmen than men. I found this fascinating, so I did a little more research and discovered that in WWII, Russia had a unit of women combat pilots, known as the Night Witches, that were universally feared by German troops. These women flew at night in tiny, plywood and canvas planes to drop bombs on their enemies, usually under heavy fire. They were the first women pilots allowed in combat - at the time the US had female pilots but only in support roles - and their story is one of incredible bravery.

Here are a couple articles where you can read more: New York Times | The Atlantic

As soon as I read about these amazing, inspirational women, I knew Aris had to be a pilot, not only because, as a woman, she had the demeanor and reaction times to be good at it…but also to pay tribute in my own small way to the Night Witches and all the brave women in the military.

In addition, it was important that, in Aris's world, the military leaders have the knowledge that women are better than men at certain things, but they aren't allowed to openly recruit them. There's an element of "don't ask, don't tell" to it - the government wants to benefit from the skills these females have, but they aren't ready to openly acknowledge them yet. The theme of women having to fight for acknowledgment in a male-dominated field is an experience I think many women and girls can relate to.

While Aris's story ultimately is very different from that of the Night Witches, I like to think of those brave pilots as her "ancestors" in a sense…their story paved the way for her exploits and the strong, intrepid woman she becomes.

About the Author 

Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.
$50 Amazon gift card (INTL) 
Three "swag packs" which will include: a notebook, magnet, button, 2 signed bookmarks, and Shattered Veil-themed temporary tattoos - picture attached. (US/CAN)


  1. This sounds like it was very well researched and that always makes for the best world building! Thanks for being on the tour, Diantha! :)

  2. Thanks so much for being part of the tour! I LOVE that you asked me about the war history that inspired Shattered Veil. <3

    1. No problem! And I'm glad my prompt returned such an awesome response :)


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