I love researching for my Historical Novels. It can be interesting, and there's so much I don't know. But sometimes… history can be a pain in the backside. It doesn't always fit my storyline.
For my WWII Trail of the Sandpiper series, I wanted the submarine to be the Nautilus, I needed it to be the Nautilus, but I would have had to rewrite history.
I hunted ways to make the Nautilus fit into my story's time frame, but none of them would float. It would have been nice to have the Nautilus because there are tinges of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the second book of the series -- Rescued.
I realize sometimes you just have to make stuff up. Isn't that what fiction writers do? So why can't I just rewrite history? Others have. Well, I think one does have to abide by historical facts, (to some extent.) I can put characters in historical time lines, but I can only do so much. Unless I'm writing a story about jumping through time and changing the past, present, and future, I have facts to follow.
So I gave my submarine another name, Nandus. one that fit with the subs in Narwhal class during WWII. The Narwhal was in the area of New Guinea, where my story takes place, but it didn't fit the time frame either. And since Narwhal was a close sister to the Nautilus, I decided making up a fake submarine would have to do.
The Narwhal class of subs, were all named after fish so my little Nandus is named after one too.
It's the summer of '42. The world is at War and Japan's Imperial Army is moving across the island of New Guinea.
After their mission is attacked Justine is left with seven children to lead to safety through enemy lines. She leads them to a cave and goes back for her husband when she is taken captive. Upon her escape with the help of a friend, Virginia, she starts back for the children and runs into Lt. Tyler Merrick. She hopes he will help her. But he's drunk and doesn't believe there are children. He thinks Justine is the rogue spy he been sent to find.
Justine goes for the children and returns to an even angrier Lt. Merrick. He wants to tie her up. She hopes to win his trust. Because if they can't stop fighting one another, they will never get off the island alive.
The Imperial Army is moving across New Guinea. Tyler and Justine have managed to evade them, but they fear it isn't because of their own abilities.
Tyler wonders why the Japanese haven't taken them as prisoners. Is it to find the Sandpiper? Or the Nandus? Without a radio they can't reach the ship or let them know where they are. Meanwhile, the Japanese have been moving them like pawns, killing off members of the team as they go.
Justine leads them to a place of safety until they hopefully raise the ship, but how long can they fend off the enemy once they attack? They've yet to get off the island, and there is still an ocean to cross to reach the safety of home. Justine fears someone else will die before they can escape and she's just as certain it will be her.