Iowa-Based Author Explores the Trials and Tribulations of Friends Opening Their Hearts to Love Again After Enduring Great Loss

Celebrated historical fiction novelist, Gail Kittleson, is thrilled to unveil her later-in-life romance novel, The Winds of Change, which releases to retail on November 8, 2023 from WordCrafts Press in hardback, trade paperback, and ebook formats.

World War II stole her only son, and sickness took her husband. Her daughters and grandchildren live far away. Little is left for Dottie Kyle beyond cooking and cleaning at the local boarding house and a small town life that allows her to slip into a predictable routine. Loneliness is Dottie’s constant companion.

Then along came Al Jensen.

Dottie’s long-time neighbor, Al has merely existed since his wife died, passing the time by helping son at the local hardware store. Yet he is haunted by his own tragic memories of serving in WWI. Being with Dottie is the one thing that can draw Al out of the past and make him happy. Friendship grows between these two lonely people, until it looks a lot like love.

Change rode the wind. Dottie could sense it, not only in her life, but all across the land.

From the Novel:

Millie helped her with her coat and linked arms once they started down the sidewalk. “That Al’s a worrywart, isn’t he?”

Dottie stiffened—Al? She hadn’t thought of him that way. “He’s only wanting us to get back safely, before that snowstorm blows in from the Dakotas.”

“What storm?”

“Why, the one they forecast on KGLO out of Mason City. It’ll be a big one, they say, and should hit sometime this evening.”


“Al’s quite a thinker, Millie. I’ve been amazed at how he plans ahead and figures things out before we have to deal with them—like this winter he noticed my chimney smoking and put in a new filter before I was even aware of it.”

Millie’s hair swept Dottie’s shoulder. “That’s good, Mom. I’m glad you’ll have someone to take care of you—Al will fit right into Dad’s shoes.”

Dottie bristled. Al Jensen take Owen’s place? No, it wasn’t like that at all. In fact, Al and Owen were opposites. The more she got to know Al, the more she wondered how the two men could have been such good friends all those years.

“The title, The Winds of Change certainly fits a make-do World War II woman like Dottie,” Gail says of her heroine. “She’s humble and reliable, engaging in everyday actions that hold everything together in the midst of a gigantic war that affects the entire nation. In her obscure midwestern village Dottie suffers her own share of troubles, but still makes a difference.”

“Even as she grieves her son’s death on the battlefield in North Africa and then becomes a widow, Dottie remains hard-working and faithful, working at a boarding house with no idea that anyone else notices. But someone does—the boarders she serves, and Al, her next-door neighbor, the husband of her very best friend gone from this world too soon.”

Gail muses, “Perhaps Dottie and Al’s story came to me because of our society’s intense need for community—old-fashioned neighborly care and concern. Perhaps this insignificant town and its insignificant citizens can enter our hearts and quietly instruct us in the ways of faithfulness, integrity, and love.”

About the Author

Words have always been comfort food for novelist Gail Kittleson. After instructing expository writing and English as a Second Language, she began writing memoir. Now, intrigued by the World War II era, Gail creates women’s historical fiction from her northern Iowa home and also facilitates writing workshops/retreats.

She and her husband, a retired Army chaplain, enjoy their grandchildren and in winter, Arizona’s Mogollon Rim Country. You can count on Gail’s heroines to ask honest questions, act with integrity, grow in faith, and face hardships with spunk.

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