What was it like to be a woman Army officer and West Point cadet in a male dominated environment in the 1970s? Find out by reading Refined by Fire and Trailblazers, two historical fiction books by Ruth VanDyke and Yvonne Doll.
Book 1: Refined by Fire:
Book 2: Trailblazers
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh11Gcpimoo
Except from Trailblazers:
Anne leaned forward a bit as Maura resumed in a reflective, quiet tone, “He told me he had some sparkling mineral water and nuts in his room and a nice balcony with two chairs and a small table we could sit at. I told him that sounded wonderful. We were no sooner in the room when Eric reached over to touch my face and kiss me.” Smiling contentedly, Maura whispered, “I just felt like I was floating on a cloud. He picked me up, laid me on the bed.” Blushing, Maura paused, “Eric ran his fingers through my hair, told me how much he wanted me and asked if I wanted to get undressed myself or have him undress me. That’s when it hit me, and I freaked out a bit.”
“What happened?” Anne asked a bit tersely.
“Well, I hate to admit it, but I started shaking and couldn’t find my voice. He was so sweet and concerned. He asked me what was wrong and I told him that I wanted him very much, but I was really scared.”
Anne realized later that she had bitten her lip in an effort to not scream at Maura for dragging the story out, but managed to stay silent and appear nonchalant as Maura haltingly continued.
“He was so sweet and confused and asked me what he had done to scare me. That’s when I burst into tears and told him, it was nothing he had done. I was just nervous, because this was my first time and I wasn’t really sure what to do.” Maura giggled quietly at the reminiscence of Eric’s reaction to her announcement that this was her first time.
“You’re killin’ me Maura! Did you guys do it?” she asked bluntly.
“Yes, eventually,” Maura giggled again.
Throwing her arms up in mock surrender, Anne said, “Okay, I don’t need every detail, but could you please put me out of my misery and finish this story?”
Maura chuckled quietly, “Sorry I don’t remember all the details, but my confession obviously surprised, no, shocked him. He said something like, ‘Oh shit, no!’ I just nodded yes and he got up from the bed, walked over to the small cabinet that had the mineral water and a bottle of scotch, and took a huge gulp of Scotch directly from the bottle.”
Anne was leaning forward again, listening intently as Maura quietly continued.
“He turned around and told me he was sorry. He didn’t realize I was a virgin and told me to get off the bed, and he’d take me to my room.”
“Oh Maura!” Anne said in a hushed, tone of voice.
Maura nodded, “Oh it gets worse.” Maura was now emotionally ready to share the highly charged atmosphere that night. “I burst into tears and told him I didn’t want him to take me to my room, that I knew he was a big playboy and I wasn’t making any demands on him, but had already decided that I wanted him to be the first.”
Anne didn’t quite know what to say at this point, so she just sat there until Maura resumed her tale.