Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

WHEN VALLEYS BLOOM AGAIN
Friday, January 10, 2020 by PAT JEANNE DAVIS

PLEASE WELCOME

PAT JEANNE DAVIS

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM WHEN VALLEYS BLOOM AGAIN

 

December 1941

 

After the festivities in the house were over, Jim and Abby drove to a nearby lake. He arranged wood over a bed of stones and started a fire.

“Thankfully the surface is solid for skating,” Abby said, inhaling the scent of smoke that hung on the breeze.

Dressed in a red skating outfit and white fur hat, she propped herself against an oak tree, while he helped her on with a pair of white skates. They glided across the ice, taking the occasional tumble.

Returning to the fire to warm up, Abby studied Jim’s profile in the flickering light as he stared into the distance. Something’s on his mind.

He turned toward her, then looked away. “I’ve been called up,” he said before clearing his throat. “If I pass the examination, I’ll leave soon after.”

She struggled for some intelligent response. “I ... I guess we knew it was bound to happen,” she said, preparing herself for an adjustment in the mood of the evening.

The fire flared up and sparks shot into the night air. “Need to be at the induction center early in January.”

 “Early January, but that’s only a few weeks away,” she said, tears stinging her eyelids.

Jim jumped to his feet, snapped a branch in two and crouched by the fire.“You will wait for me?” he said, poised for her response.

Large fluffy snowflakes drifted down as lights from nearby houses flickered through swaying branches. She had tried to picture what form his proposal might take—though she’d expected something less oblique. But this was so natural, so like Jim.

“Maybe I shouldn’t ask.” He came and sat beside her, eyes lowered. “What right have I to suppose you would want to marry me,” he said, his voice soft and pleading.

It was all she could do to maintain her composure as her heart thudded away and her mind whirled around. She didn’t doubt that she loved him ... but. Again, she tried to say something, but her throat swelled with questions. The snow fell faster. Putting her arm around his shoulder, she traced a gloved finger down the side of his face. “I can’t give you my answer now. Give me a little time?”

He looked up and gazed into her eyes. “As much as you need me to,” he said, taking her hand.

***

 Later that night, Abby watched the falling snow outside her bedroom window. The radio forecast a blizzard. Would Jim get home safely? She tried to conjure up an image of what it would be like to be his wife, to feel Jim’s arms around her, to give herself to him, to bear his children. She pictured their romantic interludes as if on a screen, remembering how in the cinema Jim would reach out his hand and squeeze hers three times, in an “I-love-you” pledge to the future. But even in films, the future was occasionally bleak.

She returned to the timing of Jim’s proposal. He’d be leaving in a few short weeks and she wouldn’t see him for months. It would be easy to pretend that he’d be safe. The loss of Simon tore at her every day. It was one thing for her to wait for Jim. But did she love him enough to marry him before he went away and then lose him? She’d already given him so much of her heart. You know that, Lord. She couldn’t bear it if she gave him this last piece, and he never made it back to her. Or if he survived, he might be injured or crippled. Did she possess the fortitude to face that possibility? She dropped to her knees beside the bed.


ABOUT WHEN VALLEYS BLOOM AGAIN

A Wartime Romance Set On Two Continents

After fleeing impending war in England, nineteen-year-old Abby Stapleton works to correct her stammer and to become a teacher in America, only to discover this conflict has no boundaries and that a rejected suitor is intent on destroying her name, fiancé, and fragile faith.

As war approaches in 1939 Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate.

Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?

Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the U.S. Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?

ABOUT PAT JEANNE DAVIS

PAT JEANNE DAVIS lives in Philadelphia, Pa with her British-born husband, John. They have two grown sons. She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and traveling with her husband. Pat has published essays, short stories and articles online and in print. She has a keen interest in twentieth-century American and British history, particularly the period of World War II. Pat’s father-in-law served in the British Eighth Army during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is her debut historical inspirational romance set in that era. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Pat loves to hear from her readers. Subscribe to her newsletter here www.patjeannedavis.com

When Valleys Bloom Again can be purchased here:

https://www.amazon.com/Valleys-Bloom-Again-Jeanne-Davis/dp/1948888920/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=154

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-valleys-bloom-again-pat-jeanne-davis/1130351044?ean=9781948888929

Social Media:  

Website:  https://www.patjeannedavis.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pat.j.davis.7

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/patjeannedavis/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43600391-when-valleys-bloom-again?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page:  https://amazon.com/author/patjeannedavi

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-jeanne-davis-34290422           

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/patjeannedavis/

 

 

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