Shannon here: Pat Jeanne Davis shares a romantic excerpt from her Historical Romance, When Valley’s Bloom Again. Print for US or e-copy for international. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: May 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Pat:
Excerpt from When Valleys Bloom Again:
Main Line Philadelphia
Abby sat in the middle of a group of children, reading aloud a favorite story. She looked up to see Carol at her side. “Jim’s on the telephone. I’ll fill in here,” she said, taking the storybook out of Abby’s hands. “He says it’s important.”
She rose from a stool, her heart beating faster. Jim wrote whenever possible and only called occasionally—but never in the middle of the day. It must be urgent.
When out of sight, she sprinted down the hall, dropping breathless into a wooden chair beside the telephone. “Hello, Jim,” she said, pressing the receiver tight to her ear, as if to draw him closer.
“Hello, Darling. I had to call. But I haven’t got long to talk.”
“Jim … Jim?” Leaning forward, she rapped the cradle switch. “Are you there?”
“I’m here. Sorry to call like this,” he said, his voice cracking. “They’re shipping me out.”
She slumped back in the seat. “When?”
“I board a train for New York next week. Then a troopship.”
Abby attempted to speak, but a lump rose in her throat.
“Sweetheart, I’m sorry I won’t see you before I leave,” he said in a subdued voice.
She swallowed hard. “Can’t I meet your train s-s-somewhere?”
“I looked into that. There’s nowhere.” The hopeless tone in his voice was unmistakable.
“Then I’ll come to New York.”
“No time for that.”
Her eyes filled. “No time for us?”
“Besides, there’s no more furloughs or passes. Look. It’s not all bad. I’ll probably get to London. Maybe even see your parents when I get a pass.”
Abby sensed he was struggling for words.
“So, that’s at least a cheerful bit of news, isn’t it?”
“S-S-Some,” she said, trying to conceal disappointment in her voice.
“Darling, there’s a line of men waiting to use this phone. I’ll have to go.”
She was losing the battle to stay calm and accepting. “Must you hang up so soon?”
He cleared his throat before speaking again. “I’m not so good at always saying what I feel. Still, you know how much I love you.” His voice carried a wealth of emotion. “I’ll be back.”
“I’ll be waiting for you,” she said, then mumbled a muted, “goodbye.” With a click, their connection was severed.
She replaced the receiver and closed her eyes, her lower lip trembling. She hadn’t reacted the right way to his disappointing news. After all, Jim was being sent off. He was the one at risk, not her.
When she got back to the room Carol and the children were gone. She cleaned the blackboard and tidied up before leaving. Then she strolled to the tower and sat there until the light faded. How much longer would this war go on? Scenes from the latest Pathé newsreel—devoted to the progress of the war—flashed before her eyes. Please, Lord, keep Jim safe.
About Pat Jeanne Davis: PAT JEANNE DAVIS has a keen interest in 20th Century United States and British history, particularly the period of World War II. Her longtime interest in that era goes back to the real-life stories she heard about family members who served during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is a debut inspirational romance set in WWII. She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and traveling with her British-born husband. She writes from her home n Philadelphia, Pa. Pat has published essays, short stories and articles online and in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She loves to hear from her readers. Learn more & connect:
About the book – When Valleys Bloom Again:
A Wartime Romance Set On Two Continents
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? Then 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?
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
READ a Q&A with Pat in the March 2020 Issue of Family Fiction Magazine:
Question for Readers: While Jim was serving overseas with the US Army during WWII, he and Abby had only V-mail to keep them connected to each other. What is your most preferred means of communicating and staying connected during this period of enforced social isolation?
Come back June 22nd for Sara Davison!