When Valley's Bloom Again...
Dear Readers: I love everything from the UK from the gardens to the Royals, not to mention the tea. When I stumbled on author Pat Jeanne Davis, I knew I would want to share her with you.
Her novel When Valleys Bloom Again is set in the Untied Kingdom and America during the war. Let me introduce her to you: Thank you, Jackie, for the opportunity to have your readers get to know a little about me and my writing.
Pat Jeanne, tell us about your novel When Valleys Bloom Again. What is it about? 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 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 and find happiness with Jim? Why would someone want to read your book? As the ranks of those who lived through the WWII era gets smaller, I wanted to highlight their lives in an instructive and entertaining way. When Valleys Bloom Again, a story that offers inspiration and hope, unfolds through the eyes of Abby Stapleton from an estate on Philadelphia’s Main Line with its landscaped gardens, to the bombed-out inner-city and suburbs of London to the battlefield in North Africa and Normandy. How did you come to set it in the United Kingdom? I have family in the US that served in the European Theater during WWII. When war was declared by England in 1939, my father-in-law was conscripted into the British Eight Army and served his country until 1946. I’m also a confirmed Anglophile living near many magnificent estates along the Philadelphia Main Line. I’ve had a keen interest in this period of history and hoped to some day write a faith based novel with an Anglo-American connection set during those dark days of the war. I can tell you love all things from England, where did this love come from? On my first trip to England with my British-born husband, John, shortly after we were married in 1983.
What is your favorite spot in England? I have so many. The Cotswolds are one of my top favorites. My husband's family at one time lived in this area. On each trip back, we always try to include this most picturesque region to revisit. The Lake District is also high up on my list of places to spend more time in while touring England. I prefer the villages to the larger cities. What about English food? What do you like best? And of course English tea, which is your favorite? Until recently my husband I always stayed for several weeks with a dear friend living in Cheshire. I have wonderful memories of her home cooked meals, especially her lamb dishes and roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. On many occasions when eating out, I've enjoyed an early morning full English breakfast packed with enough calories to take me through the day until a late evening meal. Not to be overlooked is steak & ale pie, fish and chips served with malt vinegar, and pub food that is readily available. Until I discovered Yorkshire tea, I wasn't a tea drinker. Even the decaffeinated variety delivers a wonderful pick-me-up, especially when brewed in a lovely teapot covered with a tea cosy.
How did you research your historic writing to feel so real? For my novel, When Valleys Bloom Again, I traveled to distant and unfamiliar places in order to immerse myself in the era and the setting of my story’s world. On repeated trips to England, I combined visiting family there with more research for my novel in progress. I visited living museums throughout England where people went about their tasks in clothing that would’ve been worn during the 1940’s. The guides were always helpful and eager to share what they’d learned. I entered an actual air raid shelter, spent hours in a war museum, toured an aerodrome and the Churchill War Rooms in London. I also interviewed veterans of WWII in both the UK and US.
Where did your characters come from? How about their names? How do you come up with your characters names? The opening for my WWII inspirational romance, When Valleys Bloom Again, was conceived after reading a biography on the life of Kathleen Kennedy, daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He and his family were living in London when Britain declared war. Kathleen Kennedy’s story intrigued me. She was forced by her father to return to the US for her safety. Kathleen had made many friends while living in London and was determined to return some day. She eventually did go back, served in the British Red Cross, and married William Cavendish who was in line to become the next Duke of Devonshire. Sadly, he died in battle a few months after their marriage.
I based my protagonist, Abby Stapleton, loosely on Kathleen Kennedy’s situation at the outbreak of war in 1939. Abby is the American-born daughter of a British diplomat. Her father sends her back to the US to escape impending war. She too vows to return to London. For a secondary character who emigrated from France and who is uncle to my heroine, I used my French sounding maiden name.
Who would ideally be your reader? What age is best to read your book? Would it make a good gift? Readers of historical inspirational novels, both men and women ages 18 and older, who enjoy a story with romance, history, espionage, loyalty, heroism and faith set against the backdrop of the Second World War would enjoy When Valleys Bloom Again. When Valleys Bloom Again, print copy, is selling on Amazon for $7.00 for a limited time only. My novel would make a lovely gift for a friend or family member who also enjoys Christian historical romance. Your cover is very captivating, how did you go about creating it? I agree the cover is wonderfully done and captures one's attention. I'm thankful to Elk Lake Publishing and their talented cover designer, Derinda Babcock, for creating this for When Valleys Bloom Again. What else can we expect from you? Is there another novel you are working on? I'm writing a historical inspirational romance set in the Progressive Era. Here's a blurb for my story:
Until that unforgettable day when Priscilla Whitney stumbles into the slums of Philadelphia and witnesses the conditions of newly arrived immigrants, her pursuits and outlook on life resembled those of her mother and sister, both society matrons. She’s convinced God wants her to enter settlement house work.While studying in London, she takes up the cause of the suffrage movement, going against the social expectations of her family. Was working for social reform her Christian duty? Raymond, her intended in a prearranged marriage, agrees to wait until she returns from studying abroad. The absence from him gives Cilla time to discover she doesn’t want to be a society wife. On returning to Philadelphia, she learns Ray and her father are in negotiations with a client who intends to tear down the settlement house in which she is about to assume full responsibility and to erect a brewery in its place. When she stands against them and opposes a determined and vindictive brewery owner, her father threatens to disown her and Ray issues an ultimatum. Will Cilla’s commitment to improving the lives of others forever separate her from her parents and ruin any chance of marriage? Tell us a little bit about your family. John and I have been married for 38 years. We have two grown sons and a daughter-in-law. My family all live in Philadelphia, PA. Do you have a Facebook page or blog site you would like to share with my readers? I'd love for your readers to connect with me on my social media sites here Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.j.davis.7 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patjeannedavis/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18797403.Pat_Jeanne_Davis LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-jeanne-davis-34290422/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/patjeannedavis/ BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pat-jeanne-davis Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/patjeannedavis Where can my readers find more information about you?
On my website here: https://www.patjeannedavis.com Your readers can also sign up at my website for my newsletter where I run contests, give away Amazon gift cards, share historical tidbits and update on what I'm presently writing: Link to sign up: https://tinyurl.com/4s7vuxs3 Where can they find your book? Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Valleys-Bloom-Again-Jeanne-Davis/dp/1948888920/ref Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-valleys-bloom-again-pat-jeanne-davis/1130351044?ean=9781948888912 ChristianBooks.com: https://familyfiction.christianbook.com/when-valleys-bloom-again/9781948888929/pd/888932?event=ESRCG
Always on my mind, do you have a dog? I too love dogs but don't own one at the present time. However, I do have three cats. Cinnamon, the oldest, is now 16 years old. What have I forgotten to ask you that you feel my readers would like to know? What I want readers to take away from reading When Valleys Bloom Again. That with faith in Christ and submission to God’s will, we can be hopeful and steadfast in purpose during times of conflict. That ultimately good will prevail over evil. I hope readers will connect with the faith message in this story. That they will root for Abby and Jim and will be surprised by the twists in the plot. If my readers were to respond to this interview and be in a drawing for one of your books, what would you like them to ask you? Question from your Reader: Where do you get your inspiration? Readers, please leave contact information if you would like to win a Kindle Copy of When Valleys Bloom Again and please connect with Pat Jeanne on her author page. Thank you P