Today I’m sharing a TBT Book Spotlight on Pat Jeanne Davis’ When Valleys Bloom Again. Check out the excerpt below and enter the giveaway!
About the Book
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?
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Snippet from Scene in Chapter 10
Abby returned to college in September as a senior, the mood on campus tense. A voluntary military program was in place where men drilled with a professor who was an Army reserve officer. Two seniors had left to enter the University of the Air to receive their degree from one of the Navy’s advanced colleges and become flying officers. Other classmates had enlisted in anticipation of being drafted.
She signed up for non-credit defense courses. Saturday mornings Abby tutored elementary pupils as a volunteer in the campus defense council’s Education for Democracy Program.
Through late autumn, Indian summer weather prevailed. On a day when the heat was palpable, Abby sat studying on the porch. She looked up to find Jim standing in front of her, hands thrust into the back pockets of his jeans.
He plonked down beside her. “You were so engrossed in that book.” He snatched it from her and glanced at the title. “You’re on the same one, slowpoke.”
Abby reached out her hand, wiggling her fingers. “The other one was called Principles of Secondary Education.Give it back.”
He looked at the book’s spine again. “I don’t suppose you could tear yourself away from Principles of Curriculum Construction to go over to the conservatory?” Jim handed it over. “You’ve not been there for two weeks. The mums are out and”—he opened and closed his mouth and goggled his eyes—“I’ve added more goldfish.”
She sprang to her feet and slapped him on the shoulder, laughing. “All right. Lead on.”
Jim set off down the steps, Abby falling in beside him. She pointed to the harmonica that poked from his shirt pocket. “Can you play that thing?”
“I’m a real Larry Adler.” Jim chuckled. “What would you like to hear?”
“‘The White Cliffs of Dover’. Do you know it?” she said, surprised by her own enthusiasm.
He ran up and down the scales of the instrument to set the key, then launched into the tune. Unable to resist, she picked up on the lyrics. When she got to “the valleys will bloom again,” her voice snagged and she went quiet. Jim stopped, smiled, then continued playing.
He eased open the tall glass door of the conservatory and stepped back. The swoosh of mingled scents caught her by surprise, transporting her to scenes of Kensington and leisurely walks on a Sunday afternoon.
Jim’s hand folded over hers, as if it belonged there. Now and then she’d pass a plant of interest and pull Jim back to admire it with her. A thousand butterflies flitted in her stomach. Her affections for this man went far deeper than she had expected. Past the point of no return, she harbored no intention of questioning the magic of this hour here with him. But did he feel the same way?
About the Author
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.
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