Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for When Valleys Bloom Again by Pat Jeanne Davis, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: When Valleys Bloom Again
Author: Pat Jeanne Davis
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Release Date: January 16, 2019
Genre: Historical Romance
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?
Tonight she’d confront him. He wouldn’t get away with it. After some resistance over the telephone, Henri agreed to meet with her.
A car door slammed below the office window, and Abby peered out into the dark night. Henri strode toward the entrance. It’s fight or flight. Wedging herself into the desk, she gripped the edges tight. All the better to meet the onslaught head on. She glanced at the clock on the opposite wall. Eight-twenty. As ever, Henri had arrived ahead of time.
She heard his heavy tread on the stairs, followed by his muffled stride along the hallway that led to where she sat, waiting. Then the rat-tat-tat of his big fleshy hand against the doorframe. She stiffened. “Come in.”
The door creaked open, settling half-way on its hinges. Henri’s six-feet two bulk filled the aperture, his outline accentuated by the wall lights from the landing. Shutting the door behind him, he lumbered toward her. Balancing on the corner of her desk, he groped in a side pocket for his cigarettes and offered one to her.
She flashed him a withering glance. “You know I don’t smoke.”
Henri’s eyes drilled into her. “So, what’s this all about?” Henri said, his lips curved.
He knew why she wanted to see him. She’d learned long ago that Henri’s genius alerted him when things weren’t going his way. That’s when he would change his tack from suave to sneer and back again. And it gave him the advantage over her.
“The theft of my private mail for a start,” Abby fired back, gripping the side of her desk tighter. “You s-s-stole Jim’s letters to me.” She narrowed her eyes. “That’s a crime.”
Abby’s shot hit home. Henri colored. “Ah, the letters.” He got up and ambled over to the window and stared out. “I’ve been curious as to why you and your Jim didn’t marry before he left.”
Abby glared at his back and watched him like a cat, preparing for his next move. None of your business.
Henri turned toward her, smiling. “You must know by now that I’m attracted to you.”
Her stony silence amplified the short distance between them. She blamed herself for being in this predicament.
“We’ve had some nice times together.” Henri jammed his hands into his pockets. “But, fact is, I want to spend a lot more time with you.”
Abby sat stock still, her expression masking the turmoil within. She had allowed herself to be pulled along at the whim of this man.
Henri returned to her desk and rested his hands on it, palms down. He leaned in and fastened his eyes on hers. “Do I stand a chance with you? Just say the word and I’ll try my best to give you all you want and make you happy.”
Abby fixed her gaze on the floor. “How unbelievably presumptuous you are.”
Henri pressed on, oblivious to her outburst. “You know, of course, that your lover boy is in danger every day,” he said, hissing the words like a snake circling its quarry. “He might never come back.” He tapped on the desktop with a well-manicured finger. “You have confronted that possibility? And if he does return, he might only be a half-man.”
Abby looked up in time to catch a glimpse of his taunting smile. She tensed, struggling to remain in her chair. Jim would always be twice the man Henri was.
“What kind of a life can he give you?” Henri droned on. “No money—” He tallied the negatives on his upraised fingers. “No prospects unless you consider gardener a profession. He sneered. “Besides, I happen to know that your beau’s vagrant father is in prison.” Straightening, he smiled at her in self-satisfaction. “Tut, tut,” he clucked, raising one eyebrow in mock horror, “the very prim and proper Abby Stapleton engaged to the son of a convict.”
“You’re a vicious creature, Henri Frey.” She rose to her feet, fists balled at her side, fighting the urge to strike him. “How dare you s-s-say such things.” She hurled her words at him. “Jim loves me, I love him, and we will be married.”
Henri’s jaw slackened and he took a step back, as if reeling from the unexpected onslaught.
“I feel sorry for you, Henri Frey. You’re a s-s-sick man.” Abby threw back her shoulders. “I don’t ever want to see or talk to you again.”
“All right, girl. I’ll go, but mark my words, you’ll see things in a different light before long.” His tone dripped with rancor, all compassion wrung out. The veins on his neck bulged. Swinging around, he tramped toward the exit. “You’ll come begging to me on your knees,” he called over his shoulder, waving the back of his hand. At the door he halted and turned to face her, jabbing a finger at the floor. “On your knees,” he said, his eyes fiery slits, as though aiming for better effect.
“How dare you make—” The slamming of the door cut her short. She slumped back in the chair, Henri’s threat lingered in the space he vacated.
She didn’t hate Henri. His life was so vacuous, empty of everything but his own ambitions, like the rest of his shallow, prattling class. How could she love such a man? But why on earth did he want her? The will! In a shattering instant she’d answered her own question. It’s all to do with the will. A chill ran up her spine as the revelation sunk home. She did not doubt that Henri’s blow would fall. But when and how heavy would it be?
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. She loves to hear from her readers. Visit her at https://www.patjeannedavis.com
(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card!
Giveaway will begin at midnight April 13, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on April 20, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
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