I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Caroline Warfield and the Bluestocking Belles. Today, Caroline shares their holiday anthology, Never Too Late, and her contribution, Roses in Picardy.
We are currently in the centennial of The Great War, the war to end all wars, that sad failure that led to a Second World War and endless conflict in the Middle East. Caroline Warfield presents a story of light in the midst of despair set in 1916. When hope begins to flicker out, love still catches fire. It is never too late.
On a trip to Amiens a few years ago I fell in love with les hortillonnages, the city’s famous “floating islands” along the river that generations used as the garden basket of the city, growing vegetables and flowers on little plots, set in a maze of canals, many dotted with colorfully painted cottages. A leisurely cruise through them with Amien’s massive medieval cathedral visible in the distance filled me with peace. That horrific battles had been fought nearby seemed unreal.
Photos of the battle scarred Valley of the Somme in 1916 show trees stripped of leaves or any sign of life, men coated with mud, war machines of all kinds, and endless trenches. Yet, a few miles away lay the city of Amiens, its great cathedral enshrouded in sandbags, and its floating islands. How could a soldier who stumbled out of the trenches fail to be drawn to les hortillonnages?
Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.
Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday and More Anthology.
It’s Never Too Late to find love.
25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.
The Stories of Never Too Late…
The Piper’s Lady by Sherry Ewing
True love binds them. Deceit divides them. Will they choose love?
Her Wounded Heart by Nicole Zoltack
A solitary widow, a landless knight, and a crumbling castle.
A Year Without Christmas by Jessica Cale
An earl and his housekeeper face their feelings for one another in the midst of the English Civil War.
The Night of the Feast by Elizabeth Ellen Carter
One night to risk it all in the midst of the French Revolution.
The Umbrella Chronicles: George & Dorothea’s Story by Amy Quinton
The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.
A Malicious Rumor by Susana Ellis
A harmonious duo is better than two lonely solos for a violinist and a lady gardener.
Forged in Fire by Jude Knight
Forged in volcanic fire, their love will create them anew.
Roses in Picardy by Caroline Warfield
In the darkness of war, hope flickers. In the gardens of Picardy, love catches fire.
Excerpt – Roses in Picardy
Are men in Hell happier for a glimpse of Heaven?”
The piercing eyes gentled. “Perhaps not,” the old man said, “but a store of memories might be medicinal in coming months. Will you come back?”
Will I? He turned around to face forward, and the priest poled the boat out of the shallows, seemingly content to allow him his silence.
“How did you arrange my leave?” Harry asked at last, giving voice to a sudden insight.
“Prayer,” the priest said. Several moments later he, added, “And Col. Sutherland in the logistics office has become a friend. I suggested he had a pressing need for someone who could translate requests from villagers.”
“Don’t meddle, old man. Even if they use me, I’ll end up back in the trenches. Visits to Rosemarie Legrand would be futile in any case. The war is no closer to an end than it was two years ago.”
“Despair can be deadly in a soldier, corporal. You must hold on to hope. We all need hope, but to you, it can be life or death,” the priest said.
Life or death. He thought of the feel of the toddler on his shoulder and the colors of les hortillonnages. Life indeed.
The sound of the pole propelling them forward filled several minutes.
“So will you come back?” the old man asked softly. He didn’t appear discomforted by the long silence that followed.
“If I have a chance to come, I won’t be able to stay away,” Harry murmured, keeping his back to the priest.
“Then I will pray you have a chance,” the old man said softly.
Bio – Caroline Warfield
Caroline Warfield has been many things. Now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, she divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married. Her new series sends the children of the heroes of her earlier books to seek their own happiness in the far-flung corners of the British Empire.
Bio – The Bluestocking Belles
The Bluestocking Belles (the “BellesInBlue”) are eight very different writers united by a love of history and a history of writing about love. From sweet to steamy, from light-hearted fun to dark tortured tales full of angst, from London ballrooms to country cottages to the sultan’s seraglio, one or more of us will have a tale to suit your tastes and mood.
I will give an ebook copy of any of my earlier books (winner’s choice) to one randomly chosen person who comments.