Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Pat Jeanne Davis & When Valleys Bloom Again

Posted February 6, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, Pat Jeanne Davis, romance / 20 Comments

Please join me in welcoming Pat Jeanne Davis to the blog today, to chat about her debut novel When Valleys Bloom Again

PAT JEANNE DAVIS has published essays, short stories and articles online and in print. She has a keen interest in mid-twentieth-century American and British history, particularly the period of World War II. Pat’s father-in-law served in the British Eighth Army during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is her debut historical romance set in that era.

She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her British-born husband, John, and four cats. They have two grown sons, one living at home. She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and traveling with her husband. She is a volunteer in the nursery at the church she attends and at the local chapter of MOP’s. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Pat loves to hear from her readers. Subscribe to her newsletter here:

You can connect with Pat on her website, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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? 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 US 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?

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Hi Pat! Welcome to the blog!

Pat: I’ve had cats all my life. They give me so much pleasure in return for so little. Until two years ago, I had a mother and daughter. Then my son moved back home, bringing his two cats. These are both indoor and outdoor cats and don’t require much attention. We love all four.

Abby, the heroine in When Valleys Bloom Again had a cat named Gulliver. Unfortunately, when she left England for America Gulliver couldn’t travel with her. 

Carrie: I’m not a cat fan but i do feel badly for poor Gulliver :-/

Pat: Netflix. I enjoy historical fiction drama and can find those films more easily on Netflix.

Carrie: that’s true

Pat: I enjoy all kinds of soups, especially in cold weather. Many times when out for lunch, I get the soup and salad bar only because of the wide selection of soups there.

Carrie: me too! And now i want to track a restaurant that still has one of those…Yum.

Pat: I prefer to hold a paperback in my hands while reading. I can see all the novels on my bookshelves as I write, reminding me of the pleasure I received from reading them.

Carrie: I definitely still buy my faves in paperback for that very reason!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Pat: I’m able to make a satisfying cup of tea. The ritual around brewing and serving tea I learned from my British hubby.

In one scene in my novel, Abby considers the possibility of reading the tea leaves in the bottom of her cup to know what the future holds for her. Instead, she abandons that idea and turns to God in prayer. What an incredible power we would have if we had perfect trust in the One who holds the future and always possessed an awareness of God’s abiding presence.

Carrie: Amen to that!

Q: What is your favorite book character from childhood?

Pat: The first book I can remember that I selected on my own and one that’s left a lasting impression is Lorna Doone. Lorna is the heroine in a romantic story set on the wild moors in the English West Country during the late 17th Century. She and John triumphed over seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve their happily-ever-after. On my first trip to England, I visited Exmoor on a damp, gray, and menacing day. A near perfect setting for the story as I remembered it. As we drove into Exmoor National Park and through the wild moors and watched the wild ponies, I could visualize some of the scenes from the book and more recently the film made in 2000 based on the book.

Carrie: I’ve always wanted to read that one and have not yet had the chance to do so.

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Pat: The table in our breakfast room as the sun is streaming through the large glass doors and later in the day to watch the setting sun. Weather permitting I can open the doors and listen to the birds singing. All the while sharing the room with Cinnamon and Ginger, our two female cats, as they sleep on chairs close to mine.

Carrie: I love those names for your cats!

Q: How would your characters describe you as an author?

Pat: My characters would probably say I’m a slow and deliberate writer, intent on doing justice to them in telling their story with truthfulness and with compassion.

Carrie: I bet they love you 🙂

Q: What surprised you about your book or your characters as you wrote When Valleys Bloom Again?

Pat: The antagonist was not as insensitive and selfish as he first appeared to be. That underneath he was lonely and insecure and the product of an unhappy and troubled home life.

Carrie: There’s always more to someone’s story than we first see, isn’t there?

Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote When Valleys Bloom Again?

Pat: I often listened to a very popular song in England during WWII titled, “They’ll be Bluebirds Over (The White Cliffs of Dover),” sung by Vera Lynn. The words to this song express the longing for war to end, peace for the world, and for life to return to normal. I was also inspired by the words to a popular love song titled, “I’ll be Seeing You,” sung by Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. This song meant so much to my hero and heroine during those long years of separation when he was away fighting to make the world free.

Carrie: I love that you listened to songs from that period!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from {YOUR BOOK}?

Pat: That with faith in Christ and submission to God’s will, we can be hopeful and steadfast in purpose during times of distress and conflict.

Carrie: Amen ♥

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Pat: Finishing a novel titled, To Pursue a Passion. This is the story of Marcella, a young woman from a respected and wealthy family, who—defying the social expectations of her father and her intended in marriage—takes up the cause of the suffragists in getting votes for women and works in a settlement house, becoming a voice for social reform for women and children among the newly arriving immigrants. In doing so, she places her life in danger from a corrupt politician.

Pat Jeanne Davis is giving away a print copy of When Valleys Bloom Again to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? Do you have an older song that you love, like the songs that inspired Pat as she wrote her novel?

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20 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Pat Jeanne Davis & When Valleys Bloom Again

  1. Marilyn

    i love 50’s,early 60’s show tunes and Steve and Eydie [Eydie Gorme’ is my favorite singer].

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the interview with Pat Jeanne Davis and for telling me about “When Valleys Bloom Again”. Sounds like a wonderful book and one that I would greatly love having the opportunity to read. Beautiful cover!

    I do so love the golden oldies. They remind me of my childhood. Once when they did a remake of some songs, I was “hip” with our young daughter because I could sing the words to this “new” song. Then I was able to cherish the songs for the second generation. Very fond memories of the songs by Exile from when hubby and I first started dating and I always turn the volume up when they come on. 🙂

  3. Megan

    Big Band Music still isn’t my favorite … but I have found a few faves.
    One I listen to a lot is called “Comin’ In on a Wing and a Prayer” – Bing Crosby, 1943
    Another one is “What Do You Do in the Infantry?” – Bing Crosby, 1944
    (You march, march, march!)
    Chatanooga Choo Choo and Woodchopper’s Ball
    and Misty Over You
    (my dad, uncle, and cousin all play in group called the Beaver Area BopCats Swingin’ Dance Band)

    One of the zillion reasons I love reading Sarah Sundin’s books is because she put in all of these different tunes … and I just have to go look them up!

    Sad to say this, but the best music always seems to come during war eras or unrest.
    Lots of really good toe-tapping music came from Civil War era too,
    and some favorite tunes came from the Civil Rights era.

    I listen to a variety of music ….
    sometimes it’s patriotic,
    sometimes it’s movie soundtracks or plays,
    sometimes it’s Christian music,
    folk tunes – Peter, Paul, & Mary and The Carpenters…
    and sometimes I still listen to one of my nature CDs (ocean still fave there).

  4. Vivian Furbay

    I like several of the older hymns, songs from the 1960’s when a teenager, and Christian praise and worship songs played of KTLF a local Christian station.

  5. Favorite songs are older hymns. Thanks so much for the giveaway! Sounds like an interesting book, one I’d be interested in reading! Would love to win a print copy:)

  6. anne

    I love the songs of World War 2 and the captivating novels and stories since they are all so important, meaningful and memorable. In The Mood, Blue Moon, The White Cliffs of Dover, and many more wonderful songs. Being born in the 1940’s this means a great deal to me.

  7. Janet Estridge

    My Mom sang when she was working around the house. The songs she would sing are from the time during World War II.
    Her favorite song was the one about “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top”.
    I believe that song goes back to World War I.

  8. Emilee Douglas

    We’ve Only Just Begun by Karen Carpenter is the first song that came to my mind. It gives me all the feels. I would love to win a copy of this beautiful book!

  9. Thank you, Carrie, for chatting with me. I appreciate all the comments, ladies, and in knowing a few of your favorites that stir up memories and send you back into the past.
    I love the songs of WWII. Some of these are so romantic. And did you know White Christmas was written in this era? I found myself singing the words from White Cliffs of Dover often. My title, When Valleys Bloom Again, is a variation on a line in this very popular song. Frank Sinatra was an idol of the bobbysoxers (sp.??). My hubby and I like many of his recordings from this period.

  10. MS Barb

    I love the old hymns, (have a collection of old hymnals–I’m a church pianist) and I like some of the Big Band songs

    • Yes, MS Barb, the big band songs from this era are so lively. I especially enjoy the music of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey. My grandparents had a large collection of this music.

  11. Pat, I could so identify with your statement: “My characters would probably say I’m a slow and deliberate writer, intent on doing justice to them in telling their story with truthfulness and with compassion.” I, too, am a deliberate writer, who wants to get her characters just right. Looking forward to reading your book!

  12. Clarice, Niicole, and all here. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words. If you read my debut novel, I sincerely hope you will find it enjoyable.

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