Jan Selbourne and I have become friends through our love of writing. I have to say, her writing and dedication to facts in her historical novels is impressive. Because of this I invited her to share a bit about what inspired her to write Perilous Love which I could not put down.
Thank you very much Eileen for inviting me to talk about my book Perilous Love
April 25 was Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.
On the 25th of April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps formed part of the allied expedition which landed at 5.30 am on the Gallipoli (Turkey) peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they took in that name continues.
When WW1 began in 1914, Australia and New Zealand were part of the British Empire. We were young countries with populations of only 4.9 million and 1.1 million respectively. That didn’t stop our young men from lining up to join the fight 13,000 miles away. A grand adventure to teach the Germans a lesson and be home by Christmas. Some fretted the action would be over before they got there. They weren’t to know that four long brutal years later 62,000 Australians and 16,500 New Zealanders would never see home again.
Each year, except for 2020, Australia and New Zealand hold dawn services in each city and town and again at 11.30am – 5.30am in Turkey – to remember the Anzacs and all those who served and who gave their lives in wars and conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Each year an enormous crowd gathers at the Gallipoli Peninsula for an Anzac dawn service in harmony with the Turkish government and people.
My grandfather enlisted in early 1915 and served in Egypt and the battlefields of Belgium and France. It was at Etaples (France) Army Base Camp housing up to 100,000 British, Canadian, Scottish and Anzac forces that he actually bumped into his brother, whom he had not seen for six years. Both men returned home but the deaths and carnage and appalling conditions on the Western Front left a terrible mark on them.
I could see why when I visited those battlefields a few years ago. Miles of beautiful soft green countryside until our guide held up enlarged photos of blackened, smoky wasteland. Not just the huge craters and bodies of horses and soldiers and overturned cannons but the toll on local citizens whose towns and farms were destroyed, and lives lost. I wanted to write about it but couldn’t put it together.
It was not long after I came home that I read an article on how a person’s true character is revealed when faced with extreme danger or a life-threatening situation. For instance, the tough chest beating he-man turns to water and runs. The shy introvert steps up to face the danger head on. I had my story.
Perilous Love begins in 1914 England with Europe on edge after the assassination of an archduke.
Here’s the blurb –
Gabrielle Bryce’s plan to leave her miserable empty marriage ends when her estranged husband Adrian announces he’ll accompany her and their two children on the annual trip to Belgium. She wasn’t to know the British government ordered Adrian to find proof her aristocratic uncle is secretly supporting the German Empire’s quest for war.
What Adrian finds pushes them into a nightmare of betrayal, forcing them to run for their lives as the German forces cross the border. With only a stolen horse and buggy to their name and facing danger, brutality, and painful truths about themselves, they reach safety as two different people. Waiting for them are charges of treason and a woman who’ll stop at nothing to see Adrian dead.