When the Clouds Roll By is book 1 in a three-book series from Abingdon Press titled “Till We Meet Again.” The setting is Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the story begins the day the Armistice is signed ending World War I.
Hubby and I have vacationed in Hot Springs almost every year since the ‘80s. It’s an area rich in history, and the more I learned about it, the more enthusiastic I became about using Hot Springs as the setting for a novel.
There’s the historic Arlington Hotel. This shows the hotel as it existed in 1918, when my story begins. The building burned to the ground in 1923 and was rebuilt across the street, where the hotel still stands today.
|The Arlington Hotel|
And the Army and Navy Hospital. Several original buildings still exist on the hospital grounds, but the current veterans hospital now occupies the area where the Swiss-chalet-style administration building once stood.
|The Hot Springs Army and Navy Hospital|
The bathhouses along Central Avenue remain popular tourist attractions, although only the Buckstaff continues traditional operation. Others have been modernized or are being converted into shops, galleries, or offices. The Fordyce, operated by the National Park Service, offers self-guided tours and a glimpse into the history of “taking the baths” in Hot Springs.
|The Fordyce Bathhouse|
I couldn’t have written these books without the invaluable assistance of the staff and volunteers of the Garland County Historical Society! They provided old photos, maps, documents, and book excerpts to ground me more fully in my setting.
Have I mentioned I’m pretty crazy about my book cover? Abingdon always does such a great job with covers. I pictured my heroine, Annemarie, as actress Anne Hathaway, but the cover model the Abingdon art department selected comes pretty close!
|Anne Hathaway as Annemarie Kendall|
For my hero, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary, I envisioned Simon Baker. Just love his curly blond hair and impish smile!
|Simon Baker as Samuel Vickary|
And then there’s 1st Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, the antihero. I needed somebody darkly handsome and a little on the scruffy side. Enter Eduardo Verástegui. He was too adorable to end life as a villain, so have no fear--he takes on the hero’s role in book 2, Whisper Goodbye, coming next spring!
|Eduardo Verástegui as Gilbert Ballard|
To celebrate the release of When the Clouds Roll By, I’m giving away TWO autographed copies! Just mention your interest in a comment to be entered in the drawing.
And . . . so we’ll have something to chat about and I won’t feel so guilty about rambling on and on about my new book . . .
When researching your wip, what are your top three go-to sources, and why?
About the book: Annemarie Kendall is overjoyed when the armistice is signed and the Great War comes to an end. Her fiancé, Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, is coming home, and though he is wounded, she is excited to start their life together. But when he arrives, her dreams are dashed when she learns Gilbert is suffering from headaches, depression, and an addiction to pain killers. This is not the man she had planned to marry.
After serving in the trenches, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary is barely holding onto his faith. Putting up a brave front as he ministers to the injured soldiers at the hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he befriends Gilbert and eventually falls for Annemarie. While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Whom will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be? As the world emerges from the shadow of war, Annemarie clings to her faith as she wonders if her future holds the hope, happiness, and love for which she so desperately longs.