Happy Wednesday friends! You have heard me talk praises of J’nell’s new book, Among the Poppies! Well today I am excited to welcome Gwyn to the blog to talk about her day! For those of you who live in a cave somewhere, and have not heard about this amazing debut, I strongly encourage you to go to Amazon right now and click purchase. And while you’re at it, buy two or three. Give one to a friend and one to the local library. Other people need to read this too!! Here’s a peek at the cover which you can click on to purchase as well!
A Day in the Life
Allow me the pleasure of introducing Gwynevere Ruthers, but, please, you must call her Gwyn as Gwynevere is too much of a mouthful. A chauffeur’s daughter longing for adventure far beyond the garage doors, she’s not one to sit idly at home while the war to end all wars explodes across the English Channel. The wounded Tommies need ambulance drivers to take them from the battlefields of France, and by golly, that’s exactly what she’s going to do. Take it away Gwyn!
An alarm sounds, jolting me out of bed. I shoot to my boot-clad feet. Apparently, I hadn’t bothered to change clothes after coming off a twenty-hour shift and so fell face first down on my pillow not four hours ago. The alarm doesn’t sound again and my heart returns to its normal pace as I realize one of the other ambulance drivers is banging away at something in the garage. Speeding through my ablutions and quick change into a clean pair of jodhpurs, and I’m out the door to grab a quick bite of leftovers from the midday meal and out to the garage.
The sun is hazy high overhead which does nothing to dry up the bogs of mud around Maison du Jardins. Not to mention the roads. It was like trying to drive through tar with the occasional mortar shell crater to wreak havoc on the auto’s axels. I burst into the garage and demand to know if the axels have been checked after last night’s run to the field station a few miles back from the front lines of fighting. The two drivers sitting there stare at me and demand to know why I’m standing there when I’m not supposed to be on shift. Ignoring their questions, I examine a box of washers and nuts that need to be replaced on one of the model-T’s. I have a difficult time sleeping or doing anything else when there’s work to be done.
I pass the next few hours checking over all the ambulances and making notes on repairs and supplies needed for when we leave to pick up the wounded Tommies. Poor lads. We make transport as comfortable as we can, but those rutted roads aren’t easy on them. My checklist complete, I sit down to write Papa. He’s a chauffeur for Lord Somerset back in dear ol’ Blighty, that’s England, and a finer driver you couldn’t find. Taught me everything he knows. Then it’s a long letter to William. He’s near the Front again and doing his best to keep his men’s spirits up, but I know the glumness of the trenches weighs on him. I tell him about the new patients we have in hospital, how one of them tried to kiss Cecelia and she wrapped his face in bandages to stop those furthering actions, how my motor Rosie has taken to whistling from her exhaust pipe, and of the beautiful red poppies starting to uncurled their frills of petals. They make such a splash of color against all the gray and mud. Maybe I’ll press a few of them to send to him, a kiss from me to him when we can’t always be together.
A siren blasts the air. Stowing my letters in a safe spot, I dash outside and straight to Rose as other drivers pour out of the house. I jump behind the wheel and yank my driving goggles over my eyes to avoid them getting dry or rocks pinging them without the protective windscreen in place. It’s only six miles to the field dressing station, but it takes an over an hour due to the mud. I fit as many wounded as I can into the back of my ambulance, none critical thank goodness, and motor back to hospital. Twice more I make this trip until at last all of the wounded have been taken and deposited into the reassuring hands of the nurses. The moon is glowing large and silver by now, but I instruct the drivers to check their autos over for damage before we take to sanding and mopping out the back from where the wounded had been.
Trudging back to my room, I slip out of my boots. Oh the freedom to finally wiggle my toes! My hair is tangled, but the thought of brushing it exhausts me so I’ll leave it in its somewhat manageable braid for now. I finish my letter to William and seal it with a kiss. He hasn’t been able to take a photograph of himself for me yet, but he did send a sketch of his horse, Titan, which he assures me is better. I would disagree but this is a point we’ll never see eye to eye on.
My bleary eyes tell me it’s close to four in the morning so I’ll say goodnight to you here. If I continue much longer, all you’re likely to get from me … SNOOORE!
And now you see why you need to read this book!!! Thank you Gwyn for sharing your day!!
About the Author
Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days writing heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle.
Among the Poppies blurb:
Gwyn Ruthers longs for adventure far beyond the stifled life society restricts her to as a chauffeur’s daughter. With the war to end all wars exploding across the Channel, Gwyn signs up to drive ambulances on the Front. Rambling over bomb blasted roads and living in mud bogged trenches is far from the exotic travels she had in mind. A simpler life doesn’t look quite as bad as she once thought. Especially when a handsome captain has her rethinking her objections to settling down.
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