NOTE: The Hunt begins at NOON Mountain time on April 16 and ends at midnight Mountain on April 19, 2015, so you have a long weekend to complete all 32 stops and maximize your chances at prizes! Here is information about the basics.
Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I am a part of TEAM PURPLE, and this is Stop #13. If you’re just joining us, there are two loops—pink and purple—and they begin at Lisa Bergren’s site (purple) and Robin Hatcher’s site (pink) for stop #1 for either stream. If you complete either the pink loop or purple loop, you can enter for a Kindle paperwhite and the 17 autographed books from that loop. If you complete BOTH loops, you can enter for the Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire HDX and ALL 34 autographed books. Click here for more details about the PRIZES!
BE SURE to keep track of the clues at the bottom of every post in the loop and the favorite number mentioned. You’ll need those clues to enter for the loop prize and every number mentioned in order to enter for the grand prize.
ALSO, please don’t use Internet Explorer to navigate through the loops. Some web sites won’t show up using IE. Please use Chrome or Firefox.
If you want to help spread the word about our Spring Scavenger Hunt through social media, our hashtag is #ChrFicScavHunt.
Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my guest for the Scavenger Hunt, Susan Meissner.
I have long admired Susan and her writing gift. I learned so much from her that has affected my own writing, and I appreciate her careful attention to detail. But the details don’t overwhelm the deeply emotional experience of her stories. She makes me smile every time our paths cross.
Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in journalism. Her novels include A Fall of Marigolds, named to BookList’s Top Ten women’s fiction titles for 2014. Visit Susan at www.susanmeissner.com on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at www.facebook.com/susan.meissner
Here’s the summary of her latest book:
Secrets of a Charmed Life
An American college student studying abroad at Oxford interviews Isabel McFarland just when the 93-year-old woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades, and which usher the reader back to 1940s London. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters’ lives are forever altered.
And here’s her EXCLUSIVE content, that you’ll only find in this hunt! It’s a heartbreaking story. I can’t wait to read how Susan expressed it in novel form in Secrets of a Charmed Life!
Farewell, my little one…
Imagine for a moment that you are a mother of young children, living in London’s East End in the summer of 1940. France has fallen to Hitler’s armies, as has Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Britain has declared war on Germany, and all that stands between the Nazi war machine and you and your little ones is the bit of water known as the English Channel.
For the last year you have weathered air raid drills and black-out curtains and your kids have gone to school carrying gas masks, just in case. But now your government is telling you an air strike of untold magnitude is imminent. The Luftwaffe is poised to fly over the Channel from the coast of France and bomb London. Your children aren’t safe.
The government tells you that you must allow your children to be evacuated to the countryside. It is the only way to safeguard them. You do not know how long your little ones will be separated from you. No one can guess how long the war will last. And when you pack their bags and wave goodbye as they board the trains and buses that will take them away, you do not yet know in whose house they will end up or even where. That information will come later. But in any case, the names of the people or family who will take them in will be strangers to you. You don’t even know how often you will be able to visit them. You don’t own a car and even if you did, gas (petrol) for cars is rationed. Trains may or may not be running. There is so much you don’t know. You don’t know the war will last for five long years.
But you do know this. You know that your heart is breaking.
Before I wrote Secrets of A Charmed Life, I admit I was only minimally aware of what London’s moms and dads did to protect their children during the Blitz. I’d read The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis so I knew the four children in those stories had been sent out of London into the countryside at the start of the war. But I didn’t know that for tens of thousands of children just like those fictional Pevensie kids, their stay in the countryside lasted for the duration of the war—we’re talking five years! Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for those moms and their kids to be separated from each other – with maybe just occasional visits – for half a decade, and during a time of fear, danger, and deprivation? Just thinking about the emotional pull of this situation was intense for me as a storyteller. I knew I wanted to explore what this scenario might have been like for two young sisters and their mother, and that’s what I did in the story.
Even now, I still wonder if I could have let my children go.
The evacuation wasn’t exactly mandatory. It was highly suggested. Could I have entrusted the raising of my children to people I didn’t know? And as the months of separation wore on, would I have snatched my little ones back, even though bombs fell regularly all around me?
What would you have done?
Cynthia again. Thank you for that gripping insight, Susan.
Now, for the THE SCAVENGER HUNT information you need:
I’m glad you stopped by on the hunt! Before you go, make sure you WRITE DOWN THESE CLUES:
Secret Word: you
Secret Number: 5, a number I chose, because it’s how many grandchildren I currently have.
Did you write down those clues? Great!
But the fun isn’t over yet! I’m adding my own gift package to what’s being offered through the Scavenger Hunt. If you sign up for my newsletter (See the form on my home page or the left margin of other pages on this website) I’ll enter you in the giveaway. If you’re already signed up for my mailing list, contact me through my Contact page with the email or Facebook message you use to encourage someone else to join!
MY PERSONAL PRIZE PACKAGE, in addition to what is offered through the Scavenger Hunt, is a copy of my book Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices, a Hope memory box, and a Hope keychain made from antique silverware.
Are you having fun? Are you learning more about the authors you love and getting insights into new books you want to read? DID YOU SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER MAILING LIST for a chance at the additional prize?
Time to head to the next stop in this journey: Susan Meissner’s site.