Excerpt: WICKWYTHE HALL by Judithe Little {giveaway}

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WICKWYTHE HALL

by

Judithe Little

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Date of Publication: September 30, 2017

Number of Pages: 324

 

*Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist*

*2018 Reader Views Readers’ Choice Award for Historical Fiction*

*Winner of the Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Best Historical Fiction*

*Official selection of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club*

 

  

Scroll down for the giveaway!

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May 1940. The Germans invade France and the course of three lives is upended. Annelle LeMaire is a French refugee desperate to contact her Legionnaire brothers. Mabry Springs, American wife of a wealthy Brit, is struggling to come to terms with a troubled marriage and imminent German invasion. And Reid Carr, American representative of French champagne house Pol Roger, brings more than champagne to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Their paths entwine when Churchill and his entourage take refuge at Wickwythe Hall, the Springs’ country estate hidden from the full moon and German bombers beneath a shroud of trees. There, as secrets and unexpected liaisons unfold, Annelle, Mabry, and Reid are forever bound by the tragedy they share.

Part Downton Abbey, part Darkest Hour, Wickwythe Hall was inspired by an actual confrontation between the British and French navies in July 1940 and is a story of love, loyalty, and heartrending choices.

 

PRAISE FOR WICKWYTHE HALL:

“…a riveting and enlightening mix of history and fiction that puts a human face on the costs of war…engaging…”  — Foreword Reviews

“Little’s characterization of Churchill is so well done. She makes his personality and presence so real. Mabry was a character to be admired for her decisions and actions. A good read with a satisfying ending.”   — Historical Novels Review

“Judithe Little tackles war and masterfully boils it down to personal moral dilemmas. Beautifully written and rich with atmosphere…Wickwythe Hall is a stellar achievement.”  — Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree and The Promise

“…an emotional and touching story about the lives of three people during World War II, at the time of Hitler’s invasion of France in 1940. Inspired by real people, places and events in history, this whirlwind novel will no doubt leave an imprint on your heart long after you finish reading.”  — Reader Views

“If you love history, beautifully rendered characters, and stories that will tug at your heart, add Wickwythe Hall to your list.”  — Book Perfume

 

 

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EXCERPT from

Wickwythe Hall

By Judithe Little

 

France: May 1940:

Outside the convent kitchen, a truck rumbled past. “Sister,” Annelle said. “That’s the fifth to go by.”

“Yes,” Sister Marie Michel said, not bothering to look up. “Now try to be still.”

Arms out at her sides, Annelle balanced on a rickety wooden stool, worn and curved at the center from so many feet before hers. Sister Marie Michel’s skirt rustled as she crouched low on the rough stone floor stitching the hem of the gown Annelle was to wear down the aisle. It was a simple white sheath with sleeves to her wrists and a high collar. It made her skin itch and her face flush. She wanted to loosen the seams, stretch the tight weave of the cloth. Instead, she swallowed hard. “These trucks,” she said. “They sound like army trucks.”

“The vows bring such marvelous enrichment,” the nun said, as if she hadn’t heard. “The ultimate act of giving oneself, to give your whole being in sacrifice to another…”

Annelle shifted her weight. The stool wobbled. She felt a sharp, quick pain at her ankle.

“Mother Mary, I stuck you,” Sister Marie Michel said. “Are you all right?” She looked up at Annelle with kind blue eyes that had soothed skinned knees and night terrors. Twenty years had passed since the accident when Annelle, two years old, and her brothers, seven and eight, were orphaned and brought to the convent to live. Sister Marie Michel, like all of the sisters, had cherished and loved them as if they were the nuns’ own flesh, maybe more so because the nuns didn’t have that option. And now the day was coming, the day the sisters had kept tucked in their hearts since Annelle had arrived, the day they’d give her away.

“It’s fine,” Annelle said. The stinging at her ankle felt strangely good, something to think about besides army trucks and wedding dresses.

Sister Marie Michel continued stitching. “…a love that is gentle and kind…the most holy union…a ceremony sanctified and sacred…”

Annelle closed her eyes. In one week, she would be the bride of Christ. One last week, before she gave herself over to vows of enclosure, chastity, poverty, obedience. But her brothers, gone ten months, would not be there to give her away.

“…truly bound to Christ in the most marvelous way… this most holy Groom will never fail or leave you…”

Outside, another truck passed. Annelle opened her eyes. “Something’s happened,” she said. “Something with the war.”

author pic Judithe Little

Judithe Little grew up in Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.  After studying at the Institute of European Studies and the Institut Catholique in Paris, France, and interning at the U.S. Department of State, she earned a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where she was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Law and a Dillard Fellow. She lives with her husband, three teenagers, and three dogs in Houston, Texas, where she’s at work on her next historical novel set in France.

 

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS

1ST: Signed Copy of Wickwythe Hall + $50 Amazon Gift Card

2ND: Signed Copy of Wickwythe Hall + $25 Amazon Gift Card

3RD: Signed Copy of Wickwythe Hall  + $15 Amazon Gift Card

MARCH 27-APRIL 5, 2018

(US ONLY) 

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

3/27/18

Guest Post 1

3/27/18

Bonus Post

3/28/18

Review

3/29/18

Excerpt

3/30/18

Guest Post 2

3/31/18

Review

4/1/18

Notable Quotable

4/2/18

Guest Post 3

4/3/18

Review

4/4/18

Guest Post 4

4/5/18

Review

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