Historical Heartbeats welcomes author Jeanne M. Dickson introducing her new novel, Grounded Hearts. Jeanne says, “My debut novel, Grounded Hearts, will be released June 13, 2017. I can’t wait to share it with you.” Now is the time to pre-order the exciting novel that takes place in Ireland during World War II.
A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.
In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.
Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.
But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?
Excerpt from Grounded Hearts, Chapter One:
“Officer Finn. Why are you here at this time of night? Ya ma, is she all right then? Is she having the female trouble again? I was getting into my bath, but if she needs me, I’ll only be a second.”
His round cheeks reddened. “Not a’tall, Nan. Ma’s grand. Sorry to disturb ya peace. Did you hear the plane go down earlier tonight?”
“I did, I did.” She blessed herself. “What a terrible noise. Are they RAF? Did you find them?”
“Aye. RAF. We’re looking for the crew. Have ya seen anyone, Nan?”
A beat passed between them. “No, indeed. Have you found any of the boys?”
“Belligerents. Combatants. That’s what they are.” His focus slid down her body to her bare legs, and he licked his lips, leaving a wet gleam. “If found alive, they’ll be on their way to internment camp.”
“I’ll say a prayer for the airmen.” Especially for the one in her bathtub.
“But you’ll give me a holler if any come this way?”
“Of course I will.”
His sharp brown eyes nailed her. “’Cause ya know it’s an offense against the Free State of Eire to harbor a soldier.”
“I’m knowing that, yes. I was at your meeting last week.” Nan inched the door shut. Her knees trembled inside her robe, but she summoned up a smile that wobbled at the corners. “Good night then, Officer Finn.”
“One more thing, Nan.” His hand pressed the door back two inches. “I notice there’s blood on the threshold.”
Nan’s stomach did a flip. “Disgusting, isn’t it? Mr. Dee did that.”
“Mr. Dee?” Shamus’s eyes narrowed as his hand went to the rifle at his side. “Who might that be?”
“Ah sure, my tabby cat. He nabbed a mouse and chewed it on my doorstep. The blood was the cat’s doing. Well, good night—”
The tip of his muddy boot stopped the door from shutting. “So what about the bloody fingerprints here?”
Nan squeezed together the neck of the robe. The cat rubbed against her legs, purring.
“Ah, that’s a bit of my own doing. I couldn’t stand the sight of the wee creature, all bloody there on my stoop. So I picked up the thing and then flung it over the hedge. Got my hands bloody and must have brushed them there while I was going inside. I’ll clean it in the morning. Shamus, ah, Officer Finn, if you don’t mind, my bath is getting cold.”
“Okay, okay. I see.”
Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed the cat jumping onto the table. He knocked Dutch’s gun from the edge. The weapon fell to the floor and landed beside Nan’s bare feet.
Her heart stopped. Maybe Finn hadn’t noticed. Her gaze went to his.
Rubbing his double chin, he looked from the gun into Nan’s eyes. “Well now, Nan. Is that the gun the cat used to shoot the mouse?”
Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. Her grandmother lived with them and was a constant source of stories about life in Ireland and the saints and ancestors long gone from this earth. She credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother with her love of storytelling.
Perfecting her craft, she attends many writer’s conferences and over the years, she has won and finaled in numerous RWA romance writing awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, The Tara, and she was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star.
Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.