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When the Curlews Call Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: When the Curlews Call

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release Date: September 5, 2023

Some say all Sophia Randall thinks of are romance novels and dance frocks…

That may have been true once, but when war broke out, reaching even to our isolated corner of the bush, my priorities changed. I now read news from afar and dance but rarely.

Only my love for the Almighty God, for family and friends, for the man who captured my heart, for the bush, and for the call of the curlew haven’t changed. Especially the call of the curlew.

Some say it’s mournful—even sinister—but I’ve always delighted in that lonely cry heralding the end of another day. And when Kenny went off to war, it became a promise—a reminder of his love and determination to return.

When the unthinkable happens, my prayers become listless. New challenges surface. Ghostly footsteps join the coal trucks rumbling through town. Dingoes lurk in the shadows. Valuables vanish. A… presence chases me through the bush. Burdens weigh me down, and I forget to remember.

But is all lost? Would the pain in my heart be easier to bear if I stopped to listen for the curlews’ call?

Loosely based on “The Boy Who Disappeared”, When the Curlews Call is a story of ghostly doings, missing airmen, and a young girl desperate to keep the home fires burning when all hope seems lost. Told through a series of letters, readers will follow Sophia’s journey, sharing her triumphs and trials all through the long, dark days of World War II.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Originally from Australia, Joanne Markey now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her wandering the property with her kids in search of whatever seasonal treasure they’re trying to find. 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy an Excerpt!

Sunday, 17th September, 1939


My dear friend Lilian,

The war has hardly begun and already I wish it were over! From the way they talk, we live in daily fear that my beloved brothers, Hans and Peter, will enlist. They hardly talk of anything else. Hans has begun to wave goodbye in the morning with a cheery—as only Hans can manage!—warning that Mum ought not be surprised if he should sign up before nightfall.

It’s only a joke, but there is a serious glint in his eyes that would seem to imply he is thinking it through. I don’t know why, but he seems to be biding his time.

Perhaps for Mum’s sake? It’s so near Christmas—only a little more than three months—it would not be a surprise if he waited until after that date, because we all know how much the Yuletide season means to our mother.

As much as I would hate to see them go, they feel very strongly about doing their bit. Which one cannot fault them for!

But when I think of the other boys from our district, my heart grows heavy. When will they feel the call to serve God and country? When will we be forced to say goodbye to those we love?

In particular, when will he feel the call to serve?

Oh, how I wish you were here so we could sneak away for one of our late-night yarns. Curled up in the hammocks with our blankets pulled to our chins, and the stars shining overheard as we share the deepest secrets of our hearts. I know you are doing the right thing there in the city, dearest Lilian, but oh, how I miss you!

Don’t mind me. It’s just that I feel particularly emotional tonight, and as I listen to the curlews call and try not to spill tears onto my paper, I will attempt to share as we used to do face to face.

Changes have come to our little town since you’ve been gone. The Salvation Army hall was sold to the Methodist church, and they have begun to remodel the building to be used for services. I miss our little meetings held there, but Mum is longing forward to the day when she can sit down in a good old-fashioned Methodist church again.

Did you know that the McCormicks regularly attend the Methodist church in Clermont?! I only learned that yesterday, and I learned it from a very reliable source.

Kenny!
 Yes, you read that right.

Kenneth McCormick himself told me that his family regularly attends church in Clermont, but now that we have our own little Methodist church, he might consider coming here. He’s often over this way to visit his cousin Duncan at the Birimgan sawmill, so he didn’t see why they couldn’t ride into Blair Athol for church before he goes back to his father’s station, Wallaby Run.

I’m sure you are wondering how I came to be talking to Kenny, and that, my dear friend, is why I wish you were here. It would be so much easier to tell you what happened than to write it out. But we cannot change our circumstances by wishing, so I’ll do my best.

Early yesterday morning, Dad trucked a huge load of wethers in. There was a slight mix-up in the time the train arrived, so the man who’d arranged to meet Dad hadn’t come by the time the train got here. I don’t know how or why, but there wasn’t anyone around to help unload, so Dad had me help. He had me don a pair of Peter’s dungarees and boots that were at least a dozen sizes too big. My only hope was that no one would see me, but sadly that wasn’t the case because…

Partway through unloading, Dad called for me to go into the yard with the sheep to close a gate. That would have been all fine and dandy, but just as I got the gate halfway closed, the sheep, being sheep, decided they didn’t want to be in that yard. They wanted to be in the other yard. The one I was trying to close them out of. So, they turned and charged, bleating like their lives depended on it.

I heard yelling but couldn’t decipher the meaning due to the noise of the bleating. All that came to mind was the need to get that gate closed.

However, remember those boots I had to wear? One caught on the other, and instead of closing the gate, the only feat I managed was to fall on my face in the dirt and muck in front of a mob of four thousand charging sheep.

I barely had time to cover my head with my arms before the first sheep rushed by me. My last thought was that this was it. I would never see Mum, Dad, my brothers, you, or Kenny ever again. All I could do was pray that the end would come as swiftly and as painlessly as possible.

Then something strange happened. Instead of being trampled to death, my body rose above the sheep. In my wild, fear-addled state, I momentarily thought death had come and my body being transported to the afterlife. I don’t think it happens that way, but one doesn’t think clearly when one is under the shocking impression one has died!

Only a moment passed before I realized that it wasn’t an angel carrying me, it was a man. One whose voice I recognized as Kenny’s the moment he yelled to Dad that I was okay.

But I wasn’t okay!

Interview with the Author

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

If that means what I think that means… my favorites would have to be Robbery Under Arms or First in the Field. Robbery Under Arms is set in Australia and it follows two brothers and their descent into cattle duffing (cattle rustling). First in the Field is also set in Australia, and was written by George Manfield Penn.

How do you select the names of your characters?

When it came to choosing names for When the Curlews Call I needed something from that period and something true to the setting—Australia during WWII. My hubby and I both had Great Uncles who fought in that war and both were named Kenny, so I wanted to honor them by calling my hero Kenny. To find the heroine’s name, I went through my family tree looking for something that I liked and ended up choosing the name Sophia.

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

That’s an easy answer… Chautona Havig. She writes all the books, they’re always well written and are always satisfying, and they’re suitable for anyone. The first of her books that I read was the first Aggie book, Ready or Not, and then I read 31 Kisses, which remains one of my favorites to this day. After that, I devoured as many of her books as I could get my hands on.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Aside from the usual hobbies (reading, knitting, cross-stitch) I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Our whole family made a pretty drastic diet change this year to help our type-one diabetic son and also try to eliminate some food-related issues other kids had begun to have, and that means we make almost everything from scratch. With seven kids in the house we tend to go through food rather quickly. Add to that all the experimenting to find new recipes that we all like and that means a lot of time in the kitchen.

If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?

I’d really like to have my parents to dinner, but if I could only invite one person, I’d have to choose my Mum. I haven’t seen her in person for over twenty years and would love to have a chance to sit down and talk about anything and everything the way we did when I was a teen. She’d not want me to make a big deal of her being here, though, so I’d probably serve what we’re having—fried squash and sausage, with peas on the side, and then cheeseball and crackers for an after dinner snack.

Thank you for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Stories By Gina, December 1 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Beauty in the Binding, December 3 (Author Interview)

Life on Chickadee Lane, December 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4

Artistic Nobody, December 5 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 7 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Guild Master, December 9 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 10

Fiction Book Lover, December 11 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, December 11

Connie’s History Classroom, December 12

Through the Fire Blogs, December 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2909c/when-the-curlews-call-celebration-tour-giveaway