- N. N. Light
Heroic Measure by @JoAnnPower1 is a Canada/America event pick #romance #histfic #4thofjuly #giveaway
Title: Heroic Measure
Author: Jo-Ann Power
Genre: Historical Romance/Fiction
For Gwen Spencer, fighting battles is nothing new. An orphan sent to live with a vengeful aunt, Gwen picked coal and scrubbed floors to earn her keep. But when she decides to become a nurse, she steps outside the boundaries of her aunt’s demands…and into a world of her own making.
But that world has gone to war.
Volunteering for the Army Nurse Corps, Gwen promises to serve until the end of the conflict, no matter how long that is. She leaves her small hometown with her friends and sails away in the dead of night, chased by German U-boats. Ashore, she discovers her new world is dangerous and demanding, helping doctors heal thousands of sick and injured Doughboys in primitive conditions.
She’s determined to overcome the heartbreaks and the challenges. Becoming an expert at anesthesia, she volunteers to go to the front lines with an acute care team. Braving bombings and the madness of men crazed by pain and despair, she surprises herself when she falls in love with a man she admires—and should not want.
Amid the chaos, she learns the measure of her own bravery to bear any burden, pay any price and claim the one man she adores as she becomes all that she desires.
When Gwen returned to the tent, she had Colonel Scott in tow. She’d told him nothing except their German patient was now awake, aware and spoke English. She thought it best to let the officer discern the veracity of the man.
“Nurse Spencer tells me you speak our language. Might I ask you where you learned it?”
“At my mother’s knee, Colonel. I am Captain Adam Fairleigh, His Majesty’s Forces. Forgive me, sir, I would greet you appropriately but our erstwhile nurse has strapped me to the bed.”
“Then you must need restraining,” Scott replied. “What the hell is this that you say you’re with the Brits?”
“I am, sir. I am attached to General Pershing’s staff, Chaumont.”
“As what? How do you speak Hun so well and why in God’s name are you in one of their uniforms?”
Fairleigh arched both brows, looking at the short American down his very elegant straight nose. “Liaison to the American Commander, sir. Since December. I speak excellent German because my maternal grandmother came from Saxe-Coburg, the same principality as our late Prince Albert. I speak German, sir, as well as I do English. Before the war, that was no crime, but an asset.”
“I see. And how do you come by this uniform?”
Their patient was no longer so quick or cocky. “I took it off a dead man.”
Gwen swallowed hard at the savage image of this man removing clothing from a corpse.
“I had managed to crawl across a zone where they were not shelling. I thought if I could reach one of their forward trench lines, then I—”
“Preposterous. How did you get that far in your own uniform?”
“I went in peasants’ rags. Our lines abut an old village where only a few huts still stand.”
“Why discard your rags for a German captain’s uniform?”
“Well, sir, he was not only dead but conveniently my size.”
That shut the man up.
Gwen could only marvel at this creature in the bed.
“When I came upon their trench, I could hear their conversation below. Luck was with me. That bunker was a communications center. If I could get in there, I might learn quite enough to make my mission worthwhile. Of course, I couldn’t do that, couldn’t speak German to them and have them believe I was one of them if I wore French farmer’s culottes, could I? So I crept around…among their dead whose bodies they had not retrieved.” He stared at the American with blank eyes. “I happened upon the captain who seemed my height. Then I waited until night fell and—”
He halted, regarding Gwen once more. “I buried my rags and crawled into their trench. They accepted my story. I was privy to their orders that were to move their gun emplacements. Then, as you can expect, I was stuck with them, considered one of them. I had to run with them. I had no opportunity to escape until two nights later when the French opened a barrage in our sector.”
He lifted a hand, let it drop to the sheets. “I managed to hang back when they retreated with their line. I set out to No Man’s Land and prayed to Christ I’d find my way across to French lines. This took me…I’m not clear. A night. Two?” He shrugged. “Here I am.”
“Who is your American liaison in Pershing’s staff?”
“Colonel Samuel Rustings.”
Scott nodded, a hint of a smile curling his lips. “I see.”
“I gather you know him.”
“Same class at West Point.”
“Well, then. If you telegraph him, he will verify who I am and my mission. He knew I went out, you see.”
“A man from headquarters is already on his way here.”
“We thought we had ourselves a Heinie.”
The man’s mouth quirked in bitterness. “Sorry to disappoint you.”
“Oh, you’ll do, sir. What did you say your name was?”
Gwen noticed that Scott had not addressed him by his rank.
“We’ll see what our man from Chaumont has to say about you. In the meantime, my private is outside the tent.”
Fairleigh inclined his head in acknowledgement of his warder.
“Nurse. Finish up here. Untie him.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“Good day, then.”
When Scott had departed, Fairleigh regarded her with appraising eyes. “What is your name?”
“Nice name. Spencer.”
“Thank you.” She pulled her cart closer to his bed. No matter who he was, he was to be made whole as efficiently as she could.
“I am sorry, Spencer, for being an ass.”
She saw on his face honest contrition. Unaccustomed to apologies from those who insulted her, she had no reason to trust the value of his. Yet she gave him credit for the courtesy of it. He had done such a brave act. What kind of man would do as he had done? A fool. An opportunist. A man who saw this was work which he and he alone was best suited for? Was that hubris? Cunning? Or duty? If indeed, he had done it. If he hadn’t lied.
“Spencer, I am grateful for your help. Please do patch me up. I’d hate to lose my hands because I lacked good manners.”
He was making conversation to heal their rift. She picked through her gauze looking for the needle she had misplaced when she had left him. Brusqueness served her where experience did not. “Lie back then and be good.”
“Chilly. Do you they teach you to be frosty like that in America?”
He feigned a shiver.
She fought a smile. “Put that spoon between your teeth. This needle will hurt.”
“I wager it will hurt less than your German. You should have warned me that it was so bad.”
“Careful.” Fingering her needle, she began to thread the eye. “You need me to be gentle as I sew. Besides,”—she could taunt him now that he was rational and at her mercy—“I doubt I’ll ever sing with you again.”
“I will endeavor to ensure you do.”
His attempt to charm her flattered her. She would do well to ignore it. “This is war, sir. Neither of us has the time.”
“Then sing to me instead.”
“When I put my needle in your skin, I will hear you sing and off key, too.” She threatened him, hiding all the humor his compliment inspired. “The spoon, sir. Now!”
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L89R5ZY
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Apple Books - https://books.apple.com/us/book/heroic-measures/id1536019844
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/heroic-measures-5
What makes your featured book a must-read?
A tale starring American women who gave up everything to save thousands of American soldiers in a land far from home inspires many to honor the women who have served to heal the wounded and care for the dying in our wars.
Enter to win a $10 Amazon US or Amazon Canada gift card
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Runs July 1 – July 7, 2022.
Winner will be drawn on July 8, 2022.
With awards on my walls for novels and non-fiction I've written, the best rewards for my life-long career as a writer continue to be the lovely notes I receive from happy readers. Gleeful to get each one, I challenge myself constantly to write books that thrill my heart.
Now as we commemorate the Centennial of WWI, I debut my newest novel, HEROIC MEASURES. In 1917, more than 10,000 American women volunteered to join the Army Nurse Corps to travel thousands of miles to a country they did they know to heal thousands of wounded Doughboys. HEROIC MEASURES is the story of one group of nurses, their valor, their dedication and their sacrifices.
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