Where’s the Love? Blog Hop

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipt’s for the Million 1857?

2693. Young men frequently amuse themselves by playing with the feelings of young women. They visit them often, they walk with them, they pay them divers attentions and after giving them an idea that they are attached Valentineto them, they either leave them or what is worse, never come to an explanation of their sentiments.

Love, Love, Love. In World War II

It’s Valentine’s Day and Heather Webb, author of Becoming Josephine,  has come up with a great way to celebrate love:  Have authors share their favorite “amorous”  scenes from a WIP or other favorite bit of writing. The first thing that came to mind for me was a scene was my WW II Norway novel, The Jossing Affair. It is my first and favorite historical novel, currently a finalist in the Chanticleer Book Reviews Unpublished Manuscripts  Contest for historical fiction.

Once you’re done here, don’t forget to hop over to Janet B. Taylor, Candie Campbell, Kris Waldherr, Tonia Marie Harris, Donna Barker, Julianne Douglas, Laura Kenyon, Betsy Ashton, and Jess Shira.

LWFlakBanak033Here’s my excerpt, but first the premise. Intelligence agent Tore Haugland, posing as a deaf fisherman, has been sent to a remote fishing village on the West Coast of Norway to set up a line receiving agents and arms from England. While there he falls for Anna Fromme,  the widow of a Norwegian teacher. She is falsely accused of betraying her husband to the Germans. Everyone thinks she’s German, but actually she is an American. Haugland and Anna begin to trust each other.  He signs and writes what he needs to say. She tries to understand.

The Jossing Affair Excerpt

So Haugland came, usually after Lisel was asleep. He knew now he was truly in love with her. Whether he had any right to such feelings he wasn’t sure for it went against his principles as an agent for his country and England, but he couldn’t help himself any more. As yet, there was nothing physical, just a deepening friendship he realized she needed as much as he did and he nurtured it along because it would become only more convoluted if he acted on his own feelings.

Once on a moonlit November night when a soft, warm foehn wind was blowing down the side of the mountains, he persuaded her into going for a walk up to the seter. They slipped away up the logging road, heading up into the dark trees where the waning moonlight came through. It lay shiny patches on the forest floor, like rungs on a ladder and as they passed they sometimes stepped from light to light. The forest was still. The leaves had long dropped from the birches and maples, but the pines were full and deep, draping the sides of the path like gigantic curtains. When they reached the seter, he set out flat bread, a small sausage and cheese on the steps. The old milk cans were still there leaning into each other. The lantern blossomed with a match.

Jens. Like our summer picnic.”

Ja, he signed.

They stayed for a short time, then headed down. “Takk, she said at her door.

He took her hand and held it. The urge to hold and kiss her was so strong, but he dared not act on it. She withdrew her hand, but this is enough, he thought.

He knew she must never know his identity, but he had no idea how long or how far he could go with meeting her without giving away his feelings. So he prepared to withdraw from the village and fell deeper in love, putting duty above need.

Happy Valentines Day!! 

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16 thoughts on “Where’s the Love? Blog Hop

  1. What a beautiful scene. The problem, of course, with reading such a small snippet is that so many questions are unanswered. Why can an agent not be in love with someone? How can an American be mistaken for a German?
    Also, I do wish that there was some sense of the woman here. Even with the POV you’re using, she is really an unknown. With the lovely descriptions of the scenery and the picnic, we never even get a hint of her — expressions, tone of voice, look on her face.
    And finally, I don’t understand how his withdrawing would make him fall more deeply in love.

    Your voice is so lyrical, and you do such a skillful job of evoking the setting. Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks Barb. The setting is this. The hero is pretending to be deaf. Anna Fromme is thought to be German. Her father was, but her mother was an American and she was born in Maryland. In the early 20s her parents return to Germany and she grows up there. Her mother is killed in a car accident. Anna meets her husband Erik in Amsterdam. He is Norwegian. It’s a time when Germans still traveled. They fall in love. Her father is anxious to get her out of Germany when things get bad and she is smuggled out to Erik to Norway. She pretends (everyone is pretending here) to be Danish of German descent. When Norway is invaded, Americans were rounded up and put in jail. Some never got out alive. So it’s dangerous for people to know that she’s American. Then her husband is betrayed. People think it’s her. She goes to a village where her husband grew up. She’s completely ostracized. She meets Haugland when he comes to log her land. He has withdraw because the German and their Norwegian counterparts are beginning to see illegal activity near the village. He feels it’s best to withdraw to protect the innocent village, but he can’t tell her who is or why he has to go.

      In truth, one of the civilian leaders of the resistance, was the missioner for the deaf in Norway. A wonderful man.

  2. Aww… this is supposed to be a love scene, not a heart-ache scene!! I want them to have a happily ever after.

    Is there a connection between the paragraph that starts with “2693?” It seems to be connected in theme, but is that part of your story in some way? It makes me very curious about whether your story has a unusual structure. It also probably played into my reaction at the end of your snippet since in reading the two pieces together leads me to believe that Haughland will “never come to an explanation of his sentiments.” Poor Lisel…

    • I’ve been posting receipts from Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Millions, a book that belonged to my greatgrandmother, for years. I try to find a receipt that might match the topic, although Mrs. Hale can get off topic. I think it’s a nice devise. There’s an agent who always says what’s on her I-pod. Since I do history, this works. I have some more coming up on butter.

  3. Interesting scene, Janet. You do a nice job of evoking mood in a short space. Is it a memoir-style historical novel? I ask because it reads a little bit like your explaining past events. I’d love to dig deeper into the scene. Also, there are some repetitive words like “up” and “withdraw”. But I still very much enjoyed this! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

  4. Hi Janet, (love your name-btw! lol) Lovely piece! I could absolutely feel your hero’s longing. My favorite line: It lay shiny patches on the forest floor, like rungs on a ladder and as they passed they sometimes stepped from light to light.

  5. You have a lovely, soft, quiet voice here. The description was beautiful. I felt like I was warching the whole scene through a slight fog – enough to soften the outlines of everything.

    I was a little bit confused by the first line of the scene, that he came usually after she was asleep. Where was he coming? Was he watching her sleep (because that sounds a little bit creepy)? And how did coming after she was asleep convince him that he was in love with her?

    • Thanks for the comment. Because the excerpt is so short, it’s hard to see, but he’s coming after Anna’s four year old daughter is asleep. The little girl knows him, but he just doesn’t want to make things even more complicated by having her blurt out something about him even though her mother is ostracized by the village and doesn’t have anyone to talk to.

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