Welcome to Wednesday Writers. Today’s guest is Allison Wells, author of War-Torn Heart. Allison will be sharing some background of the setting of this Historical Christian Romance as well as an excerpt from the book. Welcome, Allison!
War-Torn Heart is more than just a Christian romance novel. It’s set in a very real time in our history and takes place in real locations in South Carolina.
As a Clemson alumni myself, the history of the school has always enthralled me. Hearing that the entire class of 1943 enlisted and went off to join the war effort really resonated with me. That sense of purpose, of community – it is something I would love to see come back to our country.
Before having children, I worked as a newspaper journalist. I covered a small town called Six Mile just a short ways away from Clemson University and I fell in love with the small town and pride this community took in their history. The town had dwindled, stores had closed, but the people remained friendly and positive. This is the inspiration for the unnamed town in which the main character of War-Torn Heart lives.
From there, I began to weave the story of Abby, her rocking chair front porch home filled with family, the white clapboard church her family had attended for generations, and the plantation ruins she and Harvey explore. All were inspired by real homes and churches I have had the pleasure of seeing while living in the Upstate.
South Carolina is a magical place. History comes alive when one can set foot in churches built in 1822 and sit in pews once occupied by US Vice Presidents. Where people can see the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains from any hilltop. And where people are genuinely warm and welcoming.
I can only hope that the magic of South Carolina is felt in War-Torn Heart and that the story of an entire class who went off to fight for freedom, and the local families also affected by World War II, is palpable to the reader.
From my heart to yours, God bless.
By Allison Wells
Abigail Walker, a young woman from rural South Carolina, is on the cusp of womanhood, aching to be able to run wild as the younger children do, yet yearning for things she has yet to understand.
Awkward and unsure of herself, Abby is flustered when she meets Harvey Nicholas, a cadet from Clemson College. As summer begins, Abby finds herself constantly in the company of Harvey and falling quickly in love with him.
As rumors of war begin to reach the States, Abby begins to fear what may come for her older brother and Harvey.
Once Pearl Harbor is bombed, the boys are eager to protect their home and the women they love. But will Abby and Harvey’s love be able to withstand distance, rumors, loss, and hurt? Or will the war be what tears apart Abby’s heart?
War-Torn Heart is a kleenex-box book with a story of hope, of love, and of perseverance through World War II, which will make the reader cry, scream, and long for more.
Through the tears, Abby watched Harvey pick up her left hand and slide the ring over her third finger. It fit perfectly, surely a sign from God. Abby had never felt happier and more afraid at the same time.
Then, reality came washing back over her. Harvey was leaving, and Abby didn’t know for how long. Tears rolled down her cheeks, and she prayed with all her might that he would return home to her. Harvey held her close and a few sniffs escaped from him as well. Wet tears fell onto Abby’s curls. Several yards away, men were starting to get on the buses, the engines rumbling. Abby knew it was time to say goodbye. She backed away from Harvey several steps, giving herself space. She looked at him; she memorized every piece of his face. His hair, starting to grow, brushed against his brow. His eyes, bold and green, studied her back. His high cheeks were proud and stern. His mouth was soft and warm.
Peter approached Abby again. “Tell everyone I love them?” he asked. “And keep an eye on Emme for me. I don’t have a fancy ring for her, but I think everyone knows she’s taken.” He smiled at his sister and hugged her. Abby didn’t say anything back, but her face spoke volumes.
Harvey again lifted Abby’s chin with his hand. “I told you not to look down, Abby,” he said. “You’re a strong, godly woman, who should always look up.”
“I will,” she said quietly.
“I love you with everything, Abigail,” Harvey told her as he hugged her close. He kissed her sweetly. “I’ll be home soon.”
“I’m counting on it,” she said, twirling the ring on her finger. “I love you, too.”
As the men stepped back, Emmeline’s hand slipped into Abby’s. They each squeezed with all their might as Peter and Harvey finally turned around and headed to the bus, shoulder to shoulder.
Harvey got on first; he turned and waved at the girls. Abby felt hot tears fall down her face and neck. Then he disappeared. Peter stepped up next. He blew his wife a kiss and waved. Emmeline’s grip tightened, and she began to wail. The door closed behind Peter, and the bus jerked forward, a puff of smoke billowing out as it rambled down the road. Abby and Emmeline stood motionless, holding hands until the bus was out of sight.
When they could see the bus no longer, Emmeline buckled and fell to the ground. Abby quickly gathered her sister-in-law into her lap, and the pair cried until they had no tears left. It seemed like hours before they got up. Tear-stained and dirty, they got into the car and drove home in silence.
Want to read more? You can find War-Torn Heart on Amazon
About the Author:
Allison Wells lives in the foothills of South Carolina’s Upstate, in the shadow of Clemson University. She’s a former newswriter and wedding photographer who is finally pursuing her dream of being a published author. Allison is married and has four children. When not writing or reading, she can be found trying to nap or shuttling her children from activity to activity – but not at the same time.