Kidnapped by a Love Story


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Highlighting Historical Romance with Clare Rhoden and some lovely stories from The Great War

Hi, I’m Clare Rhoden and I live in Melbourne Australia. I’m thrilled to be here today to tell you a bit about my First World War novel, The Stars in the Night.

I was kidnapped into the era by a love story – the one about my grandparents and how they arrived in Australia.

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The author’s grandmother on the right, shipboard

My grandfather Paul was a ship’s carpenter from Prussia, and Grandma Albertine was a gentleman’s daughter from Alsace. Paul came from a poor family and had twelve little brothers. Albertine’s father was rich, and she owned a parcel of land near Strasbourg. They met and fell in love in New York. She was visiting with her aunt in Brooklyn and he was working on a Prussian merchant navy ship. We don’t know exactly how their paths crossed, but my Dad (who sadly was orphaned by age nine) kept the beautiful postcards they sent to each other during 1913. Paul and Albertine returned separately to Europe, married in Strasbourg, and emigrated to Australia in January 1914, forsaking their old lives to be together.

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One of the postcards sent by the author’s grandfather

Researching my family’s Australian history took me into the Great War period, and in 2011 I completed a PhD looking at Australian WWI literature. Combining that background with the gorgeous love story of my grandparents led me to write The Stars in the Night. It’s not their story, but if you look closely, they appear in the background. I like the idea that secret family facts are hiding in the novel.

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My grandparents’ determined love, and the way they left everything behind them to be together, is the model for the love story of Harry – a baker’s son – and Nora, a gentleman’s daughter.

It was also handy to have Grandfather’s postcards as a model for Harry’s love letters to Nora.

About the Book: The Stars in the Night

Love lasts longer than life…

Harry Fletcher is a confident young man, sure that he will marry Nora, no matter what their families say. He will always protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide.

Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans…

From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.

To buy a copy:

KOBO

Odyssey Books

And if you live in Australia, you can buy a signed copy at https://clarerhoden.com/order-copies-here/

About the Author

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Clare Rhoden is a writer, blogger and book reviewer inspired by politics, culture and the march of history. She’s been scribbling down stories since she first held a pen, and subsequently gained a floppy PhD hat for creative writing. Her published collection includes fiction, non-fiction and academic works.

Clare’s thought-provoking stories and popular characters inspire hope and optimism through challenging times. Clare lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband and her delightful poodle-cross Aeryn.

CLARE’S CONTACT LINKS

Website: www.clarerhoden.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clareelizabethrhoden/

Instagram: @clarerhodenauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/clareer55/

Twitter: @ClareER

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