Novel PASTimes: Thank you for joining us, Grace. You’ve had quite a journey in your life.
Grace: I’m grateful for both the ups and downs.
Novel PASTimes: You’re grateful for the downs?
Grace: Those are the times, I think, when I’ve felt God’s presence the most. In the dark seasons while I served in France and then during the even darker years that followed.
Novel PASTimes: You’ve quoted Psalm 27 quite often along the way.
Grace: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” That reminder gave me courage to continue on.
Novel PASTimes: How many children did you and Roland care for in France?
Grace: I’m not certain. The American Friends Service Committee kept the numbers. I was focused on the daily needs of the refugee kids until we realized that we had to get those who remained with us out of France.
Novel PASTimes: How many children did you escort across the mountains?
Grace: Twelve . . . at least we started with twelve. One had to turn back.
Novel PASTimes: I don’t suppose you could tell us who . . .
Grace: That’s not my story to tell.
Novel PASTimes: You are a hero to every one of those kids.
Grace: A servant, my friend. Answering when our Lord calls.
Novel PASTimes: Can you tell us what happened to Charlie?
Grace: His life was a miracle, but I don’t want to spoil the ending of the book.
Novel PASTimes: Fair enough. Could you tell us instead the significance of the winter rose?
Grace: A winter rose can grow wild in the mountains, in the most rugged terrain. It looks fragile but it’s very strong, defying the winds and cold weather with its strength. A winter rose shows beauty and strength, I think, in the hardest of circumstances.
Novel PASTimes: Thank you for not giving up on the children in France.
Grace: My husband and I have been blessed beyond what we could have ever imagined in our years together. It’s an honor to share our story.
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ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Winter Rose
In this gripping WWII time-slip novel from the author whose books have been called “propulsive” and a “must-read” (Publishers Weekly), Grace Tonquin is an American Quaker who works tirelessly in Vichy France to rescue Jewish children from the Nazis. After crossing the treacherous Pyrénées, Grace returns home to Oregon with a brother and sister whose parents were lost during the war. Though Grace and her husband love Élias and Marguerite as their own, echoes of Grace’s past and trauma from the Holocaust tear the Tonquin family apart.
More than fifty years after they disappear, Addie Hoult arrives at Tonquin Lake, hoping to find the Tonquin family. For Addie, the mystery is a matter of life and death for her beloved mentor Charlie, who is battling a genetic disease. Though Charlie refuses to discuss his ties to the elusive Tonquins, finding them is the only way to save his life and mend the wounds from his broken past.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of more than twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels, including her latest, The Winter Rose. Five of her novels have won Carol Awards; Catching the Wind and Memories of Glass were nominated for a Christy Award in the historical fiction category; Catching the Wind won an Audie Award in the inspirational fiction category; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year. Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes. Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters and live near Portland, Oregon. Visit Melanie online at melaniedobson.com.