November 11 was Remembrance Day here is Canada. On this day, we pay tribute to all those in the armed forces who have sacrificed their lives to ensure the peace and freedom we enjoy today. The ceremonies of remembrance always touch me deeply. I am overwhelmed to think of the millions who lost their lives in World Wars I and II, and specifically the 105,000 Canadian soldiers who perished.
I can’t help but think of the families left behind; as a mom, I put myself in the place of the mothers who lost their sons. Imagine the agony of each of those women, going about her days in fear of a telegram arriving at her door with the dreaded news that her child will not be returning home.
Imagining this inspired me to begin my latest novel, set in 1943 in a fictional Ontario city. The heroine, Grace, is a young widow whose only son has enlisted in the army. Grace spends her time taking care of everyone else, keeping herself busy and thinking little of her own needs. When she meets Max, a mortician with a captivating smile, she realizes there is room in her beleaguered heart for the exhilaration of falling in love. But when Grace discovers a painful secret from Max’s past, she can’t help trying to set things right, whether he wants her help or not.
I started this story last year and had to put it aside to work on my Christmas novella. The research required to get a handle on the time period has slowed me down as well. I have a cover, because a cover always inspires me to continue writing, but I’ve only drafted three chapters and made a general outline for the rest. I have no timeline for finishing it – I don’t want the pressure of a deadline to prevent me from getting it just right. This is a “book of my heart” sort of project that I work on whenever I have time. Hopefully it will be available by next Remembrance Day.