Cover Reveal w/ Notes | A new war drama caught my eye recently “Shelter” by Sarah Franklin

Posted Monday, 2 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I came across a new publisher in recent months who has been releasing stories which are catching my eye and are becoming part of a growing list of #mustreads! This one in particular catch my attention because it takes a war drama to a new layer of heightened awareness of another facet of the war era we might not have become aware of until a novel like this one highlights the hidden history. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself properly intrigued by a war drama such as this one which separates itself from the others due to the original thread of entrance into a portion the war’s history we never would have heard about otherwise. It reminds me of when I first learnt of the Land Girls – who worked the fields and brought in the veg to keep the country (England) well fed during the war era.

In this instance, it’s the captivating drama behind finding yourself in the midst of a forest and doing work within it you might not have felt you could have previously if it hadn’t been for the war itself. It is also about a meeting of the minds – of how two people can find themselves during war and find a measure of peace through their connection – even if the rest of the world and their future isn’t quite as clear as their ‘everyday’ here and now. It sounds like the kind of dramatic story I would love to read and this is why I am joining in the celebration for the paperback release!

I love finding stories which stand out – curate a vein of entry into a portal of history which at times can feel overrun with stories (as I’ve become quite particular about which war dramas I read) – you still find the hidden gems which speak out from the crowd, draw your heart towards their words and find an uplift of joy to have stumbled across a part of History you haven’t yet had the chance to traverse inside. At least, this is how I felt when I first read the premise behind SHELTER and why I happily wanted to cheer about it today, on the 2nd of April.

I am sharing this announcement both on my blog and on Twitter – wherein the most intriguing part of the story itself – aside from the characters and the ports of entry therein – is how inspiring the back-story is about how the novel was conceived by the author! I’ve included a preview of insight from the author on this post – you’ll find out about where this story is set and what led the author to tell the story she did. If you have a penchant for war dramas like I do, I hope this might be one of your #mustreads as much as it has become mine!

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Cover Reveal w/ Notes | A new war drama caught my eye recently “Shelter” by Sarah FranklinShelter
by Sarah Franklin

Spring 1944. Connie Granger arrives, alone, in the Forest of Dean. Fleeing her blitzed home and the war that’s fiercely raging on, she will train with the Women’s Timber Corps as a lumberjill. Deep in the heart of the forest, Connie’s duties will include felling, snedding, loading and crosscutting.

As she is drawn to the healing rhythms of the ancient forest and its remote local community – the forester and his wife, the shepherd, – Connie battles with the knowledge that she must soon make a life-changing decision.

Also arriving in the forest is Seppe, an Italian Prisoner of War, who is haunted by the past. Amongst the trees of the forest, he finds a strange kind of freedom and when Connie and Seppe cross paths in the forest, their meeting signals new beginnings. With the support of one another they will find the means to imagine their own lives anew and to face the fears that haunt them.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1785762826

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


on 1st June, 2018

Published By: Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre)

an imprint of Bonnier Publishing (@bonnier_publish)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook & the upcoming Trade Paperback Edition!

About Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire. She lectures in publishing at Oxford Brookes, is the founder and host of Short Stories Aloud and a judge for the Costa Short Story Award. She has written for The Guardian, Psychologies, The Pool, Sunday Express. In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship on the strength of her opening pages of SHELTER, and worked on the novel for a year with Jenn Ashworth, amongst others.

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The Q&A I happily found within the Press Release which speaks to the back-story behind why Ms Franklin was captured by the story she’s brought to life within SHELTER:

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Sarah’s connection to the Forest of Dean | Visit the Forest of Dean Site

I’d known about the POW camps in the Forest of Dean all my life – my grandmother used to take in sewing for the prisoners, and gave me tokens which they used in place of ‘real’ money. The idea of a sensitive prisoner also brought me to Connie, who is the antithesis of Seppe, and the real driver for the book.

To research the book I spent a lot of time in the archives of the Imperial War Museum, reading and listening to archived accounts from Lumberjills. The Dean Heritage Museum in the Forest of Dean provided similar invaluable material. I also read two first-hand accounts of life in the actual POW camp in the Forest of Dean, which were incredible and really informed the camp scenes.

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About the Women’s Timber Corps | Read more about the Lumber Jills

The work of the WTC included all the jobs involved with forestry including felling, snedding, loading, crosscutting, driving tractors, trucks, working with horses and operating sawmills. A more specialist skill was measuring which was the job of assessing the amount of timber in a tree, measuring the amount of timber felled, surveying new woodlands and identifying trees for felling.

Initial training consisted of a four to six week course at one of the Corps depots before being posted to a billet elsewhere. The work was heavy and arduous but there was a grudging acceptance from farmers and foresters that the women of the WTC were as good as the men they had replaced. Pay ranged from 35 to 46 shillings per week. Towards the end of the war some of the women were considered skilled enough to be posted to Germany to help salvage the sawmills there.

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About the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean has played an important part in the heritage of Britain especially from the 17th century when the oak timber and iron became important for the expanding shipbuilding industry. Later following a visit to the Forest by Lord Nelson in 1802, 30 million acorns were planted across 11,000 acres. Despite further demands during the first and second world wars, the Forest, has maintained much of its traditional appearance. In addition, much of the war-time felling was replanted with oak and other broad leaved mixtures.

Until 1955 coal mining was one of the area’s main industries with five collieries (the last closed in 1965), and is still undertaken at a few small mines operated by Freeminers. The centuries old mining rights (applied to iron ore, coal and other minerals and even quarrying for stone) entitle any male born within “the hundred of St Briavels”, aged 21 or more and who has worked for a year and a day in a mine to legally register as a Freeminer with the chance of being granted a ‘gale’ of coal (or ore).

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I found a video about a *live action!* play about the Lumber Jills from [2016] – this is just a short introduction to the play but it shows a bit of what the terrain might have been like for a Lumber Jill and what they were wearing when they were working in the forest. I thought I’d share it with you.

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This cover reveal is courtesy of Zaffre Books

As soon as I found this lovely novel, I was thinking about the kindred spirits I know through #HistoricalFix – especially as we’re going to be discussing ‘war dramas’ during an upcoming chat (22nd of May) – I was curious if any of them have read stories about the Woman’s Land Army – either about the Land Girls who were on the farms or the Lumber Jills?

I hadn’t quite heard of either one until I came across this novel & the BBC series “Land Girls” which I ILL’d (interlibrary loaned) the first series through my local library. It would be interesting to find out if other readers who are as addicted to reading Historical Fiction & Feminist Historical Fiction if they have come across other novels set during this timescape & talk about the missing histories of these women who played such an important role in our war history.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Shelter”, author photograph of Sarah Franklin, book synopsis and author biography were provided by Bonnier Publishing / Zaffre Books and used with permission. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. YouTube video about the Lumber Jills play was able to be embedded due to codes provided by YouTube. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories Sailing into View banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 2 April, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Historical Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain




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