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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cover Reveal with Giveaway: Until That Distant Day!!

Paris, France

Colette DeMer and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.
Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?
Coming April 25, 2014



Until That Distant Day
Opening of Chapter 1
I was born believing that the world was unfair and that I was the person to make it right.
One of my earliest memories is of Papa setting me atop a nail keg in the forge; I could not have been older than two at the time.
“Colette, give Papa a kiss,” he said, tapping his cheek.
“Come and sit on my knee.”
My response to every order was the same, asked with genuine curiosity. I did not understand why his watching friends chuckled. Why should I press my lips to Papa’s sweaty, prickly cheek? Why should I hop down from the keg, where he had just placed me, and run to sit on his knee, a most uncomfortable perch? I felt justified in requesting a reason for each abrupt order, yet he never bothered to give me one.
Mama, when thus questioned, provided an answer in the form of a sharp swat. This I could respect as definitive authority, although the reasoning behind it remained dubious.
My little brother Pascoe was born believing that the world was his to command. As soon as he acquired his first vocabulary word, “No,” he and I joined ranks in defiance of established authority.
Many impediments cluttered the path of destiny in those early years: parents, thirteen other siblings, physical ailments, and educational difficulties. And as we grew into adulthood, more serious matters intervened, even parting us for a time. But I will speak more of that later. For now, let me assure you that, no matter the obstacles thrown in our way, our sibling bond seemed indissoluble; the love between us remained unaffected by any outside relationship.
Pascoe and I were young adults when revolutionaries in Paris threw aside the tyranny of centuries and established a new government based on the Rights of Man. From the seclusion of our little village in Normandy we rejoiced over each battle fought and won; and when our local physician, Doctor Hilliard, who had first mentored then employed Pascoe for several years, was elected as deputy to the National Assembly from our district, a whole new world opened at our feet.
My story truly begins on a certain day in the spring of 1792, in the little domain I had made for myself in the kitchen at the back of Doctor Hilliard’s Paris house. Perhaps it wasn’t truly my domain, for it did not belong to me. I was merely the doctor’s housekeeper and could lay no real claim. Nevertheless, the kitchen was more mine than anything had ever been, and I loved that small, dark room; especially during the hours when sunlight slanted through the bubbled-glass kitchen windows, making bright, swirling shapes on the whitewashed walls, or each evening when I arranged my latest culinary creation on a platter and left it in the warming oven for the doctor to discover whenever he arrived home. That kitchen was my home. Not the home I had grown up in, but the home I had always craved.
On that particular day, however, it did not feel the safe haven I had always believed it to be. Loud voices drifted down from the upper floor where the doctor and Pascoe were in conference, disturbing my calm. When I closed the connecting door to the dining room, the angry voices drifted in through the open kitchen windows. I couldn’t close the windows; I might smother of heat. Yet I needed to block out the sound, to make it stop.
So I slipped a filet of sole into a greased skillet and let it brown until golden on both sides. The hiss and sizzle did not quite cover the shouting, but it helped. Then I slid the fish onto a waiting plate lined with sautéed vegetables fresh from my kitchen garden; and I topped all with an herbed wine-and-butter sauce. A grind of fresh pepper finished off my creation.
But my hands were still trembling, and I felt as if something inside me might fall to pieces.
Pascoe often shouted. Shouting was part of his fiery nature, a normal event. He shouted when he gave speeches at section meetings. He shouted about overcooked meals or inferior wines. He shouted when his lace jabot refused to fall into perfect folds.
But never before had I heard Doctor Hilliard raise his voice in anger.
Doctor Hilliard was never angry. Doctor Hilliard never displayed emotion. At most, he might indicate approval by the glance of a benevolent eye or disapprobation by the merest lift of a brow. Yet there could be no mistaking the two furious voices overhead. I well knew Pascoe’s sharp tenor with its sarcastic edge; but now I also heard the doctor’s resonant voice crackling with fury.
I managed to slide the hot plate into the warmer alongside a crusty loaf of bread and closed the door, using a doubled towel to protect my shaking hands.
Behind me the connecting door was flung open, and Pascoe burst in as I spun to face him. “Gather your things; we are leaving,” he growled. His eyes blazed in his pale face, and the jut of his jaw allowed for no questions. He clapped his tall hat on his head as he passed through the room.
I donned my bonnet and sabots and picked up my parasol. “What has happened?” I asked just above a whisper.
“I’ll tell you once we are away from this house.” His lips snapped tight. His chest heaved with emotion, and he grasped a portfolio so tightly that his fingers looked white.
I could not recall the last time I had seen my brother in such a rage.



Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader's Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.


Check out the book page for Until That Distant Day.


Jill is offering an enormous bundle prize of ten print novels and novellas, including her award-winning Faithful Traitor, several novella collections, and her three-book Longtree series. These will all be autographed! (US and Canada only, please.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I will not be choosing or announcing the winner, as I'm not hosting this giveaway, just sharing it.


  1. Look at that cover, its gorgeous! That alone draws me in, though the plot sounds awesome too!

  2. Melanie, Thank you for featuring Jill and her book on your review.
    I have never read very much about the French Revolution but her characters sound very interesting. Thank you

  3. Jill, I would love to know what authors and books you recommend. I saw on your blog that you are a friend of Kim Vogel Sawyer. I have enjoyed several of her novels. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. I love the cover. The book sounds like one I would like to read. What is your favorite kind of book to read?
    susanmsj at msn dot com

  5. Hi Jill- What made you want to write a book that takes place in France? Do you have any connection to that country?

  6. Wow, this is an amazing giveaway!! :)

    As a fellow author, one question I love to ask other writers is, "Where do you find your inspiration?" Or "What is one of the oddest things that inspired you?" I love hearing how stories "popped into ones mind"!

    Thanks for sponsoring!

    P.S. The cover is so gorgeous!

  7. Thank you all for the kind words. I could not be more excited about my cover--it is easily the most beautiful cover I've ever had!

    Kandra, It is difficult to recommend books because I have so many author friends and don't want to leave anyone out! Heheheh. I really enjoyed Kim's most recent book, "What Once Was Lost." I recommend Kristen Heitzmann's Michelli family series starting with "Secrets." I read those books last winter and thoroughly enjoyed them. And I highly recommend "The Tales of Goldstone Wood," my daughter's fantasy series that is much deeper than it appears on the surface.

    Susan: My favorite kind of book to read is . . . YA fantasy. Yes, it's true. My daughter, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, is my favorite author, and I think she would be even if we weren't related! But I also enjoy historical fiction and a good mystery now and then.

    Meghan: I visited France a few times about 20 years ago and loved the rich culture and history of the land. One of my great-grandmothers was French, and my husband has French blood too.

    Bekah: When my husband was in the Air Force and stationed in England, we had opportunity to travel a little (not easy to do with three small children!), and touring historic sites set my imagination on fire. I did not yet have a story in mind when we strolled around the Louvre Palace and the Tuileries Gardens (and oh, how I wish I could visit them again!), yet I was there--I stood in the places where major events in my story took place, where people died violently for honor yet few even remember now. I love bringing forgotten history to light and peopling it with fictional characters whose adventures can feel real to my readers.

    Thank you all for your questions and your interest in my story!

  8. And Melanie, thank you for joining my cover reveal. This has been such a blast! I am thrilled with my cover and very encouraged by the response. I appreciate your participation so very much!

  9. Wonderful cover! Can't wait to get a chance to read it!



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