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On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month November 11 1918 After four long dark years of fighting the Great War ends at last and the world is forever changed For soldiers loved ones and survivors the years ahead stretch with new promise even as their hearts are marked by all those who have been lostAs families come back together lovers reunite and strangers take solace in each other everyone has a story to tellIn this moving unforgettable collection nine top historical fiction authors share stories of love strength and renewal as hope takes root in a fall of poppiesFeaturingJessica BrockmoleHazel GaynorEvangeline HollandMarci JeffersonKate KerriganJennifer RobsonHeather WebbBeatriz WilliamsLauren Willig

10 thoughts on “Fall of Poppies

  1. says:

    375 stars World War I anthology featuring some of today's most brilliant historical romance fiction writers with nine original short stories to share If I had to pick my FAVORITE story it would most likely be the beautiful and heartwrenching final installment of the collection Hushby Hazel Gaynor

  2. says:

    45 Stars A young Belgian patriot discovers the German patient she begrudgingly cares for isn't at all what he seems Wartime lovers reunite decades later to discover they were kept apart by misunderstandings A young Red Cross volunteer finds first love with a disfigured soldier only to be cruelly separated from him A dancer struggles to survive and imagine a future in Paris after losing everyone she loved to the war A timid airman makes a hasty promise to a stranger and finds a new reason to survive the war A grieving widow vows revenge on the Germans who took so much from her A disillusioned American airman finally finds a reason to leave Paris nearly two years after the war's end A British soldier stationed in Dublin to uell the uprising falls in love with an Irish girl And an English midwife desperately fights for the life of a newborn while her son fights for his life on a French battlefieldThis is an excellent collection of short stories by nine talented historical fiction authors While the stories are not interconnected they do all share a common theme the Armistice and these stories really capture the conflicting emotions that the end of the war brings Of course there is joy and celebration but also a sense of uncertainty Is it really over? What comes next? What do we do now? What was it all for? How do we go on as before when none of us will ever be the same?The stories are wonderfully varied giving the reader a glimpse into different aspects of the war and life on the home front in Britain Belgium and France Most of the characters in these stories are fictional but I was introduced to two amazing women I'd not heard of before Edith Cavell a British nurse who helped hundreds of Allied soldiers escape German occupied Brussels and was executed for it and Anna Coleman Ladd an artist who used her talents to create lifelike masks for soldiers disfigured in the war And I was reminded that Ireland was in rebellion during the war sending boys to fight Germany while those that stayed home fought against British rule That's something we don't tend to hear much about when discussing the Great War and that story The Photograph by Kate Kerrigan added another layer of depth and emotion to the collectionAll nine stories are good There's not a weak offering among them though some did resonate with me than others All for the Love of You by Jennifer Robson Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole and Hush by Hazel Gaynor stand out as my favorites The first two mainly because I am a hopeless romantic and the latter because it is such a haunting beautiful bittersweet ending to the war and the collection Birth death and the circle of life; the stillness of peace sweeping across the land was palpable coming just in time for some and too late for others Not even the end of the war means the war is over It will never be over for some of usAll but three of these authors were new to me and I will definitely be adding their full length novels to my list These stories of love and war are beautifully written encompassing the entire range of emotions and shades of humanity and will stay with you long after you've finished reading them

  3. says:

    Find this and other reviews at are a handful of authors I truly love reading and when I get an email from one asking me to review their work Well it's not a uestion of if I'll review it so much as when I can fit it into my schedule It doesn't happen often but this is how I came to possess an ARC edition of Fall of Poppies I'd been eyeing the anthology since it was announced and thought it'd make a great companion to Grand Central It is an entirely different group of authors but it in terms of subject matter I felt the two complimented one another and having loved the first I couldn't help being drawn to the second I suppose I should admit that I was familiar with the works of Jessica Brockmole Marci Jefferson and Heather Webb prior to Fall of Poppies I've recommended Letters from Skye Enchantress of Paris Girl on the Golden Coin Rodin's Lover and Becoming Josephine several times each and I was eager to see how each writer would navigate storytelling on a smaller scale I admire each greatly and couldn't have been happier about getting to experience their latest publications before the official release dateHazel Gaynor Evangeline Holland Kate Kerrigan Jennifer Robson Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig were names I knew well I'd eyed many of their titles with interest but Fall of Poppies marks my first experience with each It was a long time coming but Fall of Poppies was an introduction I wont soon forget and I'll likely be on the lookout for each of these ladies in the coming year The Daughter of Belgium by Marci Jefferson Marci Jefferson's The Daughter of Belguim like many of the stories touches on a lot of interesting subject matter Taking inspiration from the story of Edith Cavell Jefferson tackled the silent struggles of those who dedicated to tending the wounded Strength tempered by pain and loss is not something I see everyday but Jefferson's presentation of Amelie proved both convincing and powerful I liked the combination and felt the complexity of her personality and past experience intensely relatableThe Record Set Right by Lauren Willig Lauren Willig's The Record Set Right was bittersweet in tone but the drama it depicted brought a smile to my fact A tale of misunderstanding and missed opportunities Millie's retrospective narrative stuck a chord with me Romance isn't only for the young and I liked how this short defied trends to illustrate that idea The pivotal moment was slightly predictable but characters themselves were uniuely drawn and held genuine appeal in my eyes All For the Love of You by Jennifer Robson Jennifer Robson's All For the Love of You highlights one of the intriguing chapters of WWI in that it deals with mask making and the effort help those who'd been disfigured in the conflict The struggles Daisy witnesses are illuminating but the craftsmanship and professionalism she witnesses in the studio is what captured my attention Anna Coleman Ladd is not a character I'd encountered in my studies but I enjoyed learning about her through Robson's effort and appreciate how the piece illustrated both her and her work After You've Gone by Evangeline Holland The plot details of Evangeline Holland's After You've Gone were a little far fetched for my personal tastes but I loved the subject matter she explored and the way the author approached it It is the first of the anthology submission to include the male POV and the story touched on larger concepts such as racism and artistic pursuits in times of war Holland's work is not heavy handed but flows naturally toward a subtle touching conclusion Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole In terms of plot Jessica Brockmole's Something Worth Landing For was my favorite submission to Fall of Poppies I love the balance she found in her portrayal of Victorie and Wes the vulnerability she brought to each character and the material she covered but there is an authentic uality to the drama these characters experience that struck so close to home it made my heart ache Simple but beautifully drawn the story took my breath away and brought a tear to my eye Hour of the Bells by Heather Webb Conceptually Heather Webb's Hour of the Bells stopped me dead in my tracks Born a German citizen Beatrix married a Frenchman and watched as their son took up arms against her homeland For her the war is intensely personal and threatens crush her heart and soul Hour of the Bells is a love story but not the kind I'd anticipated when I accepted Fall of Poppies for review Emotionally it is raw powerful and poignant The kind of story that haunts you long after you've said goodbye An American Airman in Paris by Beatriz Williams I cheered when I realized Beatriz Williams' An American Airman in Paris was written entirely from the male POV I was uite vocal about my frustration with the marginalization of the male narrator at the 2015 Historical Novel Society Conference and adored Williams for bucking the trend Octavian's struggle is a mosaic of varied emotion but I felt the passionate depth Williams portrayed in him was as refreshing as it was provocative The story is somber and somewhat difficult in terms of theme but in my eyes it stands as the most pleasantly surprising submission of the anthologyThe Photograph by Kate Kerrigan Kate Kerrigan's The Photograph stands out in that it is the only one of the Fall of Poppies Submissions that doesn't take place on the continent Centered in Dublin the story incorporates a larger world view of the conflict and I couldn't help appreciating how it touched on additional conflict of the age The modern elements didn't appeal to me as much as the historic ones did but like Williams I think Kerrigan characterizations of Clive and Eileen defied both stereotypes and trends Hush by Hazel Gaynor Hazel Gaynor's Hush anchors the collection as the final submission in Fall of Poppies It was hardest of the stories for me to get into but ultimately I think it the most comprehensive All the stories highlight a love of some sort but Hush touches on many It plays with other emotions notably courage of conviction and individual guilt but I was particularly drawn to Gaynor's illustration of hope in the face of tragedy and loss

  4. says:

    I'm a huge fan of all things World War I and I loved this anthology by some of my favorite writers all set in the immediate aftermath of the war This real and heartbreaking kaleidoscope of stories of men and women trying to reconstruct their lives provides an unforgettable picture of an imortant moment in history

  5. says:

    Overall rating 366 — so rounded up to 4 starsMy rating is obtained by giving each of the short stories their own rating and dividing by 9 number of works included in the collection My overall impression This was an easy book to read since there are natural stopping points throughout While I’m not a huge fan of short stories I do like them when we’ll written There were a couple in this collection I truly wish the author would have held onto and developed and entire novel around the characters Like most collections there was a story or two that didn’t hit the mark for me I found it a bit surprising that one of those was an author I have read and enjoyed in the past Individual ratings and reviews 4 The Daughter of Belgium by Marci Jefferson This was the first time reading anything by Marci Jefferson I will surely look for future full length stories from her This was a good short but I think the limited space hurt the flow of the story a bit It was a regular build up and then EVERYTHING happened in the last 10 pages 5 The Record Set Right by Lauren Willig I really enjoyed this story The setting and atmosphere felt spot on As I think will happen with many of these shorts I was left wishing these characters could have had a full length book appearance They were nuanced enough though that I was not left wondering or guessing Also praise to the author for not falling back on the most annoying “nails biting into her palms” description Yeah I have commented in several reviews how she over uses this phrase I was relieved to read one of her stories without it She’s such a great writer but for this one idiosyncrasy 35 All for the Love of You by Jennifer Robson I really enjoyed this story However there was a huge glaring error in the timeline I hope it was only editing and not the author’s stupid mistake It took me out of the story so much and hurt the flow that I cannot help but rate it lower than I had anticipated up to that point 25 After You’ve Gone by Evangeline Holland I was planning to give this story a higher rating while reading the first few pages The writing was pretty good and I enjoyed the concept people of color during WWI in Paris was very interesting and not something I’d read before I even began to love the characters But what happened is most likely not entirely the author’s fault There was just not enough pages in a short story format to adeuately tell the unfolding story It was obvious that entire chunks of needed background and development probably were left out for the sake of space There were odd things happening and it was hard to follow Superfluous characters that mattered nothing to the story The worst thing was a cat supposedly left in a bag all day long Huh? It had to happen that way because these people only met one day and the guy had to end up with the cat It was so unbelievable it made me roll my eyes 5 Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole Loved this one It is my winner for best work in this collection I wish these characters could have made an appearance in a full length novel I fell in love with both the male and female lead characters I even wanted to know about the other pilots in the suadron I would really have enjoyed a detailed telling of their story But as only a great author could pull off I wasn’t left feeling short changed in the 30 pages I received Excellent writing 2 Hour of the Bells by Heather Webb I didn’t much care for this story It was not my cup of tea It had an overwhelming feeling of doom I realize this is book of stories centered around The Great War but the other authors have found a way to tell tales and create characters that are not depressing The writing itself was fine therefore I’ll raise my rating to two stars from the one my heart wants to award 45 An American Airman in Paris by Beatriz Williams This was a great story I loved it up until the ending I’m simply not a fan of ambiguous endings I can see how the language and sexual situations could be off putting to a segment of the population as I’ve seen noted in other reviews However I think the voice and demeanor given to the American Flyboys was spot on These were desperate and trying times I will also note this is the only piece that is told entirely from a male point of view I found that fact very refreshing and it solidified my already held belief that Beatriz Williams is a great author who can tackle just about any character with accuracy 25 The Photograph by Kate Kerrigan I kinda liked this story but I didn’t love it It felt very out of place The liberation of Ireland did not fit the Great War theme The only true connection is the time British soldiers were stationed in Ireland to uell uprisings If that was the only fault I “might” still like this one but alas there was very little substance to the story I don’t want to give spoilers so I’ll suffice to say I dare anyone to read this and not feel the same 4 The Hush by Hazel Gaynor I think this could have been a beautiful full length novel However I’m not sure the characters would have been strong enough to carry it I think of all the selections this one was the most “literary” The author attempted some symbolism and deep thinking moments I think for the most part it was effective I will be the first to admit I’m not a great fan of flowery literary work I guess a short bit was tolerable if you consider my honest rating

  6. says:

    I received this book for free through the Reading Room’s giveawaysLike most short story collections I liked some stories than othersThe Daughter of Belgium I thought this was a solid first story It wasn’t super romantic but it got me excited for the rest of the bookThe Record Set Right I liked this story but I was so confused at first I had a hard time figuring out how everyone was related and what happened in the past But once I got to the end I understood itAll for the Love of You This was my favorite story It was so romantic Plus I learned a lot of about the masks that were made for soldiers with damaged faces After You’ve Gone I didn’t love this one but I did appreciate the fact that it was the only story with people of color Something Worth Landing For This was written by Jessica Brockmole who I am familiar with I read her book Letters from Skye and loved it This story also features letters Overall this was another solid storyHour of the Bells This story was different because it was about love between a mother and her son It felt a bit out of place in the collectionAn American Airman in Paris This was written by Beatriz Williams who I am also familiar with I read her book The Secret Life of Violet Grant Both that book and this story talk about sex freuently This story by far had the most frank discussions about sex out of all the stories I honestly didn’t like this story I just couldn’t connect with itThe Photograph I really liked this one This story focused on the British’s occupation of Ireland during WWI which I liked because it offered a different perspective on the war Hush I also really liked this one The author Hazel Gaynor did an amazing job It was so beautiful to readOverall I liked how these stories showed what it was like living through WWI It highlighted the fears that young men had when they went off to war as well as the struggles civilians had to go through

  7. says:

    In honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of the first World War I wanted to remind my readers of this book Nine amazing historical fiction writers contributed to this beautiful collection of short stories about the end of World War I Find out why I give this book a full five stars in my review here

  8. says:

    I didn't really know how to review or rate a book that is a collection of short stories by different authors So I rated each story wrote a few notes about each one then averaged my rating The average came to 27777 so I just rounded up and settled on 3 starsI received this book in a First Reads Giveaway I was not family or with any of these authors but I plan on looking into the writings of the authors I enjoyedDaughter of Belgium by Marci Jefferson25 starsI enjoyed this story until the ending It was abrupt and was not believable which made me like the story lessRecord Set Right by Lauren Willig35 starsI really enjoyed the writing The story jumped between the past and what would be the present in the story 1980 At times it was confusing when the story was in present time and the narrator Camilla would reminisce about the past and there was no indication the story was reverting back to the present once the reminiscing was done It would take me a few sentences to realize the time period had changed Despite this the story was interesting and I liked the twist at the endAll For the Love of You by Jennifer Robson45 starsI really enjoyed this story I liked the characters and their background While the ending may not be completely believable I still really enjoyed it I liked that it touched on a subject I wasn't familiar with mask making for soldiers whose faces had been disfigured during the war It was really interestingAfter You're Gone by Evangeline Holland15 starsI really didn't like this I found the story extremely boring I didn't like the main character at all I stopped a little over half way through because I just couldn't get into it I like that it touched on racism during the war but it wasn't enough to make this story interesting for meSomething Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole55 starsI loved this story I wish it had been longer I would have read an entire book about Wes and Victoire I loved both of them and I loved their story Wes seemed like such a great guy and I was worried about him the whole time This story was great and I loved the way it endedHour of the Bells by Heather Webb35 starsI enjoyed this story It was rather depressing but beautifully written I felt I could feel Beatrix's pain The ending was unrealistic thoughAn American Airman in Paris by Beatriz Williams15 starsUninteresting I made it almost halfway through and gave up I didn't like the way this was written and I didn't enjoy the storyThe Photograph by Kate Kerrigan45 starsI wish this story hadn't ended I loved reading about Clive and Eileen I wanted to hear and I wanted to know what happened to them after I liked seeing a story about the fighting in Ireland with the World War raging in the backgroundHush by Hazel Gaynor25 starsI didn't care for this story It was slow and depressing I liked that it showed of the depressing side of the war However the story didn't grab me and I kept losing interest

  9. says:

    RATING 35 STARS2016; William Morrow PaperbacksHarperCollinsReview Not on BlogNine historical fiction writers get together and put out an anthology of love stories set in World War I Each story is a standalone from each other and other than the theme are not connected For me some stories were a bit stronger than others writing and interesting wise While almost every author is on my TBR list I have not yet read anything by these authors Lauren Willig and Beatriz Williams have moved up on my list and I am looking forward to Heather Webb Hazel Gaynor and Jennifer Robson's novels This is a perfect collection for those who are interested in historical fiction light on romance war tales of women during World War I These women write primarily historical fiction so if you are interested in the genre this is one way to see how the authors write Fall of Poppies is also a great book to keep nearby when you only a moment to readI received an eARC from EDELWEISS

  10. says:

    November 11 1918 marked the end of WWI Known as Armistice Day weapons were put down signaling the end of the fighting In this collection of short stories nine authors provide their take on love in the midst of war as the fighting endsSo this was uite a nice collection of short stories All dealing with love and war though not all romatic in essence this book explores the different relationships between people amid war Dealing with loss defeat despair and ultimately hope these narratives are well written Taking place in different countries with female and male POV's ultimately all these stories were heartfelt I will say however that many stories did feel uite predictable I appreciate the effort of the authors and like the overall tone of the book but after a while it did feel like a lot of the same Hush by Hazel Gaynor would be my standout story in this collection I just love all the emotion this particular story evoked Overall this was a pleasent and nice read