AnneMarie writes wonderful fiction set in the north of England. If you’re a fan of a dual timeline novel, then you’ll love her newest novel, WHERE DRAGONFLIES HOVER, which is set in contemporary England, but also in WWI France depicting the horrors of war and the strong courageous women who went to help at the front line.
Tell us something about you, AnneMarie
What were your five favorite books growing up? Feel free to share why you loved these books.
My favourite books growing up where Enid Blyton’s The Magic faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair, Black Beauty and then as a teenager I found a love Catherine Cookson’s gritty sagas that my mother used to read. I also started reading Harlequin Mills & Boon, and wrote my first adult story at age 15.
What two things would surprise your fans the most about you?
I’m left handed and write messy. It’s embarrassing really.
I would love Who Do You Think You Are? TV Show to trace my family for me.
Please share your process on how you came to write WHERE DRAGONFLIES HOVER.
I’m mainly a historical women’s fiction author, but Where Dragonflies Hover started out as a contemporary story of Lexi’s marriage troubles although I had the idea of writing about a WWI nurse (Allie) working in a Causality Clearing Station just miles from the battle lines in France. So it seemed sensible to combine the two, and have Lexi find a diary written by Allie. It was very enjoyable to write about the two women and the different problems they both faced.
What’s interesting about your main characters? (please list 3 traits each)
The women I write about are strong women, not afraid to make decisions that will change their lives, they are loyal and fiercely independent.
The men I write about are usually strong-willed, determined and loveable. They will die for the women they love.
What’s next up for AnneMarie Brear? Would you be willing to share a little about works in progress or an upcoming book(s)?
I have just started writing the third book about the Kitty McKenzie family, it’s very early stages, two chapters in, and deals with Kitty’s grandchildren who are caught up in the fever of WWI.
I also have an idea for another book simmering in the back of my mind about a woman who lives by the coast and helps with a shipwreck.
- Favorite color? Steel blue
- Favorite animal? Dog
- Favorite vacation spot? Too many, I loved going to Mexico, New York and Turkey but am desperate to see Italy.
- Favorite food? Chocolate, and anything my husband cooks. (a man who cooks is a keeper!)
- Favorite holiday? My honeymoon in New York. It was the first time I’d been to New York and I felt like I was on a movie set. Loved it.
Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …
Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.
Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.
Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …
The late sunshine enveloped the house in a golden glow. Again, it seemed to call to her, begging for attention. A path on the left of the drive looked inviting as it meandered through a small strand of poplars. Lexi grabbed her keys, locked the car and took off to explore again. She had nothing to rush home to now, and if she got caught for trespassing, then so be it.
The overgrown pathway brought her out on the far side of the grounds near the end of a small lake. She gazed over the water towards the back of the house and noticed a paved terrace area. From there the lawn then sloped down to the water. She’d not been around the back before and fell even more in love with the property. She could imagine the serenity of sipping a cool drink on a hot summer’s day and looking out over the lake.
Lexi stepped out along the bank. A lone duck swam by, its movement serene on the glassy, dark surface. This side of the lake was in shadow from large pine trees, and she stumbled on fallen pinecones hidden in the long grass. On the opposite side of the water were some small buildings, a garage, fruit trees in early blossom, and an overgrown vegetable patch, complete with a broken, rejected-looking scarecrow.
She wandered over to a narrow shed on her left and peered through its sole, dirty window. Unable to make out much in the dimness, she walked around to the front and was surprised when she was able to pull the bolt back on the door. Why didn’t people lock things? A covered rowboat took up most of the space inside. She smiled, seeing herself rowing it on the lake. Growing more excited, Lexi edged around it to peer at the workbenches and the odd assortment of tools and useless things one found in abandoned sheds. It was like treasure hunting in an antique shop. She used to love doing that with her grandfather.
She glanced about and spied a dusty painting leaning against the wall. The scene was of a child and a brown dog. Behind the canvas were more paintings, some framed, some not. Lexi flicked through them. The ones that caught her attention she took out and set aside.
She looked for somewhere to sit and study the paintings. A small tin trunk wedged under a workbench seemed the only offering. Thinking it empty, she went to tug it out, but it remained fast.
Using both hands, she heaved it out and was showered in a puff of dust. Squatting down, she inspected the latch that was held tight with a small lock. ‘Why are you locked?’ she murmured. The shed was open to anyone passing by, yet this ugly little chest had a lock on it. The trunk was nothing special, plain and in parts rusted. No ornament or writing hinted at its use.
Intrigued, she grabbed a hammer from the workbench, but then hesitated. She had no right to open someone else’s property. Lexi closed her eyes momentarily. What was she thinking of breaking into the trunk? What am I doing? Never had she broken the law and here she was guilty of trespassing and breaking and entering! She looked around the rowboat as though expecting someone to jump out and arrest her.
Something inside urged her on. She knew she couldn’t stop now. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent and hit the lock hard. The ringing sound was loud in the quiet serenity of the garden. The metal dented and with another few solid whacks the lock gave.
Shivers of excitement tingled along her skin. Gently, she eased up the lid.
Where to find Where Dragonflies Hover?
Praise for AnneMarie Blear:
I could not put this book down and love reading stories which pull me in so deeply. I did not want the story to end. – Amazon reviewer
Absolutely loved this story, written as though the author was there. Such detailing within the characters and timelines. Beautifully written, I really had a hard time putting this book down. It is a new author for me and was the first book I have read but it certainly will not be the last. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Thank you AnneMarie Brear. – Amazon reviewer
Annemarie Brear writes historical women’s novels and modern romances. Her passions, apart from writing, are reading, researching, genealogy, roaming historical sites, buying books and gardening. She enjoys spending time with her family and eating chocolate.
Where to find AnneMarie?