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The Dark Days of WWII and the Pastoral English Countryside; Adventure and History Merge in Charming Tale for Children


Los Alamos, NM, July 30, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The year is 1940, and four children are being evacuated to a remote country village in England. The cities are under attack by aerial assaults, and many fear the Germans will soon be invading. Stephen and Mary and their two young cousins, Thomas and Susannah, are on their way to the relative safety of Blacksmith’s Cottage in Yorkshire, which will become their home away from home. So begins Caroline Mason’s new release, The Blacksmith’s Cottage; A Pastoral War, published by Outskirts Press. Based on actual events, people, and places, the book has been fictionalized for the novelette form, and beautifully illustrated, but it accurately reflects the day-to-day challenges facing mothers of young children in the darkest days of World War II.

In The Blacksmith’s Cottage, the four children find their new surroundings delightful, but their lives have been disrupted, they miss their families, and it’s a difficult adjustment from city life to country life. The friendly villagers and their goodhearted “Nursie” do what they can to help the displaced children by trying to preserve the innocence and carefree fun of the youngster’s lives, but when adult conversations become peppered with talk of spies and foreign attacks, the children’s imaginations run wild. In their far-flung explorations of the countryside, they encounter people and events that prove their fears of spies may not be products of their overactive imaginations after all.

Thomas and Stephen exchanged glances with each other, and thrills, both of excitement and fear, passed between them. Without saying anything, they knew what they were each thinking. It all fitted together. The grim-faced men in the truck at the grouse shoot and the angry man at the shooting butts and endless rumors, as well as the daily noise of the airplanes overhead. Should they tell the adults? Silently they shook their heads. No one would believe them. They saw spies everywhere.

The Blacksmith’s Cottage paints a pastoral picture of village life in wartime Britain, including the traditional festivals and seasonal events of farm life. The book is illustrated with Nursie’s colorful paintings and photographs, taken by the author, of the area. Caroline Mason weaves actual events into her story—downed airplanes (both Allied and Axis craft), the influx of other children evacuees, friendly farmers providing assistance, a strange man living alone in a lead mine, and a cat that plays a pivotal part when war actually becomes a reality in the village. This peaceful setting against a backdrop of war, combined with local historical details and true events, provides an enchanting and historically important tale for both children and adults.

Mason was born in England in 1942. Years later she discovered family letters detailing how her older brother and sisters were evacuated to a remote country village in order to escape bombing and possible invasion by Nazi Germany in World War II. Their adventures in the village of Middlesmoor form the basis of this charming story, one that Caroline felt must be told. She says, “I wanted to record the background, the feelings, and the fears associated with that time. This story was written for the grandchildren of the children featured in this story so when they become adults, they may have some understanding of the childhood of their grandparents.”

ISBN: 978-1-4327-2987-5 Format: 8.5 x 8.5 color paperback SRP: $33.95
Genre: Fiction/War

About the Author: Caroline Mason was born in Harrogate in Yorkshire, England. She has lived in the United States for many years and resides with her husband in New Mexico where her children were raised with horses, cats, dogs and other four legged friends.

For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/CarolineMason.

About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press, Inc. offers full-service, custom self-publishing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at www.outskirtspress.com and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press represents the future of book publishing, today.

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