I’ll leave you with Ada here in just a moment. Can I just comment on the book cover first? This book is just begging to be read! Beautifully done. And now, I’ll turn you over to Ada.
A MILLION DIED OF 1918 FLU PANDEMIC
By Ada Brownell
The advantage of growing old is that you experience history.
My mother, born in 1900, was a victim of the great influenza pandemic in 1918. She survived, but her younger brother, Bud, died.
As many writers do, I use real life tragedies and let them happen to my characters. That’s what I did in my book, Love’s Delicate Blossom.
While I grew up as the youngest of her eight children, I heard Mama talk about how using mustard plasters blistered and scarred the chests and backs of many where flu complications spiraled into pneumonia. Pneumonia is still dangerous if left untreated, but historically a dangerous killer.
People knew little about reducing fever in those days, except bathing the sick will a cool cloth, but they often piled the blankets high and that complicated things. Some pioneers and Indians, however, knew willow bark tea would help with pain and fever. It was probably years later when researchers discovered aspirin also helps decrease inflammation, but it thins the blood. Willow bark is where pharmacists get salicin to make aspirin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the pandemic was so severe that from 1917 to 1918, life expectancy in the United States fell by about twelve years, to 36.6 years for men and 42.2 years for women. Before the flu outbreak, life expectancy wasn’t very high because of infant mortality, according to CDC.
Plus that was before the discovery of antibiotics, and many other important medical advances.
The rapid spread of a deadly strain of influenza around the world killing millions often is attributed to World War 1, a time when soldiers went from nation to nation, and few knew about prevention.
Another tragedy of the historical medical world that seldom happens in America anymore is parasites, and a student’s family in my book lost a child from this problem. The teacher, my main character, is interested in health education and prevention and with the community’s doctor addresses the problem head on.
Not too long ago I saw the death certificate of a young child who died from parasitic worms in about 1913. Why should I write about it? I imagine it still occurs in small numbers today, and if people don’t know about why they need to be clean, it could return as a risk.
The book is an historical suspense, and a reader said, “Your book set a tone and world from your grandmother’s time; the historical elements are what readers read the genre for.”
Ah, but it’s not all trouble. A thread of romance runs through the pages. Two men have their eyes on Ritah O’Casey, who is the daughter of Jenny Louise Parks from the first book in the Peaches and Dreams series, The Lady Fugitive.
Besides that, there’s humor, inspiration about love that you might have never heard before, more friction and suspense, making a great story.
Buy it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1731156065
MEET ADA BROWNELL
Ada Brownell blogs and writes with Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She is the author of nine books, more than 350 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a journalist, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She and her husband L.C., have five children, one of them in heaven, eight wonderful grandchildren. and three great-grandchildren.
Her book, The Lady Fugitive, the first book in the Peaches and Dreams series was a finalist for the 2015 Laurel Award.
Amazon author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell
FINALLY! NEW RELEASE
Love’s Delicate Blossom, an historical suspense
By Ada Brownell
Sequel to The Lady Fugitive and Peach Blossom Rancher
Edmund Pritchett III wants to marry Ritah Irene O’Casey, but she says wait. The beautiful redhead is trying to rescue Tulip, a 14-year-old orphan kidnapped by Henry Hunter to work in his brothel, and Ritah doesn’t have much time. She has a train ticket to go to college and hopes to fulfill her dreams.
Ritah wants to become a teacher who can help widows keep their children when tragedy strikes. She also wants to teach mothers how to prevent dangerous diseases and treat health problems, in an era when few have access to a doctor and too many children die. Instead, Ritah ends up fighting for the lives of injured soldiers in a World War I Army health clinic, and finds her own life threatened by an influenza pandemic.
But Ritah finds a teaching job in Kansas, and there Joe Nichols, a handsome farmer, edges his way into her heart. But Edmund Pritchett III isn’t giving up, and neither is Henry Hunter, who is still after Tulip and about to open his brothel.
Will Ritah be able to continue to fight for women and families, understand enduring love, decide on the man she loves, and defend herself and her students when Henry Hunter bursts into the school shooting a pistol?
COMMENT FROM A READER: Your book set a tone and world from your grandmother’s time, the historical elements are what readers read the genre for.
Thank you, Ada, for spending the morning with us. I loved your blog post and your books look like something I would love to read.