It happened slowly at first. Thread by thread, the fabric of privilege and complacency enveloping the Wyndham family began to unravel. A carefree summer at their island house, disrupted by the arrival of long lost kin, ended in tragedy, betrayal, and war.
Now, in the compelling sequel to the acclaimed epic, The Summer Before The Storm, Ria and her friends find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
It’s late summer, 1916. While some members of the Wyndham family revel in the last resplendent days of the season at their Muskoka cottage, others continue to be drawn inexorably into the “Great War”, going from a world of misty sunrises across a tranquil lake to deadly moonlight bombing raids, festering trenches, and visceral terror.
For Ria, too many things have happened to hope that life would ever return to normal, that innocence could be regained. Caught in the vortex of turbulent events and emotions, she abandons the relative safety of the sidelines in Britain for the nightmare of France.
Her fate as an ambulance driver remains entwined with that of her summer friends, all bound by a sense of duty. Living in the shadows of fear and danger awakens the urgency to grasp life, to live more immediately, more passionately amid the enormity of unprecedented death. Together, their lives weave a tale of liberation and loss, evolution and redemption. Those who survive this cataclysmic time are forever changed, like Canada itself.
Impeccably researched, beautifully written, Elusive Dawn will resonate with the reader long after the final page has been turned.
Praise for Elusive Dawn:
“In Elusive Dawn, author Gabriele Wills shows talent that is anything but elusive. Her skillfully crafted scenes populated by well drawn characters will pull readers into the story and not let go until the very last page.” Writer’s Digest Magazine
“The Summer Before The Storm and Elusive Dawn are not only well written, suspenseful, and enjoyable, but also historically accurate. The amazing amount of research provides an excellent educational background on the Great War and on aviation. The writer obviously has a keen interest in and knowledge of the subject.” – Arthur Bishop, WWII pilot and author, son of Billy Bishop, VC, Britain’s top WWI Ace (who makes an appearance in Elusive Dawn)
“Just like “The Summer Before the Storm”, “Elusive Dawn” had me riveted from the beginning. Once again Gabriele Wills has done an almost superhuman amount of research and has managed to combine her knowledge into an incredibly readable book about the horrors of war. Wills has written a worthy follow-up to “The Summer Before the Storm”, and I eagerly anticipate the release of the final book in the series.” Jonita, The Book Chick
“My new all-time favourite author is Gabriele Wills. This is a wonderful book, full of so much detail that you feel like you are living the life of privileged society through the terrible war, but also in Canadian and English high society. Now I am waiting for the third installment! I have read all of Gabriele Wills’ books other than A Place Called Home, which I am frantically seeking! Don’t miss these books. They are wonderful.” Donna Mcnab, Goodreads.com Reviewer
“Elusive Dawn is a very moving piece of WWI fiction and certainly as good as the first book in the series. Will’s prose is fresh and poetic. She captures the period in great detail. I could picture every scene in the book, like I was there. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, trust me, you will love this series!” Teddy Rose, So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
“I could not put this book down! The characters, many of which won my affection in the first novel, are so vivid and real that they feel like old friends. Every page is filled with a bevy of emotions, ranging from despair and foreboding regarding the horrible war, to elation and hope for the future. Wills’ writing made me feel like I wasn’t even reading words on a page, but actually experiencing everything along with the characters themselves.” – Ashley Katsuyama, NY
“When I read the Muskoka Novels I couldn’t put the books down, and even though I’ve read them several times now I’m still unable to put them down. I am drawn into their world and I find myself still captivated by every detail. This series is absolutely fantastic. It is everything I want in a book and cannot wait for the next addition to the series. ” – Katelyn Walton
“This is book 2 of the Muskoka series, and it is every bit as good as the first book, The Summer Before the Storm. I love a book with a huge cast of characters, a detailed setting, and many plot themes. This book did not disappoint. The characters were believable, showed many sides to their personalities and each had their own distinct personality. The author lets the characters show the reader who they are instead of just telling us, which is remarkable with so many characters. If you love family sagas, like Downton Abbey, I think you will love this series. I have a deep love for WWI aviation, and this is the first fiction book I’ve read on it. The history is accurate and well researched. This book was a delight to read. I will now wait for the third book, Under the Moon.” Mytega, Amazon.com Reviewer
The author of five highly acclaimed historical novels, Gabriele loves to recreate an era in which she can immerse herself (and readers), by weaving compelling stories around meticulously researched facts. Her characters are best friends, whom others are now calling “cherished friends”.
With degrees in the social sciences and education, Gabriele has had a varied career as an educator, literacy coordinator, and website designer, and has been an active community volunteer, particularly in heritage preservation. But writing fiction has always been her passion. Her first short story appeared in the Canadian Authors Association Winners’ Circle 5 Anthology. In 2001, she produced an award-nominated feature on CBC Radio’s “Outfront”.
Born in Germany, Gabriele emigrated to Canada as a young child. She grew up in Lindsay, Ontario, enjoyed several years in Ottawa, and currently resides in Guelph with her husband. She is the proud mother of an accomplished daughter, with whom she is collaborating on an historical YA novel. Visit her at Mindshadows.com for more information.
Buy Elusive Dawn:
Buy The Summer Before the Storm:
Follow the Tour:
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ReadingPenguin Feb 5 Review
The Eclectic Reader Feb 6 Review & Giveaway
Bags, Books & Bon Jovi Feb 6 Guest Post
Bags, Books & Bon Jovi Feb 9 Review
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Em Sun Feb 13 Review (Postponed)
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To Read or Not to Read Feb 15 Guest Post & Giveaway
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Sweeps4Bloggers Feb 19 Review & Giveaway
Peaceful Wishing Feb 20 Review
Peaceful Wishing Feb 21 Guest Post
BookNAround Feb 21 Review
Broken Teepee Feb 22 Review
Book Lover’s Library Feb 25 Review
Book Lover’s Library Feb 25 Interview
My Devotional Thoughts Feb 27 Review
M. Denise C.Feb 28 Review