I’m Elaine Schroller. I love complex couple relationships in historical fiction and mysteries, especially Helena Justina and Marcus Didius Falco in Lindsey Davis’ ancient Roman private investigator series and Harrient Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey in Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon. Thanks to the inspiration of those incredible characters, I’ve done my best to create my own complex couple, Sophie and Joe Parker.
Dare Not Tell is the story of Joe Parker, an Australian WWI vet, and his American wife Sophie, a WWI nurse. It begins with Sophie and Joe’s chance meeting in 1916 Paris and chronicles their relationship through thick and thin up to the threshold of WWII. Scroll down to read more about their story of love and loss, secrets and redemption. Dare Not Tell is available on Amazon worldwide in paperback and Kindle formats.
I’m currently writing The Bravest Soldiers, the next chapter in Sophie and Joe’s story. It’s set in Australia and the South West Pacific Area during World War II and it begins the day they return to Sydney, two days before WWII begins. The Bravest Soldiers features Sophie and Joe’s sons, visitors from France and the US, and a trio of children whom life has treated very unfairly. There’s a dog too, because I’ll always include a dog in my books.
After I publish The Bravest Soldiers, I may have a story in the works about the Acadians who were expelled from Nova Scotia by the British in the mid-1700s. Or I may go back to WWI— Sophie and Joe brought that era to life for me and now it’s deeply entrenched in my heart and mind. Regardless of the time and place, you can be assured a complex couple will be at the heart of everything.
I grew up in Houston, Texas and southern California, and attended high schools in Algiers, Algeria, Northwood, England, Clear Lake City, Texas, Beirut, Lebanon, and Kingston-upon-Thames, England. I was a history major and long-time technical writer who devoured historical fiction and historical mysteries on nights and weekends as a way to escape from writing about computer software during the workday. For many years I’ve lived in Bellaire, Texas. My husband and I raised our son here. Now we have three rescue cocker spaniels underfoot and travel as often as we can convince our son to come and look after the dogs for us.
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About Dare Not Tell
Twenty years after he left the World War I battlefields of France, Australian Joe Parker thinks he has tamed all his demons. His American wife Sophie, a wartime nurse, thinks she knows all his secrets.
He hasn’t. She doesn’t.
July 1939. Sophie and Joe are looking forward to a long-delayed honeymoon in France before they sail home to Sydney. But visiting the site of a battle where Joe fought twenty years earlier wreaks havoc with their itinerary and their marriage.
When they arrive at Villers-Bretonneux, the location of Joe’s most brutal battle, his long-buried memories erupt, including the ones he never told Sophie. And an impromptu trip to the French Alps only makes things worse when they discover German war artifacts on pristine alpine trails and the walls of the miles-deep Chamonix valley close in on him like the deepest trench he ever experienced. All the defenses he uses to hold his memories at bay start crumbling as the world teeters on the brink of a second world war.
Bonds of friendship and shared experience helped them survive the Great War, but Sophie begins to doubt how well she really knows her husband when the foundations of their relationship seem to shift out of control. Can their marriage survive? Or will Joe’s need to keep his secrets break both their hearts?
Join Sophie and Joe on their journey of love and loss, secrets and redemption, from Paris and the Somme battlefields, to Australia, and back again via the French Alps.
Where to find Dare Not Tell
Praise for Dare Not Tell
“DARE NOT TELL is a poignant portrayal of the long-term impact of trauma and how visceral fears can create isolation and distance even in the best of relationships. Schroller’s writing, command of history, and compassion for how relationships evolve through tragedy are superb.” – Teri Case, award winning author of Tiger Drive and In the Doghouse
“This was a beautifully written story, with a rich sense of place, that had me fully emerged in the WWI era and 1939 France. Joe and Sophie were such engaging characters and I fully enjoyed following along as their story unfolded. I highly recommend this novel!” – Kimberly Sullivan, author of Three Coins
“Fans of historical fiction romance novels will be delighted to read the arch of Sophie and Joe’s love.” – The BookLife Prize by Publishers Weekly
“Dare Not Tell is heart-breaking, touching, mysterious, and thrilling. If you want to feel a lot of emotions all at once, this book is the answer.” – Feathered Quill
“The writing is replete with vivid descriptions and the kind of drama that keeps readers turning the pages. It is skillful, balanced, and emotionally rich.” – Readers Favorite Five Star Review
“Vividly evocative and steeped in history… Readers will be left impressed with Schroller’s control over her historical atmosphere as well as her multilayered, intriguing characterizations. An engaging, poignant tale from an author to watch.” – Prairies Book Review
“With a beguiling beginning and bold storytelling throughout, “Dare Not Tell” will capture your attention from page one.” – Reader Views Five Star Review
Copyright © 2022 Elaine Schroller