Monday, 10 April 2017

Timeless Tour - PROMISES TO KEEP Deleted Scenes!

Happy Monday historical fiction fans! I've got another amazing post for you today for Simon & Schuster Canada's TIMELESS TOUR

As I introduced a couple of weeks ago, I'm part of a group of bloggers sharing posts relating to three of S&S Canada's big historical romance books this season: PROMISES TO KEEP, THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES, and THE SCRIBE OF SIENA!

Today I have some AMAZING deleted scenes from Genevieve Graham's PROMISES TO KEEP

In case PROMISES TO KEEP is a new book for you,
here's a bit of an introduction to it:


Author: Genevieve Graham
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Received an ARC from S&S Canada to participate in the
Timeless Tour and give an honest review.
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 336 (Paperback)

An enchanting and poignant story about the unfailing power of love in a world turned upside down by war—from the bestselling author of Tides of Honour.

Summer 1755, Acadia

Young, beautiful Amélie Belliveau lives with her family among the Acadians of Grande Pré, Nova Scotia, content with her life on their idyllic farm. Along with their friends, the neighbouring Mi’kmaq, the community believes they can remain on neutral political ground despite the rising tides of war. But peace can be fragile, and sometimes faith is not enough. When the Acadians refuse to pledge allegiance to the British in their war against the French, the army invades Grande Pré, claims the land, and rips the people from their homes. Amélie’s entire family, alongside the other Acadians, is exiled to ports unknown aboard dilapidated ships.

Fortunately, Amélie has made a powerful ally. Having survived his own harrowing experience at the hands of the English, Corporal Connor MacDonnell is a reluctant participant in the British plan to expel the Acadians from their homeland. His sympathy for Amélie gradually evolves into a profound love, and he resolves to help her and her family in any way he can—even if it means treason. As the last warmth of summer fades, more ships arrive to ferry the Acadians away, and Connor is forced to make a decision that will alter the future forever.

Heart-wrenching and captivating, Promises to Keep is a gloriously romantic tale of a young couple forced to risk everything amidst the uncertainties of war.

Now that you know a bit about the book,
it's time for some deleted scenes from PROMISES TO KEEP:


Amelie’s Family

     My papa, Charles Belliveau, was sixteen and still living with the Mi'kmaq when he met my maman. Sylvie Fontaine had grown up only a few houses from where he had been born. The story goes that he saw her walking into the church with her parents, but since he wasn't properly dressed to enter the house of God, he waited outside for the service to be over. Papa never told me much more about how they eventually met, except to say that she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Every time he said that, she blushed as if no time had passed at all. That alone was reason enough for us to ask him to tell the story again and again.

     For her he'd shed his buckskin, cut his hair, reverted to his mother tongue. When their engagement was announced, the entire community got together in the traditional way to build the newlyweds a house.

     Papa was good with the animals, and he put together a garden which my mother would always tend, but his hands were usually busier with chores brought to him by the sea. He was a fisherman for most of the year, and sometimes he helped with boat building. I remembered the first time I saw the long, tapered trunk of a white pine stretched out beside our barn, supported by thick wooden blocks. It would someday be the mast of a great ship, Papa told me.

     This wasn't the first or final mast I saw him build. I never tired of admiring his obvious skill. For weeks I watched him work, sweating through his shirt under the summer sun. Using his adze, he squared the wood then cut it down to sixteen sides in preparation for planing the edges into a round shape. My brothers and I helped him sand down the marks his tools had left until at last he declared himself proud of the finished product. When the other men came to carry it away, I pictured it adorned with sails, bravely cutting through the Atlantic swells; my father's mast would always guide the travelers safely home.

     After my parents’ wedding, we children weren't long in coming. I was the fourth child, following André, Henri, and Claire. Mathieu and Giselle were born after me. By the time I was born André was already five. When I  was five, he was ten, and I worshipped everything about him. He was like Papa with his quiet strength, like Maman with her wisdom. Though I am certain now that he would much rather I not follow him constantly, he never showed any annoyance with me.

     I wished I could say the same for myself when Giselle was born exactly five years after me. Sweet as she was, I had no patience for her constant chatter and butterfly dances. I fled whenever I could, and often I went up to the Mi'kmaq village. There we had another family. My Mi’kmaq sister Mali and I shared parents, meaning we each had two fathers, two mothers, and twice as much love as the other families who did not approve of the people of the forest.

     Like me, Henri preferred the Mi'kmaq way of life, and we shared a best friend in Mali. He learned to hunt and fight their way, and he knew every one of their legends better than he knew the Bible stories. In the summer, when his skin darkened under the sun, he could almost be mistaken for one of them. My dear Henri was the dark opposite of André: acting before thinking, speaking out of turn, but always able to do it with a grin. He was a bit of a rebel, but I adored him.

     When Maman married Papa, he brought with him a culture based on the idea of living by example. He taught her of the Mi'kmaq's belief that every living thing worked together, and she adopted that into her way of thinking. Maman was not only wise, she was kind. And lovely. Maman was the kind of person whose soul was as beautiful as her face, and that was beautiful indeed. I suppose she would have to have been, allowing a scrubby blond Mi'kmaq to woo her, but I imagine Papa was charming. And it was obvious to everyone she loved him with all her heart.

     I was not the quiet, dutiful daughter my parents had in my older sister, Claire. Nor was I the delightful, talented younger sister. That was Giselle. Giselle was twelve now, and I was seventeen. She acted young for her age, and we had little in common. Both my sisters were fair in colour, their long golden hair lit by sunshine, their bright blue eyes clear and wide. My hair was dark under my cap, and though my eyes were blue they were never lowered demurely, and every one of my emotions was plain to see through them.

     Claire and I loved each other, of course, and we had played well together up to a certain age. Then she discovered boys, and her attitude changed so much I had trouble interesting her in any of the games we'd played as children. She started to take extra care when she was dressing in the morning, and I teased her when I spotted her batting pale eyelashes at one of the boys.

     I was stubborn like Maman, inquisitive like Papa. Maman called me impatient, and I suppose that was fair. I did not like to waste time that could be better spent. I couldn't sit still long, but I was not driven to move in the way that Giselle needed to move. She was a rabbit, hopping from one thing to another without purpose. I was a hummingbird, direct and determined. I needed to see everything that was happening. If we were preparing bread in the kitchen, I needed to know why Henri was running so quickly outside the window. If I was at the weir, I longed to climb the hill and scout for my younger brother, Mathieu, who was constantly finding trouble. When my parents were busy, I needed to keep my eyes on both my younger siblings. Matthieu knew not to go near the aboiteaus, but Giselle was unpredictable. When I was her age, Papa had told me to keep my distance from the openings to the dikes or the sea eels might bite me. He had warned us all, and so far we had all been free of the nasty things, but perhaps after five children he had tired of reminding us. Had he ever mentioned the eels to Giselle? Just in case, I took it upon myself to constantly remind her, to make sure she showed respect in the dikes.


 History of Acadians/Mi’kmaq

     When my people first came to this land over a hundred years ago, they brought with them the wisdom of their homeland. The founding fathers settled in a land on the edge of the ocean and decided the marshy grasses—which revealed themselves twice a day when the tide receded—would become our fields. They called our new home Grand Pré, or “Great Meadow.”

     When I was very small, Papa explained to me that silt and dirt left behind by millions of departing tides fed the grasses and made the land fertile. The difficulty, of course, was keeping the ocean from stealing our crops. But our ancestors had been smart. Using ferrées, pitchforks, axes, and their powerful backs, the early Acadians spent years building huge dikes to stand against the sea. Ditches were dug through the remaining marshes, and hollowed-out tree trunks reinforced with marsh mud were put in to serve as tunnels. The ends were gated by aboiteaus, little gates which moved with the tide, letting excess rainwater escape into the ocean but not letting the seawater in. Once these were in place, more dikes were built over top using marsh mud and sod. The dikes demanded a great deal of our time, but they were something we could not live without, so no one ever complained.

     The Acadians built homes and gardens where no one had been before—other than the Mi’kmaq, who had lived here since the creation of the world. I imagined our settlers would have been nervous at first, meeting these mysterious people, but they had nothing to fear. The Mi’kmaq were a sharing, generous people, and they would have been equally curious about these awkward white people who had stumbled into their home.

     The Mi’kmaq and my people have always been at peace. My ancestors did not wish to cut down the forests or fight them for their lands, so the Mi’kmaq watched them create fields from the sea. Even though they were not Christian at that time they must have seen that we were like them, wishing to live in harmony with the earth and its creatures. Once they realized we could work side by side, they taught my ancestors the true meaning of living off the land. Through them we learned to build fish weirs and eel traps, even to fish through ice during those frozen months of winter. After they mixed berries into our food, sickness came less often, and the herbs they shared with us eased our illnesses and pains. They traded with us, bringing warm, protective furs in exchange for our metal pots and axes. Through my ancestors the Mi’kmaq learned to worship the Lord, and some even accepted our ancestors’ invitation to join our Order of Good Cheer. We became good friends and neighbours. If it hadn’t been for the Mi’kmaq, we never would have lived to see today.

     The British eventually arrived, but as long as they did not cause any trouble there was plenty of land to go around. Declaring victory over the French forces at Fort Louisbourg had whet their appetite for this land, and they decided to stay. When the French won it back three years later the British reacted by founding Halifax—right in the Mi'kmaq moose hunting territory.

     Tumas' expression tightened every time he spoke of this, so I only asked once—but I heard the story many times over the fire. I imagine the subject burned so hotly within his heart that the flames brought it to the fore. His rage was a frightening thing to see, I must admit. I loved the man like a father, but the way he paced, the way his massive hands clenched while he spoke made me want to flee his furious gaze. He argued—against no one, for none of us would dare contradict him!—that Halifax could not exist. He said a treaty had existed for a hundred years, keeping the Mi'kmaq and British on friendly terms, but this Halifax had been established without any negotiations at all. He raged at the presumptuous British, at their disrespect for the land and its people. On some nights, when he simply could not sit quietly anymore, the rants changed form. His expression set, he went off into the forest with some of the other men. I knew they would be discussing the British, and not in pleasant terms. Sometimes he did not come back until the following morning. Then he was quiet, focused on his own private thoughts.

     It wasn't long before the Mi'kmaq declared war upon the British. From that moment on, the Mi'kmaq and the British had fought, since the British were not willing to hand back the land they had claimed. As the conflict grew even more heated, terrible, forbidden whispers about scalping on both sides were passed around Acadian hearths. Someone once told me that the British were paying for Mi'kmaq scalps, but I couldn't—wouldn't believe such a repugnant idea. Who could ever … ? No. It had to be a lie.

     As Acadians we were determined not to get involved but to live in peace with everyone around us. We still brought food to the soldiers as we always had, and we continued our close friendship with the Mi’kmaq, though our visits became less frequent and were sometimes strained. Mali had warned me things were getting worse. She said the Acadians would soon need to choose a side, but I hadn't wanted to talk of such things with her or with anyone else.

     I didn’t understand. As far as I could tell, nothing had changed. 


Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in music in 1986 and began writing in 2007. She is passionate about breathing life back into history through tales of love and adventure, and loves the challenge of re-living Canadian history in particular. Her previous novel, Tides of Honour, was a Globe and Mail bestseller.

When Graham is not writing, she can be found relaxing with her husband and two grown daughters, teaching piano to children in the community, or tending the garden along with a friendly flock of heritage chickens. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Follow the rest of the TIMELESS TOUR:

In case you missed it, you can find my review for PROMISES TO KEEP, here. I absolutely loved it, and I'm so excited to be able to share these deleted scenes with you all!

What did you think?
If you've read the book, did you enjoy these deleted scenes?
And if you haven't, do they make you curious about PROMISES TO KEEP?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading hose deleted scenes, especially the second one.


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