I’m very pleased to have finished the Second draft of Book 3 of The Thornton Mysteries.
It’s set in the Barossa Valley, northeast of Adelaide, in South Australia, which is an area known for its superb wines. Shiraz grapes are the local speciality.
The stone cottages and Lutheran churches throughout the region owe their heritage to a 19th-century wave of German settlers.
My story is also set in Handorf, a beautiful little town, closer to Adelaide. Its German history can be traced back to 1838 when George Fife Angas, a director of a South Australian company, made a trip to London to promote colonisation. During his trip he met Pastor Kavel who was helping German Lutherans, being persecuted by the King of Prussia, to immigrate to safer places.
Set in 1928, the Handorf in my story has become Ambleside. Because of the Great War 1914-1918 (World War I), the government changed the name of the town because it sounded too German.
An interesting point I discovered in my research is that Handorf/Ambleside residents were not interned during the war, unless they posed a threat because of strong German allegiances. Anyone who was interned, however, was deported to Germany after the end of the war.
Four days ago at 11.00am on the 11 November, was the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, the agreement that warring parties would stop fighting.
In my book, the Thornton family go to the Barossa Valley as Benedict’s parents have a vineyard and winery. Alexandra wants to discover why they rejected Benedict after he returned home from the war.
This was Benedict’s war and he suffers nightmares from the horrors of it.