Author, Character, Spotlight

Among the Poppies with J’nell Ciesielski’s Gwyn Ruthers

Hello, reader friends! Today, we welcome a fictional friend of debut author J’nell Ciesielski! After a nice little visit, we also have a lovely exclusive giveaway opportunity for Among the Poppies!

meet Gwynevere Ruthers of Among the Poppies

Please, you must call her Gwyn as Gwynevere is too much of a mouthful.

A chauffeur’s daughter longing for adventure far beyond the garage doors, she’s not one to sit idly at home while the war to end all wars explodes across the English Channel.

The wounded Tommies need ambulance drivers to take them from the battlefields of France, and by golly, that’s exactly what she’s going to do.


five favorites

Favorite books

Gwyn: Can I choose them all? Golly molly, that’s the same of asking me my favourite sunset or favourite breath of air. Being English, I suppose I’ll answer your intended question as presented though it pains me to narrow such a selection down. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, anything of the Arthurian legends, and Huckleberry Finn. That Mark Twain chap knew how to spin a tale.

Beth: What a lovely variety, Gwyn! I feel like we are good friends already!

Favorite inside or outside activity

Gwyn: I can’t say I’ve ever favoured anything inside. Enjoyment is for the outdoors with the wind at your back and adventure just beyond the next hill. And the faster I can get there the better which is why I adore my auto, Lizzie.

Though I feel I should clarify that Lizzie has not always been admirable as she’s been known to belch black smoke and leave me stranded on the side of the road, but I’ve done a wee bit of tweaking under her bonnet to straighten her out.

I’ve recently started taking flying lessons which has given me a thrilling new perspective of the world and all its possibilities.

Beth: My, you have such a brave and adventurous spirit! I’ve never flown at all!

Favorite time or place to read

Gwyn: Is there ever a bad time? Yes, I suppose there is. I don’t recommend trying to read while sitting behind the steering wheel. It ends well for no one. A soft bit of grass under a large shady tree will do quite nicely.

Beth: Certain social occasions are also frowned upon which is an excellent reason to avoid such occasions altogether! 

Favorite book setting

Gwyn: Anywhere exotic! England has its beauty, but I long to explore desert sands, deep blue waters, and mountains so high that they stretch into the clouds. Can you perhaps suggest something I haven’t read?

Beth: We could have a very long conversation on that topic! 

Favorite food

Gwyn: Anything hot. It’s difficult to acquire warm meals when driving the long stretches of road between field stations and hospital. Chicory coffee and bottled chicken (that’s jelly, skin, and bone) are hardly enough to warm one’s bones after a thirty-six-hour shift. The other ambulance drivers and I like to have a spot of hot chocolate if we’re lucky enough to get a care package from back home in dear ol’ Blighty.

Beth: Oh dear, I’ll send you a batch of cookies and all the hot chocolate I can find! Chickens most assuredly do NOT belong in bottles!



Describe yourself in five words.

Gwyn: Adventurous, grease-monkey. Golly molly, I don’t really like talking about myself. Can we change the topic, please?

Beth: I understand, introspection is awkward business indeed.

Tell us about William Crawford (hero of Among the Poppies).

Gwyn: That’s better! I can spend all day talking about my dashing Captain William Crawford. He’s the perfect soldier. Dutiful and loyal to a fault. And I do mean fault. That man is too often concerned with orders that he doesn’t allow himself to have fun.

Don’t tell anyone, but he longs for a life far from starched uniforms and standing at attention. It took a few perilous trips into the trenches for me to see beyond his rigid exterior, but once I did, I found the kindest most inspiring man who quite stole my heart away.

Beth: I thought you might enjoy that topic a bit more.

If you could be an animal, which would you choose and why?

Gwyn: A bird, particularly a fast one. Could you imagine how glorious it must feel to spread your wings and feel the wind rush beneath them? To swirl and loop about without hindrances to stop you. The entire world is yours to explore without an obligation to be had. If possible, I’d love to have colorful tail feathers.

Beth: Colorful tailfeathers would suit you perfectly!

What are you reading right now?

Gwyn: I’m afraid this is a bit of a complicated question. It’s my customary preference to read one book at a time that way I may savour the richness of its pages, however, I must study for my pilot’s license.

William has also purchased a book on horse pedigree and I take it as my duty to learn about these creatures he so loves, if only out of my love for him. For myself, it’s The Wind in the Willows. I’m only two chapters in, but I have an odd feeling about this Toad.

Beth: You might find that you enjoy taking in multiple books at once. Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Gwyn! I look forward to reading Among the Poppies and meeting your Captain.


about the book

Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski

Among the Poppies by J'nell CiesielskiThe ideal lady wears lace, speaks quietly, and never under any circumstances fixes an automobile. But Gwyn Ruthers has never cared two snaps about being the ideal lady. With the war to end all wars exploding across the English Channel, she leaves behind her restrictive life as a chauffer’s daughter to serve in an all-female ambulance unit in France. She’s not about to let her social status or gender prevent her from serving her country. Not even a handsome captain can distract her from her mission. Most of the time.

Captain William Crawford wouldn’t wish the ravages of war on any man, much less the captivating woman who insists on driving into battle instead of staying safely at home. He can’t deny that the troops need more medical help, but not when it puts innocent women in danger. How can he lead his men against the Jerries while worrying about Gwyn’s safety?

Bound together by circumstances, Gwyn and William can’t stop the love growing between them. Can their relationship survive, or will it become another casualty of war?

goodreads | amazon


about the author

J’nell CiesielskiBelieving she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days writing heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle.

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J’nell has generously offered to send one Faithfully Bookish reader a copy of Among the Poppies!
Print available for US only. Ebook available for international.

Among the Poppies by J'nell Ciesielski giveaway on Faithfully Bookish

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Which of Gwyn’s favorites are you most inclined to engage in, reader friends?!
I think I’ll stick to exotic book settings… but I might be persuaded to try a shade tree reading spot on for size!
Be sure to pick up a copy of Among the Poppies!

15 thoughts on “Among the Poppies with J’nell Ciesielski’s Gwyn Ruthers”

  1. Thank you for introducing me to Gwyn Ruthers from J’nell Ciesielski’s book “Among the Poppies”. Her description of Captain William Crawford could make a girl swoon. 🙂 I can’t imagine eating chicken out of a bottle. And birds are beautiful and graceful creatures. In fact, both hubby and I love taking photographs of them.

    Pretty cover and I’d love the opportunity to read the book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


  2. I love to sit under a tree on a cool day and read. Of I’m not sitting on the ground. This book sounds so interesting!


  3. I’d pretty much love to read anywhere! But on the beach is my favorite place. Oh and I love the idea of being a bird! Great interview!


  4. Thank you for the interesting interview of a new to me author of historical fiction based on well researched events! I, too, also like Mark Twain.


  5. I’m so excited J’nell is writing novels set during WW1 in England and France! That’s my favorite time period! The cover is so pretty! I love to read out back on my patio with me feet up and view of my garden. Thanks, Beth an J’nell!


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