Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Handmade Hearts Blog Blitz! + Giveaway!

17 Jan

Handmade Hearts blog blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Handmade Hearts by June McCrary Jacobs, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Handmade Hearts Cover.jpgTitle: Handmade Hearts
Author: June McCrary Jacobs
Publisher: JMJ Story Stitcher Books
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance

‘Handmade Hearts’ is an historical romance short story set in New Orleans during World War II and was inspired by a true story.

Toward the end of his life, the author asked her Uncle ‘Allen’ how he met his wife. He shared about how he met ‘Irene’ at a church social in their neighborhood in New Orleans in the early 1940s. He had been seriously wounded in Guadalcanal in the South Pacific as a young Marine and was using crutches to get around as best he could.

He had many inner wounds which needed time to heal, too. He had no way of knowing when they first met that Irene had suffered her own wartime tragedy. She bravely sought to keep her grief locked away deep inside because thinking about her loss caused her even more sorrow. She needed to be strong because she was the breadwinner for her small family.

Times were tough, but these two unique individuals made it through each day with inner fortitude, determination, and the sincere hope of something greater just over the horizon.

This inspirational short story follows the growth of Allen and Irene’s relationship beginning with their chance meeting and leading forward to a lifetime spent together. ‘Handmade Hearts’ was created to honor this unique couple’s love for and devotion to each other in a relationship which spanned seven decades.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon

 

EXCERPT

At Irene’s prompting, Allen shared about his older brothers, Edwin and Jack, and their current military assignments at the Pentagon and in Europe. 

“My oldest brother, Edwin, was drafted by the U.S. Army right after Pearl Harbor. When the Army tested his aptitude, they learned he is highly intelligent. I guess the Army was surprised a farm boy from Mississippi with only a high school education was so smart. He was always a whiz at math in school. Didn’t even need paper and pencil to do equations.” Allen smiled to himself. “Now he works in Communications at the Pentagon. Top-secret, high-security clearance, you know the drill.”

“His job sounds intriguing.” Irene said.

“He can’t tell us much about his work, but besides being homesick, he enjoys it. My middle brother, Jack, is in the Army serving under General Patton. We haven’t heard much from him because of the restrictions on communications for his unit, but we do know he is serving under Patton somewhere in Europe. We hear bits and pieces about Patton’s goings-on from the radio reports, and sometimes in the newspaper. My mother is most worried about Jack now, since I made it home alive and Edwin probably won’t ever see combat.”

Allen’s eyes shone with pride as he discussed his brothers’ accomplishments and promotions. He brushed over his service in the Marines, noticeably omitting details of his injury and his current medical condition. Instead he talked about his hobbies — cars and fishing.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author photo_black & white

June McCrary Jacobs was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’, her first full-length novel, was set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.

June’s debut middle-grade novel, ‘RES-Q Tyler Stop’, an historical novel set in Sonoma County, California, in 1968, will be released in the spring of 2019. The second installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’, ‘Penny’s Promise’, will be released in late 2019 or early 2020.

June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and on sewing industry blogs in the past decade. When she’s not writing, reading, blogging, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, visiting art and history museums, and touring historic homes and gardens.

CONNECT WITH JUNE: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Goodreads Blog | Amazon


TOUR GIVEAWAY

handmade hearts giveaway

(1) winner will win an ebook copy of Handmade Hearts + $15 Amazon Gift Code
(2) additional winners will each receive an ebook copy of Handmade Hearts

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 15, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 22, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Book Review: The Liberty Bride

14 Jan
War Forces a Choice Between Love and Country

A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy — until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him and her love for her country.

 

Award winning and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. After obtaining a degree in Math and working as software engineer for 15 years, she decided to test the waters as a writer. With now more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. As a follower of Christ, her stories often reflect her own journey and walk with God. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandkids, and three cats on the California coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea.

My Impressions:

Those of you who love a seafaring tale are in for a treat with The Liberty Bride by Marylu Tyndall, the latest installment in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. This time a descendant of Mary Elizabeth Chapman and William Lytton is right in the middle of the War of 1812! It is 1814 and the young nation’s capital has been burned to the ground and the British have their sights on Baltimore. As the daughter of a privateer, Emeline Baratt takes on the persona of a British sympathizer in order to gain valuable information for the American cause. Danger and  . . . love awaits Emeline and the handsome Naval officer who may not be as he seems.

There is plenty of action in The Liberty Bride, an historical novel that brings the sea battles and land skirmishes of the conflict between America and Britain to life. I especially liked the attention to detail while the main characters reside on board the warship HMS Marauder. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a landlubber like me, you will appreciate the feel of life on board a naval vessel. Emeline is an intrepid character who fights against the desire for an adventurous life and what is required of a proper lady. Her decision to spy is spontaneous, but she is determined to fulfill her role even at the threat of death. Hunky and handsome First Lieutenant Owen Masters is also determined to aid his country and receive his reward. While both characters never lose their daredevil traits they do grow in their relationship with God, overcoming stereotypes and false impressions of what it really means to follow Christ. Freedom has been a continuous thread in the series, and in The Liberty Bride the characters learn what it means to be free indeed. The author includes several characters who positively model the Christian life — a great example to Emeline, Owen, and the reader! Romance is also front and center, and fans will love the chemistry between the characters and the promise of a happily-ever-after life of adventure for Emeline and Owen.

This fast-paced novel is easily read as a standalone and makes a great weekend read. The Liberty Bride is a recommended read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Review: Searching for You

9 Jan

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won’t abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he’s in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

 

My Impressions:

Finally! Finally I know what happened to Elise and Marianne Neumann’s little sister Sophie and the two children she has vowed to care for. I have loved all the books in the Orphan Train Series, but I have to say that Hedlund saved the best for last. Searching for You exceeded my expectations with its wonderful characters and beautifully expressed truth.  If you have been waiting (impatiently) like me, then you are in for a treat. If you haven’t read any of this series, you are in luck because they are all available for binge-worthy reading.

Sophie Neumann has been doing just about anything to survive. She loves her adopted children Nicholas and Olivia, but it soon becomes apparent that her life in New York is not the best for them or her. She embarks on an orphan train determined to make a new life for them all. What she finds might just break her heart.

Sophie is a wonderfully written character. She has a seed of faith deep down, but life has caused her to make compromises that trigger feelings of guilt and shame. Her determination to clean herself up is realistically portrayed. I’ve often heard those same sentiments (and have even felt the same). Reinhold Weiss is another relatable character. Anger issues keep him from wholly committing to relationships. Both Sophie and Reinhold do a lot of growing in Searching for You — in their relationship with each other and with God. While I loved both of these characters (and their sizzling romance 😉 ), it was secondary character Euphemia Duff that truly spoke to me. Maybe it’s because I am of an age with Euphemia, but her wit and wisdom was an inspiration. Her transparency about her past failings and God’s grace was beautiful. I loved how Euphemia’s life spoke to both Sophie and Reinhold. Searching for You is an historical novel and Hedlund did a wonderful job of making the time period come alive. From the mean streets of New York to the farmland of Illinois, the reader gets a real feel for what life was like in the mid-19th century. As I stated above there is plenty of romance for those who like swoony heroes and kissing scenes. But this is Christian fiction, so while realistically portrayed, there’s nothing graphic or inappropriate. (Your grandma would approve. LOL!)

For those looking for a book to sweep them up, I cannot recommend Searching for You enough. But remember, you really need to read books 1 and 2 first. Well worth it.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Can’t Wait for What’s Next!

8 Jan

I am a sucker for a series! And when I get into one, I am very impatient to know what happens next. Unfortunately, most authors actually take their time in writing good books, making my waiting time especially long. 😉 Coming Soon is never soon enough. This year there are a number of next books due out, hence my Top 10 List: Anticipated Reads of 2019 (the first half). It’s just a matter of a few days or weeks.  I. Cannot. Wait!

Find out what other bloggers are impatiently awaiting at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Anticipated Next Books

January

Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble

February

The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Breach of Trust by Rachel Dylan

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

March 

Darkwater Lies by Robin Caroll

Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

April

Driftwood Bay by Irene Hannon

 

What books are you waiting on?

By The Book’s 2019 Selections

1 Jan

Happy New Year! On the first of the month I usually share my book club’s selection. But since today is the first day of a brand new year, I thought it fitting to share all the books we are reading in 2019. There is a mix of genres — romance, suspense, Biblical, historical — something for everyone. We would love for you to join us. Check out our FB page.

 

January — Chosen People by Robert Whitlow
February — Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson 
March — Delayed Justice by Cara Putman
April — The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin
May — Mind Games by Nancy Mehl
June — Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse
July — The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright
August — The Memory House by Rachel Hauck
September — The Cost of Betrayal by Dee Henderson/Lynette Eason/Dani Pettrey
October — Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt 
November — Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore
December — Christmas book

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Winter TBR

18 Dec

The weather outside has been frightful so far this winter — rainy and cold — so it’s a good thing I have a lot of good books on my Winter TBR List! What about you? What are you planning on reading during the long, dark days of winter? Check out That Artsy Reader Girl for lots of great suggestions.

 

Top 10 Books on My Winter TBR List!

 

Breach of Trust by Rachel Dylan

Brunch at The Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

Code of Valor by Lynette Eason

 

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Emergency Case by Richard Mabry, M.D.

How The Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim

The Liberty Bride by Marylu Tyndall

 

Searching for You by Jody Hedlund

Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartles

 

What are you reading this winter?

First Line Friday — The Liberty Bride

14 Dec

Happy Friday! What will you be reading over the Christmas holiday? I have The Liberty Bride by Marylu Tyndall on my TBR list. I have enjoyed the Daughters of The Mayflower series very much and am looking forward to another great read.

 

Leave a comment with your first line, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

 

War Forces a Choice Between Love and Country

A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy—until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him and her love for her country.

 

Award winning and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. After obtaining a degree in Math and working as software engineer for 15 years, she decided to test the waters as a writer. With now more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. As a follower of Christ, her stories often reflect her own journey and walk with God. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandkids, and three cats on the California coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea.