Tag Archives: Jocelyn Green

Top 10 Tuesday — Good Book Titles Make Good Band Names

21 Apr

Happy Tuesday! Today That Artsy Reader Girl is challenging bloggers to come up with band names based on book titles. I’m musically challenged — I can’t sing and I never know who sings a song. But I do know books, and titles that intrigue me I believe would make awesome names of bands — country bands, heavy metal, 80s cover bands, etc. So here is my attempt. My list draws from books on my TBR shelves and includes 3 titles that are actual band names! Hope you find one to love!

 

 

Top Ten Band Names from Book Titles

Deep Dixie by Annie Jones

The End of Law by Therese Downs

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

Freedom’s Stand by Jeanette Windle

The Ishbane Conspiracy by Randy Alcorn

Outbreak by Davis Bunn

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

Actual Band Names!

Journey by Angela Hunt

Petra by Tracy Higley

(The) Queen by Steven James

 

Author, Author! — Jocelyn Green

24 Feb

If you are a fan of historical fiction, then Jocelyn Green needs to be your go-to author. She consistently creates novels with complex characters and meticulously researched historical details. Her books have opened my eyes to the Civil War, the early settlement of Louisiana, and the conflict between British, American colonists, and Native Peoples in the 1700s. I cannot wait to read her latest book, Veiled in Smoke which is set during the Great Chicago Fire and is the first book in a series that explores Chicago history.

Thanks so much, Jocelyn, for sharing with us today about your writing journey.

 

 

 

Q&A with Jocelyn Green

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

The same was true for me. My first book was writing captions in my Bugs Bunny coloring book to make it an actual story. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t writing. My first published books were nonfiction, though, mostly devotionals, before I started writing historical fiction.

Why do you write historical fiction?

History still matters today. We can learn so much from the people who lived before us, and how they shaped and were shaped by the events of their generations. Not only can we find inspiration from them, but also a much better perspective as we look at the world today. Unfortunately, so often, history is distilled into a list of dates and names — not interesting at all. The vehicle of historical fiction allows us to explore segments of the past through the lens of the people who lived it. We get to explore the full spectrum of the human condition through the novel. 

Personally, I love learning while being entertained with drama, and studies show that when we’re curious about something — such as what will happen to our heroine in the next chapter — we’re far more likely to remember surrounding details, such as the historical context. To me, that’s the icing on the cake. When readers care about characters and learn about history at the same time, I’m thrilled.

What types of research do you pursue?

All kinds! I use books, scholarly articles, YouTube videos, site visits, interviews with historians and museum curators, interviews with experts on any given topic in the novel. For Veiled in Smoke, aside from reading every book and article about the fire and its aftermath I could find, I toured Chicago with a guide who designed a tour based specifically on what I wanted to know and see before I started writing the novel.  On the same trip, I spent time in the Chicago Historical Society’s archives, reading primary source material such as letters, diaries, first person accounts of the fire, etc. Through the wonder of microfilm, I read newspapers published in Chicago during the weeks and months following the fire. An ongoing correspondence with CHS staff after I went home helped me fill in any blanks I had in my manuscript. 

Other than the historical research, I also consulted with an art professor, bookstore owner, psychologist specializing in work with combat veterans, surgeon, and physical therapist to help me get other details right in my characters’ personal journeys.

Tell us a little about what inspired Veiled in Smoke.

I’m always looking for settings that are rife with conflict and great change, regardless of the century. The Great Chicago Fire was an unprecedented disaster that made 100,000 people homeless overnight, which was a third of the city at the time. Writing about the resurrection of both the city and individuals and families after such an event allows me, as an author, to explore themes of resilience, community, and faith in powerful ways.

How long does it usually take to craft a book?

If we are including the time it takes to research before I start writing, I would say about 18 months until the very last proofing round.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing?

A typical writing day looks like me sitting down in my office and cranking out about two thousand words before calling it quits for the day. There is usually a small pot of tea on my desk, a mess of research materials, and one sleeping cat, who is good for moral support. I’m pretty structured in my writing schedule, but I also expect interruptions. I’ve learned to build in extra time to the schedule to allow for those. 

What are you working on next?

Veiled in Smoke is the first book of three in The Windy City Saga, so right now I’m working on the second book. I’m really excited about this series, because we get to watch a family grow through three generations, and see Chicago grow, too. Veiled in Smoke really is a family story, but it focuses more on Meg Townsend, one of the bookshop-owning sisters. Book 2 will be set in Chicago during the World’s Fair of 1893, and it’s the story of Meg’s sister Sylvie, who will be 43 years old when the story begins. Book 3 in the series will pick up with Meg’s adult daughter Olive in 1915, which is when the Eastland Disaster took place in the Chicago River. Each book explores a seminal part of Chicago’s history and how the Townsend family overcomes in the face of change and trials.

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com.

Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district, they lose much more than just their store.

The sisters become separated from their father, and after Meg burns her hands in an attempt to save a family heirloom, they make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend not only died during the fire–he was murdered. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.

Though homeless, injured, and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father’s innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Books That Will Be 5-Stars

4 Feb

Can you predict when a book is going to blow you away, even before you read it? I have found that I am a pretty good judge of when I am going to love a book. Favorite authors, the subject matter, the genre, even the cover are all good indicators of whether I will have an excellent reading experience. This week Top 10 Tuesday wants bloggers to look into their crystal balls and come up with 5-Star Reads from Our TBR Piles. Let’s hope I am a powerful prognosticator! 😉 There’s something for everyone on my list — contemporary, romance, women’s fiction, historical, suspense — hope you find one to enjoy too!

Top Anticipated 5-Star Books

 

The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck

A Gift to Cherish by Victoria Bylin

The Joy of Falling by Lindsay Harrel

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

Top 10 Tuesday — New Additions

21 Jan

New Year. New Decade. New books! In all honesty, new books arrive at my house regardless of the calendar. 😉 But holding with the theme of today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I am highlighting the most recent 10. Some are recent additions to my NetGalley Shelf, while others actually reside on my bookshelves. All look great!

What books have arrived at your house recently?

To find out what other bloggers have recently welcomed home, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top 10 Recent Book Additions

 

The Chisolm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Stubborn Hearts Clash on a Cattle Drive

Eliza Gentry’s pursuit of marriage to the son of her family’s sworn enemy has cost her greatly. Furious at his daughter’s choices, her father sends her off with the cattle drive heading toward Fort Worth and the Barnhart ranch, but under the watchful eye of Wyatt Creed, a Pinkerton man he has hired to see to her safety. With danger at every turn—not the least of which to his heart — can Wyatt Creed keep his focus with Eliza Gentry around? Is the Chisholm Trail a place for falling in love or a place to die at the hands of cattle thieves?

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale. But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive. If she’s correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.

With time running out, Amara must convince others — and herself — that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy lives. And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.

A fresh voice in suspense, Tom Threadgill will have you questioning everything as you fly through the pages of this enthralling story.

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victim’s husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn’s theory, Josh soon realizes that the attack that took his wife’s life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn’s team–and what their end game is–before it’s too late.

The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to reveal their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls. 

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?

On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.
 
With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.
 
At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

The House at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?
 
Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession — the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

The Joy of Falling by Lindsay Harrel

Eva and Angela must learn to live again. One step at a time.

It has been fifteen months since Eva and Angela lost their thrill-seeking husbands in a scuba diving accident. Both women are trying to navigate their way through the grief, but neither one is making much progress. Angela is barely making ends meet, angry at her husband for leaving her to raise three children on her own. Meanwhile, Eva is stuck, unable to move forward after losing the love of her life and her source of inspiration.

But then Eva gets a life-changing phone call. Before Brent and Wes died, they had signed up for a race of a lifetime—an ultra-marathon in beautiful New Zealand. Eva begs Angela to run the race with her in their husbands’ place, and Angela finally agrees, hoping to finally understand her husband’s choices.

Training is exhausting, and the race is even more demanding. Their journey grows more complicated by the presence of two men — Marc is Brent’s best friend who is running the race with Eva and Angela, and Simon King is a writer who is covering their inspiring story. With every step, Eva and Angela must ask themselves questions that they haven’t had the courage to ask before. As the women literally put one foot in front of the other, they wonder: Is it possible to find their way forward in hope?

King’s Shadow by Angela Hunt

Two women occupy a place in Herod’s court. The first, Salome, is the king’s only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she is from an inferior race, a people God will never accept or approve. 

The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion. 

Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless — both women struggle to reach their goals and survive in Herod the Great’s tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district, they lose much more than just their store.

The sisters become separated from their father and make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend was murdered on the night of the fire. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father’s innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.

Vow of Justice by Lynette Eason

FBI Special Agent Lincoln St. John is living his own personal nightmare. When the woman he loves, Allison Radcliffe, is killed, he devotes his life to tracking down the killers and making them pay for their crimes. He expected it to be a challenge. What he never expected was to find Allison very much alive shortly after her “murder.” As his anger and hurt mix with relief, Linc isn’t sure how he’s supposed to feel. One thing he does know for sure: he and Allison will have to work together to stop a killer before she dies a second time — this time for good.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lynette Eason closes out her Blue Justice series with a story that will have you tearing through the pages to get to the stunning conclusion.

 

Reading Road Trip — Washington, D. C. (and surrounding Metro area)

8 Jan

I am on a literal road trip today, so I thought I would post a literary one for those looking for some great books. My first grandchild was born right after Christmas, and I am finally going to get my hands on her today! She and her parents live outside of the Washington, D. C. area, so I thought it would be fun to spotlight books that are set in and around the Metro area. I have included some historical novels, as well as contemporary suspense so that there is something for everyone. The first novel in my list is a biographical novel of Martha Washington. I know that Washington, D. C. didn’t exist in the Revolutionary-era, but Mount Vernon is so close that any trip to D. C. should include it. 😉 I have not read the last book on my list, but I have heard so many great things about it. I’ll be listening to the audiobook on the plane.

 

Hope you enjoy your Washington reading journey!

 

 

Reading Road Trip — Washington, D.C. (and surrounding area)

 

Washington’s Lady by Nancy Moser

Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the first First Lady of the United States. When a dapper, young George Washington comes into her life, Martha Custis is a young widow with two young children. Their love and loyalty toward each other — and the new nation they fight for, lasts a lifetime and is an inspiration even now, after 250 years. Washington’s Lady was a Christy Awards finalist.

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

It’s April 1861, and the Union Army’s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she’s fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O’Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte’s future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured.

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

In the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston’s respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she’d hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor’s risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor’s closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

The Bishop by Steven James

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers’s cutting-edge 21st-century geospatial investigative techniques and impeccable logic have helped him track some of the country’s most grisly killers. But those skills are pushed to the limit in this new installment of the highly-acclaimed, award-winning The Bowers Files series. This time it’s a congressman’s daughter who is found dead even as her killers launch a spree of perfect murders in the Northeast.

With nothing to link the crimes to each other, Agent Bowers faces his most difficult case yet–even as his personal life begins to crumble around him.Known for his intricately woven, masterfully plotted novels of high-octane action and spine-tingling suspense, Steven James delivers once again.
The Bishop is a gripping, adrenaline-laced story for readers who are tired of timid thrillers. Strap on your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride. The game is on.

End Game by Rachel Dylan

When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there’s a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there’s a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of all of them.

State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

Someone wants Georgie Brennan dead. And the more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next secretary of defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a web of political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains.

Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too. And the people closest to her might be the most dangerous of all.

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Top Books Read in 2019

31 Dec

It is always hard to compile a best of list every year. I read a lot of really good books in 2019. A. Lot. But in going back through the archives, I found the following eleven that captured my imagination, touched my emotions, and made me think about my world and myself long after I closed the cover. The books are a mixed bag of genres — speculative, allegory, dual timeline, contemporary, and historical — so basically something for every taste. I hope one grabs your interest and you find a great read! (The links are to my reviews.)

For more Best Books of 2019 lists, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Best Books Read in 2019

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

 

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Secrets of Paper And Ink by Lindsay Harrel

 

A Silver Willow by The Shore by Kelli Stuart

The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

 

 

 

Audiobook Mini-Review: Mark of The King

30 Dec

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com.

 

My Impressions:

Jocelyn Green has become a must-read author for me. Her historical novels are marvels of meticulous research — the reader truly feels like she has stepped back in time. I have been trying to catch up on my Green reading, and chose an audiobook for The Mark of The King. This novel took me to a familiar place — New Orleans — but an unfamiliar time in the city’s history. The beginning of the French colony is explored in this novel, especially the time period in which the French government sought to populate the area by arranging marriages and shipping the new couples to settle and multiply. I found the history fascinating, and Green does a wonderful job of supplying details to make the era and the people come to life. The story line and main characters are fictional, but the author includes historical figures to add to the novel’s authenticity. I loved main character Julianne. Her indomitable spirit and hopes for a future are heroic. She faces obstacles and hardships that ring true. Other characters, including leading man Marc-Paul, are also well-developed and so very real. You will find many to love, and many to despise. The subtle spiritual truth of being more than what the world brands us runs throughout the novel and applies to many of the characters. It is also a message very relevant to today. As stated, I listened to the audiobook. The narration was excellent — character voices were especially good.

I loved The Mark of The King. If you haven’t yet read this novel, I highly recommend it.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Book Review: Wedded to War (Plus a chance to win my 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!)

4 Nov

It’s April 1861, and the Union Army’s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she’s fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O’Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte’s future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured.

Jocelyn Green’s debut novel is endorsed by historians and professors for its historical accuracy and detail, by award-winning novelists for its spell-binding storytelling, and by entertainment journalists and book club leaders for its deep and complex content, perfect to share and discuss with others.

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com.

My Impressions:

If you are an historical fiction fan and have not read a novel by Jocelyn Green, then hurry up and remedy that situation! She is my go-to author for well-researched and beautifully written stories that capture the essence of the time period in which they are set. I must admit I hadn’t read her debut novel, Wedded to War, until recently. Boy was I missing a gem. It opened up a world I didn’t know about — medicine and nursing during the American Civil War. It also introduced me to characters I did not want to say good-bye to. This book is definitely a Very Highly Recommended read.

Inspired by real-life pioneers in modern nursing, Wedded to War has everything a fan of historical fiction could want — authentic details, historical figures interacting with credible and realistic fictional characters — plus the added bonus of an intriguing plot that includes suspense, adventure, and a bit of romance. I learned a lot about the deprivation the ill-equipped soldiers faced, and the daunting task of providing adequate care in the face of overwhelming numbers and the most rudimentary of techniques and treatment. The novel also depicts the very limited resources women of the time possessed. Above all Wedded to War is an excellent story with heart and soul. There are characters to love and some too despise. And without giving too much away, you will be very satisfied with the ending!

Wedded to War is the first in Green’s 4-book Heroines Behind The Lines series. It is not necessary to read them in order, but I would recommend doing so. You’ll have a better historical context that way. I have one left to read — Spy of Richmond. I can’t wait!

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

I am giving away a big box of books to celebrate my 10 Year Blogiversary. Follow this link to comment and enter. 

 

 

Reading Road Trip — Pennsylvania!

24 Oct

Welcome to another Reading Road Trip! Today I am traveling to Pennsylvania. This state is steeped in history. It was the home of numerous Native American tribes before European settlers arrived in the 17th century. From the cradle of our nation’s independence, to the iconic battle of the Civil War, Pennsylvania has been a very important part of our country’s growth. It is also dear to me because my father hailed from there. 🙂

Today’s list reflects the historical significance of the state of Pennsylvania as well as more contemporary offerings — Amish, romance, suspense — something for everyone! I hope you love the journey!

Reading Road Trip — Pennsylvania

 

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith…until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah’s world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him–and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God’s voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki

A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America’s most infamous act of treason…

Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the Revolutionary War general who betrayed America and fled to the British—as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot: a charming young woman who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.

Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering–and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty’s future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty’s hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it?

Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.

The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding — again — she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin’ Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul’s cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.

Can Julia secure the future she’s always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

No longer able or willing to leave her home, the unusual Agnes Sparrow has committed herself to a life of prayer – prayer that has resulted in numerous miracles, both large and garden variety, including a prize-winning pumpkin.

The rural residents of Bright’s Pond, a quirky Pennsylvania town, are so enamored with Agnes they plan to erect a sign in her honor on the interstate. Agnes wants no part of it and sends her sister to fight city hall. Their petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward.

But when a stranger comes to call asking for his miracle, Bright’s Pond is turned on its head and Agnes’ feet of clay are exposed, forcing the town to its knees.

Bookends by Liz Curtis Higgs

Emilie Getz and Jonas Fielding are as different as two people — of the same age, with the same faith, living in the same charming Pennsylvania town — could be.

She loves history; he loves new ideas. She sticks to the rules; he likes to break them. She’s into saving relics; he’s into saving souls. The one trait they share is a penchant for controlling every aspect of their lives, including their stubborn hearts.

When Emilie’s search for an archaeological treasure leads her to the one piece of land she can’t have (thanks to Jonas), they choose opposing sides in an engaging battle of wits. Emilie, a no-nonsense sort of woman, is determined to have her way. But Jonas is on a mission as well: He wants to hear Emilie laugh. Often.

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance, takes a leave of absence from her job as a social worker, and the two of them set off.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man her grandmother has hired to renovate the house. From the first moment she meets Matt, Kate can’t help but be attracted to him — he’s got a combination of good looks and charisma that draw and tug at her. But she knows there’s zero chance of a romance between them. Matt’s in love with his dead wife, and even if he weren’t, Kate realizes that she’s way too ordinary for him. For Matt Jarreau is no ordinary guy. Kate discovers that he was once a great NHL hockey player who left the sport when his wife — an honest-to-goodness former Miss America — was diagnosed with brain cancer. Matt’s been hiding from people, from God, and from his past ever since. Yet Kate is absolutely determined to befriend him, to try to reach him, to help him in some small way.

No, Kate’s not looking for love. She knows better than that by now. But when the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

Shadows of Lancaster County by Mindy Starns Clark

Anna Bailey thought she left the tragedies of the past behind when she took on a new identity and moved from Pennsylvania to California. But now that her brother has vanished and his wife is crying out for help, Anna knows she has no choice but to come out of hiding, go home, and find him. Back in Lancaster County, Anna follows the high-tech trail her brother left behind, a trail that leads from the simple world of Amish farming to the cutting edge of DNA research and gene therapy.

During the course of her pursuit, Anna soon realizes that she has something others want, something worth killing for. In a world where nothing is as it seems, Anna seeks to protect herself, find her brother, and keep a rein on her heart despite the sudden reappearance of Reed Thornton, the only man she has ever loved.

Following up on her extremely popular gothic thriller,Whispers of the Bayou, Mindy Starns Clark offers another suspenseful standalone mystery, one full of Amish simplicity, dark shadows, and the light of God’s amazing grace.

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruin A Book Title with Just One Letter

22 Oct

First, I need to apologize to all the wonderful authors I may offend with today’s Top 10 Tuesday post. I promise it is all in fun 😉 . Bloggers were directed to give novels new titles, so I am playing the fun game of ruining a book with just one letter. Who knew changing just one little letter could impact the whole trajectory of a story. (Be sure to look at the images for the real titles!) Please play along and leave a comment with your ruined book title.

For more title changes, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Ruined Book Titles

 

Bark Ambitions by Irene Hannon

Dogs shouldn’t be involved in politics.

Between Two Snores by Jocelyn Green

Can two people get past their sleeping difficulties in old Canada?

A Christmas Raven by Erin and Cindy Woodsmall

Quoth the raven “December 25th nevermore”.

 

Far Side of The Pea by Kate Breslin

It’s WWI and peas are on the menu.

Glory Toad by Lauren K. Denton

Amphibians in the garden.

If I’m Round by Terri Blackstock

Too much fast food on the run.

Never Faithful by Karen Barnett

Fickle lovers and geysers at Yellowstone National Park.

 

The Purse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Searching for a mysterious pocketbook.

A Sale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

Transplants gone awry in Dickensian England.

Sweat on You by Becky Wade

Can two friends find love despite their personal hygiene?