Tag Archives: WWII

Book Review + Giveaway! — A Promise Forged

9 Aug

About the Book

Book Title: A Promise Forged

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: World War 2 Romance

Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017

Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.

A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:

Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.

Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.

When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

Click HERE to purchase.

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.

Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.

Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com.

 

My Impressions:

Move over boys, the girls of summer take center stage in Cara Putman’s WWII romance, A Promise Forged. Putman reimagines the All-American Girls Professional Softball League’s inaugural season in this standalone novella in her Buckeye Promises series. I loved the nostalgic feel of this book — a time of great turmoil, yet filled with hope and and faith. This is a sweet romance set on the homefront.

Katherine Kat Miller is a seventeen year old girl who just wants to play softball. She gets her chance, but there’s more involved than action on the diamond. Charm school, uniforms with short skirts, chaperones, and rules galore are the price of admittance. Her young age and the jealousies of teammates for perceived special treatment make for loneliness and the challenge to shine her light for God. I loved Kat’s character. She is a determined young woman faithful to God, yet with realistic doubts, fears, hopes and dreams. Her faith speaks loudly, even to those who don’t really want the message it proclaims. Jack, the journalist assigned to get the story on the hometown team, is also realistically portrayed. His frustration with his job comes through loud and clear. Putman does a great job with the evolution his character. Historic details make this a fun, fun read. The romance is indeed sweet, though I had a hard time with a relationship between a seventeen year old and a twenty-five year old. I had to keep reminding myself that the 1940s were a different time. And Kat is certainly not like many teenagers today. She is mature in her beliefs, attitudes, and convictions.

All in all, A Promise Forged was an entertaining read. It captured an interesting point in American history while providing a satisfying romance. Recommended.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

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

Guest Post from Cara

Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.

And I started thinking.

What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?

And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?

I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.

He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.

As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.

A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

Blog Stops

History, Mystery & Faith, August 4

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 4

Among the Reads, August 4

The Power of Words, August 4

C Jane Read, August 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 5

Christian Bookaholic, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Reading Is My SuperPower, August 6

Genesis 5020, August 6

lady ansel book vibes, August 6

Kat’s Corner Books, August 7

Carpe Diem, August 7

proud to be an autism mom, August 7

Janices book reviews, August 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 8

A Baker’s Perspective, August 8

Blossoms and Blessings, August 8

Mary Hake, August 8

By The Book, August 9

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, August 9

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, August 10

Lighthouse Academy, August 10

Remembrancy, August 10

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 10

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 11

100 Pages per Hour, August 11

Luv’N Lambert Life, August 11

Bigreadersite, August 11

Godly Book Reviews, August 12

Cafinated Reads, August 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 12

A Reader’s Brain, August 13

a good book and cup of tea, August 13

Book by Book, August 13

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14

Maureen’s Musings, August 14

Daysong Reflections, August 14

The Morning Chapter, August 15

amandainpa, August 15

Inklings and notions, August 15

Connie’s History Classroom, August 16

All 4 and About Books, August 16

Bibliophile Reviews, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 17

For the Love of Books, August 17

Giveaway

a promise forged(1)

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ac/a-promise-forged-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Top 10 Tuesday — Red, White, and Blue Books!

3 Jul

Happy Top 10 Tuesday — Colors of America! What a better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with a bevy of red, white, and blue books — all with a connection to America’s history. Featuring the settling of a new nation, wars, Civil Rights, etc., these novels connect readers with pivotal times in our nation. I hope you find a new-to-you book to enjoy this holiday week!

 

For more patriotic offerings, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Red, White, And Blue Books!

 

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

 

The Pelican Bride by Beth White

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

 

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

 

What are some of your favorite red, white, and blue books?

 

If You Liked The Sea Before Us . . .

29 Jun

My book club was unanimous in its approval of The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin. Although many of us have enjoyed lots of great books by Sundin, this was the first time we have read as a group a novel by her. It won’t be the last! In fact the only thing we didn’t like about the book was the fact we have to wait until next year for the next installment of the Sunrise at Normandy series, The Sky Above Us. So what should we and you read in the meantime? The following are my recommendation for WWII novels that feature strong women actively engaged in the war, either in official capacities or as a part of an underground network. Hope you enjoy!

 

Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey.

It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers’ adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on – and the runners are playing for keeps.

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot.

Years of Nazi occupation have stolen much from Brigitte Durand. Family. Freedom. Hope for a future, especially for a woman with a past like hers. But that changes the day American fighter pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down over occupied France. Picked up by the Resistance, Tom becomes the linchpin in their plan to infiltrate a Germans-only brothel and get critical intel out through Brigitte, a prostitute rumored to be sympathetic to the Allied cause. D-day looms and everyone knows that invasion is imminent. But so is treachery, and the life of one American pilot unexpectedly jeopardizes everything. He becomes more important than the mission to a man who cannot bear to lose another agent and to a woman who is more than just a prostitute, who finally realizes that her actions could change the course of history.

Snow on The Tulips by Liz Tolsma.

A stranger’s life hangs in the balance. But to save him is to risk everything.

The war is drawing to a close, but the Nazis still occupy part of the Netherlands. After the losses she’s endured, war widow Cornelia is only a shadow of the woman she once was. She fights now to protect her younger brother, Johan, who lives in hiding.

When Johan brings Gerrit Laninga, a wounded Dutch Resistance member, to Cornelia’s doorstep, their  lives are forever altered. Although scared of the consequences of harboring a wanted man, Cornelia’s faith won’t let her turn him out.

As she nurses Gerrit back to health, she is drawn to his fierce passion and ideals, and notices a shift within herself. Gerrit’s intensity challenges her, making her want to live fully, despite the fear that constrains her. When the opportunity to join him in the Resistance presents itself, Cornelia must summon every ounce of courage imaginable.

She is as terrified of loving Gerrit as she is of losing him. But as the winter landscape thaws, so too does her heart. Will she get a second chance at true love? She fears their story will end before it even begins.

Top 10 Tuesday — I’ve Only Just Begun

26 Jun

While this week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme is all about series readers decided not to finish, I am again bucking the system. It is officially Opposite Day here at By The Book. My list features series that I haven’t finished because, well, they have just begun! Book 1 of each series is read, and I am eagerly awaiting the publication of book 2. For some series the wait is short; others require a bit more patience. All are series that I know I will love, love, love! (The links are to the reviews of book 1 in series.)

To discover what other bloggers think about finishing series, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Series I Began This Year

Blue Justice by Lynette Eason

Called to Protect (release date 7/31/18)

 

Bucklin Family Reunion by Debby Mayne

Fit to Be Tied (release date 8/28/18)

 

Dive Team Investigations by Lynn H. Blackburn

In Too Deep (release date 11/6/18)

 

Lavender Tides by Colleen Coble

The House at Saltwater Point (release date 7/3/18)

 

Music of Hope by Liz Tolsma

When The Heart Sings (release date 10/9/18)

 

Nantucket Legacy by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Minding The Light (release date 7/3/18)

 

Sunrise at Normandy by Sarah Sundin

The Sky Above Us (release date 2/5/19)

 

The Sugar Baron’s Daughters by Lisa T. Bergren

Verity (release date 4/2/19)

What series have you just begun?

 

 

Book Review: The Sea Before Us

18 Jun

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

 

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of ten novels, including the The Sea Before Us (February 2018) and the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the INSPY Award, and her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.

 

My Impressions:

My book club gives its unanimous approval to The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin. This WWII-era romance has everything we look for in a book — great relatable characters, realistic story line, and a setting that captures our imagination. We also had plenty to talk about! Most of us didn’t know much about the planning of the D-Day invasion or the sea support of the campaign, and this novel was a wonderful glimpse into the strategy and sheer determination of the participants. This one is a recommended read from By The Book.

The Sea Before Us is set in the months leading up to the D-Day invasion. Main characters Dorothy, a WREN, and Wyatt, a US Naval officer, are both involved in the planning stages. I loved the detail Sundin shares in the meticulous mapping of the Normandy coast in a time way before Google Earth. In addition, the complexity of the naval operation is told in a way even those with no military background can understand. But this novel also gives a glimpse into the wartime psyche of the people of England. The famous stiff upper lip hid a multitude of fears but served as a means for civilians and military alike to defeat the evil that took over Europe. Dorothy and Wyatt, both dedicated to their jobs, were influenced by their past mistakes and sense of unworthiness. While it helped get the job done, both needed to put aside failures and rejections in order to discover their worth in God’s eyes. This aspect of the novel made both characters realistic. As for the romance, sparks ignite for the Texas cowboy and the vivacious red-headed English girl. For Dorothy a family secret is revealed, but Wyatt’s family issues remain — the story will continue in the next two books.

We all loved The Sea Before Us, but are not satisfied that we will have to wait so long for the next two books! But we are definitely putting them on our 2019 and 2020 reading list.

Recommended.

Book Club Approved.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I received an ARC from Library Thing and purchased a copy from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

June Book Club Pick

1 Jun

This month By The Book is reading The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin (the first book in the Sunrise at Normandy series).  Although Sundin is a favorite author of some of our members, this will be the first time we read one of her novels as a group. I am really looking forward to a great discussion with this one. We’d love for you to join us! Visit our book club’s FB page HERE.

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

 

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of ten novels, including the The Sea Before Us (February 2018) and the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the INSPY Award, and her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — War Torn Worlds

29 May

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme is book worlds that readers do/do not want to live in. I love that authors take me away to times and places I could not and would not dare to visit. I want to know what actual people went through, but I would never wish to have those experiences first hand. My list is all about the sieges, battles, and internment camps of war time. The books on my list are rich in detail and capture the times perfectly. They authors created worlds I am so glad I visited from the safety and peace of my favorite reading spot.

Make sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl to discover other bookish worlds.

 

Top War Torn Book Worlds

The Civil War

The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Andersonville Prison Camp)

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green (Battle of Gettysburg)

Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green (Sherman’s March to Atlanta)

 

WWII

The Butterfly And The Violin by Kristy Cambron (Auschwitz)

Daisies Are Forever by Liz Tolsma (Fall of Berlin)

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart (Ukraine)

 

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot (Dunkirk)

Remember The Lilies by Liz Tolsma (Philippine Internment Camp)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Dutch East Indies Internment Camp)