Tuesday, February 2, 2016

5-Star Review of "A Sentimental Journey Romance Collection"

Review of A Sentimental Journey Romance Collection:  9 Love Stories from the Memorable 1940's

by Cathy Marie Hake, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Dianna Crawford, Joan Croston, Kelly Eileen Hake, Sally Laity, DiAnn Mills, Janelle B. Schneider, and Lynette Sowell

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Journey back to the great decade of the 1940s through nine romances that ignite despite the challenges and dangers of a world war. Couples meet under unique circumstances—during the bombing of London, at military outposts, through covert operations to save children, as well as on the home front—and the bond of love grows through shared ideals and faith.

MY REVIEW:   Of Immeasurable Worth by Joan Croston:  London, 1940, Ann and Peter work together to smuggle the Gutenberg Bible to America in order to save it from the Germans in World War II.   

Flower Amidst the Ashes by DiAnn Mills:  November, 1940, London, Corporal Margaret Walker is working with Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force and is determined not to lose her heart to one of the pilots while the war is going on and her heart could be broken.   Her friend, Beryl, has already lost her husband to the war. 

Sing Another Day by Kim Vogel Sawyer:   New York City, September, 1941, Helen Wolfe is trying to raise her younger siblings after her parents are killed in an accident and Bernie O'Day needs help in his shop and hires her brother, Henry.   Helen was planning to train for a career as a singer but must work to support her family instead.   

Living Doll by Cathy Marie Hake:  Virginia, January, 1941, Paul Kincaid buys handmade dolls from Rosemary Fulton so that he can save the lives of precious Jewish children.
Filled With Joy by Kelly Eileen Hake:  December, 1941, Roy Benson has been injured in the war and Paul Kincaid wants him to live with them while he recovers. Roy helps Rosemary and her daughter, Valerie, sew the handmade dolls to save children. 

A Thread of Trust by Sally Laity:  Copenhagen, Denmark, Spring, 1943, Axel and Annelise are providing a safe house to hide and smuggle Jewish children and others out of their grandmother's home.  Annelise must pretend to be engaged to Erik to hide him in their home so that he can forge papers for the ones they seek to save. 


A Stitch of Faith by Dianna Crawford:  Copenhagen, Denmark, October 2, 1943, Sorena Bruhn finds herself responsible for hiding a small child when his Jewish parents, her neighbors are taken by the Nazis.   Axel becomes involved in helping Sorena and the young boy and exposes himself as the underground resistance in the process.

Letters from Home by Lynette Sowell:  Fredericksburg, Texas, 1943, Trudy Meier wants to travel and see the world.   When traveling reporter, Bradley Payne, comes to town to report on the war efforts, Trudy rents him their family's Sunday house. 

A Light in the Night by Janelle Burnham Schneider:  Goose Bay, Labrador, Elisabeth is a nurse who can't dance and Ian MacDonald gets her to sing with him at the weekly "social evening" and a romance develops until she tells him that she won't give her heart to him and risk losing him during this awful war.  

I absolutely loved these novellas.   I love reading about World War II as I lost an uncle in the war.  As I read the stories, I was reminded of many things my grandmother had shared with me about life in that time period.   Each story develops around the possibility of events that could have actually taken place and romances happened despite some of the character's best efforts to prevent them.   Many of the men and women may have feared loving someone as they might easily lose them to the war.  Some of the stories are connected and include some of the same characters but not all of the novellas connect to the others in the collection.   
I rated this collection 5 stars as it is truly wonderful.  I think readers will love it also.
I received a free pdf version of this from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

The Authors:

Cathy Marie Hake
Cathy Marie Hake
As a child, Cathy Marie Hake had an imaginary playmate. Now "grown up," she indulges in a host of imaginary friends as she writes. She teasingly says she decided if those voices in her head were talking, she might as well write down what they said and make a living by doing it. She met her sweetheart in the High School department at church and married him after finishing nursing school. They live in Southern California and have two children and two dogs (one of them even moos - one of the dogs that is, not the kids). Faith in God, a loving family, and a wacky sense of the ridiculous keep her going.

Known for surfing across the kitchen on a dropped dill pickle slice, waterskiing on sea anemone spit, and using Right Guard® as hair spray; she considers herself living proof that God does, indeed, possess a healthy sense of humor.

Cathy loves classical music, romantic getways with her husband, and Diet Pepsi Free®. "I need chocolate to survive, love my friends, and enjoy a deep personal relationship with the Lord. Although an extrovert, I'm very conservative on a personal level."

In her writing, Cathy attempts to capture a unique glimpse of life and how a man and woman can overcome obstacles when motivated by love. In her inspirational pieces she enjoys the freedom of showing how Christ can enrich a loving couple's relationship.
 Kim Vogel Sawyer
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren. She invites you to visit her Web site at www.kimvogelsawyer.com for more information.
 Dianna Crawford
Dianna Crawford, best-selling author of 13 novels and 5 novellas, lives in Southern California with her husband, Byron, and the youngest of her four daughters. She was given a great start with her first novel in 1992. Writing for the general market as Elaine Crawford, she was fortunate to have it become a best-seller and be nominated for Best First Book with Romance Writers of America. Three more novels and 3 novellas followed under that name.
But she much prefers writing Christian historical fiction. She feels that much of our wonderful Christian heritage has been diluted or distorted, if not completely deleted, from the general market and texts. She felt very blessed when she and co-author Sally Laity were given the opportunity by Tyndale House to write a six-book fiction series centered on the romance, adventures, and miracles that took place during the American Revolution.
Joan Croston

 Kelly Eileen Hake
Kelly Eileen Hake is a reader favorite of Barbour's Heartsong Presents series, where she has released several books. A credentialed Secondary English teacher in California, she is pursing her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. Known for her own style of witty, heartwarming historical romance, Kelly is currently writing the Prairie Promises trilogy, her first full-length novels. She has been writing since she could hold a pen and was first published at the tender age of eighteen.

 Sally Laity
Sally Laity
Sally Laity considers it a joy to know that the Lord can touch other hearts through her stories. She has written both historical and contemporary novels, including a co-authored series for Tyndale House and another for Barbour Publishing, nine Heartsong Romances, and twelve Barbour novellas. Her favorite pastimes include quilting for her church’s Prayer Quilt Ministry and scrapbooking. She makes her home in the beautiful Tehachapi Mountains of southern California with her husband of fifty years and enjoys being a grandma and great-grandma. 
 DiAnn Mills
DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. 

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. 

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com. 
 Janelle B. Schneider

Lynette Sowell
Lynette Sowell
Lynette Sowell is an award-winning author with New England roots, but she makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas Hill Country with her husband and a herd of five cats. When she’s not writing, she edits medical reports and chases down stories for the local newspaper.

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