How can he protect her from himself when she keeps winding up in his arms?
She never gave up hope. After ten years of prayers for her husband, presumed dead in the Peninsula Wars, Abigail Emerson is shocked to discover him alive. Yet what should be the happily ever after of fairy tales becomes a nightmare when he coldly instructs her to forget she’d ever seen him. Abigail refuses to let her beloved slip through her fingers again, and she’s willing to battle for his love, despite the walls he’s created to barricade his heart.
Nicholas Emerson’s time as a spy for the War Office has left physical and mental battle wounds. He can never be the charming, carefree man he once was—the man his wife deserves—but when a threat to Abby’s life returns him to their small Midland village, keeping her safe proves more challenging than expected. If only Abby would forget him and remarry, then he wouldn’t have to face the torment of all the tender, buried feelings she evokes. The consequence of his life as a spy means he can never have her again…
Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.
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When writing stories, I delve into research to provide the best experience for my readers, hoping to transport them to another time and setting, in this case, the lush green rolling hills of England’s Cotswolds at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. However, God had an alternative plan for me during my research and writing of Reclaiming the Spy. To prepare for the beginning scene with Mama Em, I read Glimpses of Heaven by Trudy Harris, RN. Trudy Harris was a hospice nurse and wrote about her clients in their final days. I’ve never sobbed through every book chapter quite like I had this one. At the same time, I was encouraged to hear how many of her patients heard glorious music, observed beautiful scenes, had visions of past friends or family members, witnessed angels, or even saw their Savior, Jesus Christ.
I didn’t realize that God was preparing me through my research for my dad to go into hospice care. In his final stages, my dad spoke of seeing his parents in vivid dreams, and thanks to reading about similar situations in Glimpses of Heaven, I know they were waiting to welcome him into heaven. I’m so grateful for how God readied my heart, and I was able to draw comfort in seeing how He blurs the lines of this realm and the next to make for an easier transition. God is good all the time, and I felt his presence beside me the entire way.
I’d initially titled my manuscript Love Never Fails because Abby and Nicholas struggle to learn the qualities of love from 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind… love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Nicholas’s debilitating spells and nightmares after serving as a spy in the Napoleonic Wars cause him to fear Bedlam and that he may hurt Abby. Post-traumatic stress disorder wasn’t a mental health diagnosis of the early 1800s, but it did exist. Mental hospitals (or madhouses) were frightening places where inmates were often treated like zoo animals. Spectators would come for enjoyment to stare and laugh at the men and women housed there.
While my parents didn’t have a wartime story like Abby and Nicholas, they shared a love that endured through good and bad times and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past year. The last few days my dad was alive, he sang Amazing Grace and to my mom a Doris Day song, I Love You a Bushel and a Peck. They shared a love that never failed, and that is the love I hoped to convey through Abby and Nicholas’s story.
Reclaiming the Spy is written by Lorri Dudley. This is book two in the Agents of Espionage series. I have read the first book and it’s been a wonderful series so far. This is Abigail’s story.
Abigail never gave up hope that her husband was alive. He was presumed dead after the Peninsula Wars. When he shows back up she’s shocked. However he’s been through a lot. He doesn’t think he can be the man that Abigail remembers. He’s been a spy for the war office and has seen a lot. He’s suffering from PTSD and wants to lay low and wait for his next assignment.
Abigail has such amazing faith and persistence. She had hoped for so long to be reunited with her husband. I just love how the author put in such rich historical detail. This story also has a great mix of action and suspense. The author has woven in twists and turns that you will not expect.
Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book, all thoughts are my own.
The Legend of Locksley might just get Robin and Marian killed.
Robin Locke’s career as a jockey is far more successful than he ever expected. When a groom is found dead in the stables, Robin sets out to right the wrongs of Locksley. Unfortunately, Robin’s rival is dead set on proving him guilty!
Marian Silvers sets out to find a once in a lifetime story that will ensure her career as a reporter withstands the masochistic attitudes of the paper where she works. As she and Robin dig into the groom’s murder, she finds another side to the legend of Locksley…a side he would prefer stay hidden forever.
While the murderer wreaks havoc in their small town, Marian and Robin find that all is not as it seems. And then they become the next targets. They just need to evade the killer long enough to bring him to justice… and perhaps find love along the way.
This 1940s Robin Hood retelling features swapped character roles and a race against the clock
Tabitha Bouldin is a student at Southern New Hampshire University, where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she works with critique groups and provides endorsements for other authors. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart. Tabitha spent ten years working as a Medical Assistant before God opened the door which allowed her to become a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom and author.
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As a kid who grew up with Disney films, the Robin Hood cartoon fascinated me. I wanted to know what made Robin Hood such a cavalier thief. I understood his mindset of “steal from the rich and give to the poor” but why did he need to steal?
My uncle David had a saying for years. He’d say, “Steal from Peter to pay Paul and David stays broke.” What he meant was, no matter how hard he tried, he never managed to get ahead in life. Uncle David had a saying for everything and they always made sense in a convoluted sort of way.
In Robbing the Races, I didn’t want to try and persuade Robin that he had a right to steal, I wanted him to have a reason to think it was okay, then show him otherwise. I love heroes who need a little nudge back onto the straight and narrow. Robin sees families suffering, and when he can’t provide for them himself and he sees others who have an excess of money, he decides to take it to help the less fortunate.
Kind of like the two wrongs don’t make a right, Robin learns that his version of justice might help for a moment but that does not excuse his actions. He’s still wrong.
Robin is not the most forgiving character, but he was certainly fun to work with.
Robbing the Races is written by Tabitha Bouldin. This is part of the Ever After Mystery series. The series is written by multiple authors but are all tied together by the fairy tale retelling.
This one is a retelling or Robin Hood. However the author has done a wonderful job putting their own touches on it. This brings us to the 1940’s and the world of horse racing. Robin is trying to support his mother and siblings through being a jockey. However the horse he’s supposed to ride ends up missing. He can see all his hopes and dreams slipping away. His rival is set on making sure Robin is to blame especially when a groom is found dead in the stables.
Marian is trying to prove herself as a reporter. For a woman journalist she’s not taken seriously. Then when she’s trying to investigate the murder she quickly finds that no one wants to talk.
Robin and Marian find themselves targets of the murderer that is trying to keep the dark side of Locksley hidden. I loved this story.
Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book, all thoughts are my own.
Finally, out from under her father’s tyrannical thumb, Maeve Wycliffe can live life on her terms. So what if everyone sees her as a spinster to be pitied. She’ll funnel her energies into what matters most: helping the less fortunate and getting women the right to vote. When she’s forced to team up with the local newspaper editor to further the cause, will her pledge to remain single get cropped?
Widower Gus Deighton sees no reason to tempt fate that he can find happiness a second time around. Well past his prime, who would want him anyway? He’ll continue to run his newspaper and cover Philadelphia’s upcoming centennial celebration. But when the local women’s suffrage group agrees that the wealthy, attractive, and very single Maeve Wycliffe acts as their liaison, he finds it difficult to remain objective.
Linda Shenton Matchettwrites about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historical places all her life. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a former trustee for her local public library. She now lives in central New Hampshire where she explores the history of this great state and immerses herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
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When asked to contribute a story to the Suffrage Spinsters series, I immediately sat down and researched the suffrage movement. I was surprised to discover that the crusade to get women the right to vote began the 1830s. Nearly twenty years later, a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, an event considered the actual “birthplace” of women’s suffrage.
The history of suffragism in America is fascinating because of the large percentage of women who were against getting the right to vote. As I continued to delve into the history of the movement, I unearthed many references to an incident that occurred at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton decided to write a document similar to the US “Declaration of Independence,” call it the “Declaration of the Rights of Women,” and present it at the Exposition’s July 4thcelebration.
Their request to speak was summarily dismissed, and in fact, few women were able to obtain tickets to the event.
Undeterred, Anthony came up with an alternate plan. On July 4th, in the midst of Richard Henry Lee’s speech (grandson and namesake of one of the Declaration of Independence signers), she marched down the aisle inside Independence Hall and handed a scroll tied in a festive navy-blue ribbon to the host, then turned and made her way out of the building, distributing copies to the clamoring crowd as she went. Outside, she read the document aloud as the remaining copies were distributed. Newspapers covered her presentation and printed portions of the document. Word spread, and countless newspapers outside of Philadelphia picked up the article.
I knew I had my story, and I hope in some small way Maeve’s Pledge honors those tenacious men and women who fought to gain women the right to vote.
Linda Shenton Matchett
Maeve’s Pledge is book 11 in the Suffrage Spinsters. This book is written by one of my favorite historical fiction authors Linda Shenton Matchett. The author has a real gift for bringing her stories to life through historical events. The series is a multi-author series and this book can be read as a stand alone.
Maeve Wycliffe is happy to be out on her own terms. She previously had lived underneath her father, who was not kind. While she is out on her own, there are still men trying to control everything. Even a banker questions why she is taking a large amount of money out of her account. Because of all this she does not want to get married.
Gus Deighton lost his wife of 10 years he does not want to get married. However he and Maeve meet while working at the newspaper and they both try and deny the spark between them. Will they be able put their walls and trust God with their future?
As always, the author brings history to life with her well written story. This is a quick read and you will find yourself lost in the story within the first few pages. Thank you to the author for allowing me to read a copy of this book, all thoughts are my own.
What did WW11 look like for those who remained in the U.S? As the war heats up, hundreds of young men from Fremont’s hometown of Shawnee, Oklahoma, enlist, or get drafted. Word filters in about the wounded, the missing in action, and those who have died overseas.
Fremont Pope has not been drafted, but to do his part, he finds a job at an ammunition plant in Colorado Springs. His wife, Sibyl, hopes to teach women at a new church. They’re glad to get away from their cantankerous family, and then their family follows them to Colorado!
When the plant begins to close down, Fremont’s boss offers an amazing promotion back east. Their other choice is to move to New Mexico for mission work. Which will it be? Plunge ahead to a lucrative corporate job or help a small new church grow?
Ultimately, they yearn to go home, but where is home? Are they willing to give up their dreams and begin again?
As the couple stays in touch with people in their hometown, they learn of numerous war-time tragedies. Their return to Shawnee coincides with soldiers returning home. Based on a true story, footnotes and author’s notes are included.
Kathryn Spurgeon, an inspirational biographical writer. She’s won many awards including an Illumination Book Award. Publishing over a hundred stories, articles, and poems, she’s also published four novels. She grew up on an Oklahoma farm before moving to South Korea, where she adopted two children. She and her husband, Bill, now live in Oklahoma and have six children and fourteen beautiful grandchildren.
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Researching the 1930s and 40s was almost more fun than writing the book!
Some reviewers’ remarks about this series:
“I could have learned a lot more in history class if we would have had stories like these.”
“Wow, reading this was like being there as it was happening. Cannot wait for more books by Ms. Spurgeon.”
A Promise of Home: A WW2 Family Saga is written by Kathryn Spurgeon. This is part of the Promise series. I’ve read the series out of order, however I’ve. It had any issues following along. The author does such amazing job bringing history to life with her story.
Fremont Pope hasn’t been drafted. He starts a new job in an ammunition plant in Colorado Springs. Sybil, his wife hopes to teach women at their new church. However the treatment that they receive isn’t what they expect. I felt bad for Sybil. Trying to fit in and getting ready to have a baby. She brings up the idea of sending care packages to soldiers, but no one seems interested in that.
Both Fremont and Sybil know their heart is in ministry. I can’t even imagine feeling so unwelcomed in a new church. I wondered how that affected their hopes. I love all the historic details the author puts in about being on the home front during WWII.
Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.