Saturday, June 30, 2018

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck


About the Book

Title: The Love Letter
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.
Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.
 Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:
Wow. This story or stories, I should say, were intricately told and tied together. This is a time slip novel with the historical story taking place during the Revolutionary War and the modern story part of the time on a Hollywood movie set.

I enjoyed both stories. The name at the beginning of the chapter would tell us what viewpoint was next. This story was told in four points of view: Hamilton and Esther, and Jesse and Chloe. Sometimes I would not be ready to be done with one part of the story before I was suddenly taken away into either the past or the future. However, I ended up liking that part as it made the story seem breathless and everything that was happening was important and intertwined.
All four individuals are seeking to be loved, by that one special person. I really liked how the author defined marriage, and she did so a couple of times. In the modern times we are shown just how shallow relationships are, and how marriage is not honored the way it should be. Chloe’s own famous parents are not married but have lived “happily” together for many years. Chloe was different; she did not just want a promise or a superficial relationship. She wanted an abiding love, a covenant promise kind, which God joins together.
The story of the past made me think with honor and thankfulness all the more of the sacrifices those who lived and died during the Revolutionary War gave so that we may have the freedoms today that so many of us take for granted. That was a darker part of the story as because of war there was hatred, violence, death, and grievous wounds. As I was reading I was thinking how blessed we are as Americans to not have war happening right in our backyards like it did during the Revolutionary War. I cannot even imagine living in such a time as neighbor against neighbor, family against family.
There is so much more to this story, but my review is long enough. I highly recommend this engrossing read of love and sacrifice, and learning to let go and trust God has our best interests at heart.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.


About the Author
Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA
Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.
Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.
 Guest Post from Rachel Hauck
I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:
“Really? So why did you do that?”
“Have you sought help?”
“Was it love at first sight?”
Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”
 Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!
Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.
I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.
Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.
But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.
What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?
The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.
I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)
For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?
“Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”
“You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”
What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.
However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.
Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.
I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.
As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!
One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?
I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.
During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?
I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?
A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.
There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.
Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?
It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.
Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?
Saw you at your window. You looked hot.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”
Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”
Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.
Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—
See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21
The Avid Reader, June 21
Genesis 5020, June 21
ansel book blog, June 22
C Jane Read, June 24
By The Book, June 25
Carpe Diem, June 26
Mommynificent , June 27
Radiant Light, June 28
Novels corner, June 29
Bigreadersite, June 29
Pause for Tales, June 30
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Remembrancy, July 2
amandainpa, July 2

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away
Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

4 comments:

  1. Loved this book! Thanks for participating in the tour!

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  2. This sounds really good! Your review was moving too; it made me think about and again appreciate the sacrifices our ancestors made so that we can have our freedom today.

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    1. Yes, our ancestors were quite remarkable.

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