Wednesday, April 24, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Streams of Courage by Sandra Merville Hart

 

 


About the Book

Book: Streams of Courage

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: March 26, 2024

In a world turned upside down by war and betrayal…will his role as a spy bring them closer…or tear their future apart?

The war that Julia Dodd prayed to avoid is now reality, and with it, her world has been turned on its head. Her fellow citizens, who stood with her in their support of the union, have crossed firmly to the side of the south. And her mother, lost in her grief over the loss of her husband and children, can think of nothing but protecting Julia’s brother’s inheritance. She insists that her daughter seek a wealthier husband than Ashburn Mitchell.

Ash knows what his fellow citizens think of him when he refuses to fight for the Confederacy. Shouldering the accusation of being a coward and refusing to hide behind his limp, Ash remains in Vicksburg to support his family as a saddler while his two best friends join the fight. Struggling to increase his business so he can marry the woman he loves, Ash becomes a spy in support of the Union. He can’t fight for the South but won’t raise a musket against them.

As tragedy instigates Ash to risk greater danger to speed the end of the war, Julia can only pray it won’t cost them everything. She’s already lost her father and two siblings. Must she lose the man she loves too?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

They live in dangerous time. War is imminent, their state of Mississippi has seceded from the Union and yet they side with the Union. Due to the amount of turmoil and hatred and mistrust that has spread, neighbor is rising against neighbor.

Julia Dodd is a young woman who has been praying for a peaceful solution between the North and the South. Now that they are at war, she must put on a brave face and continue on with her life, watching out for her little brother and fending off the wealthy suitors her mother has picked for her. Those that are left. Julia is in love with Ash whose social class is not quite what Julia's mother has in mind. Julia also finds out some heartbreaking news that makes her question her worth to her own family.

Ash is bound and determined not to join the Confederate army and fight for a cause he does not believe in. He also has a terrible limp, that for now will exclude him. However, he is looked at as an enemy by those left behind as he has made his views public in the past. Now he must act above reproach while he signs up to a dangerous mission for the North. He is now a spy. If he survives, he would like to marry Julia.

This story brought the turmoil of a breaking country right into the lives of those living in that time. This was just one city, in one state, and the distrust was palpable. This story moved rather quickly as these two watched as their world goes from bad to worse, and more hatred is spread. I appreciated the author showing these two characters stand up for what they believed in and doing something about it. All the while trying not to harm those against them. Their belief was strong enough for them to see this through.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author


Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher.

 

 

 

 

More from Sandra

In Streams of Courage, Book 4 in my Spies of the Civil War Series, Julia, our heroine, has suffered several significant losses in her life, including her father and two siblings. Her mother’s insistence that Julia stop courting Ash, a saddler, and find instead a rich suitor makes no sense. Surely her father had provided for her.

Then she discovers that her parents have only provided for her younger brother, whom her mother had always adored. Julia will be penniless when her mother dies. The knowledge crushes her.

Ash is already supporting his mother and siblings. As Mama points out, adding a wife and children will stretch his income to the limits. Mama will not give her blessing should Ash propose. Julia, who had been raised in comfort, must find some means of support.

As I considered how Julia could make money in a war-time economy, it was clear her mother, as the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, would never condone her working in a shop. What can she do?

Tatting lace.

Her lace patterns have received compliments in the past. With fewer ships bringing goods into the city, lace is in short supply. Granted, the demand for lace has diminished because even dress fabric isn’t as available as before the war.

I enjoyed researching this skill that was once so prevalent among young ladies in society. I watched videos on making lace with a special needle called a tatting needle.

The most basic stitch is the double-stitch. There is a special way to hold the needle and thread so that the first stitch grabs thread from under the thumb and the second stitch grabs it from over the thumb. There is a rhythm to the stitching in the hands of a skilled lacemaker.

I watched videos that demonstrated making rings with picot trim. There is a variety of stitching. The variations create beautiful patterns. The lace is then rolled for storage.

Fascinating. It’s mesmerizing to watch the different patterns emerge.

Tatting is a small yet interesting aspect in the adventurous story. Ash has become a Union spy. For her and her family’s safety, he keeps his dangerous activities a secret from Julia.

Part of my research for this novel and the next two novels included a trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi. I toured the museums and walked the streets of the historic city. Though I wasn’t certain of my story at the time of my visit, I was inspired by the history.

Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion and Byway to Danger are set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.

Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.

I invite you to read the whole “Spies of the Civil War” series!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 17

Alena Mentink, April 18

Connie’s History Classroom, April 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 19

Bizwings Book Blog, April 20

Holly’s Book Corner, April 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

Betti Mace, April 24

Pause for Tales, April 24

Cover Lover Book Review, April 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 26

Books You Can Feel Good About, April 27

Lights in a Dark World, April 27

For Him and My Family, April 28

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 29 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, April 29

Blossoms and Blessings, April 30

Giveaway


https://promosimple.com/ps/2afa6/streams-of-courage-celebration-tour-giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

[Insert Giveaway Link Here]

4 comments:

  1. What character from your book you relate to the most, and why?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This book will be a wonderful read, drawing me into the lives of our hero and heroine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This should be a riveting read. Thanks for sharing and hosting this tour.

    ReplyDelete

My Thoughts on The Way Back by Heidi Chiavaroli

  About: Young love means everything . . . until it leaves you with nothing. The summer before her senior year of high school, Laney Jacobs...