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Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: A Blue and Gray Christmas - Various Authors





It's Christmas time in the States , but things aren't looking that bright and cheerful as War has broken out between the South and the Yankees , this Christmas can four women find happiness or has the war brought them more sorrow ?
Review: A Blue and Gray Christmas - Romancing America Series - Various Authors - September 2009
Can the gift of Love , Joy and Happiness overcome these four couples lives this Christmas as War settles in between the South and Yankees ? To me, it was kind of a surprise to read about the war as being from outside USA - all Americans are Americans , all Yankees as used for Slang but in America you are split into a few catgories -you have the Southerners and then the Yankees.  A Blue and Gray Christmas compiled as four short stories talks about the war and how each of the characters struggled throughout it but as we all know with God by our side - All things are possible.
The first tale written by Lauralee Bliss is called "Till Death Do Us Part" . Lauralee tells us the story of two newly engaged adults Leah Woods and Seth Madison. When the pair announce their engagement, all is wonderful until Seth pops out to do an errand and being back shortly turns into days and weeks as we discover he has been captured by the enemy and accused of being a spy. Leah, distraught with worry can do nothing but pray to God that wherever her fiance is he will be safe. When he returns, Leah is overjoyed but Seth has changed - he is not the same person he was when they announced their engagement . When Seth calls off the Wedding, Leah is distraught but as she dutifully continues to pray , will God answer her prayers and can Leah prove to Seth that she will always love him no matter what?
The second tale is written by Tamela Hancock Murray and is titled "Courage of the Heart" . This story reminded me of the film "Four Feathers" featuring Heath Ledger as we meet couple Arabella Lambert and Barry Birch. Barry has proposed and Arabella of course said YES, the couple plan to marry next Christmas but their plans are halted when Barry's brother Silas arrives home injured from War. Barry being the next oldest duty is to go to War, but Barry has a secret- a promise made to his grandfather years ago. When Barry announces that he won't go to war , it has consequences and he is labelled "a coward" and Arabella's family refuses her to marry him. Can Arabella and Barry prove to the town that he isn't a coward just because he doesn't want to fight in the war , what will it take for Barry to prove to Arabella's family that he is worthy of their daughter's hand ?
The third tale is "Shelter in the Storm" by Carrie Turansky. When trouble strikes and war correspondent James finds himself injured and on the doorstep of a Doctor , it seems like fate or destiny has brought him here. Of course, though Rachel being the dutiful daughter brings James back to health. She tries so hard though, not to fall in love as she is still hurting from losing her sweetheart Andrew in the war that she doesn't want to lose another. James torn between his job and Rachel chooses to go to war and Rachel finds herself in the arms of Daniel - a friend of their Aunt Julia's. When James arrives home this Christmas to visit them , who will she choose - will she take the safe option with Daniel or will she follow her heart's desire and choose James ? Is she strong enough to fall for another soldier ?
The final tale is "Beloved Enemy" by Vickie McDonough. Out of all the four authors, the only one that was familiar to me was Vickie McDonough , her story was different than the others as well and showed to us that Opposites can really attract as we meet Hannah McIntosh and Chris Haley. Hannah has nowhere to go and soon finds herself , her brother Ethan and unborn child looking for a place to stay after her husband is killed. Hannah finds a job as a caretaker for Ellen Haley but when Ellen's son Chris returns home from War , it becomes a struggling battle as he is a Union and discovers that she is a Conferderate - enemies on the battlefield. Can their love though stand the test of times and the obstacles of not only war but her pregnancy to another man ?
As we come into the cooler weather , I know it's not Christmas but to me this screams as a "Sit around curled up by the fireplace read".

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