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Sincerely Yours: A Novella Collection

Amanda Cabot, Ann Shorey, Jane Kirkpatrick, Laurie Alice Eakes
Sincerely Yours: A Novella Collection
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This collection of historical novellas features the writings of four storytellers. In every story, each woman receives a letter that will sets her on a new path toward a changed life--and perhaps lifelong love. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a car... Read More


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This collection of historical novellas features the writings of four storytellers. In every story, each woman receives a letter that will sets her on a new path toward a changed life--and perhaps lifelong love.

From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote and controversial hospital, readers will love being swept into the lives of four young women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2014
  • UPC: 9780800722043
  • Height: 0
  • Width: 0
  • Length: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 378
  • Publish Date: Apr 1, 2014
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042030"
  • ISBN: 0800722043

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Sincerely Yours, A Novella Collection by Tina on 4/29/2014

Sincerely Yours, a Novella Collection*****
by Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes and Ann Shorey

Sincerely Yours is a collection of four historical romances set in the 1800's, written by four different authors. Each book is a stand-alone book but have a common thread—each young woman in the stories have received a letter that takes them on a journey beyond what they had imaged.

~Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
Highborn English lady Camilla Renfrew receives a letter from her girlhood friend, Joanna in New York City asking Camilla to join her and her husband to travel to the Great Lakes via the newly opening Erie Canal. Camilla would be her companion in the wilderness of the Great Lakes, but she must arrive before Joanna leaves. For Camilla, this is an answer to prayer. She has been accused of a crime that she did not commit and must flee England to disappear from the one man who is determined to make her pay. She travels to America and barely misses the steamboat leaving for the Albany where she is to meet Joanna.
However, steamboat Captain Nathaniel Black is not inclined to take her aboard his ship as they do not take passengers. She convinces him to allow her to travel with him as far as Albany. Along the way trouble follows them at every turn. Despite these troubles Camilla and Nate are drawn to each other.
Camilla starts to relax but soon learns that the very man she fled England from, Frederick Conover is on her trail. She must tell Nate everything. But before she finds the courage to tell him, Nate confronts her about a man looking for her—Frederick Conover. Crying she tells him why Conover is looking for her and returns to her room. She leaves the steamboat the next morning not knowing where to go now. Before she can figure out what to do, Conover grabs her and carts her off to a shack where he informs her of his plans for her.
Will Nate find her in time to save her from this evil man? Can Camilla trust God to keep her safe, even from Conover? Will she ever see Nate again?

~Lessons In Love by Ann Shorey
Miss Marigold (Merrie) Montgomery Bentley lives in 1850's Chicago with her Aunt Isabella.
She secretly writes marriage advice for the Kipler's Home Weekly with the initials “M. M.”.
The house keeper Mrs. Wagner and coachman Mr. Peters are the only ones who know of her writings.
All is well until she receives a post from her editor, Mr. Horatio Kepler with a bank draft for her latest
article; however, she also receives a note along with the draft asking to meet with Mr. Bentley to discuss future writings for his weekly. Now what does she do? As she ponders this request Mrs. Wagner reminds her that her music instructor, Mr. Colin Thackery has been waiting for her in the parlor for her lesson. She is so disturbed by Mr. Kepler's request she is unable to concentrate on her lesson.
Colin confronts her about her unusual lack of concentration. Does she dare confide in him? Desperate, she decides to ask for his help in meeting Mr. Kepler. At first Colin is resistant to the idea, but decides to agree to her request. How can he deny her request when he is falling in love with her? The meeting does not go as planned. Mr. Kepler does not allow Merrie, who he believes is Mr. Bently's wife, to join them to discuss her future writings. She is to wait outside the room like a “good little wife”. Fuming she has no choice and pleads with Colin to remember everything Mr. Kepler tells him. Things go from bad to worse as Colin can't remember everything and Merrie falls breaking her right arm, her writing arm! Now what does she do? How can she continue to write and meet her deadlines? Will Colin continue to help her? Will Mr. Kepler find out she is not a he but a she and thereby loose her job? How can Colin not tell her of his love, despite the differences in their stations in life? Does she return his love? Do they have a life together?

~One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
After Lorraine M. Caldwell's parents death she learns that their will states she must marry by September 14th or loose her inheritance to her cousin. Everyone expects her to marry Robert Simms, now even more so. But Lorraine doesn't want to marry him. But should she marry Robert in order to keep her inheritance so her cousin does not inherit it? She doesn't have much time to decide as she only has until September 14th, then she either marries Robert or finds another suitable suitor/husband, one with a fortune of his own. Who else can she marry?
She and her Uncle Ambrose discuss it again and he reminds her that as any well to do family, she was trained to be a wife of a wealthy man, play the piano, paint watercolor, or arrange a party.....which means she can't survive on her own her.
She continues to pray for God to show her the path He has prepared for her. She unexpectedly receives a letter from her brother Mike, whom she has not seen or heard from for two years, asking her to come to Lilac Hall for his upcoming wedding. With anticipation she leaves New York by train to visit her brother. Expecting to see Mike, she eagerly looks for him at the station. However he is not there to meet the train but sent his driver, Jonah Mann. Jonah has a cultured British accent and is wearing a paint-spattered jacket and pants, not the tailored uniform her drivers wear. Jonah takes her to Lilac Hall, a magnificent Greek Revival manor, where Mike now lives/works—works?
As she waits for Mike to return from his honeymoon, she wanders Lilac Hall and tries to figure out what to do. Time is running out. She finds herself thrust into the lives at Lilac Hall and stumbles upon a carousel maker of all things. This carousel maker crafts the most beautiful horses she has ever seen. Will he let her help paint the horses? Can she and this man become more than friends? It certainly would not solve her problem of marrying a man of wealth for this man is not wealthy. Can she forgo her inheritance for love? Does he love her and would he want to marry her? Is this part of God's plan for her life?

~A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick
Grace Hathaway receives a letter asking for her help from her 8 year old goddaughter Caroline Holmes. It appears her mother is in trouble and needs her Aunt Grace to come quickly. Included with Caroline's letter is a letter from a lawyer explaining where her mother, Rebecca is now. Rebecca Holmes has left her daughter in the care of a friend, Jenny in Dalles, Oregon, near the Columbia River and checked herself into a facility, a sanatorium in Olalla, where she is hoping to get treatment for her despondency after her husband's death.
Grace takes a leave from her employer at the Oregon's Roaring Springs Ranch and travels three days by stage to Dalles where Caroline is staying. After speaking to Caroline she learns from Jenny that Olalla is very isolated requiring ferries and boats to reach it. The sanatorium is even more remote and harder to reach. They frown on visitors and even check to make sure visitors do not bring in food. Jenny had visited Rebecca and found her to be in so emaciated and lethargic she fears for her life.
The next morning Grace left Dalles, traveling by steamship past Portland, by train to Seattle then finally by ferry to Olalla. During her travels she reads the book by the doctor treating Rebecca,
Fasting For The Cure of Disease, by Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. On arriving in Olalla, she is met by William who takes her by carriage to the Olalla Hotel. She learns from William that she can only reach the sanatorium by boat. William tries to discourage her from going there, “there are strange goings on there” he informs her. She also learns from William that Dr. Hazzard's husband, Sam helps at the sanatorium. Once at the hotel a tall man reaches out to help and helps with her trunk. She learns he is Dr. Claude Millikan and works at the sanatorium. He invites her to dinner and she accepts in hopes to learn all she can about Dr. Hazzard and her treatments.
Over the course of the next days Grace is more and more concerned about Rebecca and the other patients at the sanatorium. She is convinced that something is very wrong. How can she get Rebecca out of that place without the Dr. Hazzard or her husband Sam seeing her? What role does Claude play in these treatments? Is he part of this horrible place or is involved in something else? Can she trust him to help her? Does she have any choice? As she prays for direction she makes plans to get Rebecca out of there and hope she is within God's plans.

I loved the way each author created a historical romance story that brings the past to life through their characters. We see clearly the contrast between women lives of today and how the lives of women in the 1800's was so very different as well as what the expectations were for these women. Women had a hard time if they wanted to be a writer as we see in Lessons of Love. The choice of a woman's husband was often controlled by her parents leaving her little choice in the matter as in One Little Word. In Moonlight Promise we get a glimpse of what happens when a woman is forced to flee to another country when she is falsely accused. In A Saving Grace we see in the mist of heartache, how a woman can be deceived in thinking a certain “diet” promises healing and may very well endanger their very lives. Each story takes us on a journey filled with mystery, adventure, romance, surprises, suspense, humor, deceit, love and faith. I like the way each author filled in some history about the time of their story at the end of that story.

~~I won a copy of this book from Goodreads and Revell for my review~~

A sweet collection of historical novellas by J. Augustine on 4/3/2014

A Moonlight Promise
This was my first story by Laurie Alice Eakes and I sincerely enjoyed A Moonlight Promise. It was a sweet story with just enough danger to make it a satisfying read. Camilla and Nathaniel's reliance on faith in God in the face of difficult circumstances is worth admiring. I absolutely loved the historical steamboat details, who knew that the Mark Twain steamboats were nothing like the earlier ones at all?

Lessons In Love
A gentle love story about a shy girl with a secret – she is a writer – and the lessons she learns in honesty, in life, and in love. One of the things I liked about Lessons In Love is how Ann Shorey tells it realistically; the women in the story believe both in women's rights but also in family and happiness in the home. A truly sweet and enjoyable novella.

One Little Word
I think this is one of my favorite stories in the book, I LOVE carousels! I got my first carousel ride at age 8 and I have been in love ever since. This story is not only filled with fascinating details about the musical horses but it also a delightfully sweet romance. Amanda Cabot has a winner in One Little Word and readers will find themselves rooting for Lorraine and Jonah.

A Saving Grace
Darker than the preceding stories A Saving Grace tells the story of a woman's love for her friend. Grace will do whatever it takes including endangering her own life to save her friend and the other women under “treatment.” While the romance is muted, I think the friendship and loyalty displayed by Jane Kirkpatrick's characters was my favorite part of this story.

A nice collection of diverse stories from four talented authors. The theme of receiving a life changing letter weaves these stories together in a most interesting way. Life, love, and the power of the written word are what these stories are all about. These stories are perfect for lovers of historical fiction and will only whet the appetite for more by these lovely ladies.

(I received a copy of this book through the Revell Reads program in exchange for my honest review. I received no financial compensation for this review. All opinions are entirely my own)

letters sent just in time by Kathleen E. on 4/2/2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Sincerely Yours ~ Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Ann Shorey ~ © 2014
A Novella Collection

A Moonlight Promise ~ by Laurie Alice Eakes

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

New York City ~ 1825
With the rain pelting down, Camilla Renfrew ran down the dock to the last steamboat blowing its whistle to leave shore. Not heeding her cries to wait, she jumps onto the moving gangway swaying as it rose, landing her at the feet of Captain Nathaniel Black. Clearly stating that his was not a passenger boat but carrying supplies that needed to arrive at the Erie Canal opening to the Great Lakes two days hence. Fortunate, indeed. That is where she also is trying to arrive in Albany to meet her future employee per the post she had received.

Captain Black himself has an urgency to sell his goods to be able to maintain his share in the Marianne and buy his partners' shares. Otherwise, he will be back to piloting another man's vessel. He is trying to stay ahead of the boat trailing him to avoid any further delay. Camilla also has a past she is trying to leave behind.

I loved this story! So in-depth, you can feel the waves hitting the boat and the mist coming up around you. Very well written, it retained my interest to find out their destination which is halted by paddle wheel damage and waiting for repairs. Captain Black finds he must rescue Miss Renfrew more than once, with her continued adventuresome ways.

Lessons in Love ~ by Ann Shorey

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1 Corinthians 12:4–6

Chicago ~ 1858
Piano lessons become more important as Merrie Bentley receives a letter addressed to Mr. M.M. Bentley requesting an in-person meeting to discuss further the writings of matrimonial advice she is sending in to Mr. Kipler's magazine, Kipler's Home Weekly.

Merrie pleads with her piano teacher, Mr. Colin Thackery, if he will just this once go with her. As "his wife" she will just listen in to the discussion between he and Mr. Kipler. But... she is not invited in for the meeting and by the time her piano lesson comes again, Colin is not so sure he remembers exactly what was said. He arranges to meet with her an additional afternoon each week to go over what she writes to see if he can recall the directions given him.

Merrie has been sent by her father to her aunt's to take part in the season's social calendar. She is not all that sure that sounds good to her with her shyness. She finds Colin at one gathering as part of the paid entertainment and the gap between them widens, or so it seems.

I really liked Mrs. Daintree, Merrie's aunt. As much as Merrie hesitated to confide in her, she turns out to be a little more cordial than might have been expected. Open communication brings changes beyond what Merrie would have thought possible. This was a fun read and I would like to follow them further!

One Little Word ~ by Amanda Cabot Amanda Cabot

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalm 32:8

New York City ~ 1892
Lorraine Caldwell receives a letter from her older brother, Mike, whom she hasn't heard from in two years, to come to Lilac Hall in Plato Falls by train. Jonah Mann comes to the railway station to pick her up, disturbing to her in his paint spotted clothes. But look what he does! Carves carousel horses!! What wonderful memories I have of spinning around, on a horse going up and down with a brass ring above it and the many colors floating off the mirrors and small light bulbs against the organ grinder music ending the one thin Liberty dime ride far too soon for me! So, I am anxious to see where this story is going to lead.

Mindful of Jonah's admonition, Lorraine did not touch them, but she walked slowly around the room, admiring each horse. "Some of them are smaller than the others," she said.

Jonah looked up from his carving. "That's because they'll be part of the second row. The platform is smaller there than on the perimeter. If the inner row horses were the same size, they'd be out of proportion." His attention once more focused on the block of wood that was rapidly taking shape, Jonah continued his explanation. "This is going to be a small merry-go-round--only twelve horses--but I wanted it to have two rows. Some people like to ride together."
--One Little Word, 217

Part of why I love historical fiction; so many interesting facts to learn about earlier times ~ craftsmanship made by hand with such detail.

It was a glorious morning, a time to enjoy the sights and scents of the country, and for the first time she could recall, Lorraine felt free. Here there were no expectations, no servants waiting for her commands, no friends wanting her to make afternoon calls with them. While it was true that her hair was not as well coiffed as if Annie had arranged it, Lorraine didn't mind. Life at Lilac Hall was more relaxed than at home.
--One Little Word, 221

Lorraine finds there is another world outside her door, as she enjoys the sunlight and trill of birds as she walks in the fresh morning air. By being herself, the skills and talents she has brings Lilac Hall guests together furthering the enjoyment of their stay.

Jonah Mann has a deadline to finish for the merry-go-round that will be installed for his painted ponies. Refreshing to find someone easy to talk with however distracting to the work he must accomplish. Lorraine and Jonah find out more about themselves beyond the traditions of their families. A richness that makes them truly alive.

I liked this story for the relationship development and growth. I would like to hear more about them in a further story.

A Saving Grace ~ by Jane Kirkpatrick

They shall not hunger nor thirst; . . . for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
Isaiah 49:10

The Dalles, Oregon ~ 1911
Grace Hathaway receives a letter from her friend Rebecca's young daughter to come and help her mother. Rebecca in her grief over the drowning death of her husband, has admitted herself for treatment at a facility in Olalla, a town in Washington on Puget Sound. Grace takes leave from teaching piano to children of ranchers in Oregon to respond to her godchild Caroline's letter. She travels by stage, arriving at the town of The Dalles beside the Columbia River three days later. Further travel by steamship to Portland and then railway to Seattle, to the ferry to arrive at Olalla, Grace settles at the hotel there. She is told there is a passenger boat that goes in the mornings to the remote sanatorium-like building, Wilderness Heights.

There is much suspense in this story as Grace tries to rescue her friend, Rebecca, from the agony and despair and bring her home to health and restoration. Grace meets a doctor at the hotel who is working in the lab at the sanatorium. Together they are forming a bond, but it is uncertain which side of influence he is on. Can he be trustworthy to enable Grace to share her concerns and aid in helping Rebecca?

I was astonished at the background revealed by the author to this chilling tale of medical procedures "for the cure."

***Thank you to Revell Reads Fiction for sending me a copy of Sincerely Yours to review these four stories. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Historical Setting by Maureen on 4/1/2014

I have just finished a book with four novellas by four different authors. I loved that at the end of each of the stories where author’s notes telling why they wrote about what they did, although the work are all fiction, there is a bit, and sometimes more to each of the stories. I think the one by Jane Kirkpatrick really touched me, and how terrible that some of the parts are true. Actually the ones you really don’t want to be, but am glad that she brought them to my attention.
These are all historical settings, and quick reads, you can finish one, and then head into the next in no time. I so enjoyed traveling in the historical parts of our country, I am able to see stonewalls of the old Erie Canal, not much there, but it is nice to read about it. I had a hard time putting the book down to go on with everyday activities.
There is blurb on the back of the book is about each novella, and it draws you in to make you want to read it. Also it give you an idea about what your about to read. There is so much more, and you’ll be pulled in quickly. We are fortunate to have such work available to the reader, and being able to enjoy four of theses wonderful authors at once is very poignant. You will find God present in each of these stories, and how he is part of their lives at the out come. There are some really good chuckles here, and some very serious and sad moments. I highly recommend you don’t let this book get away!

I received this book through the Revell Bloggers Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

Great Historical Fiction by Inspire Michelle on 3/31/2014

Sincerely Yours is a collection of four novellas. Four unexpected letters lead to four lives changes forever. I really enjoyed all four novellas and found them all to be great historical Christian Fiction books. This is the first book I have read by each author, I found all the novellas to be compelling and well thought out with an enjoyable historical aspect. I give Sincerely Yours 5 stars and recommend it to all lovers of Christian Historical Fiction.

A Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
May 1825, Camilla Renfrew finds herself running down Barclay Street in New York City. The Marianne has just pulled from the shore of the East River and Camilla knows she has to be on it. She risks all to jump from the wharf onto the rising gangway of the moving steamboat. Camilla knows her only hope running from false accusations is to reach her friend Joanna and take the job she wrote about.
Captain Nathaniel Black is none to pleased to have a lone unprotected female on his boat and is determined to return her to the shore the first chance he gets. That changes when he sees rival Riley Lancaster’s boat headed into the river after them. Riley will do everything in his power to make Captain Black miss his deadline and have to sell his beloved boat.
What Camilla did not expect was to fall for the kind handsome boat captain. Read this great novella to see if she is able to prove the accusations wrong and if Captain Black is able to save his boat.
The author Laurie Alice Eakes did and outstanding job brining the characters to life. She created a beautiful story out of the opening of the historic steamboats of the Erie Canal that brought travel from Albany to Lake Erie in 1825.

Lessons in Love by Anne Shorey
Marigold Montgomery Bentley finds herself in Chicago in 1858, training to be a high society wife. She dreams of being a published author. Her dreams come true when Kipler’s Home Weekly starts publishing her articles on marriage advice. The only problem is the publisher thinks she is married and male but she is single and female. Piano teacher Colin Thackery comes to her aide when the editor wants to meet Mr. Bentley in person. He acts as Mr. Bentley for the meeting and helps her with future articles. That is until he gets cold feet and starts to develop feeling for Merrie, who he thinks is out of his league.
Author Anne Shorey does a great demonstrating how society viewed the roles of wives and women in those days.

One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
Lorraine Caldwell finds herself reading a letter in May of 1892 from her long lost brother. On the verge of losing the family fortune if she does not marry soon she decides to visit her brother at Lilac Hall. She is hoping to find answers to her problems there. The only skills Lorraine has is water painting, playing the piano and hosting parties. How can she survive without the family money or a husband. Once at Lilac Hall she meets Jonah Mann, but he is not all he seems to be. Trying to prove her worth she does odd jobs around the mansion, but her skills are a royal mess. Just when she has given up all hope she has a chance at love but Johan is determined to fulfill family tradition. Will she lose all or gain everything while helping Jonah paint the carousel he is building.
The author Amanda Cabot did a grand job bringing the carousel to life with her vivid descriptions. She will have you wanting to hop on the nearest carousel for a spin.

A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick
Grace Hathaway is summoned by the young child of a friend, hoping she can save her mom and get her to come home. Her friend went to the sanatorium like facility to heal after the death of her husband. As Grace investigates the sanatorium undercover, she discovers they are starving patients to death by fasting as a way to heal. With the unknown help of Dr Claude Millikan they set out to save Rebecca and other patients.
The author Jane Kirkpatrick did an outstanding job of bringing history and mystery together in a fantastic novella about the real life Linda Hazzard of Wilderness Heights. I found the story so intriguing I had to find about more about the true story.

I want to give a high-five to the authors Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes and Ann Shorey and publisher for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. I highly recommend this great book to anyone that enjoys historical fiction. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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