Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas in New York! Four stories, five #bookgiveaways DAY 4 CENTRAL PARK RENDEZVOUS

Central Park Rendezvous--an intertwining collection of four historical romances, all tying into the Wolfe family and Bow Bridge in Central Park, by authors Ronie Kendig, Dineen Miller, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and MaryLu Tyndall


Hurrah for New York setting in CBA romance, and kudos to these talented authors for putting Central Park on the map for a reader's rendezvous with romance.
Dream a Little Dream by Ronie Kendig

Sean Wolfe has come back from Afghanistan a broken man. His past concerning his father Patrick's suicide haunts him as much as the TBI that leaves him with permanent mental scars. He has no one in the world but his devoted aunt, until a chance meeting brings closure to his past, comfort to his present, and hope to his future.

Jamie Russo is the niece of Alan, former love of a woman named Gail, who is closing his antique shop after decades of business in Manhattan. Jamie grieves her uncle's decision both for the sake of his lost dream of finding Gail, and for the other loose ends it leaves. One of those loose ends, a packet of letters from the Wolfe family who were old friends of her uncle, becomes her mission. She has laid aside her dream of dancing, but finds purpose in caring for others. She seeks out the Wolfes, and finds Sean.

The letters draw Sean closer to healing from his haunted past, to solving a mystery about his aunt, and to finding a love he thought he would never experience. Written with grit as well as insight, this story interweaves with the other three stories, going back in time to the Civil War following a keepsake coin through four generations of romance, until the satisfying end.

A Love Meant to Be by Dineen Miller

This story features Gail and Alan during the era of the Vietnam War. Alan is Patrick Wolfe's best friend, and like a son to Patrick's father--perhaps moreso even than Patrick. The elder Wolfe gives Alan the family keepsake of a Civil War coin to pass along to the one he loves. When Alan proposes to Gail after a whirlwind romance in the city, including clandestine kisses on Bow Bridge, she promises to wait for him until he returns from the war. But will her former fiance lure her away with his money and prestige, or will her heart remain faithful?




To Sing Another Day by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Helen Wolfe is a brave young lady tasked with raising her younger brothers and sisters after her parents' untimely death. Though gifted to sing like a songbird, she must leave that dream behind to put food in their mouths. Her former intended, a rising singer, scorns her practicality, drawn to the big city lights and theater fame. He wants nothing to do with her life of drudgery and responsibility.
Helen comes to a painful decision to part with a family heirloom coin in exchange for food. At the pawn shop she meets Bernie O'Day, a kind and large-hearted man who gives her more than the coin is worth. He also employs her brother to help out. Their lives intertwine as a spark of love forms. . .they spend a Christmas together where Bernie plays Santa Claus to the younger Wolfes, and his heroism shines in contrast to Helen's former intended, who only esteems all that glitters. The attack on Pearl Harbor spurs Bernie to  join the war effort, and the love story hangs in limbo from there.

Beauty from Ashes by MaryLu Tyndall

William Wolfe is a wounded officer engaged to Annie Shaw, a southern belle living on a plantation in Virginia. Little does he know that Annie's letters throughout the war were actually penned by her sister Permelia. When he returns to collect his bride, he has assurances from the genteel letters that she won't mind his dramatic facial scar. In person, Annie proves superficial and unfaithful. Will William's broken heart lead him away from true happiness with the real authoress of his love letters? Will the coin he gave Annie speak to Permelia that True Love Never Fails?

The picturesque Bow Bridge in Manhattan's Central Park draws these couples through time to finding true love, often amid the downy snowfalls of a New York Christmas or New Years.

This was my first time reading Dineen Miller and Ronie Kendig, and I was pleasantly surprised. I have enjoyed Kim Sawyer's work and consider myself a big fan of MaryLu Tyndall, so I knew I couldn't go wrong with this four-in-one. And the fact that one of the stories was set in the Civil War had me invested.

Loved the concept of romances revolving around a family keepsake coin and rendezvous at Bow Bridge in Central Park. I grew up taking trips into NYC where my grandfather was a superintendent of a building on Central Park West. Ronie's and Dineen's novellas had the most tangible sense of the city out of the four stories, and I enjoyed revisiting it through their depictions.

I adored the WWII story, and wished I could have closure on the chivalrous Irish soldier coming back from war for his sweetheart. This story of a sister struggling with her faith and to provide for her siblings moved me deeply--Sawyer's handling of deep emotions felt genuine and sincere. Each character reflected redemptive aspects of honor and sacrifice, selflessness and faith. And her humble, kind hero is among the most admirable I've ever read.

The modern romance by Ronie Kendig involving a hero with Traumatic Brain Injury returned from war captured my heart. Her writing was fresh and heartfelt, and the conflict of the heroine and hero to pursue their true dreams made for a lovely story full of hope and heart.

Dineen Miller's Vietnam era romance had gritty and bittersweet moments. I admired the depth with which the author writes, exploring themes such as PTSD, Post partum depression, and even betrayal. It was interesting how one author would add to the other's work and intertwine story threads.

MaryLu Tyndall writes about sisters in a love triangle. Unique storyline with a wounded hero who thinks he's in love with one woman, only to discover that his true North is the other. This story was a page-turner, written as only MaryLu Tyndall can write.

Nothing is as charming as a New York Christmas. I'm so delighted to share these romantic stories of faith and connection with you this week. Today I am offering a gently read copy of this collection to one lucky commenter.

Answer this question: Is there a special hand-me-down gift in your family? Extra entries can be earned by sharing on fb, twitter, google+ and pinterest, and by following this blog. Winners drawn Friday, Nov 22 at 8 PM eastern.  Good luck!

24 comments:

  1. Yes, there is a special hand me down gift. My grandfather gave me a silver necklace which belonged to my grandmother until she died. I wear it every day. I think it is about 110 years old or older, but you would never know to look at it. It means a lot because my grandmother lived in East Germany and my parents fled from there when I was "on the way". Over the years she wrote to me, but I never knew her face to face.

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    1. That sounds lovely, Sonja. My father fled Europe after WWII as well. I have nothing from his side of the family, but my mother's Irish heritage is rich with hand me downs enough for my four siblings plus seven maternal cousins.

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  2. We don't have any hand-me-down gifts in my family because we only left with our essentials when we immigrated to the US from Korea in '76. I do think, at times, it would be nice to have an attic filled with heirlooms or special gifts from long-ago. Anyway, I pinned this to my pinterest board also (username: Daily Dose of Books).
    garfsgirl [at] hotmail [dot] com

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Lis. I'm sorry that you don't have physical hierlooms, but I am sure your history and oral stories make up for it. God bless the courage your parents must have had to make the great move to a new culture.

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  3. We dont have a pecial hand me down gift but I was honored to be given my grandmothers bible which is truly special.
    God bless you
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. That's very cool, Chris. Do you know what year it was compiled? My mother's grandmother's Bible was bought in sections and put together. It is huge and is really something to behold.

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  4. I guess there are several things that are hand me down gifts in our family and they pass mostly from oldest daughter to oldest daughter. I have my great great grandmother Ingisons wooden rolling pin and my grandmothers sampler quilt. When my mom dies I will get her moms hoosier cabnet ! Right now it is in my moms kitchen.
    I do have a new testament to that was my grandmothers.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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    1. I am blessed to have my mother living with me right now,so all of my grandmother's nice things are here for now. I will probably have to part with much of it when my mom passes, including my grandmother's hand-sewn quilt, and her china.

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  5. There is starting to be a hand-me-down gift now. My Mom is the youngest of eleven children and her Mother died when Mom was 14 years old. Mom received her Bible and then it will be given to me. I have no children and there's only one niece and we're very close. She has many of my personality traits (poor girl), so she will receive the Bible. It's a very special Bible not only because it belonged to my Grandmother, but she read and made notes in her Bible until she learned about the Lord and found her salvation. It's very, very valuable! Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway and please enter my name.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. wow, Barbara. How beautiful to have her thoughts immortalized on the pages. What a treasure, and how lovely that your niece will receive it some day.

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  6. I have some bowls and dishes that were my grandmothers. Every time I use them I think of her.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Isn't it the daily living items that really bring our grandparents and moms to mind? When my grandmother broke up housekeeping, I was with my mom and was told to pick a few items that I'd like to remember her by. I picked a seafoam green bakelite butter dish that she always had on her table. It had no value, and in fact it was partly singed from being too close to the flames on her stove top once, but it reminded me of her more than anything. :)

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  7. Also, I shared on my Facebook page and I'm a follower of this blog!!

    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  8. Nothing in our family, but that changes with me. My mom has given me a few special items of hers that I plan to pass down to my girls. :) This looks like a good book!
    Lattebooks at hotmail dot com
    Follower

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    1. Good for you, Susan. It's never too late to start a family tradition. :)

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  9. I have some glass pieces that were my great-grandmother's. I look forward to passing them on to my daughter one day.

    I am a blog follower.
    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. That sounds lovely, Britney. I'm sure they will be cherished. And it shows how their care has been painstaking. Glass is a hard thing to keep pristine.

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  10. I have some jewelry of my Mothers, and her wedding ring, and Bible. And, A iron that was heated on the stove to iron, and some gifts she's given me. From my daddy, a saw(he was a carpenter),his coffee cup, and his Bibles from my and a nail bag that Carpenters wore when working,where he worked many years. (already passed on to my son.) . Also a little wooden horse toy,(home made) and a lady china doll,(in the Original clothes) old family Bible with births and deaths recorded in it, and a old pocket watch on a chain . Also his Mother's dishes with extra pieces. My husband's stuff would be over 100 years. Would love to be entered to win some books. I am a follower of this blog, and shared on my Facebook page. Maxie
    mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. those sound priceless, Maxie. you have three entries for this giveaway. :D

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  11. Starting at the wooden horse these belonged to my husband's parents. Thanks, Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  12. My mom and grandmother's recipes!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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  13. Just got done drawing names through random.org, and I would like to thank everyone for coming by this week! You all have made my Christmas in NY giveaway week very special. The winner for Central Park Rendezvous is Barbara Thompson! Congratulations, Barbara. I will be emailing your shortly for your info.

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