Monday, May 14, 2012

Unwrapping: FOR LOVE AND HONOR, an anthology in honor of our military

Coming out on May 29, 2012 is a new anthology from Avon Impulse. It features novellas from Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, and Candis Terry. All of the stories feature military men and it's being published in honor of anyone and everyone who has ever worn a uniform, is wearing a uniform and will ever wear a uniform. Happy Memorial Day to our troops!

Story Blurbs for FOR LOVE AND HONOR:

Three military heroes . . . fighting to protect their countries, their homes, and the women they love.

In New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell's THE BOOKISH MISS NELSON, it's the duty of daring Army Captain William Duroy to escort Miss Pippa Nelson through enemy territory, bringing her safely home to England. But can he resist falling in love?

In Lynne Hinton's LETTERS FROM PIE TOWN, a New Mexico town couldn't be prouder of its very own Raymond Twinhorse, injured while fighting in Afghanistan. So Trina Lockhart gathers letters from Raymond's friends and family, hoping their wishes will help to heal the man she loves-and bring him back home.

In Candis Terry's HOME SWEET HOME, Lt. Aiden Marshall returns to Sweet, Texas, after facing the devastation of war. With the help of the entire town-and a tail-wagging companion-the woman he's always loved makes her hero's homecoming all the more sweet.

                  *                         *                         *                         *                         *

FOR LOVE AND HONOR, an anthology featuring works by Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, and Candis Terry is a touching tribute to all those who have ever worn a uniform or ever will. It's a thank you that will touch your heart and have you wishing to extend your thanks to every man or woman in uniform. I read all three stories plus the excerpts for these three authors' other works in one evening.

The first story by Cathy Maxwell, THE BOOKISH MISS NELSON, is a delightful historical romance set in Spain during Wellington's battle against Napoleon. As his perceived punishment, Captain William Duroy has been ordered to escort Miss Pippa Nelson, the daughter of Sir Hew Nelson to Lisbon. Sir Hew is the British envoy to Spain and has left his book loving daughter at Wellington's encampment while he does his duty. Worried that he will miss the real fighting when the British go against the French, Captain Duroy tries to get his commanding officer to relent but fails. From the minute William meets the independent Pippa, they butt heads. Angry with the man in charge of her military escort for forcing her to leave her book laden coach behind, she decides no man, no matter how handsome, will tell her what to do. At the first opportunity, Pippa steals an innkeeper's son's clothing and riding alone sets out to return to Wellington's encampment where she believes her father will be expecting her to be. William is forced to go after her and when he finds her, they both find themselves in the middle of a French military unit. Their adventure together means being forced to hide from the French in a supply closet, then when Pippa discovers the French have taken her horse, Tatiana, she insists on getting her back. William's concern is greater. He's discovered the French have a train laden with ammunition and it will be coming in behind the British, meaning his fellow soldiers were in danger of being flanked on both sides which could mean certain failure and doom. He and Pippa set out to stop the train, retake Tatiana, and escape with their lives.
Reading THE BOOKISH MISS NELSON by Cathy Maxwell was like reading a teaser, a teaser that left me wanting more, much more. I wish that it was a full-length novel instead of just about forty pages. It is a story that is truly meant to be told in its entirety not condensed.

The second story by Lynne Hinton, LETTERS FROM PIE TOWN, had me reaching for a box of tissues very quickly. Told through a series of letters to be put into a care package to Raymond Twinhorse, a wounded soldier hospitalized in Germany. The letters are written by close friends, his father, and the girl he loves. We learn just how much they care about him and wish him to come home to them. We learn from them what a good man Raymond was even before he signed up to do the ultimate duty to defend our freedoms. They are all very proud of him not only for his doing his military duty but his duty as a son, a friend and as the beloved man who accepted a girl pregnant with another man's child. This compilation of letters is moving, endearing, and literally brought tears to my eyes.

The third story by Candis Terry, HOME SWEET HOME was definitely the most moving for me. Having just returned home from serving in the military, Aiden Marshall is a changed man. He's seen the horrors of war, the loss of good friends, and bears the guilt of a man who feels he doesn't deserve the right to have survived. Even though he's in love with the girl he left behind, Paige Walker, he feels she deserves better than him and walks away from her. However, Paige's love for him is too strong to let him go so easily. She invites him to become a partner in working the bed and breakfast that she took over from an aunt who had become too old to handle it anymore. While taking some time to consider Paige's proposition even after he'd disappointed her so greatly, Aiden is approached by the town to be a judge in the Sweet Apple Butter Festival's apple butter competition. Unable to turn down two blue-haired ladies who'd expended an enormous amount of compliments on him, he agrees.
Aiden's guilt and overwhelming sadness isn't just about returning to Sweet, Texas without his buddies. It's also based in the knowledge that he'd abandoned the one buddy that had given him loyalty and love, unconditionally. His buddy, a dog named Renegade, that he and his buddies had adopted as one of them, the Musketeers, while in Afghanistan. He had confided this painful guilt he carries to Paige so she sets out to help ease his conscience. She and the town have a surprise for Aiden and it's not just the honor of being a judge or even the biggest welcome home party that he'd never expected. Paige gives him the ultimate gift other than her undying love even when faced with his stubborn idea that she deserves better than him.
Unknown to Aiden, she and the town have banded together and arranged for that buddy that was left behind to be the guest of honor at the festival. The buddy, Aiden felt he'd abandoned, the buddy that would never understand why he hadn't returned to him, the buddy that, when he saw Aiden, wagged his tail happily, licked his face and forgave him on the spot. This great gift lifts Aiden's heart, helps heal some of the guilt and opens enough space in his heart to allow himself to believe he deserves to be loved again. 
HOME SWEET HOME by Candis Terry is a sweet, touching, even heartwrenching story. She touches our hearts with the grief that soldiers bear after seeing the horrors of war but then goes one step further and adds the love and loyalty of an innocent animal caught up in the world of war. By the end of this story, I was bawling like a baby.

I recommend that everyone who has a sense of duty to family, country, and those who allow us to keep our freedoms by sacrificing themselves - mind, body, and soul - that everyone one of you should read this anthology, FOR LOVE AND HONOR. Just be sure to have a big box of tissues nearby when you do.

Happy Reading Everyone!

FOR LOVE AND HONOR, an anthology by Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, and Candis Terry, from Avon Impulse, available in ebook format on May 29, 2012.



lorimeehan said...

Wow thus sounds like a wonderful book I will definitely be downloading it. Thank for the info.

Dalila G. said...

I have heard about this book for a while now. I am looking forward to reading it.

I happen to LOVE anything Cathy Maxwell writes, so that alone will have me getting this book.

The other two authors are new to me so this book will also be a nice way to see if I will be adding them to my looooong list of must reads.

Have a great day Amy!

Corinne said...

Love Candis' books so CAN'T wait for this book.... Thanks for great blog and excerpt!! =)

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Ladies,
I promise these stories are worth reading. As I said in the post, I wish Cathy had exanded hers a bit more because, as Cathy is so good at doing, she gets you hooked but then it's over. Boo boo, I wanted more.
The other two are so emotional. The whole anthology doesn't take long to read so it's great for break time or just a quiet afternoon. Wish it was available for you right now - you have to wait until May 29th. Enjoy though and make sure you've got tissues!

Jeanne M said...

I love all of their books but I want to thank all of the authors for this specific anthology. My husand served in the Navy during Vietnam and it would have been wonderful to have stories like this to read at the time.

I know that all military spouses and there families today will love reading your stories! Thank you all.

Candis Terry said...

Hi Jeanne! Late responding. Sorry! I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your comment. The Vietnam war was a tough, tough time and those who served never got the love and support they deserved. I remember my cousin once sent us a letter written on toilet paper because that was all he had available.

As Memorial Day approaches I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to ALL the heroes-past, present, and future, male, female, military families, and canines alike, for serving our country. I appreciate you all so much!

Amy Valentini said...

Candis, I agree wholeheartedly with you. As someone who grew up a military brat, I watched how the men from Vietnam came home to a less than stellar welcome. Our military deserve every bit of our thanks and good wishes. It's one of the reasons this anthology touched me so deeply. It's a wonderful tribute and gift. I hope everyone reads it and spreads the word. Thank you for writing such a touching sweet story. xoxo