Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore, ©2013 ~ Quilts of Love Series ~ Every Quilt Has a Story

About A Heartbeat Away:
When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious goodbye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test---but can betrayal be forgiven?

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Meet Dionne:
Dionne Moore is a historical romance author who resides in South Central Pennsylvania with her family, surrounded by the beautiful Cumberland Valley and lots of fun, historically rich locations. She is a weekly contributor to "The Borrowed Book" a blog for book-lovers and "Cozy Mystery Magazine" for all things cozy mystery. Learn more about Dionne at

New Author to Me:
Dionne Moore is a new author to me and I was drawn by the Quilts of Love Series: Every Quilt Has a Story written by multiple authors.

Longing to help in the war effort, Elizabeth Bumgartner leaves her parents and all she has known to travel to her paternal Grandmama Gerta's. Drawn to nursing, Beth learns alongside as her grandmother tends to the wounded. She is hoping to join the Army of the Potomac and Clara Barton.

Gerta feeds and tends to both sides of the war effort. Confederate and Union soldiers are welcome, supplying them with her homemade sourdough bread, biscuits, meat pies, and remedies. What a spy she would make! Keeping one aided in the springhouse and the other continuing down the road. A Heartbeat Away

Joseph Madison has been brought to Gerta as someone who would be kind to a Rebel during the healing of his wound received while giving directions North to hidden slaves. His brother was shot, intentionally, for another reason Joe later finds. While he is recuperating, his heart is being changed and so is Beth's as she shares tending of him. Do outward appearances decide what is in the heart?
Song of Solomon 4:7   You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Does hidden pain exempt one from a future free to dream? Will Beth allow healing to occur in her own perception of who she is? Does pride enter in? Her mother has sent quilt squares with her to fashion into a quilt with bright colors amid the dark. Hope enduring, stitched together. Time in the seeing of it.

The historical period covered is September 14-18, 1862, in the depth of the Civil War between the North and the South led by Major General George McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The two armies fought at the Battle of South Mountain, and on September 17th at the Battle of Antietam. McClellan halted Lee's invasion into the North, but did not pursue the Confederates.

Dionne's characters come alive with the sights and sounds of the turmoil without and within. Which would be the greater struggle; to be amid the scrimmage or to be hidden away, unable to be "useful" or deemed so in one's own mind?

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Beth sees herself with her injury, sustained while attempting rescue of another, as unsuitable to be loved and cherished. I see her with endurance and the will to do right, bringing peace and hope among the chaos of these dark days. Joe struggles to regain his strength and fight the fever raging within his body. He projects encouragement and forthrightness in who he is. They are not alone and are uplifted by those who care about them, without whom it is unlikely they would have survived.

***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for S. Dionne Moore's A Heartbeat Away and for sending me a copy of the book. No other compensation was received.***

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