Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sincerely Yours ~ Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Ann Shorey ~ © 2014

A Novella Collection
Word Origin & History ~*intrepid*~
1627 (implied in intrepidness), from L. intrepidus "unshaken, undaunted,"
 from in- "not" + trepidus "alarmed."

A Moonlight Promise ~ by Laurie Alice Eakes 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 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 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.

carousel horse for sale - Google Search   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.
Carousel horses 1   --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.

Jane Kirkpatrick
© Carole Marie Photography
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."
Cover Art
***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.***

Read first chapters here! 4 chapter excerpts (one from each author)


  1. I'm always pleased when someone takes the time to read and review my stories, but you've done so much more. I love the way you enhanced the review with all those pictures. What a terrific job! Thank you! And of course I'm thrileld that you enjoyed our stories so much.

  2. What wonderful reviews! Thank you so much for the way you displayed our stories, Kathleen. :)

  3. Oh, I loved these stories ~ A Moonlight Promise, so visual; Lessons in Love, a fun story and would like a continue!; One Little Word ~ I like that secret word ~ and as you can tell ~ Merry-Go-Rounds! Sounds like continued plans in England ~ A Saving Grace, and she was indeed!, not as sure and finding out the Dear Readers account! What a surprise. Sincerely Yours is a keeper to be shared and reread!! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House