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Book Review: Northern Light by Annette O’Hare

Posted by Julie on August 5, 2016 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
Northern Light by Annette O'Hare

Northern Light by Annette O’Hare

Civil War has robbed Margaret Logan of all she holds dear, including her beloved New Orleans home and her fiancé. When her family moves to the desolate Bolivar Peninsula to manage a lighthouse that is no longer there, all her hopes for a normal future are dashed. Her world is rocked once again when a wounded Yankee soldier washes ashore needing her help. Despite her contempt for the North, Margaret falls in love with Thomas Murphy. As their love blooms, Margaret’s sister is overcome with neurosis, and her mind slowly slips away. Bitterness, psychosis and depression yield a decision fueled by contempt. Will one fatal choice cause Margaret to lose the man she loves and condemn Thomas to death?

I wish I could write historical romance, because I love to read it. When I learned that there was a review opportunity for a civil war romance, I jumped at it because that’s my favorite time period.

Northern Light did not disappoint.

Margaret is a single young woman living in Bolivar Peninsula grieving the loss of her fiancé who died in the war. It’s not her only loss. Her family had to leave New Orleans and her sister is falling ill, a consequence of the war. The last thing she wants to do is get involved in any aspect of the war, especially when it comes to anything yankee.

She then comes across a Yankee solider who is near death. Her family takes him in and nurses him back to health, something Margaret struggles with despite her Christian upbringing. Thanks to her parent’s example and their prayers, she overcomes her grief and bitterness, only to be threatened to go through it all over again.

This is a solid story that put me smack dab in the south during the war. It felt authentic and I could feel Margaret’s pain and conflict. The characters were all well-developed and well-researched, including Margaret’s attempt to make a meal for Thomas that is ripe of his Irish history. The secondary story of Margaret’s story is one I never thought about when it came to the war. It’s moving and heartbreaking and enhances an already great story.

If you love historicals, are a fan of the Civil War, and read romance, Northern Light is a must read.

To purchase Northern Light, click here

I received Northern Light in exchange for an honest review.

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A2Z: My Yankee Confession

Posted by Julie on June 26, 2012 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

One more week after this and the A2Z meme is done. I really had fun with this. No pressure on Patty Wysong, but I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Today is the letter “Y.” I thought I’d share a confession with you–there is a part of me that wishes I was Southern. Living in the south earns certain rights I covet.

I want a drawl. I have a clear YANKEE accent that every once in awhile people can pinpoint to my birthplace, Upstate NY’s Southern Tier. I will never be confused as a Southern belle.

I want to say bless your heart and mercy. Where I come from and live now, that would fall flat.

Southern ladies are born with class, at least it seems that way. They sit straight, use the right utencils, they seem to know and use manners with ease. Even TNT’s Brenda Leigh Johnson from The Closer shuts the perps down with a simple, “Thank you, thank you very much.”

-I didn’t notice when I visited the Southern states, that anyone sweats. In fact, if they did, they would say it’s a little perspiration. Thanks to hormones, I mow for 10 minutes and I won’t get my color back for hours. I turn beat red and sweat. YEP, I’m a YANKEE.

I’m not sure I could handle Southern food, though.

-Grits. Can’t do it. I’m such a YANKEE I only know about grits from Shoney’s. Are they even open anymore?

-Fried okra. Okay, any kind of okra sounds gross to me.

-I don’t know what a mint julep is.

-Fruit pies. I love fresh fruit, but in a pie, I have to pass. No on peach, blackberry, key lime…

-I’m all about pop, and specifically, I’ll always say I want a diet. My Southern friends tell me all soda (shudder) is called Coke. Everyone orders Cokes. I wouldn’t be able to do that.

I’m a gal that tells it like I see it, I talk fast, and I use my hands. I may live in Ohio, but I’m New York State bred through and through. I don’t know a soup spoon from a salad fork, and my pie is pumpkin or chocolate. When the snow starts falling I won’t shut everything down, but get in my AWD Subaru and take you where you need to go.

I know a lot of the attributes here are stereotypes, and I don’t mean to offend. I guess at the end of the day, as much as I want to sprinkle Y’ALL in my sentence, I love hearing it from friends who live in the warmer states. I am a northerner. I am a YANKEE. To live out my fantasy, I’ll keep reading great fiction from my friends who live and represent the south well.

If you’re a Yankee like me, try reading Southern Belle View.

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