Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Handmade Hearts by June McCrary Jacobs, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m excited to share this story with you today. First of all, I love romantic stories, and this one was inspired by a true story! Plus, I love novels based on war time. Not sure why, but there is just something about them 🙂
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Handmade Hearts
Author: June McCrary Jacobs
Publisher: JMJ Story Stitcher Books
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
‘Handmade Hearts’ is an historical romance short story set in New Orleans during World War II and was inspired by a true story.
Toward the end of his life, the author asked her Uncle ‘Allen’ how he met his wife. He shared about how he met ‘Irene’ at a church social in their neighborhood in New Orleans in the early 1940s. He had been seriously wounded in Guadalcanal in the South Pacific as a young Marine and was using crutches to get around as best he could.
He had many inner wounds which needed time to heal, too. He had no way of knowing when they first met that Irene had suffered her own wartime tragedy. She bravely sought to keep her grief locked away deep inside because thinking about her loss caused her even more sorrow. She needed to be strong because she was the breadwinner for her small family.
Times were tough, but these two unique individuals made it through each day with inner fortitude, determination, and the sincere hope of something greater just over the horizon.
This inspirational short story follows the growth of Allen and Irene’s relationship beginning with their chance meeting and leading forward to a lifetime spent together. ‘Handmade Hearts’ was created to honor this unique couple’s love for and devotion to each other in a relationship which spanned seven decades.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
June McCrary Jacobs was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’, her first full-length novel, was set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.
June’s debut middle-grade novel, ‘RES-Q Tyler Stop’, an historical novel set in Sonoma County, California, in 1968, will be released in the spring of 2019. The second installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’, ‘Penny’s Promise’, will be released in late 2019 or early 2020.
June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and on sewing industry blogs in the past decade. When she’s not writing, reading, blogging, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, visiting art and history museums, and touring historic homes and gardens.
FACT OR FICTION — THE STORY BEHIND ‘HANDMADE HEARTS’:
My historical romance short story, Handmade Hearts, was inspired by the true story of how my aunt and uncle met by chance in New Orleans during World War II. The central events of the plot are fact—when, where, and how they met; my uncle’s military service and his physical wounds from a sniper in the South Pacific; and his personal and family background. Other than those points, the story is a work of fiction . . .
As a side note, I never knew much about my aunt’s background so her family situation in the story is purely fictional. I did know her personality and appearance, of course; so those facets of ‘Irene’ in this story are accurate.
One of my favorite questions to ask longtime couples is how they met. I enjoy hearing about their blind dates, chance meetings, or childhood friendships. When I originally asked my uncle how he and my aunt met during World War II, I had not yet begun writing fiction. I was not thinking like an author at the time he shared the details with me. I did not record his comments on paper because truthfully, I was so touched by what he shared the story was stamped indelibly on my heart. When it came time to compose their story more than a decade later, I found I had a lot of gaps in the storyline which needed to be filled!
I’ve had an extremely creative and active imagination since I was a young child. I have always loved to tell stories. To this day, when I’m out and about and I observe something out of the ordinary I say, “Let’s make up a story about this.” This launches me into a storyline about this, that, and the other.
When I decided to write Handmade Hearts, I began with the facts and branched out from there. I researched movies, movie trailers, and newsreels of the time period to make those elements in my story accurate. Through online research I discovered that the candy store in the French Quarter mentioned in the story, Leah’s, has been in business since 1933, so the shop’s name appears in the story.
As a child, teen, and young adult I spent a lot of time visiting my relatives in New Orleans, so I had personal knowledge of the transportation methods people would have used back during World War II. By spending a lot of time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles who lived in and around New Orleans for most (if not all) of their lives, I had strong background knowledge of the local vocabulary and language usage which were helpful when I was writing this historical story.
More information about my uncle’s military service and my aunt and uncle’s marriage can be found in the ‘Author’s Note’ following the end of the story. My purpose in sharing this story with readers is to illustrate how the power of love can help us overcome even the greatest of obstacles in life.
Thank you for your interest in reading ‘Handmade Hearts’. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you all.
(1) winner will win an ebook copy of Handmade Hearts + $15 Amazon Gift Code
(2) additional winners will each receive an ebook copy of Handmade Hearts
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 15, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 22, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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