I have almost finished my advance copy of this OH SO GOOD novel by Laura Frantz. My review is coming, but I wanted to encourage you to order your copy now! Laura Frantz is my favorite author and she never disappoints. I love that this story is based in Virginia! We visit Williamsburg and Richmond often and it is so fun to read about them in historical context.
This weekend we drove to Charlottesville to pick apples at Carter Mountain Orchard. This is a yearly tradition for our family. We go to pick too many apples, eat our weight in apple doughnuts, and enjoy gorgeous views of Charlottesville. This year we waited for Pink Lady Apples to be ready because they are our absolute favorite. Somehow Pink Lady’s manage sweet and tart along with crisp and juicy in one perfect apple.
This year it seems as if our apple picking destination has been found out by the masses. There was a long line of cars climbing the mountain. The kind lady paying for doughnuts and pecan soft serve ahead of me was from Washington D.C., which is quite a drive. Despite the multitude of people, apple picking at Carter Mountain will always top my list of favorite fall destinations. Heaven knows we picked enough apples. It is absolutely addicting. Before you know it, you are walking back to your car with $30 worth of apples and a smile on your face.
This book was rather special and personal in a surprising way. I love romantic historical fiction, and so clearly this was a typical selection for me. The fun part for me was the geography referenced in the book. I actually live in Spotsylvania, Virginia near the city of Fredericksburg, just north of Richmond and very close to Culpeper. Author Mary Ellis was spot on in her history and descriptions of the area the characters moved through. I was so absorbed in the story and excited to see my local history come to life.
Author Mary Ellis tells the story of war widow, Madeline Howard whose husband fought for the Union. As the war creeps into her backyard she is rescued by dashing General James Downing. They quickly form an attachment, but Madeline is forced to find shelter with her only family left in Richmond. It is there she finds herself constantly pulled between the the love of her Confederate family and her loyalty not only her country, but her new found love.
I loved the quick whit author Mary Ellis gave to Madeline. Fiction with strong female lead characters coupled with real human emotion always appeal to me. This is an excellent read and well worth adding to your must read list. A Lady and the Officer is the second book in the Civil War Heroines Series. This book stands alone, but having enjoyed it so much, I will definitely go back and read the first book.
Just for fun, here are some actual pictures of one of the battlefields Mary Ellis mentioned in her fabulous story. This is the Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield I visit often with my family. These were taken just after one of our Spring snows.
This was definitely a perfect read for me, but you need not live here to enjoy it. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by its publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated.
Winter is not my friend. I love the great outdoors and I have missed being in them. We took advantage of the warmer temperatures this weekend and explored the Battlefields around our town. The preserved Battlefields are one of my favorite parts of living in Virginia!
This August we will be celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary. In these past ten years, we have had every sort of kitchen table you could possibly imagine. Circle, Oval, rectangle, wood, glass, gifted, purchased, and everything in between. We change dinning tables like most people change underwear. So finally, after years of table debacles, we began our search for the table. The table you see in magazines but don’t see in furniture stores. The one table that you will have for years and that your children will fight over when you die. My husband, Jeremy, stumbled upon a carpenter in Virginia who makes farm tables. His company is called Concepts Created, in Staunton. Check them out at conceptscreated.com. Our table has been home for a few months now, but I cannot stop marveling at it. It is gorgeous. The tabletop is three inches thick and make from reclaimed barn wood from a New Hampshire barn that was built before the civil war. Can a table have a more interesting history than that?? We shall never want for dinner conversation when company is over!
We are blessed to live in the land of preserved Civil War Battlefields. Virginia has so many open fields that are available for exploring, as long as you stay on the path! The staying on the path part is a task to teach to our littles, but they are getting it! It is tempting to go running through an open field, but not permitted! Now that it is warming up, we visit the Courthouse Battlefield after dinner. It is the perfect place for some evening exercise. This is one of my favorite things about living in Virginia.