Friday, December 7, 2012

Noble Cause by Jessica James



Noble CauseHe was fiercely devoted to the Confederacy;
She, fervently dedicated to the Union.
One risked life to save a Cause--
The other, honor, to save a life.


Praised by readers of romantic and historical fiction since its publication in 2008, the award-winning historical fiction novel Shades of Gray now has a new ending in this special 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Commemorative edition entitled, Noble Cause.

This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy.

Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever.

Author Jessica James uniquely blends elements of romantic and historical fiction in this deeply personal and poignant tale that, according to one reviewer, "transcends the pages to settle in the very marrow of the reader's bones." Winner of numerous national awards, James has received critical acclaim for this page-turning story of courage, honor, and enduring love.

Destined for an honored place among the classics of the American Civil War, Noble Cause is a book to read, and keep, and remember forever.




Jessica James


Image of Jessica JamesAward-winning historical fiction author Jessica James resides in Gettysburg, Pa., where she enjoys writing and reading about the American Civil War. Her Civil War novel Noble Cause is the winner of the 2011 John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction and the Next Generation Indie Award for Regional Fiction.
It was also Finalist in the Romance and Historical Fiction categories. Most recently, Noble Cause was announced as a bronze winner in Forword Magazine's BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD contest in the Romance category.
Originally published as Shades of Gray, Noble Cause provides readers with a new, happily-ever-after ending to the classic romantic tale. Shades of Gray was the winner of numerous national awards and has hit #1 on the Amazon best-seller list in its category.
James is featured in the book "50 Writers You Should Be Reading," published in 2010.

Winner of numerous national awards and an Amazon bestselling author, Jessica James has received critical acclaim for this page-turning story of honor, self-sacrifice, and enduring love. Praised by both historians and romance readers since its original release in 2008, the award-winning historical fiction novel Shades of Gray now has a new ending in this special 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Commemorative Edition entitled Noble Cause. James uniquely blends elements of romantic and historical fiction in this deeply personal and poignant tale that, according to one reviewer, “transcends the pages to settle in the very marrow of the reader’s bones.” 

This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy. Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever. 

Destined for an honored place among the classics of the America Civil War, Noble Cause is a book to read, and keep, and remember forever. 2011 John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction 2011 Next Generation Indie Award for Regional Fiction 2011 Finalist in Next Generation Indie Award contest in Romance and Historical Fiction categories.

Connect with Jessica here:

www.jessicajamesbooks.com
www.facebook.com/RomanticHistoricalFiction


"Noble Cause is a riveting piece of historical fiction, very much highly recommended reading." - Midwest Book Review, June 2011

Guest Post


Why I write about the Civil War


Thanks, Donna, for hosting me here today! It’s nice to be able to share the answer to a question I get asked frequently: “Why do you write about the Civil War?” 

The short answer would be that I live in Gettysburg, Pa.—what else would I write about? But despite being surrounded by history my entire life, I didn’t really have “the bug” until I saw Major Sullivan Ballou’s letter to his wife on Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary in the early 1990s.

Did you see it? If you did, you’d remember, I’m sure. Its haunting words have never left me.

“If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. …Do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again...”

When I found the letter online and was able to sit and read it to myself in its entirety, I was just amazed at the poignancy, passion and emotion of his words, and how powerfully they reflected the essence of a man’s love for his wife in the 19th century. Within the text of the letter Sullivan manages to convey, not only his deep sentiment for his wife, but his intense belief in everlasting life and firm conviction for duty. This theme is captured in many letters home during the Civil War and is what started me on my journey into the lives of times past.

With no real objective in mind, I began to devour letters, newspaper articles and diaries from the War Between the States to learn more about the human side of the war. Being from Gettysburg, I was accustomed to people talking about military strategies and battlefield reports, but this letter opened up the human element—and the romantic element—in the conflict. 

Another sentence in Sullivan’s letter that enthralled me and contributed to the plot of my novel Noble Cause shows the patriotism that men of that era felt for their country. He writes:

 “My love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield.”

For all of Sullivan’s love and devotion to his wife, his bond to country and conviction for duty drove him to service in defense of his homeland. This theme is recurrent in thousands of other letters. Men who cherished and respected their wives with devoted affection still rushed to the battlefield in selfless devotion to duty.

When I eventually decided that I was going to write a book, I tried to make the plot reflect the tremendous emotional conflict that men—and women—of the era endured. Confederate General James Longstreet (on whose shoulders it fell to order Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg) perhaps put it best when he wrote: “In the silent passages of the heart, many severer battles are waged than were ever fought at Gettysburg.”

If you are wondering about the fate of dear Major Sullivan Ballou, he was killed in the first Battle of Bull Run, one week after penning the letter to his wife. Though only twenty-four at the time of his death, Sarah never re-married. The inscription on Sullivan’s tombstone reads:

“I wait for you there. Come to me and lead thither my children.”

My Review
      I have always loved historical romances. They are always full of intrigue and action, and of course, love. Noble Cause opened with action and kept you riveted from the first page to the last. 
   
         I love the quote that the author opened the book with, written by Abraham Lincoln:
      "But one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came."

         The characters in the book are inspired by the love they hold for their country and they are guided by their sense of duty and honor and loyalty. The war, for many, was not cut and dry. The war pitted friends against friends and soul-wrenching decisions had to made in the face of battle.

        The writer gives the reader wonderful characters. There is the young, spirited spy, the loyal soldier,  and a legendary Confederate officer.

         The writer also gives an accounting of the daily struggles, the good and the bad, of war, as she brings the pages of the book and history, to life for the reader.

         I enjoyed this page-turner and couldn't put it down. It is worth every star of its five star rating.
        
If you found my review helpful, please consider voting "yes" for my review on Amazon by following the link below. Thanks!!

http://www.amazon.com/review/R16XK3F8QPKSQ7/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0979600049&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=


Noble Cause can be purchased on Amazon by clicking the icon below

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