Christian Fiction Review + Author Interview: Nightingale by Susan May Warren

Nightingale
by Susan May Warren
Copyright 2010
Summerside Press
320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60936-025-2
Fiction/General/Romance

About the book:
Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancĂ©—she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion.

Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy. Or is he? Peter Hess is not who he seems. Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life. A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart...a battle where only one will survive.


My Review:
The Brothers in Arms collection had me right from the start with Sons of Thunder and this book, although very different has captured me as well. Where the faith message was not as overt in Sons of Thunder, Nightingale does not shy away. As for action there isn't quite as much but it does not make this book boring in any way. The short of it is I very much enjoyed this novel from Susan May Warren and Summerside Press. It takes a real talent for an author to write one style of fiction well but Ms. Warren can do it all. She has a rare gift. To pen a fun story about a thoroughly modern female missionary, write a story about a rancher and then write an epic WWII romance takes skill and this author definitely has it in spades.

In Nightingale we meet a former Red Cross nurse with a past and a soldier with a secret, both risk everything for love. While some may find this a bit "edgy" it definitely deals with issues that are relevant even today. A one night stand in the thick of war leads to unthinkable consequences that not only affect Esther but entire families and complete strangers. The love triangle is so complex I honestly didn't think it was going to be resolved peaceably! At times things seemed to move too quickly between Esther and Peter and was a bit less detailed than Sons of Thunder but Nightingale still deserves at least 4.5 stars for it's Christian message dealing with consequences of sin and ultimate forgiveness and for being straight up good entertainment!

Available now @ Christian Book.com and other retailers!

Read what others are saying about Nightingale HERE!

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Meet Susan May Warren!

When did you first know that you were meant to be a writer?
I have always been the kind of person who loves stories and words. I believe the storyteller inside was birthed first – evidenced by my very active Barbie worlds! (and GI Joe, of course). But I became a bookophile early one – spending every Saturday in the library, devouring books even as I sat in the aisle between racks of paperbacks! Writing became my way to connect with my emotions, and even what God was doing in my life…so I suppose, I never really thought I was meant to be a writer – I just was a writer.


I know this is probably almost like asking you to pick your favorite child but what has been your favorite book to write?
Yes! That’s like asking me who my favorite child is! I love them all! Historical is definitely more difficult to write because of the research involved, but I love historicals because they bring me into a different world and I learn so much. But I’m a contemporary romance girl, too, and probably the most fun for me to write. By far, my “mom” novel (The Great Christmas Bowl) was my favorite to write. I admit that I laughed at my own humor the entire way through the story. My children rolled their eyes.


I LOVED the Noble Legacy series, any more plans for a series with cowboys/ranchers ? ;-)
I love cowboys, so perhaps, someday. Right now I’m returning to Deep Haven and writing a Contemporary Romance entitled, My Foolish Heart. And, also diving into the Gilded Age for a novel entitled Heiress.


Tell us a little bit about Nightingale.
Did you know that, in 1945, Wisconsin and Minnesota hosted German POWs in over 140 POW camps throughout the state? In fact, America held over 200,000 German POWs from 1942-1946. What’s most interesting is that these POWs worked on farms and in canneries throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, (and other states), right next to first generation German immigrants who, ten years earlier, might have been their neighbors. Indeed, some of the German immigrants had family fighting for Germany, and relatives in the very POW camps nearby.

During my research, I read a newspaper account about a woman who was moved because she heard hymn, sung in German (her native language) coming from inside the camp which was housed just across the street from her home. It made me realize that beneath the stamp of enemy just might be a fellow Christian, pressed into serving their country.

I also wanted to write an epistolary novel that explored the power of correspondence. I’d never written such a novel, and the challenge inspired me. I also wanted to write a story about a Daniel…a Christian caught in enemy territory. I think many Christians find themselves in “enemy” territory in their own country, and I fear America isn’t too far away from that. How then shall we live? I’m anxious to hear what readers think of Nightingale.


What 3 words would you use to describe the heroine, Esther?
Survivor, Repentant, Compassionate.


Can you give us a teeny bit of info about Book 3?
Well, since it’s not a series – but a collection, we’ve decided to actually veer away from Book 3 and into a new book collection – an American Dynasty series. It is a four part family saga starting in Gilded Age (1890’s), that journeys through the Roaring 20’s, the Great Depression and finally World War 2. I love stories of family, and seeing God work through generations. It’s similar to my Heirs of Anton series about a Russian family, only much more epic, and while each story stands alone, there is a thread that binds them together. History allows us to understand our present, and it gives us opportunity to see God’s plan. The first one is called Heiress, and comes out in July 2011.
Maybe after that I’ll return to the Brothers in Arms collection!

Thank you for having me today! (and for featuring Nightingale!)

To learn more about the author visit:
Her WEBSITE

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Contest info: The Letters From Home Giveaway!
Enter the Contest
: Nightingale is about letters, the power of written correspondence to convey thoughts and emotions to those far away. And sometimes near. Letters are forever, they are something we savor and pull out to read again and again. They are often cherished and kept in a special place.

To celebrate the release of Nightingale, Susan would like you to write a letter. One grand prize winner will receive a Flip HD Camcorder. 5 runner's up winners will win a signed copy of Nightingale. There are two ways to enter the contest by writing letters.
1. Write a letter to a soldier. At the end of the contest we’ll print out and mail your letter for you.
2. Write a letter to a friend, loved one, family member, enemy. Tell them something you wished you’d told them before. Tell them you love them, or maybe how they touched your life. Perhaps an apology is in order or a thank you. Or perhaps you'd like to relate a funny tale or just share life. Whatever it is, submit it here along with your email address and we’ll send it for you.
Enter here or at the SHARE page on the Brothers in Arms website. Or simply click on the button to the right.

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*I received my free review copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review during the book tour.*

Comments

  1. Great review! And thanks for posting that interview, I'd been wondering about #3 in the Brothers in Arms collection. While I'm excited about the American Dynasty series I do hope she writes #3 and #4 in the Brothers collection someday too.

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  2. Oooo I love characters with have a shady past. Keeps things interesting. Great review!

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  3. I love Susan May Warren! This book sounds great and I love the interview. I can't wait to read this series.

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  4. I love this book cover and have been so interested to learn about Susan May Warren. She does have quite a varied career. Now I'll just have to decide which of her books to try first . . . Thanks for this review, Renee!

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  5. So is this a contemporary or historical? It's historical right? I wanted to read Sons of Thunder and was only the list, but the book never arrived. *sigh* I'm suppose to get this one *fingers crossed* but it doesn't look like it's coming. Alas. Great review and interview! (Feel free to repost review at CHF!)

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  6. @ Margaret I'm really sorry that you didn't get to read Sons of Thunder because it is one of my faves!Hopefully you get this one since it's pretty good too. :-) I guess WWII is considered historical but I guess it could go either way?

    XOXO~ Renee

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  7. This sounds so good!! Awesome review and interview, Renee!! I love what she is doing with her contest.

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