Saving Mrs. Roosevelt is another installment in Barbour Publishing’s Heroines of WWII Series. This historical Christian romance fiction is written by author Candice Sue Patterson, a fellow Hoosier. It is the first of Patterson’s books that I have read an won’t be the last. I truly enjoyed her writing style.
This is the tale of Shirley Davenport. Shirley wants to help in the war effort like her brothers, but it seems instead she is in Maine assisting her father on a fishing boat. Joan Fischer is her next door neighbor and best friend. She shares with Shirley that the Coast Guard are recruiting single women, over the age of twenty two, for the Women’s Reserve known as SPARS, for the Coast Guard’s motto “Semper Paratus—Always Ready.” Both women apply and join.
The characters are realistic and have so much personality. I immediately became invested in Shirley’s life and this story. The descriptive text vividly brought the sea and scenes to my mind. Conversations were flowed smoothly. There were many twists and surprises that made this hard to put down.
I loved this action, mystery, history filled story. It is obvious the author did extensive research for this project. I learned a lot by reading this novel. The faith message is beautiful. In a conversation two women discuss how eggs may have different colored shells but their insides are still the same. It is the same with skin color in people. What a beautiful lesson!
There were a couple of things about the book that did disappoint. It is totally fictional and not a fictionalized account. Mrs. Roosevelt never makes an appearance in the book. Don’t get me wrong. It is still a wonderful story and written exceptionally. I incorrectly thought it was a based on actual events account.
I highly recommend this engaging book. This would make a great gift or book club selection. It receives 4 out of 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.
About the Book
Book: Saving Mrs. Roosevelt
Author: Candice Sue Patterson
Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical/Adventure
Release date: December, 2021
Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.
Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.
Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.
More from Candice
The idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt literally came overnight. I had just finished writing a contemporary romance set in Maine, centered around a harbor town where lobstering is prevalent. My agent called me and told me about the Heroines of WWIIseries and asked if I’d be interested in writing a WWII novel. If so, I needed to come up with a story and proposal fast because spots were limited and filling quickly. My mind was so consumed with research of the lobster industry that I felt I couldn’t clear my brain fast enough to come up with another story on such short notice. That’s when I started wondering how I could take the knowledge I already had and make it work for a WWII novel. I googled Maine during WWII, came across an article that mentioned the SPARs, and the idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt was born.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the Nancy Drew deep inside me figured out a unique way to merge lobstering with espionage.
Though the plot is purely fiction, there are some characters and events that are historically accurate that were fun to include as well. I love Maine, but I’m Hoosier born and raised, and in my SPAR research, I discovered that Dorothy C. Stratton–the woman the Coast Guard asked to direct the SPARs–was the Dean of Women at Purdue University in Indiana. She was a woman of true character, grace, and strength. I knew right away she needed a cameo in my story.
Within twenty-four hours of receiving my agent’s call, I had plotted the entire story and sent a proposal. Weeks went by, and as fall ushered in its beautiful colors, my husband surprised me with a trip to Monhegan Island, Maine. We walked the trails, ate amazing seafood, and took in the gorgeous view. While on the island, my agent called again, this time to let me know that Barbour had contracted Saving Mrs. Roosevelt. What a special moment it was to be standing on the very shoreline where the book is set when I received the good news.
Since the book is set in Maine where the heroine works on a lobster boat with her father, I wanted to share my favorite recipe for Maine blueberry pie.
Maine Blueberry Pie
2 Pie crusts
1 quart of fresh Maine blueberries
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
Freshly grated nutmeg
¼ c light brown sugar
¼ c white sugar
¼ c flour
2 tbsp tapioca for thickening (if the berries are juicy)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the berries into a large bowl, add lemon juice, and toss. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the berries are well coated with the flour and sugars mixture. Line the pie plate with one crust. Put the berries into the pie plate and top with a solid or lattice-top crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the berries are bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
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Locks, Hooks and Books, December 22
Through the Fire Blogs, December 22
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Splashes of Joy, December 25
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To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.