Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancé—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.
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A note from Susan ...
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. 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.
An even bigger theme in Nightingale was, just because someone made a mistake once, did he or she deserve to be imprisoned inside that mistake forever? I applied this theme broadly to both Peter and Esther. Esther might be healer, but she’s trapped inside her sins, unable to see God’s grace setting her free. And I wanted Peter to see that his service in the war might be to fight the demons that held her captive. His story is a Daniel story of sorts, a prisoner sent into a forgiven land to do good and hold onto faith. Esther’s story is that of the woman caught in sin…and set free to sin no more. Both of them have to surrender themselves into God’s hands, to let Him set them free and mold them into who he wants them to be.
If you have made a mistake, don’t let it mold your life. Let God set you free with his grace, his forgiveness and discover who you are when you let God take over. Be found in Him.
Thank you for reading Esther and Peter’s story.
In His Grace,
Susan May Warren
A German Hymn you might already know…may the words minister…
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevaling.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
2. Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.
3. And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
4. That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.
Sons of Thunder
Sophie Frangos is torn between the love of two men and the promise that binds them all together. Markos Stavros loves Sophie from afar while battling his thirst for vengeance and his hunger for honor. Dino, his quiet and intelligent brother, simply wants to forget the horror that drove them from their Greek island home to start a new life in America. One of these “sons of thunder” offers a future she longs for, the other—the past she lost.
From the sultry Chicago jazz clubs of the roaring twenties to the World War II battlefields of Europe to a final showdown in a Greek island village, they’ll discover betrayal, sacrifice, and finally redemption. Most of all, when Sophie is forced to make her choice, she’ll learn that God honors the promises made by the Sons of Thunder.
Excerpt – Chapter 2: Sons of Thunder
Sofia Frangos could save the world with her song. At least Markos’s world, because that’s what always seemed to occur whenever he happened upon her in time to catch the harmonies issuing from her as she worked.
More of a humming than a song, really, and he longed for the words, feeling they’d be plucked from some garden inside her. Someday, perhaps.
Yes, he felt a voyeur, but he couldn’t stop the lure of her voice. Probably, she knew her power—felt his hypnotized presence, although her blue eyes never
appeared to notice him.
Someday, he hoped, she would see the ruddy fisherman’s son.
The sun spilled into the sea by the time Markos moored his boat and retrieved his catch. He nodded to the other fishermen repairing their nets along the wharf, others simply smoking away the twilight.
“What is your catch?” Alexio Mizrahi
Surely, he’d earned his father’s toast at tomorrow’s feast.
“Someday you will be a fisherman such as your father, Markos.”
He let Alexio’s words buoy his step, despite the late hour.
Sofia’s song lured him as she stood, elbow deep in flour, kneading the dough for tomorrow’s wedding bread. Her dark hair whisked back into a lanyard, tiny unheeded curls dripped around her face.
For a moment, he imagined that he wasn’t the son of a fisherman, wasn’t marked with the scratches from squid barbs, his hands hoofed from tying the nets, his face darkened with the fury of the sun. No, he fancied himself a merchant, a man of means, who might be worthy of such a girl as Sofia.
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Look for book three, Part the Waters in 2011!