Rags and Hope by Gina Danna and meet the Author

The love story between this Series and I starts in the Summer of 2016, when the first book, Wicked North, released. Then there was Unconditional Surrender, and now Gina, a dear friend of mine, gives us the final story, Rags and Hope by Gina Danna. 

I’ll let Gina talk to us about her latest book, then I’ll tell you where you can find more about Gina and the Series here on my blog.

Romance & War

2018-04-12 09.29.15 amTHE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. 1861-1865 was the turning point for the United States – will our style of government, the Republic, designed by the people, for the people, survive. The world (well, Europe) was watching closely. So what is romantic about it? After all, there already is a romantic story of the era is Gone With The Wind, so write anymore? Who could beat that? There are many reasons, starting with GWTW isn’t a love story…

My first novel was about a Regency vampire/pirate. But the War pulled my muse. As a Historian, I have a long career in museums (tour guide/educator/curator) and I’m a Civil War reenactor. The first book, The Wicked North, took a long time to write, because if I was going to write about my favorite period in history, it had to be correct, all way down to the battles, to what my heroine was wearing as she did the laundry!

I never thought series. But one of my critique partners asked what about my heroine’s brother? His story ended up as book 2, Unconditional Surrender. But as I was writing that, another sibling screamed to be heard and that was the sister of the hero from the first book, Cerisa. In fact, she stomped her foot so hard, I had to stop writing book 2 to start hers! Got about 75 pages written before I could stop. It was crazy.

Rags & Hope is a title that is a quote from the period as well as it fits the story too. A Yankee newspaper reported witnessing the Confederate army, in late 1864, marching, dressed in threadbare uniforms and many were missing shoes, but march they did. The reporter wrote they were marching on ‘rags and hope’, and I thought that was the perfect title. Cerisa is surviving, living in the North, with little more than rags and hope. Her and Pierce’s love story is exactly the same, beginning in rags and hope, which is interesting since they both come from rich families with promising futures, all of which they run from, for various reasons. They will give up all for the other. Now THAT’s a love story that can be woven into the Civil War as many had the same tale of living in Rags and Hope.

Thank you, Gina! And here’s the story.

GinaDanna_RagsandHope_2500Synopsis

There was one thing about the War of Rebellion they could both understand: At least on the battlefield, the enemy is clear.
 
Thanks to his father’s political machinations, grieving widower Colonel Pierce Duval wants nothing more than to leave his family home in New York and return to his Union command in Tennessee. A chance and harrowing encounter with a true-blue Southern belle stirs emotions in him he thought long buried. When her safety is at stake, how can he not help her? 
 
Cerisa Fontaine ran away from her wealthy Louisiana home, hoping to form a new life where no one would know her family’s awful secret. But her controversial marriage and southern drawl make her a pariah in New York. Her situation becomes downright perilous when her husband is killed in battle and Cerisa is left alone and penniless, forced to seek employment at the only establishment that will accept her: a brothel. When the handsome colonel offers her a way out, she’s compelled to accept despite his Yankee roots.
 
 Each for self-serving reasons of their own, Pierce and Cerisa embark on a journey south to Tennessee, posing as a married couple. But even as their secrets stand between them, their passion wages its own war against their better judgment. All too soon, they must make a life-altering choice: remain loyal to their cause, or give in to their heart’s desire.
Buy links  
 

51UGYdPY5IL._SY346_As for this blog and my personal love for this Series, I’ll tell you what you can find to know more Gina and her stories.

The Wicked North blog post has an interview with Gina and an extract of the Wicked North. Full disclosure: it’s a very old post, you’ll see how it looks different…. Still, it was a good interview, so read it and know Gina a bit more.
51Cn52168KLFor Unconditional Surrender, I had the pleasure to review it, and it was a 5 stars for me. Here’s my review of it:
I loved the story.
The characters are true to themselves to their fault and have both strong reasons to do what they do, and I love that of them.
I loved Sarah a bit more than Charles. I mean, she was so unusual and interesting. She was brave and went all the way down to finds what she wanted, and smart enough to stop when she got it. And because of all the things she is, I completely see why she fell in love with a man as solid and dependable as Charles.
I found the first half of the story a bit frustrating, but not in a bad way. They kept running around each other, getting together only briefly, and sometimes I wondered if they would ever get together. They did right before it got frustrating in a less interesting way, so nice timing.
Like in Jack’s story, the war is a character per se, and it’s so interesting having an insight of the great men that played such important parts in US history.
I really liked it.

Gina_034The AUTHOR

A USAToday Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.

Now, under the Texas sun and with the supervision of her two dogs, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.

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