The Love Letter (2018) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

The Love Letter FB Banner copy

The Love LetterAbout the Book

Title: The Love Letter

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary

Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rachel HauckRachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post From Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

  • “Really? So why did you do that?”
  • “Have you sought help?”
  • “Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens,was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

  • “Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”
  • “You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

My Thoughts

The Love Letter is one of the BEST books of 2018. I devoured this story in two days! This book spans 250 years, illustrates the pain of unrequited love, details several bittersweet journeys to forgiveness, demonstrates God’s immense love for us all, and shows just how small this world truly is. The plot is HIGHLY engaging — be prepared to lose a day or two in this extraordinary book. The characters are wonderful, realistic, and endearing. I absolutely love this book, and want to reread it right now.

CollageMaker_20180622_173052164.jpgOne of my most favorite aspects to this story is Chloe’s take on love and marriage. There is a moment when Chloe considers love. She is a Hollywood starlet, so she is surrounded by the glitz and glamour of love. Many people in her circle see love as a feeling in the moment, but not Chloe. To Chloe, love is a verb. It is a choice made daily. I love this because it is so true. Anyone who has been married for any length of time will tell you that after the honeymoon period, loving your spouse is a choice. Some days it’s a really easy choice, and some days it’s one of the hardest choices ever. Even the best of marriages have moments of frustrations, discouragement, and pain. But, the best marriages are the ones where the couple has CHOSEN to love even when they would rather take a day off. In this, Chloe is SO correct. Another idea Chloe espouses that I love is the notion that marriage is a covenant between two people. Once entered into that covenant, there is a special bond that makes the two a super team. I love this concept because it is so true. My husband is my person. I can go to him for anything. We are definitely a team, and I can depend on him, trust him, and kiss him anytime I want! It’s a beautiful privilege to be a part of this team, but I can only do it with God’s daily help.

The Love Letter, time and time again, reminded me of Proverbs 16:9 (ESV): “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Throughout this story, the reader watches as Esther and Hamilton, and Chloe and Jesse, attempt to make plans for their futures, but are constantly thwarted by war, parents, bad timing, etc. It is such a human thing to make plans, but God has other ideas. I very much enjoyed the many illustrations of God leading these characters where HE wanted them to go, and then seeing how each character reacted as their plans fell through. It is a great reminder to me that I am not in control of my life, so I better lean into the One who is truly in control. It has to be HIS will — not mine!

I could not help but be reminded of a fabulously crazy family story of mine as I read The Love Letter. Before I tell you the story, you have to know that my mother’s name is Catherine Ann Pace and my father’s name is Nicholas Patrick Durso III. I promise, it’s important.

When I was little, we had a knickknack that used to sit atop our coffee table. It was a small dish in the shape of Australia. I liked to play with it because it had a handle affixed to it and on top of the handle was a silver kangaroo. I thought it was cute, and I would often envision myself having adventures in Australia with this kangaroo. I was five and imaginative!

Inscribed on the dish is the following message:

To: Nicholas Patrick Durso

From: Katherine Ann Pace

With Love

As I got older and learned to read, I often wondered why my mom’s name was misspelled. Catherine should be spelled with a “C” and not a “K.” One day I asked my mother why the dish didn’t have her name spelled properly. She chuckled a little and then proceeded to explain the dish’s story.

During WWII, my grandfather, Nicholas Patrick Durso II, was severely injured. I actually know very little about his time in WWII because the Durso men do not talk about their times in war. All I know is that my grandfather was part of the US Cavalry, and he and his group were hit by enemy fire. My grandfather was injured and shipped out to Australia for surgery and to convalesce. One of the nurses assigned to my grandfather was named Katherine Ann Pace. Over the course of his time in hospital, my grandfather and this woman fell in love. When cleared by the doctors, and subsequently honorably discharged, my grandpa made plans to head back home to the US. Before he left, he asked Katherine to marry him. She wanted to accept my grandfather’s proposal, but did not have any desire to move to the US, so she declined his offer. My grandfather was heartbroken, but understood. The day he was set to leave, Katherine gifted the knickknack to my grandfather so he wouldn’t forget her.

When my grandpa came back from WWII in 1945, he met my grandmother, Madelyn. They got married, and in 1947 they had my father, Nicholas Patrick Durso III. My dad, at the age of 34, married my mother, Catherine Ann Pace. I don’t actually know how we came to possess the little dish. All I know is that my family’s story is proof that man makes plans, but God maneuvers our steps…just like Esther and Hamilton, and Chloe and Jesse in The Love Letter. And, I’m super glad my grandpa met and fell in love with my grandma, Madelyn, because I really love the life God has blessed me with!

The Love Letter is a remarkable story that I cannot recommend enough. I feel strongly that after you finish reading this review, you run to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of this book. You will NOT be disappointed!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.



To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away:

Grand Prize — a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand Prize — a book basket
2nd – 4th place Prize — a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

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Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

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Remembrancy, July 2

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11 thoughts on “The Love Letter (2018) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

Add yours

  1. I love how you personalize your reviews by sharing what they remind you of in your experiences. Such a sweet story about your grandparents! I have this book on my TBR pile and hope I can get to it soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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