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.
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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 WWII series 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.
I don’t think I will be able to do justice to this book but here goes. The author takes readers back to WWII when most able bodied men were serving their country. Women were kept behind to keep the household going and finding ways to help the men who were fighting to keep them safe. What I really liked was how the author was able to make me feel like I was in the story. The story is paced well and I came to really like several of the characters.
Shirley wants to do her part serving her country. Her determination is fierce and she is determined that she will be part of SPARS. The group is not easy to get accepted in to but Shirley and her friend Joan make it. This is where the story really gets interesting. They were hoping to be stationed together but are separated and going to different places. The women go through vigorous training with little sleep. I admired how dedicated they were and were willing to sacrifice their lives. I’m glad the author highlighted how women served and were vital to their country.
The author covers some sensitive subjects about race that was handled well. I’m glad that the author covered this because it is an important part of history. When no one else would room with Alma because of the color of her skin, Shirley volunteers. This will become a very important relationship throughout the book. How sad it made me feel to know that people were judged by the color of their skin and treated so unfairly.
I don’t want to give too many details about the story because the author delivers a powerful account of what it was like when someone goes undercover for their country. Shirley was an amazing character who was willing to have her reputation tarnished in order to carry out her mission. She is constantly in danger and I worried that she would get caught.
There is a little romance in the story that I was not surprised at. It was done tastefully and made for a nice addition to lighten the tone of the book a little. It was clever how the author put Eleanor Roosevelt in the story. She was a woman who wanted to help those who were being mistreated because of their nationality. Some people didn’t like that and wanted to get rid of her. The twists and turns in the book are good and I was shocked by one particular outcome of the story. Oh no I’m not saying what it is, but it is very unexpected. I liked the ending and was a little sad that I had to say goodbye to such wonderful characters that entertained me and kept me glued to the pages.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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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.