Letters Away: A Love Story
Authors: Elias Raven & Sharon Johnson
Genre: Historic Military Romance
Publication Date: January 17, 2017
Follow Jacob and Belle, two high school sweethearts separated after Jacob is drafted into the Korean War in 1951. Their story is a tale of timeless love, in an era of innocence long forgotten. Watch as they fall deeper in love the closer Jacob gets to leaving to fight in a war where he and Belle could lose everything. Through a series of beautifully written letters, we see them as children who start off as enemies; until the summer Jacob saves Belle from drowning. See them grow from two inseparable best friends, becoming a couple in love. Will Jacob and Belle have the bright and happy future they’ve always dreamed of? Will Jacob return home wounded or worse, never coming home at all? Will their love sustain them through all of the challenges they have to face in the midst of a cruel twist of fate, neither can control? Find out in…
‘Letters Away: A Love Story’
I got the opportunity to be one of the Beta readers for Letters Away, which allowed me to see the book prior to all corrections. With that said I’m not going to comment on some of the spelling and punctuation errors I found since by know those would be fix.
Overall I really enjoyed Letters Away. Elias and Sharon did a pretty good job capturing the time period. They choose a time that not many write about, which I think makes this story unique. There’s not much out there about the Korean War and its refreshing that they challenged themselves for this story.
As most of you now know, Letters is a different style of love story. Elias and Sharon wrote the story in letters between their characters, Belle and Jacob. This writing style lets the reader feel like he or she is getting a glimpse of the past and possibly seeing what their parents or grandparents would have wrote each other during the ’40’s. I really enjoyed that aspect even though my father was just a baby during this time. However it does make me want to ask my grandmother what life was like. Granted my grandfather had fought in WWII so by this time he was home. Since Elias and Sharon peaked the history buff in me with this story. Since finishing the story I really want to start watching M*A*S*H all over again. (It’s one of my favorite shows, thanks to my grandfather who used to watch it.)
Even though I truly enjoyed Letters Away I did have a few issues. First let me explain I’m a huge history buff, (thanks to my grandfather and father) so while Elias and Sharon got the details correct I sometimes had issues with Belle and her naiveness. I realize that in today’s day and age we know more about whats going on in the world but there were times that I just couldn’t see Belle having that much lack of knowledge about what was going on. Plus her father fought in WWII, so some of her statements to Jacob just didn’t work for me. Not to mention the tension the world was still in from the end of WWII and the start of the breakdown between the US and Russia. My connection to the military could be coloring my perception of Belle, but knowing she would have been a Military Brat, I don’t see how she could be that naive.
Also there were times where Belle came across meek yet she and Jacob both mention how stubborn and mischievous she was growing up. It was like I was reading about two different women at times. Which took me out of the story. This happened a few times with Jacob as well. I would picture him one way from his description but when Belle would say something and his image would change.
For the most part most of the military information is spot on. There was only two places where I did research on what was stated and only once where I was like I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened but that was because of my knowledge of how military bases work. If I didn’t have personal knowledge of the military procedures I would have questioned those parts.
Even with those issues the love story is believable and I can’t wait to read the next installment. It is a sweet love story between two young adults. If you want to read something different you should add Letters Away to your reading list.
I give it 4 propellers
“Playful innocence, mixed with silliness and of course, really deep affection, sprinkled with lots of love.” ~Excerpt from Amazon Reviewer
Read the prequel to Letters Away
Letters Away: A Love Story – The Prequel
Before Jacob and Belle ever started writing letters, they were two average teenagers who practically grew up together and fell in love. They had their whole future mapped out before them. College, marriage, kids and a house with a white picket fence. But fate had other plans, when Jacob was drafted into the Korean War in 1951. Read some of their private thoughts from their journal and diary entries before their lives would change forever in…
“Letters Away A Love Story”
https://wickedcoolflight.net/2016/11/18/what-youve-all-been-waiting-for-letters-away-a-love-story-cover-reveal-congrats-sharon-johnson-elias-raven/ – sneak peek of the interview questions
https://soundcloud.com/teresa-crumpton/elias-sharon-letters-away-live – Part 1
https://soundcloud.com/teresa-crumpton/letters-away-live-interview – Part 2
https://soundcloud.com/teresa-crumpton/letters-away-live-interview-1 – Part 3
https://soundcloud.com/teresa-crumpton/letters-away-live-interview-2 – Part 4
https://soundcloud.com/teresa-crumpton/letters-away-live-interview-3 – Belle & Jacob
https://soundcloud.com/teresa-crumpton/interview-with-sharon-elias – Full Interview
About the Authors:
Elias Raven was born and raised in Los Angeles. He’s an avid reader with a lifelong passion for writing. He’s a storyteller, a poet and a talented musician with an amazing voice. Oh, and let’s not forget an amazing cook!
As a young boy he spent many summers reading classics such as “The Adventures of Sherlock Homes” and “The White Company” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His creativity was constantly being pushed as he learned more and more about the world around him. His taste in literature spanned from classics to science fiction/fantasy. He expanded his taste devouring everything from William Blake to Milton, Dante, Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, T.S. Elliot, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Khalil Gibran, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Paul Verlaine, Walt Whitman, Alan Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carl Sandburg, Dylan Thomas, and Jim Morrison. These inspirations and his sheer love for reading had him take pen to paper around the age of 20.
Did I mention he’s a Musician? …You can often find him playing his guitars (both electric and acoustic) and keyboards and singing (4 octave ranges) in his home studio. He’s a classically trained music aficionado -trained early on by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Hayden, Liszt, as well as Big Band, Jazz and Rag Time. Spending time with his father at the Los Angeles Philharmonic; experiencing his first orchestra concert at the age of 9.
Elias the Gourmet Cook…Oh My!…His Japanese mother and grandmother trained him very well in fine culinary skills both in cooking and food appreciation from all over the world such as Italian, Indian, Moroccan, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hawaiian, Pilipino, Greek, and Polish.
When Elias is not reading, writing, composing music or cooking…he can be found listening to music, playing games, hanging out with his kids. He enjoys going to concerts, going on culinary adventures, sightseeing, spending the day at the beach or in the mountains…just doing something adventurous!
Elias Raven Stalker Links
From the time Sharon Johnson learned to write, she had one dream, to become a writer and author. Writing has always been the one constant through every moment, both good and bad, in her life. She started with basic Haiku and rhyming poems; then later, she started writing simple one to two page stories. She’s always kept journals documenting her life and those of her children. Through every poem, story and journaled event, she never stopped looking for what she calls her ‘Charmed’ book. Year after year the book never came, until the summer of 2013, when a two to three page idea max, turned into ten then twenty pages and kept growing from there. It became clear within a very short time, her characters had much more to say and their story was far from over. And that’s how ‘The Chat Room’ was born. Eighteen months and a lifetime later, her dream finally became a reality in August 2015. There’s a saying she’s created as a part of her daily mantra; “Never stop looking for your happy ending, because your story isn’t finished yet…