“While the men left their families to fight for the Confederacy, the women soldiered on at home. A very moving tale of tragedy and triumph.”
~Pat Decker Nipper, author of Love on the Lewis and Clark Trail and articles about the west
“GONE FOR A SOLDIER tells the fate of members of three families living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley during the onslaught of the Civil War. Marsha Ward brings to life characters whose hopes and dreams, and everyday cares are overshadowed by war-torn events spinning their lives out of control and changing them forever. GONE FOR A SOLDIER will make you laugh, and bring a lump to your throat.”
~Bill Markley, Civil War reenactor and author of Deadwood Dead Men
“Marsha Ward has a gift of being able to take the reader on a whirlwind of an emotional ride through time and country. GONE FOR A SOLDIER is a wonderful journey into the world of the United States in Civil War times. Her deep characters and attention to detail are sure to please the reader, and drag them into a world they find they don’t want to leave.”
~C. Michelle Jefferies, author of the Chrysalis series
“I was transported to another time and place. GONE FOR A SOLDIER is well-researched and has the feel of authenticity with living, breathing characters. Heartbreaking, enlightening, tragic, and ultimately hopeful.”
~C. David Belt, the author of The Children of Lilith series
“The Civil War years and its effect on the family are accurately depicted; the romance is real and true. Strong family ties bind this series together and it’s sure to hold you enthralled.”
~C.K. Crigger, author of the China Bohannan adventures
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Riveting to the End
“It’s a time when the country is torn apart, Yankees vs Rebels, and being from Virginia, the Owens stand firm with their neighbors against “them Yankees” invading their homeland.
“You will sympathize, cry, and root for the wellbeing of the Owen’s family as the Civil War tears at their very lives. Will body and soul survive the conflict?
“Marsha Ward weaves a compelling story, one worth reading. I’ve read and enjoyed all of her books in this series and find GONE FOR A SOLDIER is the best one yet. It gives us a history, and an even better insight, to the characters than we had before.”
~Amazon Customer mysterywoman6
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“I am honored to launch the opening day of a blog tour today for Marsha Ward’s latest book, GONE FOR A SOLDIER.
“Gone for a Soldier is a prequel to The Owen Family Saga books (THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH, RIDE TO RATON, TRAIL OF STORMS, SPINSTER’S FOLLY). It tells the stories of two brothers, Rulon and Benjamin, as they fall in love, fight in the Civil War, and heal from mental and physical injuries. Although Rulon and his wife, Mary, are the main characters, Ben and Ella Ruth also feature prominently. The story reveals the deep sacrifices families made to fight the war. Although the nation was temporarily torn apart during the Civil Wat, the Owens family was permanently scarred from the four-year ordeal.
“The family/interpersonal relationships were my favorite part of GONE FOR A SOLDIER. (Yes, I will forever be a Communications professor!) I loved how the Owen parents sacrificed for their children and how they pulled together in times of difficulty. The pregnancy (and ensuing motherhood) Mary goes through while her husband is away at war was especially touching as she had to reach out to her mother-in-law for assistance. And the love and brotherhood the Owen men had for each other while on the battlefields was heartwarming.
“Although technically GONE FOR A SOLDIER is historical fiction, it could also be categorized as a romance. Marsha’s research on the various battles of the Civil War adds amazing insights I wish my high school American History teacher would have taught (e.g., the use of conscription by the Confederate army). While the family plot lines kept me reading (I particularly loved the character of Mary), the historical research added a level of depth I greatly appreciated.
“At 308 pages, GONE FOR A SOLDIER is Marsha’s longest book yet (I believe). It was published by WestWard Books.”
~Rebecca K. Irvine: Busy Mom, Author, & Bookworm blog
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“I probably only read five or six historical novels a year. While I don’t dislike them, I’m just usually more into contemporary or speculative fiction. But when Marsha Ward has a new book out, I make sure it hits my ‘To Read’ pile.
“I was first introduced to Marsha’s books with TRAIL OF STORMS, book #3 in the Owen Family Saga. I loved it. I quickly read THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH (#1) and RIDE TO RATON (#2), then I had to wait awhile for SPINSTER’S FOLLY (#4) to come out. I liked all of them. GONE FOR A SOLDIER is the fifth novel in the Owen Family Saga and I loved it too.
“Marsha has a way of writing solid characters, that are true to the habits and customs of their time period, without making them too much of a stretch for our modern sensibilities. She focuses on those emotions and feelings that are true to all humans, regardless of the era of their birth.
“GONE FOR A SOLDIER focuses most on Rulon Owen, the oldest of the Owen brothers. Set against the back drop of the Civil War, it follows Rulon’s love story with Mary Hilbrands and his experience of war. But it’s also the story of his family—his brother Ben and his courtship with Ella Ruth, and to a lesser extent, his other brothers, Peter, Carl, and James, who also go to war; and his parents, Rod and Julia. The entire family is impacted by the ravages of war, and since they are fighting for the South, you know it’s a battle they won’t win. Knowing this ahead of time, the stories pulled at my heart even more.
“I think my favorite characters in this book are the women—I was so impressed with the strength and determination of Mary, Ella Ruth, and Mother Julia. All of them faced hardship and rose to the challenge. From the courage of a naive young woman birthing a child, to the determination of a spoiled rich girl who learns to serve others, to the strength of a mother who protects her home and family—so, so inspiring.
“As expected in a story of the harshness of war, there is swearing, violence and bloodshed—some of it a little icky, but I felt Marsha was very restrained. There are some fairly straightforward references to physical intimacy, but it’s not descriptive. I recommend GONE FOR A SOLDIER to readers 15 and up.”
~The Book Geek: Book Geek Reviews
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“There is so much to love about GONE FOR A SOLDIER that it is difficult to know where to start. I found the novel to be riveting on many levels. I enjoyed this portion of the Owens family saga as the Owens men made preparations to fight for their “new country” (the South), their God, their women, and their children. It was refreshing to read about men who honored their women. The men fought valiantly in battle and the women on the home front, each person having to find the courage to do what they used to think is impossible.
“The story mostly revolves around 3 couples, the heads of the Owens’ clan: Rod and Julia, as well as 2 of their sons and their wives: Rulon and Mary (and their son: Roddy) and Ben and Ella Ruth. War changes each of them in many ways, but it also gives each of them purpose to get through the day, not wanting to disappoint their loved ones that they are away from.
“Marsha Ward has a gift for writing well-rounded characters that you can’t help but root for. You may want to shake them at times (as in the case of Ella Ruth), but you always want them to achieve their goals and dreams. I was reminded while reading GONE FOR A SOLDIER that some of the perceptions that people used to have about their bodies and the bodies of others has changed in a good way, but more so, I found myself wishing that people living today honored themselves and others the way the Owens were taught. A lot of society’s ills could be mended if people felt more responsibility for those around them and accountable to maintain their own personal integrity.
“I write realistic fiction of a stalwart, contemporary farm family, so reading about the Owens family resonated with me deeply. (I also have an Owens family in my series–though they start out the bad guys in my story. (Maybe my Owens’ are a branch of the contemporary black sheep family tree of Marsha’s Owens’?) Probably not. 🙂
“At any rate. I enjoyed GONE FOR A SOLDIER. I laughed (not so much after the war started), I cried (more than I care to admit—but hey—it’s war time and bad things happen), and most of all, I rooted for each and every one of the characters—except [Garth] Von—he’s a mean piece of vermin.”
~Monique Bucheger: Monique’s Musings
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“Marsha Ward has out done herself. GONE FOR A SOLDIER begins at a fast pace, and never lets up on the action, the love stories, and the anguish of the Civil War.
“If you liked Marsha’s first four books in the Owen Family Saga, you’re going to love this prequel to them all. Her innovative style follows the stories of the parents, the sons, and the women they love as the war they expected to last only a few months continues for five arduous years.
“Marsha expertly weaves the tale of each individual’s hopes and dreams, sorrows, and growth throughout the deprivation of war and a changing way of life. She clearly defines each person’s point of view and compels the reader to care deeply about each character. She takes us into their private lives with sensitivity. She depicts inevitable suffering and loss with courage, yet allows the reader an anxious apprehension that everyone may not survive the war.
“Though set in the Confederate South during a war the South will not win, this is not a war story. It is a love story. It is several love stories, bound together in an imperfect family—much like yours and mine—full of wisdom, folly, courage, triumph, and most of all, transcendent loyalty.
“The story centers around two of the Owen boys and their sweethearts: Rulon and Mary, for whom the war hastens marriage plans; and Ben and Ella Ruth, for whom it doesn’t. You’ll be riveted by the joys, trials, and growth that ensue from their decisions, as well as the effect the war has on the parents and extended family.
“You will be so captivated by the story that you will not notice that this is the longest book in the Owen Family Saga. Five stars and two thumbs up! Spoiler alert: You may shed a tear or two along the way.”
~J.M. Martin: Blog, J.M. Martin, Author
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