Wednesday, May 04, 2011

THE LAST LETTER by Kathleen Shoop


Congratulations to:
JMitch!
You have won a copy of The Last Letter!
Please email me your full name and mailing address and we'll get you a copy! Congrats!



Yep, you've got it right, another book for you my friends! But first, check back on Fly Away Home and Here, Hope, Home to see if you've won those books! And then, check out ...

Book: The Last Letter

Author: Kathleen Shoop
It’s time to give away another book so how about if we give away one that’s really close to my heart. This one is of the historical fiction genre, which I don’t usually gravitate toward, but I had the immense pleasure of copy-editing it for Kathleen Shoop, the author! I loved collaborating with Kathleen on this book AND discovering that I really do enjoy this genre!

I fell in love with Kathleen’s characters from the get-go! If any of you ever watched and loved Little House on the Prairie, you’ll totally relate to The Last Letter. Reading this book is like going back to your younger years when you would sit in front of the TV glued to Michael Landon, Laura, and crew and wait week after week to see what would happen, although The Last Letter offers so much more than what went on in that little log cabin of the Ingalls and the surrounding prairie land.

The Last Letter is like Little House on the Prairie on steroids in the best possible way! You’ve got infidelity, passion, friendship, love, drug abuse, natural disasters, all in a land of destitute and uncertainty. Page after page, The Last Letter offers heart-racing scenarios in a land of drama and turmoil. And in the center of it all is a strong-willed woman trying to do the best to hold her family together.

The Last Letter was inspired from real love letters written by the author’s great, great grandmother to her husband, Frank. Interestingly, the author chose to keep the main character’s names the same, along with some of the characteristics of her relatives.

Here’s the book blurb:
Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the letter… Katherine Arthur's dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie's husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty—a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death. Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth--she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late? The Last Letter is the novel for every daughter who thinks she knows her mother's story.

And I always like to give you all an EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK.

Since the book we’re giving away is called The Last Letter, tell me if you keep old letters? I have all my old letters from my old boyfriends (all three of them!). In fact, while cleaning out my office the other day, I found some from a guy I am now Facebook friends with who I met in Daytona Beach when I was 12! I Facebooked him to tell him I found them and he told me that HE still has the letters I wrote him! They are dated 1982, and I’m sure we corresponded all the way through the time until I met my husband! I was a letter writer!

What about you? To enter to win this book, tell me if you keep letters? (leave an identifying name or email so I can contact you if you win!)

And isn’t it so sad that the art of letter writing no longer exists?

Thanks to BooksparksPR for offering The Last Letter as a giveaway!

98 comments:

Homestead Jen said...

I have missed this!

I am a selective letter keeper. I have thrown away ones that hurt too much too keep, but have stumbled along others that took me right back to their writing. And I hide them away. They are my secret. :)

Anonymous said...

I had a box of stuff of the first boy to break my heart, but I've since destroyed it. I try not to keep too much of that stuff. TaraUB in IN

LizziebethDJ said...

I am not a keeper - not of letters or much of anything else. I have a few long-time keepsakes but my friends always joke that if you like and want something of mine, hang around long enough and I'll part with it. I do regret not keeping somethings though.

Lisa justus said...

I kept all the letters my husband wrote to me including all the love notes he sent by friends to me while we were both at college together. I still have the first note he sent me; the note was how we began talking. We then long distance dated until we married (about 4 years) so there are lots of letters. He addressed envelopes with the pet name he called me then. Needless to say the mailman and my Dad got a laugh everytime a letter to "sweetness" arrived.It's funny because today it would be emails and texts. I destroyed all letters and even pictures old boyfriends gave me.

Megan said...

I keep every letter, card and note from anyone and everyone-I know that sounds a bit like hoarding, but I have them all in scrapbooks. There is nothing like looking back at letters from loved ones (and not so loved ones). Megan in Chicago

Ally said...

I hate clutter, and tend not to keep anything. I do keep letters from people that really mean a lot to me, but I don't hold onto birthday cards and that sort of thing.

Brantly's Mom said...

Yes, I keep letters. I still have notes from elementary school that my friends and I use to pass around.

Karen said...

I am definitely a letter writer and keeper! I have always been thrilled to get mail and I keep everything someone writes me. :) ktmixon315

Anonymous said...

I have lots of old letters including notes my girlfriend & I passed way back in high school (bet you can't keep a text for 20 years!). I also have a love poem, written by a high school beau. I come across them every once in awhile when I get on a home orgaization kick and they are really wonderful, funny reminders of who I was at the time and how far I've come in life

Anonymous said...

Oops, just left a comment and forgot to say who I am...
JenFee9476

Alli said...

I have a box of all of the letters, drawings, poems, etc. that my now-fiance sent me while he was gone at Basic Training and Advanced Training for the Army. We started dating 2 weeks before he left and were engaged by the time he got home 7 months later...thanks to those letters!! Who says the art of letter writing is dead?? I'll always treasure those letters because that is how we really fell in love. <3

Tina Brannan said...

I keep letters, cards, etc... Got a huge box full in my closet!! My favorites are cards from my Kids!

jdstec said...

I am not a letter keeper from past boyfriends. All I have are the notes and cards that my children have written to me over the last 33 years. I found a box of them in a closet just this past weekend. This come in handy for review as they become teens.

absolutahnie said...

i have a box of notes, letters, mementos, dried flowers, ticket stubs, playbills, drawings, cards
you get the picture. they represent all of the important people & times in my life!

Ronit said...

I do. I have a box with some letters from old boyfriends and friends. I moved from the Chicago area to California when I was 10 and I have letters from friends dating back that far.
Ronit W

Meredith said...

I am not a letter writer, and as such I have received very few. I am sure I will regret this immensely one day, but for now I prefer to pick up the phone. At least I'm not 100% email!

~MommyMer

Carly said...

Not really a letter keeper. I have every postcard my best friend would send me from her summer trips when we were in school. I have most of the cards/letters my husband has given me. But the rest are long gone.

Carly

Susan said...

Let me say first that this book sounds amazing! This is going to have to go to the top of my TBR pile.

I guess I never got many letters to keep. I do have all the notes and little drawings from my husband when were dating. Does that count? I should get them out sometime to show our kids. I am sure they would get a kick out of them.
Suzebomb

Anonymous said...

I keep everything! I still have shoe boxes of notes from high school.
Angelini197

Krystal said...

I am a seasonal keeper! :) I kept the letters from my boyfriends while we were dating, but when to boyfriends would go out, the letters would too! I do have all of the old cards and letters from my husband from when we were dating!
kndyer

Juliet Farmer said...

I still have notes that were passed in high school. So yes, I'm a letter keeper!

Ready To Be A Momma said...

I have kept most of my stuff from high school. I have an entire notebook filled with letters my best friend and I used to write each other and a whole envelope stuffed with letters from my friend from high school who lived in a different state. I don't really have much more saved than that.
qweska8402

The Jagow Family said...

I was a letter writer and am a keeper of letters I've received. I know they are scattered among many different boxes, but always so fun when I run across them.

michelle jagow

bridget said...

I have notes from my high school sweetheart, now my husband, that we used to write to each other before we got married.
Iambtinrb

kathygold9778 said...

I'm sure I have letters, pictures, and little gifts that I keep around in the endless boxes that my husband thinks I should get rid of since I never look at them, yet, I refuse. I like just knowing they are here!

kathygold9778

underthepinkpalm said...

I save every letter and card I receive. My dad recently passed away less than 2 years ago and I'm so grateful that I kept every word that he wrote to me. Whenever I get sad that he's not here with us anymore, I'll open my favorite letters to cheer me up.

Logan Collins said...

Absolutely! I keep all the letters from my current boyfriend and friends and family in the top drawer of my bedside table. As for past boyfriends, I keep those notes too but they each get a shoebox when we break up. The shoebox has letters, gifts etc. And then I give the shoebox to a friend to hold on to until I can get over the guy (whether or not I initiated the breakup). Silly I know but it helps!

Erin T. said...

I used to keep letters. I went to Church Camp in Saugatuck, MI the summer before high school and stayed in touch with many of the girls I bunked with those few weeks. We wrote back and forth many times and I still have those letters. I also still have several notes from high school that we'd pass back and forth in the halls.

It's sad that with todays technology people don't take the time to sit down and write a letter anymore. It's too convenient to email or text.

Emma S. said...

I don't keep all letters or cards only ones of significance or with a thoughtful note in them.

equinn726 said...

I do keep most letters & notes. Several years ago, my best friend from high school gave me a scrap book with all of the notes we exchanged between classes all through middle & high school. So funny to read through them!

Lauren Louise said...

I used to keep all the cards I ever received, but I never got too many letters. I have two years worth of messages between me and my boyfriend saved on facebook though.

Anonymous said...

My husband I and both have large Rubbermaid bins of memorabilia. I have lots of different things in mine including letters my husband has written to me. I don't keep everything, just the ones that have sentiment. I have recently started bins for each of my kids to keep their keepsakes.

-Donna W.

Jessica said...

Yes, I do keep some letters.

Thanks!
-Jessica
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Jenn3128 said...

I'm not sentimental like that. Read it once then trash it. I do have a journal from a road trip I took when I was 14 though. That's fun to go back & read.

buttah said...

I got rid of all of the letters from my old boyfriend from highschool years ago, but I do have all the letters and notes/cards that my Husband has given me over the years...and he still has mine too! Those are really the ones that matter to me anyway!

kathleen shoop said...

Wow! Such a great interest in letters! I'll throw in a copy of the REAL Frank and Jeanie letters since so many people seem to be letter readers/keepers! It's called My Dear Frank and it's in book form, designed as a companion to the novel (which is complete fiction of course!). Let me know if that interests you, Steph!

Neckmeat said...

I have a bunch of letters still from my friends in high school. Some of the sweet love letters & poems from crushes. :) And some of me & my girls reliving our weekends & planning the next weekends out. It's all I've ever lived for: weekends & vacations.

Margie said...

I keep old letters. Have all of them from my husband when we were dating and he was out of town. I also have letters my mother wrote me.

Erin Goff said...

I've kept letters and poems from my husband, but not from any past boyfriends. I also have funny notes and stories that my friends and I used to exchange in jr high and high school. It's nice to come across them every once in a while and remember those good times :)

A.C. Morris said...

I don't really get a lot of actual letters, but I keep cards. I have boxes and boxes of old cards! I've thrown away ex-boyfriend cards, but still have everything my husband ever wrote me!

your invisible pixie said...

i keep EVERYTHING! I still have notes from my 7th grade geometry class that i passed with the boy i liked! I actually wrote a blog post about people not writing letters anymore, too.

Lindsay Elizabeth said...

I actually don't have any letters! A true sign of my age (26). I do however have a box full of notes, cards etc. from my boyfriend--so if we still lived in a day of letter writing I’d definitely have kept them!

The Poty's said...

I do keep some letters. In fact I still have the "note" that my now husband past me in high school asking me to go to the Christmas dance with him (our first date).

Casey said...

Since we got engaged, I started a box keeping all the cards and notes my finace have received. I plan to keep all response cards, cards from showers, and wedding cards. They will be awesome keepsakes one day.

Colleen Turner said...

I have all the old love letters, cards, scraps of paper, etc. my husband gave me since we met. I was a huge letter writer when I was growing up (and still somewhat today...now I am more likely to send cards with short letters inside) and it is incredibly sad that this is so uncommon today.
candc320@gmail.com

Nova said...

i have and do keep some letters, and i am glad i have. esp from my mom when i first moved away from home. she used to include the little "love is" cartoons in them, too. i even have a "note" and card my granny sent to me when i broke my leg in 6th grade...
(sparkle40175@hotmail.com)

Stephanie said...

I've loved reading about how all of you save your stuff. I have all my old journals, photos, most cards from people I've cared about through the years. Kathleen Shoop, the author has offered a copy of the book DEAR FRANK as well, it's the compilation of the letters her great, great grandmother wrote to her great great grandfather that inspired the book! I think this is just amazing! I LOOOOVE going back and reading old letters to discover the person I once was. I can't imagine not having them! Thanks for sharing everyone, and keep doing it!

Jamie said...

I love to keep old letters and I had every single card and letter my Grandma ever sent me plus I had shoe boxes with 2 ex boyfriends full of poems and love letters. I also had letters from friends when I was a teenager and moved away from them. I cherished them all and they sadly were lost in a fire in 2003. I was so sad...still am. The only thing I wish I still had are the letters from my Grandma.

Laura Kay said...

I wish I had all those old letters, there was something so cool about getting a letter in the mail, or even better...when they boy you like slipped one into your locker :) I had mine until I got married, but didn't move them with me. After my mom passed away, we moved and my dad 'cleaned'. So all those jr high and high school momentos are gone...

Mary said...

I have kept all the letters my children have written me over the years. I've also kept some from my husband from when we were dating. I wish I had kept more.

LaVonneW said...

I've kept a few letters, but mostly cards...the special ones! :)

IandSsmom said...

I have letters passed in high school and I also have all the letters written from me home and to me while I was in the military!! I keep my emails the same way but it really isn't the same!
shannonjean14(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I have printed every letter my husband emailed me when we were dating. (Hope that counts - we are not of the written letter generation!) So much fun to look back and see what we used to talk about.
JMitch

Holly W said...

I keep some of my old letters. Sometimes I'll keep them, find them years later and toss them. I have all the notes and cards from my current boyfriend, who i've been with for 5 years. I actually tossed all the other old boyfriend letters about 3 years ago. I didn't really want them around anymore.
holly w
hwohlers@uwm.edu

Kristi said...

I have every old love letter I've ever received going back to when I was 14.

Kristi Marie W.

Brenda L B said...

Truthfully, no I no long have my letters. Really notes that I would pass for old boyfriends would leave for me in my locker or pass to my desk in high school. About 5 years ago, I finally decided I needed to stop hoarding so much stuff and get rid of stuff I didn't need and well, I didn't think I needed letters.

BuffyDee said...

Defiantly keep letters! It's always interesting to stumble on them later and read them.. see where your head was back in the day...

EBrowning said...

I do save old letters, sometimes I save cards too. I love to get them out once in a blue moon and take a stroll down memory lane! :)

LindsayK918 said...

I have a fantastic letter from my high school boyfriend spilling his heart out telling me I was the "girlfriend" who meant most to him as he was reflecting during his supreme wisdom of his sophomore year of college :) It's framable!

kristinrose said...

i have a few select letters from middle/high school, but every couple of years i find myself throwing more & more old stuff away. i do treasure a picture my bf drew me when we first met & its on my fridge so i see it everyday :)

Tyra said...

I have all my ex-love letters. I have them taped into my journals in their original envelopes on the dates they were received. I was very organized as a teenager:)

Beverly Victoria said...

I have the letters my husband sent me, and cards from him and my daughters, but at some point in time, I decided that I didn't need to save every scrap of paper that everyone had given me. My house is small, and I'm in the process of decluttering it, although, that will probably take years.

Carie Casey said...

I have all of the letters from my now husband back when we were teenagers and on up. He was in the navy on a submarine so we got to write letter occasionally and they are so precious. I love having them. Would I let my kids read them? Probably not.

Carie

michelle m said...

I have a shoebox of letters..all from my husband, my first real love

Bonnie said...

I keep letters then later throw them away. While going through my Mothers things for items she requested while in the hospital I found a letter to her from my father who passed away years ago. It's nice to have that now that she is gone also.

smallb(at)gmail(dot)com

Domesticated Gal said...

I do...until I don't. Sadly, I'm a bit OCD about my spring/fall cleanings. Which means that while I kept hundreds of letters throughout my childhood, most have been reassigned to the trash.

Fortunately, the Big Man has emailed most of his "love letters" to me. Which means they will live forever...until the server crashes.

Anonymous said...

No letters, but I do have all of the cute things from my husband when we were dating. Lauren Royall

kwertz12 said...

I am a keeper...but my husband is not sentimental. So, in the back of my closet, I have a shoebox full of movie and concert tickets, cards, rose petals and all kinds of things that remind me of our early days as a couple. I'm planning on making a scrapbook in the next couple of years. He won't throw books away! Ha!!

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

I do not keep letters...

Anonymous said...

I don't normally keep letters, but when I started dating my husband, I kept all letters and cards he gave me. I am so glad I did cause he passed away almost two years ago and now I have these amazing letters and cards to read when I am having a bad day and need a pick me up. jennyfromthecube

Stephanie said...

Jennyfromthecube, I didn't know that your husband had passed away. I am so very sorry to hear that. Even though you said it was two years ago, my heart hurts for you. I feel like I sort of know you now through the blog and I just wanted to let you know that I'm sorry. (I tried to find your email somewhere else so sorry for the public post.) xo stephanie

Christina said...

I used to keep them...until I met the love of my life and figured there was no use for the old letters anymore. I'm definitely more of a tosser than a keeper so stuff doesn't stick around my house unless there's a use for it!

ChristinaL

Lilianarenee said...

I'm also not of the letter generation. But completely wish I were. I have all of cards ive recieved over the last few years and the one and only letter (more of a note) my BF has written me and left ine my car. I cant ever imagine tossing all of the cards.

Anonymous said...

I am a letter keeper. All the letters from grade school through high school are still boxed up at my parents house. They survived their move from my childhood home to their current place! I've got secret admirer letters from 3rd grade and dorky notes between my BFF in high school and I written in Spanglish! Hate that no one writes letters anymore. My hubby and I lived in different states when we met and we emailed for months before we started dating. That is how I got to know him. I would love to have copies of all of those emails, but sadly I never printed them out.

Colbey J

Amy R. said...

I have kept most of my letters, and now that emailing is so popular, I keep most of those, too!

Erika L. said...

I keep some letters and others I throw away. It depends on who sent them and what they said in them.

Becki***** said...

I keep letters and cards, not all but many and was so glad I did.. . . Kept most of the letters my Aunt wrote me and when she suddenly died of an aneurysm at age 58 I was able to bundle them up and send them to my cousin, her daughter, who is one of my BFF's. My Aunt would often write of the doings of her family and grandchildren and now they have them to read instead of being at some landfill.

But sadly it is hard to keep them all. Now I am greedily storing every card my parents give me. They each sign them. And as my Dad fades from Alzheimers they become more and more precious.

Sniff.

Dawn from CA said...

I am a letter keeper for sure! I have letters from my junior high boyfriend..(which provided my family quite a laugh when they guy grew up to become my son's 6th grade teacher!) I keep every single note ever written by my kids, husband, best friends, and I'm so glad I do. When I come across them years later, it's always so much fun to read again.

Jennifer @ Diving In said...

I have letters from my husband in a drawer. Even sweeter...my mom and dad were married during Viet Nam, and he was stationed across the country from mom. He wrote her EVERY DAY they were apart, and she kept the letters tied in batches with ribbons. Dad died in an accident a couple of years ago - what a treasure those letters are!

Denise said...

I hold on to select notes and cards and letters, definitely. I wish people wrote more letters.

CAnative said...

I am one of those people who will keep things for years and then get in one of those cleaning modes and purge everything. I do have a box with keepsakes from my kids. Those I will not throw out.

Nicole

RivkaBelle said...

I definitely keep letters! I have a big plastic box under my bed, and I've got letters & cards organized by sender ... I also have a fairly large stack of letters, postcards, and cards/notes that I need to file away. Handwritten notes/letters are so ... amazing. And I definitely like keeping them and going back to look at them - snapshots of my life at that time. And if they're international, so much the better!

This book sounds *amazing* btw ... I grew up *living* Little House, so I must read this now. :o)

Mom'sLove said...

Yes, I kept everything in a chest and bought for my daughter, its mainly filled with cards, but we kept everything..
Amanda

Nanette said...

I do love to save and write letters. I don't write as much as I used to but I did send a hand-written card to a friend yesterday. And yes...I have every letter and card I've ever gotten. Not sure why I can't part with any of it...too much sentimental value, I guess.

Great book selection today! I can't wait to add it to my wish list and eventually read it.

Have a great day, Manic!! Nan

Crystal said...

I'm pretty sure I have thrown all those letters from ex's away. I recently moved in with my fiance and finding them again (whilst moving) was kind of awkward for him to see. I was a teen when I started developing these crushes, and some letters were simply from my friends, but I gushed about* all the boys I liked. (For some reason I remember there being 13 of them? LOL) I know I wouldn't want him to keep anything from his ex's so I won't keep any that refer to mine. Plus...the boy I was in love with at 14? Is now (and has always been) a close family friend and my fiance suggested he be in our wedding (even though he is my friend first and not my fiance's) because he knows that he is like family. And yes, it broke my 15 year old heart when my crush said he liked me as a sister. *sigh* LOL!!

Crystal717

*was obsessed with

Coleen said...

I use to keep all my old letters from my old boyfriends but after I got married I threw them all out. I didn't think that I needed them anymore. I have saved everything from my husband. . the first letter my husband ever gave me is in a safe spot in my house. Those old letters didn't matter to me anymore.

Linda Kish said...

I keep all of the cards my son sent me over the years but that is all. When my mom passed away last year, I found every card, letter, envelope she had received since she married my step-dad in 1964. I was amazed at the things she kept. And, it is sad that letter writing is dying.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cari said...

I've only kept a letter or two over the years...but I save all my emails from boyfriends. At least until we break up. CariLynn

Nicole Robinson said...

I keep old letters!

Betsy B said...

I do keep my letters. I still have my love letters from 4th grade with my first boyfriend. I keep all letters and about once every few years I go back and read them all.

Kimmi said...

I have a letter my grandfather wrote me when I was around 8 that I cherish, but other than that, I've managed to purge over the years.

skavka said...

I only keep special letters from people that mean something to me.

BethC said...

I am sort of a pack rat of keepsakes...letters, cards, artwork, etc. Those are pieces of times you will never get back and may completely forget about, until that one day you are reorganzing, downsizing or moving and you come across that one piece of time, that makes you sit down right in the middle of what you are doing and you transcend back to that place and time when that little keepsake was created. It is priceless!

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

i too keep letters, and similarily to your FB story, i found my penpal from age 12 - originally connected via the UN school penpal program - now found through the internet. And, yes, he still has my letters as well {including some pictures i'd sent and no longer had!} verrry cool & a HaPpy find :) thx for this offer ~

Danny Coleman said...

Yes, I have a box of letters from my first love! Why I am not sure but they are cute to read sometimes. Patti Cole

Dolly said...

I don't have letters, but I keep cards. The only letters I have are from an overseas pen-pal, and they were lost in a move. :(

Kristi said...

Sorry if this ends up posted multiple times. I've been trying to post for a couple of days now and it hasn't worked so far...


Anyways, I DO save letters. I love going back and rereading them. I used to be a really good letter writer also but I think time and technology have ruined me!

Kristi Hooke

kamagra said...

Kathleen Shoop book The Last Letter is recommended for historical fiction readers, as well as readers interested in family dynamics.