09 May 2013

The Last Waltz by Murray Pura Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow

The Last Waltz

HelpingHands Press, 2013

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 stars~*****


The Civil War years were a brutal and bloody era in the chronicles of history. A period of horrendous suffering and deadly conflict that witnessed over 600,000 soldiers lose limb and life. During this turbulent time however, the sun still shone and the rays of God’s grace and love could be found in the pockets of people’s lives all over the tormented land. Murray Pura creates a fictional yet immensely stirring novella about a Confederate officer and his wife as one of those beautiful and touching accounts.

Charity Davis was going through the motions of an ordinary day of housework when in the distance she spied clouds of dust that was expanding as it was advancing. Realizing that this dust might clear to reveal troops which could include her husband Major Mitchell Davis, she makes her way toward the main road with hope alighting in her heart. Hours later she had almost given up when a couple of Officers brought her wounded husband to her side for a day of convalescing.

Mitchell Davis has been granted a gift from God. Because it can surely only be a miracle, that in the middle of the war an army officer gets to spend a day with his beautiful wife. And Mitchell intends to make the most of every single moment. This gallant and charming officer declares to his Southern belle that this is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it! Charity and Mitchell live every part of this day in a breathtakingly romantic style including dressing in their best clothes and waltzing the night away.

There were several moments during this extraordinary day that Charity strongly felt the presence of someone but each time she’d turned around they had vanished. What could be happening on this perfect day of theirs and what might this mean for the devoted couple? As dawn approaches, will Mitch have the strength to say farewell to his bride and return to his regiment? They lived a lifetime in a day but will this day have to last a lifetime?

Murray Pura writes historical romance with flair and a charm that draws you into the hearts and lives of his characters. The Last Waltz was a riveting story and I found myself inspired by Mitchell and Charity’s faith, enamored with the romance, and stunned by the drama! This is a story that kept me reading from start to finish without a pause and one that I know has fastened itself upon me for a long time to come.
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GIVEAWAYS: 
Murray has graciously offered to give away NINE sets of lovely 4x6 glossy bookmark postcards of his Harvest House book covers—one autographed card per set. On every review this week we will draw 3 winners, so make sure you comment on all reviews this week!

And OWG is offering a copy of WHISPERS OF A NEW DAWN! If you have posted any reviews on Murray’s books let us know which ones and you will get an extra entry for each one posted!

* Extra GIVEAWAY today: Noela has graciously offered a Kindle copy of The Last Waltz to one lucky commenter!  
ANSWER THE QUESTION to be entered for a chance to win:
If you could have a romantic date with your beloved where money was no object, what would you love to do?

73 comments:

  1. A beautiful review, NOELA, for an utterly beautiful story! Thank you.

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    1. Thank you DIANA - yes, a truly stunning story!! :)

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    2. YES IT IS A FAIR DINKUM REVIEW! LOVELY! THANK YOU SO MUCH SKL!

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    3. You're very welcome MURRAY my MATE!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful stories with us all and giving us so many smiles and blessings through your writing!! :) :)

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  2. I think I would just love to be alone on a beach with the guy I love. I don't need all the money in the world to show how much I love that person. Fancy things and lots of money do not impress me. It's whats in the heart.

    Love to win>
    Blessings
    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. Thanks for dropping in DIANA - Well I have to say I completely agree that as long as you're with the one you love that it doesn't matter where you are! But just for fun - where might you like to go or do if you could? ;)

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  3. Well I don't have anyone but I do envision my own prince charming. I'd like to be on our own secluded island with no one else around where we can enjoy nature all to ourselves. Someplace where we can be all to ourselves to enjoy God's creation.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Kim LitlePokie(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Maybe your OWN seclude island KIM?? ;) Sounds wonderful!

      You're welcome - and all the best in the draw! Blessings!!

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    2. all the best Kim - thanks for entering!

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  4. I'm also a feedburner follower.

    Kim LitlePokie(at)aol(dot)com

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  5. Wonderful review NOELA! MURRAY sure created a masterpiece with this one. :)


    A tropical island would be my choice except that would mean I would have to get on a ship or airplane to get there and I don't do either. Guess I need to rethink this!! hahaha

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    1. Thanks TERESA and I agree - he sure did!!

      I love the tropical island idea too - except mine would have some world class chefs sequestered away just to come out to cook for us!! ;) Maybe you'll have to learn to swim really, really good T! :)

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    2. Hi T! Thanks for swinging by and thanks for your kind words!

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  6. I think as long as my love ( my husband ) and I was together somewhere it would not matter where we were . Good review .
    Blessings
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. it is a nice review, isn't it? welcome Liz and blessings

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    2. Thanks LIZ - I can see you are a true romantic at heart!! :) Bless you!!

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  7. A romantic date...can it be an over nighter... I would love to go away to a cabin in the woods where no one could distract us from being eachother and share a night of music, good food , candles, silence and making love.... and wake up to coffee, a sweet breakfast and a walk together alone . It wouldn't have to be fancy or exspensive , just quiet, warm and romantic...
    A walk in the woods is very refreshing and time alone is something missing in alot of todays marriages. I guess I would opt for more then an overnighter... weekend or a week would be more of a spiritual refreshment...

    I need a vacation...I think I would love to read The Last Waltz, as with all of Murrays books, they are filled with sweetness and a couple that shares a connection that most dream of having...

    Blessings
    Linda Marie Finn

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    1. Wow LINDA - I like your style... sounds perfect to me too except for the coffee part, but if you're going to have romantic Pura books there with you, you'll have to have some Pura coffee to go along with it! :) Very true what you wrote about Murray's books... God bless you!

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  8. I have wanted to take a dinner cruise out of Sacramento. I think that would be so fun and romantic. But truthfully, I just love to be with my husband no matter where we go or what we do. Our anniversary is coming up on the 20th. 16 years. I love him more today than the day we got married. God brought us together and I am so grateful that God chose me to be this man's bride. *happy sigh*

    winterrose(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. How sweet LOUISE - you're making me *sigh* and smile with that beautiful expression of your love!! :) I've never been on a cruise myself - but that's not a bad idea at all! All the best with your entry and may the Lord only continue to bless your love and marriage more each year. Thank you for stopping by!

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    2. all the best Louise! thanks for entering the contest!

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  9. Hot air balloon ride! Not sure if my hubby would go for it though. The Last Waltz sounds very touching and I have a feeling some tissues should be nearby while reading it...am I right?
    God bless.
    debsbunch5[at]jesusanswers[dot]com

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    1. Oh DEBBIE - you're not wrong about the tissues!! DEFINITELY have some nearby! :) It really is a beautiful and very touching story! :)

      Hot air balloon ride - love it, what a great idea!! Bless you heaps!

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    2. hey chaplain, thanks for dropping by - God bless!

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  10. I think about this often Noela, because my husband has passed away.... and I often sing the song "Just One More Day".... so that being said, I would like to go on a picnic and just share with each other, either verbally or through touch.
    dmh5858@msn.com

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    1. Ohh I'm so sorry to hear that DONNA, sending you big {{{hugs}}} and lots of love. I hope when you get to heaven and join your husband that you can have that picnic with him! In the meantime I pray your memories will keep him close to you. God bless and thank you so much for stopping by. Here's hoping for a win for you!

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    2. all God life and heart to you today Donna

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  11. I have read this book and it was a lovely romantic story and I loved it! (I need to take out some time and write a review of it for Amazon). As to where I would go, we have both been trying to figure out somewhere fun to go for our 40th anniversary, coming up this July and have not figured out where yet. We have reservations with our time-share for Fiji, but found out, there are very few flights there and they are expensive, so we are rethinking that one--maybe a trip to Hawaii together or just back to the Oregon Coast where we went for our honeymoon. Also, since we travel so much with his job (we have already been to Paris & Milan (each for a month) this year, the where is not so important for us. We just LOVE spending time TOGETHER, where ever our crazy life takes us. Plus lour last anniversary would be hard to top--we were in the NY area, so we decided to go to NYC for one night, & go to a musical & use hotel points for a "night on the town". When we arrived at our hotel, we discovered they had given us a free upgrade (it was free to start with since we were using points...) to the Presidential Suite! About 2,000 sf and the 1st thing we saw when we opened the double-door entry was a grand piano! This was on the 34th floor of the Marriott Marquis, overlooking Times Square! We were told it was the room where Mr. Marriott stays when he comes to NYC--YES--we were impressed! And the musical we chose, was right across the street from the hotel & we decided since we had such a great room, to order room service for dinner--quite a memorable anniversary...
    Vicki

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    1. Okay I'm rethinking my choices now I've read that VICKI!! :) Do you know I've never even been in a plane? I need to spread my wings as they say - but there's always that little thing called money! ;) I'd LOVE to go to Scotland, England, Canada, and quite a few places in the US... but now you've got me thinking how fantastic it would be to do exactly what you did in NYC and stay in that Presidential Suite overlooking Times Square!!! Wow. Such a blessing for you guys! :)

      Yes indeed, The Last Waltz is a very romantic story - and one that everybody will LOVE!!

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    2. sweet words Vicki - bless you

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  12. LOVED your review, Noela!
    It's no secret I'd love to visit the Canadian Rockies with hubs. Time together and enjoying God's beautiful creation is on top of my list.

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    1. Thanks MARIAN! :) No secret at all lol and I don't need to wonder why - it would be an amazing place to see and experience!!

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    2. yes! the canadian rockies! amen!

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  13. I devoured this novella! It was such a beautiful love story....big sigh...

    Money being no object, I would choose a road trip to Montana with my husband. We have always wanted to do that, even before we were married 31 yrs ago. We never had the funds because we started our family right away and you know how much kids eat, and especially our teen boys ;)

    Wishing all the OWG moms a very blessed and Happy Mother's Day this weekend. We have much to thank the Lord for, ladies!

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    1. Lovely to have you stop by ANNE and thank you SO much for the Mother's Day blessing to us all here. I'm sure I can speak for everyone in wishing you also, a very special and happy Mother's Day!!

      Murray's novella was easy to devour wasn't it?! I gulped it down as well - and sighed and cried! :)

      Road trips can be a lot of fun! I especially enjoy the amazing scenery you can see along the way, not to mention the weird and interesting you come across. :) Montana would be an incredible destination Anne!



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    2. blessings Anne - Montana is lovely and so close to little old me!

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  14. Oh !! how wonderful and romantic !!! this sounds like a fantastic read ~ thanks for the great review !!! can't wait to read it.. Murray Pura ~ fantastic writer !!!! such a guaranteed good read !!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks ROSEMARY for your generous words!! It is assuredly a great read and I hope you get to read it real soon because it sounds like you'd just LOVE it!!! :)

      Do you have an answer for the question to be in the draw for it? Thanks and blessings!

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    2. bless you Rosemary - such a lovely name, may have to steal it for a heroine

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    3. Oh Murray ~ that would be awesome ~ to even think you would use my name as a heroine !!!!! :-) WOW WOW !!! and being the fantastic writer you are, my mind's eye can picture what she would be looking like !!!!!

      If I could do something romantic with money no issue, I would love to be in Ireland in a small cottage with a fireplace and a full cabinet of food and drink for the whole weekend !!!!!!! just to be able to stroll the rolling green that I picture every time that I think about is a real dream for me !!!! sitting outside on a blanket and just enjoy my love also !!! yes, a whole weekend with my love !!!!!!!

      thank you so very much !!!!!!!!!!! Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    4. Sounds so romantic, Rosemary! I think I would enjoy that as well. :)

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    5. A beautiful picture to imagine - sounds heavenly! :)

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  15. I thought I'd already left a comment for you, Noella, but I don't find it here. Your review of Murray's story is simply wonderful, but I am a bit prejudiced because I really loved that story, so I have to agree with your review. I was drawn into Charity's life from the first sentence. Murray did such a beautiful job with the romantic details of the blessing of the time she spent with Mitchell. I felt as if I were right there with them! Kudos for a job well done with the review and a sterling story by Murray Pura. Joy Ross Davis

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    1. Well thank you ma'am!! Nice to see you here JOY! Looking forward to going riding with you again in a few weeks.. ;)
      Know what you mean about this story - this 'sterling story' is one of my favorites of Murray's out of what I've read of his!! Still gives me chills when I think of it.

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    2. hi Joy! bless you forever my dear!

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  16. I would love to go on an Alaskan cruise with my husband.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen@yahoo.com

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    1. BRITTANY,
      That sounds amazing! I'd love to do that, too! Blessings!

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    2. Hey BRITTANY, thanks for stopping by to read the review for The Last Waltz. An Alaskan cruise sounds so majestic and breathtaking - definitely romantic.. :)

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    3. cheers Brittany - thanks for entering - great heroine name

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  17. Just a quite mountain cabin would be great with my husband. Thank you for the wonderful review. The book sounds like a wonderful read.

    Diane Castiglione
    dian429@yahoo.com

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    1. DIANE, There is an entire anthology that MURRAY has put together, called Cry of Freedom. Only three of the stories have released so far--all of them ending up on the Amazon best sellers for Civil War, PTL! Thanks for coming by!

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    2. welcome here Diane & all the best with this contest!

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  18. Noela--If it were not for this job my hubby has that takes us on all our travels, we would never been able to afford any of this travel either--God has truly blessed us with this job that includes so much travel. I often say, it is like a dream come true, only I never dreamed I would EVER have any of these opportunities. And as I mentioned, the Presidential Suite was free to us, because of all the hotel points we have (we literally LIVE between Hilton's & Marriott's and sometimes we don't always stay at one of those, such as in Italy!). We actually spend more time in both of these properties, than we do at our own home! It is a special blessing, but sometimes we just crave time in our own home... I stayed home this weekend, so I could spend Mother's day with my mom, and then will be off again--this time to Boulder Colorado, which is also a beautiful place, nestled in the base of the Rocky Mountains, for 3 weeks.

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    1. VICKI, yes you really have quite the jetsetter lifestyle! But you are right--sometimes it is better to be home! Happy Mother's Day!!!

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    2. Ditto to what Carrie said, VICKI. And as you say it is an incredible blessing for you also! Have a blessed Mother's Day Vicki.

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    3. I've been to Boulder - very much like the Rockies here! cheers, Vicki!

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  19. The review itself makes my heart squeeze at the thought of only one more day with my hubby! Very touching review! I'm thinking we would both love to spend a day in the wilds of Ireland or Scotland just being with each other and exploring together. That is our dream someday. :)
    Susan P

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    1. I can't bear the thought, SUSAN! So heart-breaking! I love my hubby so much I dk what I'd do. I'd love to go to Ireland. I was briefly in Scotland--very pretty countryside where I was. Hugs!

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    2. My dream too SUSAN - especially to be able to go to Scotland. It is hard to think about just one more day, best not to think along those lines! Thanks for your kind words - it was a very touching story!! :) Blessings!

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    3. long life and God's blessing to you Susan

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  20. NOELA, great review! honestly, Jeff and I did this last year for our 25th anniversary. We stayed at the fabulous Grand Hotel on Michigan's Mackinac Island--the jewel of the Great Lakes. It was absolutely amazing.

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    1. Hey CARRIE, thank you! How wonderfully romantic that you guys were able to do this for your 25th Anniversary!! :) It really does sound amazing!

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    2. Oh what fun you got to stay there, Carrie! ISn't it just beautiful? We love staying on the island but have not been able to stay there yet. My parents went for their 35th wedding anniversary. :)

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    3. romance = long life lived to the full

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  21. Linda Dianne StoweMay 10, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Hi Murray,I just wanted to say thank you one more time for the Ashton Park book that I won and I truly would love to win this one as well.I love romance.It helps people to realize that it's almost magical the way it is portrayed in your books and many of the other authors as well. You know how crazy I am about the Amish but I have always been this way about good clean romance books.So thankful there are people out there like yall that entertain us with something so touching ang realistic at the same time.God bless you!

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    1. Beautifully put LINDA! Thanks for dropping in, God bless!!

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    2. thank you Linda for your kind words - God's heart in your heart

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  22. I would like a gourmet chef to make us dinner on a private beach, then we'd walk in the waves and sleep in a private hut right next to the ocean! I've posted a review of Ashton Park on my blog and amazon. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi VERONICA - that truly sounds PERFECT and thoroughly romantic!!! Great answer. Thanks so much for stopping by to read the review and to join in the discussion - here's to a win for you! Many blessings. :)

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  23. thank you Veronica - you are such a support - bless you

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