Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Promise Forged by Cara Putman

Posted August 6, 2018 by meezcarrie in Cara Putman, Christian, giveaway, historical, romance / 21 Comments


about the book

SERIES: Buckeye Promises #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Whisper Valley Press
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017 (orig. rel. 2010)
PAGES: 169

Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.

A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:

Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.

Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.

When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

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Confession: I’m from Rockford, and I’ve never seen A League of Their Own – the Tom Hanks/Geena Davis (with costars Rosie O’Donnell & Madonna) film about the Rockford Peaches women’s professional baseball team. But I’ve been fascinated with the history behind the team nonetheless. When I realized that A Promise Forged was about the All-American Girls Professional Softball League – of which the Rockford Peaches were founding members – I jumped at the chance to read it! (They eventually changed the ‘softball’ to ‘baseball’ in the name to attract more fans lol)

Cara Putman’s sweet story, packed with fascinating historical tidbits, follows Kat Miller as she embarks on an exciting summer, playing with the Cherry Hill Blossoms. This dream-come-true turns into a bit of a nightmare in places, as Kat must face jealous (and catty) teammates, injuries, and a place in the spotlight she didn’t ask for. In addition, she and the rest of the team encounter prejudice and disrespect as they pave the way for future generations in an era that didn’t offer women a lot of opportunities. Kat’s relationship with God is what gets her through the difficult summer and I really enjoyed how the author made that such a natural part of Kat’s life.

Jack Raymond is cynical and flirty and worldly and a little bit arrogant, and he wants nothing more than to leave his podunk reporting job and return to a big paper with all the fame and fanfare that goes along with that kind of position. Assigned to cover the new women’s league – in particular, the Cherry Hill Blossoms –  he is completely captivated by Kat right from the beginning. Their age difference is something to gasp at by today’s standards but back then it wasn’t as big of a deal. Enough of one that Kat can use it as an excuse while she guards her heart and reputation against his attentions, though, especially since he doesn’t share her relationship with Jesus. Age difference or not, I loved their friendship from its earliest stages (banter!) to the more mature and heartfelt feelings that develop as the story progresses. And I absolutely love how Jack’s relationship with God changes throughout the book as well.

Bottom Line: A Promise Forged immerses readers in 1940s America, when morale needed to be lifted and autographed photos were given out with the purchase of a war bond. The good and the bad of the era is matter-of-factly woven throughout Kat and Jack’s story, and it makes me want to learn more about the women’s professional baseball leagues of the day. Richly-drawn characters, including Kat and Jack, and a vivid setting also put readers right in the middle of the action, from the crack of a bat to the cheers from the stands. Whether you’re an avid baseball fan or, like me, are more interested in the history, this is an entertaining and touching romance from start to finish.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.

Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.

Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com

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Other Books by Cara Putman


Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.

And I started thinking.

What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?

And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?

I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.

He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.

As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.

A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

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This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!

What about you? Do you have a favorite baseball team? What interests you most about this story?

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21 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Promise Forged by Cara Putman

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for being part of the book tour for “A Promise Forged” by Cara Putman. I’ve always enjoyed this author and would love the opportunity to read this book. Can’t wait to read your review which I’m sure will confirm my desire.

  2. MJSH

    Thanks for being a part of the tour! Just finished the book and enjoyed it, though I got confused as I was writing my reviews if this book was #3 or #1 in the series…..

  3. Anne Rightler

    What about me? Hmmm. I do not have a favorite baseball team, or for that matter, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, foosball, bowling team either! In other words…I’m not a sports fan. Gimme a book!!! As to what interests me about the story–I just like the author! And look forward to reading this one too. Sounds like a great read.

  4. Winnie Thomas

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I’m not a sports participator, but my dad was a basketball player and coach (as was his father). I grew up on basketball–watching, not playing–and since he also was in charge of the summer baseball program for the school district, I also watched a lot of baseball games. I actually played a little church softball when I was younger.

  5. I don’t have a favorite team, in fact the only reason it’s on is because I have a house-full of boys who are nuts about sports. I would like to read this book for the history.

    I have read Cara’s book in the past, she is a great author. Sad I missed this one.

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