A Single Spark

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Pub Date Jun 02 2020 | Archive Date Jul 02 2020
Bethany House | Bethany House Publishers

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Wanting to do her part in the war effort, Clara McBride goes to work in the cartridge room at the Washington Arsenal, the city's main site for production and storing of munitions. She's given the opportunity to train new employees and forms a friendship with two of them. All seems to be going well, especially when one of the supervisors shows interest in her.

Lieutenant Joseph Brady is an injured army officer who, no longer able to lead troops into battle, has been assigned to a supervisory position at the Washington Arsenal. While Clara has caught his eye, he also makes it his mission to fight for increased measures to prevent explosions in the factory.

But when suspicions rise after multiple shipments of Washington Arsenal cartridges fail to fire and everyone is suspect for sabotage, can the spark of love between Joseph and Clara survive?

Wanting to do her part in the war effort, Clara McBride goes to work in the cartridge room at the Washington Arsenal, the city's main site for production and storing of munitions. She's given the...

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ISBN 9780764235290
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Featured Reviews

Set in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, A Single Spark follows the story of the budding romance of an injured soldier and a civilian worker at a munitions factory. When defective ammunition is traced to the factory where they both work, an investigation into a possible sabotage ring ensues. Will Clara and Lieutenant Brady be harmed when the investigation takes a personal turn? Find out in this intriguing work of historical fiction. Although the plot lags at times, fans of Civil War-era novels will find plenty to interest them, especially the events involving high society in the nation's capital.

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A Single Spark is a fine story that takes place during the Civil War. It's a story that involves the main character, Clara, her sweetheart, Joseph, and her neighbor friends, Bea and her brother Jeremiah. There is sabotage at the arsenal where they all work, and Joseph needs to discover the root of it. Excellent book, but very little romance. Good story that I enjoyed reading!

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A SINGLE SPARK by JUDITH MILLER is an historical romantic suspense novel with a good Christian message.
Clara McBride befriends Beatrice Hodson at the Washington Arsenal where they both work, making cartridges for the Union army. She also gets to know Bea's brother Jeremiah. They usually walk to work together and meet in their lunch break.
When the good looking Lieutenant Joseph Brady, who is in charge of the cylinder room, shows an interest in Clara instead of the flirtations Beatrice, Bea sets her sights on Sergeant Andrew Kessler. The five of them become friends.
With the explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal, talk of sabotage and the daily danger of working with gunpowder, we have a sense of something about to happen. I am not going to tell you any more, though, as I do not want to spoil the read for you.
The story is exciting and the characters are interesting, some for their honesty, kindness and dedication, and some for other reasons. It is also interesting to see what life was like in the early years of the Civil War, on both ends of the social scale. We see how Clara and her mother deal with the death of Clara's father at Bull Run, and how Joseph deals with the injury he received there, which has resulted in bouts of PTSD,
I highly recommend A Single Spark to those of you who enjoy historical romance.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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A Single Spark tells the story of Clara & her widowed mother who live in Washington DC & support the north. As Clara takes a job in the Washington Arsenal in order to both support her mother as well as contribute to the war effort, Clara befriends two new employees. Clara also captures the attention of Lieutenant Joseph Brady, an injured army officer who works as a supervisor at the Arsenal. As Clara & Joseph's friendship and romance develop, each of them faces personal and professional turmoil that threatens to destroy their relationship. This fast-paced historical novel will keep you guessing until the end, although many of the details lead to fairly easy answers. In spite of being able to guess the ending, the story holds one's attention to the very end. Very well-written and enjoyable story!

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Judith McCoy Miller is one of the greats in my opinion. Her Amana Colonies series is one of my favorites, but this differs greatly from that series. A Single Spark takes place during the Civil War, when civilians are hired by and used by the armies to make their ammunition. Clara McBride is one of the women who works at the laboratories and through her job she meets Lt. Joseph Brady. He is wounded veteran for the Union and still in active duty, being assigned to the laboratory in Washington, DC.

During the course of his assignment, he is sent to the Allegheny Ammunition works in Pennsylvania. While he is inspecting the works, there is an explosion because something sparks the gunpowder. There were many casualties and quite a few fatalities. Joseph has observed several safety issues there and returns to Washington with several recommendations for safety improvements.

Judith has added several other characters to the mix, treasonists, society mavens, and other soldiers. Each of the characters play their part perfectly to make the book so very hard to put down. It's worth every minute it takes to read it.

Five stars, two thumbs up, and an ammunition maker.

Bethany House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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If you are a fan of historical inspirational fiction or Judith Miller in general, you'll love this new release from Bethany House! A Single Spark, coming out on June 2nd, captures a pivotal era in American history and I actually learned more about the war efforts from the perspective of women left behind during the Civil War and the danger they faced while lending support to an epic cause.

Judith Miller sparks interest through her lively and easy-to-read historical offerings. This title, in particular, has characters you'll love, characters you'll despise, emotion, and mystery! The gentle romance weaving its magic between the pages will endear you. Overall, it's a 4-star read for anyone who enjoys clean, simple historical fiction with a dash of love and strong elements of faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this title via NetGalley with thanks. Opinions expressed are my own.

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An interesting story surrounding the Allegheny Arsenal during the Civil War. The author did a great job describing the work in the laboratory and other areas of the compound. The story was slow to begin but did pick up. It was amazing that Lt. Brady was so clueless in what was happening. Clara was sweet but too trusting. The story is predictable but enjoyable. Recommended!

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I love the reads by this author, and this one did not disappoint, based on history and including some truth, this story pulled me in and didn't let go.
Dealing with the grief of loosing her father, Clara McBride and her mother are getting by living in Washington DC, she working at the Arsenal, and her mom as a seamstress.
A chance meeting on the way to work adds new friends to Clara's life, and all our on their way to make the ammunition to help the Union win the war.
We are offered a couple of sweet romances, a chance to look at the top leaders during this time at parties, and some of the reality of war.
Be aware not everyone is what or whom they claim to be, including some that you feel like you are falling in love with.
I so enjoyed reading the author's notes at the end of this read, and loved the facts gleaned there.

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

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A Single Spark
by Judith Miller
Bethany House
You Like Them You Are Auto-Approved
Bethany House Publishers
Pub Date 02 Jun 2020 | Archive Date 02 Jul 2020

Yes! Yes! and Yes! I loved this historical fiction book. I read most of Judith Miller's novels and this one did not disappoint. Can't wait to recommend this when our library reopens soon.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House for the ARC of this book.

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A beautifully written story set in the civil war, it tells the story of Clara who is supporting her widowed mother and injured lieutenant Joseph. I loved the dynamic of their relationship as well as Clara's friend Bea and her brother. The story is filled with honesty, kindness and devotion from many of the characters. A brilliant take on the early years of the American Civil War.

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This intriguing narrative grabbed and kept my interest from beginning to end. Historical romance set in the Civil War era is my favorite genre, but this book is refreshingly different from others I have read in that it is not set on a plantation or battlefield but in a military arsenal employing civilian workers doing their part for the war effort. Historical events and people are woven expertly into the fictional narrative evidencing extensive research. The captivating plot flows at a steady pace with twists and turns and a few surprises leading to a satisfying end. The characters are well-developed and memorable, and the romance is sweet. The combination of romance, faith, history, and suspense make for a very enjoyable read which I highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book in e-book form from the publisher via netgalley but was under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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A remarkable name for a wonderful book. A single spark that ignited a whole chain of events with great endings. Wonderful characters. I liked the chemistry between Joseph and Clara. The wordings of the story was really enjoyable.
My heart went out for the trauma Joseph went through during battle but the fact that he choose to push on and make something out of a life threatening situation was very admirable.
I found it very, very courageous to read about the women that worked in the arsenals to produce ammunitions for the soliders in battle. Bold, bold women doing their bit in the time of war.

This is the first of this author I am reading and it is a compelling tale.

If you love historical fiction with events and romance that will keep you captivated, you definitely should read this book.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.

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Set in Washington D.C. in 1862 at the beginning of the Civil War, Clara McBride works at the Washington Arsenal where ladies are responsible for making cartridges that will be sent to the front for use by the Union troops. Lt. Joseph Brady is the new person in charge of the cylinder room where Clara works. Bea Hodson is a new trainee, and her brother Jeremiah works in the warehouse. When strange things begin happening at the Washington Arsenal, Joseph and Clara put their heads together to try and discover who is behind the possible sabotage and sparks begin to fly between them not just at the arsenal.

I found this book quite interesting as I never even thought about how the cartridges were made and what was involved. This was actually dangerous work as all of the employees (mainly female) involved in each step were dealing with gunpowder which was also stored at the arsenal. There was actually an explosion at another arsenal where 75 people died, and it was ignited by a spark from a wagon wheel running across some gunpowder that had not been cleaned up properly.

Clara and Joseph were well crafted characters who were realistic and believable. Joseph was such a sweet hero with his protectiveness toward Clara, yet at the same time he respected her opinions and ideas. Clara saw the best in everyone even when Bea continued to use her for her own needs. Bea and Joseph kept just enough clues going to suspect they were villains but never certainty that they would get caught. Miller, as always, includes a faith thread that appears throughout the story line.

The historical research is evident throughout the story, and the notes included at the end of the book gave even more information about the arsenals and the role they played in helping the Union win the Civil War.

Excellent historical fiction that will please any reader who enjoys books set in the Civil War period.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

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“Clara McBride carefully counted ten cartridges before dividing them into a double stack of five.”

Opening line of “A Single Spark” by Judith Miller
“A Single Spark” by Judith Miller is set in the American civil war at an ammunition factory. I found the back cover gave a little too much a way for me as it takes quite a while before there is an illusion to sabotage. The majority of the book is dedicated to the relationships of the workers at the factory as well as the process of production and it’s dangers.

It is well written and if you enjoy learning about history through novels, this is one for you. There is a lot of carefully researched detail and Judith brings this to life through the story. For me, it was a little much as I enjoy a bit more of a pace to a story and a little more intrigue.

Whilst this one wasn’t quite my cup of tea, I have to give it four out of five on the enJOYment as I did find it interesting and had to know how it would resolve!

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The time is during the Civil War and the place is the Washington Arsenal in Washington, D.C. In A Single Spark by Judith Miller, Clara McBride is helping provide for her and her mother while also helping the North’s war effort. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Joseph Brady is tasked with improving the arsenal’s production and uncovering a potential spy.

Clara simply wants to work. And do her work well. After her father’s death in the war and with no news of her brother, she wants to help as much as she can. Lieutenant Brady not only sees her skills in the Armory, but also wants to get to know her personally. A situation she readily agrees to.

Joseph really likes Clara, but worries his wounds, inflicted at the same battle in which her father died and the reason he is stationed at the armory, will mean the end of their relationship. He struggles to sleep, to walk. But he is good at his job and his commander trusts him.

I have not read a Judith Miller novel before and found A Single Spark more sweet romance than suspenseful. There is a mystery to solve, but it is not a heart-pounding one. This take was unexpected for me, but a pleasant change of pace. I could greatly relate to Clara and her ability to see good in everyone and Joseph was a real hero. I wanted to see them succeed and the suspense came from worrying for their safety.

While a wartime setting doesn’t sound like a beach read, A Single Spark stays light enough that it makes for a good summer read. It touches on some of the political challenges of the Civil War, but briefly and not too deeply, other than explaining the Clara, Joseph, and the bad guy’s motivations.

I enjoyed A Single Spark. I especially liked that the story circled around an armory. That uniqueness and the lovable characters made this a delightful story. And – the title is perfect!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley in order to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A Single Spark by Judith Miller
On June 22, 2020 By lakesidelivingsiteIn Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

A Single Spark, by Judith Miller, takes place during the Civil War in the Washington DC area. While soldiers are fighting the war, civilian are working at arsenal plants to make the ammunition. Joseph was injured during Bull Run and now oversees part of the plant. Clara lost her father during Bull Run. She works at the plant while her mother sews dresses for the wives of officers. Clara has become friends with co-workers Bea and Jeremiah, who repeatedly ask her for favors.
The plants are dangerous places to work as just one spark could set off a fire that could injure or kill workers. Joseph is involved with trying to find those who could be trying to sabotage the ammunition.
I loved this story. I appreciate the historical aspects as well as the realistic points the author makes about the important role civilians, especially women, have during the war. Some of the things that stand out in my mind for this story are the lengths each side would go to. Even after being injured, Joseph continues to work for the war efforts. He endures much pain to do so. And the danger those from the south put themselves in to sabotage the ammunition.
This story is very well written with few characters. The characters are well introduced strong characters. I enjoyed the friendship and budding romance between Clara and Joseph and Clara’s mother’s strength and determination. But, my absolute favorite character is Clara’s landlord. She encourages Clara’s and Joseph’s friendship to get help from Joseph to make repairs to her home.
I received an e-book copy of this book from Bethany Publishing through NetGalley. This is my honest review.
Print length: 352 pages
ISBN: 9780764235290
Judith Miller is an award-winning, best selling Christian author that writes of history, romance and mystery.You can learn more about her and other books she has written at: http://judithmccoymiller.com/
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A Single Spark by Judith Miller

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Story Notes

Judith Miller presents readers with a new story based during the beginnings of the Civil War that includes history, drama, intrigue and a quiet love story that will weather some tough storms.

I’m so glad I finished this book. I say that because when I first downloaded the ARC it would not keep my place and I had to swipe through to the page that I had been on before every time I came back to read. I almost got too frustrated to finish but the story turned out to be so good, I needed to know what happened. It begins in August of 1862 with a young woman named Clara McBride, a civilian worker at the Washington Arsenal. Clara is one of many workers who prepare and pack ammunition cartridges that will be sent to the front lines of the Union army. She is proud of her work and that she is able to support those who are battling for the safety of their families. She works under the supervision of Lieutenant Joseph Brady, a man she has come to admire for his kindness and ability to keep his employees meeting the necessary quotas. She is asked by Joseph to train a new employee, one Bea Hodson, who quickly becomes her friend. Joseph also tells Clara that he would like to court her if she is agreeable, but not until after an ordered trip to Allegheny Arsenal to see why how they are able to meet higher quotas. She is thrilled at this news of courtship but saddened that they must wait for a time. But Clara determines to put their time apart to good use by helping Bea learn all the aspects of packing cartridges. She also meets Bea’s brother Jeremiah, who is also recently been employed by the arsenal. Bea and Jeremiah are fairly kind people but they seem to have a great interest in the workings of the arsenal, which strikes Clara as odd but not unusual for non-military persons. Joseph meanwhile begins his observations of the Allegheny Arsenal and learns a great deal. While they seem to be able to meet higher quotas, there also seems to be a lack of safety precautions for the workers. It will prove to be a tragic lack of precaution when the arsenal laboratory explodes one day, killing 70 civilian workers. Joseph is sick over the loss but determines he will not be so lax when it comes to his workers. His return to Washington brings much needed changes for the better at the arsenal and also allows he and Clara to get to know one another better. As they grow closer together, there will be many challenges to their future, including each of them learning to trust the other with their deepest secrets. And when problems begin appearing at the arsenal, they will need each other more that ever if they are going to stay safe from those responsible. Who is behind all the trouble and why are they causing it? Can Clara and Joseph trust anyone working at the Arsenal or are there those close to them that require their suspicion? They will have to puzzle things out quickly if they are going to save their own lives and the lives of those fighting on the front lines. I’m always a fan of historical books, even when there is a good bit of fiction attached to them. This story illustrated how things might have been during that time for the workers at the arsenals. War promotes spies, intrigue and danger in a variety of ways that may be less than obvious. I loved how Ms. Miller crafted a story that didn’t give away all the secrets but released them a little at a time so as to keep you reading. While my frustration with the book was from its inability to stay on a page, I loved the actual plot and the characters. I did think Clara was a bit too naive when it came to Bea and her motives for asking Clara to do things. Common logic should have made her more suspicious and cautious in sharing information or requesting help for someone she didn’t really know all that well. I also though that Joseph seems a little apathetic when it came to his gut instincts. He couldn’t allow himself to fully suspect anyone and that made me want to slap him a couple times. But overall, I really liked how everything played out and how everyone ended up. There was plenty of light tension, good conversation and nice romance to ensure that this was a book I enjoyed. I will recommend this book to others who enjoy historical fiction. I have no doubt they will enjoy it as I have.

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in order to provide a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

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As a lover of the Civil War (we reenact it and I met my husband doing so) I always pick up new books that happen during those years. This book was a fun and fast read.

Within A Single Spark we meet Clara who works in an arsenal helping to make the cartridges that go out to the Union soldiers. She secretly likes her supervisor Joseph Brady who is an army man with an injury from battle so he can no longer fight. When he makes it known that he returns her affections they begin to court.

Newcomers to the arsenal in a brother and sister bring out some changes and new friendships that aren't what they seem. When things start to happen at the arsenal that aren't safe can Joseph and Clara find out who's behind it before it's too late?

A part of the book that I really enjoyed was Clara's relationship with her mother. They have a wonderful and strong relationship. Clara helps her mother with her seamstress business when she can and they truly love each other and care for each other.

I highly recommend this book and hope you read it. It has some mystery and suspense but nothing that is going to have you watching over your shoulder while you read. Plus it has some nice clean romance.

I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

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This book was a great read - written during the civil war time period - it was well written, with well developed characters and a unique storyline.

This book is set Washington D.C. in 1862 at the beginning of the Civil War, Clara McBride works at the Washington Arsenal - they make the cartridges that go to the union troops. This is something that you forget had to be done by hand - and very carefully.

Joseph is protective of Clara as they work together to try and find out who is sabotaging the cartridges.

The author seemed to do a great deal of research to make this as realistic as possible

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this story.

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Mini Review: This was a well written Historical Christian Romance! The love story was sweet, and I enjoyed how it all wrapped up! If this book sounds interesting to you, I would definitely recommend trying it!

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