Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

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From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie), comes a story of unconditional love and second chances.

My Thoughts:

Sweetbriar Cottage by author Denise Hunter was a powerful read on abuse, infidelity, and forgiveness, ultimate forgiveness. Noah and Josephine have gone through a very painful divorce and both thought that part of their lives was finished. However, due to a missing signature they found out they were still married to each other. Thus begins a bitter and painful look at their past and a possible hopeful look into their future.

I really enjoyed the whole stranded in a cabin during a freak snowstorm plot line. I was really rooting for these two to make amends and get back together. They still loved each other, but they covered up that love with a lot of bitterness and blame. This was not a lighthearted read but there were moments that did have me giggling.  I liked the lesson of unconditional love in this novel. It was eye opening and really showed true to life that even though we should love no matter what, as humans that can be difficult if not impossible. We are not able to fill the place of God’s love in another and that was an important lesson for this couple to learn. This is my second favorite Denise Hunter novel (The Convenient Groom still sitting in top place).

I received a copy of this novel for free through the Fiction Guild. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Unraveling by Sara Ella

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Sara Ella returns with this exciting follow-up to Unblemished as Eliyana continues her journey towards the throne while she tries to figure out her relationship with Ky and how it might be connected to the Callings.

My Thoughts:

Okay, okay, okay. How should I even begin? How about, ahhh! Eeep! Augh! Sob.

Sniffle, all right now that I’ve got that off of my chest I shall begin to try to do Unraveling justice. This book was wonderful. Everything I anticipated as a sequel of Unblemished, and then some. Em/El has really grown as a character and it was fun seeing her try to be queen and master her Mirror abilities. I didn’t like Joshua in the first book, but this book actually makes me pity him… and hate him all the more. I know, confusing right? And then there’s Ky. Ah, yes Ky. Well let’s just say that Ky is flippin’ awesome, totally romantic, and heart meltingly sweet and leave it at that. Oh, and just so we’re clear. He’s. Always. Right. The end. Got it?

Aaaand moving on… This book had me chuckling, sniffling, chewing my fingernails, and trying to force my heart back down my throat. And as for the ending? Sigh, yes the ending. Even though I suspected certain things were going to happen after I heard the title of the next book, I was still totally not prepared for what happens, nor how this book ends… or maybe I just wasn’t ready for the book to end. Period.

This is me after finishing the last sentence. Closes book, takes deep fortifying breath, stares blankly at the wall. Crowe. Now what? Gets a bright idea and goes to reads synopsis for next book. Blinks, forgets to breathe, reads it again. What the bleep, Ella? Looks up, sees release date. Holy Verity. Does that- does that really say May of 2018?! But that’s- that’s *pauses and counts fingers* ten months away! Wails. Withers. Dies.

I. Cannot. Wait. Until. Then.

I received a copy of this book for free through the Fiction Guild.  I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki

Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

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Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 


In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.

My Thoughts:

Jane of Austen by Hillary Manton Lodge was a contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensibility that taught you all about tea and Texas. I especially liked her quotes of the same at the head of every chapter (tea for Jane and Texas for Callum). The author did an excellent job of making characters generally described as unlikeable, loveable- and the others were purposely kept as annoying as ever! It was also interesting to see the familiar story unfold in contemporary ways, with young women trying to start over the family business, a too-charming musician, and an injured former Marine. There was lots of wry humor and lessons on how to properly prepare tea thrown in too. For a non- Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen retelling, I heartily recommend this book.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Reviewed by Jes

Review: Imagine The Great Flood by Matt Koceich

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About the Book:

The ocean swirled around the boy and pulled him down with unrelenting power. Heavy water churned and tugged at his flailing body like unseen hands yanking him into the watery depths. The fight was finally over. Even though he’d tried to stand up to the enemy, the waves were about to swallow him whole.
 
The last thing ten-year-old Corey remembers (before the world as he knew it disappeared) was the searing pain in his head after falling while chasing his dog Molly into the woods. What happens next can't be explained as Corey wakes up and finds himself face-to-face with not one but two lions! 
 
Join Corey and experience the excitement. . .the wonder. . . the adventure. . .as the epic story of Noah’s ark comes to life.

My Thoughts:


I am very excited that there appears to be a new series for kids on the horizon. The new series is entitled Imagine which pulls kids into a story to experience what it might have been like during a Biblical event. There are other series like this that have intrigued my children to experience different time periods and important timeline events. I like that this one focuses on Biblical events. This particular one was about the Great Flood.


My 12 year old son read this one in an afternoon. There were some things in the story that were unfamiliar to him so he and I were able to pull up scripture and see just what the Bible says. After reading this book he was curious to ask questions and learned some interesting tidbits from the Bible he was not aware of. I will pass this on to my other boys and hope they find just as much enjoyment. Looking forward to more books like this to expand my kids knowledge of the Bible in an enjoyable and imaginative way.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: The Return
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.




My Thoughts:

In The Return, author Fisher’s third in her extraordinary series Amish Beginnings, we are once again reunited with Bairn and Anna and their family. Felix and Hans have both grown up as some years have passed, and Bairn is now the minister. This story focused on Anna and Bairn’s daughter, Tessa and newly arrived from Germany, Betsy.  We are treated to Anna’s and Felix’s voices as well as the story is told from their viewpoints.

As the story goes, we start with a bit of a tangled love mess. Tessa is in love with Hans and Hans is in love with Betsy. However, Betsy is taken captive during an Indian raid on her home and Hans has become a man driven by grief and determination to get her back. In the meantime, he and Tessa grow closer together.

We the reader are taken with Betsy on her journey through captivity and the author writes vividly the emotions and feelings that young Betsy is experiencing.  The ruthlessness of the massacre to the trading to an Indian family of sisters where she is made to feel at home and even loved. In her captivity Betsy meets Caleb, a half breed and a captive slave and forms a bond of friendship that changes her view of life.

This story vividly portrayed how different and how difficult it was for the Amish, Mennonite, other settlers, and the Indian tribes to get along. The difficulty to reconcile their differences and live in peace when they viewed religion, rights, and land so differently. This was a read full of angst, grit, and determination as these young ladies tried to live in a harsh and difficult world that many times went against their beliefs. I appreciated the author’s notes on how much of this story was true and again I stand amazed at all the pioneers and what they endured in the wilderness of America.

I received an e-copy of this book for free. I did purchase a paperback for my keeper shelf. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.


Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher


The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.


Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement
 and Technology Exchange Lab


Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 6: Artistic Nobody
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an
amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14!
Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below: An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return The Amish Beginning 3 book set series One grand prize winner will receive: An iPad Mini
You can enter at Suzanne's website:
or on her Facebook page

Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

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Her heart is her ownbut her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility hen she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean, and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.

My Thoughts:

I very much enjoyed author Carolyn Miller’s debut and first novel in her series and I have enjoyed how her second book, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, just built onto her regency world. This story focuses on Charlotte, who is the cousin of Lavinia. Charlotte is just beginning her season and is captivated herself by the attention that she is receiving from all the young and old men alike, trying to win her affections. Her fancy is caught by a man that her family will not approve of and they have approved a man who Charlotte is less than thrilled with.

This story really showcased the different culture and time and how young women of means were treated and the expectations of their situations in society. An obedient daughter, Charlotte will follow her parent’s rules regardless of where her heart lays or her true wishes. This was a beautiful story of love and I dare say submission and what can come of it. Not that Charlotte’s parents were that great, but the man who asked for her hand in marriage was a different story. He listened to her and cared about her thoughts and feelings of him and life in general.

We are reunited with beloved characters from the previous books and I found it refreshing how author Miller continued their story. Spiced with a bit of sadness and danger, this story will long stay with me and I really look forward to a certain character (I have somewhat disliked in the previous book) and her story next. I will say that how the author set up the first few chapters, in which we meet the main characters, was quite memorable to me. Beautiful covers, lyrical titles, and exceptional stories on the inside make this Regency series one for the keeper shelf.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson

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About:

When Natalie O’Ryan returns to Prince Edward Island to plan her wedding, she runs into her childhood best friend—and discovers that the love she’s been looking for is right where she left it. The third and final installment in Johnson's Prince Edward Island Dreams series.

My Thoughts:

On Love’s Gentle Shore is the third installment of the Prince Edward Island Dreams series and I enjoyed going back to the island for a visit. This time we have a very reluctant Natalie O’Ryan coming back home, a place she never wanted to see again or the people that lived there. Her fiancé, Russell, wants to have their wedding there and there is so much that Natalie is not telling him.

But the one person she really wants to avoid is her childhood best friend Justin Kane; when she left she left things much unfinished with him. When they meet up again, sparks fly and the anger and animosity they feel towards each other just may be the feelings and the love they have had seething deep inside for 15 years.

And Natalie, poor, sweet girl that she was needs to come to terms with her terrible childhood and the townspeople who made her and her family the subject of gossip. Did anyone ever really love her when she was just a little girl? This is something that Natalie will need to discover as she goes back home to marry a man that may not even know the real her.

Poignant and emotionally stirring, a story of wanting to be loved and known for the real you yet terrified of the possible rejection because you just might not be enough. Getting to see and visit with previous characters, this final edition rounds out the series nicely.

I was provided with a copy of this novel through Revell. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

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About:


In a world where skycams follow your every move and the details of your life are uploaded each hour, Sofi knows that her eyes are the only caring ones watching her brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, she works behind the scenes to protect Shilo as he competes in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb destroys the gaming arena, she is helpless to rescue him—and certain that his disappearance was no accident.

My Thoughts:

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow was a strange book, but in a good way. Very different from anything I’ve ever read.  Author Weber keeps you guessing throughout the entire story. The world building was sublime. I felt like I’d lived in this world my whole life by the time I finished the book. And the plot was complex and filled with many twists and turns.

The characters were also very enjoyable. Sofi is a snarky, independent computer genius, who is determined to always get her way. But underneath all that causticness is vulnerability and pain. Heller and Claudius were very amusing characters who kept me snickering at their antics. And Miguel? Si, Si. Miguel was an excellent character. He was quite the paradox; complex but relatable, a player but caring too, he had secrets but was open and honest; he was the target of blackmail but believed strongly in honor and integrity. Not to mention that he was muy atractivo. In case you didn’t notice, he was my favorite character.

The ending is a tough one, but compared to the ending of Storm Siren I’m counting my lucky stars that I got off easy. I look forward to the next book, to see what will happen next in this story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki

Review: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

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About:

When a US Senator’s brother goes missing, Gage Watson is tasked to save him. He’s only got one problem: the bossy and beautiful young senator wants to come with him.

My Thoughts:

The Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren is officially my favorite series by her. In the newest installment, A Matter of Trust, we get better acquainted with and get Gage Watson’s story. What an adrenaline rush this one was. With snowboarding! Yep, I learned some things about that sport- I do not think I want to try it but it was fun reading about anyway.

This story just really added to this whole series, layer upon layer. I like how we not only get the major love story, but the side ones as well. And we must not forget the overreaching story arc that has been going on since book one. The romance was sublime (ah Gage) and the gospel message was well ingrained within the story. It was not preachy at all. We get some questions answered and then we get some more to keep us on the edge of our seats. I am really looking forward to book four.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: My Daughter's Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

About the book:

A thrilling tale of two women longing to follow God's leading, make the most of second chances, and find true love at last
Virginia, 1864

Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love-whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor-ever fit in her broken world?

Virginia, present day
Nicole Talbot's life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she's finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family's legacy, she must risk all that she's gained-her fresh start, her family's trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.


My Thoughts:

What an impressive dual timeline My Daughter’s Legacy was. Written by two authors I was taken back to about three years into the Civil War and I received Therese Jennings story. She was against slavery but still loved the South, in which she was raised, and did not want to see her state of Virginia lose its power. Looking forward to meeting her long time secret love, Michael Talbot, she becomes disappointed in him and the way his views seemed to have turned. Adding to that she has met his very handsome cousin, Alec Talbot, a doctor and Quaker from the North who has come to the South to help the wounded soldiers. The historical aspect of this story was riveting and I liked how the authors showed how difficult it would live in that very turbulent time with differing views yet unwilling to fight against family, friends, and neighbors.

In the contemporary timeline we see through the eyes of Nicole Talbot’s life. She is a recovering addict and has decided to expose a secret about her family that has weighed on her since she was six years old. When she tells all she knows we are then given information about a murder and a crime scandal that took place some twenty years ago.

Both timelines were complete stories in and of themselves. Putting them together with connections to the same family, showing how both present and past heroines must deal with what life throws at them: old loves, new loves, spies, counterfeiting, and murder. I enjoyed the back and forth between the timelines and stories and appreciated the extra art that was included with the heroine’s name to put us in the right mood for the time and story of that chapter. Sometimes the past seems so distant and the problems not like today. Even though the dates were different, across time and place we are all still human, with hearts and dreams and sometimes very complicated lives to live. Both the past and the present came alive for me in this story.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel through Litfuse. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the authors:

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania.
Find out more about Mindy Starns at http://mindystarnsclark.com

Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including "Beyond the Blue" and "Garden of Dreams." She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children.

Find out more about Leslie at http://www.lesliegould.com/.

What others are saying: http://litfusegroup.com/author/ClarkGould

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Crazy About Alaska by Shannon L. Brown


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



Book title: Crazy about Alaska
Author: Shannon L. Brown
Release date: June 30, 2017
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Can she trust love?

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.

Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.

Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.

Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.


My Thoughts:


Crazy About Alaska is the third in An Alaska Dream Romance series. It is the first one I have read and the first by author Shannon L. Brown. This series of books is about three sisters and this one mainly deals with Holly Harris. Holly is a divorced mother of twin girls that has had a really hard lot in life when it comes to men and putting her trust in them. Her back story on her marriage and her ex-husband is very sad and I can definitely understand why she would be gun shy. Not to mention adding in her current boyfriend Matt and now possible love interest Adam O’Connell.

What really drew me into this story was Holly and Adam’s previous relationship with each other. He was her English professor who was attracted to her when she was a college student, but because he did not date students he put up a very high professional wall between them. There is about a six year difference in their age and now Holly is not his student but his real estate agent.  Holly doesn’t date clients. What a wonderful cat and mouse game this was to watch unfold.

However, throw on some major secrets both of these two are keeping from each other and the road to happily ever after is full of chuck holes. I did become frustrated with the secret Holly was keeping, it was very important and should have been no secret at all.  With that being said, I did at the same time understand her reasoning.

This was a delightful romantic story and I would even say a romantic comedy in parts. As there were many chuckles and sweet sighs I experienced in reading this book. I absolutely look forward to reading more of author Shannon Brown’s work.


I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author



Writing books that are fun and touch your heart

Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.

Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.

Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.

Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors

When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.

Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.

Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.

By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.

Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.



Blog Stops

July 22: Artistic Nobody
July 22: Just Commonly
July 23: Live.Love.Read.
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 24: autism mom
July 25: Baker Kella
July 26: A Rup Life
July 27: Karen Sue Hadley
July 27: Quiet Quilter
July 28: Pause for Tales
July 29: Remembrancy
July 29: Cafinated Reads

Giveaway




To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb35

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: A Name Unknown
Author: Roseanna M. White
Release date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

She’s Out to Steal His Name.
Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Thoughts:

I have not read a Roseanna M. White book yet that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. A Name Unknown her newest and the start to what looks to become a fun and thought provoking series, was a book that I just savored. There were so many moving parts in the story and it was so well told that I had no idea which way this story was going to go, except for the love story. This is one of those love stories that you realize the characters are in love before they do.  And what a delight to watch their love for one another be realized.

However, there is much more to this story than the romance. We have the country of Britain on the brink of World War I. There are spies, espionage, patriots, and madmen. We still have the problem of the distinction of classes. We have pickpockets and thieves. We have love for one’s country and family. There is a library that plays an important role in the story and two very interesting characters that neither are quite what they seem.

A thief and a nobleman, but who really steals what? An unconventional pair; Rosemary’s spunkiness and streetwise ways verses Peter’s caring and steadfast ways. As always the gospel message was delivered throughout the entire story, a subtle reminder of just whom Jesus hung out with while living here on earth. The author notes were very interesting and again I learned some new history and I hope this series lasts as long as possible, as every one of the ‘brothers and sisters’ would have an interesting story to tell.


I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna White



It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.




I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.


Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)


GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE


100 grams butter, cold and diced

225 grams all-purpose flour

¼ heaping teaspoon salt

2 heaping teaspoons baking powder

2 heaping teaspoons baking soda

1 heaping teaspoon ginger

2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice

100 grams superfine (caster) sugar

4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup


Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.


Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.


In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.


Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops


July 20: Genesis 5020
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 24: Pursuing Stacie
July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody

Giveaway




To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc0e