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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Perfect Read for Book Lovers--"A Name Unknown" by Roseanna White Blog Tour and Giveaway!


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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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 Review


"A Name Unknown" by Roseanna White is the first entry in her new "Shadows over England" series.  If you love books (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you do!), then you have to read this book!  It's a book about booksa lot of books in a huge, messy, unorganized library!  To top it off, our main characters are a writer and a woman pretending to be a librarian who helps this writer sort out said library. 

The story is very well written with a great plot.  The opening sentence grips you and pulls you into the story.  Ms. White inserts humor into the way she writes as well, bringing a smile to my face as I read about the banter between our main characters and the way they think.  This story takes place right before World War I, and our hero is of German descent, living in England.  What he has to deal with really made me think about what it would be like to be a German living in England during that time and the difficulties they would face.  There is also a great faith element in the story.

I absolutely love our main characters, Peter and Rosemary!  They are so well developed and not cliché.  Peter is the one with the huge library which needs organizing and he is also a writer.  I appreciate that Ms. White wrote his character with a stutter.  So not only does he have to overcome the difficulties of being a German in England during that tumultuous time in history, he also has a stutter to deal with.  He can write, but it's hard for him to speak what he's thinking.  This book goes back and forth between the two characters’ points of view.  I sometimes don't like when this is done, as I get more bored with the male point of view.  I feel that Ms. White really fleshes out Peter's story though, and I especially enjoyed seeing what the mind of a writer is like.  Rosemary is also a fun character, who is a thief pretending to be a librarian.  There is great chemistry between the two characters!

This book is one of my favorites of 2017 so far!  The plot and characters are so well done and the ending is excellent with many surprises.  It blew me away with such a great conclusion to a wonderful book!

Content and Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!  It is a clean read. 

I want to thank Roseanna White, Bethany House Publishers and Celebrate Lit for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

RoseannaJuly2016About 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 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody
 

Giveaway

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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
 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"His Steadfast Love" by Julie Lessman Book Tour with Singing Librarian Books & GIVEAWAY!



 

Series: Isle of Hope
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: August 1. 2017

She’s bent on fun.
He’s bent on faith.
Till true love bridges the gap.

Cat O’Bryen is the prodigal daughter unhappy with God. First, the father with whom she reconciled dies of cancer and now her twin sister and best friend marries, leaving Cat at home with a newlywed mother, her new husband, and a little brother. But when Cat moves in with a roommate of questionable morals, her family is worried, certain she’s on a path that could damage her faith forever. 
Reluctant to get involved with a woman like the one who destroyed his life, ex-Navy SEAL Pastor Chase Griffin steers clear of the attraction he feels for Cat O’Bryen. Until her family begs him to take her under his wing, hoping he can draw her back into the fold. But when the draw she has on him proves too strong to resist, he must rely on the strength of God to offer a friendship as steady and strong as the God whose love is wooing her home. 


 





 


Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.

Julie’s most recent novel, Isle of Hope was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2014. Her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.
 



Top 10 Favorite Pieces of Literature

​1.) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
2.) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3.) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4.) Sins of the Father by Susan Howatch
5.) Cashelmara by Susan Howatch
6.) Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt
7.) Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt
8.) Lowlands of Scotland series by Liz Curtis Higgs
9.) Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers
10.) Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz
 
 
 
 
Enter the giveaway HERE.
 

 
 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Review of "The Sacred Scarred: A Modern-Day Christian Twist on Beauty and the Beast" by Joanna Alonzo



"The Sacred Scarred: A Modern-Day Christian Twist on Beauty and the Beast" by Joanna Alonzo is a great fairy tale retelling with a beautiful Gospel message!  I love the parallels in the story between this book and the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, not just the Disney version.  Ms. Alonzo also puts her own unique spin on the tale with a very strong faith element.  The first half of the story is more like a modern young adult novel, whereas in the second half, the writing seems to change and the story takes on more of a fantasy aspect (which I personally enjoy more).  Aside from the fact that the first and the second halves of the book feel slightly disjointed in their style, I think this first novel of Ms. Alonzo’s is very well written.  The end is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. 

The characters are one of my favorite parts of the story, especially the change that takes place in our main characters.  The heroine, Calysta, is not beautiful or perfect in the beginning of the story, but is very broken, as is Brendan, our beast character.  The characters strive to make Christ first in their lives as the story progresses, even before pursuing a romantic relationship.  This story also has some very well done side characters.  The characters’ relationships with God inspired me in my walk with Christ to be more passionate for Him. 
This book has an amazing message of God making the broken beautiful and bringing beauty from the ashes!

Content and Rating:  I give this book four stars.  It is definitely more on the edgy side, as far as being a clean read.  There is a lot of this edgy content in the beginning to show how messed up our main characters’ lives are before they transform and find Christ (e.g. making out, talk about cutting oneself--with detailed description). 

I want to thank Joanna Alonzo and Almond Tree Publications for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

The link to purchase the book is here

Click here for Joanna Alonzo's website

About the Author:
Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"An Epiphany in Lilacs" by Iris Dorbian Book Blast & GIVEAWAY!

An Epiphany in Lilacs by Iris Dorbian

Publication Date: January 1, 2017
Mazo Publishers
eBook & Papberback; 180 Pages
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/World War II


An Epiphany In Lilacs is a young adult novel set in a DP camp outside Hamburg, Germany following the end of World War II. The author, Iris Dorbian, captures in this story a unique glimpse into the period after the Holocaust when survivors had to deal with their new realities for living, based on her father’s personal experience. After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Racked by nightmares, a nearly nightly occurrence, Daniel finds sleep almost impossible. Through his love of nature, and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life, yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters. Poised on the cusp of a new life, young Daniel makes his way to the country that will become his new home.

“Rich with powerful and piercing historical references, An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps by Iris Dorbian captures thereality of Jews who survived the Holocaust, the inner scars and the struggles with uncertainty, incessant nightmares, and fitting into the day-to-day lifestyle of ordinary people. It is a heart-wrenching story,told in excellent prose and in the author’s unique style. I have been a huge fan of Holocaust literature, starting with Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and have always felt appalled by man’s cruelty to fellow man. In this new book, the author explores the terrible effects of a fragment of history on the life of a little boy. This is a story to read and share, a powerful story about freedom and the perils of war.Well-crafted with compelling characters and interesting themes.” – Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
 
“This was a lovely and inspiring read about survival after the war. The fact that this is based on the author’s personal accounts made this absolutely mesmerizing. This was such a tragic and heartbreaking time in our history, so to be able to read a story like this was like none other. Iris really captures this time period quite well through her father. The connection Daniel finds with the older German (another survivor of the war) and his story about rebuilding his life in the country while searching for his family makes it impossible to put book down.” -Rainy Day Reviews/Bookjunkie Mom Blog

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback) | IndieBound (Paperback)

 

About the Author

Iris Dorbian is a business and arts journalist whose articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater,” which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, ThisSpace.org, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

For more information, please visit Iris Dorbian’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Book Blast Schedule

Monday, July 17
Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, July 18
Book Nerd
To Read, Or Not to Read
Wednesday, July 19
Faery Tales Are Real
Thursday, July 20
T’s Stuff
Friday, July 21
Books of a Shy Girl
A Literary Vacation
Saturday, July 22
Laura’s Interests
Sunday, July 23
Must Read Faster
Monday, July 24
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Tuesday, July 25
WS Momma Readers Nook
Wednesday, July 26
100 Pages a Day
Thursday, July 27
Carole’s Ramblings
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Friday, July 28
Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we are giving away a signed copy of An Epiphany in Lilacs to one lucky winner! To enter please see the direct link below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 Direct Link to giveaway: https://gleam.io/01y6B/an-epiphany-in-lilacs

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"You Can Do This: Seizing the Confidence God Offers" by Tricia Lott Williford Review--A Truly Inspiring Book for Every Woman!




"You Can Do This: Seizing the Confidence God Offers" by Tricia Lott Williford is an encouraging read for any woman in any stage of life, facing any type of struggle.  It is a non-fiction Christian book that is a mix of self-help, memoir, and Christian encouragement.  Ms. Williford tells her story to the reader in a way that feels like you are having a conversation with her over a cup of coffee (or tea).  She inserts many helpful and encouraging nuggets of truth for those who are going through hard times or need a confidence boost.  Some examples of topics that she covers are negative thoughts, boundaries, and how we define ourselves.  She puts practical ways to implement these truths at the end of each chapter. 

I love this book!  I feel like Ms. Williford was reading my mind at times and the way she writes is like she is speaking directly to one’s soul.  Her words and stories brought smiles to my face and tears to my eyes.  I love how encouraging and practical this book is.  I especially love Ms. Williford's section on replacing negative thoughts and feelings with Scripture and positive affirmations.  She even lists out relevant Scripture to use for different circumstances.  I personally have been through some rough seasons and have wrestled with my confidence and not feeling like I could do some hard things (like my recent battle with chronic pain and chronic illness).  Ms. Williford's words are balm to my weary soul.  I highly recommend this book to any woman, because we all need to hear these words at one point or another in our lives.

 Content and Rating: I give this book 5 stars.  It is a clean read.  Ms. Williford is very open and honest about some of the struggles she has gone through (for example, sexual abuse and PTSD).  She doesn't go into detail about her abuse. 

I want to thank Tricia Lott Williford and Tyndale House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

 
 Click here to visit Tricia Lott Williford's website

 Click here to purchase the book

Tricia Lott Williford's bio as found on her website:

I am a writer, teacher, reader, and thinker.

I am a remarried widow.

I collect words, quotes, books, and bracelets.

I take my caffeine hot or cold:

I believe diet Pepsi is best with a lime,

and coffee is largely about the feel of the mug in my hand.

Sometimes I snort when I laugh,

talk in my sleep,

and cry without warning.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"The Captain's Daughter" by Jennifer Delamere Review--A Backstage Pass to Victorian England and Gilbert and Sullivan's Theater

 
 
 
"The Captain's Daughter" by Jennifer Delamere is not at all what I expected; it is completely different and exceeded my expectations!  This book is the first book in the "London Beginnings" series.  I have not read any of Ms. Delamere's work before but I love this time period and the plot description and title were intriguing.

 
The book takes place in Victorian England, taking the reader from George Müller's famous orphanage to Gilbert and Sullivan's productions in the theater.  Ms. Delamere provides vivid descriptions of what London at this time is like, from being on the streets to backstage.  She deftly weaves fascinating historical detail into a well written story. 

 
The main characters, Rosalyn and Nate, are very likeable and relatable.  They both talk of their faith and mature in different ways over the course of the story.  Rosalyn is a sweet character, who is a little naïve at first.  She is very caring towards others.  I liked Nate from the beginning as he is very protective of Rosalyn. 

 
There is an overarching theme of relying on God to meet one's needs.  Rosalyn is brought up in George Müller's orphanage, where they never solicit donations, but rely on prayer and faith for provision.  Rosalyn then has to incorporate that philosophy into her life as she goes out into the world with no money, job, or place to stay at first.  Can she truly live out the faith and example George Müller set?  Other characters also struggle with being able to trust God to meet their needs. 

 
I love how strong the faith aspect is in this story.  “The Captain’s Daughter” kept me turning the pages and is easy to read with lots of breaks.  I do think the title "The Captain’s Daughter" is a little misleading, as there isn't much at all about Rosalyn’s father (who is a captain) or anything to do with ships, etc.  Other than that, I love the premise, the faith aspect and the setting.  I highly recommend this book! 


Click here to go to Jennifer Delamere's Website
Click here to purchase the book

Content and Rating: I give this book 5 stars and it is a clean read.  Rosalyn does find herself at in a house of prostitution at one point and there is a little talk of this subject.  Another woman speaks of her past and of being raped, but does not go into detail.  There is also a theme of predatory men, but again, there is no explicit detail. 
  
Photo credit: Megan Scott

I want to thank Jennifer Delamere and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.