Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Name Unknown by Rossana M. White

A Name Uknown FB Banner copy
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:
This first book in a new series by White was excellent if you ask me. I'm not a big war story buff, probably because so many people I know had to deal with wars. However, this book is a good read. It has enough Christian content, and a sweet story with Peter and Rosemary. Peter was going to be Rosemary's mark, and then things changed. Rosemary is a valiant young woman, even with her spy like mission and the fact that she's doing things she shouldn't. She has a really good reason. That doesn't make it right, but it did explain it. I felt connect and comfortable with Peter. I liked him a lot. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, which is off to a super start. 

About the Author 

RoseannaJuly2016Roseanna 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 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 31: Cafinated Reads

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gladden The Heart by Olivia Newport

Gladden the Heart FB cover copy
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heartimage001
Author: Olivia Newport
Release date: July 1, 2017
Genre: Historical Amish
“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”
When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?
The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.
Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.
When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives? 
My Review:                                                                                                                                 

This is, to my knowledge, the first book I have read by this author. It's the first book I have read in this series. It was a tad slow, but still well worth reading. I appreciate that it covers a topic that still confuses people today, even though this was back in the 1800's. Susanna and her family are Amish, so they have quite an issue on their hands when her cousin starts sleep preaching.

Let's talk about this for a moment. This person, in this case, Noah is asleep. Just like sleepwalking, only he's sleep preaching. That's fine and dandy, if people don't think you're crazy, or you aren't Amish, or you aren't putting yourself in danger wandering about in your sleep. Preaching or not, sleepwalking has hazards.

When Noah goes missing, the Amish people and the Methodist's have to see if they can find him. There's way more going on here than just a romance. We have matters in the Christian community that people don't know how to deal with. "Sleeping Preachers" is one of those issues. Now you're going to get my thoughts about this. If even the rocks can cry out and testify, then certainly the Word can come through someone who's asleep. Would that person be in harm's way? That is an entirely different issue and one that is harder to answer. 

If the preaching changes lives, and leads people to God, then I'd say it's real. Many stranger things have happened that we have documentation about. Example- I see three men in the fire, and a fourth, yet they do not burn. Do look that one up in your Bible if you're not familiar with it. 

I found this book to be strong, and thought provoking and I'm glad I read it. Pun intended and yet serious at the same time. 


About the Author 
Olivia NewportOlivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays
Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.
What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.
I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.
Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.
I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?
Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

July 4: Cafinated Reads
July 5: Book by Book
July 6: Genesis 5020
July 12: Karen Sue Hadley
July 14: cherylbbookblog
July 15: Bigreadersite 
July 15: Carpe Diem
July 16: Splashes of Joy

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (http://www.olivianewport.com/amish-turns-of-time/)
PLUS
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (http://www.olivianewport.com/valley-of-choice/)
PLUS
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc59

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson


The Girl Who Could See tour Banner copy
Click here to purchase.

About the Book

The girl who could see
Book title: The Girl Who could See
Author: Kara Swanson
Release date: June 1, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
My Review:
Oh, I have enjoyed this book! Fern has an imaginary friend since she was eight years old, one that talks to her and drives her bonkers. She has seen doctors and shrinks but nothing works. Fern struggles to survive her life, because only people with mental issues have to ignore imaginary friends like Tristian, right? 
Fern is seeing buildings collapse and so much more. After all this, now Fern has to make the FBI understand that Tristan is real, not just the product of an unstable mind. The book starts off with that, and then works forward through a ten day time frame to where it opens.
Believing in the unseen, and strong friendships are some of the themes of this book with no lack of action or adventure. I really enjoyed this sci-fi/fantasy read. The characters and interactions are natural and engaging. Fern's task is daunting, Earth shattering you might say. This was my first book by this author. I hope there are more books in this series! 

About the Author 

karaAs the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

Guest Post from Kara Swanson

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? I did. And I think most of us probably understood what it was like to use our childhood imaginations to create friends and take us places.
The Girl Who Could See follows Fern Johnson, a young woman who’s imaginary friend, Tristan, first appeared in her life when she was eight years old—and has never left. Now nineteen, Fern still sees Tristan, only he is no longer her friend. Now he is her curse. The source of her insanity. The reason Fern cannot keep a job and has been passed from one psychologist to another. The reason she is one step away from a psych ward. However, Tristan disagrees. He says that he’s not a figment of Fern’s imagination and is determined to prove it. But, if his existence is real, it has dangerous implications not only for Fern, but for her world. Because the creature that decimated Tristan’s planet is coming for Earth—and only the girl everyone says is crazy can stop it.
I wrote the novella as a way to explore the idea of what would happen if someone had an imaginary friend who never left. What would the psychological and daily implications be? And what if that imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary? The story that grew from those sparks of ideas became an adventure that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. 🙂

Blog Stops

June 29: Genesis 5020
July 1: remembrancy
July 4: Book by Book
July 6: Baker Kella
July 7: Pause for Tales
July 8: Pursuing Stacie
July 9: A path of joy
July 10: Henry Happens

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b7f6