Friday, January 20, 2023

"The Rose and the Thistle" by Laura Frantz

 About the Book

In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley's father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems--a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies--and those who pretend friendship may be enemies.


My Thoughts

It took a little bit to get into the rhythm and flow of the language of the book, but I was entranced by the setting. This time period fascinates me and I kept stopping to look up things online for more information about the time period and the kings and etc. I liked Blythe and Everard and wondered if they actually would fall in love as they were so at odds at first. I found the book to be well written and interesting. I look forward to reading more books by Laura Frantz.


About the Author

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Proud of her heritage, she is also a Daughter of the American Revolution. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.

According to Publishers Weekly, "Frantz has done her historical homework." With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California. Foreign language editions include French, Dutch, Spanish, Slovakian, German & Polish.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at www.laurafrantz.net


"The Rose and the Thistle" is available in paperback:

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (January 3, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 080074067X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0800740672
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.81 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.04 x 8.5 inches

and in Kindle edition:

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B6PXDPWM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (January 3, 2023)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 3, 2023
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 11658 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Ena


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

"Every Flower of the Field" by Sara Davison

 About the Book


Book: Every Flower of the Field

Author: Sara Davison

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 15, 2023

Safe is the most dangerous feeling of all.

For as long as she can remember, Rose Galway has been a captive, controlled by one man or another. To her, though, God is the one holding the keys, refusing to set her free despite the desperate pleas she has sent heavenward.

Detective Laken Jones has known hardship too, including the daily trauma of racism. Still, nothing he has gone through compares to what Rose has endured.

He wants nothing more than for her to experience hope and healing and maybe even happiness in her life.

But first he has to find her.

Laken is willing to risk everything to set Rose free. And to help her find her way to God. Even if that means letting go of her—and the future he envisions for the two of them—forever.


BOOK EXCERPT

Excerpt 3

The neighbor, a man in his fifties or sixties who looked like he normally wore a suit and tie to work but tonight wore a red T-shirt and gray track pants, stopped a couple of feet from the gates. After he’d scanned Laken’s identification, his shoulders relaxed slightly. Good. Apparently, race wasn’t going to be an issue. Laken slid the badge into his inside pocket. “Are you the one who called in the report of banging?”
The neighbor nodded. “Yes. It’s been going on for close to an hour now. I wasn’t sure whether to bother you over a noise, but when it went on for that long I started to wonder if someone might be in trouble.”
“I’m glad you called. I’d like to get onto the property so I can check the place out, but the gate is locked. Do you by any chance have a ladder I could borrow?”
He pursed his lips and studied Laken a moment before nodding. Then he strode to a panel on one of the columns next to the gate, lifted the cover, and typed in a code. Laken stepped back as the gates slid slowly open. “I have a ladder in the garage.”


MISSED ANY EXCERPTS, GO HERE:









About the Author


Sara Davison is the author of four romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The

Night Guardians, The Rose Tattoo Trilogy, and two sparrows for a penny, as well as

the standalone, The Watcher. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards,

she is a Word, Cascade, and two-time Carol Award winner. She currently resides in

Ontario with her husband, Michael, and their three mostly grown kids. Like every

good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular

reason. Get to know Sara better at www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.

Monday, January 16, 2023

"On My Honor" by Patty Smith Hall

 

About the Book

Book: On My Honor

Author: Patty Smith Hall

Genre: Christian / Historical Fiction / Romance / Intrigue

Release date: January, 2023

Ginny Mathis was finished with nursing school and had no intention of staying rooted in the Outer Banks—then war broke out. With her father away, she feels duty-bound to stay and help her mother and younger sister. While working as a clerk for the Oregon Inlet ferry, naval officers ask Ginny and others to be watchful for German U-boats reportedly spotted in the area. So to help occupy her teenage sister, Ginny enlists the Girl Scout troop she leads to help watch for suspicious activity along the coast.

Timothy Elliott is no stranger to death. As a British reporter working with the M-6, he’s numb to the losses of war after two years of fighting the Germans. Maybe that’s why he volunteered for this mission—to connect with an ex-German naval officer who stole the Furor’s battle plan for the Atlantic war. When the boat giving him passage to New York is bombed near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Tim is thrown from the boat and wakes up in the care of a group of young girls.

Ginny follows her sneaky sister on a clandestine mission and discovers the shipwreck victim. Ginny knows she must take charge, but is this man the enemy, or does he hold secrets that could turn the tide of the Battle of the Atlantic in the allies’ favor?


My Thoughts 

I have been reading all the books in the Heroines of WWII series and that has introduced me to some new to me authors. Patty Smith Hall is one of those new to me authors. I enjoyed reading the book overall but there were a few things that just didn't make sense to me. When Tim first meets the Girl Scouts who rescue him, he tells them he is looking for a "friend" that he was traveling with, but then is surprised that they know about him. Also, Ginny is given a picture of Tim and Rolf by the Coast Guard, but then the leader of the Coast Guard is surprised she knows what Rolf looks like. Also, there was a big thing made about Tim's British accent, but Ginny and Belle's mom was from Britain and she would have had an accent, too, so it would have been normal, not unusual. I wasn't aware of the German attacks so close to the US shore so it was interesting reading about this part of history. I really liked the biblical faith element and the characters praying and wanting to do the right thing. I look forward to reading more books in this series.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Multi-published author Patty Smith Hall lives near the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Danny. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or working in her vegetable garden.

 

More from Patty

Did you know that the Girl Scouts (or Girl Guides) serviced as spies on HIs Majesty’s Secret Service during World War One? I didn’t either until I picked up a book on female spies at my local Barnes and Noble. There were only two paragraphs about how the girls worked with the MI5 for the duration of the war. It was enough to get my heart pumping!

Being a former Girl Scout myself, I was amazed at what these young girls did to help our country during the war. What activities did the Girl Scouts/Girl Guides do in World War II? Anything asked of them. They organized drives for anything from fat (to make bullets) to paper, stepped into positions left vacant by men serving on the front and worked Victory gardens to provide food for their community. They did so many things, I can’t begin to name them all here. By March 1944, the Girl Scouts had provided over 15 million volunteer hours toward the war effort.

Isn’t that amazing? No wonder I had to write a book about them!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 5

The Write Escape, January 5

lakesidelivingsite, January 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 7

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

Christina’s Corner, January 8

Inklings and notions, January 9

Cover Lover Book Review, January 10

Lily’s Book Reviews, January 10

Betti Mace, January 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 11

deb’s Book Review, January 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13

For Him and My Family, January 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 14

Mary Hake, January 14

Connie’s History Classroom, January 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 16

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16

Splashes of Joy, January 17

Pause for Tales, January 17

Labor Not in Vain, January 18

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, January 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Patty is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/23640/on-my-honor-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

"Refining Josie" by Corolyn Miller

 

About the Book

Book: Refining Josie

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: December 6, 2022

What’ll it take for the prodigal daughter to share her deepest secrets… and her heart?

Josephine Green returns to the islands in an attempt to reconcile with her family, but with a cloud over the family business, and little in the way of gardening skills, Josie’s painful past and flaky ways prove less than endearing for Greener Gardens’ hardworking crew.

Stuck without any other options, Josie is forced to accept her sister’s offer of a job that takes her to Breakers Head where she encounters Aussie teacher, Lachlan Jones.

A long-lost relative might’ve brought Lachie to a tiny music recording studio on the Independence Islands, but it’s also brought questions about how to care for someone he barely knows, especially considering he’s the last family she has. Questions regarding his future soon pale when he encounters the vibrant-haired Josie, whose sass and attitude takes some getting used to.

Neither imagined more until they began to bond over music and environmental causes. Both discover that first impressions need not be lasting ones.

But with the future of Gardens Gardens looking shaky, and Josie’s faith and self-worth just as tenuous, can deepening a friendship into something more ever work? And what happens when Lachlan’s work means he has to return to Australia after Christmas? What’ll it take for two hearts to heal and make a future possible?

This Breakers Head novel is Carolyn Miller’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 My Thoughts

It was nice reading this book and wrapping up the whole series. After meeting Josie in the other books in the series by Caroyln Miller, it was interesting to get to understand Josie better and why she was acting the way she was. There was a nice biblical faith thread. There were a few confusing things that I think were "British-isms" which would have worked if it was from Lachlan's point of view, but from Josie's it didn't fit. The ending felt a little unfinished with Lachlan's gift because it didn't really show what he chose to do. I think it would be nice to go back and read all the books by each author one after the other since they each generally had their own storyline and it was kind of hard to keep them all straight when you had six different overarching storylines. 


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. She loves reading, music, films, gardens, art, travel and international food, and really enjoy creating worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.

Her novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, and Underestimating Miss Cecilia, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc

 

More from Carolyn

Wow! Well, here we are celebrating the release of Refining Josie, my final book and THE final book in the Independence Islands series. It’s been a journey, hasn’t it? Six authors, five islands, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

As a long-time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees, it’s been so fun showcasing various parts of what life could be like as someone working in the gardening industry on these islands. I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, which was showcased in the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice. He has also worked at Kew Gardens in England, and it was fun to use some of his experience in these books. (You can see some of my pics on Instagram and on my website)

For Refining Josie I was glad to finally round out some of the family challenges Samantha Green and her family’s ‘Greener Gardens’ business have had to deal with along the way, and to give Josie Green her own voice. This is a story about a prodigal daughter, and some of the ‘why’ behind the behavior, factors I think readers will relate and respond to well.

As an Aussie, I was also happy to include an Aussie hero, someone with some challenges of his own, so I hope you enjoy getting a tiny taste of a Hugh Jackman-esque hero.

Come visit the Independence Islands once more, and enjoy Refining Josie, a story of heart, hope, humor and a dash of Christmas romance.

Happy reading!

Carolyn

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, January 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 15

deb’s Book Review, January 16

Sylvan Musings, January 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 17

Aryn the Libraryan, January 18

Daysong Reflections, January 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 19

Blogging With Carol, January 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 20

She Lives To Read, January 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 22

For Him and My Family, January 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 24

Lis Loves Reading, January 25

Simple Harvest Reads, January 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Holly’s Book Corner, January 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/23a10/refining-josie-celebration-tour-giveaway

"The Me I See in You" by Angeles Echols

 About the Book

Book: The Me I See In You

Author: Angeles Echols

Genre: Coffee Table Inspirational

Release date: November 7, 2022

Take a peek into the eyes of our future…and be encouraged.

The Me I See in You is a testament of the commitment, dedicated educators and caring communities have in changing the trajectory of young lives. In it, you’ll meet graduates with incredible stories and extraordinary outcomes, thanks to the academic, emotional, and social resources provided by EYM and a caring core base of teachers, mentors, family, friends, funders, and the EYM board of directors.

“When asked what I see on the horizon for our youth, I see in my youth the essence of what it is “to be human,” to dream, do the work, to love, and forgive with grace. Through tears, triumphs, disappointments, successes, failures, inequities, biases and racism, I see a world full of hope because our youth with guidance and support will not waiver. They will continue to strive to be and share their best selves with unlimited potential.
I think not only of these former students but each child that has come across my path and the me I see in each of them!” –Angeles Echols

Yvette, a little chocolate beauty who was once teased, but now with an MD and Master’s degree, is a role model for young Black women and girls.
LaShia, who rolled her neck and eyes at me and adamantly told us what she was and was not going to do at EYM… I smiled and asked her mom to leave the room. (What was said in that room, we will never tell)
Toddwho sat at my desk and reviewed EYM’s online programming, discovered flaws, said “Don’t cry, Ms. Echols, I can fix this,” and built EYM’s online interactive platform, Access/No Excuse (ANE).
Adam, who built the teacher, student online tutorial component of (ANE) while attending Cal Tech and teaching at EYM part-time.
Ashley, who gave me a hug and said, “Take my credit card and get what you need for EYM. I will bring my team and design the landscape for EYM.” Shot during a drive-by, she’s forgiving and, refuses to be bitter.
Rob, seeking that street credit as a teen, now a film producer and director, reminds me frequently that EYM saved his life. I then remind him that he saved himself, with God’s grace and the support of his family and village!
Themba, reminds me that the potential of an EYM graduate is without boundaries. Never giving up or giving in, he passed the California State Bar and continued to reach back to help others, producing the first EYM golf tournament!
Suha, a gentle soft spoken EYM graduate, now in Medical Schoolwho became a tutor at EYM and quietly showered me with love and encouragement as an adult.

When you look upon a child whose eyes have already begun to dim due to deferred hope don’t speculate on how long it will take before the light is completely extinguished—find a way to set it ablaze.

 

1. Who would you say inspired you the most in your life?
Early learners
2. If you could spend the day with anyone (living or dead) who would it be?
Too many to choose
3. Do you have a special writing area?
Early in the mornings, with very little light, in bed! or with a movie playing that's all action for light. When images change on the set, it keeps me up and accents my focus.
4. How do you balance writing time with the demands of life/family?
Demands of Life and Family are non-negotiable...it’s a responsibility and demands a positive or negative reaction. Writing is negotiable. I do it as I feel it.
5. Anything else you would like to share?
My favorite quote from my own work.
“They told me I was a nerd, too tall, too dark, too thin, too black, hair too short and
nappy and too ugly to make it. But they never called me dumb or stupid. That I
remembered and ran with it and it taught them to respect me even if they didn’t like
me! At Hamilton High School in Memphis Tenn., helping them with their math cost
them $5.00 dollars a chapter!!! Homework was $7.50 for every two assignments. I
was an entrepreneur at 16 years old. No one wanted to date me, but I was respected.”
Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Angeles LaRose Patricia Echols was born in Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from Cornell University, where she earned her B.A. in psychology, with an emphasis in child development and human behavior. While attending Cornell, Angeles discovered a love for the arts and teaching. In Ithaca’s downtown community centers and in the local Baptist church. After much prayer and soul searching, the path was chosen for her. She would become an advocate for children: an educator and mentor, empowering children, parents, and families.

Angeles founded Educating Young Minds Tutorial Program, reaching at-risk children and their families, channeling their energies toward achieving excellence. She accomplished this by linking high expectations with socio-academic improvement, proven teaching and learning strategies and activities for students with varied needs, skills and abilities.

The truest testament to Angeles’ work is the young men and women who graduate from EYM, succeed at college, and then return to their communities as role models and as leaders.

Her new book, “The Me I See In You” highlights some of the students that have graduated from EYM, accomplished many of their academic and professional goals and have come back to support EYM in various ways. You will be encouraged by their stories.

This is not Angeles Echols’ first foray into writing. She is the author of interactive bio- Ray Charles, The Man. The Music, The Legacy (commissioned by the Ray Charles Foundation).

Angeles lives in California with her husband. When she is not running her business or writing, Angeles travels with her husband.

 

More from Angeles

As an educator, there are days filled with profound rewards. To see the light go on in a student’s eyes when they grasp a concept or make a connection from one end of a logical stream of thoughts to another. Learning.

The hard work of making sure each student receives the right type of stimuli, attention, and motivation is rewarded in many different ways. Sometimes the reward comes in the form of the discovery of a new approach or technique. Other times it comes in seeing the student advance in such a way that the indelible mark they make on society or the world is a reason for celebration.

“The Me I See in You” is a celebration of some of the students that have attended Educating Young Minds, Inc. (EYM), a learning center that utilizes the holistic approach to educating and serving their students and the families of those students.

Now in their adulthood, these former students are teachers, attorneys, doctors, film producers, computer specialists, and social workers, just to name a few, and they are sharing stories on the impact EYM has had on their lives. Each of the twenty-one students also leaves the reader with a few notes of encouragement and advice.

Since this is a coffee table book in its paperback and hardback form, there is a great amount of attention given to the pictures on the covers as well as those placed in the interior.

I believe this is an exceptionally beautiful way to share encouragement and inspiration. I am proud that I was able to celebrate these students in a creative way that draws those that will read everything from cover to cover and those that just wish to scan the writing and look at the attention-grabbing pictures.

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, January 12

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

For the Love of Literature, January 17 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, January 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 19

Cover Lover Book Review, January 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Guild Master, January 23 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, January 24

Artistic Nobody, January 25 (Author Interview)

Naked and Unashamed, January 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angeles is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and a hard copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/23a0f/the-me-i-see-in-you-celebration-tour-giveaway