Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere


My rating: 4 of 5 stars





Warm-hearted Victorian romance brings 1880s London to life.

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind.


About the author:

Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, "An Heiress at Heart," was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, "A Lady Most Lovely," received a starred review from "Publishers Weekly" and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.
Find out more about Jennifer at jenniferdelamere.com.



I enjoyed this book and the setting of being behind the scenes in a theater.  I've not attended very many theater productions in my life but have enjoyed the few I have.  So it was interesting to read small details of backstage life and a few onstage moments. :)  And as I've read other reviews on this book, I realize that this book is set at the beginning of theater greats, Gilbert and Sullivan.  I believe that some of their productions are still being used today.

Rosalyn Bernay is a talented young lady who is on the run from false accusations of theft being made by her employer's husband.   Although determined and a fast learner, she has also been somewhat sheltered by her life in an orphanage and her position as a lady's companion.   When she lands in London, her naivety puts her in a dangerous position which she only narrowly escapes.  This start to the book will hook you right away and keep you intrigued to the end.

For the most part I liked Rosalyn's character.  However, I felt like she was a little too naive when it came to that guy in the theater that kept coming on to her.  You would think she would have had a little more sense after dealing with her previous employer's husband.  But she does continue to grow and become more confident throughout the book.

Nate Moran was a wonderful hero for Rosalyn.   He's a bit broody but he's a loyal family man, a hard worker, and as he grows in character throughout the book, he tries not to admit that he's falling for Rosalyn.  :)  I loved his family!  His mom, sisters and brother - all pushing him to move on from the pain of being jilted and get on with his life.  Nate and his family are all involved in some form of charity work and are loving and kind to those around them.  They are a great refuge and support for Rosalyn.

All in all, I think this is a well written, quick and easy read with a gentle love story and a touch of danger.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series!

*Thanks to LitFuse for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.



Enter to win a copy of The Captain’s Daughter. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced July 10th on the Litfuse blog!





Litfuse Blog Tour landing page for
 The Captain's Daughter
  

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Blog Tour Review: Israel - God's Heart by Ron Gafni & Kathleen Barrett



Israel pin1 Israel pin 2



Click on the above link to view a sneak peek!



ABOUT THE BOOK



Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel 
 (Skypics Israel, November 2016)


Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.

The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni.  As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette's of Israel's modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God's redemption plan for the world.
About the authors:

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel's High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in "National Geographic," and his company, Skypics.co.il, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. 




Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in "Israel-God's Heart" from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children's devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission's outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.
Find out more at http://skypics.co.il.
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MY REVIEW

Israel - God's Heart by Ron Gafni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would love to visit Jerusalem and this beautiful picture book with reflective narrative, including scripture, gives me a chance to glimpse what I might experience.  A variety of pictures capture the sights and history of Israel and take you on a journey flying high above the Holy Land.  

You'll see Caesarea, The Roman amphitheater, Jerusalem, the Tower of David, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Timna Mushroom, a monolithic rock formation caused by erosion.  You'll see pictures of Biblical historical landscapes like the Mount of Beatitudes and the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum and the Jordan River.  You get a glimpse into the marvel of modern Israel with pictures of hot air balloons, fishing along the shallow rocks at the Mediterranean Sea, blooming buttercup fields, the Tel Aviv coastline, and the Bloomfield stadium during a derby match.  And last but not least, you'll see amazing aerial photography of The Dead Sea!  What a wonderful way to experience a touch of the beauty and history of The Holy Land.

*Thanks to LitFuse for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.




Litfuse Blog Tour landing page for
 Israel - God's Heart
  

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Amish Brides by Molly Jebber

~Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below!~





Author: Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber, Amy Lillard
Genre: Amish
Release Date: May 30, 2017

JOSHUA’S BRIDE
Molly Jebber

Madeline Lehman fears her fiancĂ©’s family will never accept her because of her rebellious sister. She’s postponed her wedding to Joshua Stutzman until they see the truth. But when Maddie adopts her sister’s abandoned baby, can she and Joshua find a way to unite their families through forgiveness as well as love?



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Spotlight & Cover Reveal: Shadows Over England series by Roseanna White


Let me just start by saying - I LOVE Roseanna's books! She's an awesome writer and I'm really looking forward to this new series. The first book in the series, A Name Unknown, releases on July 7, 2017. Today we have the cover reveal for the second book in the series, A Song Unheard, which is set to release in January 2018. So much excitement! :) :) 
So, let's start with some information on the first book (which I will be reviewing soon!).



A Name Unknown
Shadows Over England, 1
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?
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. 
Anger and danger 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.

Title: A Name Unknown | Series: Shadows Over England, Book 1 | Author: Roseanna White
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers | Release Date: July 7, 2017 |Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction



And now for the COVER REVEAL!

A SONG UNHEARD
Shadows Over England, Book 2




Isn't it pretty??! :)



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: A Song Unheard | Series: Shadows Over England, Book 2
Author: Roseanna White |Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: January 2, 2018  (available for pre-order)
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.



Shadows Over England Books 1 & 2!




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 a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new 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.

Being educated at St. John’s Collete (the Great Books School) taught Roseanna to ask questions, to value conversation, and to never accept the simple answer without exploring it for herself. She and her family make their home in the mountains of West Virginia where she and her husband both grew up. Roseanna is a member of ACFW, a frequent speaker at writers events and also small groups of readers, and an unabashed email addict.

Find her here:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest







 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Swagbucks: June Buddy Bonus


Swagbucks: Father's Day Sale




Happy Release Day & Author Q&A: With You Always by Jody Hedlund

~Check out the author's giveaway below!~







With You Always
by Jody Hedlund



A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.



Check out this GIVEAWAY on the author's group page!
Hurry!  Ends in 2 days!




Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and finalist for the Christy Awards, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.  She received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.




Book-Related Q &A

1. What is the inspiration behind your new Orphan Train series?

I have long been fascinated by the era of the Orphan Trains and the heart-wrenching stories of the homeless and helpless young orphans that were taken from the streets of New York City and other eastern cities and shipped West by the dozens. I was familiar with stories of those scared orphans who were placed out in what was thought to be a more wholesome, healthy environment of the newly settled Mid-Western states. Some of the orphans found happy endings and were adopted into loving families. Others experienced great abuse and heartache in their new homes.

While stories of the orphans who rode the trains have been told—and rightly so—the stories of the women who were involved in the movement are not as well known. One of the things I particularly like to do when telling my stories, is focus on women who have been overlooked by the pages of history. I consider it a great privilege to be able to bring forgotten women to life for our modern generation. Thus, throughout this series, I’ll be focusing each book on a different aspect of the Orphan Train movement, particularly from the perspective of women who experienced riding the trains in one form or another.


2. An e-novella, An Awakened Heart, kicks off the series. What is the novella about, and is it a must-read in order to understand the series?


An Awakened Heart is not a must-read in order to understand the series. But I do highly recommend reading it. (Plus it’s FREE, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try!) The e-novella introduces a couple, Guy and Christine, who are both passionate about helping the poor immigrants crowded into the overflowing and dirty tenements of New York City. The novella shows their efforts to bring about change in the city, but also brings them together in a satisfying love story.

The novella also introduces the three orphan sisters who will each become main characters for the three full-length novels in the series. It gives some of the background information on their situation, particularly how they become orphans, which I think readers will find helpful as well as informative.


3. How did you come up with the idea for the first book in the series, With You Always?

For this first book in the series, I decided to base the story around the placing out of women that happened in 1857 as a result of a financial crisis and economic panic in the autumn of that year. Women laborers were already at a disadvantage with poor working conditions and low wages. In September of 1857, estimates of New York unemployment ran as high as forty percent. Female employment was cut by almost half. With prostitution already a main source of income for many women, the recession drove even more to desperate measures and the number of women in prison rose as well.

To meet the growing crisis, the Children’s Aid Society in New York, along with organizations in other cities, who were already sending children West, decided to set up special placement offices to find jobs for seamstresses and trade girls in the West. The associations only wanted women of “good character” and they were required to provide references. If the women met the qualifications, then they were sent on trains to towns in Mid-Western states, particularly central Illinois where the demand for cheap labor was prevalent. They were presented to western employers as “helpless females left without the means of support.” Placement of these women continued until the spring of 1858.

It was my hope through the first book in the series, With You Always, to give readers a glimpse into the disadvantage of women during this particular era by showing the heroine Elise Neumann’s struggle, first in New York City and then also the continued heartache and problems that arose after leaving her family behind so that she could attempt to start a new life in central Illinois.


4. What do you hope readers take away from With You Always?

One of my hopes in telling this story is to leave readers with the reminder that God is walking with us in whatever dark valley we’re going through. Often, like Elise, we tend to pull away from God and let the bitterness of our circumstances drive us into a cave of isolation and self-blame and heartache. But God wants us to realize that even if we pull away from Him, He’s still there walking by our side, waiting for us to reach out our hand and grab ahold of Him. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He’s there waiting.


Personal Q & A

1. Is there something you tell yourself before writing?

Usually I tell myself to sit down, put my hands to the keyboard, and get to work. I don't wait for inspiration or magical fairy dust to hit me before writing. I just do it.

But I also always ask myself, what could make this story better? How can I increase the tension? How can add more excitement? What can I do to make my characters more likeable? I'm constantly challenging myself to make my story more vibrant and alive.



2. With You Always is the third book you’ve released in 2017.  How do you find time to write so many books?

I keep a very rigorous writing schedule, usually writing six days a week. I give myself a challenging word count goal—a certain number of words to write every day. Then, in the morning, I sit down and write until I meet my goals. It’s as simple . . . and as hard as that!

I like to compare being an author to a marathon runner. The person training to run a marathon doesn’t start off running twenty-six miles the first time she runs. Instead she begins with just a few miles, strengthens her muscles, builds her endurance, and slowly adds more miles.

Writing is the same way. Over the years, I’ve strengthened my writing muscles and built up my endurance so that now I can write faster and for longer stretches.


3. What are you working on next?

The second book in the orphan train series releases next summer in 2018. The story continues with Marianne Neumann. She gets involved in the orphan train movement as one of the placing agents and accompanies the orphans as they ride the trains west. I hope readers will enjoy Marianne’s story and also appreciate learning more about the orphan train movement from the eyes of the compassionate workers who tried to place the orphans into new homes.


4. Do you have any parting words?

I love hearing from readers! Make sure you stop by one of these places and say hello!


I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
Find me on Instagram: instagram.com/jodyhedlund/
Come pin with me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/pins/