Sunday, July 30, 2017

Book Review: Straight Flies the Arrow by Sydney Tooman Betts

You can purchase your copy here.

About the Book

From the author of A River too Deep and Light Bird's Song comes Straight Flies the Arrow.


During the winter of 1841, Pacing Wolf, the esteemed leader of the Many Lodges, follows the trail of a brutal murderer, leaving behind his beloved woman, Small Doe. When his tracking party returns without him, the Sparrow Hawks' Real Chief pronounces him dead, insisting Small Doe grieve, but she cannot bring herself to give up hope her husband will return. The coming spring offers her few choices. She can accept the courageous new warrior chosen for her or risk falling prey to his war-society rivals.

Vengeance and loyalty, hatred and faithfulness, all vie within two enemy villages, one belonging to the Sparrow Hawks and the other the Allies, threatening to crush every hope of happiness for Small Doe and everyone she loves.

My Review

While this third book of the People of the Book series was not a quick, easy read, it was definitely worth it.  The story was full, abounding with pertinent descriptions of the Native American culture.  The characters had Indian names, of course, plus plenty of history from previous books, so I needed to read deliberately.  But the story was rich and meaningful and kept my attention throughout.

A reader would most appreciate this story after reading the previous two in the series, but enough background is given to allow it to stand alone.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Sydney Tooman Betts currently resides with her protagonist-inspiring husband at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed with an emphasis on teaching reading) was involved in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level and she has been privileged to serve as Sunday School Superintendent, Children's Church Director, or Women's Ministries facilitator in several evangelical denominations. Before penning her first novel, A River Too Deep, she wrote several stories included in an adult literacy program. Sydney Betts currently has two award winning books: A River too Deep and Light Bird's Song, currently on sale at your local bookstore.

Book review: Easter in Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad


You can get your copy of this book here.

About the Book

Clay West is back in town with amends to make and minds to change. The cowboy has spent four years in jail for a crime he did not commit, and he's determined to restore his good name. The former bad boy's first priority is convincing childhood friend Allie Nelson of his innocence. But she—more than anyone—has suffered in his absence. Allie can't admit how much she's missed Clay—and she can't betray her family by putting her trust in him. She vows to forget her schoolgirl crush. But Clay will settle for nothing less than her forgiveness—and her whole heart.

My Review

It was a pleasure to visit Dry Creek again.  Author Janet Tronstad skillfully crafted a novel in which the characters were honest, believable, and struggling.  The book was paced just right, and kept my interest throughout.  The Dry Creek series is one in which you can enjoy each as a stand-alone.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book although I did not read it during the Easter season.

I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Janet Tronstad grew up on her family’s farm in central Montana and now lives in Pasadena, California where she is always at work on her next book. She has written over thirty books, many of them set in the fictitious town of Dry Creek, Montana where the men spend the winters gathered around the potbellied stove in the hardware store and the women make jelly in the fall.

Book Review with a 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 Review

They don't like each other. 

She is a thief. 

He can't utter a complete sentence to save his life. 

But Roseanna M. White manages to craft an excellent story with these characters that culminates in surprises through the very end. This first book of the Shadows Over England series involves espionage, threats of war, prejudice, and nobility vs. working class conflicts. I highly recommend it. Those who have an interest in British history and nobility and World War I will especially like this book.

I received a digital ARC from the author/publisher for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here 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 18: Faithfully Bookish
July 18: These Splendid Sentences
July 18: Bibliophile Reviews
July 18: Neverending Stories
July 19: Bookworm Mama
July 19: Seasons of Opportunities
July 19: Blogging With Carol
July 20: A Reader’s Brain
July 20: Genesis 5020
July 20: Just the Write Escape
July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 21: Connie’s History Classroom
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 22: Fiction Aficionado
July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews
July 22: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 23: Inklings and notions
July 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
July 24: Pursuing Stacie
July 24: Cordially Barbara
July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves
July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books
July 25: God’s Little Bookworm
July 25: Blossoms and Blessings
July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot
July 26: Margaret Kazmierczak
July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 28: With a Joyful Noise
July 28: Have A Wonderful Day
July 28: Christian Bookaholic
July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street
July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 29: Faery Tales Are Real
July 30: His Grace is Sufficient
July 30: History, Mystery & Faith
July 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
July 31: Reader’s cozy corner
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody
July 31: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book review with a 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 Review

This book was perfect as a light, fun romance.  Holly and Adam meet again under quirky circumstances, and the fun continues from there.  They met each other's families and shared new experiences together.  The author made the main and supporting characters a lot of fun, so that I wished I could hang out with them.  She also described the scenery of Alaska in a way that makes me want to visit.  Anyone with an interest in Alaska would enjoy this book, as well as readers of contemporary fiction who are looking for a cozy, clean read.  I received an ARC of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here 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 20: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

July 20: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

July 21: A Baker’s Perspective

July 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 22: Artistic Nobody

July 22: Just Commonly

July 23: Live.Love.Read.

July 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 24: Carpe Diem

July 24: autism mom

July 25: Redeemed Hope Dweller

July 25: Baker Kella

July 26: A Rup Life

July 26: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 27: Karen Sue Hadley

July 27: Quiet Quilter

July 28: Pause for Tales

July 28: Have A Wonderful Day

July 29: Remembrancy

July 29: Cafinated Reads

July 30: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 31: History, Mystery & Faith

August 1: Kat’s Corner Books

August 1: For the Love of Books

August 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

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